Monday Feb 16, 2009

A bitty week

Last week was a pretty bitty week, dominated by the need to complete some mandatory, examined web training. I have recently completed similar training in Sun's Unified Storage Products which I found useful. This one is not so focused on technology and while useful in that I learned a couple of things, I really wonder if it was a good use of my time.

Prior to getting stuck in, I made some progress on my web estate including Laconica, planet and glassfish. I got a copy of mingle running on one of my Linux images but made no progress on installing Glassfish. I have taken advice and been recommended to use the Sun installer, but I am being stubborn and want to see if I can use the Ubuntu package installer.

Mind you I got fed up with bash & sh and installed the Korn Shell. I was able to use the package manager which is cool. I was expecting that some Linux religous view, or over zealous conformance with the various licenes would prohibit its inclusion, but it works fine. Since I shall only be using it for scripts, I don't need to write a global .kshrc and install it where ever it would need to be. What broke the Camel's back? I felt I needed $(). I had been lectured by Chris Gerhard about using this syntax a while ago because it supports nesting and finally came across a case where it was needed, or at least, coding speed and my skills meant that I decided to move over to it. (It does mean that anything I write may be harder for other Linux users to adopt.) So I'll write in ksh, and port to sh.

I ended the week on Sunday at the Chichester Smith and Western, where the atmosphere, decor and music are fun and the portions enormous.


Tuesday Feb 03, 2009

Do we need private community microblogging?

Is twitter or microblogging a service that would benefit from more active community management? It would seem that the people at friendfeed seem to thinks so but the people at Laconica have produced a package that allows for the hosting of a microblogging community, which was pointed out to me by Peter Reiser and Scott Matoon.

Despite Peter Reiser’s statement (on his twitter feed at 1.41 am GMT 3rd Feb) that it installs on Solaris like a dream, I chose to install on Ubuntu Linux and there is a specific install page for Ubuntu at the Laconica site. It’s also useful to look at the >>README as it documents the pre-requisities and discusses the location of the site within the webserver's root namespace in more adult fashion than the Ubuntu install page.


I have written up my install notes on my snipsnap, and must try and get them adopted at the Laconica site. I have also repeated them in the [Read More] section below, but once its properly installed I made a post, changed my avatar and checked the RSS, and I did it all in a Virtual Box image.


[Read More]

Monday Sep 01, 2008

Vbox 1.6.4, guest additions for Hardy Heron

Another download of Virtual Box and the creation of an Ubuntu Hardy Heron VM, using a Windows host. I shan't publish a picture this time. I think I had a problem as the VM wouldn't boot from the Live CD. This could have been me of course, I may have misconfigured it. So I copied the ISO image onto the hard disk and booted off that. The good news is that the guest additions are better than previous versions, or they are for the screen interface. After installing the guest additions, the screen resolution opens @ 1280x768 and full screen mode works just fine. I hadn't got round to fixing the xorg config file on my previous installs but it wasn't as easy and I did need to fiddle with xorg.conf.

Use the [Read More] link below for a step by step guide.


[Read More]

Thursday May 01, 2008

Laptop Diaries, Goodbye to dual boot

A month and a half ago, Sun & Innotek, the authors of Virtual Box, an open source desktop virtualisation solution announced that Sun was buying them Virtual Box is a free type II virtualisation solution permitting the configuration of a number of popular x86 operating systems to act as guests and hosts. I have just today configured a Linux VM running on my Windows XP Laptop, here's how it looks, when its not full screen.


Dave's Ubuntu Desktop screen shot


I used Ubuntu 7.04 and this is how I did it. Firstly a friend cut me an ISO image on CD and I loaded it into the cd reader.

  1. I then created a VM. This has hardware virtualisation enabled, I created a new .vdi file. This must be big enough, and defaults at 8Gb. This is a limit on the file size. It does not reserve this space at install time, however if you make it too small, the install fails. The boot device order is floppy, cdrom and then hard disk. The cdrom has to be enabled in the 'settings -> CD/DVD' panel. I also defined the VM as a host of a Linux 2.6 image.
  2. I then started the VM using the virtual box control panel. This then boots a live cd of the cdrom, and I selected the 'Install' option. This then installs Ubuntu and offers you the opportunity to restart the system, i.e. the VM.
  3. I then used the update manager to update the software. It downloads, works out dependencies and then installs the new software versions. At the end of this stage, I then rebooted the VM. This took some time, over an hour and half, but I was using a wireless connection to a not very quick BT broadband line.
  4. At this point in time, it only offers 800x600 screen resolution, which is a bit pants, so, I used the VM window menu option, 'Devices -> Install Guest Additions'. This opened a nautilus window on the CD which exposes a script called "". I ran this from a terminal session command line in bash using root privilidge (see below). At this point, I then rebooted the VM again.
  5. I then needed to check that the xorg.config was configured correctly. In order to amend it, one needs a root user shell. Its been a couple of years since I used a Linux, so I tried to 'su' to root, but it was having none of it. A quick google found me this article this article about default passwords for the ubuntu super user. So a quick 'sudo gnome-terminal' and we're away. This artilce at, about guest additions, and this article details the checks and changes required of xorg.conf to permit full screen mode on a larger screen. The Toshiba M5 I am using has 1400x1050. I only had to add the additional resolutions. The device name agreements worked and the virtual devices had been inserted.

I should also thank the Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, who posted an Ubuntu 7, install walkthrough, which while not difficult, helped me debug the initial install failure.

I have downloaded some backgrounds and installed them, but it seems as I shall not be trying to build dual or triple boot solutions again; I have also got opensolaris nevada and indiana VMs. I just wish it had all been installed on  a single partition. I can run whatever OS I want on the laptop now.





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