Linux Blog

Things I can do before Windows Boots

Filed under: General Linux — TheLinuxBlog.com at 8:38 am on Monday, June 28, 2010

I guess I’m one of the lucky ones that gets to use Linux at work. The kicker is, I need Windows to do part of my work so I have two machines. After a recent power outage, I needed to boot both machines this morning. So, I thought I’d document what I did before Windows booted.

  1. Turned both machines on
  2. Cleaned 3 coffee mugs and came back
  3. Talked to my boss about the power outage
  4. Logged into my Linux machine
  5. Started all the software I thought I might need for the day (Pidgin, Thunderbird, Firefox, Eclipse, Tilda and screen)
  6. Checked my e-mail
  7. Approved some comments on this blog
  8. Wrote this blog post.

On that note, my Windows machine is about booted and I can load up the Word documents that were inconveniently sent to me in .docx format. What a Monday Morning.

Impressed with the PostgreSQL Installer

Filed under: General Linux,Linux Software — TheLinuxBlog.com at 10:48 am on Monday, April 27, 2009

Until today I had never installed PostgreSQL from the Binary provided at postgresql.org since it’s pretty much always in some form of repository provided by most distributions. Today, for the first time ever I installed it and have to say I’m very impressed with the installer. I some what shuddered as I saw a “install shield” type installer interface, as my past encounters with these have generally tended to not work out so well. What I noticed about the PostgreSQL installer though was different from the “install shield”, it was BitRock. BitRock is a cross platform installer for “Windows, Linux, OS X and more…” as this was my first experience with BitRock with a Linux machine I have to say it was a positive one. It allowed me to install PostgreSQL with some custom components pretty effortlessly. While most won’t need to do a custom installation as PostgreSQL will probably be in a repository, its handy to know that the installer works.

BitRock does not appear to have a completely free license but they do seem to give open source projects a “free copy.” Not sure how I feel about this, but I guess if they’re out to make money then it could work for them. Apparentely it doesn’t take much to please me on a mundane Monday morning, I’d have been perfectly fine with a tarball and manual configuration but the GUI has brightened up my day. Thanks BitRock! Does any one else have any encounters or shocking experience with installers? What about BitRock in general?

Finding a PC on your network

Filed under: General Linux,Linux Software — TheLinuxBlog.com at 4:31 am on Tuesday, September 4, 2007

When I’m at a remote location I sometimes need to gain access to a computer that is not accessible from the internet but is on the same network as another machine that is. I have remote SSH access into the box that is on the same network but I often don’t know the IP address for the computer that I am trying to gain access to since they are assigned via DHCP.
I have a simple solution that will locate the computer I wish to use once logged into the gateway in no time. The program needed is from our friends at insecure.org and is called nmap. It is a pretty standard tool so it should be included with your distribution. However if you do not own the Linux machine then it may not be installed or you may not have the ability to install it or have sufficient privileges to run it.
Basically what nmap does is scan the network.
The command I use to scan a whole subnet for my host is:

nmap -sP 192.168.x.x/24

The type of scan I use is a ping scan, I only determine if the host is online. If I know the DHCP pool starts from 1.1 and ends at 1.100 then I would use:

nmap -sP 192.168.1.1-100

This will yield faster scanning results since it only has to ping 100 hosts not the whole subnet.
Sometimes if the environment is a busy one (one with lots of hosts) a lot of online IP’s will be returned and its hard to identify which one your trying to connect to. I remedy this by just scanning the host range I need that only have port 22 open.

nmap 192.168.3.1-100 -sT -p22

The -sT option doesn’t require the user to be root but if you have root the -sS option is better as it gives detailed information such as the mac address which can come in handy if you happen to know what brand of network card is in the computer you are trying to log into.

This will work to find a computer on a network with Linux but it still requires you to know a little information about the PC your trying to find. If you need a better way of finding your PC’s I would recommend using static IP’s and DNS. Give it a shot if your on location somewhere and need access to your computer.