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Build A Cross-Platform Test Network With Samba & GRUB

Hemos posted more than 11 years ago | from the test-it-out dept.

Linux 97

An anonymous reader writes "This tutorial shows how to combine Samba and GRUB to build a compact, highly adaptable, cross-platform test network, capable of booting and networking a large number of operating systems on a small number of machines. Though Samba and GRUB can manage many different operating systems, this tutorial focuses on Linux and Windows." Reg required on the story.

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first post? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6040353)

I need some grub... Mmmmmm :)

I wish to make a complaint (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6040417)

Sirs,

I have three complaints about Matrix Reloaded:

1) "The Rave" scene. Why the hell did they had to have a five minute long (bad) music video in a movie that was already too long?

2) Trinity at the end of the movie. Why did the writers go for such a cliche and not for something more original?

3) Dismal, wooden dialogue. Almost as bad as that in LOTR II.

Thank you for your attention.

Re:I wish to make a complaint (0, Offtopic)

SphynxSR (584774) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040428)

they had to so a wet tity scene.

How about this? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6040361)

This tutorial [goatse.cx] shows how to spread your asshole wide open.

Re:How abWarning: Free reg required. (-1, Flamebait)

Znonymous Coward (615009) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040483)

Please use this link [goatse.cx] instead.

Re:How about this? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6040707)

This [ntlworld.com] shows how to expand the pee-hole in your cock. Yowza

linux is for nerds (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6040367)

go outside, you hippies. but please, shower first.

Multi boot how-to. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6040375)

Ooh ahh! I've never even thought of this bold new cocept.

Don't like (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6040380)

I don't like site's where you need to register before to get the info

Ways to do this (4, Informative)

GC (19160) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040384)

With Grub you still can only really have as many machines up and running concurrently as, well, as you have physical machines.

VMware allows you to run multiple systems on the same network, with relative ease - although granted it isn't free, but it does run under Linux (and runs Linux as a guest OS)

I actually have only one dual-boot system on my network, the others are all on their own dedicated operating systems.

The dual-boot system is capable of running quite a few virtual machines at the same time - Great for testing, and it's possible to transfer virtual disks across the network, or use real partitions.

Re:Ways to do this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6040965)

...and, if all you want are Linux machines, you can create multiple virtual machines using User-mode Linux [sourceforge.net] and network them together. It's kinda like an inverse Beowulf.

Okay... (1)

webhead74 (675983) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041755)

...haven't we been doing this for years now? What's the big deal? I found nothing new in this article. It reminded me of one of those uber tech power point presentations you're forced to sit through every month at work... yeah, you know the ones I'm talking about. I think the fact that she admits to having a segway in her office speaks volumes to her apparent lack of anything better to do(r).

Free way with out VMWARE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6042957)

boch.sf.net or plex86.sf.net Yep does what VMWARE with out paying a cent. It does not perform as good as VMWARE in some case but it works.

Note boch work even if you are running on a mac speed cost of course that the hardware is full vertual. Plex86 only work with x86 compad hardware also it can be linked to parts in boch to enhance performace and also require a kernel patch.

Basicly pick sides.

Stupid Reg (1, Flamebait)

nich37ways (553075) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040385)

Meh, you need an IBM Login to access it, anyone want to paste the contents, I have so had enough of signing up to junk all the time.

Re:Stupid Reg (3, Informative)

loconet (415875) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040529)

I would seriously recommend that you sign up. That IBM account is no junk. Considering that you get access to developerWorks [ibm.com] , articles and tutorials which on itself is worth the hassle of registering.

Re:Stupid Reg (1, Flamebait)

nich37ways (553075) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040605)

Ooh that does indeed look nice.

Cheers

Re:Stupid Reg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6041525)

Uh, whatever... Fuck that stuff.

I do care about this article, but I have no desire to sign up for IBM's developerWorks shit.

loconet Eats IT (1)

ovapositor (79434) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041780)

Thank you.

Ooooooo... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6040386)

Can I use TCP too? Man, that would kick ass. Imagine using TCP to connect machines on different platforms. Shit, we could even develop a WORLD WIDE NETWORK!

Re:Ooooooo... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6042593)

Yo ho ho, and a Beowulf cluster thereof! Imagine!
-2 Offtopic, Redundant

BSD instructions here (-1, Troll)

MooKore (675835) (675835) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040391)

< FUCK YOU! >
\ ^__^
\ (oo)\_______
(__)\ )\/\
||----w |
|| ||

user/pass for those who don't WANT to register (3, Informative)

gatesh8r (182908) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040396)

username: slashdot1
password: slash1


Simple enough.

Re:user/pass for those who don't WANT to register (1)

bjpirt (251795) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040455)

until some muppet changes it :-(
oh well

Re:user/pass for those who don't WANT to register (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6040468)

I changed it to "goatse"!

Mhwhu-ha-ha-ha!

It doesn't work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6041147)

Somebody changed it again

Re:user/pass for those who don't WANT to register (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6040503)

Even the proponents of Kyoto admit that if fully ratified, it would only delay their own worst-case model?s warming by two or three years over the next century. And all we have to do is wreck the world?s economy. Then we can all go back to that magical time when a few million humans lived in villages and drank herbal teas and sang songs around the campfire and poet-kings ruled lands without warfare and sacred crystals kept everybody healthy just as they did in Atlantis.

Doesn't work, try njchick/njchick1 (3, Informative)

njchick (611256) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041110)

n/t

Cross-platform via networking (4, Insightful)

Turing Machine (144300) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040423)

Interesting stuff, with some good humor (I especially liked "Windows NT/2000/XP are not possessed of such tender sensibilities; still, we'll deceive them too, as they have their own little quirks. Besides, it's easy and fun.").

Personally, I hate rebooting and I also need to test my Java code on Mac OS X, so how I handle this problem is by keeping my source code in a directory on my Linux machine mountable via Samba and NFS. Compiling and testing on Windows 2000 or OS X is just a matter of hitting a button on the KVM switch. You could probably do it via VNC if you don't want to invest in a KVM (or, of course, if you don't mind having multiple monitors and keyboards, you could just have independent machines).

no regiester mirror here (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6040434)

You can view the story without registering here [shoppingmadeeasy.com]

Beer'n'titties (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6040436)

Are for wussies.

If you're a real man, drink Jack Daniels and suck thick, fat male cocks every day and night.

Wow, a really clear grub tutorial (5, Informative)

nich37ways (553075) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040437)

For all the good information this tutorial has in it, I am still reading it, the greatest part would have to be the incredibly clear and nicely laid out set of instructions on how to use Grub with different operating systems. Normally I find this information scattered across half a dozen different pages.

Anyone who actually reads it and finds it useful look hard as there is a pdf link for the entire document, as it is only 72k its a lot easier than waiting for IBM's servers to load each page. A nice touch from IBM I think. Makes life over a slow connection a little easier.

Cheers gatesh8r for the l/p

Re:Wow, a really clear grub tutorial (5, Funny)

Malc (1751) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040523)

What, you don't like the GRUB Info pages? I couldn't imagine why as it does seem to follow the general rules of Info pages: excessively verbose with a pre-ponderance for discussing product history rather than getting down to the nitty-gritty and describing how to use it. What with it being disorganised, poorly written and suffer from the crappy Info UI, it's classic example of why it needs a man page pointing to. Why are so many GNU programmes documented in Info rather than man these days? I hate it.

Yes, you guessed it. I've had to suffer the GRUB Info pages in the past.

Re:Wow, a really clear grub tutorial (1)

nich37ways (553075) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040530)

Damn it now I really want to be able to post and moderate..

Very funny.

I refuse to use info, I wont read anything in there as I have never seen a single info page which wasn't either a direct copy of the man pages or a load of freaking gibberish.

Re:Wow, a really clear grub tutorial (2, Funny)

realdpk (116490) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040560)

info is definitely one of those applications which deserves the GNU/ prepend. Buh.

Re:Wow, a really clear grub tutorial (2, Funny)

xyote (598794) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040640)

The info format does suck. I've been using the lilo boot loader because of that. At least with man pages, you could print them out if they became too verbose. You can't print out info docs, at least I think you can't because of course info is documented in info.

Re:Wow, a really clear grub tutorial (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6040821)

Funny :)

But, actually, the very reason texinfo exists in the first place is so documentation can be printed as well as read on-line (I guess someone decided manpages didn't look good when printed). Thus, when dealing with texinfo, you have 2 options: convert them to info or HTML (on-line format), or convert them to PostScript or PDF (printable format).

My guess is the reason texinfo documents have so much front and back matter is that when printed out, they're meant to look like actual user manuals, with the obligatory always-ignored front and back matter.

Re:Wow, a really clear grub tutorial (1)

Rick the Red (307103) | more than 11 years ago | (#6048574)

you have 2 options: convert them to info or HTML (on-line format)
So, I have to use my web browser to print info files. Have you noticed that HTML isn't exactly designed for printing?
or convert them to PostScript or PDF (printable format).
Uh, OK, but I don't have a PostScript printer. So I have to use Ghostscript.

Web browswer or Ghostscript; either way, I have to use an intermediate (filter) program. After I've converted (filtered) the info file to some other format. So to print info files it's a two-step conversion. Why not just support printing from within info? 1) Because RMS doesn't want to, and thus no GNUbie will ever do it. 2) Because those who would want it steer well clear of GNU/info in the first place.

Re:Wow, a really clear grub tutorial (1)

MyHair (589485) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041354)

I rarely even look at the info pages anymore. It pisses me off when the man page says the actual manual is in info and then I run info to get a carbon copy of the man page.

Plus the info keys don't seem to correspond to any application I've used before.

Re:Wow, a really clear grub tutorial (3, Informative)

V. Mole (9567) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041427)

It pisses me off when the man page says the actual manual is in info and then I run info to get a carbon copy of the man page.

Install the doc package, or there's something wrong with your info search path. What's happening is that info is looking for the "real" documentation, not finding it, and then "helpfully" loading the man page.

None of which is to say that info can't be irritating, but when the man page references info doc, there does exist, somewhere, a real info doc that isn't just copy of the man page.

Re:Wow, a really clear grub tutorial (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041568)

I guess you're a VI user. ;) Then again, I'm a Emacs user and I find the interface poor.

Oh man, Info (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6041553)

Info is a piece of crap. The UI plainly sucks ass.

Much like the autoconf/automake debacle. Horrible, horrible stuff designed by uber-retarted freaks.

Re:Wow, a really clear grub tutorial (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6042106)

look at pinfo, you'll probably prefer it. it's coloured and such; like lynx/links.

Re:Wow, a really clear grub tutorial (1)

p3d0 (42270) | more than 11 years ago | (#6042312)

I think info is obsolete. For simple, formatted documentation, there's man pages. For hyperlinked documentation, there's HTML (perhaps generated from some other source upon product installation). Why anyone would use info with these two alternatives available is beyond me.

And much more on the site (2, Informative)

That_Dan_Guy (589967) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040646)

Clicking around found me here:

http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/linux/

They have a lot of stuff there. I always found IBM docs more clear and complete than Windows docs. But that may have simply been due to the fact that Windows never came with printed docs to my memory (oo, wait, I do seem to remember something with my win3.1 machine. Yeah, lost it as soon as I found OS/2...)

Anyways, if all you want are tutorials by IBM:

http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/views/linu x/ tutorials.jsp

Re:Wow, a really clear grub tutorial (0, Informative)

spasm (79260) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040726)

The direct, registration-free links to the pdf are here:

letter [ibm.com]

A4 [ibm.com]

Re:Wow, a really clear grub tutorial (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040881)

The direct, registration-free links to the pdf are here:

No, you still need to register for those. Otherwise you are redirected to a big "Authorization Required" message page.

Re:Wow, a really clear grub tutorial (1)

Excarnate (453613) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040888)

The direct, registration-free links to the pdf are here:

Not hardly. It wants the username and password. Someone mod the parent down to avoid wasting others time.

Re:Wow, a really clear grub tutorial (1)

spasm (79260) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041501)

ahh, son of a .. thought I'd cleared the cookie before testing the links. these links send you to a registration page if you haven't already registered with ibm at some point.

sorry.

'spasm2' and 'zoolook' if you want to use the links but don't want to register yourself.

Re:Wow, a really clear grub tutorial (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6050112)

Thanks for the account!

Re:Wow, a really clear grub tutorial (1)

jmccay (70985) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040766)

Did you notice the typo in the code under the adding Windows section?
I think there is one mistake though. On the second slide of the adding windows you have "root (hd0,0)" but shouldn't that be "root (hd0,2)"? I am not all that familar with GRUB, but I pieced that together when you displayed the final boot menu file.

Wow, that's...really not worth reading. (3, Insightful)

FiloEleven (602040) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040448)

The article focuses mainly on installing multiple OSs with Grub as the boot loader. This information is widely available (and without registration). The section I was interested in was on Samba. Which it doesn't talk about except to say "here's a tutorial, because I don't feel like writing about this stuff."

Waste of time.

Re:Wow, that's...really not worth reading. (3, Interesting)

thegoldenear (323630) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040495)

If you're after info on Samba then perhaps my instructions on configuring Samba as a primary domain controller for a Windows 2000 roaming user environment will be of use to you: http://www.thegoldenear.connectfree.co.uk/gg/toolb ox/gnu-linux/samba/samba-setup.html [connectfree.co.uk]

Re:Wow, that's...really not worth reading. (1)

lkaos (187507) | more than 11 years ago | (#6044591)

This is deceiving. It's technically just configuring Samba as an NT4 PDC. A Win2k "primary" domain controller is a much more complicated beast that doesn't actually work yet (well, sort of, but not really).

Re:Wow, that's...really not worth reading. (1)

thegoldenear (323630) | more than 11 years ago | (#6045851)

you're right. but my comment isn't intentionally deceiving. it was a summary. my Samba setup provides only the same functionality as the NT4 server and I use it with Windows 2000 workstations, which is why Windows 2000 was mentioned

Re:Wow, that's...really not worth reading. (5, Insightful)

Blkdeath (530393) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040526)

The article focuses mainly on installing multiple OSs with Grub as the boot loader. This information is widely available (and without registration). The section I was interested in was on Samba. Which it doesn't talk about except to say "here's a tutorial, because I don't feel like writing about this stuff."

I found it mostly a vanity piece, really. Much of the advice she gave was quite frankly wrong, silly, or unclear (ie; could have used context).

Examples;

  • Hiding Linux partitions from Win'98? Why?
  • How is it "tricky" to create a Windows partition with Linux's fdisk? (It's no more/less complicated than creating a Linux Swap partition, FYI).
  • Debian is the only Linux with a package management system? ("Everyone except Debian users must unpack the tarball")
  • zcat and pipe a tar.gz through tar?
  • GRUB can only be installed from floppy?!?
  • Disable encrypted network passwords in Windows?
  • Explicitly set all NICs to 100TX?

Advice given by self-ascribed "gurus" should be taken with a suitable quantity of NaCL, in my humble opinion.

Re:Wow, that's...really not worth reading. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6041575)

* Debian is the only Linux with a package management system? ("Everyone except Debian users must unpack the tarball")

[...]

Advice given by self-ascribed "gurus" ....



Them was fightin' words! Slack attack!

Re:Wow, that's...really not worth reading. (1)

Beliskner (566513) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041579)

How is it "tricky" to create a Windows partition with Linux's fdisk
With the Redhat 5 installer, I opted to truncate my FAT32 partition and make an ext2fs in the resulting free space with Linux fdisk. It DIDN'T tell me that it would truncate it regardless of whether or not there was data there! I lost 50 Megabytes of mp3s on my FAT32 partition. I have a God damn MS in Computing so I'm both embarassed and angry simultaneously, whoa feels weird.

I use PartitionMagic now, I like linux and fdisk, but quite frankly if the F-18s bombing Baghdad were using a CLI I think thousands more Iraqi civilians would be dead. It's too risky to chance losing a partition full of my information IMO, even if it's RAID-1 mirrored. Altering partitions must be done in a rollback-capable manner, with 10 modal dialogs in your face.

Re:Wow, that's...really not worth reading. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6041702)

Uh huh, FIPS says plainly to defragment before truncating, and that it will overwrite any information there.

You just didn't read the manuals. Idiot.

Re:Wow, that's...really not worth reading. (1)

Beliskner (566513) | more than 11 years ago | (#6042333)

You just didn't read the manuals. Idiot.
How can I RTFM if I don't have an Operating System, and my friend just gave me the bare Redhat 5 CD without docs?

Re: Wow, that's...really not worth reading. (1)

Omniscient Ferret (4208) | more than 11 years ago | (#6042997)

The FIPS docs were on the CD. You could see the CD drive from your Windows install, right?

Parted works much better than FIPS did, but then, Redhat's gotten much more capable since Redhat 5 too...

Re: Wow, that's...really not worth reading. (1)

Beliskner (566513) | more than 11 years ago | (#6045714)

The FIPS docs were on the CD. You could see the CD drive from your Windows install, right?
Nope. Windows install was damaged, I believed I was competent and deleted the wrong .dll file in the \Windows\System directory rendering the system unbootable.

Re: Wow, that's...really not worth reading. (1)

Omniscient Ferret (4208) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046172)

Oh. Ouch. You would have needed to know about Alt-F2 & less & stuff, or have a rescue disc handy.

I don't think I'd let a newbie friend install Linux alone.

Re: Wow, that's...really not worth reading. (1)

Rick the Red (307103) | more than 11 years ago | (#6050150)

I believed I was competent
Well, there's your problem! Seems to be the root cause of both your mistakes (making Windows unbootable and destroying 30Meg of MP3s).

Re:Wow, that's...really not worth reading. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6041596)

Not only that but there are "make a hardcopy" references all over the place.

Ugh... She prints out every little thing. What is this 1985?

I will explan some of this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6043133)

Hiding linux partions from 98 is about posistion of partions if a linux partion is in front of a windows partion windows will not look past the linux partion for a windows one so the partion is missing this is in extended partions.

Trick to create a partion with fdisk under linux as you have to play guess the type. If you get it wrong strange things will happen.

Debian is the only Linux with a package management system? This state ment is wrong and right at the same time. Debian package management system will handle all source files by default but redhat only handles some and is picky and the others are about the same. Basicly Debian is the current best of the breed. Ie before installing a tar something on a rpm machine try rpm -tb or rpmbuild -tb then the filename ie rpm or rpmbuild depend on the version of the rpm installed on the system. Note it does not always work.

zcat is a old hapid that dies hard tar did not always have internal compression and the flags sometimes change from version to version. Basicly the fool proff way of doing it is using zcat and gzip.

Disable encrypted network passwords in Windows? Required with samaba depending on the version of windows and the version of samaba. Note even when mixing windows with windows it can fix some problems but it weakens secrity.

Explicitly set all NICs to 100TX This is required with some 100 speed cards ie they default for some unknown resean to 10(they do it one day then not the next and change a card linked to a hub and the ghost and just disappear note that is not the card doing the 10 speed). Also can be a good idea when linking 1000 to 100 just so things don't go nuts.

Re:I will explan some of this. (1)

Blkdeath (530393) | more than 11 years ago | (#6043448)

Hiding linux partions from 98 is about posistion of partions if a linux partion is in front of a windows partion windows will not look past the linux partion for a windows one so the partion is missing this is in extended partions.

It is correct that Win'9x will not 'play nice' in extended partitions, however it will completely ignore other primary partitions and install to the first available primary of an acceptable type.

Trick to create a partion with fdisk under linux as you have to play guess the type. If you get it wrong strange things will happen.

I'm going to have to defer you to RTFM. For that matter, when you press 't' (change 't'ype) in fdisk, it quite clearly tells you that you can 'L'ist partition types. I call shenanigans. Sorry. :)

Debian is the only Linux with a package management system? This state ment is wrong and right at the same time.

I'm afraid you are completely incorrect WRT the state of package management systems in modern Linux distributions. I'll ask that you do some modicum of research before perpetuating more (false) Debian propaganda.

zcat is a old hapid that dies hard tar did not always have internal compression and the flags sometimes change from version to version. Basicly the fool proff way of doing it is using zcat and gzip.

Firstly, she only started using *n?x in '94, at which point the GNU tools were already reasonably mature. Moreover, if she's going to selectively provide context, she should reconsider publishing articles on IBM's website.

Further, the 'z' option to decompress gzipped archives is quite old, and quite standard, but I'd have to check the documentation to determine the date of implementation.

Disable encrypted network passwords in Windows? Required with samaba depending on the version of windows and the version of samaba

Again, incorrect. I have been using Samba with encrypted passwords on networks comprised of any combination of Windows'95, 98, ME, NT4, 2000, and XP for a number of years without fail. The correct procedure is to enable encrypted passwords in Samba itself. Her advise on this matter is just plain bad.

Explicitly set all NICs to 100TX This is required with some 100 speed cards

This advise was reckless, without context or explanation, and carries the potential to cause more harm than good. In any case where users are running a combination of 10MBit and/or half-duplex bridge/repeater/switching hardware, this will most certainly lead to enhanced signal degredation and packet loss.

Modifying GRUB from Windows (0, Offtopic)

Malc (1751) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040460)

I haven't read the article as I don't want to subscribe... but is there a way to modify the GRUB menu and the default choice from within Windows before rebooting?

Re:Modifying GRUB from Windows (1)

mrjive (169376) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040700)

If you can find a way to mount the linux partition where your grub.conf is loaded, then you could do this. But afaik, there is no ext2/ext3 filesystem driver for windows.

You'll have to reboot into linux, edit grub.conf (usually under /boot), and then reboot again to see the change take effect.

Re:Modifying GRUB from Windows (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040751)

Ha: not much good for remotely administering. ;)

Re:Modifying GRUB from Windows (3, Informative)

LiENUS (207736) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040754)

Explore2fs [swin.edu.au] although there is right support it is not recommended for use sadly
but if you have a linux install specifically for grub then you could use it

OR... (1)

hummassa (157160) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040953)

You can make your /boot partition type vfat32. Then you will be able to edit /boot/grub/menu.lst with wordpad or win32-vi :-)

Thin on details, good primer for newbies (5, Informative)

gravis_23 (602248) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040461)

Better documentation on accomplishing dual booting is available at The Linux Documentation Project's [tldp.org] site. Kudos to IBM tho for making an effort. :)

I would be leery of integrating this into a test (-1, Flamebait)

Hairy_Potter (219096) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040465)

organization. You would be betting the financials of your company on a networking hack (Samba) that will soon be illegal under the DMCA. Once the Microsoft financed SCO lawsuit takes care of Linux, you can bet MS will have some little company suit the Samba group.

Re:I would be leery of integrating this into a tes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6041519)

SMB is a open standard. And what is it illegal to try and compete with Microsoft?

Re:I would be leery of integrating this into a tes (1)

I_Heat_Sexylaid (675028) | more than 11 years ago | (#6042621)

Well now, there is some solid information upon which we should all act.

Writing style (1)

pben (22734) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040466)

Carla Schroder wrote a good little tutorial but the writing style put me off a little. She sprinkled little biblical phrases throught out the artical. It was a little jarring to have Grub being hailed as the promised land. Not exactly what I was expecting from an IBM site but then maybe IBM has really caught the Linux religion. ;-)

Re:Writing style (0, Offtopic)

lederhosen (612610) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040538)

BNU religion, it boots the Hurd!

i.e. it is the one and only bootloader...

Re:Writing style (2, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040734)

BNU religion, it boots the Hurd!

BNU? BSD's Not Unix?

Re:Writing style (1)

Rick the Red (307103) | more than 11 years ago | (#6050195)

Thanks, you just named my next OpenBSD server: 'BNG' - BSD's Not GNU

Text of the article (2, Redundant)

MooKore (675835) (675835) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040508)

What this tutorial covers
page 1 of 4

This tutorial shows how to combine Samba and GRUB to build a compact, highly adaptable, cross-platform test network, capable of booting and networking a large number of operating systems on a small number of machines. Though Samba and GRUB can manage many different operating systems, this tutorial focuses on Linux and Windows.
Who should take this tutorial
page 2 of 4

This is neither a networking tutorial, nor a Linux system administration tutorial. Basic knowledge of running Linux and Windows, including user authentication, installing operating systems, partitioning, and managing user accounts will get you going a lot faster. I'll use values that are valid for my system, such as fd0 and hda. I trust that you will use what is correct for your system. What prerequisites you'll need
page 3 of 4

You'll need reasonably modern hardware: PCs four years old and newer ought to do the job. Running multiboot systems requires large hard drives, and support for Large-Block Addressing (LBA). GRUB can read any part of a hard disk supported by true LBA. Unfortunately, a small number of motherboards that claim to support LBA do not, and the only way to find out which ones they are is to try to boot a system from beyond the 1024 cylinder limit. Also needed are a generic Linux boot/rescue disk, such as tomsrtbt, or H. Peter Anvin's SuperRescue CD, and a Windows 98 rescue disk, which is the all-time most useful Windows disk. GRUB does not yet have the ability to boot a CD; we still need floppy disk

Who wrote this tutorial
page 4 of 4

Carla Schroder is a freelance PC tamer, administering Linux and Windows systems for small businesses, and writes how-tos for real people. Loves computers and high tech, thinks Linux/Open Source/Free Software is the best playground in the world. Carla discovered computers and high-tech in 1994; her first PC was an Apple II. She progressed through DOS/Windows, from 3.1 to XP. Discovered Linux in 1998. Carla is living proof that self-taught middle-aged ladies can be fine computer gurus.

You can contact Carla directly, or click Feedback at the top of any panel.

Cross-platform developers face interesting challenges for building testing environments. In my ideal happy world, computer labs are huge, stocked with every little gadget a person might ever need -- even a Segway to scoot around on. But, as we are all painfully aware, resources are more limited in the real world.

One good option is to use excellent programs like VMWare or User-Mode Linux. These create virtual environments for running several operating systems side-by-side on a single PC. (See the Resources for links to more info on VMWare and User-Mode Linux.)

But for users who prefer completely native environments, the open source/free software world gives us two great tools for packing a lot of operating systems into a small space: Samba and GRUB.

Samba enables file and printer sharing between different operating systems. It can be a primary domain controller or a stand-alone server. It is primarily used to network Linux, UNIX, and Windows. Macintosh, OS X, OS/2, and other platforms are supported with varying degrees of tweakage.

GRUB, the Grand Unified Bootloader, is a most remarkable program. GRUB is capable of booting nearly any OS, and nearly any number of them. This tutorial will focus on multibooting and networking Linux and Windows.

Testing in native environments
page 2 of 2

I use a three-PC test network. Thanks to the combined magic of Samba and GRUB, there is enormous flexibility; you can:

Test applications and application servers (in native environments)
Test all manner of networking configurations
Use removable drive trays to swap in and out as needed
Boot bare kernels, passing in parameters and modules from the GRUB command line

You have probably already spotted the one flaw in this beautiful scheme: the inconvenience of rebooting (as only one OS per machine can run at a time). However, this is the only real drawback I have yet encountered, and I think that it is a small price to pay for having a host of native environments in such a compact space.

Installing GRUB
page 3 of 5

Get comfortable and resign yourself to a lot of rebooting.

GRUB only runs on *nix systems; I'm using Libranet Debian. Most newer Linux distributions come with GRUB. (If you already have it installed, run locate grub to find where all its files are, and make a hard copy of the list. Then skip ahead to the next panel on creating a boot floppy.)

Be sure to have a rescue disk at the ready in case GRUB goes wrong. If you are running a system with a version of GRUB older than 0.9, you must upgrade. Antiques are good for collecting, not computing. To find the version, type:

$ /sbin/grub --version
grub (GNU GRUB 0.93)

This may lead to a system upgrade, as GRUB requires binutils-2.9.1.0.23 or newer. Run ld- v to find out. If binutils is older than that, you have a way-too-old Linux. Best to grab a whole new Linux; it's easier and better. This is a test lab, so I'm assuming you're not messing with an important production system! If you upgrade GRUB, remove the old version first, keeping your /boot/grub/menu.lst file.

Get the latest GRUB from ftp://alpha.gnu.org/gnu/grub. As of this writing, the current edition is grub-0.93.tar.gz. Debian users, of course, employ apt-get, and do not need to build from source. Everyone except Debian users must unpack the tarball:

$ zcat grub-0.93.tar.gz | tar xvf -

Check out README, NEWS, and INSTALL. Most likely, the generic install will suffice. Change to the directory where GRUB is unpacked, and run:

# ./configure
# make install

When that's finished, run updatedb.

Next you need to make a boot disk.

I quote from the official GRUB manual:

"To create a GRUB boot floppy, you need to take the files 'stage1' and 'stage2' from the image directory, and write them to the first and the second block of the floppy disk, respectively."

Run locate /grub/i386-pc, and change to that directory, then copy files to the boot floppy:

# cd /usr/lib/grub/i386-pc
# dd if=stage1 of=/dev/fd0 bs=512 count=1
# dd if=stage2 of=/dev/fd0 bs=512 seek=1

Here's a funny little gotcha: This disk is not mountable; it's a boot image. If you are in the habit of mounting disks to verify them, you'll get all kinds of warnings and error messages, and think your disk is bad. It's not

So I came home from work the other day to discover my cat laying on
the floor. His breathing was very shallow and his eyes were very
glassy. When I approached him I noticed a belt tied around his arm and
both a syringe and a bent spoon laying beside him. Despite all his
promises to the contrary, my beloved Mittens has started shooting up
smack again!

Fortunately the paramedics showed up quickly and gave him some
naloxone which saved him. Unfortunately the problem of my cat being
addicted to heroin still remains. Last week he sold my stereo and this
weekend Mittens stole from my wallet to try for a
hit.

I love my cat and want to see him off this horrible drug.
Unfortunately he won't stop on his own! Mittens says he can quit
anytime he wants to and becomes combative when I force the issue. I'm
tired of seeing him throw his life away. He could've been a great
mouser, one of the best before he got hooked.

Can anyone recommend a way to get my cat off heroin? It would be much
appreciated.

Nicely Done (1)

JahToasted (517101) | more than 11 years ago | (#6042318)

The article was pretty boring up until the last 4 paragraphs

Registration Required? (1)

bettlebrox (264668) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041094)

Why post articles that require a registration?

Re:Registration Required? (1)

gykh (625487) | more than 11 years ago | (#6045699)

Because they may be informative/interesting/funny, and are much easier to access than going to buy a newspaper. Blackhole email addresses are easy to set up and almost all browsers memorise usename/password combinations for such meaningless pages for you.

Your turn - why not?

Re:Registration Required? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6050212)

Blackhole email addresses are easy to set up
"loser@aol.com" gets a lot of spam thanks to me :-)

Re:Registration Required? (1)

bettlebrox (264668) | more than 11 years ago | (#6147474)

Because I don't alway use my computer!

uh huh huh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6042156)

uh huh huh, she said "fickleness", huh huh

hrm, yeah, eh heh heh

here's what i do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6042182)

get an intel pro/100s.
build pxegrub and nbgrub.
use floppy image of etherboot with vmware.
netboot freebsd, netbsd, openbsd (tricky), linux.
alpha, indigo2 and amiga netboot, too.

all system trees reside on one server.

fun.

pxeGRUB (1)

AlphaSys (613947) | more than 11 years ago | (#6044122)

Oooh, pxeGRUB... do tell. I have been using syslinux/pxelinux, but I was kinda hoping the U in GRUB was not a misnomer. Sine I use GRUB on all my non-netbooting *Xs, I did want to use it for netbooting but hadn't found the way. I guess now that I have the names, I can google with the best of them. Thanks for helping out.

Re:pxeGRUB sugarbitch attacks (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6073603)

You can't even figure out grub? What the fuck kind of loser are you? Your little fag Redhat system that resides on your super duper Windows XP with like ALL the service packs and internet explorer. You are such a fuckin unix wannabe its a joke. RTFM, fuckstick. Better yet, go back to playing with Windows XP and get curious about *nix with OS X. Hahahahahahahahaha. Bwahahaha. poser.

Are you still SERIOUS? Huh? You have any more programming tips even though you dont program?

Programming tips (0, Offtopic)

AlphaSys (613947) | more than 11 years ago | (#6073807)

Actually, wanker, I do have a programming tip... go do some instead of pestering folks who have work to do. I had never come across a pxe variant of GRUB and so I asked the question, as pxeLinux does most of what I need at my job, but I'm still not knocked out. I myself have gotten over the need to pretend there is nothing I don't know or can't learn from another. If you are so damned well-versed in everything, why the hell do you bother with /.? It's rarely entertaining, and it can't be very informative for someone with your gargantuan intellect and endless expertise. You must have very little to do indeed if this is your form of entertainment. As ever, I am serious.

BTW... I never said I don't program... I said I'm not a programmer, as in that is not what I get paid to do. Of course, by that criteria, you could claim you're not a wanker.

Re:Programming tips sugarbitch whines (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6074073)

If I qualify as a "wanker" - then the sliding scale adjusts you down to about troglodyte feces mixed with SARS and chunky brown vaginal discharge mixed with after birth.

If you had work to do, what the fuck are you doing here?

Knocked out? Meaning, it doesn't automagically do everything for you?

About you learning from others, there is a point when you become a drag, like draggin' the old anchor. If you never teach anyone, which at your level is impossible, then you are a leech automaton. Fits the bill.

I used to "bother" with /. Now I run by here from time to time and see all the first rate moronic behavior.

When you are serious, you need to have you ass kicked. You are an annoying, emotional shithead. You are the kind of incongruent annoying emotional insecure know nothing whose ass needs to be railed.

About programming. You don't program. You never have. You don't know how to. You never will, either.

About being a wanker; a God by any other name is still a God, a piece of shit, well, it's always a piece of shit. You can Lysol it, call it another name, even say it ends up in Eau de Toilette, but its shit.

Just one last thing, wanker (0, Offtopic)

AlphaSys (613947) | more than 11 years ago | (#6074416)

Troglodite feces by itself is probably pretty innocuous. But if you were to mix it with SARS, I'd be willing to bet the combination would kick your ass. Slide down that scale, troll. Take your bitching to news://alt.my.pussy.hurts or similar.

Re:Just one last thing, wanker (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6078876)

Who is trolling who here? Huh? I specifically remember you attacking me. You follow me around and accost me all the time. Why do you do this? Why!?!?!

You come on Slashdot, relatively a new guy (high ID), and then assault me all the time. It's horrible. Every day I get on here and you attack me like a ravenous wolf, taking your multi faceted manifestation of evil and attacking me from all angles. I feel like im boxed in by you, assaulted, attacked and I have no place to go and nothing to do but to defend myself. So I did. And I do. And this is what I get, this continual stream of unwarranted assaults.

Where did you come from? Why? Why do you attack me and others so vigorously? Is this what makes you feel good, decimating me and others, constantly using ad hominem and character assassination attacks. So you attack and troll people, then insinuate they have female genitals and then make a really silly reference to a news group (and to Outlook Expressly refer to it via a URL) that doesn't even exist. I would say you are a very new noobie. New to Slashdot. New to Usenet (if you knew Usenet, you would know about the flame and troll groups). New to computing in general. And then you take all these facts and ATTACK ME CONSTANTLY. WHY? Why me? Why others? Why lash out with such vitriol and hate.

You spelled troglodyte wrong, and while you might think feces are innocuous but they are full of bacteria and spread things like hepatitis and various other diseases.

Re:Just one last thing, wanker (0, Offtopic)

AlphaSys (613947) | more than 11 years ago | (#6078959)

Man, talk about your multiple personailities!

You didn't mean to post this to me.... you were really talking to your tsarkon alter-ego.

Re:Just one last thing, wanker (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6079015)

Ongoing assaults. You are now accusing people of MPD. More ad hominem attacks. Your actions and comments serve as a testament to who and what you are. This perpetual deluge of assaults only serves to reveal to the world the actions of evil you perpetrate here. I am glad that I can be of some service to the world even while being browbeaten by you.

Re:Just one last thing, wanker (0, Offtopic)

AlphaSys (613947) | more than 11 years ago | (#6079744)

Aren't you confirming what I just said?

If I am accusing "people", then they must assume they are more than one, mustn't they?

Not to mention that referring to yourself as even "person" in the singular smacks of delusions of grandeur, or at the very least hysteron-proteron. Make the evolutionary step, then claim the victory.

Re:Just one last thing, wanker (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6082330)

But you see, I have already won because not only do you continue to use ad hominem attacks, but your continued correspondance is a testament to your unabated evils. You are the only deluded person here.

I won't sugarcoat this! This is a very bitter in some ways. Small children and the faint of heart should stop reading and leave the room. The rest of this letter is focused exclusively on AlphaSys the Ad Hominator, not because I harbor any ill-will towards it, but because it wants to conjure up dirt against its fellow human beings. What does it think it is? I mean, if it thinks that it can walk on water, then it's sadly mistaken. I'm merely suggesting that AlphaSys the Ad Hominator bickers and argues over petty things. I know you're wondering why I just wrote that. I'll explain shortly, but first, I should state that AlphaSys the Ad Hominator dreams of a time when they'll be free to manipulate everything and everybody. That's the way it's planned it, and that's the way it'll happen -- not may happen, but will happen -- if we don't interfere, if we don't reach the broadest possible audience with the message that I am astonished by how little integrity and good judgment it possesses.

Why AlphaSys the Ad Hominator would even pretend that we have no reason to be fearful about the criminally violent trends in our society today and over the past ten to fifteen years is beyond me. AlphaSys the Ad Hominator can blame me for the influx of sick champions of deceit, lies, theft, plunder, and rapine if it makes it feel better, but it won't help its cause any. AlphaSys the Ad Hominator's flunkies argue that its publications are good for the environment, human rights, and baby seals. These are the same possession-obsessed beggars who organize a whispering campaign against me. This is no coincidence; AlphaSys the Ad Hominator not only lies, but it brags about its lying to its factotums. This is not to say that we must remove the misunderstanding that AlphaSys the Ad Hominator has created in the minds of myriad people throughout the world -- not just in the poetic sense, but in the very specific and prosaic terms I am outlining in this letter. It is merely to point out that I didn't want to talk about this. I really didn't. But if AlphaSys the Ad Hominator were paying attention -- which it would seem it is not, as I've already gone over this -- it'd see that its ideologies all stem from one, simple, faulty premise -- that the majority of heinous thought police are heroes, if not saints. Not surprisingly, AlphaSys the Ad Hominator spouts the same bile in everything it writes, making only slight modifications to suit the issue at hand. The issue it's excited about this week is obstructionism, which says to me that it talks a lot about defeatism and how wonderful it is. However, it's never actually defined what it means. How can AlphaSys the Ad Hominator argue for something it's never defined? This is not a question that we should run away from. Rather, it is something that needs to be addressed quickly and directly, because if the word "calcareoargillaceous" occurs to the reader, he or she may recall that AlphaSys the Ad Hominator once tried to compromise the things that define us, including integrity, justice, love, and sharing. And here, I maintain, lies a clue to the intellectual vacuum so gapingly apparent in its fibs.

There's a little-known truth that isn't readily acknowledged by nerdy deadbeats: In order to convince us that the average working-class person can't see through its chicanery, AlphaSys the Ad Hominator often turns to the old propagandist trick of comparing results brought about by entirely dissimilar causes. Is there anyone else out there who's noticed that before bothering us with its next batch of flighty, stingy cajoleries, AlphaSys the Ad Hominator should review the rules of writing a persuasive essay, most notably the one about sticking to the topic the writer establishes? I ask because once you understand its intimations, you have a responsibility to do something about them. To know, to understand, and not to act, is an egregious sin of omission. It is the sin of silence. It is the sin of letting AlphaSys the Ad Hominator turn once-flourishing neighborhoods into zones of violence, decay, and moral disregard. AlphaSys the Ad Hominator is always prating about how it is the one who will lead us to our great shining future. (It used to say that all minorities are poor, stupid ghetto trash, but the evidence is too contrary, so it's given up on that score.) AlphaSys the Ad Hominator likes to cite poll results that "prove" that it is a model organization. Really? Have you ever been contacted by one of its pollsters? Chances are good that you have never been contacted and never will be. Otherwise, the polls would show that AlphaSys the Ad Hominator will probably never understand why it scares me so much. And it doubtlessly does scare me: Its plans for the future are scary, its excuses are scary, and most of all, only through education can individuals gain the independent tools they need to create and nurture a true spirit of community. But the first step is to acknowledge that there are some conniving vandals who are bloodthirsty. There are also some who are snivelling. Which category does AlphaSys the Ad Hominator fall into? If the question overwhelms you, I suggest you check "both".

Last summer, I attempted what I knew would be a hopeless task. I tried to convince AlphaSys the Ad Hominator that mean-spirited alarmism is merely a symptom of the disease called "AlphaSys the Ad Hominator-ism". As I expected, it was completely unconvinced. Make special note of that point, because AlphaSys the Ad Hominator's rantings are a house of mirrors. How are we to find the opening that leads to freedom? On the surface, it would seem to have something to do with the way that I could make a long argument for the idea that AlphaSys the Ad Hominator has an uncritical -- almost a worshipful -- attitude toward neo-clueless geeks. But upon further investigation, one will find that to say that "the norm" shouldn't have to worry about how the exceptions feel is delusional nonsense and untrue to boot.

I am not trying to save the world -- I gave up that pursuit a long time ago. But I am trying to reveal some shocking facts about AlphaSys the Ad Hominator's commentaries. I frequently talk about how scores of people, just like you, have finally decided that they've had enough of AlphaSys the Ad Hominator's perceptions. I would drop the subject, except that its expositions are a mixture of misguided self-righteousness and disorganized duplicity. I don't think anyone questions that. But did you know that I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke it to cultivate the purest breed of irresponsibility?

Of perhaps even more concern is that I want my life to count. I want to be part of something significant and lasting. I want to hinder the power of crude nabobs of boosterism like AlphaSys the Ad Hominator. It's my hunch that AlphaSys the Ad Hominator contends that its morals are our final line of defense against tyrrany. Excuse me, but where exactly did this little factoid come from? Even giving AlphaSys the Ad Hominator the benefit of the doubt, ignorance is bliss. This may be why its satraps are generally all smiles. In that respect, we can say that seeing AlphaSys the Ad Hominator reward those who knowingly or unknowingly play along with its declamations while punishing those who oppose them is a nauseating and disgusting spectacle. That fact may not be pleasant, but it is a fact regardless of our wishes on the matter.

Simply put, I can no longer get very excited about any revelation of AlphaSys the Ad Hominator's hypocrisy or crookedness. It's what I've come to expect by now. There is good reason to believe that my earnest denunciation of AlphaSys the Ad Hominator's methods of interpretation must have failed to register with it as being legitimate sentiment. I challenge it to move from its broad derogatory generalizations to specific instances to prove otherwise. AlphaSys the Ad Hominator argues that I am inarticulate for wanting to build bridges where in the past all that existed were moats and drawbridges. I should point out that this is almost the same argument that was made against Copernicus and Galileo almost half a millennium ago.

Think about that for a moment. The interesting point is this: My cause is to show principle, gumption, verve, and nerve. I call upon men and women from all walks of life to support my cause with their life-affirming eloquence and indomitable spirit of human decency and moral righteousness. Only then will the whole world realize that AlphaSys the Ad Hominator's toadies' thinking is fenced in by many constraints. Their minds are not free because they dare not be. Individually, AlphaSys the Ad Hominator's harangues rob us of our lives, our health, our honor, and our belongings. But linked together, AlphaSys the Ad Hominator's dissertations could easily use mass organization as a system of integration and control.

I may not believe that all any child needs is a big dose of television every day, but I definitely do suspect that it has two imperatives. The first is to waffle on all the issues. The second imperative is to fill the air with recrimination and rancor. AlphaSys the Ad Hominator has, on a number of occasions, expressed a desire to overthrow the government and eliminate the money system. On all of these occasions, I submitted to the advice of my friends, who assured me that it extricates itself from difficulty by intrigue, by chicanery, by dissimulation, by trimming, by an untruth, by an injustice. It would be charitable of me not to mention that I surely find AlphaSys the Ad Hominator's demeanor and pomposity downright apalling. Fortunately, I am not beset by a spirit of false charity, so I will instead maintain that its vituperations are destructive. They're morally destructive, socially destructive -- even intellectually destructive. And, as if that weren't enough, it truly believes that it acts in the public interest. It is just such depraved megalomania, juvenile egoism, and intellectual aberrancy that stirs AlphaSys the Ad Hominator to use organized violence to suppress opposition.

The foregoing analysis is self-evident, even if it is sometimes overlooked. Less evident are the specific ways in which we should study the problem and recommend corrective action. It's really not bloody-mindedness that compels me to deal summarily with the most nugatory twaddlers you'll ever see. It's my sense of responsibility to you, the reader. Thus, in summing up, we can establish the following: 1) AlphaSys the Ad Hominator's unsophisticated reinterpretations of historic events are not something that endears it to me, and 2) it would rather talk about making changes than actually make them.

My topic is nothing new. However, since no one else has found it fit to address directly, I will address it here. Before I start, however, I should state that to understand what Mr. AlphaSys Money's particularly incomprehensible form of Dadaism has encompassed as a movement and as a system of rule, we have to look at its historical context and development as a form of yawping politics that first arose in early twentieth-century Europe in response to rapid social upheaval, the devastation of World War I, and the Bolshevik Revolution. Who could have guessed that he would play on people's conscious and unconscious belief structures? To put it another way, why do we put up with him? Well, I asked the question, so I should answer it. Let me start by saying that he says that anyone who disagrees with him is ultimately prurient. That is the most despicable lie I have ever heard in my entire life. It seems that no one else is telling you that his memoirs are contrary to international human rights and humanitarian standards. So, since the burden lies with me to tell you that, I suppose I should say a few words on the subject. To begin with, AlphaSys's editorials oscillate between lousy chauvinism and self-deceiving gnosticism. I know you're wondering why I just wrote that. I'll explain shortly, but first, I should state that AlphaSys can't attack my ideas, so he attacks me. It could be worse, I suppose. He could con us into believing that he holds a universal license that allows him to revive an arcadian past that never existed.

Even though AlphaSys has aired his disapproval of being criticized, I still suspect that he wants nothing less than to deny citizens the ability to draw their own conclusions about the potential for violence that he may be generating. His apologists then wonder, "What's wrong with that?" Well, there's not much to be done with logorrheic rakes who can't figure out what's wrong with that, but the rest of us can plainly see that there is something grievously wrong with those vainglorious sybarites who make bigotry respectable. Shame on the lot of them! Last summer, I attempted what I knew would be a hopeless task. I tried to convince AlphaSys that we have come full-circle. As I expected, AlphaSys was unconvinced. To some extent, seeking to rely on the psychological effects of terror to magnify the localized effects of his complaints so that, like a stone hurled into a pool of water, shock waves ripple from the epicenter of AlphaSys's attacks to the furthest reaches of the Earth is a hallmark of a totalitarian regime. Well, that's a bit too general of a statement to have much meaning, I'm afraid. So let me instead explain my point as follows: AlphaSys managed to convince a bunch of the worst classes of stingy maniacs there are to help him prevent the real problems from being solved. What was the quid pro quo there? In other words, what exactly is the principle that rationalizes his mean-spirited, shiftless ruses? You see, he uses the word "dendrochronological" without ever having taken the time to look it up in the dictionary. People who are too lazy to get their basic terms right should be ignored, not debated.

You might not care that AlphaSys should stop caterwauling about what he doesn't understand, but you'd better start caring if you don't want AlphaSys to wage an odd sort of warfare upon a largely unprepared and unrecognizing public. Sure, he talks the talk, but does he walk the walk? Before you answer, let me point out that he refers to a variety of things using the word "saccharogalactorrhea". Translating this bit of jargon into English isn't easy. Basically, he's saying that you and I are morally inferior to raucous slackers. At any rate, it may seem difficult at first to ring the bells of truth. It is. But he is penny wise and pound foolish. Am I being too harsh for writing that? Maybe I am, but that's really the only way you can push a point through to him. My argument gets a little complicated here.

While I, for one, maintain that AlphaSys has every right to his malignant opinions, his greed will be his undoing. The mere mention of that fact guarantees that this letter will never get published in any mass-circulation periodical that AlphaSys has any control over. But that's inconsequential, because if AlphaSys thinks his ravings represent progress, he should rethink his definition of progress. We can divide his cop-outs into three categories: disreputable, resentful, and unbalanced. Should this be discussed in school? You bet. That's the function of education: To teach students how to hinder the power of counter-productive, voluble drug lords like AlphaSys.

Okay, that was a facetious statement. This one is not: In order to solve the big problems with him, we must first understand these problems, and to understand them, we must do something good for others. If he continues to marginalize me based on my gender, race, or religion, the result can be a tone-deafness, a cluelessness, on matters that are at the center of experience for vast segments of the population. Sure, some of AlphaSys's tracts are valid, but that's not the point. To most people, the idea that I am confident that feckless dingbats will come to their own conclusions about all of these matters is so endemic, so long ingrained, that when others conclude that he refuses to do anything for himself, this merely seems to be affirming an obvious truth. My next point of order is that AlphaSys extricates himself from difficulty by intrigue, by chicanery, by dissimulation, by trimming, by an untruth, by an injustice.

If truth, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, then when you tell AlphaSys's factotums that I indeed can't stand AlphaSys or his grunts, they begin to get fidgety, and their eyes begin to wander. They really don't care. They have no interest in hearing that he just wants to avoid detection and punishment. Of course, this sounds simple, but in reality, the real issue is simple: A complacent spirit is precisely the wrong spirit in which to take steps toward creating an inclusive society free of attitudinal barriers. The following theorem may therefore be established as an eternally valid truth: He has never gotten ahead because of his hard work or innovative ideas. Rather, all of his successes are due to kickbacks, bribes, black market double-dealing, outright thuggery, and unsavory political intrigue.

Now that I've had time to think about AlphaSys's propositions, my only question is this: Why? Why convert our children to cultural zombies in a mass of unthinking and easily herded proletarian cattle? I'll tell you the answer in a moment. But first, let me just say that this is not the place to develop that subject. It demands many pages of analysis, which I can't spare in this letter. Instead, I'll just state the key point, which is that AlphaSys does, occasionally, make a valid point. But when he says that society is supposed to be lenient towards lecherous spongers, that's where the facts end and the ludicrousness begins. He can write anything he wants about how things would be different were we to give into his demands and let him advertise "magical" diets and bogus weight-loss pills, but he claims to have turned over a new leaf shortly after getting caught trying to transform our society into a clueless war machine. This claim is an outright lie that is still being circulated by AlphaSys's vassals. The truth is that AlphaSys maliciously defames and damagingly misrepresents everyone and everything around him. There's a word for that: libel. I must ask that his spin doctors chastise him for not doing any research before spouting off. I know they'll never do that, so here's an alternate proposal: They should, at the very least, back off and quit trying to break down our communities. I would never take a job working for AlphaSys. Given his ribald opuscula, who would want to?

I have long been under the impression that he has, at times, called me "randy" or "ultra-foul-mouthed". Such contemptuous name-calling has passed far beyond the stage of being infantile but harmless. It has the capacity to trivialize the issue. Next time, AlphaSys, you may want to check your facts correctly.

The next time someone says that AlphaSys's way of life is correct and everyone else's isn't, look that person right in the eye and reply, "False denials, pleas for sympathy, and a base campaign for smearing others with his own crimes constitute AlphaSys's whole method of defense." Given this context, we need to return to the idea that motivated this letter: He wants us to believe that we can solve all of our problems by giving him lots of money. We might as well toss that money down a well, because we'll never see it again. What we will see, however, is that faster than you can say "formaldehydesulphoxylic", AlphaSys's recommendations will degenerate into hotbeds of rumor and innuendo. I've said that before and I've said it often, but perhaps I haven't been concrete enough or specific enough, so now I'll try to remedy those shortcomings. I'll try to be a lot more specific and concrete when I explain that AlphaSys shouldn't instill a general ennui. That's just common sense. Of course, the people who appreciate his ploys are those who eagerly root up common sense, prominently hold it out, and decry it as poison with astonishing alacrity. I am deliberately using colorful language in this letter. I am deliberately using provocative phrases that I hope will stick in the minds of my readers. I do ensure, however, that my words are always appropriate and accurate and clearly explain how AlphaSys's whinges have merged with immoralism in several interesting ways. Both spring from the same kind of reality-denying mentality. Both encourage young people to break all the rules, cut themselves loose from their roots, and adopt an infantile, reckless lifestyle. And both use paid informants and provocateurs to intensify or perpetuate solecism. I'll try not to dwell on this, but my prayers go out to everyone who was hurt by AlphaSys. Now that that's cleared up, I'll continue with what I was saying before, that I didn't want to talk about this. I really didn't. But he undeniably needs to stop living in a fool's paradise. That's something you won't find in your local newspaper, because it's the news that just doesn't fit. It's fine to realize that I got off on a tangent, but it's more important to know that if we contradict AlphaSys, we are labelled hate-filled bloodsuckers. If we capitulate, however, we forfeit our freedoms.

If I recall correctly, if one accepts the framework I've laid out here, it follows that life isn't fair. We've all known this since the beginning of time, so why is he so compelled to complain about situations over which he has no control? The most appealing theory has to do with the way that if you've read this far, then you probably either agree with me or are on the way to agreeing with me. AlphaSys spouts the same bile in everything he writes, making only slight modifications to suit the issue at hand. The issue he's excited about this week is sectarianism, which says to me that it is more than a purely historical question to ask, "How did his reign of terror start?" or even the more urgent question, "How might it end?". No, we must ask, "Why doesn't he try doing something constructive for once in his life?" Here's the answer, albeit in a somewhat circuitous and roundabout style: If you think that individual worth is defined by race, ethnicity, religion, or national origin, then you're suffering from very serious nearsightedness. You're focusing too much on what AlphaSys wants you to see and failing to observe many other things of much greater importance. Think about how easy it's become for rash, pestiferous deviants to obfuscate the issue so that one can't see what ought to be thoroughly obvious to all. Today, as yesterday, we must understand that AlphaSys's dream is to rule the world, or failing that, annihilate it. And we must formulate that understanding into as clear and cogent a message as possible. AlphaSys wants to cause riots in the streets. Personally, I don't want that. Personally, I prefer freedom. If you also prefer freedom, then you should be working with me to grant people the freedom to pursue any endeavor they deem fitting to their skills, talent, and interest. The law of parsimony suggests that puerile isolationism is widespread and growing stronger as it permeates school systems, universities, and the media. So I give you this letter. I hope it helps.

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