Monthly Archives: August 2007

How to turn a Ubuntu Box Brainless

Effectively, by this tutorial, we will be disabling logins on the ubuntu box, and just using gdm and the x-server to talk to a server on the local network using XDMCP. This means, that you’ll actually login to the remote server, and use the remote servers’ data and processing power.

WARNING: This will disable GUI access to your computer!
DON'T do this to a machine which you want to use without having to
play around with the X configuration files in command line.

In ubuntu, you can switch all logins to XDMCP quite simply. Here is the Howto:

  • Click on System > Administration > Login Window
  • Enter your password (if requested)
  • Click on the security tab
  • Click on the “Configure X Server” button in the bottom right hand corner of the window. This pops up:
  • Change the “Launch” value from “Greeter” to “Chooser”
  • Click close twice, and log off
  • Hit CTRL – ALT – BACKSPACE together, to restart GDM. You should now have a XDMCP host searching window, which will locate any computers which have had XDMCP logins activated. If you want a howto for setting up a server for that, please comment!

Useful Ubuntu Things to Remember

  • To open a terminal in Ubuntu, go to Applications > Accessories > Terminal
  • To add shortcuts from the applications listing to your desktop or top/bottom panel, browse to the location of the program under applications, click on it DON’T LET GO, and drag it to the bar at the top, or onto you desktop. Let go.
  • To run a unattended upgrade on an (K/X/U)buntu machine use the following command in a terminal:
apt-get update; apt-get upgrade -y
  • If you only want the upgrades to be downloaded, and not installed as well, then use this one (I think, this hasn’t been tested, and you could probably do it a bit more neatly with -dy):
apt-get update; apt-get upgrade -d -y
  • Most linux variants store their programs (e.g. lspci) under /usr/sbin
  • To force evolution (linux version of MS Outlook) to close completely, open a terminal, and run the following command:
evolution --force-shutdown