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.

Aim for the Simple, not the Turd.

Filed under: General Linux — TheLinuxBlog.com at 10:18 am on Wednesday, March 18, 2009

TurdWhen something doesn’t work as expected, or stops working, for your own sake try the simple things first. It may seem pretty obvious to most people, but sometimes we all need a reminder. Recently I have been over complicating problems and landing in giant piles of turd.

I was going nuts one day because I couldn’t listen to streaming radio while I was trying to work. I started messing with all the settings, reconfiguring my sound card. I Removed the sound module and probed it again. Turns out that the reason my headphones were not working was because the cable was unplugged. Hey! it happens with those Dell’s with the slanted front inputs, but I’m still stupid for not checking the speaker volume first.

Fortunately this one was not me, but is still a funny story and something I’m sure most technicians will be familiar with.
User: “I can’t connect to the network”
Tech: “Is it plugged in?”
User: “How do I plug it in if it’s wireless?”
Tech: “Oh, why didn’t you say? Are you sure you’re connected to the right network?”
User: “How do I tell? The thing that normally tells me is gone”
Tech: “Ok, I’ll be there in a sec”
The technician tried to reinstall the driver, change the firewall settings and everything possible. Turns out they forgot to ask them if they’d hit the wireless function key.

Fresh off of the stupid, this one just happened to me five minutes ago. I was switching my KVM over to my Windows machine. I got nothing but a black screen and monitor telling me it was going to bed. My mind told me that Windows had crashed as usual and that I better shut it down and restart. I pressed the power button and waited. I’m used to Linux shutting down pretty quickly so since it was taking its time, I thought it had properly frozen up like it sometimes does. I held the power button in for the dreaded five seconds, poured myself a cup of coffee and turned it back on. What? Nothing! oh yea, I was rummaging around down there yesterday. What’s this? A loose video cable? Crap!

Who’s the sucker now?

Next time you jump off of the diving board of problem solving just remember to try the simple solutions first.
I’d love to hear your stories, and the pile of turd you landed in.

Two Screens, Two Linux Boxes – One Keyboard and Mouse

Filed under: General Linux,Quick Linux Tutorials — TheLinuxBlog.com at 8:50 am on Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Ever wished you could use your keyboard and mouse on another computer? In this article I will show you how.
To read it it should take about 60 seconds. In this time I’ll show you how to use one keyboard and mouse on two Linux machines. I’ll cover how to use the same keyboard and mouse on a Linux and Windows machine in another article.

Ready? Lets go!

First Decide which keyboard and mouse you want to use across multiple monitors on different machines and sit at that computer. The program needed to get this to work is called x2x.
As of this writing the stable version is 1.27

Download the stable version from http://x2x.dottedmag.net/

wget http://x2x.dottedmag.net/releases/x2x-1.27.tar.gz

Extract The Source code

tar xvzf x2x-1.27.tar.gz

Compile x2x

./configure && make && make install

If x2x compiled without any errors you should be good to run the program.
On the computer you want to use your primary keyboard and mouse on do the following:
Find out your IP

/sbin/ifconfig ethX

Run xhost to allow clients to connect to your display:

xhost +

Going back to your original computer decide which side of the monitor you want your mouse to jump to the other computer on. It will either be North, South, East or West. If your second linux box is on your left like mine, it will be west.
Now lets get the two computers connected with the same keyboard and mouse:

x2x 192.168.X.X:0.0 -west

Thats all there is to it. You should be able to mouse over the right of your screen and see your mouse cursor on the other computer.