Linux and Open Source

About Linux and Open Source

Had a bit of a tinker with my daughters Chromebook today.
In particular wanted to see if I could make it boot from USB (to find a way of running an OS on it other than ChromeOS, and without actually hosing the ChromeOS instance in the process.

Managed to generally follow the instructions I found at Chromium.org to enable Developer mode.

Once done, you boot it up as usual (Ctrl-D to keep booting) and once started, tied to Wifi and logged in with your Google account, you can use Ctrl-Alt-T to run a ChromeOS Terminal, and from there type 'shell' to get a bash shell.
The trap is that you're then logged in as 'chronos' and to be able to act as root you need to be able to su upward... requiring the knowledge of the password for chronos. The instructions I then found on Reddit (Ctrl-Alt-RightArrowFunction) lets you open a rootshell using the previously set root password, and then set a password for the user chronos, which can then be used to fully interact without tasking out of the Window manager...

Unfortunately the instructions to let the thing boot of USB don't appear to work, and it appears, i'm not the only one to confront this. .

That's about as far as i've gotten, I don't particularly want to brick it, nor have to factory default it as such. Just be nice to have an alternative boot option occasionally. Sigh...

Probably not the first time i've done it - renewing my Letsencrypt SSL certs without then actually bouncing daemons to load new certs.

Some tips for validating that your cert is actually working:

Firstly, show cert details:

blakjak@raven:~$ openssl s_client -connect localhost:25 -starttls smtp

Look for (in my case) something like:

subject=/CN=blakjak.net
issuer=/C=US/O=Let's Encrypt/CN=Let's Encrypt Authority X3
---

And then there's IMAP and POP, the below will quickly show the dates of your cert:

blakjak@raven:~$ openssl s_client -connect localhost:993 2>/dev/null | openssl x509 -noout -dates
notBefore=May 17 07:45:00 2017 GMT
notAfter=Aug 15 07:45:00 2017 GMT
blakjak@raven:~$ openssl s_client -connect localhost:995 2>/dev/null | openssl x509 -noout -dates
notBefore=May 17 07:45:00 2017 GMT
notAfter=Aug 15 07:45:00 2017 GMT

Had to scratch my head to find the right tool for the job today - something that I used regularly at SMX but havn't had much need to use since.

The tool was 'vimdiff'. I needed to compare to configuration files (retrieved from two different servers) to understand what difference existed. Whilst 'diff' alone would've done it, I find the output hard to follow. vimdiff worked wonders!

Google hit I used also has some other useful tools:

https://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/79135/is-there-a-condensed-side-by-side-diff-format.

For posterity.

Honourable mention for icdiff also.

I came across a Reddit Thread recently which included this gem:

From the comments that have been posted on this thread and what I found on the Mozilla forums so far:

1- In a new tab, type or paste about:config in the address bar and press Enter/Return. Click the button promising to be careful.

2- Set browser.newtab.url to about:blank>

3- To disable the callbacks to tiles.cdn.mozilla.com without enabling the "do not track" feature you need to remove the address from browser.newtabpage.directory.ping and browser.newtabpage.directory.source

Source:

https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1074600

http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=2888321

So i've now done both of the above and feel much better.

The Reddit page linked to a ZDNet.com article talking about Mozilla's new Advertising strategy. I for one don't need a third party tracking what I do when I click on 'new tab' ... ! Interestingly there's also a move to remove browser.newtab.url due to "Abuse" which seems to be in itself, contentious, but it's possible you'll have to use an addon to achieve the above, at least in part, in the near future.

Sorry, couple more glitches with the server today. Really need to get on to migrating onto the new hardware I have running in parellel...

However I did find this useful stuff today :-)

Force Reboot :
#echo 1 > /proc/sys/kernel/sysrq
#echo b > /proc/sysrq-trigger
If you want to force shutdown machine try this.
#echo 1 > /proc/sys/kernel/sysrq
#echo o > /proc/sysrq-trigger

Remove comments as required. :)

As retrieved from the Waybackmachine...

Introduction

This Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) has been drafted in order to 'put in writing' what has been well known amongst participants for many years - what sort of behavior is acceptable on the Mailing List.

The NZLUG itself is an informal entity with no official ruling body and no constitution or rules of association. Its successful operation depends on the contribution of its volunteer list/website administrators (Nic Bellamy, Mark Foster, Scott Newton) and Systems Administrators (Nic Bellamy and Dylan Reeve). This document therefore is mainly a commonsense attitude to mailing list netiquette as it particularly applies to us. It is open to feedback, so let us know if you have any suggestions.

General Acceptable Use policies for Mailing Lists worldwide are based on RFC1855. However NZLUG conceeds that much of the information in RFC1855 is out of date and doesn't represent the realities of todays Internet. (But it was a lovely thought.)

As such whilst we encourage participants to read the above RFC it should be treated as largely educational and serve as a guide to the intention behind these policies.

The overriding consideration behind this policy document is 'consideration for others'. If in doubt, use this as your primary concern.

Subject Guidelines

  • Discussion on Linux and Linux Related topics is appropriate.
  • Discussion of things completely unrelated to Linux is inappropriate.
  • Subjects with a vague or passing relationship to Linux are appropriate in moderation and subject to the general mood of the list at the time.
  • Requests to move off-topic conversations off-list should generally be honoured depending on circumstance.

As retrieved from the 'Wayback Machine' copy of www.linux.net.nz... I will update this as I can.

Do you run or know of a user group that isn't listed here that you think should be? Hit my 'Contact' Link and let me know.

Country-Wide

NZLUG is run by linux.net.nz, and it has people from all over the
country on it (~370 subscribers as of January 2007).

Subscribe by visiting the mailing list information page and following the instructions.

The list only accepts posts from subscribers - if you want to
subscribe under one address, but post from others, it can be done -
subscribe the other addresses too, but edit their options and disable
mail delivery (you'll get a link to them during the signup process).

If you want to keep an eye on the list, but without it invading your
inbox too often, you can also change your settings so that you receive
a "digest" version - ie. a single mail containing a number of list
messages.

Archives of the list can be found at http://www.linux.net.nz/lists/NZLUG/ and its Acceptable Use Policy is now also published online for viewing.

Auckland region

AuckLUG's website and mailing list information and signup page.

Other Linux User Groups in the Auckland region include Howick and Hibiscus Coast, and UALUG, The University of Auckland Linux User Group.

I've been an administrator for the New Zealand Linux Users Group for a blimmin' long time now. 2002 I think.
We used to have a nice website under www.linux.net.nz but due to a bit of a disaster with the VM it was on, this was lost, and the last backup of it was a loooong time before that.
With all credit to Nic Bellamy (whos VM it, and who hosted/established NZLUG along with Dylan Reeves, and who remained involved until the VM issue), it looks like that machine isn't coming back anytime soon.

So using the Waybackmachine, here's some key stuff about NZLUG for those interested. I will at some point update this to 'current' and consider whether it should live on my site, or be re-instated under its own domain or server somewhere.

About NZLUG

So my 10GB Windows XP VM (that'll be big enough!) ... wasn't big enough.

After some googling and some help from a friend, here's how I enlarged my image.

1. Shut down the VM.

2. From a terminal, run the following:

VBoxManage modifyhd /path/to/diskimagefile.vdi --resize SIZE-IN-MB

3. Then install 'qemu-kvm' package:

$ sudo apt-get install qemu-kvm

4. Load the network-block-device kernel module:

$ sudo modprobe nbd

5. Load the VDI file as a network block device using qemu-nbd:

$ sudo qemu-nbd -c /dev/nbd0 /path/to/diskimagefile.vdi

6. Use your favourite partitioning tool (i like gparted) to open the disk:

$ sudo gparted /dev/nbd0

Adjust your active partition size (you will see the original disk size, and available space up to the new size you set (as SIZE-IN-MB above). Commit your change. Bobs your Uncle.

So today, in amongst other bits and pieces, I set about trying to figure out why my old Ubuntu 10.04 Desktop - now connected to the TV in my livingroom - was constantly failing to play DVDs. In one case the title would load up, but none of the chapters would play.

Googling the errors that came up (oh thanks VLC for the constant references to 'fake' error messages), I finally found a useful hit on the Ubuntu Forums.

The bottom line was indeed that I needed libdvdcss2 - this is after I installed 'ubuntu-restricted-extras' to ensure I had all the codecs I needed. Of course, throwing that into apt-get install gives you this:

Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
Package libdvdcss2 is not available, but is referred to by another package.
This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or
is only available from another source
E: Package libdvdcss2 has no installation candidate

The above link describes how to install it (on my Ubuntu 10.04 LTS installation.. which is definately not Medibuntu):

$ sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/install-css.sh

And just like that, it worked.

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