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Proxmox VPS for web development recipe….

datePosted on 17:17, March 10th, 2014 by Many Ayromlou

A little while ago our web developer asked me to look into proxmox containers and how we could take advantage of it to setup a development environment for him. The idea was to use the power of linux containers and enable him to develop fully functional/accessible sites in a private container. Here are the steps we will cover in this article:

  • Install proxmox on a machine with a single public IP address
  • Secure the machine with ufw to only allow connections from a specific IP address space
  • Setup a admin user other than root for proxmox admin interface
  • Setup proxmox to use the single IP address and the vmbridge for masquerading
  • Setup two Linux Ubuntu 12.04 containers with private addresses and enable the to access the internet via the bridge
  • Setup Apache on the proxmox host and configure it to do reverse proxy for the two ubuntu containers
  • Setup DNS (for the container instances) to point to proxmox host and test to make sure the “private” containers are accessible from Internet
  • Tighten up security on the reverse proxy on the proxmox host
  • Optionally only allow access to the proxy from specific IP address space

To do all this you need to download proxmox ISO file and burn it to a CD.… Read the rest

Copying large number of files between two Unix/Linux/OSX Servers

datePosted on 14:38, August 15th, 2012 by Many Ayromlou

Here are some quick tip(s) for copying a ton of files between unixy machines really fast. You’re probably thinking “why not use rsync?”…..well rsync can be miserably slow if your source or destination cpu is underpowered. You can always do a rsync after these commands to make 100% certain that everything checks out, but try using one of these methods for the initial copy:

  • One way of doing it is
    tar -c /path/to/dir | ssh user@remote_server 'tar -xpvf - -C /absolute/path/to/remotedir'

    You’ll be prompted for the remote servers password or you can use the private key of the remote server using the -i switch in the ssh command. This has the side benefit of preserving permissions. An alternate version of this command can also be used to locally move folder structures across mount points while preserving permissions: 

    tar -cf - -C srcdir .
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If you try to install Ubuntu 10.10 under parallels desktop 6.0 on OSX — atleast as of the writing of this article — you’ll soon discover that although your entire installation is done in a high (eg: 1920×1080) resolution, as soon as the install is done and you reboot, your VM is stuck at 1024×768. You can install the parallel tools using the menu option and it still won’t help — although it helps with 3D (ie: compiz). Under Gnomes System/Preferences/Monitors the highest resolution available is 1024×768 :-(. After searching around the net for the past week or so and trying just about every remedy — which did not work — I was about to give up, then I found the magic command that “makes it go” :-).… Read the rest

Fixing Plymouth (boot splash) in Ubuntu 10.10 aka. Maverick Meerkat

datePosted on 14:10, November 1st, 2010 by Many Ayromlou

If you’ve recently installed Ubuntu 10.10 and have installed Nvidia and/or ATI drivers — or installed ubuntu under emulation — you’ll end up with a (butt) ugly splash screen. In my case under parallel 6.0 I ended up with a text boot screen that just read “Ubuntu 10.10″……Ughhh. Here is a quick tutorial on how to get a nice splash restored. This procedure also works in 10.04. Keep in mind that I’m doing everything with 1280×1024 screen size. your mileage might vary (ie: you might want 1024×768). You’ll need to get a terminal session opened for this:

  • Get the nice splash screen installed
    sudo apt-get install v86d
  • Edit your grub config file and add the following
    sudo vi /etc/default/grub
  • Look for this line:
    GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash"
  • and replace it with this (note: 1280×1024 screen res…..your mileage might vary):
    GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash nomodeset video=uvesafb:mode_option=1280x1024-24,mtrr=3,scroll=ywrap"
  • Still in the same file look for this line:
    #GRUB_GFXMODE=640x480
  • and replace it with this (note: 1280×1024 screen res…..your mileage might vary):
    GRUB_GFXMODE=1280x1024

Your /etc/default/grub file should look like this once you’re done (partial screenshot):

  • Save the file and issue the following command to start editing /etc/initramfs-tools/modules file:
    sudo vi /etc/initramfs-tools/modules
  • The file should be mostly commented out.
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OpenShot Video Editor 1.0 released…..iMovie for Linux is here.

datePosted on 13:24, January 14th, 2010 by Many Ayromlou

For those of you who don’t know OpenShot Video Editor(TM) is an open-source program that creates, modifies, and edits video files. OpenShot provides extensive editing and compositing features, and has been designed as a practical tool for working with high-definition video including HDV and AVCHD.

Jonathan Thomas and crew have reached their 1.0 milestone (congrats :-)). The program is rock solid and is running beautifully on my Ubuntu 9.10 installation.

OpenShot’s Features include:

  • Support for many video, audio, and image formats (based on FFmpeg)
  • Gnome integration (drag and drop support)
  • Multiple tracks
  • Clip resizing, trimming, snapping, and cutting
  • Video transitions with real-time previews
  • Compositing, image overlays, watermarks
  • Title templates, title creation
  • SVG friendly, to create and include titles and credits
  • Scrolling motion picture credits
  • Solid color clips (including alpha compositing)
  • Support for Rotoscoping / Image sequences
  • Drag and drop timeline
  • Frame stepping, key-mappings: J,K, and L keys
  • Video encoding (based on FFmpeg)
  • Key Frame animation
  • Digital zooming of video clips
  • Speed changes on clips (slow motion etc)
  • Custom transition lumas and masks
  • Re-sizing of clips (frame size)
  • Audio mixing and editing
  • Presets for key frame animations and layout
  • Ken Burns effect (making video by panning over an image)
  • Digital video effects, including brightness, gamma, hue, greyscale, chroma key (bluescreen/greenscreen), and over 20 other video effects.
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Ubuntu Software Centre "No Install Button" problem…..

datePosted on 23:03, November 26th, 2009 by Many Ayromlou

I recently upgraded netbook using the distribution upgrade and didn’t like the results, so I reinstalled Ubuntu Notebook Remix 9.10 Karmic Koala. Well, I’m sorry but I don’t think this Koala was ready for release. First there was the issue of where the heck are all the beloved Ubuntu tools. Gone is the Add/Remove software progy (you have to install manually), now we have Ubuntu Software Centre. Gone is being able to check off multiple packages for batch install, USC installs apps one at a time (which takes two mouse clicks per app).

To top it off — atleast in UNR 9.10 — there is no install button once you click on the arrow beside the packages. No, it’s not a problem with root/admin, I tried running it as root and same thing, NO INSTALL BUTTON on the install screen.… Read the rest

Fix Ctrl-Alt-Backspace problem with Ubuntu 9.10+

datePosted on 13:58, October 31st, 2009 by Many Ayromlou

Downloaded and installed 9.10 yesterday and what do you know, someone decided to take away Ctrl-Alt-Backspace — or what I call “Three Finger Salute for Linux”. Whhhaaattt!!!!

How the heck are you supposed to kill and restart X without that…..A coworker suggested Alt-PrintScreen-K, but that just restarts GDM, not really useful when X decides to go south. Damit!!
The reason given on Ubuntu wiki is that “This is due to the fact that DontZap is no longer an option in the X server and has become an option in XKB instead.”
Well, fear not, whoever disabled it also created a easy way to reenable it again. Here is what you do:
  • In Gnome (Ubuntu):

    * Get to the System-Preferences-Keyboard menu.
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gksudo: Or how this old dog learned new tricks :-)

datePosted on 12:19, September 28th, 2009 by Many Ayromlou

Okay if you know about gksudo, fine. I just found out about it a little while back when I was trying to run ethereal. You see under Ubuntu (and a lot of other Linux distros) the concept of root user has been removed. There is no root (well there is, but you can’t access it), unless you specifically modify your system to activate it. That’s fine (most of the time), since you can use sudo to accomplish almost anything as the administrator. One thing that doesn’t work properly are the graphical applications that need root access. So here is where gksudo comes to rescue. In the case of ethereal I would issue the following command to get it to prompt me for sudo and run as root user:
gksudo ethereal
So next time you get tempted to open up that root account on your Ubuntu install, don’t, use gksudo and get those gui apps running as root.… Read the rest

How to change the default command line text editor in Ubuntu….

datePosted on 12:10, September 28th, 2009 by Many Ayromlou

I love Ubuntu, but there is one thing that really bugs the hell out of me. The default configured editor in Ubuntu is nano, a Pico clone. I hate Pico, therefor I hate nano :-). So how would you go about fixing this and changing the default editor to vi (or vim):

  1. Issue the following command: sudo update-alternatives --config editor
  2. Enter the superuser password when prompted.
  3. At the following screen choose the number beside the editor you want as default or alternatively just press Enter to keep the default the same.
    There are 3 alternatives which provide `editor'.

    Selection Alternative
    -----------------------------------------------
    1 /usr/bin/vim.tiny
    2 /bin/ed
    *+ 3 /bin/nano

    Press enter to keep the default[*], or type selection number: 1
    Using '/usr/bin/vim.tiny' to provide 'editor'.
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So after yesterdays rant, I went back and figured out how to install the Cacti monitoring software (OSS, Free) onto a Ubuntu 9.04 “Jaunty Jackalope” Desktop installation. This guide uses packages only, no compiling, no Makefiles or anything like that…..You should be able to just follow this and get a fully functioning Cacti installation in about 30 minutes. Here are the steps:

  1. install ubuntu 9.04 (“Jaunty Jackalope“) Desktop Edition on your machine
  2. Login, open a Shell window and install ubuntu LAMP (Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP) server stack on your machine
    “sudo tasksel install lamp-server”.
    Note: Make sure you remember the password for “root” user in mysql Database, write it down somewhere, we will need it later on.
  3. Get a superuser shell started since it will make for less typing.
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