Pitchforked into Linux!

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T J Tulley
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Pitchforked into Linux!

Postby T J Tulley » Thu Aug 02, 2007 8:53 am

About a week ago after many attempts I managed to create a dual-boot HDD with Win XP Pro in partition 1 and Mint Bianca Light in the others - 40 GB for each.

Last weekend I lost Windows - it boots from Grub, accepts password, proceeds to load my preferences, plays its little tune then immediately logs me out - this happens repeatedly. So I am having to find out rapidly how to manage in Bianca.

I have access to all the files in Windows, and have 2 other accessible 200 GB HDDs with Backups and drive images on them - in fact Grub "sees" 4 versions of Windows, though it's always the same one which boots - and then fails. My Word and Excel files open and edit in Open Office but 1 Access file will have to be re-created.

My problems at present are:
(1) My printer is Epson Photo Stylus 915 and is not shown in the Epson list for Linux; I stated the problem yesterday in the Hardware/Printers sub-forum but can't see my post there today. Perhaps I had by then moved into a diferent forum.
(2) I can't install Adobe Reader - downloaded both versions for tar and rpm but rpm won't open, tar gives a list of files where Install simply comes up as a script in Gedit. How can I run that?
(3) I need to import e-mails and addresses from OE6 - at present I'm using Evolution which came with the Live CD but will probably migrate into Thunderbird which I have installed. I can access the OE6 wab file which I have copied, and also the folder containing the mbx files which are actually folders containing eml files in OE. I fear that I may have to create another Windows system - takes a long time. Might manage with an old W98SE HDD installed as primary master - but then how would I boot into Linux? That would then be either in a USB external case or possibly installed as primary slave.
(4) How can I transfer Grub to a floppy? Can I safely just transfer or copy it? - BIOS will use the floppy first.
(5) It would be nice if I could open txt files with Gedit by default instead of being offered Run or Display. I use them frequently.

I always intended to migrate from Windows to Linux, but not this fast!
This version imports updates pretty well every day - it also offers an Upgrade - can I do that safely?

Linux versions are much more user-friendly now, being in effect mainly menu-driven, but an introduction to the syntax underlying use of the Command line would be useful.

Apologies for a very long mail with too many questions - I know the general rule is one question per mail but this lot need the context. Please help!

Yours hopefully, -

Theo Tulley.


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Postby cogDis » Thu Aug 02, 2007 2:47 pm

I'll take a stab at a few of these:

1. I don't have this particular printer, but if memory serves me, many of the epson models actually use the same underlying driver, even though they are listed in the cups db by model. I'd experiment with some of photo stylus models ans see if one will work.

2. This one is easy.Go to the Mint Software Portal site:

and install the version of Acrobat Reader that you find there.

3. Not sure what to tell you about this. If you can't repair your windows installation to the point that it is bootable, then perhaps you have access to a windows machine where you could use one of the many windows based mail import/export utilities? Or perhaps do a limited install of windows using virtualbox or vmware? I vaguely remember a web based utility that did address book conversions but i can't seem to find it.

4. Here is a link to a howto for copying your grub to floppy:

5. Not sure what you mean. Are you referring to opening text files from within Nautilus, or from your web browser? On my system, anything remotely resembling a text file is handled by gedit when opened from Nautilus.

The linux command line is a pretty broad topic, but for starters, the command "man" followed by the name of the linux command you are interested in, example: man rsync (entered in a terminal), will bring up the manual page for the command that will discuss it's use and syntax. And yes, linux commands are case sensitive.

all the best, CD

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Postby scorp123 » Thu Aug 02, 2007 4:07 pm

cogDis wrote: the command "man" followed by the name of the linux command you are interested in
And if you don't know what command you're interested in then use apropos and the topic you're interested in ... e.g. apropos web would spit out all the commands that have something to do with the topic "web". Once you know what the commands in fact are it's then easy to use "man".

Another example: We want to know how to erase the screen in the terminal. Let's suppose it's full of gibberish and we want to have it cleaned ... On MS-DOS this would be the command CLS (short for "clear screen") .... but what is it on Linux and UNIX-like OS? So .... we want something from the terminal so we ask apropos again:

Code: Select all

apropos terminal
... and this spits out a list of all the things that have something to do with the topic (= "terminal") we asked about:
    chvt (1) - change foreground virtual terminal
    clear (1) - clear the terminal screen
    console (4) - console terminal and virtual consoles
    console_ioctl (4) - ioctl's for console terminal and virtual consoles
    deallocvt (1) - deallocate unused virtual terminals
    gnome-terminal (1) - is a terminal emulation application.
    gnome-terminal.wrapper (1) - is a terminal emulation application.
    koi8rxterm (1) - X terminal emulator for KOI8-R environments
    mesg (1) - control write access to your terminal
    namei (1) - follow a pathname until a terminal point is found
    open (1) - start a program on a new virtual terminal (VT).
    openvt (1) - start a program on a new virtual terminal (VT).
    ptmx (4) - pseudo-terminal master and slave
    pts (4) - pseudo-terminal master and slave
    pty (7) - pseudo-terminal interfaces
    reset (1) - terminal initialization
    resize (1) - set TERMCAP and terminal settings to current xterm window size
    screen (1) - screen manager with VT100/ANSI terminal emulation
    script (1) - make typescript of terminal session
    setterm (1) - set terminal attributes
    stty (1) - change and print terminal line settings
    term (7) - conventions for naming terminal types
    termcap (5) - terminal capability database
    terminfo (5) - terminal capability data base
    Text::CharWidth (3pm) - Get number of occupied columns of a string on terminal
    tput (1) - initialize a terminal or query terminfo database
    tset (1) - terminal initialization
    tty (1) - print the file name of the terminal connected to standard input
    tty (4) - controlling terminal
    ttyS (4) - serial terminal lines
    tty_ioctl (4) - ioctls for terminals and serial lines
    ttys (4) - serial terminal lines
    uxterm (1) - X terminal emulator for for Unicode (UTF-8) environments
    writevt (8) - put text into the input buffer of a virtual terminal
    x-terminal-emulator (1) - is a terminal emulation application.
    xterm (1) - terminal emulator for X

As you can see above, the result that interests us would be this one:
clear (1) - clear the terminal screen

The number behind the brackets are chapter numbers in the manual. Sometimes C program functions, devices and other things and shell commands might have the same name but be in different chapters. Example of this in our output above:
tty (1) - print the file name of the terminal connected to standard input
tty (4) - controlling terminal

So tty (4) is about the /dev/tty device, tty (1) is about the shell command. So by specifiying the number of the chapter I can tell man what I'm really interested in:

Code: Select all

man 4 tty
... opens this:
TTY(4) Linux Programmer’s Manual TTY(4)

tty - controlling terminal

The file /dev/tty is a character file with major number 5 and minor number 0, usually of mode 0666 and owner.group root.tty. It is a synonym for
the controlling terminal of a process, if any.

In addition to the ioctl() requests supported by the device that tty refers to, the ioctl() request TIOCNOTTY is supported.

Detach the current process from its controlling terminal.

If the process is the session leader, then SIGHUP and SIGCONT signals are sent to the foreground process group and all processes in the current
session lose their controlling tty.

This ioctl() call only works on file descriptors connected to /dev/tty. It is used by daemon processes when they are invoked by a user at a termi‐
nal. The process attempts to open /dev/tty. If the open succeeds, it detaches itself from the terminal by using TIOCNOTTY, while if the open
fails, it is obviously not attached to a terminal and does not need to detach itself.


chown(1), getty(1), mknod(1), ioctl(2), termios(3), console(4), ttyS(4)

Linux 2003-04-07 TTY(4)

whereas the other chapter ...

Code: Select all

man 1 tty
... opens this:
TTY(1) User Commands TTY(1)

tty - print the file name of the terminal connected to standard input

tty [OPTION]...

Print the file name of the terminal connected to standard input.

-s, --silent, --quiet
print nothing, only return an exit status

--help display this help and exit

output version information and exit

Written by David MacKenzie.

Report bugs to <bug-coreutils@gnu.org>.

Copyright © 2006 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
This is free software. You may redistribute copies of it under the terms of the GNU General Public License
<http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html>. There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.

The full documentation for tty is maintained as a Texinfo manual. If the info and tty programs are properly installed at your site, the command

info tty

should give you access to the complete manual.

tty 5.97 March 2007 TTY(1)

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