Home » Archive by category "Tai’s FWA" (Page 2)

Installing GNU/Linux over multiple paritions or disks

Installing software is generally a breeze – run the installer, select the defaults, and hey presto, software installed! Even when installing a new operating system, be it Windows, Mac, or user-oriented GNU/Linux distributions, there are generally sensible and useful defaults provided. But sometimes, the defaults are not enough. Sometimes you need a manual install.

GNU/Linux systems allow you to install your system such that the system files, programs and suchlike all reside on one partition, and the user files, preferences, settings, browsing histories etc reside on another. This is useful at least in two typical scenarios:

  1. Isolating the user files (which live under the /home section of the GNU/Linux filesystem) from the rest of the OS allows you to reinstall the operating system any time, without affecting the user data
  2. If you have a SSD (solid state drive)/HDD (hard disk drive) pair in your computer, you can put your system and swap space on the faster but smaller Solid State Drive, and keep your user files on the slower but significantly larger Hard Disk Drive

This post is aimed at answering the following questions:

  • What are the differences and advantages of SSDs and HDDs each?
  • How do I install Linux using manual partitioning?
  • How do I use mount points in a manual install?
  • How do I reinstall Linux without changing my /home directory?
  • How do I install one Linux system on two different disks?
  • How do I isolate my /home directory on a different partition?
  • What is a SWAP partition/virtual memory?

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Enabling sound in GNU/Linux with ALSAmixer

This post answers the questions:

  • Why does sound not work in Bodhi LInux?
  • How do I activate sound on Linux?
  • How do I unmute ALSA mixer?
  • How do I control sound from the command line in Linux?

Sound is turned off in certain distros by default (goodness knows why) so before you hunt for drivers and take to the forums, check this first… Read more

The Linux Newbie’s Guide – 10 key concepts

Getting into the world of Linux might seem a little daunting to anyone who doesn’t come from a formal computing background. For starters, there seem to be so many different “Linuxes” to choose from, even though Ubuntu, distributed and maintained by Canonical, seems to be the most popular for home users, whilst a new contender, “Linux Mint” on the rise. Are they the best? Are they easy to use?

More importantly:

  • is [such-and-such-Linux] for you?
  • will you be able to use it on your own?
  • how do you get help with no support hotline?
  • does help for one Linux work on another Linux?
  • does a program on one Linux run on another?
  • can you run Windows programs on Linux?
  • Help me I’m scared of the command line!
  • What is Linux anyway??

The chapters in this post are:

  1. All Linuxes are Linux but aren’t Linux
  2. What is GNU? What are distros?
  3. Linux Distros and Families
  4. Desktop environments
  5. Graphical package managers
  6. Command line
  7. Package managers
  8. Root, users, and the sudo command
  9. Wine
  10. How to get help

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How to move a dialog you can’t see (Windows)

This post answers issues like:

  • I cannot see my window
  • Why did my window draw off screen?
  • How do I get my window back onto my screen?
  • My window still draws on a monitor that does not exist
  • How do I move a window I can’t see?
  • Why does my window draw off screen?

Every office I’ve been at I’ve had the chance to wield two screens. It’s really helpful when you’re trying to handle many windows at once.

Something that plagues users such as I though is that any time you make a change to your screen setup, you risk falling into the trap of the off-screen window.

This comes in two flavours:

  • off screen window : a generic window can be maximized, and you see it has a preence in the task bar along with all your other windows.
  • off screen dialog : a dialog is the type of window that tells/asks you something with buttons such as “OK”, “Cancel” etc. or perform a task such as display the search fields for your program. This does not appear in the task bar, and the only way you know it exists is that your otherwise current window is dimmed.

Either way, the ideal course of action would be to get it back. But how? Your mouse can’t reach it.

Thanks to this blog post by Seraph3D, I found that we can do the following:

  1. Do whatever action makes the dialog/window activate. Do not touch your mouse once this is done.
  2. Press Alt+Spacebar
  3. You should see a drop down menu appear somewhere. Select the “Move option”. If you don’t, then, if it’s a regular window, press the Down key on your keyboard then enter; if it’s a dialog just press enter.
  4. Still without having moved the mouse, hit the Left arrow key on your keyboard. This makes the window locked to your mouse. Wherever the mouse moves to, the window will now follow!
  5. Click your mouse to undo the lock and get your mouse back.

What a relief!

EDIT: One situation in which the above instructions do not work is when using a virtual machine window such as that of VirtualBox. The steps instead are as follows:

  • hover over the taskbar button for VirtualBox – you will see the Aero peek and the window you want to grab
  • right-click the window’s aero thumbnail and select to maximize
  • the window should now be full screen, but still displaying the title bar – drag this

I believe that this works also for other regular windows. For the dialogs… the first method is still the only way.

Tai’s F.W.A.

Tai’s F.W.A.