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LINUX IS CONFUSING. THESE ARTICLES SHOULD HELP.

If you are doing a lot of testing of different builds, there’s nothing more annoying than rebooting and then having the system boot into the wrong choice on the grub menu before you have a chance to pick the one you want. Reader Victor wrote in with this tip: You can just comment out the timeout line entirely to stop grub from picking anything, giving you time to get your morning coffee.

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I realize this is probably only relevant to about 3 of the readers, but I’m posting this so I don’t forget how to do it myself! In my efforts to ban the completely insecure FTP protocol from my life entirely, I’ve decided to disable the FTP service running on the How-To Geek server, which is running the CentOS operating system.

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Let’s say you have a directory with hundreds of files with the wrong file names, and you’d like to replace every filename containing test with prod. (this is a contrived example). We can easily do this with the “for” command in bash, combined with a little bit of bash goodness. Today we’ll learn how to replace text in a variable in a for loop.

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If you’ve become addicted to using keyboard launchers like I have, you might have encountered the scenario where Katapult became extremely slow for no apparent reason. The problem is most likely because you’ve got a big music library in Amarok, and Katapult starts searching your music library by default after you type a single character.

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Most people familiar with Linux have used the top command line utility to see what process is taking the most CPU or memory. There’s a similar utility called htop that is much easier to use for normal tasks.

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So you’ve started using Katapult, but your distro doesn’t show the Katapult icon in the system tray by default. How do you get to the configure dialog? For that matter, how do you bring back the system tray icon?

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One of the greatest mysteries to me is why most file managers don’t have tabs - it makes performing tasks so much simpler. I’ve found a lightweight file manager for Ubuntu called PCMan that gives you most of the functionality from Nautilus, but also has tabs.

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I recently set my Kubuntu box to use seamless Microsoft application integration so I can use Windows applications that look like they are natively running in Linux, although they are really running in a hidden virtual machine. Really a very sweet option, similar to running Parallels with Coherence on a Mac.

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Having switched from Ubuntu to Kubuntu recently, the first thing that irritated me beyond all reason was that single-clicking on a file or folder immediately opens the file instead of selecting it. Since I use Windows and Ubuntu on a daily basis, it’s just frustrating that it works differently in KDE.

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If you receive an error saying “Tunepimp (MusicBrainz tagging library) returned the following error: “Fingerprinting of .mp3 files is not supported” when you are attempting to fill in the tags on your mp3 files using Amarok’s MusicBrainz plugin, then you’ve come to the right place.

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So you’ve got MySQL on your web server, but it’s only opened to local ports by default for security reasons. If you want to access your database from a client tool like the MySQL Query Browser, normally you’d have to open up access from your local IP address… but that’s not nearly as secure.

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If you are like me, you’ve just gotten the news about the new Google Desktop client for Linux, and you are removing the current Beagle search for Ubuntu so you can replace it with Google instead.

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If you’ve been using the default movie player in Ubuntu to play videos, you might have noticed that there’s no way in the application to clear the recent history of watched movies. This could cause issues if you happened to open a video that you don’t want other people to see in your list.

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Don’t get me wrong, I think the mouse was probably the greatest innovation in computing since the silicon chip, but for a power user it’s really the slowest form of input.  Taking your hands off the keyboard to reach for your mouse takes easily 500 ms of time, if you’re fast.  Add to that the time to actually find the cursor (no small feat on high resolution screens), and the time to find and click on that one tiny icon you need, and you’re talking some serious productivity cramping.  Of course, you could always be one of those *nix rebels who refuse to use any graphical environment, but what’s the fun of using bash, VI and command-line compilers for the rest of your days?

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So you are using the killer Amarok music application under Ubuntu, but when you try  to “Burn this Album”, the menu item is grayed out and otherwise disabled. The reason for this is because Amarok is a KDE application designed to work with K3b, the cd burning application for KDE, but it’s not installed by default in Ubuntu. (For that matter, neither is Amarok)

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Most of the time, when I download something it’s a file archive of some kind – usually a tarball or a zip file. This could be some source code for an app that isn’t included in Gentoo’s Portage tree, some documentation for an internal corporate app, or even something as mundane as a new WordPress installation.

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How many times have you noticed a file sitting in a directory and wondered… where did this file come from?  Or you are trying to tell a friend how to use a utility but he doesn’t have it installed, and you can’t remember what package you installed to get it.

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My favorite feature in the latest version of VMware Workstation is that you can run virtual machines entirely in the background. This is most useful for “appliance” machines that you won’t actually use from the prompt, but through a web browser or ssh client.

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If you are a new Ubuntu user coming from a Mac background, you might be disoriented by the placement of the minimize/maximize/close box on Ubuntu, which mimics Windows by default.

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A very common task for a web developer is uploading a single file from a subdirectory on your development box to the same subdirectory on a remote server. Unfortunately, this always ends up being an annoying manual process involving switching directories on both servers, and wastes a large amount of time.

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If you’ve got a directory with dozens of zipped or rar’d files, you can run a single command to unzip them all in one step, thanks to the power of the bash shell.

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You’ve got a production database server, and you can’t enable query logging… so how do you see the queries being executed against the database?

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Every Geek uses Gmail… it’s pretty much required. And now you can set Gmail as the default client in Ubuntu without any extra software. (Windows requires the Gmail notifier be installed)

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If you’ve tried to use the built-in “Extract Here” functionality in Ubuntu’s File Roller to extract either a single or a multi-part zip or rar file and ended up with a “Password required” error, then you might just assume the files are password protected when in fact they are not.

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Ubuntu has an option for adding a Trash Can icon to the desktop, which might be a comfort for those of you migrating from Windows.

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