2009
05.03

Seven Awesome Linux Apps

I use Linux. Not as a main operating system on either of my three physical computers (iMac, MacBook, IdeaPad) however there’s a very good chance that I have a few SSH (secure shell for the uninitiated) sessions open to various virtual servers around the country, and I’ve probably got a virtualized instance of some Linux flavor sitting in VirtualBox, or maybe even running.

As such, I’ve found that there are a few commandline utilities that will make your live better/easier if you’re working on Linux. The cool thing about the operating system is that a one-line command will generally install any of the applications I’m about to list.

Finally, my main Linux distribution is Ubuntu, even on the virtual servers. Don’t judge…it’s built on the resource-light Debian distribution, is the biggest thing on the desktop/notebook/netbook market at the moment, and seems to run stably enough in my environment. No matter how non-1337 my techie coworket at The Oredigger says I am. Seriously dude, you’re trying to run a server on Fedora? They aren’t even trying to be a server distribution.

Onward…

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2009
05.01

Want to make sure a file is absolutely bit-for-bit (okay, not exactly but the probabilities are astronomical of has collisions) identical to a “genuine” file copy? Want to see if you downloaded said file correctly? Compare hashes, AKA checksums.

Basically, a hash condenses a file’s data into a small, pseudo-unique string of bits that is identical between identical files but otherwise different. Many files on the internet have their MD5 and/or SHA1 checksums posted to help you ensure your downloaded file is the same as the file on their servers.

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