A little bit of Ubuntu Linux knowledge

13 Nov

I own a copy of VMware Fusion 2, and have installed Ubuntu Linux 8.04 LTS on it in a virtual machine. I know how to keep it up-to-date with the menu system, but I didn’t know how to do it using the command prompt, though I probably complicated matters more than necessary, because I’m sure the answer is on the Ubuntu wiki.

Now I will try to tell you how I arrived at this bit of knowledge about Ubuntu, in a somewhat convoluted way.

I was looking how to install Squeak on a remote server, in case I want to run my own Seaside web service one day. By searching with Google I found out that it is not called “installing Squeak”, but “deploying Squeak” –who would have thunk?

Anyway, while googling and surfing I came across this fine article by Ramon Leon, called Scaling Seaside Redux: Enter the Penguin. In this article Ramon explains how to install Ubuntu linux server (or any Debian server) on a local box, i.e. a computer you can touch with your hands. Furthermore, he describes how to update and upgrade the linux OS, and install the necessary applications on it.

To install Seaside on a virtual server (that seems to be the terminology, instead of remote server), I found this article by Peter Osburg, called Deploying Squeak on a virtual server with Linux. This is probably what I will need in the future, because a hosting provider has a much better connection to the Internet than I could ever hope to have as a consumer.

Of course, I will read both articles (and probably many more) when I have a need for it. Currently, I can’t even program in Squeak, let alone write an app in Seaside. Nevertheless, I took away a nugget of knowledge from all this.

It seems that you can make your copy of the Ubuntu (or any Debian linux distro) up-to-date with two terminal commands, instead of through the menu system:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Of course, for this to work, you need to be logged in as an administrator, and type in your administrative password at the command prompt. Mind you, you will get no visual feedback for that password. In other words, you will not see the usual asterisks while typing characters with your keyboard. This is a bit awkward if you’re used to the GUI way of entering your credentials (GUI stands for graphical user interface).

A server has no GUI, so you can’t use it to keep your machine up-to-date. In that case, you will need the command line interface, instead of the graphical user interface. The desktop version of Ubuntu has both.

That is all.

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