Archive for ‘Linux’ Category

Duplicate your Ubuntu Installation….

datePosted on 13:55, February 18th, 2009 by Many Ayromlou

As good as Ubuntu (and linux) are in general, once in a while you just get to a point where you need a reinstall. That’s when the realization kicks in that you’ve got far too many packages installed since the initial Ubuntu install. It’s okay, there is a way out. Make sure you have a USB key.

On Ubuntu Workstation (with graphical interface):

Run Synaptic package manager. Once inside Synaptic, go to File/Save Markings As menu option and choose a filename and location (USB stick). MAKE SURE YOU ALSO CHECK THE BOX “SAVE FULL STATE, NOT ONLY CHANGES”. This will save a text file that contains every single package installed on your system (through apt system and all it’s variants….manual compile/installs are something else). Now you can go ahead and reinstall the machine and configure your repositories. Once the machine is up and running again, load up Synaptic and go to File/Read Markings and point it at the file you saved on the USB stick and press Apply.

This will start a download process that will set the machine up (as far as installed packages are concerned) just like it used to be. Configurations need to be done manually, but atleast you get all your packages back.

This is also super handy if you’re duping identical systems. Remember that you can not do this to upgrade from one version to another. This is strictly for “Restoring” installed software packages from the same version of Ubuntu.

On Ubuntu Server (command line):

First we need to create a list of all the installed APT packages and configurations and save them:
sudo dpkg --get-selections > /tmp/dpkglist.txt
sudo debconf-get-selections > /tmp/debconfsel.txt

Copy the files from /tmp to your USB stick or save them somewhere else.

Now reinstall the OS, copy your backed up debconfsel.txt and dpkglist.txt file to your fresh system’s /tmp directory and execute the following:
sudo dselect update
sudo debconf-set-selections < /tmp/debconfsel.txt
sudo dpkg --set-selections < /tmp/dpkglist.txt
sudo apt-get -y update
sudo apt-get dselect-upgrade

Don’t worry! This method only adds and upgrades packages, it will not remove packages that do not exist in the list.

We also covered aptoncd program which basically does the same thing (it’s a extra install). Last but not least to make a costum Ubuntu install CD/DVD you want to check out our entry on Reconstructor.

Disk for Iphone….Turn your IPhone (IpodTouch) into a portable HD.

datePosted on 13:48, February 13th, 2009 by Many Ayromlou

MacFUSE project has grown a lot since we last covered it here and here. MacFuse 2.0 is here and it’s looking really nice. MacFUSE is the mac implementation of FUSE (File-system in USEr space) filesystem originally developed for Linux. For those of you who’ve not heard of this gem before, MacFUSE allows you to extend Mac OS X’s native file handling capabilities via 3rd-party file systems. Pretty much anything that has some order to it can be turned (viewed as) into a filesystem (ie: sshfs, youtubefs). As a user, installing the MacFUSE software package will let you use any 3rd-party file system written atop MacFUSE.

Disk for iPhone is a MacFUSE based filesystem that allows you to read and write files on your iPhone. It uses the MobileDevice API (like iTunes) to access the filesystem of the iPhone over USB. You need to install MacFuse base system on your machine first and then grab Disk for iPhone module.

Would you like your PC over IP?

datePosted on 13:13, February 10th, 2009 by Many Ayromlou

Imagine if you could hide your 16 Core, Quad GPU, Nitro burning gaming PC in the closet in the basement. What if you could build the next University lab where all the highpowered CAD workstations where humming away in the machine room and you could actually “teach” in a quite classroom/lab. Fill in the rest of the scenarios yourself. The next wave in thin client computing is here and it’s name is Teradici. They don’t really make a end user product (they just make the custom compression chipsets), but companies like Leadtek have end user products on the market now.

Integration of Teradici‘s PCoIP remote enterprise desktop technology in Leadtek‘s WinFast VP200 enables delivery of a high-definition graphic and multimedia experience across standard IP networks, unmatched by any thin client on the market today. For $800 per link, $400 on each side of the link, Teradici provides a PC-over-IP host card, to be embedded into the host unit (most likely a workstation), and a desktop portal, a device slightly bigger than a hardcover book, equipped with a Teradici processor chip, 4 USB ports, and an HD audio output, and dual DVI outputs. The desktop portal and the host unit are linked via LAN, WAN, or a wireless network, allowing the user to communicate with the back-end PC.

The WinFast VP 200 system includes a WinFast VP200H host PCI Express card and a WinFast VP200P desktop portal. The Host Card allows you to centralize your computing in a data center as an add-in solution to your existing Workstation, Rack Mount, or Blade Server to secure all data and computers; On the desktop, a stateless device called a Portal connects over a standard enterprise IP network to the Host Card, eliminating heat, noise, and clutter at the end user’s desk for a comfortable working environment.


Super Ubuntu save you time….

datePosted on 19:02, January 11th, 2009 by Many Ayromlou

If you’ve ever installed Ubuntu and started cursing right after because some piece of software you thought was in there wasn’t, then Super Ubuntu might be for you. It’s basically Ubuntu with a bunch of useful applications pre-installed. You even update through the standard Ubuntu methods. The only downside is that the distro is 32-bit only for now. Below you’ll find a list of pre-installed additional software you get with Super Ubuntu:

So head on over and grab the ISO file.

DIY PS3 Cluster Howto…

datePosted on 15:11, December 24th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth: ATMC Physics Professor Gaurav Khanna and Principal Investigator Chris Poulin have created a great step-by-step guide that shows you how $4000 and a bit of elbow grease can get you a nice supercomputer cluster. They use Fedora Core 8 distribution, due to the prevalence of Fedora and its Cell SDK (3.0) compatibility

Energize your Apple TV based Media Centre machine with BOXEE….

datePosted on 13:35, November 11th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

I was lucky enough to get a alpha Boxee account and I have to say…..It’s slick. If you haven’t tried it, head over to and sign up for a invite (Mac OS and Linux only for now). If you already have an account you might be interested in this tutorial video that shows you how to install boxee on your Apple TV box.

Before you leave please make sure that when you create the patchstick there are no external drives connected.

Seam Carving Gui….Resize images just like the new Photoshop CS4

datePosted on 20:42, October 29th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

So you’ve probably been hearing a lot lately about the new feature in Photoshop CS4 that allows you to resize an image in a way that the image will not get distorted. Dubbed Seam Carving (we covered it here, here and here), the new function is all the rage.Well, if that’s the only reason you’re going to upgrade to CS4, you might want to hang on and save a bit of $$$. You see, there is a opensource, free, standalone implementation of seam carving called Seam Carving GUI (which is itself a frontend GUI for CAIR…..Content Aware Image Resizer). It’s available for OSX, Windows and Linux so download it, read the manual and have fun saving $$$. Here is a example of what this little gem can do…..

Stretched/squeezed and black fish removed

Synkron, because syncing can be such a pain….

datePosted on 17:12, October 26th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

I know, rsync is the answer to all my prayers, at least as far as syncing data is concerned. I agree, BUT sometimes you just want a simple GUI (yes pointy/clicky) application to do the job. Well that’s were synkron comes in. A simple applications that does one thing and it does it well, synchronizing your files/folders. It’s multi platform and works really well. It uses tabs to setup multiple synching jobs. It supports 1-to-1 synching or what’s known as multi-sync were synkron synchronises the sources one by one with their representing folder in the destination. This can be used for backups for example. It also has a scheduler/filters/blacklist and the ability to restore as well. The analyze function is also very useful as it can tell you what will be backed up before its backed up. Oh, and it’s open source/free software, so no excuses :-).

How to mount CD/DVD images from command line under Linux

datePosted on 16:45, September 22nd, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

Here are some quick CLI commands to get those CD/DVD images mounted under Linux (without having to burn them first).

mount -t iso9660 -o loop,user file.iso /path/mount_directory

mount imagen.mdf /path/mount_directory -o loop=/dev/loop0

mount -o loop,offset=307200 imagen.nrg /path/mount_directory

Basic APT commands

datePosted on 16:37, September 22nd, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

Okay, now for a bit of CLI goodness. Here is a quick list of basic apt commands.  Debian and most derivatives (Ubuntu) use these for package maintenance.
apt-cache search packagename

#package info
apt-cache show packagename

sudo apt-get clean
sudo apt-get autoclean #old packages

apt-get check

#get source code
apt-get source packagename

#get dep
apt-get build-dep packagename

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install packagename
sudo apt-get remove packagename
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade