Archive for the 'Linux' Category

PlayOnLinux Project

I came across this project today, it’s based off Wine but makes the whole process a lot more straight forward, and allows the user to easily exploit some of Wine’s more complicated features with more ease. It is, of course, open source, and uses the Bash and Python languages, making it distribution-independent.

A good idea for Linux and gaming enthusiasts, have a look at it over at

10 Handy Linux Commands

Quickly Find a PID

pgrep looks through the currently running processes and lists the process IDs which matches the selection criteria to stdout.

pgrep ssh

This will list all PIDs associated with the ssh process.

Execute The Last Command


This will execute the last command you used on the command line.

Execute The Last Command Starting With…

If you want to execute a command from history starting with the letter S you can use:


This will execute the last command used on the command line that started with s.

Repeatedly Run a Command and Display the Output

watch runs a command repeatedly, displaying its output. This allows you to watch the program output change over time. By default, the program is run every 2 seconds. watch is very similar to tail.

watch -d ls -l

This will watch the current directory for any file changes and highlight the change when it occurs.

Save Quickly in VI/VIM

If you’re in a hurry, you can save and quit the file you’re editing in vi by exiting insert mode, holding shift, and hitting z twice.

Quickly Log Out of a Terminal

You can quickly log out of a terminal session by using: CTRL+D

Navigate to the Last Directory

cd - will take you to the last directory you were in.

Make Parent Directories the Smart Way

mkdir -p /home/danny/make/all/of/these/directories/ will create all directories as needed even if they do not exist. Why waste time doing something like: mkdir make ; cd make ; mkdir all ; cd all ; mkdir of ; cd of… you get the point. Use mkdir -p!

Delete an Entire Line

If you’ve just typed a long string of commands that you don’t need to enter anymore, delete the entire line by using: CTRL+U.

Set the Time stamp of a File

touch -c -t 0801010800 filename.c will show the time stamp as 2008-01-01 8:00. The format is (YYMMDDhhmm).

Ubuntu 8.04 - Hardy Heron

The long anticipated Ubuntu 8.04 - Hardy Heron was released last week, this is the new LTS (Long Term Service) release of Ubuntu featuring a 3 year support cycle for desktop users. I was quick to install my copy, starting with an upgrade from 7.10 that took about an hour, only to find many problems and a few things which had broken… Not to worry though, a quick reformat later and I was ready to go!

I have to say, it runs like a dream. All the hardware on my IBM ThinkPad T41 worked right out of the box, including wireless support, which is in my experience is normally a pain to try and overcome. Unfortunately (for some, at least), Hardy Heron only ships with the infamous Firefox 3.0 beta 5, a version of Firefox which I am currently avoiding due to the lack of compatibility with many of the plugins I use.

There are a bunch of other improvements that one will notice right off the mark, mainly small graphical changes and make the layout and interface for the user a bit simpler and easier to navigate, as well as shipping with the standard open source applications (OpenOffice, Pidgin, GIMP and so on). I recommend giving it a shot, moreover because its an LTS release too.

Current users can upgrade running

update-manager -d

from terminal, and new users (or those wanting a fresh install) can obviously pick up a copy over at

Linux From Scratch

Linux From Scratch is a project that allows you to create your own fully customized Linux system following step-by-step guides entirely from source.

Why you ask? The idea is to provide users with a better understanding of the internal workings of the Linux OS, it allows you to create a distribution that contains only what you need, without all the extra applications and packages that you’ll never use, and allows you edit and adjust every single aspect of your system before you’ve even installed it onto your own machine.

You can find the project here, its a must for any Linux enthusiast with some time to spare…

The One Page Linux Manual

I came across this one page PDF file, titled “The One Page Linux Manual”. It’s a summary of the most essential and commonly used Linux Commands, an essential for any Linux beginner or even as a handy file to have nearby for all Linux users. You can get the file here

Embedding Terminal Into Gnome Desktop

Enclosed you’ll find a tutorial on how to embed the Terminal into a Gnome Desktop (such as Ubuntu). The tutorial requires the installation of a couple of packages and a bit of tweaking, but it looks pretty neat and saves you having to open a Terminal every time you are wanting something done.

The overall result looks a bit like this:

Click below to read the tutorial…

Continue reading ‘Embedding Terminal Into Gnome Desktop’

10 Good Unix Usage Habits

I’ve just found an interesting IBM Article, listing what they think are “10 Good Unix Usage Habits”, and how to avoid getting drawn into using bad usage patterns. Upon reading it, I have to admit that I am guilty of quite a number of the bad habits that they go through, and I will be taking on board some of the things it mentions.

Incidentally, this coincides with an entry I made a while back regarding the Linux Phrasebook, a small pocket-sized book that teaches the basic and essential Unix commands, helping new users (and even the experienced ones) in getting a firmer grip on how to navigate and conquer a BASH prompt.

They reckon the following 10 tips are worth picking up:

  1. Make directory trees in a single swipe.
  2. Change the path; do not move the archive.
  3. Combine your commands with control operators.
  4. Quote variables with caution.
  5. Use escape sequences to manage long input.
  6. Group your commands together in a list.
  7. Use xargs outside of find.
  8. Know when grep should do the counting — and when it should step aside.
  9. Match certain fields in output, not just lines.
  10. Stop piping cats.

Check out the full article here, definitely worth the read.

Linux Hits Hollywood

Another great revelation for Linux! It turns out Linux has made its way into Movie production, with studio’s such as:

  • Digital Domain
  • Disney
  • Double Negative
  • DreamWorks Animation
  • Flash Film Works
  • Hammerhead
  • Industrial Light & Magic
  • Moving Picture Company
  • Pixar
  • Rhythm & Hues
  • Sony Pictures
  • Tippett
  • Weta Digital

Infact, most of the big animations and special effects created in Movies since 2002 have been made in Linux. Another step forward in creating a world of technology based entirely on open-source…

HD-DVD Decryption

Ever tried to play a HD-DVD on Linux? Well now you can. Behold! The HD-DVD Processing Key:


I bet someone got fired for leaking this…

I Need To Upgrade…


I was playing around with Wine earlier, when I thought I would check to see how Windows Live Messenger performed under Linux. About 3 seconds into the installation process, I was told I needed to “Upgrade to Windows 2000, XP or Later” to install it.

Upgrade? From Linux to Windows? Something about that just doesn’t sound right…