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Re: [linux-dell-laptops] Next distro?

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  • John DeCarlo
    Ken and Doug, Using apt is much easier and more reliable than using rpm. Trust me, I used rpm and Red Hat for decades. When I switched to Ubuntu last year, I
    Message 1 of 19 , May 25 7:14 AM
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      Ken and Doug,

      Using apt is much easier and more reliable than using rpm.  Trust me, I used rpm and Red Hat for decades.  When I switched to Ubuntu last year, I was delightfully amazed at how much I had been missing while using rpm.

      Booting to single user mode is very easy - When you are booting the machine, type "e" at the grub menu and add a "1" to the boot line.  The other option is to kill gdm or kdm to avoid rebooting.

      apt supports downloading and compiling source as well as binary.  Typically repositories have both a "deb" and "deb-src" equivalent, depending on what you want to do.  When using the right tools to install from "deb-src", it will run the install script and compile and make and configure for you.

      Ubuntu is very much a "free" distribution.  So they don't install "non-free" stuff by default (like MP3 support, or DVD play via libdvdcss).  But "Feisty" makes it very easy to install those capabilities when you need them.  The first time you try to play an MP3 file, it will ask you if you want to install MP3 support, even if it is non-free.

      As for changing networks, Ubuntu Feisty comes with networkmanager, allowing you to see what networks are accessible and choose one to connect to.  I haven't used it that much, though, so I don't have step-by-step.  Just look in the menu under Internet.

      Feisty is also very good at hardware detection, and most things "just work" out of the box on laptops nowadays.

      Hope this helps.


    • Gilbert Mendoza
      ... Hash: SHA1 I hate to add to an already long thread, but ... Just because the root account is not given a password during the installation process, doesn t
      Message 2 of 19 , May 25 1:19 PM
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        I hate to add to an already long thread, but ...

        Just because the root account is not given a password during the
        installation process, doesn't mean it does not exist. The root
        account has simply been "locked", and most certainly does exist.
        (check out "man passwd" for the "-l" option).

        "sudo -i" and "sudo -s" are two very easy ways to run any
        prolonged root shell without enabling the root account, exposing
        it to local and remote dictionary or brute force password
        attacks. That is unless of course a sudoer user doesn't have a
        weak password. :-P But that's another topic. (the -i will drop
        you to the /root/ directory, and -s will leave you in your own
        /home/user/ directory. See "man sudo".)

        Elevating user privileges on a need-only basis is considered an
        industry wide best practice and is generally accepted by most
        experienced administrators.

        Changing to runlevel 1 (single user mode) just to gain a root
        shell is NOT what one should do if they simply wish to gain root
        access. Runlevel 1 actually stops many services according to
        their init level configurations, and is typically used when
        performing maintenance, troubleshooting, or system recovery.


        As for the default runlevels, Ubuntu moved to "Upstart" which
        doesn't use /etc/inittab, but still evaluates it if you create
        one. (see /etc/event.d/) If one wishes to not use the graphical
        logon manager "GDM", they can simply

        a) remove the symlinks in /etc/rcX.d
        (sudo update-rc.d -f gdm remove)

        b) remove gdm altogether (sudo apt-get remove gdm). This of
        course is a dependency of the ubuntu-desktop meta-package,but if
        you are already comfortable with using a console only, who
        cares.

        c) or even remove just one of the gdm rcX.d scripts, and
        designate that runlevel of your choice as being a non-graphical
        multiuser. To be thorough, you can add a corresponding "K13gdm"
        symlink, so that switching back and forth between this runlevel
        will stop gdm accordingly.
        i.e.
        cd /etc/rc2.d
        sudo rm S13gdm
        sudo ln -s ../init.d/gdm K13gdm

        For regular use of the console, you may also want change your
        frame buffer size to a higher resolution to 1024x768 or higher by
        editing /boot/grub/menu.lst.
        i.e. add "vga=791" to the defoptions variable:
        # defoptions=quiet splash vga=791


        Anyway, hope this is useful for you folks.

        GM
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      • Douglas S. Oliver
        ... Hash: SHA1 ... Thanks much, Gilbert. This is really useful information. Am I right in thinking that sudo -i and sudo -s are a little like the difference
        Message 3 of 19 , May 25 2:52 PM
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          Gilbert Mendoza wrote:
          >
          > I hate to add to an already long thread, but ...
          >
          > Just because the root account is not given a password during the
          > installation process, doesn't mean it does not exist. The root
          > account has simply been "locked", and most certainly does exist.
          > (check out "man passwd" for the "-l" option).
          >

          Thanks much, Gilbert. This is really useful information. Am I right in
          thinking that sudo -i and sudo -s are a little like the difference
          between having a root password and using "su <enter> and <password
          enter>" and "su - <enter> and <password enter>? The difference here
          being the added safety of using sudo and staying out of the root
          account. I've been using linux for almost 10 years but am a relative new
          comer to sudo. A few years ago I was studying for my RHSE cert. At that
          time we were warned to watch out for users using sudo when they had weak
          passwords, as you have said. That's why I stayed away from it till now
          with Ubuntu. Not because of a weak password, but because it was easy to
          use su when and only when I needed to become root. I made an rm error as
          root once on my system. Trashed everything! I just needed to do that
          once to become respectful of becoming root. Thanks again--Douglas

          - --

          ******

          Douglas S. Oliver

          "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity,
          and I'm not sure about the former." --Albert Einstein

          "....What right do I have to think?" --Ugarte, December 1941

          ******
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        • Gilbert Mendoza
          ... Hash: SHA1 No problem at all. You are correct regarding similarities between su , su - , sudo -i and -s. su - and sudo -i elevate privileges to root
          Message 4 of 19 , May 25 4:58 PM
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            No problem at all.

            You are correct regarding similarities between "su", "su -",
            sudo -i and -s.

            "su -" and "sudo -i" elevate privileges to root and use the shell
            environment for the root user in /etc/passwd. you will notice by
            issuing a 'pwd' command, you are placed in the /root directory.

            "su" and "sudo -s" elevate privileges to root and use the shell
            environment of the user running the command. So, you will stay
            in /home/user, and any bash aliases, etc, will remain intact.

            There are many advantages in using sudo vs. su, but primarily it
            comes down to the granularity of control one has in limiting what
            sudoer's can do with their privileges. For instance, with sudo
            you can allow a user (or group of users) to to run a small set of
            commands with root privileges, without granting access to more
            sensitive functions.

            Have a great weekend...

            GM

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            --- "Douglas S. Oliver" <dsoliver@...> wrote:
            >
            > Thanks much, Gilbert. This is really useful information. Am I right in
            > thinking that sudo -i and sudo -s are a little like the difference
            > between having a root password and using "su <enter> and <password
            > enter>" and "su - <enter> and <password enter>? The difference here
            > being the added safety of using sudo and staying out of the root
            > account. I've been using linux for almost 10 years but am a relative new
            > comer to sudo. A few years ago I was studying for my RHSE cert. At that
            > time we were warned to watch out for users using sudo when they had weak
            > passwords, as you have said. That's why I stayed away from it till now
            > with Ubuntu. Not because of a weak password, but because it was easy to
            > use su when and only when I needed to become root. I made an rm error as
            > root once on my system. Trashed everything! I just needed to do that
            > once to become respectful of becoming root. Thanks again--Douglas
            >




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          • Lamar Owen
            ... While there is nothing wrong (and a lot right) with apt, let s compare apples to apples here. The raw rpm command is equivalent to the raw dpkg command.
            Message 5 of 19 , May 25 8:18 PM
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              On Friday 25 May 2007, John DeCarlo wrote:
              > Using apt is much easier and more reliable than using rpm. Trust me, I
              > used rpm and Red Hat for decades. When I switched to Ubuntu last year, I
              > was delightfully amazed at how much I had been missing while using rpm.

              While there is nothing wrong (and a lot right) with apt, let's compare apples
              to apples here. The raw rpm command is equivalent to the raw dpkg command.
              The equivalent command to apt in a Debian-inspired distribution on, say, a
              Fedora Core installation, is 'yum'. You do that same sorts of things: 'yum
              install kshisen' will pull in any needed RPM's from the repository, exactly
              like 'apt-get install kshisen' would.

              Now, with Ubuntu or plain Debian you will get a substantially larger
              repository of software available; and it's not as fractured as the typical
              RPM third party repositories are. But that has nothing to do with the tools
              that are available.

              I've been evaluating Kubuntu 7.04 in a virtual machine for a week or so, and I
              like most of what I see. The biggest thing is the unified repository. The
              second biggest thing is that the gnuradio and usrp packages are 'just there'
              in that repository, whereas getting RPM's of same is difficult. However, I
              find that adept-installer is just about as slow as pirut (GUI yum frontend on
              Fedora Core 5 and above), and that's with identical hardware. Now,
              adept-manager is quite a bit better.

              Incidentally, there is an apt version for RPM-based systems. You can even get
              synaptic on Fedora Core if you'd like.

              I'm using Fedora Core 6 here on an Inspiron 640m, and most things work fine
              (no headphones is an annoyance, but the sound does at least play; I haven't
              worked much on the wireless, but that's a low priority for me; LCD backlight
              control with Fn-UP or Fn-DOWN isn't working, etc).
              --
              Lamar Owen
              Chief Information Officer
              Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute
              1 PARI Drive
              Rosman, NC 28772
              (828)862-5554
              www.pari.edu
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