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The 20 Best How-To Geek Linux Articles of 2010

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We might be known for our Windows articles, but in 2010 we sure posted a lot of really in-depth articles covering Linux. Here’s the 20 best articles that we covered this year, covering everything from how to tweak your setup to how to use Linux to fix Windows.

Want even more? You should make sure to check out the top 20 How-To Geek Explains topics of 2010, the 50 Windows Registry hacks that make Windows better, or the best 50 Windows articles for 2010.

Recover Data Like a Forensics Expert Using an Ubuntu Live CD

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There are lots of utilities to recover deleted files, but what if you can’t boot up your computer, or the whole drive has been formatted? We’ll show you some tools that will dig deep and recover the most elusive deleted files, or even whole hard drive partitions.

Recover Data Like a Forensics Expert Using an Ubuntu Live CD


Move Window Buttons Back to the Right in Ubuntu 10.04 / 10.10

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One of the more controversial changes in the Ubuntu 10.04 beta is the Mac OS-inspired change to have window buttons on the left side. We’ll show you how to move the buttons back to the right.

Move Window Buttons Back to the Right in Ubuntu 10.04 / 10.10


How to Create Your Own Customized Ubuntu Live CD

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We love Live CDs, but it’s a hassle installing the same packages every time you need to do a virus scan or recover accidentally deleted data. We’ll show you how to roll your own Ubuntu Live CD, with all the packages you want, and even more nice customizations.

How to Create Your Own Customized Ubuntu Live CD


HTG Explains: Which Linux File System Should You Choose?

File systems are one of the layers beneath your operating system that you don’t think about—unless you’re faced with the plethora of options in Linux. Here’s how to make an educated decision on which file system to use.

HTG Explains: Which Linux File System Should You Choose?


The Beginner’s Guide to Linux Disk Utilities

Knowing how to check the condition of your hard disk is useful to determine when to replace your hard disk. In today’s article, we will show you some Linux disk utilities to diagnose the health of your hard disk.

The Beginner’s Guide to Linux Disk Utilities


HTG Explains: What is the Linux fstab and How Does It Work?

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If you’re running Linux, then it’s likely that you’ve needed to change some options for your file systems.  Getting acquainted with fstab can make the whole process a lot easier, and it’s much easier than you think.

HTG Explains: What is the Linux fstab and How Does It Work?


How to Choose What to Back Up on Your Linux Home Server

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If you have a home server powered by Linux, you’ll probably be upgrading your OS every so often.  Here are some important files to back up and some alternative utilities that will help you get up and running quickly.

How to Choose What to Back Up on Your Linux Home Server


How To Harmonize Your Dual-Boot Setup for Windows and Ubuntu

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Looking for some harmony between Windows 7 and Ubuntu in your dual-boot setup?  Here are a few ways you can make the tense OS situation a little more unified and copacetic.

How To Harmonize Your Dual-Boot Setup for Windows and Ubuntu


How to Choose a Partition Scheme for Your Linux PC

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Afraid of the dreaded “p” word?  You’re not alone.  Partitions can get complicated, so here’s an explanation of what they are, how they’re used, and a simple template to use for your own Linux installation.

How to Choose a Partition Scheme for Your Linux PC


What is the Linux Kernel and What Does It Do?

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With over 13 million lines of code, the Linux kernel is one of the largest open source projects in the world, but what is a kernel and what is it used for?

What is the Linux Kernel and What Does It Do?


What Does “Free as in Speech” or “Free as in Beer” Really Mean?

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In the open source community you’ll often hear the phrase “free as in speech” or “free as in beer” in reference to software products, but what do these phrases actually mean? Let’s walk you through the meaning behind each.

What Does “Free as in Speech” or “Free as in Beer” Really Mean?


10 Ways to Generate a Random Password from the Command Line

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One of the great things about Linux is that you can do the same thing hundreds of different ways—even something as simple as generating a random password can be accomplished with dozens of different commands. Here’s 10 ways you can do it.

10 Ways to Generate a Random Password from the Command Line


What’s the Difference Between Single and Double Quotes in the Bash Shell?

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Enclosing text in quotation marks is fairly standard practice on the command line, especially when dealing with files that have spaces in the names, but how do you know whether to use single or double quotes? Let’s take a look at the difference, and when you should use one vs the other.

What’s the Difference Between Single and Double Quotes in the Bash Shell?


How to Backup Your Linux PC with Simple Backup

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It doesn’t matter if you are using Windows, OS X, or Linux, everyone should do regular backups of their information. In Linux one of the easiest ways to do automated backups is with Simple Backup (SBackup). Here is how you can set up SBackup to make sure you have a backup of all your important files.

How to Backup Your Linux PC with Simple Backup


How to Free Up a Lot of Disk Space on Ubuntu Linux by Deleting Cached Package Files

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If you’re anything like me, you probably have Ubuntu running on your older computers, and they often have smaller hard drives so you’re looking to save every bit of drive space you can. Here’s an easy trick to free up a surprising amount of drive space.

How to Free Up a Lot of Disk Space on Ubuntu Linux by Deleting Cached Package Files


How to Tell What Type of Memory Your Linux PC Has Installed

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If you are looking to upgrade the memory in your Linux PC, you are probably wondering how many open slots you have, what type of memory is already installed, and what you need to buy for an upgrade… without having to open your computer.

How to Tell What Type of Memory Your Linux PC Has Installed


Use Ctrl+Alt+Del for Task Manager in Linux to Kill Tasks Easily

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In Windows you can easily kill any task by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del and bringing up the task manager. Linux running the GNOME desktop environment (i.e. Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, etc.) has a similar tool that can be enabled to run exactly the same way.

Use Ctrl+Alt+Del for Task Manager in Linux to Kill Tasks Easily


Clean Up the New Ubuntu Grub2 Boot Menu

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Ubuntu adopted the new version of the Grub boot manager in version 9.10, getting rid of the old problematic menu.lst. Today we look at how to change the boot menu options in Grub2.

Clean Up the New Ubuntu Grub2 Boot Menu


Create a Persistent Bootable Ubuntu USB Flash Drive

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Don’t feel like reinstalling an antivirus program every time you boot up your Ubuntu flash drive? We’ll show you how to create a bootable Ubuntu flash drive that will remember your settings, installed programs, and more!

Create a Persistent Bootable Ubuntu USB Flash Drive


Change or Reset Windows Password from a Ubuntu Live CD

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If you can’t log in even after trying your twelve passwords, or you’ve inherited a computer complete with password-protected profiles, worry not – you don’t have to do a fresh install of Windows. We’ll show you how to change or reset your Windows password from a Ubuntu Live CD.

Change or Reset Windows Password from a Ubuntu Live CD


The 10 Cleverest Ways to Use Linux to Fix Your Windows PC

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You might not be ready to accept Linux as your desktop yet, but you can still use it to save your Windows PC—whether you need to reset passwords, recover deleted files, or scan for viruses, here’s how to do it.

The 10 Cleverest Ways to Use Linux to Fix Your Windows PC

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.

  • Published 12/30/10

Comments (9)

  1. shrsv

    Great set of articles. Thanks for your hardwork.
    Especially, I liked this article– What is the Linux Kernel and What Does It Do?

  2. Max

    Woow great howto i like them.

  3. Sarath

    Nice article, all top posts at a single page. But please include buttons of ‘Digg It’ or ‘StumbleUpon’ so when people come across this sort of good informative links, they will save it for future use. Ofcourse! it is easy to share with others….

  4. Hatryst

    According to me, the BEST article among all these linux articles is “How to create a persistent Ubuntu USB drive”…
    But all others are really really good. Keep it up, HTG :)

  5. Remy

    Bookmarked this, thank you!!

  6. David sr

    Real Nice Intro to various aspects to Ubuntu, however previously I used Ubuntu V8 until I found the Linux version for PCLinuxOS, and when they upgraded PCLinuxOS to version 2010, thats all it took, I never look back to Ubuntu. Recommend you show your users this Linux OS.

  7. germanix

    Awesome collection of “How To`s”. Bookmarked it right away. Thank you and may I wish you a prosperous and happy new year.

  8. gyffes

    I dunno, David .. most people _I_ know who move to Linux do so because they’re fed up with Windows; IMO, PCLinux (and the entire KDE desktop) is waaaay too Win-alike. I suspect many fleeing Windows would find it so, as well.

    Having said that, I’m not a fan of Gnome (why oh why are the preferences in individual boxes? Where is the unified configuration pane?) — I’m an XFCE girl, m’self.

    Perhaps that’s the real How To that should be highlighted, next: Window manager-palooza!

  9. harold pettway

    THIS IS THE BEST OF THE BEST ARTICLES ON ANY WEB.& EVERY THING IS LAY OUT THE WAY IT SURE BE. THANK.GUYS GOOD JOB.

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