Fedora 15 with GNOME 3 & some cool upgrades!

The next version of Fedora, Version 15 is available for download as a beta version. The beta version was released and a reworked boot loading system will be featured by this OS. The major changes for the Linux distribution are hopefully taken care of and the complete release is scheduled for May 2011; it is to be noted that this period of release is approximately a month after the release of Ubuntu 11.04. New releases of Fedora can usually be expected about once every six months.

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Running a webcam on Linux

You’ve got a brand new notebook with an in-built webcam and you’re in love with Linux. The problem is, your webcam runs only on the pre-installed Windows Vista/XP! This is one of the common hindrances I’ve found people meddling with. The celebration spree takes a poise when you end up wasting a lot of time on forums, websites, IRCs, etc. looking for the perfect solution to help you get the camera in action.
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5 Easy Backup Solutions for Linux

Backup your data

Photo by Daniel Montesinos

Back-upI wish i could have the data backed up as easily!

Be it noobs or a geeks – computers are indispensable for either of the clans. With the trend of increasingly high storage devices – both USB and otherwise, the amount of data which resides in the form of nibbles and bits is enormous. Backing up your data is of prime importance from work/business point of view.

A lot of people lose their data due to system crashes which is very likely over a long run. This indicates that backing up your files is crucial. We have evangelized Linux to a good extent in our previous articles and we’ve shown our love to FOSS. Continuing to showcase our strong feelings for alternative Operating Systems and applications, we hereby present a few Linux backup solutions which shall help you save and recover your data periodically.

  1. rsync: We’ve already introduced this amazing tool in one of our earlier articles. A Linux user/administrator can generate customized rsync scripts to handle incremental backups automatically on a daily/weekly/monthly schedule. rsync is pretty similar to rcp but comes bundled with a lot more options. It uses the rsync remote-update protocol to speed up file transfers while the destination file is being updated. The rsync remote-update protocol allows rsync to transfer just the differences between two sets of files across the network connection, using an efficient checksum-search algorithm described in the technical report that accompanies this package.
  2. AMANDA: It’s an acronym for Advanced Maryland Automatic Network Disk Archiver, a backup system which allows the administrator to set up a single master backup server to back up several hosts over a network to disks/tape drives/changers/optical media. It uses native dump along with GNU tar facilities. It is capable in backing up a large number of workstations running multiple versions of Unix. Amanda can also back up Microsoft Windows desktops and servers using Samba or Cygwin.
  3. Mondo Rescue: It’s yet another GPL disaster recovery solution which supports Linux (i386, x86_64, ia64) and FreeBSD (i386). It’s packaged for multiple distributions (RedHat, RHEL, SuSE, SLES, Mandriva, Debian, Gentoo) and help you back up your GNU/Linux server or workstation to a lo of media options like tapes, hard disks, network or optical disks. In case of catastrophic data loss, you shall be able to restore your data selectively. You may use Mondo Rescue to create backups of your system on DVDs, periodically. Mondo Rescue also has an active mailing list for novice as well as pro users.
  4. Bacula: It is a Client/Server based backup suite which allows the system administrators to manage backup, recovery. It also helps verify the data across a network. Owing to its modular design, Bacula is scalable from a single computer system to systems which form a part of a large network. Bacula is capable of backingup data on to various media, including tapes and disks. However, Bacula is quite complex for a newbie and has a huge 750 page manual to help ou gear up. I’ve been in touch with a few users and they their kind advice is to read the manual before you jump into it. On the positive side, it seems like it is easily the best way to keep a distributed backup system.
  5. Simple Backup Suite: Now if you’re a home user and run Gnome as your choice of desktop environment, Simple Backup Suite, or sbackup for short is a god choice. Simple Backup Suite is intended for desktop use and can backup any subset of files/directories. You can also define exclusions by regular expressions. Maximum individual file size limit can also be defined from within the interface. To save the backup, you may use any local/remote directories which are supported by gnome-vfs. It also have a cool Gnome GUI interface for configure and restore. Check out the community page to get it in and out!

These were few of the most compelling backup options you would like to use at some point of time. If you have more suggestions, make sure you follow up via the comments section of this post. More about adapting to GNU/Linux and Open Source, very soon! Stay tuned.

Sharpen your Linux Vocabulary

Linux Vocabulary

Photo by Thoenieva

Brush up your Vocabulary It’ll always pay off.

We have seen a large number of mundane, how-to articles on Linux in the past few days on this website. Having a strong belief that it would have helped the geeks and pro’s to brush up their skills and the newbies to dirty their hands with at least a few Linux distro’s, let’s move on to a different stage today where we shall learn and remember some basic terminologies which we would probably come across in day-to-day Linux world.

Remember, there is no limit to this list. Henceforth, I’ll try to add whatever I can at this point of time. I wish this article was a Wiki page so that all you Linux lovers can update it to keep it fresh, forever! However, you may append any new words you come across as a comment to this post.

Here we go in an alphabetical order:

  • APT: Advanced Packaging Tool.This tool is responsible for simplification of process which involves managing packages on Linux by automating the retrieval, configuration and installation. Generally, you’ll find APT on a Debian based distro.
  • Bash: Bourne Again Shell is generally known to be the default shell in most Linux distributions. When someone refers to a shell or the command line it is the Bash shell what they are usually referring to.
  • CLI: The CLI is known as the Command Line Interface. When you open a terminal, or if you do not use a Window Manager, or X11, you are operating on what is often abbreviated as the CLI.
  • Dependency: A application, library, or development set that a package depends upon to work.
  • Distro: A short form of – Distribution, a distro is a set of programs combined with the Linux kernel which together creates an Operating System.
  • GNOME: It is one of the few available desktop environment for Linux. Gnome is the default desktop on the popular Ubuntu distribution, which we have referred to in our previous articles.
  • GRUB: It is a boot loader for Linux. Allows users to have several different Operating Systems on their system at once, and choose which one to run when the computer boots.
  • KDE: KDE or the K Desktop Environment, is desktop environment for Linux workstations, something similar to GNOME but different visualization and default set of applications and tools.
  • Kernel: The core, or the brain of a Linux operating system. The kernel is what controls the hardware and makes them interact with the software. It is what every Linux distro is built upon.
  • LILO: Linux Loader is pretty similar to Grub in its functionality. However, different in terms of its fabrication. LILO is again a boot loader for Linux. LILO usually writes to the Master Boot Record (MBR) on your device.
  • Linus Torvalds: I doubt you’ll need this! But the letter “L” reminds me his name before anything else. The man who wrote the first Linux kernel in 1991.
  • Man: Short form for manual. If you need some help about an available command on the terminal, just type – man (command name).
  • Root: The superuser account on all Linux systems.
  • RPM: A package manager, which can be used to build, install, verify, update, and remove individual software packages. RPM is used by default on the Red Hat and Fedora distributions.
  • Sudo: Stands for Super User DO and allows a user to have a temporary root access without logging in as root.
  • Tux: The name of the Linux mascot – A Penguin.
  • YAST: Stands for Yet Another Setup Tool. Typically used on the SuSE distro. Yast is a setup and configuration tool.
  • YUM: An automated update program which can be used for maintaining systems using rpm. Yum is also used on Red Hat and Fedora by default.
  • X / X11: Also known as the X Window System, X is a windowing system that provides the standard toolkit and protocol with which to build graphical user interfaces (GUIs). KDE and GNOME are built upon X11.

The list is endless, keep pouring in your comments and suggestions. Remember, more than actually being difficult, Linux has been taught to be so. We would like to adhere to a new statement saying, Linux is different and not necessarily difficult.