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Messages - Brian000

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General Discussion / Re: Linux Foundation online course
« on: December 02, 2021, 10:58:51 pm »
Perhaps other Members will tell us their prime source of Linux learning.....

I was spoiled, and work sent me on a classroom based, UNIX Fundamentals course - while I didn't really need UNIX for that job, it gave me the ground work to consider alternatives to Windows at home.  ...and that meant that I could avoid all natural sources of viteminD for several years! Therefore, If you know the "what's but not the how's", then personally, I'd recommend O'Reilly, UNIX and LINUX in a Netshell (2 separate books).  Both are all about syntax, so you do need to know what you want to do first!

However, nowerdays, I guess the internet spoils us all... Any issue or problem is now solved by simply finding your preferred search engine and reading what somebody else did long before us.  The ease makes us (well, at least me) lazy, and I no longer do the things I used to.....  I once maintained a WIKI of my own reminders and issues/solutions and write shell scripts to help me remember or simplify syntax.... (if that reads as though I'm disappointed, it's because I sometimes feel like I "copy and paste" rather than learn!)

I know that a many "techies" don't learn well from books alone, so if you're like me - then you need to find a purpose and something that you can build.... once you start that, whatever it is, then this forum is here to help you if you get into trouble.

...and while I don't condone finding what should be paid books free on-line, this feels legitimate enough to post here:
and also these... I've seen most of these on the shelves of Server teams.


We don't need to give up quite yet :), and that laptop has a reasonable spec (i3, 4gb) especially for running anything Linux.

Do you need anything from Windows?
* Steve57 raises some important points about updates, and you need to consider that you're well out of MS support now.
* Did you plug your laptop into your network, and did work being hardwired?

BUT... if you are anticipating hardware faults then now would be good time to ensure you have a backup of anything you want :)

Regards Linux - You'll find that most distros have a so-called LiveCD (although most are DVD now - being a trial version) which you can run without changing anything on your computer (it changes nothing on your harddrive in this mode).  It would be interesting to know if something like Ubuntu (which has pretty good driver support) echos the problems you're having with Win7 or not.

Hi Atlantia & Keith,

I've not used really Windows domestically since XP - so am equally rusty........But we can head off towards the basics....

Atlantia, do you have an RJ45 handy and could you plug your laptop directly into the network? (This  may confirm if it's a WIFI driver or something more troubling)

Once there - could you type "ipconfig /all"   ( <- URL is Win10, but it should be the same on 7 too).

...Although, could you also (re)confirm that your Windows7 is struggling to connect to your WIFI, or that it just does not see any SSIDs? (You able to see and connect to your WIFI from other devices (phone, etc) aren't you?

Also (last one :)) - have you customised your routers DHCP settings? (I don't mind it will help visualise what you're doing.)

(Umm.... Did I read that you'd got Linux running on this laptop?? is that having network problems too?)

Linux Support / Re: Persistent menu how to cancel
« on: November 17, 2021, 11:39:55 pm »
If I follow follow your problem and take Gaz511s assumption of it being Mint - this may help -

  • Right-click Menu
  • Configure
  • Tab Menu
  • Open the menu editor
  • You can use custom icon or change Menu name

Nb: That is an old post using Mint#19, I'm using 20.04 and right-light shows "Edit Menus" opposed to "Configure", but I doubt if you'll get lost....

Hardware Compatibility / Re: Puppy Linux on Virtualbox
« on: November 17, 2021, 08:18:59 pm »

A quick look and there seems to be a lot of Distros which fit the niche - here's a few with rough specs too:

I currently use Lubuntu 20.04 - on my old 2008 Laptop with 2gb, which is a 64bit dual core (1.4mhz) - which runs OK (OpenOffice can be slow), although I'll caveat that with "I'm not a heavy desktop user".

Oh.. You can cross reference any Distro that fits your requirements against the details in - which should help you narrow down your selection:
 eg. if you really like (or really don't) like how a distro works "under the hood", you can check the "based on" to find/avoid similar ones
  and/or...  if you find a "Desktop" you really like, you can check for support of that too....
or anything else......

I would encourage you to find a distro which is still being supported, else you'll be putting yourself at risk from security exploits or simply, you'll stop receiving updates and have problems getting/installing software.

...but I was surprised how well supported 32bit still is......Although I guess there is a lot of really-old hardware out there, and with single boards growing in popularity - those will only help you too :)

Hardware Compatibility / Re: Puppy Linux on Virtualbox
« on: November 16, 2021, 10:00:31 pm »

If you don't like LiveCDs, you still have "old school" options - do you a spare drive? Or you can always try to install straight onto a USB (and not your drive) also, Puppy seems to support dual boot.....

There is always a chance that VirtualBox is part of the problem - it's (least it was) quite heavy and needs plenty of RAM.  I don't have any experience with VirtualBox (I've not used it for years), but I do use QEMU/KVM which is a good stable option for Linux.

...Can I assume you're old Laptop is only 32bit (hence why you're ignoring the newer Puppy#9.5) - and are you selecting 32bit within the VM config?.. I'm not sure what options you have with VirtualBox for machine architecture, but some hypervisors provide extra support for Distros, so it may be worth have a poke about in the config/settings......

Linux Support / Re: Lite 3.8 Blank Screen After Opening Lid
« on: November 12, 2021, 07:08:39 pm »

I only meant that (and I believe that) the N10 and N110 have very similar hardware specs, so if you're searching for "Blank Screen N110", it would also be worth looking for "Blank Screen N10" too (or whatever).

Having an old laptop myself, I often discover something that I don't like or can't easily solve, so either simply live with it or move onto another distro - which means that I have a high turn-around of distos on my laptop.  But, what I never do is make a note of what I've used nor why I don't use it...  I know some of the lightweight distros use a single-click (which just drives me crazy), and that many (including Debian) give me WIFI driver problems, but that's personal taste and hardware, which may not impact you.

Here is a list of 50+ - Good hunting :)
Does your N110 have 1gb or 2gb RAM? - either way, many of these require less than half of that, so you should be safe!

If you want any advice or even help choosing, perhaps let us know and I'm sure we'll be happy to help out more (although I guess that should be a new question).

(I'm not very good at formatting my own posts, so I'll have to leave that to somebody else I'm afraid :))

General Discussion / Logging Options
« on: November 10, 2021, 10:32:06 pm »

I'm thinking about how to improve my script logging...

I currently have all logs (per server/client) write to a monthly-dated file, but have previously created a web API and site to report and manage those.
XMPP was great, as it would Ping my phone and other clients with messages, but MQTT was less good, because it would only store/display the last message (unless I logged those and that seemed like a pointless task - akin to logging the logging :)).

I've never, more than a thought anyway, considered a SYSLOG server - but like the idea of adding my router/switch/etc too... would that bring anything helpful to my party?

But what is YOUR view and what would YOU  recommend?

oh.... I have pretty poor internet, so anything which keeps traffic "internal" would be best or at least more reliable.

Thanks for your thoughts...

Linux Support / Re: Lite 3.8 Blank Screen After Opening Lid
« on: November 10, 2021, 09:41:48 pm »
Mattc & Steve57,

I agree...  so, without dwelling on other forums - welcome to a community that will try to help, regardless of warranty periods, etc  :)

Assuming you may be thinking to switch Distros, I've had quick poke about and found a few similar queries - people searching for a suitable distro.    this suggest that Lubuntu should be OK.

Unfortunately, the Lubuntu site is having issues so I couldn't confirm the requirements - but consider also searching for the N10 model too, which I understand has similar specs to your N110.

Not an endorsement - but I'm using Lubuntu at the moment, on my 2008 Toshiba (2gb, dual-core) - it can be slow but it's certainly functional, although I'm not a heavy desktop user! :)

Hope this helps,

Linux Support / Re: grep {} \;
« on: September 22, 2021, 11:49:57 pm »

I assume you know the rest of the command but:
"Find all files in /usr/share/doc and execute egrep (with various parameters) for all files, but return only the 100th character. "

The "{}" means all files from the find command (think of it as a variable or an array/collection containing the return from the "find" command)
while the /; is the command terminator with an escape character "\" to stop it from being interpreted as part of the command.

Linux Support / Re: openssl error reading input file
« on: September 21, 2021, 09:10:34 pm »

Could you provide a little background please - What distro are you using and what version of openssl - and what are you trying to do?

..but "bad magic number" often means that your password is incorrect.

Try this (based on Lubuntu 20.04):

  #echo test > brian.plain
  #cat brian.plan

  #openssl enc -aes-256-cbc -a -pbkdf2 -in brian.plain -out brian.secured
enter aes-256-cbc encryption password:
Verifying - enter aes-256-cbc encryption password:
  #cat brian.secured

 #openssl enc -aes-256-cbc -d -a -pbkdf2 -in brian.secured -out brian.unsecured
enter aes-256-cbc decryption password:

 #cat brian.unsecured

let us know....

Linux Support / Re: Linux Password Policy
« on: September 17, 2021, 11:46:22 pm »

Reading a few things, the error sounds to be due to a config error - is anything reaching the logs?

This page suggest that there are setup differences between DEB and RPM systems (like OL) - so, it may be worth a double check.

But.... if you can undo your changes, and reimplement each in turn, you may be able to identify the cause and also gain confidence in the changes you're making.

Let us know how you get on....

Linux Support / Re: Linux Password Policy
« on: September 12, 2021, 08:40:11 am »

I expect it to be same/similar to RHEL/CentOS but there seems to be a slightly different process for ROOT - check out Oracle Document 2320972.1

"The scope of this document is to configure password complexity for all the users, including root."

FYI - the normal user process seem to be here:

"This document describes the PAM pam_cracklib credit system in relation to Linux PAM password complexity."

You'll need to create a (free) account......

Linux Support / Re: ubuntu 16.04 on disc
« on: July 10, 2021, 08:36:24 pm »

By far the easiest place to buy installation media is with a Linux magazine, many come with a DVD full of options and are available in most bookshops, new agents and supermarkets - just have a quick read of the cover to ensure it contains the distribution your looking for.

I found a similar question, that  provides other options:

Although you may struggle getting Ubuntu at Version 16 which was released in 1016 and now out of support.  The latest version is 21.0.4, (with the TLS (long term support) version being version 20.0.4).

At risk of confusing the subject; there are other distributions and desktops which are more "Windows" like than others... but that depends on what you want.

Hope this helps...

Linux Support / Re: Frequent crashing of 18.04
« on: July 08, 2021, 08:44:07 pm »

Have you performed a RAM test?
MEMTEST is available during boot up, or free from

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