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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14
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4answers
10k 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
37k views

What is the best text-mode browser? [closed]

I am looking for one that is updated frequently and has support for many things. Please also state how to install it.
14
votes
4answers
461 views

How do I learn what I can do with /proc and /sys

I'd like to know more about the advanced uses of the /proc and /sys virtual filesystems, but I don't know where to begin. Can anyone suggest any good sources to learn from? Also, since I think sys has ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Can the same ext4 disk be mounted from two hosts, one readonly?

I know that mounting the same disk with an ext4 filesystem from two different servers (it's an iSCSI vloume) will likely corrupt data on the disk. My question is will it make any difference if one of ...
14
votes
3answers
7k views

How to read environment variables of a process

Linux's /proc/<pid>/environ does not update (as I understand it, the file contain the initial environment of the process). How can I read a process's current environment?
14
votes
6answers
18k views

How to see disk details like manufacturer in Linux

With sfdisk -s I can see the disk capacity as follows: $ sfdisk -s /dev/cciss/c0d0: 143338560 total: 143338560 blocks How do I see disk details like disk manufacturer? I tried hdparm, but got an ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

What is Linux doing differently that allows me to remove/replace files where Windows would complain the file is currently in use?

The example I have is Minecraft. When running Bukkit on Linux I can remove or update the .jar files in the /plugins folder and simply run the 'reload' command. In Windows, I have to take the whole ...
14
votes
1answer
4k views

init process: ancestor of all processes?

I have always learned that the init process is the ancestor of all processes. Why does process 2 have a PPID of 0? $ ps -ef | head -n 3 UID PID PPID C STIME TTY TIME CMD root ...
14
votes
2answers
12k views

What do the scripts in /etc/profile.d do?

I am reading about basic shell scripting from Linux Command Line and Shell Scripting Bible. It says that the /etc/profile file sets the environment variables at startup of the Bash shell. The ...
14
votes
2answers
49k views

How to find the installation path for a software under linux?

Under linux, I launch a software by typing, e.g., fluidplot. How can I find the installation path for this software?
14
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
4k views

How to detect memory type under Linux?

Which Linux utility can tell me if I have registered or unbuffered ECC memory in my server? Lshw and dmidecode do not work for me; dmidecode provides no information about registered vs. unbuffered: ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

How to use three monitors on a laptop?

I have a laptop running Ubuntu 9.04 with a dual-head setup: laptop panel + external monitor. I'd like to add another monitor but the laptop has a single VGA port, so my question is: what are my ...
14
votes
3answers
3k views

Determining Specific File Responsible for High I/O

This is a simple problem but the first time I've ever had to actually fix it: finding which specific files/inodes are the targets of the most I/O. I'd like to be able to get a general system overview, ...
14
votes
1answer
17k views

How can I set up logrotate to rotate logs hourly?

According the the Unix and Linux Administration Handbook and man, logrotate has options for daily, weekly, and monthly, but is there a way to add an hourly option? This blog post mentions you can set ...
14
votes
2answers
5k views

Why does high disk I/O reduce system responsiveness/performance?

I never quite understood why high disk I/O slowed the system so much. It's strange to me because I would expect the slow-down to affect only those processes dependent on the hard/optical drive data, ...
14
votes
3answers
4k views

Are multiple @daily crontab entries processed in order, serially?

I want two jobs to run sometime every day, serially, in exactly the order I specify. Will this crontab reliably do what I want? @daily job1 @daily job2 I'm assuming they run one after the other, ...
14
votes
1answer
12k views

How to use Linux kernel driver bind/unbind interface for USB-HID devices?

First background. I am developing a driver for Logitech game-panel devices. It's a keyboard with a screen on it. The driver is working nicely but by default the device is handled by HID. In order to ...
13
votes
7answers
15k views

Disable screen blanking on text console

I'm running linux clusters, mostly on SLES10. The servers are mostly blades, accessed via remote console. There is a real console in the server room, but switched off. I would like to disable the ...
13
votes
4answers
7k views

What is the meaning of $? in a shell script?

When going through one shell script, I saw the term "$?". What is the significance of this term?
13
votes
6answers
1k views

Can a Linux command have capital letter(s)?

Can a Linux command have capital letter(s)? I know it's supported but i want to be sure if it's a "problem" or considered "not a good thing"?
13
votes
5answers
3k views

Getting information on a machine's hardware in Linux

How can I check what hardware I have? (With BIOS version etc.)
13
votes
6answers
689 views

How to achieve portability with sed -i (in-place editing)?

I'm writing shell scripts for my server, which is a shared hosting running FreeBSD. I also want to be able to test them locally, on my PC running Linux. Hence, I'm trying to write them in a portable ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

How can I de-fragment a drive using Ubuntu?

Is it necessary to defrag drives in Ubuntu? If so, how do I do it and how often should it be done?
13
votes
6answers
6k views

What's the best way to partition your drive?

I usually install Linux on a single partition since I only use it as a personal desktop. However every now and then I reinstall the box and what I simply do is to move my files around with an ...
13
votes
3answers
15k views

Which users are allowed to log in via SSH by default?

When I set up my Debian 6, I was wondering, which users apart from root whose password I know can log into my system via SSH? When I install Apache 2 a user called www-data gets created. Does this ...
13
votes
4answers
813 views

Is there any reason why I get ^[[A when I press up arrow at the console login screen?

Whenever I'm at the console login, I press up arrow intentionally to see the previously typed commands. But I see this ^[[A. But when I press Ctrl Alt Print Screen Scroll Lock Pause Break Page Up ...
13
votes
3answers
3k views

Automatically rename files when they are placed in a specific directory

Is it possible to automatically rename a file when it's placed in a specific directory? For example I have a directory named "dir0".I move or copy a file named "file1" to "dir0".then "file1" should ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

How secure is keeping non-root owned scripts in /etc/init.d?

I have an application which runs as a daemon and is controlled by a script in /etc/init.d Sometimes we need to change some parameters of startup/control of these scripts and then restart the daemon. ...
13
votes
3answers
4k views

(How) can I create a tmpfs as a regular (non-root) user?

The distribution is an Ubuntu server running the 2.6.35-30 Linux kernel. I would like to have a directory that sits completely in memory. Is this possible without root privileges?
13
votes
2answers
4k views

Can I watch the progress of a `sync` operation?

I've copied a large file to a USB disk mounted on a Linux system with async. This returns to a command prompt relatively quickly, but when I type sync, of course, it all has to go to disk, and that ...
13
votes
5answers
10k views

How to find which process is regularly writing to disk?

How can I find which process is constantly writing to disk? I like my workstation to be close to silent and I just build a new system (P8B75-M + Core i5 3450s -- the 's' because it has a lower max ...
13
votes
2answers
48k views

How can get a list of all scheduled cron jobs on my machine?

My sysadmin has set up a bunch of cron jobs on my machine. I'd like to know exactly what is scheduled for what time. How can I get that list?
13
votes
3answers
19k views

Yum: How can I view variables like $releasever, $basearch & $YUM0?

I am setting up a yum repository, and need to debug some of the URLs in the yum.conf file. I need to know why is Scientific Linux trying to grab this URL, when I was expecting it to grab another URL: ...
13
votes
3answers
11k views

Extracting SFX files in Linux

I am trying to extract an SFX file under Linux Mint 15 (64 bit) but it's not working. I've done chmod +x on the file and tried to run it like a script with no luck (it gives me an error that there's ...
13
votes
3answers
29k views

Why the default eth0 interface is down by default on CentOS?

I am already a little bit familiar with Linux distros like Debian or Ubuntu (yeah, very similar) but I wanted to try Red Hat based - CentOS 6.2 . I have installed it on my Windows 7 host in virtualBox ...
13
votes
3answers
4k views

Understanding /dev and its subdirs and files

$ ls -l /dev/stdin /dev/fd/0 lrwx------ 1 tim tim 64 2011-08-07 09:53 /dev/fd/0 -> /dev/pts/2 lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 15 2011-08-06 08:14 /dev/stdin -> /proc/self/fd/0 $ ls -l /dev/pts/2 ...
13
votes
2answers
25k views

What is the difference between ioctl(), unlocked_ioctl() and compat_ioctl()?

Going through the linux 2.6.36 source code at lxr.linux.no, I could not find the ioctl() method in file_operations. Instead I found two new calls: unlocked_ioctl() and compat_ioctl(). What is the ...
13
votes
1answer
229 views

Bash No Longer Changes Directory

My bash shell will no longer change directory with cd. I noticed it earlier when working and found that any new shells I opened (terminal or xterm etc) would be stuck in the home directory and could ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I keep control+d from disconnecting my session?

I regularly ssh to a centos 5 box. Somehow they keys are mapped so that control+d will log me out of my current shell. If I am sudo'ed to another use it puts me back to the previous user. If I am not ...
13
votes
2answers
10k views

Reply on same interface as incoming?

I have a system with two interfaces. Both interfaces are connected to the internet. One of them is set as the default route; a side effect of this is that if a packet comes in on the non-default-route ...
13
votes
1answer
429 views

What happens when you rsync without a destination?

To make the story short, I did an rsync: rsync -avP root@exampleserver.com:/tmp/ And I forgot to put in my source directory... :( I really meant to run: rsync -avP /tmp/ ...
13
votes
4answers
5k views

How to re-load all running applications from swap space into RAM?

If my desktop run out of memory and swaps a lot then I free or kill the application wasting my RAM. But, after that, all my desktop/applications have been swapped and are horribly slow, do you know a ...
13
votes
1answer
19k views

How to use command line to change volume?

I am trying to control the volume using my programming script. How can I do the following in Fedora 15, Ubuntu linux? Mute/ Unmute Volume up and volume down Note: Please note that I use a web USB ...
13
votes
4answers
480 views

Corruption-proof SD card filesystem for embedded Linux?

Recently we had a rather unpleasant situation with our customer - Raspberry Pi based "kiosk" used to display remote sensing data (nothing more fancy than a kiosk mode browser displaying a ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

How do pdflush, kjournald, swapd, etc interoperate?

Recently saw a question that sparked this thought. Couldn't really find an answer here or via the Google machine. Basically, I'm interested in knowing how the kernel I/O architecture is layered. For ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

Who creates /etc/{group,gshadow,passwd,shadow}-?

In any linux system I have access to (a couple of Archlinuxes, an Ubuntu, a Debian Sid and a Gentoo) there are the following 4 files in /etc/, all ending with a dash: /etc/group- /etc/gshadow- ...
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 ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

Shebang line with `#!/usr/bin/env command --argument` fails on Linux

I've got a simple script: #!/usr/bin/env ruby --verbose # script.rb puts "hi" On my OSX box, it runs fine: osx% ./script.rb hi However, on my linux box, it throws an error linux% ./script.rb ...
13
votes
2answers
854 views

How to detect if a disk is seeking?

I can use a variety of tools to measure the volume of disk I/O currently flowing through the system (such as iotop and iostat) but I'm curious if it's possible to easily detect if a disk is seeking a ...