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May 2003, Issue 90       Published by Linux Journal

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HELP WANTED : Article Ideas
Submit comments about articles, or articles themselves (after reading our guidelines) to The Editors of Linux Gazette, and technical answers and tips about Linux to The Answer Gang.

Linux aol dial-up

Thu, 17 Apr 2003 10:45:48 -0400
Narendra Shah (nss99 from

I have Peng client connect to AOL on RedHat 9.0. It connects to AOL alright but my system doesn't recognise the active connection. For my browser or gFTP clients do not connect to any http or ftp sites.

What do I have to do so that the system/n/w config understands the active connection


Well folks, it's not a late edition of a Fool's Day joke .. Peng really is intended for letting people use their AOL dialup to get what we'd consider more ordinary connectivity. Anyone out there hitting the net this way? Let us know how you do it! -- Heather

Linux Infrared

Sun, 6 Apr 2003 18:25:21 +0530
Joydeep Bakshi (joy12 from

Hi all, I am interested to make an infrared remote for linux. I have also visited the LIRC webpage. if there is any body who has already build this remote please tell me how it is working and a little bit about the circuit & driver ,library etc u have used. please share ur experience with me.

If some one is using creative infrasuite remote (credit card size) , please let me know. does it need the separate IR receiver or the inbuilt IR in the CD Rom is enough ? I have the Panasonic Tv remote at home. so please let me know too if there is any body using this remote with LIRC.

thanks in advanced.

On a slower computer...

Tue, 8 Apr 2003 01:17:51 -0500
Thomas (tea from


About 8.0 LInux installation either "stand alone"? or install with windows on a pc. can you offer tips on installing it to a 75 mhz computer. what of fdisk or other info format?

You may refer my request on to someone else in club as you desire. Thank you,for you time.

Now, small distros and distros-on-floppy we have by the dozens. But RH 8 compatible? Or kickstart floppies that chop out a bunch of that memory hogging, CPU slogging stuff? An article on keeping your Linux installers on a diet would be keen. Just in time for Summer, too. -- Heather


A Walk through Frink's Confusion

Wed, 2 Apr 2003 17:38:01 -0800 (PST)
Ben Okopnik (the LG Answer Gang)
Question by Brad Chapman (jabiru_croc from

I don't understand why this:

x=`echo -e "\240"`;mkdir $x;echo "hostname -f">$x/perl;chmod +x $x/perl;export PATH=$x:$PATH;clear

combined with this:

perl -we'fqdn'

is considered an Easter Egg. How do you enter it into a bash prompt to make it an Easter Egg?


*looks for riffles, JIC*

[Ben] I don't understand your question. What Easter Egg? What the heck does "enter it into a bash prompt" mean ("enter at the command line", maybe?)

That's what I meant. Woomert's command line looked as if it was meant to be entered directly into a shell prompt. Is it meant to be entered some other way?

[Ben] Ah, OK. Yes, it's meant to be entered at the shell prompt.
What did you try? What results did you get? What did you expect to see instead? Give me some info to go on, and I might be able to help you - if I can get an idea of what you're asking for.

I tried entering the x=" line, then calling perl -we'fqdn' to see the output. That worked.

[Ben] <grin> Except... it didn't. There's no such function as "fqdn" in Perl; it's just a random string that I munged up, an abbrvtn for "fully qualified domain name."

What I was expecting was something which made perl stop working or something which would munge my command line.

[Ben] That's exactly what you've got: Perl is now "broken". No matter how you invoke it, it will now type the FQDN.

I have an idea on what this is meant to do, though:

x=`echo -e "\240"`;mkdir $x;echo "hostname -f">$x/perl;chmod +x $x/perl;export PATH=$x:$PATH;clear
echo -e "\240" : ASCII code 240
mkdir $x : create a directory with name $x
[Ben] Well, with the content of $x - which is an "invisible" ASCII character (at least with the default LOCALE), easy to miss when you do an "ls". :)
[Jason] 'ls' shows the escape character. ("\240") That's becasue the '-b' (show escape characters) is in $LS_OPTIONS, which is used in my 'ls' alias. That's pretty neat, but I find a backspace character has more intersting effects:
~/tmp$ x=$(echo -e '\b')
~/tmp$ mkdir $x
~/tmp$ touch $x/lala
~/tmp$ ls
~/tmp$ cd ^H/
~/tmp$ ls
~/tmp$ cd ..
It makes it look like you don't even change directory! And the output of the 'ls' command is, of course, given the -b options via my alias. Normally, (my version of) ls outputs a '?' when there's an unprintable character.
echo "hostname -f">$x/perl : echo the hostname into a file named perl in $x
[Ben] Nope. Echo the string "hostname -f" into that file.
chmod +x $x/perl : make the perl file executable
[Ben] Thus making it an executable shell script which runs "hostname -f".
export PATH=$x:PATH;clear : adds $x to the $PATH
[Ben] Much more importantly, putting $x at the front of the PATH - meaning that the executables in there will get run instead of the others. When you type "perl", the actual Perl binary never gets executed: the shell script is now the first "perl" in the path!

Is this Easter Egg supposed to make perl act strange?

[Ben] It's not an "Easter Egg"; that term has a specific meaning (hidden feature that does something cute when you run it, like the maze in MS Excel, a mini-version of a Doom-like game in Word some years ago, etc.) That's what had me confused. It's a hack (not a software hack, either; Woomert just hacked Frink's naivete, too easy of a target by half. :)
As to what it does - it makes Perl go away. :) Until Frink finds the problem and fixes it (possibly by logging out, closing that xterm, or rebooting), invoking "perl" will do nothing more than print the FQDN.
[Jason] Only in UNIX can you do so much interesting stuff with a few commands. A while back I was playing with a script that would, when run, print
rm -rf /home/username.....12345K deleted
where username is your username and 12345K is however much stuff you have in your home directory. The disk churning sounds would be 'du' running to figure out how much stuff in your home directory there was. Then the tricky bit was that the script would add some commands to your .bashrc, which changes $HOME to /tmp/$RANDOM and cds to that directory, so when the user logs in again he thinks all his files are gone. I thought about uuencoding it and posting it to the TAG on April 1st, but decided not to.
[Ben] Oh, massively cute! You should, of course, set the command prompt to show that the user is still in his home directory... :)))
[Jason] That's what setting $HOME does.
[Ben] Oh, I meant an explicit "/home/joe" rather than "~", but you're right - that's even better.

Cloning workstations article

Wed, 30 Apr 2003 17:06:28 +0200
Dirk Schouten (schoutdi from

Esteemed editor,

In your April issue of Linxu Gazette there is an an article on Cloning Workstations with Linux by Mr. Alan Ward. An article that starts with:

"Anybody who has had to install a park of 10 - 100 workstations with exactly the same operating system and programs will have wondered if ...etc" is able to raise my curiousity.

To my surprise 'Ghost for Unix' was not mentioned by the author.

IMHO the best solution for a hundred or so workstations.

Kind regards,

Please note that g4u is based on BSD, not Linux. The techniques used are, however, very similar.

Best regards,
Alan Ward

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linux baby clothes?

Tue, 8 Apr 2003 12:40:53 +0200
Robos (the LG Answer Gang)
Question by J.Cooper (koopzy from

gday - how'd it go with the inquiry about Linux baby clothes?

Help Wanted #5, Issue 67

How about this one here:

bookmark conversion

Tue, 08 Apr 2003 11:03:48 +0300
Miron Brezuleanu (mbrezu from


I have a www browser bookmark conversion problem (and a partial answer :) ). I'm currently using Opera as a browser but I wanted to also use Konqueror. As always, there is an issue with the bookmarks: it's difficult to "port" them. After one hour of groping and hacking I managed to write a little script that does the opera->konqueror port. But it is ugly and it doesn't work in the other direction.

Do you know of such bookmark converting apps/scripts (on linux!)? Konqueror (in kde 3.0) seems to know how to import/export bookmarks to netscape and mozilla, but not more.

I hope this qualifies as a Linux question :) . It's an all platform issue, but that doesn't mean it's not linux, right ? :)

I included my partial-answer-script. Maybe someone can use it :) . I don't really know perl, my script is probably very ugly but it worked for me. It's a filter, you have to use redirection and then copy the output file to the konqueror bookmark file.

Miron Brezuleanu

See attached

[K.-H.] Hmm... opera has some bookmark export variants too.
Like file-export-bookmarks_as_html looks like a very much universal export format if you simply load that html page and klick on the bookmark you want.
As I remember netscape bookmarks are a simple html layout as well which you can directly load as an html-page.


Wed, 9 Apr 2003 12:33:11 -0700
Rick Moen (the LG Answer Gang)
Question by Leon Coertzen (leonc from

This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

------=_NextPart_000_0030_01C2FDD5.E597FE00 Content-Type: text/plain;

charset="iso-8859-1" Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

I'm sure you're unaware of this, but you sent your message with extraneous MIME headers like the foregoing, and with your entire message printed a second time in HTML. Please change your mailer's settings to stop it from doing this. Instructions are here:

For more information, please see (

Normally I leave this part out. However, since I note that Rick has had to utter this little macro an awful lot of times this month, I figured I'd help a few souls out there by seeing it get mentioned. The answer in this case is tiny - so this brings it up to a whole Two Cents worth :D -- Heather

How do you set printing priorities with cups?

Using the -p option:

$ /usr/bin/lp -d LaserJet -p 90 foo the job of printing file foo a priority of 90 out of 100. Default priority level is 50.

DOS functions in Linux' gcc?

Wed, 23 Apr 2003 21:50:38 +0100
Jimmy O'Regan (the LG Answer Gang)
Question by Arif Ali Saiyed (sarifali_007 from

Respected sir/ madam ,

can i use execute interrupt 11h and 13 h as i can use in TURBO C using int86 function , plz give some inforamtion or notes how to do that in linux using gcc thanking you in advance

I'm not sure if it's possible in the same way it is in DOS, but it's definitely not the done thing. Wine ( has code in its DOS emulation dll, which you could probably use in a similar way. Look in wine/msdos/ and wine/dlls/winedos

Int 11 is equipment check and 13 is disk services, right? For int 11, you might try using Discover ( For int 13, you'd need to be more specific

Internet by call in USA?

Thu, 10 Apr 2003 12:39:55 +0200
Uwe Altmann (uwe.altmann from
Question by matthi (matthi from
In response to Help Wanted #6, Issue 89. -- Heather

Hi matthi

In US, visit the next public library - there are some PCs in every public library with which you can access internet (and therefore via webmailer your mail) for free. Also, many Hotels/Motels have free web-access by LAN or, al least, an PC with freee webaccess (motels with moderate prices too, afaik motel 8, motel 6) - you can choose your accomodation by that.

[GL] nis problem

Wed, 23 Apr 2003 15:11:47 -0700
Dan Wilder (SSC sysadmin)
Question by glue-list (
The author here - a member of the GLUE list, contacts for "Groups of Linux Users Everywhere" - was really hoping he was wrong, but this is how the dreaded YP stuff really works. A tip for all who have to deal with NIS. -- Heather

1) I search various web-sites, but I cann't find nis-server and nis-client works properly. ypbind at client detects the nis-server also. yp.conf,network files all r fully configured in client and server both. "ypcat passwd" also displays the user info in both client & server. But when I create any new user at nis-server,I can get user-info by running "ypcat passwd" only when then I execute make command in /var/yp or "ypinit -m" in /lib/usr/yp folder AGAIN.I want to know that IS it Required to execute MAKE COMMAND AGAIN & AGAIN When any New User Created ?

In a word, yes.

Pctel hsp micromodem 56 config.........RedHat 8.0

22 Apr 2003 23:26:58 +0530
Kapil Hari Paranjape (the LG Answer Gang)
Question by Vivek Ravindranath (vivek_ravindranath from

Hi there,

I wonder if this would be useful to some of you out there.I had some problems configuring my Pctel PCI modem.After a lot of searching I found a driver at compilation went on perfectly but when I tried to load the modules with insmod I could not load the modules and it would display that the module is compiled with GCC 3 and hence cannot be loaded.

[Kapil] Thanks for your hints ...
Note that many distro kernels are compiled with gcc 2.95 (in fact I don't believe I have successfully compiled a kernel with gcc >= 3.0).
Thus a possibly better solution is to install gcc-2.95 and compile kernel modules using that.
An alternative is to re-compile your kernel with gcc 3 and then you can use modules compiled with gcc 3 as well.

If you are facing the same problem do this....

1.At the console type

insmod -f pctel
insmod -f ptserial

(instructions on installing the modules can be found in the readme file found with the package). (If you are using the same tarball from i.e.,pctel-0.9.6.tar.gz you have to type commands as it is). You will see some messages but it does not matter much.

[Kapil] Generally speaking, I would do an "insmod -f" only if I was in a hurry or if I couldn't even boot-to-fix witout it. But it should never be allowed to be a "permanent" solution.

2.If you are using KPPP to connect to the internet do this..... create a new connection,fill in the connection details and other things. Then go to the modem tab and click on modem commands.In the section named initialization string 2 give the following "AT&FX1&C1" and press ok.

3.Instead of loading the modules each time the above given commands you create a script which you can execute before starting kppp. I can't assure that it is going to work,but you might as well give it a try.

Hope this will help. Vivek.

[Kapil] Me too.

Debian upgrade howto

Sun, 13 Apr 2003 01:47:20 -0700
Rick Moen (the LG Answer Gang)
Question by ARJUN (arjun2 from

how to upgrade the existing debian version without reinstalling ? (for an ex. potato to woody)

Debian's built-in upgrade process is controlled by the /etc/apt/sources.list file and by the apt-get package-retrieval utility. sources.list specifies where to look for new packages (Web or ftp sites, CD-ROMs, hard drive directories, etc.), and apt-get fetches both available-package catalogues and the packages themselves. Your sources.list probably looks like this:

deb stable main non-free contrib
deb stable/non-US main contrib non-free
deb stable/updates main contrib non-free

Notice the word "stable". At the time you installed Debian, "stable" referred to 2.2/potato. These days, "stable" has progressed to 3.0/woody: The alias name "oldstable" can still be used to refer to potato, or you can just use the name potato.

That is, if the machine you're talking about has Internet access, you can upgrade in two stages, like this.

1. Edit sources.list to refer to "potato" by name:

deb potato main non-free contrib
deb potato/non-US main contrib non-free
deb potato/updates main contrib non-free

As root, retrieve the latest available-packages list for potato:

# apt-get update

Now, upgrade all installed packages to the latest for the potato series:

# apt-get dist-upgrade

2. Re-edit sources.list to refer to "stable" (which is now 3.0/woody):

deb stable main non-free contrib deb stable/non-US main contrib non-free deb stable/updates main contrib non-free

# apt-get update
# apt-get dist-upgrade

The point of doing the upgrade in two stages is to avoid introducing dramatic version differences, all at once.

However, it may be that pulling down a hundred or so packages from the Internet isn't practical. If so, you can acquire a set of Official Debian 3.0r1 CD-ROMs. The full set is 7 CDs. (You don't need to get all seven, if you don't want to.) To register them in sources.list, first comment out any existing "deb" lines in that file, and then run the apt-cdrom utility once for each CD. Then:

# apt-get update
# apt-get dist-upgrade

That's just about all there is to it. Make sure you take note of any warnings or advisories shown to you during the upgrade process.

I was looking for this a long. and U have given me the solution. I know that "thanks a lot" is not enough. any how wish u my best wishes - ;)))

more verbose and useful assert()

Sun, 6 Apr 2003 12:32:02 -0700 (PDT)
Mike Sharov (msharov from

In reference to the assert() macro that good programmers use to catch bugs that should be fixed before the user sees them -

Unfortunately, when a programmer debugs somebody else's code, an assert failure may be rather difficult to interpret. What does assert(p == NULL); failure mean? You will not know until you look at the source code at that point and try to understand what's going on. But what if the assert was changed to:

assert (p == NULL && "Please deallocate your GC handle before allocating a new one");

Now the programmer can read the message, which will be printed along with the rest of the stuff in the assert, smack himself on the forehead and shout "doh. I know where the problem is!" The assert works because the string pointer is always non-zero and if p == NULL, will not cause the assert to fail.

This seems pretty obvious, now that I have figured it out, but I have never seen this technique used in any piece of code. The effect can be achieved by using a custom assert library, but why introduce a dependency when you don't have to?

[Jimmy O'Regan] Would it not be better to use

if (!assert (p == NULL))
    fprintf (stderr, "Please deallocate your GC handle before allocating a new one");
[Didier Heyden] Nope; assert() actually aborts the program if its argument is 'false.' This means that your own message would never be printed, even if the 'p' variable were NULL. Instead, you'd see something like:
PROGNAME: SOURCE.c:31415: FUNCTION: Assertion `p == NULL' failed.
then the program would terminate (and possibly dump core).
OTOH, with Mike's method you'd get a message similar to:
PROGNAME: SOURCE.c:27182: FUNCTION: Assertion `p == NULL &&
 "Please deallocate your GC handle..."' failed.
The reason his solution works is that a string constant in C (even an "empty" one) always evaluates as a 'true' condition (a non-null memory reference indeed).
Another advantage of sticking with "simple" assert() macro calls is that you can disable all of them at once, merely by #defining the NDEBUG macro at compilation time. In that case, all assert() instructions will expand to nothing at all.

[Jimmy] (or similar, apologies for my rusty C)

[Didier] Naaah. :) I wish I could remember the specific syntactical issues of my own rusty programming languages as precisely as you do. Expect my over-volatile memory to bring back sooner or later awful games of 2^^7 errors such as
#/usr/bin/perl -W

using strict;

my despair = {'Why', 'the heck', 'doesn't this', 'work'}

for each (@cry in $despair) { echo @cry, " (sob) " }
(Don't laugh: it's based on countless true stories).

carrier errors

Wed, 23 Apr 2003 12:28:18 -0400
Kapil Hari Paranjape (the LG Answer Gang)
Question by Harry (kuhman from

I came across your "Answer guy" site while searching for info on ifconfig errors. Unfortunately, it did not help with my problem, but since you provide an e-mail link, I'm not too proud to ask.

The question I'm trying to understand is "what are "carrier" errors. I'm getting "carrier" errors on 100% of my my TX packets and can't connect to the rest of the network, but the man pages for ifconfig don't tell me what the errors are and I'm at a loss so far to find information on this.

Carrier errors is jargonese for Cable fault. Please check the cable you are using (try a different one if you have one). Of course it could also be a loose contact problem.
Carrier = Signal Carrier = standing wave on which signals are transmitted using "modulation". That's about as much as I remember from by College course in Electronics.

The complete problem is that I'm running both WinXP and Linux (Knoppix booted from CD) on an HP notebook. Knoppix used to boot and connect to the network fine, but now it has stopped working! I'm running strictly from CD, no install or configuration information on my system, just the normal Knoppix auto- configuration that worked fine on the hardware before, yet now for reasons unknown I get these carrier errors and can not transmit anything on the network (sniffing the wire confirms that nothing is going out). Obviously I can no longer get my network settings with DHCP (which also used to work fine on my local network for this computer), but I cannot manually configure the card to work either. Do you have any insight to what might cause this?

Thanks. Unfortunately, in this case the "carrier errors" are not cable errors. Here are the details that confirm this:

The hardware works 100% correctly under WinXP, including sniffing the cable and seeing absolutely no errors in a large number of packets.

The hardware used to work under Linux (Knoppix booted from CD) but no longer does, even with the very same bootable CD. There are no packets getting out onto the cable at all, again confirmed by sniffing the cable.

A completely different cable was also used to route the notebook computer to a separate hub where the packets could be watched by another computer. Still no packets were on the wire.

I wrote earlier: Carrier = Signal Carrier = standing wave ...
So at least I feel partially vindicated. There is no standing wave hence no signal :-)

Apparently other Linux issues can manifest themselves as carrier errors, but I have not yet been able to determine what counts as a carrier error in Linux.

Let's apply Occam's razor here based on the fact the "it used to work with the same Knoppix CD". What could have changed?
  1. Not the CD. And hence not Linux or the software that comes with it.
  2. Not the cable (this has been checked by you).
  3. Not the hardware (it works under that other OS so its not critically damaged).
Thus the problem has to be with the remaining "soft" component. That is BIOS/flash settings. Some Network cards store some settings. You could examine these settings using the mii-tools. Additionally, check whether you have made some changes to the BIOS.

I just wanted to give you some feedback. Thanks very much for the reference to mii-rtools, it really helped. It looks almost certain at this point that Microsoft's "security updates" are changing NIC configuration eeproms. And, of course, Microsoft knows not to use the bad configuration and works fine with the change, but another OS like Linux that trusts that the configuration in the eeprom is what the manufacturer or user wants fails. I've found several other users that have been trying to figure out what happened, why their CD used to work fine but now fails on the same system. We all accepted Microsoft "security updates". We are now trying to get a test done with some networking tools that can watch the content of the eeprom and catch when it changes, so I expect to have evidence to support this soon.

I'm pretty sure it can - I know a dyed-in-the-wool linuxer who currently has to consider his happy little Orinoco family wireless pcmcia card a piece of junk because a "helpful" Microsoft update has put it into a state that Linux and BSD tools don't seem to be able to get it out of. Of course it works fone in the other OS. Grrr. -- Heather


Wed, 9 Apr 2003 10:51:11 -0700
Rick Moen (the LG Answer Gang)

I have seen that different linux architecture are present based on different processor architecture. like i386, i586, i686 etc. what are these & how to know the architecture of my processor ?

JK, Linux provides an excellent facility for this sort of thing, in the form of /proc/cpuinfo. Here's the one from the server I'm mailing this from:

For those ignorant of or who simply are happy to avoid the text editor vi (or its friendlier cousin vim) :r is a command which, when issued from command mode, will read what comes after it. :r! runs a command, which can be nice for inhaling man page fragments, too. Making this a Three Cent Tip... -- Heather
:r /proc/cpuinfo

processor	: 0
vendor_id	: GenuineIntel
cpu family	: 6
model		: 7
model name	: Pentium III (Katmai)
stepping	: 2
cpu MHz		: 498.755
cache size	: 512 KB
fdiv_bug	: no
hlt_bug		: no
f00f_bug	: no
coma_bug	: no
fpu		: yes
fpu_exception	: yes
cpuid level	: 2
wp		: yes
flags		: fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 mmx fxsr sse
bogomips	: 996.14

There. More than you really wanted to know about the host's CPU. Of course, the above gives information about the hardware. The machine's kernel may or may not have been compiled with appropriate optimistions, though that will generally be included in the output of uname -r (kernel release).

[Pradeep] i386, i586, i686 are different kind of processor architectures developed by intel. The following link has some info about this:
In the terminology of the hardware hackers, these are considered the same architecture (32 bit Intel, "i386" if you're looking in the kernel source tree). There are a few optimizations, but the way they think is similar. Contrast a Sparc, a Strongarm (found in many handhelds), or even Intel's own ia64 ("Itanium" if you prefer them by name). -- Heather

floppy woes

Mon, 14 Apr 2003 08:11:21 +0530
Kapil Hari Paranjape (the LG Answer Gang)
Question by Ronald Russell (ursacava from

I'm running SuSE 7.1 and Win98 on separate hard drives in a 900 Mhz Celeron machine. Things were working fine until recently, when I could no longer access my floppy while in SuSE. The same drive reads and writes perfectly in Win98. When attempting to mount the floppy either by clicking the desktop icon, or by typing the command in the terminal, I receive the error '/dev/fd0 is not a block device'. What could have happened to cause this, and what can I do to repair it?

Some possibilities suggest themselves.

  1. The device node is not properly created. Run 'ls -l /dev/fd0' and check.
  2. You have a modular floppy driver which is not loaded. Run '/sbin/lsmod' to check whether the driver is loaded.
[Didier Heyden] A third possibility is that your floppy disks and/or drive are actually defective. A 'mount' command issued on /dev/fd0 (assuming that this block device file and the kernel modules are all set up properly) will first try to access the disk's boot sector. If any I/O error occurs then, the 'mount' will fail with the error message you mention.
Take a look at the system log files (usually /var/log/messages, but you can also use the 'dmesg' command). Check whether errors like
[...] kernel: end_request: I/O error, dev 02:00 (floppy), sector 0
are present; if so, try to mount a few other floppy disks. If the system keeps producing an error similar to the above, chances are that you will have to replace your floppy drive very soon -- in particular if the very same diskettes are correctly mounted and read on some other (Linux) box.
There was a time when such a problem could be caused by a drive head "misalignment", but I'm not sure it's still the case these days.
I think it can be; also, depending on your console setup, you might not have to dig in the logs to see these complaints, as they might spew on your console rather vocally.
First thing I'd check is whetehr there's a file in your /dev/ area that used to be your floppy node, fd0 or any of the others starting with fd. -- Heather
I don't know much about WinXX, though I guess that that other OS either does more retries before giving up or is too lax regarding sanity checks prior to granting access to the user (I can't help favoring the latter explanation).


Wed, 09 Apr 2003 17:52:39 +0200
Didier Heyden (the LG Answer Gang)
Question by deepa lakshmi (deepaselvaraju from

On Wed, 9 Apr 2003 13:48:45 +0100 (BST), deepa lakshmi wrote:



i have a firewall machine .i also have a machine with ip behind the firewall.

i added prerouting rules to forward incoming request to internal web servers which are behind firewall.

now i want machine with ip to have internet access through firewall. i have tried with this rules.but no resonse fron machine rules are

-A POSTROUTING -o eth0 -j SNAT --to-source
-A FORWARD -i eth1 -j ACCEPT

but it's not working.

First, let me suggest to you to read carefully:

before saying that. Since we have no means to guess what actually happens on your system when you try the firewall rules you mention, you cannot expect us to be able to provide much help in exchange for so little information as you've given.

For example, is the above ruleset complete, or is it (as is more likely) only a subset of the actual rules you're using? Are these rules accepted at all when you enter them on the command line? What do the log files on your firewall machine say? Did you try a packet sniffer such as "tcpdump" or "ethereal" on its network interfaces? Did you make sure all required kernel modules have been compiled, installed and are actually loaded? Is "IPv4 forwarding" enabled? etc, etc.

I'm not an "iptables" expert myself, but I think the "-t <table>" option is not an unimportant one.

Here's a precious resource about setting up a Netfilter/iptables firewall. It covers pretty much everything (including source NAT and masquerading) and has a number of useful examples:

<solemnly> Beware that in order to set up a firewall in the Right Way, you must definitely know what you're doing. Help yourself. Googlesearch. Read howtos, tutorials and examples; once you have understood them, give them a try. Observe the results carefully. Then -- only then -- ask a precise question. :) </solemnly>

[Jason Creighton] Well, a problem I see is that for the SNAT rule, you need to specify the table, like this:
-t nat -A POSTROUTING -o eth0 -j SNAT --to-source
All the NAT rules go in the (guess what?) "nat" table. The default table is 'filter', which is used when no table is specified.

Internet Cafe ?

Tue, 08 Apr 2003 20:54:43 +0100
Jimmy O'Regan (the LG Answer Gang)
Question by Wally Bannon (wbannon from

Wally Bannon wrote:

I have a client who is Aboriginal here in Northern ontario looking to set up a Internet Cafe. There are no location in the city of Thunder Bay. Can you direct me to where I can get info on " how to set up or establish an Internet Cafe" This person is a youth age 25 who can access Gov't funding for assistance to capitalize the project

If you want to use some combination of both Linux and Windows clients controlled by a Linux server, try Zeiberbude:

If you want Linux clients connecting to a Linux server, you could also try DireqCafe:

This is built for the Linux Terminal Server project:

If you want Windows clients connecting to a Linux server, try Prepaid Accounting:

If you want Windows clients connecting to a Windows server, you'll have to try asking somewhere else.

[Faber Fedor] If you go to and type in "internet cafe howto" the first link is back to us -- ! There are several other good links mentioned there on google.

Making IPTABLES complain...

Tue, 8 Apr 2003 12:46:53 -0600
Jason Creighton (androflux from
Question by =?ISO-8859-1?Q?\=CE=B6=BF=C0\?= (ryujin_ssdt from

I have a little question. I have a iptables rule set that works perfectly. The problem is that to check if it is working as it has to I have to check the long log files every some time.

I really would like my laptop to complain when some unauthorized conection is attempted in real time or when my laptop tries to connect to other host without me doing it. Much the way Zonealarm complains. I just want the system to tell me that something strange is going on without me having to see the logfiles all the time or installing a dedicated IDS (snort).

I think if I can get iptables to send all the dropped packets somewhere a normal user (not root) can read them, I can grab that data periodically and display a little alarm with it using maybe karamba?? Any sugestions??

Just a little personal firewall for my desktop, since linux is becoming a candidate for personal desktop (It is already for me) this feature would be a good add-on.

[Jason] Now, do you want the data that the packets contain, or just the packet headers? The LOG target, will, as you know (if you're reading log files) give that information. If you really need the data, look into the ULOG target. The ULOG target sends the packet through a netlink socket to any listening process in userspace, so you'll need a daemon running to "catch" all those packets. Search the web for "iptables ULOG target", I haven't done much research into that method, so I don't know how well it would work.
It sounds like you want a pop-up window every time somebody sends you a packet that iptables drops. That's tricky to implement. Here's a half-way solution:
tail -f /var/log/syslog | perl -ne 'print "\a$1\n" if (/.*?firewall: *(.*)/)'
Assuming you have the --log-prefix option that's given to the LOG target set to 'firewall:' and that the kernel messages are ending up in /var/log/syslog, this will beep and print the packet details whenever a dropped packet comes in. You could then leave this running in a terminal. You might also want to have the 'limit' match on your logging rule, for two reasons:
There's probably some better solutions out there, but this works if all you want is the packet details. Also, it's probably overkill to have perl doing this.
[Matthias] You could configure your logging client to log your iptables log to a second file which is group writeable (e.g. group "log") and then parse this log file.
You should search for a /etc/syslog.conf or similar. If you have problems you may ask on the list how to configure your particular logging client (syslogd) on your distribution.


Wed, 9 Apr 2003 09:33:00 -0700
Rick Moen (the LG Answer Gang)
Question by mark (emery_558 from

i have an iso image how do i burn it to auto run from cd

[Rick] You use cdrecord.
Yes, cdrecord is available for Windows, albeit usually built under cygwin, so you might need the cygwin runtime libraries. We also had a considerable discussion of many avialable types of CD burning software in a past issue: Best of ISO Burning Under Windows
I've seen that there is software to soft-mount a .iso raw CD image file as a filesystem under Windows - much like the way Linux and other UNIX users can "loopback" mount them (so they look like a real disc). Search Tucows or some other MSwin software archive to find that stuff. -- Heather

its easy cd/dvd.6

[Rick] No, when you're mailing a mailing list called, it most definitely is not Roxio Easy CD/DVD 6 for MS-Wind*ws. It's cdrecord. Get it?
Much thrashing by the gang about whether a reader can "get" that we're going to describe free software to them when they haven't really got their hands on that first Linux CD yet, snipped. Suffice it to say we support folks escaping from addiction to the Borg's sugar cubes, but if you have proprietary software, questions about it really ought to go to its paid support staff. -- Heather
[Karl-Heinz Herrman] if it is an true and real iso9660 (plus extensions like Joliet or Rockridge) yous take it and burn as it is onto a CD. That's it.
To add some guesses myself:
In any case -- the bootability of a CD or the autorun.inf file are either in the iso or not. If not, it won't "auto run".