Linux Distributions





A Linux distribution is an operating system made as a software collection based on the Linux kernel and, often, on a package management system and are available for a variety of systems. A typical Linux distribution comprises a Linux kernel, GNU tools and libraries, additional software, documentation, a window system (the most common being the X Window System), a window manager, and a desktop environment. Most Linux systems are open-source software made available both as compiled binaries and in source code form, allowing modifications to the original software. Over three hundred distributions are in active development, including commercially backed distributions (such as Fedora, openSUSE and Ubuntu) and community-driven distributions (such as Debian, Slackware, Gentoo and Arch Linux).

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This article will show you step-by-step instructions to build your own NTP CentOS server. The network diagram shows the best practice to setup the NTP server farm for redundancy.  This article also serves as your NTP server documentation.
The purpose of this article is to demonstrate how we can upgrade Python from version 2.7.6 to Python 2.7.10 on the Linux Mint operating system. I am using an Oracle Virtual Box where I have installed Linux Mint operating system version 17.2. Once you download and install Linux Mint 17.2, Python software is installed by default. But the latest releases from Python are Python 2.7.10 and Python 3.4.3. I am using a 32 bit operating system as my host is 32 bit but you can still go ahead with 64 bit version which is preferred.

Log into the Mint operating system, and open terminal. Type "python" and hit enter or you can type "python --version" to check the existing version.
swadhin.ray-000036.pngTo download the latest version of Python, open and click on "Download Python-2.7.10" as shown in below image.
swadhin.ray-000037.pngOpen the folder where the file is downloaded. In my system it's defaulted to "Downloads" folder.
swadhin.ray-000039.pngIf you open the tar file from the archive manager you can see the files that were downloaded.
swadhin.ray-000040.pngNow extract all the files under the same folder or you can choose a specific directory. Click on Extract button as shown below.
swadhin.ray-000041.pngswadhin.ray-000042.pngWait till the file get extracted.
swadhin.ray-000043.pngNow from the above image we can we can see that file is successfully extracted.
swadhin.ray-000044.pngNow open terminal and locate the extracted installation files.

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Expert Comment

When I executed "./configure", you said it shouldn't have any errors, but mine did. When I did that, I got this output:

checking build system type... x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu
checking host system type... x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu
checking for --enable-universalsdk... no
checking for --with-universal-archs... 32-bit
checking MACHDEP... linux2
checking EXTRAPLATDIR... 
checking for --without-gcc... no
checking for gcc... gcc
checking whether the C compiler works... no
configure: error: in `/home/sara/Downloads/Python-2.7.10':
configure: error: C compiler cannot create executables
See `config.log' for more details

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What can I do to fix this?
LVL 18

Author Comment

by:Swadhin Ray
what is your OS version seems you are installing 64/bit on 32 .
The purpose of this article is to fix the unknown display problem in Linux Mint operating system. After installing the OS if you see Display monitor is not recognized then we can install "MESA" utilities to fix this problem or we can install additional drivers, for example Nvidia or ATI cards.
I am using a Minti OS on virtual machine, but when I tried to change the resolution I am not able to select anything.

Here are the steps to identify if the problem exist on your operating system.
swadhin.ray-000024.pngType Display on the search and click on the Display options as shown in above screen. Now if we try to select the drop down option from Resolution attribute then I am not able to select anything other than 640 x 480. It also has the same problem on other attributes like Refresh rate and Rotation. Finally when clicked on Detect monitors nothing happens: still shows the same problem.
swadhin.ray-000025.pngWe might see the "Unknow " message under Monitor attribute.
swadhin.ray-000026.pngTo fix this let's open terminal.
swadhin.ray-000027.pngType "sudo apt-get install mesa-utils" and provide your root password or if your existing user is a super user then use the same password.
swadhin.ray-000028.pngThis will install the mesa-utils package. Restart or reboot your OS.
swadhin.ray-000029.pngTo verify the installtion type " glxinfo | grep render " once your system is restarted:
swadhin.ray-000030.pngProvide the password to login.

swadhin.ray-000032.pngOnce restarted open terminal and type "glxinfo | grep render " and then type "glxgears".
swadhin.ray-000031.pngOnce done check the display again to verify if the issue is fixed or not.
LVL 18

Author Comment

by:Swadhin Ray
@Ivan: Try to repeat the same process and also check if VGA output is disabled from the BIOS.  In my case, I was able to fix it by using the steps mentioned.

Expert Comment

by:Ivan Derzhanski
@Swadhin: Thanks for the hint; unfortunately the BIOS setup utility of this computer (Eee PC 1001HA) doesn't have such a setting.  I gave up on Linux Mint and installed Linux Lite instead.
The purpose of this article is to show how we can create Linux Mint virtual machine using Oracle Virtual Box. To install Linux Mint we have to download the ISO file from its website i.e. Once you open the link you will see a download option at the right side of the page, go to the download page from the menu :

pic-2.pngYou can download 32 bit or 63 bit image and I am using 32 bit as my system is with 32 bit OS . I have downloaded and kept it on my specific directory where I can map to my Virtual Box while installing it.
Now open the VMBox and click on New to create virtual machine and map the ISO image to proceed with installing.  Once you set up all the necessary settings on memory space and disk space you will see the screen like below and then you can click on start button to start the installation.

Follow below steps shown with screen shot to start the virtual machine creation: 
2015-07-05-19-21-31-.jpgCick on New and proceed next :
2015-07-05-19-19-08-Oracle-VM-VirtualBoxGive any name to the virtual machine and select the type and version , click Next:
2015-07-05-19-19-26-.jpgSelect the memory size you want the VM to have -  I am using 1GB of RAM i.e. 1024 MB approximately. 

Click on Create button.
2015-07-05-19-20-52-.jpgClick Next. 

2015-07-05-19-21-00-Oracle-VM-VirtualBoxI am trying all default setting for installing the OS but you can choose as per your need. 
2015-07-05-19-21-18-.jpgHere we can set the size of the virtual hard drive . Once filled click on Create button. 

2015-07-05-19-21-31-.jpg Now set the ISO file which was downloaded from Linux Mint website. 

1. Introduction

As many people are interested in Linux but not as many are interested or knowledgeable (enough) to install Linux on their system, here is a safe way to try out Linux on your existing (Windows) system.

The idea is that you install an application first that gives you a virtual environment. In that virtual environment, you install the Linux distribution that you want to try out.

Virtual environments you can use for this are VMware Player that is free for personal use or Oracle VirtualBox that is free (GPL) for enterprise use as well.

2. Install virtual environment

To get you setup, you need to download a few things, you can get VMware Player here:

Or alternatively Oracle VirtualBox here:

This article focuses on VMware Player, so we'll continue with that from here.

After downloading VMware Player, start the installation; the file is called VMware-player-7.1.0-2496824.exe or similar. If you have an existing installation of VMware Player, the previous version will be uninstalled first.

The installation will add some virtual network interfaces (and may ask for a reboot):
Now start VMware player:
Since version 7 of VMware Player you have to enter a valid mail address to be able to use the player for personal use:
VMware Player is now set up and ready for use.

You ever wonder how to backup Linux system files just like Windows System Restore?  Well you can use Timeshift in Linux to perform those similar action.  This tutorial will show you how to backup your system files and keep regular intervals.

Note: TimeShift makes use of rsync to get the work done. While you can easily make use of rsync to accomplish the same task, this provides a simple to use interface so you can get things done easier and faster.

First you will need to add the repository file and this could be performed by typing this command and press ENTER:
sudo apt-add-repository -y ppa:teejee2008/ppa

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Here is my example....
Adding the file to the repository...Now you want to update the update the repository and this can be done with this command and press ENTER:
sudo apt-get update

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or ,if you do not have apt-get, you can run:
sudo aptitude update

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Updating the repositoryNow it is time to install Timeshift program with this command and press ENTER:
sudo apt-get install timeshift

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Installing the timeshift programNow we will run the program, but remember that Timeshift is only executable with root privileges. Before I run the program I will show you the error message that you will get if you just run this command and press ENTER:

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Running Timeshift without elevated privileges (root)....To properly get the program to work run this command and press ENTER:
sudo timeshift

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Running the program correctly with elevated privileges...Now when the program opens you will see size requirement and all you have to do is click on "Backup"
Timeshift GUI Screen
LVL 14

Author Comment

I will work on this and thanks for the feedback.

Expert Comment

Really interesting!

Thanks a lot for sharing.

What is it backupping?

Is it stable?
This article will explain how to establish a SSH connection to Ubuntu through the firewall and using a different port other then 22. I have set up a Ubuntu virtual machine in Virtualbox and I am running a Windows 7 workstation.

From the Ubuntu virtual machine open the Terminal:


First you will need to install the SSH:

sudo apt-get install openssh-server

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Will change the connection port:

sudo gedit /etc/ssh/sshd_config

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Now save the file.

Under #What ports, IPs and protocols we listen for
Port  56628  

Since I configure this already I am providing the screenshot of the sshd_config file by using the grep command -A1 tells grep to include 1 line after the match. -B1 includes lines before the match.
Sshd_Config File****I am using this port as an example.*****

In order for changes to take, you have to restart the ssh service.

sudo restart ssh

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Check to see if the firewall is installed

dpkg --get-selections ufw

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If it is then your output would look like this:

ufw                                            install
Check to see the ufw is installIf it is not installed perform this action:

sudo apt-get install ufw

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Now enable the ufw:

sudo ufw enable

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Next we are going to allow the workstation access to 56628 port from the IP address.

Press the windows key + r  and type cmd and press Enter.  This will bring up the command prompt.  Now type ipconfig /all and  locate the IP address of the workstation.

On the Ubuntu virtual machine from the Terminal type:

sudo ufw allow from <The IP address you just located on the windows workstation>  to any port 56628


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In my business, I use the LTS (Long Term Support) versions of Linux. My workstations do real work, and so I rarely have the patience to deal with silly problems caused by an upgraded kernel that had experimental software on it to begin with from a regular release. I like the 5-year long LTS cycle of the even numbers of Ubuntu.

But this upcoming version of Ubuntu LTS (12.04) has gotten rid of the traditional menu system and replaced it with Unity. Like it or hate it, it requires a change, and I could not very well just "upgrade" my workstations. So, in preparation for the move, I installed Ubuntu 11 on a spare laptop to figure out what this "Unity" deal was all about.

I immediately found a problem: How do you add things to the Unity menu system?

A quick Google search answered that question. Run the program, right click it on the Unity task bar, and click Keep in Launcher

But very quickly I found another problem that was not so easily solved: how do you add programs to the Unity Launcher that require a bash command and command line options?

I use KeePass as a password manager religiously. I use DropBox to synchronize the password database between multiple machines so I always have the latest copy. Further, I use Keepass version 2.x because of my need for plugins. Linux has KeepassX, which uses the traditional database format, but because i have a special need, I need Keepass v2.0, which requires the mono framework to run on Linux.

So, my task became …
If you use Debian 6 Squeeze and you are tired of looking at the childish graphical GDM login screen that is used by default, here's an easy way to change it.

If you've already tried to change it you've probably discovered that none of the old methods work.  That is because Debian 6 is no longer using GDM2 but is now using GDM3.

First you need an image that is 1024 x 768.  Load this image into inkscape.  We need to use inkscape here because the image must be saved as type image-name.svg (scalable vector graphics).  Once you have the image loaded into inkscape save it as login-background.svg.  Exit inkscape.  Now open up a root terminal and launch nautilus.  We need to do this from a root terminal because we want nautilus to have root priviledges.  Using nautilus, navigate to the place where you saved the login-background.svg image and copy it.  Now navigate to the folder user/share/images/desktop-base and save the image there.  You will be asked if you want to overwrite/replace the existing image – say yes.  Reboot the computer and your GDM login screen should now be the image you created.

If you want to try another method you can open a root terminal and navigate to etc/gdm3.  In there you will find a file called greeter.gconf.defaults.  Open this file with your favourite editor (I use leafpad instead of nano because nano doesn't support the mouse).  You will need to edit the line containing this

#/desktop/gnome/background/picture_filename      …
This document is written for Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS release 4 and ORACLE 10g.  Earlier releases can be installed using this document as well however there are some additional steps for packages to be installed see Metalink.

Disclaimer: I have had very good luck with this procedure however: The Material may contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. I make no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the Material or about the results to be obtained from using the Site and the Material. The use of this Material is entirely at your own risk.

Disk Partitioning:
Due to experiences I have had with lost volumes I now separate the database files from the OS and Oracle software installs and the backups.    The below table shows the partitioning scheme that I used:
 Partitioning Info
Configure Network settings and initial users:
I assigned the static public ip’s, which are site specific to each node.  I also assigned their proxy and gateway settings as appropriate for our network. Firewall On with ssh and ftp and SE Linux On were selected because our database servers are exposed to our statewide firewall. Entered a root password and created an account for the server admin later we create the oracle user manually.

Package installation (Custom Packages):
   I have found that performing custom package selection save time later.  I selected not to install these items because we intend these servers…
After running Ubuntu some time, you will be asked to download updates for fixing bugs and security updates.

All the packages you download replace the previous ones, except for the kernel, also called "linux-image". This is due to the fact that with a bad kernel, you can't boot your system. So the update process doesn't erase the previous version of linux-image, and the boot loader (GRUB in the case of Ubuntu), gives you the choice at boot time to choose into which kernel you want to boot.

As the list of older images begins to grow, and in order to save room on your disk drive, you may be interested to erase the older versions, and if possible, with only one command line.

The command shell is able to do that. Just open a terminal (Applications > Accessories > Terminal), copy the line below and past it at the prompt of your terminal:

dpkg -l linux-* | awk '/^ii/{ print $2}' | grep -v -e `uname -r | cut -f1,2 -d"-"` | grep -e [0-9] | xargs sudo apt-get -y remove

And that's it. You will be asked to enter your password for running some command that must be executed as super user.

You will find a detailed explanation of the logic behind this at 

This works on all Ubuntu and Debian systems, but you can adapt it for Fedora or RedHat by changing the command "apt-get -y remove" by its equivalent, which is "yum".
LVL 11

Author Comment

by:Pierre François
I wish to add two ideas:

This command erases all the kernels excepted the running one. Before running this command, be sure you are running the most recent kernel at that moment, rebooting first if necessary. Anyway, the script is prudent enough to avoid erasing the current running kernel, so don't be afraid.
If you are happy with this command line, you can save it as an executable shell file in the bin directory of your home directory.

Expert Comment

There is a much easier way.  Ubuntu Tweak 0.8.7 (  It works even with 15.10.  It also has one major feature I find very useful as I use PDF Studio Pro 10 (full Adobe equivalent) for all my PDF work.  Ubuntu Tweak lets you set file associations that you cannot set otherwise, except with some difficulty.

Are you sitting there reading this and wondering how to get started with Linux? It almost seems like picking the right Linux distribution is about like picking the right college or buying a new car if you read some of the article out there. Relax… look at a few options and I think you’ll be able to confidently pick the distribution that is right for you. Rather than trying to tell you which version or revision of Linux you need to download and install right now, I would rather provide a little information about what is out there and allow you to make an informed decision for yourself.

The first things to really ask yourself are why are you getting started with Linux and what level of effort do you want to expend “getting under the covers” of the operating system. If you are a fairly new user and this is your first foray into an open source operating system, you might want to consider the mainstream Linux options out there such as Red Hat’s Fedora, SuSE, Ubuntu or something similar. If you’ve installed Linux before and you’re looking for a new challenge or the opportunity to go a little deeper in your understanding, maybe look at a Slackware, FreeBSD or Gentoo. Just like any other big decisions, you can easily weigh your options before you make a choice.

One big advantage that you can leverage with the various distributions is that many of them offer the ability to create a “Live CD” or “Live USB” where you can install the Linux operating system on the removable media, …
LVL 50

Expert Comment

I found this article to be lacking in the details that I really need to know to make this decision... like, what about some links to guide me in my research... that sort of thing.
Users are often faced with high disk consumption without really knowing where the largest amount of data resides.

Disk Usage Analyzer (aka Baobab) is is a graphical, menu-driven application to analyse disk usage in any Gnome environment and can easily scan either the whole filesystem tree, or a specific user-requested directory branch (local or remote). It also provides a full graphical treemap window and a ringschart for each selected folder.

Disk Usage Analyzer is part of the gnome-utils package and comes with any Gnome installation.

Disk Usage Analyzer can be started in three ways:
[step="" title=""]1. from Gnome menu Applications->Accessories.

If launched from Gnome menu, Disk Usage Analyzer starts and remains in a stand-by state, waiting for user action.
 baobab window[/step][step="" title=""]2. from a terminal window.

If you want to start Disk Usage Analyzer from a terminal window, just type:
baobab <full_path_to_a_directory>

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then press Return.
[/step][step="" title=""]3. from Nautilus "Open with...".

Once launched, to start a full filesystem scan select Analyzer->Scan Filesystem from the menu, or press on the Scan Filesystem toolbar button.
If you run a full filesystem scan, Disk Usage Analyzer window will start drawing the tree as soon as the thread starts scanning the filesystem. If any large partition is mounted on the filesystem, that will be scanned too.
When the scanning process ends up, you will get the full tree of your filesystem, like the one in the next Figure.
LVL 88

Expert Comment

I've had a look at this in the meantime, and it looks good.

EE ZA Storage
LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Ravi Agrawal
Nice one.
Creating a Samba server for a small office.

Ubuntu Linux and Samba can breathe new life into a retired PC and save an office money on new hardware/software. Our example server will have two hard disks, one exclusively for storing shared data.

1. Perform a default install of Ubuntu desktop or server. Samba is usually installed on a server, but a desktop will do, as well.

2. Set the root password for Ubuntu;

sudo passwd root

Enter your normal user password and then the new root password twice.

Make this password a complex and long password, known only to you and a secured document. A good random password generator can be found online at the GRC web-site.

3. Configure Ubuntu with a static IP address. Open up a terminal session and with your favorite text editor, enter the following command;


Enter a static IP address that is not currently in use on the network, for example, followed by the subnet mask, default gateway.

Example interfaces file;

# This file describes the network interfaces available on your system
# and how to activate them. For more information, see interfaces(5).

# The loopback network interface
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

# The primary network interface
auto eth0
iface eth0 inet static
LVL 58

Expert Comment

Playing with Linux a little more is something I need to do. Thanks for this, Firebar. I'm sure it will come in handy.
In order for businesses to be compliant with certain information security laws in some countries, you need to be able to prove that a user (which user it was becomes important to the business to take action against the user after an event has occurred) took certain actions on systems that caused a significant event to occur. That event could be data loss, data leakage or anything. Therefore, audit policy in some companies requires system administrators to show an audit trail of user's interactions with the shell interface. In other cases, access to production systems should only ever be used by the administrators when there is something to actually be done on them. This helps the business track that this is happening correctly.

When dealing with access control, there are three areas that require focus: Authentication, Authorization and Accounting / Auditing.

Basically the following questions must be answered: 'Who are you?' / 'What are you allowed to do?' / 'What have you done?'

This tutorial aims at answering the last question (for Accounting / Auditing): What have you done?

How we achieve this is by recording how the shell behaves to a user's input.
For example: When a user types a command like 'exit', the shell will echo this message back to the user while it is being typed and it is then recorded.

Note: This process does not record passwords (because the shell does not echo the characters back to the user when passwords are entered) and because of file …

Author Comment

Hi there,

Thanks again for your help.

Please let me know if there is anything I need to do during this process of getting it approved.


Expert Comment

Hi Colin,

Its working great :)

Only one thing . Its not sending the mail when the session disconnected. Is there anyway to deal with it?


Linux Distributions





A Linux distribution is an operating system made as a software collection based on the Linux kernel and, often, on a package management system and are available for a variety of systems. A typical Linux distribution comprises a Linux kernel, GNU tools and libraries, additional software, documentation, a window system (the most common being the X Window System), a window manager, and a desktop environment. Most Linux systems are open-source software made available both as compiled binaries and in source code form, allowing modifications to the original software. Over three hundred distributions are in active development, including commercially backed distributions (such as Fedora, openSUSE and Ubuntu) and community-driven distributions (such as Debian, Slackware, Gentoo and Arch Linux).