Monday, September 21, 2009

Great tutorial site on Linux

I've found a great tutorial on Linux for the absolute beginner. The site is called The Linux Tutorial ( This site has a thorough tutorial for the absolute beginner, as well as a fun quiz to test your Linux knowledge.

If you're looking for a thorough, free training site, The Linux Tutorial is a great start.

Friday, August 21, 2009

For Fedora Users: Help with the "make" command

One of the most popular questions that I found on the Internet was people who were having trouble with using the make command. Particularly, when they use the make command, they get a Can't find kernel build files in .... type of error.

A post that I've done on my IT blog, Mwalimu's Corner, addresses how to solve the problem:

Link to the post:
Help with the make command

Monday, June 15, 2009

Congratulations Pittsburgh Penguins!

Congratulations to the Pittsburgh Penguins for beating the odds and winning the Stanley Cup!

Friday, May 1, 2009

shell-fu: A Site Full of Command Line Tips and Techniques

I stumbled upon a site called shell-fu (, which has Linux command line tips and techniques that appeal to all levels of Linux users. Sometimes the site will post helpful scripts that can be used on your Linux machine.

Some of the great tips and techniques that have been posted include:

  • How to easily copy tables and migrate databases between remote MySQL databases

  • A script that one can use that will allow a user to post Twitter messages from the terminal

  • How to edit files on remote hosts without "telnetting" to the machine

  • Convert a PDF to a JPG with one command

Shell-fu also accepts command line tips from the public as well. After reviewing the submitted tip, the site publishes it.

If you are looking to build your knowledge on the command line, try the shell-fu site.

Twitter: shellfu
Ident-ca: shellfu

Friday, March 27, 2009

How do you Linux?

Novell is having a contest for Linux users. Submit a short video demonstrating how you use Linux, and you could possibly win $2,000.
To enter the contest, visit their site -

P.S. - If you are on Twitter, and you want the latest news and information about Linux, follow user @Linux.

Friday, March 20, 2009

VI Editor Commands

One of the most widely used text editors on Linux is the vi (or vim) editor. Sometimes it may be difficult to remember the editor commands. I created a "cheat sheet" for my students to give them an easy reference to the VI editor commands, and I would like to share that sheet with you. You are more than welcome to download the sheet for your personal use.

If you have any questions, comments or requests, please post a comment, and I will answer to the best of my ability.

VI Editor Commands VI Editor Commands Jennifer A "cheat sheet" of the VI editor (or VIM editor) commands created by me for my students in my Linux classes.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

HowToForge: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Linux (and other things about server administration)

HowToForge's web site:


Virtualization is a growing trend in server administration that will probably not disappear in the near future. Virtualization is fast becoming the solution that IT departments choose for their server infrastructure because corporations are looking to reduce their IT expenses, as well a reduce their carbon footprint. If you are studying server administration, you should try to get some practice with setting up virtual servers.

HowToForge is one of the most comprehensive instructional sites that I have seen on Linux. Not only does the site contain an extensive library of "how-to" documents for the various distros of Linux, but it also contains an extensive
library of "how-to" documents for other technologies related to server administration, such as: MySQL, Samba, e-mail servers, FTP servers, and virtualization. For the programmers, HowToForge contains tutorials in C/C++ and PHP. For a very small subscription fee, you can have access to a treasure trove of "how to" documents that you can download to your personal machine.

This site is ideal for instructors, students and IT professionals.

  • Students: Your classes teach you the foundations of using the particular technology. However, you may be ready to gain more practical, "real world" experience with the technology. The "how-to" guides give you practical application experience with the technology. For example: you can learn how to replicate MySQL servers; you can learn how to set up a Fedora 10 desktop machine that can replace a Windows machine; you can set up a virtual server on Debian; and you can learn how to perform computer forensics using tools for Linux.

  • Instructors: A number of these "how-to" guides can be used as additional lab exercises in your class. While "standard" lab exercises give the student a foundation in the technology, the "how-to" guides give the student more practical, "real world" application experience beyond standard lab exercises. I've used a few of the Fedora how-tos as project exercises and "challenger labs" for extra credit.

  • IT Professionals: Although the Internet has made our job easier when it comes to researching how to do something, it is still time consuming. Besides spending time on trying to find the information, you may have to spend additional time performing "trial and error" testing because the information that you found was incomplete or obtuse. HowToForge contains a numerous amount of instructional documents for Linux and server administration, and the instructional documents are clear and precise. Based on personal experience, I have saved a lot of time thanks to these documents. As a result, I am more productive at my job, which impresses my supervisors, which translates to more rewards and increased benefits(bonuses, raises, etc.).

For those of you who are trying to build their portfolio, HowToForge also has a Contribute section where you can contribute your own instructional documents. If the site chooses your document for publication, HowToForge gives you a free 1 year subscription.

HowToForge also has a forum where you can post your questions, comments and suggestions. If you have a question on one of the instructional documents, you can post the question in the forum. I haven't used the forum myself to post questions or answers, but I have read the forum. In this forum, I've noticed that the community answers questions quickly, and the community is friendly and helpful. I have noticed from my readings and from my students' experiences with other forums that, unfortunately, many contributors on other forums are arrogant and curt, which could intimidate a student who is learning a technology. I've seen posters who brusquely told the question-asker to "look it up" or "google it" before asking a question, and I've seen some posters resort to name-calling (ex: calling the question-asker a n00b)! I haven't seen that kind of behavior on the HowToForge forums at all.

I highly recommend this site. I use this site myself as a "one-stop shop" for Linux and server information. For the price of a magazine subscription, I get valuable, detailed information that I can't get in magazines, and if I had a question about the instructional document, I can get an answer quickly.

The current price for a 6-month subscription is 25 Euros (approx. $34 USD based on the current exchange rate as of this writing). The site uses PayPal for their online payment transactions. If you don't have a PayPal account, HowToForge accepts a major credit card or a debit card with a major credit card logo through PayPal. If you are purchasing a subscription and you are outside of the EU, PayPal may charge a small, additional fee for currency exchange.

If you are an IT professional, check with your company's benefit plan to see if it reimburses employees for paid subscriptions to professional/technical journals or websites. Your company may be able to pay for the subscription.

To subscribe, please visit the HowToForge site.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Congratulations SIX-burgh!

Congratulations Pittsburgh Steelers - 6-time Super Bowl Champions!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Development Tutorials

For development tutorials, visit my other blog Mwalimu's Corner at

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Linux Console Commands

When learning Linux, one of the things to learn is the console commands. The document in this post is a "cheat sheet" of the most commonly used Linux commands. Note that this "cheat sheet" doesn't have the switches included in the commands.

Linux Console Commands