Reduce Energy Using PowerTop

Reduce the energy consumption of your Ubuntu Desktop by running PowerTop. A tip from Linux and Microcontroller Tips:

Since version 2.6.21, the Linux kernel has introduced a feature called tickless. The kernel no longer has a fixed 1000Hz timer tick. This will give a dramatic  power savings because the CPU stays in low power mode for longer periods of time during system idle.

A Nice handy tool, PowerTop has been created for reducing the Power Usage of Linux. This application will help to find the software components that are preventing optimal usage of your hardware and give proper suggestions for both hardware and software configurations to reduce power consumption of your system. So Now Your Ubuntu is energy Efficient. It is very useful for Laptop Users.

Canon MX330 $50 Rebate

Two months ago, I bought a Lenovo Q100 nettop running on Windows XP. I thought about installing Ubuntu Linux on it, but I needed a Windows desktop since I don’t have one. Believe it or not, there are valid reasons for having a Windows desktop around the house, albeit an underpowered one.

The Lenovo Q100 runs on 1.6 Ghz Intel Atom 230, not necessarily a speed demon. It’s a bit sluggish, but it’s perfect for email, browsing and writing simple documents. I love it. The only issue I had so far was the latest version of Avast Anti-virus program. The Avast program used up a large part of the CPU resources of the Q100.

I picked up one of those bundled multi-function printers along with Lenovo Q100, a Canon MX330 printer for only $60. What a bargain. Even better, it comes with a $50 rebate. So, today, I received my $50 rebate, almost two months after the initial purchase. It was worth the wait.

Technically, the printer was only $10. Can’t beat that price anywhere.

Fully Qualified Server Name

If you are trying to restart an Apache server running on Ubuntu, Linux Mint or any other Ubuntu derived distro, you will get an warning message that your Apache server does not contain a fully qualified domain name.

Restarting Apache

sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

Warning Message

* Restarting web server apache2
apache2: Could not reliably determine the server's fully qualified domain name, using 127.0.1.1 for ServerName ... waiting apache2: 
Could not reliably determine the server's fully qualified domain name, using 127.0.1.1 for ServerName [ OK ]

To fix this annoying message, you need to set the hostname:

Set Hostname

sudo hostname computername.domain.com

So, the next time you restart the Apache server:

Restart Apache

sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

There are no more warning messages.

No More Messages

* Restarting web server apache2
... waiting                                                              [ OK ]

Free Linux Training

It’s free as in beer. From Linux Journal:

A little less than a year ago, the Linux Foundation launched a program to provide a variety of training opportunities for Linux professionals. Just a few months later, the Foundation moved the program online, offering web-based sessions of select courses to reach a wider audience. On Tuesday, they took it one step further, announcing the free — as in beer — Linux Training Webinar Series.

The idea behind the Linux Foundation Training Program was to offer job training that would help fill the continuing demand for Linux professionals. The courses would be taught not by professors or lecturers, but by actual Linux developers, including the Foundation’s Technical Advisory Board which boasts names like Ted Ts’o, Jonathan Corbet, Alan Cox, and Chris Wright, among others.

XRANDR Comes to the Rescue

What could be more frustrating than trying to install Ubuntu or Mint on a new CPU, motherboard, with a built-in graphics card and your display goes south. Here’s the scenario, after the initial flash screens, the screen goes blank. It seems that Xorg is using a screen resolution your monitor does not support.

Why is that? So frustrating. So, my older 19 inch Samsung monitor comes to the rescue. It seems to cope better than my 22 inch HPw220h monitor. The initial screen seems to be twice as big as the monitor supports, hence it doesn’t display properly on certain monitors.

There is one trick, well, a fix to make things all right again. XRANDR comes to the rescue. You will need to perform the following to get your Xorg displaying properly.

  • Hit Ctrl-Alt-F1. This will take you to the terminal screen.
  • Type in XRANDR -s 1024×768. This resets the screen a certain size.
  • Hit Ctrl-Alt-F7. This will take you back to XORG.

You can then make the Xorg changes and make it stick. Once I regained my screen, I was able to reconfigure Xorg to the resolution I wanted, 1680×1050 on my HP monitor.

To make my changes stick, I selected Preferences>Display. Say NO when prompted. Logout and Login.

The new Xorg configuration is now set.

Install Linux on USB

Now that I have a new motherboard that supports booting from a USB, installing and booting Linux on a USB should be a reality. This article details how-to install one using a software tool called UNetbootin, but you need a BIOS that’s able to boot from a USB. That’s where my new motherboard comes in the picture. You can also use the USB drive as a rescue drive for Linux. With USB 3.0, there is plenty of promise in the future. It will be so much faster compared to booting from a CD drive. Read the article.