About the Tools :: What They Are and Do.

This is just a brief introduction to what each tool does. For more in-depth information, check the various other parts of this site, and follow the links that lead you to where you might find what you need to know.

Overview of the Core Functionality of the Tools

What is smxi?

smxi is an interactive tool designed to help people maintain their systems. It supports Debian (Stable, Testing, and Sid) and true Debian based distros (such as, but not limited to, AntiX, Aptosid, Epidemic, Linux Mint Debian [LMDE], Mepis). It does not support Ubuntu based distros because there are too many differences between Debian and Ubuntu.

Smxi manual

There is an online smxi manual that might answer any further questions you have.

Smxi features

Smxi is a feature rich, powerful tool, and has the following primary features and options:

smxi also launches, with the proper start information, 2 stand-alone modules, sgfxi (the Video Driver Installer tool), and svmi (the Virtual Machine Installer tool), if you select the options to do that. Both of these tools can also be run alone.

For a more expansive list of what it does, including the order the features appear in smxi, and a full listing of the navigation, see the smxi navigation page. For a shorter version of its features, and the basic story behind smxi, see the smxi story page.

Always check out the help menu option -h (eg: sxmi -h) to see what options are available, with further explanations.

What is sgfxi (simple graphics installer - s gfx i)

The primary purpose of sgfxi is to install non-free graphics drivers. It also supports removing non-free graphics drivers and replacing them with the free version. To do this it cleans out the system of any previous drivers, then installs the latest versions of the driver you have requested.

Support for Ubuntu and Arch Linux has been added to sgfxi, so now it should work in most areas in Debian, Ubuntu, and Arch.

sgfxi also runs as a module of smxi, which is run via the Graphics Install section, which basically just selects the most commonly used and most useful start options for sgfxi, and then starts sgfxi with those options.

sgfxi is part of the smxi.zip package, so if you got the zip package, you have sgfxi already installed, or to install the program as a standalone, see how to install sgfxi.

Some nice features of that are if you install a new kernel with smxi, smxi will retain that data, then send it to sgfxi, which allows you to install the video driver to the new kernel prior to rebooting, which lets you do a full system upgrade prior to rebooting.

Sgfxi manual

There is an online sgfxi manual that might answer any further questions you have.

Most commonly used features

The following shows the main steps and options most people find useful. See sgfxi -h for full listing of options.

Major known issues

There are some fairly consistent, known, issues, that haven't changed much over time. Here's a brief listing of them:

Maintaining sgfxi

What can I say? Maintaining sgfxi is a lot of work, ongoing, the driver vs kernel environment is constantly changing and evolving, and new drivers with new issues are constantly appearing. If you like and appreciate the work that is required to keep sgfxi up to date, and to keep the driver install process reasonably pain free and simple, please consider making a donation. Every bit helps.

Bugs and Problems

Please remember that nVidia and Fglrx (ATI) are non-free drivers. This means that there is only one type of bug that I can deal with: install / xorg configuration issues. All other bugs, ie, the driver has issues, glitches, etc, have to be handled on their respective support forums. Please use the following resources to file bug reports in the appropriate place, ie, where they will actually do some good.

Please spend your bug reporting time well by selecting the proper resource and posting your issues there.

Error and Install Logs

Because of the complexity of debugging driver install issues, the following logs are available for debugging purposes:

For sgfxi install failures and issues, please post a copy of the sgfxi.log at http://paste.debian.net, then copy the link and post it in the sgfxi bug forum. Do NOT paste the error log directly, it's far too big.

What is svmi

svmi is a fairly simple tool that downloads and installs, or updates, your Vmware or VirtualBox virtual machines.

svmi is part of the smxi.zip package, so if you got the zip package, you have svmi already installed, or to install the program as a standalone, see how to install svmi.

You can start it either as a stand-alone program (ie: svmi), or from smxi. See svmi -h for full options.

svmi features

svmi has a basic group of functions, which let you maintain and install VirtualBox ose, non-ose, and Vmware Player. I do not have any plans of expanding this functionality due to the difficulty of tracking over years the various specific packages and methods.

Note: installing Vmware will remove previous versions, and so will Vbox installs. Ie, if you have Vbox ose installed, and installl Vbox non-ose, your Vbox ose will get removed.

And that's about it, virtual machine installs made easy.

What is rbxi

rbxi is a cross platform tool designed to help you set up a range of backup jobs, using a wide range of options and configurations. It features full readme documentation, and requires a manual setup of its user data file in order to achieve greatest possible flexibility and utility.

This is not a trivially easy to set up, but once set up, it should require few further changes, unless your backup requirements change.

It should work on any system that has rysnc or rdiff-backup, Bash, and Gnu sed and grep. In other words, it should work on pretty much all Linux kernel running systems, and possibly some BSD type systems, including OSX.

See the rbxi install how to for details on how to install the package.

rbxi works with either rsync or rdiff-backup, though I find for any network backup, rdiff-backup is just too slow to be of much utility.

Because of the complexity of setting it up, I'm not going to write much more here, though I have created a dedicated rbxi setup and configuration how to in the main docs section.

rbxi primary components and features

The main rbxi.tar.bz2 package contains the following components:

Also check rbxi -h for more information on the various options, but the readme-rbxi file is really required to set this up and get it working.

What is inxi

inxi is a fun Perl (versions previous to 2.9 used Bash/Gawk) tool that lets you get all kinds of system information, either in your console/terminal/shell, or in your IRC client.

inxi allows a wide range of output options depending on which parameters you start it with. It is a fork of locsmif's largely unmaintained (and in my opinion, unmaintainable), yet very clever, infobash script.

inxi gathers (from a variety of sources) information about your system, so you can show and see what you want in an easy to use format.

See the inxi install how to for details on how to install inxi.

inxi options and features

See inxi -h for full list of supported output options.

Like all the other tools, inxi -U will update to the latest version.

inxi development

inxi is developed with an often huge amount of help from forums, IRC users, and developers. Various IRC channels have been huge helps in the past, and present, like irc.oftc.net channels #linux-smokers-club, #smxi, plus various support forums, and as such, these people all have to be considered as co-developers because of their non-stop enthusiasm and willingness to provide real time testing and debugging of inxi features and data.

Without a wide range of diverse Linux kernel based Free Desktop systems to test on, inxi could never have gotten to be as reliable and solid as it's turning out to be.

A special thanks to locsmif, who figured out a lot of the core methods, logic, and tricks used in inxi. He has to be considered as a primary author as well, even if inxi has long since left behind the relatively limited features of his original infobash tool.

Sample -F output

Here's a sample taken from the 1.6.5 release, using inxi -Flz. -l shows disk labels for, in this case, -P, which shows basic partition data (-p shows full partitions in system), -z turns on output filtering, which filters mac address of network cards, IP addresses, and username /home directories.

inxi -Flz
System:    Host my-box Kernel 2.6.38-7.dmz.1-liquorix-686 i686 (32 bit)
           Desktop KDE 3.5.10 (Qt 3.3.8b) Distro sidux-20070102-d:1
Machine:   Mobo ASRock model A770DE+ Bios American Megatrends version P1.70 date 09/07/2010
CPU:       Dual core AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ (-MCP-) cache 1024 KB flags (lm nx sse sse2 sse3 svm) bmips 10375.2
           Clock Speeds: (1) 2600.00 MHz (2) 2600.00 MHz
Graphics:  Card: nVidia G86 [GeForce 8400 GS] bus-ID: 02:00.0
           X.Org 1.7.7 driver loaded: nvidia Resolution 2560x1024@50.0hz
           GLX Renderer GeForce 8400 GS/PCI/SSE2/3DNOW! GLX Version 3.3.0 NVIDIA 275.09 Direct Rendering Yes
Audio:     Card ATI SBx00 Azalia (Intel HDA) driver HDA Intel bus-ID: 00:14.2
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture Version 1.0.23
Network:   Card Realtek RTL8111/8168B PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet controller driver r8169 v: 2.3LK-NAPI port c800 bus-ID: 01:00.0
           IF: eth0 state: up speed: 1000 Mbps duplex: full mac: <filter>
Disks:     HDD Total Size: 810.2GB (71.5% used) 1: /dev/sda ST380817AS 80.0GB 39C
           2: /dev/sdb WDC_WD3200JD 320.1GB 46C 3: /dev/sdc ST3160827AS 160.0GB 39C
           4: /dev/sdd ST3250824AS 250.1GB 42C
Partition: ID:/ size: 13G used: 9.4G (79%) fs: ext3 dev: /dev/sda1 label: my-box-root-1
           ID:/home size: 20G used: 9.0G (47%) fs: ext3 dev: /dev/sdc9 label: my-box-home-1
           ID:swap-1 size: 2.10GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/sda8 label: swap-restore
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 45.5C mobo: 43.0C gpu: 0.0:66C
           Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: 2191 fan-1: 1074 fan-3: 0 fan-5: 835
Info:      Processes 207 Uptime 12:46 Memory 1262.2/3166.5MB Runlevel 3 Client Shell inxi 1.6.5