Welcome to the LinuxFocus November/December 2003
It is already late in the evening and I am still wondering
what to write in the editorial. How about SCO?
The products of SCO are press releases these days. It is
clear that the main ambition is to drive up the stock price, make
as much money as possible and then disappear into irrelevance.
The link to Linux? Well if you look at SCO more closely then
the whole thing has not much to do with Linux. They just needed
some kind of target.
What else did we have the last few weeks? There was the ruling
on software patents in Europe. To
have no patents at all
would have been better but otherwise we can be quite happy with
All this does not really bother us at the moment ....
Oh yes, this year I had to replace harddisks in almost all
PCs and servers that I have! The first two were replaced already
in March and I thought "OK, that can happen" but now
I have replaced the 5th disk. How many computers does that guy have?
Well I don't run a server farm. I have 7 disks on 5 computers.
All the disks were less than 2 years old. The very old ones are still
good. I had to replace the new disks.
The reliability of software is improving all the time but it seems
that the hardware is now the weakest part. Harddrive capacities
are sky rocketing. As a result the quality suffers.
I still remember the Quantum Fireball disk, 1Gb, in the
first Linuxfocus server. It was running continuously 24h a day and
it ran for 8 years with no problems.
Replacing a disk at home is not a problem. Usually you notice
that some application hangs or saving a file fails. You
type "dmesg" and you see an IDE seek error: It is time to buy a new disk.
This is annoying but it becomes a real problem if it happens on a
server far away. Even with redundancy and RAID you still need to replace
the disk. The service hours are usually much more expensive than the
disk. I would be ready to pay three times as much if the disk
has at least 8-10 years average life time.
Anybody who has a solution? Would be nice to write an article in
LinuxFocus about it. I am sure I am not the only one who likes to
have a really reliable computer.
-- Guido Socher
GIMP: Make your own brushes
This article explains the various brush types that Gimp has and shows
how to create own brushes.
Finally your finished you long awaited program and you want to distribute
it. For others to use the program you need documentation.
It's time to write a man-page.
The LinuxFocus Tip
This month tip shows how to display the output of syslog on a virtual console.
Add this at the end of /etc/syslogd.conf:
# this is an additional condition and does not
# affect any other logs:
The condition "*.*" means everything and tty8 is the 8'th console. You can
just press alt-F8 (or from X11 crtl-alt-F8, to go back to X11 press alt-F7)
and look at the logging output. In most distributions console 8 is
not in use for anything however which console is really free can be found in
/etc/inittab file. The logger configuration can be found in /etc/syslogd.conf
This is very comfortable solution. You don't have to dive into /var/log/*
files tree to see what's going on in your box. The logs on console are very
helpful in tuning your system or finding out what is wrong when something
does not work.
After you have changed /etc/syslogd.conf you have to restart syslog with the
service syslog restart (for Redhat, Mandrake)
killall -HUP syslogd