Archive for 'Learn Linux – Linux help'

By Hoo Ann

Tux, the Linux mascotIf you are a regular user of Windows or Mac OSX, you will feel like being lost in a strange world in the first time you install and try Linux as the operating system for your computer. In this article, I will show you some tips to help you get accustomed to the magnificent world of Linux as a beginner.

Choose the right Linux distribution that suits your need and experience

There are already a lot of Linux distributions out there for you to choose and there will be more new distributions created by Linux enthusiasts day after day. But unfortunately, not all Linux distribution can be used by beginners. For Linux newbies, I recommend you to choose popular distributions like Ubuntu or Linux Mint.. These distribution are very user-friendly, easy to install and somewhat similar to normal operating systems like Windows and Apple Mackintosh. When you gain more experience and are willing to explore the new things, you can move to more advanced Linux distributions like Arch Linux or Gentoo.

Do not be afraid of the command line

For an average Linux user, the command line is arguably one of the most frequently used applications. The command line is a very powerful and useful tool, you can do almost all the basic computer tasks on the terminal, such as browsing websites, using it as an online chat client or a mail client, you can even listen to music and watch videos on the terminal as well. By the same token, do not be afraid of the command line, try to learn all the basic commands and use the terminal as frequently as possible and your knowledge about Linux will increase very fast.

You can use Windows software and games on Linux easily

Do not worry that you cannot find an open sourced alternative for your favorite window application. And do not worry that you will have to give up playing video games after switching to Linux as well. The trick is you need to use some special packages like Wine. With Wine, you can play video games and run Windows applications on Linux very easily.

Try to seek help on Linux forums and chat channels

The community of Linux users are very huge, active and friendly. So whenever you encounter a problem with Linux, just drop by a Linux forum and ask questions, people there will be very willing to help newbies. Also, all the Linux distributions usually come with user manuals so do not forget to read these document first.

Linux is really cool to use. If you want to know more about Linux, come visit my blog and learn more about the useful tips and tricks. Here is a tips about changing the grub timeout in Linux


LAMP stands for: Linux Apache MySQL PHP. It is a popular way to get a professional style web hosting setup on one’s own computer. It’s quite simple to install and provides the major components of what is necessary to design and implement as simple or as complicated a website as one can imagine, just like having your own web hosting right on your own computer to experiment with!

The steps involved to getting a fully operational LAMP setup in Linux Mint 13 Maya are outlined below, complete with clickable screenshots.

Once again my system is as follows:

Intel Core 2 Duo 2.67GHz box with 2 GB of DDR2 RAM, Nvidia 8400GS card, running Linux Mint 13 Maya Xfce 64-bit.

STEP 1 – open a terminal and type sudo apt-get install lamp-server^
(note the carat “^” after server)

Press “Enter”

STEP 2 – Configuring mysql server – It’s always a good idea to change the default password whenever possible, make up a good one and don’t forget it!

…back to installing…

STEP 3 – Done with the terminal install for now

STEP 4 – Test the APACHE installation, open a browser window and type in the address: http://localhost/

Now test the PHP installation, for this we require a test PHP file in /var/www/ called test.php We can use a text editor as root, or as so often is the case we can type a command in the terminal: echo “<?php phpinfo(); ?>” | sudo tee /var/www/test.php

Once you do that, a restart of the Apache web server is required. That can be done by issuing this command: sudo service apache2 restart

After that is done, go back to the web browser and enter this address: http://localhost/test.php/ and you should see a page like this one describing your PHP installation:

STEP 5 – Fixing the Apache server qualified domain name error you may have seen in the terminal is easy enough at this point as well. Enter the following command in the terminal:

echo “ServerName localhost” | sudo tee /etc/apache2/conf.d/fqdn

Then restart the Apache server: sudo service apache2 reload

STEP 6 – Configure MySQL

It’s important to bind MySQL to your localhost IP address. Typically that IP address is, but we can verify that by issuing the following command:

cat /etc/hosts | grep localhost

In my case I saw this:


Next, verify you have the correct BIND address:

cat /etc/mysql/my.cnf | grep bind-address

In my case I have the proper

STEP 7 – Installing PHPMyAdmin

The most convenient way to administer MySQL is by using this handy tool. As we’ve discovered so far, the process involved is quite easy. Back to the terminal we go, this time type: sudo apt-get install libapache2-mod-auth-mysql phpmyadmin

It will go through the familiar downloading process, then a screen will pop up asking which webserver to choose to be automatically configured to run PHPMyAdmin – Please choose Apache2 by pressing the space bar:


The next screen to pop up asks if you would like to use dbconfig-common to facilitate the use of PHPMyAdmin – as the screen shows, you should choose “Yes” unless you are an expert administrator.


Next, enter the MySQL password you entered earlier

Now, enter a password for PHPMyAdmin to register to the database server, then confirm on the next screen

STEP 8 – Testing PHPMyAdmin

Let’s make sure it’s working, type this address in your browser:


You should see this:

Now let’s login with root and the password we created earlier:

 Success! Congratulations, you have successfully installed Apache web server, MySQL, and PHP on your Linux Mint 13 machine. Hopefully the steps involved were straightforward and will reward you with years of fulfilling web development on your own computer.


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Glxgears reveals the advantages of installing proprietary Nvidia drivers to greatly improve 3D performance on your Linux system. This post shows step by step how to install the drivers on your system, as well as show the big increase in performance achieved.

My system is an Intel Core 2 Duo 2.67GHz box with 2 GB of DDR2 RAM, Nvidia 8400GS card, running Linux Mint 13 Maya Xfce 64-bit.

First, here is a screenshot of my glxgears running on my system before I install the Nvidia drivers:

Glxgears before Nvidia driver








Now, the after screenshot with the drivers installed, notice the huge improvement!:

Glxgears after Nvidia driver








How did I install the drivers? It’s easy, first click on Menu | Settings | Additional Drivers, highlight the appropriate driver (I chose the recommended one), then click “Activate” in the lower-right corner.

Before installing Nvidia drivers








It’s a big download, so depending on your Internet connection it may take a long time. (my high-speed connection got it done in about 10 minutes)

almost there!








Once the install is finished you need to click “Close” and restart the computer to activate the driver.

Nvidia installed on Linux Mint!








Thank you for reading, remember Linux rocks!

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By Andrew Spalding


Those looking to create a home network may find it is necessary to set up home servers. These are useful in making sure that you are able to use your computers the way that you want to use them when you want to use them.

The two main ways that you can accomplish this is through the use of the Linux Ubuntu home server and the Amahi home server. These servers are designed to provide you with instant access to all of your information throughout your devices.

The Linux system offers those who run the Ubuntu home server fast access which maximizes information sharing across devices. This same accessibility and ease of use is possible whenever using the Amahi Amahi Logohome server.

It is not only easy to set up. It allows you the ability to maintain all your information safely and securely. Best of all, with the help of open source, it is likely that there will be an Ubuntu version of the Amahi home server coming soon.

Features of the Amahi Home Server

Those using the Amahi home server will be able to enjoy these features:

- Outlook Integration

- iCal Integration

- Open Search

- Superb Calendars

- Open Source

- Network Simplification

- Dynamic DNS

- Disk Monitoring

- File Sharing

- Easy Backups

- Virtual Private Network (VPN)

- One-Click Apps

- Disk Pooling

- Media Streaming

These features offer you the ability to access your information wherever and whenever you want to.

Benefits of Using Amahi Home Server

The ability to use a VPN means that you will be able to access all of your files even when you are away from your home and the home network. This will allow you to access files even when you are on the other side of the nation and need them for a meeting.

Being able to back up your system allows you to have protection in case one of the computers on your network crashes. Set up computers to constantly update to the network so that you will have the protection needed in case a system is infected with a virus.

The Amahi server also offers you the ability to organize all of your files throughout your network. This manages your ability to find files whenever necessary. Photos, videos, documents and all other files are easily accessible when using this system.

Sharing files along the system allows you to access videos and pictures from any device on your network. It also allows you to coordinate calendars with everyone in your home quickly and easily. Even calendars which are different systems are accessible through the network.

Protecting your information from unauthorized access also allows you to have better protection for all of your information. Better security is possible as all information runs through the reinforced firewalls of the server. Additional encryption and security measures means you will have to worry about infected computers less often. It is no wonder so many people are turning to Amahi server software.

Article was written by Andrew Spalding. If you would like to learn more about building computers and home servers. Then visit How to Build a Computer

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By Alex Colcernian

ltsp diagramDo your discoveries, interests, or work revolve around cloud computing, low-resource computing, server-centric computing, thin clients, or virtualization? If so, chances are good you’ve heard of the Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP). Started in 1999, LTSP was the driving force in delivering network booting X/GUI (graphical user interface) and applications in the Linux space. As a solution to lower cost barriers compared to deploying multiple PCs throughout an organization, LTSP rapidly gained traction. Today, LTSP is used worldwide in education, health care, manufacturing, retail, and more. Providing the efficiency of delivering applications and storing data on a server(s), LTSP drastically cuts IT support requirements, while lowering or eliminating burdensome software license fees dues to it’s open source nature.

Limitations to the adoption of thin client environments in the past are strongly linked to user experience and multimedia. With exponential growth in web-based multimedia technologies like java, ajax, and flash, client-side resource demands have increased. The need for additional computing resource places a tax on network bandwidth and server resources. Recent advancements in LTSP 5, specifically Local Applications (Local Apps), have mitigated multimedia and bandwidth challenges.

Local Apps allow system administrators to configure LTSP in a way which shares resource demand between thin clients, and servers. Running an application utilizing thin client resources reduces network bandwidth as well as load on the server. Multimedia runs notably better on thin clients in an LTSP 5 deployment utilizing Local Apps. With Local Apps, users are delivered a performance experience which mirrors that of a full desktop PC. In return, thin clients become a transparent device to the users in an organization. When using Ubuntu, the free Linux based operating system from Canonical Ltd., users can enjoy the latest 3D desktop effects known as compiz.

If you experimented or implemented LTSP in the past and were concerned with multimedia performance, it’s time to give LTSP 5 a try. Local Apps make a world of difference in performance. We recommend downloading the Ubuntu 9.10 Alternate Install CD, and following instructions to install an LTSP environment.

LTSP in today’s world is deployed on dedicated or virtual servers, providing a cohesive thin client environment. LTSP has the ability to be integrated with key features in organizational networks like network attached storage, and centralized authentication, (e.g. OpenLDAP, eDirectory and Active Directory). LTSP is the most flexible solution when it comes to terminal services functionality in Linux environments.

Alex Colcernian is the Director of Marketing and Sales at founded alongside the Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP) in 1999, provides thin client hardware and solutions. is the global leader in LTSP deployments, serving businesses, government, non-profits, and schools. For more information, please visit

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By Archie Spencer

androidI always hear the same question asked in several ways. “Can I actually learn how to produce apps for Android?” “How hard is it to study Android programming?” “Where should I go to learn Android programming?” “I just bought a new Android device, and I feel so inspired! I have an idea for a new application, but where do I begin?”

Mobile application development is really hot these days, and Android is now out in front of the rest in the mobile app world. And if you have already read this far in this article, I’m assured it is because you have already been asking some different version of one of the questions listed above. Today you are lucky, because I have already been down this road, and I have one resounding response: “Positively! It is really feasible to become able to write Android applications, no matter your background, and the tools to study and develop with are free and simple to use!”

So let’s begin with the tools. The number one tool for Android programming is the Eclipse IDE (Integrated Development Environment). Eclipse is free, runs on many operating systems (including Windows and Linux), and is often upgraded to provide better performance in development. In addition, the Android Development Team from Google has provided the Android Development Toolkit (ADT) plugin for Eclipse that turns it into an Android mobile application fabrication powerhouse! It turns application compilation into a one-click task, provides custom editors for layout files and resources, and automates updates for the latest revisions of the Android SDK. Some developers find Eclipse a little quirky, or even buggy to use at times (myself included). For example, it won’t always recognize new resource files until you restart it, which is sometimes a pain. However, I always use Eclipse with the ADT plugin for all of my Android programming, and I suggest that you do the same thing.

You may always opt to use a different piece of software, and there are many out there. But a word of caution about IDEs: many Android IDEs claim to turn mobile programming into a “drag-and-drop” process, or permit Android programming in other languages besides Java. Is it easy to create mobile apps using these tools? Of course. Will they be alright apps? Maybe. But will they be great apps – apps that really exceed expectations and extend easily with new features as the Android mobile platform evolves? No. Mobile programming is just like any other task worth doing: do it correctly (in this case, do it the Android way) and you will always have better success.

Now on to the study part. This part will take much longer than just downloading a simple tool. Learning Android development is like studying any other foreign language (and that is what this is – just a foreign language, except a language that allows you to talk to a computer instead of another human). It will require persistence, and a lot of trial-and-error. A good portion of readers will quit, telling yourself that it isn’t worth it. That’s ok: the remainder of us will succeed in the Android app market in your absence! For those readers who don’t quit, you will find the process very rewarding in so many ways.

If you don’t understand Java, that is how you need to start. When I started learning Android I got a little frustrated, because I didn’t already understand Java beforehand. After spending a week on the basics of Java, I learned that I could read the code samples and understand the examples. So start there.

Next is the Android SDK itself. There are so many studying tutorials for Android available that I really don’t have the room to list them all in this post. But Google does, so search for it. Search for “Android app tutorial” and start with the tutorial that suits you the best. It is truly that easy. I would also suggest the Android lessons found in the Android SDK online documentation for all of your coding reference needs about the Android platform. And don’t forget those newsgroups! They are one of my favorite places to find instant help from real developers who enjoy helping new programmers.

Archie Spencer is an Android development veteran, and has been building mobile apps for Android since 2010. He invites you to continue your journey on the path to dominating the Android app market by checking out his new Android App Tutorial, designed specifically with new developers in mind.

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By Sam Bashton

Whilst Microsoft still dominates on the desktop, Linux has a huge user base in business as a server operating system. Red Hat LinuxAlmost all of the worlds major websites run on Linux – Google, Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia to name just a few. It’s therefore no surprise that there is a growing demand for professionals with Linux skills, who can command up to 30% higher pay than their Microsoft-supporting counterparts.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) is the most popular Linux distribution amongst medium to large enterprises, and Red Hat have developed their own training courses and certifications to ensure that professional standards are high.

There are three levels of certification provided by RedHat – RHCT (Red Hat Certified Technician), RHCE (Red Hat Certified Engineer) and RHCA (Red Hat Certified Architect).

RHCT is the entry-level certification, suitable for a junior-level system administrator looking after Linux systems. Topics covered include package management, network configuration, file system administration and basic system troubleshooting.

RHCE is a well respected qualification, which shows a good level of knowledge of use and troubleshooting of Red Hat Enterprise. Topics covered include advanced package management, system services, kernel configuration, network configuration, advanced account management, web services, mail services, virtualization, NFS and troubleshooting.

RHCA is a very difficult to attain qualification, currently held by less than 1000 people worldwide. To attain the RHCA qualification, one must pass a total of six exams – the RCHE exam; RedHat Enterprise Security: Network Services, RedHat Enerprise Deployment, Virtualization and Systems Management; RedHat Directory Services and Authentication; RedHat Enterprise Clustering and Storage Management; and RedHat Enterprise Systems Monitoring and Performance Tuning Expertise. Those who attain RHCA qualification can expect to find themselves in high demand, and command a sizeable salary.

For those unfamiliar with Linux, the RHCT is a good initial goal to aim for. RHCT certification provides a good ‘foot in the door’ for would-be employees looking to impress an employer and gain their first Linux System Administration job.

For those looking to run an entire network, RHCE certification should be sought. The RHCE course provides a good level of knowledge, enough to be able to cope with most challenges day-to-day administration can throw at them. The RHCE exam proves a high level of knowledge, and is a highly respected qualification.

RHCA certification should only be pursued by those hoping to forge a career as a professional Linux consultant and/or troubleshooter. Together, the examinations that make up the certification represent more than 30 hours of test time – to say nothing of the preparation time required. As such, RHCA certification is only for the most dedicated and studious of people.

Sam Bashton, Bashton Ltd Linux Consultancy, provider of Red Hat Training and Certification.

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By Clarence E Johnson

There are several ways to create a users and groups in Linux that are graphical, however the standard way to create a user is through the command line.

id command in terminalStep one is to create the group, then create the user and place the user in the group. In Linux when a user is created without specifying a group then a group is created by the same name as the user. Consider a system that has 100 users if each user was created without specifying a group then there will be 100 groups. You must be root in order to create users, groups, and users’ passwords.

# groupadd executive

Creates the executive group. To verify that a group was created view the /etc/group file.

# useradd -d /home/gbush -group executive gbush

Creates the directory /home/gbush, add the user gbush to the group executive group. To verify that the user was created view the /etc/passwd file. This file contains a record of all of the users on the system.

# passwd gbush



Creates a password for the user gbush as texan. The password of texan does not fit the necessary length and complexity, but as root you can change the password to anything you want.

# useradd -d /home/dcheney -group executive dcheney

Other useful commands are

userdel and groupdel for deleting users and groups.

usermod and groupmod for modifying users and groups.


Considering the current political structure of this example (executive, legislative and judicial) can help you create groups, then add the appropriate users.

New Sessions

In Linux you can create login sessions by pressing Control+ALT and Function1 through Function6 keys. This is a good way to test the new user accounts.


Because it can be difficult knowing who you are logged in as you can type the following command


This will tell you who you are and what groups you belong to.

You may also become another user by using the su command.

#su gbush

This command would allow you to become gbush. If you are not the root user then you will be asked for the password of gbush.

#su – gbush

The above command says that you want to become gbush and you would like to run his startup scripts and be placed in his home directory.

You may become a member of a different group by using the newgrp command.

#newgrp executive

Would place you in the executive group. Please note that if this is not your default group as noted in the /etc/passwd file, and you are not listed as a member in the /etc/group file then you will not be allowed to become a member of the group. As far as root is concerned, root can do anything at anytime.


Help can be obtained by using the manual command.

#man ls

Would give you the manual page of the ls command. This can be quite helpful if you forget an option to a command.

If you cannot remember a command but you know what it is similar to you can use the apropos command.

# apropos who

Would show you all of the command that have the word contain the world who.

The help command can be used to get help on some built in command.

#help logout

If you are concerned about where in the file system a command would be run from type in the following

#whereis rm

Would show you where in the system the rm command would be executed, if you were to type the command.

If you know part of the command but you would like to know where it exist on the system you can use the locate command which searches a database of file name that is maintained nightly.

#locate who

Would show you all of the files that have the word who in them. This search is done through out the system. This is good for user defined commands.


In order to configure the Linux computer for different services, you should have a good understanding of standard UNIX and TCP/IP commands. These are a few of the commands that are used in Linux:



































This submission is made by Clarence E. Johnson, president of Johnson Computer Technologies Inc in St. Louis, MO. Please visit for more info on Mr. Johnson.

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By Christopher P Wakefield

This time we are going to have a look at Linux permissions. Every current operating system deals with permissions, whether it is ownership of a file or just gaining read access to a folder. As with everything else in Linux there are command line tools and the graphical user interface so we shall discuss both.

chown --helpThe Chown Utility

This is a command line tool that deals with the ownership of a file or folder. Open up a terminal and switch to root. Navigate to the directory which contains the file / folder you want to change and type:

chown [username][file /folder]

So for example if I wanted to change the owner of a file called tools to natasha and it was located in /home/chris I would type:

cd /home/chris

chown natasha tools

To check who owns a particular file / folder you can navigate to the directory that contains the file / folder and type:

ls -l

The Chmod Utility

Next up is the chmod utility which deals with permissions themselves. Open up a terminal and switch to root. Navigate to the directory which contains the file / folder you want to change and type:

chmod [777][file / folder]

Lets first explain the numbering system above. There are three types of permissions in Linux – Read, Write and Execute which are given values of 4, 2 and 1 respectively. So in the syntax above the file would be given Read (4), Write (2) and Execute (1) permissions (4+2+1 = 7). But don’t you give permissions to people and not files or folders? Correct, that is why there are three numbers which represent the owner, group and others. Lets take an example to illustrate the point. Say I wanted to change the permissions of a file called tools.doc to owner (rwe), group (rw) and others (r) and it was located in /home/chris I would type:

cd /home/chris

chmod 764 tools.doc

This gives the owner (rwe = 7) group (rw = 6) and others (r=4) different levels of access to the file.

Graphical Means of Changing Permissions and Ownership

For people who don’t want to use the command line there is another way to do all this. I shall illustrate this using Linux Mint 9. Locate the file you want to alter by using your file manager. Right click and go to open as root. In Linux Mint 9 the background will go red when a file is open as root. Right click and go to properties. On the properties page you will be given the option of changing permissions for the owner, group and others along with changing the owner of the file. Change accordingly.

Hi I am Chris the owner of ComTech. I provide IT support to both personal and business clients from my base in Alloa, Clacknmannanshire. Here at ComTech I am experienced in using Windows, Linux and Cisco technologies whether it be for the home or business. I also incorporate Blackberry hardware into my business, namely the Blackberry Playbook and Bold 9780. I can advise, design and implement solutions to any problems you may have so if you have IT issues just pick up the phone. Please go to for more information.

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By Christopher P Wakefield

Linux MintToday we will have a look at setting up a DNS server on Linux. This tutorial was configured using Linux Mint 9 but the steps are the same for any Linux distribution.

First thing to do is to install the software we need. Open up a terminal and type:

sudo apt-get install bind9

Once installed it is time for some configuring. The first file we need to configure is named.conf.local. So in the terminal type:

sudo nano /etc/bind/named.conf.local

I have used nano to open up the file but use whichever text editor you are happy with. Insert the following code into the file:

# This is the zone definition. replace with your domain name

zone “” {

type master;

file “/etc/bind/zones/”;


# This is the zone definition for reverse DNS. replace 0.168.192 with your network address in reverse notation – e.g my network address is 192.168.0

zone “” {

type master;

file “/etc/bind/zones/”;


Replace with the name of your DNS domain (this is not the same as an active directory domain but rather a name for your DNS zone).

Next up is the options file. In the terminal type:

sudo nano /etc/bind/named.conf.options

Within this file we need to modify the forwarder with the address of your ISP’s DNS servers. So modify the file adding the following:

forwarders {;;


Replace the addresses above with the addresses of your ISP’s DNS servers.

Now we need to add the zones file:

sudo mkdir /etc/bind/zones

And then configure it:

sudo nano /etc/bind/zones/ (replace with your DNS domain).

Add the following code to the file:

// replace with your domain name. do not forget the. after the domain name!

// Also, replace ns1 with the name of your DNS server IN SOA

// Do not modify the following lines!







// Replace the following line as necessary:

// ns1 = DNS Server name

// mta = mail server name

// = domain name IN NS IN MX 10

// Replace the IP address with the right IP addresses.

www IN A

mta IN A

chris-server IN A

In the above code replace the following: with your DNS domain name, with your static DNS server address, with your computers hostname.dns-domain,

mta is your mail server (if you have one). If you do modify the IP address to show this.

Next we have to create the reverse DNS zone file:

sudo nano /etc/bind/zones/

Add the following code:

//replace with yoour domain name, ns1 with your DNS server name.

// The number before IN PTR is the machine address of the DNS server

@ IN SOA (









All that is left to do is restart bind:

sudo service bind9 restart (using upstart) or sudo /etc/init.d/bind9 restart (init scripts)

Don’t forget to test the new configuration:


Here at ComTech I love Linux. I use it for my own systems in the office and ‘pass on the good word’ to clients when appropriate. I can sort out any Linux queries you might have, including setting up servers, or offer advice if needed. Please go to for more information.

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