Tag: debian

By Clyde E. Boom

When you are a new user needing to get Linux training, it is often confusing to decide what to focus on.

Should you learn how to use Linux for just one distribution (a.k.a. version, distro)?

Should you focus on learning GUI utilities – or should you learn Linux commands for doing system administration?

Linux Commands Training Tips: The Linux System Administration concepts and commands covered here apply to ALL Linux distros, including: Red Hat, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Edubuntu, Slackware, Debian, Fedora, SUSE and openSUSE.

3 Methods of Linux System Administration and Why Using Linux Commands is the Best Method

1. Using Linux GUI utilities for System Administration

Many Linux distributions have “point-and-click” GUI (graphical user interface) utilities that allow you to do common and popular tasks, like manage the file system, create Linux users, and manage user and group permissions.

However, these GUI utilities are usually specific to a single Linux distribution.

So, learning how to use a Linux GUI in one distro is basically useless if you have to use a different one later, or if you’re working in an environment with multiple Linux distributions.

Linux Training Tips: To run a GUI utility, you need to have a desktop installed and sometimes one isn’t installed on a Linux server because it isn’t needed. In addition to this, the Linux system administration pros only use commands because GUI utilities are too slow to run and time-consuming to use.

2. Doing Linux System Administration Tasks with Commands that are Specific to a Distribution

The major (popular) Linux distributions all have several commands that are specific to that single distribution. In other words, for each popular distro, there are several commands that are specific that just that version.

For example, a Linux distribution will likely have a command that is used to manage partitions (disk space) and this command is specific to that distribution.

Learning how to use commands that are only available on a single distribution is a huge waste of time – if there is an equivalent GNU / Linux command – and there almost always is.

For example, the Linux fdisk command is a GNU command that is used to manage the partitions on a system and this command exists on all distributions.

So, rather than learn a command that is specific to a single Linux distribution, learn the GNU commands because these commands are common to all distributions.

3. Using Linux Commands that are Common to All Distributions – The GNU Commands

The GNU commands are the most popular Linux commands – and they are common to all distributions.

Linux Training Tips: Linux distributions are rising and falling in popularity all the time.

If you just learn how to use Linux by running the GUI utilities in one distro, and then you stop using that distro, then you have to learn all the GUI utilities of the next distro. If you learn how to use commands, then you learn how to use Linux for all distros!

How can you tell which commands are the GNU / Linux commands?

Get an excellent set of videos that shows you the popular GNU commands and then try these Linux commands yourself. Then you can learn Linux the easy way – by watching it and then working with it!

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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Learn How To Install Software In Linux and Unix Distros

By Eddison Sherry

many Linux distrosFor a Linux enthusiast there are a variety of distributions (distros) or otherwise called flavors available in the internet. These distros vary mostly in the package management system they use to install software and also in their philosophy. Although the basis is same, it is the differences in handling the power that the kernel (Core program of the operating system) delivers that makes them distinct from each other. A newbie can easily get confused with the concepts in Linux, thanks to Microsoft which serves as an introductory course to using a computer the way you want it. In this article we will check what all options are catered for a normal user in installing software.

Red Hat LinuxMainly the distros can be categorized on the basis of package management system into three viz, .rpm based (redhat package manager), .deb based and the source based. The first category.rpm has its basis on Red Hat operating system or extensive usage of their code. openSUSE, fedora, Mandriva are a few to mention in this class.

Debian Linux

The next class is.deb or Debian based distros. Multitude of distros are available in this too most prominent one being Ubuntu.

 

ThGentoo Linuxe third category uses the source code for its primary operations Gentoo linux being one among them. Many distros provide additional front end programs to make it easier for the user to add or remove libraries or software’s to the system which may be either GUI based or command based.

yum package managerNow we will have a look at a few conceptually best package managers used by the distros. Red Hat has Yum (Yellowdog Updater Modified) package manager for the convenience of the user. It was originally developed to manage Red Hat Linux systems at Duke University’s Physics department.

Synaptic Package ManagerUbuntu has the synaptic package manager which uses the underlying apt(Advanced Packaging Tool) to gather and install software. Gentoo uses portage as its software installer but is a bit different in behavior from other package managers in that it deals with source code and compiles and installs for the specific machine on which it is running. These package managers install software from any recorded media like CD or DVD or from internet servers called repositories maintained by distributions and communities associated with its development. All these software managers resolve dependencies between packages while installing a software or library. Dependencies arise when a software might be compatible with a particular implementation of a library file where as another software we are trying to install might need a different underlying implementation of the same concept. When the two such conflicting software’s needs to coexist then the library file preferences need to be sorted out. Software’s usually depend on many libraries and hence the automatic management of dependencies is a welcome move as far as the huge Linux users community across the globe is considered as it would alleviate the problems in managing the system.

There is ample scope if you are a nerd or a geek to have your own way of tweaking the system and this is what fancies the computer addicts to use this powerful operating system. To conclude let us assume that the competition in the field gives rise to wonderful Linux based operating systems easily manageable and gives a new dimension to computing capabilities of the new generation.

Eddison Sherry had been working in Linux and other Unix flavours for long years. He had been writing blogs and article on the Linux Storage, Linux Commands and Linux Server Administration. If you are working on Linux or Unix Server its best to have a look on his blogs at Linux Technical Forum.

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Ubuntu Linux – The Best Operating System For Your Computer

By Eve Wilson

Are you looking for a good alternative for your Windows operating system? If yes, you can consider Ubuntu Linux. Based on the Debian GNU/Linux distribution this operating system is distributed as free. This means you don’t need to pay hefty amount for buying this operating system like that of Windows OS. There are plenty of stunning features of Ubuntu Linux that make it one of the best operating systems available in the present days.

Ubuntu Linux is not only much secure than Windows OS, but it also includes free apps and renders safe and fast web browsing. This operating system is super-fast and great-looking. Whether you have a netbook, desktop or laptop, you can easily install this OS. Ubuntu Linux is also ideal for servers. If you want the very best technologies straight to your desktop, Ubuntu Linux is the pick for you. Would you like to install this operating system on your computer? You can consult a computer repair company for Linux Setup.

Working on Ubuntu Linux is a very pleasing experience. Since the operating system includes plenty of stunning features, you can get your job done without paying for third party software. You can seamlessly create professional documents and presentations with OpenOffice.org that comes with this OS. This software is fully compatible with Microsoft Office. This software is very easy to use and you can create professional documents, spreadsheets and presentations.

When it comes to picking any software, the Ubuntu Software Centre is right there to meet your requirements. It allows you instant access to thousands of open-source and carefully selected free applications. You can explore the software categories like, sound and video, graphics, education, games, programming and office and pick the one according to your need. According to The Guardian, “In terms of software Ubuntu is like the iPhone. Almost anything you’d care to do, there’s an app for that.”

You can enjoy social networking very easily with this operating system. There is a new Me Menu which allows you to access your Facebook and Twitter accounts right from the desktop. Here you get the opportunity to connect to all your favorite chat channels and make updates. And the most interesting thing is that you get all these through a single window.

Ubuntu Linux integrates software like Pitivi video editor, and Movie Player which allows you to watch all your favorite contents from YouTube, iPlayer, and MSN Player. Not only watching, you can also edit your videos with Pitivi video editor. There are also plenty of apps that allow the user to fix and share their photos with the world.

Apart from the above mentioned features, there are many more. Considering all these, it could easily be said that Ubuntu Linux is the best operating system for your computer.

Computer repair Houston has Ubuntu Certified Professionals who offer you computer services for installing, uninstalling and reinstalling Ubuntu Linux on your computer. Pick any of their computer repair plan and enjoy hassle-free computing.

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2011 Best Linux Distributions

By Judith Ceja

Which Linux distribution is right for you? There is no one right answer because it depends on your experience and specific needs. Listed below are the top seven Linux operating systems for 2011. Each program was ranked based on ease of installation, user-friendliness, and amount of support available.

Ubuntu is one of the most popular Linux distributions for desktops. New versions are released about every six months. This program is easy to install and use. The ample support comes from both technical professionals as well as end users. Ubuntu is a great program for beginners

Mandriva originally appeared to be a restructured version of Red Hat Linux. The current software has added user-friendly features including better hardware detection and intuitive disk partitioning. Mandriva also utilizes a KDE desktop and has great support which makes it a good program for beginners.

PCLinuxOS is great for new Linux users due to its intuitive graphical installer. It provides users with current desktop software and fast boot times. This program received our lowest rating for support because it does not provide support in any language other than English. Additionally, the program is only available in a 32-bit version and new releases are not scheduled regularly.

Gentoo was designed for power users, allowing them to have ultimate customization capabilities. It also has exceptional security. One of its best features is the ability to keep the system current without re-installing the software. However, long compilation times and occasionally instability makes it less of a crowd pleaser than other available software.

OpenSUSE has an extensive and intuitive configuration tool. The program also includes user-friendly desktop environments (GNOME and KDE). The program gets high marks for help and support. However, its heavy use of resources for desktop setup and graphical utilities tend to slow the program down.

Debian GNU/Linux supports more infrastructures than any other Linux distribution program and contains more than 20,000 software packages. It has become the largest Linux distribution ever created and has inspired over 120 Debian-based distributions. The program has a reputation for stability and being the most bug-free Linux distribution system on the market. However, their intensive testing has led to lengthy intervals between releases, typically 1-3 years.

FreeBSD was introduced into the market in 1993. The program is not in the same league as the other programs listed. However, it is fast, stable and has over 15,000 software applications available. FreeBSD lacks a graphical installer and the convenient features of hardware detection and system configuration which must be performed manually by the user.

Ultimately, you must choose the program that is right for you. Ubuntu and PCLinuxOS enable beginners to use Linux without requiring a steep learning curve to produce results. Gentoo and FreeBSD are definitely for more advanced users. Mandriva, Debian GNU/Linux, and openSUSE are the best programs if you are willing to trade some advanced features for stability and continuing support.

Judith Ceja writes articles for SoftwareInReview.com

For more software reviews go to http://www.SoftwareInReview.com

Buy Linux Today!

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Running Commands at Startup in Debian and Ubuntu – The Simplest Approach

By Austin White

Running custom scripts on startup is a common operation in the Linux community. In my case, when the machine hosting my website needs to be rebooted or even crashes, it is critical that the backend processes that the website depends on start correctly. For other Linux or BSD users, it can be useful to start up useful background processes, perhaps servers for accessing your machine remotely.

The Classic Method for Running Processes at Startup

The most documented way of starting processes when the machine boots is to add a control script to /etc/init.d. This script must take an argument that can be one of “stop,” “start,” and “restart.” An example of such a script would be /etc/init.d/ssh, which is used to start and stop the ssh server. When a machine shuts down, it is important for many daemons to clean up their pid files and otherwise shut down nicely. However, for user-run processes, simply being sent SIGTERM as part of normal shutdown is sufficient.

Here is an example of a script that is used only for starting a process.

$ cat /etc/init.d/boot_server

#!/bin/sh -e

case "$1" in

start)

/home/prod/start_server.sh

;;

stop)

;;

reload|restart|force-reload)

/home/prod/start_server.sh

;;

*)

echo "Usage: [this] {start|stop|restart|reload|force-reload}" >&2

exit 1

;;

esac

exit 0

To ensure that daemons are started and stopped, particularly in the correct order, the machine runs special symlinks to these scripts. The symlinks have special names that either begin with an S or a K. For example, my machine has /etc/rc3.d/S20lighttpd and /etc/rc0.d/K20lighttpd. (The numbers in the rc directory names are known as runlevels. A discussion of runlevels is beyond the scope of this article, and if you wish to know more, there are a number of good resources on the internet.) Scripts beginning with S are used to start a process during bootup. Those beginning with K are used to kill a process during shutdown. The number in the link name is used to determine the order in which these processes are started and killed.

Thus, to run a process at startup on your Linux machine, you would need to both add a script to /etc/init.d that takes “start” as an argument, and you would want to add symlinks to your script to the /etc/rc*.d directories. Your scripts have to follow the naming convention described above, probably starting with S99 or S98 to ensure that your processes start after all the important system daemons. The K symlink is unnecessary.

Using /etc/rc.local – A Better Way to Start Processes on Debian and Ubuntu

Instead of adding a startup script and the related symlinks, a much easier approach is to add your commands to the bash script /etc/rc.local. A quick look at /etc/rc.local demonstrates that it is rather self-explanatory.

$ cat /etc/rc.local

#!/bin/sh -e

#

# rc.local

#

# This script is executed at the end of each multiuser runlevel.

# Make sure that the script will "exit 0" on success or any other

# value on error.

#

# In order to enable or disable this script just change the execution

# bits.

#

# By default this script does nothing.

exit 0

At the end of /etc/rc.local, but before the exit 0 line, I can simply add a call to my server startup script:

# Run website processes

/home/prod/start_server.sh

It is a one-line change, instead of adding an overly complicated script and the related symlinks. Of course, this is not an option if you require additional commands to be run at shutdown. In addition, if you need your process to be started before some other system process, you must resort to the classic startup script as discussed above. /etc/rc.local almost the last script to be run as part of the boot process.

Conclusion: Use /etc/rc.local to Run Processes at Startup in Linux

Classic startup scripts in /etc/init.d and /etc/rc*.d are appropriate for many daemons and some more complicated user processes that must either start before a system process or be cleaned up during shutdown. However, /etc/rc.local is preferred for all other cases. It is a simple bash script you can edit as root on your machine.

Austin is a software engineer working on askR.com, a social recommendations site.

View his personal website.

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Are You Getting Sick Of Microsoft Windows? It’s Time To Give Ubuntu Linux A Whirl
By Alan Oliver

About 18 months ago, I had another disastrous crash on my PC that caused me to lose a host of photos, music and documents. Luckily I had a backup of most of my documents on an external disk. So I wasn’t too concerned by this. I had experienced many crashes on Windows before and usually I was able to recover most of my documents and restore the system back to normal without too much effort.

This time was different however and to my horror, I discovered that Windows had somehow corrupted my external disk as well. I had lost everything and was pretty angry about it.

I tried a number of data recovery programs but most of the files wore gone. Forever. What a disaster! At that point I decided that I would look for another alternative to windows and I thought I would give Linux another try.

RedHatA few years earlier I had experimented with RedHat Linux but had no real success with it as it had problems detecting my usb keyboard and mouse. Which was obviously a bit of a non-starter for me. I knew that big advances were being made in the Linux world so I decided to do a bit of research.

Linux is an operating system that is free. That is, it can be downloaded and copied and distributed without a fee. It is free in a deeper sense too. Most of the software is written under a license called the “GPL” which effectively means that source code is available to everyone for each and every component of the Linux Operating System. If you have access to the source code for a piece of software then you can change the program to fix bugs and make it better. Once you do this you are under obligation to make your new source code available to others.
This has worked extremely well and Linux is being developed by programmers all over the world to make it better and better. The progress is amazing!

In my research I discovered a website: distrowatch.com. This website keeps a list of the most popular distributions of Linux. A distribution is a collection of Linux software that together makes an operating system. Each distribution contains different software and has a different focus. There are so many to try… Fedora, Mandrake, Puppy, PCLinuxOS, Debian, Knoppix, and the most popular, Ubuntu Linux.

ubuntu128x130I downloaded the ISO of Ubuntu Linux from the Ubuntu website http://www.ubuntu.com/ and burned it to cd (an ISO file is cd image that can be recreated using a cd burning tool such as Nero). I placed the cd in my drive and booted up my computer.

I was astounded!

Within 10 minutes my computer was running Ubuntu Linux without even having to install it! This was a “Live-CD” and it can be used without installing to hard disk – it can be run from a cd without affecting your computer at all.

All my hardware was detected and within minutes I was surfing the web using Firefox and getting my email using Evolution, chatting to friends in messenger and yahoo chat using Gaim, writing documents and opening spreadsheets in Open Office and listening to Internet Radio with RythmBox.

I was delighted with the easy to use and gorgeous looking desktop. I decided to install it straight away and since then I haven’t looked back.

There is an abundance of free open source software just waiting for you to experience. The package management system – Synaptic, allows you to search repositories of software and download them. The quality of a lot of the software is incredible.

Linux is written from the ground up to be a secure operating system. This means that you won’t have to worry about getting viruses, spyware or any other kind of malware. My system is as stable as a rock.
Of course, there are downsides to running Linux. The main one is that there is a learning curve that can be quite steep. It is not windows so If you are trying to get something working, your windows knowledge will not help you.
You might need to troubleshoot problems using the Command Line Interface – similar to windows DOS, but many times more powerful.

Fortunately, help is at hand on the incredibly friendly and helpful forums at ubuntuforums.org
I have been running Ubuntu Linux now for 18 months and can’t see any reason now to return to windows. Once you get past the mind set of using closed source software a whole new world opens up before you and you realise that amazing things are possible with linux.

I hope you found this article helpful and I hope it inspires you to try out Ubuntu Linux as I did. You won’t regret trying it.

Here are some resources:

distrowatch.com

Distrowatch – News on the latest Linux distributions.

ubuntu.com

Ubuntu – Download the Ubuntu Linux operating system for your computer

ubuntuforums.com

Ubuntu Forums – Go here for help and advice

wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux

Linux on Wikipedia

order linux on cd from frogshape!

http://www.frogshape.com

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Getting Started With Ubuntu – How To Connect To The Internet And Do Common Window Tasks
By David Babble

Download the latest version of Ubuntu from their official site and burn the downloaded ISO file to a blank CD. Any good CD burning software should be able to handle writing ISO files to a disc.

When the CD finishes remove it and put it back into the drive so it auto plays and followed the instructions to boot into the Live CD. Live CD allows you to temporarily run Ubuntu and most of its features without doing anything to your installation of Windows. This is a good chance to see if you really like what Ubuntu has to offer before really committing.

ubuntu-logo-thumb-230x130-8629-fAfter playing around in Ubuntu’s environment for a bit you’ll notice an examples folder on the desktop that has various types of files that can be opened using Ubuntu’s default programs installed. For example, Ubuntu will use Open Office (a free alternative to Microsoft Office) to open DOC files.

Connecting to the Internet in Ubuntu

There was no obvious signs of how to connect to the Internet. After looking around the help pages built into the operating system you’ll notice that connecting to the Internet is pretty simple, unless you have a USB ADSL modem. Being on an Orange broadband basic package means a USB ADSL modem has to be used unless you own a router separately.

Being on the basic package means connecting to the Internet using a USB modem, not an Ethernet Live box that Orange provides on the upgraded package. So rebooting the computer and finding a web page came up with the instructions to extract some firmware, write a boot script etc. just to get the modem to connect.

After completing the modem installation in the Ubuntu’s Live CD environment you’ll be prompted to restart Ubuntu to get started. Restarting Ubuntu whilst using Live CD will just restart into Windows, so that’s no good!

There had to be another answer. At this point I got fed up and went back to Windows. A few months later I plucked up the courage to try Ubuntu again but the Internet connection issue was still stick in my mind. So I searched around on Google more and searched the Ubuntu Forums. This is when I came across some luck. I found a thread in a forum thread where a guy made a USB ADSL modem manager program!

Was this going to end the problem? I thought. So after checking out the USB Modem Manager site and then following the link to the latest version, I downloaded the Debian file for it, .DEB. First thought was, being used to Windows, what the hell do I do with a Debian file? Is it a Ubuntu version of a Windows zip file or what?

I double clicked the Debian file downloaded to my desktop and voilà, it started to install the modem manager, great, must be just Ubuntu’s version of a windows .EXE file. The program prompted me to unplug and plug my modem back in and it still didn’t work. So after a couple of times of re-extracting the firmware, disconnecting and reconnecting using the options in the manager, the progress bar for the Internet connection located in the top right went fully green, it must’ve worked.

I opened Firefox, typed in a URL and hey presto, the Internet worked. Fortunately, this USB modem manager doesn’t require a restart so it’s possible to run and test the Internet while using the Live CD, which I highly recommend doing.

Taking the Plunge with Ubuntu

With this caveat fixed, I took the plunge, backed up all my files onto an external hard drive and fully installed Ubuntu over Windows.

After trying it for just over 24 hours I became convinced that this was an operating system that I would be using for the long term. I can copy large amounts of files from one hard drive to the other without my PC noticeably slowing or making music stutter, file transfers are seamless whilst doing other tasks.

I tried opening a video file and Ubuntu complained that it couldn’t play that type of file, but it promptly came up with a message telling me I can download the required files to get it to work, so a click of the OK button and it was fixed. I tried playing an MP3 and the same happened, just a click of a message and Ubuntu located and installed the required files to play my music. These files need to be downloaded separately due to propriety issues.

A few things take a while to get used to, such as the folder views it has and the prompts that come up occasionally requesting your password to be entered. This might seem odd to have to enter a password just to change the date/time. With Windows latest operating system, Vista, prompting for requests on more admin type tasks, the odd one or two from Ubuntu are manageable.

Playing Video Games and other Windows Software in Ubuntu

I don’t play games much and haven’t attempted to do so yet, but I’ll try WINE sometime and see if that works. WINE is a program to let you play Windows only software in Ubuntu. Could come in handy for Photoshop since the free equivalent, GIMP, just doesn’t cut it for some things I want to do, such as batch image processing.

Ubuntu is a flavour of Linux that is becoming a popular, free alternative to Windows. To get started, go to the Ubuntu site.

Conclusion

Hopefully this guide will help the average computer user out there decide whether they really want to take the plunge with a different, but free operating system. In summary, if you’re prepared to spend a few hours to get used to it and to get it working the way you want, go for it!

http://launchpad.net/usb-adsl-modem-manager – USB ADSL Modem Manager for Ubuntu

http://www.babblestorm.co.uk/search.php?search=ubuntu – Ubuntu related news

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Debian Chinese How-To

Debian Chinese How-To
By Yien Bin

This is my personal experience with chinese environment setup on my Debian Box, with KDE desktop.

Here is my specs.

  • Debian Unstable, kernel 2.6.18-1-686
  • xserver-xorg 7.1.0-4
  • kde 3.5.5

50px-Debian-OpenLogo.svgSetting your system with english locales, so that your desktop, menus and programs’ file menus won’t show english characters in blurry chinese ttf fonts. You will still have the ability to input chinese in almost everything(browsers, konquerer, instant messengers, konsole, xchat and more).
Here is a step by step instruction.

  1. Setting UTF-8 Locale system wide

    dpkg-reconfigure locales

    This command will prompt you a screen to select your desired locales. For my case, I have selected

    1. en_US ISO-8859-1
    2. en_US.UTF-8 UTF-8
    3. zh_CN GB2312
    4. zh_CN.GB18030 GB18030
    5. zh_CN.GB18030 GB18030
    6. zh_CN.GB18030 GB18030
    7. zh_TW BIG5
    8. zh_TW.UTF-8 UTF-8

    Set en_US.UTF-8 UTF-8 as default locales. By now, when you output your locales settings with locale command, all the variables with “LC_XXX” shoud be already in “en_US.UTF-8“.

    65px-Zhongwen.svg

  2. Displaying Chinese

    There are a few packages you need to get in order to get chinese text displayed correctly in your KDE desktop.
    These are for KDE Internationalization.

    • kde-i18n-zhcn (for Simplified Chinese)
    • kde-i18n-zhtw (for Big5 Chinese)

    You can always add your desired encoding for other languages. I have also kde-i18n-ko for korean, and kde-i18n-ja for Japan.
    After installing the internationalized packages, you will have to install TTF(true type fonts). Here’s the list.

    • ttf-arphic-bkai00mp (“AR PL KaitiM Big5″ Chinese TrueType font)
    • ttf-arphic-bsmi00lp (“AR PL Mingti2L Big5″ Chinese TrueType font)
    • ttf-arphic-gbsn00lp (“AR PL SungtiL GB” Chinese TrueType font)
    • ttf-arphic-gkai00mp (“AR PL KaitiM GB” Chinese TrueType font)
    • ttf-arphic-uming (“AR PL ShanHeiSun Uni” Chinese Unicode TrueType font)
    • ttf-fireflysung (“AR PL New Sung” Chinese TrueType font)
    • ttf-kochi-gothic-naga10 (Kochi Subst Gothic Japanese TrueType font)

    My default chinese font is ttf-fireflysung which I’ve forgot where to get. I remember getting it from a Taiwan site, if any of you have the address, please kindly let me know. If you are unable to get firefly, uming is probably your best choice for chinese text.

  3. Changing font for chinese text display

    Sometimes in your KDE desktop, if you have downloaded files with chinese/japanese file names, it will be displayed in square unreadable characters. This means KDE is unable to find appropriate font substitution for unknown characters. You can get qt3-qtconfig to deal with this problem. Inside the program you will get to set font substitution for your default KDE font(mine is Bitstream Vera). Apply several substitution TTFs like AR PL New Sung and AR PL ShanHeiSun Uni, so your text will be displayed correctly.

    For other programs like Firefox, Xchat, amarok and more. You will get to choose their own default font. For my case, once qt3-qtconfig is set properly, these programs have no problem using the settings.

    If above methods still do not work out for you. You can try also install gtk2-engines-gtk-qt. This program will use your Qt settings to draw your GTK applications’ user interface, including the fonts of course. You should also check with

    update-alternatives –config qtconfig

    to see whether which qt config is currently in use. If you have used qt3-qtconfig, you definitely should choose “/usr/bin/qtconfig-qt3″ as your default.

  4. Chinese Input Method

    IMO, scim is always the best choice because it has pinyin support, the only chinese input method I’m familiar with. You will have to get these packages.

    • scim
    • scim-chinese
    • scim-gtk2-immodule
    • scim-modules-socket
    • scim-pinyin
    • libscim8c2a

    In order to get scim to work in almost everywhere in KDE, some settings need to be done.
    First, in your ~/.bashrc file, add in this line.

    export LC_CTYPE=”zh_CN.UTF-8″

    This will export your LC_TYPE as zh_CN.UTF-8 since we have already set all these to en_US.UTF-8. This is per user’s local setting, for my case I’ve set my LC_TYPE to zh_CN.UTF-8 system wide, with this command.

    dpkg-reconfigure localesconf

    Use this command to set scim as your default input method for X.

    update-alternatives –config xinput-all_ALL

    Again this is my system wide setting. For user’s local setting, add these lines in your ~/.bashrc

    export XIM=SCIM
    export XIM_PROGRAM=/usr/bin/scim
    export XIM_ARGS=”-d”
    export GTK_IM_MODULE=xim
    export QT_IM_MODULE=xim

    Restart your X-server, and login to KDE. In any text input field(Gaim, Firefox, Xchat, Open Office, Thunderbird and more), when you hit CTRL+Space, the scim toolbar will pop up and you are able to input chinese text. CTRL+Space again to switch back to English.

    Remember not to install the Skim(KDE frontend for scim), as it will somehow freeze your keyboard frequently.

A very useful page at http://www.unifont.org/fontguide/, you might want to check it out.

Yien Bin is a part-time tech blogger. Debian is his favorite operating system. His blog can be found at http://www.nixser.com

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