Change the Appearance of your BOSS GNU/Linux Desktop

April 30, 2011

The video below is by a BOSS User who goes by the name CDACBOSS on Youtube. It shows how to change the look of BOSS GNU/Linux Desktop.

Click here to view more videos by CDACBOSS.


How to install software in BOSS Linux?

March 20, 2011

Software for Linux comes in two forms:

  1. Source archives (usually a file with a .tar.gz/tar.bz2 extension)
  2. Binaries

Installing software from Source is generally more demanding than installing binaries. Source archives have to extracted and then built. The build instructions are usually found in the Readme file. Read it, because it will have all the information needed to get that software installed on your machine. There was a time when building software from source was said to provide markedly superior performance than that achieved when installing from binaries. However, this has changed with time, the performance benefit is marginal these days. There are exceptions to this, but in most cases building from source is the last option for new users.

Installing software from binaries is like installing software on Windows using a Setup.exe/Install.exe file. Unlike windows Linux has a variety of package managers which display all the applications in the distributions repository. All you have to do is to pick the software and it should be installed in a matter of a couple of mouse clicks (and automatic downloads of course). Think of it like your smartphone’s app store, only that here all apps are free.

These package managers often handle dependency resolution automatically. Now dependencies are something most Linux users coming from the world of Windows are a little less familiar with. A Dependency is a software that the software you are installing requires pre-installed on the machine. Similar situations exist with Windows too, take for instance applications that require Java to be installed before they are run, or those that require the .NET framework installed as a pre-requisite. Its the same thing here in Linux.

BOSS GNU/Linux comes with Synaptic Package Manager (all versions upto BOSS 4.0 Savir), Synaptic is a GUI package manager for distributions that use the Debian Package Management System. The Synaptic package manager downloads and displays a list of packages from BOSS Linux software archive at Once you’ve downloaded the list of available software (bu clicking the Reload button), you can select and install any of the available software. The last time i checked, BOSS 4.0 had a software repository of 29,000 to choose from. Now that is a huge number, the tough part for most new users is finding what they want, Synaptic’s  Search button is use in such cases. However, if you are looking for the Linux equivalent of a Windows software try searching They have a list of open source alternatives to popular windows software, once you know what you are looking for, you can easily install it using Synaptic.

Screenshot of Synaptic on BOSS Linux

Screenshot of Synaptic on BOSS Linux

With the release of BOSS 4.0, BOSS GNU/Linux now has Software Centre, it is an alternative to Synaptic. Software Centre categorizes software so that finding and installing software becomes easier for the new user. It also features detailed information about the various software available including links to the software’s official website.This makes it easier for some people to find the right software for the job.

BOSS 4 Software Centre Screenshot

BOSS 4 Software Centre Screenshot

Software centre helps the user narrow down to the desired software, for instance as in the above screen shot you could select Graphics Software and then further refine your search to include only 3D Graphics Software.

The choice between Synaptic and Software Centre depends entirely on the user’s needs, but as always having a choice is good.

BOSS GNU/Linux 4.0 Savir Released

March 2, 2011

BOSS 4.0 was released on the 26th of February, 2011. The release is coupled with a complete overhaul of the Boss Linux website BOSS 4.0 ISOs can be downloaded from BOSS 4.0 release notes can be found here.


How to install firefox on BOSS Linux

February 20, 2011

BOSS GNU/Linux comes with Iceweasel installed by default. Iceweasel is a rebranded version of Mozilla’s Firefox web browser. It can be found in Applications>Internet.

If you still need to install FireFox, you should first download the latest version from Mozilla’s page here. You will be downloading an archive, once the download is complete extract it, you’ll find file(shell script) named firefox in it. Double click and run it to use Firefox on BOSS Linux.

Screenshot of Firefox 3.6.13 running on BOSS Linux 3.1 Tejas

Screenshot of Firefox 3.6.13 running on BOSS Linux 3.1 Tejas

The following command will extract the archive:

$tar -xvf archivename

To add Firefox to the applications menu just as iceweasel is click System>Preferences>Main Menu. From the list of Menus in the frame on the left select Internet, then click New Item. Fill in the fields, you’ll have the give the menu item a name(firefox), click browse and select the firefox script in command, you can even click the icon on the left of the dialog and select the firefox icon from the icons folder in the firefox directory.

New Menu item for firefox in Alacarte Menu Editor

New Menu item for Firefox in Alacarte Menu Editor

This will create a menu entry for Firefox in Applications>Internet.

Menu Entry for Firefox

Menu Entry for Firefox

There you have it! Firefox installed and ready to run on your BOSS Linux machine.

Screenshot of Firefox running on BOSS Linux

Firefox running on BOSS Linux


To install Opera Web Brower on BOSS GNU Linux click here.

BOSS GNU/Linux 4.0 Savir Beta released

January 26, 2011

The  new version of BOSS GNU/Linux – version 4.0 is set to be released soon. A beta version is already out. It promises better hardware & multimedia support with a newer kernel (2.6.32). This version has been named Savir. This release also comes with lots of newer packages  like OpenOffice 3.2, Gwibber 1.20, Cheese webcam booth 2.30.1 and GIMP 2.6.10 among others. The desktop has been upgraded GNOME 2.30.2. The beta also comes with a new theme: BossArt, for those who prefer the earlier theme(BossBlue) it is still available in themes gallery.

BOSS GNU/Linux v4.0 Savir comes with Firestarter firewall installed by default, the users can configure it by running the setup wizard found in System>Administration menu. Another new security feature is the named “BOSS Security Feature”, it allows you setup various security features like setting up a GRUB password, enabling SELinux, disabling removable devices like CD/DVD or USB devices. These would come in handy if you want to control access to your machine and keep it secure.

GRUB 2 is now used instead of the earlier version which has now come to be referred as grub-legacy. BOSS Savir also has a control centre which is a lot like the Control Panel from wind0ws, it lets the user perform most system configuration tasks. It also features ndisgtk, which a GUI front end to the ndiswrapper which allows you to use Wind0ws wireless drivers if the ones for Linux can’t be found.  Most people using DSL connections at some point of time try to setup pppoe connections at some point of time, the command to configure a pppoe connection on linux is pppoeconf, BOSS 4 Savir includes a shortcut to this command in the System>Administration menu. As always the option to include more packages from the Utility CD still exists, ever since BOSS has moved from being a CD based distribution to a DVD based distribution the BOSS Utility CD image has also been included in the install DVD.

The BOSS GNU/Linux – version 4.0 beta2 ISO is currently available at: or

An image showing the BOSS GNU/Linux 4 Savir Desktop

BOSS GNU/Linux 4 Savir Desktop

You could also test your skills at chess with GNU Chess on BOSS 4 Savir

Screenshot of GNUChess on BOSS GNU/Linux 4 Savir

GNUChess on BOSS GNU/Linux 4 Savir

Brasero Disc Burner is a part of the standard install, it should take care of all your CD burning needs.

A screenshot of Brasero Disc Burner on BOSS GNU/Linux 4 Savir

Brasero Disc Burner on BOSS GNU/Linux 4 Savir

F-Spot is also included

F-Spot Photo Manager

F-Spot Photo Manager on Savir

Find the number of characters in a string/sentence

December 15, 2010

If your ever need to find the number of characters in a sentence ( a.k.a string (in programming) ) and are working on a shell use the following:

echo sentence|wc -c

for instance:

$echo this sentence has many characters|wc -c

Java programming on BOSS GNU/Linux

August 18, 2010

Most people start learning Java on Windows by writing code on Notepad and them compiling it using the command line javac (compiler) and java(interpreter). This post tell you how to do something similar on BOSS GNU/Linux.

To install Java on BOSS GNU/Linux install sun-java6-jdk, BOSS 3.0 and above have sun-java6-jdk in the repositories so to install use Synaptic (to find out how to set up Synaptic on BOSS GNU/Linux click here).

Another option is to download the latest version of Oracle/ Sun JDK from here. You should download the .bin file, and then run it.  Be sure to set the environment variable JAVA_HOME. This can be done by appending the following to your .bashrc file:


The .bashrc file can be found in your home directory and can easily be edited by typing

$nano ~/.bashrc


$gedit ~/.bashrc

after editing ~/.bashrc, open a new terminal window(or in the same terminal type source .bashrc) and type the following command:

$echo $JAVA_HOME

this should display the path you just set. Next type

$java -version

This will show you the version of jdk you just setup.

Once you are done installing JDK, you can now type your Java code on Gedit(its like notepad on steriods) and then compile and run them using javac/java from the shell.

For details on using IDEs like Eclipse or NetBeans on BOSS GNU/Linux click here.