Best of Technical Support

Our experts answer your technical questions.
Can't Create User in COAS

I am facing a problem with COAS. I can't open the user creation tool. I deleted all lock files but still can't open this tool. What is the problem? —Anil Nair,

This is a well-known issue covered in FAQs. Basically, you need to remove /etc/shadow- and /etc/ptmp. For details, do a search for COAS at —Andy Bradford,

Installing WordPerfect from CD-ROM

I have a Wordperfect CD and am trying to install it. I have made a Wordperfect subdirectory. Then I issue the following command, to begin installation:

darkstar:~/wordperfect#   mount/dev/cdrom/cdrom

The error message I receive is as follows:

bash: mount/dev/cdrom/cdrom:    No such file or directory
I switched to the CD-ROM subdirectory and issued the following command:
darkstar:/cdrom#  mount/dev/cdrom/cdrom
--Larry Carnahan,

Are you sure /dev/cdrom is a symlink to a real CDROM block device such as /dev/hdcx ? Try:

ls -l /dev/cdrom

--Pierre Ficheux,

Try this: mount /dev/cdrom /cdrom instead of mount/dev/cdrom/cdrom. Mount is the command, /dev/cdrom is the device and /cdrom is the directory. Between these three entities, there should be a space. —Paulo Wollny,

Setting the ServerName for Apache

I installed an apache 1.3 from a Debian package. I used the command apachectl start and it sent me the following message:

Cannot determine local host name. Use the ServerName
directive to set it manually.

What is the ServerName directive? I found a line about ServerName in the httpd.conf; is that what the message meant? I tried to set ServerName to root, then, then localhost, then daniel54 (the name of my machine at the prompt): nothing works. Apache gives no useful message; it just tells me httpd won't start. Is there a way to deactivate the Ethernet card without removing it physically? —Daniel Meilleur,

You're on the right track—ServerName is indeed in httpd.conf. You need to give it a name to run as that matches a DNS entry. The easiest way to do that is to set up /etc/host.conf with an order hosts,bind line to force it to look in the hosts file first. Then set up /etc/hosts with a line that reads localhost daniel54. You can deactivate a network card at any time by typing ifconfig eth0 down, replacing eth0 with the appropriate value if you want to shut down eth1 or higher. —Chad R. Robinson,

Linux as Dedicated Citrix Client

Is there any method of installing Linux to operate as a Dumb Terminal so that the PC boots into Linux, auto logs on and launches a pre-configured application?

My idea is to configure some Thin-Client workstations using Linux as the OS and Citrix ICA client as the only application.

Ideally, the PC would boot to Linux, log in as a dummy user and launch the Citrix ICA client. —Stefan Ostadal,

You can do this simply by understanding how INIT works. When you boot your system normally, INIT will read /etc/inittab, which tells it to execute certain scripts. It also tells it to start a few getty processes, which allow you to log in. All you need to do is add an entry that runs your application, rather than getty. Note that INIT itself is already logged in as root, so there's no need to execute log in in this case. Please note that this is a terribly insecure method of operating, so it's advisable ONLY for your specific case—a thin client for which local security means nothing. —Chad R. Robinson,

Dual Boot with Windows98

I have 4.0 gigabyte HD that is running Linux right now. How can I install Windows98 and have a dual boot system? —Navin Maahdkar,

The easy way would be to boot with a Linux or Windows CD (or disk) and use fdisk to create a FAT32 partition for Windows and ext2 and swap partitions for Linux. You could then install Linux and Windows98 in the order you prefer. One warning though: if you plan to install Windows after Linux do not forget to create a Linux boot disk in order to reinstall LILO in the MBR and be able to dual boot again. The Windows installer will erase it. The “hard” way would be to use Partition Magic to rearrange the +space without having to reinstall Linux again. Be sure to make a backup before doing either. —Mario Neto

You need to have some space on your HD to install Win98 in the first partition. If not, you should install Win98 on another disk defined as master (or re-install everything!). Then you should configure LILO to set up dual boot. Something like this in the /etc/lilo.conf:


Please check out the LILO mini-how-to to get more info. --Pierre Ficheux,