Debian Linux




Linux offers Many choices

A wonderful thing about Linux is that there are many competing software packages - the best features of each end up rolled into even better software in the end. Due to the nature of GPL/OSS and the large number of eyes that iron out any bugs in the code the quality just keeps getting better. The Linux desktop has passed M$'s Windows in quality i.e. auto-detecting printers, package management, multi-national support, better file browser functions, and of course cost and a much more stable underlying kernel and file system. The most important program in a operating system is the file browser - Linux has definitely left M$ in the dust with the dolphin file system browser. Installing Debian takes less clicks and key strokes than just typing-in the windoze license key!

Distributions

Linux comes packaged by many companies as distributions - that is combinations of versions of the GNU code with a little glue code and some install routines that form a complete operating system. We have tested several distributions and spent some time using Redhat - but now I can only recommend Debian.  The incredible power of the debian apt-get system is something you will want to learn about. Be aware that many Linux systems are intended to provide future lock-in - This is one of the biggest reason to stick with Debian.

Ubuntu is sort of a broken Debian with malware pre-installed.  Again - I really would recommend avoiding Ubuntu - they are moving further away from Debian to their snappy package system. It appears to be good on the surface - no dependency problems - but dependency problems are exactly the thing that makes code improve. If you want that sort of operating system you should just install windoze

Debian Links

Desktops

The first thing to know is that overall the installation process is easier than Windows! OK, it is different and you have to learn how. When you are finished you will have spent about the same amount of time required for a Windoze installation - but you will have also installed your applications! You only reboot once!!!!

(How many man-lives of time have been wasted waiting for M$windows to reboot? Let's see, three times for install and then another 6 times counting installing a bit of software and all the updates that they don't see fit to sending out as a new disk.)

Debian install support is available, from your local Linux users group. It takes just as long to install Debian as Windows, but when you are finished you have also installed 95% of the software you will likely use (Ok, I usually install 150% of the software I will ever use - but some day I really will try that math package out)

The task bar supports applets that run on it - like the ones on the far right side of a windows task bar - sort of. My favorite is kweather. It goes out and gets the local weather from a nearby airport and displays the temperature and a little sun that sometimes has a bit of cloud over it. If you click on it you can read the latest detailed weather report. There are others that are just for fun, and a sticky-yellow-notes-simulator and of course a clock - well actually you have lots of choices when it comes to clocks. I lost track how many there are -but I like the stock one that has the just the date and time.

KDE has the better file browser for the time being. You can run Gnome apps from KDE - Gnome is working hard to get better. Competition is a great stimulus, the lack of which has caused the stagnation of the Windows world.


Browsers

Google Earth

Email MUA

Calender

Word processing

Simple text editing

Accounting

Nevernote or Onenote Replacement

HTML editors

Spreadsheet


 Graphics programs

Graphics command line packages

  • Optipng Lossless optimizing of PNGs
  • jpegoptim Lossless and quality optimizing of jpegs jpgs

Plotting - Graphing

Calculator

PDF Viewers and Editors

PDF command Line Tools

Signature rotator


ksig is my choice after trying several - most are overly complex - unspported 2012 needs a fix..

Webcast radio tunner


Streamtunner is great

Video Editing


kdenlive
transcode - remove shakes from video and convert from most anything to most anything

Electronics EE Electrical Engineering


kicad is an excellent schematic capture to printer circuit board CAD system - should get a best of Linux EE software award.

eeschema kicad's schematic editor
cvpcb - the component to module (AKA foot-print) editor
Pcbnew
gerbview Gerber file viewer - and production notes
Bitmap2Component Converts bitmap images to filled polygons
wings3d - 3d view - good way to waste a lot of time..


Qucs Quite Universal Circuit Simulator) is an integrated circuit simulator.
EE CAD Terminology

PIM Personal Information Manager

File compare and meld

Multi-file find and replace


 Windows Emulation

If you have a couple of windows only programs you need to use, you may well be able to run them on linux

Telephony VoIP- Video chat

Printer Setup

Postscript printers are still probably the best choice for Linux/Debian. Unfortunately, the default PPD files lack paper sizes such as IndexCards.. BUT you can modify these files as outlined on the Edit PPD Files.

Sound, MIDI and Sheet-music generating packages

Scanning and OCR

Bluetooth Links

Sys Admin Tasks sysadmin

Hardware

  • Mother boards

  • Asus TUF Z270 Mark 1 MB

    Keyboard Stuff

    Caps Lock button

    I never use the Caps Lock button. Never. The only time I "use" it is when I accidentally press it and start typing things in UPPERCASE. To disable it in Linux all you have to do is enter this on the command line:

    $ xmodmap -e "remove lock = Caps_Lock"
    

    To set this permanently, just stick the above line in your ~/.bashrc file (or /etc/bash.bashrc if you're root) so that it looks something like this:

    if [ "$PS1" ]; then
     # Disables the bloody CapsLock button
     xmodmap -e "remove lock = Caps_Lock"
     ...
    fi
    

    Compatability

    Install and learn the following commands:

    Hardware to avoid


  • Identifying Hardware

  •  Command line cheats

    Disk usage

    Ok, You know your have been there. you go to back up your stuff and find out it is 16G too big. So how do you find the big file that you meant to delete?

    Networking


    Network Monitoring


    Package Handling

    This is something not found in windows - Think of it as an application store - but everything is free. If you need some software you just launch this application and it finds it, installs it (free of course) with just a click or two.

    APT key magic

    Sometimes you will get an error about a key

    gpg --recv-key --keyserver pgp.mit.edu <key number>
    gpg --export A70DAF536070D3A1 | apt-key add -
    
    $ exportfs -r

    Apt Tricks

    $apt-config dump

    Server Damons and system programs

    MTAs

    For VERY simple systems that only send mail via your local server - use nullmailer or ssmtp .

    Other wise use the standard exim

    Identifying ports

    When rkhunter tells you that there are hidden processes, try to cd to the /proc/<pid> directory for the process (where <pid> is one of the process ID numbers output by rkhunter). If you can't cd into the directory, then the process isn't really hidden, it was just in the middle of exiting when the rkhunter check ran and rkhunter was confused and you probably have nothing to worry about.

    If you do manage to cd into the /proc/<pid> directory, then it's likely you have a problem.

    Interesting things to do once you're in the /proc/<pid> directory include:

    There's plenty of other cool stuff you can do with the various bits of information under /proc, but the above should be enough to help you figure out what the process(es) are doing and how much trouble you're in.


    Udev

    You can also identify hardware with udev - and set up rules for it
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