Going to (GNU)linux once & the power of UBUNTU

linux.htm: Going to linux

fravia.com | Apr 1st 2008

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Going to (GNU)linux
once for all
(the power of Ubuntu)

The WoW
starts now!

Version 0.73, April 2008
(first published in september 2006)

Introduction: GNU/Linux for seekers
Better frills than Macs and Vistas
The power of Ubuntu
Books that may happen to be useful
The real point of GNU/Linux (citations)
How to wardrive for hours on your laptop’s batteries (tty secrets)
How to search when you’r stuck
(A lot to reverse)
Finding stuffUseful findingsLinux_games
The shell is awesome!

Ahhh. What a bliss
Ahhh. What a bliss. What a speed. What a power!
Finally a GNU/Linux distro that can be recommended without tongue-in-cheek: Ubuntu, a powerful, yet simple to install, debian-based OS.
EVERYBODY can now say bye bye windows: no more need for the hundred crap programs running in the background, those horrible “norton” cans of worms, the many buggy antivirii, all the broken firewalls that still slurp rootkits and all kind of malware that infests windows boxes, while allowing users to be graciously bombarderd by tons of useless commercial crap.
Ubuntu is the best of two worlds: it suits both the experienced GNU/Linux user that wants a powerful and reliable desktop system, usable without constant fiddling AND AT THE SAME TIME its a godsend for the millions of new users that are prepared to learn new stuff when they finally decide to migrate from Windows (or from OSX).

A lot of new users that come to GNU/Linux from Windows these days want an OS that will run all their favorite applications, is easy to use and basically ready to go out of the box. Ubuntu, being all of this, managed for the first time to make GNU/Linux more popular for the masses, no minor feat.
Since Ubuntu is de facto just a polished Debian, it hides sheer untamed cosmic power under the GUI hood.
After a while many Ubuntu users will feel ‘adventurous’ and will start looking for a less graphic and more CLI oriented experience.
In fact, as experienced GNU/Linux users well know, point and click “is the caveman way of doing things”, therefore such developments are a win-win situation for everyone.

Windows, the searchers’ horror
Since seekers do visit all kind of malbehaving places in the deep deep web (it is after all the searchers’ pleasure, job and task), the need -in windows- to clean everything twice a day with adaware, spybot, hijack… slowly affects -negatively- their moods.
Granted, many searchers turned to GNU/Linux already long ago: “the power and the smoothness”, “the absolute control” or more simply “the joy of knowing what’s really going on under the hood”.
Least but not last: no reason, never, to pay for anything, as the whole web was meant to be… as the web still is… and as the web should be and remain for ever.

And power, immense sheer power
THE characteristic of GNU/Linux systems is their power. If you, for instance, want to wardrive seriously try kismet: you’ll never go back to a toy operating system like windows nor use half-sniffers like Netstumbler 🙂
You’r a seeker, arent’you? So as soon as you board Ubuntu, play with the most powerful Network tools… or even just try the simplest ones: first run -say- Deluge or Transmission (or any other net-intensive application) and then type in a terminal



netstat -l

…: vous me direz ce que vous en pensez.

Avoid the appallingly restrictive(*) Vista frills
Else you’ll be stuck in a expensive, mediocre and proprietary OS that will sniff all your personal data, mostly in order to make money out of it.
Let me state the following as clearly as I can: readers should ditch the windows operating system before it bites their underpants off BECAUSE of the current spyware/rootkit/spamming exploits (why do you think there’s so much email spam around the world? Because a billion zombies are using windows) and also BECAUSE of the advent of the expensive and intrusive malware called Vista.

I know, I know: Linux is free, blah blah, all its software is free, blah blah, and it’s more stable and quicker and ethical than windows, blah blah… yet for the moment most readers are still using Windows.
But if you want to change the moment has cometh.

My approach will be different from the usual approaches of many linuxian converters and zealots:
You should leave windows and go over to a sound GNU/Linux distro (for instance Ubuntu) NOT just because it represents a completely free operating system, NOT just because of its (relative) freedom from viruses, rootkits or worms dangers… you should go over to GNU/Linux for the sheer searching power of it.
Ubuntu has made this “crossing” extremely easy (for the first time in the history of mankind), hence its crucial importance for all searchers that still use windows.

Therefore you shouldn’t go over to GNU/Linux because of “the ethical point”, however important: for all I care you can even keep a working copy of windows XP on your box and dual boot as long as you fancy… It’s a evolutionary snowball. Once you’ll have tasted the power and speed and -how should I call it- “obedience” of a GNU/Linux box you will use windows less and less anyway.

In fact I reckon you’ll soon even rediscover the power of a non GUI environment STARTING from a state of the art graphical environment… a only apparent contradiction 🙂

If until now you only used windows you’ll have to work: GNU/Linux is NOT windows. Better to repeat it: GNU/Linux is NOT windows.
Ok, ok, relatively little work, but some work will be required nevertheless.
First you’ll have to cross your fingers and hope that the proprietary drivers of your wifi cards, USB applications, you name it, will be automagically recognized by Ubuntu (they will… most of the time… but not always).
Then you will probably have to fix your wacky soundcard, your dubious fonts, your funky screen resolutions.
Then you’ll have to finetune and fix your wine (for those windows applications or games you really think you badly need)
Then you’ll want to speed up your booting, and then you’ll want to finetune your kernel…
So, some work indeed, mostly due to the fact that hidden and secret proprietary drivers had to be reversed and reengineered by brave developers, audacious reversers, courageous hackers and fearless crakers in order to make them work -for free- inside GNU/Linux… with all the obvious glitches and limitations that this implies.

However, after a relatively short while you will happily leave behind you Windows once for all. Ahhh. What a bliss!

Note that this kind of thinkering with your own operating system is an important, instructive and useful activity per se. Incidentally, it is also great fun.
This process of finding out what’s exactly wrong and how you can actually indeed fix it by yourself, is probably one of the nicest things that GNU/Linux can and will teach you.
Again: magic power. The satisfaction of finding out by yourself how to modify your box in order to have your PC actually obeying *you* (and not some idiot in -say- Redmond) is a great feeling: something you will enjoy quite a lot.

Ubuntu is just a compromise
From an ethical point of viex really free software and a really completely free OS, as my friend Richard Stallman never ceased to assert, is a matter of the users’ COMPLETE & UNRESTRICTED freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve ALL the software on their boxes (We even have a fantasized song about this).

Ubuntu is full of ugly compromises with proprietary software. If you want more “purity”, you’ll go elsewhere after a while, for instance towards real Debian or gNewSense. Why not? There’s a lot to learn on those “purists” paths. Maybe even more than on more “tainted” paths. You’ll judge by yourself.

Yet the idea behind this section of searchlores -again- is not to “fight infidels for purity“: the idea is to help anybody and his grand-mama, and especially searchers, to swap almost on the fly a slow, cumbersome, virus infested, expensive and prone to errors windozian box into a quick, stable, free and above all powerful “überlinux” box.

The wildly popular and now most used (see image on the left) Ubuntu distro seems to have overcome the awkward installation problems of past distros.
It’s popularity is imo well deserved: I have wasted many months of my life compiling and re-compiling kernels and chasing dependencies for Slackware and Debian.
You see: the nice thing, in a free operating system, is that anyone can make his own version and use it with half a dozen like-minded pals. The terrible thing, alas, is that this is -maybe- great fun for kernel compilers… but made anyone used to the “simplicity” of windows to immediately forget any alternative to “his” operating system.
Admittedly, this happened only because windows users don’t understand nothing (every operating system has the idiots it deserves… note that many idiots lurk in the GNU/Linux world as well), nevertheless, newbies did (and do) blame GNU/Linux for the shortcomings due to the windows “proprietary” drivers dished by ignorant hardware producers.
Alas! Whenever encountering rough water, users immediately coward back to the ‘encompassing’ embrace of their malwares-friendly, buggy, overbloated, obsolete, data-sniffing and expensive windows operating system. And they are lost (in both senses of the term).

As a consequence of its attempt “to avoid rough waters”, Ubuntu is a sort of “compromise” between on one side real free untaunted software (à la GNU –gNewSense for instance) and on the other side real rock hard concrete & immediate usability.
Fact is that with Ubuntu -no minor deed- even your aunt will boot up quickly a very stable OS and be happy with it… even without noticing that she is sitting on a space rocket Ferrari.

So let’s do it. Let’s try Ubuntu. How?
Anyone can try -and even customize– an “ubuntu live” version, before installing the OS for real.
A better start imo would be a quick and simple dual installation Ubuntu + XP (or, ugh, vista), given that windows is (yet) still useful for pixel intensive games… at least until you’ll learn how to use properly Wine, and/or VMware.

The install program of the Ubuntu distro will automatically resize your windows partition and install grub (the dual loader). The recent “Heron” has also a special install mode that will use your windows partition to install (losing some speed). Always take care and defragment well your disk(s) first.
Also, before installing, save your valuable data just in case: playing with new OSses is always a risky game, as XP users ‘upgrading‘ to Vista will discover to their expenses 🙂

Once tried Ubuntu, you’ll use windows less and less. After a relatively short while, you’ll just use your new Operating System, and pheraphs, later, even ditch the GUI environment and switch to the CLI (or to another distro) in order to learn more and to obtain the power and “raw speed” any finetuned distro (gentoo, slackware or debian) will give you… when you seek, when you use your box for your everyday activities, when you fight for knowledge on the web.

This said, Ubuntu should not be underestimated at all: it’s no “kid distribution”, just debian, a mighty powerhouse!
And Debian is a splendid choice. Once finetuned, ubuntu (or pure Debian) systems are as powerful as any perfectly working gentoo system (admittedly: a rare sight 🙂 and only slightly less powerful than any hardened and finetuned slackware box.

Whatever. Enough propaganda.

Ubuntu seems to be the better choice for most seekers: being Debian it has –by far– much more power under the hood than you could ever fathom while still offering an extremely simple approach/introduction/entrance to the GNU/linux OS for the many just arriving -a little zombified- from the windows sad & slow & boring world AND/OR for all those that actually have better things to do that spending afternoons chasing and compiling dependencies.

An useful advice for readers coming from the windows world is to check first the opening windows section of this site. Realizing that you can have everything (i.e. any software) for free and legally is a first pre-condition in order to understand the immense power and potential of GNU/Linux. So the best ‘formation’ for newcomers is imho along the following path: Amazingly, one of the most ‘moving’ points that Ubuntu and other recent GNU/Linux distributions have had, capable of getting windows longtime-conditioned users to swap over, are linux recent superior graphic capabilities. Amazingly for me, at least, because I have always considered graphic effects an almost useless frill.
Fact is that nowadays, even if it might sound odd for believers in paid advertisements, the graphic effects offered by Vista or by MACs are terribly obsolete if compared with what you can have on a GNU/Linux box (if you don’t believe me, try the Sabayon gentoo distro 🙂

In fact many watchers still underestimate the fact that GNU/Linux CAN offer better frills than Macs and Vistas, believe it or not. I personally wouldn’t switch my rock-solid Debian/Ubuntu setting for the remarkable sabayon gentoo übermonster, but younger ones seem to like it A LOT (game developers take note 🙂 and sure fact is that Compiz and Compiz/Fusion can (and do) give Mac-fanatics and Vista-zombies a good run uphill for their (wasted) money 🙂

The power of Ubuntu is due to the stability, simplicity and also to the usefulness of its messageboards (that seems to me better than the -also quite useful- Debian, Gentoo and slackware messageboards).

While users coming from a windows environment are the “natural target” of all recent GNU/Linux distributions, they still better understand a couple of points.

  • First of all the source code of many drivers and codecs they are acquinted with inside windows has NOT, never, been released in the open domain.
    Purposedly, because commercial developers are bastards idiots (there is no better explanation for this abominable matter of fact). Hence such proprietary software must be reversed, and usually this takes some time (and some powerful know-how by the mighty crackers).
    As a consequence, there is a (mostly small) delay between the last gee-wizz-bang hardware coming out ‘on the market’ and the reversing and porting -for free- of such proprietary drivers to GNU/Linux.
    This is due to the fact that the commercial idiots don’t realize how much more hardware they would sell if they had a “Linux/compatible” logo on their hardware. In due time they will (in due time we’ll probably have free hardware as well 🙂
  • GNU/Linux IS NOT windows, as stated above. This ‘s true under many aspects. The most obvious is that while with Ubuntu you can have a “total windowesque GUI experience”… soon or later (and I hope for you soon) you’ll realize that using the terminal (ALT+F2 “xterm” or “gnome-terminal”) is MUCH more quicker, effective and powerful than clicking here and there and everywhere until head and hands get dizzy.
    “Windows conditioned users” never understand this at the beginning. They wrongly believe that clicking around is more ‘modern & effective’… in due time they understand.
  • Yes: any windows applications (Photoshop, Oblivion, Poser, Quake 4, all your raw format photo manipulation software…) can run in Ubuntu. There is some work involved of course, and it finally depends from your “finetuning capacities”.
    You need to try (and finetune) VMware or Wine (a fantastic “non emulator”, recently getting better and better).
    It might take some time, it might require some kernel finetuning as well, and some trial and error attempts, until ALL your applications will run fine… but the satisfaction (and the sheer speed and power) of your Ferrari box humming along nicely under YOUR power will be a great feeling (the whole migration attempt will be quite an experience WHATEVER operating system you will decide to use at the end of the day 🙂
  • USE the Ubuntu messageboards (forum). These are quite useful and very user-friendly places, offering the added advantage that they list RECENT solutions (when searching with main search engines à la google) compared with the more general and at times obsolete info you would find elsewhere on the web.
    This means, incidentally, that even a trivial generic “GNU/Linux-kind of” query will always fetch you interesting and fairly *updated* results if you prefix it with the term “+ubuntu“.
  • A threefold advice for those that will migrate? Learn and use the many powerful commands, don’t rely only on the GUI and find and read some good books and manuals about Ubuntu, Debian and more generally GNU/Linux.

All the following books seem to be now in the public domain (else they wouldn’t have been just uploaded allover the web as they were, I suppose).
Some of the strings below (not all of them: “some”. Learn some evaluation skills if you want to survive on the garbage web of today) might result quite useful: Seekers will know what to do with such names. Of course the names themselves, listed below, must be taken cum grano salis: when in the wild, ‘spaces’ could be ‘underscores’, maybe, and the ‘year’ at the end of the strings could be missing.
Note also that zip or rar suffixes would deliver better arrows than those pdf and chm suffixes you will see in the listing of the “already expanded” files below.

Again, the following list is full of crap: the established “Academia” does not know shit from shinola.

Elementary evaluation elements: as a simple rule of thumb (with huge caveats, duh) ‘No starch press’ is ‘usually’ useful, QUE is ‘usually’ crappy, O’Reilly is often usable; ‘Apress’ would publish your Aunt Carolina’s books (…on the other hand Aunt Carolina might sometime write down something worth reading); Wiley is completely unpredictable regarding quality and Prentice seems to be -mostlys- quite usable.
Anyway now that you know that these books seem to have been released in the public domain, just go out and find and read them. Give feedback: your own comments and observations regarding the quality of these books would be welcome and useful for all readers.


8093913 2002-05-15 21:33 O'Reilly - Learning Debian GNU Linux.1999.pdf 2595010 2002-09-24 04:52 Linux Assembly Language Programming.2000.pdf 651261 2003-02-26 18:02 Learning the bash Shell - 2nd Edition (o'reilly)_1998.chm 1015893 2003-11-10 20:52 (ebook - PDF) Linux From Scratch.pdf 2121703 2003-12-16 18:21 Prentice.Practical.Programming.In.Tcl.And.Tk.4th.Edition.eBook-LiB.2003.chm 3806504 2004-02-27 22:17 O'Reilly - Running Linux. - 4th Edition_2002.pdf 3280537 2004-02-27 23:18 O'Reilly - Understanding The Linux Kernel_2000.pdfm 597504 2004-02-27 23:27 Learning Debian GNU Linux.1999.chm 19827354 2004-02-27 23:29 Linux_Plus_Study_Guide_2001_Sybex.pdf 15979902 2004-09-08 15:45 Linux Timesaving Techniques for Dummies_2004.pdf 17637167 2004-12-31 14:25 John.Wiley.and.Sons.Linux.Troubleshooting.Bible.eBook-LiB_2004.chm 1541756 2005-01-26 12:52 Debugging with GDB - The GNU Source-Level Debugger, Ninth Edition.2002.pdf 651261 2005-02-02 09:33 OReilly.Learning.the.bash.Shell.2nd.Edition.1998.chm 3866012 2005-03-03 06:02 Advanced Linux Programming_2001.pdf 19995804 2005-03-27 04:27 S.Matteson - Linux Desktop Garage. 2005.chm 1048833 2005-08-02 05:40 No.Starch.Press.How.Linux.Works.What.Every.Super.User.Should.Know.eBook-LiB.chm 1428677 2005-08-19 23:45 OReilly.Linux.in.a.Nutshell.5th.Edition.Jul.2005.chm 6847208 2005-10-05 08:51 Test.Driving.Linux.Apr.2005.rar 16251798 2005-10-06 01:33 S.Best - Linux Debugging and Performance Tuning - Tips and Techniques.2005.chm 17297690 2005-10-18 22:54 Gimp - 24Hours - Sams_1999.pdf 5673818 2005-12-30 17:48 Running Linux 5th Edition - O'Reilly.chm 2729618 2006-01-09 11:34 Apress.Hardening.Linux.Feb.2005.INTERNAL.pdf 19167372 2006-02-15 17:10 Wiley.Linux.Bible.2006.Edition.Boot.Up.to.Fedora.KNOPPIX.Debian.SUSE.Ubuntu.and.7.Other.Distributions.Jan.2006.eBook-DDU.pdf 25536947 2006-03-12 18:47 Apress.Beginning.Ubuntu.Linux.From.Novice.to.Professional.Mar.2006.pdf 3774759 2006-03-24 00:52 G.Glass, K.Ables - Linux for Programmers and Users. 2006.chm 13353080 2006-03-28 23:00 Open_Source_SecurityTools.2004.pdf 1015893 2006-05-17 09:17 E-Book (pdf) Linux From Scratch.2000.pdf 4017954 2006-05-17 09:23 teach_yourself_linux_in_24_hours.pdf 1212642 2006-05-17 09:25 Bash-Beginners-Guide.pdf 4438650 2006-05-22 19:10 John.Wiley.And.Sons.Assembly.Language.Step-by-Step.Programming.with.DOS.and.Linux.Second.Edition.iNT.eBook-DDU.pdf 10631201 2006-05-22 19:59 Linux Complete Command Reference.pdf 3987377 2006-05-22 20:00 Linux Net Admin Guide.pdf 271843 2006-05-22 20:00 Linux Networking HOWTO.pdf 166149 2006-05-22 20:00 Linux+Windows-HOWTO.pdf 9014376 2006-05-22 20:00 Linux Network Admin.pdf 6598006 2006-05-22 20:01 Linux_programming_unleashed.pdf 1247064 2006-05-22 20:03 100_linux_tips_and_tricks.pdf 100312 2006-05-22 20:03 Complete Idiot's Guide to Linux.pdf 12099152 2006-05-22 20:03 Linux.pdf 14377071 2006-05-22 20:04 Teach Yourself Linux In 24 Hours.1999.pdf 3866012 2006-05-22 20:08 (ebook - English) Advanced Linux Programming.2001.pdf 7076716 2006-05-22 20:11 Debian GNU-Linux Bible.2001.pdf 7494369 2006-05-22 20:11 Debian Linux Cookbook - Tips And Techniques For Everyday Use.2001.pdf 10899089 2006-05-22 20:13 (ebook) O'Reilly - Linux Command Directory.pdf 11868089 2006-05-22 20:34 John.Wiley.Sons. Beginning.Linux.Programming,Third.Edition.2004.pdf 4400916 2006-05-22 20:34 Prentice Hall - Integrating Linux and Windows.2000.pdf 15979902 2006-05-22 20:35 John.Wiley.and.Sons.Linux.Timesaving.Techniques.For.Dummies.Jul.2004.eBook-DDU.pdf 21062248 2006-05-26 10:38 For.Dummies.Linux.All.in.One.Desk.Reference.For.Dummies.May.2006.eBook-DDU.pdf 4259091 2006-06-06 09:53 Prentice.Hall.PTR.Linux.Troubleshooting.for.System.Administrators.and.Power.Users.Apr.2006.chm 4438650 2006-06-06 11:05 John.Wiley.And.Sons.Assembly.Language.Step-by-Step.Programming.with.DOS.and.Linux.Second.Edition.iNT.eBook-DDU.2000.pdf 650532 2006-06-17 12:52 (ebook - chm) - Misc - Debian The Perfect Setup.chm 413015 2006-06-17 15:17 Linux Newbie administrator guide.pdf 3870142 2006-07-07 08:36 OReilly.Ubuntu.Hacks.Tips.and.Tools.for.Exploring.Using.and.Tuning.Linux.Jun.2006.chm 1513441 2006-07-19 11:55 Understanding the Linux® Virtual Memory Manager_2004.chm 2263476 2006-07-19 12:04 Linux Server Hacks Volume-2_2005.chm 3774759 2006-07-19 12:07 Linux for Programmers and Users_2006.chm 1784984 2006-07-19 12:13 Optimizing Linux® Performance A Hands-On Guide to Linux® Performance tools_2005.chm 2592644 2006-07-19 12:14 Linux Desktop Hacks_2005.chm 2381604 2006-07-19 12:15 Linux Annoyances for Geeks_2006.chm 1379968 2006-07-19 12:18 Linux Device Drivers 3rd Edition_2005.chm 5673818 2006-07-19 12:18 Running Linux 5th Edition_2005.chm 2167995 2006-07-19 12:19 Linux Server Security_2005.chm 1132401 2006-07-19 12:20 Linux Network Administrators Guide 3rd edition_2005.chm 6246826 2006-07-19 12:20 Linux Toys II 9 Cool New Projects for Home Office and Entertainment_2006.pdf 12432060 2006-07-19 12:20 Thomson Linux+ 2005 In.Depth -2005.pdf 11633856 2006-07-19 12:20 Linux for Dummies 6Ed_2005.pdf 5553589 2006-07-19 12:20 Linux Cookbook_2004.pdf 2689031 2006-07-19 12:20 The Linux® Kernel Primer A Top-Down Approach for x86 and PowerPC Architectures_2005.chm 7868419 2006-07-19 12:21 Understanding Linux Network Internals_2005.chm 6501928 2006-07-19 12:21 Performance Tuning for Linux® Servers_2005.chm 2009447 2006-07-19 12:21 Self-Service Linux® Mastering the Art of Problem Determination_2005.chm 2659101 2006-07-19 12:21 Linux In A Windows World_2005.chm 3576662 2006-07-19 12:21 HackNotes Linux and Unix Security Portable Reference_2005.pdf 5459301 2006-08-25 21:55 No.Starch.Press.The.Debian.System.Concepts.and.Techniques.Sep.2005.pdf 11746722 2006-08-31 11:27 Prentice.Hall.PTR.The.Official.Ubuntu.Book.Aug.2006.chm 481436 2006-09-08 15:47 Sams.Linux.Phrasebook.Jun.2006.chm 16114174 2006-09-11 23:24 Sams.Ubuntu.Unleashed.Aug.2006.chm 17945600 2006-09-16 12:15 No.Starch.Press.Ubuntu.Linux.for.Non.Geeks.Aug.2006.pdf 58669952 2006-09-29 06:57 Apress.Beginning.GIMP.From.Novice.to.Professional.Apr.2006.pdf 2403736 2006-10-05 12:12 OReilly - LPI Linux Certification in a Nutshell 2nd ed. (2006).chm 3466175 2006-10-10 08:04 Linux Unwired (2004).chm 115557 2006-10-16 12:02 howto-ubuntu510_desktop_install.2006.pdf 51758 2006-10-16 12:05 KarmaUbuntu.pdf 508502 2006-10-16 12:10 20051215-02.pdf 16878286 2006-10-19 13:27 Addison.Wesley.Moving.to.Ubuntu.Linux.Aug.2006.chm 9946916 2006-10-19 14:27 For.Dummies.Linux.Smart.Homes.For.Dummies.Aug.2006.pdf 785491 2006-10-29 17:57 Sams.Python.Phrasebook.November.2006.chm 5984544 2006-11-30 18:38 Manning.Publications.Minimal.Perl.For.UNIX.and.Linux.People.Sep.2005.pdf 11679654 2006-12-02 11:59 Linux_Plus_Study_Guide_Third_Edition_2005.pdf 12388348 2006-12-14 18:49 Hack Proofing Linux_2001.pdf 1169074 2006-12-26 01:38 OReilly.Linux.Kernel.in.a.Nutshell.Dec.2006.chm 4681808 2006-12-31 15:36 A.List.Hacker.Linux.Uncovered.ebook-Spy_2005.chm 9525839 2007-01-04 19:05 Linux Toys II - 9 Cool New Projects For Home, Office, And Entertainment 2006.pdf 1720679 2007-01-08 18:27 kernel-api.pdf 32768 2007-01-13 10:00 OReilly.Test.Driving.Linux.Apr.2005.eBook-BBL 38178 2007-01-13 10:07 Prentice.Hall.PTR.Linux.Desktop.Garage.Feb.2005.eBook-LiB.chm 1749844 2007-01-13 10:17 OReilly.Linux.Multimedia.Hacks.Nov.2005.chm 122213 2007-01-16 08:34 gnome_xkb_tsh.pdf 2332019 2007-01-26 19:56 OReilly.Knoppix.Hacks.Oct.2004.eBook-DDU.chm 1816094 2007-01-26 20:53 OReilly.High.Performance.Linux.Clusters.With.Oscar.Rocks.openmosix.And.Mpi.Nov.2004.eBook-DDU.chm 1823105 2007-01-26 21:05 OReilly_Managing_Security_With_Snort_And_Ids_Tools_2004.chm 1632603 2007-02-02 23:15 1632603-O'Reilly - Managing RAID on Linux.pdf 8355603 2007-02-11 10:49 Linux-Dictionary.pdf 3777001 2007-02-11 10:55 HungryMinds -- Linux+ Certification Bible_2002.pdf 35660828 2007-02-11 10:58 O'Reilly -- Linux Server Hacks.2003.pdf 2375632 2007-02-11 13:11 SANS Securing Linux_2000.pdf 954565 2007-02-11 13:14 Linux From Scratch.pdf 90315 2007-02-11 13:17 From-PowerUp-To-Bash-Prompt-HOWTO.pdf 46673207 2007-03-04 01:02 Wiley.Ubuntu.Linux.Bible.Jan.2007.pdf 10209385 2007-06-28 19:48 Wiley.Hacking.Ubuntu.Apr.2007.chm 4681808 2007-09-14 11:53 A-List Publishing.Hacker Linux Uncovered2005.chm 4681808 2007-09-14 12:53 A-List Publishing.Hacker Linux Uncovered.chm 10414482 2007-10-05 19:14 Wiley.Hacking.Ubuntu.Apr.2007.eBook-BBL.rar 3514658 2007-10-08 14:05 Core_Python_Programming__Fixed_2000.chm 15779191 2007-10-08 14:58 Beginning_Python__2005_.pdf 13907150 2007-10-08 15:31 Beginning_Python_-_From_Novice_To_Professional__2005_.pdf 10141077 2007-10-08 16:00 OReilly.Programming.Python.3rd.Edition.Aug.2006.chm 1200665 2007-10-08 16:06 OReilly.Python.in.a.Nutshell.2nd.Edition.Jul.2006.chm 650532 2008-01-11 08:46 (ebook - chm) - Misc - Debian The Perfect Setup.2004.chm 10899089 2008-01-11 08:47 (ebook) O'Reilly - Linux Command Directory.2002.pdf 1048833 2008-01-11 08:49 No.Starch.Press.How.Linux.Works.What.Every.Super.User.Should.Know.eBook-LiB.2004.chm 7015722 2008-01-11 08:49 New Riders - Inside Linux.2000.pdf 32768 2008-01-11 08:54 O'Reilly The Cathedral & the Bazaar 1149953 2008-01-11 08:56 Prentice Hall - Linux Desk Reference, 2nd Edition.2001.chm 12642439 2008-01-11 08:57 Sybex.Linux.Power.Tools.eBook-LiB.2003.chm 1698083 2008-01-11 09:06 Oreilly,.Linux.Cookbook.(2004).DDU.chm 909417 2008-01-11 09:07 O'reilly - Apache - The Definitive Guide 3rd Ed.2002.chm 7494369 2008-01-11 09:09 No Starch - Linux Cook Book-1.2.2002.pdf 1348659 2008-01-11 09:09 Linux Kernel Development Second Edition.2005.chm 8150589 2008-01-13 08:10 Absolute.BSD-The.Ultimate.Guide.To.FreeBSD.pdf

(Note that you can immediately download a large part of the titles above at http://freebooks.homelinux.org/)

BOOKS THAT INDEED ARE USEFUL There’s no need to buy (or just search for 🙂 “proprietary” linux books. Some of the best manuals are available for free. Just to make a few examples:

  • Linux Fun: All the Linux basics, this book by Paul Cobbaut, while being a tag redhat oriented and de facto “unfinished”, is for sure one of the best books you can find and read about GNU/Linux. Just download and learn.
  • The Linux Cookbook: Tips and Techniques for Everyday Use by Michael Stutz. The second edition of this book has been edited by “No Starch Press” in 2002, and is also easily available on the web. However, Michael Stutz did put his first (2001) edition on line, and it is for sure one of the most useful books you can find.

  • The easiest converts (and perhaps the best) are the ones who didn’t really know they were using Windows in the first place–as long as the icons say “Internet”, “Email”, “Instant messaging” and “Word processor”, they’re perfectly content. Not good for business… because I won’t see them again for virus and spyware removal, but better for them.
  • I’ve just installed Windows! It looks great. Wait. Where’s Firefox? Where’s Opera? What’s up with Internet Explorer anyway? It doesn’t have any tabbed browsing! Where’s OpenOffice? What? There’s no office suite included with Windows? Where’s GAIM? How do I IM people using my Yahoo account? This MSN Messenger thing only works with MSN! How do you watch videos? What, you need to download lots of different players to watch different formats of videos? Where can I install everything that’s missing? I guess I’ll have to install OpenOffice, Firefox, GAIM, Realplayer and Quicktime player with Synaptic. Wait a minute. Where is Synaptic anyway? How do I install software? This stinks. I’m going back to Linux. Windows is just too hard to use for me. And you are, what?, supposed to “pay” for software? … it doesn’t make any sense!
  • It’s amazing how, since Ubuntu hit the scene, the Linux Desktop has just dramatically improved. Before Ubuntu, things were meandering along without much focus, it seems, with the best ‘out of the box’ experience being Knoppix… which unfortunately was too complicated for the average user to install, being focused -as it was and is- as a Live CD.
    It seems now that every six months (Ubuntu updating) -and without even taking account of other recent ‘polished’ distros like Sabayon, Mint, Mepis and so on- brings to the linux desktopscene as many, or more, improvements as Vista has to XP.

  • This is the first time I’m not using pirated software in my life!

On a standard GNU/Linux installation you have by default six virtual console or TTY sessions running on the VGA console. Six consoles (ttys) that you can access respectively through
Note that CTRL+ALT+F7 will bring you “back” to your X graphical environment, because the X terminal GUI console creates its own virtual console using the first available TTY after the six. This makes the GUI run as number 7.
Note also that CTRL+ALT+F8 will show you any eventual error message in text mode, while CTRL+ALT+F1 will show you the “booting” console (there’s a lot to learn about runlevels and startup sequence, btw).
The commands who and w will show you who’s using which console.

As ~S~ Kane points out: “disable the unused ttys full stop, better yet run only one and use screen, as screen on one tty is a lot more memory efficient than 6 ttys put together, plus it has other uses“.
Also, a little app named powertop can help diagnose what is eating power, namely the wakeup from idles of normally redundant background crud, it also offers some random tips on how to get the power down with kernel functions by adding to rc.local or whatever your distro uses (works the best under kernels more recent than 2.6.21).

It takes a little bit of learning with CLI apps, but once learned, they tend to be
a lot faster than equivalent GUI apps: njnia faster. Learning how to use effectively these consoles requires some experimentation. One of the best reasons to use console applications (CLI), instead of graphical interface applications (GUI), is in order to spare your laptop’s battery consumption.
If you learn for instance how to use a non graphical, yet very powerful browser like elinks in one console you’ll appreciate the MANY ADDED HOURS of undisturbed browsing (and downloading) because of the lower battery consumption (especially if you have also stopped/exited the X GUI on CTRL+ALT+F7).
This kind of non graphical approach is something that has nowadays become almost completely “counterintuitive” in the more and more heavily frilly “windozian” graphical environment, that has invaded the GNU/Linux world as well (compiz, beryl…).
Yet such a non graphical approach is hence, therefore and at the same time, a very powerful and almost forgotten weapon you might want to pick and add to your own über-seeker armory. Probieren geht über studieren, try it and enjoy.
Note that there are many powerful little programs you can use even inside the GUI environment (also inside your standard CTRL+ALT+F7 graphical terminal) in order to spare your batteries, for instance using a simple, yet powerful image viewer like feh, or simple, yet powerful, pdf viewers like gv, or “light” music and video players like xfmedia, and so on. The price? Each of tese programs has different command you need to learn. The gain? Battery life. The secret power of a “non GUI” environment But the real bliss, the real secret power, is…

  • learning how to browse effectively without a GUI (see elinks above)
  • download, downtorrent (rtorrent), bmon, wget the hell out of it,
  • hear music (for instance through moc “music on console”, that you’ll call with “mocp”… best audio player ever coded.)
  • write (“nano”, already installed)
  • work, calculate (best calculator is python itself of course), check your emails (sudo apt-get install alpine) but you can simply use the powerful elinks browser for your gmail: google has a perfectly working “non javascript” interface
  • a most amazing possibility is that you can even see/check your images collections (through a VGA/SVGA display) without a X server and from a tty, using the amazing zgv (sudo apt-get install zgv) from a tty terminal
  • search, check your internet speed (bmon)
  • read any kind of file! For instance doc files (through antiword) and open office files (through odt2txt) and even read your pdf files, very simple with pdftotext (usage: pdftotext pdf_target_file – | less), or, with a more complex approach, using fbi + fbgs.
    Finally you can even read those pesky chm files without any GUI running, using archmage in order to transform them in a html set that you’ll open and browse with elinks.
  • even play old games without a GUI: (sudo apt-get install nethack-console)

…inside a completely non-GUI tty, especially useful when you need to cross a big ocean working along, or when you need to wardrive, “wardownload” and “warwork” as long as possible with just your depleted laptop’s batteries -and your wit- to count on.

Some useful addresses:

NEWSGROUPS: The comp.os.linux.advocacy (COLA) newsgroup (Worth visting, but infested by trolls and (Microsoft’s) shills) whose only purpose is to disrupt the newsgroup, descending to any depth in a vain attempt to discredit Linux advocates).

The comp.os.linux.misc newsgroup.

The alt.os.linux.debian newsgroup.

The linux.debian.user newsgroup.

The linux.debian.project newsgroup.

USEFUL WEBSITES: ubuntu linux forums: http://www.ubuntuforums.org
Fridge discussions: http://www.ubuntuforums.org/forumdisplay.php?f=122

huge archive of linux tutorials: http://www.howtoforge.com
For instance: http://www.howtoforge.com/useful_linux_commands

linux documentation project: http://www.tldp.org
How-tos index: http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/HOWTO-INDEX/howtos.html

o’reilly openbooks: http://www.oreilly.com/openbook/
For instance: http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/debian/chapter/book/index.html

easylinux ubuntu dapper guide: http://easylinux.info/wiki/Ubuntu_dapper
easylinux ubuntu edgy guide: http://www.easylinux.info/wiki/Ubuntu:Edgy

USEFUL STUFF: Learning the shell: http://www.linuxcommand.org/learning_the_shell.php


Should debian’s synaptic repositories not be enough for you, the FSF/UNESCO database will point you towards ALL POSSIBLE GNU/Linux SOFTWARE: a zillion free applications! Of course they all comes with source code too, so that anyone can check and make sure there are no trojan/worms/viruses/malware/spyware openings.

Search it here

My friends Mammon_, The Grugq, ReZiDeNt, and a_p (with the help and contribution of some other good souls) are taking care of the relatively difficoult and for sure unsufficiently applauded important task of GNU/Linux reversing… that’s slow, coz they have other things to do and they work on the Bastard only when they have 1) time and 2) leisure and 3) lust…

In the mean time, you may as well want to check an interesting project by Evan Teran, at http://www.codef00.com/projects.php#Debugger.
Have also a look at his nice and well-finished GUI.

Also: some useful books can be found using the techniques described here.

Addon: 19/MAI/2007
If you mention EDB on linux why not rr0d?
http://rr0d.droids-corp.org/Or are we still going for the n00b linux factor… even with debuggers? 🙂

Also: some useful books can be found using the techniques described here.

This page is in fieri, please excuse its obvious shortcomings.

(c) 1952-2032: [fravia+], all rights reserved, coupla wrongs reversed


For instance Vista’s “content protection” requires that all devices (hardware and software drivers) set so-called “tilt bits” if they detect anything “unusual”.
For example if you have an unusual voltage fluctuation, maybe some jitters on bus signals, an unexpected return code from a function call, a device register that doesn’t contain the value that “should” have been there, if the hash of an output status message does not match the message, or anything similar, a tilt bit gets set. If any tilt bit gets set, then Vista will initiate a full reset of the graphics subsystem, so everything will restart, including re-authentication.
This means that all Vista boxes are vulnerable to a forced reboot by any process, any virus, any worm, any voltage fluctuation.
With the introduction of tilt bits, any designed-in resilience is gone. Every little (normally unnoticeable) glitch suddenly gets his moment of glory because it could be a sign of a hack attack. The effect that this will have on system reliability should require no further explanation 🙂

In fact I guess (and maybe hope) that in a few years it will be relatively easy to send some stuff down the pipe that will make all the tilt bits bork at once allover the planet 🙂

Note 2 (startup and shutdown)
If you have a older GNU/Linux system, have a look at inittab, inside the /etc folder: cat /etc/inittab for a complete list. Recent versions of Ubuntu, however, do not use init anymore to manage their services during startup or shutdown of the system. Instead they use “upstart” as replacement for the traditional sysvinit utility.
All the things that were in the /etc/inittab have been ported to upstart’s /etc/event.d/.
If you have a look at rc-default inside that directory, you’ll see the default runlevel set at two. You can change it by editing /etc/event.d/rc-default.
Anyway, if you want to start without a GUI, in order to stop GDM from loading in runlevel 2 (Ubuntu default runlevel) you can rename /etc/rc2.d/S30gdm to /etc/rc2.d/K70gdm (70=100-30). For instance with the command

sudo mv /etc/rc2.d/S30gdm /etc/rc2.d/K70gdm

The S tells Ubuntu to start the process, and the K tells Ubuntu to kill it. The numbers are the order in which it should be started and (100-started=)stopped, and may be different on your box. Too complicate? Install and use BUM (boot up manager), a very useful tool to understand and finetune your boot up (and shut down) sequence.

Original Page: http://fravia.com/linux.htm

Shared from Read It Later

Elyssa Durant, Ed.M. 

United States of America 

Forgive typos! iBLAME iPhone

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