Tag: live cd

48x96-mint-xp-logosToday’s tip is once again using Disk Usage Analyzer that comes with Linux Mint and it is giving Windows XP another helping hand. You may recall a while back we Used Linux to check our Windows disk usage and found it to be quite useful.

I have XP installed on one hard drive in the computer, and I have Linux Mint 13 XFCE installed on a separate hard drive and I use Grub Super Boot Disk installed on CD when I need to boot into Mint.

Since the hard drive that has XP on it is a measly 80GB I loaded up the Disk Usage Analyzer in Mint to try to find any storage space hogs that I could eliminate.


As you can see in this screenshot, the System Volume Information folder used almost 10% of the entire hard drive! This simply cannot stand, I don’t care how official that folder name sounds. So, upon looking at it it was not too tough to realize those are restore points that Windows uses. I am quite well-versed in computers and I don’t think I’ve ever resorted to “rolling back” Windows to a usable state. Anyway I proceeded to investigate further and sure enough I found that Windows was set by default mind you to a max 12% hard drive cap almost 10 gigabytes!! as the image later below shows.

First, I clicked on the Start button, right-clicked on My Computer, chose Properties and got the System Properties box:


Next, I clicked on the System Restore tab, and that’s what I saw that I had expected, extreme hard drive usage for something that 99.99% of the time I wouldn’t even consider having to use:


All right, that’s been confirmed. “Now how do I fix it?” you ask– Well, one way to fix it is to turn off System Restore, but honestly I’m a chicken and as much as I disparage Windows it might use that as reason to get back at me…I digress. So, I slid the slider bar down to 1%, a much more easy to swallow ~1GB of disk space.


Still a lot, but I can live much better with that. After you click OK, it will take a few seconds to adjust the space on the disk then you are done.

Where does that leave us? Now, we are going to go back to Linux Mint and check the Disk Usage Analyzer to see how much better it’s looking:


Much better now, we have gone from almost 20% of the entire used space on the hard drive and more than 7 gigabytes  to just 2.1% and just over 600 megabytes used.

This would not have been something I would have readily spotted without using my Linux tools to show me. This is also one more reason why someone that would ordinarily have no need for an OS besides Windows should have at least one Linux Live CD in his arsenal.

© 2012 Linux.Bihlman.com

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In this piece I will show how the system usage differs among Live CD distributions running different Linux Windows Managers mainly on distros considered to be lightweight. The first distro we will look at is a bit dated, but it is the most recent Fluxbox edition of Linux Mint, Linux Mint 9 Fluxbox edition, and is a damn fine distro that I must say looks great and it’s fun to use. The next lowest contender in regards to initial system usage is PCLinuxOS 2011.08 Openbox edition. Thirdly, we are looking at Crunchbang 10 (Statler) running Openbox. Finally, for comparison’s sake we also looked at the modern, full-featured Gnome distro, Linux Mint 12. We booted each distro using default boot options, then opened a terminal window and ran the ‘ top ‘ command.

mint-9-fluxbox-screenshotLinux Mint 9 Fluxbox edition

As you can see, this distro comes in at a svelte 536 MB of RAM usage upon intial boot




pclinuxos-openbox-screenshotPCLinuxOS 2011.08 Openbox edition

Next, we see a still slim offering from the PCLinuxOS team which comes in at 580 MB (this distro also curiously only saw 388MB of my 1GB swap space on my HD??)



Crunchbang-10-statlerCrunchbang 10 (Statler)

The last offering we are looking at today is the latest Crunchbang distro, based on Debian that comes in at a very surprising 815 MB of RAM – I’m really puzzled by that number and I’d love to know why it comes in so high on this test. (this distro also did not even see my 1GB swap space on my HD??)

mint-12-ScreenshotLinux Mint 12 Gnome

To show you what a current, standard distro uses we have included the latest Mint distro. As you can see it is running just past Crunchbang at 869 MB of RAM.



As you can see, the alternate Window Manager distros really do start with a lower system memory footprint, however that isn’t always the case we discovered by looking at Crunchbang.

©2012 Linux.Bihlman.com

This post proudly written using Firefox on Linux Mint 9 Fluxbox edition!

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In this tutorial we will show how easy it is to enable Adobe Flash player to your Linux Mint 12 Live CD. As usual, please click each screenshot for a larger view.

Linux Mint 12 Live CD -no flash

Linux Mint 12 Live CD -no flash

First step is to boot up your Live Disc and open Firefox. This screenshot shows what will happen by default if you try to view content that relies on Adobe Flash to display.






Type mint-flashplugin-11 into Software Manager

Type mint-flashplugin-11 into Software Manager

Well, obviously that is going to severely limit the functionality of your Live CD, so the next step is install Flash the easiest way I’ve found. Click on Menu and choose the Software Manager (the yellow star). In the search box, type mint-flashplugin-11  then click on it in the list.





Click Install

Click Install

Once you’ve clicked on the mint-flashplugin-11 that appears in the list, you’ll see the next window that will have the Install button. Click Install and the Flash player will install to the Live CD environment.






Now, once it’s installed, close the Software Manager and reload Firefox. Voila! Your Youtube page you were trying to watch earlier is now working!

Linux Mint running Firefox with Flash installed

Linux Mint running Firefox with Flash installed

That’s really all there is to it. If you follow these steps you will find installing Flash much easier than trying to click the “Missing Plugins” button that first appears.

©2012 Linux.Bihlman.com

post written using Firefox on the Linux Mint 12 Live CD!

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Windows XP doesn’t come with a utility that allows you to see what files/folders are taking up the most room on your hard drive.  Don’t fret: sure there are programs out there you can download and install to do the job, but did you know you don’t have to actually install any software on Windows to actually find out what’s hogging all of your disk space? Well, it’s really easy as long as you have a Linux Live CD lying around. In this tutorial, we will be using Linux Mint 12 since it’s very popular right now in the tech world it’s currently leading the pack according to Distrowatch. Baobab, more commonly known as Disk Usage Analyzer, is part of gnome-utils and it is just an awesome graphical disk usage analyzer. You’ll find it on just about all Linux distros running the GNOME desktop environment.

Linux Mint screenshotStep 1:

Fire up your Linux Live CD running a GNOME desktop environment, in this example you will see we are using Linux Mint 12. Then, navigate to: Applications | Accessories | Disk Usage Analyzer


Disk Usage Analyzer



Step 2:

Here you will see Disk Usage Analyzer, and since we are in a Live environment, it defaults to the Live CD environment as shown on the right. Click on the green “Scan a folder” icon.


Choose filesystemStep 3:

Choose your hard drive listed on the left side. It will be the item that mostly likely has a size listed in GigaBytes – In this case it’s my 39 GB Filesystem. Then click Open in the bottom-right corner. If you have multiple hard drives they will be listed here as well.


Windows filesystem displayedStep 4:

After the filesystem is scanned, it displays the top folders on the left in list form, also graphically on the right side, showing color-coded comparisons of each folder. You can also view it as a treemap chart if you choose.



Hopefully this tutorial will give you some ideas on how even if you don’t use Linux as your daily operating system, you can take take advantage of some of the unique capabilities you gain by at least having a little Linux at your disposal!

© 2011 Linux.Bihlman.com

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Linux Mint 12 Live CD Review

I downloaded the latest version of Linux Mint 12 (Lisa) and I decided to try it out and write about some of the basics to get you started.

(Please click on each screenshot for full size)


  • Via 1.5GHz microprocessor
  • Nvidia GeForce 8400GS video card
  • 1 GB of RAM
  • 1 GB of Linux Swap space on the HD
  • onboard NIC

The first boot attempt from the Live CD failed, so I had to add acpi=off to the Live CD boot parameters to get the OS to boot successfully. Once I booted into Mint 12, I was greeted with the desktop:

Linux Mint 12 desktop

Linux Mint 12 desktop

The first thing I decided to do is change the location since it always bothers me that Ubuntu-based distros always have the time many hours off, so, I clicked on the time at the top of the screen and selected my location:

adjusting the time/location in Mint 12

adjusting the time/location in Mint 12

Next, I decided to open a terminal, in this case Xterm from Applications | System Tools and execute one of my favorite tools, top to check the amount of RAM usage and a few other fun details:

The "top" command in Xterm

The "top" command in Xterm

 I would call those steps the first ones I always take when trying out a new distro. They work with just about any Linux distribution imaginable, but Linux Mint is special, and it’s quickly taking market share away from Ubuntu. “What’s next?”, you may ask…Well, I would take a look at all the cool apps available to you just a couple of clicks away in the Software Manager, located under Applications | Other:

Linux Mint 12 Software Manager

Linux Mint 12 Software Manager

Now that you’ve had a chance to peruse all the great games, graphics, productivity software available (and even installed a few with the Live CD!) you may be ready to install it as your primary operating system, or at least in addition to an existing OS. That is easiest enough to find, it’s got a handy icon on the desktop for your convenience!

p.s. This review was written using Firefox on the Linux Live CD!

©2011 Linux.Bihlman.com

Buy Linux Mint today!

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Which Operating System is More Functional – Windows Or UNIX (Linux)?

By Charles S Taylor

Choosing the efficient Operating System is depends on several factors. Whether it is for personal use or for office use, choosing the OS platform is the vital part

History of Unix chart

History of Unix chart (click for larger)

of long-term plan, as it can’t be changed often. You need to consider your requirements both short-term and long-term and the features of Windows and UNIX before choosing the OS.

The following are the some of the important features and properties of the two Operating Systems that will help you to understand them better.

1. Multi-User System: Windows OS is designed to be used by one person at a time, whereas multiple persons can share UNIX OS at a time in a network.

2. Security: Windows users are burdened with the need for anti-virus and anti-spyware software. On the other side, for UNIX it is not required, as it is more secure than Windows.

3. Bugs: UNIX has a reputation for fewer bugs (programming mistakes) than Windows.

4. Performance: Under low-stress conditions, both have similar performance.

However, under high load, UNIX is superior to Windows.

5. Simplicity: To operate UNIX OS we need a little knowledge of Character User Interface, whereas it is very simple to operate Windows OS.

6. Compatibility: If you designed a website under a UNIX server you can easily host it on the Windows server, but the reverse is not always possible.

7. Website Hosting: If you want to use MySQL as backend then go for UNIX. If you need MSSQL as backend then Windows OS is a better option.

8. Application Software: You will get Application software along with UNIX OS package, whereas with Windows you won’t get it.

9. Run the OS without installing it: UNIX can be run with Live CD even without installing it. Windows cannot run until it is installing into hard disk.

10. File System: UNIX protects data with Journalized file system, while Windows uses both journalized and non-journalized file systems. There is less protection of data with the non-journalized file systems.

11. Fragmentation: UNIX file system doesn’t suffer from file fragmentation but Windows file system will be, which results a single file may scatter all over the hard disk as fragments.

12. Crossing the OS boundary: Some Application softwares written for UNIX will not run under Windows and vice versa.

13. Placing User Data: UNIX stores all user data in the home directory making it much easier to migrate from an old computer to new one.

On the other hand, Windows stores data anywhere in the hard disk making it hard to backup files when switching to a new computer.

14. Hardware Compatibility: UNIX can run on different hardware platforms but Windows can’t.

15. Supported hardware devices: UNIX supports less hardware devices than Windows.

16. Ability to run without GUI: UNIX can run without Graphical User Interface so it needs less hardware horsepower than Windows.

17. Price: You can get a copy of genuine UNIX free of cost, whereas you have to buy Windows OS.

The two Operating Systems serve different purposes. The above information helps you to choose the better one that suits your requirements.

Insightful and honest opinions on issues related to various topics including small businesses, economy, international information, health, financial advices, technology tips and home improvement. We publish on topics after analyzing rigorously so this information is useful to our visitors.

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Serious computer users who care about how their computer operates know that Linux has advantages that Windows simply doesn’t. Here you’ll find a list of those benefits:

  1. Windows vs LinuxLinux is free
  2. Linux is Open Source
  3. Live CDs are available for the popular distros that allow you to try it out without affecting your computer
  4. Live CDs come with all your hardware drivers automatically, they don’t have to be searched for online
  5. Linux is there to come to the rescue when Windows breaks
  6. Linux has thousands of developers around the world that work 24/7 to keep it secure
  7. Filesystems used by Linux are superior to Windows filesystems – no more endless “defragging”
  8. Ancient computer systems can be brought back to life with a modern operating system- Linux
  9. Since Linux is inherently Free, many software developers writing programs for it won’t expect you to pay for it
  10. There are many ways to customize the most common distros that leave the freedom in your hands, not some huge corporation
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My current live Linux CDs

  • Damn Small Linux
  • Backtrack 3 Linux
  • Knoppix Linux
  • Ubuntu Linux 8.04 (Hardy Heron)
  • Lamppix 1.1 Linux
  • Mandriva One 2009 KDE4 Linux
  • Kubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) Linux
  • Linux Mint 6
  • PC Linux 2009
  • Arch Linux 2009
  • Slax 6.0.9 Linux
  • Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope) Beta Linux
  • Simply Mepis 8.0 Linux
  • Kubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope) Beta Linux
  • Xubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope) Beta Linux
  • Gentoo 2008 Linux
  • Xubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) Linux
  • Puppy 4.20 Linux
  • Gparted
  • Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope)
  • More to come

Each distro offers something a little different. Some are tailored for older computers with fewer resources, while others offer the latest software to take advantage of the latest hardware computers are equipped with.

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