/* Ajith - Syntax Higlighter - End ----------------------------------------------- */

5.02.2012

Decoding hardware information of a PC

Checking out machine hardware information is no more a geeky thing of olden days where you need to go through the hardware specification documents or to open up a physical machine to find out the hardware details if the specification documents are missing. Now we have some really cool handy software tools to help us out.

I thought to make a page with some important tools which help us in decoding the hardware related information on a Linux Box. Feel free to drop a comment with the tool names I missed out in this post.

NOTE: All of them are ordered in alphabetical order and I am trying these tools on a Ubuntu machine running in virtual box. So some of the tool outputs might be displaying names likes VirtualBox and Oracle Corporation.
Tweak

4.06.2012

Connecting via SSH without password prompt

SSH is the common way to connect remote machines these days. Almost all kinds of applications use SSH in background for communicating with end machines.

But sometimes typing password repeatedly for establishing a SSH connection with the trusted end machine is quite daunting task.

Let us see how to automate the things in 3 simple steps where we can ssh to "user@host" without asking a password every time. Replace user with the username and host with the remote machine ip-address or hostname. For E.g. john@192.168.245.129

NOTE: Only do this with trusted machines.

3.13.2012

Daemon-izing a Process in Linux

A Linux process works either in foreground or background.

A process running in foreground can interact with the user in front of the terminal. To run a.out in foreground we execute as shown below.
./a.out
When a process runs as background process then it runs by itself without any user interaction. The user can check its status but he doesn't (need to) know what it is doing. To run a.out in background we execute as shown below.
$ ./a.out &
[1] 3665
As shown above when we run a process with & at the end then the process runs in background and returns the process id (3665 in above example).

what is a DAEMON Process?
A 'daemon' process is a process that runs in background, begins execution at startup
(not neccessarily), runs forever, usually do not die or get restarted, waits for requests to arrive and respond to them and frequently spawn other processes to handle these requests.

So running a process in BACKGROUND with a while loop logic in code to loop forever makes a Daemon ? Yes and also No. But there are certain things to be considered when we create a daemon process. We follow a step-by-step procedure as shown below to create a daemon process.

1. Create a separate child process - fork() it.
Using fork() system call create a copy of our process(child), then let the parent process exit. Once the parent process exits the Orphaned child process will become the child of init process (this is the initial system process, in other words the parent of all processes). As a result our process will be completely detached from its parent and start operating in background.
pid=fork();

if (pid<0) exit(1); /* fork error */

if (pid>0) exit(0); /* parent exits */

/* child (daemon) continues */

3.04.2012

Memory Layout of a C program - Part 2

Continuation of PART-1

As we have seen so much theory in the PART-1 now let us see a real-time example to understand about these segments. we will use size(1) command to list various section sizes in a C code.

A simple C program is given below
#include <stdio.h>

int main()
{
    return 0;
}

$ gcc test.c 
$ size a.out 
   text    data     bss     dec     hex filename
    836     260       8    1104     450 a.out
Now add a global variable as shown below
#include <stdio.h>

int global; /* Uninitialized variable stored in bss*/

int main()
{
    return 0;
}

$ gcc test.c 
$ size a.out 
   text    data     bss     dec     hex filename
    836     260      12    1108     454 a.out
As you can see BSS is incremented by 4 bytes.