Madhav Kobal's Blog

This blog will be dedicated to Linux, Open Source and Technology news, affairs, how-tos and virtually EVERYTHING in these domains.

Posts Tagged ‘Linux’

New Features of Linux 2.6.31Kernel

Posted by madhavkobal on 11/09/2009

The latest version of Linux offers a whole host of new features – for example a USB 3.0 infrastructure, drivers for the Sound Blaster X-Fi, KMS support for Radeon chips and improved versions of Btrfs and Ext4. As is traditional with new Linux versions in the main development branch, however, this is only the tip of the iceberg.

After nine release candidates and just under three months in development, Linus Torvalds has released Linux version 2.6.31. Like its predecessors in the main development line, it offers a whole host of new features.

Among the new features are USB 3.0 support and support of several Sound Blaster X-Fi cards by Creative. The kernel makes better use of the power saving techniques offered by modern Wi-Fi hardware and is now also capable of Kernel-Based Mode-Setting (KMS) with Radeon graphics cards up to model X1950. From now on, distributions are to use the more recent of the two FireWire stacks, which with the new kernel version will at last offer ‘IP over 1394’ networking support.

The new kernel’s experimental Btrfs, scheduled to become the “next generation file system for Linux”, is now said to be faster and more memory efficient and the first components for de-fragmenting Ext4 file systems have been included into the main development branch. The new performance counters allow a detailed analysis of the run-time behaviour of program code. The developers also considerably modified and improved the recently introduced tracing infrastructure.

The following offers an overview of these and many other important changes in the new Linux version. These changes will eventually trickle through even to users who don’t compile their own Linux systems as future Linux distributions start to include the new kernel version (or one of its successors). Kernel 2.6.31 is likely to be included as part of the new Autumn releases of Fedora, openSUSE and Ubuntu, and so will soon be in use by most Linux users.

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Quake Live now for Mac and Linux

Posted by madhavkobal on 20/08/2009

ID has rolled out an update to its browser-based Quake Live game which means that it’s now available for Mac and Linux users. Neither group have reputations as gamers, but given the more retro nature of Quake Live, perhaps it’ll rope in some former Quake III fans.

The team behind it says that you might have difficulties with Firefox on Mac – an update came out for the browser after ID finished their build that broke things. However, they’ve put in a ticket with Mozilla, and are hoping it’ll be fixed soon.

A few bugs have been fixed – leaderboards are online again, personal config file sizes have been increased from 16KB to 64KB, and an issue where keybinds were lost has been fixed. CTF Instagib servers have also been launched.

The update is now live, so if you enjoyed Quake III Arena back in 2000, then give Quake Live a go in your browser. It’s free, after all.

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Change The MAC Address Of Your Machine

Posted by madhavkobal on 20/08/2009

Consider this scenario. I am connected to the internet using a cable modem. And my ISP dynamically allocates the IP address to my machine. But they also store the MAC address of my ethernet card and associate it with the IP address they provide. Suppose I change my NIC(or my machine), I will not be able to log on to the net because my ethernet card has a different MAC address than the one stored in thedatabase of the ISP.
The immediate short fall of this is that, I have to contact my ISP through telephone and request them to reset the MAC address table (or what ever) in their database to point to my new MAC address. So if I knew my old MAC address, I could easily fool the ISP to think that I am using the original machine by setting the MAC address of my new machine to the old value. And I could save myself a telephone call.

# ifconfig eth0 down
# ifconfig eth0 hw ether 00:80:48:BA:d1:20
# ifconfig eth0 up
# ifconfig eth0 |grep HWaddr

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5 Excellent Downloadable eBooks To Teach Yourself Linux

Posted by madhavkobal on 20/08/2009

So you have heard of all the advantages and geeky babble about how Linux is better and you have finally decided to try it? Just one thing, you don’t know an awful lot about Linux to get you started. How about some free downloadable ebooks to teach yourself Linux, that you can download today? Would that help?

Free – you ask? Yes, free. Welcome to the world of Linux where things are free both as in free speech and also as in free beer (mostly)!

If you are starting out on your journey towards Linux awesomeness, here are a few free downloadable ebooks to teach yourself Linux that should help you along nicely:

Newbie’s Getting Started Guide to Linux


MakeUseOf’s very own Newbie’s Guide to Linux, tells you how to choose a distribution and then teaches you how to perform a basic Linux install. You can then use the guide to familiarize yourself with the Linux desktop and some basic commands.

Stefan did a great job in keeping it simple and to the point, the way beginners want it. Also don’t forget to check out our other MakeUseOf Manuals.

Introduction to Linux – A Hands on Guide


Takes you from the absolute basics to basics. This hands on guide tells you everything right from logging in, basic file management, backup techniques up to basics of networking. It is what you need if you are having difficulty figuring out how to get to that resume file you saved just now. The guide explains Linux file structure and introduces to basic commands and text editors as well.

GNU/Linux Command line tools Summary


One important aspect of working in Linux is that you have to familiar with the command line. This book shows you how to use the command line in Linux to your advantage. Apart from the ins and outs of the shell, this book also introduces various commands and the situations where you would use them. There are chapters that deal with specific tasks and list various commands you can use to achieve the task. If you can study online, there is another excellent manual you can refer to.

Ubuntu Pocket Guide and Reference


Ubuntu is one of the most popular distributions, new users look up to when trying out Linux. If it is Ubuntu specific information that you are after then you should definitely check out Ubuntu Pocket Guide and Reference. The guide takes you from installing and configuring Ubuntu to adding and managing software and securing your system. A must read book if you use Ubuntu.

Rute User’s Tutorial and Exposition


This one is not for the faint hearted! There is enough Linux juice in this book to keep even the intermediate to advanced users interested. The book begins humbly by presenting the basic commands and tools, however before you know it, you are learning everything from regular expressions to shell scripting to C programming to networking.

There is plenty of great material out there if you are trying to learn Linux, similar to these downloadable ebooks to teach yourself everything you ever wanted to know about Linux.

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Free “Really Cool” Stickers About Linux/FOSS

Posted by madhavkobal on 20/08/2009

Do you want to remove that Windows or Apple logo from your Linux-powered netbook or laptop? If you do then you may as well replace it with some cool graphics that would stand out. To spare you from the hassles of creating you own or searching the web, I recommend that you download the Free Software Sticker Book first. There you will find tons of ready-made stickers (in ODG format) that is related to Linux and Free and Open Source software. But before I’ll give you the download link, here are some teasers:

Some distro-specific stickers…

You can’t go wrong with GNU…

How about showing some love to FOSS heroes…

BSD ready…

Linux inside…

Tux colors…

Pythonic sticker…

You will find these stickers and a lot more if you download the Free Software Sticker Book at

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