Turn Your Ubuntu Into A Wireless Hotspot

Have you ever wanted to use your Linux computer as a wireless hotspot? It’s actually pretty easy. Today’s article will get you started and it really isn’t all that difficult. We will actually be cribbing a bit of this article from the software’s homepage, but while some more, rather important, information added.

For many years, I used my own router that I had configured on my own hardware. It was built on Linux. The preceding version actually ran on BSD, but that’s not important for a site called Linux-Tips. Today, you can get a NUC or Pi for dirt cheap and so making a new router is back on my list of things to do. In other words, it’s a fun project that won’t take a lot of money to get into.

All of the varied software and hardware components are already there to make your own router, but I want to enable wireless connectivity. a wireless hotspot, and that’s what we’re going to look at today. The tool we’re going to use is called ‘linux-wifi-hotspot‘ That’s is a great tool, complete with GUI if wanted, written by lakinduakash. It has only been around for a few years, but it’s spoken of very highly – and it just works and works well.

At least it worked the last time I used it. This article is from the old site and I’m just moving it to this site. I actually haven’t bothered much with my own router for the past year or so. So, this information is a bit dated.

Turn Your Ubuntu Into A Wireless Hotspot:

This article requires an open terminal, like many other articles on this site. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

The software is easy enough to install. If you’re using Debian/Ubuntu, just add the PPA and install the software. To add the PPA, you just run:

On a modern Ubuntu, you shouldn’t need to do this, but you might want to go ahead and run a quick update with:

Then you can install the software, starting to get your system into a workable wireless hotspot. To do that, it’s just:

If you want, you can visit the link above (in the preamble), click on releases, and download the .deb file for the current release and just install it with gdebi. In this case, I’d suggest installing with the PPA – just to make sure

Then, you can go ahead and start it. You can also go ahead and make it start at boot, which would be prudent if you intended to use this to make your own router. It’s really self-explanatory and without specific questions for using it, I’m just going to refer you to the man page and the information at the project page.

Caveats:

But, before you can even do all of this, you need to know that your wireless adapter actually supports doing this. To find out, you need to know if your wireless adapter supports “AP” mode. AP obviously meaning ‘Access Point’.

To check this, you need to run the following command:

The project page is noticeably silent with this, but it’s a necessary step. See, you need to know if your hardware actually supports it before you even bother trying. Come to think of it, I probably should have put this closer to the top of the page! Ah well…

Anyhow, the output should contain one or both of the following lines:

Device supports AP scan.

And/Or:

Driver supports full state transitions for AP/GO clients.

So long as you see one or both of those, you should be all set to proceed. If you don’t see either of them, there’s no software solution and you’ll need to get hardware that supports AP mode. In many cases, that’ll mean doing a bunch of research and may even mean contacting the vendor or OEM.

Nobody appears to have compiled a list of hardware that supports AP mode and I don’t think I’ve ever bought wireless adapters that explicitly stated they do on the box. As near as I can tell, more modern adapters support it just fine, so you’ll probably be alright. Online specs are more thorough than what’s printed on the outside of the box, so maybe searching is okay.

Closure:

Alright, there’s your article for the day. I have no idea if you want to make a wireless hotspot for your Linux box, but now you know how. It’s pretty self-explanatory, and you shouldn’t have any questions. If you do, you know where to find me – or to find others who can help you – at Linux.org.

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Change Ownership Of Files And Folders

Today, we’ll be covering how to change ownership of files and folders. This is a pretty basic task and one every Linux user should know. This needn’t be terribly complicated, so this article will explain all you really need to know about changing ownership of files and folders.

When dealing with file management, permissions are important. It’s a security matter and a usability matter. You can assign various file and folder permissions, such as read and write permissions, a subject for a different article. However, files and folders all should have owners – owners who can do anything they want with the file or folder.

Curiously, your account should not always be the owner. While maybe not all that intuitive, you shouldn’t have ownership of all the files. This is why you have to use elevated permissions to perform certain tasks. This is to keep things segmented and secure.

Remember, Linux is designed to be a multi-user operating system. That’s not just human users, but different processes and applications may also be associated with users. For example, look at all the users on your system by running the following command in your terminal emulator:

You can also see all the groups on your system with this command:

Obviously, if a user is a member of a group they share permissions with that group. Files also only have one owner and one associated group, of course. So, if you want two people to have control over a file, one way to do that would be to make sure they’re both members of the same group. There’s all sorts of creative things you can do with permissions. This article will be covering just one aspect, it’ll be about how you can …

Change Ownership Of Files And Folders:

Like oh so many of these articles, this one requires an open terminal. You can do so using only your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

Go right ahead and stay in your home directory. You can check the various files and their permissions with the following:

The output of that command will show you the user and group, with the two being listed in that order as in the image below:

ll listing user and groups
See? I even gave you handy arrows. The order is owner:group, to repeat myself.

To change the owner, the format is:

To change the group, the format is:

If you want to recursively take ownership, you need the -R flag. For that, you’d want something that looks a bit like this:

You can actually just use chown to change both the owner and group at the same time. You’ll most often do this with your own user and group, so I’ll show the command that way:

As you can guess, the -R flag will work there and an asterisk will cover all the files and folders within that directory. Obviously, this applies to folders and not to files.

Closure:

There you have it. You have yet another article and this one has hopefully taught you how to change ownership of files and folders. It may not be one of the most interesting articles, but it’s a skill you’ll eventually want to have and another tool for your Linux toolbox. 

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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Backup Optical Media To .iso

In today’s article, we’re going to learn how to backup optical media to .iso. If you have optical disks you want to backup, this is an easy way to go about it. It will not work with all disks, especially those encumbered with DRM.

This is useful for data disks, for example. It’s also useful for music CDs. It’s less likely to be good for things like game DVDs or movies. Those use various methods to stop you from copying your discs. While there are ways to backup some of them, this article won’t be getting into it.

Instead, we’ll just be using ‘dd’ for this exercise. If you’re unfamiliar with ‘dd’, it stands for:

convert and copy a file

If you’re unfamiliar with the command, you should pay extra attention to the way it is used in this article. It’s a powerful tool and using it with just the slightest error can (and will) make you run for your backups.

So, with all those things in mind, let’s learn how to …

Backup Optical Media To .iso:

This article requires an open terminal, like many other articles on this site. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

With your terminal now open, we should probably figure out where your optical disk is. One way to find your optical media drive is with this command:

Inside the results of that command you’ll find something like “[sr0] scsi3-mmc” from which you can glean that /dev/sr0 would be your optical drive. With that information at hand, you’ll fun this command:

Be really sure that the path to save is correct, though this command is less likely to harm you than other ‘dd’ commands.

Anyhow, you can verify the integrity of the file created. That’s an easy enough step to take and looks a bit like this:

That should spit out two numbers. Those numbers should match. If they don’t, then something has gone wrong and you might want to try it again.

Closure:

There you go… Another quick and easy article. This one teaches you how to backup optical media to .iso, a handy skill if you want to preserve the data on the disks before they get worn out, broken, or lost. 

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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How To: Check Your Hard Drive Temperature

Today’s article is going to teach you how to check your hard drive temperature (in Linux, of course). There are a number of ways to do this, so we’ll just cover one way in this article. It may seem complicated, but it’s not. This should be a pretty short article.

You should have a general idea of the temperature of components within your computer. The components have various operating temperatures and keeping them within spec means they’ll last longer and give you better performance.

Hard drives generally have temperature sensors and we’ll be using ‘hddtemp’ in the terminal to check your hard drive temperature. It won’t work with every hard drive, but it may work with yours. It’s a pretty easy application to install and use, so we’ll go over it as though you’re using Debian/Ubuntu/Mint or something that uses apt. A quick check says you have this available for other distros.

By the way, ‘hddtemp’ defines itself accurately enough, like so:

hddtemp – Utility to monitor hard drive temperature

Which is, as the article intends, exactly what we’re going to do…

Check Your Hard Drive Temperature:

This article requires an open terminal, like many other articles on this site. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

With your terminal now open, let’s install ‘hddtemp’:

Next, we want to start it as a service:

And we’ll want to have ‘hddtemp’ start with the boot process:

That’s about it for the installation. Now all you need to do is know which hard drive you want to check. You can get a list of hard drives by running:

Next, you’ll run ‘hddtemp’ as a privileged user and use the path to the drive you want to check. So, it’d look a lot like this:

If you’re in luck, it’ll spit out the drive temperature. If you prefer Fahrenheit, the command should look similar to this:

That’s really all there is to it. You can check the man page for other options, but this is how most folks are going to use ‘hddtemp’ on their own local computers.

Closure:

Well, this was a short article. I have a bit of a stomach ache, so picked one that’d be shorter than most. Ah well… At least now you know at least one way to check your hard drive temperature. That’s always a good thing.

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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How To: Show Hidden Files And Folders

Today, you’ll read an article that tells you how to show hidden files and folders (in Linux, of course). This is something everyone should know. This is a basic skill that you’re almost certain to need if you make the decision to use Linux.

Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to show hidden files and folders. You’ll see…

First, I should probably explain what hidden files and folders are. They’re files and folders that start with a period. So .foo.txt is a hidden file and .bar could be a hidden directory. One should remember that Linux is, by design, a multi-user system. With that in mind, having hidden files makes sense – if you don’t want those files to be accidentally (or maliciously) edited.

Any files or folders that begins with a period will be a hidden file. If you’re new to Linux, you might want to leave them hidden until you’re a bit more comfortable working with system files. Or not… It’s your system, you do what you want with it.

In a GUI file manager, you can usually figure out how to show hidden files and folders pretty easily. Sadly, it’s not universal in a GUI. Look in the right click menu, under the “View” option, or in the application’s preferences. It’s also often ALT + H and I want to say I’ve even seen it be ALT + F4. Look around, you’ll find it.

This article is more about showing those hidden files and folders in the terminal. It’s a really easy command and won’t take too long to explain it to you. So, enough preamble, let’s begin.

Show Hidden Files And Folders:

This article requires an open terminal, like many other articles on this site. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

We’ll stay right in the default directory, your home directory. If you’re not currently in your home folder,  you can get there with:

Your home folder should have all sorts of hidden files and folders. First, let’s see your home directory without showing the hidden files and folders:

Unless you’re in the habit of storing files in your home directory, you should have a fairly tidy list of folders and files that you’re likely already familiar with. 

Now, let’s try again – this time showing hidden files and folders:

Or, you can get a more easy to read output with this command (and you get more information with it):

If you want to see it in action, you can try this command:

Now, if you use the ls command you won’t see that file. If you use the ls -a command you’ll see the hidden file that you created called .foo.txt. This of works with directories, as they too can be hidden.

Yup, that’s it. That’s today’s article. See? I told you it was easy.

Closure:

Indeed, it is an easy article – and one most of my readers will already know. This one is aimed squarely at the new user who has yet to learn how to show hidden files and folders. It’s a pretty important skill to learn, and it’s also important to know which ones you probably shouldn’t edit. So, judicious use is important.

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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