Check Out Linux Mint

Linux Mint Operating SystemI have to share something with everyone now. Anybody and everybody that knows me, knows that I am a die hard UNIX and Linux fan. I made the majority of my career managing UNIX and Linux boxes, with a server to admin ratio of sometimes 100 to 1. Everyone also knows that I am a die hard Debian fan, my distro of choice for my servers and my desktops is Debian, hands down. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t use or like other distributions, I mean every one has it’s place and purpose. I really dig Ubuntu and SuSE and I cut my teeth on Red Hat and CentOS just as an example.

That being said, the purpose of this post is to tell you about another distro that I just recently checked out called Linux Mint. I know a lot of people have found it since it is in the number one slot over at distrowatch. On the recommendation of my friend Steve, I tried it out and I have to tell you that I was absolutely blown away by it. It’s based on Ubuntu which itself based on Debian so right there is a plus in my book, it has a solid core and foundation, but that’s not what blew me away.

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Debian and Ubuntu Sources List Generator

That title sounds pretty cool doesn’t it?  Yes, it sure does!  I found this nifty little tool and saw right away that I just had to share it with everyone.   It’s a really cool web interface to a tool that lets you point and click your release information as well as your resource/branch preferences, and then BLAMMO, a new source list is made, just right for your Debian or Ubuntu box!  In case someone reading this doesn’t know what a source list is, in Debian (and releases based on Debian, like Ubuntu) it is the file that tells the package manager (apt, dpkg, aptitude, etc) where to look for software you want to install, upgrade, and maintain automatically.  The file name is:


Having a good source file can go a long way towards helping with easy and simple system administration.  The URL for the site is:  for the Debian Generator and for the Ubuntu Generator

So, go check it out and see what you think.  I thought it was really cool and I got some good information from it.

New Feeds Foretell Patching Plagues

You may already be familiar with the feed I put up from Security Focus so you can easily get the latest news on vulnerabilities that are either already out in the wild or have the potential to be soon.  If not, check it out here.  As I am always looking to improve things, I recently added some feeds that will deliver the latest advisories for Red Hat, SuSE and Ubuntu Linux quickly and easily.  So, to recap, from here you can easily get information on the latest vulnerabilities overall, plus the latest advisories for three top Linux distros: Red Hat, SuSE, and Ubuntu. Check ’em out and look for more good stuff, as I find new ways to deliver goodness, I’ll be adding them.  Thanks.

Need some help with Java on Ubuntu?

Here are some tips for getting Sun Microsystem’s Java environment up and running smoothly on Ubuntu.  This includes the JRE (Java Runtime Environment – for running Java apps) and the JDK (Java Development Kit – for creating Java apps).  It’s actually easier than you think!  Basically, add the universe repo and use synaptec.  An added advantage is that you can install updates through there too.

LightScribe On Linux and AMD64

Here we go with more work on my Alienware box where I ripped out Windows Vista and installed Ubuntu (8.04 Hardy Heron).  I haven’t looked back since … ok, I do miss some games that don’t like Cedega or Crossover, but it’s a small price to pay for all of the other benefits I get from running Linux, and especially Ubuntu which is based on Debian.

One of the things that I got with this box was a LightScribe compaible DVD-R/CD-R.  This is great, except I didn’t have any clue how to get it to work in Linux.  After some digging on the net and reading all around, I got it working and boiled the steps down to a concice recipe.

These steps are listed below.  Please note that these *should* work for 32 or 64 bit distros, but specifically I am running AMD64, so part of this was to get over that hump.  Details are below with the commands.

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