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Old 2007-04-10, 12:48   Link #161
SeijiSensei
AS Oji-kun
 
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Mucking about
Age: 64
You should always keep /home on a separate partition from the root partition or, if you're like me, on a separate network server mounted with NFS. That way if the Linux installation goes awry, you're not going to lose your personal files, including configurations like those in /home/user/.kde or /home/user/.gnome. Putting /home on a network server means you can see it from Windows machines as well if you run Samba on the server.

All the important configuration information at the system level lives in /etc.* So backing up /etc is also critical. Most other things can be blown away with impunity.


*If you install software from source, especially source that follows the GNU conventions, the default is often to install under /usr/local, meaning you'll need to back up /usr/local/etc as well.
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Old 2007-05-01, 12:52   Link #162
SeijiSensei
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Mucking about
Age: 64
Dell looks set to start selling computers with Ubuntu pre-installed.

I didn't see anything in the announcements, or on Dell's Linux Forum, about how non-free software like codecs, NTFS support, etc., will be handled. I'm pretty sure Canonical (the company behind Ubuntu) has been working on obtaining rights for these things, but I guess we'll have to wait and see what gets shipped.
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Old 2007-05-11, 01:10   Link #163
Ledgem
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Northeast USA
Age: 28
I'm in the process of installing Kubuntu 7.04 to my girlfriend's computer. I mentioned my plan in here a few times I think, to have Kubuntu and WinXP partitions, with a separate WinXP instance accessible via VMWare in Kubuntu itself.

The original Windows XP partition is there as an emergency backup. My Linux knowledge isn't good enough that I can bail her out of a major system problem, and I don't want her to lose computing abilities. Given the IFS driver, she can pull data from Linux onto the Windows if need be. Question though: how do you unmount a Linux session in the event of a problem? At least, I think that's the question.

I had an issue in OpenSUSE where I had to hard reset. Instead of going back into OpenSUSE, I went straight to Windows. When I tried to access the Linux drive, I received an error. Some of the partitions weren't showing up, either. When I went back into Linux, and then back into Windows, the drives were fine and accessible. It occurred to me that this would be a potential flaw in my emergency plan. What causes that, and how would you go about fixing it?
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Old 2007-05-11, 06:06   Link #164
Jinto
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Fürth (GER)
Age: 33
If you do not cleanly unmount your partitions in Linux then that is similar to NTFS setting the dirty bit. Means it is necessary to do a disk check before you continue to use the partition. I do not think the IFS driver does this, so a reboot is needed. Btw. regarding your open office.... next time try to reach one of the linux consoles first (ctrl+alt+F1...F6). there you might be able to kill processes that hang (even the X11-server or the window manager/GUI). Or if this is too much trouble for you, login as root there and type reboot or halt, that forces a clean reboot (with unmounting drives...)
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Old 2007-05-11, 14:18   Link #165
Ledgem
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Northeast USA
Age: 28
I see. Supposing the system were damaged or there were an error such that I was unable to reboot into the system to make the partition accessible again, would it be possible to handle that through a LiveCD? How would I go about it?

Another question: my university provides us with the Cisco VPN client for taking on a university IP. I like to use this for security purposes when using a wireless network without encryption, but it must also be used when trying to access certain university resources (particularly e-journals). The trouble is that they have only provided us with a client for Windows 2000, 2003, XP, and Vista, as well as Mac OS X. How would I go about recompiling the Mac client for Linux?

I've also read that Linux has its own built-in VPN client - how do I go about accessing that? I will note, however, that I probably need the Cisco client. On my Mac OS X computer, I attempted to use the built-in VPN client as well, and it would not work. None of my more experienced Mac friends were able to do it on their systems, either - we all have to use the Cisco client.
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Old 2007-05-11, 15:23   Link #166
SeijiSensei
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Mucking about
Age: 64
There is a Cisco VPN client for Linux, but you can't download it for free. Maybe you could ask the school's IT department to download one for you?

VPNs remain an area where proprietariness abounds. There are a few open VPN methods. There's the IPSec standard, whose implementation on Linux remains a mystery to me, though I know it's possible. There's also the OpenVPN project which uses SSL, the encryption technology used in web browsers, to build secure tunnels. I use this to build secure point-to-point connections between myself and my clients, though it's also possible, but rather more complicated, to set it up to handle multiple roaming users. It's also possible to build tunnels over SSH if you can set up an SSH connection to begin with.

Most companies and larger organizations still use proprietary solutions like Cisco's, or Microsoft PPTP. (It's possible to support PPTP on a Linux server, but it requires "tainting" the Linux kernel with the software needed to handle Microsoft's proprietary MS-CHAP protocols. And, of course, it's not legal to use this software within the US.)

Frankly I don't understand why Cisco doesn't just distribute its clients for free; they're useless unless you're connecting to one of their VPN aggregator products.

There really isn't a "native" Linux VPN client; IPSec and OpenVPN are probably the closest in that they are freely-available and based on open standards.
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