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GNU Grub: A Beginners Guide And HowTo Collection

GNU Grub allows you to have several operating system on system and user can select one to start. Grub allows you to boot different kernels, operating system, floppy / cd boot and network boot. Dedoimedo.com has published article about how to setup and configure GRUB bootloader with multiple operating systems. This article is a compilation of sources and examples that will help you learn about GRUB. New Linux users will probably find the notion of spending hours searching for relevant pieces of information (especially if their PC won't boot) somewhat frustrating. The goal of this guide is to help provide simple and quick solutions to most common problems regarding multi-boot setups and installation of Linux operating systems:
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I turn my Linux computer off and when I turn it on it runs disk check (fsck) on hard disk. Why?

A typical question asked by many new Linux users. The answer is pretty simple:

Your partitions are not being unmounted properly when you last shutdown the Linux desktop. Linux needs to shutdown properly (I’m sure this applies to Windows and Mac OS too) before powered off. If you skip this step there could be data loss.

If you are using text based session (CLI), type following command as privileged user:
shutdown -h now

If you are using GUI (KDE / Gnome or any other Windows Manager) click on System > Quit button. Look out for shutdown button.

Do not unplug the power supply. Also use UPS (Uninterruptible power supply) to protect data and to avoid other problems. I recommend APC ups for continuous supply of electric power.

Updated for accuracy.

Switch to Linux – a beginners guide

Recently I came across a small but useful resource about making the switch to Linux from Windows. The site has information about:
=> What Linux is?
=> How to get it?
=> How to install it? etc

The site is useful for new Linux users who wish to make the switch.

This website is run by a non-profit organization, GNU/Linux Matters, to promote GNU/Linux amongst everyday users. We believe in a widespread use of free software – as part of a truly free society; and wanted to say how useful and fun Linux is.

=> get GNU/Linux website

Will OpenSolaris repeat the Linux success again?

Project Indiana is a new project to create an OpenSolaris binary distribution. This distribution will focus on providing a single CD install with the basic core operating system and desktop environment, with the opportunity of installing additional software off network repositories just like Ubuntu Linux.

This is a new project from Sun. The main aim is make OpenSolaris an easy to use UNIX:

The distribution will showcase much of the work continuing in the OpenSolaris community and the best of breed open source software available within other open source communities. Moverover, the distribution will include work that closes the familiarity gap with existing GNU/Linux users eg. install and packaging.

Project Indiana will be a leading edge distribution with an expected adoption of OpenSolaris enthusiasts and developers on single user systems and basic server setups. It will also encourage new users coming to the platform for the first time.

According to Ian Murdock’s Weblog:

Like Linux, OpenSolaris is a kernel. Except that it’s more than a kernel. Or, rather, more than a kernel but not quite a complete operating system. Are you confused yet?

Ian is 100% right and suggests ways to improve OpenSolaris. In short Sun's new project trying to turn OpenSolaris into a practical distributions, you can download OpenSolaris just like Ubuntu and use it like a pro. Now the million dollar question ~ Can OpenSolaris make Sun shine again?

Read more: Sun's Project Indiana: turning OpenSolaris into a practical platform

Linux device driver tutorial using kernel driver frameworks

A device driver is computer program allowing other computer programs to interact with a computer hardware device. Writing a Linux device driver is considered as a black art by many. If you ever been tempted to try writing a device driver, this howto will serve as a kick start guide:

For many seasoned Linux developers, device drivers still remain a bit of a mysterious black art practiced by a select few. While no single article could possibly attempt to covered everything there is to know about writing drivers, Valerie Henson gives us a brief taste of what's involved, by implementing a device to return "Hello World" using all the major driver frameworks.

On a related note if you just want get a comprehensive overview of kernel configuration and building, a critical task for Linux users and administrators, try Linux Kernel in a Nutshell

/dev/hello_world: A Simple Introduction to Device Drivers under Linux (linuxdevcenter.com)