EduBOSS – BOSS Linux for Schools

May 28, 2010

Article on EduBOSS in The Hindu


EduBOSS, a variant of BOSS, was built primarily to cater to the needs of educational institutions. It is based on the Debian Linux distribution and comes preloaded with educational applications developed at C-DAC Chennai.

Click here for the complete story

Its an old story, EduBOSS has been launched and is available for download from BOSS Linux’s site, but its informative nonetheless.

EduBOSS can be downloaded from here.


BOSS Linux minimum system requirements

May 22, 2010

BOSS Linux System Requirements

  • At least 5 GB Hard Disk Space assigned as / (root)
  • 256 MB RAM
  • Pentium 4 processor (runs on Intel/AMD x86 & x86_64/amd64 processors)

During installation you will be asked to make a Swap partition, for regular usage ( Browsing, Word Processing, Occasional light gaming) a Swap partition of 2 GB should suffice.


How to start VirtualBox VMs via command line

May 22, 2010

To start a VM via command line type the following:
VBoxManage startvm “VM_NAME”

For example: VBoxManage statvm “Solaris”

Internet access via proxy server on BOSS Linux

May 15, 2010

Most people have internet connections via a proxy server, for instance in schools and colleges or even offices. Configuring BOSS Linux to connect to the internet over a proxy server is simple.

Click on System>Preferences>Network Proxy

Enter you proxy server settings there(in the HTTP Proxy field), you’ll need the proxy server’s IP address, the port number (usually port 80 is used). If you proxy server has been setup to ask users for a user name and a password you’ll have to click the Details button and enter you user name and password. This information should be available with your Network Administrator.

Heres a video of the setting up Network Proxy Details in BOSS Linux (with the GNOME desktop environment). Note that these settings are not BOSS specific and should work on any Linux Distribution that has GNOME as the desktop Environment.

This video illustrates the procedure for setting up System wide network proxy settings on BOSS Linux. To access the internet through your network proxy using Iceweasel Web broswer all you have to do is click(in Iceweasel) Edit>Preferences>Advanced>Network>Settings… and select the Use System Proxy Settings button.

Sun VirtualBox on BOSS Linux

May 14, 2010

Heres a brief how to on installing Sun VirtualBox on EduBOSS,

1.Open a Root Terminal(Applications>Accessories>Root Terminal)
2.Add VirtualBox to apt sources.
#gedit /etc/apt/sources.list
add the line: deb lenny non-free
3.After saving the file and closing Gedit, Update apt.
#apt-get update
4.Download Sun’s public key for apt-secure from
5. Add it using the following command.
#apt-key add sun_vbox.asc
6.Now download and install VirtualBox 3.1 via apt-get(or via Synaptic Package Manager)
#apt-get install virtualbox-3.1
7.We’re done, exit out of the root terminal and open VirtualBox via
Applications>System Tools> Sun VirtualBox (if you don’t see the menu
option type VirtualBox on terminal, you’ll see the menu the next time
you login).

Here are two terms you’ll hear a lot related to Virtualization tools:

Host OS: This is the OS on which VirtualBox (or any other Virtualization Suite) is installed.

Guest OS: This refers to the OSes running within VirtualBox(or any other Virtualization Suite) on the Host OS.

Using a Virtualization tool has several advantages, lots of people use windows within VirtualBox while running Linux as the host operating system.  This allows them to access all their favorite windows applications from within Linux without having to reboot into windows each time. Virtualization technology has progressed to point where the speed differences between running an OS on actual hardware and in a Virtualized environment are more or less insignificant for most everyday applications(Office suites etc).

It can also let you try out different distributions without having to partition your hard disks.  Besides, it saves you from the hassle of having to burn DVDs each time you decide to try out a new OS.

You’ll need plenty of RAM though, have a look at the system requirements specifications of the distributions you are installing so that sufficient RAM can be assigned.

Heres a screenshot of a VirtualBox running on EduBOSS.

Screenshot displaying Sun VirtualBox running in EduBOSS

Sun VirtualBox on EduBOSS

Listing all users in a BOSS GNU/Linux system

May 14, 2010

All you have to do to find out the list of users for any given linux system is have a look at the /etc/passwd file.

On a terminal do $cat /etc/passwd or open it in your GUI editor of choice, do keep in mind that a regular user only has read permissions on this file.

For more on /etc/passwd have a look here or here

While you are at it have a look at the following links for information on /etc/shadow:



This file contains your encrypted passwords and related details like when it is set to expire and so on.

Removing the Graphical splash screen during booting and shutdown on BOSS Linux

May 14, 2010

To remove boot time (& shut down) splash screen on Pre-GRUB2 systems:

#nano /boot/grub/menu.lst
look for the line that contains the kernel image
remove splash and quiet from there

This should work fine on all versions of BOSS GNU/Linux released upto now.

Before you do this be sure to backup menu.lst just in case you need it:

#cp /boot/grub/menu.lst /boot/grub/menu.lst.dist