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Tips for Linux Explorers

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#176 OFFLINE   Bruno


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Posted 26 June 2003 - 03:46 PM


After all the serious and more complicated Tips, here is an easy one:

For ripping a CD to .wav or .ogg format, insert a CD into your CD-ROM and click on the ¨home¨ icon on your KDE desktop.
In the side bar, click on the icon that says ¨services¨, you will see the ¨Audio CD Browser¨ appear, then select ¨by name¨ or ¨by track¨ for .wav or ¨Ogg Vobis¨ for .ogg format. Copy and paste the files to your /home/bruno/music directory and the job is done.
( .wav can be easily converted to mp3 if you really would want that with the ¨wav2mp3¨ or ¨Lame¨ program. If Lame is installed Konqueror will show the option MP3 too )

Enjoy the music.

Posted Image Bruno

* The Lame converter is also called ¨notlame¨ these days. Don´t ask me why but there sure is a reason for it. ( in the desciption it says; ¨this is not Lame¨ but it is the same software  )

#177 OFFLINE   Bruno


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Posted 30 June 2003 - 02:21 PM

( might work in other distro´s as well )

For the lucky ones amongst us running Mandrake, you can install extra fonts as many as you like.

Just look for ttf fonts :



or any other site.
And simply copy them to: /usr/share/fonts/ttf/docoratives or /usr/share/fonts/ttf/western

Have fun with your fonts !

Posted Image Bruno

PS: Dual-booters, you can also import your Windows fonts with a special tool in the Mandrake Control Center.

#178 OFFLINE   mike180


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Posted 30 June 2003 - 03:39 PM

I'm almost sure that importing windows fonts is what cause my display problems.Suggestion is do not import Windows fonts from XP.mike180

#179 OFFLINE   Bruno


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Posted 01 July 2003 - 03:49 PM


You will probably have noticed that since KDE 3.0 there are by default only 4 screen savers included. Also adding them from kdelook.org does not really work like it should . . . .

The solution is simple: install ¨kdeartwork¨ via RPM or better even URPMI and you will see 27 screen savers appear in the KDE Control Module. ( kdeartwork is on your CDs )

27 Sceen savers not enough ?
Got a 3D accelerated card ?
Xscreensaver-gl has another 32 of them !

( Type: ¨xscreensaver-demo¨ at the prompt to see if they are already installed or not. )

A few commands:
$ xscreensaver-demo

( will also start the deamon, default: 10 minutes )
 $ xscreensaver-command -exit

( will stop the deamon )
 $ xscreensaver-command -restart

( will restart the deamon )

There is a .xscreensaver file in your /home where you can override the default settings.

A little script in KDE autostart with just the line ¨xscreensaver¨ makes the deamon startup at boot.

Read the docs: http://www.jwz.org/x...nsaver/man.html
about how to install and get them working.

Of course, as you´re logged in on the forum, there is more fun in reading then watching a screen saver.

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#180 OFFLINE   Bruno


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Posted 02 July 2003 - 03:15 PM


These are some of those critical programs for your computer. Without these, your computer will not know where to find any of the partitions or drives on the computer. Goof this up and you can be dead in the water. Never make any changes without a good backup copy.


In this file there is a description of the various file systems. Commands like ¨fsck¨ and ¨mount¨ consult this file for the actions they take.
This looks like a complicated description of the files on your computer, but it is really simple if you break it down into the parts of each entry. Take a look below.
( OR :In order for certain programs to be able to determine where certain partitions are supposed to be mounted by default, the /etc/fstab file is used )

/dev/hdb1 / ext3 defaults 1 1
none /dev/pts devpts mode=0620 0 0
/dev/hdb6 /home ext3 defaults 1 2
none /mnt/cdrom supermount dev=/dev/hdc,fs=auto,ro,--,iocharset=iso8859-1,codepage=850,umask=0 0 0
none /mnt/cdrom2 supermount dev=/dev/scd0,fs=auto,ro,--,iocharset=iso8859-1,codepage=850,umask=0 0 0
none /mnt/floppy supermount dev=/dev/fd0,fs=auto,--,iocharset=iso8859-1,sync,codepage=850,umask=0 0 0
/dev/hda1 /mnt/windows vfat iocharset=iso8859-1,codepage=850,umask=0 0 0
none /proc proc defaults 0 0
/dev/hdb7 /usr ext3 defaults 1 2
/dev/hdb5 swap swap defaults 0 0
/dev/sda1 /mnt/memory_card auto user,iocharset=iso8859-1,kudzu,codepage=850,noauto,umask=0,exec 0 0

I will try to bring some clarity in there. Let´s only take the partitions, here for Linux : / and /home and swap. For Windows C:
< partition >< mount point >< file system >< mount options >< dump >< fsck order >
/dev/hdb1 . . . . / . . . . . . . . . . . . ext3 . . . . . . . . . defaults . . . .   . . . 1 . . . . . . . . . 1
/dev/hdb6 . . . . /home. . . . . . .    ext3 . . . . . . . . . defaults . . . . .   . . 1 . . . . . . . . . 2
/dev/hdb5 . . . . swap . . . . . . . . swap . . . . . . . .  defaults . . . .   . . . 0 . . . . . . . . . 0
/dev/hda1 . . . . /mnt/win_c vfat . . . iocharset=iso8859-1,codepage=850,umask=0 0 0

For the CD-ROM and floppy drive:
none .  /mnt/cdrom . . supermount dev=/dev/hdc,fs=auto,ro,--,iocharset=iso8859-1,codepage=850,umask=0 0 0
none .  /mnt/floppy   supermount dev=/dev/fd0,fs=auto,--,iocharset=iso8859-1,sync,codepage=850,umask=0 0 0

You can see the CD-ROM and floppy have the same codes as the Windows partition because they are not Linux default.

For the memory card reader:

/dev/sda1 /mnt/memory_card auto user,iocharset=iso8859-1,kudzu,codepage=850,noauto,umask=0,exec 0 0

Two additional entries are ¨devpts¨ and ¨/proc¨

The devpts file system provides an interface to pseudo-terminal (pty) devices. It is typically mounted at /dev/pts.

The /proc filesystem is to provide an easy way to view kernel and information about currently running processes.

If you build Linux from scratch, you will have to write your own /etc/fstab file.


This file handles the mounted devices and is automatically updated by the mount command.
And it looks a bit similar to fstab but not the 100% same ( notice rw and ro for read/write and read only ) And it does only lists the mounted devices !

/dev/hdb1 / ext3 rw 0 0
none /proc proc rw 0 0
none /proc/bus/usb usbdevfs rw 0 0
none /dev devfs rw 0 0
none /dev/pts devpts rw,mode=0620 0 0
/dev/hdb6 /home ext3 rw 0 0
none /mnt/cdrom supermount ro,dev=/dev/hdc,fs=auto,--,iocharset=iso8859-1,codepage=850,umask=0 0 0
none /mnt/cdrom2 supermount ro,dev=/dev/scd0,fs=auto,--,iocharset=iso8859-1,codepage=850,umask=0 0 0
none /mnt/floppy supermount rw,sync,dev=/dev/fd0,fs=auto,--,iocharset=iso8859-1,codepage=850,umask=0 0 0
/dev/hda1 /mnt/windows vfat rw,iocharset=iso8859-1,codepage=850,umask=0 0 0
/dev/hdb7 /usr ext3 rw 0 0
/dev/sda1 /mnt/memory_card vfat rw,nosuid,nodev,iocharset=iso8859-15,codepage=850,umask=0,user=julia 0 0

Next time we will do the ¨mount¨ and ¨umount¨ commands related to these /etc/fstab and /etc/mtab files.

Posted Image Bruno

#181 OFFLINE   Bruno


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Posted 03 July 2003 - 01:47 PM


In some distro's the additional partitions ( Windows or second Linux distro ) are not automatically mounted and thus not visible.

From the story yesterday we know about fstab and mtab:
$ cat /etc/fstab
( shows you the available partitions )

$ cat /etc/mtab
( shows you the mounted partitions )

If you see partitions in fstab and the same partitions are not in mtab you will have to mount them yourself:
$ su
< password >
# mount /dev/hda1 /mnt/hda1
( as root, if your win. partition is on hda1 )

This will mount hda1, usually your Windows partition.
# cd /mnt/hda1
( to get in that directory )

# ls
( to see what is in that directory ) ( ls stands for "list" )

# umount /mnt/hda1
( will un-mount the partition, NOTE: not unmount but umount )

In some cases the mount command will print an error message to the screen. ( Mainly in Slackware and Linux From Scratch ) Have a look then if there are any directories in the /mnt directory to mount on:
$ su
< password >
# cd /mnt
# ls

If there is no ( empty ) directory for hda1 ( or other partitions ) you will have to make it first:
# mkdir hda1

Only then you can:
# mount /dev/hda1 /mnt/hda1

So see first what partitions you would like to mount and make the directories for it in /mnt. Only after that you can do the actual mounting. ( the directories will stay after a reboot, the mounting however has to be done again )Do not mount partitions if you do not need them mounted. ( since every twenty times a partition is mounted there will be a fsck at boot, and that makes the time to boot longer)

B) Bruno

#182 OFFLINE   Bruno


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Posted 04 July 2003 - 05:53 PM

NOTE FROM THE "EDITOR"As you were all celebrating the 4th of July, I had some time to make a brand new INDEX page for the Tips . . . . . . . . . with clickable  links directly to each of the 90 tips to date. I know you will appreciate this because finding a special Tip had become a major headache. :):) Bruno

#183 ONLINE   LilBambi


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Posted 04 July 2003 - 07:01 PM

Beautiful Bruno! Excellent Job as always!  :) That will make it so much easier to find specific Tips!
AKA Fran

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#184 OFFLINE   BarryB


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Posted 04 July 2003 - 07:16 PM

Thanks Bruno...You don't know how many times your tips have helped me already!Again Thanks

Right when you think you know the answers..somebody goes and changes the questions
Registered Linux user #303103

#185 OFFLINE   Bruno


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Posted 06 July 2003 - 02:53 PM

My dear friends, sure I'd like to present the change of the index page as service to you all ;), but to be completely honest, I could not find my way either in the previous index, so I had no choice, I had to make the titles to links . . . :) :) :DB) Bruno

#186 OFFLINE   Bruno


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Posted 06 July 2003 - 02:56 PM


I always want to keep an eye on the volume of the log files. Very large log files often mean something is wrong with your computer. Then depending on what log file it is you can see, determines in what direction you should be looking.

Here is how I do that:

$ su
< password >
# du -s /var/log/* | less

Will page through less ( scroll with spacebar, close with ¨q¨ ) the logfiles and how many K they are. Also you can see if there are many .gz (zipped) files. We will get rid of those later. First have a look. Do also:
# du -s /var/log/*/* | less

And see if there are any strange large ones, and if there are many zipped ones. No zipped log files means a failing ¨logrotate¨ ( see below for info about anacron )
We will clean out the zipped log messages, because we do not need those anymore: ( be carefull typing, you are root !!! )
# rm /var/log/*.gz
It will ask you for confirmation each time, just check if it really is a .gz file and type ¨yes¨ and hit enter.

Now we do the same with:
# rm /var/log/*.old

Now we do the same with:
# rm /var/log/*/*.gz

That should have removed quite a few files from your HD !!

If you have no .gz log files and they are many MB´s, that means logrotate does not do its job! Logrotate is a cron-job, a maintenance job that is performed every night between 3:00 and 4:00 AM. If your computer is not on 24/7 you should install anacron to do the maintenance at boot.

If you can´t find anacron on your Cds, get anacron: Here  and take the top one ( for made in Linux . . anacron-2.3-9mlx.i386.rpm ) download it and just install it by double clicking.

!! Anacron makes that your computer shows heavy activity 3 - 5 minutes after you boot up in the morning (afternoon). The activity is for about 5 minutes, so nothing to be worried about - no hacker´s activity - all normal maintenance jobs !!

One last tip: anacron needs no configuring, it should be pre-configured and run automatically . .

B) Bruno

#187 OFFLINE   Bruno


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Posted 07 July 2003 - 02:12 PM


As you type a command in a console you do not have to know the full PATH to that command or program, just the name will do. Type ¨kmail¨ and it will bring up the Kmail program, type ¨cp fileX /mnt/win_c¨ and it will call on the ¨cp¨ executable to copy ¨fileX to the Windows C: partition. No need to type the full path to those executables.

This is because the Kmail and the cp executables are ¨in your PATH¨ ( the full paths are /usr/bin/kmail and /bin/cp )
Most of these executables for normal users are stored in /bin, /usr/bin and /usr/local/bin, thus these directories are ¨in your PATH¨

Sometimes however programs are stored in unusual places, or you make your own scripts and programs and store them in a special directory. Then we can add those directories to ¨your PATH¨, so that a simple short command can call them.

First let´s have a look what´s in your path:
$ echo $PATH

You will see something like:

What this means is /usr/X11R6/bin and /usr/local/bin/ and /bin etc. are in your PATH
For root:
$ su
< password >
# echo $PATH

Will give this line:

You notice that the PATHs are different for root than for the normal user ! ( ¨sbin¨ is a good give-away that they are for root )

Now let´s assume you want to add the /home/bruno/progs/exec directory ( where you store your own executables ) to your PATH:
# export PATH=$PATH:/home/bruno/progs/exec

Now you can just type ¨back¨ at the prompt to call on your self-written backup-script or program that you have in /home/bruno/progs/exec.

To permanently add something to the PATH you will have to edit a file, could be in a few different ones ( depending on shell and distro): ~/.profile or ~/.bash_profile or /etc/profile or /etc/csh.login. ( More in-depth and accurate info can be found Here )

There is a line like:

Just add a colon and the new directory, like this:

And save the file. To load the new settings either reboot or:
# source /etc/skel/.bash_profile

Now you know next time you see the error message that something is not ¨in your PATH¨ how to solve this little problem.

UPDATE: Another way to add permanently to the PATH is:
$ export PATH=$PATH:/home/bruno/progs/exec

B) Bruno

#188 OFFLINE   Bruno


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Posted 08 July 2003 - 03:09 PM


The command ¨hdparm¨ is for showing and tweaking your harddisk performance.

To see how your harddisk does compare:
$ su
# hdparm -tT /dev/hda
( or hdb )

Will give you a result like:
Timing buffer-cache reads: 128 MB in 0.68 seconds =188.24 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads: 64 MB in 1.59 seconds = 40.25 MB/sec

Now before you start tweaking, a warning is on its place, some tweaks may even make your HD unstable, so before starting to change settings:
$ su
< password >
# hdparm /dev/hda

And note down the numbers so you can set them back to the old values if needed !

And read O´Reilly attentively !!

To find additional info about your HD:
# hdparm -i /dev/hda

This will show you what are the possible settings for your harddisk.

An example:
To set 32-bit I/O support flag to 3
multicount to 16
DMA to 1 ( = on )

You give the following command: ( as root )
# hdparm -c3 -m16 -d1 /dev/hda

Again: enabling DMA can in some cases lead to serious instability, so if needed:
# hdparm -d0 /dev/hda

( will disable DMA )

After tweaking you run
# hdparm -tT /dev/hda

again and see if there is an increase of performance.

Have fun tweaking, ( or with the words of O´Reilly: Happy hacking ! ) but please, please be careful !

B) Bruno

PS: Additional info: axljab.homelinux.org

#189 OFFLINE   Bruno


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Posted 09 July 2003 - 02:48 PM

INDEX.DAT ( the secret windows files )

Here is a great little trick for all you dual-booters; You know those ultra secret, sneeky "index.dat" files on your windows drive, the ones you can't read nor delete ??

We have just the medicine for that in Linux:
# find /mnt/win_c -type f -name index.dat

This will find the files and print the paths to screen.
Suppose "/mnt/win_c/windows/Cookies/index.dat" is one of them, here is how to delete that file:
# rm -f /mnt/win_c/windows/Cookies/index.dat

Sure once you boot Windows again they will be re-created, but all the old info will be gone
* not 100% sure this will work on NTFS formatted partitions too.

B) Bruno

#190 OFFLINE   Bruno


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Posted 10 July 2003 - 03:04 PM


Strange things sometimes happen, one of them is a corrupt rpm database. This means that the computer tells you something is installed and it really is not.
Here is how to solve this problem.

First backup and then delete by doing the following command:
$ su[/size]
[size=4]< password >[/size]
[size=4]# cp /var/lib/rpm/__db.001 /home/bruno[/size]
[size=4]# rm /var/lib/rpm/__db.001

# cp /var/lib/rpm/__db.002 /home/bruno

NOTE:( "__" is 2x"_" )

# rm /var/lib/rpm/ __db.002

# rpm --rebuilddb

In case your urpmi database is locked you can do:  
# rm -f /var/lib/urpmi/.LOCK [/size]
[size=4]# rm -f /var/lib/urpmi/.RPMLOCK

A little reminder: the urpmi database ( install on demand ) needs to be updated at least once a month. See to in that you are connected to the internet for this one and :
# urpmi.update -a

B) Bruno

#191 OFFLINE   mike180


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Posted 10 July 2003 - 03:25 PM

Bruno,  Is there a way to download all of these tips and save them to our hard drives or burn them cd's for future reference?  There are times when the internet is unavalible and some people may not want to print in excess of 80 pages of tips.  I do know how but some people may not.Thanks,mike180

#192 OFFLINE   Bruno


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Posted 10 July 2003 - 03:42 PM


At the ultra left bottom of the page there is a link that says:
Download / Print this Topic

if you click on that one you get 3 choices:
Printer Friendly Version
This will display the topic in a simple, printer friendly format on this page, no download is required.

Download HTML Version
This will enable you to download a HTML version of this topic to your hard drive. This will open your browser's download dialogue box

Download Microsoft Word Version
This will enable you to download a version of this topic in an editable Word format. This will open your browser's download dialogue box* the MS word version can be displayed in the OpenOfiice program you have on your Linux box ( even Koffice can do the trick )

B) Bruno

#193 OFFLINE   Bruno


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Posted 15 July 2003 - 03:38 PM


As we all are growing older ( and our computers too ), we want to test our memory . . . .
To see the amount of memory, open a console and type:

$ free

. . . . . . . . total . . . . . used . . . . . . free . . . shared . . buffers . . cached
Mem:. . . . 515340 . . . 378232 . . . 137108 . . . . . 0 . . 18312 . . . 209020
-/+ buffers/cache: . . . 150900 . . . 364440
Swap:. . . . 248968 . . . . . . . . 0 . . . 248968

Well that did not tell us very much did it ? So lets do some serious testing.
What you need is a program called ¨memtester¨ ( for downloads see links below )


(Info @ Homepage)
Description: Memtest is a utility for testing the memory subsystem in a computer to determine if it is faulty. The original source was by Simon Kirby <sim@stormix.com>. I have by this time completely rewritten the original source, and added many additional tests to help catch borderline memory. I also rewrote the original tests (which catch mainly memory bits which are stuck permanently high or low) so that they run approximately an order of magnitude faster.

Here is how it works, ( I have 512MB memory )
$ su 
# memtest 512M 1 -l >
( 512M ¨one¨ ,¨-L¨ ) ( The 1 is for running the test only once, the -l makes a logfile in your /home )

Output to screen and logfile in /home:
Run 1:
Test 1: Stuck Address: Testing...Passed.
Test 2: Random value: Setting...Testing...Passed.
Test 3: XOR comparison: Setting...Testing...Passed.
Test 4: SUB comparison: Setting...Testing...Passed.
Test 5: MUL comparison: Setting...Testing...Passed.
Test 6: DIV comparison: Setting...Testing...Passed.
Test 7: OR comparison: Setting...Testing...Passed.
Test 8: AND comparison: Setting...Testing...Passed.
Test 9: Sequential Increment: Setting...Testing...Passed.
Test 10: Solid Bits: Testing...Passed.
Test 11: Block Sequential: Testing...Passed.
Test 12: Checkerboard: Testing...Passed.
Test 13: Bit Spread: Testing...Passed.
Test 14: Bit Flip: Testing...Passed.
Test 15: Walking Ones: Testing...Passed.
Test 16: Walking Zeroes: Testing...Passed.
Run 1 completed in 1418 seconds (0 tests showed errors).

Looks like my memory is still okay.

The current version of memtest should be available at

Read the docs: /urs/share/doc/memtester !!

( WARNING: this program will take your CPU to 100% during a long time . . see to it that your cooling is O.K. )

B) Bruno

#194 OFFLINE   Bruno


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Posted 17 July 2003 - 03:25 PM

( Only Mandrake )

There are a few different ways to search for packages in the Mandrake Control Center. The search field can be used with wildcards ( * ), in names, descriptions and files. Any individual file in a particular package can be found this way. Also any terminology given in the information-panel can be found with the description search.

If you have a general idea of what you are looking for, then do a search using ¨find in description¨. If you know the name, you can search by using ¨find in name¨. You can use ¨find in files¨ in case your looking for a specific lib* file ( library ) and do not know what package it comes with.

Also you can have a look at 'all the packages', by group, size, selection state, source repository and update availability.
The feature ¨source repository¨ is the most interesting one.
Remember, it will not have many options nor packages under “by source repository” unless you first add a few different sources. Ones to consider are the “Penguin Liberation Front” (PLF ) and ¨Thacs¨. If you are a Mandrake Club member, then go to your Club preferences page and add a source for ¨contributions¨, ¨club-contributions¨ and ¨commercial applications¨.

When you have a look at the different packages available, you will find a wide variety of offerings, including games, educational tools, scientific tools, word processing, HTML editors, SWF editors, drawing programs, photo editors, sound/music manipulating software. Anything you can think of, you can find them there. If you have some free time, scroll down through all the programs available. Most of them have unusual names, so be sure to read the descriptions too ( for the descriptions you can choose ¨normal¨ or ¨maximum information¨ ).

I sure hope you have a fast connection, because when you are done browsing, you will sure be downloading a lot of them. ( If you have disk 3--the international CD for Mandrake, you will find many of the files here as well as on the other disks. )

Happy software browsing!

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#195 OFFLINE   Bruno


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Posted 22 July 2003 - 03:24 PM

SEARCHING SOFTWARE ( all distro's )

Last time I wrote about searching software packages for Mandrake, today we do a general round-up.

Searching for software is relatively easy in Linux because there are a few places that act like huge warehouses where all the packages can be found.

Most important resource is Freshmeat
as they have a search engine on their site that will find you any package you like, be it in tarball, .rpm, or .deb format.

Tarball is universal for all Linux distro´s ( but there is a difference between the .tar.gz format and the .tgz one that is special for Slackware and VectorLinux ) Sourceforge foundries is a good place to look.
Also the ftp sites from the specific distros have plenty of extra packages.

RPM is ¨RedHat Package Management¨ was originally developed for RedHat but today also used for Mandrake and SuSE ( most of the time there is a difference between RPMs for Mandrake or RedHat so see to it that you get the right one ) A special search engine for RPMs is: RPMfind.net

As .deb are Debian specific packages, you get them though apt-get at the Debian mirrors but also on sourceforge and freshmeat.

An enormous resource for all thats related to music and sound is the site Linux-sound.orgyou should really go and have a look there, it´s amazing what you can get from that site. ( no ZZ Top MP3s though, actually no music files at all, but everything to make them. )

If you are looking for a package and the Freshmeat search engine can´t find it because you do not know the name of it . . . try google/linux

More resources:
Linux Games
Linux HQ
Kernel Archives
Window Managers

If after trying all this, you still do not find the software you´re after . . . . just post a topic on the All Things Linux Forum and we´ll get everybody searching for you !

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#196 OFFLINE   Bruno


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Posted 24 July 2003 - 03:57 PM

Now we will install those packages, open a console and ¨cd¨ to the directory where you downloaded the files and install them in this order:

$ su 
< root password >
# rpm -Uvh rcd-1.4.4-0.ximian.6.1.i586.rpm 
# rpm -Uvh red-carpet-2.0.1-0.ximian.6.1.1.i586.rpm 
# rpm -Uvh rug-1.4.4-0.ximian.6.1.i586.rpm

Now all you have to do is type:
# red-carpet

The first time you get two dialogs, choose:
this system ( not remote ! )
start deamon = yes

And you get the GUI of the Red Carpet
Next time only typing ¨red-carpet¨ will do the trick.

That´s all, have fun !!


-- Jul 24 2003 ( Project is dead ) --

#197 OFFLINE   Bruno


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Posted 29 July 2003 - 05:34 PM


If you want to backup your mail, addresses and appointments from Evolution, to import them later in an updated version of your distro, or in Evolution of another distro. All you have to backup is the ¨mail¨ directory you will find in /home/bruno/.evolution.

Later you can either import the files with the import-function or just replace the ¨mail¨ directory.
With the import function you have to browse to the ¨inbox¨ files you will find in /mail/local/inbox for your mail, any subdirectories you made will also be there.

For only importing your addresses, either copy /addressbook or import the addressbook.db that you find in /addressbook/local/addressbook.db. ( I think just copying the ¨addressbook¨ directory is the easy way and in previous versions the import function did not always do what you wanted it to do )

For only importing the tasks/calender you do the same as with the addresses.

Backup /home/bruno/.evolution/mail/pop, /home/bruno/.evolution/mail/config the /home/bruno/.gconf/apps/evolution and the /home/bruno/.gnome2_private/Evolution for the settings of your ISP/pop-mail addresses.

If you make a backup from the ~/.evolution directory to CD on a regular basis, the day that something serious will strike your computer you will just grab the CD and be able to get Evolution back in its old state in a flash.

Posted Image Bruno

PS: Another handy file to backup: Export your bookmarks to a file in your home directory and put that on the CD as well. ( Edit bookmarks, in the menu-bar --> bookmark --> export and you can choose where to put it, Mozilla exports them in HTML, that makes it easy to import in Galeon, Firebird, Konqueror and of course Mozilla. )

#198 OFFLINE   Bruno


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Posted 31 July 2003 - 07:07 PM


The Mandrake GUI has a nice looking Lilo, that is why I like to use that one to add other distro´s. As an example we will add Slackware ( located on hda5 ) to the Mandrake Lilo. You can add as many distro´s as you like. All commands are given in Mandrake.

First we have to make a few directories, one in /mnt to mount the slack partition on ( temporary ) and one in /boot.

And open a console:
$ su[/size]
< password >
# mkdir /mnt/slack
# mkdir /boot/slack

Then we mount the Slack partition and copy the Slack vmlinuz to the /boot directory of Mandrake ( in this case ¨ vmlinuz-ide-2.4.20¨ while in other cases just vmlinuz, BUT know that the vmlinuz often is just a link to the vmlinuz+number and a copy of the link won't work ). Please have a look before you start what the vmlinuz is called that is in the /boot of the distro that you want to add . ( Also: if there is a initrd.img present, like in other distro's, you need to copy that as well )
# mount /dev/hda5 /mnt/slack
# cp /mnt/slack/boot/vmlinuz-ide-2.4.20 /boot/slack

Now that is done we can change the /etc/lilo.conf, but first we will make a backup:
# cp /etc/lilo.conf /home/julia

Then we open the file in vi:
# vi /etc/lilo.conf
( the changes are in red .)


(Text @ Screen)

default="Mandrake" ( ! I did change Linux to Mandrake ! )
  label="Mandrake" ( ! I did change linux to Mandrake ! )
  append="devfs=mount hdd=ide-scsi acpi=off quiet"  
  vga=788 (check this number, this is for my monitor, and copy it to the Slack part)
  append="devfs=mount hdd=ide-scsi acpi=off"  
  append="devfs=nomount hdd=ide-scsi acpi=off failsafe"  

then save


Now we want to write the new lilo to the MBR:
# /sbin/lilo

And you will see:


(Text @ Screen)
Added Mandrake *
Added Slackware
Added linux-nonfb
Added failsafe
Added floppy

If you get an error message it means that you made a typo somewhere . . .go back in with vi and correct the file . . . .
The * means that Mandrake is the default to boot if no action is taken at the lilo screen.

ADDITIONAL NOTE: Now, Slack will NOT be automatically mounted if you boot Mandrake . . we mounted it only once . . . if you want it mounted every time we need to adapt /etc/fstab . . . . . but I would leave it like it is and do ¨mount /dev/hda5 /mnt/slack¨ whenever you need to address Slack from Mandrake ( wich will not be very often )

[size=4] B) Bruno

PS: I know there are may other ways to do this ( even a GUI tool in Mandrake can do the trick ) but was is my favorite way to adapt Lilo.

PS2: For aditional info about adding RedHat 9.0 and if CDRW does not get recognized in Slackware see Here

#199 OFFLINE   Bruno


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Posted 05 August 2003 - 04:33 PM


You probably know already that every 20 to 30 times you reboot your system, or after each un-clean shutdown, you will get a check of the integrity of your file system.

NOTE: this text is only relevant for Ext2 filesystems . . . for Ext3 see "IMPORTANT" at the bottom of this tip.

Also you might have seen on the screen as the system files are checked that you have to hit the Y button within 5 seconds . . . . now, 5 seconds is very short and the chances are you will be just too late . . . the system will continue booting, but if there are problems with the integrity . . . you have a problem . . so most of the time at a file check I had my finger close to the Y button . . not anymore !

I did a few little tweaks:

Open the file "/etc/sysconfig/autofsck" in vi
$ su
< password >
# vi /etc/sysconfig/autofsck

" i " ( to put vi in insert mode )

And you will see two lines:


( just change the number of seconds here )


change the value to yes and it will hit the Y for you)

Save the file
Esc ( put vi in command mode )

If there is no such file as "/etc/sysconfig/autofsck", just make it (They are the same commands to make or open a file in vi)

Mine looks like this:

File, on Drake, said:

# -*- Mode: sh -*-
# $Id:$

# Specify here how many seconds we wait for timeout

# Specify if we do automatic fsck.

#Specify how many seconds we wait for mounting crypto.

The last line is only for if you have a crypto file system installed ( search google/linux if you want to know more about crypto file systems)

The text above is only relevant if you use Ext2 filesystem !

cooker, on Oct 31 2003, said:

In case of a hard-reset, init messages indicate the computer was not shut down cleanly, and a message appear :"Press Y within 5 seconds to force the file system check "Actually this is very misleading : if you do it with ext3, it does NOT use the journal and then you will experience system losses. Lots of newbies have reported that problem. Now that would be nice to change this message so that people leave the journalisation do the good work. --Eric


#200 OFFLINE   Bruno


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Posted 07 August 2003 - 04:58 PM


For the install of a Linux distro's we will have to change the BIOS settings.
Most important changes are:
1) The value for "PnP aware OS" has to be set to "NO"
2) And the order the BIOS looks for  boot options . . ( the MBR is mostly on IDE 0, we want to boot from CD ) We will have to put the CD-ROM on the first place, the floppy and the IDE 0 in second and  third place. After the install we can put the BIOS settings back as they were before.

Some people have some serious problems getting in the BIOS, some computer brands are making it really difficult, so here is an overview of the different options related to the brand PC:
(took the quotes out of several threads in the Linux and Hardware forum )

zlim, on Jun 21 2003, said:

You may find this helpful. Various way to access BIOS on lots of computers:
AMI/Award: [Delete] during boot
Toshiba: [Esc]during boot
Toshiba, Phoenix, Late model PS/1 Value Point & 330: [F1] during boot
Compaq: [F10] When blinking cursor jumps to top right corner of screen
Compaq: [F10] when logo screen is displayed
NEC: [F2] during boot
IBM PS/2: with reference partition-[Insert] during boot
IBM PS/2: Need reference disk and ADF disk for setup
Emachine: [Tab] during boot
some Dells: reset button twice (I suppose this means power reset button)
Misc computers: [Ctrl]+[Alt]
Dell: [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Enter]
AST Advantage, Award, Tandon: [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Esc]
Zenith, Phoenix: [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Ins]
Phoenix: [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[S]
Olivetti PC Pro: [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Shift]+ Num Pad [Del]
Misc computers: [Ctrl]+[Esc]
Some PS/2: [Ctrl]+[Ins] when pointer at top right of screen
Phoenix: [Ctrl]+[S]
Tandon 386: [Ctrl]+[Shift]+[Esc]

-ct-, on Jun 4 2003, said:

HP [F2]

Rons, on Jul 29 2003, said:

Gateway systems using Phoenix BIOS [F1]

Nilson, on Aug 12 2003, said:

To access the BIOS on a Sony Vaio 320 series, press [F2] during boot.

prairiedock, on Oct 23 2003, said:

IBM thinkpad [F1]

Martinultima, on Aug 2004, said:

On my Dell Dimension L566cx system, [Esc] will get out of the splash screen and [Del] is the key to get into setup.

* If you have a computer that is not listed here and you do know the code, please send me a PM and I will be glad to add it to the list.

B) Bruno

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