You are herelinux

linux


Burning CDs/DVDs/Blu-Ray in Debian/Ubuntu

For long time I've been wondering why I can't seem to burn DVDs or Blu-Rays properly using k3b in Linux (or any other graphical burning software for that matter). The problem is cdrkit (a fork of the original cdrtools).

You can get the latest version of cdrtools, which actually supports burning to Blu-Ray and also should create DVDs properly, by installing cdrecord from this PPA. You might as well also install mkisofs from there too.

Wiping out a hard drive in Linux

To wipe a hard drive using zeros:

dd if=/dev/zero | pv -s 250000000000 | dd of=/dev/sdX bs=10M

To wipe a hard drive with random data (more secure):

dd if=/dev/urandom | pv -s 250000000000 | dd of=/dev/sdX bs=10M

For the "pv" progress bar, do "apt-get install pv" or similar. I highly recommend using "pv" so you have some idea of when the dd job is going to finish.

Linux Mint Debian Edition: One word: FAST

I'm just trying out Linux Mint Debian Edition and the best part about it is how fast it is. The desktop is super responsive, almost feels like a new fresh Windows machine in that respect. User switching is also super fast and works perfectly, something that Ubuntu had never quite mastered. Most importantly, however, is the fact that it is not using Canonical's Unity, but instead it is still using Gnome 2.

Create ISO and DVD from VIDEO_TS folder in Linux

On ubuntu systems, you'll need the following packages: genisoimage and dvd+rw-tools.

If you have a folder named "mydvd" in your home directory containing a VIDEO_TS folder, cd to your home folder mydvd, then run:

cd ~
mkisofs -dvd-video -o mydvd.iso mydvd

This will produce a mydvd.iso file. To verify, run

isoinfo -l -i mydvd.iso

At this point, you don't actually have to create a DVD. As a commenter pointed out If you have mplayer, you can play the .iso like this:

mplayer dvd:// -dvd-device mydvd.iso

NoMachine NX is awesome

Short-version:
Use NX. VNC sucks.

Gentoo gcc upgrade...again?

I just upgraded my mythtv backend's gcc from 3.4.6 to 4.1.2. It's still compiling all of world now and will be have been about 24 hours when it's all done. Then I did an emerge --sync and now there is a gcc 4.3! Arghh.

Low Disk Space Warning Script

Have you ever experienced a full disk on a server or a desktop? Not fun. This script would normally be run as a cron job and would notify you by email if any drive's free disk space has passed below a certain threshold. The code could be better; I wrote this one a long time ago when I was a bit of a n00b and I was in a rush as well. I might make take a look at it again and see if I can make some improvements.

init.d Script for Trac on Ubuntu Linux

I modified an nginx init.d script and created an init.d script for trac.d. I run tracd and then forward traffic from trac.davidgrant.ca to trac's port (using nginx) rather than using cgi or fast-cgi. Please let me know if you have any problems with this scripts and I will fix it.

Thumbs up to Tomato Firmware, Thumbs Down to X-Wrt

I have an old Linksys WRT-54G v3. I have ran various different firmwares over the years, but performance was never a big deal. I was mainly looking for something that allowed to me to access all of the devices features and a nicer frontend than the one that Linksys provides. At one point I was using different firmwares for QOS when we were sharing our connection with some other people in our building. Anyways, I had been using X-Wrt (white russian) for quite some time. It is basically a nice user-friendly version of OpenWrt.

rsync --delete is dangerous!

I hosed my entire home directory on this server last night with an incorrect rsync command. I tried syncing my svn repository to the server like this:

rsync -az -e ssh --delete /var/svn/repos/ servername:/home/username/

Sorry Kubuntu, I've Switched to Ubuntu

I've used Kubuntu for a long time. In fact I had never used plain Ubuntu except for once a long time ago on an old laptop but then I promptly removed it because it caused the laptop to overheat badly (it was painful on the thighs) and so I went Gentoo, my bread-and-butter distribution. I never liked Gnome for some reason. I never had good experiences with Gnome in Debian or Gentoo. KDE always seemed to work a lot better out of the box. It might be because KDE is an all-in-one solution whereas Gnome is a bit more modular and made up of metacity, gnome-panel, nautilus and a bunch of applets.

Firefox 3.0 Memory Consumption Greatly Improved

Last time I blogged about Firefox (2.x), I was complaining about how much memory it was sucking up. I have read about how many memory leaks were supposed to have been fixed in Firefox 3 but I had to see it to believe it. So after suffering again from low memory while running VMWare and Firefox (whose memory consumption regurarly climbs to 500MB) at the same time, I decided to upgrade and leave Firefox 2.0 for good.

Dual Boot Ubuntu and Vista on Dell Inspiron 1720

I just got a new Dell Inspiron 1720. A little background information on why we got this laptop... Previously we had one Desktop computer and a MythTV server/frontend and a TV in a separate room. The TV was a huge CRT TV, but not only that, the TV and couch took up en entire room. We recently got a 24" LCD for the desktop computer and decided that we could use that as our "TV" and computer and get rid of the TV room and use it for something else.

My Contributions to the Open Source Community

I thought it would fun to take a trip down memory lane by rediscovering all the little contributions I have made over the years to open-source projects or related things.

Securing ssh

I finally secured my ssh server after I got hacked twice. The first time was because I had a user named vmware with the password "vmware". The second time was because I had a user named test with the password "test". Yeah I know, not smart. Luckily both those users were not in the wheel group so they were fairly isolated. It looks like the just wanted my box to do port scans and cracking of other machines.