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Archive for April 2008

The Linux filesystem in simple words

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If you are new to Linux, one of the first things that, probably, dizzied you was that the linux filesystem is nothing like the one you were used in Windows. The first thing a new Linux user should understand is that while in Windows each partition/device is it’s own root (C: D: E:), in Linux every partition/device is mounted under the root directory (“/“) and it is represented as a sub-directory. The second thing the new user should understand is the purpose of each directory contained under the / (root directory). In order to help you familiarize with it, in the next section I gave a description of each part (directory) of the root system. Don’t worry, is not a complicated thing.

/ -root directory of your entire file system.

/bin/-executables needed during bootup, the shells, as well as most used commands (cp, mv, ls etc.) and other essential programs, shared by the system, the system administrator and the users.
/boot/-files used by the boot loader (the application that loads first when the computer is booted and if you have more than one OS on your computer, gives you the option to select one). Also stores the configuration files.
/dev/-device files. In Linux, hardware devices are represented as files with special properties (A file, as well as a hardware, can be read from and written to, isn’t it so?)
/etc/-system configuration file (similar to the data in the Control Panel in Windows)
/home/-personal directories for common users. This directory also contains the user specific settings (for different programs) and the customization files.
/lib/-shared libraries required by system programs (similar -somehow- to Windows DLL files). This directory also contains the kernel modules
/media/-mount point for removable media (usb, sticks, cdrom). Any device/partition mounted in this directory will have a shortcut on the desktop.
/mnt/-mount points for temporarily mounted filesystem (hdd partitions, network shares).
/opt/-optional applications (extra and third party software, add-on packages)
/sbin/-system administration as well as maintenance and hardware configuration programs (not intended for use by general users)
/srv/-data files for particular service provided by this system
/tmp/-temporary files. This directory is cleared out at reboot.
/usr/-multi-user shared binaries and files (utilities, applications, libraries, documentation etc.). Similar, somehow, to Windows Program Files
/var/-variable files (log files, the mail queue, the print spooler area)
/root/-personal (home) directory of the system administrator (root user)
/proc/-virtual file system containing information about system resources (tracks the state of the operating system kernel and the processes running on your computer)
You can find extended information about the Linux File System on the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard webpage.


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Written by nongeekboy

April 30, 2008 at 1:20 pm

Posted in general

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My favourite linux music player

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Well, i’m not talking about Amarok, neither XMMS. Actually, i’m not even thinking of a GUI music player. I’m talking about mp3blaster. Mp3blaster is an interactive text-based Mp3 Player. So, if you are looking for the best Linux Mp3 Player you’re not on the right page. For a good list of choices, have a look at Binny’s Top 10 Linux MP3 Players. there you’ll find the right player for you.
Back to my player. Why in the world i’m using a text console based player? Hello!!! We are in the 21 century, you may say. That’s the point. This is the century of the applications that swallow all the CPU and memory available. The last thing I need is that a simple application, (like Audacious, my current GUI music player), to use a lot of my humble (computer) resources.

Mp3blaster works in a similar way to Xmms or WinAmp, there are play and stop buttons, the shuffle and repeat mode option and so on, as well as a menu-based playlist. It supports mp3, ogg, vorbis, wav, and sid audio files. Also it offers the possibility to divide a playlist into albums. There is also a simple mixer utility.

Mp3Blaster runing on terminal

The quick way to install it (in Ubuntu) :

nongeek@mma:~$ sudo apt-get install mp3blaster

You can always download the latest version from SourcefForge.net.
I use the player in the virtual console (CTRL-ALT-F1), so no matter what I do in the X session (e.g. logging out to change the user) the music it’s running and it’s costing me almost no resources.
By the way, what Mp3 Player do you use?

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Written by nongeekboy

April 20, 2008 at 3:00 pm

How to use the Window-keys in Linux (GNOME)

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If in Windows you were used with the Win key combinations, perhaps you would like to use it in Linux too. Here is a short tutorial about how to activate the Win keys in Linux.

First we will set the Windows key behaviour.

Go to System>Preferences>Keyboard.

Select Keyboard menu

Go to the Layouts tab and press the Layout Options button.

select the Layout Tab

Open the Alt/Win key option.

Alt/WIN

Select the “Super is mapped to the Win-keys” behaviour.

Select super mapped

Close the windows.

Now, that we have set the key behaviour, let’s make some Windows like shortcuts.

Go to System>Preferences>Keyboard Shortcuts.

Keyboard shortcut

Go to Window Management section.

Search for “Hide all windows and focus desktop”. Click on it.

<CTRL><ALT><D>

Now will change the default shortcut with the one we want. Press the <WIN><D> combination.

<WIN><D>

Close the window and test your new shortcut. It works?

Now you can use the Win-keys the same way as in Windows or create the combinations you like.

For a tutorial about locking the screen with <Win>L in other distros then Ubuntu read the “How to lock the screen in GNOME” article.

For a list of most used GNOME and Nautilus shortcuts read “Top 15 shortcut keys in gnome and  nautilus
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Written by nongeekboy

April 11, 2008 at 3:02 pm

Amazing ASCII art

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I installed the BB (sudo apt-get install) bb package on my system. I read that it was an ASCII art demo, so I said to myself “Interesting, I should have a look”. And I did. Well, it’s amazing what those guys did using ASCII software library. Here are some screenshots about what this demo is about:plasma ascii art

.

zebra ascii art

By the way, did you know that you can play movie in ASCII with regular media players like VLC and MPlayer? If you want more information about the subject, check this post on ubuntu forums.

Written by nongeekboy

April 1, 2008 at 4:59 pm

Posted in fun, packages (software)

Tagged with ,

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