...making Linux just a little more fun!


This month's answers created by:

[ Amit Kumar Saha, Ben Okopnik, Kapil Hari Paranjape, S. Keeling, René Pfeiffer, Neil Youngman, Rick Moen, Thomas Adam ]
...and you, our readers!

Gazette Matters

Comments on LG- Digg Integration

Amit Kumar Saha [amitsaha.in at gmail.com]

Mon, 4 Jun 2007 19:08:48 +0530

Hi all,

The latest issue (http://linuxgazette.net/139/index.html) of LG has a new feature - a "Digg this!" button (as you must have noticed it). I am looking after this sub-project. I would like to get some feedback about this as to how to improve it; or any modifications /suggestions.


Amit Kumar Saha

Still Searching

Virtual Desktops with individual folders

Peter Holm [peter.g.holm at gmail.com]

Wed, 20 Jun 2007 13:20:31 +0200

I have searched the net (google, newsgroups ...) to find an answer to this question .- but without success.

In KDE (for example) you can get individual desktops backgrounds for each virtual desktop. Well - i am used to a utility for M$-Windows called Xdesk that also can set the the desktops to have individual icons / folders.

I know that in the windows world they change a regkey that tells where the desktop belongs for each switch so such a 'true virtual desktop'

I have also in M$-Windows created bathc-files to use with less intelligence window-managers, theese batch-files separately update the regkey to get my own way to create 'true virtual desktops'

Is there any program that i can get to have different desktops-folders or is there any way to trick either kde / gnomw / idesk to have different desktops?

I suppose it should go with renaming the main folders there they save the desktop-information for each switch, so the desktop you are on have specific icons and settings, and then force kde /gnome / idesk / whatever to update.

And yes - i know that the folder layout differs for Kde / Gnome / Idesk / Whatever - i am satisfied with a solution that fits one of theese or maybe someother Desktop Manager (for example XFCE4)

sorry for the length of the letter - feel free to strip out whatever you like to make it place in the list.

Best Regards

MI/X PPC Classic Macintosh X Window server (freeware)

Ben Okopnik [ben at linuxgazette.net]

Sat, 23 Jun 2007 09:39:11 -0400

----- Forwarded message from "Martin A. Totusek" <bb553@scn.org> -----

Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2007 19:53:09 -0700
From: "Martin A. Totusek" <bb553@scn.org>
Reply-To: "Martin A. Totusek" <bb553@scn.org>
To: Ron Jenkins <rjenkins@unicom.net>
CC: "Marjorie L. Richardson" <gazette@linuxgazette.net>
Subject: Re: MI/X PPC Classic Macintosh X Window server (freeware)
Looking for:

MI/X PPC Classic Macintosh X Window server (freeware) MicroImages, Inc. (21 October 1998)

NO LONGER POSTED ONLINE by MicroImages - I wish to find a copy to use and to archive

- Martin A. Totusek


MI/X for Macintosh A Professional, Free X Server.

Mac computers run the TNT products http://www.microimages.com/index.htm through the unique MicroImages X Server (MI/X), which MicroImages supplies with every TNT product for Macintosh.

MicroImages is also pleased to make this X Server freely available for Macintosh users who do not have any of the TNT products. You may want to use your Power Macs as X terminals in a network environment -- MI/X works fine as an X terminal emulator. You may also want to make your PC a true X Server and run multiple X clients from your desktop. MI/X works fine there, too -- after all, that's why MicroImages developed MI/X in the first place.

If you can configure a telnet session, you know enough to use MI/X. Since MI/X for the Macintosh is made freely available, MicroImages cannot respond to individual user requests for technical support. However, MicroImages maintains MI/X as the X Server for its line of TNT professional products http://www.microimages.com/index.htm, so you will find MI/X a stable and robust performer.

If you have any questions comments or suggestions regarding MI/X for Macintosh contact us at mix@microimages.com

User Reviews

A free X Window server for Power Macs. It's got all the requisite features - host allow/deny, background configurability, etc. - and comes with twm, although you can use any other window manager.

"Although it was not as easy to configure as come commercial X server software, I was connecting to our UNIX server relatively effortlessly. It's a great tool to have in our computer lab to connect to the workstation for one of our research projects." - Jiro Fujita

"This is an amazing piece of software - especially considering the price. MI/X performs well on my 7200/90 and is very much easier to set up and use than MacX or its reincarnation, Xoftware. I noted a few minor bugs with screen redrawing when using the backing store but on first impression this seems to be a useful and usable X-server." - David Robertson, Programmer, Department of Computer Science, University of Otago

[ ... ]

[ Thread continues here (1 message/3.62kB) ]

Our Mailbag

Synching files between remote hosts.

Smile Maker [britto_can at yahoo.com]

Tue, 5 Jun 2007 23:11:34 -0700 (PDT)


Here is my scenario,

We have a version control repository running on my end and we have the branch offices too.Now people are checking in and out tunneling through firewall to the version control server in my end.

Now my problem is remote users are experiencing slow process when they are doing version control transactions.

We thought of rsyncing the repo to the remote machine.and the users can do the version control operations locally but how do we maintain the consistency of files in all offices ?

Thanks & regards, Britto

[ Thread continues here (3 messages/4.07kB) ]

Any mass mailer program for linux

Smile Maker [britto_can at yahoo.com]

Fri, 15 Jun 2007 02:49:49 -0700 (PDT)


Suggest me one good mass mailer program for linux ( So i am looking for free).

The project i found in sourceforge was not helpful for me.


[ Thread continues here (3 messages/4.96kB) ]


Rick Moen [rick at linuxmafia.com]

Wed, 20 Jun 2007 13:38:45 -0700

There's an interesting ongoing trend among hardware manufacturers, to incorporate more and more low-end RAID functionality into either core motherboard circuitry or cheap add-on cards. Unfortunately, the resulting RAID functions tend to be slow and buggy compared to Linux "md" driver software RAID. Caveat emptor.

----- Forwarded message from Rick Moen <rick@linuxmafia.com> -----

Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2007 13:35:10 -0700
From: Rick Moen <rick@linuxmafia.com>
To: Pekka Hellen <pekka@hellen.fi>
Subject: Re: Fakeraid
Quoting Pekka Hellen (pekka@hellen.fi):

> Im wondering that what is the situation with Silicon Image 4723, is that 
> fakeraid or not? :)
> btw great list you have there 
> http://linuxmafia.com/faq/Hardware/sata.html#fakeraid
> Best regards
> Pekka HellÚn
> Finland
> **

The 4723 appears to be genuine hardware RAID (albeit for RAID0 or RAID1 only), and is implemented as a port multiplier and RAID controller add-on, that attaches to a SATA port, which is then for some reason referred to as the "EZ-Backup" port, to which you can connect two SATA drives. Unfortunately, reports I hear suggest that it has very bad performance.

My apologies for being a bit behind on maintenance of my SATA on Linux page. I've been away on vacation, and am just now returned.

----- End forwarded message -----

Domain name registrar follies

Ben Okopnik [ben at linuxgazette.net]

Sun, 10 Jun 2007 16:38:43 -0400

----- Forwarded message from "s. keeling" <keeling@spots.ab.ca> -----

Date: Sat, 2 Jun 2007 19:25:54 -0600
From: "s. keeling" <keeling@spots.ab.ca>
To: ben@linuxgazette.net
Subject: Domain name registrar follies.
Hey Ben. Que pasa? Apologies in advance, as I know this rambles quite a bit. I learned some important lessons from it, so thought I'd pass them on.

I ran into a bit of (for me, anyway) an interesting mystery today, and it partly concerns LG's very own Rick Moen. I was reminded while brousing through /current that I'd been meaning to go look into a few things on Rick's Linux Mafia site (I'm presently in the last stages of recovering from a failed hard drive[ii], and old bookmarks is about all that's left to do).

So, Iceweasel --> linuxmafia.net ...

Yup, that was my first mistake. Rick's not at .net, he's at .com. I don't know how I came up with .net (creeping senility perhaps), but there you are. BTW, linuxmafia.net appears to be a P2P invite only torrent site out of Georgia, as one of my mailinglist buddies was kind enough to point out. He followed that up with "whois is your friend."

Well, I knew that. On the other hand, it's not always your (or my, at least) friend because "whois -h whois.arin.net linuxmafia.com" shows no match. On the other hand, "dig mx" does work. Um, wtf? Is there some serious Juju going on here, or am I just more ignorant than I hope I am?

The plot thickens; I'm not the only one. F-Secure appears to be a bit confused on this sort of thing too. see:

So, what's wrong with whois, or is there something magical going on about Rick's (and F-Secure's example) sites? Or, am I an idiot?

I was getting too cute with shell aliases[i], but I see plain old "whois linuxmafia.com" does work quite nicely, showing it's registered with Tucows Inc. I thought my "arin" alias was all I needed to find registry info in this part of the world, "ripe" for Europe, "apnic" for the Far East, and etc. Definitely not true. Drat.

The moral of the story appears to be that (as a plain "whois $BLAH" shows):

    Domain names in the .com and .net domains can now be 
    registered with many different competing registrars.
    Go to http://www.internic.net for detailed information.
So, I ought to be giving up on my ("my friend") whois aliases.


On the off-chance you end up dumping this into LG's "Mailbag", I'll add that anyone who hasn't spent time at Rick's site is missing some great stuff. I've learned a lot from him over the years, and his wry, dry, diplomatic, and often truly vitriolic BOFH "we don't suffer fools here!" style is damned entertaining.

And for Rick, guess what? linuxone.com is still registered, at Computer Services Langenbach Gmbh DBA joker.com. DN squatter snapped it up I guess, since it mentions none of the entities you mention in your article.

[ ... ]

[ Thread continues here (4 messages/11.48kB) ]

Window management annoyances

Neil Youngman [ny at youngman.org.uk]

Wed, 6 Jun 2007 13:33:05 +0100

Occasionally I get a window behaving in a way I haven't seen until recently. The window is not displayed, just the title bar. When I move the cursor over the title bar the rest of the window displays, but when the cursor is moved off the window it shrinks back to just the title bar.

I assume that this is configurable behaviour in some way, but it seems to happen fairly randomly. It's most common in JBuilder (spit), but it's also happening to an xterm window at the moment.

The Window Manager is KDE and I'm running Debian Etch. Does anyone know what causes this and how to stop it?


[ Thread continues here (3 messages/3.94kB) ]

when is an open source license open source?

Rick Moen [rick at linuxmafia.com]

Wed, 20 Jun 2007 18:18:16 -0700

This is just out: OSI President Tiemann has made a ringing statement that badgeware licensing is absolutely not open source, and has called upon the community to support him. We of course should do so, unequivocably.

----- Forwarded message from Michael Tiemann <tiemann@opensource.org> -----

Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2007 20:46:56 -0400
From: Michael Tiemann <tiemann@opensource.org>
To: license-discuss@opensource.org
Subject: when is an open source license open source?
Today I read a blog posting from Dana Blankenhorn (http://blogs.zdnet.com/open-source/?p=1123) that has compelled me to respond. I may well be preaching to the choir on this list, but the blog posting I wrote in response (http://opensource.org/node/163) is a request for the choir to now sing as one. If I am asking you to do something you do not agree with, I'm sure you'll let me know. If you do agree, now is the time to be heard. Thanks!


----- End forwarded message -----

[ Thread continues here (2 messages/2.06kB) ]

problem in using crypt.perl.txt

[nilesh.04 at lnmiit.ac.in]

Tue, 5 Jun 2007 03:00:26 +0530 (IST)

hello sir,

my password is 100bits long so i put that in a text file now i have to encrypt n decrypt by data with in file.

pls reply me as soon as possible ,hoping positive responds from your side

[ Thread continues here (5 messages/2.95kB) ]

Tech briefing invite: 'What can be called open source?'

Rick Moen [rick at linuxmafia.com]

Thu, 28 Jun 2007 08:59:08 -0700

[Forwarding Ben's private mail, with commentary, at his invitation.]

As a reminder, Centric CRM, Inc. has recently been one of the most problematic of the ASP/Web firms abusing the term "open source" for their products, in part because their flagship product (Centric CRM) has been notorious during most of this past year as the most clearly and unambiguously proprietary software to be offered with the ongoing public claim of being "open source".

I'd call this (below-cited) PR campaign blitz -- apparently, they're intensively hitting reporters known to be following this matter -- really good news, though it has to be read attentively:

o Former OSI General Counsel Larry Rosen's "OSL 3.0" licence is a really good, excellently designed, genuine copyleft licence that is especially well suited for ASP use, because it's one of the very few that have a clause enforcing copyleft concepts within the otherwise problematic ASP market. (In ASP deployments, there is ordinarily no distribution of the code, so the copyleft provisions of most copyleft licences such as GPLv2 have no traction, and are toothless.) Also, as Centric CRM, Inc. is keen to point out, OSL 3.0 is an OSI-certified open source licence.

o At the same time, the careful observer will note that this announcement concerns the product "Centric Team Elements v. 0.9", which is not (yet?) the firm's flagship product. That flagship product remains the entirely separate -- and very, very clearly proprietary, product "Centric CRM v. 4.1", which one wryly notices has been carefully omitted completely from this communique.

Just in case there is any doubt about Centric CRM 4.1's proprietary status, here's one key quotation from the product brochure, about the applicable licence, "Centric Public Licence (CRM)": "The major restriction is that users may not redistribute the the Centric CRM source code."

Now, it may be that the Centric CRM product is on the way out, and that Centric Team Elements (with genuine open source licence) will be taking its place. Or maybe not. Either way:

The bad news, but perhaps not too bad, is that Centric CRM, Inc. has spent this past year to date falsely and misleadingly claiming that its product line is open source -- and deflecting critics by claiming that the term "open source" is (paraphrasing) subject to redefinition and needn't be limited to what OSI (inventer of that term in the software context, and standard body) defines it to be. That misleading and deceptive language is still very much a prominent part of the company's pronouncements to this day, remains on the Web site, and doesn't seem to be disappearing.

The good news is that the firm appears to be sensitive to the public relations problem it created for itself, and may be taking steps to fix it.

----- Forwarded message from Ben Okopnik <ben@linuxgazette.net> -----

[ ... ]

[ Thread continues here (1 message/16.78kB) ]

Sun Keyboard on a PC?

Thomas Adam [thomas.adam22 at gmail.com]

Mon, 18 Jun 2007 00:35:39 +0100

Hello all --

This question is purely to test the water. :) I remember a good few years ago now using a Sun workstation running some old version of SunOS. One thing I remember about it clearly though is that it had a cool keyboard with a whole set of keys down the far left-hand side [1].

So I was wondering...

a) Is this keyboard standard? For instance, if I go looking for a "sun keyboard", I'm not going to encounter several different versions which work subtly different from one another, am I?

b) I've heard various rumours I'd need a sun <--> PC converter to use such a keyboard? Some websites say you need one, others don't even mention it. Some even say you build one, but I don't like the thought of this -- I'm a software engineer for a reason; I hate hardware.

Using it under Linux (X11 specifically) wouldn't be much of a problem. I hope... :)

-- Thomas Adam

[1] Looked like this one does: http://sunstuff.org/hardware/components/keyboards/sun.type4-keyboard.2.jpg

[ Thread continues here (10 messages/16.58kB) ]

XEN Installation Problems on Ubuntu 7.04

Amit Kumar Saha [amitsaha.in at gmail.com]

Tue, 19 Jun 2007 15:43:40 +0530

Hi all,

I am trying to install Xen 3.1.0 from source. When I do a "make world", after some processing I get this

Cannot find linux-2.6.18.tar.bz2 in path .
and it starts retrieving the file from www.kernel.org

I do not want this. I have got a local copy of linux-2.6.18.tar.bz2 in /usr/src as well as the directory where Xen source code is stored. PATH setting did not help either.

How can I get around this?

I did install Xen 3.0 from synaptic,but it did not seem to work either. It is not able to boot into the Xen kernel, because the file vmlinuz-xen-0 is not created at all.

Please suggest how I can get Xen up and running!


Amit Kumar Saha

[ Thread continues here (8 messages/11.81kB) ]

[OT] Project Ideas

Amit Kumar Saha [amitsaha.in at gmail.com]

Sat, 2 Jun 2007 14:07:37 +0530

Hi all,

Keeping in mind the wide variety of domains, age-group and experience of TAG, I would be really interested to get some project proposals, specifications of which are mentioned below:

1. Duration - 6 Months

2. Domains related to : Network Security, Clusters, Embedded or Real Time Systems.

This is a final year project for me. So I am really looking forward to project work which is going to have some real-world value. Please note that the topics i have given are of my interest and ideas are welcome in other topics as well.


Amit Kumar Saha

Edit file from command line

Smile Maker [britto_can at yahoo.com]

Fri, 1 Jun 2007 01:19:37 -0700 (PDT)


I need to do the following stuff:

Find the particular string in a file and remove that line which has that particular string from the file , that should be done from the command line or from the script.

Thanx... Britto

[ Thread continues here (4 messages/1.86kB) ]

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Published in Issue 140 of Linux Gazette, July 2007