How to speed-up the internet in Linux Mint

Few days after the installation of Linux Mint, I realized that the internet is not up to the mark in terms of speed. It is giving reasonable speed in WinXp. I am using BSNL NIC Card (CDMA 1x, which offers 144 k bps speed). A simple question irritating me…. ‘why net is slow in Mint? ‘ I stated to investigate in google and other technology blogs. Finally I found 2 reasons for this problem.

The Problem (Opportunity :-))

A] IPv6 is enabled in browser (Firefox) level and system level
Internet currently uses the IPv4.The gennext (Internet 2) are to use IPv6 (higher). IPv6 will solve many problems endemic to IPv4 (number of IP address, security, quality of service, etc.). Most of the current operating systems (Windows Vista, Linux …) are already perfectly capable of working in IPv6. IPv6 is “better” than IPv4, as both are available, then logical step to take is to firstly use IPv6. And that’s what most software does: They will first try to use IPv6 (if present in the operating system), then back to IPv4 if their application fails to use IPv6. (This additional process will sucks the time). This need to be disable in System level as well as Browser level

B] Firefox security Issue.
The second reason, is that the Firefox employs a technique to identify phishing sites. Firefox contacts Google.com for every http request and then it saves the results into ‘urlclassifier3.sqlite’ in your profile. If file grows more than 50MB, it leads to heavy drive thrashing and slow operation. (I am using Firefox 3)

Now the Solution Part

I] To disable the ‘IPv6’ in Firefox, try out the following steps

1. Open Firefox,
2. Type in the address bar: ‘about: config’
3. In the filter, type: ipv6. Find the variable network.dns.disableIPv6
4 Change value to true to disable IPv6 support in Firefox.

II] To disable the ‘IPv6’ in System level (Linux Mint), try out the following steps

1. Edit the file /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist using any of the text editor (I used Emacs)
sudo emacs -nw /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist
2. Add at the end of file the line:
blacklist ipv6

III] To solve the thrashing problem I tried out the following steps

1. Open Firefox and go to ‘Preferences’ which could be in Tools menu or Edit Menu.
2. Open the ‘Security’ tab, you will find the 2 check box captioned in
a] “Tell me if the site I’m visiting is a suspected Attack site”
b] “Tell me if the site I’m visiting is a suspected forgery”
3. Turn off these two check boxes
4. Delete the following ‘sqlite’ frile from your profle using rm command.
rm .mozilla/firefox/*/urlclassifier3.sqlite
5. Restart the Firefox.

Now I cannot compare the net speed in WinXP and Mint. Both working fine for me

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Installing Linux Mint using Flash Drive.

The other day My friend had a problem with his Windows OS. Actually he was not able to connect with our office WiFi (because of VIRUS issues). I suggested him to go for Linux (because it is VIRUS free and no need to install any anti-virus softwares.) I demonstrated the Linux Mint, which was installed in my Lapi. Being fascinated by the looks and functionalities, he told me to go for it.

Its always Opportunity not the Problem…..

He had a problem (oh sorry its Opportunity for me). His CD/DVD ROM is not detecting the media. We tried a lot for it. But the DVD Drive is not ready to read the Mint CD. He said “It is BIG PROBLEM BOSS…. what to do now?”. I said, “Its Always Opportunity… not the Problem. Problem will always gives you the Opportunity to do the things in Different way.” So Problem=Opportunity.

USB came into Picture

So I went with the usb drive to load the “Linux Mint” in his laptop. First I googled and found a way to do it. I am going to explain the procedure. For this we require a USB, which is more having 2.0 GB Memory, Mint ISO CD and a LINUX machine

The procedure

1. Take Linux Machine and Insert the Linux Mint CD and a 2 GB USB Device into the Slot…
2. Type the following command.

sudo su
apt-get install usb-creator

sudo su The sudo command is a program for Unix-like computer operating systems that allows users to run programs with the security privileges of another user (normally the superuser, a.k.a. root). (Wiki)

USB Creator The USB Creator (usb-creator) is an official tool to create Live USBs Mint from the Live CD or from an iso image.

3. After Installing the USB Creator. Run the application (USB Creator). Normally it appears in “Application” in Main Menu. The steps I performed in my laptop is (a) Click Menu, (b) From the filter box, type usb creator, (c) Click Create a USB startup disk.

4. Make sure that the USB and the Linux Mint CD is already inserted into their respective slot and drive. The USB Creator automatically detects the CD and the USB device. If you are having the ISO image in Disk please specify the exact location of the ISO image. (Click on ‘Other’ button. It will give a dialog box to select the location). Make sure to select the radio button captioned “Stored in reserved extra space” before hitting “Make Start Up Disk”.

Finally the USB Boot Device is ready. I just Inserted the USB in friends Laptop(which was having problem with DVD ROM) and restarted the laptop. (Please make sure that the initial boot device is USB Drive not Hard drive or DVD/CD ROM.)

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Configuring BSNL NIC Internet Card in Felicia (Linux Mint)

Recently I purchased BSNL NIC card for my browsing needs. The modem BSNL uses is Huwaei EC325. Along with the device they provide drivers in a Mini CD. The driver is for WIndows… not for Linux. Since I using Linux for my computing needs, I have to find a way to Configure it in MINT.

The configuration steps:

1 Let us start by Installing ‘wvdial’. ‘wvdial’ is a intelligent PPP(Point-to-Point Protocol) dialer. In simple, it dials a modem and starts PPP in order to connect to the Internet. Just type the following command in your terminal (Use apt-cdrom, because the net is not configured yet)

sudo aptitude install wvdial gnome-ppp

2 Setup the ‘wvdial’. Edit the wvdial configuration file, which reside in /etc/ folder. You can use any editor for editing the configuration file. I used ’emacs’ editor. The Configuration file looks like…

[email protected] ~ $ sudo emacs -nw /etc/wvdial.conf
[Dialer Defaults]
Init1 = ATZ
Init2 = ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2 +FCLASS=0
Stupid Mode = 1
Modem Type = USB Modem
ISDN = 0
Phone = #777
New PPPD = yes
Modem = /dev/ttyUSB0
Username = Your BSNL username here
Password = Your BSNL Password
Baud = 460800

Note :The username and the paswword is your BSNL WLL number
Then Save the File.

3.Finally run the following command in a terminal. You can write a shell script and place it in ‘.bashrc’ file for automatic start up

sudo wvdial

4 Open the browser and visit the site to check it is working.

The configuration file ‘wvdial’ must be running in the command line.

This is simple way to connect the BSNL modem… Actually Mint automatically detects the Huwawei Modem, and it also provides GUI for configuration, but unfortunately it was not working for me.

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Finally I found Felicia….

My search for the best Linux Disto has come to an end after a year. Yes it took me almost a year to decide and select the perfect OS for my Laptop. Finally I satisfied with the Mint. The version I installed in my laptop is ‘Linux Mint 6’. I have chosen Mint mainly because it includes media codecs. Along with the media codecs, it also supports browser plugins, DVD playback, Java and other components.

Being originated from Ireland, Linux Mint is an Ubuntu-based distribution whose goal is to provide a more complete out-of-the-box experience. I use Ubuntu 8.04 as an official distro but it does not provide the audio codecs, which supports my laptops hardware configuration. Finally I ended up with the ‘Felicia’ (Codename of Linux Mint 6), which has the necessary drivers for my Laptop.

Some Useful links

1. The Home Page of the official Site Linux Mint Home Page
2. Download Linux Mint
3. Tutorials, documentation and even roadmaps are published on the Linux Mint Wiki
4 Blogs dedicated or related to Linux Mint can be read from the Linux Mint Planet
5 Linux Mint on Wikipedia Wikipeida Mint
6 DistroWatch.com Linux Mint
7 Users chat online via IRC on irc.spotchat.org/#linuxmint

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