Boot Linux over the Internet!

September 28th, 2009
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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

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New Dell Netbook ships with Ubuntu Moblin Netbook Remix!

September 24th, 2009
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Dell will begin shipping the first netbook pre-installed with Moblin OS today!

The Moblin Mini 10V will be priced at US$299 and can be customized with the usual desired addons from Dell. The Moblin OS is based on Linux and features an easy to use point and click user interface with built-in social networking applications such as Facebook/Twitter/IM/etc.

Though this is not officially available in Singapore, those whom are interested in trying out the Ubuntu Moblin OS from Dell are free to download the installable image file from Dell’s http file server. Installation instructions here.

Dell’s Moblin’s Wiki page here

A demo video of how the user interface of Moblin looks like below:

Source : Phoronix and Engadget

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Dubious Google Chrome OS available for public beta testing?

September 23rd, 2009
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First seen by SGLNX on JTWorld ( http://jiongtang.com/blog ), it appears that a virtual image of Google’s Chrome OS is available for testing on VMplayer or VirtualBox.

However, on closer inspection, under the disclaimer on the site providing this download, it says

“Chrome OS is not related to Google. Service provided by SUSE Studio”

The dubious download site even stated its current version is 0.4.207. The version number revision is actually the current version for Google Chrome browser.

Some features listed in this non-google Chrome OS are :

To download, follow this link to JTWorld’s blog.

Desktop preview screenshots available on above link at JTWorld.

Though not a real beta image of the actual Google Chrome OS, SGLNX decided to post this article anyway, in anticipation of the real Google Chrome OS.

We wait patiently.

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Affordable Linux touchscreen tablet running on AA batteries

September 23rd, 2009
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Norhtec has announced their new product, Gecko Info Pad.

Due for a November 2009 release, the “Gecko Info Pad” is basically a 8.9″ touchscreen tablet with Xcore (Vortex86 rebrand) processor. It is capable of running on 8xNiMH AA batteries. The processor is a x86 processor with power saving features of the ARM processor. According to Norhtec, this new tablet is able to run a variety of operating systems, including Windows XP, Linux and Windows CE.

On top of that, the manufacturer also said it will ship for about US$300 including an 8 gig SD card as flash storage and wifi connectivity.

Demo video as shown below

More touchscreen tablet products are in the news in hope of catching on popularity like the upcoming Apple’s tablet.
Opensource vs closedsource.

News source and specification of Gecko Pad : LinuxForDevices.com

SGLNX suggests that all upcoming mobile tablet devices should have the following features

3G/HSDPA connectivity built in
Long lasting operating time aka battery life
Fast boot kernel
Ease of typing [ie good typing user interface ]
Multi-touch capable touchscreens
Ambient light sensor for automatic LCD brightness
Support embedded Flash

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WAMMU & GAMMU to manage Nokia, Erricson, Siemens and other mobile phones

September 7th, 2009
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This round, we are going to introduce a little known application that compliments the cellphone.

For all users, this application allows the linux OS to integrate their use of the cellphone with linux.

GAMMU, and it’s GUI version aka WAMMU, allows the linux user to to connect to their cellphones from their linux desktop/laptop to do the following functions:

Wammu

Wammu

  • Backup and synchronize contacts
  • Backup and synchronize SMS/MMS
  • Backup and synchronize calendar
  • Backup and synchronize pictures/files
  • Backup and synchronize todo list/notes
  • Send out SMS/MMS from desktop to single/multiple recipients
  • Make and receive phone calls

Connectivity can be via wired usb/serial connections or via bluetooth connectivity.

More information and supported phone list below:

Suggested reading list below

Gammu/Wammu is available on the following platforms

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Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) rolls out version 5.4

September 3rd, 2009
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Red Hat rolled out its Enterprise Linux 5.4 today.

Touting features such as

New enterprise KVM included alongside XEN virtualization technologies,
Clustering updates,
Support for XFS filesystem,
Updated userspace tools for EXT4 filesystem,
etc

Full release notes here

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Get your wireless adapter working with NDISWRAPPER!

August 31st, 2009
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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.

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Linux Kernel in a Nutshell

August 20th, 2009
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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

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Hannah Montana gets her own linux distro!

August 14th, 2009
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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.

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