@mbaizman who is moving to Bos…

@mbaizman who is moving to Boston?

Setting up twitter

Setting up twitter

Spring Has Come To Central Park

Run As Root From File Browser

Ubuntu – suppose you need to make changes to a file which is not user-editable. Or you have an installation script that must be run as root. The most commonly offered solution is to fire up a terminal, change into the directory containing the file and type

sudo gedit filename

or

sudo script.sh

However, there is a solution that does not involve the terminal at all. Continue reading Run As Root From File Browser

16 GB Maximum File Size

While recovering data from a friend’s hard drive that has developed some bad clusters I ran into an unpleasant surprise: VirtualBox refused to create virtual drives larger than 16GB or so, producing “file too big” errors. The drive is 60GB in size and I used dd_recover to save a raw copy of the partition into a file on a NTFS-formatted external USB drive, which I then planned convert into a virtual disk so I could run recovery tools against it from a virtual machine without touching the drive itself.

I tested the file system and indeed all attempts to create a file larger than 16GB produced the same “File is too big” error. I found that on ext2/ext3 file system, the maximum file size depends on the block size, so I had the bad luck of having a system partition with 1K blocks.

I really don’t like the idea of repartitioning the drive and reinstalling everything, but maybe I will shrink the current partition and use the extra space to create a new one for my files.

Configuring VirtualBox Host Interfaces

Among all the advice on how to configure host interfaces on Ubuntu Linux, the most useful information is missing – how to make the configuration persistent across reboots, and how to make only the required changes to make it work. It turns out that the proper configuration is trivial – all you need to do is to make some changes to /etc/network/interfaces file. Unfortunately, this method is not compatible with Network Manager – I will leave this research for another day. Continue reading Configuring VirtualBox Host Interfaces

Four Months With Ubuntu – So Far So Good

Compiling and installing Nvidia binary driver solved the problem with DVI and made the screensaver run smoothly.

I already had a first-hand experience with one of the drawbacks of a monolithic kernel: even minor patches may break kernel modules which were compiled and installed separately from the kernel itself. After I downloaded and installed an updated kernel, all of a sudden there was no sound (I had installed the latest version of ALSA) and an OpenGL screensaver was crashing Gnome. Could have been worse. Recompiling and reinstalling both the Nvidia driver and ALSA module resolved the problems, but it has to be done every time I install a new kernel version through Update Manager. I’m still considering my options.

External hard drives is another headache – drive manipulation can only be done by root, but after creating and formatting a partition regular users have read-only permissions on it, and I cannot find a way to fix that without firing up the terminal window.

These are minor details – I can deal with them, but for an average Windows administrator could be a show-stopper as in “Where’s the checkbox??!” BTW, Linux adoption is picking up – check this out.

Acer Monitor Resolution

Here’s how I resolved the issue I had with Ubuntu not detecting the full 1680×1050 resolution of my Acer 2016W monitor. Continue reading Acer Monitor Resolution

Hello From California

Sunlight seeping through a thick cloud of smoke from California’s wildfires on I-15 between LA and San Diego on October 25, 2007:

California’s Smoky Skies on October 15, 2007 - Interstate 15 between Los Angeles and San Diego

The Ubuntu Inspiron is up and running!

I finally got around to unpacking the boxes and installing the new computer. Pretty much everything worked out of the box, but I had to tinker with screen resolution as only the default set of 640×480, 800×600 and 1024×768 was available initially, and in the end I had to connect the monitor via VGA – DVI was giving me problems I could not resolve at this point. More later.