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Life, Linux, Games and Stuff.


My little introduction


Installing Linux.


Networking your box.


Locking your box down.


Configuration tweaks.


A few invaluable utilities.


My pickings of the available software.


Linux links, bookmark them now.


Adding Software

One of the great additions to Fedora is the support for apt and yum repositories via up2date. One of the first questions I hear from users is "Where else can I get software for Fedora?". The solution is here.

Rename your existing /etc/sysconfig/rhn/sources and then replace it with the file above.

Using the command up2date --show-available will give you a full listing of the software available to you. I'd suggest reading the sources file and following the information in the comments to make life easier for yourself too.


BigSister is far easier to setup, deploy and use than its origional inspiration, BigBrother. To help potential BigSister users, here is some information I've found useful while setting up and using BigSister.

First of all when setting up your BigSister server ensure you follow the manual to the letter... btw, if you're installing on Redhat 9.0, then you'll run into issues with Redhat's version of Perl, not insurmountable, but a pain in the arse nevertheless.

Here's a pretty fully featured configuration file for installation on your clients. Inorder to make full use of it you'll need to ensure the following tools are installed:

  • sysstat - The "sar" command can be used to get disk performance information.
  • tripwire - Worthwile installing anyway, but it can be monitored via BigSister.
  • apache/httpd - server side only, but required to display the BigSister webpages.
  • rrdtool - used by BigSister instead of mrtg for the creation of status graphs.


To list the services that are currently running and their status

/sbin/service --status-all

To check services and runlevels the command you're looking for is

chkconfig (using the Secure Shell Daemon in this example).

To find out what levels the service is set to run on use # chkconfig --list sshd

sshd 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off

To tell a service to start at runlevels 2-5 use # chkconfig --level 2345 sshd on

Then finaly to start a service you have configured without rebooting, use service sshd start

Tuning and Tweaking

If you get the following message on bootup:

insmod: Note: /etc/modules.conf is more recent than /lib/modules/2.xx.x/modules.dep

Then your module dependencies are out of date, its not usually a problem unless you have just changed to a custom kernel of some sort, but to get rid of the message just run:

# depmod -a

High Resolution Console

The standard 640x480 (or 80x24 characters if you prefer) console is a bit cack, its much nicer to up the resolution to something higher:

Put vga=ask in the lilo.conf config file. Lilo will ask you to select a video mode, once you settle on a specific mode modify the line to vga=

Recommended vga settings include:



Give them a try and find out what works for you.

You will need to ensure that VESA FB support is turned on.

You may need to edit /etc/sysconfig/i18n in order to comment out the SYSFONT line or change it to something else (still looking for the ideal entry).

Framebuffer Tweaks

The standard 640x480 (or 80x24 characters if you prefer) console is a bit cack, its much nicer to up the resolution to something higher:

video=riva:1600x1200-32@75 works for me.

Check Documentation/fb/modedb.txt in the kernel source tree to confirm modes and refresh rates.

DPI Settings

Monitors sometimes fail to return the correct DCC information to enable X to set the correct DPI value.

To fix this, edit your XF86Config file and specify the monitor's dimensions in millimeters with:

DisplaySize width height


Dead easy, does exactly what it says on the tin as long as the how2 is followed word for word this should work with no problems. I used to recommend using multiple nvidia based cards (GeForce, TNT etc) but nvidia's position on open source has ment that I've ditched ALL nvidia based cards and migrated 100% to ATI based cards.

Here is my current configuration file for you to use as an example:


True Type Fonts in Linux

Many X font servers are compiled and configured with TTF support enabled nowadays. So here are some steps to take in-order to ensure you too can use cool fonts in Linux.

First of all find some truetype fonts (perhaps from a windows pc?) and copy them into a directory called /usr/share/fonts/truetype

Next run ttmkfdir -o fonts.scale in the above directory

Then create the fonts.dir file using mkfontdir.

then run /usr/sbin/chkfontpath -f -a /usr/share/fonts/truetypeWhich will add the new directory to the top of the fontservers path.

Bingo! TTF's under Linux.

More font issues

Once you have the basics of TTF's working, you're going to want to get the web browsing looking less ugly too. First of all, check out the Font De-uglification Howto at http://www.linuxdoc.org/HOWTO/mini/FDU/

To simplify the download and installation for mozilla, you could also try this little script. http://www.tuxfan.homeip.net:8080/rpms/xf86ttfontool-0.1-9.i386.rpm

Timeouts using ssh/ftp/mail

Take a look at the following files /etc/xinet.d/ipop3, /etc/xinet.d/telnet, and /etc/xinet.d/wu-ftpd take out the USERID option from log_on_success and log_on_failure.

Then run service xinetd reload. This disables the authentication lookup via identd.

Multiple Network Cards

One of the first things you may wonder when you first boot your machine with 2 network cards in is... which one is which?

Well, here's how. First run ifconfig this will tell you the interrupt number for eth0 and eth1

Then run lspci -vv It will tell you the name of the ethernet card and its interrupt number

Misc Configuration Tools

I used to list a whole load of configuration tools for RedHat Linux here, but since Redhat 8.0 onwards Redhat/Fedora have rationalised many of their tools, so just type redhat-config- and then just press the tab button twice to list the majority of the configuration tools available.


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