Anything related to the open source operating system created by Linus Torvalds.

Posts in the Linux category

nf_conntrack: table full, dropping packet - 19 Feb 2015

I was benchmarking nginx on a Vultr server and the test ran great, over 17K requests per second, but after a little over 20K requests, nginx would just halt. Memory and CPU usage were nowhere near the limit, and eventually Apache Bench got a timeout. This error occurred over and over again in /var/log/kern.log as […]

Name-based Virtual Hosts Serving Default DocumentRoot - 17 Jun 2010

I spent a while trying to figure out why one of my virtual hosts was serving the default DocumentRoot instead of the one in the virtual host section. I finally figured out the reason and am sharing it in case anyone else runs into the same issue. I’m running Ubuntu and the default VirtualHost configuration […]

PEM_read_PrivateKey failed SSH error - 26 Jan 2010

I just spent 20 minutes trying to figure out why my passwordless SSH wasn’t working. I’ve done it dozens of times, but this time it wasn’t working and none of the Google results had a solution that helped. It turns out I was pointing to the public key instead of the private key. Short summary: […]

Thank you Bill Joy - 30 Jan 2007

Bill Joy’s Greatest Gift: vi. Why learning vi/vim still makes sense in 2007 (via reddit)

from tao to linux - 15 Aug 2005

I received a submission for my trivia list stating that the phrase, “What goes around comes around” originally appeared in the Tao Te Cheng. I was a bit skeptical so I did some research. I found three different translations of it and none of them had the phrase. I responded with the links to the […]

video stills on linux - 29 Jul 2005

When movies are posted on boingboing, they post a few stills of the movie which gives you an idea of what it’s like. I think it makes the post a lot better, so I tried doing it by hitting the print screen button when the movie was paused, but that didn’t work. I then found […]

learning to use vi (or VIM) - 03 Jun 2005

When I first heard about vi and ran it, I grew confused and frustrated. I couldn’t do anything when I ran it, and I couldn’t even exit. I tried typing help but it displayed an error (No File). Then I tried typing quit, and it said something about recording and then insert, and then a […]

SuSE 9.3 configuration - 13 May 2005

I recently got a new computer and installed SuSE 9.3. In the process of gettings things the way I like them, I ran into a few gotchas. To help others avoid spending time on the same things I did, here are the solutions I found. I hope others can benefit from this information. Display manager […]

convert webshots files to jpegs in linux - 04 May 2005

I like to change my desktop background every once in a while, for variety. A friend of mine has tons of desktop images, and he told me he got almost all of them from a site called I went there and found hundreds of great-looking desktop wallpapers (or backgrounds) to choose from. The only […]

hypercard and stuffit archives - 12 Apr 2005

If you use Linux and want to either read an old Hypercard stack or (possibly to access an old hypercard stack) decompress a stuffit file (extension of .sit) you’re in luck. I had to do both and found that to read old Hypercard stacks on Linux you can use Dreamcard Player. It’s a slick application […]

burning CDs on Linux - 11 Apr 2005

This is probably old news to most people, but I only recently purchased a CD burner so I haven’t burned all that many CDs. Getting it working on my Linux machine took a little bit of time, but now it’s up and running. At first I used command-line utilities to burn CDs, mainly mkisofs and […]

xmms skipping - 17 Mar 2005

In the latest stable version of xmms (1.2.10) as well as in previous versions, I’ve noticed that songs would skip a note or two while I was doing other things. It became annoying enough that I eventually stopped listening to MP3s while working on my computer. I finally decided to search for a solution and […]

elegance in open source software - 17 Dec 2004

An article about the usability of open source software like Mozilla, Firefox, Gnome and Nautilus gave me something to think about. He says programmers don’t have to design for either the power user or the average user because even a power user doesn’t always want to configure everything; sometimes they just want it to work […]

efficient editing with VIM - 23 Nov 2004

I’ve used VIM as my editor for several years, and I consider myself to be a competent user, but I learned several new features from Jonathan McPherson’s page about efficient editing with VIM. Here are the highlights. I will be using the first two from now on and will probably wonder how I managed without […]

usb mass storage on linux - 31 Oct 2004

I received a digital camera as a gift, and it came with software that only worked on Windows and Macs. It was a hassle to have to use a Windows machine just to transfer the pictures from the camera, but I didn’t know of a way to do it on Linux. I tried using GPhoto […]

stopping ssh hack attempts - 20 Oct 2004

I get a daily security e-mail from my web server alerting me to failed login attempts and other security issues and in the past few weeks (months?) I’ve been getting tens if not hundreds of failed attempts to login to my server. At first I thought I could resolve the issue by blocking the IP […]

a few Linux tips - 14 Sep 2004

I often figure out how to do something and promptly forget how I did it a few months later, forcing me to go through the same process again to figure out how to do it. In order to avoid that, I began maintaining a repository of useful tips regarding different areas (mostly related to Linux, […]

running mozilla multiple times - 28 Jun 2004

I’ve found that with recent (1.6, 1.7) versions of Mozilla on Linux, you aren’t able to run multiple instances of the browser. If Mozilla is already running and you try to run Mozilla again, you get the Profile Manager which is a nuisance and of little use. My solution was to write a shell script […]

gnome-terminal tabs - 13 Oct 2003

I’ve become quite fond of tabs thanks to Opera and Galeon, but just recently discovered (by accident) that gnome-terminal has tabs too. Ctrl-Shift-T opens a new tab and Ctrl-PgUp and Ctrl-PgDown allow you to navigate up or down through them. They are especially convenient when you want to run a quick shell command, then go […]

booting in style - 21 Apr 2003

There’s a graphical boot process for the Linux kernel. (via hack the planet)

lovely linux fonts - 18 Apr 2003

As a followup to my earlier post about true type fonts in Linux, Bitstream has released the fonts. I downloaded them and had to read up on xfs, chkfontpath and xfontsel. The permissions were the problem. Once I made them globally readable, whammo, I had slick fonts for all my apps. (via /.) The instructions […]

compression utility benchmarks on linux - 26 Mar 2003

In order to test the performance of linux compression utilities, I compressed and decompressed a 336MB directory. Here are the results. Compression Version Command Time Size (in MB) 1.4.1_01 jar cf 14m41.860s 206 0.93 fastjar cf 4m7.200s 206 2.3-12 zip -rq 3m43.058s 206 1.3.19 tar cf 0m42.199s 315 1.3.19 tar czf (gzip) 3m34.422s 162 1.3.19 […]

gnome gets better fonts - 26 Feb 2003

The lack of high quality fonts is a common complaint among even the most loyal of Linux users. Now that Bitstream, Inc has agreed to release certain fonts under an open source license, any open source developer can use them in their software. Quite often, the appearance of an application will influence a user’s perception […]

dot files - 20 Feb 2003

Today I discovered that my mutt configuration had a problem. The manual had the answer I was looking for, but during my search, I found It’s a great way to learn about tricks people use on their systems, or to show off your own.

flash 6.0 is available for linux - 12 Feb 2003

If you run Linux, I’d recommend getting Macromedia Flash 6.0. You’ll need it to view the psychic mind reader.

zippy keys - 14 Jan 2003

I prefer a short delay and a high repeat rate for my keyboard. On Red Hat, I used kbset, but when I ran an application that changed the keyboard settings, it couldn’t restore the settings. I looked for an alternative and found xkbset, written by Stephen Montgomery-Smith. In addition to being able to set the […]

switch not that hard - 15 Oct 2002

Phil Windley recently discussed the difficulty of moving to open source software in government offices. The biggest factor, he stated, was training users. While there may be issues I’m not aware of, my experience has shown that someone who uses Word can use Open Office without any additional training. The same goes for Windows users […]

gnome desktop news - 10 Oct 2002

I went to today to check the status of some applications and discovered FootNotes. It’s a blog-like site which contains information about gnome projects that are being released. It’s also a good place to find out about new projects or those that have returned to active development.

Linux waddling out of obscurity - 19 Aug 2002

A friend of mine alerted me to an article about Linux moving into the big time. With all the talk of Linux in the news, people are getting curious about it and since I use Linux, I get asked questions. Recently a friend asked why one should use Linux instead of Windows. I pointed out […]

the linux awards - 18 Jul 2002

You can vote on your favorites in the Linux Journal 2002 Reader’s Choice Poll. If you don’t use Linux, it might not make much sense, but you never know, you might learn something while you’re there.