Best of Technical Support

Our experts answer your technical questions.
Changing the Login Prompt

I would like to change the pre-login banner on my Red Hat 5.1 system; however, each time I change /etc/issue, “the system” changes it back. How do I get around this? —Philip Lowe,

The banner file /etc/issue is created by the script file /etc/rc.d/rc.local which runs whenever the machine is booted. In order to modify the issue file, you'll need to edit the relevant lines in rc.local; either comment out the lines that overwrite the current issue file, or incorporate your changes so the script generates the file you are after. The lines in question are documented with comments, so you should have no problem finding the lines to change. —Vince Waldon,

Problems Connecting

I am new to Linux. I have successfully installed Caldera OpenLinux 2.2 and have configured KDE, etc. I want to use kppp to dial up to the Internet. However, when I attempt to dial up, I get an error message indicating “Sorry, the modem is busy.”

I have run LISA to install the modem on /dev/ttys1 (Com Port 2). I have tried setting kppp to /dev/modem/ and several other tty devices (when set to ttys0, I get a different message indicating the modem cannot be found). The modem is an internal US Robotics, 56K modem (not a winmodem). All attempts to access the modem (e.g., via Test Modem in the kppp setup) result in the same message.

I have referenced several texts, including the kppp Handbook and followed all the tips; but the modem still has the same problem. I have researched the Internet newsgroups where several other people have mentioned this issue, but no one seemed able to answer the question. —Shannon Brown,

Make sure you have no lock file for your modem. Your first attempts to set it up may have accidentally terminated a process before it could remove its lock file. You normally find these in /var/spool/locks, depending on the program that creates the lock. You should probably use /dev/ttyS1 (note the upper case S) to access your modem if it is on COM2 (or /dev/ttyS0 for COM1). —Chad Robinson,

Enabling lockd

I don't know how to use PCNFSD to enable lockd and share. Red Hat technical support refuses to answer me. Where can I get documentation and how can I implement lockd? —Joan Cartigny,

Last I checked, the tech support you get with a Red Hat box is installation tech support, not detailed configuration. If you need configuration tech support, you need to purchase a support contract with Red Hat, LinuxCare or another provider.

Are you sure you mean PCNFSD which is used only by some DOS/Windows clients? If you mean NFS, you need to use knfsd to get lockd support, and for this, you should use a 2.2.x kernel. You can upgrade yourself, or get Red Hat 6.0 which includes them by default. —Marc Merlin,

KDE and Slackware

I'm trying to install KDE. When I try to run it, it says I'm missing libstdc++2.9. I asked about this on a mailing list and was told that I was probably missing a C compile library. I then added every C compiler listed in disk d1 to my Slackware 3.6 installation. Still didn't have libstdc++2.9. On an official KDE site, it says I'm supposed to edit the .xinitrc file, but when I attempt to do that in vi, it says .xinitrc is not a regular file and then declines to edit it.

Any and all information about the Slackware 3.6 installation of KDE would be helpful. —Lisa Zuckerman,

This is bad news because .xinitrc is a regular text file—perhaps yours is corrupted.

Slackware is missing many recent libraries and is still using libc5. If you grabbed KDE binaries, they are most likely compiled against glibc, and they won't work on your machine. libstdc++ is a C++ library that comes with glibc, I believe.

You can find and install all the libraries yourself, but I recommend switching distributions. The most recent ones have KDE built-in. Slackware is usually a year behind, although a more recent version of Slackware may help. —Marc Merlin,

Font Problems Across Platforms

I have MkLinux installed on my Macintosh notebook computer (PB 3400/200). When I am at work, I like to use my Sun (Ultra 2) to display Windows from my powerbook. To do this, I use telnet to get to my powerbook from the Sun:

setenv DISPLAY SunComputerName

At the Sun prompt, I type:

xhost + MacName
Now I can display xv, Netscape, xterms, Ghostview, etc. to my nice Sun video monitor. But I can't seem to get Applixware or LyX to do the same. Applixware complains that it doesn't know the font path (X-Server problem—unable to access fonts). LyX displays a window with a splash screen, but it dies as soon as I try to open a document or start a new one. —Vince D. Dupperron,

You are apparently missing fonts on the Sun machine. I believe Applixware has some documentation on how to run the application remotely or over NFS. The idea is that you must install the required fonts on your Sun. LyX probably has the same problem. —Marc Merlin,


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