Archive for August, 2009

Get your wireless adapter working with NDISWRAPPER!

Monday, August 31st, 2009

Much to linux users’ frustrations, many hardware and its specification’s labels do not endorse any support for linux.

While the folks at Kernel.org tries their best to include common and popular hardware drivers into the kernel, there are bound to be some left out. One of these hardware is wireless 802.11 wifi adapters. Due the various chipsets used by different vendors and manufacturers, some of them may not be supported by current kernels and thus causing distress to linux users whom have purchased these wifi cards and usb adapters.

There is a tool available that can make use of the Windows drivers that come with the wifi adapter and make the wireless adapter work in linux.

Enter NDISWRAPPER

This tool is present on most popular linux distro repositories. Some distros even have a graphical user interface for this tool.

More info here

NDISWRAPPER on Wikipedia

Howto guide on LinuxQuestions

NDISWRAPPER on Debian Wiki

Using Ubuntu NDISGTK GUI to activate wireless cards : Kimbriggs.com

SGLNX recommends noobs to learn how to use ndiswrapper.

Linux Kernel in a Nutshell

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

The kernel is the core of the linux operating system.

Most linux distros come with prebuilt kernel that aims to support as much hardware as possible and kernels are constantly evolving and upgraded with new inclusions to support for latest hardware.

The updated linux kernel sources are kept and maintained by www.kernel.org.

Though most distros include a prebuilt kernel to support most desktops, laptops and servers, there are ways whereby the kernel can be optimized by tuning it only to support the hardware that the linux OS will be installed in. This will increase performance and boot time of the system.

To learn more about configuring and building the kernel, there is a very good book about linux kernels and it is published by O’Reilly. The title of the book is “Linux Kernel in a Nutshell” by author Greg Kroah-Hartman. And in line with the idea of opensource and GPL, the author has made his book to be free for downloading online and has declared it under the Creative Commons license such that anyone can download and redistribute it. For those whom still prefer to hold a physical book in their hands, they can still purchase it from their local bookstores.

To configure and build kernels more easily, SGLNX recommends Kernelcheck, which is an automated script with an easy user interface. “Linux in a Nutshell” can be used to compliment Kernelcheck when configuring and understanding the kernel parameters and options.

Wikipedia’s entry on Kernel(Computing)
Ubuntuforums Kernelcheck HOWTO thread
Kernelcheck’s blog

Download the “Linux in a Nutshell” ebook here

Hannah Montana gets her own linux distro!

Friday, August 14th, 2009

Signs of linux getting popular and getting endorsements from celebrities?
Tapping on opensource to increase her fan base?

DesktopLinux review of Hannah Montana Linux distro
OSNews : Hannah Montana… Linux ?
LinuxToday : Hannah Montana Linux X86 Basic Edition

The distro is aptly named the Hannah Montana Linux X86 Basic Edition..

Hannah Montana

What were they planning down the product roadmap?

Hannah Montana AMD64 Server Edition
Hannah Montana X86 Education Edition
Hannah Montana UltraSPARC T1 Edition

FYI, Distrowatch.com did not list this Hannah Montana linux distro in its database.

Sing a Miley Cyrus song while you download the distro here.

Ubuntu Karmic Koala 9.10 Alpha 4 released

Friday, August 14th, 2009

UbuntuIt’s been a few months since the release of Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) Alpha 3. Announced by Canonical’s Steve Langasek, the latest alpha release contains package updates and the it is based on Linux 2.6.31-rc5 kernel. Some notable features this current Karmic Koala alpha release:

1) Ubuntu One integration
2) Gnome 2.2.74
3) IM client Pidgin is out, and replaced by Empathy
4) Intel UXA acceleration method instead of EXA
5) GCC 4.4 instead of GCC4.3 as compiler
6) GRUB2 as default boot loader

Full list of Alpha 4 release features/changelog here

One of Karmic Koala’s goal is to achieve a boot time of less than 10 seconds, if so, then it is a serious contender in comparison to the upcoming Windows 7, which aims to boot in less than 15 seconds.

Try it today. Download it here!

Source : Phoronix

Testdisk saved my life!

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

Accidents do happen!

Especially when you are trying to install multiple partitions or repartitioning the hard disk so as to multiboot several operating systems. To those whom are unfamiliar with partitions and trying to install Ubuntu or Fedora into an existing hard disk containing Windows XP or Vista, a wrong selection and the LiveCD wipes out the entire XP/Vista partition. This leaves the unfortunate user giving up on trying out a new operating system.

For some cases, files are accidentally deleted rather than entire partitions, and once the trash can or recycle bin is emptied, the user loses hope on recovering the files.

Luckily, there is an open source app that can help recover some if not all of the cases above.

TESTDISK is an opensource application that is available on all platforms [ DOS, Linux, OSX, Sun, FreeBSD ].

It is able to  :

Recover deleted partitions
Rebuild partition tables
Rewrite Master Boot Record (MBR)
Manipulate various filesystems (FAT/FAT16/NTFS/EXT3/HFS/etc)

If Testdisk is not found on your distro repositories, you can download it here.

It had saved many users from tearing their hair and head apart. SGLNX considers Testdisk a must have for any OS!

Some additional reading on Testdisk:

Step by Step guide from its creators, CGSecurity
How Testdisk saved this guy’s marriage
Another testament of how “Testdisk saved my life” from Overclockers.com.au

Fun with Bluetooth on Linux

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

One of the neglected technology in linux PCs is Bluetooth.

Though most wireless connectivity needs in today’s computing world are addressed by wifi 802.11abg, device to device communications such as bluetooth still has its uses.

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