Ubuntu – Open Source OS

So what is Ubuntu?

It is a computer operating system that is based on Linux. It is open source (meaning that it is able to be changed and improved by the users through its source code) and is free. The name came from a South African phrase ‘humanity towards others’ translated as Ubuntu.

Ubuntu strictly adheres to the open source philosophy and it will remain 100% free.

What is it for?

It is for personal computers and there is also a server version, but today we’ll only discuss the personal variant. Overall there are about 12 million people who use Ubuntu on their personal computers and it is the 4th most popular web server.

Who sponsors it?

Mark Shuttleworth (a South African entrepreneur) owns Canonical Ltd. and sponsors Ubuntu. He makes money by selling the technical support and any other services related to Ubuntu.

Can my computer handle it?

Ubuntu supports both 32 and 64 bit architectures but you also need to ensure that your computer meets the minimum requirements to run this operating system.

For your desktop or laptop you must have:
Processor: 1GHz
Memory (or RAM): 384 MiB
Free space on your hard drive: 5 GB

So why do people use Ubuntu?

Ya this is a free operating system, but what really does it offer? With any purchased computer or laptop you get an operating system, so how is Ubuntu different?

Well, for starters it’s an open source software. This means it is completely customizable and you can change it however you like. Even if you aren’t some elite coder or programmer there are a lot of people out there who have created unique and completely awesome add ons for Ubuntu! You can check out some of the more popular Ubuntu downloads to see some of the fantastic features that it can integrate into your desktop operating system. Go here to look at top 10 Ubuntu downloads: http://lifehacker.com/5227309/top-10-ubuntu-downloads

On top of that, it’s free! Windows operating systems often get updated, leaving you in the dust without the fancy new gizmos so you are forced to either purchase the new upgrade or find an alternate means of obtaining that new OS.


SnapShot An Image On TV Using DreamBox

How To SnapShot An Image On TV Using DreamBox?

DreamBox is a DVB Satellite and Cable TV receiver software powered by Linux which

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was developed by the TuxBox project for DBox2. It is very useful software for taking the snapshot images and thus, you’ll like to know the procedure on how you could take one appearing on your TV.

To figure it out, follow these steps:

Connect Dreambox and your personal computer with Ethernet cable.

With the Dreambox remote control, navigate to Menu->Setup-> Expert Setup->Communication Setup and then, note down the Dreambox Internet Protocol (IP) address. Use this Internet Protocol address in next step. Later, on your system’s screen, click on Internet Explorer and enter the Internet Protocol address in the address field. Lets say for example, Type It will then prompt you for a username and password. Enter ‘Root’ as the User Name and ‘Dreambox’ as the Password, in order to get an access to your Dreambox.

Then move to the main menu and click on ‘Control’ button, which is on the left side the pane, along with the other buttons to select like OSDshot, LCDshot, Screenshot etc. According to your choice, click any one of them and it will display the snapshot of the current picture running on your TV, which you can easily save on your personal computer for your future reference.

If you want to hide some sensitive content or only want to go for its menu content, then you can set it by using OSDshot.

These are very simple steps when compared to a digital camera, which is mostly used to create multiple files. No doubt, these steps are also very helpful to reduce your efforts, if you want to share your TV screen, using Dreambox Satellite decoder.

A Powerful Linux Satellite Decoder- DreamBox

A Powerful Linux Satellite Decoder- DreamBox

Based on Linux platform, DreamBox Satellite decoder is very powerful with many new qualities and features. There are many additional addons installed on it, and thus, it is very user friendly, even for its average users. In fact, the important thing to notice is that the users can set the timer for a recording, as in when it should start and stop, along with many other things without any intervention.


Here are some tips to configure the timer in DreamBox:

On your remote control, go to  Menu >>Timer.

Here, you will find a list of Timer and then, press the Green button to set new timer. In the below menu, define a new timer with its description, either for one particular time or for repeated times. Move to the next field and fill up the details about respective date, month, and year and specify a time, as in when you wish the action to take place.

To apply the settings, press Green button and save the changes. Once that done, you will notice a new list displayed at the bottom with the Timer. Repeat the above steps for additional timer events. If you no longer want the timer event, use Red button to eliminate the timer settings or press Blue button to clear the entire list.

Change Or Reset Windows NT/2000 Administrator Or User Password With chntpw In Linux

Change or Reset Windows NT/2000 Administrator or User Password with chntpw in Linux

There are multiple ways to recover or reset forgotten administrator or user password of Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Windows XP. It often happens that users forget their administrator or user password.

However, there are numerous alternatives to fix this problem and get back the forgotten password using applications and software. There is one of the easiest and fitting ways to reset and change forgotten Windows NT/2000 administrator password is using the chntpw program. It is a Linux based program that will help users to reset password or change password.

It is especially designed to overwrite and set Windows 2000 and Windows NT SAM passwords of user, which has valid and logical account, by changing encrypted password in registry file (SAM file).

Now most of the users will think about how it will work when the computer will not start. This chntpw program is completely executable program and comes with bootable CD which can change password or reset user password. Another important point is that users do not need to remember passwords to reset or change password of administrator account or user account.

There are some points that need to be considered before starting this program.

  • It works on NT system which is clearly offline.
  • It can be used only in local machine i.e. users can not run this program on remotely computer to change or reset password.
  • It comes in bootable CD which runs in startup process (booting) of computer.
  • It can be installed on Linux System named, Ubuntu and then users can recover their passwords on windows by mounting or attaching windows drive, connected through IDE/SATA/SCSI interface or USB disk.
  • It is quite easy to install and run on Debian based system in case any user use this system and You can download the source code from http://home.eunet.no/~pnordahl/ntpasswd/editor.html

Chntpw Usage Guide

  1. Embed Windows NTFS, FAT32 or FAT partition to Linux system, allowing read and write access support.
  2. Browse SAM file for Windows XP, Windows 2000 or Windows NT which is usually located at \Windows\System32\config or\Winnt\System32\config. Alter directory in the folder, there are numerous files such as SYSTEM, SAM, and Security present.

Issue this command inside the folder in order to change administrator password: chntpw SAM

Now set the given command (reset the USERNAME with genuine name):

chntpw -u USERNAME SAM

This command is especially for single and specified user if you want to add more username then in SAM file then use this command:  chntpw -l SAM.

  1. Now chntpw will display some notification and message on the screen afterwards it will prompt to reset or change passwords. Now you just enter new administrator or user password.
  2. Detached the drive and restart computer to implement changes. Now your computer will be resettled with new password of user and administrator.

Finally, you are done and your password has been recovered.

Another option of running chntpw program to recover forgotten password will be displayed by following this command:  chntpw –h

chntpw help and usage

  • h – for the Message
  • Chntpw version 0.99.3 040818, (c) Petter N Hagen
    Chntpw: change password of a user in a NT SAM file, or invoke registry editor
    Chntpw [OPTIONS] [systemfile] [securityfile] [otherreghive] […]

  • l – list all users in SAM file
  • u – Username to change, Administrator is default
  • e – Registry editor. Now with full write support!
  • N – No allocation mode. Only (old style) the overwrites of same length is possible
  • i – Interactive. List users (as -l) then ask for username to change
  • L – Create names of changed files to /tmp/changed
  • t- Trace. Show hexdump of structs/segments. (Deprecated debug function)
  • d- Enter buffer debugger instead (hex editor),
  • v – Be more verbose (for debugging)

You could check out the readme file to know more about how to write/read/ extract the NT’s SAM file if your hard drive is having NTFS file partition.

Some Basic Reasons Why Professionals Prefer Linux Over Other OS’s

Pros of Linux OS

Most of the professionals prefer Linux rather than any other OS (operating system). It is considered to be way better than Mac or even Windows.

Some of the pros of Linux OS (Operating System):

  1. It is completely free of cost and they won’t charge you even a single penny to download it.
  2. Hardware requirements are so low that you can even run it in your old computer and it won’t cause any problem.
  3. Not a single virus can affect Linux. It is guaranteed virus free.
  4. It is so stable that even if you run it for over a week it won’t hang up or cause any problem.
  5. It works just fine and its performance does not depreciate along with the time.
  6. You can receive help 24×7 because of its forum which stays active and helps all the Linux users.
  7. There is a Linux’s OS called Ubuntu which gets automatically updated with the new services.
  8. Its security is of high level.
  9. There are inbuilt software which comes along with the installation of Linux like PowerPoint, Firefox, Excel, CD/DVD burner, Word and lots more.

Now you might be wondering, why Linux is not widely used even though it has the above mentioned features, the answer is, it lacks a user friendly GUI. It’s a popular belief that Linux is a geeky nerds OS. However, with the coming in of many versions and flavors of Linux like Ubuntu, the argument is not true anymore. You should try out Ubuntu and you’ll not regret!

Free Data Management Application For Linux / Unix – Like Microsoft Access

Kexi is a Rapid Application Development (RAD) tool used for development involving databases. It can be used for designing forms to create, modify and manipulate your data in the same way as any other full featured application will do. Essentially Kexi creates a comprehensive environment for managing and manipulating data.

Kexi has its own database engine embedded inside and all that you create such as forms, queries and tables are stored in this database. Kexi is compatible with other popular databases such as MS Access from which the files can be imported and exported.

Being an open source software Kexi functions perfectly well with Unix, Windows and Linux platforms while MAC OS X version is scheduled to be released soon works with Fink. Kexi is a part of the Koffice suite, but can be installed and used independently without installing the other components of the suite. However you must install version 3.2 of KDE libraries and their development environment for proper functioning of Kexi.

It is also important to install the full version of Kexi in order to ensure that you get proper error reports. The latest release of Kexi has several improvements such as previewing the image within simple print out and the creation of a “Find” window that works within basic functions such as form views, query and tables.

[ Download Kexi ]

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How To Figure Out Total Hard Drive Space Usage Linux Command

A Simple Linux command that will reveal the total hard drive space used up o your Linux system

I was just stumbling around and came across a real cool tip, that’ll surely excite all regular Linux users. This trick reveals the Linux command which will help you figure out the hard drive space on your linux box. With this you can find the space used by by each user on your machine!

The command is:

du -hs / | sort -nr | more (With the, the space used up on your system will be revealed)

Hope you enjoyed this tip!

How to Show Ubuntu, Centos, Linux Real Memory Usage

Memory is a crucial resource on any server that influences its smooth and swift operability. Thus, it is important that you know that amount of memory being used at any given time. Linux – as well as CentOS (widely used in cPanel/Plesk servers) – has several commands that let you check the memory usage on the server.


The free command can used to gauge the amount of memory being used and the amount that is free out of the total RAM in the system. It also shows auxiliary information regarding shared and cached memory, and buffer and swap space.

    free -[options]
    Usage / Examples
    free -m

This shows information regarding the physical memory.

    free -m -s 5
    This activates a repetitive pooling delay with a period of 5 seconds, and displays the current memory status. You can enter a floating-point number to specify the delay (5 seconds in this case).
    free -t -m
    By adding the -t switch to the previous command, you can view the total amount of physical and swap memory space.


vmstat gives you a comprehensive statistical report on the virtual memory. This includes information regarding various processes, different kinds of memory, and disk and CPU activity among a host of other things. With vmstat, administrators can access instantaneous reports regarding memory usage.

    vmstat -[options] [delay count]
    Usage / Examples
    Simply entering vmstat displays a report that uses averages since the last startup.
    vmstat 5
    This will pool system resources for sampling periods of 5 seconds each, and display the stats accordingly.


The top command shows the current tasks being run by the kernel along with system information in real-time. The information displayed by the top command include the total and available free memory space, swap and buffer spaces, and the cached memory.

    Syntax / Usage / Example
    The usage and syntax of this command is relatively simple – simply enter top at the prompt.

ps aux

This command gives snapshot information of current processes. The basic advantage of using ps is that the system administrator can find out the process-specific memory usage. As this command shows the amount of memory that each process is using, the memory extensive processes can be easily identified.

    Syntax / Usage / Examples
    ps aux
    The aux part of the above line is actually an option switch for the ps command that asks ps to list every process that is running.
    In order to view the memory usage by category – for instance, Apache, MySQL or Java, use the following command:
    ps aux | awk ‘{print $4″\t”$11}’ | sort | uniq -c | awk ‘{print $2″ “$1” “$3}’ | sort -nr

All of the above methods of checking memory usage work on most Unix/Linux systems. However, you have to note that if you use a Virtual Private Server, a Virtual Dedicated Server, or a Hybrid Server, the commands listed here will show information pertaining to the entire server – i.e. it will take into account the whole of the virtual environment being used. In such cases, memory usage information must be estimated from the control panel, or the /proc/user_beancounters file.

How to backup/sync files between Computers in Linux

About a year or so back I only had a desktop, then came a compaq laptop and then came a eee 1000H netbook, and as I moved from one computer to another, I had to endure pain of moving my stuff across them, honestly by far I did them only manually…yes :-s Recently a friend dropped the name “rsync”, I had heard about it but it never really hit me how useful it could be.

Long story short, another solid reason why I love linux: rsync, baby!

Here’s a scenario, I have a netbook with my user folder sindhu that I want to sync with the user folder on my desktop named sindhu, here’s how I did it…

Step 1: (Assuming you are using Gnome on Ubuntu) Fire up your synaptic package manager as root and get “grsync” (it should automatically get ssh installed as well, but if you have already have it installed then do a sudo /etc/init.d/ssh start and turn it on from your gnome-terminal)

Step 2: The installed Grsync should show up under Internet submenu in Ubuntu Menu

Step 3: Run it, make sure you have ssh running like I said before and then find out the ip of your computer that you want to sync to, i usually know my internal IP by checking in connection information under the wifi icon, yes of course for those still wondering you computers must be connected in some way!

Step 4: see screenshot, you should be getting some idea!

Grsync screenshot

As you can see the whole thing is self explanatory, I can save my “session” by clicking Add, my internal IP is, the other options I have set are to give me more information on the transfer, here’s another screenshot…

Grsync showing Advanced Options tab

see? How I excluded my “.” hidden files and directories of the user folder from being copied? why? I mean I could want to sync those also, but my netbook has jaunty and desktop is still inteprid besides I use emerald on netbook and metacity on desktop, so it’s best I leave their settings seperate, that’s why am excluding my settings from being copied. Similarly I have choosen to exclude my Dropbox folder (its a service that autosyncs across computers anyway :P)

If you want to learn more command line options that you can pass to suit your needs of backup/sync you must check out this wiki.

Step 5: One you are done setting the options, click “Execute”, it will ask you the password to the user’s account on the computer you are trying to sync to, once confirmed, you will see the progress bar and that’s all there is to it 🙂 In case of any errors, you will notified of them, they are pretty descriptive so you should be able to figure out what went wrong.

Anything else? Drop a comment!

5 Journal/Diary Applications in Linux

1> Lifeograph

This one is my favorite (and the one I use personally!). It has all the neat features I want and it’s dead simple to use. You can create multiple diaries, they can be encrypted/unencrypted, entries can viewed by clicking on dates in the calender or from the list shown right next to it. You can format your text, search within your entries and the coolest part, this application knows how important privacy is to you and has a feature that logs off after sometime when the application is left idle.



2> Almanah

My second favorite, I used it previously, it isn’t too shabby but it doesn’t have password protection (of course that can be easily fixed if you set up your screen locking on your desktop). This tiny application allows you to insert pictures, link between entries and format your text.


3> RedNotebook

Ok I admit I didn’t use this one….not for more than 10 seconds. The layout completely turned me off, but that’s because am a full timer on a small screen netbook but then otherwise this one packs a lot of features, weight based clickable tag clouds! now that’s a first I have seen and then are other features like: categories, formatting of text, inserting pictures, search, automatic save, backup, templates and export diary to other formats..wew!


4> Monodiary

Another Simple diary application in tow, am not sure what features has, frankly I never got a binary to test it, but in case you want to compile it, sure go ahead and then drop back a line back in the comments.

5> Gnutu

This one is “technically” not the kind of diary I wanted to review but hell you could use it anyway you’d want. It’s basically meant for students to record their daily schedule and events of school. Precisely this is what they have to offer…

GNUTU is designed for students from primary and secondary schools – using it, you can note various information (like marks, tests’ dates and important school events). It also can create various statistics, calculate your average; it can also serve as a diary and many, many more…

That was my list of diary applications, do you use anything else? Drop a word back!