Archive for the ‘Tips & Tricks’ Category

Easy way to reinstall all previously installed packages on new linux distro release version

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

As a linux distro gets updated with a new version, it is always a good idea to do a fresh install than to do an upgrade [which may cause some unforeseen problems].

But with the frequent updates of newer versions of distros such as Ubuntu [every 6 months], it gets a bit tiring to re-install from scratch and do “apt-get” commands for all the packages required for customization and personalization of the OS. To make matters worse, it is hard to remember each and every package that was installed previously.

(more…)

Twit from terminal aka command-line!

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

Tuxarena posted an easy to follow guide to allow “twitting” from command-line without the need of any graphical GUI manager.

Now who says you can’t do anything without a graphical desktop manager?

The full article/tutorial here at TuxArena ” How to Post to Twitter from Command-line “

Once you have set it up, try the command below..


twitter.sh SGLNX:Singapore's Local Linux News Matters : http://bit.ly/7LNiua

How to enable HD video playback on GMA 500 netbooks with Ubuntu Linux

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

The Intel GMA500 is actually capable of hardware acceleration for HD video, but it requires some tweaking of the linux driver environment

At “Linux-Tipps“, there is a guide to enable VAAPI (Video Acceleration API) for netbooks with the Intel GMA500 graphics chipsets.

Once VAAPI is enabled, Full HD videos can be watched and CPU utilization will only be 30%.

Source : Liliputing.com

Nvidia 195.22 Beta Linux Display Driver Available In Nvidia Vdpau Team PPA [Ubuntu]

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

If you use any of the Nvidia graphics card of GeForce chipset 8500 and above, you can make use of its VDPAU functions.

VDPAU = Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix

Since most standard linux distributions does not include it in their repositories, users have to download and install it manually, or if using Ubuntu, a new PPA repository can be added..

More on how to install VDPAU in the link below

Nvidia 195.22 Beta Linux Display Driver Available In Nvidia Vdpau Team PPA [Ubuntu]

Thanks for Webupd8.org for the heads up

Look out! Fatal Linux Commands! 13 of them!

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

Linux Screw shared a series of lethal linux commands that one should never ever ever ever run on their functional linux system.

The commands listed at Linux Screw, if executed in any terminal, will wipe out the entire hard disk contents.

But in the event you just want to trash your system in fit of rage, just select any of the 13 commands listed in the newsource link above..

Just remember to hit the “enter” key gently..

And if in any way, you regret your actions, TestDisk is always at hand to help.

Source : LinuxScrew.com : 13 Linux Lethal Commands

SGLNX takes Moblin 2.1 for a spin! Part One

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

Moblin has recently announced its version 2.1 of the project for download.

At SGLNX, armed with a first generation ITX Intel Atom 230 mainboard and a MSI Wind U100-Plus N280 netbook, the live USB image was tested on the 2 hardwares and an attempt to do a full install was also done on another USB stick.

This second USB stick was used to boot this “natively installed Moblin” to test the portability of the Moblin operating system across different hardwares.

(more…)

Boot Linux over the Internet!

Monday, September 28th, 2009

A little update to what’s brewing lately in the linux world..

Much talk about booting linux over http, ie the internet. However, some work needed as it’s not as simple as turning on the power.

A minimal USB image is needed as booting Linux over the internet. This mean it will still require plugging in a USB thumbdrive. Only the kernel is booted over the internet and sadly it doesn’t utilize the BIOS PXE aka Preboot Execution Environment support via the embedded LAN port on most recent mainboards.

Popular distros such as Ubuntu, DSL, Debian, Fedora and Knoppix are supported for gPXE booting

A howto guide here at howtoforge.com

Official boot kernel over http page at kerrnel.org

Source : H-Online.com

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

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