Community Blogs

Der Windowsuser auf


Ich bin hier wohl ein blinder Passagier, ich logge mich per Windows in meinem Linux Account ein. Das hat wohl den Grund, dass es sehr mühsam ist, mit Programmen wie "Adobe AfterEffects" die man für die Schule benötigt arbeiten zu wollen und nebenbei seinem Hobby, und zwar "Die tollen Errungenschaften der Linuxcommunity erforschen" nachzugehen versucht.

Nunja, irgendwie stellt sich nach der Erläuterung  für mich die Frage, ist die Linuxcommunity jetzt bemüht ein OS bzw eine Distribution an freien Programmen zu schaffen mit denen der Normalo-Heimanwender auch mehr als im Internet surfen, Emails checken, Officeanwenudungen bedienen und Minigames spielen kann?

Okey, das hört sich jetzt bestimmt etwas zünisch an. Aber im ernst, es gibt haufenweise Projekte wo es um die Bedienung des OS  geht (KDE, Gnome und alle Miniprogramme die mit den Oberflächen harmonisieren, haufenweise Kommandozeilentools)  außerdem gibt es Serversoftware, Musikplayer, Videoplayer, Minigames, Editoren, etc ... aber ... Was macht der Standard-PC-Freizeituser wirklich?

Mal checken wieviel linuxkompatible Software für bestimmte Bereiche vorhanden ist:


Es gibt Open Office und auchein paar andere Softwarepaket. Open Office halte ich aber bereits für vollkommen ausreichend und kann für mich zb MS Office vollkommen ersetzen.

Musik hören

 Okey, da gibts einige Softwarepakete.
Amarok zb. Für Gnome gibts auch haufenweise(Rhythmbox) .
Auch die organisation der eigenen Musikdatenbank kommt mit gewissen Tagging-programmen nicht zu kurz.

Videos ansehen

Da gibts auch keine probleme


NEWB's adventure's in Linux From Scratch

  Back again,

     I find myself at a point now where there are many ways of doing things with the command line, it's a bit daunting to say the least. Study, study, study, remember that Auther of the book said read any manuals three times before you'll understand it. If it takes you more than three times there's something else you should be reading first.

  I'm finding myself taking side trips as I journey down my path to LFS install. I was at my local pub the other night and my friend was looking for a security system for his business so he could keep an eye on the place when he's at home. Enter "Zoneminder" downloaded the "bluecherry livecd " and have a few old pc's around so ...... ummm

  Now I must say I help a lot of my Windows friends with installs and hardware issues on their machines. So I get asked alot of questions.. Another friend cornered me at his house and asked about a media extender... I told him give me a few days.. Enter serve windows media player format and linksys has an inexpensive extender with dvd player for less than 150 bucks. My point is... I'm addicted to Linux :) I don't even have to really know what I'm doing seems like everytime I think of something I'd like to do with computers all I have to do is "Google + Linux" and someone's already done it or is currently developing it :)

  Note: I haven't been able to get a ton of reading done , with my main computer broken and my friends needing my help with their computers ... you know how it goes :)


Checking for and Killing Zombie Processes

Zombie processes are processes that are no longer in use by their parent, yet the parent hasn't properly killed the process yet.   Zombie processes aren't necessarily bad, but a high number of them can be. Don't feel that you must automatically kill all zombie processes because they'll just come back. Just kill them after many (maybe > 50) have accumulated.

 These should work with pretty much any OS.  I've tested these in Ubuntu and CentOS

Checking for Zombies

ps -A -ostat,ppid,pid,cmd | grep -e '^[Zz]'

Automatically kill all zombie processes

sudo kill -HUP `ps -A -ostat,ppid,pid,cmd | grep -e '^[Zz]' | awk '{print $2}'`

CentOS 4.7: Upgrading autofs4 to autofs5

This article contains the procedure for upgrading autofs4 clients to autofs5. One good reason to do this is because autofs5 is a complete rewrite and it better handles lazy umounting and v5 actually respects the /etc/nsswitch.conf priorities, whereas v4 didn't. You will also find that v5 has better support for "+" entries in local maps. If you're running into issues where autofs won't load certain mount points at all, an upgrade to v5 might be in order. 

These instructions were used for CentOS 4.7, but should apply to all versions of CentOS

$ cd /
$ sudo service autofs stop
$ sudo chkconfig autofs off
$ sudo yum -y install autofs5
$ sudo chkconfig autofs5 on
$ sudo service autofs5 start

Making my own Desktop Manager: Getting Started

Ok so I have a LOT of work ahead of me - I know this! I am also trying to do this whilst juggling a full-time job, a band, and time with my family, so it isn't going to get done over-night (let's hope my short attention span doesn't get the better of me!)

The goals I wish to accomplish with my Windows/Desktop manager are:


  1. A beautiful, simple, and FREE environment
  2. Extremely lightweight
  3. Customizable through BSD-style .rc & .conf files
  4. Tiling Window Manager with a few layout algorithms (with little or no window decorators)
  5. Optional Composite layout (allows for transparency and shadows)
  6. Easy to install (initially targeted for ArchLinux, but will eventually run on Ubuntu and may be others?)
  7. Have an integrated version of WebKit (possible via WebKitGtk?)
  8. Integrate Social features into the Manager such as GmailTwitter and IM (via Pidgin's libpurple?)


Here are what I believe my first steps are:


  • Create a Design document and stick to it!
  • Finish reading my X11/XLib book
  • Read the relevant info from the site
  • Look though DWM (and possibly other Window Managers) source code
  • Decide whether to make it OpenGL based or Cairo (or multi/others?)


Any suggestions from anyone out there would be mostly appreciated!

I intend to release all the code via either a GPL or MIT/BSD licence on GitHub.

Here we go.... 


Program Recommendation: Clonezilla

For anyone that hasn't seen it, I highly recommend a project called Clonezilla for system backup.  Clonezilla is useful right before an upgrade because it can capture the entire state of a hard drive (think dd, but easier to use) and possibly restore it at a later date.  Obviously with this kind of "image" backup, you can't cherry-pick files to restore from it--it's either all or nothing, but the option is particularly good right before upgrades to give you a point to return to if the upgrade fails.

 I recommend using Clonezilla in configurations where you have a separate /home folder that's backed up using your normal user-space backup program, and then periodically using Clonezilla to clone your bootable partitions.

 Hopefully that helps some folks out.


NEWB's adventure's in Linux From Scratch

  Hello again,

   Today I'm going over my amd64 dual box and just realized why I may have gotten some compile errors.... booting up in dmesg I was getting errors that there's a firmware bug in my bios and my cdrom is not operating properly. I seem to remember that anyone using Linux really should check their hardware to make sure of complete compatibility. Something that will make my next attempt at building the LFS a bit easier I should hope.  I've decided my future attempts will be on a pentium4 machine with a single processor.

I'm in the hopes that this action will remove another roadblock to my sucessful building of LFS


Making my own Desktop Manager: A Little Motivation

Realising what I've got myself in for, I'd thought I'd inspire myself with a couple of quick wins...

Firstly I got my ATI graphics card configured so I could start using it for some cool graphics.

I then created an account called 'wmtest' for use of testing my wm (genuis naming convention I know!) and configured it to load (i) xcompmgr, (ii) a program which will eventually become my Window Manager, and (iii) an xterm console which X will wait for until it shuts down.

For now, I decided my WM should be C based & use Cairo for my graphics. I drew a gradient-panel-window, stretched across the top of the screen. This will eventually become my status bar for my manager. 

150 lines later and when I logon as wmtest, I get a rather groovy page like this:

Another quick-win would be to use transset to make the windows slightly opaque and feh to set a background image.

$ transset 0.5

Then I clicked my the panel.

$ transset 0.2

Then I clicked on the terminal. 

$ feh --bg-center /path/to/wallpapers/arch-elegant.png 


Not bad for 150 lines of code! The transset steps will be replaced by xlib code which sets the _NET_WM_WINDOW_OPACIT Atom.

Now I've done that, it doesn't feel like such a big mountain anymore.. I'm ready for some more coding I think! :D

I've also created a photo gallery to showcase my development at various stages. It can be found here.

Also... I need a really awesome name for my wm.. I'm open to suggestions (and yes I know awesome is already taken!!!)



SSH as an alternative to VPN

I wanted to have access to my work PC (Windows XP) from my laptop at home(openSUSE) I had access to a VPN server, but connections were not always reliable. Hence I looked out for alternatives and found this method from some blog posts. I have been working with this setup for a long time and its been 100% reliable than the VPN method that I used before. The method is simple, secure and uses SSH to setup a tunnel between the local and remote machines

The basic requirements are

  • An account on an SSH server (or you could setup one on your work PC)
  • Work PC is a Windows machine with remote desktop enabled.
  • Both machines are on the same network and have static IP addresses

On my openSUSE laptop, I use the following command

ssh -C -L 3389:workpc:3389 vimal@ssh-server

#substitute workpc and ssh-server for IP addresses if they are not in /etc/hosts

After logging in with my password, I use krdc and connect to an remote desktop session(rdp) using localhost:3389 for server and port. After reviewing the keyboard and display settings, I can logon to my work PC. Its that simple.

To avoid typing the ssh command everytime, I created a script called connectwork in my bin directory and made it executable with

chmod u+x ~/bin/connectwork

Now I just need to call connectwork everytime I wish to connect and login to my work computer.

ssh -C -L 3389:workpc:3389 vimal@ssh-server


En quete de solutions...

Aventure dans le merveilleux monde de la virtualisation!

J'avais un probleme a resoudre.. 

Mon PVR prend de l'age et n'a que 60Go de capacite ce qui fais que je suis constamment en train de faire le menage du disque dur du PVR.  Comme nous somme en fin d'annee scolaire et que le temp passez devant le televiseur empietais de plus en plus sur le temp necessaire au etudes de mes deux filles, j'ai passez une entente avec elles.  J'allais enregistrer la totalite de leurs emission favorites qu'elle allaient pouvoir regarder plus tard.

J'ai donc fais l'acquisition  d'un bidule de capture video analog USB Trident Tv-Box dans le buts de me concocte un PVR logiciel a base de Linux de type mythTV ou qqchose de ce genre.  J'ai rapidement fait deux constats:

 1 - Le bidule ne fonctionne finalement que en USB 2.0

 2 - Il n'y a aucun pilote de disponible pour Linux ou BSD pour le machin



My Thumb Drive Toolbox

A very handy thing to have when running around solving issues on your friends' or relatives' corrupted MS Windows installations is a thumb drive with bootable installation of SLAX Linux on it. I never leave home without mine. 

It's also great to have if you're stuck with only MS Windows at the workplace. You can boot SLAX into RAM on your work computer and get a blazing fast Linux fix while at work.Check with your IT boss before doing that, though... just in case.


There is so much you can do with SLAX on that sick Windows system. You can debug. You can access the Internet for information. You can access and backup important data to CD/DVD from an unbootable Windows system. The list of useful things you can do goes on...

Just to be fair, while SLAX is my favorite "pocket" distro for this usage, Puppy Linux works equally well for this purpose. Flash drives are so cheap nowadays, get both and play around with them.


SLAX Linux Homepage -->

Puppy Linux Homepage -->


Here's a brief how-to for getting SLAX on your thumb drive:

1) Most thumb drives will come out-of-the-box already partitioned and formatted with the FAT16 file system (required by SLAX). If yours isn't already formatted or if it's an older one that you want to wipe first, you can use the excellent application Parted from the command line. If you're uncomfortable with the command line, you can use Gparted, which is included in most Gnome-based distros.

 # parted /dev/(your device - sd*)

It is IMPORTANT that you tell the parted application which device you want to work with. WARNING: if you forget this step, parted may choose your 1st hard drive to work on. That would be UGLY. Pay attention when using apps like this as root.

Once you've entered the above command, the parted dialog will begin:


You can type "help" at this point and parted will give you a brief synopsis of its command structure and usage.You can see the entire parted user's manual at this site -->

(parted) mkpartfs primary fat16 1.024 2100

The command "mkpartfs" and its modifiers does the following based on my example above: It creates a primary partition using the FAT16 file system starting at 1.024M and ending at 2100M on the thumb drive.

Of course, your drive may be different, so you should use the fdisk command to determine what your drive's specs are:

# fdisk -l /dev/(your device - sd*)

Here's a screenshot of what fdisk and the initial parted command looks like in Konsole:


OK. Your thumb drive should be all set at this point, so onto the next step.


2) Download SLAX and perform the md5sum check on the download to check its integrity:

$ md5sum slax-6.x.x.tar

If all is well with the download, you can extract it directly to the thumb drive or to its current location. Copy/Paste the "boot" and "slax" directories onto your thumb drive (if you didn't extract it directly in the previous step).

From the command line as root, navigate to the boot directory that you just placed on the thumb drive. Run the following command:

# sh

This will make your new SLAX installation bootable.


3) All done. Reboot your system and choose the USB drive as the boot device. Your SLAX system should boot off your thumb drive now. Try the "Run SLAX in RAM" option if you have enough resources to do so. It is REALLY FAST when running in RAM.


That's about all there is to it, folks. Most of what I did here using the command line, you can also do from graphical frontends to these same apps (fdisk, parted, untar, etc.). If you're a GUI person, do what's most comfortable for you.


Until next time...

V.T. Eric Layton

***Tempus Fugits***


Page 112 of 139

Upcoming Linux Foundation Courses

  1. LFD211 Introduction to Linux for Developers
    09 Feb » 10 Feb - Virtual
  2. LFD411 Embedded Linux Development
    09 Feb » 13 Feb - Mississauga - ON
  3. LFD312 Developing Applications For Linux
    16 Feb » 20 Feb - Atlanta - GA

View All Upcoming Courses

Who we are ?

The Linux Foundation is a non-profit consortium dedicated to the growth of Linux.

More About the foundation...

Frequent Questions

Join / Linux Training / Board