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Force Linux reboot

This happens quite often - a file-system hangs and doesn't respond to "reboot" commands. Here's how to force it to restart - on the command line, type the following:

echo 1 > /proc/sys/kernel/sysrq
echo b > /proc/sysrq-trigger

Thursday, 03 October 2013 19:44

How to install wallpapers from older ubuntu releases?

ubuntu-logoQ. I would like to install wallpapers from older releases of Ubuntu, how do I go about doing so?


A. The process is simple. You can run the following command on the terminal:


sudo apt-get install ubuntu-wallpapers-quetzal

Depending on the version you have (and wallpapers you'd like), replace quetzal with one of the following previous versions:

Tuesday, 01 October 2013 10:34

Broken or missing icons in Windows 7/8

Q. Some of my Windows icons have disappeared and look like the default application icon. How can I fix this?

Here's an example of what it looks like:

windows 7 broken icon

A. This happens because the icon cache gets corrupted. There are several ways to fix this:

Wednesday, 01 May 2013 11:18

Redirect all except one directory in Apache

Q. I would like to redirect all but one directory in Apache. How do I do that?

A. The process is very simple, using mod_rewrite:

Let's say that "directory1" is what you would like to continue using and everything else is to be redirected:

RewriteCond $1 !^directory1
RewriteRule (.*)$1 [R=301,L]
Tuesday, 16 April 2013 11:41

List serial number of USB device

Q. Is there a way to under Linux to find out the Serial number of a device plugged into the system?

A. Yes, there is a simple command:

lsusb -v

This will produce a long output, so it's best to pipe it into a "more" or just a text file.

Monday, 08 April 2013 13:25

Postfix and Clam AV

It's been a while since we've posted something and a lot of stuff piled up. At the day and age of MS Exchange and cloud hosting, there are still instances when you'd like to run your own email server. Postfix being the popular choice, we present here are simple steps to enable ClamAV to scan your incoming emails (Ubuntu is used as an example in this case).

First, a short description of the steps that the mail will take:

Incoming mail → 25:postfix → 10026:clamav → 10025:postfix → Delivery to user

Installation steps are as follows:

1) download and install ClamAV

apt-get install clamsmtp clamav-freshclam
Monday, 08 April 2013 08:58

MySQL backup and restore

mysql-170x115This is more to serve as a reminder for myself on how to backup and restore databases using the command line.

1. Backing up a database:

Where username is of course your username and dbname is the database that you are trying to backup. Userpass is optional - if you don't enter it on the command line, you will be prompted for it:

mysqldump -u username -p[userpass] dbname > filename.sql

or you can get fancier, if you need to specify the host or port:

mysqldump --user=username --password=password --port=port --host=hostname dbname > backupfile.sql

2 Backing up with compression

mysqldump -u username -p[userpass] dbname | gzip > filename.sql.gz

3. Restoring a database:

mysql -u username -p[root_password] database_name < filename.sql

Wednesday, 16 January 2013 10:30

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