Thursday, February 14, 2013

One Week Linux Challenge - Day 1

     Here I sit, a neon yellow hand-crank radio to my right fixed on NPR, and a cup of coffee gone cold to my left. Today is the day I push myself to become a 'full-fledged Linux user'. Not in the sense that I'll be compiling kernels and doing commits to huge projects, but in a way that will be meaningful to me. 
     I've been unfaithful. Since I discovered Linux I haven't dedicated myself to it. Sure I have a hundred of my precious Gigabytes allocated to an Ubuntu install...but until now it's been a hobby, a getaway from the frustrations of a cold and static Windows world. I have disconnected a 1500$ desktop in favour of my Thinkpad x220. A laptop that, until now, has served no purpose other than mobile Arduino development.
    But, with this change comes initiative. I don't plan on seeing what games I can get running under Wine, nor do I plan on installing Steam. I want to use this week to discover the things I can do on Linux that would be otherwise difficult or impossible on Windows. I want to fully embrace Open Source Software alternatives, and along the way hopefully hurdle problems I've had before that kept me from switching.

Day 1


     I wanted to get both my x220 and EEE HE1000 running similar variations of Linux, so I chose Ubuntu on my x220, and  Xubuntu on my HE-1000. One thing that felt so lonely about Windows at home was it's independence from my network. There was no real reason to interface machines unless you had some sort of NAS. And even then, it's not like they're really connected. So, I wanted to do some direct control via SSH, a simple lightweight protocol that allows CLI usage of one machine through another.
     First order of business; 'sudo apt-get install ssh' on my EEE. With a little googling I found out how to check when 'ssh' was active, and for that matter how to check if any service is running. Then I grabbed the IP of the machine, closed the lid, plugged in the power cord and threw it into a corner. 
     Next, I needed an SSH client on my x220. I chose puTTy because I had been using it for Serial port logging on my Arduino, and I was already pretty familiar with the interface. It was simple enough to connect too...all I had to do was put in the local I.P and it prompted me with a username field.
     I spent the next half hour or so updating, moving files around, and pretty much doing things a toddler could do. 
    Overall, I really feel like there are a few big hurdles I'm going to come across; Music and Hardware Drivers. Tomorrow, I plan on conquering my song collection and possibly finding new paths to get songs. Until then, it's more NPR and Leo Laporte on gPodder! 

1 comment:

  1. Quick tip for you on SSH - Putty is entirely unnecessary on a Linux system. Simply running "ssh " or "ssh " from the command line will do the trick.

    If you really want to see SSH shine, run it with the -X modifier (ssh -X ) and then execute a graphical program that's on your remote computer, but not on the local system. X forwarding is a wonderful thing. I frequently forward graphical programs from my server rigs, which don't have an installed window manager, to my laptop with ease.