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Old 2007-06-03, 17:38   Link #1
Phantom-Takaya
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Ubuntu Linux

I thought I'd make a thread for people who have Ubuntu Linux and has trouble here and there as well as questions about features and the like. Some trouble might be simple commands people don't know and easily remedied, while some can be as far as system failures.

Now, I've got two things to discuss.

The first thing is is anyone having trouble with their system crashing after downloading and install recent updates for Ubuntu Linux 7.04 (Feisty)? I'm aware that people in the Ubuntu forums have brought up the problem, but no one has addressed a solution for the problem other than "a fix will arrive soon."

The second thing is that is there a way to adjust the dual-monitors as in opening a window won't cause the window to open in between the monitors and having the panels not to extend to the other monitor? Using the nVidia settings for my GeForce 7600GS doesn't seem to give me that option. Any settings other than TwinView or Clone seems to cause Ubuntu to have trouble during start-up.
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Old 2007-06-03, 18:18   Link #2
Dhomochevsky
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I only installed Ubuntu 7.04 to try it out, so I dont know about update problems.

For the dual monitor thing: you could give beryl a try, if you like the flashy graphics.
It has a huge amount of options, so it might include what you need. I only tried it on a laptop, where all those mouse gestures you use to operate beryl are not very handy, so I dont know if its useful on a desktop.


I have questions myself

1) If you installed KDE with Ubuntu (or KUbuntu, like I did), do you know if there is any way to open the console into a certain path from KDE browser?
For example you open a folder in a window and then somehow start a console and it should be already in that folder instead of my home folder. I ts so annoying having to "cd" my way to a certain folder instead of just right clicking it and chose "open console here" like you can do in Gnome.

2) Whats with su and sudo in Ubuntu? Did they ban the su command completly? All I can do right now is sudo things. Any way to get su back?

3) Why is it, when I create new folders in my home folder, I dont have permission for write access right away, but have to give them to myself everytime? I know this "feature" from other distributions where this is limited to non-home folders(and there I thought it was stupid already). But when working in folders that I am the owner of, this is a useless hindrance.
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Old 2007-06-03, 18:32   Link #3
WanderingKnight
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Quote:
The second thing is that is there a way to adjust the dual-monitors as in opening a window won't cause the window to open in between the monitors and having the panels not to extend to the other monitor?
Curiously enough, yesterday I was installing Kubuntu in a friend's PC and I had no trouble setting up a monitor + TV setup, which I assume works essentially similar to the dual monitor setup. Basically what you have to do is edit your xorg.conf and set them up as different devices. Here's the link to the howto I used. I guess some things are different when doing that with a dual monitor setup, but I think they'll just be superficial (as having to change the TV part and setting it for the second monitor input, with its refresh rate, etc).

Of course, there should be more specific howtos around.

NOTE: With that guide, I didn't get good compatibility with Beryl (meaning the TV was unusable if I activated the Beryl window manager, though it really didn't matter since my friend only wanted to watch video files with the TV).
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Old 2007-06-03, 18:51   Link #4
SeijiSensei
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dhomochevsky View Post
1) If you installed KDE with Ubuntu (or KUbuntu, like I did), do you know if there is any way to open the console into a certain path from KDE browser?
For example you open a folder in a window and then somehow start a console and it should be already in that folder instead of my home folder. I ts so annoying having to "cd" my way to a certain folder instead of just right clicking it and chose "open console here" like you can do in Gnome.
Highlight the folder in Konqueror, then choose Tools > Open Terminal (or hit F4). The session will open in that folder assuming you have proper permissions.

Can't help with the sudo thing. I'm a Fedora user where su is the normal approach.

Quote:
3) Why is it, when I create new folders in my home folder, I dont have permission for write access right away, but have to give them to myself everytime?
Sounds like your "umask" is wrong. When you type umask at the prompt, you should get back 0002. The second and third digits are the mask for you and your group; your permissions are equal to the difference between seven and this number. So a mask of zero implies perms of 7, or read/write/execute. A mask of 0002 grants read/write/execute to your and your group, and read/execute to everyone else. If that's not your default mask, add the command "umask 0002" to the end of the file .bash_profile (a hidden file since its filename begins with a dot).

I don't know why this wouldn't be the default for Ubuntu.

Despite all the hype Ubuntu gets, I still like Fedora. It installs pretty cleanly and is easy to keep updated with yum. There are also excellent third-party repositories for Fedora like rpmforge and Livna.
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Old 2007-06-04, 00:39   Link #5
GundamZZ
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I like to use the live CD to diagnose the computer system probelm. I have a computer with the infrequent dispaly issue. Of course, I suspect that it's the graphic card. Can Ubunto pin point the problem like PC Doctor CD?
Thanks in advance.
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Old 2007-06-04, 01:02   Link #6
Vexx
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"su" is considered "easy to shoot yourself in the foot with" (just like logging in as root).

Using "sudo" consistently reminds you you're about to do something that could be horrible

I've not had any problems with updates at all so can't help you with any crash issues... was it the recent kernel update that people ran into trouble with?
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Old 2007-06-04, 01:18   Link #7
WanderingKnight
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Quote:
I've not had any problems with updates at all so can't help you with any crash issues... was it the recent kernel update that people ran into trouble with?
Oh, might as well raise my hand and say that I had no problems with the recent, big kernel update either.
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Old 2007-06-04, 01:40   Link #8
Syaoran
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Ubuntu 7.04 & crashing: boot your system with kernel 2.16.20-15 if it's still available and uninstall the currunt 2.26.20-16.

Mine didn't crash, but some usb devices (webcam, wacom, ..) didn't get recognized (even with kernel module recompile) and my ntfs partition couldn't get mounted.

Some people also reported kernel panics with it -_-
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Old 2007-06-04, 03:56   Link #9
grey_moon
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to substitue user to root
u can use

sudo su -

ofc its not recommended

geeky explanation to why su does not work on it's own is because substitute user (su) by default, subs to root, root account in distros like ubuntu and damn small linux are disable by default so u need to sudo to elevate your rights. so the god account does still exist, but sudo makes it easier to audit anyone using elevated rights.

and I also recommend beryl, it all the flashy vista stuff (beryl and compiz came out first btw), but more useful and u can switch it off by right click exit.
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Old 2007-06-04, 04:14   Link #10
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Oh man I'm thinking about moving to linux ubuntu from xp and all this stuff is way over my head. I haven't done any command line stuff since I had Ms-Dos on my 386.
Everytime I open an ubuntu thread to get a feel for what to expect get all these command line stuff and am petrified.
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Old 2007-06-04, 04:49   Link #11
grey_moon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hobbes_fan View Post
Oh man I'm thinking about moving to linux ubuntu from xp and all this stuff is way over my head. I haven't done any command line stuff since I had Ms-Dos on my 386.
Everytime I open an ubuntu thread to get a feel for what to expect get all these command line stuff and am petrified.
Actually with the latest version u really don't need the command line unless u want to get into the guts of it and do some more advanced stuff (same as osx and xp, i use cmd a lot in xp) .

The command line is useful because lots of the faq and howtos are in the form copynpaste the following lines.

When i use ubuntu I try to avoid commandline as I'm trying to get used to the way the distro is used by the average home user.
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Old 2007-06-04, 06:53   Link #12
Dhomochevsky
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Yay, F4! Great key, thx.

Speaking as a real Ubuntu newbie (and not too long linux user in general) I can tell you, you dont need to know those commands right from the start.

Distros like Ubuntu, Suse and so on work out of the box with a windows-like gui and if you use them like they are provided, you dont need to do any command line stuff at all. In fact an XP installation is way more complicated with all the custom tools and settings you need to do until you get a useable OS.
Distros come with tools for almost everything already installed and if you need something else, there are tools (clickable ) that give you lists of more things you can install by just clicking on the list entry. Much easier than aquiring new software in windows.


The only thing that really confused me when first installing a linux was the way it handles pathes and hd names.
In windows you have your HDs and every HD has its own top level folder (C:, D:, E: and so on). You reach any data by chosing a HD first and click through the folders from there on.
In Linux the folder system is not linked like that to your hardware/HD structure.
There is only one top level folder called root (thats a hint on the tree-like folder structure I guess ). Root has no obvious real place on your hardware, its kind of abstract. From there on the OS implements its folder structure. Somewhere there might be a folder that contains your windows HDs...
As you can see I still struggle hard to describe this system, for a windows user its really odd.

Oh and HDs (the real hardware parts) are given complicated names like sda0, sda1, or even sda01..2...4 and so on for partitions on sata hds. You might need these names if you want to customize the way linux makes partitions when installing. But I recommend you just accept the partitions it will propose for your first try.
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Old 2007-06-04, 07:33   Link #13
SeijiSensei
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dhomochevsky View Post
The only thing that really confused me when first installing a linux was the way it handles pathes and hd names.....

Oh and HDs (the real hardware parts) are given complicated names like sda0, sda1, or even sda01..2...4 and so on for partitions on sata hds.
Once you get used to having a single directory tree that spans all devices and filesystems you'll come to appreciate the power this simple method offers.

First rule about Unix systems in general: everything is a file. This includes disks, partitions, USB mass storage, printers, you name it. "Devices" like disks, keyboards, etc., live in the /dev subtree. The first SATA or SCSI drive in the chain is /dev/sda, the next /dev/sdb, and so forth. If you plug in a USB storage device like a camera or portable media player, it'll be assigned the next available /dev/sdX name. Specific partitions are referenced by adding a number from 1-N to the end of the device name like /dev/sda2, the second partition on the first SATA drive. Treating everything as a file gives Unix enormous power. For instance, you can clone an entire hard drive by using the command "dd if=/dev/sdc of=/dev/sdd" which makes a bit-for-bit copy of /dev/sdc onto /dev/sdd ignoring details like partitions, filesystems, etc.

Rather than assigning "drive letters" as DOS/Windows does, Unix has the concept of "mount points." A mount point is simply an empty directory in the tree. Each filesystem outside the root tree is attached to the tree at a mount point. For instance, all our home directories live on our server which I then attach to the mount point /home on our workstations using a technology called the "Network File System," or NFS. (Invented by Sun, NFS is the most-common method for accessing network filesystems in Unix.) That means my personal configuration travels with me across workstations. Network filesystems are thus treated identically to local filesystems. Think about this as like mounting a "network drive" in Windows. Instead of mounting a remote share to a drive letter like H:, I mount it to /home.

The most-common problem I see new Unix users having with all this is using the wrong slash. After years of using "\" to represent levels in a tree in Windows, they now have to use "/". ("\" is used as an "escape" character on the command line and tells the command processor, or "shell" in Unix-speak, to treat the following character as itself even if it might have some other special meaning.) This slash issue has become less of a problem since the advent of the Internet because people are now used to URLs which employ the Unix slash. But I still have to remember to tell people which slash to use if I have to give them instructions about typing commands.

@hobbes: As others have said here, good desktop distributions like Fedora or Ubuntu hide all the command-line stuff. My daughter uses Linux every day and never types a command. (Of course, she does have excellent technical support available.) I recommend getting a live-CD version of, say, Ubuntu, and taking it for test drive.

Edit: Fedora 7 was released over the weekend and now includes a live-CD version as well. Torrents here.
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Old 2007-06-04, 09:49   Link #14
grey_moon
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@SeijiSensei - Nice explanation!

Just want to add that with all of the later distro's I have tried, the auto mount point has moved from the /mnt directory to a subdirectory under /media. I think this was due to a change in the POSIX standards (but that is boring geeky stuff)

My personal choice for partitioning is to always have a separate partition for home, that way you can quite happily do a fresh install without blitzing (most) of you user files if not all of them.

In detail for my laptop I go for....

{/}{/home}{truecrypt encypted volume for lappie}{swap}

A long time ago in a galaxy far far away after many arguments we decided that the best place to put the swap on a physical disk in the edge as that is the fast part of the disk. Never ever found if this was 100% true, but it kinda made sense at the time.....

I would advise against using ReiserFS as Hans Reiser is somewhat occupied with the law. V3 is on maintain ace only and V4 is a wee bit edgy....

Ubuntu 7.04 uses ext3 by default.

In regards to the OP's question about their dual monitor, are your driver stock or from the nvidia site?
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Old 2007-06-04, 13:39   Link #15
Syaoran
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grey_moon View Post
In detail for my laptop I go for....

{/}{/home}{truecrypt encypted volume for lappie}{swap}
So ... what do you've to hide ? :3

Is that somehow more performing than using a file as virtual disk ?
I've a fairly big file on an external HD and the volume is formatted as FAT32, so Windows can eventually access it as well.
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Old 2007-06-04, 19:24   Link #16
grey_moon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Syaoran View Post
So ... what do you've to hide ? :3

Is that somehow more performing than using a file as virtual disk ?
I've a fairly big file on an external HD and the volume is formatted as FAT32, so Windows can eventually access it as well.
My lappie is mobile a little bit of data encryption keeps everyone a bit more happier and safer. I just symlink off, or point all of my personal data to /home/secure

I know it is possible to do full drive encryption, but I personally don't have data that warrants me to encrypt the swap etc. People who are capable/willing to slurp data of my machine most probably have far higher targets, or would just use the rubber hose technique as that is far cheaper

The windows ext2 driver works with ext3, there is quite a bit of info out there claiming that ppl have gotten faster read speeds from it over ntfs (also some saying its slower). I haven't tried it myself.

Personally all of my big external HDD are ext3 and if i need to access the data from a XP box I tend to drag that off via samba.
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Old 2007-06-05, 14:19   Link #17
Dhomochevsky
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Oh, this sounds interesting.
Does that mean you know a way to read out ext3 files from local hds while being in win XP?
Some of my more important files I am working on often are multiplying thanks to having two comps (pc and laptop) and each with linux + xp. Hard to keep it synchronized so everywhere is the most recent version. Being able to read cross os in both ways would help.

I kind of get the idea of having a server that can handle both file systems read it out on one side and send it over to the other, but does linux have to be running hosting the service at that time, or can I just start it in xp? (it wouldnt work on a single comp otherwise, right? )

Edit:
I found something called IFS driver for windows. You think this might work?
It says its for reading ext2 but I am using ext3. On the site where I originaly found the link, they said, they used it for ext3...
I hope this doesnt mess up anything. :>

Last edited by Dhomochevsky; 2007-06-05 at 14:40.
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Old 2007-06-05, 16:22   Link #18
SeijiSensei
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grey_moon is talking about using "Samba" to export file shares on a Linux box so you can mount the shares in Windows. This works over a network with Windows client machines and a Linux server.

The reverse can happen as well, which might be more effective for you. If you're using KDE, you can enter an "SMB" URL* into Konqueror and connect to a Windows shared directory. Type
Code:
smb://your.windows.machine.name/sharename
or use the Windows machine's IP address if you don't have full name resolution configured. For instance, if you had a Windows machine with IP address 192.168.1.1 and a shared directory called "myfiles" you can access it from Konqueror by typing
Code:
smb://192.168.1.1/myfiles
into the address box. You'll be prompted for your Windows username and password.

If you want to mount a Windows share permanently on a Linux box, you'll need to use the "smbmount" command from the command prompt as root. Suppose you set up a "mount point" (see above) called /mnt/myfiles. You can issue the command
Code:
smbmount //192.168.1.1/myfiles /mnt/myfiles -o username=xxx,password=yyy
and all the files in the shared "myfiles" directory will be available at /mnt/myfiles. Usually I put commands like this into /etc/rc.local, which is the last script run during bootup. To avoid having to leave the password information lying around you can use the "credentials" option instead to store the info in a file. Type "man smbmount" at a command prompt for more details.

Remember all this applies to a situation where there are separate Windows and Linux boxes both residing on a network.

_____

*SMB stands for "Server Message Block" and was the formal name for the filesharing protocols used by Windows networking. Lately these protocols have become known as CIFS, the "Common Internet File Service."
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Old 2007-06-05, 17:05   Link #19
Syaoran
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Yup, IFS

It even works perfectly with Windows Vista, but you've to specify "Run as Administrator..." to start the installation unlike many other programs.

grey_moon: If I understand it well (jeez.. it's past midnight ^^') you're truecrypt volume is ext3 formatted and you mount it Windows using IFS drivers?
I've one that was NTFS formatted (created on windows like 2 years ago) and have to mount it in Linux with the --filesystem ntfs-3g option.
I experience this a quite slower than using it with windows.
That's why the new truecrypt volume is formatted as FAT32, which is way faster on both OSes.
The external HD itself is {100MB FAT32}{159,9GB EXT3} That FAT32 partition is for having the IFS installer should I need to connect the HD to someone else's PC.
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Old 2007-06-05, 23:12   Link #20
grey_moon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Syaoran View Post
That's why the new truecrypt volume is formatted as FAT32, which is way faster on both OSes.
The external HD itself is {100MB FAT32}{159,9GB EXT3} That FAT32 partition is for having the IFS installer should I need to connect the HD to someone else's PC.
Very good point about speed, although ppl have claimed to have gotten faster read speeds on ext3 then ntfs. I have yet to benchmark it myself. Below is an example of ppl trying it on a game I like.

http://guildwars.incgamers.com/forum...d.php?t=449240

To honest I believe that FAT32 would be faster then ext3 as it does not have the journalling overheads.

I personally use ext3 on my lappie so I can use symlinks, but on my usb flash drives which are used for simple storage to cart things around externally, or to store some of my more sensitive info I would use FAT32 for simplicity.

In regards if windows can read a truecrypt partition which has been formatted with ext3 if you have the ifs drivers installed. The answer is yes, but I haven't tested speed yet! TC is so well written *sniffle*

Oh noes, I'm going to have to dig out that old lappie drive of mine to test the speed

Samba

I do mine differently from SS, but there is no right way, only what you personally prefer

In regards to sharing drives over samba, I use OpenSuSE 10.2 for my server/main box. That mounts external hard drives as

/mount/disk
/mount/disk-1
/mount/disk-2

and so on

So I basically have permanent samba shares to these points in the smb.conf, so if I plug something in it is auto shared. Even through there really is only one user on my tiny network I do lock down the share with valid users = me

Oh another nice tip is to do with user name spaces. Lots of ppl I guess would have created their user on windows as "My Name" etc etc, and Linux user name with spaces is a no no. Samba accounts are bound to the Linux accounts, but you can get past that with the following:

In the smb.conf file add:

[global]
username map = /etc/smb/usermap

In the usermap you define the username as follows:

username = "User Name"

So now I can happily login to windows with "User Name", but it actually points to "username" on my nix box

That way the default (at least with SuSE) auto mount user home directory scripts work.

Sorry if I hop between talking about SuSE on the Ubuntu thread, but if anyone needs I can test out on Ubuntu and go into more detail!

grey's home network

Basically I have one (old) box I leave on all the time which is running OpenSuSE. I have on it all my data files which I back up to external storage once a week. If I need to run unsafe stuff (internet) then I do that in a virtual machine (VMware Server is free).

Almost all of my data sits on that server, unless I class it as sensitive (ie online purchases, bank statements etc), which I keep on external TC drives which are also backed up to other TC drives. I only mount these when I want to access them and generally on my lappie when it has been booted into secure mode (I have OpenSuSE on another USB drive I use to do my transactions etc).

On my other boxes, lets say my XP gaming rig, I back them up once a week or before I do something stupid with trueimage to a samba share, I make sure I back up the My Documents dir even if I don't use it as some games save there. I do almost everything via samba locally and using ssh externally.
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Last edited by grey_moon; 2007-06-05 at 23:40. Reason: Is English really my first language?
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