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public key for repositories

Posted 11-26-2011 at 07:14 AM by neonsignal
Updated 11-26-2011 at 07:16 AM by neonsignal

When adding a new apt repository and calling apt-get update, the following message indicates that the signing key for that repository has not been added to the apt keyring:
The following signatures couldn't be verified because the public key is not available
These keys can be added in manually, although this may vary between repositories. For example, on the, the keys can be obtained by installing the package debian-multimedia-keyring....
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preserving the master boot record

Posted 11-21-2011 at 08:54 PM by neonsignal

The master boot record (MBR) from an unmounted drive can be preserved using dd. For example, boot from a live CD and copy the master boot record of the hard drive sda to a usb key mounted at /mnt/sdb1:
dd if=/dev/sda of=/mnt/sdb1/mbr.img bs=512 count=1
The MBR can be restored in a similar way. Be very cautious at this step, because the MBR typically holds the partition table and the initial boot loader stage, so a mistake can be difficult to recover from....
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removing extra console terminals

Posted 11-20-2011 at 07:12 PM by neonsignal

Many Linux distros are installed to have multiple consoles, selected using ctrl-alt-f1 through to ctrl-alt-f6. Where memory is extremely tight, this can be reduced to save some space, by commenting out the relevant [i/]/sbin/getty[/i] lines in /etc/inittab. This will also mean that X will be invoked from a different ctrl-alt-f sequence.

Note that this will only save around half a meg of resident memory per console, so for conventional desktop/laptop systems it is not worth changing....
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virus scanning

Posted 11-20-2011 at 07:02 PM by neonsignal
Updated 11-20-2011 at 07:03 PM by neonsignal

Although malware has not been the same problem to the same degree on Linux as on other operating systems, it is still possible to run a virus scanner.

A straightforward one is clamav, which is in the repositories of many distros. Typically the install will set up a cron job to grab daily virus signature list updates (this can be disabled by removing /etc/cron.d/clamav-freshclam). The signature list can also be updated manually:
To scan...
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mixing stable and testing packages

Posted 11-19-2011 at 10:42 PM by neonsignal

Sometimes when sticking with a Debian stable version, it can be useful to just update one or two packages to a testing or even unstable version, because of new features.

The ideal way to do this is to use backports, because these have been tested (and patched if necessary) to work with the stable versions of other packages. The backports repository is added to /etc/apt/sources.list:
deb squeeze-backports main contrib
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