Ask Shadowman:

December 2002

The man, the myth. Equal parts twisted steel and sex appeal. He's got one name like Nostradamus or Sade. He is... The Shadowman.

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

First things first. It happens. Every so often, Shadowman hits the sauce before proofreading his own copy. Last month, two answers went out incomplete, making them in essence... wr-wr- wrrrro- not completely correct.

To Scott R who wanted to open port 1099:
You will also have to edit /etc/sysconfig/iptables (or ipchains), adding a line to allow traffic on 1099.

And to Mark L, who wanted to change his hostname:
Edit /etc/sysconfig/network and add HOSTNAME='hostname_of_your_choosing'

Thanks to PFC Jacob S. for being the first (of many) to catch this and point it out. Now... drop and beat your face, GRUNT!

Mike B can't live another day without knowing:
How can I access my NTFS volumes in RedHat?

Shadowman says:
Shadowman keeps hearing about this NTFS thing, and decided to let you all have it. Replete with a quick primer on recompiling your kernel, for those who care to learn once in awhile.

Make sure the following packages are installed:

kernel-headers	glibc		binutils
kernel-source	kgcc		gcc
dev86		cpp
make		ncurses-devel
You are changing the kernel, and may want the numbering to reflect that. So edit /usr/src/linux/Makefile and change your EXTRAVERSION (e.g. Change -18 to -18ntfs).
cd /usr/src/linux

cp -p configs/kernel-*-i686.config arch/i386/defconfig 
(change i686 to the appropriate processor)
make mrproper
make oldconfig
make xconfig (config or menuconfig if not in X)
And enable ntfs support under file systems.
make dep bzImage 
(this should create and arch/i386/boot/bzImage)

make modules

cp -p arch/i386/bzImage /boot/vmlinuz[version]
cp -p /boot/[version]
make modules_install
If you have scsi, don't forget to create a new initial ramdisk:
mkinitrd /boot/initrd-[version]
Edit lilo.conf to reflect the new kernel addition (leave the other stanzas in tact until you are sure it boots) and run lilo, or add the line to grub.conf in the syntax of the other lines.

This will enable "read" support for your ntfs volumes. Write has never, and likely will never work well enough to be safe at any speed. You may have to have a vfat partion as a way station for interim writes.

You should now be able to mount your ntfs partitions, or create an fstab entry to do it each boot.

Didier C stretched, yawned and spat out:
In windoze we do not need to mount floppies and it get recognized. How do we do the same in Linux? It's sometimes cumbersome to mount and umount floppy each time!

Shadowman says:
It's pretty simple, actually. If you are unafraid.

Step one: Enable autofs support in your kernel. Recompile if needed, but most modern kernels should support it. (See above for steps, if not)

Step two: Make sure you have the automount packages installed.

Step three: Edit /etc/auto.master. There is a line that looks like -

# /misc /etc/auto.misc  --timeout=60
The first entry is where you would like your mountpoints to appear, the second is the location of the map file (where mountpoints and devices are defined) and the third are your options. Remove the # if you just want to use the example.

Step four: Edit /etc/auto.misc. For your floppy you will need to have a line in /etc/auto.misc like
floppy		-fstype=auto		:/dev/fd0
The first entry defines the mount point (if you use the default entries here and in auto.master, your mountpoint will be /misc/floppy.) The second column is for device mounting options like you would see in /etc/fstab. The third column is the actual device. You can be extra safe and back-up the default auto.master and .misc files and create new auto.master that points to auto.floppy.

You can play with the settings, until you are comfortable (for example setting the timeout on when to unmount due to lack of use, or make it mount in /mnt/floppy). If all goes well, your floppy woes should be over.

You can also try a short cut like creating an icon on your desktop that runs the floppy mount command for you and launches Nautilus.

If you're really lazy, you can find a script to do all the icky work and even spoon feed you some information here:

In short:

To Gowthami K., Shadowman says: One runs POST, the other doesn't.

Marcio G., who wanted to grab RHDB 2.0, Shadowman says: Check out for RHDB 2.0 and select other projects.

To the bevy of queries coming in on dual booting, Shadowman says: Nothing. And posts this link-- install-guide/ch-x86-dualboot.html

To Alvin T., who wanted to know how to do better with the ladies, Shadowman says: 1) Be genuine. 2) Be attentive. 3) Get yourself a snappy hat.