Issue #2 December 2004

Ask Shadowman

It seems like everybody wants something during the holiday season. Everyone may celebrate a different holiday, but the spirit of want is what unites us. It's palpable during the month of December, hanging in the air like bourbon in egg nog, or rum-soaked cherries in Aunt Edna's stale fruitcake. Fortunately, Shadowman wants to help. Let's check December's mailbag and see who needs it.

Got a question that you'd like Shadowman to answer? Ask him.


What does sunsark18 want?

I want to use crontab to schedule system shutdown after 2 minutes, after the system has started.

Shadowman wants to help

Really? Is that really what you want to do? Shadowman suspects that you just want to shut down your system after two minutes. Shadowman further suspects that you don't care how you do it -- which is good, because cron isn't the right way to do it. In fact, the simplest way is probably just to drop "shutdown -h +2" into /etc/rc.local. Check out the man page for "shutdown" for more info.

If you need to allow users to log into this system for those two crucial minutes, it might make more sense to use the "at" command instead. Check out the man page for "at" for more info there.

What does mksingh13 want?

I want to do RHEL3 customized installation for web server only. For this I want to edit the comps.xml file. Please remember that I want packages only needed by web server only.

Shadowman wants to help

Are you sure that you want to dig around in comps files for hours on end? Shadowman isn't. Why would you run the risk of breaking comps.xml, which is a complicated thing to build correctly, when the "%packages" section of kickstart was designed to solve this problem for you?

Of course, it's possible that you simply don't know about kickstart, in which case you should do some reading.

Be aware that customizing a kickstart that strips away every single package that isn't needed for a web server might require a bit of trial and error. Or a whole lot of trial and error, even. The upside, though, is that once you get the kickstart file right, you can then kickstart shiny new super-skinny web servers to your heart's content.

What does sbm2595 want?

I want to set up dial-up connection in Red Hat. How can I do that?

Shadowman wants to help

"Shadowman helps those who help themselves." That's the Shadowman creed. For today, at least. Tomorrow, maybe Shadowman's creed will involve pie.

Fortunately, this excellent creed (the one about helping yourself, not the one about pie) is shared by the lovely ladies and gentlemen who maintain Red Hat's Knowledge base. Check out what the K-base has to say on this topic. The K-base is your friend. Learn this and know it to be true.

Now Shadowman believes that he will help himself to some pie.

What does Mr. Khumalo want?

Attention Mr. Shadowman, I want to take the privilege to introduce myself;I am the son of the late President of Zaire (President Mobutu Sese Seko) now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo and under the leadership of the, son of Mr. Laurent Kabila. I presume you are aware there are financial dispute between my family (THE MOBUTU) and the present civilian Government. This is based on what they believe as bad and corrupt governance on my late father's part. May his soul rest in perfect peace....

Shadowman wants to help

Unfortunately, Shadowman is a little tapped at the moment, Mr. Khumalo. Try back after the holidays.