AJourneyThroughTheVirtualTerminal

Contents

What is the Virtual Terminal ?

Virtual Terminal is a NetBeans plugin for linux system administration. This plugin will help a privileged user to perform various administrative jobs like checking and repairing file systems , reseting system date and time , changing file permissions and ownership , formatting hard disk partitions , setting shutdown timer , changing login shell and lots more.. by simple mouse clicks. Except administrative jobs it will provide a detail description of the system architecture , networks , specifications and many others. It will also be helpful for installing softwares in the system.

Basic Requirements

As previously mentioned , this plugin is made for linux system administration. This plugin is designed on Fedora 7 distribution and major parts of this plugin is tested on Fedora 8 and RHEL 5. Please provide these basic requirements of this plugin while using it.

  • JDK 1.6 or a later version is needed. You can download the latest jdk from here.
  • Root login :- Logging in as a privileged user is mandatory for performing administrative jobs and software installation.
  • Look and Feel :- This plugin is designed using Metal Look and Feel. To enjoy the perfect view you must set this for once. Just go to the installation directory (in my system it was /usr/local/netbeans-6.0). netbeans.conf file resides there (netbeans-6.0/etc/netbeans.conf). Open that file using any editor. A line contains netbeans default options( in my system it was : netbeans_default_options="-J-client -J-Xss2m -J-Xms32m -J-XX:PermSize=32m -J-XX:MaxPermSize=200m -J-Xverify:none -J-Dapple.laf.useScreenMenuBar=true"). you need to append "--laf javax.swing.plaf.metal.MetalLookAndFeel" in the end of this line ( after appending ,it became : netbeans_default_options="-J-client -J-Xss2m -J-Xms32m -J-XX:PermSize=32m -J-XX:MaxPermSize=200m -J-Xverify:none -J-Dapple.laf.useScreenMenuBar=true --laf javax.swing.plaf.metal.MetalLookAndFeel"). save and close the file. Restart netbeans IDE if it is open.
  • After installing this plugin you will get a black square icon between 'Reload' and 'Build Main Project'. Always click that button to open Virtual Terminal. DO NOT open a window of this plugin from 'window' list.
  • Always use the red 'X' button to exit from this plugin. DO NOT close it by clicking the 'x' in the tabbed pane.


Download and Install

Download

You can download Virtual Terminal plugin from NetBeans Plugin Portal.

Install

  • Open NetBeans IDE.
  • Click tools --> plugins , plugin window will come out.
  • Select downloaded --> add plugin , browse and select ......myfrm.nbm.
  • Click install and continue installation process.
  • You must restart IDE for completing installation.

Getting Started...

After the restart, netbeans will open in a full screen mode with the welcome page of the plugin.It is NOT advisable to exit from the full screen mode while you are using the plugin , that may hide some fields depending on your screen resolution. Through out this plugin red colored '->' , '<-'  and 'X' buttons are used for going 'next' , 'back' and 'exit' . Always use the red colored 'X' button to quit this plugin , not the default one in the tabbed pane. Closing in the said way will quit this plugin , exit from the full screen mode as well as delete all temporary files created by this plugin. The welcome page contains another blue 'i' button which will open this page in your default browser. 

After installation of this plugin a launcher of the Virtual Terminal will be installed between 'Reload' and 'Build Main Project'.File:Virtual Terminal Launcher. Always use this button later to launch Virtual Terminal . DO NOT open a single window of this plugin from the 'window' list of the IDE.

Plugin Map

Now follow this plugin map to take a tour in the Virtual Terminal :

Welcome to the Virtual Terminal

So now welcome to all of you in the Virtual Terminal. Just click the next button to pick a task to perform.File:welcome_AJourneyThroughTheVirtualTerminal.png

Now pick a task to perform

This window will provide you three different options like system administration , displaying system details and software installation. Click an icon to select the task , then click 'next' to perform desired operations.File:pickatask_AJourneyThroughTheVirtualTerminal.png

System Administration

The system administration window has twelve different options. All of them are described below. you just need to click once to perform related tasks.File:systemadmin_AJourneyThroughTheVirtualTerminal.png

Check and Repair file system

This window has three different options. Another option is there for displaying all hard disk partitions. you need to select your harddisk type like sda or sdb and partition no. Then click on a button to perform the task.File:checknrepair_AJourneyThroughTheVirtualTerminal.png

Check for bad blocks

This option will check for bad blocks in the selected partition. This operation may need some time depending on the partition size. If bad blocks are present , a message will appear in the display area. otherwise a simple completion message will be displayed. A message will be displayed when it will be finished.

Check and repair linux file system

This option will check and repair linux file systems and display message in the display area. Make sure that selected partition is currently not in use. A message will be displayed when it will be finished.

Check and repair msdos file system

This option will check and repair msdos file systems(basically FAT) and display message in the display area. Make sure that selected partition is currently not in use. A message will be displayed when it will be finished.

Date and Time

This window contains four different options. Three for displaying date,time and calendar in various formats. Another one for reseting date time. You need to click once to run desired application.File:datetime_AJourneyThroughTheVirtualTerminal.png

Date

Various formats are available for displaying date. choose one and click 'display selected' to display date in that format.File:date_AJourneyThroughTheVirtualTerminal.png

Time

Various formats are available for displaying time. choose one and click 'display selected' to display time in that format.File:time_AJourneyThroughTheVirtualTerminal.png

Calendar

Various formats are available for displaying calendar. choose one and click 'display calendar' to display calendar in that format.File:calendar_AJourneyThroughTheVirtualTerminal.png

Reset date and time

You can reset system date and time by selecting new values from this window. select new date and time , then click 'set'. A message will ask for your confirmation. If confirmed , system date-time will be changed.File:resetdt_AJourneyThroughTheVirtualTerminal.png

File and Folder

In this window you will be provided with three options for changing file permissions,ownership and displaying statistics.File:filefol_AJourneyThroughTheVirtualTerminal.png

Change file permission

  • Select a file first.
  • Check the box below to show hidden files. File name will be displayed below after selecting one.
  • Now set permission for owner , group and others .
  • Click the 'SET' button to set new permission for the selected file.File:chngfileper_AJourneyThroughTheVirtualTerminal.png
  • If you get an error message like "cannot write to file"... , that means you don't have permission to do this job.
  • A 'permission changed' message will be displayed otherwise.

Change file owner

  • Select a file first.
  • Check the box below to show hidden files. File name will be displayed below after selecting one.
  • Select a new owner from the users list.
  • Click 'change owner' to change owner of the selected file. A message will be displayed in the display area saying that ownership is changed for that file. A message will be displayed when it will be finished. File:chngfileowner_AJourneyThroughTheVirtualTerminal.png
  • If you can't get desired result in the display area then click 'change owner' once more.

File statistics

  • Select a file first.
  • Check the box below to show hidden files.
  • Now click 'view statistics' to display informations about the selected file. A message will be displayed when it will be finished.File:viewfilestat_AJourneyThroughTheVirtualTerminal.png
  • If you can't get desired result in the display screen then click 'view statistics' once more.


Hard Disk

You can format a partition of your harddisk in ext2 or ext3 file system .

Format a partition

  • Select your hard disk (sda or sdb..)
  • Select partition no you want to format (1 , 2 or 3..)
  • Select file system to format (ext2 or ext3)
  • Click 'format'.A message will ask for your confirmation. If confirmed , selected partition will be formatted.File:format_AJourneyThroughTheVirtualTerminal.png
  • A message will be displayed when it will be finished.

Jobs

This jobs window will provide two options for displaying all running processes and list of pending jobs. Other three options will be there for deleting pending jobs , killing or force killing a process and changing priority of a process.File:jobx_AJourneyThroughTheVirtualTerminal.png

Delete pending jobs

  • Delete pending jobs of all users of your system.
  • A message will be displayed when it will be finished.

Kill or Force Kill a process

  • Select Kill or Force Kill
  • Enter pid of the process you want to kill .
  • Kill that process.
  • A message will be displayed when it will be finished.

copy to and Paste from system clipboard : </div>

  • Select pid from display area by mouseFile:select_AJourneyThroughTheVirtualTerminal.png
  • Copy pid to system clipboardFile:copy_AJourneyThroughTheVirtualTerminal.png
  • Paste from system clipboardFile:paste_AJourneyThroughTheVirtualTerminal.png
  • Pid will be entered automaticallyFile:pid_AJourneyThroughTheVirtualTerminal.png

Increase or Decrease priority of a process

  • Select increase or decrease.
  • enter pid of the process.
  • Change priority.
  • A message will be displayed when it will be finished.

Keyboard

In this window you can set repeat rate and delay time of your keyboard , depending on your system.File:kb_AJourneyThroughTheVirtualTerminal.png

Repeat rate and delay time

  • Select your system first(Intel or sparc).
  • select repeat rate from the enabled list.
  • Select delay time from the enabled list.
  • Click 'reset' to set new values.
  • A message will be displayed when it will be finished.

Mail

This window has three options for displaying.

  • Sendmail mail statistics.
  • List of messages in sendmail queue.
  • Sendmail mail aliases.File:mail_AJourneyThroughTheVirtualTerminal.png

Mount

This mount window will provide an option for displaying all mounted partition. Other two options will be there for unmounting all partitions and mounting ntfs/fat partitions.File:mount_AJourneyThroughTheVirtualTerminal.png

Unmount all

  • This option will unmount all mounted partitions mentioned in /etc/mtab except 'proc'.
  • A message will be displayed when it will be finished.

Mount ntfs or fat file systems

This window will provide an option for mounting ntfs and fat partitions. Ntfs driver is necessary for mounting. As this plugin was developed on fedora 7 and ntfs driver was inbuilt in f7 , there was no need for installing drivers. But you may need to install it in your system depending on your linux distribution. Click here to download driver or click on the link mentioned in this window to download ntfs driver for your distribution. Read software installation to install the driver. Fat partitions need no driver to be mounted. After clearing the driver issue click 'next' to mount a partition. In the mount window different options are available for displaying all ,ntfs and fat partitions of your system. You may need to click twice for displaying ntfs and fat partitions.After that,

  • Select your hard disk type which you want to mount (sda , sdb or hda..)
  • Select partition no
  • Choose proper file system.
  • Select permission(Read-Write option will be enabled if you choose fat or ntfs-3g).
  • Select a directory where you want to mount selected partition.
  • Check the box below to edit /etc/fstab to mount this partition during system start up.
  • Click once to mount selected partition with selected properties.File:ntfsfat_AJourneyThroughTheVirtualTerminal.png
  • A message will be displayed when it will be finished.

Startup and Shutdown

This window has two options. One for editing /etc/grub.conf for configuring a dual boot system , another one for setting a shutdown timer.File:startshut_AJourneyThroughTheVirtualTerminal.png

Edit dual boot system

This window provides a 'click here' button for opening /etc/grub.cong using 'gedit' editor. If gedit is not installed in your system , please open this file using any editor. Detail configuring instructions are available in this window. Please follow these instructions for editing this file.File:editdualboot_AJourneyThroughTheVirtualTerminal.png

Shutdown-Reboot timer

  • select time using 'day' , 'hour' , 'minute'.
  • Click 'OK'.
  • Selected time will be displayed.
  • Click the shutdown button and confirm to shutdown your system after selected time.
  • Click the reboot button and confirm to reboot your system after selected time.
  • Click 'Cancel shutdown' or 'Cancel reboot' to cancel it.File:sdtimer_AJourneyThroughTheVirtualTerminal.png

Swap file

  • Linux uses swap space as virtual memory. They are not being actively used by the applications but have been modified.
  • How much swap space to use :
  • Typical total swap space size is equal to your system's RAM size.
  • Early versions of Linux 2.4 (through 2.4.9) supported swap space size of 2 * system RAM size, but that's not applicable now.
  • Swap space limits :
  • Linux 2.4.10 and later, and Linux 2.5 support any combination of swap files or swap devices to a maximum number of 32 of them.
  • Prior to Linux 2.4.10, the limit was any combination of 8 swap files or swap devices.
  • On x86 architecture systems, each of these swap areas has a limit of 2 GB.
  • The current swap space limits are:
  • Both Linux 2.4.x and 2.5.x and later kernels support swap spaces of up to 64 GB in size.
  • Both Linux 2.4.x and 2.5.x and later kernels support total 32 swap files.File:swap_AJourneyThroughTheVirtualTerminal.png

Create or delete swap files

  • Select file size
  • 'Allocate' that swap file (it would be allocated in /root/swap).
  • An 'allocated' message will be displayed when it will be finished.
  • Initialize that swap file.
  • You will get a console , "setting up swapspace version 1, size = ..................KB".There's no need to close this console.It will be disappeared automatically when "switch on" button will be clicked.
  • Switch it on to start functioning.
  • A message will be displayed when it will be finished..
  • It is advisable to switch off and delete the swap file before system shutdown. Otherwise , after a reboot that swap file will stop working but it wouldn't release allocated space.
  • If you forget to delete that file before system shutdown or reboot , there's no harm to do it later.

User - Group Management

This window provides three options for displaying a user statistics , searching for corrupted and duplicate entries and converting to and from shadow passwords and groups.

User statistics

  • Select an user name.
  • Click 'Display Statistics'.File:usrstat_AJourneyThroughTheVirtualTerminal.png

Search for corrupted and duplicate entries

  • Click 'search' to start searching for corrupted and duplicate entries in /etc/passwd and /etc/shadow.
  • A message will be displayed when it will be finished.File:crptdupfilesrch_AJourneyThroughTheVirtualTerminal.png

Convert to and from shadow passwords and groups

  • Select an option
  • Click 'convert' to convert.
  • A message will be displayed when it will be finished.File:convert_AJourneyThroughTheVirtualTerminal.png

More...

This window contains two options. One is for changing login shell , another one for displaying system control messages from kernel ring buffer.

Change login shell

  • Select new login shell
  • Click 'change' to change login shell.
  • A message will be displayed when it will be finished.File:shellchng_AJourneyThroughTheVirtualTerminal.png

Display system control messages

  • This option will display system control messages from kernel ring buffer.
  • Check the box below to clear kernel buffer after displaying.
  • Click 'Display' to display messages.File:scmsg_AJourneyThroughTheVirtualTerminal.png

System Details

This window has four tabs for displaying system details according to architecture , network , system specifications and others.

Architecture

'Architecture' option includes kernel details , usb and pci hardwares and processor specification.File:sysdetarchi_AJourneyThroughTheVirtualTerminal.png

Network

'Network' option includes host and domain details , interface configurations.File:sysdetnetwork_AJourneyThroughTheVirtualTerminal.png

System

'System' includes disk usage , free and used hard disk spaces and physical memory.File:sysdetsys_AJourneyThroughTheVirtualTerminal.png

Other

'Other' includes environment variables , processes , runlvel and modules.File:sysdetother_AJourneyThroughTheVirtualTerminal.png

Software Installation

  • You can not install some softwares using this window which require command line user interaction.
  • This window will provide an option to install softwares. Supported formats are rpm , tar , tar.gz , tar.bz2 ,jar ,bin , sh.
  • Select installer file first.
  • you may make it executable by all (owner , group and others).
  • you may go to 'change file permission' window to change permission as you wish.
  • click 'next' to continue. You will be automatically redirected to an installation window depending on your installer.File:softinst_AJourneyThroughTheVirtualTerminal.png

rpm installer

  • You have selected a rpm file in the previous window.
  • Select one between upgrade and install.
  • Click 'Install Now' to start installation. File:rpm_AJourneyThroughTheVirtualTerminal.png

jar installer

  • You have selected a jar file in the previous window.
  • Click 'Install Now' to start installation.File:jar_AJourneyThroughTheVirtualTerminal.png

tar / tar.gz / tar.bz2 installer

  • You have selected a tar or tar.gz or tar.bz2 file in the previous window.
  • Click on 'Click Here' to extract installer files. Installer files will be extracted on /root/Desktop.
  • Right click on the filechooser below , then 'refresh' that filechooser.
  • Select the directory from the filechooser.It will be displayed beside.
  • Click 'Install Now' to start installation.
  • The installation process will search for a 'INSTALL' file ,or a 'config' file or a 'Makefile'.Installation can not be continued if none of them is available.File:tar_AJourneyThroughTheVirtualTerminal.png

bin / sh installer

  • You have selected a bin or a sh file in the previous window.
  • Click 'Install Now' to start installation.File:shbin_AJourneyThroughTheVirtualTerminal.png

Thank you !!!!

I would like to convey my serious thanks to Everaldo and yellow icon studio for providing beautiful icons which are used in this plugin.
Thanks to all of you for reading this tutorial. Please use this plugin , rate it according to your experience , leave comments and send suggestions for further improvement.

Regards,

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