Solar graphic              ©










Valid HTML 4.0!

Pathnames and Directories in Linux
Jerry Peek's article in the October 2002 issue of Linux Magazine is a big help to anyone who has received the message "No such file or directory". What the message probably means is that the directory exists, but you aren't going to find it unless you know the rules for absolute pathnames and relative pathnames.
In case you don't have this issue of Linux Magazine at hand, the author and the magazine editor have permitted me to copy a section from that issue. While reading that section, it may help to have a printed copy of the simplified filesystem tree. This diagram might clarify two different uses of the word "root". Of course the computer uses index nodes (inodes) and these numbers are unique at each position in the filesystem tree.
The complete magazine article has considerably more detail on the correct use of pathnames from the command line.

Editing Text in Linux
For most purposes, I will continue creating and editing text files using KEDIT for Windows . However, the day will come when I want to modify a file while using Linux. The same would be true if my machine had any of these operating systems: FreeBSD, NetBSD or OpenBSD.

Having been baffled whenever I encountered the vi text editor, I was encouraged to see something short and simple. Section 5 of Annelise Anderson's tutorial was sufficient to get me over that initial hurdle. I copied one of my simplest text files from a Windows machine to a floppy. That way I could mount the floppy on the VALinux computer and edit the file using vi.

The next step, which I recommend to other slow learners, is to print out the two-page Fast Startup section in the FreeBSD Man Pages for vi. The complete Man Pages are truly intimidating and should be saved for later, much later.

ZipSlack is a special edition of Slackware Linux that can be installed on any FAT or FAT32 file system with about 100 MB of free space. It can also be installed to and booted from a Zip Disk. Further details are available from the Slackware Linux site.

Tom's GNU/Linux on a Single Floppy
Having tried other versions of "Linux on a single floppy", I was glad to succeed using the procedure developed by Tom Oehser.
If you plan to try this, you may want to see the details on how I made the floppy from a VALinux machine.

Linux and Fortran
A list of Fortran compilers for Linux is available here. The GNU Fortran compiler is at
for the Red Hat 8.0 Linux distribution.

Links to Berkeley Standard Distributions (BSD) projects

FreeBSD Book
FreeBSD: An Open-Source Operating System for Your PC
Author: Annelise Anderson
Includes FreeBSD installation CD-ROM
Buy from Daemon News Mall

PrintTool and rmdir in Linux
Your printer tests out OK in PrintTool. Then you try to print out a text file and nothing happens. PrintTool warned you to remove unused directories within /var/spool/lpd/.

Rather than going into PrintTool details, let's review how to remove directories. First you have to remove all files within the directory using the rm command. With that done, use the rmdir command to remove the unwanted directory.

This was all done from root, and so you'd better log out and continue working from a local directory.

What time is it?
This link helps one set up date and time on a Linux machine. (Incorrect time has not been an issue for more recent Linux distributions.)

Files and Directories
After changing directories, you may wind up in unfamiliar territory. Typing pwd tells you the current working directory. Easy to do; not so easy to remember.
In the preceding directory, ls -l was mentioned. Here's a combination of arguments I plan to use more in the future: ls -aF. The a shows hidden files. The capital letter F adds a forward slash to subdirectory names so you can tell them from file names.

Red Hat Linux 7 Printing Workaround
PROBLEM: A printer that worked before upgrading to version 7 no longer responds to the command
lpr filename
WORKAROUND: If your printer is on /dev/lp0, issue print command to local printer as
cat filename >/dev/lp0