Avoiding Complacency with UbuntuLinux

Last night while I was reading The Death of Chaos (3rd time because I love the way Modesitt's writes in his understated way), it occurred to me that I'd gotten a bit complacent with what I knew or didn't know about UbuntuLinux. It was the idea that I'd learned what I needed to learn and, as such, could just rest on my laurels, no need to learn anything more. So, I decided to ask myself, what else could I learn about UbuntuLinux that would make my use of it easier?

As such, to avoid complacency, I decided to do a search on "Ubuntu tips" and see what came up. Some interesting results:

Result #1 - Command Line Shortcuts
While I probably won't remember all of these at first, it would be pretty easy to remember 1 or 2, and over time, remember them all as I use them at the command line. The source for these is MakeUseOf.com's excellent post on 15 Great Ubuntu Tips.

Move to the start of the line.

Move to the end of the line.

Alt-] x
Moves the cursor forward to the next occurrence of x.

Alt-Ctrl-] x
Moves the cursor backwards to the previous occurrence of x.

Delete from the cursor to the beginning of the line.

Delete from the cursor to the end of the line.

Delete from the cursor to the start of the word.

Pastes text from the clipboard.

Clear the screen leaving the current line at the top of the screen.

Ctrl-x Ctrl-u
Undo the last changes. Ctrl-_

Undo all changes to the line.

Expand command line.

Incremental reverse search of history.

Non-incremental reverse search of history.

Execute last command in history

Execute last command in history beginning with abc

Execute nth command in history

Replace first occurrence of abc with xyz in last command and execute it

Result #2 - Installing New Fonts on Ubuntu

This command line tip appears in the comments of the MakeUseOf.com article and works:
sudo apt-get install ttf-larabie-deco ttf-larabie-straight ttf-larabie-uncommon

Result #3 - Using Linux Computer as Media Center
Another one from MakeUseOf.com on this.

Result #4 - Command Line Tips
This find was great, since it answered a few questions I've had. Those questions include:

How does one quickly find the executable file for a program, like say, Firefox browser? On Windows, the EXE file extension is a clue that the file I'm looking at is an executable. On Mac, all the executables are in the Applications folder or you can GET INFO to find out what it is. But on GNU/Linux, I'm not as sure.
which  :: find and displays the filename location, escp for executable file

How do you install RPM files on Debian systems? I've known about this one for awhile and hardly use it anymore, but it's nice to keep track of this tip:
alien <-rpm file> :: alien -i <-rpm file> :: will helps to unpack and install rpm based files in debian system

Result #5 - Shred Stuff
Although I seldom deal with confidential data on my computers, sometimes it does happen (or stuff I think is confidential). So, what I do is shred it. I've written a longer blog post on this, but this tip works for quick stuff:

Shred is included in many Linux distributions, thus you can use it immediately, without any further installation.
To shred a file,
shred -f -v -z -u file.txt
-f: change permissions to allow writing if necessary
-v: verbose, to display the progress
-z: add a final overwrite with zeros to hide shredding
-u: truncate and remove file after overwriting

Well, that's all I have time for...of course, this probably helped me run out of time.

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Davo said…
Be aware that shred is not very effective against single files, as most Linux file systems leave traces when overwriting files. Overwriting a whole partition with shred is very effective.

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