Posts tagged Linux
At home I have Linksys WRT54GL router which I've had for 4/5 years now.
It's always been a dependable box with all the basic functionality I've needed onboard, but recently (mainly as a result of networking discussions at work) I've thought about doing more things which require more control over my internet connection.
When talking to a friend about this recently, he suggested I try Tomato out, as it's designed to work on boxes like mine and offers a lot of extra functionality over the standard supplied firmware.
So today I bit the bullet and gave it a whirl, and I couldn't be happier.
I now have a neat little accessible linux based router with all the extra useful features you'd expect - VPN, bandwith monitoring, signal monitoring, decent routing, cron jobs, custom scripting, etc.
Given that my router cost Â£35 when I bought it and other models that offer this level of extra functionality can cost a LOT more - I'm happy to say the least
I have a dual boot Windows Vista / Linux Laptop and recently I needed to access the Linux partitions from within Windows to copy data between the operating systems.
So I did a bit of searching on the net and had trouble finding a tool/page describing how to do it with an LVM (Logical Volume Manager) partition, all tools seemed to just work with plain old ext2 or ext3 file systems with no mention of others.
This is a problem with at least CentOS 5.1 (Red Hat Enterprise) and probably all modern Linux distributions as there seems to be a move towards the LVM methodology for all operating systems - understandably so when you read what it's all about from wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logical_volume_management
But then I noticed that Explore2FS from chrysocome.net actually also supports LVM2 as well as ext2 / ext3, and it works great!
All I had to do was download (at the time of writing) explore2fs 1.08beta9 extract it from the archive and run it - job done! I can get to my standard Linux files (and more actually) with ease from within windows through an explorer style interface. Just what I needed!
The guy(s) who developed Explore2FS are also working on another tool called Virtual Volumes but this really is a beta (at the time of writing) and I couldn't get this to work in a useful way what so ever BUT this should be a winner when it works too!
So now it just remains for me to setup ntfs support in CentOS 5.1 and I can go both ways - woohoo!
Recently I bought a new cheap Toshiba laptop which came preinstalled with windows vista home premium.
Being a cheap laptop the battery isn't great and only lasts for about an hour if it is left to run as setup by the pre-installer.
With some tweaking, turning off obvious unnecessary programmes, etc. I was able to extend the battery lift to 1hour 30 minutes max.
I was quite happy with that asÂ it's just enough for me to use the laptop for work on the commute in and out of the office with a second charge while at work.
I'd like to use Linux as a replacement for windows if I can, and sometimes it's useful for testing server applications Â so decided to make the laptop dual boot vista and ubuntu using the following tutorial:
This worked great and I now have a full ubuntu install as well as my tweaked vista.
While installing ubuntu I started to think of all the unnecessary garbage windows runs and how this may impact on the battery life, so I decided to do a little test which had a fairly shocking result.
I had expected some battery performance gain simply due to the nature of Linux as an OS BUT a full ubuntu install gave me 2 hours 40 minutes of battery life, compared to vista's initial hour.
Fantastic for me - on daily journey's I'll continue to use vista as it's more in tune with the office but for longer journeys I'll be using ubuntu!
Â This start to make me think though...
Vista uses up the battery roughly twice as fast as Linux meaning that roughly it uses twice the power just to run.
Which means that any computer using vista and probably other versions of windows may be using at least twice as much power as they need to.
If this is the case and large organisations want to cut their energy expenditure they could potentially halve their bill for running PC's at least by switching to a Linux alternative.
Also half the energy used means half the carbon footprint of the running pc's which is better for the planet all round.
Nowadays desktop Linux is as usable as windows if not more so and as such I'd implore anybody who can to make the switch over as soon as they can.
Not only that, but there are Linux distributions out there styled to act like windows and therefore the switch would be even less painless.
And lastly, due to Linux being free, the exorbitant license fees paid to Microsoft simply disappear.
After having no end of issues with the proprietary flash media server 2 from Adobe I decided to give installing the Red5 open source version a go instead.
I have to say I was fairly impressed with just how easy it was to get running without having to do any of the faffing around that was required to get FMS2 running.
Here is the process in a nutshell:
- Download and install the Java Development Kit (jdk) from here (I used the rpm version of JDK 6 Update 2): http://java.sun.com/javase/downloads/index.jsp
- Download and extract Apache ant from here: http://archive.apache.org/dist/ant/binaries/apache-ant-1.6.5-bin.tar.gz
- Copy the extracted apache-ant-1.6.5 folder to /usr/local/ant
- Setup the environment variables to include the path for java and ant by typing the following at the shell prompt:PATH=$PATH:$HOME/bin:/usr/local/ant/bin
export PATHThen also remember to add this toÂ /etc/profile so the settings don't get lost the next time you login
- Download and extract the Red5 server from here: http://osflash.org/red5
- cd to theÂ Red5 directory you just extracted and type the following at the shell prompt toÂ allow java to retrieve the files it needs from the net and compile and run the server as a background process (the module retrieval is automatic and only has to be done once):ant server &Â
- Then that's it it's running. In my case I needed to kill the ant/java processes running the server after the java modules were initially retrieved and the server built for the first time, but the second time it was fineÂ even though it did take about 30 seconds to fully startup - this may just be a glitch onÂ my system as IÂ have a lotÂ of other stuff also going on.
- The final step is to test it. This can be done by moving the contents of the webapps/root/demos/ folderÂ from theÂ extracted Red5 directory to a webserver somewhere (I don't think it hast to be the same machine) and then viewing the list of demos in the index.html file.I started off by using the port tester to make sureÂ the demo apps could actually connect to the server on the ports they were meant to (basically rtmp port 1935) and then moved onto testing the video streaming app and then tried a proper live broadcast through the server using theÂ simpleBroadcaster app to two friends who were logged on using the simple subscriber app. All worked well especially as far as the video was concerned though the audio was a little crackly on my live broadcast - this could just be the quality of home connections however.The onlyÂ last not is just a simple reminder that when running theÂ test apps you'll need to specify the server they need to connect to - theÂ apps are setup to accessÂ rtmp://localhost/[APP_NAME] but if you're not running these apps as a local user you will need to change localhost to the name or ip of the serverÂ Red5 is installed on
So far I'm quite happy with Red5 as a free (very important) alternative to FMS2, but should you be looking for a commercial product as this is not quite up your streetÂ (that is a cheaper than FMS2)Â then take a look at this instead: http://www.wowzamedia.com/index.html
Wowza only requires java to run and is like a very polishedÂ commercial version of the Red5 server (it wasÂ actually through installing Wowza that I worked out what to do with the web apps for Red5 - having had no previous experience in flash streaming other than literally installing FMS2)Â which has a very reasonable price tag in comparison to the cost of FMS2
Just before I go I just need to mention the map below - Red5 ask you to add yourself to their user map if you're using the software so I have - you can find me in Brighton, England