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HELP WANTED : Article Ideas

Send tech-support questions, Tips, answers and article ideas to The Answer Gang <tag@lists.linuxgazette.net>. Other mail (including questions or comments about the Gazette itself) should go to <gazette@linuxgazette.net>. All material sent to either of these addresses will be considered for publication in the next issue. Please send answers to the original querent too, so that s/he can get the answer without waiting for the next issue.

Unanswered questions might appear here. Questions with answers--or answers only--appear in The Answer Gang, 2-Cent Tips, or here, depending on their content. There is no guarantee that questions will ever be answered, especially if not related to Linux.

Before asking a question, please check the Linux Gazette FAQ (for questions about the Gazette) or The Answer Gang Knowledge Base (for questions about Linux) to see if it has been answered there.

Sync Netware client with Samba server

Tue, 23 Apr 2002 10:29:03 +0800
hwee ting (stuleeht from cwc.nus.edu.sg)

Is there any way that i can sync or saved my netware user password into the samba password file so that it will allow authorised user to map drives for furture use

Oriya keyboard for only one program?

Tue, 2 Apr 2002 08:30:44 +0100 (BST)
Girija Sarangi (girija_linux from yahoo.co.in)

Hi there

During development of a word processor in Oriya language ** I faced the following problem.

The character coding of oriya lies between 128 to 255. Also the keyboard mapping I need is different from the default keyboard mapping that is US_English.For typing and displaying those oriya character I need changing some kind of keyboard mapping.Could you please suggest any method available in GTK+/Gnome to change the default keyboard mapping ( only inside the application). I tried the same using XChangeKeyboardMapping function. But it changed the keyboard mapping for the entire session throughout all applications.Is there any alternative to it ? Anticipating a response from you.


Lexmark Z22 Problem

Thu, 4 Apr 2002 19:02:56 -0600
ABrady (kcsmart from kc.rr.com)

I just hooked this printer up yesterday. Overall, it prints fine with one exception. At the end of a page, both lights start flashing. I believe this means some sort of paper error, like a jam or something. After each page I have to reset the printer. BUT, this is only 100% reproducible when trying to print 2 or more pages. If printing a single page, sometimes it errors and sometimes it doesn't. This same printer worked fine connected to a MAC. The difference, beyond the obvious, is the MAC was connected via USB and the linux machine is running it in parallel. Any help appreciated since it's pretty annoying to have to print a songle page at a time.

Alan Brady

X, keybindings, and Kmail

Sun, 21 Apr 2002 13:47:27 -0400
Rodrigo P. Gomez (rpgomez from yahoo.com)

First of all, thanks to all the people who write for and maintain Linux Gazette!

Now to my question:

I want to configure the key 'F2' for Kmail so that when I'm composing e-mail and I press the 'F2' key, the phrase 'Kilroy was here' is inserted at the current cursor location. How do I do this?

I'm pretty sure it has something do with Xresources, but I don't know how to set it up.

TIA for any help you can give me on this.

-- Rod

P.s. I'm running Mandrake 8.2, with KDE 2.2.2 if that is at all relevant to the answer to the question.

bigpond pppoe

Mon, 22 Apr 2002 07:19:48 +0000
Hugh McPhee (h_mcphee from hotmail.com)


I am trying to get my pppoe client to work.I am on the debian distribution version 2.2.18pre 21. I am using the roaringpenguin client. there is a continues failure when i try to log in. The ppp0 interface come up but I can not tell if the system is logged into a ppp server. I typed to turn on the debugging on the pppd but the system writes some garbage and nothing seems to happen. When the system try's to fire up it trys a ppp connection down a serial line, where in the config file the maps the ppp connection to the eth0 interface? How is it possible to to tell if the system is logged into a ppp server? When I run the pppconfig script I cant work out the 4 text parameters the script is after, I only know the user name and password. The PPPd program inherently deals with a serial modem, how do I configure this to use my ethernet card?

My provider is Bigpond in Australia and they use pppoe for authentication.

My user name and password are both in the pap and chap secrets file, is there any need to repeat these in the ppp options file

How can I manually debug a ppp session, can I enter all the ppp config parameters by hand?

a snip of my sysylog is pasted below. Can you help - Im a real newbie!

See attached syslog.txt

Xinerama and large background images

Wed, 3 Apr 2002 23:34:23 +0200
Matthew H Ray (matthewhray from yahoo.com)

I've searched Google groups and various mailing lists and I've found several people with the same problem as me, but no solutions to this. I'm running XF86 on several Debian Woody xinerama 2 monitor boxes (with several different combinations of video cards) and I can't find a way to post a background image centered across both screens with a single image. I can get an image to center on the left monitor and the right monitor has the same section of the graphic showing (the left half) on the right side of the screen.

 |      |       |
 |    12|     12|
 |      |       |

This is the behavior with xv, xloadimage, feh, gnome control center, gqview and other image viewers. The odd thing is that for applications that use transparency (gnome-terminal, xchat-gnome), the transparent image is correct, so the transparent right screen has the correct transparent image, but not the correct background image. I can send a screenshot showing this phenomena if you like. Another odd behavior is that small tiled images tile across the middle correctly (both background and transparently). My question is how do I make an image center across both screens correctly like below?

 |      |       |
 |    12|34     |
 |      |       |

Thanks, Matthew H. Ray

Hi Matthew!
I once had enlightenment set up as xinerama and managed to get what you want: the image across both screens, and it was even with different resolutions on the screens: 1024x768 and 1280x1024. I managed to get it (IIRC) in the enlightenment background settings menu, by wildly fiddling with the sliders that are up/down and on the sides of the image in the upper part of the control window. But that was enlightenment, dunno how to do it in the other wm's ...

pivot function for tft in linux

Thu, 11 Apr 2002 13:52:48 +0200
cdb (chris.deboer from rioned.org)

Hello, Has anyone a solution on how to use the pivot functionality for tft-screens under Linux ?

Chris de Boer

Greetings, Chris; what's a "pivot functionality?" :) If you describe it, we might know it. [Ben]

You're not an old-time-enough-Mac guy, I suspect, to recognize the term as generic, Ben: many current generation LCD panels, notably including the Viewsonic's, will pivot on their center axis, becoming vertical.

Even hearing the signal from the panel, much less figuring out how to remap everything to a new screen size, is likely a non trivial problem...

A couple of quick Google searches didn't turn up anything suggestive...

Cheers, Jay R. Ashworth


Marketing question: which Linux User Groups are the biggest?

Fri, 12 Apr 2002 11:04:54 -0400
Katherine Gill (kgill from brodeur.com)

Attn: Mike Orr

Hello, Mike - We exchanged a few e-mails last year re/ Linux news. I'm wondering if you can point me in the right direction. How would I go about determining which US-based Linux user groups are the largest, or the most influential? Registries I'm finding online don't give me an idea of size. Are there, say, 5 or 10 groups that are known within the Linux community as being the "biggies."

Thanks for your insight,
Katherine Gill

[Don Marti]
SVLUG: http://www.svlug.org
NYLUG: http://www.nylug.org
ALE: http://www.ale.org
NTLUG: http://www.ntlug.org
[Mike "Iron" Orr]
[Note to The Answer Gang: I'm forwarding this even though we don't usually answer marketing questions (the querent sends in press releases to News Bytes) because it asks a question I haven't seen covered elsewhere, a question that will be of interest to many readers.]
Fair 'nuff :) -- Heather
[Mike "Iron" Orr]
Hi, Katherine. I remember your name although I don't remember what we talked about. I don't know of any statistics on user group size. BALUG (http://www.balug.org)in San Francisco and SVLUG (http://www.svlug.org) in the Silicon Valley each used to get four hundred people per meeting as of a few years ago, but I don't know about now. Those two are pretty "influential" in terms of offering services and being activists. (E.g., SVLUG threw the Silicon Valley Tea Party (http://www.svlug.org/events/tea-party-199811.shtml) in honor of the release of Windows 98 [wasn't that nice of them?], and crashed Microsoft's big demo, "respectfully" wearing their penguin T-shirts and passing out Linux CDs.) But really, user groups in general don't influence Linux in any way. What they do is make Linux more accessible to their members.
Not sure where you're hoping to go with the statistics, but I question the value of having them; without setting values on "influence" I wonder who will care about the factoid, and your research efforts might have been spent elsewhere. Nonetheless I'll give it a poke.
As an SVLUG member I can add some comments, mostly general. At some time in the past we had an ongoing list-bourne argument about who was "the largest LUG in the world". Members of two LUGs in entirely different parts of the world started to claim this, approximately simultaneously. Some of the grist included the more detailed question, what kind of members did you want to count? Those who attend almost every meeting and regret when they can't make it? The sum of those who attended any time last year (knowing that "the regulars" are of course duplicates)? Average meeting attendance? Oh but we have these regular installfests too and nobody counts there 'cuz we're busy. Oh but anybody on the general mailing list is really a member -- and boy, do we have a lot of lurkers. Then how did you want to count influence? And influencing who?
As some started to get bitter about it, 'twas noted that a fight on some stupid label certainly wouldn't help the community at large, and both really changed over to "one of the largest". I forget who the other was; they're not in my region and I'm a busy soul, so I don't even recall if they were also in the U.S. Why? Because it wasn't as important as us all getting on with our Linux-y lives. See my past editorial about "the coin of the realm."
In the world of Linux "influence" is not based on size, but on the aggregate effort of individuals. An occasional individual is "big" in the sense of having an extra degree of talent -- and eventually heaps of extra respect, built up slowly over time -- a factor my SF-convention running friends at Baycon (www.baycon.com) call "people points". Just being a plugger and helping as one can can stack them up eventually too, though.
Do you mean "influential" like as in political efforts? Heh. Better to ask the Electronic Frontier Foundation (www.eff.org) instead. But they won't know so much about the OS preferred by any individual member, as about the bills that are out there planning to prey on every nerdly soul in the country (and many who aren't as it starts taking toll on ability to use the internet). Oh yes, SVLUG members have been involved in a few rallies here and there. And I'd love to see a notable bloc of senators throw all their weight against the SSSCA because "statistics show" that the amassed geeks of the Silicon Valley are deadset against it. (One of these statistics being California among a limited batch of states that think Microsoft's "settlement" isn't worth a bic pen.) And the DMCA otherwise known as the "only big label companies whose policy about their copyrights is You Sure Better Not are allowed to protect theirs, you multitudes whose policy is My Grandma Recipes Can Belong To Every Mom can go rot." And so on. There are hundreds of poisonous little bills a year and the politicos simply don't even visit the world we actually live in.
Well what the heck. Maybe a "top ten" statistic would actually help. Good luck, and wish us some while you're at it. -- Heather

Thanks, kindly!!

"Make Your Virtual Console Log In Automatically"

Mon, 15 Apr 2002 11:41:00 +0200
Stian Vading (stian.vading from telehuset.no)

As seen at http://linuxgazette.net/issue69/henderson.html

Thanks for writing this exelent article, but i wonder i you can give me any pointers to how to make X-window log in and autostart. I use a debianized laptop, and having to log in every time i start up is quite unnessesary. I know mandrake has this option, but i cant find info on how its set up.

Hoping that if this is not the right place to ask, you could give me feedback as well.

Thanks again
Stian Vading

the article is describing how to automatically login for textlogin. You can easily place "startx" in your ~/.profile and so automatically launch X and your standard window-manager.
For using that qlogin you probably will have to switch your debian system from graphic login to text login.
Another possibility: It is possible to run more then one X server at once, you could let it start the normal login screen but at the same time run qlogin to log in automatically and start it's own X server on a different virtual console (like vt 8). If this happens later then the gdm (or whatever debian is using for graphical login) it will switch there automatically.
[John Karns]
Right you are - I forgot to consider the consequences of a ?dm boot configuration. The 'startx' approach indeed assumes a text-based console boot configuration.

LG on CD

Mon, 15 Apr 2002 19:32:19 -0700
Vijaya Kittu M (vijaykittu from yahoo.com)

Can i distribute Linux Gazette (all issues as were avaiable) on a CD rom that i was going to design with open source software ?

Vijaya Kittu M

Yes. -- Mike


Wed, 24 Apr 2002 13:40:51 +0200
thetaworld (thetaworld from yahoo.com)


I am not sure if you understand really the meaning of words:

etiquette and vulgar.

The Linux Gazette should conform to the first meaning and so exclude everything from the second meaning. Please refer to etiquette book from the nearest library.

Your public answer should never go to people like this one:

i just came across your website and was looking up bad clusters also.i've seen some of your replies to theses people and you seem pretty cocky. you sound like a total dick, like you dont have the time to just be nice and say geesh im sorry but you have to look elsewhere.

even if you want to personally "punish" him, even if he would be right or wrong.

It would be good behaviour if you simply correct those public pages and ban vulgar words.


We censor words like f*ck and c*nt because LG is an all-ages publication. We do not use words like damn ourselves because several readers complained about it several years ago, but we don't think it's necessary to censor it from the occasional readers' mail. Obviously, people can differ over which words belong in the first category and which in the second.
In any case, that issue was published over a year ago and this is the only complaint we've received.
LG has never claimed to be the Emily Post of Linux. Our goal is to provide technical information and to make Linux more fun. Letters are published or not published according to their overall message, not whether they contain certain words. -- Mike
[Thomas Adam, the LG Weekend Mechanic]
I would just like to re-iterate the comments that Mike Orr made in this e-mail by saying that the querent (that's the person that sent that "abuse" e-mail to us) never actually sent an e-mail to us, asking a question that pertained to Linux.
Indeed, many querents that e-mail us, don't actually bother to really check to see who or they are really asking their question to.
Thus, we get a lot of Windows questions that have no relation to the subject matter contained within the Linux Gazette.
I do not consider the replies to peoples' e-mails rude in the least. Yes, harmless banter (Oh...hi Ben :-) does take place, but it is really only because the querent has asked a really stupid question, or it is because of the reasons already discussed.
For example, I could be really picky, and say that the phrase which you used:
"Please refer to etiquette book from the nearest library."
is nonsense. It is grammatically incorrect, since it should read:
"Please refer to ***an**** etiquette book from the nearest library"
but who am I to complain???
Should you have a question relating to Linux, then please send it to the list.
Regards, -- Thomas Adam
It may be noted that we no longer publish all messages that come to us, nor threads with no Linux (or LG related) content even if we do sometimes answer their questions successfully. -- Heather


2 Linux Questions

Wed, 03 Apr 2002 05:17:27
touheed mohammad (tjcoo17 from hotmail.com)

Dear Sir/Madam

I would like to know from you answers of 2 Questions:

Strictly speaking, these are publishing questions, not Linux questions, but I cheerfully answer questions about LG itself anyway. -- Heather

Is 'Linux Gazette' is itself a Jouranal(professional)?

No. It's a web zine produced by volunteers. -- Mike
Linux Gazette is hosted by SSC.com, the internet site of Specialized Systems Consultants, Inc, a professional publishing company which publishes cheat cards, maybe some books, but definitely the standard print magazines Linux Journal and Embedded Linux Journal.
Although mirrored in approx. 47 countries, carried in nearly every major distribution of Linux on the planet, translated to multiple languages monthly, and the license we use allows it, there is not to my knowledge anybody publishing print editions of the Linux Gazette on a regular basis. If you know of such please let us know and we will be glad to give them a place of honor on the mirrors page: http://www.linuxgazette.net/mirrors.html
The staff and columnists of Linux Gazette are unpaid volunteers. Other than that we try to provide a high quality 'zine. We have been published monthly since... (she steps aside to check the Table of Contents) ... Sepetember 96 (not all issues before that were monthly) and there have been a few mid-month special issues.
Some of our staff have attended large shows in a professional capacity as press. You'd have to look back through our editorials for the references.
Linux Gazette is a part of the Linux Documentation Project, a worldwide effort to provide usable documentation for many things one might want to do with Linux. -- Heather

Is 'Linux Knowledge Portal' is a professional Joural?

Hmm, hadn't heard of this one before; Google! reveals: http://www.linux-knowledge-portal.org -- Heather
I hadn't heard of it ... And since we do publish a professional journal (Linux Journal), I asked LJ's Editor, and he hasn't heard of it either.
I did a Google search and discovered that http://www.linux-knowledge-portal.org exists. It used to be the SuSE Linux Knowledge Portal. If you want to know whether it's a professional journal, why don't you ask them? It also depends on what you mean by "professional journal", and why you care.
If you want to send an article, advertisement or press release to Linux Journal, see http://www.linuxjournal.com/contact.php . -- Mike
An interesting looking news site, a little ugly in lynx but definitely usable. Not hosted by SSC so our hosts couldn't say anything to its status. I'm not involved with it myself, so what follows is merely my opinion. I'm good at having opinions on things :D
It appears to depend heavily on automated retrievals from other sites which produce news in the Linux world, freshmeat and slashdot for instance. It seems professionally maintained to me though this is purely a gut reaction to usability at the site. The "Help" button mentions that it is themeable to your personal tastes if you let the site use cookies. Too bad there's no About section.
The question of whether a newspaper is a real newspaper if they have no investigative reporters and only read AP/Reuters, is a philosophical one beyond the scope of our site. But if you find an answer to that question, I'm sure the same answer applies here.
It is, however, fitting the common definition of "Portal" to a T. -- Heather

I would be grateful for your response.

Regards Touheed

Since I cannot determine your definition of "Journal" and "professional" in this context, I can't tell if either of these answer your question.
If your question is actually, "can I get paid for writing for Linux Gazette" I'm afraid your answer is no. Consider the Linux Journal instead.
If your question is actually, "can I use getting published in Linux Gazette as part of my Curriculum Vitae, resumé or to satisfy a publish-or-perish imperative at my academic institution?" the answer is almost certainly yes. You may want to consider our submission guidelines at: http://www.linuxgazette.net/faq/author.html
Use of a spell checker would be advised. The motto of our 'zine is "Making Linux a little more fun!" and so writing in a style readable by a lot of people is preferred.
As for Linux Knowledge Portal, perhaps you should ask their webmaster.
Hope you found that interesting; not sure if it's useful. -- Heather

Artwork Contest

Wed, 03 Apr 2002 05:17:27
Heather Stern (LG Technical Editor)

You still have time to submit artwork for the contest introduced in last month's Back Page.

This page edited and maintained by the Editors of Linux Gazette Copyright © 2002
Published in issue 78 of Linux Gazette May 2002
HTML script maintained by Heather Stern of Starshine Technical Services, http://www.starshine.org/

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