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Devil-Linux might sound hellish for a Linux distribution, but this live CD offers many blessings for your server needs. Originally developed as a router/firewall distribution, Devil-Linux has expanded its functionality to include nearly every service that a server might offer. It can function as an LDAP server, a VPN server, an email or file server, and more.
Open.Amsterdam (in Dutch; English PDF download available here) is working to convert most of the city of Amsterdam's computers to GNU/Linux and open source software, and to make sure that any remaining proprietary-OS computers owned by the city use open file formats instead of closed, proprietary ones. In this interview, project director Manuo Chen tells us how the project is going and a little about its goals -- and a little about some of the pitfalls it has encountered, too.
KDE's Konqueror is as multifunctional as a Swiss Army knife. It works as both a file manager and a Web browser, and you can enhance it even further by adding new commands to its repertoire by means of service menus. The new commands appear in Konqueror's context menu when you right-click a file. Here's how to create service menus, and some specific commands that you might want to use in them.
You can monitor your computers in a wide variety of ways. Large proprietary applications make sense for large installations that can afford the expense of both the software and consultants who fine-tune the systems. Open source monitoring solutions like Nagios or OpenNMS cost nothing to acquire but still require planning and tweaking. When you need to address smaller problems with process data on a system, the process monitoring tool ps-watcher comes in handy.
Many applications need to graphically display the relation between two data axes. Common examples are how one resource such as CPU load or an exchange rate varies over time. GtkDatabox makes presenting such information in a GTK+ desktop application much simpler.
The students of a missionary school in Pakistan, from first graders to graduates, have become enthusiastic Edubuntu users thanks to the cooperation between their administrator and an Italian LUG.
Google Maps opened up a whole new world of mapping on the Web, making it easy for companies and individuals to put their data on a map. But if you want more control over how your maps look, or have data that doesn't really work well with Google Maps, there are other options, including serving your own data with Geoserver.
Bad standards and standard wars are an all too common part of modern information technology. Now, IBM has announced that it's not going to put up with them anymore. And, yes, Microsoft, IBM is looking at you.
Ziproxy is Web proxy server, but rather than cache content the way Web proxies like Squid do, it's designed to compress the content that it fetches from the Web before forwarding it to the Web client. It can be useful for serving mobile devices like handheld Internet tablets that cannot take full advantage of high-resolution, high-quality images, or where the browser client is running over a mobile data plan where speed is low and bytes are expensive.
Almost every laptop on sale today comes equipped with the Kensington security slot on the side or back, through which you can connect a theft-deterring locked steel cable. The system's down sides are (a) that a would-be thief can damage or destroy your equipment trying to yank the cable out, and (b) that you have to buy the cable separately. As an alternative, the free software utility Adeona won't preemptively deter theft, but it will help you track down your stolen equipment and better the chances of its recovery by police.
Elgg is an open source application for rolling out a social network. It installs like any Web-based software, but instead of a blog or a wiki, it gives you all the components of a social networking site -- your own MySpace! It's popular with educational institutes and used by several universities across the world, in addition to powering social networks of companies such as Swatch. The new Elgg 1.0, released last month, is modular in design, making it easier for developers to build social networks around the platform.
Network access control (NAC) aims to unify endpoint security, system authentication, and security enforcement in a more intelligent network access solution than simple firewalls. NAC ensures that every workstation accessing the network conforms to a security policy and can take remedial actions on workstations if necessary. For example, NACs can check if a workstation has antivirus software installed and, if not, NAC will limit the workstation's access to the network. In some cases, if NAC is capable of remedial measures, it can force-install an antivirus program on the workstation so that it will conform to the security policy. Although NAC can improve the security of your environment, most commercial NACs cost several thousand dollars. However, using NAC does not need to be that expensive. PacketFence, a free open source NAC application, gives you the security of NAC for free.
Umit is a user-friendly graphical interface to Nmap that lets you perform network port scanning. The utility's most useful features are its stored scan profiles and the ability to search and compare saved network scans. A profile lets you configure how a network scan is performed, change the source information for the scan, and explicitly nominate hosts to include or exclude from the scan, as well as various more advanced options.
Shaalu Mehra, an attorney with Perkins Coie, spoke at LinuxWorld 2008 about the legal implications of adopting the GPL within one's organization, and about outsourcing and performing due diligence on the software stack. This was a high-level but compelling conversation about legal matters that are important to all open source software developers.
Sun has released the first update to its recently purchased desktop virtualization program, now called Sun xVM VirtualBox 2.0. While not a major update, it does bring improved performance and 64-bit operating system support to the popular open source virtualization program.
With libfaketime you can tell a process that the current time is something different from the machine's system clock. This fake time setting affects not only the functions directly related to reading the system time, but also file timestamps such as modification times. With libfaketime you can test how a program will respond when it is running in the future or in a different timezone without having to change your machine's system clock. Timezone testing can be useful for network applications where a certificate may have already expired in a given timezone but might still work in your local environment.
Mail merge, the production of multiple documents that differ only in minor details, remains a difficult task in OpenOffice.org Writer. Few use the function regularly, and when they do, the mail merge wizard seems to cause as much confusion as it resolves. Writer's original mail merge feature, retrievable from Tools -> Customize -> Add -> Documents -> Mail Merge is somewhat more straightforward, but, even with it, users are likely to confuse the original document and the information source. In comparison to those other alternatives, FastMailMerge is not only simplicity itself, but a welcome relief that easily lives up to its name.
The nonprofit Linux Foundation (LF), which coordinates an assortment of Linux-oriented standardization efforts and employs key developers such as Linux creator Linus Torvalds, has added to its Web site a gateway toward individual -- as opposed to corporate -- membership. Individuals can join through the site by paying yearly dues, and will get a small voice in Foundation matters in exchange -- plus their choice of T-shirts.
Digital media files are more useful and accessible when tagged with metadata -- that is, descriptive information about each photo that either can be embedded inside images themselves or stored in external databases. ExifTool is an efficient, flexible, and portable way to manage image, audio, and video metadata under Linux. In this article we'll see how to use ExifTool to manage EXIF data inside JPEG files.
After nine months, an open secret can finally be acknowledged: The OpenGL code that is responsible for 3-D acceleration on GNU/Linux, which was released by SGI in 1999, has been running on licenses that were accepted by neither the Free Software Foundation (FSF) nor the Open Source Initiative. Today, however, the FSF has announced that the licenses in question, the SGI Free License B and the GLX Public License, have been rewritten after months of negotiation between the FSF and SGI. The problem is now resolved, and the result is a code contribution that the FSF ranks as one of the greatest given to the community by a proprietary company.