By Default most of the users configure their network card during the installation of Ubuntu. You can however, use the ifconfig command at the shell prompt or Ubuntu’s graphical network configuration tools, such as network-admin, to edit your system’s network device
information or to add or remove network devices on your system
Configuring Network Using Graphical Configuration Tool in Ubuntu
If you are new to networking the graphical configuration tool is your best method for configuring new hardware in Ubuntu.We are going to use GUI tool “network-admin” to configure networking. Remember, you must be root to run network-admin.
There are two ways to start network-admin first thing is you can use your terminal to type “sudo network-admin” it will start up or you can go to System—>Administration —>Networking
Once it opens you should see the following screen
In the above screen select wired connection and click on properties tab you should see the following screen my network card is curretly configured for DHCP client and you need to make sure “Enable this connection” tick box is checked
If you want to configure the static ip addressyou need to select drop down box under “Configuration” select static ip address and you need to make sure “Enable this connection” tick box is checked
Once you select the static ip address you need to select ip address,subnet mask,gateway address and click on ok
Now you click on “General” tab here you can enter your hostname,domain name

Next one you need to click on “DNS” tab to configure your system’s DNS settings, hostname, or DNS search path.
Click the Hosts tab, and then either click the Add or Properties button (after selecting a host) to create or edit an entry in your system’s /etc/hosts file
Highlight an existing entry, and then click the Properties button to change /etc/hosts entries in the Hosts tab of the Network Configuration screen.
You can also assign different locations to your computer, especially very useful if you are on a laptop and move between several networks each requiring different configurations. Just select the gray bar at the top of the network-admin window and select Create Location. Enter a name, such as Home and then repeat this again to create another location, Work. Each time you switch between locations, Ubuntu detects that it needs to use configurations specific to those locations, so for instance you might want to use DHCP at work, but not at home. Simple; just select the Home location, configure your ethernet connection to use a Static IP and you are all set to switch between your home and corporate networks.
Configure Network Interface Using Command-Line
You can configure a network interface from the command line using the networking utilities. You configure your network client hosts with the command line by using commands to change your current settings or by editing a number of system files.
Configuring DHCP address for your network card
If you want to configure DHCP address you need to edit the /etc/network/interfaces and you need to enter the following lines replace eth0 with your network interface card
sudo vi /etc/network/interfaces
# The primary network interface – use DHCP to find our addressauto eth0iface eth0 inet dhcp
Configuring Static IP address for your network card
If you want to configure Static IP address you need to edit the /etc/network/interfaces and you need to enter the following lines replace eth0 with your network interface card
sudo vi /etc/network/interfaces
# The primary network interfaceauto eth0iface eth0 inet staticaddress 192.168.3.90gateway 192.168.3.1netmask 255.255.255.0network 192.168.3.0broadcast 192.168.3.255
After entering all the details you need to restart networking services using the following command
sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart
Setting up Second IP address or Virtual IP address in Ubuntu
If you are a server system administrator or normal user some time you need to assign a second ipaddress to your Ubuntu machine.For this you need to edit the /etc/network/interfaces file and you need to add the following syntax.Below one is the only example you need to chnage according to your ip address settings
sudo vi /etc/network/interfaces
auto eth0:1iface eth0:1 inet staticaddress 192.168.1.60netmask 255.255.255.0network x.x.x.xbroadcast x.x.x.xgateway x.x.x.x
You need to enter all the details like address,netmask,network,broadcast and gateways values after entering all the values save this file and you need to restart networking services in debian using the following command to take effect of our new ipaddress.
After entering all the details you need to restart networking services using the following command
sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart
Setting your ubuntu stytem hostname
Setting up your hostname upon a ubuntu installation is very straightforward. You can directly query, or set, the hostname with the hostname command.
As an user you can see your current hostname with
sudo /bin/hostname
Example
To set the hostname directly you can become root and run
sudo /bin/hostname newname
When your system boots it will automatically read the hostname from the file /etc/hostname
If you want to know more about how to setup host name check here
Setting up DNS
When it comes to DNS setup Ubuntu doesn’t differ from other distributions. You can add hostname and IP addresses to the file /etc/hosts for static lookups.
To cause your machine to consult with a particular server for name lookups you simply add their addresses to /etc/resolv.conf.
For example a machine which should perform lookups from the DNS server at IP address 192.168.3.2 would have a resolv.conf file looking like this
sudo vi /etc/resolv.conf
enter the following details
search test.comnameserver 192.168.3.2
Network Troubleshooting Tips
Networking is sometimes considered to be complex, and hard to troubleshoot and manage. However, Linux provides you with Some tools to figure out exactly what’s going wrong on your network, and how to fix it.Here we are going see some tools and how to check the network connectivity.
Ping
Ping is a computer network tool used to test whether a particular host is reachable across an IP network. Ping works by sending ICMP “echo request” packets to the target host and listening for ICMP “echo response” replies (sometimes dubbed “Pong!” as an analog from the Ping Pong table tennis sport.) Using interval timing and response rate, ping estimates the round-trip time (generally in milliseconds although the unit is often omitted) and packet loss (if any) rate between hosts.
This is very basic and powerful tool to check Internet connection
Example
ping -c 4 google.com
-c option is used to pass how many packets you’re sending
If everything working file you should get reply looks like below
Pinging www.l.google.com [64.233.183.103] with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from 64.233.183.103: bytes=32 time=12ms TTL=244Reply from 64.233.183.103: bytes=32 time=12ms TTL=244Reply from 64.233.183.103: bytes=32 time=12ms TTL=244Reply from 64.233.183.103: bytes=32 time=12ms TTL=244
Ping statistics for 64.233.183.103:Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:Minimum = 12ms, Maximum = 12ms, Average = 12ms
Traceroute
traceroute is a computer network tool used to determine the route taken by packets across an IP network. An IPv6 variant, traceroute6, is also widely available.Very useful to trace IP packets.
Example
traceroute google.com
ifconfig
The Unix command ifconfig can function as a tool to configure a network interface for TCP/IP from the command line interface (CLI).This is another easy tool to see if your interface is actually loading correctly.
Example
ifconfig
eth0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:0A:E6:C6:07:85inet addr:132.18.0.16 Bcast:132.18.0.255 Mask:255.255.255.0inet6 addr: fe80::20a:e6ff:fec6:785/64 Scope:LinkUP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST MTU:1500 Metric:1RX packets:18458 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0TX packets:8982 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000RX bytes:4015093 (3.8 MiB) TX bytes:1449812 (1.3 MiB)Interrupt:10 Base address:0xd400
Route
This is very useful to check routing config
Example
route -n
Netstat
If you want to see Routing Tables,all open ports,all listen ports
netstat -nr
-n means return numeric output (ie, IP address instead of hostname)
-r means print the routing table
find all open ports
netstat -a
find listening ports
netstat -l

Play with alias command in linux os

In the bash-shell:
alias new_name='command'
e.g.
alias ll='ls -l' (Defines a new command ll)
alias ls='ls -F --color=auto' (Redefines an existing command. Use \ls (backslash) or full path (/bin/ls) to use the unaliased version)
Add the commands to .bashrc or .bash_profile to load them automatically at log-in.
The unalias command can be used to turn it off.

Other shells -- zsh, tcsh, pdksh -- use other commands/notations to set alias.

You can also make symbolic-links to make aliases:
ln -s /usr/bin/w /usr/bin/whodo (Makes whodo an alternative name for w)

===========================
Definition: alias is a built-in shell command in Linux / Unix operating systems. It can save you a lot of typing by assigning a name to long commands. For example, if you need to repeatedly copy files from one directory to another using the command

cp /home/jones/data1/* /usr/local/share/latest/.

you can replace this long command line with a short easy to remember name like "moveit" using the alias command as follows:

alias moveit="cp /home/jones/data1/* /usr/local/share/latest/."

Then you can just type "moveit" at the command prompt and it will do the same copy operation.

If you change your mind and want to assign a different command to the alias, you do it same way-the previous definition will be overwritten.

An alias definition is valid only in the current shell execution environment and the execution environments of its subshells.


Making Aliases Permanent

The main disadvantage with the alias command is that any alias set up with it remains in effect only during the current login session (i.e., until the user logs out or the computer is shut down). Although this might not be much of a problem for systems which are rebooted (i.e., restarted) only infrequently (such as corporate database servers), it can be a nuisance for systems that are frequently rebooted (e.g., home computers).

Fortunately, however, any alias can be made more enduring (i.e., until it is explicitly removed) by writing it to the appropriate configuration file with a text editor. The name and location of such file can vary according to the system. In the case of Red Hat Linux, an alias for any user can be added to the .bashrc file in that user's home directory. Because this file is read at login, the change will not take effect until the user has logged in again.

Aliases for the root user can be made permanent by entering them in the .bashrc file in the root's home directory, i.e., in /root/.bashrc. System-wide aliases can be put in the /etc/bashrc file. The system needs to be restarted before system-wide aliases can take effect.

Removing Aliases

The command unalias, which is likewise built into bash and some other shells, is used to remove entries from the current user's list of aliases. Its syntax is

unalias [-a] name(s)

For example, the following would remove the alias rm which was created in an earlier example:

unalias rm

unalias removes not only aliases created during the current session but also permanent-a option tells unalias to remove all aliases for the current user for the current shell. aliases that are listed in system configuration files. The

A second way to remove an alias is by using the alias command to create a new alias with the same name. This overwrites the existing alias with that name.

A third way is to delete the alias from the appropriate configuration file using a text editor. For example, in the case of Red Hat, deleting an alias in the bash shell for a user named joe would involve removing the appropriate line in the file /home/joe/.bashrc. Likewise, an alias can be modified by editing the appropriate line in the configuration file.

Creating Acronis Bootable Media on a USB Flash Drive



These instructions apply to:
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows Server 2008

  1. Insert your flash drive;

  2. Hit Win-R and type cmd to open a command-line;

  3. Type diskpart to run Windows DiskPart utility:

  4. Type list disk to list all disks attached to the machine:


  5. Type select disk [number] to select your flash drive:


  6. Type clean to remove any formatting from the selected disk:


  7. Type create partition primary:


  8. Type select partition 1 to select the only partition, which you now have on the flash drive:


  9. Type active to mark the partition as active:


  10. Type format fs=fat32 to format the disk in FAT32 (otherwise the drive will not be bootable):


  11. Type assign to assign a drive letter:


  12. Type exit to exit Windows DiskPart utility:


  13. Run your Acronis product;

  14. Pick Tools -> Create Bootable Rescue Media;

  15. Follow all steps of the wizard and select your USB flash drive as media.

Setup BSNL EVDO USB Modem in Linux | BSNL EVDO

Lets see how I started using this device on my Linux distribution (You can follow the same steps to configure this device on any Linux distribution) :

Device : [b]ZTE EV-DO AC8700 800M[/b]

Product Vendor : Qualcomm, Inc.

1) Insert the EvDO device into USB port

2) Check whether the device is getting detected on your system or not. You can issue the following command in console :

#sudo tail -f /var/log/messages

This will result in following messages if the device is detected

Mar 4 09:27:42 techfiz kernel: [ 8251.024000] usb 4-1: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice
Mar 4 09:27:42 techfiz kernel: [ 8251.028000] usbserial_generic 4-1:1.0: generic converter detected
Mar 4 09:27:42 techfiz kernel: [ 8251.028000] usb 4-1: generic converter now attached to ttyUSB0

In the above lines ttyUSB0 is the device file for your modem. This file gets created automatically if the required modules are available. Else you will see some error messages.

Note :You might face an issue while activating this device on Ubuntu 7.04 and 7.10 as there have made some modifications to the USB serial device mappings. To resolve this issue, edit the file /etc/init.d/mountdevsubfs.sh.

Find the function do_start () and ensure that you have all the following lines.

#
# Magic to make /proc/bus/usb work
#
mkdir -p /dev/bus/usb/.usbfs
domount usbfs "" /dev/bus/usb/.usbfs -obusmode=0700,devmode=0600,listmode=0644
ln -s .usbfs/devices /dev/bus/usb/devices
mount --rbind /dev/bus/usb /proc/bus/usb

The complete function looks like this

do_start () {
#
# Mount a tmpfs on /dev/shm
#
SHM_OPT=
[ “${SHM_SIZE:=$TMPFS_SIZE}” ] && SHM_OPT=”-osize=$SHM_SIZE”
domount tmpfs shmfs /dev/shm $SHM_OPT


#
# Mount /dev/pts. Create master ptmx node if needed.
#
domount devpts “” /dev/pts -ogid=$TTYGRP,mode=$TTYMODE

#
# Magic to make /proc/bus/usb work
#
mkdir -p /dev/bus/usb/.usbfs
domount usbfs “” /dev/bus/usb/.usbfs -obusmode=0700,devmode=0600,listmode=0644
ln -s .usbfs/devices /dev/bus/usb/devices
mount –rbind /dev/bus/usb /proc/bus/usb
}

The above change creates a file called /proc/bus/usb/.usbfs/devices which is missing in the new Ubuntu releases.

After making these changes run /etc/init.d/mountdevsubfs.sh restart at consoel or restart system before continuing with the other steps.

4) Now, your system can easily identify the new USB device which you have inserted into your PC. You can confirm this by running lsusb command.

# lsusb
Bus 005 Device 004: ID 046d:08c6 Logitech, Inc.
Bus 005 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
Bus 004 Device 027: ID 05c6:6000 Qualcomm, Inc.
Bus 004 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
Bus 003 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
Bus 002 Device 003: ID 413c:8126 Dell Computer Corp.
Bus 002 Device 004: ID 0a5c:4502 Broadcom Corp.
Bus 002 Device 005: ID 0a5c:4503 Broadcom Corp.
Bus 002 Device 002: ID 0a5c:4500 Broadcom Corp.
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
Bus 001 Device 004: ID 046d:c50e Logitech, Inc. MX-1000 Cordless Mouse Receiver
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 0000:0000

Here Bus 004 Device 027: ID 05c6:6000 Qualcomm, Inc. is the new device which started showing up for me on my laptop.

5) Your Linux kernel need to know which company’s driver need to be used with device. Most of the new kernels comes with the Qualcomm drivers inbuilt. Else you need to insert the driver module into your kernel.

Run this at the console to activate the module based on the vendor id and product id (You can find them in the previous step ID 05c6:6000. As we need to pass these numbers in hex format, I’m adding 0x).


# modprobe usbserial vendor=0x05c6 product=0x6000

(Goto step 2 and check if your USB device gets detected or not. You can even try replugging your USB device)

PS : You can permanently add this line to ensure that the module gets loaded to your kernel each time you restart your system by adding the following line into /etc/modules

usbserial vendor=0×05c6 product=0×6000

Finally you must get the following output, showing the Vendor name, ID, Device id , Device Bus used by your kernel to interact with the device.

#lsusb -v | grep Qualcomm
Bus 004 Device 022: ID 05c6:6000 Qualcomm, Inc.
idVendor 0×05c6 Qualcomm, Inc.

Now, your Linux PC is capable of creating the device files /dev/ttyUSB0 automatically without any issues.

6) Now its time for us to create the dialup profile. Its so simple with “wvdialconf” command.

#wvdialconf /etc/wvdial.conf

This creates a file called /etc/wvdial.conf with following output :

# wvdialconf /etc/wvdial.conf
Writing `/etc/wvdial.conf’.

Scanning your serial ports for a modem.

Modem Port Scan< *1>: S0 S1 S2 S3
WvModem< *1>: Cannot get information for serial port.
ttyUSB0< *1>: ATQ0 V1 E1 — OK
ttyUSB0< *1>: ATQ0 V1 E1 Z — OK
ttyUSB0< *1>: ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 — OK
ttyUSB0< *1>: ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 — OK
ttyUSB0< *1>: ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2 — OK
ttyUSB0< *1>: ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2 +FCLASS=0 — OK
ttyUSB0< *1>: Modem Identifier: ATI — Manufacturer: QUALCOMM INCORPORATED
ttyUSB0< *1>: Speed 4800: AT — OK
ttyUSB0< *1>: Speed 9600: AT — OK
ttyUSB0< *1>: Speed 19200: AT — OK
ttyUSB0< *1>: Speed 38400: AT — OK
ttyUSB0< *1>: Speed 57600: AT — OK
ttyUSB0< *1>: Speed 115200: AT — OK
ttyUSB0< *1>: Speed 230400: AT — OK
ttyUSB0< *1>: Speed 460800: AT — OK
ttyUSB0< *1>: Max speed is 460800; that should be safe.
ttyUSB0< *1>: ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2 +FCLASS=0 — OK
WvModem< *1>: Cannot get information for serial port.
ttyUSB1< *1>: ATQ0 V1 E1 — failed with 2400 baud, next try: 9600 baud
ttyUSB1< *1>: ATQ0 V1 E1 — failed with 9600 baud, next try: 115200 baud
ttyUSB1< *1>: ATQ0 V1 E1 — and failed too at 115200, giving up.
WvModem< *1>: Cannot get information for serial port.
ttyUSB2< *1>: ATQ0 V1 E1 — failed with 2400 baud, next try: 9600 baud
ttyUSB2< *1>: ATQ0 V1 E1 — failed with 9600 baud, next try: 115200 baud
ttyUSB2< *1>: ATQ0 V1 E1 — and failed too at 115200, giving up.

Found a modem on /dev/ttyUSB0.
/etc/wvdial.conf: Can’t open ‘/etc/wvdial.conf’ for reading: No such file or directory
/etc/wvdial.conf
: …starting with blank configuration.
Modem configuration written to /etc/wvdial.conf.
ttyUSB0: Speed 460800; init “ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2 +FCLASS=0″

Your /etc/wvdial.conf will have the following entries.

# cat /etc/wvdial.conf

[Dialer Defaults]
Init2 = ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2 +FCLASS=0
Modem Type = Analog Modem
; Phone =
ISDN = 0
; Username =
Init1 = ATZ
; Password =

Modem = /dev/ttyUSB0
Baud = 460800

Change the target phone no. to #777 and Username and password need to be set to the EVDO number provided by BSNL.

And you require an another magical line added to this file. i.e.

Stupid Mode = 1

More about Stupid Mode (from man pages):

When wvdial is in Stupid Mode, it does not attempt to interpret any prompts from the terminal server. It starts pppd immediately after the modem connects. Apparently there are ISP’s that actually give you a login prompt, but work only if you start PPP, rather than logging in. Go figure. Stupid Mode is (naturally) disabled by default.

Your /etc/wvdial.conf should look like this :

[Dialer Defaults]
Init1 = ATZ
Init2 = ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2 +FCLASS=0
Modem Type = Analog Modem
ISDN = 0
Phone = #777
Modem = /dev/ttyUSB0
Username = 22222222
Password = 22222222
Baud = 460800
Stupid Mode = 1

22222222 is just an example id, replace this with your EvDO number.

7) You’re all set to get connected now. just execute the following command again at the console

# wvdial

output :

# wvdial
WvDial< *1>: WvDial: Internet dialer version 1.56
WvModem< *1>: Cannot get information for serial port.
WvDial< *1>: Initializing modem.
WvDial< *1>: Sending: ATZ
WvDial Modem< *1>: ATZ
WvDial Modem< *1>: OK
WvDial< *1>: Sending: ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2 +FCLASS=0
WvDial Modem< *1>: ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2 +FCLASS=0
WvDial Modem< *1>: OK
WvDial< *1>: Modem initialized.
WvDial< *1>: Sending: ATDT#777
WvDial< *1>: Waiting for carrier.
WvDial Modem< *1>: ATDT#777
WvDial Modem< *1>: CONNECT
WvDial< *1>: Carrier detected. Starting PPP immediately.
WvDial: Starting pppd at Tue Mar 4 16:26:53 2008
WvDial
: Pid of pppd: 14536
WvDial< *1>: Using interface ppp0
WvDial< *1>: pppd: ��[06][08]��[06][08]
WvDial< *1>: pppd: ��[06][08]��[06][08]
WvDial< *1>: pppd: ��[06][08]��[06][08]
WvDial< *1>: pppd: ��[06][08]��[06][08]
WvDial< *1>: pppd: ��[06][08]��[06][08]
WvDial< *1>: pppd: ��[06][08]��[06][08]
WvDial< *1>: pppd: ��[06][08]��[06][08]
WvDial< *1>: local IP address 10.1.0.169
WvDial< *1>: pppd: ��[06][08]��[06][08]
WvDial< *1>: remote IP address 10.64.64.64
WvDial< *1>: pppd: ��[06][08]��[06][08]
WvDial< *1>: primary DNS address 218.248.240.23
WvDial< *1>: pppd: ��[06][08]��[06][08]
WvDial< *1>: secondary DNS address 218.248.240.135
WvDial< *1>: pppd: ��[06][08]��[06][08]

There should be a smile at your face after looking at it as you’re connected to internet. Start browsing unlimited.

7) To terminate the connection issue CTRL + C command and then remove EvDO device.

Note: If you still love windows, you have a bad news. BSNL does not provide you with the Windows Vista drivers for this device. I haven’t found one so far even for testing it.

You have just hacked into Linux to make a device work. Isn’t it fun.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to comment on it. I shall help you understand it better.

Reinstall Ubuntu Grub Bootloader After Windows Wipes it Out

If you run a dual-boot system with Linux and Windows, this has happened to you. You had to do your monthly reinstall of Windows, and now you don’t see the linux bootloader anymore, so you can’t boot into Ubuntu or whatever flavor of linux you prefer.

Here’s the quick and easy way to re-enable Grub.

1) Boot off the LiveCD

2) Open a Terminal and type in the following commands, noting that the first command will put you into the grub “prompt”, and the next 3 commands will be executed there. Also note that hd0,0 implies the first hard drive and the first partition on that drive, which is where you probably installed grub to during installation. If not, then adjust accordingly.

sudo grub

> root (hd0,0)

> setup (hd0)

> exit

Reboot (removing the livecd), and your boot menu should be back.

Only read below if Windows is now missing from the boot menu

If you installed Ubuntu before you installed Windows, then Ubuntu will not have anything in the grub configuration for Windows. This is where you’ll have to do a bit of manual editing to the grub boot menu file.

If you open the file /boot/grub/menu.lst with the following command:

sudo gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst

You’ll see a sample section for Windows, which you’ll want to uncomment and add to the boot menu list in whatever position you want it in. (uncomment by removing the #’s)

# title Windows 95/98/NT/2000
# root (hd0,0)
# makeactive
# chainloader +1

Note that you should also verify that hd0,0 is the correct location for Windows. If you had installed Windows on the 4th partition on the drive, then you should change it to (hd0,3)

What's new in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4

by Thorsten Leemhuis

At the Red Hat Summit 2009 currently held in Chicago, Red Hat has released version 5.4 of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (usually abbreviated to RHEL) – two months after the pre-release beta, just over seven after version 5.3, and about two and a half years after the introduction of RHEL5. As is customary in the first part of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux life cycle, the new version offers numerous new drivers and various non-security fixes as well as a range of improvements and extensions.

Switch

The most outstanding new feature of the fourth major RHEL 5 update is the support of KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) virtualisation, which was integrated into the Linux kernel's main development branch quite a while ago. However, the Linux distributor explicitly points out that the current and any future releases of RHEL5 will continue to support Xen virtualisation. In view of the take-over of KVM developers Qumranet in September last year, the earlier removal of the Xen-Dom0 kernels from Fedora, and the Xen developers' constant struggle to get their technology integrated into the main development branch, however, it looks like Red Hat intends to go for KVM in the long run.

Variants and versions

Customers with support contracts can download the new version via the Red Hat Network as of now. RHEL 5 systems will be offered the new software as a regular update that can, for example, be installed via the "yum update" command.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 is available in three variants: The RHEL 5 Advanced Platform is available for x86-32, x86-64, Itanium, System p (Power) and System z. It allows an unlimited number of virtual guests, supports cluster operation and runs on computers with any number of CPUs. RHEL 5 Server, which is also available for all the platforms mentioned above, is limited to four guest systems and two processor sockets, and comes without the cluster package. RHEL 5 Desktop is available for x86-32 and x86-64 systems in various different configurations: with or without virtualisation, with or without server and development tools, and with various different hardware limits.

In a tweet and in mail, the developers of the probably most popular and, unlike RHEL, free CentOS RHEL clone have already indicated that they will soon start their work on CentOS 5.4. It remains to be seen how long it will take them to catch up this time – after the release of RHEL 4.8, they needed quite a long time to release CentOS 4.8, which was in part caused by internal difficulties which have now largely been resolved.

Red Hat's list of supported KVM guest systems includes all the currently maintained RHEL versions as well as Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008. Paravirtualised drivers which considerably improve the I/O performance of guest systems compared to those with full emulation have recently become available for the latter. However, KVM does require processors with virtualisation functionality, although this is available in most of the current AMD and Intel models. Unlike Xen, it does not offer a complete paravirtualisation solution for modified guest systems.

KVM guest systems can be added and managed with the virt-manager – since RHEL5 uses the same tool for Xen, not much has changed for administrators in this respect. Migration tools are being developed to help customers switch from Xen to KVM.

In addition to the KVM hypervisor, the new version also contains the server, the client and the browser plug-in for qspice, a remote rendering technology Qumranet originally intended to market commercially. Also new are the support of Intel's VT-d (Virtualisation Technology for Directed I/O) as well as SRIOV (Single Root I/O for Virtualisation) in KVM and Xen.

New additions

The developers have integrated FUSE (File System in Userspace) support. The SystemTrap tracing and debugging solution was updated and is now "fully supported"; improved analysis is to be available via several static tracepoints located in a number of important RHEL kernel areas. Red Hat reportedly also improved the support of the series 5500 Xeon CPUs and of AMD's Istanbul processor.

The new version offers drivers and tools for Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) and Clustered Samba as technical previews without official support. Introduced with RHEL 5.3, the support for the Ext4 file system has been updated but it maintains its technical preview status. The same status applies to the GCC 4.4 and the new XFS file system support.

Drivers

Red Hat have now integrated the Generic Receive Offload (GRO) Infrastructure integrated into the kernel with Linux 2.6.29, as well as several 10-Gigabit network hardware drivers based on it. Further additions are the bnx2i driver and the cnic driver recently merged with Linux 2.6.31 – both drivers address chips by Broadcom. Among the drivers updated by the developers are the bnx2, e1000e, forcedeth, igb, sky2 and tg3 network drivers, which improve the support of recent Broadcom, Intel, Marvell and NVIDIA chips.

Dozens of updates to support new hardware were also made, particularly in the storage driver area. This is only the tip of the iceberg, however, as in their usual fashion, the developers also integrated or updated numerous further drivers in the Linux 2.6.18-based kernel.

Version overview

Like its three immediate predecessors in the RHEL5 series, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4 offers a large number of bug fixes and new drivers. This makes new versions appear similar to a Windows service pack. However, RHEL5 is currently still in the "Production 1" phase of the "Red Hat Enterprise Linux Life Cycle". Updates like RHEL 5.4 are given many new features during this phase – considerably more than a Windows service pack would traditionally offer.

However, in terms of the distribution's basic software – for example the Linux kernel or the Glibc –, Red Hat doesn't make any major new version updates. Like the RHEL 5.0 kernel, RHEL 5.4 is based on the slightly outdated kernel version 2.6.18. However, the Red Hat kernel has become quite different from the Linux kernel 2.6.18 available at kernel.org, as the Red Hat developers have incorporated countless improvements from more recent kernel versions into their kernel. Among them are many recent hardware drivers, because the Linux 2.6.18 drivers are unsuitable or insufficient for many modern systems.

The Linux distributor isn't quite as strict with desktop software like Evolution, Firefox, OpenOffice or Thunderbird, updating these programs to the latest versions with an occasional new y release ("RHEL x.y" where x=5 and y=4) – RHEL 5.2 was a good example.

Systems with RHEL series 5 are usually offered the software packages updated together with RHEL 5.4 as regular updates. This way, if a system accepts and installs all the updates offered, it will automatically switch to the latest 'y' release. At the latest, a system will begin to incorporate parts of RHEL 5.4 with the installation of any current and future security updates in the coming months.

Some corporate customers want to avoid this: They fear that a new 'y' release may both contain improvements and introduce new bugs. For some 'y' releases, Red Hat therefore offers separate update channels in the Red Hat Network which are subject to a fee and provide security updates and bug fixes (z streams) for the now outdated version (currently RHEL 5.3).

Multilevel if-then-else

           if condition            then                        condition is zero (true - 0)                        execute all commands up to elif statement            elif condition1
then condition1 is zero (true - 0) execute all commands up to elif statement elif condition2 then condition2 is zero (true - 0) execute all commands up to elif statement else None of the above condtion,condtion1,condtion2 are true (i.e. all of the above nonzero or false) execute all commands up to fi fi

For multilevel if-then-else statement try the following script:

$ cat > elf
#
#!/bin/sh
# Script to test if..elif...else
#
if [ $1 -gt 0 ]; then
echo "$1 is positive"
elif [ $1 -lt 0 ]
then
echo "$1 is negative"
elif [ $1 -eq 0 ]
then
echo "$1 is zero"
else
echo "Opps! $1 is not number, give number"
fi

Try above script as follows:
$ chmod 755 elf
$ ./elf 1
$ ./elf -2
$ ./elf 0
$ ./elf a
Here o/p for last sample run:
./elf: [: -gt: unary operator expected
./elf: [: -lt: unary operator expected
./elf: [: -eq: unary operator expected
Opps! a is not number, give number
Above program gives error for last run, here integer comparison is expected therefore error like "./elf: [: -gt: unary operator expected" occurs, but still our program notify this error to user by providing message "Opps! a is not number, give number".

if...else...fi

If given condition is true then command1 is executed otherwise command2 is executed.
Syntax:

           if condition            then                        condition is zero (true - 0)                        execute all commands up to else statement             else                        if condition is not true then                        execute all commands up to fi            fi

For e.g. Write Script as follows:

$ vi isnump_n
#!/bin/sh
#
# Script to see whether argument is positive or negative
#
if [ $# -eq 0 ]
then
echo "$0 : You must give/supply one integers"
exit 1
fi


if test $1 -gt 0
then
echo "$1 number is positive"
else
echo "$1 number is negative"
fi

Try it as follows:
$ chmod 755 isnump_n

$ isnump_n 5

5 number is positive

$ isnump_n -45

-45 number is negative

$ isnump_n

./ispos_n : You must give/supply one integers

$ isnump_n 0

0 number is negative

Detailed explanation
First script checks whether command line argument is given or not, if not given then it print error message as "./ispos_n : You must give/supply one integers". if statement checks whether number of argument ($#) passed to script is not equal (-eq) to 0, if we passed any argument to script then this if statement is false and if no command line argument is given then this if statement is true. The echo command i.e.
echo "$0 : You must give/supply one integers"
| |
| |
1 2
1 will print Name of script
2 will print this error message
And finally statement exit 1 causes normal program termination with exit status 1 (nonzero means script is not successfully run).

The last sample run $ isnump_n 0 , gives output as "0 number is negative", because given argument is not > 0, hence condition is false and it's taken as negative number. To avoid this replace second if statement with if test $1 -ge 0.

Nested if-else-fi

You can write the entire if-else construct within either the body of the if statement of the body of an else statement. This is called the nesting of ifs.

$ vi nestedif.sh
osch=0

echo "1. Unix (Sun Os)"
echo "2. Linux (Red Hat)"
echo -n "Select your os choice [1 or 2]? "
read osch

if [ $osch -eq 1 ] ; then

echo "You Pick up Unix (Sun Os)"

else #### nested if i.e. if within if ######

if [ $osch -eq 2 ] ; then
echo "You Pick up Linux (Red Hat)"
else
echo "What you don't like Unix/Linux OS."
fi
fi

Run the above shell script as follows:
$ chmod +x nestedif.sh
$ ./nestedif.sh

1. Unix (Sun Os)
2. Linux (Red Hat)
Select you os choice [1 or 2]? 1
You Pick up Unix (Sun Os)

$ ./nestedif.sh
1. Unix (Sun Os)
2. Linux (Red Hat)
Select you os choice [1 or 2]? 2
You Pick up Linux (Red Hat)

$ ./nestedif.sh
1. Unix (Sun Os)
2. Linux (Red Hat)
Select you os choice [1 or 2]? 3
What you don't like Unix/Linux OS.

Note that Second if-else constuct is nested in the first else statement. If the condition in the first if statement is false the the condition in the second if statement is checked. If it is false as well the final else statement is executed.

You can use the nested ifs as follows also:
Syntax:

 if condition  then   if condition   then    .....    ..    do this   else    ....    ..    do this   fi  else   ...   .....   do this  fi

test command or [ expr ]

test command or [ expr ] is used to see if an expression is true, and if it is true it return zero(0), otherwise returns nonzero for false.

Syntax:
test expression OR [ expression ]

Example:
Following script determine whether given argument number is positive.

$ cat > ispostive
#!/bin/sh
#
# Script to see whether argument is positive
#
if test $1 -gt 0
then
echo "$1 number is positive"
fi

Run it as follows
$ chmod 755 ispostive

$ ispostive 5
5 number is positive

$ispostive -45
Nothing is printed

$ispostive
./ispostive: test: -gt: unary operator expected

Detailed explanation
The line, if test $1 -gt 0 , test to see if first command line argument($1) is greater than 0. If it is true(0) then test will return 0 and output will printed as 5 number is positive but for -45 argument there is no output because our condition is not true(0) (no -45 is not greater than 0) hence echo statement is skipped. And for last statement we have not supplied any argument hence error ./ispostive: test: -gt: unary operator expected, is generated by shell , to avoid such error we can test whether command line argument is supplied or not.

test or [ expr ] works with
1.Integer ( Number without decimal point)
2.File types
3.Character strings

For Mathematics, use following operator in Shell Script

Mathematical Operator in Shell Script Meaning Normal Arithmetical/ Mathematical Statements But in Shell
For test statement with if command For [ expr ] statement with if command
-eq is equal to 5 == 6 if test 5 -eq 6 if [ 5 -eq 6 ]
-ne is not equal to 5 != 6 if test 5 -ne 6 if [ 5 -ne 6 ]
-lt is less than 5 <> if test 5 -lt 6 if [ 5 -lt 6 ]
-le is less than or equal to 5 <= 6 if test 5 -le 6 if [ 5 -le 6 ]
-gt is greater than 5 > 6 if test 5 -gt 6 if [ 5 -gt 6 ]
-ge is greater than or equal to 5 >= 6 if test 5 -ge 6 if [ 5 -ge 6 ]

NOTE: == is equal, != is not equal.

For string Comparisons use

Operator Meaning
string1 = string2 string1 is equal to string2
string1 != string2 string1 is NOT equal to string2
string1 string1 is NOT NULL or not defined
-n string1 string1 is NOT NULL and does exist
-z string1 string1 is NULL and does exist

Shell also test for file and directory types

Test Meaning
-s file Non empty file
-f file Is File exist or normal file and not a directory
-d dir Is Directory exist and not a file
-w file Is writeable file
-r file Is read-only file
-x file Is file is executable

Logical Operators

Logical operators are used to combine two or more condition at a time

Operator Meaning
! expression Logical NOT
expression1 -a expression2 Logical AND
expression1 -o expression2 Logical OR

if condition

if condition which is used for decision making in shell script, If given condition is true then command1 is executed.
Syntax:

 if condition  then   command1 if condition is true or if exit status   of condition is 0 (zero)   ...   ...  fi 

Condition is defined as:
"Condition is nothing but comparison between two values."

For compression you can use test or [ expr ] statements or even exist status can be also used.

Expreession is defined as:
"An expression is nothing but combination of values, relational operator (such as >,<, <> etc) and mathematical operators (such as +, -, / etc )."

Following are all examples of expression:
5 > 2
3 + 6
3 * 65
a < b
c > 5
c > 5 + 30 -1

Type following commands (assumes you have file called foo)
$ cat foo
$ echo $?

The cat command return zero(0) i.e. exit status, on successful, this can be used, in if condition as follows, Write shell script as

$ cat > showfile
#!/bin/sh
#
#Script to print file
#
if cat $1
then
echo -e "\n\nFile $1, found and successfully echoed"
fi

Run above script as:
$ chmod 755 showfile
$./showfile foo
Shell script name is showfile ($0) and foo is argument (which is $1).Then shell compare it as follows:
if cat $1 which is expanded to if cat foo.

Detailed explanation
if cat command finds foo file and if its successfully shown on screen, it means our cat command is successful and its exist status is 0 (indicates success), So our if condition is also true and hence statement echo -e "\n\nFile $1, found and successfully echoed" is proceed by shell. Now if cat command is not successful then it returns non-zero value (indicates some sort of failure) and this statement echo -e "\n\nFile $1, found and successfully echoed" is skipped by our shell.

Exercise
Write shell script as follows:

cat > trmif
#
# Script to test rm command and exist status
#
if rm $1
then
echo "$1 file deleted"
fi

Press Ctrl + d to save
$ chmod 755 trmif

Answer the following question in referance to above script:
(A) foo file exists on your disk and you give command, $ ./trmfi foo what will be output?
(B) If bar file not present on your disk and you give command, $ ./trmfi bar what will be output?
(C) And if you type $ ./trmfi What will be output?

Introduction

Making decision is important part in ONCE life as well as in computers logical driven program. In fact logic is not LOGIC until you use decision making. This chapter introduces to the bashs structured language constricts such as:

Decision making
Loops
Is there any difference making decision in Real life and with Computers? Well real life decision are quit complicated to all of us and computers even don't have that much power to understand our real life decisions. What computer know is 0 (zero) and 1 that is Yes or No. To make this idea clear, lets play some game (WOW!) with bc - Linux calculator program.
$ bc
After this command bc is started and waiting for your commands, i.e. give it some calculation as follows type 5 + 2 as:
5 + 2
7
7 is response of bc i.e. addition of 5 + 2 you can even try
5 - 2
5 / 2
See what happened if you type 5 > 2 as follows
5 > 2
1
1 (One?) is response of bc, How? bc compare 5 with 2 as, Is 5 is greater then 2, (If I ask same question to you, your answer will be YES), bc gives this 'YES' answer by showing 1 value. Now try
5 <> 12
5 == 10
5 != 2
5 == 5
12 <> 12 Is 5 greater than 12 NO 0
5 == 10 Is 5 is equal to 10 NO 0
5 != 2 Is 5 is NOT equal to 2 YES 1
5 == 5 Is 5 is equal to 5 YES 1
1 < 2 Is 1 is less than 2 Yes 1


It means when ever there is any type of comparison in Linux Shell It gives only two answer one is YES and NO is other.

In Linux Shell Value Meaning Example
Zero Value (0) Yes/True 0
NON-ZERO Value No/False -1, 32, 55 anything but not zero


Remember both bc and Linux Shell uses different ways to show True/False values

Value Shown in bc as Shown in Linux Shell as
True/Yes 1 0
False/No 0 Non - zero value

Why Process required

As You know Linux is multi-user, multitasking Os. It means you can run more than two process simultaneously if you wish. For e.g. To find how many files do you have on your system you may give command like:

$ ls / -R | wc -l

This command will take lot of time to search all files on your system. So you can run such command in Background or simultaneously by giving command like

$ ls / -R | wc -l &

The ampersand (&) at the end of command tells shells start process (ls / -R | wc -l) and run it in background takes next command immediately.

Process & PID defined as:
"An instance of running command is called process and the number printed by shell is called process-id (PID), this PID can be use to refer specific running process."

Linux Command Related with Process

Following tables most commonly used command(s) with process:

For this purpose Use this Command Examples*
To see currently running process ps $ ps
To stop any process by PID i.e. to kill process
kill {PID} $ kill 1012
To stop processes by name i.e. to kill process killall {Process-name} $ killall httpd
To get information about all running process ps -ag $ ps -ag
To stop all process except your shell kill 0 $ kill 0
For background processing (With &, use to put particular command and program in background) linux-command & $ ls / -R | wc -l &
To display the owner of the processes along with the processes ps aux $ ps aux
To see if a particular process is running or not. For this purpose you have to use ps command in combination with the grep command

ps ax | grep process-U-want-to see

For e.g. you want to see whether Apache web server process is running or not then give command

$ ps ax | grep httpd

To see currently running processes and other information like memory and CPU usage with real time updates. top
See the output of top command.

$ top


Note
that to exit from top command press q.
To display a tree of processes pstree $ pstree

* To run some of this command you need to be root or equivalnt user.

77 Windows 7 Tips


Windows 7 may be Microsoft’s most anticipated product ever. It builds on Windows Vista’s positives, and eliminates many of that OS’s negatives. It adds new functionality, too—all in a package that is less resource-hungry than its predecessor.
And whether or not you're upgrading from Vista or skipping it altogether and moving up from Windows XP, you'll need to know how to make the most of it in your environment. Here are 77 tips and tricks to get you there.
1. Pick Your Edition. Most business users do not need the more expensive Ultimate Edition; stick with Professional unless you specifically need BitLocker.

2. Upgrading? Go 64-bit. As the second major Windows release to fully support 64-bit, the x64 architecture has definitely arrived on the desktop. Don't buy new 32-bit hardware unless it's a netbook.

3. Use Windows XP Mode. Yes, it's only an embedded Virtual PC with a full copy of WinXP—but it's an embedded Virtual PC with a full copy of Windows XP! This is the first profoundly intelligent use of desktop virtualization we've seen—and a great way to move to Windows 7 without giving up full Windows XP compatibility.

4. Use Windows PowerShell v2. More than just a shell, this is the administration tool you've always wanted: Parallel, distributed processing for administrative tasks! Manage 100 machines literally as easily as you manage one with the new Remoting feature. Windows PowerShell v2 ships for the first time in Windows 7, and within six months will be available for older versions of Windows.

5. Use AppLocker. We've been fans of Software Restriction Policies since Windows XP, and AppLocker finally makes application whitelisting possible. Use it to enhance or even replace your anti-virus software, ensuring that only the software you want to run will run.

6. Shift to and from Explorer and CommandPrompt. The classic Windows power toy Open Command Prompt Here is now an integral part of Windows 7 Explorer. Hold down the shift key then right-click a folder to add this option to the property menu. While you're in a command prompt, if you want to open an Explorer window with the focus of the window on the current directory, enter start.

7. Record Problems. The Problem Steps Recorder (PSR) is a great new feature that helps in troubleshooting a system (see Figure 1). At times, Remote Assistance may not be possible. However, if a person types psr in their Instant Search, it will launch the recorder. Now they can perform the actions needed to recreate the problem and each click will record the screen and the step. They can even add comments. Once complete, the PSR compiles the whole thing into an MHTML file and zips it up so that it can be e-mailed for analysis to the network admin (or family problem solver, depending on how it's being used).



Figure 1 The Problem Steps Recorder dramatically speeds up troubleshooting. (Click the image for a larger view)

8. Make Training Videos. Use a tool like Camtasia to record short, two to three minute video tutorials to help your users find relocated features, operate the new Taskbar and so forth. Get them excited about Windows 7—and prepared for it.

9. Start Thinking About Windows Server 2008 R2. Some of Windows 7's more compelling features, like BranchCache, work in conjunction with the new server OS. The R2 upgrade path is pretty straightforward, so there's little reason not to take advantage of the synergies if you can afford upgrade licenses.

10. Prepare Those XP Machines. There's no in-place upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7, so start planning to migrate user data now, in advance of a Windows 7 upgrade deployment.

11. Consider Clean Installs. Even when upgrading Windows Vista machines, consider a clean install rather than an in-place upgrade. Yes, it's more hassle, but it'll produce a more trouble-free computer in the long run.

12. Consider Upgrade Assurance. Even if you've never bought it before, consider it for your new Windows 7 licenses. Access to the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP), which includes App-V, MED-V and other cool technologies, is worth the premium.

13. Find New Tools. Within Control Panel is a single Troubleshooting link that leads you to all of your diagnostic tools on the system. There are additional tools, however, not installed by default. Selecting the "View all" link in the top left-hand corner will help you to see which troubleshooting packs are local and which ones are online. If you find a tool that you don't have, you can grab it from here.

14. Understand Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). Windows 7 plays an important role in Microsoft's VDI strategy, where virtualized Windows 7 machines are hosted on a central virtualization server using a special blanket "Enterprise Centralized Desktop" license. Read up and figure out if you can take advantage of this new strategy.
15. Prepare for DirectAccess. DirectAccess makes it easier for users to remotely access their office-based resources, without a VPN. DirectAccess also opens up remote computers more fully to Group Policy—but it requires Windows 7 and Windows 2008 R2.

16. Employ Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM). If you quickly want to list or manage Windows packages, features or drivers, use the command-line utility DISM. The "image" in the name may fool you into thinking that this is solely a deployment tool. An online command-line switch lets you manage the features in the currently loaded OS. To get a list of the loaded Windows features, enter dism /online /get-features /format:table. To enable a feature, enter dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:.

17. Embrace Troubleshooting Packs. Designed to help users troubleshoot and solve problems on their own, you need to update your support procedures to acknowledge these Packs. For example, don't force users to repeat steps the Pack already walked them through, and consider developing your own Packs (in Windows PowerShell) to support in-house systems.

18. Check Reliability. The Reliability Monitor was introduced in Windows Vista as 'The Reliability and Performance Monitor." In Windows 7 it has been separated from Performance Monitor and moved to a new location under the Action Center. You open the Action Center in Control Panel and then look under the Maintenance options for the "View reliability history" link. You can also just type in Reliability Monitor from the Instant Search (see Figure 2).



Figure 2 The Reliability Monitor has been broken out separately from Performance Monitor. (Click the image for a larger view)
19. Accept Diversity. Not every organization will be ready to move entirely to Windows 7 right away. That's fine—but that shouldn't mean the entire organization stays on Windows XP, either. The myths of the cost savings of having only one OS have been largely disproven or downplayed, so use Windows 7 where it makes sense to do so.

20. Get Snippy. The snipping tool has also been around in various incarnations but it's even easier to use in Windows 7. Launch the tool, then drag and drop any part of your screen. The tool will snip the selection. You can save it as a graphic file or annotate with basic drawing tools. Teach your end users how to use this tool so they can grab the snapshots of their problems and send them to the help desk. Or create your own library of visual notes.

21. Presentation Nirvana. Press Windows+P to access the new Presentation mode, and easily turn on your projector and laptop screen at the same time. No more messing with vendor-specific utilities and arcane keystrokes. (Windows+X accesses the Mobility Center, with additional presentation options.)

22. Cut the Clutter. Press Windows+Home to minimize all but the current window, removing background clutter and letting you focus on that report your boss has been bugging you about.

23. Be a Mouse-Click Administrator. Windows 7 makes it easy to gain admin rights with a keyboard shortcut. Click on Ctrl+Shift on a taskbar-locked icon, and voila! You've launched it with appropriate admin rights.

24. Faster Installations. If your computer is capable of booting from USB, try this: XCopy the Windows 7 installation DVD to a sufficiently large USB drive, boot from that drive, and install Windows from there. It's faster than a spinning platter.

25. Burn Discs with a Click. Or two; double-click an ISO file to burn it to your CD or DVD writer.

26. Restore Point Previews Many of us used to shut off System Restore because we were terrified to actually use it; under Windows 7, we can be much calmer. After selecting a Restore Point, Windows will now offer to show you which files and folders will be affected by restoring to that point.

27. Sync Time Zones. If you work with offices in different time zones and frequently find yourself missing meeting times because you are not in sync with their time zone, try the "Additional Clocks" feature that was first introduced in Vista. Within your Date and Time settings is a tab called Additional Clocks, where you can add two or more clocks to your taskbar time, and set them to provide different time zones from your current time zone.

28. Configure User Account Control (UAC). Even if you're a UAC hater, give it another try. Go to the Control Panel to configure its behavior to something slightly less obnoxious than what Windows Vista had, and see if you can't live with the extra protection it offers (see Figure 3).


Figure 3
User Account Control, the bane of administrators, has been revamped and improved. (Click the image for a larger view)

29. RoboCopyCopyCopy. The always-useful Robocopy.exe can now run multi-threaded; run Robocopy /? to review its new parameters (like /MT for multithreading) and make your copies go faster.

30. Remote Desktop Console. Windows 7 Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) does not include a console-based remote desktop utility. And even if it did, the standard remote desktop console has some nagging limitations: It can't move connections around in the list; it can't sort by folders and so forth. If you manage lots of servers from your Windows 7 workstation, try downloading a copy of mRemote from mremote.org. This donation-requested utility allows you to mix together a variety of remote control applications, including Citrix Independent Computing Architecture (ICA), Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), Virtual Network Computing (VNC), Secure Shell (SSH) and rlogin. All host names are displayed in a standard tree control that can be divided into folders, sorted alphabetically, and allow you to assign different logon accounts and secure passwords to each connection.

31. Multiple Monitors. Windows 7 makes working with multiple monitors intuitive and flexible. There are a variety of shortcuts and mouse motions that flick windows from monitor to monitor. To make the most of this, you need lots and lots of screen real estate. Try one of the new QWXGA monitors from Samsung (tinyurl.com/qwxgasamsung) or Dell (tinyurl.com/qwxgadell). These 23-inch monitors have a 2048x1152 resolution, making it possible to put two full-sized pages on the same monitor. Pair them together and you'll get enough space to have all your admin tools open along with Office, Visio, your intranet sites and a little note to your mom in Live Mail. Move your taskbar to the left or right side of the window instead of along the bottom to free up even more real estate.

32. Windows PowerShell Scripting. If you want to make the most of Windows PowerShell on Windows 7, you'll need a quick way to build and debug scripts. Windows 7 comes with an interactive editor that allows you to try out cmdlets and test functions on the fly.

33. Drag-and-Drop Notification Icons. The redesigned notification area displays only a minimum number of icons; all other notification icons are moved to a side window. Rather than using the Customize option to select icons for the main display, you can drag-and-drop icons from the side window to the notification area.

34. Add Unindexed Shared Folders to Library. You can add UNC paths such as \\servername\sharename to a Library, but the server must index the folder. If you want to add a UNC path to an unindexed server, you can create a symbolic link to the UNC path, then add the link or links to the library. Use the mklink command. For example, mklink HomeFolder \\ServerName\Homefolder.

35. Simplify Cloned Machine Setups. You can't run Sysinternals' newsid utility to change the identity of a cloned Windows 7 machine (either a virtual machine or imaged PC). Instead, create a template installation then run sysprep /oobe /generalize /reboot /shutdown /unattend:scriptfile. Clone or copy this virtual machine file. When it launches, it will get a new SID and you can fill in the name. The reference for building unattended script files is at tinyurl.com/winunattend.

36. Snap That Aero. The Windows key is great for all your shortcuts. Now you can use it to work with the new AeroSnap feature in Windows 7. Select a window, hit the Windows key and a left or right arrow to snap the window to that half of the screen, or use the up arrow to snap it to the top of the screen.

37. Shortcut the Taskbar. The Windows key is great for shortcuts. You can select the Windows key and a number to correspond to items on your taskbar. So, if IE (for example) is the third icon on your taskbar (not counting the Start button), you can hit the Windows key and the number three to launch or open IE.

38. Manage Passwords. Control Panel includes a new application called Credential Manager. This may appear to be a completely new tool that allows you to save your credentials (usernames and passwords) for Web sites you log into and other resources you connect to (such as other systems). Those credentials are saved in the Windows Vault, which can be backed up and restored. However, you might see this as similar to a tool we have in XP and Vista. From the Instant Search, type in control /userpasswords2 and you will be brought to the Advanced User Accounts Control Panel, where you can also manage passwords for your account (see Figure 4).


Figure 4
The Credential Manager provides a handy, secure place to store passwords.(Click the image for a larger view)

39. Trigger Actions.
Event Viewer is closely tied into Task Scheduler. You have the ability to take an event (select it in Event Viewer) and then from the Actions pane, select the option "Attach a Task" to have that event, when it appears, trigger an action. That action can be: launch a program; send an e-mail; or display a message. This feature may be very helpful in troubleshooting a problem.

40. Browse InPrivate. A new feature in IE8 is the ability to open the browser in an InPrivate Browsing session that allows you to perform banking and so forth from a public location without fear of leaving behind any residue. IE will not retain anything you do in an In Private Browsing session. You can perform this action if you are already within IE by selecting the Safety button and then InPrivate Browsing. This will open another IE window altogether. However, you can save a few steps by using the shortcut. Right-click the desktop IE icon, click InPrivate and the windows will open in an InPrivate session already.

41. Go Live. Many applications installed on past versions of Windows have been removed. Starting with Windows 7, these applications (and a few others not typically installed with Windows) have been moved into the Live Essentials downloadable applications, atdownload.live.com. These applications include Messenger, Mail, Writer, Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, Family Safety and a few others.

42. Remove Apps. Although some applications have been moved off of Windows to become an optional download, other apps, such as IE8, Media Player, Media Center and DVD Maker are still included. In times past, especially when it came to IE, the applications were tied into the OS. However, in Windows 7 you can easily remove them if desired. Head to the Program and Features applet in Control Panel and select the "Turn Windows features on or off" link in the top left-hand corner. Then you can select the checkbox of the features you want to lose or add for your system (see Figure 5).


Figure 5
Windows 7 unbinds many applications from the OS, making it easy to add and remove them. (Click the image for a larger view)

43. Are You Windows 7 Experienced?
System properties has a rating called the Windows Experience Index (WEI). This rating is a collection of five different ratings that are determined by the Windows System Assessment Tool (WinSAT). The highest rating score is 7.9 (compared to 5.9 in Vista), using the categories of Processor, RAM, Graphics, Gaming Graphics and Primary Hard Disk. The final rating is not an average of all the ratings, but the lowest of the subcomponent scores.

44. Analyze Processes. One of the coolest new features in the revamped Resource Monitor (resmon) is the ability to see the "wait chain traversal." An unresponsive process will be shown in red in the Resource Monitor; right-click the process and choose Analyze Process. This will show the threads in the process and see who holds the resources that are holding up the process itself. You can then kill that part of the process if you like.

45. Create Virtual Worlds. Virtualization capability has been added to the Disk Management tools. If you open Computer Management, go to the Disk Manager tool and then click the Action button at top, you will see the options Create VHD and/or Attach VHD. This allows you to create and mount a virtual hard drive directly from within the GUI. Note: With Windows 7 you even have the ability to boot a Windows 7 VHD (see Figure 6).


Figure 6
Windows 7 adds a great deal of virtualization support, including the ability to create and attach virtual hard drives from the GUI. (Click the image for a larger view)

46. Encrypt USB Sticks.
Use BitLocker To Go. Maybe you've managed to never misplace or lose a USB key, but for the rest of us mere mortals, it's a fact of life. Most of the time it's no big deal, but what if it contains sensitive data? BitLocker To Go enables you to encrypt data on removable storage devices with a password or a digital certificate stored on a smart card.

47. Lock with Group Policy. Take control through AppLocker application control. AppLocker intercepts kernel calls that try to create new processes or load libraries and ensures the code is allowed to execute. Practically, that means you can eliminate unknown and unwanted software by implementing AppLocker through Group Policy.

48. Be Our Guest.
Guest mode proves a convenient method to give a guest or child access to your computer with limits on making system changes, installing software, or writing to the disk outside the user profile. After the user is done and logs off, data saved inside of the user profile is deleted. You cannot use Guest mode in an AD environment.

49. Restore from Backed up Restore Points.
You can choose to include restore points in your backups and restore from them when using System Restore. This is convenient if you want to create a baseline of a working configuration and be able to restore to it in the future without overwriting other data on the hard disk.

50. Benefit from BranchCache.
BranchCache helps you save on round trips for requested files in remote branch scenarios. If one person requests a file over the WAN, it's cached locally and either distributed across computers at the remote branch or stored on a central server at the remote branch.

51. Disable Search Suggestion Popups.
As you type in the Search Box, Windows 7 makes suggestions based on past queries by pulling past queries from the Registry. You can disable this in the Local Group Policy by enabling User Configuration | Administrative Templates | Windows Components | Windows Explorer | Turn Off Display Of Recent Search Entries In the Windows Explorer.

52. Pin Control Panel to Taskbar.
If you use the Control Panel frequently, you may have noticed that you cannot simply right-click the Control Panel and select Pin to Taskbar. Instead, you must first Open Control Panel so its icon appears in the taskbar. From there, you can right-click the icon in the taskbar and select Pin this program to taskbar.

53. Leverage Search Connectors.
You can now search the Web using the search functionality. Windows 7 includes Federated Search to increase the search scope beyond the local and network resources. Several search connectors are available, such as for YouTube and Twitter, or you can create custom ones to fit your needs.

54. Use Stickier Notes.
Even though this feature has existed in previous versions of Windows in one form or another, it's much easier to use in Windows 7. You can stick a note on your desktop for quick reminders. It's a snap to change the font or note color. If you have a note selected, use Ctrl-N to create a new one.

55. Try out Improved WordPad.
You probably haven't given much thought to WordPad lately, but the version shipping with Windows 7 has undergone a major renovation. Think of it as a lite version of Microsoft Word. WordPad sports a spiffy ribbon interface, making it a snap to create well-formatted documents. Plus, you are no longer relegated to saving them as .RTF files. WordPad now supports the Office Open XML document (.DOCX) format. This makes it even easier to open .DOCX files created in Word in WordPad.

56. Calculate.
Another basic utility that received a major overhaul is the venerable calculator. In addition to standard and scientific views, there are now programmer and statistic modes. You will also love the conversion and calculation features. Want to convert Celsius to Fahrenheit but can never remember the formula? Use the conversion panel. You'll also enjoy the data calculation extension. Quickly find the difference between two dates or calculate a new date by adding or subtracting years, months or days.

57. Manage Services from Task Manager.
The Windows 7 Task Manager now includes a tab to manage services. You can quickly see at a glance the status of all services on your machine. Click a column heading to sort. You can even start and stop services with a simple right-click. If you need full-blown service management, use the Services button to launch the Services management console. You may often have the Task Manager running in the system tray; now, having service management access means one less window to have open.

58. Get Under the Hood.
Windows 7 offers more ways to peek under the hood without adding third-party solutions. A terrific example is the Resource Monitor. The performance tab in Windows Task Manager is a good start, but sometimes you need more information. Click the Resource Monitor button to get more detailed information and performance graphs for key subsystems like CPU and Disk. You can also find the Resource Monitor under Accessories | System Tools.

59. Check Vital Signs.
Another new system tool you'll enjoy is the System Health report. In the Run dialog box, type perfmon /report, which generates a system health report. This report records details about your computer's performance, resource usage and more. The report also includes diagnostic information about things that aren't working as they should and suggested steps to resolve. The reports are saved and can be accessed with the Performance Monitor management console. You can also save as an HTML file or send via e-mail.

60. Get More Windows PowerShell.
Windows PowerShell v2 promises to be a game-changer for many system administrators. Many will prefer to use the graphical Windows PowerShell console, also known as the Integrated Scripting Environment (ISE). You'll find this in the Windows Power­Shell folder under Accessories. Add a keyboard shortcut of Ctrl+Alt+I to quickly launch it. Run any Windows PowerShell command in the lower panel and see the results in the middle. Create or edit scripts in the top pane. Open multiple Windows PowerShell sessions connected to remote computers. The ISE makes Windows PowerShell v2 easy to use and fun (see Figure 7).


Figure 7
Windows PowerShell has been much more tightly integrated with Windows 7, and adds the Integrated Scripting Environment. (Click the image for a larger view)

61. Put It on Old Stuff.
One perhaps-not-so-obvious Windows 7 tip is that you should attempt to install it everywhere. One user has a 6-year-old laptop that originally shipped with Windows XP. He could never get Windows Vista to install on it. But Windows 7 installed without complaint and runs extremely smooth. Granted, there are some Windows 7 features he can't take advantage of because the processor lacks certain features, but these are minor issues considering the laptop now has life again.

62. Improve Security.
In Vista it was difficult to manage system protection via restore points. The System Protection tab in Windows 7 is a vast improvement. In one spot you can configure how much space to devote to restore points, delete and create restore points or even turn off system protection altogether. This is very useful on older systems where disk space may be at a premium.

63. Actually Use Help and Support.
Much of Vista's clutter has been reduced in Windows 7. For instance, the Help and Support page has three links, a search window and a link back to Microsoft's Windows site. It's much less intimidating for end users, so make sure they know about it. Search is much improved as well, making for a better, faster experience.

The 14 Best Windows 7 Keyboard Shortcuts
The Windows key now performs a wide variety of functions. Here are a handful of the most useful ones:

64. Win+h - Move current window to full screen

65. Win+i - Restore current full screen window to normal size or minimize current window if not full screen

66. Win+Shift+arrow - Move current window to alternate screen

67. Win+D - Minimize all windows and show the desktop

68. Win+E - Launch Explorer with Computer as the focus

69. Win+F - Launch a search window

70. Win+G - Cycle through gadgets

71. Win+L - Lock the desktop

72. Win+M - Minimize the current window

73. Win+R - Open the Run window

74. Win+T - Cycle through task bar opening Aero Peek for each running item

75. Win+U - Open the Ease of Use center

76. Win+Space - Aero Peek the desktop

77. Ctrl+Win+Tab - Open persistent task selection window, roll mouse over each icon to preview item and minimize others

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