War Gadget : .338 Lapua Magnum – A Linux Powered Gun

.338 Lapua Magnum

Geeks are a very predictable bunch. If you ask them for their ideal lives, you would probably get a roughly even distribution between Matrix and James bond movie environments. Favorite games would probably throw up Quake, Call of Duty and the ilk. What if we told you that there are parts of above fictional worlds that are coming to like ? And they are powered by your favourite operating system Linux? Please wipe that drool off your face, you might drop some on the page. So here is a setup that has an iPad that would pair with your gun’s scope, and would allow you to actually ‘lock’ on your targets, take all-weather conditions into account, and fire a shot so jaw dropping

Please wipe that drool off your face, you might drop some on the page. So here is a setup that has an iPad that would pair with your gun’s scope, and would allow you to actually ‘lock’ on your targets, take all-weather conditions into account, and fire a shot so jaw dropping awesome that you absolutely cannot miss. As an added benefit there is always the good feeling of living like an open source soul, even if it will cost you $22,500, although that is not way off creating the same setup yourself.

The XS1 is the largest-caliber Precision Guided Firearm (PGF) available today. It offers the longest Tag Track Xact™ effective range of any PGF.

Its performance is driven by a bolt-action, .338 Lapua Magnum Surgeon™ XL action. The 27-inch, Krieger™ cut-barrel is fitted in an Accuracy International AX chassis with detachable Picatinny rail pieces.

The image displayed on the scope isn’t a direct visual, but rather a video image taken through the scope’s objective lens. The Linux-powered scope produces a display that looks something like the heads-up display you’d see sitting in the cockpit of a fighter jet, showing the weapon’s compass orientation, can’t, and incline. To shoot at something, you first “mark” it using a button near the trigger. Marking a target illuminates it with the tracking scope’s built-in laser, and the target gains a pip in the scope’s display. When a target is marked, the tracking scope takes into account the range of the target, the ambient temperature and humidity, the age of the barrel, and a whole boatload of other parameters. It quickly reorient the display so the crosshairs in the center accurately show where the round will go.

Image recognition routines keep the pip stuck to the marked target in the scope’s field of view, and at that point, you squeeze the trigger. This doesn’t fire the weapon; rather, the reticle goes from blue to red, and while keeping the trigger held down, you position the reticle over the marked target’s pip. As soon as they coincide, the rifle fires.

The XS1 delivers our longest effective range: Tag Track Xact (TTX) to 1,200 yards. And it features our longest parallax-free zoom: 6 to 35X.

The scope streams video to Android and iOS smart phones and tablets. Wind speed is the only data you’ll manually input to the scope, using a toggle button.

The XS1 uses 300 gr. Sierra™ Open-Tipped Match XactShot™ ammunition by Barnes®, loaded to +/- 10 fps standard deviation muzzle velocity.

Included with your PGF System

  • Integrated Networked Tracking Scope, Guided Trigger, and Tag Button
  • Advanced Armament Corp.™ (AAC) Blackout™ 90T muzzle brake, installed
  • 200 rounds of 300 gr. Sierra™ Open-Tipped Match XactShot™ ammunition by Barnes® (+/- 10 fps standard deviation muzzle velocity)
  • Harris™ bipod with Larue quick-detach mount
  • Custom Pelican™ 3300 hard case with TrackingPoint logo
  • 3 batteries and chargers
  • Scope cover
  • Cleaning kit
  • Instructions


So a good deal, all in all. If any of you would actually like to have one of these, you should be looking at www.tracking-point.com.

Android : The best music player out there

This music player unlocks a whole new world for mobile audiophiles, including a 10 band equalizer, greatly expanded file support, and a somewhat customizable interface. Ever since Gingerbread days till now, Poweramp continues to be the most powerful music player for Android and has a huge fan following.

What works well on Poweramp

The interface is somewhat similar to the stock music app, but it unlocks several new features for advanced playback that should meet just about any need you might have on your phone or tablet. For example, instead of just using a long, nested set of commands, you can give quick commands like swiping to navigate playlists quickly.

Title Screen

Oh how wonderful the file support is. While listening to FLAC files on your mobile device is a little silly when you think about it (as most phones don’t have a good digital to analog converter chip), being able to equalize your music while listening on the go is fantastic if your music tastes vary. If you have great headphones to match, this is a fantastic way to bring out the best in your music when you’re on the go. As another plus, this app doesn’t seem to chew through as much battery as other music players do.


Lock Screen

Interface and Features

Once installed, you’re presented with a clean and easy to use interface. The UI is extremely novice-friendly giving you oversized media . Your music can be sorted according to the usual artist, album categories or you can choose folder view, which shows you all your music the way you have copied it on your phone. Tapping on this takes you to the playlist from where you can switch folders. The album art area also houses the shuffle and repeat toggle buttons along with a five star rating system.


What makes Poweramp one of the most sought after music player is the long list of audio formats supported. The list includes mp3, mp4/m4a (including alac), ogg, wma, flac, wav, ape, wv, tta, mpc, aiff, which covers pretty much every format you can find audio in these days. The ability to customise the sound is also very extensive. We start off with a 10-band graphic equaliser that can be used to fine tune your music depending on what genre of songs you listen to the most. There are plenty of presets as well and you can also use the sound enhancements (like Dolby or HTC FX) that come with some phones in Poweramp. Besides that, you also have the option to adjust the bass and treble separately along with a volume limiter. You can also add extra effects like Stereo eXpansion, mono mixing and adjust the balance. Every change you make is noticeable provided you have a good pair of headphones. Other features include support for crossfading, gapless playback, queuing system, ability to update missing album art and even download lyrics of the song through the musiXmatch plugin.

Pros & Cons:


  • One of the best fully featured Android music players
  • Features equalizer for custom or premade presets
  • Super slick user interface with themes


  • Cannot play Podcasts


With the right pair of headphones, the audio quality is really good and beats any other player in the market. The equaliser and or audio effects make a huge impact on the audio quality and you can actually make out the difference between mp3 and flac files. One neat feature is the ability to parse .cue and m3u files. If you download radio shows, especially trance music, you’ll often come across one single file that’s an hour long. Cue and m3u files help breakdown this singular file into individual tracks so you can skip to the one you want without having to split the track physically. Gapless playback support is also present for albums that feature it.

EqualizerYou also get plenty of widgets for your homescreen to choose from, including a very nice lockscreen widget. You can customise the amount of information to be displayed on the lockscreen widget too, from album art to equaliser controls. Poweramp also gives you the option to change the theme. You get a bunch of them by default and you can even install third party themes from the Play Store. One feature that we feel should be added is a social component. Apps like MixZing allow you to play your music from your library as well as search for trending tracks around the globe. You can even see what your friends are listening to at the moment and rate songs so your friends can find them.


Verdict : Worth the download?

If you want to milk a better audio experience out of your mobile device and don’t want to carry around all sorts of unnecessary clutter like external amps in your pocket, this app is a good way to start consolidating your devices into one unit. Poweramp is available for as little as Rs129 for the full version, which makes it extremely good value. The app is compatible with Android v2.1 and upwards and is constantly being updated with bug fixes and support for the latest version of Android. If you have an Android phone and want to experiment with its audio, Poweramp is the most popular audio app in the Play Store for a reason and we strongly suggest you ditch the stock player for Poweramp.

Get it on Play Store

Fed up with ads everywhere ? Learn how to get rid of them

If you wanna remove those nasty ads from the pages which waste lot of time and bandwidth then here is something for you I believe will help you a lot.  This is done without using any software.

How it works

It’s possible to set up a name server as authoritative for any domain you choose, allowing you to specify the DNS records for that domain. You can also configure most computers to be sort of mini-nameservers for themselves, so that they check their own DNS records before asking a nameserver. Either way, you get to say what hostname points to what IP address. If you haven’t guessed already, the way you block ads it to provide bogus information about the domains we don’t want to see – i.e., all those servers out there that dedicate their existence to spewing out banner ads.

completely fake ad

The hosts file

Probably the most common way people block ads like this is with something called the “hosts file”. The hosts file is a simple list of hostnames and their corresponding IP addresses, which your computer looks at every time you try and contact a previously unknown hostname. If it finds an entry for the computer you’re trying to reach, it sets the IP address for that computer to be whatever’s in the hosts file. is a special IP address which, to a computer, always means that computer. Any time a machine sends a network request to, it is talking to itself. This is very useful when it comes to blocking ads, because all we have to do is specify the IP address of any ad server to be And to do that, all we have to do is edit the hosts file. What will happen then is something like this:

1. You visit a web page

2. The web page contains a banner ad stored on the server “ads.example.com”

3. Your computer says “ads.example.com? never heard of it. wait a second, let’s see if I’ve got the number on me…”

4. Your computer finds its hosts file and checks to see if ads.example.com is listed

5. It finds the hostname, which points to

6. “Great”, says the computer, and sends off a request to for the banner ad that’s supposed to be on the page

7. “oh”, says the computer, and fails to show anything because it just sent a request to itself for a banner ad


Where’s my hosts file?

* Windows 95 / 98 / ME: C:\Windows (I think)

* Windows NT: C:\WinNT\hosts

* Windows 2000: C:\WinNT\system32\drivers\etc\

* Windows XP: C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc

* Windows 7: C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc

* FreeBSD / Linux / Mac OS X / Unixish operating systems: /etc/hosts

* Classic Mac OS: please read this helpful information submitted by David “iNerd” B

* Mac OS 9: Marcia Skidmore sent in details that hopefully explain what you need to know


Note: Windows 7/8 users might want to open a notepad with administrator rights then edit the host file, without it an error with not enough permission will going to pop up.

The format of the hosts file is very simple – IP address, whitespace, then a list of hostnames (except for older Macs; please see above). However, you don’t need to know anything about the format if you don’t want to as you can just view the list hosts file.

Of course, that’s not the only way to use the list, but it’s probably the most simple for most people.

Here is the hosts list which are serving you the ads just append it to your hosts file and enjoy ad free surfing makes things faster. If you want ad from certain site then just remove it from the list below.

You have to copy all these domain names from here and paste at the end of your hosts file. Here is a text file if you are lazy enough and dont want to copy all of them. 007arcadegames.com 101order.com 123banners.com 123found.com 180searchassistant.com 180solutions.com 247media.com 247realmedia.com 24pm-affiliation.com 2log.com 2o7.net 4affiliate.net 4d5.net 7adpower.com 911promotion.com a-counter.kiev.ua a.consumer.net a.gismeteo.ru a.mktw.net a.r.tv.com a.xanga.com a32.g.a.yimg.com aaddzz.com abcnews.footprint.net abetterinternet.com abz.com ac.rnm.ca accelerator-media.com accipiter.speedera.net action.ientry.net actionsplash.com actualdeals.com ad-annex.com ad-flow.com ad-images.suntimes.com ad-logics.com ad-rotator.com ad-server.gulasidorna.se ad-souk.com ad-space.net ad-tech.com ad-universe.com ad-up.com ad.100.tbn.ru ad.37.com ad.4web.cz ad.71i.de ad.a8.net ad.abcnews.com ad.abctv.com ad.about.com ad.aboutit.de ad.aboutwebservices.com ad.aftonbladet.se ad.allstar.cz ad.altervista.org ad.asap-asp.net ad.bondage.com ad.centrum.cz ad.cgi.cz ad.chip.de ad.clix.pt 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The Google Quiz: Are you a Google expert ?

Do you know everything about the company and its services? Or are you still new to the topic, and you only used their search engine for a couple of times so far? Well, you can put your knowledge to the test in this quiz which will answer the question:

How much do you know about Google? Get a pencil and cross the single right answer for every question, and calculate your score afterwards.

  1. Google Inc. was founded in …
    • 1996
    • 1998
    • 2000
  2. Google Inc. was founded by …
    • Sergey Page and Larry Brin
    • Eric Schmidt and Larry Page
    • Larry Page and Sergey Brin
  3. Which search operator does Google enable by default?
    • The AND operator
    • The OR operator
    • The NOT operator
  4. Google once used Yahoo’s search result to feed its engine.True?
    • Yes, from 1998-200
    • No, it was the other way round – Yahoo used Google once.
    • No, Google and Yahoo never had any search relationship.
  5. Google Analytics is a service to …
    • Check if your web pages validate
    • Check how many people visit your web pages
    • Check your Google PageRank
  6.   In 2006, Eric Schmidt is Google’s …
    • Vice President Engineering
    • Eric left the company in 2004 to pursue his hobbies
    • Chief Executive Officer
  7.  What was the name of the search engine the Google founders developed before Google?
    • PageRanker
    • BackRub
    • Gogol
  8.  What is the algorithm behind Google’s PageRank?
    • The more pages link to you (and the higher their PageRank), the higher your page’s PageRank
    • You get 1 PageRank point for every web page you own
    • The algorithm behind PageRank is kept secret, similar to the Coca – Cola formula
  9.  Why do some sites get “banned” from the Google index?
    • They tried methods to get their pages ranked better which Google considers spam
    • They have content which is illegal in this state/ country
    • Both are true.
  10.  At which university did the Google founders meet?
    • Oxford University
    • MIT
    • Stanford University
  11.  What is the “Googleplex”?
    • It’s where Google employees work
    • It’s a solar system which shares only the name with Google.com
    • It’s the server farm Google built up to deliver search results to you
  12.   Around how many hits do you get for the word “Hello” (in 2006)?
    • 420,000 pages
    • 420,000,000 pages
    • 42,000,000,000 pages
  13.  If you want to find a place to grab a pizza, you go to …
    • Google Food
    • Google Places
    • Google Local
  14. At the Association of National Advertisers annual conference in October 2005, who said Google will take 300 years to fulfill its mission to index the world’s data?
    • Eric Schmidt
    • Larry Page
    • Marissa Mayer
  15. What colors do the letters of the Google logo have, from left to right?
    • Red – Blue – Green – Yellow – Green
    • Blue – Red – Yellow – Blue – Green – Red
    • Blue – Yellow – Purple – Yellow – Red – Blue

How well did you do?

Calculate your points by adding 10 points for each question you answered like the following:

1 – b, 2 – c, 3 – a, 4 – b, 5 – b, 6 – c, 7 – b, 8 – a, 9 – c, 10 – c, 11 – a, 12 – b, 13 – c, 14 – a, 15 – b.

0–50 points: Though you have a mild interest in Google, you’re new to the topic. Maybe you prefer other search engines, or you’re not using the web for a lot of tasks. You have yet to learn how to become a power searcher, but you’re on your way. 60–110 points: You already understand more than just the basics of how Google works. Using your search power, you can locate almost anything you want. You are likely making good use of Gmail, Google News, and other Google services. 120–150 points: Consider yourself a Google guru. In fact, with your knowledge you could write a book like this. Chances are you are reading a lot of news

7 Apps that every traveler should have

Here are some apps to get you started and on  the way to getting extra value for the money you spend on your upcoming trips, and also in a way unlocking your smartphone’s hidden potential.

Ask A Nomad


For any new place you visit, inevitably there are bound to be a lot of questions – mostly regarding which place to visit. Quite simply, Ask A Nomad lets you ask a question, and get answers from other users who may have some idea about that subject. This is a lot more interactive than just searching for information on the web. Alternatively, you can also answer questions about places you’ve been to. The app divides the world very neatly into continents, countries and then cities. This makes asking a new question, reading other discussions and replying to a query simpler. Better way of getting all the information you need about a place, from people who have probably already been there.

Price: Free

Platform: iOS devices



This is an app you should definitely refer to, because it will surely have information  on the hotel that you plan on staying in. Considering over 1,50,000 hotels worldwide are a part of this database, users can search for hotels based on pricing and type, and even get special deals. This service also lets you book using credit card, along with special offers and deals from time to time.

We believe that even though you may find it a little risky to book from here, it is useful app to check out and compare hotels.

Price: Free

Platform: iOS devices



This app isn’t very new, but it is a must have on every smart mobile device and most people have used it. But if you have a number of contacts who are explorers in their own right, this may just be the app for you.

Utilise the knowledge base of your friends to get information about a place you’re going to visit, or have already checked in to. Also get recommendations from other users who have visited the place and written reviews about it.

Price: Free

Platform: Android, Blackberry, iOS, Symbian  and Windows Phone



Use Expensify on your Android™ device to log expenses, capture receipt images and manage reports on the go! Even better, SmartScan will read your receipt images, fill out the expense details, and create a new expense (or attach to an automatically imported bank/card transaction).

An essential app for business travelers, Expensify allows users to scan or log their receipts to be compiled into expense reports.

Price: Free

Platform: Android, iOS

Google Translate & Goggles


Google Translate helps you make sense of 63 different languages. You can even speak text to be translated into the local language.

Search by taking a picture: point your mobile phone camera at a painting, a famous landmark, a bar code or QR code, a product, a storefront, or a popular image. If Goggles finds it in its database, it will provide you with useful information. Goggles can read text in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, and Turkish, and translate it into other languages.

Price: Free

Platform: iOS, Android


weatherbugIf you are sensitive to weather changes or do not like snowfall or rainfall, you would obviously be interested to find out about the weather in the places where you are going to be during your trip. WeatherBug gives accurate and reliable weather information, letting you know beforehand the kind of weather you can expect during your stay in a foreign city.

This app allows you access to the most reliable weather stations across North America to find out the exact weather conditions at thousands of locations around the world. You can thus avoid places where weather is not to your liking if you have this app installed.

Price: Free

Platform: iOS, Android

Google Maps

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Science behind Linux boot sequence

Identifying each stage of the boot process is invaluable in fixing boot problems and understanding the system as a whole. To start, zero in on the boot loader, which is the initial screen or prompt you get after the computer does its power-on self-test, asking which operating system to run. After you make a choice, the boot loader runs the Linux kernel, handing control of the system to the kernel.

As it turns out, there isn’t much to the boot process:

  1. A boot loader finds the kernel image on the disk, loads it into memory, and starts it.
  2. The kernel initializes the devices and its drivers.
  3. The kernel mounts the root file system.
  4. The kernel starts a program called init.
  5. init sets the rest of the processes in motion.
  6. The last processes that init starts as part of the boot sequence allow you to log in.

There is a detailed discussion of the kernel elsewhere in this book from which this article is excerpted. This article covers the kernel initialization stage, the stage when the kernel prints a bunch of messages about the hardware present on the system. The kernel starts init just after it displays a message proclaiming that the kernel has mounted the root filesystem:

VFS: Mounted root (ext2 filesystem) readonly.

Soon after, you will see a message about init starting, followed by system service startup messages, and finally you get a login prompt of some sort.

NOTE : On Red Hat Linux, the init note is especially obvious, because it “welcomes” you to “Red Hat Linux.” All messages thereafter show success or failure in brackets at the right-hand side of the screen.

Most of this article deals with init, because it is the part of the boot sequence where you have the most control. init

There is nothing special about init. It is a program just like any other on the Linux system, and you’ll find it in /sbin along with other system binaries. The main purpose of init is to start and stop other programs in a particular sequence. All you have to know is how this sequence works.

There are a few different variations, but most Linux distributions use the System V style discussed here. Some distributions use a simpler version that resembles the BSD init, but you are unlikely to encounter this.


memelinuxAt any given time on a Linux system, a certain base set of processes is running. This state of the machine is called its runlevel, and it is denoted with a number from 0 through 6. The system spends most of its time in a single runlevel. However, when you shut the machine down, init switches to a different runlevel in order to terminate the system services in an orderly fashion and to tell the kernel to stop. Yet another runlevel is for single-user mode, discussed later.

The easiest way to get a handle on runlevels is to examine the init configuration file, /etc/inittab. Look for a line like the following:

  • id:5:initdefault:

This line means that the default runlevel on the system is 5. All lines in the inittab file take this form, with four fields separated by colons occurring in the following order: # A unique identifier (a short string, such as id in the preceding example) # The applicable runlevel number(s) # The action that init should take (in the preceding example, the action is to set the default runlevel to 5) # A command to execute (optional)

There is no command to execute in the preceding initdefault example because a command doesn’t make sense in the context of setting the default runlevel. Look a little further down in inittab, until you see a line like this:

l5:5:wait:/etc/rc.d/rc 5

This line triggers most of the system configuration and services through the rc*.d and init.d directories. You can see that init is set to execute a command called /etc/rc.d/rc 5 when in runlevel 5. The wait action tells when and how init runs the command: run rc 5 once when entering runlevel 5, and then wait for this command to finish before doing anything else.

There are several different actions in addition to initdefault and wait, especially pertaining to power management, and the inittab(5) manual page tells you all about them. The ones that you’re most likely to encounter are explained in the following sections.


The respawn action causes init to run the command that follows, and if the command finishes executing, to run it again. You’re likely to see something similar to this line in your inittab file:

1:2345:respawn:/sbin/mingetty tty1

The getty programs provide login prompts. The preceding line is for the first virtual console (/dev/tty1), the one you see when you press ALT-F1 or CONTROL-ALT-F1. The respawn action brings the login prompt back after you log out.


The ctrlaltdel action controls what the system does when you press CONTROL-ALT-DELETE on a virtual console. On most systems, this is some sort of reboot command using the shutdown command.


The sysinit action is the very first thing that init should run when it starts up, before entering any runlevels.

How processes in runlevels start

You are now ready to learn how init starts the system services, just before it lets you log in. Recall this inittab line from earlier:

l5:5:wait:/etc/rc.d/rc 5

memelinux-levelsThis small line triggers many other programs. rc stands for run commands, and you will hear people refer to the commands as scripts, programs, or services. So, where are these commands, anyway?

For runlevel 5, in this example, the commands are probably either in /etc/rc.d/rc5.d or /etc/rc5.d. Runlevel 1 uses rc1.d, runlevel 2 uses rc2.d, and so on. You might find the following items in the rc5.d directory:

S10sysklogd S20ppp S99gpm S12kerneld S25netstd_nfs S99httpd S15netstd_init S30netstd_misc S99rmnologin S18netbase S45pcmcia S99sshd S20acct S89atd S20logoutd S89cron

The rc 5 command starts programs in this runlevel directory by running the following commands:

  • S10sysklogd start
  • S12kerneld start
  • S15netstd_init start
  • S18netbase start
  • S99sshd start

Notice the start argument in each command. The S in a command name means that the command should run in start mode, and the number (00 through 99) determines where in the sequence rc starts the command.

The rc*.d commands are usually shell scripts that start programs in /sbin or /usr/sbin. Normally, you can figure out what one of the commands actually does by looking at the script with less or another pager program.

You can start one of these services by hand. For example, if you want to start the httpd Web server program manually, run S99httpd start. Similarly, if you ever need to kill one of the services when the machine is on, you can run the command in the rc*.d directory with the stop argument (S99httpd stop, for instance).

Some rc*.d directories contain commands that start with K (for “kill,” or stop mode). In this case, rc runs the command with the stop argument instead of start. You are most likely to encounter K commands in runlevels that shut the system down.

Adding and removing services

If you want to add, delete, or modify services in the rc*.d directories, you need to take a closer look at the files inside. A long listing reveals a structure like this:

lrwxrwxrwx . . . S10sysklogd -> ../init.d/sysklogd lrwxrwxrwx . . . S12kerneld -> ../init.d/kerneld lrwxrwxrwx . . . S15netstd_init -> ../init.d/netstd_init lrwxrwxrwx . . . S18netbase -> ../init.d/netbase …

The commands in an rc*.d directory are actually symbolic links to files in an init.d directory, usually in /etc or /etc/rc.d. Linux distributions contain these links so that they can use the same startup scripts for all runlevels. This convention is by no means a requirement, but it often makes organization a little easier.

To prevent one of the commands in the init.d directory from running in a particular runlevel, you might think of removing the symbolic link in the appropriate rc*.d directory. This does work, but if you make a mistake and ever need to put the link back in place, you might have trouble remembering the exact name of the link. Therefore, you shouldn’t remove links in the rc*.d directories, but rather, add an underscore (_) to the beginning of the link name like this:

  • mv S99httpd _S99httpd

At boot time, rc ignores _S99httpd because it doesn’t start with S or K. Furthermore, the original name is still obvious, and you have quick access to the command if you’re in a pinch and need to start it by hand.

To add a service, you must create a script like the others in the init.d directory and then make a symbolic link in the correct rc*.d directory. The easiest way to write a script is to examine the scripts already in init.d, make a copy of one that you understand, and modify the copy.

When adding a service, make sure that you choose an appropriate place in the boot sequence to start the service. If the service starts too soon, it may not work, due to a dependency on some other service. For non-essential services, most systems administrators prefer numbers in the 90s, after most of the services that came with the system.

Linux distributions usually come with a command to enable and disable services in the rc*.d directories. For example, in Debian, the command is update-rc.d, and in Red Hat Linux, the command is chkconfig. Graphical user interfaces are also available. Using these programs helps keep the startup directories consistent and helps with upgrades.

HINT: One of the most common Linux installation problems is an improperly configured XFree86 server that flicks on and off, making the system unusable on console. To stop this behavior, boot into single-user mode and alter your runlevel or runlevel services. Look for something containing xdm, gdm, or kdm in your rc*.d directories, or your /etc/inittab.

Controlling init

Occasionally, you need to give init a little kick to tell it to switch runlevels, to re-read the inittab file, or just to shut down the system. Because init is always the first process on a system, its process ID is always 1.

You can control init with telinit. For example, if you want to switch to runlevel 3, use this command:

  • telinit 3

When switching runlevels, init tries to kill off any processes that aren’t in the inittab file for the new runlevel. Therefore, you should be careful about changing runlevels.

When you need to add or remove respawning jobs or make any other change to the inittab file, you must tell init about the change and cause it to re-read the file. Some people use kill -HUP 1 to tell init to do this. This traditional method works on most versions of Unix, as long as you type it correctly. However, you can also run this telinit command:

  • telinit q

You can also use telinit s to switch to single-user mode.

Shutting down

shutdown_button_wallpaperinit also controls how the system shuts down and reboots. The proper way to shut down a Linux machine is to use the shutdown command.

There are two basic ways to use shutdown. If you halt the system, it shuts the machine down and keeps it down. To make the machine halt immediately, use this command:

  • shutdown -h now

On most modern machines with reasonably recent versions of Linux, a halt cuts the power to the machine. You can also reboot the machine. For a reboot, use -r instead of -h.

The shutdown process takes several seconds. You should never reset or power off a machine during this stage.

In the preceding example, now is the time to shut down. This argument is mandatory, but there are many ways of specifying it. If you want the machine to go down sometime in the future, one way is to use +n, where n is the number of minutes shutdown should wait before doing its work. For other options, look at the shutdown manual page.

To make the system reboot in 10 minutes, run this command:

  • shutdown -r +10

On Linux, shutdown notifies anyone logged on that the machine is going down, but it does little real work. If you specify a time other than now, shutdown creates a file called /etc/nologin. When this file is present, the system prohibits logins by anyone except the superuser.

When system shutdown time finally arrives, shutdown tells init to switch to runlevel 0 for a halt and runlevel 6 for a reboot. When init enters runlevel 0 or 6, all of the following takes place, which you can verify by looking at the scripts inside rc0.d and rc6.d:

1. init kills every process that it can (as it would when switching to any other runlevel).

# The initial rc0.d/rc6.d commands run, locking system files into place and making other preparations for shutdown. # The next rc0.d/rc6.d commands unmount all filesystems other than the root. # Further rc0.d/rc6.d commands remount the root filesystem read-only. # Still more rc0.d/rc6.d commands write all buffered data out to the filesystem with the sync program. # The final rc0.d/rc6.d commands tell the kernel to reboot or stop with the reboot, halt, or poweroff program.

The reboot and halt programs behave differently for each runlevel, potentially causing confusion. By default, these programs call shutdown with the -r or -h options, but if the system is already at the halt or reboot runlevel, the programs tell the kernel to shut itself off immediately. If you really want to shut your machine down in a hurry (disregarding any possible damage from a disorderly shutdown), use the -f option.