Linux Blog

Quick TOR Guide

Filed under: Quick Linux Tutorials — at 12:30 pm on Wednesday, June 15, 2011

tor guide
Accredited online
colleges have web development classes
for those who want to learn more.

TOR is a nice little network service application that lets you do things over the Internet more anonymously. I’ve always been fascinated by it but never really used it. I always assumed it was hard, but getting set up to use tor doesn’t have to be hard. If you want a virtual machine that is configured to browse anonymously, check out Vatlator.

Tor comes with most distributions these days, in Fedora and Ubuntu you can just install Vidalia. Once installed open Firefox (if thats what you use) and install TorButton from the Add-ons. Fire up Vidalia from Menu->Internet->Vidalia (Gnome), wait for a connection and then toggle the Tor Status in FireFox.

To verify you are connected to the Tor network, goto

Thats it, its a simple as that!

Free DVD Ripper Software

Filed under: General Linux — at 12:37 am on Wednesday, October 6, 2010

free dvd ripper software

So, you have a pesky DVD that you’d like to backup? The broader question is, do you have DVD ripper software? Well what is better than DVD ripping software? That’s right you guessed it FREE DVD ripper software!

(Read on …)

Anonymous Browsing with Vatlator

Filed under: General Linux,Linux Software — at 12:17 pm on Saturday, September 25, 2010

Emanuele gave me the heads up of a new release of Vatlator which is a live CD for anonymous browsing. This is the first I’ve heard of Vatlator so naturally I downloaded it to see what it was all about. After setting up a new virtual machine and disk it had no problems booting up and did it fast. From testing Firefox, tor is enabled by default and works well, although a little slower but thats expected from using Tor. You may want to note that that not all traffic is routed through Tor, it would be best test to make sure that what you need is before you need to use it.
I installed the Virtual Box add-ons, and after restarting X by logging out, then logging back in (took me a while to figure this out) the resolution was much better. By the way, the sudo root password is vatlator. Since it is based on Ubuntu installing software works with apt-get and has a great range of packages.

One thing that baffles me is the “F… the censorship” slogan, it just seems a little hypocritical, but I can relate to reasons behind it. I’m definitely going to keep it handy since it runs great in Virtual Box, boots up quickly and performs really well. Kudo’s Emanuele!

CPU Flags and Meanings

Filed under: General Linux — at 11:38 pm on Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Having a brain that is somewhat comparable to a sift for remembering acronym’s, I’m always asking a friend which (I, probably incorrectly call) CPU extension is for virtualization. So I figured I’d blog about this topic. This page CPU feature flags and their meanings clearly explains each of the flags that may be on your machine, which you can check what your CPU supports by typing:

cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep flags

Secure Virtual Machine. (AMD’s virtualization extensions to the 64-bit x86 architecture, equivalent to Intel’s VMX, both are also known as HVM in the Xen hypervisor.)

So to answer my own question SVM and VMX are what to look for when considering a CPU for virtualization. My laptop supports VMX, but my desktop doesn’t. Considering I’d rather do my virtualization on my desktop, I’ll have to upgrade my CPU. Now all I need to do is find out where to find this information for AMD processors and hope I can get a CPU for my outdated socket type. I don’t even think that it is AM2 :(

uCertify Linux+ CXK0-002 Exam Preparation Material

Filed under: General Linux,Linux Software — at 12:03 am on Monday, March 16, 2009

How many people have ever considered getting certified in the Linux field? I’m sure there are a lot since there are a number of certifications available, RHCE, LPI, Novel/Suse and CompTIA’s Linux+ to name a few. Now, think of the number of study materials and exam preparation available for each of those. The number can almost be overwhelming.

uCertify have study materials available for a number of certification vendors. The vendors that are of specific Linux interest are CompTIA and LPI. Today I’ll be giving you my perspective on the Linux+ study material. I have already sat and passed the Linux+ XK0-002 exam and with the new one coming out pretty soon (Feb 17th was the Beta release date) I would recommend you take it too.

The first thing I did after downloading the uCertify preparation material was try and install it on Linux using wine. It failed on installation, but it may be able to work with some configuration tweaking and file copying. No time for that though, if your studying for an exam you need to get on it and start. So install it in a virtual machine or on a Windows box to save time.
uCertify’s interface is very easy to navigate and is organized well, it also has a clean interface which is easy on the eyes – great for those late night study sessions. The CXK0-002 exam has ample practice tests and study material. There are a number of methods of studying for the exam including:
Flash Cards, Study Notes, Articles.

There is not a large amount of text explaining theories and concepts in great detail but the study notes and flash cards are great at refreshing your memory and helping you remember what’s on the exam. The practice tests and assessments are pretty good but can be tricky – just like the real exams. Remember they are not only designed to make you pass, they guarantee it!

Probably the biggest question I have when studying for a certification is
“Am I ready to take the Exam?”
Most times, I opt for “no” and do more studying. The uCertify preparation engine takes the guess work out by giving you “tracking” features. Basically these features allow you to track your past test scores and take the practice test. It will let you know when you’re ready.

All-in-all I think the uCertify preparation engine with the CXK0-002 material loaded is a good method of studying for the Linux+ exam, especially if you are familiar with the concepts and terminologies outlined in the exam objectives. If you are new to Linux and are looking for the best all inclusive study material out there, I don’t think that you would want to use this alone. I’d recommend reading a book or using video training aimed at bringing you up to speed in addition to a good preparation material. uCertify’s preparation can definitely fit the latter’s shoe’s.

My Problems with Fedora 9

Filed under: General Linux,Linux Software — at 10:29 pm on Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Now, I know that Fedora is a community based operating system that Redhat just so happens to sponsor but I think there are some major problems with the release. Although I have been called “Bleeding Edge” I don’t think that I am quite there and actually I think I’m far from “Cutting Edge.”
I downloaded Fedora 9 on the day of its release to check it out. I started off by installing it onto a virtual machine. First time around the install failed for no reason, some Python error that I did not feel like debugging. I rebooted the VM , gave it another shot and it worked. The install process was pretty much the same as Fedora 8. I saw some minor differences but nothing that I can remember now. Once installed I fired it up and to say the least performance was not very good. I wanted to check out the KDE4, so I switched over. Nothing, the graphics support for the VMWare Toolbox driver is not good enough to really play with KDE4.

After toying with the Virtual Machine I decided to upgrade a test virtual machine from Fedora 8 to Fedora 9. The process to my surprise went smoothly. This was a vanilla Fedora 8 install with not too many bells and whistles. I administer a number of Fedora boxes and thought that I’d upgrade one that actually had software installed. The upgrade did not work, it failed and gave me an obnoxious error which had nothing to do with the task at hand. When I figure out exactly what the cause of the problem was, or if it is just a hardware issue I’ll report my findings here.

Despite feeling like I had not achieved too much I burned a copy of the DVD and installed it on my Desktop at the office. Its not the fastest machine on the planet but its no creeper. 1GB Ram, NVIDIA graphics and I think the upwards of 2GHz. The install went fine and gnome works great. I did not opt to install my window manager of choice (XFCE) since I was really wanting to play with KDE4. KDE4 installed fine and after switching desktops KDE worked. What’s the first thing I tried? You probably guessed it the Desktop effects. So, I try to enable them. No dice. So “I’ll just install the graphics card driver”
I thought since I know that it didn’t come bundled. This is where my troubles really began. The NVIDIA graphics will not compile on Fedora 9. Fedora 9 uses a version of XORG that has been stable for a while but NVIDIA has decided not to support yet. Thats exactly what you get when a vendor has control over source. Oh well.

I put up with the laggy graphics for a little while and tried to customize KDE. KDE4 to me seemed awfully buggy to be included as the only option for running KDE as a desktop. I happen to use KDE when not using XFCE and am quite happy with the 3.5 tree. My next problem apart was with Firefox. They include Firefox Beta 3, which I am undecided on. It crashed a number of times on me whist browsing since I hadn’t set anything up to do any real work on. I know that we would have to wait for Fedora 10 come out to see KDE4 and Firefox 3 if they were not included now but I didn’t see the legacy versions on the installer. For me Fedora 9 is not quite ready to use in a production environment.

For now I’m going to stick to Fedora 8 whilst providing feedback for 9. The moment that KDE, Firefox and XORG get patched I’m 100% there.

Fedora is not for every one but has any one else had any problems with Fedora 9 or interesting stories to share?

KDE 4.0 on Slackware 12

Filed under: General Linux — at 12:34 am on Friday, January 18, 2008

It hasn’t been that long since the new KDE 4.0 has been released. To My surprise there is currently no working version of this available for Slackware 12. I have been searching around but haven’t been able to find any evidence of it working yet. In this case I’m going to try and get it working just to see if I can. In the mean time I may start up a new virtual machine and set up the Kubuntu live CD and maybe the Hardy Heron when it comes out. I’ve been watching the podcasts on You Tube but have mixed feelings about the new features, so I figure I’ll try it out myself rather than relying on other peoples opinions and videos. I suggest every one do the same thing.

I know this is old but it is one of the videos from the KDE commit digest. The containment feature seems like a pretty neat feature. What do you think?

What to do when you run out of disk space

Filed under: General Linux,Linux Software,Quick Linux Tutorials — at 11:27 am on Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Some times you run out of disk space. It just happens. So, what do you do when it does happen?

Well, it just happened to me and I’ll write about what I did. I’ll first start off with how I discovered that I was out of disk space in the first place. It was about 10:30 last night when for some reason that I can’t remember now I decided I’d start up my good old XP Virtual Machine (Probably to use some quirky Windows program.) Anyhow the VMWare console reported that I did not have enough disk space. This came as a bit of a shock to me as I have a 100GB hard drive. I had been downloading ISO’s of Linux Distributions but not that much. So, here is what to do when you run out of disk space:

Step 1) Don’t panic
Step 2) Take a look at your processes and shutdown anything that is not needed. init to single user mode if it makes you feel better.
Step 3) Use the disk free utility to figure out how much space you have:

df -h /

Step 4) Make a couple of megabytes of free space so that you can install a program.
Step 5) Download and install xdiskusage from source or from your favorite package manager.
Step 6) Run xdiskusage from the terminal as root
Step 7) Select a disk / partition
Step 8) Wait
Step 9) View the results
Step 10) Rinse wash repeat. (Browse Partitions / Delete / Move files to another disk & do it again)

Here are some screen shots of my xdiskusage:

xdiskusage example screenshot
xdiskusage example screenshot xdiskusage example screenshot xdiskusage example screenshot
Click For xdiskusage screenshots

As you can see from the root screen shot that my root partition that I have 60GB used between my /var and /home directories. On closer inspection, the var has 40GB, 20GB in virtual machines and 20GB in the logs directory. 20GB’s of logs is quite a lot, this is where my problem is. After finding the problem I was able to backup my log files and remove them. I know that this can be done with shell scripts xdiskusage has helped me in the past so I thought I’d pass on the information. If you have a favorite utility or script what you use when you run out of disk space let me know!

Project URL: