Tag Archives: Linux Utilities

My Selection of Linux Utilities that Should make a Standard Distribution-Archives-08

My Selection of Linux Utilities that Should make a Standard Distribution-Archives-08

Archiving is essential if one is downloading images like me.
I use CD/ DVD and and external hard drives for that purpose.
If one is archiving music and video then the requirements are different.
Real archiving is into different electronic media like good old dates mechanical tapes.
Amanda was Linux utility that are used storing huge amount of data including server output.
I am not referring to that.
RAIDs and other methods are for industrial needs and mission critical 24/7 services but what I am referring here is for an ordinary desktop user who has files that can be managed easily.
If the hard disk size is a problem one does not have lot of partitions ARK is a compression utility one can use I am not personally in favour compression and encryption (if you forget the password, you are in for trouble) and if one wants to open a file in Windows setup you are in for a big headache.
The list can be very simple.
1. K3b is my favorite
2. Light Scribe if you have a similar DVD ROM
3. LaCe
4. AcetoneISO for images
5. K9copy
6. QPxTool is comprehensive and covers all types of data (I have not used it, since my requirement are simple enough to cover with K3B and a external hard drive)

My Selection of Linux Utilities that should make a Standard Linux Distribution-Internet-05-Update

Earlier I have refrained from including internet  browsers and due to lot of them making subtle intrusion into ones private life and feed ones  interests to the commercial elements I decided to update this category.

My personnel preference is Iceweasel of Debian and Dilo of Puppy (good old days).

I was off the track of Linux for some time since Bunki Moon was playing Pandu and Chuckgudu with 20 million peace loving people not knowing whether he is moving forward or backwards in time. He is a confused man like a CEO who is waiting for his removal or extension in office with so much anxiety created within himself which he is trying to divert into body politics of U.N.O.

Time will tell his strategy of securing his job first and then think of 20 million people and their welfare second would work.

Probably not.

Coming back to Linux distributions and essential utilities, I am a believer in time to come all O.E.M products should have Linux Internet utilities as default (no cost to them0 even without installing any OS one should be able to browse Internet by default.
In that context, Debian’s Iceweasel (or even Dilo) should be the one that should be ported with the O.E.M with all the unnecessary cookies removed and probably Dropbox (or a cloud entity) also accompanied with the basic (minimal) kernel.

till then the list of Internet utilities should be as follows with no intention of giving any merit to any but despising all the utilities that track the uses interests and feed them back to commercial entities to make inroads by way of subtle advertisements.
I believe user is now mature enough to chose what s/he wishes to have in his system.
Without any intended recommendations or of any perceived benefits to me or the user are as follows.

1. Putty.
2. Kget
4. Transmission bit torrent
5. FilZilla
6. Kmail
8. Opera
9. Firefox
10. Chromium Browser
11. Skype
12. Vodafone
13. Dropbox
14. Pidgin
15. Web Editor- Bluefish editor

I personally go for Iceweasel or Dilo since that do not have intrusion utilities embedded in them for tracking the user unnecessarily.

My Selection of Linux Utilities that should make a Standard Linux Distribution-Office Utilities-07

Office packages are the ones that are generally used by almost all the users.
before getting to the standard office utilities PDF editors are the ones that one has to pay (Adobe to get some real work done) pay attention.
1. Xjournel come to my mind first.
2. PDFedit.
3. PDF chain

Then for visually handicapped user
4. Okular

For Experts text editors

5. LateX for the experts. We should not forget this utility which did all the hard work before office packages emerged.

General user
6. Abiword is my favorite because of its simplicity
7. LibreOffice for OpenOffice (It is huge resource drainer like a gorilla in a dinner party)

Page Layouts

8. Scribus



11. And any that I may have missed.

At this point I must make a reference to FM Setup in FullMonty.
It is a refine way of presenting utilities in an organized workplace that user in mind.
If they add some user editing capabilities and customization it is going to be a top hit in desktops.
I hope everybody should (developer and the user) look at this nice utility and make some improvements to it without adding bulk that may slow down the boot up time.

UNetBootIn-Must Have Utility in a Standard Distribution that one can carries in a Pendrive-06

It is easy as plugging a Flash Drive to boot a Pendrive with Linux utlity called UNetbootIn.
It does the job in four steps and the it is a graphic and not command line utility.

1. download the Iso image
2. Extract and copy iso file
3. Install the boot loader called GRUB
4. Reboot and enjoy

Only a few Linux distributions are supported by this utility as at present and I use Puppy (100 MiB) for my work.

Remember DSL, Backtrack, PCLinux (not Knoppix) and a host of Linux distribution now can be mounted on a Pendrive.

This is just to let you know that I have booted Puppy Linux 4.2, the first of all the Puppies I used (now it is Puppy Lupu 5.2.5) on a Flash Drive and configured the internet and edited this page on seamonkey (while I am doing this see monkey is telling me a new version is available) web browser.

Puppy and UnetBootIn rocks the Linux World which is 20 years young.

My Selection of Utilities for a Standard Linux Distribution-Internet-05

First of all let me send my condolences to the Family of Chesterfield who passed away yesterday morning.He risked his health to go to the cricket field to report to us almost live unlike our sport arm chair pundits.
May he rise to high heaven.

This selection (Internet collection) is bit difficult and I would go by utility value.
1. Number one is Skype

2. Number two is Dropbox

3. Number three is K-torrent which I have already discussed.

4. Number four is email manager and thunderbird /Kmail would foot the bill.

5. Internet TV- Miro Internet TV

6. Browser I have no selection here because they (browsers) are becoming groggy except perhaps Iceweasel

7. For Linux package download in a terminal KDE get or Gnome get

This selection has to be made keeping in mind whether the distribution is light weight and bundled in a CD or heavy weight and DVD under 1 GiB.

If one is packing it over 1 GiB limit there should be a reason, say the distribution is like ArtistX, or XMBC or Education or Games.

Abiword one of my favourite Light Weight Office Packages and LibreOffice-04

My next category should be Internet if I am a young enthusiast but I prefer the office packages that one has to use daily before we browse the Internet since one tends to waste, me too, waste lot of time browsing rather than doing some real work.

As a writer, again I go for light weight Abiword and I should look for Sinhala font at the very outset.

Its light weight character makes it suitable for CD version of a distribution keeping in mind the download speed is painfully slow in the third world.

Downloading a DVD takes days and even the Simply Mepis 11, I downloaded today with 1.2 GiB took 22 hours.
In this contest for the third time the point to point download link broke down for Pocketwriter (Slakware) and currently downloading at 5.5 KB per second and the overnight downloading touched 125 MiB.
We are pretty efficient in the third world. That is why I included K-Torrent first which is very good.I have now changed to LibreOffice since Oracle is trying to make some investment (which it never contributed at the beginning) on Sun Java products including Vesta1. I must congratulate the Open Document team for the excellent work they are doing and I love the French accent of it. It should be a multinational effort and it should include Sinhala capability soon, taking a leaf out of Debian and Fedora.Sad to say OpenOffice, which I used from it’s first version and used it proudly in the latter part of my thesis completion also is the third due to its heavy consumption of MiBs and commercial take over. I

t has multi-language capability and that is the reason it is consuming so much of precious MiB and the need a DVD for inclusion in a distribution.

The biggest hindrance is it’s Gorilla size weightage and I never see it goes on a diet.
I hate Mega images especially the political and corporate type.

My Selection of Linux Utilities that should make a standard-Utilities for Visually Handicapped-03

One of the features I always look for in a distribution is whether it supports blind and the visually handicapped persons.

Ubuntu is well known for supporting blind users with Orcas which is a Debian based utility for keyboards and Linux support for braille is unsurpassed by proprietary operating systems. Most of the stable version Debian support visually handicapped users.

Along with this facility multi-language support is essential and many Linux distributions are only in English and some are only in French or Spanish.
But lately many distributions are supporting several languages. Debian is the leader in this and it now supports Sinhala too.

Third utility should go with this is virtual keyboard.

Often with the frequent use keys of the keyboard some of them get stuck and if this happens when entering a password one may not be able to get started which is a little embarrassment to say the least.

Virtual keyboard is value added utility.

All these must be bundled out in the accessibility corner.
I am not sure where the sweeper, the cleaning utility should be placed and I prefer it with the accessibility option. The sweeper removes unnecessary and temporary files and  the history tree which tend to accumulate and get bigger and bigger in almost every Linux distribution.

Only in PCLinux I find the utility that removes temporary files at boot time which one can select at the time f installation.

Unlike servers where every data and every little movement are necessary for recovery purposes when a servers fails but all these details of history tree are not necessary even though very valuable when break into a system is suspected for a desktop.

Archiving utilities are universal in Linux distributions and if one uses them judiciously may be able to save disk space.
In my case it is not the hard disk (which I format once a year) that I use but CD and DVDs and burner utility either K3B or Brasso is essential for this purpose.

So I have lumped all the good housekeeping utilities in one category which are useful if one is using one computer for all the day to day activities.

My Selection of Linux Utilities a Standard Linux Distribution should have-gParted-02

Even though I started with K-Torrent for its global utility factor and demand by many a mile my best utility is gParted, apart from Damn Small Linux (D.S.L-only 50 MiB).

I used DSL for two main reasons.

1. When one of my (not that it happens) computers gives problems or I am cleaning them up and reformatting. I use it for formatting the hard disks.

2. Browsing the web to see whether internet line (wiring) is broken or is it a problem with the (external as opposed to internal) service provider before giving a call to the Telecoms. 

Both these utilities (browser and partitioning tool) and many other little ones are there in DSL.

With my general inquiry into the best Linux distributions for my use (family) long before writing on the 100 Linux distributions.

When I discovered many distributions I thought I should share that knowledge with a wider audience mainly locally and now of course globally.

It is evident more foreign visitors hit my page than locals and thank for keeping my interest alive and well.

There are of course days with very few visitors and then I reflect on the reason of drop in page hits and try to change my strategies.

Mind you I have been talking about Live Linux over a year now, even I need a diversion to keep my inner senses sharpened.

That is why I decided to write on the different utility packages in Linux.

1. Gparted is a Debian derivative and for that reason it is stable and reliable.
2. It updates frequently and improve almost every 3 months.
3. It is light weight and one can carry in ones front shirt pocket like DSL and Puppy Linux.
4. With its popularity every good Linux distribution includes it by default but there are some who do not.
5. So much so that if it is not included I have a tendency for dropping that in my personal list. Suse is one of them which does not have it (KDE version) and restricts the partitions to 15 even though Linux is capable of having over 60 partitions.
6. It is graphical front make partitioning a simple job. Good old days I used to install win 98, then a virus guard and thirdly partition magic for partitioning. After that only I Install Redhat Linux.
7. New versions can handle hard disks over 160 GiBs.
8. It is amazingly fast compared to DOS. In 5 to 10 minutes it can prepare a disk.
9. No defragmentation necessary (cleaning) like what you have to do religiously in Microsoft systems.
10 It looks after the health of the hard disk and its long life. I have used many hard diks discarded by others and have the best use of them for years. Of course once a year I erase everything and reformat to get the best use and that is why I use gParted.

Mind you other factor is Linux does not harm the hard disks and keep a watchful eye every second and boot time.

There are many other partition utilities in Linux but if one has used it once you do not need another for your life. I have said good bye to partition magic, the windows utility.
I must tell you it is better than the Knoppix partitioning (GParted in it) tool.
One simple advice before I wind up is, make sure you have at least one 20 MiB FAT (32) partition in your system free and in the next writing probably I tell you why.

What to look for in a Standard Linux Distribution-Introduction

I have talked about practically all the possible combinations of Live and Standard Linux it is time for me to wind up with a guide for selection of a distribution without giving a particular distribution.I will not go into hardware compatibility even though it is a major issue since what innovation are round the corner is difficult to predict after this iPod and mobile utility craze is over and done with it.

But before that I must tell you my favorites without any order of merits.

I go for several light weight distributions and for one Gorilla Edition.

The Gorilla Edition is PCLinuxFullMonty which is almost comprehensive and lacks only XBMC but that also can be downloaded.

For Sinhala Linux Lovers (SLL) it is Debian 6.0.0

They are as follows

1. Puppy Linux and its various editions. you can simply carry in your front pocket (carry when I go abroad-an use it as an Acid Test of the computer, laptop or netbook I may buy-not that I want any more with all the assortments i have at home an office.
If I cannot boot it it with Puppy, I won’t consider buying the stuff, whatever the vendors gimmick may be.

2. Knoppix the 10th anniversary edition to show off its graphic capabilities including compiz and cheese the web camera. Now it has found a permanent place in my computers in spite of its finicky requirements for hardware configuration.

3. Gparted (Debian’s), the best companion to partition my computers when I reformat. Mind you it is light weight and does not say no to any complicated partition composition within the framework of the standard laid down principles.

4. KDE base nothing to choose between Mepis and PCLinux but I prefer PCLinux since I got a good hang of its versatile performance which SuSe lacks.

5. SuSe for my long association with it after Fedora in spite of craving for RAM (the new with Venation blind appearance but in vertical orientation of strips)I. It has the the best configuration utility called YAST (I call it Yet Another System configuration and teaching Tool) but the partitioning is limited to 15 which is a handicap when I want several distributions installed in the same computer.

6. Debian for its versatility and the ability to recognize all the hard disks of various make (SATA, SCSI, IDE) and the ability to write the partition table without getting confused when a fellow like me install assortment of operating systems in my own finicky ways.

It has taken a special place now with Sinhala capability of its installation.

7. Fedora for its ability to take on board changes which commercial operating systems resit and for my yesteryear long association with it and the Hanthana Sinhala Linux which is a derivative of it.

It was the first Linux distribution that I have used which could accommodate Sinhala fonts way back when other Linux distributions were learning the tricks of the trade.

8. GoBO Linux for its innovative approach but no new version for a long time.

9. YOPER for trimming, shedding dropping extra fringes to get it running fast but it has a big problem with its GRUB file.

10. Pure KDE without a brand name since it is the one made Linux desktop eye candy and a market force of its own and still introducing new innovation but one need at least 1 GiB of RAM and still more RAM for it’s better performance.

11. LXDE is my favorite even though I am hooked to KDE and its plane and bird like logo.

12. Cloud Linux

13. MeeGo

14. Pendrive Linux

15. PureOS, Saline OS, Peppermint, LinuxMint, Console Linux, Morphix, MYAH, ADIOS and the lot I forgot because of my bad memory.

16. Scientific Linux of course is my ultimate goal and that is where I belong to as a professional and where my personal biases are rooted, which I am trying to wean off and become an ordinary man again with taste and flair.

If I have left any other distribution, it is all because of my finicky behaviour and lack of space.

It is a fact that any one of them do the day to day work for me.

Please excuse for my bias since I am an ordinary human being with lot of personal deficiencies and lapses in my memory with geriatric age approaching fast.

Young ones are the live blood of Linux, you need to keep on innovating and also have a pause and listen to ordinary uses too.

Next few editions will be based on the packages one should have in a distribution that may vary from person to person.

I will start with K-Torrent and gParted.

I am afraid I may have to group them since there are over 60,000 of them, if one takes Debian as a base.
With that exercise I may finish my engagement with the wider world and go back to my normal life of gardening, fish keeping and looking after my dog.