Welcome to the LinuxFocus March/April 2004
It is not the first time that XFree86, the X11 implementation for Linux, is
under heavy discussion. Sometimes you hear that the networking support
in X11 makes it too slow. The is not true at all. X11 is
not slower at all because of it's networking layer. What is
sometimes slow is the driver technology.
Until today it is important
to choose the right graphic card to get really fast and good
3D graphics. This is because not every driver is equally well
developed. Many people wanted to see faster and better driver
development. This has however not really happened until now
because XFree86 was mostly good enough.
LinuxFocus, more fun every day!
In the end of January XFree86
announced a new license which might change this forever.
The license review was prompted by a desire to ensure that XFree86 and
its contributors are receiving due credit for their work.
The license is unfortunately incompatible with
The change may have given XFree86 public attention
and credit for the moment but it may also drive the project into
irrelevance. Some bigger distributors like Mandrake, Gentoo, Debian,...
have already responded to this change by not using the 4.4.0 release.
The new "advertising clause" is at
the heart of this license dispute. Any distribution of XFree86 software must now
explicitly mention that XFree86 is included. What is so special about
XFree86 to mention it explicitly on the box? After all Linux
comes with many other great software packages such as KDE, Xfce, Gimp, Qt, Gtk,
... The list would be endless. Further more XFree86 requires now written
permission when you use their name in any advertisement. The
pure mentioning of XFree86 on a box might be already a form of advertisement. In
short you might be forced to ask for written permission every time you distribute
What do we learn from this? Well, true free software lives on. A better X11
might soon be available from http://freedesktop.org/ .
And don't fiddle around with the license. If you need a license then
take one from http://www.gnu.org/licenses/licenses.html or http://creativecommons.org/
-- Guido Socher
Rsync: The Best Backup System Ever
Backup is one of the hardest and most neglected parts of system
administration. This article presents a very easy solution based on rsync.
uucpssh.org: UUCP e-mail for Linux fans
In the windows world incoming mails are received via POP3 or IMAP and
outgoing mails are sent directly via SMTP. This split setup can cause all kind
of headaches especially if you are using different ISPs all the time.
Gambas: Basic for Linux
Gambas is one of the currently available graphical Basic programming environments for Linux.
GUI Programming with GTK - 3
In these article series, we will learn how to write graphical user interfaces
(GUIs) using GTK.
Most statistics packages seem to be overwhelming in their scope, forcing the
user on a very steep learning path, most of them are also very expensive.
There is however a refreshing alternative: SalStat.
The LinuxFocus Tip
Here is an easy solution to check the temperature of your remotely hosted server.
New motherboards have some sensors which you can read out but even
if you have slightly older machines there is a chance that you can monitor
the temperature without additional hardware:
Harddisks with "S.M.A.R.T." support have a built-in sensor which you can read out
with the command "smartctl -a /dev/hda" (for the first ide disk). No kernel
changes are needed to do that.
So if you know what the temperature of the disk under normal conditions is,
then you can detect a failing air-conditioning or a congested power supply fan
because the temperature will also increase in the disk:
193 Load_Cycle_Count 0x0032 253 253 000 Old_age Always - 379
194 Temperature_Celsius 0x0032 253 253 000 Old_age Always - 45
195 Hardware_ECC_Recovered 0x000a 253 252 000 Old_age Always - 0
The command smartctl is part of the smartmontools package: http://smartmontools.sourceforge.net/
There is also a small tool which reads only the temperature (not all
parameters as smartctl):
/dev/hda: ST94011A: 45 C