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Old

booting from the grub command line

Posted 10-30-2011 at 06:50 AM by neonsignal

There are grub2 boot failures (such as when disk UUIDs don't match) where it can be useful to do a minimal boot from the grub command line.

For typical systems (such as booting from the first partition of the first hard drive), this can be done with the following grub commands:
Code:
linux (hd0,1)/vmlinuz root=/dev/sda1
initrd (hd0,1)/initrd.img
boot
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Old

changing the default system editor

Posted 10-30-2011 at 06:42 AM by neonsignal

The default system editor in Debian is typically nano. If you prefer a different editor such as vi, it can be changed by setting the link from /etc/alternatives/editor:
Code:
ln -sf /usr/bin/vi /etc/alternatives/editor
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Old

compacting a VirtualBox Windows storage container

Posted 10-19-2011 at 09:47 PM by neonsignal

After a Windows client has been used inside VirtualBox for some time (particularly if large files have been removed), it can be useful to compact the storage container image (VDI) by removing unused space.

First, the space needs to be cleaned inside the client. This requires defragmenting the drive, and then running a program such as SysInternals sdelete to zero the unused space, so that the VirtualBox utilities are able to compact the file.
Code:
sdelete -c
...
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Old

changing network interface names

Posted 10-19-2011 at 05:17 AM by neonsignal

When changing network cards, or moving drives to a new computer, the network interfaces will be assigned new names (eth0, eth1, etc). This is so that the interfaces will retain their names between boots but not clash with other interfaces (on the assumption that the old ones may be only temporarily missing). However, if the new interface is a replacement for the old one, it is often more convenient to reuse the same name that the old one had.

These interface names are configured in...
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Old

using Skype

Posted 10-19-2011 at 05:09 AM by neonsignal

To installl skype on Debian, the following repository can be added to /etc/apt/sources.list:
Code:
dep http://download.skype.com/linux/repos/debian/ stable non-free
It is then installed:
Code:
apt-get install skype
In order to get the camera to work, I found I had to force the use of the v4l1compat library when invoking skype, ie:
Code:
LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/libv4l/v4l1compat.so skype
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