Questions specifically about Linux, as opposed to Unix-like systems in general, or to questions about a specific distribution or program.

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53
votes
15answers
5k views

How do you choose a distribution? [closed]

I'm currently looking at putting a Linux (although BSD is still an option) distribution on my old laptop. However, I'm not sure how to wade through all of my options - rolling releases versus not, ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

What does “Empty print file” mean and how can I diagnose it?

When trying to print I get this error. What does it mean? How can I diagnose it?
3
votes
1answer
1k views

DVD drive constanly spins up/down when idle

DVD drive constantly spins up/down when idle on notebook. I cannot track what is causing it. The process of spinning up/down is quite noisy and disturbing. lsof cannot find anything that have device ...
2
votes
4answers
4k views

Linux partition table

What kind of partition table does Linux create by default? Is it msdos? Is it different depending on the Linux distribution used(I'm using Ubuntu)? Is there any command line utility I could use to ...
11
votes
1answer
9k views

How to test swap partition

I'm trying to diagnose some random segfaults on a headless server and one thing that seems curious is that they only seem to happen under memory pressure and my swap size will not go above 0. How can ...
5
votes
2answers
696 views

Resources for very low-level (board bring-up)

I've worked with a few embedded systems, but now I'd like to make my own piece of hardware and despite a pretty thorough knowledge of Linux, I have no idea how to get Linux up and running on new ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Preventing mounting some partition by user (gnome+udisk)

I'd like to prevent automounting one partition (known UUID etc. ) on one external harddrive. Others should be automounted. Distro is 'modern' (uses lots of beta software) and uses udisk+udev for ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

multigateway routing for specific src port

I have two gateway to access internet, somehow I want to load balancing it, so far its working, but some connection or service need persistent gateway IP to be used, so the client should never change ...
13
votes
5answers
259 views

Good website to link to for generic linux advocacy [closed]

I would like to have a link on website, both advertising the fact that I use (GNU/)linux, and pointing the curious reader to a source to learn more information. But I'm having trouble finding the ...
5
votes
5answers
562 views

linux x.org alternative

We have so many options for window managers, shells, desktop environments, distros, and kernel architectures under Linux, but why after (maybe) 20 years do we only have X.org server (including its ...
3
votes
4answers
245 views

How do you work with old servers?

I've recently fallen into doing more work on LAMP servers, which is pretty new to me. At first it wasn't a problem migrating my preference files, but as I've grown and learned more, my preferences ...
2
votes
1answer
482 views

Is PXE in a 802.1x network for LTSP possible?

I have an LTSP server in a network that requires 802.1x authentication. Is it possible to boot the terminals through PXE without disabling the 802.1x authentication? If not, are there alternatives to ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

How to change font-size, number of rows / columns on a terminal

I am running a Linux server (without xwindows or any kind of GUI), with a modern 22" LCD monitor. Given the huge size of my monitor, I would like to increase the number of rows and columns on my ...
32
votes
7answers
20k views

Linux Kernel: Good beginners' tutorial [closed]

I'm interested in modifying the kernel internals, applying patches, handling device drivers and modules, for my own personal fun. Is there a comprehensive resource for kernel hacking, intended for ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

How to associate the Fedora Start menu with the Windows keyboard?

I would like to associate the Start menu with the Windows key on the keyboard?
8
votes
7answers
29k views

Which shell should I use - tcsh vs bash? [closed]

I have been using tcsh for a long time now. But whenever I am searching for something, I often find that the methods specified are bash specific. Even the syntax for the shell scripts is different for ...
12
votes
3answers
6k views

How does keyboard mapping work in Linux? [duplicate]

I have always had trouble with understanding the way keyboard mapping and related things are put together in Linux. When things break, it makes my blood boil if I have to sift through endless ...
8
votes
4answers
192 views

Where to search for more info if I don't have Internet?

For example, I was reading setuid man page today. It says: If the effective UID of the caller is root, the real UID and saved set-user-ID are also set. I don't know what set-user-ID is. How can ...
14
votes
3answers
5k views

Full disk encryption with password-less authentication in Linux

I have a fairly standard disk encryption setup in Debian 5.0.5: unencrypted /boot partition, and encrypted sdaX_crypt that contains all other partitions. Now, this is a headless server installation ...
6
votes
1answer
399 views

Linux kernel 2.6 on ARM

I have compiled and installed the 2.6 kernel on an ARM board. I am using the ARM mini2440 board. I would like to know if there is already a way to access the General Purpose I/O port pins? Or will ...
70
votes
12answers
10k views

What is the benefit of compiling your own linux kernel?

What benefit could I see by compiling a Linux kernel myself? Is there some efficiency you could create by customizing it to your hardware?
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Can I limit a user (and their apps) to one network interface?

As the title really. I've actually got two scenarios to apply this: Multiseat Desktop: two network connections both with internet gateways and two accounts doing bandwidth-intensive tasks on each. I ...
16
votes
4answers
948 views

Linux adoption path for a .NET developer [closed]

I am a .NET C# programmer, I love the .NET stack. I have tried Linux several times but every time I got put off as I could not do anything on it .. (like program for it or on it). Ever since Mono was ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

Best way to do full disk encryption?

I have got a bit lost and am not sure which technology to choose for full disk encryption. It is hard to tell if the information out there is still up to date. Is there a current best practice ...
13
votes
8answers
5k views

What are some common tools for intrusion detection? [closed]

Please give a brief description for each tool.
7
votes
4answers
3k views

Downsides of umask 077?

What are the cons, for having a restrictive umask of 077? A lot of distros (I believe all, except Red Hat? ) have a default umask of 022, configured in /etc/profile. This seems way too insecure for a ...
7
votes
9answers
465 views

What is/are the standard CLI program(s) to manage users and groups?

As the title says, I'm basically asking about user management from the command line (e.g. on a system where there are no graphical tools available). In the past I've used several different programs to ...
38
votes
6answers
8k views

Software developer switching from Linux to OS X, what are the gotchas?

I have used Ubuntu/Fedora/Red Hat/Suse but haven't used OS X at all. If I have to start using OS X regularly, what are the things I should look out for? Tools I use are GNU tool chain, C++/Boost, ...
15
votes
5answers
12k views

Can we get compiler information from an elf binary?

Is there some chance to know how a binary was built, under Linux? (and or other Unix) Compiler, version, time, flags etc... I looked at readelf and couldn't find much, but there might be other ways ...
32
votes
9answers
14k views

Why put things other than /home to a separate partition?

So recently a Debian 5.0.5 installer offered me to have separate /usr, /home, /var and /tmp partitions (on one physical disk). What is the practical reason for this? I understand that /home can be ...
9
votes
5answers
3k views

vim on FreeBSD does not react on arrow keys correctly and other vi-like behaviours

I tried to use vim on FreeBSD (via ssh on Linux xterm-compatible terminal). However vim behaves similar to vi out-of-box. For example it does not react on delete key, insert F character instead of ...
22
votes
4answers
46k views

linux: How can I view all UUIDs for all available disks on my system?

My /etc/fstab contains this: # / was on /dev/sda1 during installation UUID=77d8da74-a690-481a-86d5-9beab5a8e842 / ext4 errors=remount-ro 0 1 There are several other disks on ...
19
votes
4answers
20k views

How do I make multiple directories at once in a directory?

I know with mkdir I can do mkdir A B C D E F to create each directory. How do I create directories A-Z or 1-100 with out typing in each letter or number?
3
votes
1answer
272 views

What are the different software packaging formats and which distributions support them as part of base install?

Which distros support RPMs? Which distros support DEB packages? What other distros and package formats exists? Here is what I think I know, but am interested in getting a more precise answer: RPM ...
37
votes
9answers
11k views

Easy incremental backups to an external hard drive

For a while I used Dirvish to do incremental backups of my machines, but it is slightly cumbersome to configure, and if you do not carry a copy of your configuration it can be hard to reproduce ...
3
votes
3answers
928 views

Which Linux distributions have highest install-base as of mid-2010? [closed]

Which Linux distributions have the most installed machines? What is the distribution in terms of distro, architecture, and version? e.g. Ubuntu vs. RHEL vs. SUSE vs. Fedora vs. CentOS vs. Arch ...
7
votes
4answers
425 views

What installer types should commercial software use to support Linux?

The source code in not open or free, so compilation at installation is not an option. So far I have seen developers that: provide a tar.gz file and it is up to user to uncompress in suitable ...
7
votes
6answers
673 views

Linux Programmable Controller

I'm looking for a programmable Linux controller for home automation and general fun projects. Requirements: Controlling electric appliances - On/Off switches and dimmers (perhaps using relays) ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

How do you free up resources in Ubuntu?

What steps do you take to make a vanilla Ubuntu system run faster and use less memory? I'm using Ubuntu as the OS for my general purpose PC, but it's on slightly older hardware and I want to get as ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

Can anybody recommend an HTTP debugging proxy?

I would like something that allows me to: Inspect all HTTP(S) traffic between my computer and the Internet, including 127.0.0.1 Modify incoming or outgoing data It would also be nice if it had a ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I tweak the kernel for total swap out?

I would like to deploy the following swapping policy: By default all pages in memory should also be in swap space. When a page in memory is changed (i.e. dirty), the page should be written out as ...
39
votes
3answers
17k views

How do SO (shared object) numbers work?

I'm aware that shared objects under Linux use "so numbers", namely that different versions of a shared object are given different extensions, for example: example.so.1 example.so.2 I understand ...
6
votes
5answers
812 views

Download Manager for Linux

I need some good download manager for Linux (like IDM on windows). I want it to be able to install a browser plugin too, which allows you to download movies from youtube or other sites easily. It ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Configuring the display properties on openSuse (Gnome) running as VirtualBox VM

I just created a VM using Suse Studio and I built just a simple openSUSE 11.3 VM based on the gnome template. I have not added any other software (except for Firefox and the Kernel modules, to be able ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

How to integrate sound with desktop events?

On Windows, the Sounds & Multimedia control panel allows the connection of sound snippets to various operating system events, like window movements, process start/stop, and start-up/shutdown. I ...
5
votes
1answer
849 views

Is it safe to disable OOM killer in a web server/reverse proxy?

I have Linux machine dedicated to serving static contents and PHP pages with Apache. Apache also work as a reverse proxy in a subdomain. I moved the PostgreSQL database to another Linux machine. Is ...
15
votes
4answers
13k views

What is the equivalent of Active Directory on Linux

I have a couple of machines at home (plus a number of Linux boxes running in VMs) and I am planning to use one of them as a centralized file server. Since I am more a Linux user rather than a ...
6
votes
5answers
372 views

Linux as a complete development platform?

I want to make my Fedora Linux capable of following : Use Linux for complete development platform without requiring any other OS installation but still able to build and test programs under ...
46
votes
11answers
12k views

Is it good to make a separate partition for /boot?

I've seen some people make a separate partition for /boot. What is the benefit of doing this? What problems might I encounter in the future by doing this? Also, except for /home and /boot, which ...
9
votes
5answers
746 views

What should I expect if I switch from Ubuntu to openSuse

As probably most of you I have been long using Ubuntu. I'm not an expert, but I have been using different distros until I settled with Ubuntu. I started using SuSE 5.x, Conectiva (that later became ...