Best of Technical Support

Our experts answer your technical questions.

I share two boxes, one Windows and one Linux, with one KVM. Both work when I start up the desktop, in this case GNOME/Enlightenment. When I switch from the Mandrake desktop to the other system, then back again, I lose mouse support entirely. I've checked cables, restarted the gpm dæmon and pressed Ctrl-Alt-Backspace to leave the desktop. When I restart the desktop, the mouse is detected again, but only for as long as I don't switch to Windows and then back again.

With the Windows side, I can switch to Linux and back with no problem, and every time I start the desktop on Linux it works—but only until I switch the screen away and back again. Any ideas as to what this needs to fix? Linux/Mandrake 7.1 is running on a Dell P90 (old) with PS/2 mouse, gpm runs with gpm -t ps/2. Could some other dæmon I'm not running because of security be what's causing the problem? I have amd, atd, innd, lpd and portmap disabled.

—Dave Dennis,

This is most likely not a problem with the Linux setup. PS/2 mice have a configuration that is initialized during startup. A KVM is responsible for restoring this configuration on switch back to a machine; Linux is totally unaware of the switch.

—Christopher Wingert,

Didn't Run LILO

I recently upgraded my kernel and forgot to run LILO before rebooting. Now, if I start up from a different disk, that disk can be mounted and fsck shows it is clear. However, I can't boot from it.

—Willie Strickland,

Use the boot disk to boot from the hard drive with a command similar to this at the LILO prompt:

linux root=/dev/hda1

Then edit your lilo.conf and run LILO, as if you'd just installed the new kernel.

—Ben Ford,

I Have No “mail” and I Must Mail

I have networked Linux machines on my home network consisting of two desktop machines and a laptop. I would like to get my mail on any machine but can do so only on the older desktop machine. I have set up the Netscape preferences identically on all machines. On the newer machine and the laptop I get the message “Netscape unable to locate the server mail”, when I try to retrieve mail. The server “mail” is the name given by my ISP (Cox@home), which works perfectly fine on the older machine. On the other machines, when I try to get new messages, Netscape always asks for my password even though in the preferences I have explicitly selected the “remember password” button, so I'm wondering if NS is reading the wrong preferences file.

—Eric Smith,

Sounds like your one working machine has the Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) for your ISP and the others do not. Try adding the rest of the hostname to the configuration for Netscape (i.e.,, if is your domain name). Alternately, you could update your /etc/resolv.conf “search” configuration line and add the correct domain name so that you don't have to type in all the time.

—Christopher Wingert,

To check that you have edited /etc/resolv.conf correctly, do a host mail from the shell to see what “mail” is resolving to.

—Don Marti,

audoupdate Can't Find Directory

I am trying to use autoupdate 3.1.5. When I type autoupdate, I get this error message:

CWD failed no such directory or file

When I run autoupdate --debug 2, it is able to log in as anonymous user, then it says:

CWD failed.
Error: Failed to check directory at
no such file or directory.
I tried typing ftp I am able to change the directories to /pub/redhat/linux/updates/7.1/en/os as anonymous user.

—Adharsh Praveen R.,

You should add a “/” in front of the directory passwd to autoupdate, i.e., /pub/redhat/linux/updates/7.1/en/os.

—Christopher Wingert,


White Paper
Linux Management with Red Hat Satellite: Measuring Business Impact and ROI

Linux has become a key foundation for supporting today's rapidly growing IT environments. Linux is being used to deploy business applications and databases, trading on its reputation as a low-cost operating environment. For many IT organizations, Linux is a mainstay for deploying Web servers and has evolved from handling basic file, print, and utility workloads to running mission-critical applications and databases, physically, virtually, and in the cloud. As Linux grows in importance in terms of value to the business, managing Linux environments to high standards of service quality — availability, security, and performance — becomes an essential requirement for business success.

Learn More

Sponsored by Red Hat

White Paper
Private PaaS for the Agile Enterprise

If you already use virtualized infrastructure, you are well on your way to leveraging the power of the cloud. Virtualization offers the promise of limitless resources, but how do you manage that scalability when your DevOps team doesn’t scale? In today’s hypercompetitive markets, fast results can make a difference between leading the pack vs. obsolescence. Organizations need more benefits from cloud computing than just raw resources. They need agility, flexibility, convenience, ROI, and control.

Stackato private Platform-as-a-Service technology from ActiveState extends your private cloud infrastructure by creating a private PaaS to provide on-demand availability, flexibility, control, and ultimately, faster time-to-market for your enterprise.

Learn More

Sponsored by ActiveState