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NOOB's adventures in Linux From Scratch

 Hello again,

   Today has been a wonderful day. I was looking for a kinda recipe for the command line. No one was able to help me. I would ask around chats and they'd say read the man pages. All fine and good if you know what you're looking at but man pages have always been very cryptic for me. Info pages seem a bit better but I need nuts and bolts and I guess I really couldn't get to the core of what I needed. Then a gentleman who overheard me on IRC complain about a user's guide.. pointed me to ... At first I was a bit conserned I'd been had as this page was extracting :O But what soon followed was pure pleasure.

   Here , I'd found what I was looking for, ( I think ) I could read it. I didn't need a scientific dictionary , I didn't feel like a total fool . It's wonderfully written. The Author goes on to state that he would like you to have a Redhat "like" or debian "like" distribution installed so if he ask you can have available the program to use.

   then he put me right at ease by saying:

Any system reference will require you to read it at least three times before you get a reasonable picture of what to do. If you need to read it more than three times, then there is probably some other information that you really should be reading first. If you are reading a document only once, then you are being too impatient with yourself.

Next , I get a really big smile when I read :

The LPI and RHCE are two certifications that introduce you to LINUX. This book covers far more than both these two certifications in most places, but occasionally leaves out minor items as an exercise. It certainly covers in excess of what you need to know to pass both these certifications.

  Wow, not only do I feel like I'm learning alot and even understanding man pages now that before I started this book didn't have a clue , man pages overwhelmed me. I even am beginning to feel comfortable with the command line.

   I might even qualify for some certifications that weren't my primary objective.

   Right now I'm reading mostly man pages as an exercise , mostly from coreutils and reviewing many of the primary commands.

Think it's been 12 days or so since I decided to try and build LFS... right now it's not looking like it's going to be as long a journey as I once thought. 




Guess what, I have SPLAT in my notebook, easy to install and easy to use. :)


Dual Boot Mac Mini

I was pleasantly surprised that changing a Mac Mini to dual boot Mac OS X and Linux was relatively painless. I more or less followed the instructions here:

I ran the Boot Camp thing in the Utilities folder and allocated the disk half and half.  (I was kind of annoyed that it assumed I was going to install Windows.)

Then I installed the rEFIt boot manager:

Finally, I installed Ubuntu 9.04.  The only problem now is that the display comes up in 800 x 600 when I boot into Linux.



Just„ÄÄstarted Local Drupal Group


I happen to be a Drupal user. But in Japan Drupal is not popular.

日本では商用ではMoovable Type,オープンソースではXoopsが人気のようですね。

In Japan, Moovable type and Xoops is popular.


And I was looking for a users on the net and found and decide d to have meet up events.


At the first meeting we have 18 users.


This weekend is 2nd time gethering, and 8hours.




NEWB's adventures in Linux From Scratch

  Hello again,

   It seems I have the talent for sticking my foot in my mouth. I've just recently been informed that noob stands for : someone who believes they know it all , but in reality know little to nothing at all.  I stand corrected. (I though I said I was a newbie)

   Now that I've apparently found a book that I can understand,  learning is becoming much easier. I'm starting to organize.  Many of the things will save me time like the bash ctrl key functions so I've made a kind of overlay (remember Word Perfect?) that way I'll learn much faster. Seems that there are list and notes everywhere  in this book. There's a lot to learn and I've got to have somewhere easy to recall the most important things. For me that's a real paper notebook. 


FFMPEG Cropping and Re-sizing (order matters)

I discovered something whilst trying to crop and re-size a video with FFMPEG: the order of switches actually matters! I couldn't find any mention of this in the documentation, and nowhere could I find an explanation of why my video was being cropped after it was resized. The video I was re-encoding had some fuzziness at the top, and an ugly black border down the right-hand side. I wanted to remove these, but have a fixed output size.

Here's an example. Our input file, input.avi is a 640x480 video.

We run the following 2 commands:

ffmpeg -i input.avi -s qvga -croptop 8 -cropright 22 output1.avi
ffmpeg -i input.avi -croptop 8 -cropright 22 -s qvga output2.avi

Notice that in the first case, we've set the size first (qvga means 320x240).

In the second case we set the cropping first.

Now let's look at the output with: file *.avi.

input.avi: RIFF (little-endian) data, AVI, 640 x 480, 25.00 fps, video: XviD, audio: MPEG-1 Layer 3 (stereo, 44100 Hz)
output1.avi: RIFF (little-endian) data, AVI, 298 x 232, 25.00 fps, video: FFMpeg MPEG-4, audio: MPEG-1 Layer 1 or 2 (stereo, 44100 Hz)
output2.avi: RIFF (little-endian) data, AVI, 320 x 240, 25.00 fps, video: FFMpeg MPEG-4, audio: MPEG-1 Layer 1 or 2 (stereo, 44100 Hz)

As you can see, the first output file has its dimensions cropped after resizing. The second one before, and its the second one I wanted, cropping the video first, then resizing it.

I have never encountered a command-line app where the order of the switches actually mattered, until now. I don't know how many other ffmpeg switches this also applies to, but I thought I'd share it as I personally couldn't find anything about it elsewhere.

Hope this is helpful!



Testing the blog platform

seems to be fairly cool for sure!

 I think that the pop-up editor is a cool feature.

 Oh, sorry, I mean:


Hello world!




Likewise Software Ships with SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11 from Novell


Integrates SUSE Linux Desktop with Microsoft Networks


BELLEVUE, Wash., May 19, 2009 - Likewise announced today that its Likewise Enterprise offering will ship as part of SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11 from Novell.


Likewise Enterprise securely connects computers running  SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11 with Microsoft Active Directory -- making it easy to authenticate users, control access to applications and data, centrally manage settings with group policies and create reports for regulatory audits.


"Likewise is seeing acceleration in the number of our Linux desktop projects," said Barry Crist, CEO of Likewise. "Novell is a natural partner for us as it has been a pioneer in the area of Linux desktops with SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop. The company clearly understands the widespread demand to offer better integration into Active Directory environments."


The group policies in Likewise Enterprise let system administrators manage the security settings of SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop computers and users from a central system. Likewise Enterprise also includes GNOME group policies to control SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop user and computer settings -- policies that are based on the GNOME GConf project to define preferences like the default web browser or when to lock down a desktop.


"Likewise helps us meet the requirements that our customers demand; the need for advanced Active Directory integration including support for AD security settings and group policy," said Guy Lunardi, director for Client Preloads at Novell. "SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11 is the most interoperable Linux desktop in the industry and in combination with Likewise Enterprise offers a highly-scalable enterprise solution for large Linux desktop deployments."


Under the terms of the agreement between Likewise and Novell, all Novell customers who buy SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11 will get Likewise Enterprise, and it will be part of the SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop software repositories.


"Many organizations are integrating their Linux systems into Active Directory because of the centralized identity and policy management capabilities, with the added benefits of enhanced authentication and sign-on reduction," noted Mark Diodati, senior identity and security analyst at Burton Group. "The embedding of the Active Directory component into the Linux operating system should simplify enterprise deployments."


Likewise Enterprise addresses the authentication, auditing, and reporting needs of companies running multiple operating systems in their network. Likewise Enterprise is a simple upgrade for customers who have installed Likewise Open and want to use group policies to manage their mixed environment and use the auditing features of Likewise Enterprise to view access reports. The auditing features help companies comply with regulatory requirements, such as those of Sarbanes-Oxley.


About Likewise

Likewise provides identity management solutions that improve security, enhance operational efficiency, and help achieve regulatory compliance in mixed networks. Likewise Open lets large organizations securely authenticate Linux, Unix, and Mac systems with Active Directory, a popular and proven unified directory system. Likewise Enterprise includes all the core authentication technology that comes with Likewise Open, plus world-class modules for access control, migration, group policy, auditing, and reporting. For more information, visit


Likewise is a trademark of Likewise Software. All other trademarks referenced herein are the property of their respective owners.


Effortless XML manipulation with Groovy slurping

To be a successful software developer in this day and age, you need a set of tools that makes dealing with XML effortless. Groovy introduces new and better ways to create and process XML. With the help of some examples, this article shows you how Groovy makes building and parsing XML refreshingly simple.

Convert maildir to mbox

Article Source:
Date: March 13th 2009

Note, there is a short story before the main course.

I recently had a customer leave. It’s never good to lose a customer. They left not because of any service issues but because its hard for them to understand that I am not a web designer. I provided hosting service for them, and I tried to make it clear that they should find a web desinger and someone to maintain their site because that is not something I specialize in or have any interest in doing. At any rate this of course leads to them finding a designer who wants to move their site to some other host. I have no problems with that whatever makes the maintainer happy since he is the one (more…)


Come scoprire quale cartella occupa troppo spazio

Come possiamo sapere come e' distribuito lo spazio sul disco del nostro "amato" server Windows??

Il SO di Redmond non ci viene incontro in questo ingrato compito e infatti non troviamo nessun comando che ci possa dare un'indicazione al volo di quale cartella occupa di piu'. Possiamo al piu' avere un riscontro su spazio occupato e spazio libero su una unita', ma come fare per avere una lista di cartelle in base alla loro occupazione?

Utilizzando una macchina Linux (in particolare Ubuntu 9.04 nei prossimi esempi)! Come prima cosa montiamo il disco del server in una directory del nostro client:

esoso@UBW099015D:~/backups$ sudo mount -t smbfs //SERVERNAME/c$/ source/ -o user=DOMAIN/USERNAME,uid=1000,gid=1000

A questo punto il disco C: del server e' montato nella cartella locale source/ e possiamo trattarla come tale.

Il comando che andremo ad usare e' du (man du): ci restituisce come output una lista di tutti i files e le directory contenute nella dir corrente

esoso@UBW099015D:~/backups/source$ du
132 ./WINDOWS/WinSxS/x86_Microsoft.Windows.Networking.RtcRes_6595b64144ccf1df_5.2.2.1830_en_920EB233
356 ./WINDOWS/WinSxS/x86_Microsoft.Windows.WinHTTP_6595b64144ccf1df_5.1.3790.1830_x-ww_74150EFB
356 ./WINDOWS/WinSxS/x86_Microsoft.Windows.WinHTTP_6595b64144ccf1df_5.1.3790.3262_x-ww_CE315432
21246 ./WINDOWS/WinSxS
4019928 ./WINDOWS
0 ./wmpub/wmiislog
0 ./wmpub
5443042 .

L'output di du e' molto semplice: due colonne, la prima indica lo spazio occupato (in Kb) e la seconda il percorso completo del file o della cartella analizzata.

Cosi' facendo pero' il comando sbrodola una lista interminabile e difficilmente analizzabile; possiamo pero' utilizzare un flag molto comodo --max-depth=1; a questo punto l'output diventera' un po piu' leggibile perche' il comando non discendera' nelle directory di livello superiore al valore del flag (1 in questo caso):

esoso@UBW099015D:~/backups/source$ du --max-depth=1
0 ./Config.Msi
428498 ./Documents and Settings
25087 ./IBMTOOLS
783484 ./Program Files
20 ./System Volume Information
126980 ./TEMP
4019928 ./WINDOWS
0 ./wmpub
5444698 .

Ci siamo quasi!! Pero' sarebbe molto comodo avere un ordinamento dell'output basato sulla dimensione delle cartelle e non in base al loro nome; ci dobbiamo affidare al pipe e al comando sort per questo:

esoso@UBW099015D:~/backups/source$ du --max-depth=1 | sort -n -r
5448898 .
4019932 ./WINDOWS
783484 ./Program Files
428498 ./Documents and Settings
126980 ./TEMP
25087 ./IBMTOOLS
20 ./System Volume Information
0 ./wmpub
0 ./Config.Msi

Sort rielabora l'output di du e ce lo presenta allo stesso modo pero' ordinato per dimensione (-n numeric sort) e dal piu invadente al meno esoso. Con una riga di comando possiamo quindi avere sotto controllo ogni singola cartella del server che dobbiamo ripulire, quindi sotto con le pulizie di Pasqua!!!!

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