Training and How To’s

I recently had someone ask me about converting from Outlook Express (I nearly fainted, it’s been so long since someone admitted to using OE in front of me) to something more open source (great way to keep from getting a bunch of spam and viruses), and in my research I found a great couple of articles about converting to Open Source mail packages.

The first deals directly with converting from Outlook Express to either Thunderbird or Evolution (which worked great, they told me) and the next is for those converting from that beast from the land of insufficient light, Microsoft Outlook, Converting All Your MS Outlook PST Files To Maildir Format.

Personally, it’s been over 10 years since I was based on Windows email programs, and that only for work. Here’s to all of us who “survived” all those many years on pine and mutt.




So you’re working with SLES or SLED, and someone asks you if a particular package or product is supported. What do you do? Of all the options available, I refer constantly to the following pages and references to make sure I give accurate and helpful information to the querying person.

Where to Go

The top page I usually refer people to in this case is the Tech Specs section. On this page is listed SLES, SLED and Partner hardware and software support links. If I click on the “SuSE Linux Enterprise Server” link, I will reach the technical specifications page for SuSE Linux Enterprise Server. We’ve seen this page in other posts, such as How Many ____’s Does SLES Support? – Part I, where we discussed Kernel Limits and File System Features.

The chief thing I want to determine when someone asks me about a particular package’s support is that we do include it in our distributions. I query the person about what version and patch level they want to know about, and then click on the appropriate link, which is listed in the paragraph below the menu tabs, “see the list of supported packages”.

This link leads me to the “SuSE Linux Enterprise Server Supported Packages page, where for example I will pick the link for “SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP1 for X86“, a PDF file that I can then search for a package by pressing Ctrl-f, and typing the name I’m looking for, either in my browser, or my PDF reader that popped up.

All Together Now

My example would be someone asking me if there is support for Mono (a Dot Net compatible server solution) on SLES 10 SP1, both on the X86 and System Z platforms.

Those PDF files will tell me very quickly that there is support all the way to Level 3 for SLES 10 SP1 on X86 and the IBM System Z Mainframe.

Hopefully this will help you determine quickly what packages are included in the various distributions and patch levels, and make it easier to find what level of support is provided for those packages.



From the article:

When it comes to file systems, Linux® is the Swiss Army knife of operating systems. Linux supports a large number of file systems, from journaling to clustering to cryptographic. Linux is a wonderful platform for using standard and more exotic file systems and also for developing file systems. This article explores the virtual file system (VFS)—sometimes called the virtual filesystem switch—in the Linux kernel and then reviews some of the major structures that tie file systems together.

More here.

First off, I have to admit that I lifted the xorg configuration information that I’m about to discuss from some website, but I don’t recall which one. If it was yours please tell me and I’ll link it. In this article I will discuss how to get the scroll button working in SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop/Server.

Lenovo/IBM ThinkPads have 3 mouse buttons. You can configure the middle button so that when you hold it down and move the trackpoint (aka: the nub) the screen scrolls up and down.

The place where this is configured is in the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file. This file is used to configure your X server in Linux. It ties together your pointing device, keyboard, monitor and graphics card.

Open up this file with your favorite text editor and find the section in the file that describes you trackpoint. Configure it so it looks something like this:

Section "InputDevice"
Driver "mouse"
Identifier "Mouse[1]"
Option "Buttons" "5"
Option "Device" "/dev/input/mice"
Option "Name" "TPPS/2 IBM TrackPoint"
Option "Protocol" "explorerps/2"
#add the following lines
Option "Emulate3Buttons" "on"
Option "Emulate3TimeOut" "50"
Option "EmulateWheel" "on"
Option "EmulateWheelTimeOut" "200"
Option "EmulateWheelButton" "2"
Option "Vendor" "Sysp"
Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"

You can now restart X and utilize the new scrolling feature. I’ve also found it helpful to disable the middle button features in Firefox so that when scrolling through a page you don’t accidentally click the middle button. To do this enter about:config into your URL bar. Filter for “middle”. I have disabled:

  • browser.tabs.opentabfor.middleclick
  • middlemouse.contentLoadURL
  • middlemouse.openNewWindow

Having the scroll button enabled will significantly enhance your Linux life and make your a Linux supervillain. Enjoy!

Go Boston College EAGLES!!!


I have recently discovered that you can also use sax2 to setup the scrolling capability.  Fire up /usr/sbin/sax2.  Click on the mouse section.

Make sure the following are checked:

  • Activate 3 button emulation
  • Activate mouse wheel
  • Emulate wheel with mouse button 2

Click “OK” and save it.

While Intel and Atheros are doing a great job writing wireless drivers for linux, there are still other wireless cards, specifically Broadcom, who do not have linux drivers or who do not have good linux drivers.

The purpose of this article is to explain how to configure ndiswrapper in SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 SP1. On my end I am using an old dell c640 (with the embedded wireless card turned off in BIOS) and a Linksys wusb54gc usb wireless device.

1: Go into Yast and install ndiswrapper and the appropriate ndiswrapper kernel module.
– hit alt+f2 enter yast2.
– open the software management module.
– search for ndiswrapper
– determine which version of the kernel you are running(bigsmp, default, smp) by opening a terminal and entering uname -r
– check off the “ndiswrapper” package as well as “ndiswrapper-kmp-<kernel version>” in yast and click accept to install.

2. Setup ndiswrapper
-Determine which chipset your wireless device is using. To do this enter:
You can grep the results for wireless ex. hwinfo | grep -i wireless or just manually scroll through the output and search for something that looks like your wireless device.

In the case of my Linksys device it uses a Ralink chipset. I found the windows driver (rt73.inf) on the cd that came with the device. Find the .inf file for your card on your manufacturer’s website and download it. (Often times you will have to unzip the .exe driver installer to find the .inf).

-enter the following commands:
ndiswrapper -i /path/to/driver.inf #to install the driver
modprobe ndiswrapper #to load the module
ndiswrapper -m #To ensure that ndiswrapper will always use the same network interface name

3. Configure the wireless device in yast
– You should already have yast open from when you installed the ndiswrapper packages
– This time go into the “network card” module
– Verify that “NetworkManager” is selected and click next
– Click “Add”
– For Device Type choose “wireless”
– Configuration Name “0”
– Moduel Name “ndiswrapper”
– Click next then finish etc. to finish.

I have based this article off of the documentation that can be found in /usr/share/doc/packages/ndiswrapper/README.SUSE after installing ndiswraper

We had a great event at the Casa Larga Vineyard out in the east of Rochester NY, large crowd, lots of great questions, plenty of good food and comments about how helpful this was in helping people understand our offerings.

Our Linux Day events have been very successful in doing several things:

  • Getting the news about new and updated products out to the public
  • Showing the flag for Novell and in particular our Linux products
  • Getting good conversation and feedback on how people are using the products
  • Bringing in new customers and rekindling customer relationships anew

This was our last event for the Novell fiscal year, we on the team have really enjoyed doing our traveling events around the East region this year, many thanks to all who attended them, we’ll see at next year’s events for the latest and greatest!


Save a screenshotThere are plenty of instances when it would be handy to take a quick screenshot… maybe you’re working on some technical documentation, or maybe you’re trying to troubleshoot a problem, or maybe you just want to prove to your buddies you got the “high score”…  Whatever the reason, here are some quick tips on how to create a screenshot in Linux — well, SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop with GNOME desktop at least…

(1) Entire Screen – Press the [Print Screen] button to take a snapshot of the entire screen. You can also add to your desktop panel this little icon  (Screenshot icon) for “Take a screenshot of your desktop”, or you can find it in the Applications menu under System (in GNOME), or maybe right-click the icon in your Apps menu to add it to your Favorites.  Either way, one click of the icon and it’ll take a screenshot… go figure.

Example screenshot:  Screenshot - full screen

(2) Current Window - Press [ALT] + [Print Screen] to take a snapshot of the currently chosen window.

Example screenshot:  Screenshot - window only

(3) Random Area Selection – Press the [Windows key] (aka, the “super” key) + click-and-drag yourself an area using the left mouse button.   I didn’t know this method even existed until this afternoon when I ran across it by chance.  How cool is that?!?

Example screenshot:  Screenshow - random area

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