Best of Technical Support

Our experts answer your technical questions.
More HOWTOs Needed

I have Red Hat installed, but need HOWTO information to use it. How do I get my printer, a “dumb” HP, to work? I downloaded the Ghostscript file to usrs, so what now? How do I get it to open, and in the right place? Is there a manual that is for truly dumb dummies? I have the Linux For Dummies book, but it skips a lot. I do not know how to get into the cc disks except to install. I have been using computers for 10 years, self-taught with books, but these books are short on HOWTOs. —Haroldel,

In your installation CD is a User's Guide rpm which addresses a lot of questions, especially for beginners. For your printer problem (assuming that is already connected to the parallel port):

  1. Log as root and start X.

  2. Start Print Tool from the control panel or by directly typing printtool at the xterm prompt.

  3. Click on Add.

  4. Specify the printer type (in your case, local) and click on OK.

  5. Click on Select (next to Filter) and choose the HP model closest to yours.

  6. Click OK.

  7. Restart lpd (under Lpd menu entry).

You should now be ready to print; you can test using the Tests item. —Mario Bittencourt,

Cross-Platform E-mail

I have a requirement to dual-boot my PC (Linux/WinDoze). I would like to be able to share an e-mail mail box between the two operating systems. Other than Netscape Mail and Pine, is there an e-mail client that runs natively on both platforms and has the ability to share a common mail box? Netscape is good, but the mail filtering rules are limiting. It also handles the summary files differently between Linux and Windows. This results in the Windows summary files being seen as mail boxes in Linux. It is quite frustrating working on one platform only to realize the e-mail you need to read was retreived from the server on the other platform. —Larry Johnson,

Rather then answer your questions directly, I propose an entirely different solution. When checking your e-mail, just make sure you “leave mail on server”. Most clients support this. I have set up many a corporate employee who wanted to synchronize their e-mail on a laptop with their e-mail on a desktop computer. —Mark Bishop,

I recommend using an IMAP-compatible client to retrieve your e-mail. Pine, Netscape, Outlook Express and many other mail clients support the IMAP protocol. The benefit of using IMAP is that your folders are kept on the server, so your client does not need to store this information locally and attempt to share it with other clients. I do this with Pine under Linux and Outlook Express in Windows and have been quite happy with the results. Just be sure you refresh your folder lists frequently, as most clients will not do this automatically and will miss updates made in other clients. —Chad Robinson,

Problem with Boot Disks

I'm a beginner. After creating the boot disk using rawrite with boot.img as its source, I tried to boot using the diskette. After I pressed <ENTER>, my PC froze. Here is the last line of the message:

RAMDISK : Compressed image found at block 0
CRC errorVFS : Cannot open root device 08:22
kernel panic : VFS:Unable to mount rootfs on 08:22

Help. —Rohaimi Razali,

Use a pair of brand-new floppy disks, and this problem should go away. The compressed file system placed on the root disk consumes almost all the disk, and any errors on the disk will cause this problem. Usually, replacing the disk with a fresh floppy will solve the problem. The worst-case scenario is a bad floppy drive, but that is unusual. —Chad Robinson,

Wiping Out LILO

I cannot remove LILO from my Master Boot Record. Even reformatting the drive completely back to a Windows FAT 16 configuration doesn't help. A fragment of LILO somehow remains and tries to boot a nonexistent LINUX system, denying me access to Windows, and freezing the system. How can I completely delete LILO from my MBR? —Robert Morgan,

There are ways of restoring your original MBR, but since the drive has been formatted, that is not an option. Another method is to first boot from a DOS boot floppy or Win95 rescue diskette. Then run fdisk /mbr which will write a new MBR. —David M. Brown,