Tag: boot

By Emma Rosenberg

64-windows7 logoThis article will detail how to dual boot Windows 7 and the latest Ubuntu distribution on a single computer using two hard drives. This is assuming you have two internal hard drives with an installation of Windows 7 already existing on one of them, and the second hard drive empty and ready for use. As a quick review of thesteps we will be going through, here are the steps in their simplest form. First, we will install a new Windows 7 copy or keep the existing installation. The second step is to acquire the latest Ubuntu distribution and then transfer it onlogo-ubuntuto either a DVD, CD, or USB drive. Third, we will install Ubuntu onto the second hard drive. Lastly, we will make modifications to Windows 7 and its boot program, in order to boot Ubuntu from its boot menu. Once these steps are done, you will have a computer that can boot both Windows 7 from one drive, and Ubuntu from the other, and freely alternative between the two. Having such a system can be useful for anyone trying to create an Ubuntu dedicated server on a Windows 7 system.

The first step is already assumed, so if you have not installed Windows 7, do so. We will begin on the second step, which is acquiring the latest Ubuntu distribution and then putting the downloaded image onto a DVD, CD, or USB flash drive. Go to the Ubuntu main website and go under the Downloads section. Download the release of your choice, but the latest distribution is always recommended. Most modern systems have a built iso burner, so proceed to burn Ubuntu onto the DVD/CD. If you don’t have an iso burner, place the.iso onto your USB flash drive.

Once that is completed, boot the computer from either the DVD, CD, or USB drive, depending on which option you chose. The installer will start automatically. Go through the initial steps per its instructions until you get to the “Installation type” page. There will be three options: Install Ubuntu alongside Windows 7, Replace Windows 7 with Ubuntu, and “Something else”. The last of the options, “Something else”, should be selected, and click continue. The first two options will install on the current hard drive, which is not what we want.

You will be brought to Ubuntu’s partitioning tool. Initialize your second hard disk by selecting it and then click on the button, New Partition Table. It will give a warning, which you can disregard and click continue. Once the hard drive has been initialized, you will create a partition on it made for Ubuntu. Make two partitions for / and Swap. To create these, choose the free spaces under SDB, and then select Add. The first partition is mounted in /boot, where you can choose between ext2 or ext4. The default disk space is optimal, so just leave the option as is and press Add. As for the second partition, it will be used for /, or the root file system directory. The most optimal disk space to designate for this partition is 4.4 GB, with file system of ext4. Press ok and add.

With these two partitions successfully implemented, we must select the location which the boot loader is installed in. The default location is the Master Boot Record of disk number 1. Do not install it here. Instead, choose the Master Boot Record in disk number 2, where Ubuntu is installed. In order to accomplish this, alter the “Device of boot loader installation” from SDA to SDB. Make sure it is SDB, and then click Install Now.

Following the installation, the computer will boot to Windows 7. The last step of the process is to add Ubuntu as an entry in the Windows boot menu. We have to access the Windows Boot Configuration Data (BCD), which can be done using quality freeware programs such as EasyBCD. Go to the EasyBCD website and to the downloads section, and select the “Download free for limited, non-commercial use.” The installation is straightforward and simple.

Once installed, load up EasyBCD and select Add New Entry tab. Select the Linux/BSD, and select GRUB2 from the Type menu. Change the name field to the edition of Ubuntu you installed, and then select Add Entry. Select the Edit Boot Menu button to check your results. If everything is correct, exit out of EasyBCD. Restart your computer and see if Ubuntu is in the boot menu for Windows 7. If you’ve followed this guide, then everything will work perfectly. Congratulations, you now have a system that can boot both Windows 7 and Ubuntu on two different hard drives!

Learn more about the capabilities of using a WIndows system for the purpose of a Ubuntu dedicated server.

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By Mario Pesce

Introduction

When a few years ago I decided to move from Windows to Linux (I created on my machine separate partitions for Linux and booted from Lilo or Grub either into Windows or into Linux, according to job requirements.

I normally used my laptop PC during the day in a company that had a Windows based LAN and therefore I normally had to boot in Windows during the day whereas I would boot into either Windows or Linux at home. This approach has a few disadvantages as follows:

  • My work e-mails were in Microsoft Outlook and I had to boot under Windows to access them.
    I used KMail (and later Mozilla Thundirbird) for my personal e-mails and I had to boot under Linux to access them.
  • I could access Window folders from Linux and copy data, but I could not access any of the Linux folders from Windows.

I concluded that there should have been a better way to use my PC and I looked for a solution to access both Linux and Windows applications without rebooting.

I investigated some of the available products. I found that the wine or CodeWeavers Crossover supported most common Microsoft Windows applications, but some other ones would not work. VMWare looked interesting, but finally I decided to buy Win4Lin (originally developed by Netraverse to support only Windows 95, 98 or ME, even if it allowed to install and use many more recent applications such as Office 2000 or other ones developed for XP without a glitch.

Some good advantages that I found in Win4Lin are the following:

  • Win4Lin has a very small overhead and pretty good performance. I discovered, after the installation, that sometimes applications run faster under Win4Lin than in the original Windows environment. The performance is due to the fact that Win4Lin is not really an emulator; it creates an environment where Windows applications run in native mode. This is done by providing modules that allow Windows to run as a Linux process.
  • The installation of Win4Lin is pretty straightforward.

Recently I had to install Linux on a new machine and I decided to install both a new OpenSUSE 11.0 distribution and the new version of Win4LinPro that now supports Windows 2000 and XP (according to the company Vista should also be supported in future).

The objective of this report is to give you an overview of the new Win4LinPro application and of the approach that I followed to migrate my dual boot machine to a single boot system.

Installing Win4LinPro

Win4LinPro is now distributed and supported by Virtual Bridges. You can easily order it online at the Win4Lin.com site and download either an ISO version or one of the Debian or RPM packages. Virtual Bridges confirms the order with an e-mail which includes also the licence code that must be entered during the installation.

Since I had an RPM based Linux distribution (OpenSuSE 11.0), I downloaded the RPM package. I checked the instructions of the UserManual which require to pre-install also the gcc and the kernel-source packages and then I could install the RPM without any problems.

The installation procedure of the original Win4Lin was more complex because it required to download a special Netraverse-enabled kernel according to each distribution. The new installer does not require this step because it automatically compiles and installs the kernel modules needed to support Win4LinPro.

The Windows installation has also become simpler. The original product required to copy files from your Windows 95, 98 or ME CD to disk and eventually install Windows. In the new version you can use the win4console command to request a Windows session installation and to define how it should be performed (installation directory, installation media etc.) You can specify that you want to install from the XP CD and the installation is performed as if it were a normal XP installation. The win4console allows also to install multiple copies of Windows and the system allows to run two of them concurrently (this could be useful if you want to have a Windows XP and a Windows 2000 session).

After the installation is complete, if you have used the defaults, you will find a Windows icon on your desktop and you can use it to start or shut-down your Windows session terminal. Alternatively you can use the win4 shell command.

You can install new applications in Windows in the same way as you would do with a normal Windows system. I installed various applications such as Microsoft Office, Acrobat Reader, Eudora, HotMetal PRO and a new version of Internet Explorer without any problem.

I had some problems with the original installation to use a COM device for a dial up connection. The new version allows Windows to connect to almost any type of Ethernet network from regular Internet access to Active Directory authentication, and anything in between.

Using Win4LinPro

Win4LinPro creates an interesting Windows environment which is pretty well integrated with Linux.

The personal Windows environment is normally created by win4LinPro in the home directory of the user who performs the installation. When the installation is complete, you will find two image files with the .IMG suffix which are used by Windows as the C: drive (used to store Windows programs and data) and the D: drive (used to store user settings).

By default Win4LinPro automatically configures shared folders so that Windows can access Linux files and Linux can access Windows files. Your Linux home directory is accessible from the Windows HOSTHOME path. You can also use the shared documents directory from Windows by double clicking on the Windows My Documents icon and accessing the path HOSTDocuments.

The Win4LinPro environment is surely much better integrated with Linux than a native Windows installation and you will have at your disposal the power of Linux and Windows applications without any need to reboot.

Moreover Win4LinPro offers greater virus protection than a stand-alone Windows installation. You can easily save your Windows directory as a tar archive and many viruses will not have any effect as explained below:

  • Boot sector or other boot time viruses. There is no Windows boot sector and therefore they are ineffective.
  • FAT32, VFAT or NTFS related viruses. Win4Lin installs Windows files in subdirectories of the Linux filesystem and therefore these viruses are ineffective.
  • Executable files viruses. These can still attack, but will not affect the Linux system.
  • Macro viruses. These can still attack Windows macros, but you can use Linux permissions to make them write protected.

Another protection is given by the snapshot running mode which insures that data in the C: virtual drive cannot be changed

Win4Lin Limitations and Peculiarities. Following main points should be considered:

    • Win4Lin offers different networking options that you can choose during installation and modify later (if needed). The basic TCP/IP and UDP/IP networking is the most secure and provides the best use of resources. If you need more advanced networking options you can use the NAT neworking or the Bridged networking options well explained in the UserManual.
    • Win4LIN does not support direct Windows access to USB devices. However, if they are configured in Linux, they can be accessed indirectly (You can use the My Host Computer function from the start menu to access devices mounted automatically by Linux)

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Removing the original Window partition

One negative point of having both an original Windows partition and the Win4Lin installation is the waste of space (for instance I had MS Office applications installed on both partitions). This setup could offer better security, in case of problems to either the Windows or Linux installation, but, at some point, I decided that I could use better the disk space and work without double booting with Linux and Windows under Win4LinPro.

To avoid loosing useful data, I performed following activities:

  • I identified the Outlook mail boxes by using the Windows Find option with “*.pst” and copied them to the Win4LinPro environment.
  • I identified the Outlook Express maild boxes by using the Windows Find option with “*.dbx” and copied them to the Win4LinPro environment.
  • I identified my Eudora mail boxes (used for my personal mail) by using the Windows Find option with “*.mbx” and copied them to the Win4LinPro environment.
  • I found the ‘Favorites’ folders used by Internet Explorer and I copied it and its sub-folders to the Win4LinPro environment.
  • I copied the ‘My Documents’ folder and all other folders that I used in my Windows environment

Making the above copies in the Win4LinPro environment is relatively easy, because Win4LinPro can access mnt directly. You can mount the original Windows partition in the Linux /mnt directory by using a command such as:

$sudo mount /dev/sdb3 /media/windows -t vfat -o umask=000

Once the partition is mounted, you can access it in the Win4LinPro Windows session in the mnt Windows folder.

Once I was satisfied that all important data existed in the Win4LinPro environment, I decided to reformat the Windows partition and copy my Linux /home directory, that was included in the main root hierarchy, to a separate partition. This activity is described in detail below.

Using the freed partition for Linux

A good description of how to move /home to a different partition can be found in a good tutorial by Daniel Robbins at IBM DeveloperWorks. The main steps are as following:

  • Create a filesystem in the new partition by using a command such as mkfs /dev/???
  • Mount the new filesystem in /mnt with a command such as mount /dev/??? /mnt/newhome
  • Drop to single user mode (init 1)
  • Change to the current home directory and enter a copy command such as cp -ax * /mnt/newhome. The ax option causes cp to copy in recursive mode by preserving all file attributes.
  • Rename the old /home to /home.old by using the command mv /home /home.old and mount the new one with mount /dev/??? /home.

When you are sure that everything works correctly, you can remove the /home.old directory.

Conclusions

I believe that the approach described above allows an optimal use of both Linux and Windows resources.

It is often difficult to use only Linux, because one normally has to work in Windows based LANs, interact with other Windows or Linux users or just because one is too lazy to learn new applications instead of those normally used in a Windows environment.

A double boot system is a inconvenient to use. The solution proposed above allows a much better usage of the computer resources and time.

Mario Pesce – Computer consultant

email: mario@datamission.co.uk

blog: http://mariopesceuk.blogspot.com/

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Redhat Linux Runlevels

Redhat Linux Runlevels

By Tom Connelly

The order in which Linux starts system services is governed by what runlevel is assigned to the service in question. Some runlevels will boot or halt the system itself, while others control regular system services or even programs that the administrator installs and wants started at a particular time in the boot cycle. These runlevels are controlled with scripts that are defined by runlevel named directories in which they reside. The default runlevel for the system is set in the /etc/inittab file, but it can be overridden from the GRUB boot loader menu. Redhat Enterprise Linux has six runlevels.

Runlevel 0: Halt the system. When the system is sent to this runlevel, everything shuts down and the system is completely halted. If the computer’s BIOS supports it, the machine is powered off at the end of the process.

Runlevel 1: This is single user mode. In single user mode an administrator can do all sorts of maintenance, like backups, restores, and repairs. This is useful because no other users can be logged in and the system is not prone to having others change things, which is important when this sort of work is being done. Networking is not enabled so the network interfaces and infrastructure are offline.

Runlevel 2: In this runlevel, multiuser functionality is enabled with only some networking services enabled.

Runlevel 3: Multiuser mode is enabled with full networking functionality.

Runlevel 4: This runlevel is currently not used.

Runlevel 5: The X Windows graphical user interface system is enabled and the user is brought to a graphical login screen. After logging in, the user is taken to their graphical desktop as in all of the popular operating systems of today. Networking is fully enabled.

Runlevel 6: This is the reboot runlevel. It does what it says and reboots the system. You should never set the /etc/inittab default runlevel to number 6 for obvious reasons. Your system would be in an endless reboot loop.

Each runlevel has a bunch of scripts associated with it. Runlevel 3 scripts are located in the /etc/rc.d/rc3.d directory. The runlevel directories are rc0.d through rc6.d, and they are all located under the /etc/rc.d directory. Whatever the default runlevel is set to in the /etc/inittab file, the system will look in the appropriate runlevel directory and execute the scripts in numeric order, starting and killing services according to the scripts. The start scripts start with an “S” and the kill scripts with a “K”. The scripts in the runlevel directories are really just symbolic links to the real script files in the /etc/rc.d/init.d directory. The /etc/rc.d/ rc(number).d directory is hard linked to /etc/rc(number).d directory, so you can use the shorter one to get to the same place.

Knowing about Linux runlevels is an important part about knowing how to handle a Linux system, and the knowledge translates to UNIX systems as well. There will be minor and subtle differences, such as varying directory names and different boot loaders, but it is essentially the same framework.

Tom has worked for technology companies for 15+ years starting as a software quality assurance tech and migrating over to IT as a UNIX, Linux, and Windows systems operator and administrator. The Techbait technology and tech products portal is the place to be for geeks on the go. http://techbait.net

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Linux Flash Drive

By Betty Rims

A Linux Flash Drive is an external hardware bootable device which can be used to install Linux OS into the host controller which is generally a PC. Linux is a multi-tasking operating system which is considered to be far more sophisticated & secured than any other operating system available in the market. It can be loaded into a USB drive in order to explore its advanced features. All you need is a bootable USB drive to pack the Linux OS and then install it in your computer to be used for multi-tasking, maintenances & other data recovering purposes. You can also load only the required kernel embedded operations into the flash drive and install it across a network.

It is impossible to modify & recover the data from a live CD which has been permanently written. But by using Linux Flash Drive, this impossible task is made possible like modifying permanently written files and recovering the data as well. So, it increases the flexibility & becomes easier for the Linux users to have their required applications, configuration etc. to get stored & securely saved in a live USB as an extended storage device.

There are two major different ways to run Linux in an USB flash drive. The first is to use Linux flash disk and the second is to use a drive as a full Linux install. The first method is considered to be the better way & is widely used by the users. In order to get executed all the operations, a Linux flash drive has to maintain a minimum requirement of 1 GB flash USB such as the latest Linux based OSs: Ubuntu, Fedora need 1 GB of free storage so that it can be run and made changes in a live USB.

The following are the advantages and disadvantages for Linux Flash Drive:

Advantages:

It is portable & flexible as you can get all your required applications, files with you wherever & whenever you move as it is host independent as well as cross platform.

Almost all the computer systems in the World can maintain booting right from a live USB flash drive no matter it is a desktop, server or any small computer system. All you need is to hook up your Linux flash drive into your host controller and start enjoying its high end advanced features.

A Linux flash drives maintains security with hardware authentications and it also supports to share a single system among multiple users.

For the users who perform data back-ups regularly, Linux flash drive can back up your important files easily & securely. It can save you from accidental file damage without painful efforts.

It offers faster data copying than any optical devices and you can transfer your important data between remote computers without FTP utilities.

Disadvantages:

A Linux live USB can support a limited number of storage space & written data which is comparatively much lower than local hard drives.

It is typically not a good idea to store an operating system temporally in a flash drive rather than storing the system files in the main RAM of your computer.

Linux flash drive is generally for advanced users & experts as it is a little harder to install and more difficult to handle than other operating systems like Windows, Macs etc. So, it is not suited for common users.

Linux is a free and open source operating system. So most of the time Linux flash drives are illegally pirated.

As the device is small, most of the time it is reported to be misplaced and stolen. Therefore, reliability is comparatively lower and sensitive OS files are not recommended to store.

Betty is a contributor to http://www.lok-it.net and has been a fantastic author providing great articles for the last 5 years.

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Fixing “Mounting Unchecked Fs” Linux Boot Error

By Allen Sood

Like every other operating system, Linux computer also contains a system or boot volume, which is used to boot your system. Boot device is one on which all the boot files and Linux operating system are installed. In some cases, you may encounter boot errors while trying to start Linux-based computer. This behavior may occur due to missing or damaged boot files. In such cases, Linux system refuses to boot and you can not access the data stored on your Linux hard drive. It leads to critical data loss and needs Linux Data Recovery.

When you try to boot your Linux computer, you may receive the following warning message:

“EXT2-fs warning: mounting unchecked fs, running e2fsck is recommended”

After the above error, when you run ‘e2fsck’ utility, you face further error messages that resemble the followings:

• TivoMaster:/var/tmp$ e2fsck -y /dev/hda7 e2fsck 1.06, 7-Oct-96 for EXT2 FS 0.5b, 95/08/09 e2fsck: Bad magic number in super-block while trying to open /dev/hda7

• The superblock could not be read or does not describe a correct ext2 filesystem. If the device is valid and it really contains an ext2 filesystem (and not swap or ufs or something else), then the superblock is corrupt, and you might try running e2fsck with an alternate superblock:

e2fsck -b 8193

This behavior of Linux operating system renders all your data inaccessible. In order to access your valuable data, you need to identify the cause of this problem and perform Data Recovery Linux by resolving the problem.

Root of the problem

This problem may occur after improper system shutdown without unmounting the root file system. After this, the root file system may get damaged and you will face the above stated problem.

Resolution

You can sort out this problem by formatting the hard drive and reinstalling Linux operating system. After formatting, you need to restore data from the current backup as it removes all the data from hard drive. However, if the backup is not available, Linux Recovery becomes essential.

Recovery is possible using advanced tools, known as Linux Data Recovery software. These software are designed to scan damaged hard drive using powerful algorithms and extract data that can not be accessed normally. They perform absolute recovery in a safe and easy way.

Stellar Phoenix Linux Data Recovery is the most effective tool that insures perfect recovery in all cases of data loss. The software is developed to recover data from Ext4, Ext2, Ext2, FAT32, FAT16, and FAT12 file system volumes. It works well with all major distributions of Linux operating system, include Debian, Mandriva, SUSE, Red Hat, Fedora, and Ubuntu.

Allen a student of Mass Communication doing research on Linux recovery, Linux Data Recovery software And Ext3 Recovery.

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Differences Between Linux And Windows
By Matt Gebhardt

This article will discuss the differences between the Linux and Windows operating software; we discuss some of the pro’s and con’s of each system.

tux-100x100Let us first start out with a general overview of the Linux operating system. Linux at its most basic form is a computer kernel. The Kernel is the underlying computer code, used to communicate with hardware, and other system software, it also runs all of the basic functions of the computer.

The Linux Kernel is an operating system, which runs on a wide variety of hardware and for a variety of purposes. Linux is capable of running on devices as simple as a wrist watch, or a cell phone, but it can also run on a home computer using, for example Intel, or AMD processors, and its even capable of running on high end servers using Sun Sparc CPU’s or IBM power PC processors. Some Linux distro’s can only run one processor, while others can run many at once.

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Common uses for Linux include that of a home desktop computing system, or more commonly for a server application, such as use as a web server, or mail server. You can even use Linux as a dedicated firewall to help protect other machines that are on the same network.

imagesA programmer student named Linus Torvalds first made Linux as a variant of the Unix operating system in 1991. Linus Torvalds made Linux open source with the GNU (GPL) (General Public License), so other programmers could download the source code free of charge and alter it any way they see fit. Thousands of coders throughout the world began downloading and altering the source code of Linux, applying patches, and bug fixes, and other improvements, to make the OS better and better. Over the years Linux has gone from a simple text based clone of Unix, to a powerful operating software, with full-featured desktop environments, and unprecedented portability, and a variety of uses. Most of the original Unix code has also been gradually written out of Linux over the years.

As a result of Linux being open source software, there is no one version of Linux; instead there are many different versions or distributions of Linux, that are suited for a variety of different users and task. Some Distributions of Linux include Gentoo, and Slackware, which due to the lack of a complete graphical environment is best, suited for Linux experts, programmers, and other users that know their way around a command prompt. Distributions that lack a graphical environment are best suited for older computers lacking the processing power necessary to process graphics, or for computers performing processor intensive task, where it is desirable to have all of the system resources focused on the task at hand, rather than wasting resources by processing graphics. Other Linux distributions aim at making the computing experience as easy as possible. Distributions such as Ubuntu, or Linspire make Linux far easier to use, by offering full-featured graphical environments that help eliminate the need for a command prompt. Of course the downside of ease of use is less configurability, and wasted system resources on graphics processing. Other distributions such as Suse try to find a common ground between ease of use and configurability.

“Linux has two parts, they include the Kernel mentioned previously, and in most circumstances it will also include a graphical user interface, which runs atop the Kernel” reference #3. In most cases the user will communicate with the computer via the graphical user interface. (ref #6) Some of the more common graphical environments that can run on Linux include the following. The KDE GUI (Graphical user interface). Matthias Ettrich developed KDE in 1996. He wanted a GUI for the Unix desktop that would make all of the applications look and feel alike. He also wanted a desktop environment for Unix that would be easier to use than the ones available at the time. KDE is a free open source project, with millions of coders working on it throughout the world, but it also has some commercial support from companies such as Novell, Troltech, and Mandriva. KDE aims to make an easy to use desktop environment without sacrificing configurability. Windows users might note that KDE has a similar look to Windows. Another popular GUI is (ref #7) GNOME. GNOME puts a heavy emphasis on simplicity, and user ability. Much like KDE GNOME is open source and is free to download. One notable feature of GNOME is the fact that it supports many different languages; GNOME supports over 100 different languages. Gnome is license under the LGPL license (lesser general public license). The license allows applications written for GNOME to use a much wider set of licenses, including some commercial applications. The name GNOME stands for GNU Network object model environment. GNOME’s look and feel is similar to that of other desktop environments. Fluxbox is another example of a Linux GUI. With less of an emphasis on ease of use and eye candy, Fluxbox aims to be a very lightweight, and a more efficient user of system resources. The interface has only a taskbar and a menu bar, which is accessed by right clicking over the desktop. Fluxbox is most popular for use with older computers that have a limited abundance of system resources.

Although most Linux distributions offer a graphical environment, to simplify the user experience, they all also offer a way for more technically involved users to directly communicate with the Kernel via a shell or command line. The command line allows you to run the computer without a GUI, by executing commands from a text-based interface. An advantage of using the command prompt is it uses less system resources and enables your computer to focus more of its energy on the task at hand. Examples of commands include the cd command for changing your directory, or the halt command for shutting down your system, or the reboot command for restarting the computer ect.

Now that we are more familiar with the Linux operating system, we can note the many ways in which Linux differs from the worlds most popular OS, Microsoft Windows. From this point forward we will discuss some of the more prominent ways in which Linux deferrers from Windows.

Windows_7For starters there is only one company that releases a Windows operating system, and that company is Microsoft. All versions of Windows, weather Windows XP Home, Business, or Vista, all updates, security patches, and service patches for Windows comes from Microsoft. With Linux on the other hand there is not one company that releases it. Linux has millions of coders and companies throughout the world, volunteering their time to work on patches, updates, newer versions, and software applications. Although some companies, charge for TECH support, and others charge for their distribution of Linux, by packaging it with non-free software, you will always be able to get the Linux Kernel for free, and you can get full-featured Linux desktops with all the necessary applications for general use, for free as well. The vendors that charge money for their distribution of Linux are also required to release a free version in order to comply with the GPL License agreement. With Microsoft Windows on the other hand you have to pay Microsoft for the software, and you will also have to pay for most of the applications that you will use.

Windows and Linux also differ on TECH support issues. Windows is backed by the Microsoft Corporation, which means that if you have an issue with any of their products the company should resolve it. For example if Microsoft Windows is not working right, then you should be able to call Microsoft and make use of their TECH support to fix the issue. TECH support is usually included with the purchase of the product for a certain amount of time, maybe a two year period, and from there on you may be charged for the service. Although IBM backs their Linux products, for the most part if you use Linux you are on your own. If you have a problem with Ubuntu Linux you cannot call Ubuntu and expect any help. Despite the lack of professional help, you can however receive good TECH advice, from the thousands or millions of Linux forums that are on the web. You ca also get great help from social networking sites such as Myspace, by posting questions in the many Linux groups. You can usually receive responses for your questions in a matter of hours form many qualified people.

Configurability is another key difference between the two operating software’s. Although Windows offers its control panel to help users configure the computer to their liking, it does not match the configuring options that Linux provides especially if you are a real TECH savvy user. In Linux the Kernel is open source, so if you have the know how, you can modify it in virtually any way that you see fit. Also Linux offers a variety of Graphical environments to further suit your needs. As mentioned earlier Linux is capable of running full-featured graphical environments like KDE, or more lightweight and resource friendly GUI’s like Fluxbox, or Blackbox, to suit users with older computers. There are also versions of Linux that are designed to emulate the Windows look and feel as closely as possible. Distributions such as Linspire are best suited for users that are migrating over from the Windows world. There are also distributions that include no graphical environment at all to better suit users that need to squeeze out all of the computing power that they can get for various computing activities, and for users that are more advanced than others. All of this configurability can be problematic sometimes, as you will have to make a decision on which desktop is right for you, and to make things easier on yourself you will need to only install applications that are native to your distribution and graphical environment.

(ref #1) The cost effectiveness of Linux is another way it separates itself from Windows. For home use Linux is cheap and in most cases completely free, while Windows varies in cost depending on which version you buy. With Linux most of the applications will also be free, however for Windows in the majority of cases you are suppose to pay for the applications. For most cases, with Linux there is no need to enter a product activation key when performing an installation, you are free to install it on as many computers as you’d like. With Windows you are only allowed to install it on one computer and Microsoft uses product activation software to enforce this rule. When installing Window’s you must enter a product activation key, which will expire after so many uses. If you wish too, you can purchase Linux from a variety of vendors, which will include a boxed set of CDs, Manuals, and TECH support for around 40-130$. Of course If you purchase a high-end version of Linux used for servers it may cost any where from 400$- 2000$. “In 2002 computer world magazine quoted the chief technology architect at Merrill Lynch in New York, as saying “the cost of running Linux is typically a tenth of the cost of running Unix or Windows alternatively.” (ref#1)

(ref #1) Installation of Windows is generally easier, than installing Linux. “With Windows XP there are three main ways to install. There is a clean install, in which you install Windows on a blank hard drive. There is also an upgrade install, in which you start with an older version of Windows and “upgrade” to a newer one. An advantage of upgrading is that all of the files on the older system should remain intact throughout the process. You can also perform a repair install, in which case you are installing the same version of Windows on top of itself in order to fix a damaged version of Windows. There is also a recovery, which Technically is not an install; it is used to restore a copy of Windows back to its factory settings. The disadvantage of recovering Windows is the fact that you will loose all of your data, which resides on the damaged copy of Windows.” (ref#1) Also with Windows you can rest assured that your hardware will most likely be supported by the operating software, although this is not much of a problem with Linux you cant be sure if Linux will support all of your hardware. With Linux installation varies greatly from Distro to Distro. You may be presented with a graphical installer or it may be a text-based installer, these variations make Linux a bit more difficult and unpredictable to install than is Windows, (although the difficulty is disappearing). You may perform a clean install of Linux or dual boot it, to co-exist with another operation software. With Linux rather than having to buy an upgrade Cd, you can install updates by downloading and then installing them while your desktop is running. With Linux it is also not necessary to reboot your computer after most upgrades, It is only necessary to reboot after an upgrade to the kernel. It is also possible to run Linux without ever needing to install it on a hard drive; there are many distributions of Linux that will allow you to run it straight off of a live cd. The advantage of this is that you do not need to alter your system in order to try Linux. You can run Linux off of the CD so you do not have to damage your Windows partition. Other advantages include the ability to rescue a broken Linux system. If your Linux computer will not boot, then you may insert a live cd and boot off it, so you can repair the damaged version of Linux. Also you may use a Linux live cd to recover files from a damaged Windows computer that will no longer boot up. Since Linux is capable of reading NTFS files you may copy files form a Windows computer to a USB flash drive or floppy drive etc.

Another major difference between Linux and Windows is the applications that you will use with either OS. Windows includes a much wider abundance of commercially backed applications than does Linux. It is much easier to find the software that you are looking for with Windows than it is with Linux, because so many software vendors make their products compatible with Windows only. With Linux you will for the most part be forced to let go of the familiar applications that you have grown accustomed to with Windows, in favor of lesser-known open source apps that are made for Linux. Applications such as Microsoft office, Outlook, Internet Explorer, Adobe Creative suite, and chat clients such as MSN messenger, do not work natively with Linux. Although with Linux you can get Microsoft office and Adobe creative suite to work using software from codeWeavers called cross Over Office. Instead of using these applications you will need to use Linux apps such as open office, The Gimp Image Editor, The ThunderBird email client, Instead of the MSN messenger you can use the GAIM messenger, and you can use Firefox as your web browser. Also with Linux it can be difficult to install software even if it is made for Linux. This is due to the fact that Linux has so many different versions. Software that is made to install on one version probably will require some configuration in order to install on another version. An example would be if you were trying to install software that was made for the KDE graphical environment, on the GNOME GUI, This app would not easily install on the GNOME GUI, and would require some configuring on your part to successfully install it.

The type of hard ware that Linux and windows runs on also causes them to differ. Linux will run on many different hardware platforms, from Intel and AMD chips, to computers running IBM power Pc processors. Linux will run on the slowest 386 machines to the biggest mainframes on the planet, newer versions of Windows will not run on the same amount of hardware as Linux. Linux can even be configured to run on apples, Ipod’s, or smart phones. A disadvantage of Linux is when it comes to using hardware devices such as Printers, Scanners, or Digital camera’s. Where as the driver software for these devices will often be easily available for Windows, with Linux you are for the most part left on your own to find drivers for these devices. Most Linux users will find comfort in the fact that drivers for the latest hardware are constantly being written by coders throughout the world and are usually very quickly made available.

(ref #1) One of the most notable differences between the two operating software’s is Windows legendary problems with malicious code, known as Viruses and Spy ware. Viruses, Spy-ware and a general lack of security are the biggest problems facing the Windows community. Under Windows Viruses and Spy-ware have the ability to execute themselves with little or no input from the user. This makes guarding against them a constant concern for any Windows user. Windows users are forced to employ third party anti virus software to help limit the possibility of the computer being rendered useless by malicious code. Anti virus software often has the negative side effect of hogging system resources, thus slowing down your entire computer, also most anti virus software requires that you pay a subscription service, and that you constantly download updates in order to stay ahead of the intruders. With Linux on the other hand problems with viruses are practically non-existent, and in reality you do not even need virus protection for your Linux machine. One reason why Viruses and Spy-ware are not a problem for Linux is simply due to the fact that there are far fewer being made for Linux. A more important reason is that running a virus on a Linux machine is more difficult and requires a lot more input from the user. With Windows you may accidentally run and execute a virus, by opening an email attachment, or by double clicking on a file that contains malicious code. However with Linux a virus would need to run in the terminal, which requires the user to give the file execute permissions, and then open it in the terminal. And in order to cause any real damage to the system the user would have to log in as root, by typing a user name and password before running the virus. Foe example to run a virus that is embedded in an email attachment the user would have to, open the attachment, then save it, then right click the file and chose properties form the menu, in properties they can give it execute permissions, they would then be able to open the file in the terminal to run the virus. And even then the user would only be able to damage his or her home folder, all other users data will be left untouched, and all root system files would also remain untouched, because Linux would require a root password to make changes to these files. The only way the user can damage the whole computer would be if he or she logged in as root user by providing the root user name and password to the terminal before running the virus. Unlike Windows in Linux an executable file cannot run automatically, It needs to be given execute permissions manually this significantly improves security. In Linux the only realistic reason you would need virus protection is if you share files with Windows users, and that is to protect them not you, so you are not to accidentally pass a virus to the Windows computer that you are sharing files with.

The above was a general over view of some differences between the Windows operating system, and Linux. To recap we started with the fact that Windows has only one vendor that releases the software, while Linux comes from millions of different coders throughout the world. We also commented on the fact that the Linux Kernel and much of the applications used with it are completely free of charge, where as with windows you are forced to pay for most of the software. Unlike Widows Linux is often lacking in professional Tech support, and Linux users are often left on their own to solve Technical issues. Linux users can either pay for Tech support or rely on the many Linux Forums and groups available on the Internet. Due to the fact that the kernel is open source, Linux has a huge advantage over Windows in configurability. You can configure Linux to run almost any way you see fit by manipulating the Kernel. Installing the Windows Operating software and applications is easier due to the fact that it has a universal installer. Also finding applications for Windows is easier because of its popularity most apps are available for Windows only, and are made easily available. Linux will run on a greater variety of hard ware than does Windows, from mainframe super computers running multiple IBM Power PC Chips, to a small laptop running an AMD processor. And of course the biggest difference in this writer’s opinion is the fact that Linux does not suffer from an onslaught of Viruses and other malicious code, unlike Windows which is plagued by countless number of malicious code that can easily destroy your system if not properly guarded against.

In conclusion we will conclude that the Linux OS really is the superior software. Other than a few minor nuisances, linux out performs Windows in most categories. The fact that Linux is more secure is the tipping point, that tilts the scales in the favor of Linux. Windows simply suffers from far to many security vulnerabilities for it to be considered the better over all desktop environment.

References

michaelhorowitz.com/Linux.vs.Windows.html Reference #1

theinquirer.net/en/inquirer/news/2004/10/27/linux-more-secure-than-windows-says-study Reference #2

linux.com/whatislinux/ reference number 3

.linux.org/info/

Reference #4

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux%5Fkernel Reference #5

/en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KDE Reference #6

/en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNOME Reference #7

http://www.alinuxworld.com i wrote this article for part of a final project for my unix class while in college. i also run a linux website at the following url http://www.alinuxworld.com

<p>Increase your profit with an efficient <a href=“http://www.peer1.com/hosting/dedicated_servers.php”>Dedicated Server Hosting</a> from one of the leading agencies.</p>
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Linux Training – Installing Linux on a Windows System
By Clyde E. Boom

The best way to get Linux training and Linux administration experience is to start by getting, installing and running Linux on a system. This allows you to actually work with Linux to run programs and learn Linux commands.

If you don’t want to buy a computer just for the purpose of running Linux, you can install Linux on your Windows system. You do this to create what is called a “dual boot” (Linux and Windows) system.

After you install Linux and boot your system, a menu appears allowing you to boot into Windows or boot into Linux!

7 Steps to Install Linux on Windows and Create a Dual Boot System

1. Back up your Windows programs and data

If you make a mistake when you install Linux on Windows you can loose all your Windows programs and data! Also, if you install Linux and then remove it later, you may not be able to boot into Windows.

Some people have run dual boot Linux systems without losing programs and data, but it’s good to know this downside. It’s extra incentive to do a backup.

Doing a backup is like buying insurance. If you don’t need it, fine. But if you do, you’ll be very glad you took this extra step.

2. Get Linux on CD or DVD

Select a Linux distribution (a.k.a. distro) and either download it and burn it to disk or buy it and have it delivered.

Linux Tip: To get Linux delivered, just do an Internet search for “linux cd” and you can have it mailed to you anywhere in the world for a very small fee.

3. Create empty unpartitioned disk space for Linux

Make sure your system has enough empty unpartitioned disk space for Linux. This isn’t just free disk space, as seen from within Windows. This is empty disk space that isn’t seen from within Windows.

4. Document your Linux installation settings

During the Linux installation, you need to specify some system settings. These include the Linux software programs and desktop(s) you want installed, networking settings, and disk partition sizes.

5. Start the Linux installation routine

To start installing Linux, you need to shut down your system and boot it with Linux CD / DVD number 1.

Some systems are set up to automatically boot from a CD / DVD if there’s one in the drive, and some need to have a system setting made. On other systems, you may simply need to hold down a key, like the letter “c” to boot Linux from CD / DVD.

6. Follow the prompts to specify settings and create a user

Linux systems have users and these users have names. You log in with a user name and password to work on a Linux system.

You work as the user named “root” to do Linux system administration. The root user is always created automatically during the installation. However, for security reasons, you should never log in to a Linux desktop as the root user.

As the installation routine runs, you will be asked if you want to create users. Always create at least one “regular” (non- root) user and give this user a password.

7. Have fun!

The Linux operating system is an incredible phenomenon. By getting it, installing it, and running it, you can get tons of experience working with it. Get a mitt and get in the game!

And now I would like to offer you free access to my Linux Commands Training Mini-Course, a 7 Lesson, Daily Mini-Course, including the free Linux Commands ebook and Linux audio podcasts – showing you how to get started learning how to use Linux commands.

You can get your instant access at: http://www.LinuxCommandsTrainingCourse.com

From Clyde Boom – The Easy Linux Training Guy – Easy, self-paced Linux training – In Plain English!

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Understanding the Linux File System
By Brandon Sherwood

The way Linux organizes its files on the hard drive is vastly different from how Windows handles this task. New Linux users coming from Windows sometime have a hard time maneuvering though directories or come with notions that Linux should manage its files in the same vain as Windows.

This article was written to help new users get a grasp on moving through directories on their new installation. One key point to make is Windows deals with “drives” as in your C: drive or D: drive, Linux deals with something called ‘mount points’. These are locations where other hard drives, CD/DVD burners, etc… connect to the root partition. Don’t worry it will all make sense latter on.

It All Begins With Root: /

The root directory known simply as ‘/’ is the starting point. Without getting to technical, the root directory acts like the ‘C: Drive’ in Windows. A Linux system can not fully boot without a root partition, in the same way as deleting your C:WINDOWS folder will make your Windows computer inoperable.

It’s In: /bin

The /bin folder holds important system programs. The ‘bin’ is short for ‘binary’. Some of the popular programs: date, less, more, cat, dmesg. These programs are essential in order to start and have a complete operating system. While you may never use one of these programs personally, the system relies on some of them.

Where Everything Starts: /boot

As the name implies, /boot is where the crucial files reside, mainly the kernel. Without the kernel, you don’t have a system. Another crucial program located in /boot is the bootloader. Just like Linux needs the kernel to function. The bootloader is there to actually locate the kernel and begin running it.

Every Device Is A File: /dev

In Linux, every device is a file. What this means is, when you connect a hard drive to your system it gets a ‘device file’ that allows the system to interact with it. When the kernel locates a new hard drive it is assigned a file like “/dev/sda”. The /dev part is the directory and the ‘sda’ part is the file that connects to the hardware. So if you wanted to format your whole drive you could type in the command ‘dd if=/dev/null of=/dev/sda’. This would copy /dev/null into your hard drive. /dev/null is a “bit bucket”. Meaning that everything that gets sent to it gets deleted.

Configuration-ness: /etc

Linux, being a customizable system keeps all the programs config’ files in this directory. Most programs come with a sensible and secure default behavior. But what happens if you want to change it? The /etc holds a slew of text files for you to open and customize how your programs operate. An important note to make is /etc manages global defaults. What this means is if you change a file this directory, it will affect the whole system.

The Shared Libraries: /lib

The /lib directory is a way to keep all software libraries in one central location. Most (if not all) files here have a file extension of ‘.so’ to let you know they are ‘shared object’ files. These files are code that can be used by multiple programs. This helps prevent a problem known as ‘software bloat’. Windows also has these files; they are called ‘Dynamically Linked Libraries’ or DLL for short. As a regular Linux end user, you will most likely never have to change anything in this folder. Depending on how you install software on your computer, you might come across a ‘missing shared object’ problem if your software “depends” on another program to function. The Windows equivalent is ‘DLL hell’.

When You Don’t Shut Down Correctly: /lost+found

This directory is used when the user does not shut down the system correctly (turning it off when the system is still up and running). Upon the next boot, the system will try and correct itself by scanning the hard drive for corrupt files and try to correct any problems that arise. If anything is found, it will be placed in the /lost+found directory for the systems administrator (you!) to see and look over.

Where The ‘Mount Points’ Live: /mnt and /media

The /mnt and /media directories are for ‘attaching’ other devices to the root directory. In Windows, when you insert a USB thumbstick, you will see the system gives it a drive letter (E:). Depending on which Linux distribution you use, the device will either ‘auto mount’ or the user has to mount the device manually. Most newer, newbie friendly distros will auto mount the device and place it in one of these directories. You will be able to browse the files within your thumbstick at /mnt/usb or /media/usb. Each distribution is different, so my example could not exactly match your results.

/media is the newcomer to the Linux scene. Most older distributions exclusively used /mnt to manage these devices, but /media is gaining ground as the default location to mount devices. Linux allows you to mount any device anywhere (as long as you have the permissions). So it is completely feasible to mount one device under ‘/bin/mount’ or ‘/var/log’. This is usually not a good idea and the /mnt and /media directories where put in place to make this easier.

The ‘Optional’ Directory: /opt

This is where users can install software if no other suitable location can be used. Most software from major Linux distributions have ‘software repositories’ which allow users to easily add and remove tons of programs. But what happens when you need a program that isn’t in the repository? In order to separate repository software packages from ‘external’ packages, sometimes the best way to install them is putting them in /opt. This practice is rarely used though and each distribution is different. Some will place the popular KDE into /opt, while other distributions won’t.

My personal rule of thumb is to use /opt when the software you are installing defaults to this directory (The Google Earth program does this) or I am installing a program that I didn’t get in the software repository.

The Kernel’s Directory:/proc and /sys

Both of these directories hold a wealth of information about the status of your system. Files like ‘/proc/cpuinfo’ contain information about your CPU (speed, vendor, cache size). The /proc directory is slowly being faded out in favor of /sys.

You Were Here And Now Your Gone: /tmp

The /tmp directory is short for ‘temporary’. So with that in mind, I am sure you can deduce why this directory is used. You got it, to manage temporary files. Programs can generate a lot of ‘junk output’ or need to write to a file to handle a task; but the file can be deleted once the task is completed. This directory provides a central location to do this and not fill your other directories with these files.

Where The Programs Live: /usr

The /usr directory is a monster. Articles could be written just to explain it all. But to keep things short and sweet, the /usr is where all of your ‘secondary’ programs are stored. Granted you love your music player, but it’s not crucial to your operating system actually functioning. So instead of putting all the executables in /bin, we break it up a bit. We place crucial system programs in /bin and non-critical programs into /usr/bin. The /usr directory could be seen as the Windows equivalent as C:Program Files .

The Not So Temporary Files: /var

/var (for varying or variable) acts like /tmp in the sense that the files located are ‘temporary’ but less ‘temporary’ then those in /tmp. What this really means is the /tmp directory will most likely be deleted every time the system reboots, while the files in /var will not. /var is a place to keep ‘persistent’ files. An example would be log files. Most system administrators wouldn’t want to delete their log files on every reboot, but the files could be removed or ‘shrunk’ to a more manageable level at the administrators whim.

Another example would be ‘/var/mail’ directory. It contains the mail being sent to users on the system. Some users will have hundreds of messages, while other users will have a few or none. The directory is growing and shrinking depending on the usage by the users. So in order to keep the disk usage under manageable levels, we place this activity under /var. On large systems, the system administrator will use a separate hard drive and ‘mount’ the hard drive at /var. This allows the frequent disk access to remain on one hard drive and keep the overall system speedy.

Conclusion

Well I hoped that this article has better acquainted you to how files are stored on a Linux system. If I left anything out (or for general praise), please feel free to comment on the article.

Brandon Sherwood

http://www.newbtopro.com – Howto’s and Tutorials

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Wireless Network Security: How to Use Kismet
By Eric Meyer

Kismet is a wireless network detector / sniffer which can give you a vast amount of information about wireless networks. Wireless network security flaws are well documented but often very hard for the common person to understand. I will be showing you how to use kismet with out even having to install Linux, or compile kismet.

First you need to proceed to remote-exploit.org and download and burn their Auditor CD. (IF you don’t know how to burn an ISO image, go to Google). This version of Linux doesn’t install or modify your hard drive; it will boot from the CD and use a Ram Drive (On your Memory).

Auditor is not only a great tool for testing wireless network security with kismet but it also has many other computer security tools on it as well.

Client Window

Next, to start Kismet proceed to the Linux version of the start menu, and press Auditor.
Now proceed to the wireless /scanning/kismet tools/kismet.

Once you click on Kismet it will ask you for a default location to place the Kismet log files for analyzing later, just press the desktop or temp file.

Now I will show you how to use Kismet. When kismet initially opens you will see a greenish box with numbers and 250px-Backtrack_3.0_Finalnetwork names (If any are near you) clicking away don’t be overwhelmed. (Also I can’t show you how to use kismet if you don’t have the correct wireless adapter, get an ORINICO Gold Classic Card off EBAY.) The Orninco gold classic card will be automaticly detected by auditor linux.

The Kismet columns will show the wireless networks SSID (Name), Type of device (Access point, gateway) Encryption or no Encryption, an IP range and number of packets. Kismet will pick up hidden networks with SSID broadcast Disabled also, Netstumbler will not.

Now Press H, to bring up the Help Menu. This will give the nuts and bolts on how to use kismet. If you tab down to the network you are auditing and press “C”, Kismet will show you all the computers that are using that wireless access point / gateway. This Kismet screen will show you the clients MAC address, Manufacture of Wireless Adapter, IP address range and traffic.

Kismet: Help Menue

Now to get out of that screen press “Q”. Tab Down on the Main Kismet Screen to another SSID and press “I”. This Kismet window will show detailed information about the wireless network. The Kismet detail screen will show the type of network (Infrastructrure / Adhoc), signal strength, channel, encryption type, and much more.

Kismet will also give you sound alerts when new wireless networks are discovered or security alerts or suspicious clients are in range. Suspicious clients would be people like you who are using Kismet or Networkstumbler. Unlike you these could be Wardrivers looking for venerable networks to hack into.

Kismet Alert Page

You can prevent War drivers from discovering your wireless network by performing a proper site survey which will 180px-Pentest_1cd_backtrack08help limit signal bleed off to unneeded areas. You should write down the suspicious MAC address and keep an eye on your access logs. If the War Drivers are really stupid just look out your window and look for cars with weird antennas.HA HA HA.

Kismet is more than just a tool to discover wireless networks; it can be used in conjunction with other tools to crack WEP/WPA. Many websites will claim that WEP can be cracked in less that five minutes. This is only half the truth because it could take many hours,days,months to gather enough packets to crack. Good luck and have fun learning the more advanced applications of kismet.

Keep your wireless network simple and secure. Join the most popular wireless networking newsletter on the internet http://www.wirelessninja.com

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Make a Linux Home Data Server of an Old PC

By Adam Knife

So, you’ve got an old computer, and you don’t know what to do with it. Sure, it can’t play new video games, maybe can’t run the latest and greatest software, don’t fret, it’s not totally worthless. Converting your old computer in to a home data server opens a range of possibilities, and a range of new things you can do with your computer(s) and the network.

So, how do you do it? Well, if it’s already set up for Windows Networking, you’ve got the basics set up for a Windows file server, and can simply use your local area network for transfering/working with files, however, this article is going to show you the more effective, and more powerful way: setting up a Linux file server.

The first step is to pick a Linux distro, DistroWatch.com lists the most popular distributions, and reviews a range of ubuntuimagesdistributions, we’re going to use the Ubuntu [5.10] operating system, with a server installation, simply because it’s the operating system this author uses for his desktop, and is quickly becoming the most popular distribution around.

Your old computer likely has enough memory, and a powerful enough CPU to run Ubuntu, however, if you intend to use this server as a major central file server, it will likely need a new hard-drive. You can deal with that on your own.

When you insert the Ubuntu CD, and boot to it, instead of just pressing [enter] at the boot screen, type ‘server’ then press enter – this will prevent it from installing any of the *-desktop packages, and not setting up any unneeded applications.

After following the steps of installation, you will be prompted with a logon screen – enter the username and password you provided during installation, and you are in your brand new Linux system. From here, you can do everything from browse the web, to set up the computer for various networking tasks, to play a range of Linux-based games.

Package management is a critical part of running a Linux system, luckily Ubuntu comes with two distinct and useful tools to aid in your package managing. Aptitude [which, is actually just a UI for apt-get] and apt-get.

A package called “samba” will allow you to set up proper networking between Linux and Windows computers (at least, we hope you’ve got your networking issues sorted out). Running “sudo apt-get install samba” in your new command line will tell the apt-get application to install the samba package, and set it up with default settings.

Once samba is installed, you’ll want to set it up to share certain files/directories, and set them up on your network – samba networking is a massive topic of it’s own, and way beyond the scope of this article, however, running “man samba” will give you the samba manual file, which lists off a series of other manuals to look at. Google’s always helpful too. :)

Now, once you have networking and samba set up, you should be able to transfer files between Windows and Linux through Network Neighborhood/smbclient – you’ve now got a basic data server set up. That was easy, wasn’t it?

For those who want to go further, Pure-FTPd will allow you to set up a fully featured FTP (file transfer protocol) server on this box, which you could use to access your files remotely from any computer set up with an FTP client (Windows Explorer has one built in!), setting up an Apache based web-server is fairly simple with Ubuntu’s apt-get packages, and OpenSSH allows the user to remotely log in to the Linux shell from any computer equipped with an SSH client.

A slight advancement to this system could allow you to set up Bash scripts combined with cron would allow you to set up scripts which immediately backup files every X days, or scripts to do certain processing to files at certain times – the possibilities are effectively endless.

Adan X. Knife is a computer scientist, entrepreneur and web developer. He currently runs a network of websites including one about High Definition Technology and a Free Games Library. He also runs a range of communication related sites including his cellular phone reviews site.

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