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

CFS scheduler to appear in Linux kernel 2.6.23

The Linux kernel process scheduler, as you know it, has been completely ripped out and replaced with a completely new one called Completely Fair Scheduler (CFS). How fair it will be, remains to be seen, but in the meantime here's what its original creator Ingo Molnar has to say on the subject:

80% of CFS's design can be summed up in a single sentence: CFS basically models an "ideal, precise multi-tasking CPU" on real hardware.

"Ideal multi-tasking CPU" is a (non-existent :-)) CPU that has 100% physical power and which can run each task at precise equal speed, in parallel, each at 1/nr_running speed. For example: if there are 2 tasks running then it runs each at 50% physical power - totally in parallel.

How to cleanup your GNOME registry?

The other day I stumbled upon this neat tool that helps cleanup your GConf registry, called GConf Cleaner. While GNOME registry size isn't nowhere near the size of Windows registry, and thus shouldn't slow your computer too much, it's still nice to have a tool that cleans unused and obsolete entries.

Meet GConf Cleaner

The tool is still in early stages of development (version 0.0.2), but I've successfully run it on my desktop and was amazed how many old entries it found. Typically, if you install some GNOME application, play with it a little bit and later decide to delete it, it's configuration settings will remain in the GConf database. So your registry will only grow in time.

The Linux Development Platform

By Rafeeq Ur Rehman, Christopher Paul.
Published by Prentice Hall
Series: Bruce Perens' Open Source Series.

Book Description

Tools for high-efficiency Linux development in enterprise environments.

Linux developers have access to an extraordinary array of GNU and open source tools. Now, two leading Linux developers show how to choose the best tools for your specific needs, and integrate them into a complete development environment that maximizes your effectiveness in any project - no matter how large or complex.

The Easiest Linux Guide You'll Ever Read

Published by Scott Morris – SUSE LINUX Rants

An Introduction to Linux for Windows users

This book is geared towards Windows users who want to take a look at Linux. Are you interested in trying Linux on your computer? If so, you have found the perfect book. In this book, I will give you a gentle introduction into using Linux, and help you ease into it. The only technical skills you should have include browsing the Internet and downloading files. It will help if you have burned your own CDs before, but such skills are not required. If you have a computer geek handy, that also couldn't hurt. The purpose of this book is to make it easy to try the Linux operating system, particularly for people who are used to Microsoft Windows. Even if you only use your Windows computer for checking email and surfing the Internet, this book was written just for you.

Replaying terminal sessions with scriptreplay

OK, this is so cool and sexy, I really don't understand how I didn't find about this earlier. Possibly because it's the recent add-on to the well known script utility?

So, I suppose you all know about script. You type script, do your work, type exit, and you have your complete session logged in the file named typescript. Quite handy if you want to log everything you did in the shell for whatever reasons.

What you might not know is that script has an interesting switch which allows you to also save the exact timing data of the screen output you're capturing. And an additional utility called scriptreplay which can later replay your session in real-time. Like a movie. With perfect timing.

Two ways to force SSL on your website

Two solutions, both to be put in the .htaccess file, when you want to force your website visitors to go through SSL:

Solution A:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{SERVER_PORT} !443$
RewriteRule ^(.*)$$1 [L,R]

Solution B:

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} !^on$ [NC]
RewriteRule . https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [L]

Pick whatever solution looks nicer for you.

What to do if you forget root password?

Although this may seem like a small catastrophe to you, it's actually very easy to recover from that situation. What you need to do is to reboot (power on) your system, but on the LILO prompt you should type something like:

LILO: Linux init=/bin/sh rw

Where Linux is the example image name, you should supply the actual data, of course. And same parameters should be provided to GRUB or any other boot loader you might use.

How to grep for IP addresses using the GNU egrep utility

This is an useful regular expression if you're looking for IP addresses:

egrep '([[:digit:]]{1,3}\.){3}[[:digit:]]{1,3}'

How to sort IP addresses using the GNU sort utility

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How to flash motherboard BIOS from Linux (no DOS/Windows, no floppy drive)?

You've finally made the move to a Windows-free computer, you're enjoying your brand new Linux OS, no trojans/viruses, no slowdown, everything's perfect. Suddenly, you need to update the BIOS on your motherboard to support some new piece of hardware, but typically the motherboard vendor is offering only DOS based BIOS flash utilities. You panic! Fortunately, this problem is easy to solve...

Step 1: Download FreeDOS boot disk floppy image

FreeDOS, a free DOS-compatible operating system, is up to the challenge, no need for proprietary DOS versions. So, all you need is a bootable floppy disk image with FreeDOS kernel on it. We are fortunate that guys at FDOS site have prepared one suitable for us. Use the OEM Bootdisk version, the one with just kernel and, because it leaves more free space on disk for the flash utility and new BIOS image. You can also find a local copy of this image attached at the end of this article. After you download the image, you need to decompress it. In other words:

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