Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tips & Tricks from PCLinuxOS Forum

tips and tricks from pclinuxos forum

Visiting PCLinuxOS Forum (http://www.pclinuxos.com/forum/index.php?board=23.0) has been one of my hobbies. It updates my linux computing skills by providing me with the most practical solutions. Here is a list of some important tips and tricks directly from PCLinuxOS Forum.

How to increase boot speed and overall performance?

  • Add more RAM to your system. If you are using PCLinuxOS 2007 or 2008, it’s suggested that you should use more than 512 MB RAM. Configure your system to use more RAM and less or no swap.
  • Check your hardware if your system have right kind of drivers installed. For example, if you have Intel GMA 965 graphics card and your system boots to a vesa driver the you will have disappointing graphics performance.
  • Customize runlevels as per your computing needs. If you are using internet via cable and always booting to a multiuser graphical environment then you should disable all the runlevels except 0, 5 and 6 (as per pclinuxos settings).
  • Remove unnecessary gettys if you are not using them anymore. Home user generally don’t need any kind getty.
  • Change the bios settings to boot directly from HDD because modern bios are set to choose usb devices and optical drives to seek for boot information. If you have installed PCLinuxOS on your HDD you should disable usb and cd/dvd boot seeking options in BIOS.
  • Remove unnecessary services. As for myself I have disabled ntp, portmap, partmon, at, anacron, netfs, kheader, cups, sane and many more…
  • Remove unnecessary icon sets, themes and desktop environment extra packages.
  • Disable system startup checking
  • Use light weight programs. If rxvt does your purpose there no need to use console and if abiword is sufficient for your needs you should remove OO.o.
  • Use initng for system booting, it is more advanced and faster than the traditional SysVinit.

How to improve video playback quality?

Some people have problems playing videos and are getting washed out colors with too much brightness. They modify the driver preferences for the X11 server to get better quality with Kaffeine and Mplayer.

  • For Mplayer, to to Preferences, Video and choose the X11 (Ximage/Shm) drivers.
  • For Kaffeine player go to Settings, Xine Engine Settings and choose the opengl drivers.

How to configure Kaffeine and Amarok to play real player and Win32codec audio?

Kaffeine and Amarok are installed in your PCLinuxOS are installed by default. You need win32codecs package to be used by Kaffeine and Amarok to play realmedia and windows media audio.

1) Install win32codecs through Synaptic Package Manager.

2) Kaffeine steps

a) start Kaffeine

b) click menu->settings->xine Engine Parameters

c) choose decoder options

d) change /usr/lib/real/ to /usr/lib/win32/

e) change /usr/lib/codecs to /usr/lib/win32

3) Amarok steps.

a) Make sure Amarok is closed

b)Open with your preferred text editor the Amarok “xine-config” file located in “~/.kde/share/apps/amarok/”.

This can be done by issuing the following run command (click ALT+F2 to bring the run command dialog)

kwrite ~/.kde/share/apps/amarok/xine-config

* The “xine-config” file has many entries, but we are only interested in changing two values, path to RealPlayer codecs and path to Win32 codecs.

c) Change #decoder.external.real_codecs_path:/usr/lib/real/ to decoder.external.real_codecs_path:/usr/lib/win32/

* If the value for #decoder.external.real_codecs_path is empty also change it to decoder.external.real_codecs_path:/usr/lib/win32/

d) Change #decoder.external.win32_codecs_path:/usr/lib/codecs to decoder.external.win32_codecs_path:/usr/lib/win32

e) Make sure your removed the '#' at the beginning of both modified lines. Otherwise, Amarok will use the default values instead of the new values.

f) Save the file and close kwrite.

4) Enjoy listening to and watching real media and QuickTime in your players Smiley

By default Amarok does not play some files with the .ram extension. Rename files with .ram extensions to .rm, after that Amarok will play them.

How to join video files?

Mencoder offers you easy command line options to join video files as follows:

mencoder -oac copy -ovc copy file1 file2 file3 … -o final_movie.xxx

You can also use cat to join multiple files in a crude way as follows:

cat movie.avi.001 movie.avi.002 > movie.avi

How to access ext2 and ext3 filesystem within windows?

Install any one of the two apps in your windows to access ext2 and ext3 partitions:

Explore2fs: http://www.chrysocome.net/explore2fs

DiskInternals Linux Reader: http://www.diskinternals.com/linux-reader

How to speed up Openoffice?

Start Open Office and click on Tools > Options. This should open the configuration. Click on Memory in the left menu and change the following settings:

* Number of Steps: 30

* Use for Open Office: 128

* Memory per Object: 20

* Number of Objects: 20

Click on Java in the left menu afterwards and uncheck "Use a Java Runtime Environment". Click OK and restart Open Office to see how fast it is now.

How to cool hot laptops/desktops?

Cpufreq is a good tool for Linux. It clocks down the processor when the computer does not need power and clocks up when it needs power.

1. Go to synaptics

2. Search for cpufreq

3. If cpfreq is not installed, install it.

4. Go to Control Center, find cpufreq and mark “On boot”

How to improve downloading on Firefox?

Flashgot is a very good firefox extension that quite skilfully handles downloads. Integrate it with kget and enjoy fast downloading.

14 comments:

terry said...

Would you please elaborate how to configure pclinuxos that only RAM will be used and no swap?

Anonymous said...

You can also add "vm.vfs_cache_pressure=50" to /etc/sysctl.conf

Anonymous said...

please post a detailed tips and tricks on linux command line.

manmath sahu said...

There are two ways in PCLinuxOS to use more RAM and less or no swap.

1. During installation just create a / partition and a /home partition, and no swap, if you have 1GB or more RAM.
2. Run: "sysctl‭ ‬-w vm.swappiness‭=‬10" to use more RAM and less swap. Add add "vm.swappiness‭=‬10" to /etc/sysctl.conf (ignore the quotes)

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