LJ Archive

On the Web

Linux Users, Old and New

Heather Mead

Issue #121, May 2004

Learn how to update Bogofilter, deploy Linux desktops and clear up TCP/IP network traffic with this month's articles.

Back in November 2002, Nick Moffitt wrote a brief tutorial titled “Busting Spam with Bogofilter, Procmail and Mutt” (/article/6439) for the Linux Journal Web site. He provided a Bogofilter configuration that made it easy to mark incoming messages as spam or non-spam. Nick's article still receives a number of hits as people continue to look for ways to manage their mailboxes. The problem, however, is command-line switches to Bogofilter have been reversed as of March 2003, “so they now have the exact opposite effect”. In other words, follow the original article and you'll be training your spam filter to keep the spam and ditch the legit mail. To save readers some frustration, Nick wrote a follow-up article for our Web site, “Busting Spam with Bogofilter, Procmail and Mutt, Revisited” (/article/7436). If you used Nick's first implementation or are looking for another spam-fighting tool, be sure to read his update.

If you're in charge of a network whose servers use asymmetric TCP/IP routing, you may have noticed artificial bandwidth bottlenecks as all traffic goes out one interface, leaving the other idle. In “Overcoming Asymmetric Routing on Multi-Homed Servers” (www.linuxjournal.com/article/7291), Patrick McManus explains how to use source-based routing capabilities, similar to the ones used in high-end networking gear, to improve traffic flow in server environments. Specifically, he discusses the iproute2 package, which can be used to control routing behavior as well as to “set up interfaces, control arp behavior, do NAT and establish tunnels”. As Patrick states, “the key difference in an iproute2 world is the system may contain many different destination-based routing tables instead of a single global system table.”

When William Yu and Dominique Cimafranca were given the green light to install Linux on the desktops of a pilot group at their company, they were told the work had to be completed in half a day. Plus, if the pilot group didn't like the Linux desktops, their Windows desktops needed to be reinstated just as quickly. Given the age of the machines they were working with, plus memory limitations and the presence of a decent Ethernet infrastructure, they decided thin clients would be the best approach. Their article, “Desktop Guerilla Tactics: a Portable Thin Client Approach” (www.linuxjournal.com/article/7109), details their experience with using the VNC remote display system, assembling a floppy-based distribution and setting up a fat server. Read their article on-line to see how the pilot group reacted to the new desktop.

As more and more people make the move to Linux, whether it be at work or at home, interest in end-user applications grows. In response, the Linux Journal Web site has acquired some new columnists, including Dave Phillips, Chris DiBona and Bruce Byfield, who will write regularly on such topics as Linux audio, tasks for new Linux users and OpenOffice.org. Dave's Linux audio series already has a few columns posted providing introductions to AGNULA and Planet CCRMA. His March column, “At the Sounding Edge: OpenMusic and SuperCollider3” (www.linuxjournal.com/article/7432), discusses two new Mac audio application ports to Linux.

If there's a topic or application you'd like to see covered on the Linux Journal Web site, or if you'd like to write an article, drop me a line at info@linuxjournal.com.

Heather Mead is senior editor of Linux Journal.

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