Roderick W. Smith Archive

Roderick W. Smith is the author or coauthor of more than a dozen books, including Linux in a Windows World and Linux Power Tools. He can be reached at rodsmith@rodsbooks.com.
Linux for Small Systems
Short on horsepower? Less is more when it's powered by Linux.
Network Block Devices: Using Hardware Over a Network
In cases where NFS or SMB/CIFS won't fit the needs of your Linux network, Network Block Devices (NBDs) may provide superior performance over traditional network filesystems.
Webmin: Integrated System Administration in the Browser
For novice and intermediate administrators who may not yet be familiar with every feature of Linux, Webmin can be a huge time saver and take some of the guesswork out of error-prone tasks.
PowerTOP: Saving Power in Linux
If you're a laptop user, a survey of your system with PowerTOP will help you track down programs and system settings that are needlessly draining your battery's power
Although its features and terminology may seem strange if you're used to more traditional Linux filesystems, ZFS offers a great deal of flexibility.
Thin Client Computing, Part Two
Now that our servers are in place, we walk through configuring an x86 PC as a thin client workstation.
Thin Client Computing, Part One
Thin clients offer an approach to computing with a number of advantages over the more common desktop computer approach. Learn how to enable it.
Communicating With the Other Half: NTFS Support in Linux
NTFS support has been slow in coming to Linux. But new drivers are now available that enable you to read from, and even to write to, NTFS partitions, including removable media formatted with NTFS. We show you how.
Using distcc
Don't waste unused CPU cycles -- put them to work compiling software? Rod Smith shows you how to use distcc to harness the power of distributed computing to speed up your compile time.
The Other Desktop: Running Xfce
One of Linux's greatest strengths is that it's easily customized. Although most distributions ship with a variety of standard tools for specific purposes (such as sendmail as a mail server or Vixie Cron to handle repeated jobs), alternative tools are readily available. You can rip out just about any component, either removing it entirely or replacing it with something else. Linux lets you remove or replace more components than most operating systems, allowing the savvy administrator to customize a Linux installation for specific purposes.
Routine Maintenance with anacron
While cron is the classic standby to run routine tasks on a regular basis, it's not quite as useful on systems (like laptops and desktops) that may not be powered on when the task is scheduled to run. Fortunately, Linux users have anacron to fill the gap left by cron.
LDAP Authentication, Part Three
Managing users on a network is a whole lot simpler with LDAP. Part Three: Configuring LDAP clients.
LDAP Authentication, Part Two
Managing users on a network is a whole lot simpler with LDAP. Part Two: loading your server with account information.
Using initrd
Learn how to add boot options and gain flexibility via an initial RAM disk.
Powerful Portage
Discover how to use Gentoo’s package management tools.
Linux Software Management with yum
With the pending release of RHEL 5, Red Hat is moving from up2date to yum. Learn the ins-and-outs of your next command line software manager.
RAID and LVM: Part Three
Here’s how to implement an logical volume management configuration.
Lighting the FUSE
Explore unusual filesystems support in Linux.
Backup, Part One: Preparation
Don’t put off backups. Here’s how to plan a Linux backup strategy.
Spinning a Lightweight Web
Using the thttpd Web Server.
Backup Part One: Preparation
Don’t put off backups. Here’s how to plan a Linux backup strategy.
RAID and LVM, Part Two
Learn how to implement a RAID configuration.
RAID and LVM: Part One
Preparing to implement RAID and LVM
xinetd Access Control Tools
Here are some helpful tips to enhance xinetd security and performance
Controlling Time
Keep time synchronized with the Network Time Protocol
Controlling the Time
Keep time synchronized with the Network Time Protocol.
Improving Disk Performance
How to get the most out of your hard disks.
The Linux Emergency Room
A variety of causes — a forgotten root password, corrupted partition tables, or a corrupt filesystem — can lead to serious problems, up to and including an inability to boot the computer. When such problems occur, it’s time to reach for your first aid kit. Not prepared? Scrub in and learn how to handle the worst. Welcome to the Linux ER.
Hot-Plugging USB
Learn how to get the most out of USB hardware in Linux.
Hot-Plugging USB on Linux
Learn how to get the most out of USB hardware in Linux.
Ethereal Power
See how to use Ethereal to monitor your network’s traffic.
Configuring PAM, Part Two
Configuring PAM can be tricky. Look at some examples and learn what rationales work for customizing your own.
Configuring PAM, Part One
Start using the Pluggable Authentication Modules(PAM) system to manage login authentication. (You can also read http://www.linux-mag.com/2000-06/guru_01.html.)