Archive for Debian

Sudo upgrade from debian-security changes env handling

If you’ve recently update to the latest debian security release of sudo (1.6.8p7-1.3) which amongst other bugs fixes CVE-2005-4158: Insecure handling of PERLLIB PERL5LIB PERL5OPT environment vars then you’ve probably started getting errors like the following:

  • E138: Can’t write viminfo file $HOME/.viminfo!
  • dircolors: no SHELL environment variable, and no shell type option given

Sometimes I wish the changelogs would be clearer and maybe every so often a debconf message would save the hassle of an hours googling vim error codes. “Reverse the environment semantic by forcing users to maintain a whitelist [env.c, Bug#342948, CVE-2005-4158]” isn’t really that informative.

Anyway, the quick fix option is adding Defaults env_reset in /etc/sudoers.

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Xen and Debian Sarge

Some useful hints for running Debian/domU from the Xen Wiki:

I encountered the following problems when setting up Debian 3.1 as a DomU on Xen3.0 Unstable for the XenDemoLaptop:

  1. When booting, I get “Couldnt get a file decriptor referring to the console” about 100 times.
    • Fix: Remove /etc/rcS.d/
  2. When booting, I get lots of “FATAL: Module blah not found”
    • Fix: Remove offending modules from file /etc/modules
  3. When booting, after it says “Starting hotplug subsystem:” some of the say “[failed]”
    • Fix: Move offending modules out of /etc/hotplug/

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v20z slow booting on Debian

My new v20z was taking an annoying amount of time to boot. Checking the console and a quick google I discover this hint.

The following works well:

title Xen 3.0 / XenLinux / Unstable
kernel /xen-3.0-devel.gz dom0_mem=262144
module /vmlinuz-2.6.12-xen0 root=/dev/sda3 ro console=ttyS0,9600 console=tty0 hda=none hdb=none

The same thread had a link to this interesting site that produces boot charts.

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I seem to be doing this a lot at the moment. So I’ve collected a few notes together as reminder of the process.

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On desktops. OSX and NX. Thinkpads vs iBooks.

Back in June I decided I’d try out NX and my MiniMac as a possible active working desktop solution. The genesis for this was mainly based on my decision back in March that iBooks were the best portable solution. Reasonable battery live, hardware/software combination that just works, together.

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Klik and Breezy

According to this comment, klik now works out of the box with breezy. Followups to this thread.

I haven’t updated to bleezy yet, but this gives me a good excuse when I find some time at the end of the week. Personally, I think it would be brillant if the OSX-like package management became a standard feature in Linux.

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spellbound, firefox 1.0.4 and ubuntu

For a while I haven’t been able to get spellbound working. Today I got annoyed and discovered the following hint: Re: Firefox & Spellbound & Hoary – Solved.

The following worked for me:

* unzip spellbound\_lib\_linux_1.0.2.xpi
* cd bin/component/
* sudo cp \* /usr/lib/mozilla-firefox/components/
* sudo mkdir /usr/lib/mozilla-firefox/components/myspell
* unzip spell-en-NZ.xpi; rm install.js
* sudo cp * /usr/lib/mozilla-firefox/components/myspell
* finally install spellbound as normal

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Debian, lighttpd and phpmyadmin

Short recipe for getting lighttpd and phpmyadmin to work on Debian.

Lighttpd is quite easy to build for debian. Once you’ve built that apt-get install php4-cgi phpmyadmin. During the install process for php4-cgi, some apache packages might get added. I suggest you remove them, they aren’t needed: sudo apt-get remove apache2-utils apache-common libapache-mod-php4 –purge.

Next step is to edit /etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf. Add “mod_alias”, to server.modules and alias.url = ( “/phpmyadmin/” => “/usr/share/phpmyadmin/”)

Finally, add or uncomment the following, making sure to note the bin-path.
fastcgi.server = ( “.php” => ( “localhost” => ( “socket” => “/tmp/php-fastcgi.socket”, “bin-path” => “/usr/bin/php4-cgi”) ) ).

You’ll need to access phpmyadmin via For some reason it doesn’t work without the index.php. Haven’t figured that bit out yet. (server.indexfiles is set appropriately.)

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HostRAID (AIC-7901A ) and Debian, plus Xen and booting of a md root

I meant to post this a while back, but its been sitting in my queue. Back in February I purchase a x335. After some trials I got mpt-status and native hardware RAID functional under XEN. Although, testing the performance is still on my TODO list. Then April I got a x206 to replace a x205. The x206 said it had RAID 1 built-in with linux drivers, and thus didn’t require an additional RAID card. I should have recalled that linux drivers, most often for RAID means Redhat only binary drivers.

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OpenOffice.org2 and Ubuntu

Unfortunately using Debian experimental, which currently has debs for 1.9.108, in Ubuntu is probably a bad idea. So here is a recipe for converting the official RPMs for use on Ubuntu. First thing, make sure java. is installed, otherwise follow this and install jre from backports. Next download OOo\_1.9.109\_LinuxIntel_install.tar.gz. Both these will take a while. (150Mb+). Finally make sure you (apt-get) install alien.

Now you have a couple choices. Either this guide or the modifed script from this comment based on this guide. Personally I used the later method.

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