I have admittedly put it off for way too long. The recent OpenSSL Vulnerability with weak keys prompted me to change that on one of my systems. I was forced to use dist-upgrade when OpenSSL would not update, leaving me to continuously recreating weak keys. While I normally update packages using the command line, I was hesitant of using the GUI for Adept Manager. My previous attempts with dist-upgrade have all been failures (From Edgy to Feisty to Gutsy…) so I was not really expecting a smoothe transition. I used the GUI Adept Manager because it was the recommended method per the Kubuntu Hardy Heron upgrade documentation. Adept immediately gave me an error and closed the first time I tried. I rebooted and tried again with the same error. I kept trying, and it finally decided it would do it…and it did it well. I rebooted and I was almost unable to tell any difference. I did notice I had the new wallpaper available, but otherwise, OpenSSL let me create new, uncompromised keys… and that was what was important to me. It was so painless, I felt brave and tried it on another server. This time, no error message, and it upgraded just as easily. I still have one workstation remaining on Gutsy, a laptop that I don’t have any pressing need to update. The slow server took about two hours to update, and the faster one took about one hour.
Being a big fan of the shell, I make it work hard for me. Often times the commands I’ll issue through the shell are greedy and eat CPU cycles like candy. Sometimes those commands might take several minutes to complete, and I want my CPU’s priority to be focused on other things (like letting me get back to blogging).To handle those special situations for me, I use the “nice” command. It’s really easy. You simply precede any command with the word “nice” and it works it’s magic.
For example, when I’m backing up my email and favorites, I can use the command like this:
nice tar -cf mybackup.tar outlookdata.dat myfavorites.dat
You can tailor nice’s effectiveness to suit your needs, using the -n argument. For example, maybe I want my backup to be priority so that I can get back to what I’d rather be doing. In that case, I’d use:
nice -n=-20 tar -cf mybackup.tar outlookdata.dat myfavorites.dat
Possible values range from -20 (least “favorable”) to 19 (most “favorable”).
In Ubuntu, it sometimes happens where a program locks up, and using the X or close button just doesn’t do anything. I frequently encounter this when k3b has a crashed burn. I’ve seen a few ways of closing it, but nothing as convenient as the close button. Several have suggested going to terminal and typing a command or three to close it. I think that’s just too much to ask, as I didn’t have to do that in DOS or Windows.
Fortunately, I found a shortcut that *is* as convenient as the close button. You can add a “Force Quit” button to your panel, by right clicking on the panel and choosing “Add to Panel“. You’ll see an icon that looks like a cracked screen. Drag it to where you want it on your panel, and you can use it when that pesky program just won’t go away.
One of my most critical requirements of the new operating system was an operational VMWare Server application. My wife and I share a network, and the flexibility of a VMWare Server was very appealing.
Our network consists of two computers, a P4 3.0Ghz Celeron with 1GB of RAM and an AMD Turion 64 laptop with 1GB of RAM. The desktop had suffered a hard drive failure a few months earlier, and I at least wanted it as an internet station running on a LiveCD, but after using it that way for a week, I felt I could really stretch the functionality.
After doing some research, I found Daniel Knippers guide to VMWare on Dapper Drake to be an indespensible walk-through. I managed to salvage a hard drive and went to install. The instructions were exactly the same for my chosen version, Edgy Eft. I’ve heard that Feisty Fawn requires some extra steps, but it was not officially released before I made the install and I still have yet to upgrade.
In a search for a viable free operating system, I encountered a Linux distro with a lot of support. You may have heard of Ubuntu. It’s been growing in popularity over the past couple of years. This blog will be a discussion of the switch and everything else I can relate to Ubuntu.