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Enabling DVD playback in Ubuntu 9.10 to 11.04 - Updated Version.

How to enable DVD playback in Ubuntu 9.10 - 11.04

I like to keep things brief and to the point. Here is how to configure Ubuntu to play DVDs. Tried the procedures on Ubuntu 9.10 up to 11.04, once installed, you will be able to use any proprietary or open-source media player.
Using the Terminal
Install the libdvdread4 package (no need to add third party repositories) via command line:

# sudo apt-get install libdvdread4

libdvdread4 is the decryption mechanism that decodes DVD content. This must be installed or you will not be able to play DVDs.
Then run this program only once:

# sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/

libdvdread4 and libdvdread4/ must be installed first before you install your desired media player. Once the above packages has been installed then you are free to install any media player, for instance, vlc and banshee.
# sudo apt-get install vlc

Installing with the Synaptic Package Manager
To open Synaptic, go to System>Administration> and click on Synaptic Package Manager. Or you can use the shell and type:

# sudo synaptic

Within the synaptic package manager box, click on the "search" button and type: "ubuntu-restricted-extras". A list of possible packages will be displayed. Right-click "ubuntu-restricted-extras" and choose "Install". Search for VLC by typing "vlc" in the "search" bar. Once found, right-click and choose install.  
After the initial install, go to the terminal to download and install /usr/lib/ with this command: "sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/". After all is complete, enjoy the entertainment.


Dropbox, not exactly single sign on but useful anyways

In our house we have one PC running Fedora 15 and one laptop also running Fedora 15. Up until now the laptop has been my machine only, no kids allowed but I am really sick of frying nuts off on the sofa and want to get some serious stuff done which would be better suited to a PC. Problem with the PC is that the kids always want on it, solution, create them accounts on the laptop, job done? No!

Even with accounts for the kids I was still getting nagged because none of their stuff (minecraft saves) were n the laptop. No problem, copied them over, easy as, but the next issue then was synchronizing those minecraft saves. I was considering flushing them through to a little HP Microserver running Ubuntu Server 10.10 but did not have the time, enter Dropbox. I saw this somewhere else but forget where but quite simply via cli in the dropbox directory:

ln -s /home/annoying_kid_name/.minecraft/saves mcsaves

So now it does not matter if the kids log into the PC or the laptop, Dropbox keeps the minecraft saves current on both machines :-)

This works great for other application settings to, I do the same thing for Getting Things Gnome and am busy thinking up other stuff to sync just for the sake of it.

It is hardly single sign on but it works, I do miss the off line files feature of Windows Server!


Configuring Dell EqualLogic PS6500 Array to work with RedHat Linux 6 EL

I decided to write the following post after having some problems getting iSCSI connectivity to work correctly with a Dell EQL PS6500 Array with RedHat 6.

It seems that Dell have done a great job in getting the Host Integration Tools to work with RH5.5 and ESXi and also the MEM for MPIO and I love the product, but I encountered some problems when trying to install a RH6 server and connect it all up following the docs on the Dell site. The main issue I had straight way that I was predominantly using SuSE SLES as my preferred Enterprise distro, but the RPMs provided by Dell for the HIT tools and MPIO had a load of dependencies that needed to be resolved before it was even possible to start using the extended functionality that these tools offer on SuSE.

So I downloaded a version of RH6.1 to test the new tools on, only to find that this didnt work as intended. After a lengthly support call, I was told that although the documentation said that it supported RH6 what this actually meant was 6.0. – So I downloaded 6.0 and had exactly the same issues…

So I did some digging around and debugging of the installation procedure and docs. The first thing that the docs tell you to do is make sure that you are at the latest supported release of 6 and to perform a yum_update. – This in itself is a problem, as it effectively takes the 6.0 installation and makes it 6.1. I tested this once I had a working 6.0 installation by doing the yum_update, and it completely broke the ability to address the iSCSI devices properly using the Dell tools. I found this a bit worrying, particularly if you are sharing your admin roles with someone else, they could inadvertently break the entire configuration.

The instructions for actually formatting and adding the device to the system could use some more detail.

The documentation(for RedHat MPIO on EQL) states as a final step that you need to do the following(this is entirely absent from the HIT tools docs):

mke2fs –j –v /dev/mapper/rhel-test

this doesnt work at all using the HIT tools and tells you that the process could not read block 0, and gives you all sorts of wonderful messages about not being happy with the superblocks on the device. – This doesnt happen if you dont use the tools, but just use Linux native MPIO.

The only approach to this that worked was by trial and error on my part (which was very time consuming) was as follows. Here’s my checklist:


Configure SCSI on the local onboard NICS on a dedicated DELL R710 and set 4 paths (edit the /etc/equallogic/equallogic.conf file and change the [MPIO] section to contain the maximum amount of path (NICS) you intend to use) – If you dont do this you could have problems in the future as for each NIC path you are given a corresponding /dev/sdX device which sits behind the mapper tool.

Some issues with the Dell HIT tool for EQL it doesnt work well on 6.1.

  • Yum update from 6.0 breaks a valid config as it effectively takes the server to 6.1!!!
  • Ignore the doc, dont do a localinstall of DKMS,EQL and iscsi-initiators. Also dont grab the latest version of DKMS as it is broken even though its available on the Dell site. – at the time of posting I used dkms-, but had problems with dkms-

Grab kernel-devel and gcc, gcc-headers using yum
Configure iscsi.conf and CHAP. – enter in here the CHAP password you set on your EqualLogic
Enable iscsi logins in /etc/rc.local
Run eqltune -v and run through checklist and make the necessary alterations to the kernel config,etc. – This tool is your friend!

Run ehcmcli -d to show valid paths and sessions (you should see 4 paths here if you set your MPIO settings in /etc/equallogic/equallogic.conf  to 4).

Run rswcli -E -network <ip> -mask to exclude the public NICS from accepting broadcast traffic from the EQL tool.
Use iscsiadm to discover the new LUNS and to log in the EQL LUN.
Next look in /dev/mapper for the eql-xxxxxxxx-volname LUN id. Make a note of its true dm-X number
To format the disk do not use the MPIO device. Its necessary to format the sdX devices that are available on each session. for this reason as well it means you need to set the config ahead of time at its maximum. It wont create more sessions as they are needed (this will break the LUN!!!). 
do this in /etc/equalogic/eql.conf

Run ehcmcli to find out which sdX devices are underneath the MPIO layer.
next run:
kpartx -a /dev/dm-X (where dm-X is the dm id associated with the eql LUN and vol name)
sfdisk /dev/sdXX (do this for each sdX)
kpartx -a /dev/dm-X
Next: mkfs.ext3 /dev/mapper/eql-lun-vol-part
mount /dev/mapper/eql-lun-vol-part

I’ve also included my working multipath.conf file from my attempts to use native MPIO on RH6.1 and not the Dell tools. You will note that the way that the scsi tools (on RH6.1) interrogate the device has changed slightly and it now expects to see SEQLOGIC not EQLLOGIC, which could explain why the yum update breaks the tool.

There is also the suggestion to do the following in the lvm.conf file, but this renders you install unbootable if you are using LVM on your main filesystem.

filter = [ r|/dev/mapper/eql-[-0-9a-fA-F]*_[a-z]$| ]


defaults {

        udev_dir                /dev

        polling_interval        10

        path_selector           “round-robin 0″

        path_grouping_policy    multibus

        getuid_callout          “/lib/udev/scsi_id –whitelisted –device=/dev/%n”

        prio                    const

        path_checker            directio

        rr_min_io               100

        flush_on_last_del       no

        max_fds                 8192

        rr_weight               priorities

        failback                immediate

        no_path_retry           fail

        queue_without_daemon    no

        user_friendly_names     yes

        mode                    644

        uid                     0

        gid                     disk


blacklist {

        devnode “^sd[ab]$”

        devnode “^(ram|raw|loop|fd|md|dm-|sr|scd|st)[0-9]*”

        devnode “^hd[a-z][[0-9]*]”


#blacklist_exceptions {

#       devnode “^dasd[c-d]+[0-9]*”

#       wwid    “IBM.75000000092461.4d00.34″


multipaths {

        multipath {

                wwid                    36090a0a890d37ea5f1df5414000040ac

                alias                   MyRedHatVol



devices {

 device {

        vendor “SEQLOGIC”

        product “100E-00″

        path_grouping_policy multibus

        getuid_callout “/sbin/scsi_id -p 0×83 -gus /block/%n”

        features “1 queue_if_no_path”

        path_checker readsector0

        failback immediate

        path_selector “round-robin 0″

        rr_min_io 10

        rr_weight properties




I’m sure theres other ways to sort this out, but the above checklist is what worked for me..


Chatting with Peter Tait of Lucid Imagination

Back in January I had the opportunity to test drive LucidWorks Enterprise, a search engine for internal networks. The cross-platform search engine was flexible, stable, easy to install and came backed by a friendly support staff. In short, it was a good experience which demonstrated how useful (and straight forward) running one's own search engine can be.

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Cross-compiling for ARM

In order to do program in ARM board [9TDMI], I cross-compiled using the Linux 'C' compiler for ARM and here is the procedure that I used.

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Back to the Basic: Clean hardware means fast software by Richard Sims

I'd like to share an experience that I think most of us can hopefully benefit from. My main personal computer is pretty decently fast, even tho I have owned it for almost 3 years now it's life span seems like it should go a lot longer then my previous systems. It has never had any major issues, and it has been the center of multiple hobbies, projects, and the source of my relaxation(StarCraft2).

   However, I started realizing something I thought was odd, in it's boot up process it was taking longer, and longer, for it to find it's USB Controllers which slowed down the entire process of booting up. Other issues would happen as well, windows and Linux were both becoming extremely unstable even with fresh copies of each installed.

   After driving myself crazy trying to find the source of the problem. I stopped doing something that I think we all have been guilty of, especially with our own systems at one time or another. I decided I could not fix this if I do not start fixing the obvious first. I began by unplugging my tower ,opening it up and finally cleaning every little spec of dust I could find.

   Of course it was a lot more gruesome then that. I owned this system since before I quit smoking, I own three small dogs who also contribute to dog fur in odd places around the house, etc... Although it was obvious how badly it needed to be cleaned, once I got down to taking fans apart, cleaning all my heat sinks, and everything else I could find it was obvious how bad it really was.

   I had a huge plate of dirt, dust, fur, and probably some mutated germs of whatever cold virus I have had in the past 3 years. It was disgusting, but I felt extremely accomplished once it was done. It was good to know that my computer was spotless inside and out, and that it will last a long as possible with proper maintenance that it has been needing on the hardware side.

   I boot up my system, and to my surprise, my USB Controllers initialized immediately, windows (which was previously crashed to a blue screen) worked perfect, as well as my Linux OS. My system was like new, and the software was being effected as much as the hardware was by simply not being cleaned.

   As technical professionals, hobbyists, enthusiasts, geeks, whatever you want to call us, we all have been guilty of letting our own system go with different things at one time or another. I hope this can be a reminder to all of us regarding  the importance of taking our own advice, when it comes to our own systems as well.



AMD Phenom II (Quad Core) 2.6ghz


1TB Hard Drive

1GB Video RAM ATI Radeon HD 4850



openSUSE Weekly News 185 is out!

We are pleased to announce the openSUSE Weekly News Issue 185.



In this Issue:

  • openSUSE 12.1 Milestone 3 released
  • Google Summer of Code Reports
  • Javier Llorente: New namespace for KDE apps maintained by upstream
    openSUSE medical Meeting

You can download it there:

We hope you enjoy the reading :-)

If you want to help us collecting interesting articles for the openSUSE Weekly News, so you can all your stuff into our new ietherpad:

Found Bugs? Please place it in our Bugtracker:

Features, Ideas and Improvements can placed in our Featuretracker:


Installing and Using Mysql on Ubuntu

1. run following command in terminal
   sudo apt-get install mysql-server

    during the installation process it will ask for root password

2. to check whether the Mysql server is installed & running properly,run
   sudo netstat -tap | grep mysql

   you sholud see now the following lines or something similar:
   tcp        0      0 localhost.localdo:mysql *:*                     LISTEN      13059/mysqld

3. If in case your server is not running properly you can restart it by running following command
   sudo /etc/init.d/mysql restart

Using Mysql
4. when mysql is installed, you can start it by running:

 mysql -u root -p

the command prompt will change now to mysql>

5. to create database use:
    create database databasename;
6. to use database use:
    use databasename;

from here on you can create table,insert into table and peroform other mysql actions

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Man vs Machine: Virtualization on a 10.1 inch net-book by Richard Sims

Well determined to use my powerful little net-book for as many things as possible that it was not intended to be used for,I wiped Windows 7 Starter and installed Ubuntu 11.04 32 bit; which went extremely smoothly, and Ubuntu was able to install and detect everything on it's own. The only work I had to do on top of installing Ubuntu 11.04, was clicking on “additional drivers” and enabling the proprietary drivers for my Nvidia Ion card(That's right, my little 10 inch net-book has a 512 V-RAM Nvidia Ion graphics card). My wireless card, bluetooth, everything built-in to my net-book Ubuntu 11.04 installed smoothly and easily. However, I felt this was all too easy and simple, so I wanted to take it a step further.


  With a real operating system installed (The “Starter” edition of windows 7 lacks many basic features for my net-book, such as switching between the on-board video card and my Nvidia card for battery saving reasons). I decided to attempt to install a virtual copy of Windows 2003 Server on my net-book for no other reason then to prove to myself and the world that it can be done. The first thing I did was restart the computer and check my BIOS settings to see if my net-book supports virtualization, it was a false hope but it turns out they don't put that option in the BIOS of 10 inch net-books... I thought this would be the case. This led me to believe that I was in the beginning of a big waste of time, because without being able to enable virtualization on my BIOS, that usually, if not always, means that my BIOS/mainboard does not support virtualization. But hey, why let this stop you?


  I continued on my quest to run a functional virtual copy of Windows 2003 Server on my net-book (Why windows? Because hey, if it can run a virtual copy of Windows, it can run a virtual copy of anything!). Next I install VirtualBox OSE direct from the Ubuntu Software Center then made a 20 GB 256 MB RAM Virtual slot for my soon to be OS. Once that completed, I proceeded to install Windows 2003 Server in VirtualBox on my new net-book.

VirtualBox OSE on Ubuntu 11.04

After waiting for windows to finally install, I had a tough time staying determined to make this work, but still I kept at it while watching the windows installer 40 minute count-down slowly pass. Once done, it rebooted the VirtualBox OSE to start Windows 2003 Server, then I rebooted it a few more times to make sure it wasn't a fluke... Cross your fingers.... this is the moment of truth.

Windows 2003 Server running on Ubuntu + VirtualBox


Victory!!! Man +1 Machine 0



I have now installed Ubuntu 11.04 Desktop, VirtualBox OSE, and Windows 2003 Server onto my net-book.


Net-book specifications:


ASUS Eee PC Seashell 1015PN



Processor: Intel Atom 570 (Dual-Core)

Memmory: 1GB 1333mhz 204 pin RAM

Hard Drive: 250 GB







openSUSE Weekly News 184 is out!

We are pleased to announce our new openSUSE Weekly News Issue 184.



In this Issue:

  1. openSUSE Conference 2011 Registration opened
  2. Google Summer of Code Reports
  3. Sascha Manns: How to use three Open Build Service Source Services to simplify the packaging
  4. Linux Foundation: basysKom, Codero, Gluster and Nixu Open Join The Linux Foundation
  5. and many more ...

You can download it there:

We hope you enjoy the reading :-)

If you want to help us collecting interesting articles for the openSUSE Weekly News, so you can all your stuff into our new ietherpad:

Found Bugs? Please place it in our Bugtracker:

Features, Ideas and Improvements can placed in our Featuretracker:

Older content can be found there.


Convert ext2 to ext3 file system

The conversion procedure is very simple enough. Let us assume /dev/sda6 (ext2 now) mounted on /convert.  You will be seeing fstb entries like,

/dev/sda6         /convert             ext2    defaults        0 0

Unmount the partition

umount /dev/sda6

Enable Journal (converting to ext3) using tune2fs command,

tune2fs -j /dev/sda6

Edit /etc/fstab and for /dev/sda6 change the file system type to ext3. Finally, the entry should be like this,

/dev/sda6         /convert             ext3    defaults        1 2

Mount the partition using mount command,

mount -a

If above command doesn’t work, reboot the system and check.

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