If a man speaks in a forest, and his wife's not there, is he still wrong?

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Modifying multiple mailman mailing lists

I run quite a few mailing lists for my various projects. For each one, I have 4 lists: projectname, projectname-trac, projectname-svn, projectname-dev.

I have a script that sets all these up automatically for new projects. However, I managed to get some wrong, and wanted to change various values for *all* lists.

I used the config_list script as follows:

for l in $(list_lists -b) ; do config_list -vi list_changes.txt $l  ; done

list_changes.txt contained the following text:

accept_these_nonmembers = ['projects@example.com']
bounce_matching_headers = ''
real_name = mlist.internal_name()
owner = ['admin@example.com']
subject_prefix = ''.join(['[', mlist.internal_name(), '] '])
msg_footer = """_______________________________________________
http://lists.projects.robinbowes.com/mailman/listinfo/%(_internal_name)s/"""

Job done!

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Yet another disk failure - FreeBSD to the rescue!

Last week, I suffered yet another disk failure in my NAS. I'm running 10x500GB disks on an OpenSolaris box in a raidz2 configuration. This allows me to survive the failure of two disks without losing any data. I'd already had a disk fail and was awaiting a replacement from WD when I suffered another complete failure and, at the same time, a 3rd disk effectively failed as it starting throwing up read errors on several sectors. This caused my 4TB zpool to disappear, "losing" all data stored on it. Bugger!

However, the third disk was not totally unusable; I was able to read from most of the disk. What I needed to do was copy as much as possible from the "bad" disk onto a new disk, put it back in the zpool and cross my fingers.

Enter FreeBSD.

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OS X on i386 laptop...

I'm trying to install OS X on my Toshiba laptop using iDeneb 1.4 (10.5.6)

First problem, it wouldn't boot from the internal DVD drive. However, it seems to boot OK from an external USB DVD drive.

At the boot prompt, I press F8 an enter the following options:

-v platform=x86pc

After a while, it seems to hang, with msgs from the RealTek driver appearing every few seconds. Then, after about 5-10 mins, the install proceeds...

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Better console on Windows XP

Despite using a Linux/Unix desktop most of the time, I still have a Windows laptop on which I can test some of my cross-platform tools (Net-UDAP, flac2mp3, etc.). I generally use cygwin as I'm more familiar with the unix-flavour command-line. However, the default cygwin shell is pretty poor as it runs inside the windows cmd shell.

I have tried a couple of ways to overcome this but I think I've just stumbled across the perfect solution: console. Basically, you set cygwin.bat as the default shell for console and... voila! Details here.

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Mac4Lin on Solaris

I came across the Mac4Lin project this week.

mac4lin.sourceforge.net

I'm installing it on OpenSolaris 2008.11 - so far so good!

I need to install a few packages that are not available in current OpenSolaris repositories. Apparently, the best way to do this is to build them using SFE. Details here:

blogs.sun.com
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zfs volume as VirtualBox guest virtual disk

Here's how to use a zfs volume as a virtual disk for a VirtualBox guest:

First, create the volume:

zfs create -V 10G data/zvol_ubuntu_8_10

I run VirtualBox in user-space, so make sure I have write permission to the new volume:

chown robin /dev/zvol/rdsk/data/zvol_ubuntu_8_10

Create the vmdk "wrapper" around the raw device:

/opt/VirtualBox/VBoxManage internalcommands createrawvmdk \
    -filename ~/.VirtualBox/ubuntu_8_10.vmdk \
    -rawdisk /dev/zvol/rdsk/data/zvol_ubuntu_8_10

Register the new disk with VirtualBox (you can also do this from the GUI)

/opt/VirtualBox/VBoxManage registerimage disk ~/.VirtualBox/ubuntu_8_10.vmdk

The resulting disk will be available for selection when you create a new guest.

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OpenSolaris 2008.11 installation

I've decided to give OpenSolaris 2008.11 a go as my main desktop environment.

These are some notes I made detailing the process, including some gotchas I ran into.

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64-bit Sun Java plugin for Firefox 3 in Ubuntu Intrepid 8.10

It seems that the latest Sun Java release includes a native 64-bit plugin for Firefox. Yay!

I first read about this here: luke.faraone.cc/2009/01/native-64bit-java-plugin-in-ubuntu/

However, the instructions in that article didn't quite work for me on Ubuntu Intrepid 8.10.

Here's what I did:

wget http://www.java.net/download/jdk6/6u12/promoted/b03/binaries/jre-6u12-ea-bin-b03-linux-amd64-22_dec_2008-rpm.bin
sh jre-6u12-ea-bin-b03-linux-amd64-22_dec_2008-rpm.bin
fakeroot alien jre-6u12-ea-linux-amd64.rpm
sudo dpkg -i jre_1.6.0_12-1_amd64.deb
sudo update-java-alternatives  -s java-6-sun
sudo ln -s /usr/java/jre1.6.0_12/lib/amd64/libnpjp2.so /usr/lib64/firefox-3.0.5/plugins/

Then restart Firefox.

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Replacing network card in Ubuntu 7.10

In my new job, I was provided with a VMWare image running Ubuntu 7.10 which contains my own dev environment. I wanted to run it using VirtualBox instead of VMWare. The migration was fairly straight-forward since VirtualBox can read VMWare disk files. However, networking didn't work.

I found the answer here: http://mydebian.blogdns.org/?p=177#comments

Basically, it was due to persistent udev rules. To fix it, I did this:

  1. sudo rmmod e1000
  2. sudo rm /etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rules
  3. sudo modprobe e1000
  4. sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart

Et viola!

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Setup NFs on Ubuntu

This is one of those "I've done it several times but don't do it often enough to remember" things!

I wanted to set up NFS on a dev server and mount it on my workstation - both machines running Ubuntu.

This link the necessary info at a suitable level of detail:

www.quietearth.us

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