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#326 OFFLINE   Bruno

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Posted 22 November 2005 - 02:07 PM

AUTOMATIC TIME SYNCINGSure you want your computer to show the correct date and time.If your distro does not support ntp ( Network Time Protocol ) for syncing time with a remote time server, or you have a hard time configuring it, here is what you can do using the rdate command:First install rdate:
# apt-get install rdate
Then first test this command to make sure it reports no errors:
# rdate -s clock-1.cs.cmu.edu && hwclock --systohc
( If it does report errors, try leaving off the "&& hwclock --systohc" part which changes the hardware clock as well )Next, depending on your distro you can add that line at the bottom of the next file:Fedora: /etc/rc.localRed Hat: /etc/rc.localDebian: /etc/rc.bootSlackware: /etc/rc.d/rc.localSUSE: /etc/init.d/boot.localMandrake: /etc/rc.localPCLos: /etc/rc.localNow, every time you boot your computer the time will synced !:hysterical: BrunoNOTE: You should be connected to the internet at boot for this to work.

#327 OFFLINE   Bruno

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 02:34 PM

PCLOS .92 PERFORMANCE TWEAKS( Only for the advanced user ! ) Our good friend Ivan ( aka Ikerekes ) sent me some interesting tweaks for PCLos .92, but you do need a good basic knowledge of Linux before you throw yourself at it . . . but the result is certainly rewarding . . . here is the full and uncensored text:

Ikerekes said:

A p.92 install and fine tune experience. First of all, I am a pclos developer, specialized in hardware and the maintainer of the mklivecd set of scripts.Painfully enough the only hardware I own a 3 year old Compaq Presario, with a VIA based KM266 mobo AMD XP2200+, 512M RAM, and 2 ATA-133 HD one is 60G the other is 120G. I have quite a few distro installed, Suse 10, Mandriva 2006, cooker, Knoppix 4, Kanotix, Mephis, Fedora FC4, Peanut, Arabian, Frugalware... Sorry I almost forgot (K)ubuntu ? - but above all PCLOS in a few flavours. I have pre4 fully unstable upgarded with kernel 2.6.14 the oldest but the most cutting edge.I have all kind of 8.1, 9, 9.1 upgraded with exp repo.You can imagine the junk what I have collected, tested and not removed during the years. Although my mail directory is shared between the different partitions, and I have a huge shared area, where I am downloading iso's mirroring repos, my home directory is not shared, since I have rpm, deb, tgz, and arch based distroes, and they all like to set up the .rc files differently.So as I used to do with winders, time to time I like to start from fresh, clear install, customize with the setup what I know I will use, and can't be without.Today morning when the .92 showed up, I set just to do that. My current "production" install is a fully upgraded .90, but I downloaded, tested all the 4 test iso's (sent a lot's of bug report, fixes, improvements to Texstar, so I knew fairly well what I can expect).After burning the iso, boot the livecd with the tried and trusted cheat codes,"livecd acpi=off nolapic xres=1280x1024 splash=no" my p.92 just came up perfect.Just a little explanations: My VIA mobo requires acpi=off nolapic, otherwise it has interrupt problems. I hate when I have to manually make my screen larger, or run XFdrake to adjust my resolution, and the splash=no because I like to see if there is anything a problem during the livecd boot.The first order of business is to install the dkms-7174 NVIDIA rpm. I have a Riva TNT-2 card, which is "legacy" so I can use only the legacy driver and I am lazy to reinstall the driver by hand every time I reinstall the kernel, and I do that a lot. The nicest thing about unionfs that you can install with synaptic any package while you are running off the livecd, and if you install after that to the HD, the modifications are remembered so the first time you boot form the HD it will already come with the needed NVIDIA driver. I know that Texstar plans to issue the NVIDIA, and ATI versions, where this step would be automatic, but patience is not my strong side.The only thing worth mentioning during this step, that when you first start synaptic, you have to click on the update button to get the full package list, which is not on the CD for obvious space constraint. (The stripped source code needed by the 3-rd party drivers, on the other hand, is preinstalled).Comes a rather un-eventful 25 minutes, until the livecd-install copies everything to my pre-allocated /dev/hdb15 and, reboot.I always install my lilo in the beginning of the install partition, I don't trust my MBR to the livecd-install, (after all it is my code), and so the first reboot is into my "production" partition. A quick check that the newly installed pclos92 partition has all the necessary kernel and initrd links in the /boot, rerun the lilo -v and comes the moment of truth, booting into p.92.Booting nicely, NVIDIA splash screen comes up as it supposed to, the KDM login screen has only my userid and root (guest is removed) all the passwords are working, so I can start on the customization.The first thing is to customize the initrd. Now, that requires a little bit of explanation. The kernel, starting with 2.4 is huge, doesn't fit on a standard floppy (That's why we can't create boot floppies easily), and the number of different device drivers is growing every day. If the kernel would have all the drivers compiled in it, it would require huge amount of RAM. To minimize the footprint in the memory, all the device drivers compiled as modules, and the kernel during the boot process loads only those drivers, which absolutely necessary. The livecd during the hwdetect phase loads all and every possible drivers in order to "catch" the right device driver required by the various sata, scsi, usb devices, but unfortunately there is no sure way to tell which driver is in use, which one is just loaded but not in use yet, or which one is not needed at all, because the pc doesn't have that type of device.After the hard disk install the first thing the loader loads (besides the kernel) an mini operating system, so small that it fits entirely in memory, that's why it is called initial ram disk, or initrd for short. This initrd has to have the necessary device drivers to mount the root (/) file system and all the programs and data it contains. If you install the livecd for example on sata, scsi, or usb hard disk, the initrd should contain the necessary sata, scsi or usb drivers. In order to not miss any, the livecd install includes all of them rather than miss some. It does this by editing the /etc/sysconfig/installkernel file's INITRDOPTS= parameter, telling which modules to include in the initrd. That has both advantages and disadvantages.* Pro: If you latter decide to upgrade your pc's slow ide harddrive with faster scsi or sata drive, it is just plug and play, the drivers are already there.* Cons: since you are loading a tons of drivers on every boot it is lot slower, and require more RAM, i.e. your performance suffers.* Solution: customize the initrd.To do this, you have edit the /etc/sysconfig/installkernel INITRDOPTS= parameter, leaving only those drivers which required.Since I don't have no scsi, no sata, no usb HD, my installkernel is rather simple:[root@localhost config]# cat /etc/sysconfig/installkernel# -*- Mode: shell-script -*-# $Id: installkernel.sysconfig,v 1.14 2004/06/29 04:50:42 prigaux Exp $# Configuration option when installing a kernel and initrscript.# Set this to yes if you never want link from /boot/vmlinuz to the# kernel.NOLINK=""# Set this to yes if you don't want to add entry to your bootloaderNOENTRY=""# If you want to pass options to the "make-initrd" helper script you# can do it here.INITRDOPTS=""More specific examples are here:  http://www.pclinuxon...c=8201&forum=57After you customized the installkernel, you will have to regenerate the initrd.img. That's easily accomplished by reinstalling the current kernel, or installing a higher kernel. Note: If you reinstalling the current kernel you have to delete your current initrd.img (the file the /boot/initrd.img links to) to force the installkernel script to regenerate the initrd and rerun the lilo.I choose to install the 2.6.13-oci2 kernel, so I didn't have to delete the initrd.The next step was PCC->System->Configure System services.Quite logically the less nonessential services you start at the boot, faster your system will boot. How do you tell which are essential which are not?It is easy. If you see any service with the boot checkmark and, with stopped state, it is non-essential. In my case for example hplip since I don't have any hp printer, mdadm, since I don't have any raid device, or acpi and acpid, since I boot with acpi=off. If you don't know what the service is doing the info button will give you a short explanation, but clearly if the service marked stopped with the boot checkmark, it can't be essential otherwise you would not be able to boot. Next you might want to mark some services started on boot, that's strictly your preference and it requires a little bit of research.I marked the dkms service (since I want to recompile the NVIDIA driver if I change a kernel) and marked the sshd service, since some times I want to take over my home machine from the office.Once this was over, I edited my /etc/fstab to automount my shared directories and my "production" pclos partitions, copied over a few directories and files from my "production" pclos, to preserve such custom setups as .mozilla directory for bookmarks and cookies, .skype directory for contact lists. kontactrc from the ~/.kde/share/config for my email setup, but not much more.To setup the desktop to my liking is not more than a half an hour exercise, and if I redo from scratch, I know that I got a clean setup.After reboot (that one is really fast, because I normally set my desktop to autologin my userid into KDE) the only thing remained to issue an rpm -qa|sort>/tmp/p92.list command. Of course I had a similar command on my production pclos. BTW. this just creates a sorted list of all the rpm's installed on this system.Using Kompare it is very easy to identify the differences between my 2 installs, and install with apt-get or synaptic, only those packages what I know I am going to use (and maybe uninstall packages what i know for sure won't use)The result: A clean, streamlined, optimized, up to date system, ready for all the abuses, I normally inflict on my systems.
Thanks for sharing that with us Ivan !! :o BrunoPS: More tips for PCLos see: http://www.pclinuxon...m/wiki/HomePage

#328 OFFLINE   Bruno

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 02:56 PM

SLACKWARE TIPS ( 4 )
( Missing .bashrc in Slackware )

Terminal tweak in Slackware

You might have noticed that customizing your prompt ( see: Tweaking The_Prompt ) in Slackware seems impossible because there is no .bashrc in your /home, nor in /root

To overcome this problem you need to create 3 new files, and at the same time we will take the occasion to add a few more tweaks in order to make the use of the terminal more comfortable.

First we need a .bash_profile with the following text: ( please adapt the /home/bruno to your own username )

Quote

# /home/bruno/.bash_profile

# make sure .bashrc works
source ~/.bashrc


Next we make the .bashrc with this text:

Quote

# /home/bruno/.bashrc

# resize text to window
shopt -s checkwinsize

# custom prompt
PS1="\[\e[36;1m\][\u:\w]$ \[\e[0m\]"

# user aliases
alias l='ls'
alias la='ls -a'
alias lal='ls -al'
alias ll='ls -l'
alias lsd='ls -d */'
# just to be sure
alias rm='rm -i'
alias mv='mv -i'
alias cp='cp -i'


You see I added a few aliases, a customized prompt ( insert your own version if you have one ) and a trick to resize the text to the terminal window.

The last file you need is a /root/.bashrc: ( a /root/.bash_profile is not needed )

Quote

# /root/.bashrc

# resize text to window
shopt -s checkwinsize

# custom prompt
PS1="\[\e[35;1m\][\u@\h \W]# \[\e[0m\]"

# user aliases
alias l='ls'
alias la='ls -a'
alias lal='ls -al'
alias ll='ls -l'
alias lsd='ls -d */'
alias ls='ls -F --color=auto'
# just to be sure
alias rm='rm -i'
alias mv='mv -i'
alias cp='cp -i'


In the root version of the .bashrc you see an extra alias line "alias ls='ls -F --color=auto'" . . . this gives you, as root, the same colors in the terminal as the user has by default when giving the "ls" command.

Happy Tweaking !

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 02:06 PM

PRINTING WEB PAGES AS .TXT( Using the command line )Imagine you want to print a web page as a simple text file, no pictures, no colors, just text for easy reading. In that case this could be an example:
$ lynx -dump http://www.damnsmalllinux.org >DSL.txt
( Sure you need to have "lynx" installed )The command above places a "DSL.txt" text file ready for printing in your /home directory so next you can send it to your printer:
$ lpr DSL.txt
That's all there is to it, simple, clean, efficient . . . . . ( you will notice that at the bottom of the file that all the links from the site are nicely numbered and listed ):) Bruno

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Posted 10 January 2006 - 02:44 PM

CHANGING HOSTNAME  ( In Mandriva, PCLOS, Fedora, Slackware, Debian & Knoppix )There are 2 ways to change the host name, a temporary and a permanent way.1). Giving the command:
$ hostname jupiter
Will change the hostname to "jupiter" untill the next reboot.2). The "permanent" way is a bit different depending the distro you run:Fedora, Mandriva, PCLosIf you want the hostname to stick even after a reboot in Fedora,Mandriva or PCLos there are 2 files to change: the /etc/sysconfig/network and the /etc/hosts:In the /etc/sysconfig/network I added the line:
HOSTNAME=jupiter
Next in the /etc/hosts file I changed the "127.0.0.1       localhost.localdomain localhost" to:
127.0.0.1	   jupiter localhost
Finally reboot and you will see that the hostname is set.Slackware & DebianIn Slackware and Debian you set the hostname during the install, it is stored in /etc/HOSTNAME ( Slackware ) and /etc/hostname ( Debian )Knoppix ( HD install )For Knoppix see tip about changing hostname in D Small Linux: Here:thumbsup: Bruno

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 02:47 PM

CHANGING HOSTNAME IN D*** SMALL LINUX HD INSTALLOpen ( as root ) the file /etc/init.d/knoppix-autoconfig and find the line:

Quote

hostname box
  . . change the word "box" to the hostname you desire.Next open the /etc/hosts file and change the word "box" in the line:

Quote

127.0.0.1      box localhost
Also open the /etc/hostname and change "box"Then reboot and be happy  . . . B) BrunoPS: For changing the hostname in other distros see Here

#332 OFFLINE   Bruno

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 02:05 PM

WHAT DAY WAS YESTERDAY ?Ever lose track of time, puzzled about what day it is, or are just curious what day your birthday will be in 2022 ?Here are a few nice commands to keep you up to date:
$ cal
Shows you the current month
$ cal -3
The same calendar with 3 month display
$ cal 9 1950
The calender for September 1950
$ cal -y
The calendar for full year
$ cal -y 1950
The calendar of the year 1950
$ date
Current time and date
$ date -d sun
The date for next Sunday
$ date --date='Jan 1 2008' +%A
New Years day 2008
$ TZ=':America/New_York' date
Current time in NY
$ time <command>
Measure how long a command takes ( + cpu usage )
$ uptime
Uptime since last boot
$ hwclock --show
Shows time and date the BIOS hardware clock is set
$ w
The users, when they logged in, and what they are doingThese are just a few of the very nice commands Linux gives you for "free" . . . . . If you want to know what day this text was written, look at the top of this post. <g>:hmm: Bruno

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 02:33 PM

LDCONFIG, ( Where are the Libs ? )Sometimes when you install a program from source it can complain that a certain library is missing . . . and still you know that the lib it is complaining about is actually installed on your system.  But most likely it is not on the default place ( /usr/lib ) where the program looks for the lib.There is a file on your system where all the paths to the libraries are mentioned: the /etc/ld.so.conf file. Here is an example of the /etc/ld.so.conf file on Slackware:

Quote

/usr/local/lib/usr/X11R6/lib/usr/i486-slackware-linux/lib/usr/lib/opt/kde/lib
So, what's the solution ? 1). First locate the lib the program is complaining about, maybe it is in /usr/lib/qt/lib or in /usr/include or any other odd location.2). Next add the path to that lib in the /etc/ld.so.conf file. So, for our example the /etc/ld.so.conf file would look like:

Quote

/usr/local/lib/usr/X11R6/lib/usr/i486-slackware-linux/lib/usr/lib/opt/kde/lib/usr/lib/qt/lib /usr/include
3). Finally to let the system know that you updated the /etc/ld.so.conf file and make it use the new values give the command:
# ldconfig
Now you can run the program that was complaining when we started this Tip and you will see that this time it will find the library . . . . . have fun !:lol: Bruno

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 02:22 PM

MBR / Hard Disk LayoutThe MBR is the very first part of your hard disk stores the boot loader and the partition table.Basically it comes to this:The MBR is 512 bytes . . the first 446 bytes are for the boot loader, and the bytes from 446 to 512  are for the partition table. If you delete the full 512 bytes you will not only delete the boot loader but you will have lost the partition table as well . . . so:If you back up the MBR to floppy you do:
# dd if=/dev/hda of=/dev/fd0/boot.mbr bs=512 count=1
Once the disk is clean and you want to restore:
# dd if=/dev/fd0/boot.mbr of=/dev/hda bs=512 count=1
This will restore the original partition table and the boot loader you had in the MBR.Now, if you only want to clear the boot loader part ( and keep the partition table intact ) you do:
# dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hda bs=446 count=1
Then you can either restore your favorite Linux boot loader , see Grub or Lilo info ( sure you will need a rescue CD / bootCD first to boot or chroot the Linux partition ) or you can restore your Windows boot loader ( see Here ) Technical info on recovering a deleted partition table: http://www.linuxdocs.org/HOWTOs/  ( warning: this is not easy ! ):'( Bruno

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 03:23 PM

INSTALLING MACROMEDIA FLASH PLAYEROne of the first browser plugins you probably will want to install would be the flash plugin. ( If your distro did not do it by default during the install of the OS )The way to install it is a little bit different then the usual packages, that is why I will give a brief how-to.Go to: http://www.macromedi...rsion=Netscape4Press the "Option 1: tar.gz" button and download the "install_flash_player_9_linux.tar.gz" to your /home directory.Next:
$ tar -xvzf install_flash_player_9_linux.tar.gz$ su< password ># cd install_flash_player_9_linux# cp flashplayer.xpt /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/# cp libflashplayer.so /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/
NOTE: In SUSE the /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/ directory is in /opt/mozilla/plugins/ . . in SUSE 10.2 it is  /usr/lib/firefox/plugins/ !!In Ubuntu you use the /usr/lib/mozilla-firefox/plugins/ directory.Then check if the 2 files "flashplayer.xpt" and "libflashplayer.so" are indeed in the correct directory:
# ls -al /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/
And finally open your browser and type in the address bar: "about:plugins" to see if the browser indeed lists them. If they are there you can sit back and enjoy surfing.:rolleyes: Bruno

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Posted 21 February 2006 - 03:45 PM

EASY CONFIG FILE BACKUPHere is a neat trick, if you want to edit a file, and just to be sure you want to make a backup of the original before you start editing the file, there is an easy command. Let's say you want to edit the xorg.conf file ( and you know that is a critical job ) here is the command:
# cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf{,-BACKUP}
This will create a file called xorg.conf-BACKUP in the same directory as the original . . . so if disaster strikes you simply restore the backup with:
# cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf-BACKUP /etc/X11/xorg.conf
And all is fine again.B) Bruno

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 02:42 PM

UMASK( Advanced permissions )Before you read this Tip be sure to check out   File Permissions and Changing File PermissionsUmask is the number subtracted from the standard permissions when creating a file. Example: each new file is by default created with 666, so when umask is set to 022, the result is that the permissions will be 666 - 022 = 644 ( meaning read-write for the owner and only read for the group and all others.Most of the time umask will already be set by your distro to 022 but you can change it if you like. You can see what umask value is set with:
$ umask
You can set umask to another value like this:
$ umask 066
That value will then stay until you log out and then return to its default value. If you want the alternative value to be permanent put "umask 066" in your ~/.bash_profile or/and for root in /root/.bash_profile.If you like your install to be more secure you might set the umask value of root to umask=066 in /root/.bash_profile so every file root makes has disabled read and write permissions for others than root.:hysterical: BrunoMore info: http://www.linuxsecu...nt/view/117255/

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 02:35 PM

STORE and SYNC MANDRIVA UPDATES LOCALLY( For applying on several installs/computers )Imagine you want to mirror the Mandriva updates ftp directory locally so you can use it to update several installs ( or even just one ). Here is how you do it.Preparation: ( Assuming that you have a backup partition on hdaX where "X" represents the number of the partition )
# mkdir /mnt/hdaX# mount /dev/hdaX /mnt/hdaX# mkdir /mnt/hdaX/MyUpdates
Now the real action, this is for the MDV 2006 updates: ( command is ONE line ! )
# rsync -P -v -r --delete ftp.nluug.nl::Mandrakelinux/official/updates/2006.0/main_updates/ /mnt/hdaX/MyUpdates
This will download the updates . . . . I used "rsync" and not "wget" because with rsync you can use the exact same command next time ( every day if you want ) to "update" the updates, it will then compare your directory with the remote one and only download the changes, rsync is pure magic !!Once all the updates are downloaded you add the "new source" to the urpmi.cfg with:
# urpmi.addmedia update_source file://mnt/hdaX/MyUpdates/ with media_info/hdlist.cz
Finally,  go to the package manager in the Mandrake Control Center, section rpm-sources and tick the "updates" box for the update_source.Now every time you do the updates in the MCC  it will look in /mnt/hdaX/MyUpdates if there are new updates available and install them if needed. ( sure, you have to rsync the /mnt/hdaX/MyUpdates first with the command printed above. )Have fun ! ( and make sure that during all this time the /mnt/hdaX is mounted !! ):hug: BrunoPS: You can also burn the updates to CD: "mkisofs -R -o Update.iso /mnt/hdaX/MyUpdates" will make an ISO file which you can use to make the CD. ( See also the second part  Here on how to use the UpdateCD )

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Posted 14 March 2006 - 02:52 PM

LOCAL MAIL IN MANDRIVAIf you want cron-messages to root and other local mail to arrive in Evolution you will have to configure a few things in Mandiva.( For Kmail or Thunderbird see note at the end )First install postfix ( in the MCC or simply "urpmi postfix" )Next edit  the "/etc/postfix/aliases" file.  Here is the part to look for:

Quote

# CHANGE THIS LINE to an account of a HUMANroot:           bruno
Then check what the hostname is:
# hostname
( On my system it told me the hostname was "jupiter" )And with that info edit the "/etc/postfix/main.cf" file, this part:

Quote

myhostname = jupiter.localdomainmynetworks_style = hostinet_interface = localhost
Next open a terminal and give the command to restart the postfix service:
# service postfix restart
Now we will send a test mail, type:
# mail root
You will see "Subject:", now type "testing" as the Subject, hit <Enter> and the cursor will wait on the next line for your input, so type "The Test" as the body of the e-mail and hit <Enter> again, next do <Ctrl+D> on the new line, this will close the mail and send it. ( you will see EOT printed and get your prompt back )Next we will add a new account to Evolution:- The email address is: bruno@jupiter.localdomain- On the Receiving Mail tab:Server Type: Local DeliveryPath: /var/spool/mail/bruno- On the Sending Mail tab:Server type: SendmailThat's all, now you can "send and receive" and you will see the test mail we sent above arrive in your in-box.NOTE: For Kmail the settings are basically the same, you can use "FCNTL" or "None" as locking mode.In Thunderbird the account type is "Movemail" Have FUN sending mail to yourself, to root or to other users on your computer.:hmm: BrunoExtra, some examples of sending mail in one command:
# cat /var/log/boot.log | mail -s "BootLog" root
Or:
# tail -n 40 /var/log/messages | mail -s "Log Messages" root


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Posted 21 March 2006 - 02:28 PM

WINDOWS TOOLS: BURNING ISOsJulia ( aka teacher ) sent us the following Tip:A couple of our penguins have recommended some Windows-based tools that can make the difference between a tough install and an easy install. Liz “zlim” recommended a program called Micro CD Burner  You can download it here.  This program works in windows and allows you to quickly and easily burn an ISO image correctly.  You simply click on the “Burn ISO” tab and a new window opens up.  Then click on the Drive tab just below the menu and use the drop down to identify your burner.  Click the “Burn ISO” link at the top, locate your ISO image and you are on your way.  This is a program that you may test or purchase.Arctucus recommends a program called “DeepBurner”   Download it here.  It has both a free and a professional version.  You simply click on “Burn ISO Image" when you open it and you are then in business.  Pedro Sanchez sent us  to http://burnatonce.com For ISOs you only need to "load iso", click burn and be done. Burnatonce is small (less than 4 MB) and it's free.;) Bruno

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Posted 28 March 2006 - 01:25 PM

WINDOWS TOOLS: GPARTED(  Sizing an NTFS Partition )Julia ( aka teacher ) sent us the following Tip:If you have an NTFS partition that is being a little troublesome, you might need a program designed to boot from disk that allows you total control over your hard drive to resize or partition your NTFS and other  partitions.  One tool for partitioning a NTFS partition before installing your program is the Gnu Parted Project Gparted is a small 36 MB ISO-imaged program that you can simply click to download and then burn it with one of the two packages in the tip:  WINDOWS TOOLS: BURNING  ISOs  The first thing you need to do after burning your CD is put it in your CD-ROM drive and make sure your BIOS is set to allow you to boot for CD.  When it boots up it will come up to the first screen.  Simply press enter to “boot” the computer from the disk.  Next you will get a series of screens where it asks for your monitor parameters.  You can simply press enter at each screen if you don't know your settings.  Most computers are set up for a monitor resolution of 1024x768 as well as a setting of 16 or 24 million colors.  Now you will come to a screen with a menu at the top and a graphic showing your hard drive.  It might look a little daunting but it really is not.  It looks like this: Posted Image <--click to enlargeThere are two ways to select your drive and partition it.  First click on “Edit” and then “Resize” at the top of your screen.  Posted Image <--click to enlargeThe first method is to click on the image of your drive and grab either end of a drive you want to resize by dragging it to the size you want.  The second method is to go down below and change the numbers in each of the selection boxes.  The “Free Space Preceding” box will move your partition to the right.  Set your size in the new size box.  The “Free Space Following” box will allow you to set how much space there is after your drive.  Keep in mind that as you change the size in one of the boxes it will change the others.One you have finished then you select the type of partition and the File System.  You can set it as ext3 if you are looking at any of the distros.  Some distros can be set as Reiser but some do not handle that well.  If you are partitioning it for Windows you most likely will want FAT32 to make it easy to ready from Linux.  If it is for a Windows 95 or earlier, then select FAT16.Once you are done you need to select “Edit” and then “Apply” at the top of your screen.When you close this out you will have a blank screen with a button at the very bottom right corner that looks like a power button.  Click on the button to reboot your computer.  Don't forget to remove your disk as your computer starts back up or you will find yourself going right back into Gparted.  Have fun preparing your drive for Linux. B) Bruno

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 01:49 PM

D*** SMALL LINUX from USBSaving Personal Files Since D Small Linux includes a script that makes it easy to install the distro to an USB thumbdrive and make it bootable, there are questions on how to save personal files and downloaded extensions. In this Tip you can read how to save personal files ( doc, mp3, txt, etc. ), and next week we will show how to save the MyDSL extensions you downloaded.Make a new directory in /ramdisk/home/dsl and for the example I will call it "bruno"
$ mkdir  /ramdisk/home/dsl/bruno
Now ALL the files you want to save for the next boot you are going to move to /ramdisk/home/dsl/bruno . . . . only there will they be available at next boot.NOTE: It zips the files at shutdown, so if you have many files in /ramdisk/home/dsl/bruno the shutdown may take longer then usual.:thumbsup: BrunoPS: There is a "mount-app" in the right-bottom-corner of the screen where you can "mount" your hda1 ( XP partition ) . . . . you will be able to move files from the XP partition to DSL . . . . but you can not write to the XP partition as long as it is formatted NTFS ( writing to FAT partitions is possible though ! )

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 01:29 PM

D*** SMALL LINUX from USBSaving downloaded dsl extensionsHere is the how-to "saving downloaded dsl extensions" on a dsl booting from USB-Stick1). First we have to make a directory where you will save the extensions on your USB-Stick. . . so either in windows enter the USB and make a directory called "optional" . . . OR do it the Linux way:Open the ATerminal ( or XTerminal ) and:
$ sudo mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/sda1$ sudo mkdir /mnt/sda1/optional$ sudo umount /mnt/sda1
2). Next get the extensions the "normal" way and save them first to "/ramdisk/home/dsl"3). Mount the sda1 partition:
$ sudo mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/sda1
4). Open Emelfm as root:
$ sudo emelfm
5). Once Emelfm is open you will see in the left panel "/ramdisk/home/dsl" ( where your extensions are temporary ) and in the right panel you have to change to "/mnt/sda1/optional"6). Copy over the files with .dsl extension from the left to the right side ( to "/mnt/sda1/optional" )7). Next time you boot you will find the extensions you saved in the Menu --> MyDSLIf you want to add even more new extensions . . repeat 2 to 6Now you can take your USB-Stick to every computer you can find ( from Iceland to Antarctica ) that boots from USB and you will have your favorite OS + favorite programs booted in seconds.Have fun !!:D Bruno

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 01:26 PM

INIT ( Startup Scripts )The boot process of a Linux distro is a complex process, and today we will shed some light on a small part of it: The init-scripts.Let's say you have a program you want to start at boot, depending on the runlevel ( See Runlevels ).  Here are two ways to get the job done:1). The first way is you add the command to start your program at the end of the "rc.local" file.  Here is a list of the location of that file in the major distros:Fedora: /etc/rc.localSlackware: /etc/rc.d/rc.localSUSE: /etc/init.d/boot.localMandriva: /etc/rc.localPCLos: /etc/rc.local2). Or, if starting the program takes more than one line, make a simple bash-script ( See Bash Script ), make it executable and place the script in the /etc/init.d directory. The next step is to decide what runlevel you want the script to be executed, the runlevels are represented by directories you will find in /etc/rc.d they are numbered rc1.d, to rc6.d ( in Debian and Ubuntu see the "README" in the /etc/rcS.d directory ) . . . . you might want to have a look in one of them:
# ls -al /etc/rc.d/rc5.d
And you will see that all the files in there are actually links and that they start with a code.All these symlinks are starting either with an "S" or with a "K", the "S" is for start, the "K" stands for Kill. Just after the S there is a number, for example 04, this stands for the order in which those scripts are executed in that level.So in a nutshell: if you have a script called "clocksync" place it in /etc/init.d and symlink it with:
# ln -s /etc/init.d/clocksync  /etc/rc.d/rc5.d/S90clocksync
This way you are sure it will start at the end of the bootup in runlevel 5 . . . . . ( make sure the /etc/init.d/clocksync is executable or it will not work ! )If you then discover the "clocksync" program starts too late, you simply remove the link and make a new one with a lower "S" number.:whistling: BrunoPS: More about the Linux boot process: http://bobcares.com/article18.html

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 01:13 PM

MAKE ISO from CDSure we all know the command to burn a CD from an ISO with cdrecord:
# cdrecord  dev=/dev/hdc  example.iso
Now we will reverse the process and I will show you 2 different ways how to make an ISO from a CD:
# cat /dev/hdc > example.iso
And
# dd if=/dev/hdc of=example.iso bs=2048 conv=notrunc
Both commands do exactly the same, but the first one might be easier to remember. NOTE: You use the /dev device in both cases and not the place where it is mounted ( /mnt ).B) Bruno

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 01:16 PM

SHARING FIREFOX and THUNDERBIRD CONFIG( in Windows and Linux )There are many people dual booting and running Firefox or Thunderbird both in Linux and Windows.To be able to share bookmarks, favorites and mail between the two operating systems seems to be the last step to computer nirvana. Imagine getting mail in Linux and being able to reply to that same mail in Windows . . . . or just having one set of bookmarks between the two OS.Our friend Boilertech found the answer and wrote us this next Tip:

boilertech, on forum, said:

First thing you need is to have a dual boot system set up. I have Windows and Pclinux on mine but this should also work with multiple linux OS's.Next needed is a Fat32 partition (not needed for multi linux OS's). And read write permision. For help making partitions in windows . For making partitions in linux run DiskDrake.This is what my fstab looks like for my fat32 partition.
/dev/hda7 /mnt/Moz_Share vfat umask=0,user,codepage=850,iocharset=iso8859-1,exec 0 0
The part  (/mnt/Moz_Share) is the way that I mount that partition. You would need to change this to your preferences. For more information on  fstab click here. Then we create a directory to put the shared data in. After you have read/write permision, use the mkdir command to make a folder, or as I did, right click and choose create folder in your file manager. I used my name (just in case there were to be multiple users). So my directory tree looks like this
/mnt/Moz_Share/Mike
Under that directory I created two more. One for FireFox and one for ThunderBird.
[mike@localhost ~]$ cd /mnt/Moz_Share/Mike[mike@localhost Mike]$ lsFireFox/  Thunderbird/[mike@localhost Mike]$
Now for the fun part. You need to copy your data folder either from your Windows or Linux into the new folder. In linux the mozilla data folder is hidden /home/mike/.mozilla/firefox/b4vptfrz.default. Yours will be different than /b4vptfrz but will end in .default. In Windows it will be Documents and Settings\Michael\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles. Yours will be under your own users name not Michael (unless that is your name  :wacko: ). I copied my /b4vptfrz.default folder to the new folder
$ cp ~/.mozilla/firefox/*.default /mnt/Moz_Share/Mike/FireFox
Follow the same for ThunderBird  
$ cp ~/.thunderbird/*.default /mnt/Moz_Share/Mike/ThunderBird
Now we edit the profiles.ini file to guide it to the new data location. This file is in both directories one for ThunderBird and one for Mozilla. This is what my profiles.ini looks like in Linux. Thunderbird;
 [General]StartWithLastProfile=1[Profile0]Name=defaultIsRelative=0Path=/home/mike/Moz_Share/Mike/Thunderbird/6qayv6i6.default
Mozilla
[General]StartWithLastProfile=1[Profile0]Name=defaultIsRelative=0Path=/home/mike/Moz_Share/Mike/FireFox/b4vptfrz.default
This is what my profiles.ini looks like in Windows. Thunderbird;
[General]StartWithLastProfile=1[Profile1]Name=MichaelIsRelative=0Path=D:\Mike\Thunderbird\6qayv6i6.defaultDefault=1
Mozilla;
[General]StartWithLastProfile=1[Profile0]Name=defaultIsRelative=0Path=D:\Mike\FireFox\b4vptfrz.default
Note: that this line IsRelative=1 is changed to IsRelative=0 and thePath= line now directs to the new data folder location (under windows the / should be \). Also make sure the Path= points to your path. Do both profiles.ini files one for Mozilla and one for ThunderBird in Windows and in Linux. Now enjoy .
Thanks Boilertech for testing and writing this up for us . . . . . this is great info !:( Bruno

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Posted 23 May 2006 - 01:40 PM

PASSWORD PROTECT LILOIf your Linux computer is accessible to more people then just yourself, and you want to beef up security you might think about a few extra measures:1). Password protect your BIOS so people can not use a Live CD to access your Linux partitions.2). Password protect your Lilo bootloader so it can not boot in "single user mode" ( in runlevel 1 any user can give root commands without needing a password ) 3). Password protect Lilo so it will not boot at all without the lilo-password.We will explore a few possible setups:First we set a password Lilo will need before it will allow you to choose the OS you selected to boot ( Linux or Windows ). Here is an example of how the /etc/lilo.conf file should look like ( for the example I will set the password to "L1n3&ux9" ):

Quote

default="Linux"boot=/dev/hdamap=/boot/mapkeytable=/boot/us.kltmenu-scheme=wb:bw:wb:bwpromptnowarnpassword=L1n3&ux9timeout=100message=/boot/messageimage=/boot/vmlinuz ........        label="Linux"........         root=/dev/hdb1........         initrd=/boot/initrd.img........         append="acpi=ht splash=verbose"........         vga=788 ........        read-onlyother=/dev/hda1 ........        label="windows" ........        table=/dev/hda
In the next example we will set a password only for the Linux OS . . . . booting Windows will not need a password:

Quote

default="Linux"boot=/dev/hdamap=/boot/mapkeytable=/boot/us.kltmenu-scheme=wb:bw:wb:bwpromptnowarntimeout=100message=/boot/messageimage=/boot/vmlinuz........ password=L1n3&ux9........         label="Linux" ........        root=/dev/hdb1........         initrd=/boot/initrd.img ........        append="acpi=ht splash=verbose"........         vga=788 ........        read-onlyother=/dev/hda1........        label="windows"........         table=/dev/hda
In our last example you can boot both Linux and Windows without password . . . but if you try to boot Linux with extra arguments ( like "linux 1" to boot in single user mode ) you will need the password:

Quote

default="Linux"boot=/dev/hdamap=/boot/mapkeytable=/boot/us.kltmenu-scheme=wb:bw:wb:bwpromptnowarntimeout=100message=/boot/messageimage=/boot/vmlinuz........ password=L1n3&ux9........ restricted ........       label="Linux" ........        root=/dev/hdb1 ........        initrd=/boot/initrd.img........         append="acpi=ht splash=verbose"........         vga=788........         read-onlyother=/dev/hda1 ........        label="windows" ........        table=/dev/hda
NOTE 1: After changing the /etc/lilo.conf file be sure to give the command "/sbin/lilo" to write the new Lilo to the MBR !NOTE 2: Because in normal cases everybody can read the lilo.conf file you should change permissions on it so only root can read it:
# chmod 600  /etc/lilo.conf
After protecting Lilo and the BIOS with a password the only way to tamper with your computer is fiddling with the jumpers on the motherboard to reset the BIOS, so if it is located in a public place you might want to physically lock the box as well.:thumbsup: Bruno

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Posted 29 May 2006 - 01:20 PM

REDO-LILO / REDO-MBR ( PCLos )Reading the documentation of PCLos 9.2 lately I came accross a nice new little tool "redo-lilo". This is a tool that allows you to restore the bootloader of a HD installed PCLos using the Live CD.See when you dualboot Windows and Linux you sometimes have to go through the routine of reinstalling Windows, but with reinstalling Windows you will automatically overwrite the MBR and thus loose your Lilo bootloader.Now, with the new script "redo-lilo" included on the PCLos 9.2 you can re-write your PCLos Lilo bootloader to the MBR and in no time you will be smiling again.Here are the instructions from the PCLos documentation:

Quote

You will need your live CD. Put in the Live CD, and reboot the computer. Eventually you will get to the login screen. I recommend that, on this occasions, you log in as root.What you do next depends on the version of Live CD you have. With preview 0.92, we have included a little tool for you called redo-lilo. You can run this tool to repair the broken bootloader for you! Open a konsole ( Startmenu -> Terminals -> Terminal Program (Konsole) ) and type "redo-lilo". Follow the on-screen directives and when done, reboot to your repaired bootloader and log in to your PCLinuxOS installation.
NOTE: In PCLos 94 the name of the utility changed to "redo-mbr"  . . . and BTW at your wish it does restore Grub to the MBR as well. ;)B) Bruno

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 01:41 PM

RUNNING XFDRAKE( To reconfigure X in PCLos and Mandriva )People running PCLos or Mandriva are lucky, when they loose X there is an easy tool to reconfigure it: "XFdrake"Here is step by step what you need to know about running XFdrake:- Boot in runlevel 3 ( see Booting in Runlevel 3 ( Trick with Lilo )- Next at the prompt log in as "root" and type "XFdrake" ( case sensitive )  . . you will get a wizard to configure your graphics card and monitor . . . .In general it will detect the correct settings, just check them ( move with the tab key and arrow keys )  . . . . - Next, test the settings with the "Test"-button ( if you get a multicolored screen with an OK-box in the middle and you see the mouse cursor the settings are correct and you can click OK ) . . . . . . then close XFdrake.Finally log out as root with "Ctrl+D", log in as "user" and type "startx"  . . . .  and you should be back smiling again.B) BrunoPS: Running "XFdrake --auto" is a shortcut to the above and works on most common hardware.

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Posted 20 June 2006 - 01:20 PM

THE "AT" COMMANDToday we have something simple that actually is a bit complicated to explain . . . . . it is about the command "at". This command "at" lets you execute a command or script at a later time, you can set the time in many different ways and even have the result mailed to you after the command has been executed.Now, using "at" is not only just typing the command and hitting the enter-key  . . . there is a little more to it, so let me give an example. In the example we want to have the command "play /usr/share/sounds/KDE_Startup.wav" executed at 12:49 . . . . have a look what I see in the terminal:

Quote

$ at 12:49 -mwarning: commands will be executed using (in order) a. $SHELL b. login shell c. /bin/shat> play /usr/share/sounds/KDE_Startup.wavat> <EOT>job 7 at 2006-05-01 12:49
- On the 1st line you see the command "at 12:49 -m", meaning execute at 12:49 and the "-m" means mail me when the job is finished.- On the 2nd line it will print some info about the at command and jump to line 3- On the 3rd line you will see the "at>" prompt, at the "at>" prompt you type the command you want to have executed and you hit the enter-key again.- On the 4th line you get the "at>" prompt appearing again, this time you press Ctrl+D and it will print <EOT> - The 5th it will then automatically print the job number and the time the given command will be executed.Next example: here we have a script "/usr/local/bin/backup-script" that we want executed at 12:32 . . . . Again, have a look what I see in the terminal:

Quote

# at 12:32 -m -f /usr/local/bin/backup-scriptwarning: commands will be executed using (in order) a. $SHELL b. login shell c. /bin/shjob 8 at 2006-05-01 12:32
  On the 1st line you see "at 12:32 -m" like in our first example  . . but after that comes "-f" meaning "from file" and "/usr/local/bin/backup-script" which is the path to the file/script I want to have executed.On the 2nd and 3rd line you see the same as we saw on line 2 and 5 of our first example.Okay . . hold on, we are almost there . . . . remember the job numbers? Well, they can come handy if you want to cancel the job before it runs. First we use either "at -l" or "atq" to list the pending jobs:

Quote

$ at -l7      2006-05-01 12:49 a bruno8      2006-05-01 12:32 a root
And we see the number of the first job is "7"  . . . . now we remove that job with
$ atrm 7
Good . . . . now before I close off there is one last point I would like you to look at and that is the vast amount of different time formats you can use with the command "at" . . here is from the man-page:

Quote

At allows fairly complex time  specifications,  extending  the  POSIX.2       standard.   It  accepts  times of the form HH:MM to run a job at a spe-       cific time of day.  (If that time is already  past,  the  next  day  is       assumed.)   You  may  also specify midnight, noon, or teatime (4pm) and       you can have a time-of-day suffixed with AM or PM for  running  in  the       morning or the evening.  You can also say what day the job will be run,       by giving a date in the form month-name day with an optional  year,  or       giving a date of the form MMDDYY or MM/DD/YY or DD.MM.YY.  The specifi-       cation of a date must follow the specification of the time of day.  You       can  also  give times like now + count time-units, where the time-units       can be minutes, hours, days, or weeks and you can tell at  to  run  the       job  today by suffixing the time with today and to run the job tomorrow       by suffixing the time with tomorrow.       For example, to run a job at 4pm three days from now, you would  do  at       4pm  + 3 days, to run a job at 10:00am on July 31, you would do at 10am       Jul 31 and to run a job at 1am tomorrow, you would do at 1am  tomorrow.
Have Fun my friends, see you "at 8pm + 7 days" for a new TipB) BrunoPS: See for another example and additional info: Linux.com




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