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Table of Contents
April 1998 Issue #27

The Answer Guy

The Weekend Mechanic

TWDT 1 (text)
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 The Mailbag!

Write the Gazette at


Help Wanted -- Article Ideas

 Date: Mon, 02 Mar 1998 08:48:14 +0100
From: Per Wigren,
Subject: Linux and CDE

Hi! I want to know what makes XiG's and TriTeal's CDE different, other than price! Maybe a comparison could be something for Linux Gazette...

Regards, Per Wigren

 Date: Mon, 2 Mar 1998 18:56:35 +0100 (MET)
From: Scud,
Subject: article idea

I wonder if you can write some article about linux on non x86 platforms and how long linux develelopment has come on those platforms?


 Date: Sat, 28 Feb 1998 18:47:55 +0100
From: Grzegorz Leszczynski,
Subject: Hurricane

I would be very grateful if you could help me with my problem. I can't install Linux Red Hat Hurricane 5.0. After choosing the partitions to Linux native and for swap Linux, and after choosing applications to install program says that there is an error:

mount failed: invalid argument
After than i must return to menu and I don't know what to do. I look forward from hearings from you

Rafal Leszczynski, POLAND

 Date: Sun, 1 Mar 1998 14:11:18 -0500 (EST)
From: N. Lucent,
Subject: Linux on a laptop

I finally convinced my girlfriend to make the switch to Linux from windows after she suffered numerous stability problems (big surprise) She currently has an HP Omni-book 600CT, I fdisked her windows partition, and when I ran the install boot disk (for both Red Hat and Slackware) it says floppy 1.44m (I assume this is from the kernel) Then it says no floppy controller found, and just keeps reading the boot disk. Is there anyway that I can force the detection of the floppy? (external floppy drive) I found a WWW page about installing Linux on that notebook, but What it said to do didn't work. Does anyone have any suggestions?

 Date: Thu, 5 Mar 1998 03:09:06 EST
From: Mktnc,
Subject: Matrox Millenium II

Anyone using the Matrox Millenium II graphics board with greater than 4 Meg ram with Xfree86? The XFree86 home page is somewhat dated on this card.

Also, anyone running a Voodoo 2 accelerator graphix card with Linux?

Anyone using nasm (Netwide Assembler) for those hard to reach places, under Linux?

Thanks - Nick

 Date: Wed, 04 Mar 1998 09:05:00 -0500
From: Dr. Scott Searcy,
Subject: X-term for MS-Windows

Does anyone make an X-windows terminal emulator that will run under MS-Windows. I was hoping to find such a program so that I could use X via a network connection from various MS-windows machines that I have to use.

Dr. Scott Searcy

 Date: Thu, 05 Mar 1998 23:38:29 -0700
From: Elvis Chow,
Subject: Hylafax printing filter?

I finally got Hylafax running on a Slackware distribution. Works great. What I need to do now is to get Applixware to print a doc directly to it so it can automatically fax it to a predetermined number. Is there a way of doing this?

Great work on the Gazette! Best source of practical tips I've run across in a long time. Keep it up!!

Elvis Chow

 Date: Fri, 06 Mar 1998 18:42:43 +0100
From: Stefano Stracuzzi,
Subject: PPP with Linux

I'm a newbie in Linux and I'd like to know how I can configure my connection to my Internet service provider with my Red Hat 5.0!

My modem is internal and it is configured to on the cua1

Thank You Very Much
Stefano Stracuzzi

 Date: Mon, 9 Mar 1998 10:43:30 -0800
From: jean-francois helie,
Subject: Help Wanted!

I am a student at CEGEP T.R. I have a year end project. My project is to installed a Linux based router and a IP generator for 50 PC. I have some informations about the router but i don't have any info about IP generator.

Thank you for your support.
Jean-Francois Helie

 Date: Wed, 11 Mar 1998 15:51:30 +1000
From: Ken Woodward,
Subject: Linux for Amiga

Do you know if it is possible to get a CD distribution of Linux to suit running on an Amiga 3000? It is currently running AmigaUnix, and the Red Hat version 5 copy I purchased installed flawlessly on my PC.

Can I get the same for the old Amiga?


 Date: Wed, 11 Mar 1998 12:58:10 -0800
From: Kevin Long,
Subject: Samba Woes

Here's my situation: I'm trying to set up my RH5 terrifically working system to be a PDC equivalent in an NT workstation/95 network. Basically we need to 'login' to the server, and then get access to 'shares'. I tried using NFS as an alternative (with NFS maestro) but it doesn't recognize Linux NFS. However...... I cannot get Samba to work AT ALL. In fact, I have never seen it work. If you've got it working, please help me - I can copy your installation configuration and tweak it, but I need some success. I have plenty of NT, Novel, DOS/win hardware etc. experience, and successfully use NFS exports between Linux machines, but have got nowhere with Samba in a year of trying. Is it a hoax?

Kevin Long

 Date: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 14:55:56 +0800
From: Jason Wong,
Subject: Red hat 5.0 with NT Server 4

I am new to Linux, and wish to set it up at home. The problem I have is:

I wish to run Windows NT + Windows 95 + DOS + Linux. How to do this? I can set it up with Linux & Windows 95/DOS, but how to make Linux co-exist with NT server4?? many thanks!!

(See the Samba page, It should be just what you need. --Editor)

 Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 10:18:33 +0100 (MET)
From: Fabio Gregoroni, gregoron@CsR.UniBo.IT
Subject: Driver For Scanner

I have to write a driver for a plain scanner on the parallel port. I have following scanners:

  2. PLUSTEK 4830P
I don't need the driver already made, but I need only the transfer protocol documentation ( what I must send and receive ). Can Someone help me ?


 Date: Wed, 04 Mar 1998 04:53:01 +0800
From: ahyeop, Subject: X-Windows too Big!

Lastly I successful install the X-windows for my Linux box using generic chip set or Oak's OTI067 (8 physical RAM is quite slow though..). But the windows are too BIG. I tried modified its XF86Config but it's not working (besides I really doesn't know how to modified it correctly)

My box spec :   processor:      486 DX2 60MHz.
                RAM:            8 simm ram
                Swap memory:    16 swap ram (I think so...)
                memory:         256 Kbytes
                RAMDAC:         Generic 8-bit pseudo-color DAC (what it
mean ?)
                Linux:          Linux ver. 2.0.27 (Slackware 96)
                monitor:        SVGA monitor (SSVM's 220-240V-50MHz
                video card:     Oak's OTI067
                mouse:          MS Mouse
                Keyboard:       101-key       
Can anybody help me with problem ? Thank in advance :-)

Ahyeop, Perak, Malaysia

 Date: Wed, 25 Mar 1998 11:25:32 -0100
From: BoD,
Subject: AGP card on Linux

I like to buy a AGP card based in the nVIDIA RIVA 128 chipset. Can i use it on my Linux RH 5.0 system with Xfree86 3.3.1?


 Date: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 11:41:11 -0800 (PST)
From: Lee,
Subject: Re: Linux Gazette

I've recently been hit by the superforker problem. Someone mentioned that the LG had a script to fix the problem (by removing the directories in /tmp) Do you have such a script? I haven't been able to locate it, and I currently have a ton of directories in /tmp that rm won't remove because the filename is too long.

Please respond quickly while I still have some hair left,

(Sorry, I don't remember all the articles we've had, but superforker doesn't sound familiar. However, in issue 18 and 20, Guy Geens has articles about cleaning up the /tmp directory. Perhaps these will be of help to you. --Editor)

 Date: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 09:06:39 +0100
From: javier ballesteros,
Subject: modem for Linux

I'm a student of telecommunications in the University of Alcala de Henares in Spain, my computer is a Pentium 233 MHz and I have installed Red Hat Linux 5.0, all works properly , but I have a little problem with my modem: Linux can't recognize my modem. My modem is a HSP 336 DELUXE (I know that is very bad but is the only I have). So, is there any possible to install properly my modem? , exist any driver for this specific modem? .Please send me some information or any advice, if you can I will be pleasant.

See you!....

General Mail

 Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 00:39:33 -0700 (MST)
From: Michael J. Hammel,
Subject: Late Night Radio Buzz

I'm sitting here listening to C|Net radios coverage of Internet World. Dan Shafer of talked at length about how he (and someone named Desmond) are going to do some serious investigation into what alternative OS's there are - and specifically they are looking into Linux. They mentioned Red Hat and Caldera, that there were lots of applications available and how the Linux community are very much the "just do it" community. All in all, very positive exposure.

Go to,155,154,0.html and click on the 4:00 CNET Radio Late Update (where it says "Dan Shafer of What's Hot?"). Its a RealAudio interview and you'll have to go about 1/2 way through before they start the Linux discussion.

Dan Shafer said they would be writing up the Linux results they came up with in the BuilderBuzz section of ( I just checked and there is nothing there yet - I think he said it was going to start next week. Anyway, I sent him email offering to assist in anyway I could. If I get a response I'll try to get more details on where the info will be located when it becomes available.

C|Net would be wonderful exposure for Linux.

Just thought I'd pass this along. Michael J. Hammel |

 Date: Mon, 02 Mar 1998 23:22:14 +0500
From: Larry Taranenko,
Subject: Re: Linux Gazette #26

You know, we are here interesting in Linux too. But we have much troubles with our unstable connection to the World - that is why I maintained LG mirror in the heart (geographically we live in the center of RUSSIA) of my country. And I have many many friends in my town (apr. 2,5 mln city named Chelyabinsk) who are crazy about Linux as I am. Mostly we use Debian. I like your publications - and think that a little note somewhere there about Linuxoids in RUSSIA will be, maybe, interesting to somebody. See in future.

I hope you understand me in right manner, against my silly English...
God bless you and Linus,
Have a nice day!

(I think I understand you fine. Why don't you write up an article for us about Linux in Russia? --Editor)

 Date: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 03:49:43 -0500 (EST)
Subject: about filedudes

hey, found this real fast download site, check it out!

 Date: Sat, 07 Mar 1998 22:51:10 -0800
From: Ken Leyba,
Subject: $0.02 Tip

In issue 26 of the Linux Gazette there is a two cent tip that refers to the VAX 3400/3300's as MIPS 3000 boxes. These are indeed VAX processors as Digital (DEC) named MIPS boxes as DECStations/DECServers and VAX boxes as VAXStations/VAXServers. I worked for Digital for over 10 years in Multi-Vendor Customer Services and currently use a VAX 3300 running Ultrix, DEC's BSD based Unix for the VAX CPU.

Ken Leyba

 Date: Mon, 9 Mar 1998 17:09:28 -0500
From: Tunney, Sue (IDS),
Subject: Yes, Grammar does count

I was so pleased to read that *someone* else out there is as aggravated as I am by the continual misuse of the apostrophe in web pages and e-mails by obvious native-born American English speakers. And for anyone who says, "What's the big deal? Doesn't everyone know what I mean?", let this old fogey respond:

Does your computer understand what you mean when you make an error writing code? Doesn't it matter then? If you can't write proper English grammar and spell correctly, what makes you so sure that your computer code is correct? And if you want to spread the good news about Linux, it seems obvious that we will get more attention, and the right kind, if we take the time to write properly. I'm often impressed by how hard the "foreign" letter writers work to make their point clear when they write to LG, often apologizing for their poor English; yet they often do better than us "natives."

Mike, you are absolutely right, and I thank you for saying it. I would also like to eliminate the so-called word "alot" as *there is no such word* (but note that the next letter after Mike's used it. Oh, well...) . If you can't drag out a dictionary, check it out on line; there are lots of fine dictionaries out there.

 Date: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 13:24:03 -0800
From: Rich Drewes,
Subject: Linux market share (news tidbit)

I run an ISP that hosts a variety of customer-owned domains, most not even specifically computer related. I recently did an analysis of the agent_log files to find out how popular Linux really is as a client OS for ordinary users who access the ordinary web pages. The results are at:

One interesting factoid: Linux now appears to be the #2 most popular Unix OS client!

I enjoy the LG. Thanks for the work.

 Date: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 21:38:36 -0500 (EST)
From: Tim Gray,
Subject: Re: Getting Linux to the public...

Milton, thank you for your response (see Tips)... your's was the first that was genuinely helpful, I have learned many things after posting that letter to the Gazette, one of which is that the Linux user crowd is not free of the type of person that enjoys flaming others, (I had secretly hoped that Linux users were more helpful than resentful) But thank you! It helps alot to fiddle with the settings and I was successful in getting 2 friends converted to Linux, unfortunately there are several colleagues that alas have monitors that are older than dirt itself and cannot go beyond 640X480 :-) But you have helped me migrate 2 windows users! thank you.. and thank you for your supportive letter.


 Date: Sun, 29 Mar 1998 16:09:41 -0500
From: NYACC AnyNix SIG comm mgr, Subject: Re: Getting Linux to the public...

Timothy D. Gray wrote regarding: Getting Linux to the public:

Has anyone noticed that when your friends see your neat-o Linux system with the nice 17 inch monitor, high quality video card, and fast computer that when they say, "Wow! that is nice, and you can do almost anything on that!" you cringe with the fact that they are going to want you to put it on their system?
I'm glad you have a 17inch monitor and "highquality" video card. Myself, my 50-dollar video card and ten-year-old monitor let me run in 800x600 with 256 colors. I could get 1024x768 if the monitor allowed it. I could get 64K colors (16-bit) if XFree86 allowed it. This is a limitation not of the hardware, not exactly of Linux, but of the XFree86 people who don't wish to take the trouble to support the inexpensive cards on the market.

My present (Oak) card seems to be limited to 8-bit color in any event, my other (Cirrus Logic) card will support 16-bit and 24-bit color, which if fully supported would allow me 64K colors at 800x600 or 16M colors at 640x480 (with a virtual 800x600 window).

The people at XFree86 (one of them a Cirrus employee) have, by their own statement, chosen to spend their time on the latest and greatest cards, with the older, cheaper cards going by the board.

I have tried and failed to get the necessary information from Cirrus Logic to rewrite the XFree driver to better use the card.

Now mind you, I don't cringe on sharing the best O/S on the planet, In fact I want everyone to use Linux. It's just that almost all X windows software is written for 1024 X 768 or higher resolution video screens and that 99% of those wanting to use Linux and X windows only have a 14" monitor that can barely get past 640X480 at 256 colors.
See above. For a cost of no more than $50 they should be able to get a 1MB video card that will handle *much* better resolution.
I tried several times to get friends into Linux and X but to no avail because the software developed for X is for those that have Gobs of money for good video boards and humoungous monitors. It's not a limitation of Linux or X, it that the software that is developed for these platforms are by professionals or professional users that can afford that new 21 inch monitor at the computer store.
You might try pushing different programs. My main problem (except with viewers for Adobe file formats) is getting *multiple* windows on the screen at once. Also, certain *types* of applications, by their very nature, demand lots of screen real estate. An application of that sort is going to be cramped on a small screen *regardless* of underlying OS support. I simply avoid such applications until I can acquire a larger screen (about $500, locally).
We as a group might want to see software scaled back to the 640X480 crowd.. then Linux would take the world by storm.. Until then It's going to be limited to us pioneers and Scientists...
Actually, the *biggest* barrier to using Linux X Apps is that so many of them are written using Motif! That's almost as bad as WinDoze.

--Buz Cory :)

Published in Linux Gazette Issue 27, April 1998

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This page written and maintained by the Editor of Linux Gazette,
Copyright © 1998 Specialized Systems Consultants, Inc.

"Linux Gazette...making Linux just a little more fun!"

More 2¢ Tips!

Send Linux Tips and Tricks to


RE: Help Wanted - LaserJet 4L

Date: Mon, 2 Mar 1998 14:38:43 -0500

To: John.H.Gorman@MCI.Com
Re: font sizes + points, Linux Gazette #26 I had a similar problem with an old Deskjet under SunOS and was supplied with the following info by HP support Europe. It applies to DOS but should be applicable to any Un*x system as well These are printer instruction generation wizards URLs

I saw a posting in C.O.L.A. a few months back that someone has already done the tough work and has programmed some mostly-complete PCL 3+ 5 drivers for Linux If all else fails, HP DOS drivers exist that can customise point sizes + fonts and save them permanently to printer memory (5Si's do, i don't know about 4Ls) If you don't have a DOS partition maybe DOSEMU? Good Luck!
Shane McLaughlin

2c tip (StarOffice 4 / Ghostscript)

Date: Mon, 2 Mar 1998 18:48:51 -0500 (EST)
From: Fraser McCrossan,

I've just started using the excellent Star Office 4.0 (free for personal use - go get it now!), but have noticed that when using Ghostscript to filter its print output on my non-Postscript printer, the results were not quite as they appeared on the screen.

I reasoned that this might be because the fonts supplied with SO didn't quite match those supplied with Ghostscript. However, the SO fonts are Type 1 Postscript fonts... which Ghostscript can use. To make Ghostscript use them, you need to link them to its home directory. For example, if your SO is installed in /home/fraser/Office40, change to the Ghostscript font (normally /usr/local/share/ghostscript/fonts) directory, and do the following:

ln -s /home/fraser/Office40/fonts/type1/*.pf[ab] .
mv Fontmap Fontmap.hide
For some reason, when I tried to add the new fonts to Fontmap in the same format as the existing fonts, GS would crash, hence hiding it. I'm not a GS guru... perhaps someone else can explain why. However, GS works just fine without Fontmap for me, although it probably takes longer to start up - and everything I print looks just like the screen.


RE: Linux and VAX 3400 and 3300

Date: Mon, 02 Mar 1998 20:34:55 -0500
From: RC Pavlicek,

The March issue of the Gazette includes the following under 2 Cent Tips: <<I have just purchased a MicroVAX 3400 and 3300. I would like to put <<Linux on these two systems. Can you provide any help in this aspect.

<I believe those are MIPS 3000 boxes, try the Linux VAX Port Homepage at > <and the Linux/MIPS project at

Anything with "VAX" in its name is just that -- a VAX. Digital made MIPS boxes once upon a time, but they never used the VAX/MicroVAX name. Most of Digital's MIPS boxes were sold under the DECstation or DECsystem name.

The pointer to the VAX/Linux effort is the best one I know about, but the whole VAX/Linux project was not even close to producing usable code last time I checked. NetBSD, if it works on these boxes, may be your best bet.

-- Russell C. Pavlicek
[speaking for himself, not for Digital Equipment Corporation]

xdm with pictures

Date: Thu, 05 Mar 1998 10:34:43 -0000 (GMT)
From: Caolan McNamara,

Can I change the XDM login window/screen? I have a cool house logo so i want to use it in my own Home Network. And at my school they want to know to so. Is it possible. If yes, how? If no, WHY NOT? -- Jeroen Bulters, The netherlands
you could try xdm3d_xpm, which allows a picture in the xdm box, which is 3d with shadows and stuff,one version is at (probably the latest) theres another (older) at

Re: HELP-Installing Linux on a FAT32 Drive Date: Thu, 05 Mar 1998 11:35:42 -0000 (GMT)

From: Caolan McNamara,

I'm interested in installing linux on a machine I built recently, but when I installed Win95(b), I idiotically opted to format the drive using FAT32, which in a 95-only environment is great, but Linux can't read it for greek. I've looked around for utilities to effectively un-FAT32 the drive, which I will then partition with Partition Magic to use the freespace as a native ext2 partition, etc., but am having little luck. Reformating is a disheartening prospect I would rather not face, but am fully prepared to do so if I don't find any help here. --nate daiger

Well partition magic 3 can repartition fat32 without hassle, and there exists a patch for linux kernel to understand fat32 at which also lists a version of fips which also should understand fat32, to resize your drive.

Regarding "Easter Eggs" in Netscape etc.

Date: Thu, 5 Mar 1998 23:21:20 +0000 (GMT)
From: John Pelan,

The on-going 2 cent tips about the hidden "Easter Eggs" in Netscape is interesting. However rather than continually listing them it might be more fruitful to learn how one can try to discover them for oneself.

One useful tool in particular, is the oft neglected 'strings' command. This will locate printable strings in an arbitrary file and display them. So one can do something like;

prompt% strings /usr/lib/netscape/netscape-navigator
which will reveal all the embedded strings in that binary. You might like to redirect the output to a file for analysis. As many of the strings will be rubbish (i.e. 'random' sequences of printable characters) one can always use grep, awk, Perl etc. to help filter in/out particular patterns.

In the case of Netscape, only a tiny set of the strings will correspond to "Easter Eggs" (not all of them will be immediately obvious either) and locating them is left as an exercise to the reader...

Re: Changing XDM windows

Date: Fri, 06 Mar 1998 12:16:02 +1200
From: Craige McWhirter,

From: Jeroen Bulters,
Can I change the XDM login window/screen? I have a cool house logo so i want to use it in my own Home Network. And at my school they want to know to so. Is it possible. If yes, how? If no, WHY NOT.

Try this web site below. It had everything I needed to customise my XDM login.

Nice xdm and Linux PPC Date: Fri, 06 Mar 1998 09:09:48 -0500

From: Serge Droz,

just a quick comment on two letters in the Linux Gazette #26 (

  1. Changing XDM windows: Check out for a replacement (This version comes with pam support). This version runs fine on our Redhat systems (Intel & PPC).

  2. New direction: Linux is beeing ported to the PPC chip. See for more info, downloads CD's T-shirts.... It actually runs quite stable on my PPC.
Cheers, Serge

Re: Help with Sound Card

Date: Fri, 6 Mar 1998 20:32:13 +0100 (MET)
From: Roland Smith,

According to the Sound-HOWTO:
"MV Jaz16 and ESS688/1688 based cards generally work with the SoundBlaster driver"

To get a PnP card to work, you need to configure it first. There are two ways of doing that:

  1. boot into DOS, use the card's DOS-based initialization program, then do a warm boot to Linux

  2. compile sound support as a module, and use isapnp from the isapnptools package to initialize the card, after which you can insert the sound module.
The isapnptools package can be found at

Regards, Roland

Modline for TV

Date: Sun, 8 Mar 1998 13:11:37 +0100 (MET)

I have shamelessly stolen this from USENET, because I feel this excellent information should appear within the Linux Gazette.

I hope the original author don't mind. :-)

From: Rob van der Putten
Date: Sun, 8 Mar 1998 00:14:15 +0100
Hopefully you won't need this, but if you ever want to display X on a big screen and a TV is the only big screen around you might want to use this.

A TV with a RGB SCART input is nothing more than a fixed sync monitor with a rather low picture quality. This means that you can make a TV compatible signal with a plain vanilla cheapo VGA card.

For the european 625 line (575 visable lines) TV standard a modeline looks like this: Modeline "736x575i" 14.16 736 760 824 904 575 580 585 625 interlace -hsync -vsync

Officially the horizontal resolution is 767 (4 / 3 * 575) pixels with a clock of 14.76 MHz. However, since the clock used is 14.16 MHz, I reduced the horizontal values proportional to 14.16 / 14.76 (and rounded them to the nearest multiple of 8).

If you want to make a 640x480 screen with a black border you can you use this line: Modeline "640x480i" 14.16 640 712 776 904 480 532 537 625 interlace -hsync -vsync

You can center it by altering the 2nd and 3rd horizontal and vertical values (this example shifts the picture to the left): Modeline "640x480i" 14.16 640 728 792 904 480 532 537 625 interlace -hsync -vsync

You can make a non interlaced signal with this modeline: Modeline "736x288" 14.16 736 760 824 904 288 290 292 312 -hsync -vsync

The VGA RGB signals are compatible with the scart bus, the sync signals are not. You have to create a composit sync signal of 0.3 ... 0.5 Vpp. The cirquit below acts both as a AND gate and a level translator. It doesn't need a power supply and can be mounted inside a VGA plug:

 -VS ------------------------+
                         |  /
       +-----+           |/
 -HS --+ 3k3 +-----*-----|     BC 548 B
       +-----+     |     |\
                   |     |  \|
                   |        -|     +-----+
                   |         *-----+ 68  +----- -CS 0.3 Vpp
                   |         |     +-----+
                  +++       +++
                  | |       | |
                  | |       | |
                  +++       +++
                   |         |
 GND --------------*---------*----------------- GND
                  1k2       820
You can use any general purpose low frequent low power NPN transistor instead of the BC 548 B
Regards, Rob

mpack 2 cent tip

Date: Mon, 9 Mar 1998 11:17:47 +0100 (MET)
From: J.I.vanHemert,

I response to the 2 cent tip of Ivan Griffin, I am sending a two cent tip of my own.

Ivan send in a script that can be used to mail Micro$oft users. I would like to mention the package 'mpack', this program is very handy if you want to send out some mime-encoded mail. Furthermore the package also contains 'munpack' which does the obvious thing.

Mpack can be found on in the directory pub/mpack, in the archive mpack-1.5.tar.gz

Cheer, Jano

shutdown and root

Date: Mon, 9 Mar 1998 13:10:55 +0100
From: Guido Socher,

I noticed that many people still login as root before they power down their system in order to run the command 'shutdown -h now'. This is really not necessary and it may cause problems if everybody working on a machine knows the root password.

Most Linux distributions are configured to reboot if ctrl-alt-delete is pressed, but this can be changed to run 'shutdown -h now'. Edit your /etc/inittab and change the line that starts with ca:

# original line would reboot:
#ca::ctrlaltdel:/sbin/shutdown -t3 -r now
# now halt the system after shutdown:
ca::ctrlaltdel:/sbin/shutdown -t3 -h now
Now you can just press crtl-alt-delete as normal user and your system comes down clean and halts.

Perl Script 2 cent tip (maybe even a nickel)

Date: Mon, 09 Mar 1998 18:37:20 -0500
From: Allan Peda,

When I was putting my network card in my Linux box, I wanted to keep the soundblaster, but the addresses are not easy to read (for me) in hex. Even if there were in decimal, I figured a plot of the areas that appear open would be useful. So I hacked together a little perl script to do just that, Usage: addr.txt > outputfile.txt

Of course it goes to stdout without a redirected file. The input file is constructed with one line for each address:

base_address TAB upper_address TAB :Description
Here's a little perl script that I wrote to help me identify conflicting addreses:
#  v 0.1
# Allan Peda
# How to use: Prepare a file based on the format of the sample at 
# the end of this script.
# This script will plot a servicable chart of the addresses in use,
# with the gaps plainly apparant.
$debug = 1;
for ($i=1; <:>; $i++) {
	/^(\w+)\s/; $$memory[$i]{base_addr}=$1;		# base address
	/^\w+\s+(\w+)\s/; $$memory[$i]{upper_addr}=$1;	# upper address
	/\:(.+)$/; $$memory[$i]{addr_descrip} = $1;	# description of address
	$ttl_num_addresses = $i;
	print "$i\t $$memory[$i]{base_addr} \t" if $debug;  
	print hex($$memory[$i]{base_addr}),"\t-->\t" if $debug;
	print " $$memory[$i]{upper_addr}\t" if $debug;  
	print hex($$memory[$i]{upper_addr}),"\t" if $debug;
	print "$$memory[$i]{addr_descrip}\n" if $debug;
	if (( hex($$memory[$i]{base_addr}) < hex($min_addr) ) || $i<=1){ 
		$min_addr = $$memory[$i]{base_addr};	
	if (( hex($$memory[$i]{upper_addr}) > hex($max_addr) ) || $i<=1){ 
		$max_addr = $$memory[$i]{upper_addr};	
print "\nTotal number of addreses used = $ttl_num_addresses" if $debug;
print "\nMinimimum address is: $min_addr" if $debug;
print "\nMaximimum address is: $max_addr\n" if $debug;
for ($addr = hex($min_addr); $addr <= hex($max_addr); $addr++) {
	printf "\n%4x -> ", $addr;
	for ($i=1; $i <= $ttl_num_addresses; $i++) {
		if (( hex($$memory[$i]{base_addr}) <= $addr ) and 
		(( hex($$memory[$i]{upper_addr}) >= $addr))){ 
		    print "*** "; 
		    if (( hex($$memory[$i]{base_addr}) == $addr )) {
			print "$$memory[$i]{addr_descrip}";
# sample file address.txt follows:
0x1F0		0x1f8		:Hard disk drive
0x200		0x207		:Game I/O
0x278		0x27f		:Parallel Port 2 (LPT2)
0x2e8		0x2ef		:serial port, com4
0x300		0x31f		:Prototype / Network PCB
0x360		0x363		:PC Network (Low address)
0x368		0x36B		:PC Network (High address)
0x378		0x37f		:Parallel Port 1 (LPT1)
0x380		0x38f		:SDLC, Bisync
0x3a0		0x3bf		:MDA / prn adapter (hercules)
0x3c0		0x3cf		:EGA/VGA
0x3d0		0x3df		:CGA/MDA/MCGA
0x3e8		0x3ef		:Diskette controller
0x3fb		0x3ff		:serial port 1 - com 1
The input file looks like this (typically):
0x1F0		0x1f8		:Hard disk drive
0x200		0x207		:Game I/O
0x278		0x27f		:Parallel Port 2 (LPT2)
0x2e8		0x2ef		:serial port, com4
0x300		0x31f		:Prototype / Network PCB
0x360		0x363		:PC Network (Low address)
0x368		0x36B		:PC Network (High address)
0x378		0x37f		:Parallel Port 1 (LPT1)
0x380		0x38f		:SDLC, Bisync
0x3a0		0x3bf		:MDA / prn adapter (hercules)
0x3c0		0x3cf		:EGA/VGA
0x3d0		0x3df		:CGA/MDA/MCGA
0x3e8		0x3ef		:Diskette controller
0x3fb		0x3ff		:serial port 1 - com 1

RE: my dual pentium

Date: Mon, 09 Mar 1998 10:29:24 -0700
From: James Gilb,

My guess is that the default Caldera kernel does not have multiple CPU's enabled. You will probably have to recompile your kernel to enable SMP. Some kernel versions (even the 2.0.xx) are less stable for SMP than others, unfortunately I can't give you any help on which version to choose. However, you may want to join the Linux-SMP mailing list, email with the text 'subscribe linux-smp' to join the list. An archive is maintained at Linux HQ (, so you may want to look there first before you ask on the mailing list. The May 1997 Caldera newsletter has the following information (a little out of date):

Linux? When will SMP be fully supported?

The Linux 2.x kernel with full SMP support is currently in beta, and will most likely be included in the next stable release of the kernel. The Linux 2.0.25 and 2.0.29 kernels which ship in OpenLinux 1.0 and 1.1 products can reside and are tolerant of an SMP environment, but will not perform load balancing.

To enable SMP, the OpenLinux 1.2 FAQ ( has the following suggestions:

5.4 How to enable SMP (multiple processor) support:
To enable SMP (multiple processor) support in OpenLinux, you must do three things:

  1. Go to "/usr/src/linux" and uncomment the "SMP = 1" line in the Makefile (to uncomment this line, remove the preceeding "#").
  2. Follow the instructions in Rebuilding the Linux Kernel for Caldera OpenLinux 1.2 ( and during the 'make config' step be sure to enable "Real-time clock support". Then recompile your kernel using the remainder of the steps.
  3. Reboot your system.
Currently there is no method for monitoring how much of each processor is being used, but if you run the "top" utility you will most likely see processes that are using more than 100% of a processor; whatever is above the 100% mark is being done with the other processors. Also, to determine if both processors have been detected and are in use, you can cat the "/proc/cpuinfo" file for a report of what processors are recognized by Linux; if there's more than one listed, you are running with SMP support.

Some sources for information on SMP are:
(or any other LDP site)
(These pages haven't been updated in a while)

If after reading the above information, you still have questions, you might email Caldera's technical support (assuming you purchased your distribution from them and registered it.) I have had good luck with their technical support, but read the FAQ's first.

BTW: I found most of the above information by going to Caldera's web page and typing SMP in the search box. Thanks Caldera for the web site.

James P. K. Gilb

RE: Changing XDM windows

Date: Mon, 09 Mar 1998 11:20:33 -0700
From: James Gilb,

Jeroen, there a three ways that I know for sure to customize your login screen.

  1. Get XDM-photo from
  2. Use XBanner, which can do some really terrific things with you login screen. If you want a login screen that is the envy of you neighbors, you need XBanner. The URL for XBanner is:
  3. Use Xdm3d/XPM - from, get the sources and put your own XPM in, although the default penguin is pretty cool.
-- James Gilb

RE: HELP-Installing Linux on a FAT32 Drive

Date: Mon, 09 Mar 1998 11:24:56 -0700
From: James Gilb,

Nate, there is a patch to allow FAT32 support in the Linux kernel so you can mount the OSR2 drives and even run a umsdos type installation. The web page for the patches is:

-- James Gilb

Re: Apache SSL extensions...

Date: Wed, 11 Mar 1998 02:45:06 -0800
From: G-man,

I've put up a web page on how to setup apache-ssl Check out .. Also have examples of how the httpd.conf should look like to run secure and non-secure web server using apache-ssl..

Hope that helps..

Reply to locate tip (LG 26)

Date: Wed, 11 Mar 1998 19:37:47 -0500 (EST)
From: Brett Viren,

About the problem of `locate' (2c tip #2 LG #26) showing files that normal users can't access: If this happens, it is not a bug with `locate' but rather with the Linux distribution (or the way locate and friends have been installed by hand). `Locate' should be allowed to print any and all matching file that are in the database it is pointed to. However, in the case of the database for general system, it is a security bug (IMO) if the database includes non-world-readable files. Here is were the problem lies.

Debian Linux handles this by running `updatedb' (the program which actually makes the `locate' data base) from /etc/cron.daily/find via:

	cd / && updatedb --localuser=nobody 2>/dev/null
This is also a tad easier than patching/recompiling. Anyways, there is my 2cents.


Re: Getting Linux to the public...

Date: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 17:19:59 -0500
From: Milton L. Hankins {64892},

(This is in response to the article posted in General Mail, Linux Gazette, Issue 26, March 1998.)

Although I can't speak for developers "that have Gobs of money for good video boards and [humongous] monitors," I can share a few things with you about my experiences with XFree86. I have run it successfully with on a 14 inch monitor, using the standard SVGA X server on a 486-75MHz with a Cirrus video card. It took quite a bit of fiddling, but I eventually figured out how to get it to run in 800x600 mode, and then in 1024x768 interlaced.

A lot of it was just meddling with the XFree86 configuration file directly, hoping that I wouldn't blow my monitor up. There are tools today (like Metro-X) that make this process a fair bit easier.

One thing you might not realize is that the XFree86 config (last I remember) sometimes chooses 640x480 mode on startup, when it actually supports more modes. Try pressing Ctrl-Alt-Keypad+ to change the resolution while running X.

Monitor size is another matter. I recall one application that liked to size itself bigger than my screen. There are a couple ways around this.

The first is the -geometry flag, available to most X applications. If you want to try it, the xterm, xeyes, and xbiff programs all support it. The most basic format is:

-geometry =<width>x<height>+<x>+<y>:
Replace <width> and <height> with the desired width and height of the window, respectively. Sometimes width and height refer to characters, and sometimes they refer to pixels. Your mileage may vary. <x> and <y> refer to the pixel coordinates of the new window's upper left corner. If you want, you can leave out the first half (default size) or the second half (default location). Sometimes you can leave off the equals sign, too.

Some examples: "-geometry 800x600+0+0" will place an 800x600 window in the upper left corner of the screen. "-geometry 400x300+200+150" will place a 400x300 window in the center of an 800x600 display.

You can write shell aliases to run these programs with a default size. A cleaner way is to put geometry specifications in your .Xresources file. Usually this is of the form <programName>*geometry: <width>x<height>+<x>+<y>

Here are some examples:

XEyes*geometry:                 +1060+40
plan*geometry:         +10+10
Netscape.Navigator.geometry: =336x425
Netscape.Mail.geometry: =300x400
Netscape.News.geometry: =300x400
Netscape.Composition.geometry: =350x350
You may also want to adjust the fonts for your program, especially if it doesn't support the -geometry flag nor X resource.

I, too, feel that Linux is not ready for the public because of its comparatively steeper learning curve. But it's gotten a lot better over the years, thanks to the Linux community. Keep up the good work, everyone!

Milton L. Hankins (no known relation to Greg)

My 2-cents on W95/Linux coexistence

Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 17:56:16 -0500
From: Carl Helmers,

Re W95 and Linux: With hard disks crashing in price (hopefully not the heads), here is the strategy I used for this problem of getting W95 and Linux on the same machine at the end of 1997: On one of my personal desktop machines, I had excellent results using a product called "System Commander" -- this product has a Linux-savvy manual which explains all the details one needs. The machine in question is a generic Pentium-133 with 32mb memory, a 2GB EIDE drive and a S3 Virge based graphic card. After I got the machine in 1997 I added a removable 2GB EIDE drive in a DataPort drive frame/cartridge setup for testing various Linux versions, keeping the original W95 that came with the machine in the first drive.

Once I installed System Commander I set up the default boot choice on the P133 desktop machine to be (of course) Linux on the second hard drive, where I currently have X installed. I use this machine (running Emacs and a bunch of handy macros) to keep my update log while installing new Linices on my other machines (a Dell Latitude LM Laptop [P133 40mb] with an alternate 2GB hard drive for Linux, and a Cyrix 6X86-166 clone on the desktop next to the P133.

My first attempt at a W95/Linux combination was on that Cyrix clone -- whose W95 seems to have re-written the fundamental hard disk sector map of the second (but different model number, same capacity) Western Digital drive on which I installed Linux through g