Change Useragent in Firefox

Firefox LogoThere are some websites which require you to visit them using Internet Explorer only, I don’t know why but there are some. My friend had to download an important document from a site which insisted on using Internet Explorer. We both are in Linux, Fedora. Is there a way? Yes there is. The browser version and certain system details are stored in the browser configuration, and this sting is called the useragent string. The information in this string is used to detect what browser you are using. Therefore if we can modify this string such that it looks like we are using Internet Explorer instead of Firefox, then we can fool the other end. After doing this the server side will believe that you are using an InternetExplorer browser or any other browser (also a different OS), depending on what the useragent string you are using to override the original.

What we need to do is simple. Just create a new entry in firefox browser configuration and set the value to appropriate useragent string. So let’s get started with this short and quick guide.
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Fix dark video in Skype for Linux

fedora_logoI was very much disappointed when i installed Skype in Fedora, three causes which are as follows in the order. First, Skype for Linux is very old version (2.2 beta) than the Windows Skype, second, the video was too dark or black, and third cause surfaced after i installed Fedora 16 x86_64, no 64 bit binary for Fedora was available. The third one was solved as described in this post: Running Skype for Fedora x86 in Fedora x86_64. For the first one i can’t do anything, but there should be some solution for the second problem: dark video. Cheese (a video capture application) works fine and video is good. Searching in the skype forums got a lot of mumbo jumbo solutions of which none worked. After a lot of search i got a very simple solution.

Edit (16.06.2012): The first problem seems to solve atleast upto some extent as Skype 4.0 is now out and can be downloaded here.

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Simple script to restart services automatically when stopped in Fedora/Redhat

fedora_logoWhen occasionally the services like Apache or MySQL or other rc.d script crashes and stops working, then instead of restarting them manually, it may be more desirable to restart them automatically. A friend of mine asked about such an issue and here is the quick fix bash script fix.

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Running Skype for Fedora x86 in Fedora x86_64

fedora_logoAfter I installed Fedora 16 x86_64, i needed to install manually Skype for linux, which is available from This link, as it is not in Fedora repositories. After clicking the Skype icon from the kickstart menu, the Skype icon kept bouncing. Skype for linux is not available for 64 bit fedora (till now), and therefore requires 32 bit libraries to run. Problems …

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Installing the applications from older version in a new fresh installation of fedora

fedora_logoI was using Fedora 15 32 bit for a long time but i felt the need to install a 64 bit edition for some memory limitations in the system. Therefore I downloaded the Fedora 16 x86_64 iso file from . The main concern was to install the new system with minimum mess and reconfiguration. I have separate root and /home partitions so there is no problem in the home directory restoration.

The main problem was to install the packages which i had manually installed with yum after i installed the distro. This is a common problem when upgrading to another distro, and it is worse in Microsoft Windows, as all the applications needs to be downloaded from the corresponding third party sites, and to restore either you need to surf through those sites, or keep the installations in your disk.
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Configure Samsung ML-1666 in Fedora

fedora_logoI recently had a problem with my Samsung ML-1666 Monochrome laser printer: I could not configure it in Fedora. Simply downloading the driver from Samsung website and installing seemed easy, but actually did nothing.

Googling for hours did not solve the problem, but I kept trying and finally got it working. So I thought I should write down what I did, it may help you.

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Install Fedora12 from HDD/USB


My friend told me to install Fedora12 in his laptop with a destroyed DVD drive. What i did first is made a bootable USB and extracted the required files into it from the Fedora DVD ISO image. Then went to the fedoraproject site and read the docs about the requirements and started. With the below process you can install Fedora12, or any distro capable of installing from ISO image, from an HDD, USB or whatever.

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Choose login manager GDM or KDM in Fedora

Fedora comes with GNOME as the default desktop environment, and GDM as the default login manager. The login manager is the screen you see when logging in. Like GNOME has its login manager, KDE has its own login manager KDM. While logging in you can select which desktop environment you want to use from the sessions menu of the login manager. But there seems to be no ways to switch between these login managers. But you could do this manually by adding a couple of lines to a file. Check this out.

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Latest Myth: Fedora Cannot run Shell Script

A lot of people running around asking for RedHat Linux, suddenly, and most of them at last getting pointed to me and getting disappointed. When asked why RedHat, and why not any one among the hundreds of other distros, I came to know a very important information: “Shell programming cannot be done in fedora”. It was very difficult to understand how this idea spread virally around the 3rd year honours Asutosh College students (a lot of them). The strangest part is even a shell program is run in front of the mass, they refuse to believe that Fedora actually can run shell script. It feels like someone going down to Sachin Tendulkar and telling “Hey man, you know nothing of cricket”.

Whatever it be it is better to get out of this myth and face the cruel reality : “Fedora CAN run shell programs” . Before comments to this post starts raining asking why, let me tell what I know and support my statement.

To run shell scripts you need basically the below three components:

  1. An OS kernel
  2. A shell
  3. The set of commands which will be used in the script

Now, in GNU+Linux systems we have the Linux kernel, The bash shell (some may have others as well), and the standard set of commands are the coreutilities. There are some more packages which contains some commands (programs) which are used.
Each of the above components are very basic and includes in all the GNU+Linux operating systems. Even an OS of size below 10MB can contain the components, which any one with proper knowledge can make for herself. Even before booting the Fedora or any GNU+Linux OS, the initial ramdisk image the initrd runs a long shell script, which configures the system and helps fedora or any GNU+Linux OS to boot.

Conclusion: Fedora can run shell scripts (Sachin can play cricket), provided the programmer knows shell scripting. (provided the bat is not a table tennis bat).