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Tools usage

Tools description

Tools usage

1. Browser

2. Burning

3. Graphics

4. Network

5. Recover

6. Security

7. System

8. Utility

9. Video

10. Web

1. Browser

1.1. Firefox

Speed up download process

If you're using a broadband connection (e.g.: ADSL) you'll load pages MUCH faster!



into the address bar and hit return. Scroll down and change the following entries by double clicking them:

  "network.http.pipelining" "true"

  "network.http.pipelining.maxrequests" "90"

  "network.http.proxy.pipelining" "true"

Normally, the browser makes one request at a time to a web page. When you enable pipelining, it will make several at once, which really speeds up page loading. In this case, it will make 90 requests at once.

Right-click anywhere in the browser and select

  New-> Integer

call it


and set its value to


This value is the amount of time the browser waits before it acts on information it receives.

2. Burning

2.1. Cdparanoia

Convert audio CD to wav files:

  cdparanoia -wB

2.2. Cdrdao

Copy CD on the fly:

  cdrdao copy --device your_writer --source-device your_cdrom --speed your_speed --eject

2.3. Cdrecord

Show SCSI devices (also IDE writers appear as SCSI):

  cdrecord -scanbus

Note: you could need to load the ide-scsi module (not required for SCSI device):

Burn data CD:

  cdrecord dev=your_writer speed=your_speed file.iso

Burn multisession data CD:

  cdrecord dev=your_writer speed=your_speed -multi your_directory_to_add

Close session:

  cdrecord dev=your_writer speed=your_speed -fix

or add the last session without the parameter -multi:

  cdrecord dev=your_writer speed=your_speed your_directory_to_add

Burn audio CD:

  cdrecord dev=your_writer speed=your_speed -audio track1.wav track2.wav trackn.wav

Burn mixed CD:

  cdrecord dev=your_writer speed=your_speed -data file.iso -audio track1.wav track2.wav trackn.wav


Choose disk-at-once and add the flag overburn

  cdrecord dev=your_writer speed=your_speed -dao -overburn file.iso

Erase CD-RW:

The first time the CD-RW must be formatted with

  cdrecord dev=your_writer speed=your_speed -blank=all

than, it's enough to erase the TOC with

  cdrecord dev=your_writer speed=your_speed -blank=fast

2.4. Mkisofs

Create Rock Ridge file system:

  mkisofs -r -o image.iso your_directory

Create Joliet file system:

  mkisofs -J -o image.iso your_directory

Create El Torito file system (for bootable CDs):

  mkisofs -b -o image.iso your_directory

Pipe it to cdrecord:

  mkisofs -r your_directory | cdrecord speed=your_speed dev=0,0,0 -

Note the - at the and of line!

3. Graphics

3.1. Xsane scanner

First at all, you need the tools:

  apt-get install hotplug xsane

Second, you need the drivers. For a lot of HP printers:

  apt-get install hpoj

You can now simply launch


or call it from the GIMP.

4. Network

4.1. Nmap

List open ports on myHost and return OS name if known:

  nmap -Ss -O myHost

4.2. PPP

Once properly configured, you can call it with


to start the connection and with


to stop it.

Alternatively, it's possible to specify the connection name:

  pon myConnection

  poff myConnection

4.3. Rpcinfo

Reports RPC info.

4.4. Showmount

Show mountpoints of a remote NFS server. Very helpful tool to find out what are you exporting outside your PC!

4.5. Wireless

4.5.1. NdisWrapper

  ndiswrapper -i driver.inf

  ndiswrapper -l driver.inf

  ndiswrapper -m driver.inf

4.5.2. Wireless-tools

Scan for access points:

  iwlist xth0 scan

This command has a lot of useful parameters. Refere you to the man page for more informations.

Configure network

  iwconfig essid yourESSid

This command has a lot of useful parameter. Refere you to the man page for more informations.

5. Recover

5.1. Compressor

5.1.1. Bzip2recover (I haven't tried it yet)

  bzip2recover myCorruptedFile

  bzip2 -dc rec*myCorruptedFile.tar.bz2 > myRecoveredFile.tar

  cpio -F myRecoveredFile.tar -i -v

6. Security

6.1. Encryption

6.1.1. GPG

To encrypt a file:

  gpg --recipient yourEmail --encrypt yourFile

For example:

  gpg --recipient eplanamente@gmx.ch --encrypt myFile.txt

will create an encrypted file called myFile.txt.gpg.

To decrypt a file:

  gpg --recipient yourEmail -o yourFile --decrypt yourFile.gpg

For example:

  gpg --recipient eplanament@gmx.ch -o myFile.txt --decrypt myFile.txt.gpg

This will create a decrypted file called myFile.txt

6.1.2. Outguess

To hide a secret message in the source.jpg file:

  outguess -k "my long passphrase" -d textToEncrypt.txt source.jpg output.jpg

The resulting output.jpg file contains now more or less the same image but with the hidden text.

To extract the secret message from the output.jpg file:

  outguess -k "my long passphrase" -r output.jpg decryptedText.txt

7. System

7.1. Bootloader

7.1.1. Lilo

To be sure don't corrupt your system, install the just compiled kernel to a floppy by adding this line to your /etc/lilo.conf file:


To boot the MBR add the following line to your /etc/lilo.conf file:



To change the menu layout add the following line to your /etc/lilo.conf file:





The bmp-table means: at colomn 59 and row 1, in 1 colomn and 5 rows.

7.2. Installation

7.2.1. Checkinstall (I haven't tried it yet)

Download source of myTool, extract it, cd into and call:



and now instead of calling make install, call


To use checkinstall with install.sh instead of make install, just call

  checkinstall install.sh

7.2.2. Stow (I haven't tried it yet)

Download source of myTool, extract it, cd into and call:

  configure -prefix=/usr/local/stow/myTool


  make install

  cd /usr/local/stow

  stow myTool

Deinstall with

  stow -D mutt

7.2.3. dpkg-scanpackages

To set up a local Debian cache of deb files that you've created or downloaded separately from unofficial site:

  mkdir -p /usr/local/cache/dists/local/local/binary-i386

  cp *.deb /usr/local/cache/dists/local/local/binary-i386

  cd /usr/local/cache

  dpkg-scanpackages dists/local/local/binary-i386 /dev/null $ dists/local/local/binary-i386/Packages

and add the following line to /etc/apt/sources.list:

  deb file:/usr/local/cache local local

Taken from http://www.togaware.com/linux/survivor/Local_Debian.shtml.

8. Utility

8.1. Beagle (I haven't tried it yet)

Requires the filesystem extended attributes




and an entry in /etc/fstab like

  /dev/xxx  /home reiserfs defaults,user_xattr

9. Video

9.1. Dvgrab

Get video/audio stream from videocamera in raw format, split scenes and save it to file.avi:

  dvgrab --autosplit --format raw --timestamp file.avi

10. Web

10.1. Wget

Download a file

  wget http://yourlink/yourfile

Recursively get a directory:

  wget -r http://yourlink/yourdirectory

Tools description

Tools usage

Emidio Planamente

Last modified on 2006-06-05