Laptop Repair Made Easy

Laptop Repair Made Easy

This productis handled by a specialized laptop repair technician. Typically, a hardware fault requires the physical review of a laptop and testing for abnormalities. Suspected components, such as random access memory (RAM), hard disk, power supply or optical drive may be individually checked, troubleshooting or replaced if an error is detected. This usually requires special equipment and accessories to disassemble and reassemble the computer. The easy-to-repair laptop product is a trusted product, effectively providing the fundamental skills needed to solve problems and problems on a faulty laptop. This product has long been a stressful job, to reduce stress, the author had explored and created this awesome package that has been found to be effective by many users as it contains new and improved techniques to suit your tastes. This product is consistent and efficient in its mode of operation. Being a machine, it does not suffer from the human trait of tiredness and lack of consideration. It will perform the last task with same speed and accuracy as the first given to it, no matter the number of times it has to do it, The product can store and process large volumes of data without being affected. Laptop storage capacity has even increased considerably in recent times. This is as a result of large and complex software being developed nowadays. More here...

Laptop Repair Made Easy Summary


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Desktoplaptop System Options

If you are running Linux on desktop or a laptop system, you want such capabilities as printing, playing music, and using the The X Window System. Hence, the settings discussed here enable the kernel level options needed for such goals. POWER MANAGEMENT SUPPORT Laptop users need to enable power management for maximum battery life. For power management, select these options PPP SUPPORT Most desktop or laptop systems use the Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) for dialup network communication.

Installing Red Hat Linux on a Laptop

If your laptop computer has a built-in CD-ROM drive, you can install from that drive without any special considerations. However, if your laptop doesn't have a built-in CD-ROM drive, you probably need to install from a device that is connected to a PCMCIA slot on your laptop. PCMCIA slots let you connect a variety of devices to your laptop using credit-card-sized cards (sometimes called PC Cards). Linux supports hundreds of PCMCIA devices. You may use your laptop's PCMCIA slot to install Red Hat Linux from several different types of PCMCIA devices, including

Installing Linux on a Laptop

Laptops or so-called notebook computers are more integrated than desktops are a laptop's video card, monitor, and hard disk are all built into a compact package. In other words, you cannot easily mix and match components with laptops as you do with desktop systems, so you have to make sure that Linux supports all components of your laptop system. Laptops typically have a PCMCIA adapter where you can plug in many peripherals such as a wireless Ethernet network card or a modem. When installing Linux on a laptop with a CD DVD-ROM drive, follow the same installation steps as the ones described earlier in this chapter. Most laptops with Intel Celeron or better processors should be able to run plain Linux without any problems. If you want to install X.Org X11, however, you may have some trouble if X.Org X11 does not support the video card (on a laptop, video circuitry is built into the motherboard) and the pointing device. You can use the VESA driver to get X working on most laptops even if...

Monitoring power usage on laptop computers

To effectively use a laptop computer, you need to be able to monitor and manage the laptop's power usage. Using tools provided in Fedora or RHEL, you can configure your laptop to Show when the laptop is plugged in. Advanced Power Management (APM) APM can be used to monitor the battery of your notebook and notify user-level programs to tell you when your battery is low. It can also be used to place your laptop into suspend mode. Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) Besides monitoring power features on your laptop, ACPI can also do thermal control, motherboard configuration, and change power states. Many older laptops do not include support for ACPI in the BIOS, so you must use APM to monitor and manage your batteries. For some newer laptops, ACPI may be required. In general, ACPI offers a more complete feature set for power management, but APM has more user-level support today. The following procedure was performed on a laptop that used ACPI to manage power events. It...

Favorite Linux Laptop

Is there any surprise that the ASUS Eee PC got 34.7 of the vote to win the Favorite Linux Laptop category handily Finally, a company created a laptop with Linux In mind and didn't consider Linux as a second-rate afterthought. It also Is nice to see that our readers appreciate Lenovo's better-late-than-never but admirable effort to pre-install Its T61p with SLED. This helped the device win honorable mention. Hopefully, awards like this will encourage Lenovo and others to pre-install all of their laptops with Linux from the start. If you accumulate the various models from our Linux-specialist friends like LinuxCertified, EmperorLinux and R Cubed, they fared well as a group too.

Using Linux with a Laptop

Laptop computers (also known as notebook computers) present certain challenges for Linux, beyond the usual driver issues. Some of these challenges derive from the fact that Linux, as a Unix clone, was designed for systems that would not have to deal with power management or swapping out PC Cards. The most frustrating laptop problems, however, frequently deal with installation. These problems mostly boil down to the difficulty of getting Linux's XFree86 configuration to work with the finicky liquid crystal displays (LCDs) used on laptops.

Special Laptop Installation Issues

Laptops are essentially miniaturized desktop computers. A laptop includes a motherboard, a CPU, RAM, a keyboard, a mouse (usually in the form of a touch pad or TrackPoint), a hard disk, a CD-ROM drive, a floppy drive, and a display. From a software point of view, these devices all work like their counterparts on a desktop computer. There are some limitations that are more common on laptops, though. These include the following Modem Most modern laptops include built-in modems. Unfortunately, most of these on x86 laptops are software modems that require special drivers. Such drivers are rare in Linux. You can check http www for information on these devices. In most cases, you'll have to install the modem drivers after you install Linux. If your built-in modem doesn't have Linux drivers at all, you can use a separate PC Card or external RS-232 or USB modem. If you buy a PC Card or USB modem, be sure you get one that's supported by Linux. Networking All modern Macintosh and...

Laptop Considerations

Running Linux on a laptop can often be more difficult than running Linux on a regular system because laptop hardware is much different. Also, the drivers to properly control laptop devices have not yet been created under Linux. Most hardware driver problems occur with the video system, PCMCIA support, infrared ports, sound cards, and modems. When you want to buy a laptop for use with Linux, do a careful investigation of hardware compatibility, and see if you can get appropriate Linux drivers and support for the laptop's devices. Beyond basic peripherals, such as video and sound, you need two specific items for use on a laptop PCMCIA and APM support. PCMCIA (Personal Computer Memory Card International Association) is a standard set by hardware companies for interface and device cards that can fit into a small laptop slot. APM (Advanced Power Management) is an excellent feature for laptops because it allows the laptop to suspend operations for a period of time for actions including...

The Linux Laptop Page

This page is similar to the Linux Configuration Page it takes the experiences of many users and condenses them into a very useful guide to installing Linux on a wide variety of machines. Because it's a little harder to get hardware information about a laptop (i.e., what chipset is used for graphics) and some of the laptop components can be, well, a little fussy (check out the following Web listing), this page is essential for anyone wanting to run Linux on their laptop. Of similar interest is the Linux and X Window on Notebook Computers home page

Good Support for Laptops

SUSE Linux continues to improve upon some features that are important to laptop users. When you run your laptop on its battery, you want to conserve power by shutting down various parts of the system when you are not doing work. SUSE Linux can do this through its support for ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface). You can access the power management module from an icon on the panel (it's the icon that looks like an electric plug). From this module's menu, you can see how much battery life is remaining and suspend the system to the disk so that you can resume later without having to go through a lengthy system reboot.

Solving Laptop Video Problems

Laptop installations are typically the most difficult type of installation to perform because the companies that build laptop computers often use proprietary hardware or modify standard PC components in order to shoehorn desktop PC functionality into the confines of a laptop or to meet weight, power, or functionality requirements. Aggravating such practical concerns, these engineering decisions are rarely publicly documented in order to protect trade secrets. As a result, you often have to use a trial-and-error method and rely on the experiences of others. A few laptop manufacturers actively support Linux. IBM,for example, prein-stalls Linux on a select group of laptop computers, and certain dedicated Linux hardware vendors do the same.The lack of support is frustrating, but until manufacturers can be bothered to develop Linux drivers for their products at the same time as they develop Windows drivers, installing Linux on a laptop computer will continue to be a challenge. While...

Linux on Laptops and PDAs

One of the definitive sites for getting information about running Linux on your laptop is Kenneth Harker's Linux Laptop site. Although not as actively updated as in the past, this site (http still contains the world's largest collection of Linux and laptop information, with links to user experiences and details concerning specific laptop models.

Finding Linux Compatible Laptops

One comment that echoes from Linux users of all distributions is the difficulty of configuring the hardware on a laptop. Laptops are an unusual beast in that most of their hardware is integrated together video, sound, and modems. Other devices include infrared (IR) port PCMCIA devices like network adapters SCSI and modems. In some cases, these components may be slightly different from the desktop models. For example the video card on a laptop may use a different clock circuit or have limited capabilities specifically to work with the laptop. Additionally, laptops use features such as power management, battery life monitors, and other functions specifically geared toward laptops. Debian offers many tools for laptop use, which you can include when you install the system. These applications are intermixed with the rest of the Debian packages. Several resources are available specifically oriented for laptop use. Table 17-2 shows some of the laptop models used with Linux. Not all of these...

Power Management for Laptops

SUSE Linux configures laptops for saving power and prolonging battery life, whether you have an APM or ACPI system (see the earlier 'YaST Power Management section if you missed those definitions). The YaST Power Management module lets you tweak those settings. ACPI Settings Defines what actions occur when you press the Power and Sleep buttons, or when you close the laptop cover. Use the drop-down menu to choose from the same actions used in Battery Warning (Notify, Shutdown, Logout, Standby, Suspend to RAM, Suspend to Disk, Start Screensaver, Ignore).

Synchronize files between a laptop and desktop PC

If you have two computers you might want to synchronize data between the two. For example, if you have a laptop, you might want to transfer the files in your Documents folder to the main PC (and vice versa). You These instructions make reference to a desktop PC and laptop computer, but could be any two computers capable of running Ubuntu (or indeed any computer with Linux installed that can run Unison) 1. On the desktop PC, use Synaptic to install the unison-gtk package. Meanwhile, on the laptop, use Synaptic to install the openssh-server and unison-gtk packages. As you might have guessed, Unison uses SSH in the background to provide the file transfer conduit. If you want to learn more about SSH, see Tip 190, on page 228. 3. In the next step, you must tell Unison which folder you want to synchronize with on the laptop. in the Directory text field, type Documents again. There's no need to precede it with home username because Unison will automatically log into the laptop's home...

Linux on Laptops

SUSE Linux 10 has improved support for the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) standard, so your laptop battery will last longer. If you plan to run Linux on your laptop, be aware that manufacturers include many proprietary drivers for their hardware, and Linux support may be spotty at best. But don't be completely discouraged. The Linux on Laptops page at http has the latest news and HOWTOs on its subject. If you are in the market for a new Linux laptop, a few companies have sprung up to preinstall SUSE Linux, or any other distribution you want, on a name-brand portable. Browse the ads in your favorite Linux magazine or head over to http or http .

Laptop Support

Linux includes a number of laptop-specific features, such as PCMCIA (or PC Card ) support and APM. The PCMCIA Tools package for Linux includes drivers for many PCMCIA devices, including modems, Ethernet cards, and SCSI adapters. APM allows the kernel to keep track of the laptop's battery power and perform certain actions (such as an automated shutdown) when power is low it also allows the CPU to go into low-power mode when not in use. This is easy to configure as a kernel option. Various tools interact with APM, such as apm (which displays information on battery status) and apmd (which logs battery status and can be used to trigger power events). These should be included with most Linux distributions.


Support for laptops is a bit tricky because laptops have short development cycles, often use very new semiconductors, and the manufacturers rarely provide technical documentation. In spite of this, there is information on the Net concerning using Linux on approximately 300 laptop models. Consult the Hardware Compatibility HOWTO document for links to pages that have the latest information on support for specific laptop models and features. Linux supports Automatic Power Management (APM). There can be problems with suspend resume features not working correctly there can be problems with the graphics modes being restored properly for X (you may have better luck if you switch to a text console before suspending) and you may need a DOS partition for the suspend to disk feature to work. Some laptops do not allow you to have the floppy and the CD-ROM present simultaneously, which can make installation tricky (although most newer models probably support booting off of CD-ROM).

Sound on Laptops

Many high-end laptops come with built-in sound. Using the sound capabilities under Linux is a straightforward process, provided that you can figure out what type of sound card your laptop has. Chapter 5 covers sound cards in detail. Red Hat's kudzu program used in Fedora to probe and detect hardware should detect your laptop's sound card and set it up correctly. If your sound card is not detected, you can still get it to work by locating the appropriate driver module with the modprobe command. To determine the driver, you would need information about the sound card. If sound support is not automatically set up, you should check your laptop's documentation for clues about the make and model of the sound card before you set up sound support. The bottom line is that you can set up Linux to support sound on a laptop the same way you can for a desktop PC.

On Laptops

Users have reported success in running Linux together with X.Org X11 on many Celeron and Pentium laptops. Nowadays, laptops support high-resolution LCD screens with capabilities on par with those of desktop PCs. You can configure X to work as long as the laptop's video chipsets are supported by X11. Most laptops use one of the following types of video chipsets

Hacking Laptops

Obviously, older laptops can also be used for hacking. Any that are lacking a hard drive, have dead batteries, or have broken keyboards are particularly good value since the cost of new parts makes them too expense to rebuild, and having a laptop reliant on a tethered power line is not such a problem for home automation users as it is for others. Touchscreens can be added retroactively to most laptops. They exist as a transparent membrane that fits over the screen and a PS 2 socket that mimics the behavior of a mouse delivering X and Y coordinates and left-button up and down messages. It should be noted that the software interface must be suitably programmed, since the membrane cannot detect the mouse position unless there is pressure on it, and there is no input for a right mouse button. Fortunately, most web interfaces are generally suitable.

Laptops and X

If your hardware includes a laptop computer, you may be able to run X on it. Many others have taken the time to configure X on a wide range of laptops. If you have a ThinkPad laptop, for example, there's a wealth of information specific to Linux on the World Wide Web at URL You are likely to have problems with the ThinkPad 700, 720, and any other MCA-architecture machines, as Linux does not yet support MCA. The Linux Laptop Home Page (http users kharker linux-laptop ) has a lot of information about setting up X with laptops.


Your next laptop just work with Linux And when will you be able to buy a major-label laptop without a proprietary OS anyway by doc searls Laptops The standout exceptions are desktops, laptops, notebooks and PDAs. And of those four, the one that matters is laptops. That's where the center of gravity in personal computing is moving today. In the last year, Desktop Replacement became a leading laptop category as well as a description of what's happening to the marketplace. Thanks to desktop-grade functionality and the growth of wireless networking, Wi-Fi-enabled laptops are doing to desktops what cell phones did to desk phones. As a result, desktops are turning into cubicleware at work, while at home they are morphing into forms that are sure to displace TV as the central household entertainment appliance. Meanwhile, laptops are getting more fully functional every day. For under 2,000 US you can get a high-speed laptop with a 1600 x 1200 display, a gigabyte of RAM, 80+GB of storage, a...

Laptop Power

If you have a laptop with APM installed, try the following PROMPT_COMMAND to create an environment variable battery you can add to your prompt. This will indicate if AC power is connected and percentage power remaining. AC power is indicated by a A (for on) and a v (for off) before the percentage value.

Laptop Mode

Laptop mode is a special page writeback strategy intended to optimize battery life by minimizing hard disk activity and allowing hard drives to remain spun down as long as possible. It is configurable via proc sys vm iaptop_mode. By default, this file contains a zero and laptop mode is disabled. Writing a one to this file enables laptop mode. Laptop mode makes a single change to page writeback behavior. In addition to performing writeback of dirty pages when they grow too old, pdflush also piggybacks off any other physical disk I O, flushing all dirty buffers to disk. In this manner, pdflush takes advantage of the fact that the disk was just spun up, ensuring that it will not cause the disk to spin up later. dirty_writeback_centisecs are set to large valuessay, 10 minutes. With writeback so delayed, the disk is spun up infrequentlyand when it does spin up, laptop mode ensures that the opportunity is well utilized. Many Linux distributions automatically enable and disable laptop mode,...


I bought a new laptop in spring 2006 and decided to make a serious attempt to switch to Linux, or at least make it my primary operating system. I already had some basic experience, having used Linux servers at school for a few years, but I had no experience administering my own machine. My goals for the system were simple. First and foremost, it had to let me accomplish all my work-related tasks computational programming, image manipulation and producing academic papers and presentations. Second, it had to fulfill my entertainment needs playing music and video of various types (including streaming media), playing and backing up DVDs, playing games and making phone calls over the Internet. In addition, I had the more general, underlying goal of improving my understanding of the operation of my computer and reducing my reliance on proprietary software. As it turns out, my choice of hardware had a big impact on the result. My laptop is a Compaq Presario V2630CA, with the following...

Configuring Power Management in Ubuntu

FIGURE 2.15 Gnome Power Management allows you to monitor battery status and configure specific power-related actions, such as closing the lid of your laptop or pressing the power button. FIGURE 2.15 Gnome Power Management allows you to monitor battery status and configure specific power-related actions, such as closing the lid of your laptop or pressing the power button.

What Versions of Ubuntu Are Available

The standard Ubuntu Desktop distribution, using GNOME as its desktop environment, is my personal favorite for desktops and modern laptops, and is the one that I recommend for most people. It's hard to argue with success. On the other hand, other versions of Ubuntu may be better for you depending on your goals and personal tastes. This section discusses the different Ubuntu and Ubuntu-based distributions to help you decide which of these best suits your tastes and requirements, dividing these distributions based on the audience and type of user that they target. Desktop and Laptop Users By desktop and laptop computer users, I mean end users (like myself) who are typically looking for a Linux distribution that is stable and easy to maintain, and that provides a rich set of available applications. End users typically want to have some fun and get some work done. This isn't limited to home computing, and includes office, development, and educational environments. The following are the...

CableDSL and Wireless Networks

Linux also supports wireless Ethernet cards that you can use to connect laptop PCs to an existing wired Ethernet local area network (LAN). These wireless Ethernet cards conform to the IEEE 802.11 family of standards, also known as Wi-Fi. If your LAN connects to the Internet through a cable DSL router and hub, you can extend the LAN by connecting a wireless access point to the hub. Then, any Wi-Fi-equipped laptop or desktop PC can connect to the Internet through the cable or DSL connection.

What Fedora Core Helps You Manage

As an operating system, Fedora Core acts as the intermediary through which you, as the lord of the system, manage all the hardware. The hardware includes the system box, the monitor, the keyboard, the mouse, and anything else connected to the system box. The catchall term peripheral refers to any equipment attached to the system. If you use a laptop computer, all your hardware is packaged into the laptop.

Beginning the installation

Installing Red Hat Linux on a Laptop Because laptops can contain non-standard equipment, before you begin installing on a laptop you should find out about other people's experiences installing Linux on your model. Do that by visiting the Linux on Laptops site ( If your laptop doesn't have a built-in CD-ROM drive, you probably need to install from a device connected to a PCMCIA slot on your laptop. PCMCIA slots let you connect a variety of devices to your laptop usmg credit-card-sized cards (sometimes called PC Cards). Linux supports hundreds of PCMCIA devices. You may use your laptop's PCMCIA slot to install Red Hat Linux from several different types of PCMCIA devices, including If you would like to know which PCMCIA devices are supported in Linux, see the SUPPORTED.CARDS file (located in the usr share doc kernel-pcmcia-cs* directory). In any of these cases, you need the PCMCIA support disk to use the device as an installation medium. The section on creating...

Loading Drivers Automatically

Outside Command Specifications Listing 1.1's post-install specification is one of several keywords that can be used to run arbitrary programs before or after installing or uninstalling modules. The other keywords are pre-install, pre-remove, and post-remove. Begin a line with the keyword, then provide the module name, and then provide the external command. You could use this feature to automate features such as bringing up a network interface that's frequently not installed (for example, a USB network interface on a laptop) or to adjust mixer settings after loading a sound card's drivers.

Activating Your Wireless Card

Setting up a Linux-compatible wireless PC card is actually relatively simple. First connect your WAP to your Internet source, and then turn on the WAP. Once it is up and running, plug your wireless NIC into the PCMCIA slot on your laptop, unless, of course, your NIC is built in, in which case you can forgo this step. Any LEDs on the external card will most likely light up at this time.

Disks Partitions and Mount Points

The bottom line of any computer system is storing, retrieving, manipulating, and saving information. As a writer and computer systems administrator, I'm always amazed when friends who are generally computer savvy say to me, Your laptop is so slow. Why don't you upgrade Frankly, if I could type faster than my primary laptop's 1.4 GHz Pentium processor could handle, I'd be posing for Ripley's Believe It or Not ads or touring with the circus instead of writing books. On the other hand, if it took five minutes for me to save a chapter of whatever I'm working on or if I could never find the space to save a modified file without deleting something else, I'd drop-kick my current laptop into the river in a heartbeat and buy the newest, brightest, shiniest Linux-capable laptop available today. For what I do, being able to reliably and quickly read and write data is far more important than blazing CPU speed.

Preparing for Potential Hardware Problems

Ubuntu will work out-of-the-box with nearly every Intel-or PowerPC-based motherboard and laptop drivers for thousands of different types of hardware peripherals are included. But you can sometimes run into problems if Linux does not recognize a hardware item, if Ubuntu does not correctly initialize the hardware, or if an initialized item is incorrectly configured. For these reasons, some hardware items are prone to creating problems during an install. In the sections that follow, you learn some important pointers for avoiding these problems or resolving those that do occur.

Releasing and Renewing Your Wireless Connection

There will be times when you want to turn your wireless card off, such as when you use your laptop on an airplane, or when you just want to flush the IP address in your network settings (release) and update the settings with the IP address of a new network (renew), as you might when moving your laptop from one wireless hotspot to another without rebooting your computer.

CPU Voltage Requirements

Like all electronic devices, CPUs operate at specific voltages. Most 80486 and earlier CPUs, and even some Pentium-class CPUs, operated at 5v. As CPU speeds increased, however, it became desirable to reduce the CPU voltage, in order to reduce the heat buildup inside the chips. Reduced operating voltage also helps lengthen battery life on laptop computers. Therefore, a plethora of new voltage requirements emerged during the Pentium CPU's lifetime. In fact, many Socket 7 CPUs require the use of dual voltages one setting for the CPU core and another for input output (I O) circuitry. Dual-voltage CPUs generally run the I O voltage at 3.3v and the core voltage at some lower level, although in some cases the core voltage may be higher.

Figuring Out What You Can Do with SUSE Linux

As an operating system, SUSE Linux acts as the intermediary through which you, the lord of the system, control all the hardware and software in your PC. The hardware includes the system box, the monitor, the keyboard, the mouse, and anything else connected to the system box. The catchall term peripheral refers to any equipment attached to the system. If you use a laptop computer, all your hardware is packaged into the laptop.

O Assuring Authentication

Since a white list holds a list of all that is acceptable and denies anything that's not, all an attacker needs to do is be like something in the list. Wireless MAC filters that accept only certain MAC addresses are fooled by having the right MAC address sniffed from the air and duplicated via software on an unauthorized laptop. Oftentimes pay WiFi connection points use MAC authentication, and by sniffing the air for valid connecting laptops, attackers can hijack their usage minutes by just changing their MAC to match a paying one. IP address-based authentication, which exists to assure only certain servers can connect to a specific database, can be tricked by just faking the IP address of the request packets and sniffing or redirecting the replies from the network. Even so-called heuristics or anomaly detection is also no different than white list verification, in which a good or normal behavior is first established and then all behavior that does not match is flagged or...

The Input Device Section

Identifier NeoMagic (laptop notebook) Driver neomagic VendorName NeoMagic (laptop notebook) BoardName NeoMagic (laptop notebook) Option externDisp Option internDisp EndSection In this example, the Device section specifies the driver for the graphics card (neomagic_drv.o) and enables two chipset options (externDisp and internDisp) to allow display on the laptop's LCD screen and an attached monitor.

No Boxed Set No Problem

For people installing Red Hat Linux from a CD-ROM not from Red Hat, you may need a boot disk, or if using a PCMCIA device during the installation (such as a laptop), a PCMCIA boot disk. It may also be possible to start the installation directly from the CD. We'll discuss this in more detail when we outline the various installation methods.

Configuring the Debian system

For most desktop systems, PCMCIA support is not needed. PCMCIA (Personal Computer Memory Card International Association) devices are normally found on laptops. Therefore, you can probably remove these services and related files as seen in Figure 2-5 as part of the installation. Laptop users, on the other hand, can keep these services for use on this specific hardware.

GNOME Power Management

Ubuntu uses the GNOME Power Manager, gnome-power-manager, which makes use of Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) support provided by a computer to manage power use. The GNOME Power Manager is configured with the Power Management Preferences window (gnome-power-preferences), accessible by choosing System Preferences Power Management. Power Manager can be used to configure both a desktop and a laptop. On a laptop, the battery icon displayed on the top panel will show how much power is available on the battery, as well as when the battery level becomes critical. It will also indicate an AC connection as well as when the battery has been recharged. For a desktop, two tabs appear in the Power Management Preferences window On AC Power and General. The On AC Power tab offers two sleep options one for the computer and one for the display screen. You can put each to sleep after a specified interval of inactivity. On the General tab, you set desktop features such as actions to...

Stage 2 Boot from the DVDROM

Many modern computers let you press a particular key during the initial boot phase of your computer, during the memory testing and drive identification period, to make a boot menu appear. On the boot menu, you can choose to boot from the CD or DVD drive from the list. On our test PC and notebook computer, hitting the Esc key causes this menu to appear, but your computer may be different. Your computer's boot screen should indicate which key to press.

Hardware Configuration

Be careful when purchasing a new computer to use with Linux. Although Linux has come a long way, and you should have little problem installing it on most modern PCs, you shouldn't assume Linux will install or run flawlessly on any PC, especially if the PC is a state-of-the-art computer (although many, perhaps most, manufacturers seem determined to maintain good relationships with the Linux community). Laptops especially are often designed with proprietary configurations that work with Linux only after some reverse-engineering. Perhaps the best way to test a laptop is with a LiveCD. If a retailer wants your business, they'll let you boot Ubuntu on their computers.

Manual Display Configuration

You also have the option of creating different location profiles. This is useful if you are using different monitors at certain locations or for different purposes. So, for example, your laptop could have one location for its own screen and another for an attached larger screen. Others could use one location for a standard PC monitor and another for a home theater display such as an LCD TV.

Tip 4 Installing with no CDROM drive or modem

Most Linux distributions come on a CD-ROM. You can also download them from an FTP site, but that requires an Internet connection. What if you have a system with no CD-ROM drive or Internet connection, like an old 486 laptop The trick here is to have another desktop system with a CD-ROM drive, and a null-modem serial cable. Now you need to enable NFS networking on the desktop, and allow the laptop to connect. You can give a temporary IP address to the laptop, like that you need to add to your etc exports file on your desktop. To link the two systems together, this is what you need to type on the laptop

The Workspace Switcher

If you have a mouse device that supports horizontal scrolling, you can switch between workspace areas by scrolling horizontally when on the desktop. Many laptop touchpads support horizontal scrolling by moving your finger sideways across the touchpad, either near the top or bottom of the touchpad.

Testing Hardware Launchpad

Ubuntu provides a hardware testing utility to check your hardware and report any problems. You are encouraged to set up an account at https, where you can send your results. Choose Applications System Tools Hardware Testing. You are first asked how you are using your system Desktop, Laptop, or Server. Then each major hardware device is tested and you can enter your confirmation or add comments (see Figure 4-18). Devices tested include sound, display, video, mouse, keyboard, network card, and network connection.

Apropos Searches for a Keyword

The database apropos uses, named whatis, is not available on Fedora RHEL systems when they are first installed, but is built automatically by crond (page 565) using makewhatis. (The cron utility runs the etc cron.daily makewhatis.cron script to build the whatis database.) If you turn the system off periodically (as with a laptop), the script may not be run. If apropos does not produce any output, run the command makewhatis -w while working with root privileges.

Manual Network Configuration with networkadmin

You can set up different location profiles where different connections are active or deactivated, as well as use different configuration settings for the connections. To save a location profile, click the button with the disk icon at the right of the Location drop-down menu. You will be prompted to enter a location name. For a laptop, you could have a home and work location profile, using different connections, depending on where you are logging on at the time. Should you want to delete a location profile, first select it and then click the trash button to the right of the disk button.

Things to Consider Before You Begin Installation

I cover the Personal Desktop installation because it requires little or no hard drive preparation and doesn't use umpteen partitions like other installations do. In addition, the Personal Desktop installation option installs the fun point-and-click stuff that is commonly used on desktop and laptop systems. Server or service-type applications, such as the Apache Web server and FTP server, aren't installed with the Personal Desktop option and aren't covered in any detail in this book. However, if you want to use them, you can add these to your Personal Desktop package selection later in the installation process.

Cool Fedora Core Install Projects

The first project shows you how to join BitTorrent and help the community get their Fedora Core while you get yours as well. In the second project, you find out how to burn CDs from the downloaded ISO images. If you have a DVD burner as well, the third project gives you the recipe for burning a Fedora Core DVD. Finally, the fourth project is all about installing Fedora Core over the network, which can be handy if you are installing on a CD-less laptop.

Usenet Network Newsgroups

Usenet newsgroups are divided into a hierarchy to make it easier to find individual newsgroups. The hierarchy levels are based on topics, such as computers, science, recreation, and social issues. Each newsgroup is named as a subset of the higher-level topic. For example, the newsgroup comp relates to all computer topics. The newsgroup comp.laptops relates to laptop computer issues. Often the hierarchy goes several layers deep. For example, the newsgroup relates to Oracle server database issues.

Other Specific Models

Just because Linux will run on a given laptop doesn't mean that you can take full advantage of the laptop's hardware features. Many dedicated Linux users have taken the challenge of making Linux work on their quirky laptops, and they've been gracious enough to share their solutions with the rest of the Linux community. We'll briefly run down some specific laptop models and how Linux was made to work on them. If there's a FAQ mentioned here, we've included it on the accompanying CD-ROMs. NOTE You can't extrapolate from the specific models presented here. The laptop world isn't known for consistency among product lines, and what may be true of a specific model may not be true for that model's second cousin. Use the information presented here only for the specific model, unless the information explicitly covers a wide range of models (as is the case with the IBM ThinkPad information).

Selecting the machine type

The options you can choose are a Workstation, Server System, Laptop, Custom System or Upgrade. The following sections break these down Laptops Although Linux excels at performing on a server, Linux has had difficulty performing on a laptop. This is changing for many reasons, one of which is the standardization of laptop hardware, which has enabled Linux to provide better support for laptops. As a result, Linux has created a custom installation that provides for the needs of laptop hardware, including special hardware support, advanced power management, and a minimized volume of software to be installed. Whether you choose a Workstation, Server, Laptop, Custom, or Upgrade installation the subsequent screens for disk partitioning will vary depending on your selection, so select the appropriate options as required.

Partitioning the hard disk drive

The next step in your installation is to partition the hard drive. This is performed automatically for Workstation, Server, and Laptop installation classes. The automatic configuration standards that can be set up by selecting a Workstation, Laptop, or Server class, however, usually won't work if the hard drive has an existing partition. At this point in the installation, or if a custom installation has been selected, a manual configuration of the partition must be performed. Disk Druid and fdisk are the usual partition utilities that are offered at this point, but others may be presented depending on your distribution. Disk Druid is the recommended tool for most users and is an easy-to-use and capable partitioning tool. Disk Druid is illustrated in Figure 4-6.

The Notification Area

In the top right-hand part of the panel is the notification area and the clock. The notification area is similar to the Windows system tray in that it provides a series of small icons that indicate something specific. A good example of this is the battery monitor. This small icon displays how much power your laptop has left, and when you hover the mouse over it you can see how much time is left before your computer gives up the ghost.

Understanding the X Window System

The X server's primary job is to create and manage windows, dialog boxes, buttons, and other graphical elements on a screen. That screen can be located practically anywhere in the world, and perhaps even on a laptop on the International Space Station. X is extremely portable, too. After you have configured X the way you (or your system administrators) want it, you can take that configuration file with you and copy it into any other X-capable machine and it will run the same way.

Hardware Compatibility

Be careful when purchasing a new computer to use with Linux. Though Linux has come a long way the last few years, and you should have little problem installing it on most modern PCs, you shouldn't assume Linux will install or run flawlessly on any PC, especially if the PC in question is a state-of-the-art computer (though many, perhaps most, manufacturers seem determined to maintain good relationships with the Linux community). Laptops especially are often designed with proprietary configurations that work with Linux only after some reverse engineering. Perhaps the best way to test out a laptop is with a Live CD. If a retailer wants your business, they'll let you boot Ubuntu Linux on their computers.

Additional packages to install

Figure 4-13 shows many of the services that can be used on a workstation system. By checking one of these boxes, the installation will include services for printing, the X Windows System, KDE and GNOME windows managers, mail, the Web, news readers, DOS and Windows connectivity to provide access to a Microsoft server, graphics manipulators, and games. The application package checklist, which is shown in Figure 4-14, is capable of installing a multimedia system, providing laptop support, and creating a network-capable workstation (use an NIC to connect), a dial-up capable workstation (use a modem to connect), and basic servers. These server packages are customized for the distribution that is being installed, including a news server capable of hosting a newsgroup, and NFS, Samba, and IPX Netware connectivity servers that provide file sharing with UNIX, Microsoft Windows, and Netware.

Optimizing Write Cache

Related to dirty_ratio are the dirty_expire_centisecs and dirty_writeback_ centisecs parameters, also in proc sys vm. These parameters determine when data in the write cache expires and has to be written to disk, even if the write cache hasn't reached the threshold as defined in dirtyratio yet. By using these parameters, you reduce the chances of losing data when a power outage occurs on your server. On the contrary, if you want to use power more efficiently, it is useful to give both these parameters the value of 0, which actually disables them and keeps data as long as possible in the write cache. This is useful for laptop computers, because your hard disk needs to spin up in order to write this data, and that takes a lot of power turning off both of these parameters delays writing to hard disk as long as possible, which is good if you want to limit power consumption.

Understand Kernel Modules

This command loads the Ethernet module for an Intel Wireless 3945 card common on many laptop systems. This wireless card requires the ieee80211 module to work properly. If depmod were run first (and the physical card were detected), then the ieee80211 module would have loaded automatically before the ipw3945 driver. If a dependency in the list fails during loading, then all dependent modules will be automatically unloaded. Again, this is just an example of a process that happens automatically on most Ubuntu Linux systems, courtesy of HAL.

Answers to Assessment Questions

Usually a laptop installation is selected for a laptop. Although you can use a custom installation, it isn't the most likely choice workstation and server installations won't provide for the special needs of a laptop. For review, see the Selecting the machine type section.

Explore Power Management Options

The Linux implementation of HAL supports the two basic computer power management standards, ACPI and APM. Among other things, both standards help manage PC power consumption. As such, they are important tools to extend the lifetime of battery-operated devices such as laptop computers. In server rooms, appropriate power management practices can lead to significant savings in electric and cooling bills. Most PC manufacturers customize their power-saving features for Microsoft operating systems. On Linux systems, some customization may be required, especially for laptops. For this purpose, the experiences of others as documented on sites such as are most valuable. Based on these experiences, Ubuntu Linux has customized their latest releases for features such as specialized Dell laptop buttons for the so-called ACPI-defined S states, described later in this chapter in the section Review Specialized Hardware Issues. The Ubuntu Linux power management packages that are...

Kernelpcmciacs Version 225 561K

Many laptop machines (and some non-laptops) support PCMCIA cards for expansion. Also known as credit card adapters, PCMCIA cards are small cards for everything from SCSI support to modems. PCMCIA cards are hot swappable (i.e., they can be exchanged without rebooting the system) and quite convenient to use. The kernel-pcmcia-cs package contains a set of loadable kernel modules that implement an applications program interface, a set of client drivers for specific cards and a card manager daemon that can respond to card insertion and removal events by loading and unloading drivers on demand. The daemon also supports hot swapping, so that the cards can be safely inserted and ejected at any time.

O Improving Network Visibility

While this may seem like an innovative idea, it can have a profoundly negative effect on network stability. Using RSPAN even under a light medium load can cause both the remote and core switches to malfunction or drop packets or network connectivity to be intermittent or fail altogether. In practice, it has the undocumented functionality of potentially creating a distributed denial of service situation. If this feature is enabled and a network has a moderate amount of traffic, network administrators might have to walk from switch to switch with a laptop and a console cable disabling RSPAN.

Advanced Configuration and Power Interface

Until the development of the hotkey-setup package, Linux's ability to respond to hot keys was limited. Hot keys on laptop systems are most frequently associated with laptop power management functionality. One of the problems associated with ACPI is the different power events configured by different laptop and motherboard manufacturers. One way to review available power events is from the list of files installed from the acpi-support package. From the command line, you can review this list with the following command (if the package is installed)

Review Specialized Hardware Issues

Just as the Linux ACPI system includes custom keycode signal configurations for different laptop manufacturers, the same system includes a number of custom configurations for different kinds of hardware. The smartmontools package can help monitor the health of attached hard drives. Serial ATA (SATA) drives emulate SCSI drives in some ways. ACPI S States are associated with power modes. Direct Memory Access (DMA) allows individual hardware systems to bypass the CPU. Wireless devices have been a special challenge for Linux. More challenges have been overcome with Bluetooth and infrared devices.

Using Power Management Preferences

Of time and will also allow you to configure your notebook to enter sleep (standby) mode. In addition, if you use a notebook computer, Ubuntu might let you configure additional aspects of your computer, such as the display brightness. These functions are controlled using the Power Management applet. To start this, click System Preferences Power Management. If Ubuntu is installed on a notebook computer, you'll see three tabs in the program window On AC Power, On Battery Power, and General. If Ubuntu is installed on a desktop computer, you'll see just the On AC Power and General tabs. If your computer is a notebook computer, you'll see some extra options. Depending on the technology used in your computer, you might see a Set Display Brightness To slider, which you can use to set the brightness of the screen when the power is connected. Whenever AC power is connected, the display brightness will be changed to match this setting. You may see a When Laptop Lid Is Closed option, with a...

Ifconfig plip1 vlager pointopoint vlite

Now we have configured routing from the laptop to the Brewery's network what's still missing is a way to route from any of the Brewery's hosts to vlite. One particularly cumbersome way is to add a specific route to every host's routing table that names vlager as a gateway to vlite

Route add vlite gw vlager

Dynamic routing offers a much better option for temporary routes. You could use gated, a routing daemon, which you would have to install on each host in the network in order to distribute routing information dynamically. The easiest option, however, is to use proxy ARP (Address Resolution Protocol). With proxy ARP, vlager will respond to any ARP query for vlite by sending its own Ethernet address. All packets for vlite will wind up at vlager, which then forwards them to the laptop. We will come back to proxy ARP in the section Checking the ARP Tables .

Changing screen backlighting

If you're using Ubuntu on a notebook computer, you should be able to alter the screen backlighting brightness using the notebook's standard keyboard combination, as with Windows. If this doesn't work, right-click a blank spot on the bar running across the top of the screen and select Add to Panel from the menu that appears. In the list that appears, select Brightness Applet and click the ADD button. This will add a new icon that, when clicked, presents a slider that will let you alter the degree of backlighting.

Certification Summary

Basic hardware compatibility is well documented in the basic Linux HCL as well as emerging Ubuntu Linux hardware lists. Most hardware in Linux is now truly plug and play. Hardware events such as the unplugging of a battery-powered laptop system while Linux is running are recorded in different log files in the var log directory.

Understanding Your Internet Connection

The first message appeared on my laptop computer with the Netgear card. It shows that a card was found at IRQ3 with a port address of 0x300 and an Ethernet hardware address of 00 80 C8 8C 8E 49. The second example is from my computer with the EtherExpress Pro 100 card. In it, the card is at IRQ 17, the port address is 0xccc0, and the Ethernet address is 00 90 27 4E 67 35.

Listening to Music in Linux

Good-quality sound hardware is considered a necessity for today's desktop and laptop computer systems. Whether playing songs downloaded from the Internet, sound tracks to digital movies, or audio from a TV card, any user-friendly operating system has to support a healthy list of sound hardware and audio applications.

Inch Disks for Portables

The smallest hard disks in common use today are 2.5-inch units. These drives measure 2.75 inches wide by 3.94 inches deep. Their small size makes them ideally suited for use in laptop and notebook computers, and they're almost never found in desktop computers. The reason for this segregation is that 2.5-inch hard drives are more expensive, megabyte for megabyte, than are physically larger hard disks. A 2.5-inch hard disk is small enough that it often pulls its power directly from a data cable, which is smaller than a typical EIDE or SCSI cable. Because these drives are normally used in portable computers that are purchased as a unit, you don't normally need to concern yourself with the details of this interface.

Tuning Disk Performance in Linux

You probably want to get the best performance possible from your hard disks. If you have a hard drive capable of transferring 30MBps, you don't want to get only 8MBps speeds from it. Especially when using a laptop computer, you also want to configure your hard drives to spin down when not being actively used that is, to go into an inactive state in which the hard drive platters don't spin, but the drive watches for data transfer requests and powers up the drive when one occurs. You can use an assortment of Linux utilities and configuration features to help improve your overall system performance with respect to hard disks.

Splitting a File into Smaller Ones

It's sometimes necessary to split one file into a number of smaller ones. For example, suppose you have a very large sound file in the near-CD-quality MPEG2, level 3 ( MP3 ) format. Your file, large.mp3', is 4,394,422 bytes in size, and you want to transfer it from your desktop to your laptop, but your laptop and desktop are not connected on a network--the only way to transfer files between them is by floppy disk. Because this file is much too large to fit on one floppy, you use split. You could then copy these five files onto four floppies (the last file fits on a floppy with one of the larger files), copy them all to your laptop, and then reconstruct the original file with cat (see section Concatenating Text).

E1 Enabling Automatic Login

While the Login Window Preferences window is open, it's as good a time as any to mention an option that may be of interest to you. If you find it a bit of a drag to type your username and password every time you start up your machine, you'll be happy to know that you can bypass the whole login process. If you share your machine with other users, of course, this isn't something you'd want to do because anybody with access to your machine would have access to your user account. I also wouldn't recommend doing this on a laptop, since they are more easily lost or stolen, thus leaving your data at risk to absolute strangers.

Stand Alone NAS Systems

Network addressable storage (NAS), to all intents and purposes, is a hard drive that connects to the outside world through a network cable and IP address instead of an IDE, SCSI, or SATA cable. There are two main advantages with this approach. This first is that by being naturally network aware, you can use the files anywhere in the world with little to no additional configuration. This includes your office, your partner's office, the bedroom, or even a laptop in the garden or on the train, connected wirelessly. The second is that by being separate from the main computer, you can declutter your main work area by hiding the NAS drive in a cupboard or in the loft attic. This has a security benefit whereby any burglar stealing your computer hasn't stolen your data also.

Connecting to Your IM Accounts in Pidgin

I typically have the same instant messaging account defined on multiple computer systems, such as my primary desktop system at home and my laptop, so that I can stay in touch with friends and family wherever I am. This is one of the great advantages of defining buddies (explained in the next section) your buddy lists are stored by the service that you're using, so you see the same contact whenever you log in to a given service.

Example 518 An actual jdb session with commentary

RedHat Linux Laptop RedHat Linux Laptop You have contacted Michael Schwarz's RedHat Linux Laptop. You would probably rather see his permanent Web page since this server goes up and down all the time, what with it being on a laptop. RedHat Linux Laptop RedHat Linux Laptop You have contacted Michael Schwarz's RedHat Linux Laptop. You would probably rather see his permanent Web page since this server goes up and down all the time, what with it being on a laptop.

HOME Your Home Directory

home alex laptop echo HOME home alex cd pwd home alex The shell uses the value of HOME to expand pathnames that use the shorthand tilde ( ) notation (page 171) to denote a user's home directory. The following example uses echo to display the value of this shortcut and then uses ls to list the files in Alex's laptop directory, which is a subdirectory of his home directory home alex ls laptop

Extending Your LAN with a Wireless Network

If you have a laptop computer that you want to connect to your LAN or if you don't want to run a rat's nest of wires to connect a PC to the LAN you have the option of using a wireless Ethernet network. In a typical scenario, you have a cable modem or DSL connection to the Internet, and you want to connect one or more laptops with wireless network cards to access the Internet through the cable or DSL modem. In the following sections, I explain wireless networking and how to set it up on your network.

Understanding Wired Equivalent Privacy WEP

The 802.11 standard includes Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) for protecting wireless communications from eavesdropping. WEP relies on a 40-bit or 104-bit secret key that is shared between a mobile station (such as a laptop with a wireless Ethernet card) and an access point (also called a base station). The secret key is used to encrypt data packets before they transmit, and an integrity check is performed to ensure that packets are not modified in transit. The 802.11 standard does not explain how the shared key is established. In practice, most wireless LANs use a single key that is shared between all mobile stations and access points. Such an approach, however, does not scale up very well to an environment such as a college campus because the keys are shared with all users and you know how it is if you share a secret with hundreds of people. That's why WEP is typically not used on large wireless networks such as the ones at universities. In such wireless networks, you have to use...

Setting up the wireless hardware

As Figure 8-4 shows, the LAN has both wired and wireless PCs. In this example, either a cable or DSL modem connects the LAN to the Internet through a NAT router hub. Laptops with wireless network cards connect to the LAN through a wireless access point attached to one of the RJ-45 ports on the hub. To connect desktop PCs to this wireless network, you can use a USB wireless network card (which connects to a USB port). Laptop PC with wireless Ethernet card

Mobile File Systems and Mac OS X

Thanks to the prevalence of FireWire and the ease that the Mac has always had of booting from different partitions, drives, and the like, you will likely work with file systems that are quite dynamic. For the Unix world, Mac OS X users are extremely mobile. All those iPod music players can become spare data drives, or even boot drives, without much work. (Install an OS, and select the iPod in System Preferences O Startup Disk.) Because of the way Mac OS X deals with mobile drives, the script that was looking for resources in usr local bin is still going to find that directory, but now it's a totally different usr local bin, and what you want is Volumes usr local bin. While mobile use is starting to become more common on Linux, the fact is, if you get a room full of Mac users, especially laptop users, together, it's a good bet that at least a third will have some kind of portable FireWire drive with them, and they will be happily using it as a big data shuttle or test boot disk. Many...

Configuring wireless networking

On your SUSE Linux laptop, the PCMCIA manager recognizes the wireless network card and loads the appropriate driver for the card (PCMCIA or PC Card is the name of the plug-in card devices). Linux treats the wireless network card like another Ethernet device and assigns it a device name such as eth0 or ethl. If you already have an Ethernet card in the laptop, that card gets the eth0 device name, and the wireless PC card becomes the ethl device. Here's a typical output from a SUSE Linux laptop with a wireless Ethernet PC card

LAN Local Area Network

Wireless networks are becoming increasingly common. They are found in offices, homes, and public places, such as universities, coffee shops, and airports. Wireless access points provide functionality similar to an Ethernet hub. They allow multiple users to interact via a common radio frequency spectrum. A wireless, point-to-point connection allows you to wander about your home or office with a laptop, using an antenna to link to a LAN or to the Internet via an in-house base station. Linux

Adding a Wireless Ethernet LAN

f you have laptop computers on your LAN or if you don't want to run a rat's nest of wires to connect a PC to the LAN you have the option of using a wireless Ethernet network. In a typical scenario, you have a cable modem or DSL connection to the Internet, and you want to connect one or more laptops with wireless network cards to access the Internet through the cable or DSL modem. This chapter shows you how to set up wireless networking for connecting to an Ethernet LAN and accessing the Internet.

Using apm to enter suspend mode

The apm command lets you view information about your computer's power management and put the computer in suspend mode (if it is supported on your laptop). Here are some examples of using the apm command Using the -m option, the apm command displays the number of minutes of battery life remaining (if that information is available). It may also give you information about the status of how the battery is charging and whether or not the laptop is currently plugged in. The -s option of apm causes the laptop to enter suspend mode. You can start up the laptop again, in most cases, by pressing a key on the keyboard.

Understanding Wired Equivalent Privacy

The 802.11 standard includes the Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) for protecting wireless communications from eavesdropping. WEP relies on a 40-bit or 104-bit secret key that is shared between a mobile station (such as a laptop with a wireless Ethernet card) and an access point (also called a base station). The secret key is used to encrypt packets before they are transmitted and an integrity check is performed to ensure that packets are not modified in transit. The 802.11 standard does not explain how the shared key is established. In practice, most wireless LANs use a single key that is shared between all mobile stations and access points. Such an approach, however, does not scale well to an environment such as a college campus where the keys are shared with all users. Therefore, WEP is typically not used on large wireless networks such as the ones at universities. In such wireless networks, users should use other security approaches such as using SSH (Secure Shell) to log in to...

O Defending Against RF Spectrum Analysis

However, you can potentially identify if an attacker is performing spectrum analysis in the immediate area through simple observation. A spectrum analyzer would be either a handheld device or an external dongle (e.g., WiSpy) or an add-on device that attaches to a laptop. To make more effective use of the spectrum analyzer, the attacker is also likely to walk around taking sampling readings. Thus, physical observation with the human eyeball is the best defense against an attacker roaming through any given location taking RF readings.

System Freeze During the Pcmcia Configuration Phase

Some laptop models produced by Dell are known to crash when PCMCIA device detection tries to access some hardware addresses. Other laptops may display similar problems. If you experience such a problem and you don't need PCMCIA support during the installation, you can disable PCMCIA using the hw-detect start_pcmcia false boot parameter. You can then configure PCMCIA after the installation is completed and exclude the resource range causing the problems. Alternatively, you can boot the installer in expert mode. You will then be asked to enter the resource range options your hardware needs. For example, if you have one of the Dell laptops mentioned above, you should enter exclude port 0x800-0x8ff here. There is also a list of some common resource range options in the System resource settings section of the PCMCIA HOWTO Note that you have to omit the commas, if any, when you enter this value in the installer.

Using the Power Manager applet

Move the mouse pointer over the battery icon in the top panel. A tooltip should tell you whether or not your laptop is currently running on AC power and your battery's current charge level. Figure 10-7 shows an example of battery information for a laptop that is on AC power and that is in the process of recharging the battery. On AC Power From the On AC Power tab, you can select how many minutes of idle time should elapse before putting the computer or display to sleep. You can also set what hapens when the laptop lid is closed (Blank Screen Suspend, Hibernate, or do nothing). As for the Display, you can set how long to wait before putting the display to sleep (40 minutes is the default) or whether or not you want to dim the display when it is idle. On Battery Power The same options described for running on AC power are available for when your laptop is running on battery power. You can set what happens to the CPU and display after set amounts of idle time. General From the General...

Set the CPU speed from the desktop

With some types of CPU it's possible to manually alter the clock speed while the system is running. This can be very useful with a notebook computer, for example, where you might choose to throttle-down the CPU speed when on battery power to save juice, or to minimize heat generation when the computer is resting on your lap.

Incident Response

You can also make use of a mobile Linux laptop as part of an organization's wireless incident response kit. While WIDS can detect attacks and alert system administrators about attacks that are happening, reacting to them in a fast and responsive manner so as to stop and possibly apprehend the culprit(s) involved in the attack is a totally different thing. One way to locate a powered-up rogue AP is to use the Wavemon tool (http freshmeat .net projects wavemon) to check for its signal strength. Given that the power output of the AP does not change, the closer you get to the AP, the stronger the signal strength. A Wavemon-equipped laptop can be carried around by an incident responder to help track down the AP via its signal strength. Figure 8-22 shows the Wavemon tool display.

Graphical Process and System Management Tools

A handy little application is the xosview client, which provides load, CPU, memory and swap usage, disk I O usage and activity, page swapping information, network activity, I O activity, I O rates, serial port status, and if APM is enabled, the battery level (such as for a laptop). You will have to obtain xosview using either synaptic or apt-get.

Mounting a File System

A Linux system doesn't really care what is attached to it at any given moment. Do you want to connect to a printer down the hall, a co-worker's laptop in Australia, a backup mirror on the corporate server in Shanghai, or a floppy disk in your own machine No problem with the mount command and the right permissions, all these devices and file systems will appear on your system as if they were all just another part of your

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