LHS Show Notes #072


  • Happy New Year! Sorry for the delay in releasing the last several episodes.


  • Would you be interested in the return of Resonant Frequency, the Amateur Radio Podcast, if it cost a dollar an episode? Send your thoughts to Richard via email at [email protected].
  • Black Sparrow Media now provides an aggregate RSS feed of Linux in the Ham Shack, QSK Netcast, and Resonant Frequency. One feed, three shows! Quite a bargain.
  • There is now a (free) Black Sparrow Media mobile app for the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Android! See blacksparrowmedia.net for details, and send us your feedback.
  • Andrew, AC8JO, has a blog that discusses Linux, amateur radio, and other topics. Naturally, he mentions our podcast. Thanks, Andrew!
  • Leif, KC8RWR, responded to our comments in episode 67 that Apple created CUPS. According to Wikipedia, CUPS, the Common UNIX Printing System, was developed by a Michael Sweet beginning in 1997, and was later adopted by Apple for OS X. In 2007, Apple hired Michael Sweet and purchased his source code. The Apple website provides a somewhat different version.

    Thanks for the information, Leif. Our advice is to pick the story you like and stick with it! :)


  • Channel Bonding for Linux
    • Channel bonding combines two or more network interfaces on a host computer for redundancy or greater bandwidth.
    • By bonding two or more Ethernet links to your computer, you get several benefits, including redundancy, so if one network port fails, the other still works, and greater bandwidth when both (or more) links are running.
    • Based on the Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP), though called different things depending on vendor, such as EtherChannel or PortChannel.
    • It’s relatively easy to set up. Briefly:
      • You’ll need an Ethernet port for each link, set up and configured in the normal manner. These ports will likely be called eth0, eth1, etc.
      • Install the ifenslave package, which allows you to create a “bond” interface, say bond0.
      • Create modules.conf file to alias the various ethx devices as bonding interfaces.
      • Modify your /etc/sysconfig or /etc/network/interfaces file (depending on your version of Linux) to include an entry that references the bond0 interface.
      • ifup the bond0 interface, and all the component interfaces should come up.
      • Other configuration settings will set up the failover time.
    • Resources:
    • Our hosts then discuss the utility of load balancing between multiple network interfaces.
  • More about the apt-cache utility
    • Russ provides more information about the apt-cache utility for Debian-based systems, previously discussed in Episode 69.
    • The basic syntax of the utility is apt-cache [command] [package(s)]. There are many commands you can use, including:
      • policy [package] shows which repository provided, or would provide, a specified package.
      • depends [package] shows all packages in the repositories that depend on the named package, and which other packages would be installed or suggested.
      • showpkg [package] shows reversed dependencies; that is, which packages depend on the named package, and the MD5 checksum of the package.
      • stats  shows some aggregate sums about all the packages in the repositories included on your system. For example, on Russ’ system:
            Total package names: 42814 (856 k)
            Total package structures: 42814 (2,398 k)
            Normal packages: 32874
            Pure virtual packages: 374
            Single virtual packages: 3670
            Mixed virtual packages: 465
            Missing: 5431
            Total distinct versions: 33706 (2,427 k)
            Total distinct descriptions: 33706 (809 k)
            Total dependencies: 200360 (5,610 k)
            Total ver/file relations: 35248 (846 k)
            Total Desc/File relations: 33706 (809 k)
            Total Provides mappings: 6402 (128 k)
            Total globbed strings: 197 (2,192 )
            Total dependency version space: 789 k
            Total slack space: 65.4 k
            Total space accounted for: 11.5 M
      • unmet shows packages in the repositories with unmet dependencies in the tree, that is, if you attempted to install, would fail.
      • show [package] shows meta information about the package. For example, “apt-cache show adduser” returns:
           Package: adduser
              Version: 3.113
              Installed-Size: 1100
              Maintainer: Debian Adduser Developers
              Architecture: all
              Replaces: manpages-it (<< 0.3.4-2), manpages-pl (= 5.6.0)
              Suggests: liblocale-gettext-perl, perl-modules
              Description: add and remove users and groups
              This package includes the 'adduser' and 'deluser' commands for creating
              and removing users.
              - 'adduser' creates new users and groups and adds existing users to
                existing groups;
              - 'deluser' removes users and groups and removes users from a given
              Adding users with 'adduser' is much easier than adding them manually.
              Adduser will choose appropriate UID and GID values, create a home
              directory, copy skeletal user configuration, and automate setting
              initial values for the user's password, real name and so on.
              Deluser can back up and remove users' home directories
              and mail spool or all the files they own on the system.
              A custom script can be executed after each of the commands.
              Development mailing list:
              Homepage: http://alioth.debian.org/projects/adduser/
              Tag: admin::user-management, implemented-in::perl, interface::
              Section: admin
              Priority: important
              Filename: pool/main/a/adduser/adduser_3.113_all.deb
              Size: 217556
              MD5sum: 74c114db96f321f4d097b04ae305600a
              SHA1: 567b8e42dc9b4777ab694f15ca71b7fa159749ef
              SHA256: 3bfea7f2ffcb363e2cc2b701a6e6d2079f7554b4d76194a118916afd2400f5c4
    • Tim Allen’s character in his latest TV show, “Last Man Standing” is a Ham Radio Operator, KA0XTT.


  • Kevin, KC9VAN, writes that he’s enjoying the show and just recently received his ham radio license. He also notes that he’s had the most luck with Hewlett-Packard printers under Linux. Thanks, Kevin. Russ has had good luck with Dell printers and generic PCL drivers.
  • Leif, KC8RWR, posted several comments about episode 67. He suggests avoiding “all-in-one” printers, and instead, using separate printers and scanners. (I agree! -Ed.) Often, used scanners can be had for very little money. Leif also suggests buying printers with separate cartridges for each color. That way, you’re not throwing away all the colors when just one is empty. He seconds Russ’ suggestion to use a laser printer over inkjet, as the cost per page is less.
  • Russ likes the Epson Artisan 835, especially for printing on CDs and DVDs, and it works well with Linux.

Contact Info:


  • To be added.
Russ Woodman, K5TUX, co-hosts the Linux in the Ham Shack podcast which is available for download in both MP3 and OGG audio format. Contact him at [email protected].

Leave a Comment

Subscribe FREE to AmateurRadio.com's
Amateur Radio Newsletter
News, Opinion, Giveaways & More!

Join over 7,000 subscribers!
We never share your e-mail address.

Also available via RSS feed, Twitter, and Facebook.

Subscribe FREE to AmateurRadio.com's
Amateur Radio Newsletter

We never share your e-mail address.

Do you like to write?
Interesting project to share?
Helpful tips and ideas for other hams?

Submit an article and we will review it for publication on AmateurRadio.com!

Have a ham radio product or service?
Consider advertising on our site.

Are you a reporter covering ham radio?
Find ham radio experts for your story.

How to Set Up a Ham Radio Blog
Get started in less than 15 minutes!

  • Matt W1MST, Managing Editor

Sign up for our free
Amateur Radio Newsletter

Enter your e-mail address: