Is Linux Voice over IP Ready?
Prior to experimenting with VoIP applications, you probably will have to use a bit of trial and error to find settings that are comfortable for you. Make sure that you can record and play a sample of your own voice before you start, as the VoIP programs also will use the recording function of your hardware. Activate it in the volume control application that comes with your distribution.
Linux generally has two types of sound architecture: the older Open Sound System or OSS, which works with every UNIX-like system, and the newer Advanced Linux Sound Architecture or ALSA, which has better support for Linux, as the name indicates. One application may support OSS and another, ALSA. When you have a choice, we advise you to select the use ALSA option in VoIP programs. Select ALSA or OSS settings for sound and recording levels accordingly in your distribution's volume control panel.
We tested four applications, based on popularity. We tested all of them on Fedora Linux.
Installation: use the package manager from Fedora. Alternatively, download Debian, Mandrake or Red Hat packages. Ekiga requires the pwlib, OpenH323 and libavc1394 packages.
Getting started—registration: the application shows up in the menus as Video Conferencing. We experienced GConf errors the first time we used it. The solution to that problem is described in the GnomeMeeting FAQ. Once we solved that problem, we could get started with the First Time Configuration Druid.
You can register in the general GnomeMeeting users directory (a telephone book on a central server) or skip this step. My audio devices were recognized automatically, and it was easy to select the headset. You don't need to know the device names of your hardware. For beginning users, it is a great relief not having to worry about /dev/dsp1 and those sorts of names. As shown in Figure 2, all applicable devices can be neatly selected from a list.
Presumably, your machine needs to be configured as an LDAP client (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol, or Active Directory on MS Windows) in order to be able to contact the central GnomeMeeting directory. Lacking that, you need to know the hostname or host IP address and user names of the people you want to call. If you don't use LDAP, you will receive error messages when you try to call someone, even if you can make a successful call.
Impressions: at first there was quite some noise on the connection, even when calling another host in the same subnet, but we could minimize the noise by adjusting the audio volume. There is a mute button for suspending and resuming audio transmission. Luckily, the system with URLs to contact people is well documented in the help files. The application itself doesn't make it easy to use.
Download using your favorite system tool, such as Synaptics on Ubuntu.
Installation: the package manager does the installation for you. You also can download RPM packages and install them using your distribution's tools. After the installation is finished, the KPhone selection turns up in the application menus.
Getting started: your own address is displayed in the little KPhone window, which makes it easy to exchange with other users. It also serves as an example for connecting with other users.
The phone book in this application is easy to use. In the most basic case, simply let others call you, and received and missed caller IDs will show up in the phone book automatically.
Impressions: KPhone has a very sober interface, which makes it easy to use and configure the program.
At one time, I obviously must have configured the wrong audio device while trying to configure KPhone to use my USB headset instead of the built-in speakers and microphone on my laptop. There is no list from which to choose audio devices; this was rather frustrating. KPhone also segfaulted on me a couple of times, even after it had worked fine earlier. I could not get my USB headset to work. Admittedly, I did not use the latest version. Newer versions, which need to be compiled from source on many systems, at the time of this writing, are reported to work better and have much improved sound quality. KPhone has matured a lot in the newest releases and probably will become even more popular than it is already as binary packages are made available.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
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.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide