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October 30, 2009

Linux/Unix Wallpaper of the Week

by @ 1:56 am. Filed under wallpapers

We Linux users are quite the easy-going laid-back bunch. We rarely get religious about our operating systems, and in no way wear them as a part of our very identity. We love everything, and get along with everyone. We are a peaceful bunch. I think this is beautifully articulated in the wallpaper of the week:

Unix People are Happy
Click for slightly larger version.

Throw a quick eyeball at the SuSEBlog Linux Wallpaper gallery.

Should you have a favorite Linux wallpaper that is not featured in the gallery, please shoot me a link to it. I am happy to include wallpapers from all distributions. Heck, I even wore a Fedora 11 T-Shirt to work the other day because the guys at the 2009 UTOS booth were so cool and gave me one. Besides that, Clint Savage (more info, more info, more info, more info, more info, more info) is one totally hardcore Fedora ambassador, and he’s really cool. Wearing the Fedora shirt with pride was my props to him and the Fedora representation at UTOS.

I would have worn an OpenSUSE T-Shirt, but I was unable to acquire said shirt from my brethren at the OpenSUSE booth. Decriptor, bro… what do you say about hookin’ a brother up?

De todos modos…

Have a fabulous weekend, and remember, chill out and take ‘er easy. Like the wallpaper says.

Happy Halloween and all that. Go scare the living daylights out of someone and come back and tell me your story.

October 28, 2009

Slick Linux Virtual Terminal: aterm

by @ 1:32 am. Filed under command-line, Linux tips, SUSE Tips & Tricks, terminal

In the search for a full weight loss program for my window manager (I’m switching from KDE 3.5 to XFCE4), it became clear that another terminal would have to replace Konsole. After 11 full minutes of considerable thought, agonizing contemplation, deliberation and extensive research, aterm became the obvious choice.

aterm looked interesting to me because it has a small memory footprint. Konqueror takes up about 7 times the RAM that aterm does, while xterm takes over twice the RAM that aterm does. aterm also has very little dependencies. Additionally, it supports pseudo-transparencies, while remaining very responsive and quick.

The first thing you want to do is install aterm. This does not appear to be available on OpenSUSE 11.1 by default. But just add the following repo:

Add the repo as root like this:

[1049][root@laptop:~]$ zypper addrepo aterm
Adding repository 'aterm' [done]
Repository 'aterm' successfully added
Enabled: Yes
Autorefresh: No


Refresh the repo:

[1049][root@laptop:~]$ zypper refresh aterm
Retrieving repository 'aterm' metadata [done]
Building repository 'aterm' cache [done]
Specified repositories have been refreshed.

Install aterm:

[1112][root@dev:/home/scott]$ zypper install aterm
Loading repository data...
Reading installed packages...
Resolving package dependencies...

The following NEW package is going to be installed:

Overall download size: 310.0 K. After the operation, additional 1.1 M will be used.
Continue? [YES/no]: 
Retrieving package AfterStep_applets_all-070412-5.13.x86_64 (1/1), 310.0 K (1.1 M unpacked)
Retrieving: AfterStep_applets_all-070412-5.13.x86_64.rpm [done]         
Installing: AfterStep_applets_all-070412-5.13 [done]

Now, run aterm in a terminal window or something to make sure it’s installed.

On to the configuration (which is the cool part, really).

First, determine which font you want to use by running xfontsel. It opens up a window where you can fine-tune the font you want aterm to use.

Then, you’ll want to set up your configuration file. I use .Xresources although there are others you can use.

Copy and paste this into your .Xresources file, and then adjust as necessary:

aterm*font: -*-fixed-medium-r-*-*-18-*-*-*-*-*-iso8859-*
aterm*font1: -*-*-*-*-*-*-2-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
aterm*font2: -misc-fixed-*-r-normal-*-8-*-*-*-*-*-iso8859-*
aterm*font3: -b&h-lucidatypewriter-bold-*-*-*-12-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
aterm*font4: -*-screen-bold-r-normal-*-16-*-*-*-*-*-iso8859-*
aterm*font5: -*-lucidatypewriter-medium-*-*-*-18-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
aterm*font6: -*-lucidatypewriter-medium-*-*-*-20-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
aterm*font7: -dec-terminal-bold-r-normal-*-14-*-*-*-*-*-iso8859-*

aterm*background: black
aterm*foreground: white
aterm*pointerColor: red
aterm*pointerColorBackground: black
aterm*cursorColor: blue
aterm*internalBorder: 3
aterm*loginShell: true

! Do you want a scrollbar?
aterm*scrollBar: true
aterm*scrollKey: true

! How many lines do you want to save in the buffer?
aterm*saveLines: 32767
aterm*multiClickTime: 250

! Do you want transparency?
aterm*transparent: true

! Do you want transparency in the scrollbar?
aterm*transpscrollbar: true

! How much transparency do you want (in percent)?

!aterm*tintingType: true
!aterm*tinting: #a07040

! How many characters wide and tall should your window be?
aterm*geometry: 80x40

! Do you want a visual bell rather than an audio bell?
aterm*visualBell: true

Hopefully, it’s apparent that you can use exclamation points for comments.

Everything in this sample .Xresources config file should be fairly self-explanatory.

aterm takes many of the same configuration directives as xterm. So if you see an xterm directive you want aterm to use, throw it in the .Xresources file and reload it. You reload the .Xresources file with the following command:

[1058][scott@dev:~]$ xrdb -merge .Xresources

If you are running that command in an open aterm window, you will have to close the window and re-run aterm.

aterm is very quick and responsive, looks nice, and doesn’t take up too much memory. Take a look at it, play around with it, and enjoy it.

October 25, 2009

OpenSUSE Linux Wallpaper of the Day

by @ 11:58 pm. Filed under wallpapers

SUSE Linux Wallpapers

For everyone who is an OpenSUSE Linux fan, here’s a new wallpaper just for you:

Linux Wallpaper
Click image for bigger version.

Take a look at the rest of the Linux wallpaper gallery.

October 22, 2009

OpenSUSE Linux: When 1-Click Install Bites the Dust

by @ 8:38 am. Filed under SUSE Tips & Tricks

OpenSUSE Linux 1-Click Install

In OpenSUSE Linux, we have a wonderful thing called One-Click Install. This is a marvelous thing for new users. I love it to death, and care for it as I would my own child. Almost everyone knows that this is very cool except for maybe Christer, as he is not a believer (nuttin but love bro, loved your presentation @ UTOSC). That said, what happens when it stops working or gets broken?

Use Windows.

Let’s head over to the OpenSUSE Build Service. Search for something cool like the fluxbox window manager. The results come up, and you click on the 1-Click Install.

You should see something like this:

1-Click Install Dialog Working

However, if it is broken, you will not see the “YaST Meta Package Handler (default)” in the OPEN WITH radio button drop-down.

You may see something like this:

1-Click Install Dialog Broken

The first thing to do is tear your hair out. If you don’t have any, turn to the closest person to you (I do not recommend a spouse unless you want to spend the rest of your life on the couch).

The first thing to do is to click CANCEL. Then, look right above the 1-Click Install button. There is a link in gray:

1-Click Install Repo Link

Click that bad boy. You are taken to a really scary-looking page like this:

Repository Index

Totally no worries here. Copy everything in the address bar:

Repository Address

Pop open a terminal window, become root, and use zypper to add the repository. Then refresh it, like so:

[0917][scott@suse-desktop:~]$ su
[0917][root@suse-desktop:/home/scott]$ zypper addrepo "" windowmanagers
Adding repository 'windowmanagers' [done]
Repository 'windowmanagers' successfully added
Enabled: Yes
Autorefresh: No

[0917][root@suse-desktop:/home/scott]$ zypper refresh windowmanagers
Retrieving repository 'windowmanagers' metadata [done]
Building repository 'windowmanagers' cache [done]
Specified repositories have been refreshed.

Now, you can search for fluxbox and it will find it in your repositories, because you just added the one with fluxbox in it:

[0919][root@suse-desktop:/home/scott]$ zypper search fluxbox
Loading repository data...
Reading installed packages...

S | Name    | Summary                   | Type
  | fluxbox | The fluxbox windowmanager | package
  | fluxbox | The fluxbox windowmanager | srcpackage

If you’d like to install it, go for it, baby. No holds barred:

[0919][root@suse-desktop:/home/scott]$ zypper in fluxbox
Loading repository data...
Reading installed packages...
Resolving package dependencies...

The following NEW package is going to be installed:

Overall download size: 920.0 K. After the operation, additional 3.6 M will be used.
Continue? [YES/no]:
Retrieving package fluxbox-1.1.1-1.2.i586 (1/1), 920.0 K (3.6 M unpacked)
Retrieving: fluxbox-1.1.1-1.2.i586.rpm [done (236.8 K/s)]
Installing: fluxbox-1.1.1-1.2 [done]

Houston, we have landed. Now, go enjoy your new package. This method should work with virtually any package where the 1-Click install fails.

October 21, 2009

SSH Tip for the Day

by @ 8:14 am. Filed under bash, command-line, Linux tips, ssh tips

When you are forwarding ports through a tunnel, either locally or remotely (i.e., with the -L or -R switches), you can modify the session real-time. The way that you do this is after you start the session, you press SHIFT + ` + c (The ` key also has a ~ in it, which is the actual keypress sent to the session). If it doesn’t work the first time, press ENTER a couple of times and try it again. Once you get the “ssh>” prompt, type “?” for the commands you can put in. Here’s an example session:

[0908][scott@dev:~]$ ssh -R
Last login: Thu Oct 15 11:59:43 2009 from
Have a lot of fun...
[1109][scott@mail:~]$ [PRESS SHIFT + ` + c HERE]
ssh> ?
      -L[bind_address:]port:host:hostport    Request local forward
      -R[bind_address:]port:host:hostport    Request remote forward
      -KR[bind_address:]port                 Cancel remote forward
[1110][scott@mail:~]$ [PRESS SHIFT + ` + c HERE]
Forwarding port.


OpenSSH has got to be one of the freakin’ sweetest tools *EVAR*. Anyway, enjoy!

October 20, 2009

Linux Expert Gets 54.20 MPG

by @ 3:52 pm. Filed under humor


My car has a 10-gallon tank. And hat.

54.20 miles per gallon. That’s better than my motorcycle. Nope, my car isn’t a Prius. Nope, it isn’t even a hybrid. No, it isn’t a Geo Metro. Yes, this is a real picture that I took myself, this very morning of my trip meter.


October 16, 2009

[Linux] – Socks Proxy in One Command

by @ 3:54 pm. Filed under command-line, Linux tips, ssh tips

If you have difficulty browsing on your Linux workstation at work, say, because of filters and such, this will make your day. One other thing is that you need a Linux server that is outside your network at work. Once you have this, you can use ssh to create a socks proxy. Even as an un-privileged user, type in this command:

ssh -D 8080 <username>@<host>

Replace <username> with your username and <host> with your remote Linux server host name. Once that’s successful, pop open Firefox. Go to the EDIT Menu => Preferences. Select the ADVANCED button, then go to the “Network” tab. Click the “Settings” button. Select the “Manual Proxy Configuration” radio button. In the SOCKS Host, put in either the IP or the domain name of your remote Linux box. In the port, put in 8080, as that’s the one we used.

Click “OK” and close everything (except firefox). You should now be able to browse wherever your little heart desires.

One thing to note. NS queries are NOT proxied. So if your admins are looking at the name server lookup requests, you could still get nailed. Anyway, pretty neat little thing to know about ssh. Not sure that I’ve ever seen this capability on a Win32 platform. Yet another one of the many reasons that I really enjoy Linux.

Have a totally spectacular weekend.

October 8, 2009

Utah Open Source Conference

by @ 7:54 am. Filed under oss news

Pretty excited to be going to UTOSC 2009:

October 5, 2009

Job Listing: Sr. Unix (Linux) System Administrator (Jersey City, NJ)

by @ 1:31 pm. Filed under General Linux

Job Code: SN-0930
Title: Sr. Unix (Linux) System Administrator
Location: Jersey City, NJ
Employment Type: Contract to Permanent
Start Date: 11/1/2009
# of openings: 1
Years of Experience: 5+
Education Required: BSCS or Related
Pay range: $90-100k + bonus (appr 25-30%)
Travel Required: No
Background Check: Yes
Drug Testing: Yes

General Description
• Responsible for the installation, maintenance, and tuning of UNIX hardware and software systems.
• Perform system-debugging tasks.
• Provide application support on the UNIX systems.
• Work individually or in a team on various system projects related to UNIX, Storage, and Application support.
• Work first, second, third shift in rotation.
• Supervises and provides technical guidance to the Staff in the operation, systems administration and control of the GIS systems environment
• Directs and checks other SA and Operator’s work and assists with scheduling and administration

Specific Responsibilities
• Prepares installs, and implement UNIX (SuSE Linux) and AIX operating software and associated components.
• Develops test plans for implementing new software or new releases of software.
• Thoroughly test hardware and software upgrades and if necessary works off shift hours to accomplish the testing.
• Debugs and corrects installed UNIX operating system software as required.
• Applies maintenance to system software as required.
• Debugs and applies corrective maintenance to system software as required.
• Documents and notifies Developers and Business Analysts of software and hardware upgrades.
• Tunes system software for peak performance and availability.
• Assists Developers with high level problem program debugging and correction.
• Provides end user and Developers support via Customer Support.
• Provides off shift on call support for production system support.
• Makes system hardware and software recommendations as required.
• Assist in evaluating new applications software.
• Provides technical training for Information Technology personnel as needed.
• Configure and document backup and restore procedures.
• Maintains UNIX Disaster Recovery Plan and actively participate in Technology and Business Recovery activities.
• Provides support for 3rd Party Customers to support ongoing service hosting objectives.
• Stays abreast with technical and operational tools and knowledge required to perform assigned duties.

Qualifications Required
• Bachelors Degree in Computer Science or a related discipline and at least five (5) or more years experience in systems administration and computer operations, with increasing administrative and leadership responsibilities or an equivalent in education and work experience.

• Requires extensive knowledge and experience in all facets of computer operations, systems administration, decision-making, strong judgment, management skills and a considerable aptitude in human relations.

Summary of Skills Required
• 5+ years of Linux experience (Suse Linux).
• 2+ years of AIX experience.
• 3+ years of shell scripting experience.

Jack H. Karamanoukian
VP of Professional Services
Quorum Technical Services, Inc.
600 Sylvan Avenue
Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632
p. 201.569.3050 ext 103
f. 201.569.8040
efax. 201.586.0336

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