Bonus: F is for finished

Looks like the F section is finished. I had quite a lot of titles in this group, but a large number of them ended up being mystery programs. A lot of that is due to my relative ignorance on some more complex network arrangements. And some of it is just because I don’t have a setup that lends itself to these things.

The standard rules apply, although I don’t think many of these fell into any of those four categories. For future sections though, I am going to add an injunction against firewall tools. I had bad experiences with more than one of these, and I doubt my skimpy little desktop arrangement really can apply to some of the higher-end applications.

Regardless, here’s what’s left:

  • factotum: The only program I could find that bore the name “factotum” was a graphical content management system, if I interpret the page correctly.
  • fax4cups: I pinned this down to a Softpedia page, but I can’t go far in testing it because I don’t have a fax machine or a printer, and I believe both would be necessary to get this going.
  • fb-client: When I saw the name I thought this was another Facebook tool for the command line, but apparently it’s a paste upload utility for a FileBin site. I couldn’t show how it works because apparently, the site is only open by invitation. To quote, “If you believe you deserve an account, ask someone who is already using this service to invite you.” Nah, thanks. Odd that an exclusive tool like this would sit in the Community repo in Arch though. 😕
  • fbdjvu: This is actually part of fbpdf, which I believe I included in a special page on framebuffer applications. This gives you access to djvu files, if I understand correctly.
  • fdformat: This is not in AUR or Debian that I could find, and I cringe when I say it, but none of the machines I have right now has a floppy drive. 😦
  • ferm: I had a lot of firewall tools in this section, and my lack of practical experience (and probably equipment too) left me to omit most of them. ferm is a frontend for iptables, but my meager attempts to get it working only left me with a screwy network. iptables has never struck me as terribly difficult to figure out; in my honest and uneducated opinion, ferm might just be adding a layer of complexity. You can decide.
  • feta: In my notes I had feta listed as a front-end to aptitude and company. What’s odd though, is that the only “feta” I could find was an asset management system intended for large offices. It also looked quite a bit out of date, and when I tried to get to the “home page,” I got a 404 message. Of course, it could be that I had wrecked my network settings with ferm. 🙄
  • fetchyahoo: fetchyahoo was apparently a tool from a while ago that pulled messages out of Yahoo! Mail accounts, because the service didn’t support POP or IMAP. The home page says it’s deprecated in favor of fetchmail, so I didn’t bother.
  • ffmpeg: A powerful audio (and video?) tool, I omitted this to follow the edict against audio encoder utilities. I know it works and it’s quite good; to be fair to some others, I’m leaving it out.
  • fiaif: FIAIF creates customizable scripts to set up iptables for firewall duty. If I remember right, this had its own “language” to arrange iptables in certain ways, to perform certain functions. It looked interesting, but I couldn’t spare the time to learn its own syntax to set up iptables for my exceedingly primitive network.
  • filesnarf: I found a wiki page for filesnarf, and I see it should sniff NFS traffic, but I can’t find a source package. Of course, even if I caught one, I probably wouldn’t know what to do with it.
  • firehol: Another firewall tool, for managing iptables. To be honest, by this point I think I had fallen out of favor with most firewall tools, and had gone back to my old, plain-Jane network arrangement.
  • firewalk: No, not a firewall tool. This is a network probing tool that tests a line to see which protocols are allowed at the terminating point. This I omitted purely on the basis of my own naiveté; I doubted very much I could get this going properly, and doubted even more that I would know what to do with it then. 😳
  • firewalld: This isn’t in Debian and I don’t have a Fedora system around; as I understand it, this is a firewall daemon linked to dbus. If it looks interesting, I did skim through a quick tutorial here, and it seems it’s not too old to be useful.
  • fish: This is a shell, and so I vetoed it. I have gotten a few messages saying I should include shells, but by my rationale, they’re not really applications. It’s like judging a restaurant by its tablecloths, or telling everyone how wonderful your vacation was, because of the road map you used. It’s a means, not an ends. Of course, a blog that stepped through each shell would be a very interesting site to watch, indeed. … 😐
  • flex-fw: Another front-end for iptables, for setting up firewalls. I had another bad experience here, but please don’t let that reflect on flex-fw. Please blame it on my inability to manage all but the simplest networks and my rotten track record with firewall tools.
  • fly: fly supposedly converts CGI and other programs into images. I can’t figure out what I should be doing with this. It might be that it’s supposed to be installed on servers which would explain my confusion. But as it stands I only got lost when I tried to work it.
  • fpdns: I spent (probably too much) time trying to get fpdns to work, but I kept running into unsolvable perl dependencies on my Arch machine. Supposedly there is a Debian version, but I couldn’t try it out. I have a strange feeling that there are two programs named fpdns though. Just a hunch. …
  • fpipe: This is a free Windows (-only?) tool from McAfee. I saw no Linux version, although the instructions and help pages make it look strongly like a Linux tool.
  • fport: The only fport I could find was a Windows-only program.
  • ftm: I strongly suspect this was a typo; I can’t find anything named “ftm” out there in the wild.
  • ftpgrab: I belive this is a tool to keep ftp mirrors in sync. I only saw it in Debian (of the few places I looked) and it didn’t seem to be intended for lowly desktop newbs like me.
  • fwatch: This is something new, I think, and I believe it should allow you to run parallel commands on several servers, sort of like a distributed shell. I couldn’t get it working against my Arch machine though, and as luck would have it … I don’t have several servers. Technically speaking, I don’t even have one. I know, I’m an underprivileged child.
  • fwbuilder: fwbuilder is another firewall tool, but graphical this time. To be honest, out of all the firewall gadgets I looked at this month, this one seemed the easiest to navigate. I hate saying that because it’s graphical, but the others all seemed to obfuscate iptables. Perhaps I’m just not good with firewalls, or perhaps I don’t have a setup complicated enough to warrant some of those tools.

That was a pretty big list. The G section looks a little shorter; let’s see how that goes.

Edit, 4 p.m.: I forgot one — ftpfs, which is a “a Linux kernel module, enhancing the VFS with FTP volume mounting capabilities” … that fell out of development about 12 years ago. So for quite obvious reasons, I didn’t include it. 😉

12 thoughts on “Bonus: F is for finished

  1. CorkyAgain

    Perhaps the “factotum” you had in mind was the authentication system from Plan 9? There is a Linux port.

    1. K.Mandla Post author

      This one? Possibly. Sometimes I write out the name of a program and don’t leave a link for myself. I’ll take a look and see if I can get something going.

  2. Lex

    @fb-client: Not really odd. The package is maintained by the person who runs And since it’s up to the TUs what packages resides in [community] he can put it there 😉

    1. K.Mandla Post author

      I suppose that makes sense. Not that I care too much, but if I made a tool that only certain people were allowed to use, then packaged it in a distro … well, maybe that’s why it looks odd to me. 😐 Thanks for explaining. 😉

      1. Lex

        The hurdle to get an account isn’t that high. So there are quite a few Arch people which uses his service. IIRC the “registration” is there, because his first FileBin site got in legal problems, because some users added stuff which shouldn’t be there.
        So in the end it something like the web-of-trust concept.

      2. Lex

        Oh and one last notice (I promise 😀 I just read by chance a talk about it)
        You can configure fb-client to use other pastebin services. See the man page about fb-client/config

  3. Pingback: haste: Pipe and paste with haste | Inconsolation

  4. Pingback: Bonus: H is for has-been | Inconsolation

  5. Pingback: Bonus: A dozen more remainders | Inconsolation

  6. Pingback: Bonus: A massive missive of omission | Inconsolation

Comments are closed.