Linux

Cloning is nothing but the copying of the contents of a server hard disk to a storage medium (another disk) or to an image file. Disk cloning is quite useful in modern data centers for:

  1. Full system backup.
  2. System recovery.
  3. Reboot and restore.
  4. Hard drive upgrade.
  5. Converting a physical server to virtual machine and more.

In this post, I’m going to list the Free and Open Source Software for Disk Imaging and Cloning that you can use for GNU/Linux, *BSD and Mac OS X desktop operating systems.

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Today I will be talking about ansible, a powerful configuration management solution written in python. There are many configuration management solutions available, all with pros and cons, ansible stands apart from many of them for its simplicity. What makes ansible different than many of the most popular configuration management systems is that its agent-less, no need to setup agents on every node you want to control. Plus, this has the benefit of being able to control you entire infrastructure from more than one place, if needed. That last point’s validity, of being a benefit, may be debatable but I find it as a positive in most cases. Enough talk, lets get started with Ansible installation and configuration on a RHEL/CentOS, and Debian/Ubuntu based systems.

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Nowadays, privacy does not hold much value when it comes to the privacy of our data on our digital devices or on the internet. In the past few weeks, we learned that everyone who tries to maintain privacy on the net is under suspicion which is all the more reason to try to keep our data, contacts, communications, and whereabouts on the internet anonymous and hidden from prying eyes as much as possible. This holds true even more for people that are more exposed like human rights activists, journalists, lawyers, and even doctors. Some of the distributions that try to assist us with this build on the Tor network.

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It is important to store the passwords of user accounts in a secure fashion. There have been many high profile incidents where a security breach resulted in hackers obtaining database dumps of user passwords. The 2012 LinkedIn hack and the recent Adobe hack are two out of many similar cases. Due to the fact that the passwords were stored in an inappropriate fashion, the hackers (read as crackers) were able to recover the passwords of many user accounts and publish them on the Internet, resulting in an embarrassing PR fiasco for the companies.

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If you want to monitor network throughput on the command line interface, use nload application. It is a console application which monitors network traffic and bandwidth usage in real time. It visualizes the in and outgoing traffic using two graphs and provides additional info like total amount of transferred data and min/max network usage.

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Linux and Unix are multitasking operating systems i.e. a system that can run multiple tasks (process) during the same period of time. In this new blog series, I am going to list the Linux and Unix job control commands that you can use for multitasking with the Bash or Korn or POSIX shell.

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These are full-featured open source software products, free as in beer and speech that I started to use recently. Vivek Gite picks his best open source software of 2013.

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Fedora Linux version 20 (code name “Heisenbug”) has been released and available for download. Fedora Linux is a community-based Linux distribution which is sponsored by Red Hat, Inc. The code name “Heisenbug” is a term for a software bug that seems to disappear or alter its behaviour when one attempts to study it. Fedora is considered as the popular cutting edge distro, behind Ubuntu and Mint Linux for desktop and laptop usage.

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The year of Linux on the desktop or living room is here. Today Valve software announced SteamOS, a free Linux-based gaming operating system designed for the TV, DIY enthusiast, and the living room. From the announcement page:

As we’ve been working on bringing Steam to the living room, we’ve come to the conclusion that the environment best suited to delivering value to customers is an operating system built around Steam itself. SteamOS combines the rock-solid architecture of Linux with a gaming experience built for the big screen. It will be available soon as a free stand-alone operating system for living room machines.

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The first-person shooter Half-Life 2 released for Steam on Linux. I truly enjoyed Counter Strike, and I am going to install Half-Life 2 this weekend.

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