Linux and Technology blog

November 8, 2006

Why I’m sticking with Novell’s Linux desktop and Turning SLED into Practical User Desktop

Filed under: Linux, SuSE — rakeshvk @ 4:50 pm

Why I’m sticking with Novell’s Linux desktop

Someone just asked me whether, now that Novell’s become buddies with Microsoft, I’ll be turning away from Novell/SUSE as one of my favorite Linux distributions. My answer is no. I’m sticking with SUSE Linux on both my desktops and servers. Here’s why.

First, like many of you, I do think that Novell’s deal with Microsoft is a mistake. While in the short run, I think the deal will be good for Novell. It will, after all, get its Linuxes into shops that would otherwise turn up their noses at anything without Windows in the title. In the long run, I can’t think of a single software company that has ever done well in an alliance with Microsoft. Can you?

Story

Turning SLED into Practical User Desktop

The so-called “Vista Killer” may not be ready for prime time — but your customers may want it anyway. Here’s how to be prepared.

SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop version 10 (SLED10 for short) is sufficiently well known that any system builder who sells Linux boxes can be expected to know about it. In fact, SLED10 is so well known, clients who specifically want Linux computers are likely to ask for it by name. In my recent tests, I found SLED10 to be more reliable, stable and secure than I expected. But buying into the hype of SLED10 being a “Vista killer”—at least in its current stage of development—is wishing thinking. Why? Well, for starters, the distro has several usability issues. Also, availability outside of the usual office productivity software and programmer-oriented applications is problematic. For these reasons, SLED10, in my opinion, is not worth even its $50 price tag.

But what if your clients demand it all the same? In this recipe, I’ll show you how to turn SLED10 into a usable desktop.

Read the complete story

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2006 OSDL Linux Client Survey – Help design tomorrow’s Linux desktop

Filed under: Linux, Poll — rakeshvk @ 4:45 pm

What should the Linux desktop of 2007 and beyond be like? That’s what the OSDL wants to know in its latest Linux Client Survey, which runs from now until Dec. 1. The results will help the OSDL’s Desktop Working Group work on the areas of development that are critical to users.The survey, while touching on consumer issues, such as iPod support, is really focused far more on business use. Besides general questions — how many desktop systems does your company use? — the OSDL also wants to know such specifics as what peripheral equipment needs to work with your Linux desktops. And, if you are going to run Windows applications on Linux, what method, such as virtualization or WINE, would you use.

If you fill out the survey and supply an email address, the survey results will be emailed to you when the survey is complete. The OSDL states that your email address will be kept strictly private and will not be used for any other purpose. Additionally, when you finish taking the survey, you offered the opportunity to view the results that have been compiled so far.
You can participate in the OSDL Desktop Working Group’s latest desktop Linux survey here.

– From DesktopLinux

October 19, 2006

Server Core: Windows Without Windows

Filed under: News — rakeshvk @ 7:06 am

The new Server Core is a stripped-down, rock-solid version of Longhorn.

October 2006 by Don Jones

One of the most innovative features coming in Windows “Longhorn” Server isn’t really a feature as much as a whole new version of Windows. It’s called Server Core, and it will only take one-sixth of the disk space of a normal Longhorn installation. It’s not expected to need anywhere near as many patches and hotfixes as Windows 2000. It’s a version of Windows that does not, in fact, use windows. It’s breaking Microsoft’s long-standing reliance on graphical interfaces and shaking things up in several of Microsoft’s product groups.Server Core reflects a changing view of servers. “Administrators are accustomed to thinking of servers by their role. That’s my file server, that’s a domain controller, that’s an Exchange server,” says Andrew Mason, a Microsoft program manager for Server Core. Some of those roles really don’t use much of what is built into Windows.

Read the full news

Flash Player 9

Filed under: Linux, News, Software — rakeshvk @ 7:00 am

This is a prerelease version of the Adobe® Flash® Player 9 Update software for various platforms. It is being made available for developers and consumers to test their content to ensure existing content plays back correctly and that there are no compatibility issues.

The Flash Player beta is available in all languages; however, the beta installers are only in English and we can only accept feedback in English at this time. Flash Player beta downloads are now available for the Microsoft® Windows® Vista™ and Linux platforms.

click here to downlolad the Linux version

October 17, 2006

The GIMP’s next-generation imaging core demonstrated

Filed under: Software — rakeshvk @ 6:01 pm

GIMP developer Øyvind Kolås gave a public demonstration of the Generic Graphical Library (GEGL) on Friday at the Piksel 06 festival in Bergen, Norway. GEGL has long been slated to replace the core image processing framework of the GIMP, bringing with it entirely new data models and operations — but development had languished to the point where many critics had written the project off entirely.

GEGL was first proposed in 1999, but the GIMP’s existing code base has remained in place over several revision cycles since then. As recently as summer 2005, GEGL appeared for all practical purposes dead in the water. Then Kolås took a determined interest in resurrecting the project, and over the next few months he, Sven Neumann, and Michael Natterer studied the code base and got it into working shape again. Kolås presented their work at the 2006 Libre Graphics Meeting in March. >>>>

PlayStation 3 to run Yellow Dog Linux

Filed under: Hardware, News — rakeshvk @ 5:54 pm

Sony’s PlayStation 3 set to move in on personal computers with the release of the Linux operating system for the device.
Linux developer Terra Soft Solutions will today announce the launch of its Yellow Dog Linux operating system for the PlayStation 3 games console.

“We have worked closely with the energetic, determined E17 team to bring this advanced graphical user interface to a state of interface euphoria. It’s not about eye candy and unnecessary special effects, it’s about finding balance between a lean, uncluttered desktop and a personal environment that is both familiar and powerful. E17 is simply the most incredible thing I have ever used – with any operating system,” states Cesar Delgado of Terra Soft.

Terra Soft’s chief executive officer, Kai Staats, said that Linux will be available immediately from the company’s online store and from selected resellers and that the company would like to see its Linux distribution bundled with the PlayStation 3 at some point in the future.

Read the full article 

Writing to NTFS

Filed under: Driver, Kernel, Linux, Technolgoy, Tutorials, Utilities — rakeshvk @ 5:49 pm

The Linux NTFS project has released a beta version of its fully open source userspace (using FUSE) 3G-Linux NTFS support driver. According to the developer, this driver beats hands down other NTFS support solutions performance-wise (including commercial Paragon NTFS driver and also Captive NTFS, which is using windows ntfs.sys driver under WINE).” That’s right, writing to NTFS even works. Soon it’ll mean one less recovery disk to keep around, I hope.

How to access NTFS from Linux

Choose one of the following three options:
1) Linux has an integrated kernel driver. It allows reading of files, and rewriting existing files. It does not support creation of new files or deletion of existing files. It works out of the box in most modern Linux distributions except Redhat/Fedora. For details on how to use it, see the “How to mount NTFS” wiki page. Click here if you are a Redhat/Fedora user.

2) ntfsprogs includes an improved driver, ntfsmount, which provides the same functionality as the kernel driver. Additionally it also supports basic cases of directory, symlink, device and FIFO file creation, deletion and renaming. Note: That doesn’t mean it always succeeds, it is still experimental and might just as well refuse to complete an operation in order to prevent corruption. See the ntfsmount page for more details.

3) On 07/14/2006, project member Szabolcs Szakacsits presented a new version of ntfsmount and libntfs, currently given the project title ntfs-3g. This version has full read/write capabilities, many bug fixes and improved performance. It has already been downloaded over 45,000 times, tested and regularly used by users with satisfaction over the last two months. Despite of that it is still a strong beta, and will upon (in some way or the other) merge also into the linux-ntfs ntfsprogs package.

The beta version of the ntfs-3g driver can be downloaded from http://mlf.linux.rulez.org/mlf/ezaz/ntfs-3g-20070920-BETA.tgz

Buffer Overflow in NVIDIA Binary Graphics Driver For Linux

Filed under: Driver, Hacking — rakeshvk @ 5:20 pm

The NVIDIA Binary Graphics Driver for Linux is vulnerable to a buffer overflow that allows an attacker to run arbitrary code as root. This bug can be exploited both locally or remotely (via a remote X client or an X client which visits a malicious web page).
A working proof-of-concept root exploit is included with this advisory.

The NVIDIA drivers for Solaris and FreeBSD are also likely to be vulnerable.

click here to access the exploit code

Open Source Goes Large in India

Filed under: Linux, News — rakeshvk @ 5:09 pm

One issue that has slowed the spread of Linux is counterfeiting. Since software is widely pirated in India, many users pay nothing for Windows. Also, since Linux is distributed free, it’s not always obvious whom to call for service. Companies such as Red Hat and IBM support the software — for a fee — but they’re having trouble finding Linux-trained engineers in India.

With 4,000 students and just 21 computers, the Cotton Hill Girls High School in the south Indian city of Trivandrum wouldn’t appear to be at the vanguard of anything related to information technology. Yet the 71-year-old school is abandoning Microsoft Windows software in favor of its free, open-source rival, Linux.

Read full article

October 16, 2006

Google Code Search peers into programs’ flaws

Filed under: Hacking, Software — rakeshvk @ 5:13 pm

Want to know which programs have security issues that need to be fixed? Using Google Code Search, finding likely candidates is a snap.

Security professionals warned developers on Thursday that they need to be aware that their open-source repositories can now be easily mined, allowing attackers to target programs that are likely to be flawed. While Google could previously be used to look for specific strings, now the search engine riffles through code that much better.

“It is going deeper into places where code is publicly available, and it’s clearly picking up stuff really well,” said Chris Wysopal, chief technology officer of security startup Veracode. “This makes it easier and faster for attackers to find vulnerabilities–not for people that want to attack a (specific) Web site, but for people that want to attack any Web site.”

Read the full article

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