Enterprise Unix Roundup: Gospel Choirs and Bono Page 2

By Michael Hall (Send Email)
Posted Jun 2, 2005

Main     In Other News     Recent Updates     Tips of the Trade

Recent Updates

  • Debian announced the release of Debian 3.0 (r6), "the sixth and final update of Debian GNU/Linux 3.0." The update is primarily centered around security fixes. Watch this spot next week to see if the hoped-for Saturday release of "Sarge," likely to be assigned version number 3.1, goes off. The total number of release critical bugs was sitting at 15 as of presstime. That number must drop to "0" before Sarge can ship. It's been almost three years since version 3.0 (Woody) was released.

  • Mail server CommuniGate Pro continues to be the subject of bugfix point releases. Version 4.3.4 is the fifth update since the May 1, and the second update since we mentioned version 4.3.2 last week. It patches two bugs.

Tips of the Trade

Unix and Linux admins know the importance of being careful with filenames. Unix allows almost any character in a filename, but non-standard characters, like spaces, parentheses, brackets, CGI characters (e.g., %20), wrong-facing quotes, and UTF-8 characters can all conspire to cause problems.

A simple utility to convert filenames is detox. Detox converts non-standard characters in filenames to plain-old lower ISO 8859-1. Underscores are most commonly used to replace the offending characters.

Detox is safe and very easy to use. You can preview changes without actually changing anything by using the -n, or --dry-run option:

$ detox --dry-run filename

You may convert an entire directory full of files:

$ detox -v directoryfulloffiles/

Or recurse into subdirectories:

$ detox -r -v directoryfulloffiles/

You may specify UTF-8 translation or ISO 8859_1:

$ detox -s unicode.tbl -r -v directoryfulloffiles/

While these simple commands cover most users' needs, detox can also be configured quite elaborately. Its configuration file is detoxrc, and users can customize it individually in ~/.detoxrc. Visit the detox home page to learn more.

Carla Schroder writes the Tips of the Trade section of Enterprise Unix Roundup. She also appears on Enterprise Networking Planet and Linux Planet, covering Linux from the desktop to the server room, and is the author of the Linux Cookbook.

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