May 292014
 

Today I want to repost for my readers a really interesting article by Gionatan Danti first posted on his blog http://www.ilsistemista.net/, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do

File compression is an old trick: one of the first (if not the first) program capable of compressing files was “SQ”, in the early 1980s, but the first widespread, mass-know compressor probably was ZIP (released in 1989).

In other word, compressing a file to save space is nothing new and, while current TB-sized, low costs disks provide plenty of space, sometime compression is desirable because it not only reduces the space needed to store data, but it can even increase I/O performance due to the lower amount of bits to be written or read to/from the storage subsystem. This is especially true when comparing the ever-increasing CPU speed to the more-or-less stagnant mechanical disk performance (SSDs are another matter, of course).

While compression algorithms and programs varies, basically we can distinguish to main categories: generic lossless compressors and specialized, lossy compressors.

If the last categories include compressors with quite spectacular compression factor, they can typically be used only when you want to preserve the general information as a whole, and you are not interested in a true bit-wise precise representation of the original data. In other word, you can use a lossy compressor for storing an high-resolution photo or a song, but not for storing a compressed executable on your disk (executable need to be perfectly stored, bit per bit) or text log files (we don’t want to lose information on text files, right?).

So, for the general use case, lossless compressors are the way to go. But what compressor to use from the many available? Sometime different programs use the same underlying algorithm or even the same library implementation, so using one or another is a relatively low-important choice. However, when comparing compressors using different compression algorithms, the choice must be a weighted one: you want to privilege high compression ratio or speed? In other word, you need a fast and low-compression algorithm or a slow but more effective one?

In this article, we are going to examine many different compressors based on few different compressing libraries:

  • lz4, a new, high speed compression program and algorithm
  • lzop, based on the fast lzo library, implementing the LZO algorithm
  • gzip and pigz (multithreaded gzip), based on the zip library which implements the ZIP alg
  • bzip2 and pbzip2 (multithreaded bzip2), based on the libbzip2 library implementing the Burrows–Wheeler compressing scheme
  • 7-zip, based mainly (but not only) on the LZMA algorithm
  • xz, another LZMA-based program

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May 212014
 

Original article by Linux Brigade

Ever have to check a list of Linux servers for various things like what version of CentOS they’re running, maybe how long each has been running to get an uptime report? You can and it’s very easy to get going with it with the command gsh

Group Shell (also called gsh) is a remote shell multiplexor. It lets you control many remote shells at once in a single shell. Unlike other commands dispatchers, it is interactive, so shells spawned on the remote hosts are persistent.
It requires only a SSH server on the remote hosts, or some other way to open a remote shell.
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May 202014
 

Article based on the original work of  Travis Zajkowski first posted on his blog

As first thing, this is a good definition of subner, from wikipedia:

subnetwork, or subnet, is a logically visible subdivision of an IP network. The practice of dividing a network into two or more networks is called subnetting.

All computers that belong to a subnet are addressed with a common, identical, most-significant bit-group in their IP address. This results in the logical division of an IP address into two fields, a network or routing prefix and the rest field or host identifier. The rest field is an identifier for a specific host or network interface.

The routing prefix is expressed in CIDR notation. It is written as the first address of a network, followed by a slash character (/), and ending with the bit-length of the prefix. For example, 192.168.1.0/24 is the prefix of the Internet Protocol Version 4 network starting at the given address, having 24 bits allocated for the network prefix, and the remaining 8 bits reserved for host addressing. The IPv6 address specification 2001:db8::/32 is a large address block with 296 addresses, having a 32-bit routing prefix. In IPv4 the routing prefix is also specified in the form of the subnet mask, which is expressed in quad-dotted decimal representation like an address. For example, 255.255.255.0 is the network mask for the 192.168.1.0/24 prefix. Traffic between subnetworks is exchanged or routed with special gateways called routers which constitute the logical or physical boundaries between the subnets.

The benefits of subnetting vary with each deployment scenario. In the address allocation architecture of the Internet using Classless Inter-Domain Routing (CIDR) and in large organizations, it is necessary to allocate address space efficiently. It may also enhance routing efficiency, or have advantages in network management when subnetworks are administratively controlled by different entities in a larger organization. Subnets may be arranged logically in a hierarchical architecture, partitioning an organization’s network address space into a tree-like routing structure.

When you configure a server or a service it’s useful to know what’s the complete IP Address, so there are several different Subnet Calculators available for command line use on Linux. Two popular ones are:

ipcalc
sipcalc

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May 192014
 

Dstat is a versatile replacement for vmstat, iostat, netstat and ifstat. Dstat overcomes some of their limitations and adds some extra features, more counters and flexibility. Dstat is handy for monitoring systems during performance tuning tests, benchmarks or troubleshooting.

Dstat allows you to view all of your system resources in real-time, you can eg. compare disk utilization in combination with interrupts from your IDE controller, or compare the network bandwidth numbers directly with the disk throughput (in the same interval).

Dstat gives you detailed selective information in columns and clearly indicates in what magnitude and unit the output is displayed. Less confusion, less mistakes. And most importantly, it makes it very easy to write plugins to collect your own counters and extend in ways you never expected.

Dstat’s output by default is designed for being interpreted by humans in real-time, however you can export details to CSV output to a file to be imported later into Gnumeric or Excel to generate graphs.
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May 132014
 

For what I know there isn’t an official google drive application for Linux and so after looking around I’ve found that there are some interesting project that you can use to access your data on Google Drive from your linux, and in particular today I’d like to show 2 of them:

Grive and Grive Tools: These 2 tools are good if you want to use Google Drive on your laptot or Desktop or in general in a graphical environment.

google-drive-ocamlfuse: This is more suited if you want to mount your Google Drive from a server or from a terminal, in fact this software will mount your Google Drive as File System and you’ll be able to move inside it and see all your files, like a local file system.

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