How do I Create files needed to build and use DLLs under Linux?

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You need to use command called dlltool. It create files needed to build and use DLLs. dlltool reads its inputs, which can come from the -d and -b options as well as object files specified on the command line. It then processes these inputs and if the -e option has been specified it creates an exports file. If the -l option has been specified it creates a library file and if the -z option has been specified it creates a def file. Any or all of the -e, -l and -z options can be present in one invocation of dlltool.

Here is an example of creating a DLL from a source file dll.c:

$ gcc -c dll.c
$ dlltool -e exports.o -l dll.lib dll.o
$ gcc dll.o exports.o -o dll.dll


  • -c : Specifies that when dlltool is creating the exports and library files it should omit the “.idata5” section. This is for compatibility with certain operating systems.
  • -e: Specifies the name of the export file to be created by dlltool.
  • -l : Specifies the name of the library file to be created by dlltool.

Creating a program (from an object file called program.o) that uses that DLL:

$ gcc program.o dll.lib -o program

Read the man page of dlltool for more information.

Open MS-Word and MS-PowerPoint file under Linux/UNIX

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You can use program like office application to open Ms-Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files under Linux, FreeBSD and other Unixish oses. If you are looking for command line based utilities then try out catdoc or catppt:

catdoc : Reads MS-Word file and puts its content as plain text on standard output. catdoc doesn’t attempt to extract formatting information other than tables from MS-Word document, so different output modes means mainly that different characters should be escaped and different ways used to represent characters, missing from output charset
$ catdoc filename.doc
$ catdoc filename.doc > /tmp/output.txt

catppt : Reads MS-PowerPoint file and puts its content on standard output
catppt filename.ppt
catdoc filename.ppt > /tmp/output.txt

You may need to install catdoc and catppt using apt-get, yum or FreeBSD ports collection:
# apt-get install catdoc catppt

Open / view .chm file under Linux or FreeBSD

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Chm file is a Microsoft Compressed HTML Help file in a proprietary format for online help files. Under Linux/FreeBSD or UNIX you can open .chm file using following three different programs which makes it possible to browse native Windows CHM files:

Install chm viewer

Use apt-get or yum command to install chm viewer:
# apt-get install gnochm
# apt-get install kchmviewer

Gnome Desktop User

Use gnochm program as follows
$ gnochm file.chm

KDE Desktop User

Use kchmviewer (very nice and highly recommended) program as follows
$ kchmviewer file.chm

Other tool

xchm program is quite outdated but works:
$ xchm file.chm

Howto Open a PDF file under Linux / FreeBSD

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PDF is an acronym for Portable Document Format. It is a proprietary file format developed by Adobe Systems for representing two-dimensional documents in a device independent and resolution independent format. You can open pdf file using graphical as well as command line tools (i.e. without GUI). Linux supports following PDF viewer under X window:

  • Gnome pdf viewer (gpdf)
  • KDE pdf viewer (kpdf)
  • xpdf
  • Official Adobe acrobat reader

Graphic pdf viewer under Linux/FreeBSD

If you are using Gnome desktop…

Open a shell prompt and type the command:
$ gpdf file.pdf
$ evince file.pdf

If you are using KDE desktop…

Open a shell prompt and type the command:
$ kpdf file.pdf

You can also click on K icon > Select Graphics > Select PDF viewer

Console pdf viewer under Linux/FreeBSD

Console pdf viewer

As far as I know there is no console based PDF viewer exists. But you can use the following trick to open a PDF file:

a) First install pdftohtml – A command-line tool for converting pdf-files into html and other formats.

Debian User install pdftohtml using following command:
# apt-get install pdftohtml
Red Hat / Fedora user install pdftohtml using following command:
# yum install pdftohtml
FreeBSD user install pdftohtml using following command:
# pkg_add -v -r pdftohtml
OR use ports collection:
# cd /usr/ports/textproc/pdftohtml
# make; make install

The idea is very simple you will use a pdftohtml program to convert a PDF file into html, xml and png images and then display them using text browser such as elinks or lynx. This is useful when you works on remote server or if GUI is not available:
For example to convert CH09.PDF file you need to type the following set of commands:
$ pdftohtml CH09.PDF
$ lynx CH09.html

$ elinks CH09.html

You can also convert a PDF file to text file using following command:
$ pdftotext CH09.pdf
$ vi CH09.txt

See also

=> You can get Official Adobe acrobat reader here for UNIX/Linux oses.

Linux how do I remove all empty directories?

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You can use program called cleanlinks. The cleanlinks program searches the directory tree descended from the current directory for symbolic links whose targets do not exist, and removes them. It then removes all empty directories in that directory tree. It was originally created for symbolic links based directories but works with normal directories too.

For example if you want to remove all empty directories from /tmp directory, type the command:
$ cd /tmp
$ cleanlinks

Please note that cleanlinks command is part of XFree86 project. Another method is to use combination of shell commands in script:

 [ -d $DIR ] && [ $(ls -l $DIR | wc -l) -eq 1  ] && rmdir $DIR ||  :

Save and execute a script:
$ dir1

You can also try out tmpreaper command which recursively searches for and removes files and empty directories which haven’t been accessed for a given number of seconds. Normally, it’s used to clean up directories which are used for temporary holding space, such as “/tmp”. Syntax is as follows:


  • TIME-FORMAT : Defines the age threshold for removing files. The TIME-FORMAT should be a number, defaulting to hours, optionally suffixed by one character: d for days, h for hours, m for minutes, or s for seconds.
  • DIRS : Directory name for example /tmp

For example, remove all files accessed 24h before:

# tmpreaper 24h /tmp

Please note that tmpreaper command is not installed by default you may need to install it using apt-get or rpm command.