Using an iPod in Linux
iPod + Linux = iPodLinux
The iPodLinux Project takes Linux and puts it on your iPod. It is a port of the uClinux kernel that has been customized to run on the iPod hardware, and it includes Podzilla as a GUI OS. iPodLinux boasts the ability to dual-boot between Podzilla and the regular iPod OS, so if you feel like trying something completely different, give it a shot.
If you do run into trouble, relax. I had a little trouble myself getting everything to run smoothly. Be warned that some of the drivers still are a little flaky. The modules used when running the iPod over Firewire are sbp2 and ohci1394. One of my test systems was a Red Hat Fedora Core 3 system, running the 2.6.10-1.741_FC3 kernel downloaded and installed with up2date. Note: the stock kernel with this distro has a known bug that makes using your iPod with USB a nightmare. Most of the time, there were no problems, although the sbp2 module would hang when I tried to unload it by running modprobe -r sbp2 as root. Once, I had to remove the ohci1394 and reload the ohci1394 driver for my system to see the iPod. Of course, your mileage may vary, based on your kernel version or the chipset of the Firewire card in your system.
If no amount of plugging/unplugging the iPod or loading/unloading the modules gets Linux to see the iPod, don't panic. This happened to me, and the one sure-fire way I found of getting my system to see the iPod was to boot the machine with the iPod plugged in. It's not exactly elegant, but it is effective. Watch your distribution's release notes, and consider helping to diagnose any bugs you experience.
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Bert Hayes has been a Linux user and administrator since the dark days of the 2.0 kernel. He is an RHCE and a co-author of Snort for Dummies. His hobbies include cycling and restoring an aircooled VW bus.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
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