Install and Run Debian Linux from an Encrypted USB Drive

last updated in Categories Debian Linux, File system, Hardware, Howto, Linux

Another interesting article with security in mind. From the article:

You’re probably familiar with the live CD concept — a fully functional operating system on a CD that can be run on any computer that boots from its optical drive, without affecting the one(s) already installed. In a similar vein, you can set up Linux to run from a USB hard drive drive on any computer that can boot from USB. The live system offers automatic detection and configuration of the display adapter and screen, storage devices, and other peripherals. A bootable USB drive can run a mainstream Linux distribution such as Debian GNU/Linux, and can be secured, personalised, upgraded, and otherwise modified to suit your needs.

=> Running Debian GNU/Linux from an encrypted USB drive

Why Linux Desktop Does Not Spread – the Curse of Being Free

last updated in Categories Business, Linux, Linux desktop, Linux distribution, OS X, Windows

This is a philosophical post on why Linux hasn’t grown to challenge Windows as the most popular operating system. From the blog post:

Linux isn’t very popular on the desktop. It’s a far third behind OS X, which is a very far second behind Windows. Most people cite pre-installed operating systems as the reason. But as a student of psychology, I see something most people don’t. There’s one big factor in why Linux isn’t popular on the desktop. Linux is free. I know this sounds like complete dog’s bollocks, but hear me out before judging my sanity.

My personal experience suggests that people don’t use GNU/Linux on desktop because :

  1. Steep learning curve
  2. Software incompatibility or doesn’t run the software they want
  3. Installing and obtaining drivers may be issue for average joe
  4. Finally, human psyche is complex subject. There are people who buy expensive apple hardware and install Linux on it. You just can’t predicate human behavior.

I use Linux on desktop because I work with a Linux / UNIX server all day and I find that using it on the desktop as well actually makes my life easier. You know one-size-fits-all approach may be unrealistic in a real life. I see my workplace desktops fully loaded with mix of Linux, OS X and dominated by Windows XP pro.

=> Why Linux Doesn’t Spread – the Curse of Being Free (via slashdot)

Video: History of GNU, Linux and Free Software Movements

last updated in Categories GNU/Open source, Links, Linux, Linux Video, UNIX, Windows

This is an interesting documentary video which traces the history of GNU, Linux, and the open source and free software movements. It features several interviews with prominent hackers and entrepreneurs (and hackers-cum-entrepreneurs), including Richard Stallman, Michael Tiemann, Linus Torvalds, Larry Augustin, Eric S. Raymond, Bruce Perens, Frank Hecker and Brian Behlendorf.

The film begins in medias res with an IPO, and then sets the historical stage by showing the beginnings of software development back in the day when software was shared on paper tape for the price of the paper itself. It then segues to Bill Gates’s Open Letter to Hobbyists in which he asks Computer Hobbyists to not share, but to buy software. (This letter was written by Gates when Microsoft was still based in Arizona and spelled “Micro-Soft”.) Richard Stallman then explains how and why he left the MIT Lab for Artificial Intelligence in order to devote his life to the development of free software, as well as how he started with the GNU project.


(Note: There is a video embedded within this post, please visit the site to view the video – Time: 1 hr 25 min 9 sec)

Linus Torvalds is interviewed on his development of the Linux kernel as well as on the GNU/Linux naming controversy and Linux’s further evolution, including its commercialization.

Richard Stallman remarks on some of the ideological aspects of open source vis-á-vis Communism and capitalism and well as on several aspects of the development of GNU/Linux.

Michael Tiemann (interviewed in a desert) tells how he met Stallman and got an early version of Stallman’s GCC and founded Cygnus Solutions.

Larry Augustin tells how he combined the resulting GNU software and a normal PC to create a UNIX-like Workstation which cost one third the price of a workstation by Sun Microsystems even though it was three times as powerful. His narrative includes his early dealings with venture capitalists, the eventual capitalization and commodification of Linux for his own company, VA Linux, and ends with its IPO.

Frank Hecker of Netscape tells how Netscape executives released the source code for Netscape’s browser, one of the signal events which made Open Source a force to be reckoned with by business executives, the mainstream media, and the public at large.

PS: You can download video from Google Video for Apple iPOD here.

Switch to Linux – a beginners guide

last updated in Categories Howto, Links, Linux, Linux desktop

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

Download of the day: Debian 4.0r1 Released (updated version)

last updated in Categories Debian Linux, Download of the day, Linux, Linux desktop, Linux distribution

Finally Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 updated.

The Debian project has updated the stable distribution Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 (codename Etch). This update adds security updates to the stable release, together with a few corrections to serious problems. As always, the first point release also corrects a few issues that have been noticed too late in the release process to stop the release, but still should be fixed.

As usual, upgrading to this revision online is done by running the apt-get / aptitude package tool.

Download Debian 4.0r1

=> Visit official site.

Download advanced Linux programming book PDF version

last updated in Categories C Programming, Download of the day, GNU/Open source, Howto, Links, Open source coding

If you are a developer for the GNU/Linux system, this book will help you to write and/or develop GNU/Linux software that works the way users expect it to.

Advanced Linux Programming is published under the Open Publication License, Version 1, no options exercised. (Due to an oversight in final production, the copyright notice on the book is incorrect.) The full text may be downloaded from this site. Code samples in the book are covered by the GNU General Public License and are also available.

Topics

Chapter 01 – Advanced Unix Programming with Linux
Chapter 02 – Writing Good GNU/Linux Software
Chapter 03 – Processes
Chapter 04 – Threads
Chapter 05 – Interprocess Communication
Chapter 06 – Mastering Linux
Chapter 07 – The /proc File System
Chapter 08 – Linux System Calls
Chapter 09 – Inline Assembly Code
Chapter 10 – Security
Chapter 11 – A Sample GNU/Linux Application

Download link

=> Advanced Linux programming book, by Mark Mitchell, Jeffrey Oldham, Alex Samuel (via Digg)

How to compile and install Linux Kernel 5.1.14 from source code

last updated in Categories CentOS, Debian Linux, GNU/Open source, Howto, Linux

Compiling a custom kernel has its advantages and disadvantages. However, new Linux user/admin find it difficult to compile Linux kernel. Compiling kernel needs to understand few things and then type a couple of commands. This step by step howto covers compiling Linux kernel version 5.1.1 under an Ubuntu or Debian Linux. The following instructions successfully tested on an RHEL 7/CentOS 7 (and clones), Debian Linux, Ubuntu Linux and Fedora Linux 28/29. However, instructions remain the same for any other Linux distribution.

Restore Debian Linux Grub boot loader

last updated in Categories Debian Linux, Tips, Troubleshooting, Ubuntu Linux

Recently my hard disk went bad (some bad sectors developed), my boot.ini (Windows XP boot file) corrupted. I was using NT boot loader to load Linux. So I need to repair the Grub i.e. restore Grub in master boot record (MBR).

Today is national holiday (I-DAY) and I wanna watch TV. Problem is neither I can boot to Linux nor using XP. So I just took my Debian GNU/Linux DVD and booting started when I had presented installation option (after networking dialog prompt) :
1) Press ALT+F2 (or ALT+CTRL+F2) to get shell prompt
2) Then get the partition tables for the devices using fdisk command:
# fdisk -l

3)When you type fdisk -l, you should see your partition name: /dev/scsi/host0/bus0/target0/lun0/part1 (for IDE disk it display same device file in IDE directory)

4)Once you identified your device file, mount disk using mount command:
# mkdir /mydisk
# mount /dev/scsi/host0/bus0/target0/lun0/part1 /mydisk

5) Next use chroot command to start interactive shell with special root directory i.e. /mydisk will act as root directory.
# chroot /mydisk

6)Use grub-install command to reinstall grub (SCSI disk):
# grub-install /dev/sda

If you have IDE device following command :
# grub-install /dev/hda

Again replace /dev/hda and /dev/sda with your actual device names.

7)Type exit and reboot the system. You should see your GRUB and Linux again.
# exit

Other choice was to use Linux Live CD (e.g. Mepis) and do the above procedure. Well, I could have used the Mepis to watch TV but I had some data and emails in Tunderbird so I opted to restore the Grub; watched TV, took backup of emails and now I will put new 120 GiB hard disk tomorrow 😀