5 Reasons Your Mom and Dad Should Use Linux

Posted on in Categories Debian Linux, Linux, Linux desktop, Ubuntu Linux last updated September 28, 2007

Adam has published a simple and awesome list:

It’s no secret that tech-savvy computer users typically become the go-to guy for all technical help in their circles. More specifically, Mom and Dad tend to always ask us for help with their computers. If you’re tired of the phone calls from Mom and Dad complaining on how sloooww their computer has become, how fast it used to be, how many pop-ups there are, etc., spending hours upon hours fixing and repairing, re-installing and scanning, then this post should convince you with 5 reasons why your parents should use Linux.

=> 5 Reasons your parents should use Linux (foogazi.com)

How to: Install Ubuntu Linux on a flash drive and run from Windows

Posted on in Categories Howto, Linux desktop, Linux distribution, Tips, Ubuntu Linux, Windows last updated September 28, 2007

This is an interesting idea. You can get instant access to your Linux desktop at anytime from within Microsoft Windows. This article will tell you everything you need to know in order to make a USB flash drive with Ubuntu Linux installed. You need:

– Obviously you need a USB flash drive (at least 2GB).

– You’ll need a working computer running Microsoft Windows with a USB port available.

– A copy of the Ubuntu 6.10 Edgy .ISO file (it’s 750MB).

– A copy of Qemu (this is the program that allows Ubuntu to actually run on Windows).

– A copy of Kqemu accelerator. This helps Qemu speed up Ubuntu.

– A copy of startubuntu.tar – This file holds two custom batch and img files.

– The HP-USB format tool to clear your USB drive.

Read rest of the procedure : How to put Ubuntu Linux on a flash drive and run it under Windows (penlinux.com)

Do you sleep or take a nap at work?

Posted on in Categories Beyond nixCraft, News, Sys admin last updated September 28, 2007

According to a new survey half of IT works admit sleeping on the job or kissing coworkers. Well I have never fallen asleep, but I know few co-workers currently suffering from sleep disorder. From the article:

And nearly half of techies also are apparently in the mood for love. Forty-seven percent of tech pros admit they’ve kissed a co-worker, according to the online survey of 5,700 U.S. workers, including 163 techies, conducted by Harris Interactive for job site CareerBuilder.com. Forty-nine percent of male techies say they’ve fallen asleep at work, while only 35% of women admitted doing so.

As for smooching, 44% of men techies say they’ve kissed a co-worker, while only 34% confessed to puckering up with a colleague.

However many business people or manager takes power nap / catnap. It offers some health benefit. According to wikipedia:

Since these seminal studies demonstrated that naps were as good as a night of sleep on some memory tasks, more sleep laboratories have reported similar results. A NASA study has found, however, that while naps improve memory functions, they do not aid basic alertness

The Linux Driver Project Relaunched

Posted on in Categories GNU/Open source, Links, Linux, Linux desktop, News, Suse Linux last updated September 28, 2007

This is good news for Linux. The Linux Driver Project is focused on creating and maintaining OpenSource Linux kernel drivers for all types of devices. This means hardware vendor might able to sell more devices to Linux users. This project is sponsored by Novell.

From the project home page:

We are a group of Linux kernel developers (over 100 strong) and project managers (over 10) that develop and maintain Linux kernel drivers. We work with the manufacturers of the specific device to specify, develop, submit to the main kernel, and maintain the kernel drivers. We are willing and able to sign NDAs with companies if they wish to keep their specifications closed, as long as we are able to create a proper GPLv2 Linux kernel driver as an end result.

=> Linux Driver Project (via slashdot)

Linux screen command tutorial / how to

Posted on in Categories CentOS, Debian Linux, Howto, Linux, RedHat/Fedora Linux, Suse Linux, Sys admin, Tips, Troubleshooting, Ubuntu Linux, UNIX last updated September 27, 2007

One of my favorite GNU programs is screen. If there is no screen command, you need to open multiple ssh session with remote host. I have already written about how to install and getting started with screen utility.

Screen is a full-screen window manager that multiplexes a physical terminal between several processes (typically interactive shells). The same way tabbed browsing revolutionized the web experience, GNU Screen can do the same for your experience in the command line. Instead of opening up several terminal instances on your desktop or using those ugly GNOME/KDE-based tabs, Screen can do it better and simpler. Not only that, with GNU Screen, you can share sessions with others and detach/attach terminal sessions. It is a great tool for people who have to share working environments between work and home.

By adding a status bar to your screen environment, you are able to name your shell instances on the fly or via a configuration file called .screenrc that can be created on the user’s home directory.

=> A guide to GNU Screen (redhatmagazine.com)

Postfix Illegal seek / queue file write mail server error and solution

Posted on in Categories Howto, Linux, Postfix, Sys admin, Tips, Troubleshooting, UNIX last updated September 27, 2007

Most mail servers are tight on resources. The Postfix system is designed to run within a finite memory budget. These limits are imposed on each and every user to avoid resource exhaustion. The idea is pretty simple, keep mail server running under conditions of stress, without making the problem worse.

However some time user sends large attachment and these are rejected by Postfix. The message_size_limit sets the maximal size of a postfix queue file, including envelope information (sender, recipient, etc.). The default is 10240000 bytes. You may see an error message in maillog file:

Sep 21 17:03:53 p5smtp22 postfix/postdrop[528]: warning: uid=2012: Illegal seek
Sep 21 12:03:53 p5smtp22 postfix/sendmail[527]: fatal: reports(2012): queue file write error

Postfix version 2.3 or olders reports “illegal seek” instead of “file too large” error. There are two ways to fix this problem:

  1. First upgrade Postfix to latest stable version such as 2.5
  2. Set message_size_limit parameter

Set message_size_limit

Open /etc/postfix/main.cf config file:
# vi /etc/postfix/main.cf
Set message_size_limit to 20971520 bytes (20 megabytes):
message_size_limit = 20971520
Restart postfix mail server:
# /etc/init.d/postfix restart

Novell claims that US$100 million in business through its Microsoft deal

Posted on in Categories Business, Linux, Linux distribution, Suse Linux, Windows, Windows server last updated September 27, 2007

I am not sure if this is PR stuff or real news. Microsoft is giving out vouchers to its customer for Novell Linux.

Novell’s Linux business has soared 243 percent since last November when the company signed its controversial deal with Microsoft. Steinman said part of its growth was directly related to the Microsoft deal, adding that Novell has billed more than US$100 million in business through its Microsoft relationship. He added that the growth was also due to the halo effect of the arrangement. When we’re out there competing with Red Hat, [our salespeople] are saying, ‘Our Linux is recommended by Microsoft,’ and customers that already have a Windows investment say it seems to make sense to pick the Linux that works with Windows.”

I am wondering why Microsoft is helping out Linux?

Find out DNS Server Version With DNS Server Fingeprinting tool

Posted on in Categories Debian Linux, FreeBSD, Howto, Linux, Networking, Security, Sys admin, Tip of the day, UNIX last updated September 27, 2007

By hiding out DNS server version number you can improve server security. fpdns is a program that remotely determines DNS server versions. It does this by sending a series of borderline DNS queries which are compared against a table of responses and server versions. (just like nmap command’s remote OS detection facility).

A nameserver basically responds to a query. Interoperability is an obvious requirement here. The standard protocol behavior of different DNS implementations is expected to be the same.

Install fpdns

Debian / Ubuntu user, enter the following command:
$ sudo apt-get install fpdns
FreeBSD user, either use ports or binary package:
$ pkg_add -v -r fpdns
Alternatively grab source code from official web site.

Howto remotely determine DNS server version

To determine DNS server version for domain nixcraft.com, enter:
$ fpdns -D nixcraft.com
Output:

fingerprint (nixcraft.com, 64.202.165.116): bboy MyDNS
fingerprint (nixcraft.com, 208.109.80.52): bboy MyDNS 

You can easily find out if recursion enabled or not:
$ fpdns ns1.vnsl.com.
Output:

fingerprint (ns1.vnsl.com., 69.60.111.228): ISC BIND 9.2.3rc1 -- 9.4.0a0 [recursion enabled]  

To read list of servers from key board, enter:
$ fpdns -
Output:

ns2.vnsl.com
fingerprint (ns2.vnsl.com, 64.85.160.11): ISC BIND 9.2.3rc1 -- 9.4.0a0 [recursion enabled]
ns1.softlayer.com
fingerprint (ns1.softlayer.com, 66.228.118.8): ISC BIND 9.2.3rc1 -- 9.4.0a0
ns.yahoo.com
fingerprint (ns.yahoo.com, 66.218.71.63): ISC BIND 8.3.0-RC1 -- 8.4.4
ns1.google.com
fingerprint (ns1.google.com, 216.239.32.10): ISC BIND 8.3.0-RC1 -- 8.4.4 

Further readings

=> Read fpdns man page.

Happy 8th Birthday, OpenSSH!

Posted on in Categories News, OpenBSD last updated September 27, 2007

OpenSSH is most prominent implementation of the SSH protocol. I can’t imagine my life without OpenSSH. Almost all of my devices / server / network equipment such as routers and tiny embedded device has OpenSSH these days.
Happy 8th Birthday, OpenSSH! - Logo
From OpenBSD journal:

Eight years ago today, Sept 26 1999, Theo de Raadt committed the initial source code for OpenSSH to the OpenBSD repository. The code was a fork of Björn Grönvall’s OSSH, which was derived from an early version of the increasingly “less free” ssh from Tatu Ylönen.

Download of the day: Wubi an unofficial Ubuntu installer for Windows XP

Posted on in Categories Download of the day, Ubuntu Linux last updated September 26, 2007

This is one cool application for Windows users. I had installed it one of my friends Windows XP laptop. If you heard about Ubuntu Linux and if you wanted to try them but you were afraid, this is for you. It does not require you to modify the partitions of your Windows PC, or to use a different bootloader.

From official site:

Wubi is an unofficial Ubuntu installer for Windows users that will bring you into the Linux world with a single click. Wubi allows you to install and uninstall Ubuntu as any other application. Just run the installer, no need to burn a CD.

Download wubi

  • Visit official site here