Sandra Henry-Stocker

Author Archives: Sandra Henry-Stocker

Commands to find Linux-package updates

Did you know that you can ask your Linux system to tell you what upgrades are available for the packages installed on it? You might be surprised by how many you’ll see, especially if you’re using the current release and don’t have your system set up for frequent or automatic updates.Updates play an important role in keeping your Linux systems secure and performing well. Since most packages are updated as fixes or improvements to the code become available, it’s hard to predict how many will show up on any particular day. (Note: Updates should be done when your system is not performing other important tasks.)Finding installed packages on Fedora Linux systems Fedora and related systems To check what updates are currently available for your Fedora or related system, use a command like this:To read this article in full, please click here

Find out what packages are installed on your Fedora system

If you're curious about how many packages are installed on your Fedora system or how you can check on them, you might be surprised at how much information you have at your fingertips. With just a few commands, you can find out just about anything you might want know about packages and the repositories they came from.What is a package? To get started, a Linux package is simply a collection of files that performs some particular tasks. For example, the popular image-editing program GIMP is installed as a package, and it includes all of the files that you need to do some impressive image editing. You can easily ask if GIMP is installed with a command like this:To read this article in full, please click here

Find out what packages are installed on your Fedora system

If you're curious about how many packages are installed on your Fedora system or how you can check on them, you might be surprised at how much information you have at your fingertips. With just a few commands, you can find out just about anything you might want know about packages and the repositories they came from.What is a package? To get started, a Linux package is simply a collection of files that performs some particular tasks. For example, the popular image-editing program GIMP is installed as a package, and it includes all of the files that you need to do some impressive image editing. You can easily ask if GIMP is installed with a command like this:To read this article in full, please click here

Installing fonts on your Linux system

Linux systems generally start out with a large number of fonts available, especially once you've installed LibreOffice. Even so, you might find yourself craving some highly distinctive or unusual fonts to add a special tone to some of your projects. If so, you're in luck. You're likely to find many thousands of free fonts available online – bold, italic, calligraphy, modern, script, hand lettering, cursive, brush lettering, symbolic and more.Here's a small sampling of popular sites that provide free fonts for easy downloading: dafont.com fontzone.net fonts.google.com fontspace.com You can also type "free fonts" into your favorite search engine. Expect to see a huge number of responses. Keep in mind that not all fonts are free, but plenty of free fonts are available, and they're easy to view, download and install.To read this article in full, please click here

Installing fonts on your Linux system

Linux systems generally start out with a large number of fonts available, especially once you've installed LibreOffice. Even so, you might find yourself craving some highly distinctive or unusual fonts to add a special tone to some of your projects. If so, you're in luck. You're likely to find many thousands of free fonts available online – bold, italic, calligraphy, modern, script, hand lettering, cursive, brush lettering, symbolic and more.Here's a small sampling of popular sites that provide free fonts for easy downloading: dafont.com fontzone.net fonts.google.com fontspace.com You can also type "free fonts" into your favorite search engine. Expect to see a huge number of responses. Keep in mind that not all fonts are free, but plenty of free fonts are available, and they're easy to view, download and install.To read this article in full, please click here

Backing up not just your data, but your productivity

Everyone knows that backups are important, but most of us tend to think of backups solely as the process of backing up our data files -- not necessarily our applications, our passwords or our computers. And, when we run into a serious problem that threatens our ability to get our work done, it just might be time to rethink what "backing up" should involve.Even if you have more than one computer at your disposal, it could easily be that only one of them is ready to help you with passwords you rarely use, provide access to your cloud backups, allow you to connect to the VPN you use for special projects, probe your network for problems or offer you a way to log into remote systems.To read this article in full, please click here

Backing up not just your data, but your productivity

Everyone knows that backups are important, but most of us tend to think of backups solely as the process of backing up our data files -- not necessarily our applications, our passwords or our computers. And, when we run into a serious problem that threatens our ability to get our work done, it just might be time to rethink what "backing up" should involve.Even if you have more than one computer at your disposal, it could easily be that only one of them is ready to help you with passwords you rarely use, provide access to your cloud backups, allow you to connect to the VPN you use for special projects, probe your network for problems or offer you a way to log into remote systems.To read this article in full, please click here

How to dig up configuration details on your Linux system with getconf

Linux systems can report on a lot more configuration details than you likely ever knew were available. The trick is using the getconf command and having an idea what you are looking for. Watch out though. You might find yourself a bit overwhelmed with how many settings are available.To start, let's look at a few settings that you might have expected to see to answer  some important questions.Summarizing your command-line usage on Linux For starters, how long can a filename be?You can check this setting by looking at the NAME_MAX setting.To read this article in full, please click here

How to dig up configuration details on your Linux system with getconf

Linux systems can report on a lot more configuration details than you likely ever knew were available. The trick is using the getconf command and having an idea what you are looking for. Watch out though. You might find yourself a bit overwhelmed with how many settings are available.To start, let's look at a few settings that you might have expected to see to answer  some important questions.Summarizing your command-line usage on Linux For starters, how long can a filename be?You can check this setting by looking at the NAME_MAX setting.To read this article in full, please click here

Peering into binary files on Linux

Any file on a Linux system that isn't a text file is considered a binary file--from system commands and libraries to image files and compiled programs. But these files being binary doesn't mean that you can't look into them. In fact, there are quite a few commands that you can use to extract data from binary files or display their content. In this post, we'll explore quite a few of them.file One of the easiest commands to pull information from a binary file is the file command that identifies files by type. It does this in several ways--by evaluating the content, looking for a "magic number" (file type identifier), and checking the language. While we humans generally judge a file by its file extension, the file command largely ignores that. Notice how it responds to the command shown below.To read this article in full, please click here

Peering into binary files on Linux

Any file on a Linux system that isn't a text file is considered a binary file--from system commands and libraries to image files and compiled programs. But these files being binary doesn't mean that you can't look into them. In fact, there are quite a few commands that you can use to extract data from binary files or display their content. In this post, we'll explore quite a few of them.file One of the easiest commands to pull information from a binary file is the file command that identifies files by type. It does this in several ways--by evaluating the content, looking for a "magic number" (file type identifier), and checking the language. While we humans generally judge a file by its file extension, the file command largely ignores that. Notice how it responds to the command shown below.To read this article in full, please click here

Checking Linux system performance with sar

Sar is a system utility that gives us many ways to examine performance on a Linux system. It provides details on all aspects of system performance including system load, CPU usage, memory use, paging, swapping, disk usage, device load, network activity, etc.The name "sar" stands for "system activity report," and it can display current performance, provide reports that are based on log files stored in your system's /var/log/sa (or /var/log/sysstat) folder, or be set up to automatically produce daily reports. It's part of sysstat – a collection of system performance monitoring tools.To check if sar is available on your system, run a command like this:To read this article in full, please click here

Checking Linux system performance with sar

Sar is a system utility that gives us many ways to examine performance on a Linux system. It provides details on all aspects of system performance including system load, CPU usage, memory use, paging, swapping, disk usage, device load, network activity, etc.The name "sar" stands for "system activity report," and it can display current performance, provide reports that are based on log files stored in your system's /var/log/sa (or /var/log/sysstat) folder, or be set up to automatically produce daily reports. It's part of sysstat – a collection of system performance monitoring tools.To check if sar is available on your system, run a command like this:To read this article in full, please click here

Rescuing a Linux system from near disaster

The more you know about how Linux works, the better you'll be able do some good troubleshooting when you run into a problem. In this post, we're going to dive into a problem that a contact of mine, Chris Husted, recently ran into and what he did to determine what was happening on his system, stop the problem in its tracks, and make sure that it was never going to happen again.Disaster strikes It all started when Chris' laptop reported that it was running out of disk space--specifically that only 1GB of available disk space remained on his 1TB drive. He hadn't seen this coming. He also found himself unable to save files and in a very challenging situation since it is the only system he has at his disposal and he needs the system to get his work done.To read this article in full, please click here

Rescuing a Linux system from near disaster

The more you know about how Linux works, the better you'll be able do some good troubleshooting when you run into a problem. In this post, we're going to dive into a problem that a contact of mine, Chris Husted, recently ran into and what he did to determine what was happening on his system, stop the problem in its tracks, and make sure that it was never going to happen again.Disaster strikes It all started when Chris' laptop reported that it was running out of disk space--specifically that only 1GB of available disk space remained on his 1TB drive. He hadn't seen this coming. He also found himself unable to save files and in a very challenging situation since it is the only system he has at his disposal and he needs the system to get his work done.To read this article in full, please click here

What you can find out asking which, whereis and whatis in Linux

The which, whereis and whatis commands on a Linux system provide information about commands. They provide related but not identical information. In this post, we’ll check out the differences and provide a script for getting information that’s available from all three commands. We’ll also explore some sample commands for looking at secondary (i.e., not section 1) man pages.which The which command will show you the file-system location for a command’s executable. This is the file that is read and run whenever you type the command name.$ which date /usr/bin/date $ which shutdown /usr/sbin/shutdown Summarizing your command-line usage on Linux The which command will also report on your aliases and show you the commands they invoke.To read this article in full, please click here

What you can find out asking which, whereis and whatis in Linux

The which, whereis and whatis commands on a Linux system provide information about commands. They provide related but not identical information. In this post, we’ll check out the differences and provide a script for getting information that’s available from all three commands. We’ll also explore some sample commands for looking at secondary (i.e., not section 1) man pages.which The which command will show you the file-system location for a command’s executable. This is the file that is read and run whenever you type the command name.$ which date /usr/bin/date $ which shutdown /usr/sbin/shutdown Summarizing your command-line usage on Linux The which command will also report on your aliases and show you the commands they invoke.To read this article in full, please click here

Troubleshooting your bash scripts

If you run into problems building, testing or running complex bash scripts, don't lose heart. There are many ways you can help ensure that your scripts will work flawlessly. In this post, we'll examine some ways you can lessen the likelihood of errors and how to go about doing some simple but very effective troubleshooting.Through a combination of robust logic that tests for possible problems and some troubleshooting to help detect errors, your scripts are likely to be ready for showtime very quickly.Summarizing your command-line usage on Linux Building the outer edges first One way to avoid syntactical errors in scripts is to start your for and while loops, case statements and if/then commands using the outer logic first. If you start your script logic using a syntactical "skeleton", you won't forget to end it properly.To read this article in full, please click here

Troubleshooting your bash scripts

If you run into problems building, testing or running complex bash scripts, don't lose heart. There are many ways you can help ensure that your scripts will work flawlessly. In this post, we'll examine some ways you can lessen the likelihood of errors and how to go about doing some simple but very effective troubleshooting.Through a combination of robust logic that tests for possible problems and some troubleshooting to help detect errors, your scripts are likely to be ready for showtime very quickly.Summarizing your command-line usage on Linux Building the outer edges first One way to avoid syntactical errors in scripts is to start your for and while loops, case statements and if/then commands using the outer logic first. If you start your script logic using a syntactical "skeleton", you won't forget to end it properly.To read this article in full, please click here

Viewing compressed file content on Linux without uncompressing

If you need to check the contents of a compressed text file on Linux, you don't have to uncompress it first. Instead, you can use a zcat or bzcat command to extract and display file contents while leaving the file intact. The "cat" in each command name tells you that the command's purpose is to display content. The "z" tells you that it works with compressed files.Which of the two commands to use depends on the type of compressed file you are examining. If the file was compressed with gzip or zip, you would use the zcat command. If the file was compressed with bzip2, you would use the bzcat command. On some systems, zcat might be called gzcat.To read this article in full, please click here