2002 05 02

                     LINUX NEWS
     Resources & Links From www.CramSession.com
                     May 2, 2002


1) Sean’s Notes

2) Linux News

Yay, Yay, Sanjay!
Don't think it couldn't happen!
Free Software For Proprietary Operating Systems
More Legal Stupidity

3) Linux Resources

A First Look at Kylix 2 Open Edition
PostgreSQL College
The Internet is for Everyone!
TCPDump Pocket Guide
Linux Configuration Notes

4) App o’ the Week

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1) Sean's Notes

With respect to my computer hardware, I've never been on the
leading edge. It was only after my K6/233 died on me that I
upgraded to a Duron 800. I lived with a 2 meg video card
until last September, until I finally bought a 3D card (and
my productivity has dropped accordingly). So, after years of
complaining that I didn't have a CD burner, I finally bought one.

Getting a CD burner to run under Linux is quite easy. One
little thing to note is that most software is set to burn to
a SCSI device. However, most CD-RW drives are IDE, which is
where the ide-scsi module fits in. ide-scsi's job is to make
your IDE ATAPI devices look like SCSI devices.

Setting it up is quite easy:

# modprobe ide-scsi

Once that's done, you can check the kernel log to see if it
picked it up:

# dmesg
SCSI subsystem driver Revision: 1.00
scsi0 : SCSI host adapter emulation for IDE ATAPI devices
  Vendor: HL-DT-ST  Model: CD-RW GCE-8320B   Rev: 1.02
  Type:   CD-ROM                             ANSI SCSI revision: 02

Or, use /proc to figure it out

# cat /proc/scsi/scsi
Attached devices:
Host: scsi0 Channel: 00 Id: 00 Lun: 00
  Vendor: HL-DT-ST Model: CD-RW GCE-8320B  Rev: 1.02
  Type:   CD-ROM                           ANSI SCSI revision: 02

(If you can access the drive as an IDE device, the SCSI will
be fine)

We're going to use the latter example to figure out the SCSI
device name. In this case, it is 0,0,0 (Channel, Id, Lun),
chances are its the same for you too.

Pop in a data CD, we'll make sure we can access your new
"SCSI" device.

# mount /dev/scd0 /mnt/cdrom
# ls /mnt/cdrom

(if /mnt/cdrom doesn't exist, either create the directory,
or use another suitably empty directory). Drive mounted?
Great, your CD works in SCSI mode. Let's unmount that:

# umount /mnt/cdrom

Now that you're accessing the CD as a SCSI device, you may
want to repoint your /dev/cdrom symlink:

# rm /dev/cdrom
# ln -s /dev/scd0 /dev/cdrom

And you'll probably want this to be a permanent thing. Add:

alias scsi_hostadapter ide-scsi

to /etc/modules.conf. This will cause the ide-scsi driver
to be loaded when any SCSI devices are accessed.

In general, CD burners under UNIX operate on ISO9660
filesystems. One doesn't copy files to a writable CD, one
creates a filesystem on the hard drive, and then burns the
filesystem to the CD (yes, it can be done on the fly, I'm
just simplifying).

The simplest case of making an image is to copy one of an
existing CD. Since the CD does have an ISO9660 filesystem
on it, and you can read from the raw block device (CD ROM),
you can image a CD with:

# dd if=/dev/cdrom of=output.iso

"dd" copies data from the in file (if) to the out file
(of). In this case, from the cd device to a file.

To burn this ISO image to CD, cdrecord is used.

# cdrecord dev=0,0,0 output.iso

That was easy, wasn't it?

A more difficult task is when you have to make the ISO
filesystem out of an existing directory. This is where you'll
want a GUI for day-to-day use, but knowing how to do it on the
command line is something you should keep in your back pocket.

Assuming you want to make an iso image of /spool, and call it
/tmp/image.iso, you can run

# mkisofs -o /tmp/image.iso -R /spool

The only option I've put in there is -R, to generate the Rock
Ridge extensions. If you plan on using this CD on a Windows
box, you can also toss in -J to generate the Joliet extensions.
The mkisofs man page lists the many options available.

There are many GUI tools for creating images and burning CDs,
such as "gcombust" and "xcdroast". Most of these are wrappers
for cdrecord and mkisofs, meaning that you set the options in
a GUI, and the back end runs the commands.


I like the look of gcombust a bit more, though xcdroast is
not without its features. It's also bundled with Red Hat.
Give them both a try and decide for yourself.

Don't forget the HOWTO, either:


CD burning is quick and easy under Linux. There are many
options you can tweak, either to make your CD image readable
on more platforms, or to optimize your burn. The raw access
to block devices also lets you easily make images for later

Long live the Penguin,


2) Linux News

Yay, Yay, Sanjay!
A frequent poster, contributer, and all around good egg,
Sanjay has taken the plunge and ditched Windows. Come on
by and congratulate him! While you're at it, let us know
if you have plans to free yourself of the Microsoft Tax.


Don't think it couldn't happen!
"SILLYCON VALLEY -- Nearly 130 former system administrators
have filed suit against Linus Torvalds in which they claim
Linux cost them their jobs. Recently, several companies
migrated from Windows to Linux, increasing their productivity
but decreasing the need for a large staff of tech workers,
prompting a wave of layoffs."


Free Software For Proprietary Operating Systems
The greatest thing about Linux isn't the kernel, it's all the
software that you can run on it. What you might not realize
is that a lot of Open Source projects also target Windows.
The Open CD project is dedicated to bringing high-quality,
free software to Windows.


More Legal Stupidity
While I'm doing my best to stay off the soapbox in this
newsletter, I just couldn't let this one slide. Apparently
True Type fonts have a couple of bits in them saying whether
or not they can be embedded in a document. True Type is a
published standard, with many utilities out there that can
twiddle the bits. Many TT fonts are free, and all are
copyable. Still, someone who wrote a quick program that
resets the bits gets sued!


3) Linux Resources

A First Look at Kylix 2 Open Edition
Borland has updated Kylix, a Delphi-type Rapid Application
Development environment for Linux. Though the licence is
apparently something crazy, it's still open and a good tool.


PostgreSQL College
The fine folks from the PostgreSQL database group have put
together some flash tutorials on concepts like referential
integrity and sequences. They're well done, and even if
your database experience is very limited, you should get
something out of it.


The Internet is for Everyone!
We can safely credit Vint Cerf (and not Al Gore) as being
one of the fathers of the Internet. He's recently released
RFC 3271, which outlines the direction of the Internet
Engineering Task Force. As Linux users, many of the goals
apply directly to us, namely freedom and privacy.


TCPDump Pocket Guide
Though it's got TCPDump in the title, this two page foldable
guide lists off all the TCP/UDP/IP headers, along with DNS
and ICMP. Very handy to have around if you have to use
tcpdump or otherwise have to sniff your LAN.


Linux Configuration Notes
Although it's made for Red Hat 7.1, the last two sections of
this web page are worth bookmarking. The first deals with
handy commands, and the second lists many of the important
files in /etc and /var.


4) App o' the Week

A coworker passed this to me today, it's crazy! ngrep stands
for "network grep". Yes, you can grep your ethernet for
packets! I can think of several uses already, such as
monitoring print requests, looking for people getting a
certain error in the application layer, and many more!


(C) 2002 BrainBuzz.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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