Tool tests on the fast track
6 Linux tools reviewed for your pleasure.
FIM 0.3 BETA
Flexible Image Viewer
The lean image viewer Fim not only lets you view snapshots on the X Window System, but also on the console using framebuffers. The tool always displays the images at full scale. Important information such as the file name or the resolution appears in the footer. The keyboard shortcut Ctrl+H calls help.
The developers gleaned additional keyboard shortcuts from Vim. For example, users can press the arrow keys or H, L, K, and J to move the view area. The + and – keys let you zoom in and out. If you pass in a whole directory of images at launch time, you can scroll forward and backward with the N and P keys. A colon starts command mode in Fim, as well.
Commands are available that let you change the scaling factor, control an image directly, or run an external command. A number of parameters that allow you to influence Fim at launch time adjust the height, width, and resolution of an image.
Fim offers all the important features of an image viewer, works via framebuffer at the command line, and also performs well in user-defined scripts.
Simple POP3 Server
Alternatives: GNU Pop3d, Tpop3d
Snowbox is a compact POP3 server that requires little in terms of resources and installs quickly. It is implemented in Go, and thus requires the matching Go compiler. The tool supports SSL, IPv6, and APOP.
The configuration file,
/etc/snowbox/config, contains only a few instructions. By default, the server listens on the loopback interface on port 110; if SSL encryption is enabled, port 995 is used. Secure transfer is disabled initially, but you can create a certificate valid for one year in OpenSSL,
openssl req -new -x509 -nodes -out snowbox.cert -keyout snowbox.key -days 365 -subj '/CN=<localhost>'
yes in the
User management is handled via the
/etc/snowbox/user.auth file. It does not rely on PAM or LDAP; instead, it only contains lines of usernames and associated passwords. Because the passwords exist in plaintext, admins will want to set the permissions for the file accordingly. As a mail directory, Snowbox uses
/var/mail, whereas an MTA has stored the mail. If you want the tool to look for mail elsewhere, you can change the
maildir user option. Snowbox uses syslog for logging.
Snowbox is lean and compact and sets up with just a few steps.
Appointment Manager for the Command Line
Alternatives: Calcurse, Ccal, Pal
Remind is a sophisticated calendar and alarm service for Unix systems. The command-line tool relies on its own scripting language in the background to record one-off and recurring appointments.
The Remind script files are in text format, so users can edit them in their favorite editor. Alternatively, they can use the Tkremind tool included with the package, which provides a simple graphical interface.
The script file uses one date per line. The line starts with the
REM keyword followed by the date information and other keywords that define, for example, repeat intervals. The
MSG statement initiates the calendar entry. For a detailed description, check out the man page and the wiki, as well as a few use cases contributed by users.
remind command-line program evaluates the script files. If you call it with the
-c option, the tool draws a simple calendar on standard output. To simply list the items, use the
The program runs in daemon mode if you set the
-z option and keeps users up to date with appointments via an external tool, email, or a popup. The Remind Cookbook link in the wiki has a number of examples to help you set up scripts.
Remind is so complex that users should plan on a steep learning curve.
Buy this article as PDF
Powerful man-in-the-middle attack is now targeting online shopping.
Another high-profile coder says the kernel team needs a kinder, gentler culture.
Bug database has a bug of its own that could allow an intruder to create an unauthorized account.
Report focuses federal resources on achieving universal Internet access.
Leading browser makers say “no” to porous encryption algorithm
Report from the X-Force group says attackers are using TOR to hide their crimes
Future Firefox extensions will be compatible with Chrome.
Better read this if you bought your computer before 2011
Users should upgrade to the new version as soon as possible
Xen project announces a privilege escalation problem for Qemu host systems