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The Geek

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

Kernel customization is not for everyone. Please note before you try any of this that it can break your system.

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Kubuntu includes the built-in ability to allow other users to control the desktop. Like Ubuntu, you can allow users to access and control the desktop via the VNC client. Unlike Ubuntu, there are a lot more options.

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If you’ve used Windows Vista for more than 3.7 minutes, you know what UAC (User Account Control) is.. it’s the obnoxious, nagging popup window that will be your life for the next 3-5 years unless you switch back to XP in frustration, or to a better OS like… OS X, Suse, Ubuntu, or even XP.

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Windows Vista includes a screen capture/screenshot tool that is actually pretty decent. You can take region captures or full screenshots and easily save them using this tool.

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If you are a developer using ASP.NET, one of the first things you’ll want to install on Windows 7 or Vista is IIS (internet information server). Keep in mind that your version of Windows may not come with IIS. I’m using Windows 7 Ultimate edition.

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The goal of this site is to provide computer help for everybody. When building a site like this, it’s important to cover everything, not just the more interesting how-tos. This means there will continue to be a lot of simple articles like the last two.

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I dislike the system beep on any computer, anywhere, anytime. Here’s how to turn it off in Ubuntu.

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If you are constantly tweaking your setup the way I do, the login sound will drive you crazy after a short while. Of course, if you are constantly tweaking your setup, it’s very unlikely that you are reading this article because you already know how to do this.

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TrueCrypt is a phenomenal open-source disk encryption software that runs on Windows or Linux. Unfortunately, the installer doesn’t work so well on Ubuntu Edgy, so I’ve created this article to help walk you through the process.

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SecureCRT uses the Ctrl+Ins and Shift+Ins keys for copy and paste instead of the normal windows defaults of Ctrl+C / V. The reason why this is done is because most unix or linux varieties use those keys as part of the shell.

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The default shell on most Linux operating systems is called Bash. There are a couple of important hotkeys that you should get familiar with if you plan to spend a lot of time at the command line. These shortcuts will save you a ton of time if you learn them. 

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If you are running Ubuntu Server, or even if you prefer to administer your desktop from the command line, you will want to be able to see what packages are available for update. Ubuntu includes a great package management tool called Aptitude that gives you an interactive environment from which to install/upgrade packages.

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Once you use the apt-get utility to install a package, sometimes it seems to disappear into nowhere. You know it’s installed, you just have no idea where.

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The package management system on Ubuntu makes it extremely simple to install and remove packages, but sometimes it’s important to figure out what version of a particular package that you actually have installed.

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Note: This article is was for the prior version of Analytics

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When you are using a linux system, it’s useful to find out what groups you belong to, so you can understand whether you have access to files and directories. This is one of the simplest commands possible. I’m using Ubuntu linux, but this command should work on most varieties of linux.

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Ubuntu Server is like any Linux variety, and has full multi-user capabilities, and a common task on any server is adding users.

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Screen is like a window manager for your console. It will allow you to keep multiple terminal sessions running and easily switch between them. It also protects you from disconnection, because the screen session doesn’t end when you get disconnected.

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Connecting to a server across the internet is much more secure using SSH. There is a way that you can mount a folder on a remove server using the SSHFS service.

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If you install Ubuntu from a cd-rom, when you try to use apt-get to install new software it will prompt you for the cdrom every time. Kinda frustrating!

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Ubuntu Server has the native ability to run multiple console sessions from the server console prompt. If you are working on the actual console and are waiting for a long running command to finish, there’s no reason why you have to sit and wait… you can just open another console and keep working.

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When you are on the Ubuntu server console, you will invariably run commands that scroll past too far to see them on the screen. Since you aren’t in X, there’s no scrollbar for you to use to look back.

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If the Ubuntu Server installer has set your server to use DHCP, you will want to change it to a static IP address so that people can actually use it.

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If you’ve installed your Ubuntu installation with DHCP, it’s really easy to reconfigure your system to use a static IP address with the GUI based Network Settings dialog.

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Ubuntu has a trash can/recycle bin feature similar to windows. The difference with Ubuntu is that you can empty the trash from the command line.

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