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LINUX IS CONFUSING. THESE ARTICLES SHOULD HELP.

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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I prefer a clean desktop with no icons cluttering it up, but by default Ubuntu adds icons to the desktop for every single removable drive that you attach to your system.

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Ubuntu includes a very limited shortcut key configuration utility which doesn’t allow you to assign hotkeys to your own applications or scripts. To get around this limitation, we can use the built-in gconf-editor utility to assign them ourselves.

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As a webmaster, I’ve often wanted to be able to see real-time hits as they arrive. Sure, Google Analytics is a wonderful package for looking at trends over time, but there’s a delay of a few hours there, and you really can’t see data like requests per second or total bytes.

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If you are jealous of your geeky linux friends that have Beryl running under linux, you should check out Yod’m 3D, a small application for Windows XP / Vista that will give you a decent substitute for the “Desktop Cube” effect.

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VMWare Workstation is great. The version 6 beta has even more awesome features…  but it’s slower than dirt, because debugging mode is turned on by default.

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If you run a dual-boot system with Linux and Windows, this has happened to you. You had to do your monthly reinstall of Windows, and now you don’t see the linux bootloader anymore, so you can’t boot into Ubuntu or whatever flavor of linux you prefer.

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If you’ve just upgraded your Linux box, or you are wondering how many processors a remote server has, there’s a quick and dirty command you can use to display the number of processors.

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The find utility on linux allows you to pass in a bunch of interesting arguments, including one to execute another command on each file. We’ll use this in order to figure out what files are older than a certain number of days, and then use the rm command to delete them.

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Note that this is Not very secure, and should only be used for a local development box where you don’t feel like setting up individual permissions, but still need to connect from other machines.

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If you’ve installed Suse using the CD/DVD installation, the default setting is for software installations to load from the cdrom instead of off the internet repositories. Since I’m always connected directly to the internet, I’d much prefer to download and install from the net.

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If you hate logging in every time you reboot your computer, you can easily configure Suse to automatically log you in when you start your computer. Or you can disable it if you are worried about security.

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Ubuntu Feisty (7.04) is the latest version of Ubuntu. Here’s the quick list of new features for your enjoyment, but you should really upgrade to see everything for yourself.

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I know what you are thinking. You want to open http://www.howtogeek.com, but it’s such a hassle to type in the http:// and the www and the .com. Here’s your shortcut method.

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Rainlendar is a calendar application that doesn’t take up much space on your desktop. You can use it to keep track of events and tasks, and with the pro version you even can sync with network calendars.

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If you want to share files between your Ubuntu and Windows computers, your best option is to use Samba file sharing.

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Samba Server allows you to share the home directories of users automatically. This can be useful so that you don’t have to manually create every share for every user.

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