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More 2-Cent Tips

See also: The Answer Gang's Knowledge Base and the LG Search Engine

Canon BJC 250

Sun, 15 Sep 2002 12:08:39 -0700
dfox (dfox from m206-157.dsl.tsoft.com)

Regarding Bessie's problem in the sept. 2002 issue of LG (Help Wanted #1): http://linuxgazette.net/issue82/lg_mail.html#wanted/1

I also have one of these printers, and it has worked nicely, at least for monochrome. I have done limited color testing - early on, it would print in color if I selected a different printer driver at that time (bj 200 is only capable of doing monochrome). Colors were somewhat washed out, and i never got around to really testing things like gamma correction. Besides, that was some time ago, before cups et al.

I sent bessie an email asking if she were using cups. There is a little difference in the revs of cups at least with Mandrake 8.1 which is what I'm currently running. If I use printerdrake, i am able to select a bj200 driver, which is perfect for doing monochrome printing, and the test page prints just fine. If i use another printer configuration tool, there is no corresponding entry for my printer. However, selecting a similar model driver is doable if the exact model is not listed -- and seemingly in (how?) recent cups it is not. And seemingly, there are different printer databases. (i built cups 1.1.10 I think sometime ago from source).

sendmail and Courier

Thu, 5 Sep 2002 07:45:51 -0700
Dan Wilder (dan from ssc.com)
This is in regards to September's help wanted #2: http://linuxgazette.net/issue82/lg_mail.html#wanted/2 -- Heather


First, you'll have a problem using sendmail and maildir, since, sendmail does not support maildir, only qmail and postfix support this. If you've a

However, consider using procmail as the local delivery agent. I believe sendmail will support this, though I should mention I haven't used sendmail for quite a few years. Anyway, procmail supports maildir delivery.

-- Dan Wilder

A different reader seemed to believe that sendmail cannot, only postfix and qmail -- but yet another reader chimed in that it's the default on his distro for sendmail to use procmail as its local delivery, after which it's of course no problem. Sadly they had confidentiality notes on their mails, so no juicy details. Sorry. -- Heather

Postfix hates Outlook

Sat, 07 Sep 2002 01:33:43 -0500
Dustin Puryear (dustin from puryear-it.com)
This is for help wanted #3 in September's issue: http://linuxgazette.net/issue82/lg_mail.html#wanted/3 -- Heather

Determine if the mail server is trying to perform reverse resolution for your IP address. This can lead to odd time-out problems with various services. A quick test is to add a mapping for your IP address to the mail server's /etc/hosts and see if the problem goes away.

Regards, Dustin

From: SnT_BaBS <babs@sntteam.org>

I think that u can't access root account with pop3 server for security reason ...

Maybe i'm wrong ... but it can be ...

Regards :)

Babs here has to at least be partly right. Postfix doesn't speak POP3 -- it speaks SMTP! Common pop3 servers include qpopper, solidpop, or ipop3d. -- Heather

ping with ipmasq

Mon, 02 Sep 2002 11:12:44 -0700
David Ranch (dranch from trinnet.net)
This is in reply to the September 2002 help wanted #4: http://linuxgazette.net/issue82/lg_mail.html#wanted/4 -- Heather

Hello Matt and LG,

My name is David Ranch and I am the author of the IP Masquerade HOWTO as well as the TrinityOS documentation project.

Anyway, regarding your eth0/eth1 issue, have you checked the DUPLEX setting on the Ethernet switch? The tell-tale signature of this is the "carrier" transitions in your "ifconfig' output. Since you have a switch and not a dual-speed hub, make sure it's set to FULL DUPLEX for that port connected to eth1. You also might want to force the speed on that port to 100 as well. Ethernet auto-negotiation has always been a problem.

If that doesn't fix things, do you have a different Ethernet card to try? Personally, I think all LNX* network cards are pretty crappy though they do work. I've had great luck with any Tulip-based network card (Netgear FA310 [not the 311, etc]), Intel EtherExpress, etc.

Ps. The comment from Heather at the bottom of


is plain wrong. The IPMASQ code has supported ICMP MASQ since the Linus kernel 1.2 days (possibly earlier).


In fact, I did see some references to it behaving correctly - later - but never have figured out why it wouldn't work in real life while I was dealing with it. Which means that while it's surely supported, if I'm in a situation on a 2.2.x kernel where ICMP is not working past NAT, I have no idea how to convince it to start working.
Oh well, we all have our specialties; I'll go back to tweaking X displays and tuning up laptops, now.
I absolutely agree that the Tulip chipset is the good stuff. Never leave home without it. -- Heather


Mon, 02 Sep 2002 13:19:44 -0700
David A. Ranch (dranch from trinnet.net)

Hello John, LG,

My name is David Ranch and I am the author of the IP Masqeurade HOWTO as well as the TrinityOS guide.

Anyway, I saw your LG question:


First off, one of the posters mention that EQL is the solution. This is incorrect as EQL is rarely supported any other terminal servers than possibly older Livingston Portmaster. Like you mentioned, you want MultiLink PPP.

Oops, I thought they were one and the same. Thanks for pointing out my misconception. -- John Karns -- Heather

Before you start looking into setting this up, you should call your ISP and see if they allow ML-PPP? Many don't and the few that do usually only support it for ISDN users.

Good point, one which I forgot to make. -- John -- Heather

Anyway, here are some URLs that should help you in your MLPPP quest if your ISP does infact support ML-PPP for dialup users.



And thanks for the URL's. -- John -- Heather

power management

Tue, 17 Sep 2002 08:47:00 +0000
sgupta (sgupta from pressroom.com)


My new PC running Linux has the new Intel motherboard that supports only ACPI, not APM. I understand from the vendor that Linux does not support ACPI as yet. Hence, I can't put my machine in stand-by or sleep mode. The only solutions are to keep it running (room temperature gets high during day time ~80 degrees) or power off.

Is Linux planning to support ACPI any time soon? Are there other alternatives to power off? After all, one of the best advantages of Linux is that you don't need to boot it every time you want to use the machine. It can run for a long time without crashing.


[Ashwin N] Linux has support for ACPI in 2.4.x kernels. I suppose it wasn't there in the older kernels.
You'll need to install/upgrade your Linux distribution/kernel.

Hello. Thanks for the prompt reply. I guess the vendor knows less about Linux than I do. He installed RH 7.3 with kernel 2.4.18-3 on the PC, which as you say supports ACPI. Unfortunately, it is not activated. In the directory /etc/rc.d/init.d I can find apmd but not acpid. Do I have to reconfigure/recompile the kernel to get it working. I checked up all the Linux How-Tos and FAQs and can't find any information about getting ACPI to work.


[Rick Moen] Googling found this unofficial HOWTO: http://www.columbia.edu/~ariel/acpi/acpi_howto.txt
It's linked from this summary page:
And perhaps you've already come across the ACPI 4 Linux Project:

Adding Win98 to a second HD

Fri, 13 Sep 2002 21:57:46 +0300
Nigel Ridley (nigel from i-amfaithweb.net)

O.K. I know this is a lame one but I don't want to mess up!

My children are now of the age that they are fighting over whose turn it is on the (old) computer - it has Windows 95 and (unfortunately) they like some of the silly games that children love - namely Mario (no I haven't found one to run under Linux).

So now I am under pressure to use my Linux box as a second Windows machine to satisfy the children (no funds for even a second hand 'puter).

On my Linux box I have two hd's, one 20 GB - the main one and a second one of 6 GB. I want to put Windows 98 on the second hd. How do I make sure that Windows uses the second hd and not wipe out my Linux one? Also how do I rescue the mbr from Windows after the install? - I'm using Mandrake 8.2 with Lilo.

Nigel Ridley

[JimD] Take out the Linux drive. Make it a slave. Install the smaller drive (as standalone at first). Install Win '9x. Change the smaller drive to be the master (if necessary) and re-install the big drive. (Leave a small non-DOS partition near the front of it if you can).
Now boot from a rescue CD or floppy specifying root=/dev/hdbX (as appropriate) and add the appropriate entries for an "other" stanza to your /etc/lilo.conf. Then run /sbin/lilo to install a new MBR on the little drive.
(The MBR on the big drive will be preserved, irrelevant until it's put back into a system as a master or standalone).
You might not need to use that small non-DOS partition that you created --- but I'd reserve it anyway (if the Win '9x installer will let you). You can boot from a Linux rescue disc or diskette to run Linux fdisk and mark the small partition as OS/2 or with some sort of hibernation volume type --- anything but Linux, since I hear that newer Microsoft releases with eradicate Linux partitions with extreme prejudice :) .
There are undoubtedly a multitude of alternative approaches. You could use GRUB and it's notion of "hidden" drives (to swap the identities of the two drives during the boot process, in memory). You might be able to install it (standalone) and then make it the slave (LILO) but I think MS Windows would get unhappy about not having a C drive.
[John K.] If one is resigned to using sharing the system with the rogue OS, then the above is another good reason to keep MSW straight-jacketed in an environment such as a virtual machine where it can't do any damage to things it has no business touching.
[JimD] I think John is thrying to suggest that you could use VMWare (or Plex86 if you're daring, or WINE) to run Win '9x as a process under Linux.
This works pretty well --- but has a few downsides that might apply to you're needs:
  1. VMWare needs lots of memory and plenty of CPU horsepower. If you machine is older (less than about a 650Mhz Pentium II or so) or doesn't have lots of memory (128Mb minimum, 512Mb won't be wasted) then you may find this approach acceptable.
  2. You might have relatively limited support for sound, USB joysticks, etc. You said you're kids are fighting over games (IIRC) and Windows' rehosted under a virtual machine and running a game is likely to be unpleasantly slow.
  3. VMWare is pretty good as a product. However it's not free -- purchasing it will more than double your cost over buying the requisite copy of Win '98. Plex86 (FreeMWare) is free but many not be up to the task of running the software you need nor supporting your hardware. It will certainly be more work (learning curve) on your part.
  4. You're kids may have to learn a little Linux/UNIX in order to get the VMWare (or other) virtual machine running and booted, possibly switching it to full screen mode and sometimes (perhaps) get back to it or out of it and back to the Linux host under various possible situations. You might make this all pretty transparent (they log in via xdm/gdm/kdm etc, it starts the VM session and then the just choose shutdown and they log back out).
However, it might be just what you're looking for. Take a look at these websites:
CodeWeavers (WINE related):
TransGaming (WINEX):
Plex86 (FreeMWare):
[Heather] They might enjoy TuxRacer, which I've actually seen in stores. Linux can also emulate Nintendos, Game Boys, and some other gaming systems -- you have lots of options.

If You're Not Part of the Solution, You're Part of the Precipitate

Thu, 29 Aug 2002 16:54:14 -0700
Rick Moen (the LG Answer Gang)

Quoting Dan Wilder:

Another spate of Klez worm reports to the victim, whose email address is forged in the "From: " header of the virus-bearing mail.

I've started letting people whose autoresponders send me these misdirected advisories that they have one day to turn it off or disable it, after which they'll be permanently killfiled after the next offence.

Dear readers: If you don't know how to (or buy) an autoresponder that does competent SMTP header analysis, so you're sure it's sending virus advisories to the correct party, then you honestly have no business running one, and will end up causing large numbers of people to classify you as, in effect, a spammer and to act accordingly.

Trust me, you don't want to put yourself in that category -- and nobody's going to care about your protestations of meaning well.

autocad on linux

Sat, 31 Aug 2002 13:06:04 -0500
Richard Brown (rtbrown from sbcglobal.net)

Saw your not yet. I am a mechanical engineer. I run autocad daily on linux using vmware. (Running SuSE 8.0 or 7.3, AMD 1.4 with 768 Mg) Works beautifully. Frequently I had 10 or 15 sessions of autocad running at the same time. Never a problem. Nice also when want to reload or update as from 7.3 to 8.0 simply copy the back the windows 2000 file. To me it is the preferrable way to run autocad.


ringing a bell when compilation is finished

Tue, 24 Sep 2002 11:19:14 -0400
Allan Peda (pedaa from rockefeller.edu)


I wanted to share a little bash function I put together to check for the status code returned by a process (typically "make"). After using IDEs which generate audio feedback after successful compilation, I realized that this could be done by a bash function, which I call "ok".

I typically run the function right after a long build like this:

make -f Makefile ; ok

It then returns a pleasant note if all went well, and something less pleasant if not. Here is the source:

[zorro@box84 build]$ cat /etc/profile.d/check_return_value.sh

ok() {
    if [ $? -eq 0 ]; then
        play /usr/share/sounds/chord.au
        echo "   SUCCESS   "
        play /usr/share/sounds/warning.wav
        echo "   *ERROR*   "

Works every time (so far).

Configuring the GUI, the GUI way

Sat, 24 Aug 2002 15:23:18 -0400
Benjamin A. Okopnik (ben from callahans.org)
Question by Heather Stern (star@starshine.org)

Heather Stern wrote:

(In response to q querent having trouble with mice)

The section you are looking for in your /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 file (well, it might be in just plain /etc, but anyway) is "Pointer" for the mice declarations themselves and "ServerLayout" for the list of gadgets it will honor.

[Ben] You could also use "xf86cfg" if you like graphical tools. I've found that it takes a little getting used to, but is well done, and - once you understand the basic idea behind the layout - nicely intuitive.
[Heather] Ben presumes you use Debian. If you use RedHat, you'd want "Xconfigurator". If you use SuSE, the correct beastie is "SaX" and can also be found in the YaST menus.
On older distros there was a TCL/tk app called "XF86Setup" but it does nothing to help guess your video card or monitor characteristics. If you need this, a brief glance at the results of "lspci" is worth your while, and check your notes about what the maximum resolution is for your monitor, before you run the app. It's not very happy when you switch away from its task and back again.
The XF86Setup program, at least, has keyboard commands for everything, so it will work that way until you finally pick the right mouse protocol and can start clicking on things.
If you're afraid of jumping to graphical mode until you've got something like a useful config file created, "xf86config" is a totally text mode program, which asks you questions from the database of X gadgetry. But do make sure that it creates an XFree86 version 4.x file, and not a version 3.x file ... they are very different. The section "ServerLayout" mentioned above didn't exist in version 3.

Diald problems again

Sun, 1 Sep 2002 09:08:59 +0100
Neil Youngman (n.youngman from ntlworld.com)

I've got Debian 3.0 almost set up to my liking, but one thing I can't get to work is diald.

I installed Debian from scratch and pppd configuration was quite easy. "pon ntlworld" works, similarly kppp only required me to change auth to noauth in ppp.options and it worked. Diald OTOH has me puzzled.

Debian 3.0 has a completely new diald configuration. All the stuff that used to appear in /etc/diald has gone. The only configuration file it uses seems to be in /var/cache.

"ps aux" shows that diald starts up OK. "route" shows that it has set up sl0 as the default interface, but when I try to access anything on the internet I get an immediate DNS lookup failure. There are none of the usual messages in /var/log/messages indicating that it's trying to dial out and do a DNS lookup.

What have I tried?

Now I'm stumped. I could throw away the new /etc/init.d/diald script and import the old one potato, together with all the rest of the configuration for potato, but even if that works, I would prefer not to rely on an "obsolete" configuration.

But, about a week later, Neil solved it... -- Heather

I've got this working. It still doesn't work with the Debian 3.0 configuration, but I noticed that one difference from 2.2 was that there was no named running on 3.0. I installed bind and this together with the 2.2 configuration seems to have got it working.


I know that a few apps want to look up the local machine by hostname; I usually deal with this by adding /etc/hosts entries. But there are a handful of other advantages to using a local caching name daemon. If you need the cache to persist through reboots (bad power lines, maybe?) consider pdnsd. -- Heather

dual boot with XP

Tue, 24 Sep 2002 01:45:27 -0700
Heather Stern (Linux Gazette Technical Editor)
Question by debojit acharya (debojitacharya@yahoo.com)

HalloMy name is Debojit Acharya and i am from india. It will be highly apperciated if you kindly answer the questions furnished below :-1. I have a 10 GB hard disk with Win 98 installed on it. Now i want to Install Win XP and Red Hat Linux 7.2 on to a new 80 GB hard drive.

I have seen this succeed; it depends a little bit on whether your BIOS likes such large drives, but once you can get the OS' to see them they deal with the rest of the details pretty well.

I want to have multibooting feature with Win 98 (on the old 10GB HDD), Win XP and Linux (on the new 80 GB HDD) as OSs.

I don't know if mswin will let you boot XP from a second drive.

The easiest way by far for Linux, would be to have LOADLIN.EXE and a copy of your favored linux kernel sitting on the old win98 C: ... then just offer Linux as one of the mswin boot menu choices.

A floppy would work (for Linux at least; possibly for winxp but don't believe me ... check their knowledgebase).

How to go about it? 2. I had Mandrake Linux 8.2 installed on one of old HDD's partitions. Later i had tried to delete the partition by booting from the Mandrake bootable CD. Though the partition got deleted but had not been uninstalled properly because even now, at the system startup screen, the default OS is shown as Linux with Win 98 as the second choice. But after logging into Linux it gets hanged.

You still have the old LILO master boot record from the time when you had Mandrake on /dev/hda, however since Mandrake itself ... or more correctly speaking, that kernel ... is no longer there, the menu option goes to an explicit location on disk -- which no longer has a kernel!

If you store at least one Linux kernel on your /dev/hda drive -- for example, in C:\LINUX -- then you will be able to install a fresh LILO boot record which points at it, and knows about you wanting to mount a /dev/hdbN partition as your root volume when you select Linux. You must re-run /sbin/lilo, after editing /etc/lilo.conf to meet your new setup. Unfortunately, the kernel and bootloader really do have to be on the same disk.

If you switch to GRUB a different story follows, but it's still probably a good idea to keep a kernel on your first hard drive.

Pls help me get out of this.
Thanks. Bye,Debojit.

Hiding SAMBA shares

Tue, 27 Aug 2002 12:59:52 -0700
CHADWICK (chadwick from crosslink.net)

Take a look at this link it may help:


Look down the page to the section on Preventing Browsing (5.1.1)

O'Reilly's books are really great references for technical materials.

Hope this helps.

recompiling the kernel with a X11 keymap

Sat, 21 Sep 2002 15:05:39 -0700
Dan Wilder (dan from ssc.com)
Question by hrdo ()

Hello Answers Gang,

Is there a way to recompile the kernel so as to get the X11 keymap in the console?



paying special attention to the comments at the beginning of defkeymap.c

However, it is not necessary to recompile the kernel. Your initialization scripts (in /etc/rc.d, /etc/rc.d/init.d, or /etc/init.d depending on your distribution) very likely have a call to "loadkeys" someplace in them. This loads a keymap at boot time. If not, you can easily add such. See

man loadkeys

Linux multilanguage

Tue, 3 Sep 2002 12:27:00 -0500
Dan Wilder, Ben Okopnik (tag from ssc.com)
Question by Jeff Kwiatkowski (Jeffrey_Kwiatkowski@baylor.edu)

Hey Jim,

I was reading over some of your responses to people's problems and it seems you are pretty knowledgable of the linux os.

[Ben] These days, Jim sits by the fire in his slippers and points with his pipe to stuff he wants done... or something like that. :) The Answer Guy is now The Answer Gang, and we all share the load.
With quite a shell collection on the mantelpiece, I'd add. (Jim is our resident shell-script expert. He has no problem constructing shell pipelines several apps deep.) -- Heather
I was wondering if you could point me in the correct direction with an issue i am facing. I am looking to write a C program that will use some sort of API call to detect what language is installed on a linux box and then launch a correct web page. Does linux have an API? How do you find out these environment variables? I have been researching for hours and have come up empty. Any help would be very appreciated.
[Dan] No doubt Jim or somebody else has more info, but for starters, try

apropos locale
and the related manpages, for example

man 7 locale
A system's locale is set during installation, and controls among other things the multilanguage support built into many GNU programs using the "gettext" utilities. See also

man gettext
[Ben] Take a look at the LANG variable. It's somewhat odd (e.g., the default value for English is 'C' (???))
[Heather] I think the default value is 'C' and if you have a basically English distro that's the language you'll, ahem, C. You can specify one or another of the English variants but I've seen it cause some things to act weird - I assume the exact same weirdness they'd offer if I picked an international variant they dunno how to handle.
[Ben] ...but mostly it follows the ISO3166 standard for naming, e.g. "de", "fr", "kr", etc. It's also far from certain that everyone will have it set on their system. For example, I read a lot of Russian stuff, but leave my LANG at the default setting and execute specific programs with a local LANG definition:
LANG=ru_RU rxvt -n Muttley -e mutt -y
In my opinion, though, LANG is as close as you'll come to what you're looking for as is possible in the wild wooly world of Unix.

Re: exe to iso files

Tue, 27 Aug 2002 00:17:37 -0700
Jim Dennis (the LG Answer Guy)
Question by Jay R. Ashworth (jra@baylink.com)
And if you're trying to write a Linux or otherwise generated ISO under Windows, you can see "Best of ISO Burning Under Windows" - Issue 68, 11th TAG article: http://linuxgazette.net/issue68/tag/11.html -- Heather

Interestingly enough, I discovered, apparently El Torito bootability is a feature of the image -- I burned those Linux BBC's from a bare ISO, no command switches to tell the Windows burner to make it bootable, and it Just Worked.

I hadn't realized that it was (in Linux terms) mkisofs, not cdrecord, that did that work.

[JimD] Yes, it's the -b option to mkisofs that does the trick (and it's obviously not necessary at record time --- though most other OS have software that integrate the mkisofs with the burn. I prefer the modularity of he Linux approach.

In retrospect it ought to be obvious, but I don't even want to admit to the amount of time I spent looking for that switch in my (by which I mean "my sister's") Windows burner software.

LJWNN Tech Tips

Mon, 30 Sep 2002 11:22:02 -0700

Keeping NAT connections alive

When you ssh from a NAT network, do your connections mysteriously drop after a few minutes of activity?

Keep ssh connections up by adding

ProtocolKeepAlives 30

to your ~/.ssh/config file.

See man ssh_config.

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Published in Issue 83 of Linux Gazette, October 2002

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