Using and Configuring Linux Category
How to mount, access and use an exFAT formatted USB drive from within Linux. Most newer Linux distributions already ship with exFAT FAT64 filesystem support via the FUSE library and related utilities. However, many older Ubuntu based distributions did not. The following solution covers the simple process of enabling exFAT detection from older Ubuntu based distributions.
exFAT (Extended Fat), a proprietary filesystem created by Microsoft, was introduced to remove the 4GB file size limitation. Making it a suitable replacement for the older Fat32 filesystem. Most modern USB flash drives arrive exFAT formatted from the factory. So it is nice to be able to use them out of the box across multiple operating systems without the need to reformat.
How to Create a casper-rw persistent or writable persistence file from Windows: Written for convenience, here is a simple Casper-RW Creator tool. This software should enable its user to quickly and easily create a casper persistent image from within Windows. By simply appending the “persistent” boot parameter, the file created by this tool can be used to save or store changes. You can then restore those changes on subsequent boots.
Also known as an overlay image, this file works as a companion to your Ubuntu Live Bootable USB. Allowing the Live system to act similar to a full installation.
How to Install Grub2 on USB from Linux to make a BIOS an UEFI bootable USB that can boot on all Machines. In the following tutorial, I’ll show you one way of easily installing Grub2 Bootloader to a USB Flash Drive from an up and running Linux Operating Environment. Ubuntu was used to perform all of the steps in this guide. Upon completion, your device should be able to boot from both UEFI and BIOS machines using 32 or 64bit architectures.
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Accessing your Linux Files from Windows. Reading Ext3 and Ext2 partitions from Windows can be accomplished using a few different methods, as previously outlined in (How to access Linux files from Windows). However, one of the easiest methods to read and use Linux files from Windows is by using a tool called Ext2Fsd.
This tool ships with the drivers necessary for Windows to detect and mount an Ext2 or Ext3 File System as read only or read/write. Additionally, Ext2Fsd comes with a Volume Manager and many other useful tools like mke2fs.exe (allowing you to actually create an ext2 formatted partition from windows). Installation is simple and straight forward.
How to easily make deleted files unrecoverable. When you delete a file from your USB flash drive and then proceed to empty your trash or recycle bin, the file is not completely erased. Until the space it once occupied is overwritten with new information, the file is still recoverable. Making it possible for you or anyone to potentially recover files you thought you permanently deleted.
How to Install Grub2 on USB from Windows. The following covers the process of installing Grub2 on a USB Flash Drive from within Windows. We will be using the grub-install.exe that ships with the grub-for-windows zip file. Upon completion of these bootloader instructions, your USB flash drive should be Grub2 bootable from UEFI or BIOS on all computer systems.
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How to setup a Ubuntu Remote Desktop connection. The following tutorial covers the process of remotely accessing and controlling an Ubuntu desktop screen from another Linux or Windows computer. This remote screen sharing process should also work for other Debian based operating systems with minimal changes. Ubuntu Remote Access is possible as long as the system is connected to a network or has an internet connection established. The client can remotely connect using vncviewer.
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How to Install WINE on Ubuntu. This compatibility layer allows Linux users to run Windows executables .exe files in Linux. The acronym is actually “WINE is Not an Emulator”, because it isn’t. But we will get to that later. This software is not included in default Ubuntu installs. However, it is available directly from official repositories. In the following tutorial, I cover one way to get the missing WINE tool installed on Ubuntu Linux. After installation is complete, we can proceed to run our Windows software from Linux.
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After having tooled around with a USB Linux version using your dd raw image overwritten or multi partitioned flash pen drive, you might find it necessary to revert it back to a single fat, fat32, exFAT or NTFS partition. Essentially recovering or restoring the USB flash pen drive back to its original state. This allows the storage device to be readable again, and usable by all computers.
You’ll find this particularly necessary after working with tools such as Etcher to burn an ISO or Win32 Disk Imager to write an image. Depending on the file used, these tools can make your USB device appear corrupted or unreadable. This is because these tools use raw-write style dd tasks to put an .img or .iso file on a USB flash drive. As a result, the existing boot record, partition table data, and filesystem is overwritten with that of the raw image file.
The following tutorial will show you one way to create a writable Casper partition on your USB flash drive. The benefit of using a casper-rw partition as opposed to a casper-rw block file is that you can expand your persistent storage beyond 4GB. This is very useful if you have a flash drive that is 8GB or larger and you want to use all of its remaining space for persistent storage. The drawback is that Windows will not see the secondary casper-rw partition (in Windows, your drive will appear to be smaller than it is).
The following tutorial explains how to create a larger casper-rw loop file (or writable file) for your Ubuntu based flash drive install. For example on: Ubuntu, Xubuntu, Kubuntu, Crunchbang or Linux Mint. A larger casper-rw loop file is particularly useful for those who have performed a Linux install to a large thumb drive using a Windows USB tutorial and need more persistent storage space for saving changes. The default casper-rw loop file we used in the Windows USB installation tutorials is only 1GB.
How to Share Files Between your Ubuntu Linux USB Flash Drive install and Windows. In the following tutorial, you will learn how to modify the casper script to allow you to mount your USB Flash Drive as read/write. By default casper only allows the root user to gain full access to the drive, preventing the live user from saving files back to the fat formatted device. This tutorial allows for the default Ubuntu user to also have the same read and write access.
How to remove the Ubuntu eject CD prompt. The following tutorial covers the process of removing the “Please remove the disk, close the tray (if any) and press ENTER to continue” prompt entirely from your USB Ubuntu installation. The process is fairly simple and will allow your system to shutdown or restart without prompting you to remove the CD. Those of us booting from a USB stick, will surely be glad to get rid of the remove CD annoyance.
Ubuntu Installer can not find my SATA drive: I recently experienced a problem installing Ubuntu on a particular computer. Ubuntu’s Ubiquity Installer could not detect my SATA drive, although sudo fdisk -l found the drive just fine, and the drive also appeared in gparted. As it turns out, the SATA drive had left over raid configuration information that was telling the installer to skip the drive (as if it was unsupported). In the following tutorial, I will show you what I did to get Ubuntu to detect the SATA drive, so that I could proceed and install Ubuntu.
Persistent Linux – What is it? After looking through some of the tutorials offered on Pendrivelinux.com, you may be wondering what Persistent Linux means. So in the following segment, I will cover my understanding of persistence in relation to Linux, data storage and recovery. In addition, I will try to explain some of the limitations of using a USB Persistent or Persistence Data storage structure.
How to Resize casper-rw images. TopoResize is a Free Image Resizing Tool written by Chris Semler. Initially created to resize images containing an ext2 or ext3 file system within Windows (such as those found in Colinux). You can use this nifty tool to create a new filesystem image as well as shrink or enlarge your existing images. In our case, we can also use it to resize our casper-rw loop files or even resize Pendrivelinux 2009 filesystem images. This tool works by using Cygwin to port Linux file system tools like efs2progs to Windows.
How to access your Linux files from Windows. The following process covers methods that can be used to read a Linux ext2 or ext3 partition from Windows. This is useful when you have files on your Linux system you want to share with Windows.
Perhaps you dual boot Windows and Linux on your machine? Moreover, maybe you have some mp3’s, Videos, Favorites, e-Mail and more you would like to have access to from both operating environments? You do not have to shut down Windows and then boot into Linux to use those Linux files! You just need an ext2/ext3 Linux filesystem driver for Windows.
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Clearing typed commands from terminal history: By default, up to the last 500 command lines a user types in the terminal window are saved into a hidden .bash_history file. The previously typed commands can be readily accessed by using the up and down arrow keys. This makes it easy to retrieve and reuse your recently used commands. However, maybe you want to clear the terminal command history list and start fresh?
This simple tutorial explains the process of viewing and then optionally clearing the terminal history.
How to access Windows files stored on an NTFS partition from Linux. The following tutorial explains how to gain access to a Windows NTFS partition using Linux. Reading or accessing NTFS partitions in Linux is important for many reasons. Some users repair Windows Operating environments using Linux, while others use a dual boot operating environment and would like to have access to their Windows File system.
This step by step tutorial explains how a user can install Beryl on Ubuntu Edgy. Beryl is a fork of the Compiz desktop window manager. It is an openGL accelerated desktop that allows the Linux user to attain awesome breathtaking special 3D effects with their personal desktop environment. The desktop effects are reminiscent to that of Windows Vista but were established long before Vista’s arrival. Beryl uses a graphical user interface and is easy to navigate.
This tutorial explains how to fix the Ubuntu Boot to Ram or “toram” feature that was broken in Ubuntu 7.04. Boot to Ram will enable a user to copy the entire Ubuntu live environment to system ram and run the Ubuntu Operating System entirely from there. You can then remove the CD or USB device and continue to do your work from system memory. BootToRam is also commonly referred to as CopyToRam.
The following tutorial explains how to fix the Compiz Ubuntu Desktop Effects missing titlebar problem. If you’ve been toying around with Ubuntu 7.04 and have enabled Desktop Effects “Compiz”, you might notice that the titlebar or window decorations have disappeared. This is a fairly common problem amongst systems using ATI or Nvidia video cards and commonly occurs after switching to a higher resolution. The fix is fairly simple.
The following is a quick reference list of some useful Ubuntu shell commands along with a short description of common usage. There are more, but this basic list was created to help familiarize the newly introduced Ubuntu user who might be migrating from a Windows operating environment.
The following tutorial covers the process of creating or making your own Mandriva Flash drive. If you already have a USB flash drive, why not put it to use? The MCNLive team has done some outstanding work with their latest Mandriva based MCNLive CD releases. The persistent loop features and USB installer are nearly flawless. The persist boot option allows a user to save “ALL” system changes and settings back to the loop image file. This remastering process is fairly simple, so let’s get started.
Setting the default root password: Some Live Linux distributions are created without a root password by default (the root account is inactive). This is particularly true with Debian based distributions like Ubuntu. Setting a root password enables us to access some essential tools such as the synaptic installer. In most cases, having no root password is fine when your running from a Live CD and don’t need to do administration tasks, make changes or install additional packages. But for those of us who do want to make administrative changes and save them back to a USB device or local storage device on for example a properly created “casper-rw” partition. Setting the root password might then be necessary.