Fine software projects, news and thoughts from the Linux world.

Mounting samba share with space character from /etc/fstab

If you have a windows share with a space character in it's name, e.g. something like \\server\my share, to properly mount it from /etc/fstab you need to use the octal code instead of a space character. Otherwise parsing /etc/fstab would produce an error, because space character is a delimiter.

The octal code for space character is \040 (don't forget the leading zero!), so you'd put //server/my\040share in the /etc/fstab for the example above.

Key sequence to kill the X server (Control + Alt + Backspace)

Current default for X servers as shipped in various distributions is to not enable the traditional Ctrl-Alt-Backspace key combination to kill the X server. If you would like to re-enable this feature, you may do so in your desktop's Keyboard Preferences application. You may also enable it for the current session using the command "setxkbmap -option terminate:ctrl_alt_bksp".

10 straightforward but proven ways to harden your LAMP servers

Over the years I have had to harden a great number of LAMP boxes, I have found some methods work for better than others. I will now share with you all my favorite 10 along with methods to implement them on Debian/Ubuntu.

10. Lock SSH access right down. I do this by disabling root logins, disabling password authentication and using denyhosts.

To disable root logins do this: vi /etc/ssh/sshd_config and look for the following line: PermitRootLogin yes and change it thus: PermitRootLogin no

To disable password authentication (you will have to use public/private keys) do this: vi /etc/ssh/sshd_config and look for the following line: #PasswordAuthentication yes (note its commented out) and change it thus: PasswordAuthentication no

To install denyhosts do this: apt-get install denyhosts once installed it shouldn't need any configuration, but you can tweak the settings if you wish in /etc/denyhosts.conf

9. Always use Sudo for root access, This is one of the things Ubuntu does really well and its about time other distros did the same.

Linus thumbs up for Windows 7

No comment. :)

VMware mouse grab/ungrab problem

If you upgrade GTK library to the newest 2.18 version (comes with the new Gnome 2.28) your VMware Workstation 6.5.3 won't work well. Even if you have "Grab when cursor enters window" option set, VMware won't grab your pointer when you move mouse into the VMware window. Also, if you use ctrl-G to capture the pointer, VMware window will release it as soon as you move mouse around a little bit. Quite annoying behavior...

Higher-Order Perl

Mark Jason Dominus' absolutely great Perl book is now available for free download in PDF format by virtue of special permission from the publisher.

Higher-Order Perl is about functional programming techniques in Perl. It's about how to write functions that can modify and manufacture other functions. Why would you want to do that? Because that way your code is more flexible and more reusable. Instead of writing ten similar functions, you write a general pattern or framework that can generate the functions you want; then you generate just the functions you need according to the pattern. The program doesn't need to know in advance which functions are necessary; it can generate them as needed. Instead of writing the complete program yourself, you get the computer to write it for you.

Preface by Damian Conway, Co-designer of Perl 6

As a programmer, your bookshelf is probably overflowing with books that did nothing to change the way you program... or think about programming.

You're going to need a completely different shelf for this book.

While discussing caching techniques in Chapter 3, Mark Jason Dominus points out how a large enough increase in power can change the fundamental way you think about a technology. And that's precisely what this entire book does for Perl.

Your Linux system is?

32 bit
40% (562 votes)
64 bit
60% (858 votes)
Total votes: 1420

Full screen flash not working under compiz?

If you have trouble maximizing those YouTube videos when run under compiz-fusion, here's what you can do to fix it.

Go to CompizConfigSettingsManager, choose General Options and unclick 'Unredirect Fullscreen Windows' option under General tab. Then click Back and select 'Workarounds'. Turn on 'Legacy Fullscreen Support'. Of course, 'Workarounds' plugin must be enabled on the front page for this to come in effect.

And that should be it!

Now try maximizing flash videos again and report you success below.

VMware Workstation 6.5.1 build-126130 and Linux kernel 2.6.29

With the attached patch you can persuade your VMware Workstation to work on the newest Linux kernel 2.6.29. There are no guarantees, but it works for me(tm).

Unpack tar's from /usr/lib/vmware/modules/source into some directory (except vmppuser.tar), patch the source (patch -p1), run make in every subdirectory, copy resulting kernel modules to /lib/modules/2.6.29/misc and run depmod -a. Then you can run /etc/init.d/vmware start and check that all modules loaded correctly. That should be it.

How S.M.A.R.T. are your disks?

GSmartControl is a graphical user interface for smartctl (from Smartmontools package), which is a tool for querying and controlling S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology) data on modern hard disk drives. It allows you to inspect the drive's S.M.A.R.T. data to determine its health, as well as run various tests on it.

Alexander Shaduri has done a decent job making a very useful GUI for an otherwise fairly cryptic S.M.A.R.T. attributes. When running GSmartControl you have helpful tips, color coded lines, help built into application, you name it... Few days ago it became available in Debian sid, but you can always visit the official GSmartControl page, download and build it for yourself.

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