Ruminations on the Digital Realm

Jan Stedehouder

PCLinuxOS Day 7 – Control Center, part 2

Sharing (continued)

Two tasks remained under the heading Sharing: settting up file/printserver and setting up a share. The first task ran into a snag quickly with an error message that the name ‘localhost’ wasn’t correct for a DNS server. Setting up a Samba share wasn’t error free as well. I was instructed to set up a Samba server with the Samba wizard first. Right, that was tasks number 1. The wizard to create a share could be finished nonetheless.

I could select one of four options: Add/Modify/Remove Share (expert only), Special Share (CDrom, Homes, Profiles), Public share and User share. Strange enough, when you want to add a share, there isn’t much difference between the expert option and public/user share. All options require background knowledge to set them up properly.

PCLinuxOS-02-day7-Sharing-setupshare.png

Online administration

PCLinuxOS has two options for remote access to other systems: TightVNC and Virtual Network Connection (both under Internet -> Remote Acces). The program Virtual Network Connection is called Remote Access Control and allows access to Linux machines and Windows Terminal Services.

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The task “Remote Control of another machine” gave access to exactly the same program, though embedded in the Control Center.

Boot

The entry Boot revealed three tasks: to enable autologin for a particular user (which saves some time when you are the only one using the box), setting up how the system boots and selecting a graphical theme.

I decided to start with an easy task and change the theme. By default there is only one theme available, by PCLinuxOS. Clicking “Create new theme” started a download of netpbm. Once this was done the program DrakSplash is launched. It shouldn’t be too hard to create your own splash screen now.

PCLinuxOS-17-day7-DrakSplash.png

The second task allowed me to change the bootloader from GRUB into Lilo (or vice versa), to set GRUB to use a text based menu and to add other bootable operating systems to the bootloader. The other operating systems aren’t recognized automatically, which means the user is supposed to know which partitions the other OS boots from and adds them manually.

PCLinuxOS-16-day7-bootloader_addOS.png

Intermediate conclusions

So far most of the tasks that were available via the Control Center could be considered “advanced tasks”. It makes sense to make those tasks available to users, also novice users. But I do feel a lack of explanation and/or documentation. The Help function only resulted in a message that it wasn’t available. And there are even more advanced tasks waiting for another article. I wish you all a good weekend.

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