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U.S. Army upgrades PCs to ... Windows Vista?

A first news, what I read today, about ...

I thinked, what U.S is use on yours PC - Linux,MS and other systems. But it.s

not that.

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Star Wars anthem & pc speaker

 Imperial march through the speaker (using beep utility):
 
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Der Windowsuser auf Linux.com

Hi!

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:

Officeanwendungen

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 NASLite-M2...to 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 FreeDesktop.org 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.

#!/bin/bash
ssh -C -L 3389:workpc:3389 vimal@ssh-server

 
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