Desktop


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.

Enjoy,

RossB

You can add another to the list of computer manufacturers who are pre-loading SUSE Linux… Shuttle. (Thanks to TrustedReview’s article for the heads-up). Actually, these new small form factor PCs are now available in the UK and Austria; and can be configured with your choice of SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop or openSUSE.

Shuttle LinuXPCs with SUSE Linux Operating System is available immediately in the UK. Delivery to Austria also possible

Shuttle Inc., the market leader in the Mini-PC sector and manufacturer of Multi-Form-Factor solutions, is now also selling its Mini-PCs with the Linux Operating System in the UK. The two compact PCs made of aluminium can be individually configured in the official Shuttle Systems Configurator. They are delivered pre-installed and ready to connect and include the 24 months Pick-up-and-Return Service for reliable help in the case of a warranty claim.

Watts Water Technologies needed to replace 1000 old shop-floor terminals with more flexible desktops. They ended up choosing SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop on Neoware thin client hardwares along with ZENworks to help manage the environment. You can also check out the Open PR blog entry for some info.  From the customer success story…

After evaluating several desktop and thin-client solutions, Watts Water Technologies selected SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop for use in a thin-client deployment, as well as Novell ZENworks to manage more than 1,000 desktops.

“Linux really shines and Novell has a great Linux strategy,” said Ty Muscat, Data Center Manager for Watts Water Technologies. “We have almost every platform imaginable and are moving more and more to SUSE Linux Enterprise desktops and servers. We like having an open platform with a lot of flexibility.”

The results:

“Without Novell, we would have had to invest far more to get anything similar to what we have with SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop,” said Muscat. “The ongoing management and maintenance costs of other options would have been overwhelming for us.”

From the article:

Exchanging business cards is a rudimentary form of networking (the people, not the server kind). However, to get the most out of the exchange, you need a card that attracts attention and reflects the image or values you want to project.

More here.

We mentioned this in an earlier blog entry, but here’s the official press release:

BEIJING— 06 Nov 2007—  Novell and Dell™ today announced an expansion of Linux offerings with the addition of SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 installed on Dell OptiPlex™ 330 and 755 commercial desktop PCs in China. The systems will be available later this year.

This development is part of Dell’s efforts to give customers more choices and to help meet increasing demand for Linux that provides security, dependability and lower TCO. The OptiPlex desktop PCs with SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 come with 60 days of telephone software technical support from Novell and a year of hardware support from Dell.

More choice for customers.  It’s a good thing for the industry, and hopefully Dell will become more and more comfortable with a Linux pre-load offering of SLED as a result.  Translation… I’m eager to have them offer something similar in the US too.

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"
#end
Option "Vendor" "Sysp"
Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"
EndSection

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!!!

UPDATE:

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:
hwinfo
or
lspci
or
lsusb
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

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