Season’s greetings from openSUSE

I installed openSUSE 11.2 and I must say I find it a candidate for the Linux desktop. One observation , and it started happen close to Christmas, was this screen (see photo) during the booting of openSUSE. (Taking a photography class is now on my to do list)

The boot screen looks like a postcard from the north pole. The tux Linux penguins were all decked out for the Christmas holidays.

I guess it is openSUSE’s way of saying “Merry Christmas and all the best for 2010”


Network tools for Linux

Here are few network tools when working with the Linux OS

  • ifconfig : This tool can be used to display the current configuration of a network interface. A privileged user can also use it to change any parameter of a network interface, be it an Ethernet card, a serial PPP link, or the loopback interface. For example, to show the configuration of all network interfaces on the host, we can use:
  • netstat : This tool is able to extract a lot of different kinds of information on all or just one network interface.
  • snoop and tcdump : Both these utilities enable an administrator to examine the packets being sent on a network.
    Either tool allows packets to be examined as they appear on the network. Various options allow packets to be filtered according to source IP address and port, destination IP address and port, protocol, message type, and so on. For example, Apache’s communications could be monitored on port 80, filtered down to data packets.
  • spray : A variant of ping . spray floods a destination server with ping packets to test the handling capacity of the network and server. The higher the percentage of packets that reaches the destination, the better the network. This is an unfriendly thing to do to a network that is handling real network traffic, so it should be used with caution

The Linux Desktop – reality ?

I just recently completed a course called Organizational and Business communication at Fanshawe College. One of the course requirements was to do a presentation. My presentation was on Data Mining, more on this in a later blog.
One of the class members did a presentation on Linux, and showed some open source alternatives to the common windows applications. Most members of the class was intrigued, however one class member asked the following questions:

  • Can you have MSN messenger ?
  • Does the open source equivalent has the same functionalities as MSN messenger?
  • Does iTunes work on Linux?

These questions showed that the Linux desktop has a long way to go before it is adopted as desktop equivalent to windows. Sure you can use an windows emulator like wine, but which non-geek computer user will have the time to configure a windows app to run on Linux.
I have three Linux boxes at home, and I too use windows sometimes. Mark you this is running a vm on Debian.
From the view of outsiders, Linux are for geeks who relish at writing complex command line statements. It will be a while to convince individuals born in the world of Microsoft windows.
Hey, I can’t convince my wife to switch.