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Clone your Ubuntu installation onto a new hard disk

Three things must be done. First, you must discover how Ubuntu refers to the hard disks. Second, you must install ddrescue and then use it to clone the disk. Third, once ddrescue has finished, you must use the Gparted utility to expand the disk partition(s) (assuming that the new disk is bigger than the old one, which is almost certainly going to be the reason for upgrading in the first place).

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YouTube tools for the Linux desktop

You can see YouTube videos everywhere nowadays: on blogs, Google search results, even some news sites. From time to time, you can even manage to find something interesting. This article will show you some Linux tools you can use to save and convert YouTube videos.

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Inspecting disk IO performance with fio

Storage performance has failed to keep up with that of other major components of computer systems. Hard disks have gotten larger, but their speed has not kept pace with the relative speed improvements in RAM and CPU technology. The potential for your hard drive to be your system's performance bottleneck makes knowing how fast your disks and filesystems are and getting quantitative measurements on any improvements you can make to the disk subsystem important. One way to make disk access faster is to use more disks in combination, as in a RAID-5 configuration.

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Recompile your kernel for a perfect fit

By Federico Kereki

After I wrote an article on optimizing disk performance, some readers commented that tweaking settings was just part of the job. They pointed out that you can get more speed if you also compile your kernel, adjusting it optimally for your specific hardware and needs. Compiling the kernel isn't the challenge it used to be; nowadays the process is streamlined, and you don't have to do much but pick your choices and key in some commands.

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Transfer files securely with SFTP

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) was once the most widely used protocol for transferring files between computers. However, because FTP sends authentication information and file contents over the wire unencrypted, it's not a secure way to communicate. Secure Copy (SCP) and the more robust SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) address this security concern by providing data transfer over a fully encrypted channel. You can use these alternatives for transferring files securely over the Internet or any other untrusted network.

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