Friday, July 31, 2009

Live the Cloud life - on Linux Mint 7

SpiderOak is a powerful Online Backup and Sync for your multiple PCs with different OS. In a nutshell, SpiderOak provides the following:

  1. Online backup with synchronisation
  2. Quick Data Upload Upload (10-15 times according to the website)
  3. Multiple OS compatible backup and sync
  4. Versioning
  5. Best of all 2GB Free

Installation on Linux Mint 7, equivalent to Ubuntu "Jaunty" (9.04) was straightforward and without hassle.

Try it and live the Cloud life.

Ubuntu History

Quite often, applications or websites uses the Ubuntu version name instead of the version number which I'm more uses too.

The following URL Ubuntu Version History is an useful list of all the corresponding Ubuntu version name with its number

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Installing Likewise - Joining Linux to MS Active Directory

Continuing from Open Source Tools to integrate with MS Active Directory.

Step 1: Changing Your Hostname from localhost to domain name

Step 2: Download and Install Likewise

  • Go to register and download the essential packages and GUI (optional)
  • # ./
  • Ensure that you register your computer name at your Microsoft Active Directory if your AD require registration
  • # /opt/likewise/bin/domainjoin-cli join Active-Directory-Domain-Name Administrator
  • Log-out from your current session and Log-In with your AD credential

Step 3: Verify that you have join the Domain

  • # /opt/likewise/bin/domainjoin-cli query.
  • You should see Name = ......... Domain = ......... Distinguished Name = CN= ..................

Note: If you are unable to logon, try using the Full Active Directory Name rather than the Short ones, unless you make the Linux Box aware of your WINS Server.

Further Readings:

  1. See Likewise Documentation Library

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Installing Nvdia FX570 drivers on CentOS 5.x

I was trying out an installation on CentOS 5.3 (x86-64) on a workstation which have Nvidia Fx570 card.

The installation of CentOS was very smooth. No hiccups.

  1. I've downloaded the Nvidia Drivers for Linux from Nvidia Site
  2. I did a "# yum install gcc" as Nvidia Drivers need gcc to compile
  3. I run the ./ But I seems to encounter the "No precompiled kernel interface was found to match your kernel; would you like the installer to attempt to download a kernel interface for your kernel" error
  4. I "yum install kernel-devel" and the error still appear
  5. Finally I run the application with the full kernel source path "./ --kernel-source-path=/usr/src/kernels/2.6.18-128.2.1.el5-x86_64/"
It works.... :)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Encrypting VNC Traffic with Putty

Assuming you are using a Windows Clients and you wish to have a Secure Shell Connection to Windows, you have to do the followings:

Step 1: Assuming you have launch the VNC Session at the vncserver Server
$ vncserver

New ' (root)' desktop is
Starting applications specified in /root/.vnc/xstartupLog file is /root/.vnc/

Step 2: Configuration at the SSH Client
  • At Putty Client, Enter the IP of hostname of the VNCServer
  • On the left-hand pane, click Connection > SSH > Tunnels
  • Source Port: 590x (depending on the return port above in step 1)
  • Destination Port: (depending on the return port in step 1)
  • Connect to the Server via SSH

Step 3: Use the VNC Client to connect to local VNC Port. On the TightVNC connection,
$ localhost:2

Using VNC Server on CentOS with Windows VNC Viewer

Virtual Network Computing (VNC) allows user to have access to remote GUI console. For CentOS, the vncserver comes installed.

Step 1: Starting a  VNC Session on Vncserver

Step 1a: Remember to turn on the services by issuing the commands
# service vncserver start

Step 1b: Enter the VNC Password
# vncpasswd
(Type and confirm the password)

Step 1c: Test the VncServer
# vncserver

New ' (root)' desktop is
Starting applications specified in /root/.vnc/xstartupLog file is /root/.vnc/

Step 2 - Connecting to VNC session using VN Client 

Step 2: Use an TightVNC or RealVNC for the Client

Step 2a: Type into the VNC Clients the VNC Server connection

You have your connection.........

Step 3 - Changing default Windows Manager to Gnome Session
(Change the default twm windows )
# vim ~/.vnc/xstartup

# Type the following at your xstartup:
exec /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc
[ -x /etc/vnc/xstartup ] && exec /etc/vnc/xstartup
[ -r $HOME/.Xresources ] && xrdb $HOME/.Xresources
xsetroot -solid greyvncconfig -iconic &xterm -geometry 80x24+10+10 -ls -title "$VNCDESKTOP Desktop" &
gnome-session &

Step 4: How to kill VNC Server Connection
At the VNCServer,
# vncserver -kill :2

Sunday, July 26, 2009

SSH over Nautilus GUI file manager

You can navigate remote file server using Nautilus File Manager via SSH Protocol (sFTP) and FTP Protocol in Gnome

Enter the necessaru information and you will able to see your remote file system on your Nautilus File Manager

Friday, July 24, 2009

Access Windows shares from Linux

To access Windows Shares from your Linux Box, do the following

Step 1: Create a Directory for mounting
# mkdir /mnt/Windows_share_on_Linux

Step 2: Mount the Windows File System
# mount -t cifs //server-ip-addr-or-server-domain-name/share -o 
username=(userid),password=(Password),domain=(AD Domain) 

Step 3: To umount
# umount /mnt/Windows_share_on_linux

Using xrandr to change screen resolution and orientation

X RandR is a useful tool to configure display ports, display modes and properties such as orientation, reflection and DPI.

Some simple usage of xrandr
$ xrandr -v (Server reports RandR version 1.3)
$ xrandr -q (query what screens are connected)
$ xrandr -s 1280x800 (screen resolution)
$ xrandr -o inverted (orientation inverted, left, right, normal)

Do note that for xrandr -0 , your screen might freeze after the command, you may want to use xrandr --verbose to check the error.

To extend xrandr to utilise and join 2 monitor together, you may want to look at for more information

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Intel Processors Compliance Matrics

If you are looking for Intel Processors for PC and Workstation Compliance Metrics. You may want to take a look at Intel Processors

Using PowerTop to save Battery Power (Part 1)

I was playing with PowerTop. Powertop is a tool to help you identify applications and programs that uses power even when the computer is idle. According to, Powertop has these four basic goals:

  • Show how well your system is using the various hardware power-saving features
  • Show you the culprit software components that are preventing optimal usage of your hardware power savings
  • Help Linux developers test their application and achieve optimal behavior
  • Provide you with tuning suggestions to achieve low power consumption

So much for the introduction.
To install powertop, just use
# apt-get install powertop
# yum install powertop
It should be found in most distro.

# powertop
I'm pretty new to the powertop, so I follow the recommendation.
To make some of the recommedendation permanent, I've placed the configuration in the /etc/acpi/battery.d diretory and name is

# cd /etc/acpi/battery.d # touch
# chmod 755
# vim

echo 1500 > /proc/sys/vm/dirty_writeback_centisecs
echo 5 > /proc/sys/vm/laptop_mode
iwpriv eth1 set_power 5

hal-disable-polling --device /dev/scd0

To continue Using PowerTop to save Battery Power (Part 2)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Power Mangement for KDE and Gnome

Gnome Power Mangement is a essential tool for power mangement on notebook and desktop. It has interesting options such as
  1. To suspend your laptop when the lid is closed.
  2. Power History (my favourite)
  3. Display Brightness
  4. Actions taken when power buttons or suspend buttons is pressed
  5. And so much more.....
It comes with Installation....of Linux Mint and Ubuntu

KDE Power Devil is a lightweight laptop power management system designed for KDE4 Environment. According to the site, with PowerDevil you can set up preferences for lid Closing, Brightness, CPU scaling, Idle time, both when connected to AC and when on Battery.

Good news! KDE Power Devil is now compiled with KDE Core Releases and no longer as an external application

Friday, July 17, 2009

MOAB Adaptive Datacenter and Cloud Solution

If you are considering MOAB solution for Cloud Computing, here 4 sets of online video which might help in your decision

  1. Adaptive DataCenter
  2. Key Benefits
  3. Internal Hosting
  4. External Hosting

Happy viewing.....

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Using rdesktop for access to Windows PC via RDP

One of my most frequently used application is rdesktop. It currently runs on most UNIX and of course with X Windows. With just a command line and including a few essential parameter, you can have access to your Windows PC very efficiently

$ rdesktop -g (Size of the screen) -u (your AD userid) -d (AD Domain) -r disk:desktop=/home/(your linux account)/ -a (colour depth) (PC Name according to Active Directory)

Some notes:

  1. Just a little explanation of the -r parameter. It is to do a mapping between the file system from the linux box to the Remote desktop. This will allow you to transfer file to and from the system

  2. It seems rdesktop can go to maximum colour depth of 16 only. It is sufficient for a clear windows-like view.

  3. If you get this error "ERROR: getaddrinfo: Name of Service not known" It is due to the DNS of your PC not being able to resolve properly. To resolve it quickly, you may want to modify the /etc/resolv.conf to include the required DNS.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Installing Linux Mint 7 on HP 6930p Elitebook

Installing Linux Mint 7 on HP 6930p is a breeze for the most essential part. More importantly, the Distro was able to detect the ethernet and wireless.

Radeon HD 3xxx driver however needs to be installed seperately. Just download the driver for linux from

However, the speakers is not working although the earphone only. The resolution of the problem can be at

  1. Finding out what type of soundcard
    cat /proc/asound/cards
    0 [Intel ]:
    HDA-Intel - HDA Intel
    HDA Intel at 0x98900000 irq 17
  2. Finding out the codec-type
    head -n 1 /proc/asound/card0/codec*
    ==> /proc/asound/card0/codec#0 <== Codec: Analog Devices AD1984A ==> /proc/asound/card0/codec#1 <== Codec: LSI ID 1040
  3. With the information above, searching for the soundchip
    zless /usr/share/doc/alsa-base/driver/ALSA-Configuration.txt.gz
  4. Editing "/etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base" and adding
    snd-hda-intel model=mobile
  5. Editing "/etc/modprobe.d/options" and adding
    snd-hda-intel model=mobile
  6. 6.reboot

Adobe Flash Plugin for Linux Mint 7

It is better to get the version from the Linux Mint Repository for Adobe Flash Plugin than the debian package from Adobe.

To install simply,
# apt-get install adobe-flashplugin

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Open Source Tools to integrate with MS Active Directory

MS Active Directory is very widely deployed in many industries. To take the pain out of integration with MS Active Directory with your Linux Box, take a look at Likewise Open. Some of the key features are

  1. Joins non-Windows systems to Active Directory domains in a single step from the command line or from a GUI
  2. Authenticates users with a single user name and password on both Windows and non-Windows
  3. Enforces the same password policies for non-Windows users and Windows users
  4. Caches credentials in case your domain controller goes down
  5. Provides single sign-on for SSH and Putty
  6. No schema changes to Active Directory required

Troubleshooting X Windows at CentOS

When you run startx and nothing happens, the error is written into the log file of the X windows usually located at /var/log/Xorg.0.log. Errors are usually marked with "(EE)". You can extract information Error in Xorg.0.log with this command
# grep EE /var/log/Xorg.0.log

If you do not have a xorg.conf file, you can install by running
# yum install system-config-display
# system-config-display

If system-config-display setup GUI is not able to solve the issue, you can use command line
# system-config-display --set-resolution=1280x960 --set-depth=32 --set-driver=nvida (For more options, run system-config-display --help)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

MOAB and Cloud Computing

For those who are keen on Cloud Computing and how MOAB can make the HPC Cloud-like. Go to Chris's Blog on MOAB. Excellent Resource

Archive for the ‘Moab’ Category

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Using Putty, Xming to forward X11

If you are using Windows and you wish to forward X11 traffic to your windows. This is not a hard things. You need a couple of freeware

Step 1: At the Linux SSH Server
vim /etc/ssh/sshd_config
Ensure X11Forwarding yes

Step 2: Download Freeware

At your Putty session,

  • click on the host you wish to X11 forwarding
  • Go to Connection > SSH > X11 > "Enable X11 forwarding" > X display location "localhost:0"

Step 3: Install XmingNote: Xming uses Microsoft's OpenGL renderer interface as standard. If your display is quirky, download and use Xming-mesa usually render most clients that uses OpenGL

After installation of Xming or Xming-mesa
  • Launch Xming before you use SSH to forward X11
For more information, see Xming - PC X Server

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Using Putty to have passwordless login

Step 1: Go to and download puttygen.exe

Step 2: Open PuttyGen.exe,
  • Click Generate
  • To provide randomness, move the mouse randomly on the blank are

Step 3:

  • Copy public-key by copying all the text in the public text-box

Step 4: Open Putty

  • Connection > Data.
  • Under ‘’ for the auto-login username
  • Connection > SSH > Auth (left column) > Browse to the private key
  • Save the setting

Step 5: Login to the linux server

  • vim ~/.ssh/authorized_keys2
  • Paste and save the public Key content saved in Step 3
  • chmod 700 ~/.ssh
  • chmod 644 ~/.ssh/authorized_keys2


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Using atop to view load at system and process level

Atop is a interactive monitor to view load at system and process level. With the use of atopsar, administrators can generate system reports for intervals period.

$ atopsar -c 60 5
(A report is generated on CPU Utilisation every 60 seconds for 5 min)

One of the most interesting feature is the ability to provide disk, network activity among other things.

The atop project website is comprehensive in explaining the usage and advantages

Analysing your DNS Traffic with dnstop

dnstop uses the pcap library to filter all the DNS queries on a computer network and display them on a terminal

Firstly install from repository
# apt-get install dnstop
# dnstop -l 3

Once you are inside the dnstop, you can use the following sort-cut
  • @ - Display the source of the query, domain target, volume and percentage of DNS Traffic
  • # - Similar to @ but with third level domain name

For more information, see the Dnstop project site

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Using Xrestop to troubleshoot X applications

Xrestop is a lesser known "top-like" tool to query information on the clients connected to X11. It shows the X clients programs that are using the most resources organised by pixmap memory usage. In addition, it provides administrators to quickly locate problematic X Windows Application, but not the tool to kill it.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Using htop to influence processes directly

htop is one of my favourite tool to influence process directly. Htop menu does have the feel of Midnight Commander.

Some of the key features of htop is the ability to do
  1. sorting (F6)
  2. Increase priority of a process or job (F7)
  3. Reduce priority of a process or job (F8)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Rsync GUI utility - Grsync

For those who wishes to use a GUI instead of the rsync command line, you will be glad to use the Rsync GUI utility - Grsync

It is neat and give you rysnc options in GUI. The only issue is that it is quite difficuly to schedule a job using Grsync.

To install on CentOS or Fedora
# yum install grsync

To install on Linux Mint,
# apt-get install grsync