Finally have a working Arch Linux install

For some reason, I’m really drawn to Arch Linux. I’ve used it in the past(probably a couple of years ago), with decent success. However, recently I’ve been wanting to try it again, but am having many issues. I won’t go in to the issues I’m having, yet, as I haven’t researched deeply in to them, and want to before I start bad-mouthing the distro.

That being said, I got a full working Arch Linux install up and running last night in a VirtualBox virtual machine. The only trick I had to do was choose the IDE-Legacy boot option during the install. After that, everything just worked. And what was amazing to me, is that networking was working from the get go on it, and I was using my laptop via wireless. So VirtualBox must pass whatever networking the host computer is using to it’s virtual adapter. Thats was cool and somewhat unexpected.

Once the base was installed, I was easily able to install gdm, gnome, xfce , and fluxbox and everything worked perfectly. I’m really liking Xfce, and Arch already has the latest(4.4) available in its repositories. So that was cool to check out. I did get an error installing xfce4-goodies though, but it wasn’t a show stopper.

Arch is fast. Even in a virtual machine, everything is very snappy. I really want to get it working on my workstation or even my laptop as the main install.

Permissions error using VirtualBox

I downloaded and installed VirtualBox on my Debian Etch laptop and I experienced a permissions error the first time I tried to start a virtual machine, however it worked fine running as root. The fix is easy and was found in the FAQ of the VirtualBox website.

If you get a message saying “VirtualBox kernel driver not accessible, permission problem” when starting VirtualBox right after installation, make sure that your user account is listed in the vboxusers group. The installation takes care creating that group, but you will need to manually add all users to it that should be allowed to run VirtualBox. As root, for each such user, run usermod -G vboxusers -a . If any of the affected users are currently logged in, they need to log out for the changes to take effect. In case any user already attempted to start VirtualBox before logging out (which launches the VBoxSVC service process with incorrect permissions), that user additionally needs to run VirtualBox shutdown from the command line to terminate the service. This solves the permission problems. (Alternatively, a reboot will help as well.)

apt-get install filezilla

I just learned today that my favorite FTP client in Windows is now available for Linux in the form of their upcoming release. I was pretty stoked when I learned of this, because gftp is alright, but it ain’t great. Since I run Debian, I did a simple apt-get install filezilla and wham-o, there it was. The downside of this install is it is beta 2 and Filezilla 3 is currently at beta 5. I may try to compile it myself if the beta 2 gives me any problems.

Update: If you want to install Filezilla from the Deian respositories, you will need to be running Testing(Etch) or Unstable. It is not in the current stable repos.

Now running Mythtv

Well, I’ve done it. Over the weekend I ran to the store and picked up a Hauppauge pvr-150. Followed the Ubuntu guide Chris from the Linux Action Show mentions and had a backend only setup working in about an hour. Still learning how to get certain things to work, most importantly commercial skipping. Also still need to figure out a decent front end solution. Last night I downloaded knoppmyth which booted up fine on my laptop and was able to communicate with the backend server and I was able to start playing recorded shows, but I had no sound. So for the time being I’m just downloading the recordings via the mythtvweb interface and watching in mplayer. Cool stuff!

Quicktip – disable your time and date from being reset to UTC in Ubuntu ArsGeek – Free your inner geek »

Hmmm, I think I suffer from this problem as my time is always wrong on my workstation running Ubuntu. Will has to try this to see if it fixes it.

I recently had a friend using Ubuntu who’s time/date was constantly being set back to UTC, much to her frustration.

Here’s how to change this behavior.

First, we’re going to modify (and make a backup of) your rcS file in the /etc/default directory.

Quicktip – disable your time and date from being reset to UTC in Ubuntu – ArsGeek – Free your inner geek »

No more TUX Magazine

I am sorry to inform our readers that Issue 20 of TUX was the last produced. While we have received an amazing amount of positive feedback about the magazine, the financial reality of the situation made it impossible for us to continue publishing TUX. Current revenues didn’t cover current costs, much less allow us to expand the publication as we wished.

This is really the pits. I liked this magazine. However the concept of PDF only release is probably what did them in. They recently changed their structure, from a free subscription to a paid subscription. And I guess people showed little interest paying for a PDF only format. I had no intentions of paying them for it. Could they have turned it into a printed periodical, I would have subscribed in a second. Maybe it’s time they bring back Maximum Linux Magazine.

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Destined to dual boot

I haven’t mentioned this yet, but a few weeks ago I broke down and purchased a new laptop. I went with a Thinkpad z60m. My intentions with it, is to run Linux as the primary OS, but because I also plan to use it for work when I’m on the road, I still need to have the ability to boot XP. So the same day I received the laptop, I wiped it and installed a dual boot setup with Ubuntu and Windows XP. This works fine, except for when I miss the boot menu and it goes into Linux and I need to reboot again and try to remember to catch it next time. I have an idea about about a feature Linux should have there, but I will post that some other day.

Over this past weekend I installed VMware server on my home workstation that runs Ubuntu. I was really impressed how easy it was to install and setup. And in no time I had XP installed as a virtual machine. I used this guide to help me with this. The only issue I experienced was that I needed to install xinetd to get vmware server to install properly. But with XP running in a VM, I was able to use it for everything I would need to while on the road.

So last night I wiped the laptop and reinstalled Ubuntu and then installed VMware server. Soon after, installed XP Pro in a virtual machine, and quickly realized there is a problem. Unlike my home workstation, my laptop is and will mostly being connecting via it’s WiFi card. The virtual install does not recognize the wifi card and XP has no network connectivity. Oh man! Now I haven’t researched at all to see if there are ways to make it work, but I really don’t want to jump through hoops to use wifi on XP installed as a virtual machine. So this weekend I’m going to re-do my install so I’m configured to dual boot again.

Creating a simple blank monthly calendar to print in Linux

Here’s how I did it(I use Ubuntu).

sudo apt-get install remind

Remind is a command line based tool. Running the following comand creates an October 2006 calendar as a Postscript file in my home directory. Then I can just open it and print it.

remind -p1 /dev/null 1 oct 2006 | rem2ps -l -st 22 -sd 18 -sh 14 -e >

Update: If you use Arch Linux, Remind is available in AUR