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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.

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Linux terminal services server can't connect to internet via network

Tue, 02 Jul 2002 12:22:11 -0500
pat ring (pat_ring from hotmail.com)

Great eZine. I think the typos, editorial asides and comments, and rough edits are endearing and "personalizing" experience for the linux enthusiasts. Your nitpicking detractors obviously are ignorant of the fact that LG is a labor of love in what seems to be in the spirit of the open source environment. I know this is a terribly long-winded question, so I apologize in advance.

Thanks, Pat. As for long questions, it's okay. We like that you actually made some effort ahead of time. In fact since we didn't reply to your detailed request I have to assume we're stumped, so I'm letting the readers take a crack at it. -- Heather

I have a stumper that I can't seem to get answered. I suspect this is more of a two-NIC network question than a LTSP or K12LTSP question.

I have been testing terminal services. I couldn't really get the actual LTSP working properly (something wrong with X on the client that I couldn't figure out,) so I downloaded and installed the K12LTSP version of Redhat7.2.

This is a great version that offers LTSP as an install option and it works great right out of the box. My clients log right in and can utilize terminal services perfectly. However, on my normal installations of Redhat, I can assign a static IP to the linux PC and use my Win2K gateway to surf the internet. But when I install the LTSP'ized version with two NICs, I can ping the gateway, the gateway can ping the LTSP server, but I can't surf the internet. I think I've tried just about everything to try and use the gateway for internet access. If I can get the LTSP server on the internet via the gateway, then I believe the LTSP clients will fall into place, as well.

Some details.

My network "server" is actually a Win2k PC with internet connection sharing.

I use VNC to virtually connect to the gateway to open and close dial in connections to the internet. I have to use win2k because I need an "internet answering machine" to answer the phone when I am online and there is no linux support in this area (living in the sticks, as I do, also makes separate lines very much cost prohibitive for dial in access to the internet.)

The terminal services PC has two NICs. ETH0 attached to the terminal services clients via a 3com switch. ETH1 is attached via an additional switch to my network.

I might have a problem with the way the subnets are setup:

ETH0 is assigned by the K12LTSP default install to and serves the LTSP clients .100 to .253.

ETH1 also gets its 192.168.0.x IP address either manually or through DHCP from the network. It doesn't matter if I manually assign the IP or let DHCP handle the IP asignment, but I have known for years that if I let DHCP handle the assignment, I can't surf, so I just use This may be because the DHCP services via Windows Internet COnnection Sharing aren't really full DHCP.

My win2k gateway PC is and I always enter this address as the DNS server.

I tried to manually change the LTSP subnet on ETH0 to, etc., but I'm not sure this is the problem. Does the fact that the two subnets are using the same subnet scheme create the problem? I could see if the clients couldn't surf, then that may be the case, but the LTSP gateway can't surf.

After about 30 installs, different configurations, etc., I'm not sure where to go further with this issue. Can I provide some conf files that might give you an idea of where I need to go? Is this DNS or a route problem? Can the same IP adress scheme be used because the subnets are on different NICs, or is this the problem? Can you push me in the right direction of where to get some help?

Thanks for your help.

Pls Help (Squid/2000)

Tue, 16 Jul 2002 17:03:21 +0530
Vikas Kanodia (vikas from rocsearch.com)

Hello ,

I've installed Squid-2.5.PRE8 & Samba 2.2.5 on RedHat Linux 7.1.So i wanted to authenticate windows 2000 users in Squid.So i've install the Winbind & configure as per the documentation available on the net , link is attached pls see(Authentication tab). http://www.squid-cache.org/Doc/FAQ/FAQ-23.html#ss23.5 <http://www.squid-cache.org/Doc/FAQ/FAQ-23.html#ss23.5>;

After doing all the things successfully...when i run the squid it gives the message like this...

[root@gnspl-prx bin]# ./squid
2002/07/15 10:46:23| Parsing Config File: Unknown authentication scheme 'ntlm'.
2002/07/15 10:46:23| Parsing Config File: Unknown authentication scheme 'ntlm'.
2002/07/15 10:46:23| Parsing Config File: Unknown authentication scheme 'ntlm'.
2002/07/15 10:46:23| Parsing Config File: Unknown authentication scheme 'ntlm'.
2002/07/15 10:46:23| squid.conf line 1746: http_access allow manager localhost localh
2002/07/15 10:46:23| aclParseAccessLine: ACL name 'localh' not found.
2002/07/15 10:46:23| aclParseAclLine: IGNORING: Proxy Auth ACL 'acl AuthorizedUsers
proxy_auth REQUIRED' because no authentication schemes are fully configured.
2002/07/15 10:46:23| aclParseAclLine: IGNORING invalid ACL: acl AuthorizedUsers
proxy_auth REQUIRED
2002/07/15 10:46:23| squid.conf line 1751: http_access allow all AuthorizedUsers
2002/07/15 10:46:23| aclParseAccessLine: ACL name 'AuthorizedUsers' not found.
2002/07/15 10:46:23| Squid is already running!  Process ID 9957
[root@gnspl-prx bin]#

Pls guide me...


Vikas Kanodia

This is a bit more complicated than the stuff Thomas' "Weekend Mechanic" column covered in issue 78 (http://linuxgazette.net/issue78/adam.html) -- anybody care to help him out?
Some articles on living the life of a Windows server when you're really a Linux box would be cool, too. -- Heather

suggestion for link...

28 Jul 2002 23:10:53 -0400
D. Goel (deego from glue.umd.edu)


i went to www.linuxgazette.com and tried to find a 'subscribe to paper version' link to send to a coworker, but could not find one.

if you could please let me know of such a site, and include a link to it on the main page.. :)


Maybe we should put a link on the mirrors page about paper copies to the FAQ entry for which formats LG isn't available in, since it describes how to make quality printouts. -- Heather
Attention publishers, there continues to be high demand for a print version of LG .
LG is not available in printed format. Since it's freely redistributable, anybody has the right to offer this service. Since nobody has done this in the six years LG has been in existence, even though there have been numerous requests, one has to consider why. It costs money to print and deliver a paper version, and the subscription rate would be higher than most people would be willing to pay. Those outside the publisher's own country or region can forget it; the mailing cost alone would be prohibitably high. Plus there's the labor-intensive world of "subscription fulfillment": taking down names and addresses, processing payments, updating addresses, etc. It can't all be automated, unless you can somehow wave a wand and get everybody to fill out the forms perfectly correctly every time.
Commercial magazines can justify all these costs by building a business around selling advertisement space, but LG does not accept advertisements. Consumer Reports don't accept advertising either, but again they have built a whole business around it. One can't see the incentive for building such a business around Linux Gazette , especially since Linux print magazines are already available. (Unashamed plug for Linux Journal .) -- Mike

Finding a Windows user's home directory from Linux

Wed, 10 Jul 2002 11:13:39 -0600
Dee Abson (dee.abson from sait.ab.ca)


I've decided to try and integrate a RedHat 7.3 computer into our Windows NT domain based network, going for that brass ring of single sign-on and integrating the Windows necessities - access to Windows print queues and Windows file servers.

I have successfully implemented winbind (and samba, natch) under RedHat 7.3 and am now able to log on using a Windows domain based user name and password. Through a little more research and such, I have Linux configured so the user directory is setup automatically when the Windows user logs in for the first time, printconf makes it easy to connect to an SMB-based print queue and LinNeighborhood helps locate and mount SMB file shares. The only missing piece of the puzzle, as far as I'm concerned at the moment, is mapping the Windows user's home directory (which is a share on an SMB server) to a subfolder under their Linux home directory. I'm certain that I can accomplish the automatic mapping using the PAM module pam_mount (available at http://pam-mount.conectevil.com if anyone's interested in a look), it's retrieving the user's Windows home directory that eludes me.

Thus my question is this: How can I retrieve the Windows user's home directory, that elusive little string that will complete my puzzle, from my Red Hat system?

Many thanks,
Dee Abson, MCSE

Okay, this question has two parts. As an MCSE he may already know where MSwin keeps this valuable information stored; what he needs to know is how to make Linux properly ask for it, or dig it up across the shares.
It wouldn't be as easy as running 'grep' against some plaintext file, or maybe in a pipeline combined with 'strings'... would it? If it would, is that a security problem?
p.s. Don't attach HTML along with the plaintext. It's so messy and sent 3 times the text for the exact same message. -- Heather

article idea - making the minidistro

Mon, 8 Jul 2002 14:25:24 -0400
Tony Tonchev (tony from stclaire.com)


This article idea may sound silly. I don't even know how to describe the topic, but here it goes...

For some time now, I've been thinking of developing a minimal/modular Linux distribution designed to allow small businesses to use Linux for their server needs rather then the M$ solutions. This idea is inspired partially by PizzaBox file server that Kyzo (http://www.kyzo.com/free_stuff.html) made available a few years ago, but their product is crippled and not Open Source. The same is partially true for http://www.guardiandigital.com and their excellent product.

Anyway, my problem is that I don't know where to start. I've looked at "Linux From Scratch" and "BYO Linux", but the most helpful information came from "Building Tiny Linux Systems with Busybox" Parts 1 through 3, published in ELJ. The three articles did help me understand some fundamentals and allowed me to actually plan my next step more intelligently.

Imagine having a modular Linux-based server that consists of a core and modules. The core will contain the basic services (kernel, security, networking, dhcp, etc. Web-based administration of all services should be available as well as equivalent console-based administration. Typical Modules will be a Web Server module, Workgroup File Server module, Mail Server module, Firewall module, FTP module, etc. All modules should be independent of each other and include their respective web and console-based administration components.

In other words if I want just a file server, then I install the core and file server module only. If I want a file and mail server then I install the core, file and mail modules and that's it.

Here is yet another requirement: The core and all modules must have the smallest possible memory footprint reasonably possible. I like uClibc, BusyBox and TinyLogin because they all fit on a floppy. Why can't the core and each installable module fit on one or two installation floppies? That will be easy to download and install unlike a 600meg ISO.

As you can probably tell, I know where I want to go, but don't know how to get there. Maybe my whole idea is flawed due to my lack of knowledge. An article or articles on how to build that unique Linux mini-distribution will be great.


Thanks for the time

Tony Tonchev

Hmm, let me see if I have this right. You want to be able to do all these cool things, where maybe the real core fits on one floppy, and maybe each "module" as you put it (not to be confused with kernel modules) fits on a floppy of its own. Load up enough of them and you have the dream server, which fit in your lunchbox or purse.
I note that a 196 MB cd-rom fits in the same space as one floppy (except that it's slimmer). But you're right - watching someone take us through this process of development would be a great article.
You may want to keep an eye on current development in the LNX-BBC project. Nope, it has nothing to do with Britain's prime television station. It's what happens when you use cloop compression to cram a fairly usable Linux setup on a 50 MB "bootable business card" . Think LNX = squished LiNuX. Since you're interested in rolling your own, I recommend reading about the new GAR setup and, quite literally, checking it out. (http://www.lnx-bbc.org)
There are piles of specialized "mini distros" out there. This request clearly aims towards the general use setup. A making-of article for any of the minis might be fun to see, though. -- Heather



Mon, 1 Jul 2002 08:37:14 -0400
Scott Sharkey (ssharkey from linuxunlimited.com)

Hi Heather,

Just read your TAG about IMAP. You're right that Courier-IMAP is the best.... run ith with Postfix instead of sendmail and you'll be even happier. Then mix in Sqwebmail (from Courier's author) and you'll be REALLY spoiled.

Just for grins, I mixed in OpenLDAP, and now have a server with no Unix accounts, full IMAP/Pop/WebMail capability, and very easy to maintain.

I use sylpheed as a mail client so far -- gotta try Evolution sometime. The OpenLDAP handles the address book too.


LG #80: add to `Red Hat and USB devices'

Mon, 01 Jul 2002 14:39:17 +0100
Daniel Baumann (danielbaumann from linuxmail.org)

hi lg team,

i have a little add to the article `Red Hat and USB devices' in you current issue.

the missed kernel config files from the different redhat default kernels are located in /usr/src/linux-*/configs.

greetings, daniel

Normally I don't leave sig blocks in, but since we occasionally get requests asking us about free ISPs who cater to linux users... this isn't specifically an endorsement, but you're all welcome to go look. -- Heather

Get your free email from www.linuxmail.org

Using debug to write fresh MBR

Wed, 3 Jul 2002 18:53:23 -0400
Ben Okopnik (the LG Answer Gang)

A recent follow-up to my MBR-rewriting article: a guy who had an E: drive (yup, Wind*ws) that he wanted to blow off contacted me - seems that Partition Magic wouldn't touch it as it was. He either didn't want to or didn't know how to open up the machine and swap cables, so I tweaked that debug program for him:

mov dx,9000
mov es,dx
xor bx,bx
mov cx,0001
mov dx,0080
mov ax,0301
int 13
int 20

Change the numbers in "mov dx,0080" for the appropriate drive:

hda	C:	0080
hdb	D:	0081
hdc	E:	0082

Worked like a charm, according to the very happy fella.


Sat, 06 Jul 2002 00:45:22 +0000
Daniel Young (alandanielyoung from hotmail.com)

A question. Do you pay your Mirrors?

They don't pay us, either.
-- Dan Wilder
No. The mirrors are run by people who want to host a mirror.
You didn't ask, but none of the LG staff is paid either, we're all volunteers. I'm the only one who's "paid", but paid in the sense that SSC donates some of my work time to LG. (I normally do web application and sysadmin stuff for Linux Journal.)
-- Mike Orr, Editor, Linux Gazette

Re: [LG 76] mailbag #1 cybercoffee shop

Wed, 10 Jul 2002 13:43:00 -0700
sandra (sfg from peak.org)

I just want to make a small mention of our own little cybercafe... we're not gurus but we're definitely geeks here. :)

Sandra Guzdek (waving hi to Heather Stern)
Sip N Surf Cybercafe
Eugene, OR

Hi Sandra! (Sandra is the webmaster at one of my client sites.) Thanks to Sandra I also found a really cool search engine specific to hunting up internet coffeshops and kiosks - http://cybercaptive.com - which may be a little spotty since it relies on visitor reports, but at least it's international in scope. I was kind of amused when I looked up San Jose and had to pick through the entries checking that I was finding places in California. -- Heather


Wed, 17 Jul 2002 19:59:29 -0500
Tim Chase (gumnos from hotmail.com)

As a long time self-taught user of Linux/Unix/Ultrix (and several other flavours), I've become addicted to such handy tools as vi, grep, sed, awk, ctags, and the bazillion other little utilities that can be so artisticly chained together to produce the desired results. I've stumbled across your LG archives, and all I can say is "WOAH!" I'm going to have to find myself a text-to-speech translator so I can read/listen-to all of this good stuff whilst at work, because there's just so much in here. Thanks for such a fabulous (and fun!) resource...

-tim chase

On behald of everbody here, THANKS! BTW, I've heard festival (http://www.cstr.ed.ac.uk/projects/festival) is pretty nice. Lots of things at Freshmeat that are supposed to use speech really use either it or ViaVoice under the hood. -- Heather

Ideas, huh?

Fri, 19 Jul 2002 22:12:14 -0700
The Gaijin (blades from inreach.com)

Home-brew hardware plans! Genertic GPL motherboard designs, SCSI cards, video, audio, PCI modems, NICs...everything Microsoft is trying to corner the market on. Some people feel Linux has only ten good years left if the current trend continues.

Some people believe that the Moon is made of green cheese and that big-bellied Santa Claus (with a sack of presents, no less) comes down a foot-wide chimney. "Other people are/think/do" is a very poor reason for doing something; I prefer to believe that people are _not_ sheep. -- Ben

Since the anti-trust suit, Microsoft's political contribution budget has gone from $100,000 per year to over $6.1 million, and now they're trying to get manufacturers to implement Microsoft-specific anti-piracy security measures directly at the hardware level (called "Paladium").

And those who do will end up in the same toilet as the winmodem/ winprinter manufacturers: the domain of the ignorant. I think that lesson has been well ingrained. There's a small market out there that sells to the gullible, but the whole world certainly isn't about to switch en masse. -- Ben

The only true solution I can see is to go back to the days of bread-boarding our own hardware in Dad's garage...public domain circuit designs from electronic hobbyist magazines and soldering irons. We've "de-marketized" software. Why not the hardware, too? If we can create the greatest operating system on the planet, imagine what Linux users can do with computers themselves. It would be nice to have something no organization or agency can legally touch or ruin for a buck. A collection of Linux-friendly hardware diagrams in the public domain that anyone can produce for the cost of parts alone. Our own hardware would completely end our dependency on third-party drivers and vulnerability to corporate rail-roading. I think creating our own hardware database would be the best move we could ever make.


I believe that you're seriously underestimating the difficulty and the complexity of what you propose. Even if Joe Average did have the necessary soldering, etc. skills (and I assure you that soldering multi-layer PCboards _is_ a skill, one that takes time and patience to acquire), where would he get the boards themselves? The average mainboard today is at least a six- or a seven-layer type; there's no way for the average experimenter to make one of those. Besides all that, there's the troubleshooting of the finished board - I can assure you that this will be required in most cases. How many people are capable of it? How many of them will burn a trace just as they're about to wrap up the project (i.e., after they've sunk hours into it?) How many have an oscilloscope, which is what's necessary for troubleshooting high-speed digital electronics?
I suggest that mainboard manufacture is the province of highly skilled, highly knowledgeable people - not something that can be retailed to Joe Average. I suggest that a much better tactic would be to create a Linux certification authority, someone who can brand hardware "100% Linux-compatible" in bright red ink; a goal that manufacturers could strive for and easily achieve, given how much hardware support already exists in Linux. -- Ben
There is a thing called "open-hardware". AFAIR they got open pci, agp, bridges and stuff. For a short time they even had a open-processor (arm clone) but that was pulled when arm pissed them off. So, the designs are there, but who is going to build the stuff? Writing 0.18um structures in your kitchen isn't that easy ;-)
I think that the problem lies not with us linux users, we KNOW that M$ is up to something "bad". But what about those windows dau's that simple stick to win "because it`s all so easy". Do you think they will go through much trouble to make their own computer? No, if the thing is cheap and it's easy (like in sharing your whole hdd with other kazaa users ;-) they even let the government spy on them and allow ms to know what dvd they watch and how ofter.
When such M$ hardware with the fritz chip arise these people will buy them (in large numbers) so that it will be hard to get hardware that does not feature these chips. But I think there will be a small market (for us linux users and some intelligent win users) and where there is a market there will be a seller.
Lets hope for the best
-- Robos
While I'm a big fan of the make it yourself philosphy, remember that the widespread presence of all the good toys ... cars, and computers themselves come to mind ... came not from the individual skilled crafstmen, but from the assembly line. I find it far easier to maintain an old 386 for ten years past its expected lifespan, than to figure out how I'd compose a replacement out of loose copper wire and transistors. Given that I'm among those whom Ben describes as able to wield a soldering iron and knowing what an oscilloscope is (I don't own one, but I know where to borrow a few) I just don't think garage made P7-oids are going to happen real soon.
The buzzword you're looking for is "economy of scale". We haven't "de-marketized" software ... we've shown there's a growing market for a much greater variety of software.
Speaking of "so easy" ... the ease is mostly an illusion, fostered by all those strong-arm OEM deals that resulted in nearly all systems being preloaded with MSwin. Now that Linux, and perhaps rarely, occasional others, are also being pre-loaded you'll see that particular bubble pop. It's mostly flat already, since reinstalling MSwin after it crashes too many times is so painful.
In countries where someone cannot simply wander into a department store, buy a few new couch pillows, tortilla chips and salsa, and a box of the latest rev of MSwin on special, buying into an expensive foreign standards probably won't happen either. Indeed, here's looking to a long and profitable time for companies that don't buy into the "palladiium" chip game. Can you say "sink the Clipper chip?" Knew you could. -- Heather
A better solution might be to join the struggle to give some of the power back to the people through the establishment of public campaign financing. It should help to fight many more problems than just M$ taking over.
Some URL's to check for more info about this are:
-- John Karns

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Published in issue 81 of Linux Gazette August 2002
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