Posts Tagged ‘distribution’

USB Stick – Holy Scriptures of Roman Catholic Bible

Saturday, June 16th, 2012

While browsing the internet, I've found an interesting "gadget" a USB made to look like a holy bible cover. The Holy Bible distributed is Roman Catholic. This probably means Roman Catholics has already approved and blessed the distribution of the Holy Bible in digital form.


Though I think the digital distribution of Holy Bible is a good think I think it is better the primary source of distribution of the Holy Bible be the now almost old fashioned paper form. If the Holy Bible (Holy Scriptures) and livings of the saints are primary distributed in a digital form over the internet. This could mean that there disappearance could happen very quickly if the Internet is filtered or the information on the Internet gets encoded not to include certain texts. Though from current standpoint encoding certain content on the Internet seems like impossible, I'm quite sure in the short future this will be possible. In a way that certain texts which are talking things against the governmental powers could be possibly filtered out … I truly hope this will never happen but it is one possible scenario that might come true.  Bill Gates has already a vision for disappearance of the paper all around the world.Gates desire for abondoning the paper  is stated in his books The Road Ahead. I truly hope Gates book predictions will never come true.

Why I never liked Mandrake Linux / Mankdrake Linux has took its name from an 1930s comics Mandrake the Magician

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

I never liked Mandrake Linux, since day 1 I saw it.
Historically Mandrake Linux was one of the best Linux distributions available for free download in the "Linux scene" some 10 to 12 years ago.

Mandrake was simple gui oriented and trendy. It also one the Linux distribution with the most simplified installer program and generally a lot of GUI software for easy configuration and use by the end user.

Though it's outside nice look, still for me it was like an "intuition" that Mandrake is not so good as it appeared.

Now many years later I found by chance that Mandrake has been sued to change their Operating System name with another, due to a law suit requit by the copyright holders of Mandrake The Magician comics. "Mandrake the Magician" used to be a very popular before the Second World war in the 1930's.

Mandrake the Magician Comics Magazine from 1930's Cover, Mandrake the Black Magic Magician

It obviously not a co-incidence that the Mandrake names was after this comics and not the mandrake herb plants available in Europe, Africa and Asia. This is clear in Mandrake Linux distro earlier mascot, you see below:

Mandrake Linux old distribution logo, magician penguin

Later on they changed Mandrake's logo to loose the connection with Mandrake The Magician and used another new crafted logo:

Mandrake GNU Linux newer logo
Its quite stunning nowdays magician obsession, has so heavily infiltrated our lives that even something like a Free Softwre Linux distribution might have some kind of reference to magician and occult stuff (I saw this from the position of being Christian) …

Later due to the name copyright infringement Mandrake Linux was renamed first to Mandragora Linux.
Instead of putting some nice name non related to occultism or magic stuff the French commercian company behind Mandrake rename it to another non-Christian name Mandragora.
Interestingly the newer name Mandragora as one can read in wikipedia means:
 

Mandragora (demon), in occultism

Well apparently, someone from the head developers of this Linux distribution has a severe obsession with magic and occultism.

Later MandrakeSoft (The French Company behind Mandrake Linux) renamed finally the distribution to Mandriva under the influence of the merger of Mandrake with the Brazillian company Connectiva this put also an over to the legal dispute copyright infringement dispute with Hearst Corporation (owning the rights of Mandrake the Magician).

Having in mind all fact on current Mandriva "dark names history", I think it is better we Christians avoid it …

How to fix clock on Slackware / Slackware and this old incorrect BIOS time troubles

Friday, February 24th, 2012

There two main reasons which cause incorrect clock settings on Slackware Linux.
One common reason for incorrectly set time is improper clock and timezone settings during Slackware install.

On install, one of the ncruses install menus asks an ambigious dialog question reading

HARDWARE CLOCK SET TO UTC?
Is the hardware clock set to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC/GMT)?

Some newbie Slackware users make the mistake to choose YES here, resulting in incorrectly set clock.

Second possibility for improper time is incorrect time on BIOS level. This is not so common among laptop and modern desktop PCs. However in the past impoper system BIOS hardware clock was usual.
In any case it is a good practice to check the system PC BIOS clock settings.

To check BIOS battery hardware clock from command line use:

bash-4.1# hwclock --show
Fri 24 Feb 2012 01:24:18 AM EET -0.469279 seconds

The system clock on Slackware is set via a script called timeconfig. To fix slack's incorrect host time run:

bash-4.1# timeconfig

Slackware Linux timeconfig set to UTC ncurses dialog clock setting

Slackware Linux timeConfig Country Selection dialog

Running timeconfig once should configure a proper timezone to be set on next system reboot, however the system time will probably still be not ok.
To manually set time to right time, use date command. To set manually the system wide time to 12:00:00 with date:

bash-4.1# date -s "12:00:00"

Anyways for time accuracy the ntpdate should be used to feth time from NTP internet time server:

bash-4.1# ntpdate time.nist.gov
...

Finally to make the new set right time permanent also for the BIOS battery clock issue:

bash-4.1# hwclock --systohc

By the way its curious fact Slackware Linux is the oldest still existent GNU / Linux based distribution. Its up and running since the very day GNU and Linux came to merge at one Free OS 😉

How to make screenshots on Slackware Linux with XFCE graphical environment

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

1. Install the slackware binary package xfce4-screenshooter.

For the latest Slackware Linux release which as of time of writting is 13.37 xfce4-screenshooter-1.7.9-i486-3sl.txz can be download from here

Install of xfce4-screenshooter-1.7.9-i486-3sl.txz is done with slackware's usual installpkg package manager command:

bash-4.1# /sbin/installpkg xfce4-screenshooter-1.7.9-i486-3sl.txz

By the way, I haven't used slackware for a long time so in the mean time since Slackware 13, the default slackware packages format .tgz is now substituted with the newer .txz (better compressed .txz). The old .tgz was simply a tar archive with DEFLATE gzip. The newer .txz packages bundled with newer slackware releases are using the LZMA2 (XZ) chain algorithm for compression. LZMA implies higher compression than even bzip2 and this is the reason why Patrick Volkerding – the one man army man behind Slackware decided to use it.
The reason Vollerding choose using .txz is slackware network distribution will load up less the networks and will take less time for downloading extra slackware packages via the internet. The .txz also reduces slackware main CD size so more packages can be contained in the same 700MB sized slack install CD.

Anyways now back to the installation of xfce-screenshooter.

Once installed to runit use the Xfce menus:

Xfce Menu -> Accesories -> Screenshot

Next you will see the xfce-screenshooter program to pop-up:

To take a snapshot of the screen use:

Entire Screen -> Save

XFCE screenshooter Slackware Linux take a screenshot dialog

XFCE screenshooter Slackware Linux action Save
 

Installing Linux on old hardware PC. Few thoughs on Puppy and Xubuntu Linux

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

I needed a G/Linux distribution that will work fine on an old PC with hardware configuration:

guest@xubuntu-desktop:~$ grep -i cpu /proc/cpuinfo; free -m; df -h
cpu family : 6
cpu MHz : 797.613cpuid level : 2
total used free shared buffers cachedMem: 497 470 26 0 35 259-/+ buffers/cache: 176 321Swap: 1454 10 1444File System Size Used Free % Mounted on
/dev/sda1 37G 4,3G 31G 13% /

I've read a lot on the internet and come to the conclusion I have basicly two popular Linux distros as option to install on archaic x86 hardware:

1. Puppy Linux
2. Xubuntu Linux

I first give Puppy Linux a try. It worked quite nice, but the interface was too old school and the desktop felt like a bit out-dated.
Besides that many of the Puppy Linux shipped programs were not a mainstream programs available across most of the other Linux distributions.

Many of the programs shipped with Puppy are great, but more suitable for a computer geek than for a Windows accustomed GUI user.
Puppy Linux Screenshot

My opinion on Puppy (from what I've seen) is that its great distro for old school hardcore Linux users.
Anyways its not suitable for absolutely "uniniated" users who encounter Linux for a first time.

Secondly I installed Xubuntu. Most of the archaic hardware on the PC was detected during install time (a pleasently surprise).
Xubunto works fast and Xfce menus opens "light fast" as on the old 800Mhz pc with 512 mem of ram. Generally the GUI worked quick and responsive.
To conclude I liked Xubuntu a lot and I strongly recommend it to anyone who want to quickly roll on Linux on an old PC.
Xubuntu GNU / Linux theme

What impressed me most is the minimalistic look & feel and simplicity.

I'm sure Debian will be working great on old hardware as well, however configuring it will be hell a lot of work. Thus I think Xubuntu is a good choice for people who want save some time in obscure configurations and easily have a neat Linux ready for desktop use.

Monitor General Server / Desktop system health in console on Linux and FreeBSD

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

slurm-output-monitoring-networking
saidar
is a text based ncurses program to display live statistics about general system health.

It displays in one refreshable screen (similar to top) statistics about server state of:
CPU, Load, Memory, Swap, Network, I/O disk operations
Besides that saidar supports a ncurses console colors, which makes it more funny to look at.
Saidar extracts the statistics for system state based on libgstrap cross platform statistics library about pc system health.

On Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, CentOS Linuxes saider is available for install straight from distribution repositories.
On Debian and Ubuntu saidar is installed with cmd:

debian:~# apt-get install saidar
...

On CentOS and Fedora saidar is bundled as a part of statgrab-tools rpm package.
Installing it on 64 bit CentOS with yum is with command:

[root@centos ~]# yum install statgrab-tools.x86_64

Saidar is also available on FreeBSD as a part of the /usr/ports/devel/libgstrab, hence to use on my FreeBSD I had to install the libgstrab port:

freebsd# cd /usr/ports/devel/libstatgrab
freebsd# make install clean

Here is saidar running on my Desktop Debian on Thinkpad in color output:

debian:~# saidar -c

Saidar Linux General statistics Screenshot

I've seen many people, who use various shell scripts to output system monitoring information, this scripts however are often written to just run without efficiency in mind and they put some let's say 1% extra load on the system CPU. This is not the case with saidar which is written in C and hence the program is optimized well for what it does.

Update: Next to saidar I recommend you check out Slurm (Real Time Network Interface Monitor) it can visualizes network interface traffic using ascii graph such as on top of the article. On Debian and Ubuntu Slurm is available and easily installable via simple:
 

apt-get install –yes slurm

A sysctl Linux variable to change randomly temporary the PC mac address for IPv6 and increase anonymity on IPv6 networks

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

To prevent tracking and increase anonymity in IPv6 networks the Linux kernel has a variable to change randomly the MAC identifier. This feature will be very useful in terms of security in the short future, when all the IPv4 IP addresses are finished. The UIE (Extended Unified Udentifier) for an ipv6 address can be changed with command:

sysctl -w net.ipv6.conf.all.use_tempaddr=2 Microsoft Windows Vista and Windows 7 has the UIE enabled by default, enabling the random MAC changes automatically for a host cvan be done as usual by adding the net.ipv6.conf.all_use_tempaddr=2 to /etc/sysctl.conf

On an IPv6 network every ifconfig eth0 down and ifconfig eth0 up will instruct the lan card to be set a different MAC address for the ipv6 ip on the interface.

Changing the UIE randomly however also have security downsides if the host gets infected with a Virus or Worm. The security downsides of the enabled UIE affects mainly Windows hosts on IPv6 networks as UIE variable is enabled by default there.I’ve found this great tip in an article in the latest Linux Magazine October 2011. Its the first time I saw a paper Linux Magazine, the magazine contains a lot of helpful info on the latest Linux developments and latest trends in the Linux world. Subscription to receive the magazine via normal post is for the magazine costs 6.65 EUR per month (80 EUR) yearly. The 80 euro yearly includes 12 CDS (each magazine is bundled with a newly launched new version of a Linux distribution).
There is also a cheaper subscription for the magazine which costs 64.90 EUR.

How to set up Path to .exe GNUWin32 binary files in Windows XP / Vista / 2003 / 2008 (Setting PATH to executables on Windows)

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

I’ve been working on a servers running Windows 2003 and Windows 2008 these days.
As I wanted to be more flexible on what I can do from the command line I decided to install GNUwin (provides port of GNU tools), most of which are common part of any Linux distribution).
Having most of the command line flexibility on a Windows server is a great thing, so I would strongly recommend GNUWin to any Windows server adminsitrator out there.

Actually it’s a wonderful thing that most of the popular Linux tools can easily be installed and used on Windows for more check GnuWin32 on sourceforge

One of the reasons I installed Gnuwin was my intention to use the good old Linux tail command to keep an eye interactive on the IIS server access log files, which by the way for IIS webserver are stored by default in C:WindowsSystem32LogFilesW3SVC1*.log

I’ve managed to install the GNUWin following the install instructions, not with too much difficulties. The install takes a bit of time, cause many packs containing different parts of the GNUWin has to be fetched.

To install I downloaded the GNUWin installer available from GNUWin32’s website and instructed to extracted the files into C:Program FilesGnuwin
Then I followed the install instructions suggestions, e.g.:

C:> cd c:Program FilesGnuWin
C:Program FilesGnuWin> download.bat
...
C:Program FilesGnuWin> install c:gnuwin32
...

After the installation was succesfully completed on the two Windows machines, both of which by the way are running 64 bit Windows, it was necessery to add the newly installed GNU .exe files to my regular cmd.exe PATH variable in order to be able to access the sed, tail and the rest of the gnuwin32 command line tools.

In order to add C:GnuWin32bin directory to the windows defined Command line Path , I had to do the following:

a. Select (Properties) for My Computer

Start (button) -> My Computer (choose properties)

b. Select the My Computer Advanced (tab)

Then, from the My Computer pane press on Advanced tab

c. Next press on Environment Variables

Windows environment variables screenshot

You see in above’s screenshot the Environment Variables config dialog, to add the new path location in System Variables sectiom, between the list I had to add the c:GNUwin32bin path locatiion. To find I pressed on Edit button scrolled down to find the Variable and hence added at the end of the long list defined paths.
After adding in GNUwin, the Windows path looks like this:

C:Program Files (x86)EWANAPI;C:WINDOWSsystem32;C:WINDOWS;C:WINDOWSSystem32Wbem;C:Program Files (x86)IntelNGSMSMPFiles;C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft SQL Server100ToolsBinn;C:Program FilesMicrosoft SQL Server100ToolsBinn;C:Program FilesMicrosoft SQL Server100DTSBinn;C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft SQL Server100ToolsBinnVSShellCommon7IDE;C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0Common7IDEPrivateAssemblies;C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft SQL Server100DTSBinn;C:WINDOWSsystem32WindowsPowerShellv1.0;C:gnuwin32bin

Further on, I launched the tail command to intercatively take an eye on who is accessing the IIS webserver.
Sadly this worked not, trying to use tail with the IIS ex10116.log log;

C:WindowsSystem32LogfilesW3SVC1> tail -f ex10116.log

Spit an error tail: ex10116.log: Bad file descriptor

Since I couldn’t use tail -f I looked for alternative and a quick search led me to Tail 4 Win32 . Lest the name suggests it is supposed to work on 32 bit arch Windows the version on tailforwin32’s website is working perfectly fine on 64 bit Windows as well.
What it does is to simulate a normal tail -f command inside a very simplistic window interface. You see it in action with opened IIS log on below’s screenshot:

GUI Tail for Windows screenshot

Finally my goal is achieved and I can take an eye interactively on IIS logs. End of the article, hope it wasn’t too boring 😉