Saturday, October 31, 2009

Upgrade 9.04 to 9.10 headlessly

I did those steps from SSH (although not recommended).

1. apt-get update -> all repos updated
2. apt-get dist-upgrade -> somehow not necessary
3. do-dist-upgrade - the magic begins here
Respond to the questions according to the customizations you've done on your system.
In my case I've chosen to keep my locally installed versions.
At the end DO NOT REBOOT the system (do not answer Y at the final question).
4. Edit the /boot/grub/menu.lst and check if the serial console lines are still present. If not add them by hand before the beginning of "AUTOMAGIC KERNEL" section.
5. Now it would be safe to reboot... Good luck.

If you want to upgrade to grub2 (as I did) do the following:
1. apt-get install grub2
2. Edit the /etc/defaults/grub to something as:
# If you change this file, run 'update-grub' afterwards to update
# /boot/grub/grub.cfg.

GRUB_DISTRIBUTOR=`lsb_release -i -s 2> /dev/null || echo Debian`

# Uncomment to disable graphical terminal (grub-pc only)

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="console=tty0 console=ttyS0,38400n8"
GRUB_SERIAL_COMMAND="serial --speed=38400 --unit=0 --word=8 --parity=no --stop=1"
# The resolution used on graphical terminal
# note that you can use only modes which your graphic card supports via VBE
# you can see them in real GRUB with the command `vbeinfo'

# Uncomment if you don't want GRUB to pass "root=UUID=xxx" parameter to Linux

# Uncomment to disable generation of recovery mode menu entrys

The bolded lines are my modifications for the file.

3. Run /usr/sbin/update-grub as advised.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Finally SnowLeopard in VMWare

It works witn VMWare 7 in Ubuntu 9.10.
I had quite a trouble to get it right. The main differences are:
1. The name of operating guest system should be changed into "darwin10-64"
2. the VMWare tools iso images should be upgraded to Fusion 3 or the one you can find on the net (see the InsanelyMac forums). offering both a better video driver and usable sound with Ensoniq emulation,
There is a bug - I do nyt know if in VMWare or drivers - but the screen shots/Grab are not working.

I have seen a lot of traffic to this post therefore I've decided to make some pointers to the online resources I've used to instal SL:
Below there is also my VMX config in case that you need a reference config:
.encoding = "UTF-8"
config.version = "8"
virtualHW.version = "7"
maxvcpus = "4"
scsi0.present = "TRUE"
scsi0.virtualDev = "lsilogic"
memsize = "1024"
scsi0:0.present = "TRUE"
scsi0:0.fileName = "SnowLeopard.vmdk"
ide1:0.present = "TRUE"
ide1:0.fileName = "auto detect"
ide1:0.deviceType = "cdrom-raw"
floppy0.startConnected = "FALSE"
floppy0.fileName = ""
floppy0.autodetect = "TRUE"
ethernet0.present = "TRUE"
ethernet0.virtualDev = "e1000"
ethernet0.wakeOnPcktRcv = "FALSE"
ethernet0.addressType = "generated"
usb.present = "TRUE"
ehci.present = "TRUE"
sound.present = "TRUE"
sound.fileName = "-1"
sound.autodetect = "TRUE"
pciBridge0.present = "TRUE"
pciBridge4.present = "TRUE"
pciBridge4.virtualDev = "pcieRootPort"
pciBridge4.functions = "8"
pciBridge5.present = "TRUE"
pciBridge5.virtualDev = "pcieRootPort"
pciBridge5.functions = "8"
pciBridge6.present = "TRUE"
pciBridge6.virtualDev = "pcieRootPort"
pciBridge6.functions = "8"
pciBridge7.present = "TRUE"
pciBridge7.virtualDev = "pcieRootPort"
pciBridge7.functions = "8"
vmci0.present = "TRUE"
roamingVM.exitBehavior = "go"
displayName = "SnowLeopard"
nvram = "SnowLeopard.nvram"
virtualHW.productCompatibility = "hosted"
extendedConfigFile = "SnowLeopard.vmxf"
ethernet0.generatedAddress = "00:0c:29:15:c1:82"
uuid.location = "56 4d 39 e8 53 4d 0a 31-e0 84 32 c9 3d b0 d6 39"
uuid.bios = "56 4d 4b c4 53 dd 96 1e-cd 9d 44 09 57 15 c1 82"
cleanShutdown = "TRUE"
replay.supported = "TRUE"
replay.filename = ""
scsi0:0.redo = ""
pciBridge0.pciSlotNumber = "17"
pciBridge4.pciSlotNumber = "21"
pciBridge5.pciSlotNumber = "22"
pciBridge6.pciSlotNumber = "23"
pciBridge7.pciSlotNumber = "24"
scsi0.pciSlotNumber = "16"
usb.pciSlotNumber = "32"
ethernet0.pciSlotNumber = "33"
sound.pciSlotNumber = "34"
ehci.pciSlotNumber = "35"
vmci0.pciSlotNumber = "36"
vmotion.checkpointFBSize = "16777216"
ethernet0.generatedAddressOffset = "0" = "1461043586"
guestOS = "darwin10-64"
ich7m.present = "TRUE"
keyboard.vusb.enable = "TRUE"
mouse.vusb.enable = "TRUE"
monitor.virtual_exec = "hardware"
monitor.virtual_mmu = "software"

ide1:0.startConnected = "TRUE"
usb:0.present = "TRUE"
usb:1.present = "TRUE"
usb:1.deviceType = "hub"
usb:0.deviceType = "mouse"
tools.syncTime = "FALSE"
tools.remindInstall = "FALSE" = "FALSE"
sharedFolder0.present = "TRUE"
sharedFolder0.enabled = "TRUE"
sharedFolder0.readAccess = "TRUE"
sharedFolder0.writeAccess = "TRUE"
sharedFolder0.hostPath = "/home/nilu/Public"
sharedFolder0.guestName = "Public"
sharedFolder0.expiration = "never"
sharedFolder.maxNum = "1"
ide1:0.autodetect = "TRUE"
usb.autoConnect.device0 = "path:2/4 autoclean:1"
svga.autodetect = "TRUE"
svga.maxWidth = "1024"
svga.maxHeight = "768"
svga.vramSize = "134217728"
mks.enable3d = "FALSE"
smc.present = "FALSE"
usb.autoConnect.device1 = "path:7/1 autoclean:1"
usb.autoConnect.device2 = "path:6/2 autoclean:1"
checkpoint.vmState = ""

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Movies in weekend

1. Blidness

An adaptation of Jose Saramago's novel. A bitter look on how mankind reacts in a situation of crisis. Some hard scenes depicting degradation.

2. Antichrist

Again, not an easy movie. Interesting story - where Antichrist really is? Lars Von Trier dives deep in the human mind and reveals some dark sides of it.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

How not to use RPM

This one would better go to the dailywtf.
In order to achieve some kind of multiple installed versions of the same package some guy thought a "wise" solution.
Every release of package foo will install itself in /opt/foo/<version> and will create a symbolic link as /opt/foo/current -> /opt/foo/<version>. Every time the package would be installed with rpm -ivh foo-<version>.
On uninstall the rpm -e will erase the latest version and move the link to the previously installed one.
In my humble opinion this is not really the way RPM was meant to be used. The idea behind RPM is to offer consistent package management and not handling concurrent versioning for packages. Upgrading is handled by the package manager itself via internal mechanisms.
The most flawed part of this approach is that human errors would compromise this kind of multi version setup for packages in a manner that automated recovery would not be possible.
The management of concurrent versions of the same package proved - at least for me a real pain in the ass over the time therefore I am more than reluctant to apply such a scheme.

Things to be changed

I had today one of the most bitter experiences from all my career in ALU.
The idea was to offer a HA web service to a 3rd party application.
I proposed a HAProxy based solution that would hide the internal structure of the media server cluster offering to the client application a single and reliable entry point. This would be in my opinion the standars approach for this kind of setups.
One of my line managers (not the direct one) had a brilliant idea. He suggested that the client should modify its application and add code that will do the load balancing and failover inside its software.
In vain I have tried to explain to him using technical and economical arguments that this is really not a good idea, he continually pushed its own vision.
I really do wonder how ALU will realize the so called "Application Enablement" with this kind of managers? I think that we have a looooong way to come until this wish would come true. The reason is not the technical competence - there are a lot of very talented people in ALU but the managerial lack of vision and the intestine wars.

As a conclusion - management has to be changed.

In the meanwhile have a look at - it is one of ALU's first attempts to open towards web.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Breaking news

I had also my religous wdding on October the 17th.
Do not ask for photos - I do not have yet.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Idea: EFI hypervisor

What do you thinkabout an EFI hypervisor?
Something similar to VMWare ESXi/VSphere but EFI based.
I think that it would be doable with moderate effort via TianoCore and GNUefi backed up by qemu.
Maybe even VirtualBox can be ported to EFI - thus competing with VMWare.

Bluetooth driver for Toshiba U400-13k

On my laptop the bluetooth was not properly discovered.
The solution was to use the omnibook drivers ( but they were too heavy. Apart from bluetooth the omnibook drivers contained also wireless, touchpad, leds, lcd drivers that were not needed on my laptop and the stock kernel 2.6.31 was functioning excellent.
So I have trimmed down the drivers removing all the unnecessary backends and drivers.
The resulting kernel module contains only the bluetooth code over an ACPI backend. It works well on my machine:

[   19.019306] omnibook: Forced load with EC type 12.
[ 19.019360] omnibook: Begin table match of bluetooth feature.
[ 19.019362] omnibook: Try to init ACPI backend
[ 19.019369] omnibook: ACPI EC device found
[ 19.019402] omnibook: Enabling Toshiba Bluetooth ACPI device.
[ 20.150198] omnibook: ACPI backend init OK
[ 20.150200] omnibook: Returning table entry nr 0.
[ 20.262178] usb 7-1: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice
[ 20.631559] Bluetooth: Generic Bluetooth USB driver ver 0.5
[ 20.631666] usbcore: registered new interface driver btusb
[ 20.720197] omnibook: BTST raw_state: c1
[ 20.720204] omnibook: Enabled features: bluetooth.

The command line to start the module is:
modprobe omnibook ectype=12

The modified sources are available here:
If you have problems with the code drop a comment on the blog and I'll try to help you.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Foreign King

The "Boc" cabinet was revoked by the parliament.
The proposal for a technocratic replacement is now on everybody's mind.
I still doubt about it. In Romania they should create a government of well paid FOREIGN managers that will have their bonuses and wages for the results they would show at the end of each year. Thus they will assume responsibility for their actions.
It was already the case for Romania in 1873 when King Carol the I-st came after the long debated reign of Alexandru Ioan Cuza.
The reign of Carol was a true golden age for the developing Romania.

Otherwise - if the government is with Romanian people - they should be under MARTIAL LAW.
The same for senate, representative's chamber, president and other high ranking officials.
Every strategic position in Romania should be controlled this way. It is the only solution to eradicate corruption at high levels.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Ubuntu 9.10 (Beta)

Fast, really fast and extremely polished - looks very mac-ish.
The only flaw is that VmWare does not work yet with kernel 2.6.31.
Overall - the best distro/release since Redhat 6.2

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Millenium 3 - The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest

I have read this book during the weekend. Thanks to Adina from whom I've borrowed it.
I is better than the previous one and almost at the same level as the first volume.
The funny thing is that they are discussing about the secret services and how a crisis is handled in Sweden by the government.
In comparison with Romanian way of handling those things (UM0215 for example) the story of the Swedish way in that the "SaPo" works is almost sane.

Idea: Hosted TimeMachine

I think that it would be possible to created a hosted TimeMachine backup service for OSX.
The requirement would be to have a VPN link (TAP device) to the provider in order to support multicast/broadcast.
On the server side I think that a Linux server or a Solaris/ZFS (better!) machine would be enough for about 25 users (considering a quota of about 20GBytes/user). The investment in machines + bandwidth should be returned in about three years. Additional costs would include the web interface for managing accounts and users and some marketing costs (I have strong fears that marketing would be more expensive than the hosting itself).

Done on WE

1. Added a fan on MyBook WE. I have already voided the warranty therefore it was quite obvious that a fan will not change the situation.

2. Installed netatalk + avahi + firefly on MyBook. Now it is sen as a XServe on the network.

iTunes sees the shared music collection


As I am using VMWare I had to change the network interface in Bridged mode rather than in NAT because AFP needs broadcasts at layer 2 and that is not possible on NAT.

3. Python servlets using Jython.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Political circus in Romania

If you are not from Romania and it happened to land on this blog, please comment what do you think about Romania. About how do you really see us and our country. No offense will be taken. Frankly I'd like to know directly from you.
If you are a Romanian please do the same.
Comments are open and unmoderated.


Maybe it is what we lack as a nation.
Where is it? Where did we lost it along our history? How did others kept it?
Hard to say. But if we critically look at each other what do we see?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

RIP Galli

Timisoara will be a sader place without Galli.
He survived Irak but not here...