Wednesday, April 30, 2008

making vmware work on hardy..

Had trouble originally making vmware work on my new hardy 64 bit system (behaves almost same on desktop and server variants).

Careful looking up found out two things,
  • the new beta version (2) of vmware works from web based console, and could take quite some time making it work
  • vmware on hardy 64 bit requires some tweaking to do before you can really get up and running with it.
Finally managed to get through with help from ubuntuforums.org. Nice fellow has posted his experience with 64 bit version, and it turned out to work exactly the same way for me...

Loads of thanks :) to http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?p=4357442&postcount=10

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

25 reasons to use Ubuntu... :)

Well, its a very interesting collection of reasons to use Ubuntu...

Some might not be as 100% agreeable as other might be, but still most are completely agreeable...
Well done...

Found it on this blog-... here u read 25 reasons for using Ubuntu

running a 64bit guest os in vmware

I tried to install a 64bit guest os and that took much longer to realize the problem.

What I found out (may be you guys already know that) the hard way today, is that, you cant keep your virtual disks on a non-ext3 partition (I was trying to keep them on my ext hard disk - all ntfs) :(

Also, you need to switch on the VT feature from your bios to be able to actually use 64 bit guest os.. My Core2Duo supported that, so luckily I had it already with my hardware. But if you want to do that, make sure ur cpu supports it.

Monday, April 21, 2008

converting .img to .iso and mounting iso

.img files are CloneCD files created as a result of dumping contents of a Cd into a file. Very similar to .iso files which are more popular for containing cd images.

Many tools, like virtual box allow mounting .iso files as a virtual cd/dvd. Ubuntu repositories provide a tool called ccd2iso for converting the .img to .iso.

just install ccd2iso from the repositories using

sudo apt-get install ccd2iso

Once installed, just launch it for converting

ccd2iso file.img file.iso

This will create the iso equivalent of the img file.

To mount the iso file normally in the linux environment, just type

mount -o loop -t iso9660 filename.iso /mnt/iso

Experiments With Hardy...

Ubuntu is by far the more stable of the OS's.. nothing new about that.

Last friday the release candidate of the new Hardy came out. It was beta for sometime now, and I had it for a few days in beta phase too..

It was my first time playing around with an OS in its beta stage and sure.. it feels good to be involved..

I found a few things, suggested on the forums, put out bug reports and it all works so nicely. Everybody involved is so open and helping... it was actually very nice exp. A good learning curve as well for a few things... :)

Currently there are a few things still going on with the "Hardy Release Candidate" with differing opinions, but all in all it looks like a good package to me. On my laptop, it works nicely, no issues as such...

In my view, the Ubuntu series has had its share of issues with hardware compatibility. With different people using different set of hardware, it turns out that not everything is 100% picked up by the installer as it should be.

I tried using virtualbox on hardy to install another copy of hardy 64 bit to experiment something, however, virtualbox wont allow that !! People on the ubuntu forums suggest that it could be a "feature" of vbox not to support 64bit cpu as of now... That would be a shame, actually... :(

Checking out vmware has been another shock. Earlier it used to be "FREE" for Linux, however now its only 30day evaluation version. Sounds like just another corporate, not a company supporting open source...

On the 64 bit point, I am really thinking of going 64 bit completely... all out... I have tried it for a few weeks now, and for me its been no problems at all... and the support for packages etc is fine for my needs... Yeah, some more programs need to be compiled by hand, but thats ok for me... :)

Ubuntu directory structure...

In the *nix operating systems, the tree style of file systems are there from time immemorial. In fact the idea of a inverted tree directory system or all filesystems originated with Unix.

The root of the tree is called "root directory" here and is the top level directory, and all its subdirectories make up the directory hierarchy. This is different as compared to Windows wherein there are drives. Especially diff since each diff hardware device has its own dir tree with its own root directory. In Unix there is only one root dir. Everything else, falls under that tree...

Here's a summary of the standard directories found on a typical Unix/Linux system. Current reference being Ubuntu.
  • /bin - binary applications (most of your executable files)
  • /boot - files required to boot (such as the kernel, etc)
  • /dev - your devices (everything from drives to displays)
  • /etc - just about every configuration file for your system
  • /etc/profile.d - contains scripts that are run by /etc/profile upon login.
  • /etc/rc.d - contains a number of shell scripts that are run on bootup at different run levels. There is also typically an rc.inet1 script to set up networking (in Slackwar), an rc.modules script to load modular device drivers, and an rc.local script that can be edited to run commands desired by the administrator, along the lines of autoexec.bat in DOS.
  • /etc/rc.d/init.d - contains most of the initialization scripts themselves on an rpm-based system.
  • /etc/rc.d/rc*.d - where “*'’ is a number corresponding to the default run level. Contains files for services to be started and stopped at that run level. On rpm-based systems, these files are symbolic links to the initialization scripts themselves, which are in /etc/rc.d/init.d.
  • /etc/skel - directory containing several example or skeleton initialization shells. Often contains subdirectories and files used to populate a new user’s home directory.
  • /etc/X11 - configuration files for the X Window system
  • /home - locally stored user files and folders
  • /lib - system libraries (similar to Program Files)
  • /lost+found - lost and found for lost files
  • /media - mounted (or loaded) devices such as cdroms, digital cameras, etc.
  • /mnt - mounted file systems
  • /opt - location for “optionally” installed programs
  • /proc - dynamic directory including information about and listing of processes
  • /root - “home” folder for the root user
  • /sbin - system-only binaries (see /bin)
  • /sys - contains information about the system
  • /tmp - temporary files
  • /usr - applications mainly for regular users
  • /var - mainly logs, databases, etc.
  • /usr/local/bin - the place to put your own programs. They will not be overwritten with upgrades.
  • /usr/share/doc - documentation.
Some content shamelessly borrowed from this page :Linux or ubuntu Directory structure

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Get rid of the Ubuntu splash screen during boot

If you want to see Ubuntu booting like the good old text based linux systems, here are some ideas on removing the splash screen from the booting process....

Quickzi: Get rid of the Ubuntu splash screen during boot
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Firefox Smart Keywords

A very very useful tip.

In firefox its possible to make shortcuts for your favourite links (especially useful for searches etc).

For example, for a typical google image search, you would normally open images.google.com and then type in your required phrase and press search. That constitutes two trips to google image server to accomplish your search needs.

With this method from firefox, you can achieve this in one trip to server, just by doing a small trick with your favourites configuration.

You add a particular url to your favourites list. And later on, from the organize favourites dialog, assign that url a shortcut, a very small phrase e.g. img or images or something that you like.

Now, after this setup, when you want to search for images on keyword india, you'd just have to say your chosen keyword and india, i.e. just type in

img india

in the address bar and press enter.. your search results should be on the way...

More detailing here... Solutions - 25 Useful Firefox Smart Keywords
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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A user profile on Ubuntu India - very interesting...

Just saw this user page by Mr Bharadwaj... on Ubuntu India...
Very interesting writings...

User:Bharadwaj.j@gmail.com - Ubuntu India

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polishlinux.org » GNU/Linux for everyone

A very very useful/interesting site for people looking for Linux distribution informations. It also has a page for comparing various distributions on some specific parameters

Also, allows individuals to write their views in a feedback/forum form.

polishlinux.org » GNU/Linux for everyone

For comparing distributions, visit http://polishlinux.org/choose/comparison/

Also interesting might be www.distrowatch.com
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Monday, April 14, 2008

chown : not owner !!!

Apparantly, you cant do a chown in Solaris. Here's more...

http://unix.derkeiler.com/Newsgroups/comp.unix.solaris/2004-03/2579.html

another one here

http://www.itworld.com/Comp/3380/nls_unixchown040923/index.html

The reasoning explained sounds logical. Apparantly (as one of the article also explains), the restriction helps a user fill another user's quota by creating a huge file and chowning it to the other user. Even worse, if the other user doesnt have privs to access the dir hosting that huge file, he cant even delete that.

Looks like a safety precaution, turned into a bit of blockade for normal users... :(

Buying a wireless router for home...

When it comes to buying a wireless router, the acronyms can be misleading and confusing at times.

While I was looking for articles around the net that explain complex terms, I found a few. Here are some -

How To Buy A Wireless Router: Decoding Wi-Fi 802.11 Networking Standards and Protocols

Wireless network buying guide - CNET reviews

Wireless Router FAQ - What is the Range of a Typical Wi-Fi LAN?

Wireless Routers - Best 802.11g Wireless Broadband Router Reviews



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Hardy 64bit beta Installed...

This weekend I installed Hardy 64 bit on my Core2Duo notebook and it flew... Just like that.

Earlier when I had gutsy for the first time on this laptop, I had plenty of issues with my hardware. Tweak here and tweak there, I had to do a lot of things to make it work the right way.

However, with Hardy this time, I would say, I felt happy for two reasons.. first it didnt complain about any of my hardware (probably because now my hardware is about a year old, and for gutsy it was so much newer..) and that its 64 bit installation.

I am yet to completely switch to this, especially since I encountered a bug with evolution and that Hardy is still beta, but I do see a way forward going with this version of Ubuntu for me.

As a result of this experiment, right now, I am triple booting, Vista business, Gutsy (32 bit) and Hardy (64 bit).

This is one thing I like so much about the PC notebooks, you can play around with them a lot more than you can do with an equivalent mac... :)

One of the guys on ubuntu forums posted this url for a better understanding of 64 bit systems... 64 bit Systems have more benefits than RAM only


Later on, I found this link, a very interesting collection of 32bit vs 64bit OS (especially Ubuntu) comparison.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

inet daemons : the way they react to SMF

For a given service, in an SMF manifest, you can invoke any script using the "exec" thing. That works for normal programs.

You can also provide environment to the executable by adding sub-tags envvar..

However, For a network daemon based service, it wont work as nice as it does for other programs.

I came to understand that programs that run as streams need to be designed to work that way specifically, you cant just make ANY program run as a stream through an SMF service.

Using Solaris SMF : Initial Steps

Startup article about SMF usage..

O'Reilly Network -- Using Solaris SMF: "In most Unix environments, the startup process consists of a handful of autonomous boot scripts। They act independently of one another; unaware of what scripts have already run or which ones will run after them. When they are invoked, there is no serious error checking and no recourse if the script fails."

Another interesting tutorial from Sun... Solaris Operating System - SMF Manifest How To Guide