Thursday, October 23, 2008

Linux FAQ

Linux FAQ

1. Introduction and General Information
1.1. What Is Linux?
1.2. How to Get Started.
1.3. What Software does Linux Support?
1.4. How to Find a Particular Application.
1.5. What Hardware Is Supported?
1.6. Ports to Other Processors.
1.7. Disk Space Requirements: Minimal, Server, and Workstation.
1.8. Minimum and Maximum Memory Requirements.
1.9. Does Linux Support Universal System Bus Devices?
1.10. What Is Linux's Open-Source License?
1.11. Is Linux *nix?
2. Topics of Current Interest.
2.1. What Is the Best Way to Respond to Anti-Linux FUD?
2.2. What Are the Reasons to Upgrade to the Version 2.4 Kernel?
2.3. What Resources Are There for Linux DeCSS and Other Open Source DVD Software?
2.4. Where Is Information About Electronic Privacy Laws that Affect ISP's?
3. Network Sources and Resources
3.1. Where Is the Latest Kernel Version on the Internet?
3.2. Where Is the Documentation?
3.3. Where Is the Linux Stuff on the World Wide Web?
3.4. What News Groups Are There for Linux?
3.5. What Other FAQ's and Documentation Are There for Linux?
3.6. Where Are the Linux FTP Archives?
3.7. How To Get Linux without FTP Access.
3.8. How To Get Information without Usenet Access.
3.9. What Mailing Lists Are There?
3.10. Where Are Linux Legal Issues Discussed?
3.11. Sources of Information for Unmaintained Free Software Projects.
3.12. Are the News Groups Archived Anywhere?
3.13. Where To Find Information About Security Related Issues.
3.14. Where To Find Linux System Specifications.
4. Compatibility with Other Operating Systems
4.1. Can Linux Use the Same Hard Drive as MS-DOS? OS/2? 386BSD? Win95?
4.2. How To Access Files on a MS-DOS Partition or Floppy.
4.3. Does Linux Support Compressed Ext2 File Systems?
4.4. Can Linux Use Stacked/DBLSPC/Etc. DOS Drives?
4.5. Can Linux Access OS/2 HPFS Partitions?
4.6. Can Linux Access Amiga File Systems?
4.7. Can Linux Access BSD, SysV, Etc. UFS?
4.8. Can Linux Access SMB File Systems?
4.9. Can Linux Access Macintosh File Systems?
4.10. Can Linux Run Microsoft Windows Programs?
4.11. Where Is Information about NFS Compatibility?
4.12. Can Linux Use True Type Fonts?
4.13. Can Linux Boot from MS-DOS?
4.14. How Can Linux Boot from OS/2's Boot Manager?
5.  File System, Disks, and Drives
5.1. How To Get Linux to Work with a Disk.
5.2. How To Undelete Files.
5.3. How To Make Backups.
5.4. How To Resize a Partition (Non-Destructively).
5.5. Is There a Defragmenter for Ext2fs?
5.6. How To Create a File System on a Floppy.
5.7. Does Linux Support Virtualized File Systems Like RAID?
5.8. Does Linux Support File System Encryption?
5.9. Linux Prints Nasty Messages about Inodes, Blocks, and the Like.
5.10. The Swap Area Isn't Working.
5.11. How To Add Temporary Swap Space.
5.12. How To Remove LILO So the System Boots DOS Again?
5.13. Why Does fdformat Require Superuser Privileges?
5.14. The System Checks the Ext2fs Partitions Each Reboot.
5.15. Root File System Is Read-Only.
5.16. What Is /proc/kcore?
5.17. The AHA1542C Doesn't Work with Linux.
5.18. Where Is the Journalling File System on the Net?
6. Porting, Compiling and Obtaining Programs
6.1. How To Compile Programs.
6.2. How To Install GNU Software.
6.3. Where To Get Java.
6.4. How To Port XXX to Linux.
6.5. What Is and How To Get It?
6.6. How To Upgrade the Libraries without Trashing the System.
6.7. How To Use Code or a Compiler Compiled for a 486 on a 386.
6.8. What Does ``gcc -O6'' Do?
6.9. Where Are linux/*.h and asm/*.h?
6.10. What To Do about Errors Trying to Compile the Kernel.
6.11. How To Make a Shared Library.
6.12. Programs Are Very Large.
6.13. Does Linux Support Threads or Lightweight Processes?
6.14. Where To Find lint for Linux.
6.15. Where To Find Kermit for Linux.
6.16. How To Use Linux with a Cable Modem.
6.17. Is There an ICQ Program That Runs under Linux?
7. Solutions to Common Miscellaneous Problems
7.1. FTP Transfers Seem to Hang.
7.2. Free Dumps Core.
7.3. Netscape Crashes Frequently.
7.4. FTP or Telnet Server Won't Allow Logins.
7.5. How To Keep Track of Bookmarks in Netscape?
7.6. The Computer Has the Wrong Time.
7.7. Setuid Scripts Don't Seem to Work.
7.8. Free Memory as Reported by free Keeps Shrinking.
7.9. When Adding More Memory, the System Slows to a Crawl.
7.10. Some Programs (E.g. xdm) Won't Allow Logins.
7.11. Some Programs Allow Logins with No Password.
7.12. The Machine Runs Very Slowly with GCC / X / ...
7.13. System Only Allows Root Logins.
7.14. The Screen Is All Full of Weird Characters Instead of Letters.
7.15. I Screwed Up the System and Can't Log In to Fix It.
7.16. I Forgot the root Password.
7.17. There's a Huge Security Hole in rm!
7.18. lpr and/or lpd Don't Work.
7.19. Timestamps on Files on MS-DOS Partitions Are Set Incorrectly
7.20. How To Get LILO to Boot the Kernel Image.
7.21. How To Make Sure the System Boots after Re-Installing the Operating System.
7.22. The PCMCIA Card Doesn't Work after Upgrading the Kernel.
7.23. How To Remove (or Change) the Colors in the ls Display.
7.24. Why Won't a Program Work in the Current Directory?
8. How To Do This or Find Out That...
8.1. How To Find Out If a Notebook Runs Linux.
8.2. Installing Linux Using FTP.
8.3. Resuming an Interrupted Download.
8.4. Boot-Time Configuration.
8.5. Formatting Man Pages without man or groff.
8.6. How To Scroll Backwards in Text Mode.
8.7. How To Get Email to Work.
8.8. Sendmail Pauses for Up to a Minute at Each Command.
8.9. How To Enable and Select Virtual Consoles.
8.10. How To Set the Time Zone.
8.11. Dial-up PPP Configuration.
8.12. What Version of Linux and What Machine Name Is This?
8.13. What Is a ``core'' File?
8.14. How To Enable or Disable Core Dumps.
8.15. How To Upgrade/Recompile a Kernel.
8.16. Can Linux Use More than 3 Serial Ports by Sharing Interrupts?
8.17. Configuring Emacs's Default Settings.
8.18. How To Make a Rescue Floppy.
8.19. How To Remap a Keyboard to UK, French, Etc.?
8.20. How To Get NUM LOCK to Default to On.
8.21. How To Set (Or Reset) Initial Terminal Colors.
8.22. How To Have More Than 128Mb of Swap.
9. Miscellaneous Information and Questions Answered
9.1. How To Program XYZ Under Linux.
9.2. What's All This about ELF? glibc?
9.3. How To Determine What Packages Are Installed on a System.
9.4. What Is a .gz File? And a .tgz? And .bz2? And... ?
9.5. What Does VFS Stand For?
9.6. What is a BogoMip?
9.7. What Online/Free Periodicals Exist for Linux?
9.8. How Many People Use Linux?
9.9. How Many People Use Linux? (Redux.)
9.10. What Is the Best (Distribution|SCSI Card|Editor|CD-ROM Drive|....)
9.11. How Does One Pronounce Linux?
10. Frequently Encountered Error Messages
10.1. Modprobe Can't Locate Module, XXX, and Similar Messages.
10.2. Unknown Terminal Type ``linux'' and Similar.
10.3. INET: Warning: old style ioctl... called!
10.4. ld: unrecognized option '-m486'
10.5. GCC Says, ``Internal compiler error.''
10.6. Make Says, ``Error 139.''
10.7. Shell-Init: Permission Denied when I Log In.
10.8. No Utmp Entry. You Must Exec ... when Logging In.
10.9. Warning--bdflush Not Running.
10.10. Warning: obsolete routing request made.
10.11. EXT2-fs: warning: mounting unchecked file system.
10.12. EXT2-fs warning: maximal count reached.
10.13. EXT2-fs warning: checktime reached.
10.14. df Says, ``Cannot read table of mounted file systems.''
10.15. fdisk Says, ``Partition X has different physical/logical...''
10.16. fdisk: Partition 1 does not start on cylinder boundary.
10.17. fdisk Says Partition n Has an Odd Number of Sectors.
10.18. A Mtools Utility Says It Cannot Initialize Drive XYZ.
10.19. At the Start of Booting: Memory tight
10.20. The System Log says, ``end_request: I/O error, ....''
10.21. ``You don't exist. Go away.''
10.22. ``Operation not permitted.''
10.23. programname: error in loading shared libraries: lib x: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory.
10.24. ``init: Id "x" respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes.''
10.25. FTP server says: ``421 service not available, remote server has closed connection.''
11. The X Window System
11.1. Does Linux Support X?
11.2. How To Get the X Window System to Work.
11.3. Where To Find a Ready-Made XF86Config file.
11.4. What Desktop Environments Run on Linux?
11.5. xterm Logins Show Up Strangely in who, finger.
12. How to Get Further Assistance
12.1. If this Document Still Hasn't Answered Your Question....
12.2. What to Put in a Request for Help.
12.3. How To Email Someone about Your Problem.

Development Release: openSUSE 11.1 Beta 3 Now Available

The openSUSE Project is proud to announce the availability of beta 3 of the 11.1 release. It’s a few days late, but much better for the delay. Beta 3 is now available for immediate download and testing.

As mentioned on, this release was delayed significantly by the power outage in Nuremberg over the weekend of October 11th.

Important: Call for Testing
We all want openSUSE 11.1 to be the best release yet, and we need your help to get there. This release is ready for widespread testing, and we’re encouraging everyone to download and test the beta release. Please run the release through your usual routine, and let us know about any bugs or other issues that you find. Remember that this is a beta release, and is not suitable for use on production systems, however.

We have a page of new features specific to openSUSE 11.1 here: This is a definitive list of new features added into 11.1 that need testing.

Please use this page to identify and test new features — and then mark them complete when you’ve finished testing.

See for more information on Testing.

To follow the testing and development process, we suggest that you subscribe to the openSUSE-Factory mailing list, and join the openSUSE-Factory channel #on Freenode to discuss openSUSE development.

What’s changed since beta 2?
Major changes in this release include:

  • Live CDs for x86 and GNOME and KDE
  • 3.0
  • Mono 2.0 Final
  • Linux (fixes e1000e issue)
  • CUPS 1.3.9
  • Parts of 11.1 branding are now in place
  • Amarok 2.0 beta 2
  • Banshee 1.3.2
  • GNOME 2.24

Installing openSUSE 11.1 beta 3 on Mac OS X machines should work fine. Previous openSUSE releases would not write the partition table correctly to the MBR, but it should now be possible to install openSUSE on Macs more easily.

KVM is broken in this release due to a kernel configuration change before beta 3. It should be working in the next release. 3.0 integration continues and should be much better in this release. The most annoying bugs with missing icons, broken dialogs, Java registration, and others should be fixed. However, a few bugs remain, and new ones have been reported. Current issues include:

  • KDE and GNOME integration is ignored (bnc#433076)
  • GNOME quickstarter does not work (bnc#434778)
  • localized strings are not updated from extra sources
  • optional packages are not really optional because the registry files are not spread correctly
  • the user configuration includes symlinks to /usr/share/ooo3 instead of that real files; it might be a feature but it might also cause problems in the future.
  • pyuno components are still not registered
  • Suse-puzzler.xls works only partly; e.h. “Sneaky Peak” or “About” works but the “Shuffle” does nohing. Also, pieces can’t be moved by mouse.
  • some missing hacks from ooo-build/bin/package-ooo and older OOo.spec
  • missing OOo-sdk compat stuff (to build voiko…, bnc#428403)

See DistroWatch for an expanded list of packages being shipped in the Factory distribution.

Media and Download
The 11.1 beta is just one of the releases that will lead to the final 11.1 release. You can find the entire roadmap on the openSUSE wiki: Downloads are available here:

See for a full list of mirrors. Note that you don’t need to choose a mirror yourself, but you can use the mirror list if you want or need to select a mirror manually.

Most Annoying Bugs
* no x86_64 LiveCDs available
* no PPC ISOs available (due to Bug #431945)
* Bug #432732: yast2-x11: Broken xorg.conf written during installation (GeForce 6200TC/7300LE/7300SE/Go 7300, Intel 965G/965GM, Radeon, vmware). Workaround: Use Ctrl+Alt+F1 to switch to console, login as root, init 3, sax2 -r, init 5.
* Bug #436949: screensaver crashes gdm
* Bug #437411: su and console login do not work. Workaround: sudo vi /etc/pam.d/common-auth and remove the pam_fp line. We will release a test update.
* Bug #428963: dbus-1 session bus connection policy bug / was gnomesu. We will release a test update.
* Bug #436835: sbl installed and running by default
* Bug #436524: GDM autologin - somewhat broken …
* XEN does not work [a huge number of bug reports]

Future Release Announcements
Note to openSUSE contributors: If you have any changes or features to call out for future release announcements, please send an email to Zonker ( with any information that should be in that announcement. (Preferably at least two days before the scheduled release.

Original Article Can Be Found Here: