Download of the day: Vixta Linux distribution with Windows Vista Look and Feel

Posted on in Categories Download of the day, Linux, Linux desktop, Linux distribution last updated October 8, 2007

Vixta.org is a Fedora-based Linux distribution designed to be user-friendly and eye-catching, similar in look and feel to Windows Vista. Trying to spread Linux to the “masses”, not just sysadmins. It is vista look-a-like Linux Os. If you like Vista user interface, this distro is for you.

Vixta Linux distribution Goals

1. Absolutely free

2. Spread linux to the “masses”.

3. ABN – AbsolutelyNo Config.

4. User-Frendly.

5. Eye-catching.

6. Familiar look and Feel

Vixta Linux distribution with Windows Vista Look and Feel

Download Vixta Linux distribution

=> Visit official project home page

Microsoft refuses GPL v3

Posted on in Categories GNU/Open source, Linux, Linux distribution, Windows last updated July 6, 2007

Microsoft claims the latest Free Software GPL v3 release has no effect on any of its Linux distribution deals. Microsoft cleared the air July 5 on its obligations to GNU General Public License Version 3 support, declaring it will not provide support or updates for GPLv3 under the deal it penned in November with Novell to administer certificates for the Linux distribution.

Microsoft also said July 5 that its agreement with Novell, as well as those with Linux rivals Xandros and Linspire, were unaffected by the release June 29 of GPLv3 by the Free Software Foundation.

Microsoft Says It Is Not Bound by GPLv3

Download of the day: Slackware 12 CD / DVD ISO

Posted on in Categories Download of the day, Linux, Linux distribution last updated July 3, 2007

Slackware was my first Linux distribution. Slackware version 12.0 has been released. It has many improvements as compare to old version. Slackware was one of the earliest distributions, and the oldest currently being maintained. Slackware has a reputation of stable releases of applications, standing mainly for design for stability and simplicity.

From the announcement:

This first Slackware edition of the year combines Slackware’s legendary simplicity (and close tracking of original sources), stability, and
security with some of the latest advances in Linux technology. Expect no less than the best Slackware yet. Among the many program updates and distribution enhancements, you’ll find two of the most advanced desktop environments available today: Xfce 4.4.1, a fast and lightweight but visually appealing and easy to use desktop environment, and KDE 3.5.7, the latest version of the award-winning K Desktop Environment. We have added to Slackware support for HAL (the Hardware Abstraction Layer) which allows the system administrator to add users to the cdrom and plugdev groups. Then they will be able to use items such as USB flash sticks, USB cameras that appear like USB storage, portable hard drives, CD and DVD media, MP3 players, and more, all without requiring sudo, the mount or umount command. Just plug and play. Properly set up, Slackware’s desktop should be suitable for any level of Linux experience.

Download link – ( Download Slackware Linux )

The full version of Slackware Linux 12.0 is available for download from the central Slackware FTP sites:

If the sites are busy, see the list of official mirror sites here. Slackware team will be setting up BitTorrent downloads for the official ISO images soon.

Which Linux Desktop Distribution is the best for me?

Posted on in Categories FAQ, Linux desktop last updated April 11, 2007

Almost all new Linux wanna be guru (read as users who want to switch to Linux) asks a question:

I want to switch to Linux completely from Windows XP SP2. Which Linux version will be best – Redhat, SuSE, or other? I use my PC for:
Browsing Internet
Watching DVD / MP3
Writing CD/DVD

I’m also willing to spend a small amount of money if required to purchase Linux version.

Short answer is none. I can’t suggest *distro* name.

Long answer:
Linux is all about choice and freedom. There are different Linux distribution exists with different goals. It is good idea to define your goals and select Linux distribution as per your requirements.

I like Redhat and Debian for server as they are rock solid stable and comes with good binary packaging system. Some will swear up by Knoppix Live CD.

Some people like Suse and other recommends Ubuntu. There are others who like to compile everything from scratch (Gentoo).

  1. Consider following factors while selecting Linux:
    • Games
    • Your Linux skill level
    • Linux as server / network admin workstation
    • Running Linux on a new Hardware / Laptop
    • Running Linux on an older machine (486/PI/PII/Celeron)
    • Multilingual support (Hindi / Japanese language user interface)
    • Running Linux on Office PC for email and office work
    • Community support
    • Commercial support
  2. I recommend that you try out at least some different distributions. Go to distrowatch.com and look out What’s Hot and What’s Not
  3. Make sure your hardware is compatible with Linux. Download Live CD (list of all Live CD) and see if your hardware is compatible with Linux.
  4. Make sure good community support exists for your distro (for example check out Ubuntu community support forum)
  5. Get a good Linux book that teaches basis of Linux
  6. Learn how to use search engine to find out solution to the problems
  7. Learn to read man pages effectively and Linux commands to help you navigate
  8. Contact your nearest Linux user group (LUG) and see what other members recommends
  9. Ask a questions whenever in doubt, join Linux mailing lists and forums. When posting questions to a forum / newsgroup it is good idea to format the question and it’s content in a proper way in order to get a good answer. Make sure you provide all information while posting a question. (See more guideline – how to ask questions the smart way)
  10. Finally you can always donate a small amount of money to your favorite distro and/or to any other open source project.

Further readings:

Surely, there are dozens of other reasons to select specific distro, so please do share your views and suggestions 😀

Quick way to switch from KDE to GNOME or viceversa

Posted on in Categories CentOS, Howto, Linux, Linux desktop, Linux distribution, Linux laptop, RedHat/Fedora Linux, Tips last updated September 7, 2006

This tip is submitted by reader Zacharie:

switchdesk is the command to switch from KDE to GNOME or viceversa. This command provides a simple method of choosing between the various desktop environments available under Fedora Core, Cent OS and Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

If X Windows is running, switchdesk will bring up a dialog box which allows the user to choose between the available desktops installed on the system.

Task: To switch from GNOME to KDE, use the command

$ switchdesk kde

Task: To switch from KDE to GNOME, use the command

$ switchdesk gnome

Please note that file ~/.Xclients, ~/.Xclients-default stores the currently selected desktop.

A note about other distros/BSD

switchdesk is RedHat and friends only command. If you are using different Linux distribution or FreeBSD, open ~/.xinitrc file and type full path to your desktop manager. For example, to use xfce4 desktop:
$ vi .xinitrc
Append following line (your path may be different use, which command to get exact path):
/usr/X11R6/bin/startxfce4

Save and close the file. Enjoy new desktop.

While login you will see option for different desktops (provided that all of them are installed). Usually this is located below Username / password box or lower left button. Just select appropriate desktop (KDE/XFC4 etc).

Load KDE while running Gnome

You can load KDE while running Gnome desktop (thanks to sweta for pointing it out):
Just open your gnome terminal and type the command:
$ startkde &

No Route to Host error and solution

Posted on in Categories Debian Linux, Gentoo Linux, Linux, Networking, RedHat/Fedora Linux, Tips, Troubleshooting, Ubuntu Linux last updated May 5, 2006

I am getting error that read as No Route to Host. I am trying to ping my ISP gateway as well as DNS server but I am getting this error. How do I solve this problem?

This problem indicate networking conflicts or some sort of networking configuration problem.

Here are things to check:

Can you ping to your local router interface (such as 192.168.1.254)?

Make sure your card (eth0) is properly configured with correct IP address and router address. Use ifconfig command to configure IP address and route command to setup correct router address. If you prefer to use GUI tools:

  • redhat-config-network – Works on Red Hat and Fedora Linux/Cent OS.
  • network-admin – Debian and Other Linux distribution use this GUI too

Use above two GUI tools to setup correct IP address, DNS address and router address.

b) Make sure firewall is not blocking your access

iptables is default firewall on Linux. Run following command to see what iptables rules are setup:
# /sbin/iptables -L -n

You can temporary clear all iptables rules so that you can troubleshoot problem. If you are using Red Hat or Fedora Linux type command:
# /etc/init.d/iptables save
# /etc/init.d/iptables stop

If you are using other Linux distribution type following commands:
# iptables -F
# iptables -X
# iptables -t nat -F
# iptables -t nat -X
# iptables -t mangle -F
# iptables -t mangle -X

c) Finally make sure you are using a router and not a proxy server. Proxy servers are good for Internet browsing but not for other work such as ftp, sending ICMP request and so on.

See also:

HowTo: Recovering Linux Grub Boot Loader Password

Posted on in Categories CentOS, Debian Linux, Howto, Linux, RedHat/Fedora Linux, Suse Linux, Sys admin, Tips, Troubleshooting, Ubuntu Linux last updated February 20, 2006

If you have, a password protected grub boot loader and you forgot both root and grub password, then you can recover grub-boot loader password using the following method/procedure:

* Use Knoppix cd
* Remove the password from Grub configuration file
* Reboot the system
* Change the root password
* Setup new Grub password if required (optional)