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General Guides

Some web hosting providers, even if their servers use Linux, are Windows-centric in their customer support. This was a difficulty for me when I had to access the server using ssh to do some security maintenance. In case you are having the same difficulties, I will share what I have learned in case it is helpful to you.

Nearly all distributions make Firefox available through their default repositories. Some also make the beta, developer, and nightly editions available through non-default repositories. For distributions that don't provide these editions, or for distributions that make only one or some of the other editions available -- in the case of openSUSE, only the developer edition is available through the Mozilla OBS repository -- it is possible to install Firefox Beta and/or Firefox Developer Edition manually. It is even possible to create separate profiles for each edition and select the profile to use when launching any of the editions. This article will provide a guide for installing one of the editions of Firefox manually.

Some distributions, for one reason another, are not capable of hibernating (suspending to disk) out-of-the box. In many cases some underlying functionality has to be enabled or properly configured. This article gives an overview of hibernation and the underlying functionality that is necessary to enable hibernation.

Installing and configuring GRUB for an EFI system is a simple matter of a few commands to make the EFI System partition available, to install the appropriate version of the GRUB package, to install GRUB (the bootloader not the package) in the EFI System partition, and to update the configuration. The steps given here can be used to repair GRUB, to install and configure GRUB for EFI on distributions that don't do it for you in the installe -- such as Tanglu 1.0. On a multi-boot system with multiple GRUB bootloaders installed, this process can also be used to update the GRUB of one installation after kernel updates in another installation. Commands have been given for several systems -- Tanglu, based on Debian, Sabayon, based on Gentoo, openSUSE, and Arch -- to illustrate that using GRUB for EFI systems is fairly standard.

EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface) or UEFI (Unified EFI) system with a GUID Partition Table (GPT) disk is a great improvement over the traditional BIOS system with Master Boot Record partitioning. This new system allows not only a greatly increased limit on the number of primary partitions, but easy installation of multiple operating systems that support the EFI standard and easy installation of a boot loader for each OS, if desired. The benefit to a dual or multi booter is that a user can then choose one of these boot loaders or the existing Windows Boot Manager to control the booting through the (U)EFI settings. The selected boot loader will then load the desired OS. This page will provide an overview of this system.

Inability to control screen brightness is a common problem in many Linux distributions when using a laptop with an integrated Intel HD Graphics -- on my Lenovo V570, an Intel HD Graphics 3000. A typical solution is appending a kernel parameter to the kernel command line in the GRUB configuration file. There is a more effective solution that works even with newer kernels.