Linux Blog

Wakoopa For Linux

Filed under: General Linux,Linux Software — at 12:01 am on Monday, March 31, 2008

I stumbled across Jakes blog post over at: Until this point I had never heard of the Wakoopa service. It seems like a really good idea. It is sort of the Alexa for software applications. Naturally I left a comment showing interest in an open source Wakoopa and shortly after received an e-mail from Jake.

Here it is:

Hello Owen, 

First I'd like to clarify that I don't actually have a need for the 
application tracker... it would be purely for fun. That said, I would love if 
you would be willing to create this. Here is the idea I have envisioned in 
more detail but do not have the skills to create:

1) The process list is purged every so often to generate a log file.
2) The log file is periodically sent to a server. It is cleared after each 
time it is uploaded.
3) The server then has an application which goes through and sorts out process 
names and so forth and presents them as user reader data (much like Wakoopa) 

I think that this would be the easiest way, but I'd love to hear your 
suggestions. If you were to make this I think it would be used and loved by many, as well as being useful.

Now that he has broken it down like that it seems like it would be pretty easy to implement. The only thing that I can see being a little bit complicated is determining what processes are running and how long they have been running for. I hopefully have a short shell script up for next Sundays column and have some sort of prototype. There should be nothing new in this script that I haven’t covered before on this blog, except possibly the sort command. Other commands I plan to know I will probably use are ps or top, cat and echo. There will probably be lots of loops and conditional if’s. The good thing about this idea is that if I write a shell script to do this some one will be able to translate it into another language. The real part where I would like to spend the majority of my time would be in the web interface. I expect that this will be written in PHP but I am unsure of the database technology that will be used since the recent happenings with MySQL.

So when this open source Wakoopa prototype is finished how many people do you think will use this service? Would you use it? What do you think an acceptable update time is? Any one have any other questions / input?

Suspend Scripts for the Toshiba Tecra M2

Filed under: Quick Linux Tutorials,Shell Script Sundays — at 12:15 am on Sunday, March 30, 2008

As you may know if you are a regular reader I own a Toshiba Tecra M2. One of the things that annoyed me was I had to turn the brightness up every time my computer came out of standby mode. A fix for this is to adjust the brightness every time the computer comes out of standby mode.

The script is intended to be run under cron. I have mine set up to suspend after 5 minutes of the lid being closed.

if [ $(cat /proc/acpi/button/lid/LID/state | sed 's/state:      //') == "closed" ]; then
VAR=$(cat /proc/acpi/toshiba/lcd | sed 's/brightness:              //' grep -v levels);
sudo su -c "echo mem > /sys/power/state";
if [ $VAR -eq 1 ]; then
elif [ $VAR -eq 7 ]; then
if [ $ACTION == "ADD" ]; then
VAR=$(($VAR + 1));
VAR=$(($VAR - 1));
sudo su -c "echo brightness:$(echo $VAR) > /proc/acpi/toshiba/lcd";

I run this with the following cron entry:

*/5 * * * * sh

The script first checks the current brightness. If the brightness is currently 1 or 7 it adjusts the mathematic operation so that when the laptop is opened the brightness is adjusted. Basically if the brightness is one, it adds one. If the brightness is 7 or any other value it subtracts one. This is currently working out quite well for me. I don’t know how useful this is to any body else, unless you happen to have a Toshiba that is doing the same thing but it should give you a good overall idea of how to perform basic mathematic operations in bash.

Facts About Selenium

Filed under: General Linux,Linux Software — at 9:22 pm on Friday, March 28, 2008

Selenium is a chemical element. What you may not know is that Selenium is also a powerful testing tool for web applications. Selenium runs its tests directly in a browser, just like real users do. It is cross platform and the developers plan to have it for the iPhone but thats another story. Selenium can run in one of two modes Core and Remote Control (RC). The RC method has a way of using distributed computing much like the way Samba allows cross compiling over multiple cpu’s. There is an IDE for Selenium that can be used to easily learn Selenium.

Enough Facts About Selenium already!

What exactly can you do with Selenium?

Well, the answer is simple. Pretty much anything that you can do with a browser Selenium can do. Its primary purpose is for developers to use as a quality assurance tool. For QA purposes you can create a test cases, run them and verify that the end result is what you expected. You can create test cases in Java, Ruby, Python, Perl, PHP or .NET.

I had a little trouble getting the Selenium driver for PHP installed so here is the how to:

sudo su
pear channel-update
pear install Testing_Selenium-beta
pear install PHPUnit

The above allowed me to communicate with the Selenium Remote Control that I downloaded with PHP. Here is an example from their website that I have modified so that it works:

set_include_path(get_include_path() . PATH_SEPARATOR . './PEAR/');
require_once 'Testing/Selenium.php';
require_once 'PHPUnit/TestCase.php';
class GoogleTest
private $selenium;
public function setUp()
$this->selenium = new Testing_Selenium("*firefox", "");
public function tearDown()
public function testGoogle()
$this->selenium->type("q", "hello world");
$this->testCase("/Google Search/", $this->selenium->getTitle());
echo "<hr>";
$this->testCase("/Yeahh Search/", $this->selenium->getTitle());
public function testCase($regEx, $string) {
preg_match($regEx, $string, $matches);
$google = new GoogleTest();

Before attempting to run this you must make sure that you downloaded Selenium RC and that it is running. Selenium runs on Java so make sure that Java is installed download selenium from here, unzip and run the following in the directory that it is extracted to:

cd selenium-remote-control-1.0-beta-1
cd selenium-server-1.0-beta-1
java -jar selenium-server.jar -interactive

Once this is running you can start scripting with PHP to get Selenium to do anything that you want. Once you are done make sure that you exit the Selenium server by running the “exit” at the prompt.

I’m sorry about the format of this post, its been a while since I have used Selenium and I’m quite excited about it. If you have any questions about Selenium post them here and I will try to answer them for you.

Digsby on Linux

Filed under: Linux Software — at 1:41 pm on Monday, March 24, 2008

I was reading this: post and I thought I’d check out Digsby. Other then being a really neat idea I thought it would be a great app for me to test out and see if I could use it full time. The Linux / MacOSX version is not ready yet so, I thought I’d just give running it under Wine a shot.

With a bit of struggling I did get it to work. I needed some DLL’s so I borrowed some from my Windows install. Then I needed Python, got that installed with the msiexec. Same error under wine PYTHONDLL failed to load.

Back to the drawing board, I figured I’d give that WineCVS script a shot. I posted an article about it a couple of days ago, you can use it to download Cedega and all other kinds of Wine implementations. I got the latest Wine from CVS, compiled and installed. Same issues as with the stable Wine I run. So, again battled with DLL’s (this time I just copied them over from my other install) and low and behold, it looks like it works:

Digsby on Linux under Wine

Looks pretty good huh?

When I try to sign in with my user name it doesn’t do so well. Here is the output:
Digsby on Linux under Wine Debug
I’m not sure how much I’ll get to mess with this to see if I can get it working before they release the Linux version but I’m going to keep trying. If your interested in more detailed instructions or information on running Digsby under Wine I’ll be happy to provide that information for you.

I’ll keep everyone posted by comments in this blog post. Also, let me know your thoughts on this, and comments!

– Owen

Linksys NSLU2 – A Great Linux Box

Filed under: Linux Hardware — at 2:35 am on Friday, March 21, 2008

This is a piece of hardware that I have owned probably for about two years now. I thought that it had died therefore it sat in my box of unused computer crap probably for about a year and a half. The other weekend I took this little gem back out of this box and actually un-bricked it. It was a bit of a pain to get it working again from its unusable state. It would never boot up, never beeped. Just stopped with an orange light, I really thought it was toast. So I tried the redboot method (regular upgrade method would not work) and it actually went into redboot. After flashing its memory and reloading firmware I was able to get a some what working Linksys NSLU2.

Now thats over with, naturally after having Linksys’s NSLU2 back to its original state, I had to fix it again. That is install Linux on it. The Linksys NSLU2 already runs Linux so there are a few options on how you can get Linux on the Linksys NSLU2. I opted for the easier install this time which is Unslung. My theory with this was, it has a lot more packages then when I first saw Unslung and my Debian Installation was what bricked the poor little slug. So, now I have a great Linksys NSLU2 that is sitting serving up files and is available to run lightweight applications.

I highly recommend the Linksys NSLU2 to anyone wanting to play around with Linux. It is so easy to get started with and they can easily be picked up for under $100. You don’t need anything special to use the Linksys NSLU2. Windows, Linux, MacOSX and anything with a Telnet or SSH client will work. There are so many things that you can do with Linux on an NSLU2 the options are endless. What are you waiting for? Grab one today!

Linux Cedega Download

Filed under: Linux Software — at 4:33 am on Thursday, March 20, 2008

There are a few options when it comes to playing Windows games on Linux. Cedega is a great tool to allow you to play these games under a Linux system. I was recently browsing around to find the Cedega Download from CVS instructions and found the normal source that I got them from no longer had them. I was wondering if it was an issue with Cedega but came to find out that there is an easier way then that now.

Check out:

You can download a script called This script allows you to freely check out the source code for Cedega and compile it. WineX and other versions of Wine are also included. I would highly recommend paying for Cedega if you can afford it, if not its worth a shot to use the Cedega Download utility.

Bin and Cue Support for Linux

Filed under: Quick Linux Tutorials — at 2:35 pm on Tuesday, March 18, 2008

If you have a bin/cue image that you need to use under Linux you may be in for a surprise. I recently downloaded a copy of a game that I owned but was too scratched to use. The problem was the game came in bin / cue format. To fix this I just used a nifty little program called bchunk and converted it to ISO. It can be found here:

I would really like to find a way to mount bin and cue images under Linux but so far I’m not having any luck. I’m wondering if with some modification the bchunk program could be used with fuse.

Man Page Not Found

Filed under: The Linux Blog News — at 6:58 pm on Sunday, March 16, 2008

I’ve added this post because the Linux Man Pages that I have added to this site need to be directed some where when a man page is not found. I stumbled upon the problem after I saw Google trying to index pages that did not exist. My guess is that there are links within the man pages section that are bad.

I will be monitoring this page to see where the hits to this page are coming from but if you followed a link here from the Linux man pages section then I would really appreciate a comment with which page you ended up here from and I will fix the problem.

Thanks in advance,


Linux Man Pages Added

Filed under: The Linux Blog News — at 9:35 pm on Saturday, March 15, 2008

I’ve just added a section to this site that I have been working on for a while.

Basically I’ve been wanting a place to store the man pages online. So, I wrote a little script that would let me do it. All I have to do now is write a search for it and then some small little tweaks.

Let me know if you find the man page section useful. It can be found under the pages section on the right hand column of this site or you can access it directly by going to

Ideas For Open Source Product Names

Filed under: General Linux,Linux Software — at 10:12 am on Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I’m trying to think of a name for a product that I am developing. One thing about the open source community is that we have a goldmine of minds waiting to be used. One thing that amazes me is the number of quality brand names that have been established. Establishing a brand can be quite difficult and product names are just as important.

My Question is,

“Where Open Source Application names come from?

I understand the basic ones, such as Open, or put a K, g in front of a word for your application but what about the more complex names. Audacious, WireShark (Formerly Ethereal) and Asterisk are all great names for products and are related to what the product does. I guess I’ll have to keep thinking about this product until I can come up with a decent name.

The Linux Blog Givaway #1 – Dave & Busters Game Card

Filed under: The Linux Blog News — at 8:35 pm on Monday, March 10, 2008

Hey Everyone!

I’ve just made sure that the register feature for The Linux Blog works. This means you can sign up for The Linux Blog and contribute! I’m giving away a Dave & Busters Power Card to the first writer to sign up and make two blog posts. I’ll mail it off to you after the the articles have been posted for free! All you have to do is sign up and write here.

I got this card from an Intel Retail Edge Event so I don’t know how much money is on it but my guess is either $5 or $10. If you think about it that is either $2.50 or $5.00 for each blog post!

I know its not much but its a start. I have some other things that I can give away in the future for writers with the most posts. These items may vary in value from nothing to who knows what, probably other gift certificates or computer hardware. I’m even considering purchasing small hardware items to ship to people for them to review and keep (if they have enough posts.)

So, stay tuned!

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