linux

Linux

Clean Ubuntu and find large packages

While working on a wireless kiosk using Ubuntu, I had the need to shrink the Ubuntu installation. Part of creating a custom install, using remastersys, is creating a live CD iso image.

I did, of course, remove the unnecessary software and programs like the games and cd burning software (see http://www.staldal.nu/tech/2008/12/08/packages-you-might-want-to-remove-...) and I ran several commands including localpurge and deborphan (see http://strabes.wordpress.com/2006/10/16/clean-up-unnecessary-packages-on... ).

Online backup for Linux: SpiderOak

I have been looking for an online backup solution for Linux for quite some time. There are many solutions out there, but as far as I have found, they are all written for Windows or Mac. I had been using duplicity with a remote server, but to purchase my own server for this use would be cost prohibitive compared to the solution I found.

I then read a post on an Ubuntu forum recommending SpiderOak as an online backup solution for Ubuntu.

Linux Tip: Compiling using multiple cores

Compiling software can be very time consuming. To speed things up, and utilize what you paid for, you can use the -j switch for make. So make -j4 bootstrap will cause make to run four jobs at one time. This speeds things up drastically and will utilize four cores.

Linux tip: making a directory with parents

Making a directory is no big deal:

$ mkdir ~/temp

But what if you have to make a bunch of directories nested? So what if I had to make ~/temp/temp1/temp2/temp3/temp4 ? Using the -p switch, for parents, the utility will create the structure for you.

$ mkdir -p ~/temp/temp1/temp2/temp3/temp4

This command will create all the directories leading down to temp4.

Recovering deleted system files and reinstalling packages on Ubuntu

I ran an installation program using sudo that, after asking where the current version was, which was /usr/bin/, completely emptied that directory.

This should be a reminder that, as secure and stable as Linux is, it is still susceptible to user error and bad software.

For those that do not know, /usr/bin/ is a very important directory in which many if not most of the important system programs are stored. This is the equivelant of deleting the System32 directory in Windows.

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The watch command in Linux

A very neat command I learned about today is the watch command. This command line program executes a command periodically and shows the output in full screen. If you've ever used the top command, it's the same concept, but you can use any command.

For example, the command sudo watch cat /proc/meminfo will display the current memory information, updating it every two seconds by default, until the ctrl + c combination is pressed.

Podcast ordering in Amarok

In Amarok, under KDE 3.5, podcasts seem to be in a scrambled order. They definitely aren't in the order the author of the podcast put them in. This is a known bug and is going to be fixed in the next version of Amarok due out very soon.

As a temporary work around, I am using Firefox's ability to subscribe to XML feeds and have associated MP3 files with Amarok inside Firefox.

Using smart monitoring for drives on Ubuntu

SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology) is a technology that implemented by most hard drive manufacturers that records pertinent information about the hard drive, to the hard drive, which aids in the prediction of a failure.

Linux has tools available that harvest that data, perform tests and aide in the prediction of drive failure. Normally, the bios will prompt you if SMART detects a problem with a drive, but you have to reboot in order to get that prompt and many Linux users don't reboot often.

To install the packages under (k)ubuntu, use:

Back to KDE and forward to 4.1

I have been using Gnome at home and KDE at work for the last two months, both with the latest version of Ubuntu. I have decided to go back to KDE for several reasons. By the way, I was able to remove Gnome and install KDE without even rebooting. =)

  • The default torrent client in KDE is much more advanced than transmission.
  • The system settings in Gnome are spread out on a menu rather than all in one dialog like KDE.
  • Integration seems to be better in KDE. For example, using sftp or ftp works by default in most KDE applications and file managers.
  • Kontact
  • Quanta is much better than bluefish in my opinion.

Mount iso image in Linux

Using a simple mount command, you can mount an iso image and navigate the file system.

First, create the directory you want to use to access the iso. This can be any directory.


$ sudo mkdir /mnt/iso

Then, mount the iso.


$ sudo mount -o loop ~/isos/test.iso /mnt/iso

This mounts the iso file to the mount point you just made. The squiqqly line in Linux ~ means is expanded to your home directory.

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