Best of Technical Support

Our experts answer your technical questions.
Where's My Printer?

I would like to know how to get OpenOffice to use the system printers. I did a normal install of SuSE 8.0 Pro and set up an Epson Stylus Photo 1280. When I installed OpenOffice, the only printer it set up was generic.

—Nathan M. Fowler Jr., nfowler1@bellsouth.net

You may need to run the spadmin program, which is located in the ~/OpenOffice.org1.0.1/program directory. This is the printer configuration utility of OpenOffice.

—Felipe E. Barousse Boué, fbarousse@piensa.com

Where's My IP Address?

I have a Linksys router. Red Hat Linux detects the Ethernet port built onto my motherboard, but I can't for the life of me get it to connect.

—Tim Kuder, tim@kuderized.com

Try Red Hat's netconfig tool. You may need to set DHCP to get the IP address from a DHCP server instead of declaring one yourself. Then, ping your router's address; if it works, you are set.

—Felipe E. Barousse Boué, fbarousse@piensa.com

Can I Reboot?

I am in the process of installing Red Hat Linux 7 (using the distribution packaged in the Red Hat Linux 7 for Dummies book). My installation appears to have hung after installing 153MB of a 753MB installation. Is it safe to reboot my computer?

—Marcus, marcus@lesniak.co.uk

I would hope that your computer isn't still waiting for a response to this request. Yes, it is safe to reboot. However, Linux was not successfully installed, so you will not be able to boot Linux. It's possible the CD you are installing from has some corruption.

—Christopher Wingert, cwingert@cwingert-mail.qualcomm.com

If everything hung up, you probably have no choice but to reboot. Are your installation CDs unscratched? Are you positive your hard disk is in good condition? Re-install from scratch, and this time select the Check for Bad Blocks option when creating partitions. This will take longer, but it will test your disk against some defects.

—Felipe E. Barousse Boué, fbarousse@piensa.com

Can't Boot from CD or Floppy

I have a Sony Vaio PCG F340, and I want to install Slackware on it. Following some bad advice, I formatted the c: drive. Now anything I put in the CD drive or floppy drive comes up with an invalid system disk error.

—John Krissinger, kriskrosx@aol.com

Go into your BIOS and change the boot order of your drives. Put the drive you are installing from, either the floppy or the CD-ROM, ahead of your hard drive.

—Christopher Wingert, cwingert@cwingert-mail.qualcomm.com

I'm not certain Slackware can be installed on your Vaio; those laptops are a bit hard to support. If you don't get anywhere with it, you may want to try installing Red Hat, SuSE or Linux-Mandrake. These all have installers that are better at probing laptop hardware.

—Marc Merlin, marc_bts@google.com

Support for NVIDIA Laptop Video?

Please advise me about installing any version of Linux that can work with my Dell Inspiron NoteBook computer. It has a UXGA monitor (1600 × 1200 native resolution) and an NVIDIA GeForce 2 Go video graphics system. Neither Dell nor Red Hat are of any help. I tried to install earlier versions of Caldera and Mandrake 9.0, also without success.

—Kamalakar Rao, kmlkr@juno.com

Your main problem is that the good GeForce drivers have to be downloaded from NVIDIA, because they are not open source. What you want to do is install your distribution of choice with XFree 4.1 or 4.2. Then go to the NVIDIA web site, download the closed-source drivers, and follow the install directions: www.nvidia.com/view.asp?IO=linux_display_1.0-3123.

—Marc Merlin, marc_bts@google.com

How to Set Up DNS and DHCP?

I am trying to set up a Red Hat 7.3 box as a server for my school. I have been looking for advice about how to set up a DNS and DHCP server.

—Richard Whiteside, Hendel4ever@hotmail.com

Red Hat has some nice tools for configuration of the services you require. Read the Installation Guide, which is actually quite good. www.redhat.com/docs/manuals/linux/RHL-7.3-Manual/install-guide.

—Christopher Wingert, cwingert@cwingert-mail.qualcomm.com

You can find excellent tips within the DNS-HOWTO and DHCP-HOWTO. You can find those and many others in your distribution CD or on-line at tldp.org or on many other mirrors.

—Mario Bittencourt, mneto@argo.com.br

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