Best of Technical Support

Our experts answer your technical questions.
Graphics on a Floppy

How do I create an image file from a floppy disk? I have tried to find this everywhere, with no success. —Bryan Hepkema,

If I get your question correctly, to generate an exact copy of what is on a floppy disk, and store it on your hard disk, you can use the command dd if=/dev/floppy of=/tmp/floppy_image. You may have to input the correct device name for your floppy unit (possibly /dev/fd0). This will create a binary image of whatever is on the diskette in the file /temp/floppy_image. I would suggest you study the dd command with man (man dd). —Felipe E. Barousse Boué,

If you need an image from a file, just insert the floppy and cat /dev/fd0 > file. The device representing the floppy is just a file representing the whole disk. That's true for hard drives as well. —Alessandro Rubini,

Web Fonts and Printing

How do I get Netscape to print fonts like the web pages actually show? Everything is defaulted to Times New Roman. How do I load and use True-Type fonts? —Greg Crutcher,

There is no short answer to your question. Many Xwindows configuration issues have to be addressed. The right answers can be found at the following URL: It is also worth mentioning that Netscape has its own personality regarding fonts and behavior under X. —Felipe E. Barousse Boué,

Check out the TrueType-HOWTO at Ficheux,

Sharing Files with Windows

I have installed Caldera's OpenLinux eDesktop 2.4 on my HP Pavillion 6630 computer. I can dual boot into either Linux or Win 98 and would like to be able to share files between operating systems. Under Linux, the file directory for Windows is visible under hda, and I browse through my Windows files and even open them, but I cannot write to this directory. Is there any easy way to set up a location on the hard drive where I can read and write to files from either Linux or Windows? —Tom Newman,

It looks like you don't have permission to write to the files. That's what I would expect if you work as a user and the directory is automatically mounted at boot. Try adding “umask=0” in /etc/fstab, in the field where “default” appears to allow everybody to write the files. To have it be effective immediately, try umount /dos; mount /dos. —Alessandro Rubini,

PostgreSQL on Boot

How can I have PostgreSQL start automatically when my computer boots up? I must start the postgreSQL server with the command nohup postmaster -d 2 > logfile 2>&1 &, and I must start it as the user “postgres”. I can't figure out where in the /etc/rc.d scripts I should start it from. Thanks for your help! —Warren Killian,

The best way to start new programs is by writing a new script, just for them, in /etc/rc.d/init.d (talking RH-hierarchy, other distributions may be slightly different in the pathnames) and then link it from /etc/rc.d/rc3.d. The instructions to write those scripts in the right way should be part of the documentation for your distribution; another good way to do things is to learn (and copy) from what other scripts do. As far as links in /etc/rc.d/rc*.d, there is also a graphic tool to make those links, part of the control-panel tool. Note that Debian is already packaging Postres, so you can look at that script as well. —Alessandro Rubini,

The script should use a syntax such as

su postgres -c '/usr/bin/postmaster ...'

However, a “postgresql” init script is included in the distribution so that it is installed in the /etc/rc.d/inid.d directory. —Pierre Ficheux,

Trouble Logging In

I got Corel Linux installed alongside MS Win98 okay, but now, when I boot to Linux, the login screen flashes and accepts characters only when the screen is displayed (at about half-second intervals, on and off). I cannot catch the on part in order to successfully log in. What is wrong, and how is it fixed? I tried typing kde at the command prompt, but it cannot load x. It runs okay in VGA mode and logs in to kde okay. I am a total Linux newbie but am familiar with MS-DOS and CP/M (showing my age now!) Many thanks. —Adam Puk,

Your symptoms may mean that the system is driving the screen at incorrect frequencies (the PC world is too varied; it's not easy at all to devise things that work for all possible hardware), but there should be no relationship between that and reaction to keboard input. What you may try is booting in single user and then look for the command that corrupts things by executing the init scripts one at a time. Unfortunately, to do this kind of tracing, you'd need to already have good experience. I'm afraid your best bet is to look for a knowleadgeble neighbor. —Alessandro Rubini,



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