This week at Blackpool LUG there was Mike, Colin, Tony and Les

What we did / discussed today

  1. The format of the LUG
  2. Ubuntu and floppy disks
  3. The Linux Command Line
  4. Colin’s mini disro of the week
  5. Are distros that use unsigned packages safe? Could they be used for criminal purposes?
  6. How to install an application from source
  7. Etherape – Keeping an eye on what the kids are looking at
  8. Next weeks LUG
  9. Our LUG Calendar

This weeks photos are here

1 The format of the LUG

Mike raised the point that the LUG should cater to the attendees interests. So that each week we have a relevant and interesting content.
At the same time the LUG should also appeal to new members.

Does anyone have any ideas or Linux related interests / projects that they would like to bring to the group?

2 Ubuntu and floppy disks

Colin had a few problems with Ubuntu reading his floppy disks (Hey kids, remember these?)
When we tested his floppy disks on our sacrificial machine they worked 1st time. Colin will retry at home and report next week.

3 The Linux Command Line

Les has created a guide to the Linux Command Line and we used the guide to work on the command line, using a few basic commands.
This guide is a work in progress and if anyone has any ideas, then please do contact Les (@biglesp on Twitter).

4 Colin’s mini disro of the week

This week, Colin has been using Coyote Linux
Coyote Linux is a floppy based Linux distribution, primarily aimed at creating a firewall.
Take a look and see what you think.

5 Are distros that use unsigned packages safe? Could they be used for criminal purposes?
We discussed the need for packages to use signed packages to ensure security for a distribution.
For example some distributions do not check new packages in their repositories, but let the community use them straight away.
What if there was a group with malicious intent that altered a package to steal information, how would we find out?
Can every package be checked?
Can we rely on others to check every package?
How often do you look at the source code of the packages you install?

6 How to install an application from source

Tony asked how to install an application from the source code, well below is a quick guide on how to do this.

Our file is called foo.tgz, and for the purpose of this guide we are working in he same directory as foo.tgz.
In a terminal type
gunzip foo.tgz
This will extract foo.tgz to foo.tar.
Now type
tar -xvf foo.tar
this will extract the files from foo.tar into the current working directory.
If there is a folder called foo, change your directory to foo
cd foo
Now in the terminal type this command
This will check your machine to ensure that it is able to compile the source code.
If you receive an error, you will need to ensure that you have all of the necessary dependencies installed.
Now in a terminal type
This will compile the application.
Now you need to change to root
su for most linux distributions
and run this last command, which will install the application on your PC.
**Special note for Ubuntu users**
You need to use the command
sudo su instead of just su, this is due to the configuration of Ubuntu.

Now you should be able to type in foo in the command line and run your new app.

7 Etherape – Keeping an eye on what the kids are looking at

Etherape is a great tool that shows what PCs on your network are looking at on the internet / network. Mike uses this to show his kids how much of his precious bandwidth the kids are using.

8 Next weeks LUG
Does anyone have any suggestions for next weeks LUG?
Let us know on the mailing list, remember this is your LUG, so please let us know.

9 Our LUG Calendar

We have a great Google Calendar that shows events and important information in the Linux world.
Les will update the calendar regularly, so please keep an eye on it.
Important dates this week

  • How Why DIY 21st / 22nd August (exact date TBA in Liverpool): A tech event where people can get together and share ideas. Les will be there providing Ubuntu and free software advice to attendees.
  • Software Freedom Day in Machester on the 18th September Manchester Free Software will be hosting a day of events and workshops to celebrate Software Freedom Day. Tony, Rick, Rob and Les will be there promoting Ubuntu and Free Software

See you next week

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