Archive for the 'EasyLinuxGuide' Category

Installing a 3TB+ Hard Drive in Linux

Sunday, November 10th, 2013

I recently purchased a couple 3TB hard drives and wanted to set them up on my Ubuntu system. They are part of 4 bay external USB configurations. It is quite simple to configure them, the hard part is finding the correct commands. Note – I am using these drives for storage and not to boot from.

Here is what worked for me:

Step 1: change from MBR to GPT configuration: open a terminal window, get root access (or use sudo):
(as root)> parted /dev/sd? (make sure you know the drive letter that this new drive corresponds to and replace the question mark with it- you can open gparted to find out)
(as normal user)> sudo parted /dev/sd?

Step 2: make the drive GPT instead of MBR:
(assuming parted is open with root privileges)
mklabel gpt

Step 3: Create a primary partition on the drive
unit TB
mkpart primary 0.00TB 3.00TB

Step 4: (optionally issue the ‘print’ command to check your results – it should show GPT and the proper drive size) then format the drive:
mkfs.ext4  /dev/sd?1
(I prefer ext4, but choose whichever file system you like)

Step 5: Once the drive is formatted, you can check to see which UUID number represents it:
sudo blkid
You can match up your drives until you figure out which one represents your new drive

Step 6: Add it to automount in fstab:
nano /etc/fstab
(then add the drive and mount point – don’t forget to create the mount point directory before mounting)
UUID=xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx   /home/user/media/sdd ext4   defaults  0    0

Step 7: mount the new drive. To active all mounting in your /etc/fstab, type:
sudo mount -a

Planned for Ubuntu 11.10

Friday, May 27th, 2011

Perhaps it is partly due to a backlash toward Unity with the release of Ubuntu 11.04 or maybe it had something to do with Linux Mint deciding to use Gnome 2 in opposition to Unity with their recent release. It might have even been Fedora’s decision to use Gnome 3 on their 15th installment, but Ubuntu is planning on using Gnome 3 for their 11.10 release which is surely music to the ears of many.  Gnome 3 has been quite stable via the PPA I’ve been using for over a month now. Newer features have been added such as more applets and themes and other customizations. This could be a sign that the Gnome 3 main components are stable now. The Fedora team also decided to use Gnome 3 as their default desktop as well. To see the other planned changes see here.

Switched to Clark Connect as Gateway and Router

Monday, December 15th, 2008

For the past several years I had been running IP Cop as my home gateway and router. It was great. I never had an issue with it as it was totally reliable and stable. After roughly 5 years or so and doing some research, I decided to look into what a home router / gateway could do for me above what IP Cop offered by default. This would involve using a newer machine as my old P166 with 48mb of EDO ram and 1 GB hard drive probably wouldn’t be able to handle additional services. I had no doubt that IP Cop would have the capability to handle more services, however; when I did research and noticed that Clark Connect had these features built in and had been running well for years, I decided it was worth a look.

The web interface is professional in appearance (along with the Community edition, there is an Enterprise version as well) and had many features built right in that were convenient to install. I decided to try it out. As part of this upgrade, I decided to use a gigabit (10/100/1000) network card for my LAN so what I could get better internal speed for copying files within my network. Along with that, I bought a gigabit switch as well. I chose the intel GT nic (many other gigabit cards were not compatible including a Dlink one I tried and a Linksys one that I researched and noticed would not work) and I bought a green friendly Dlink gigabit switch.

The install went fine however, I would have liked to see better instructions along the way. For someone who may not be familiar with setting up a home gateway/router, it could be very confusing. At times, I was unsure what the prompts were asking me and yet I was quite familiar with what I wanted to do. I could imagine some people giving up after not knowing what information to enter. Once done, I removed my previous box which had served me well and replaced it with something a bit more powerful but still not a powerhouse: P3 450 mhz, 256mb ram and a 12 gb HD. I could have used more ram but the motherboard was picky and would accept certain types. I tried several banks but was only successful getting 256 to work. I decided to give it a shot anyway although the recommended amount was 512 for a network of under 5 users. Instantly after plugging everything in and power cycling my cable modem, I was able to visit the Clark Connect internal web interface.

Some of the added features that I can now use are intrusion detection (snort) which IP Cop did have built in but my previous box could not realistically run as well as Windows File Sharing (samba), Web Proxy Filter, Content Filter, Web Server, Mail Server, FTP Server as well as a DHCP server and Name Server. I may not use all of these services, but it would be easy to try them as the built in software retrieval method will download the appropriate packages after simply checking off a corresponding box.

I am still in a testing phase with Clark Connect but so far it has been reliable, fast and easy to use. I like the web interface and the ability to configure things further should I desire. If you have a reasonably decent older box at home that you want to make use of, I would highly recommend trying out Clark Connect and if you want something that can run on older hardware like my P166, then IP Cop could be for you. On older machines, several services may not run well or be practical such as snort intrusion detection. Research the sites and consider replacing that standard big name hardware router if you are having issues with it. You may never use one again as in my case.

DreamLinux 3 – Review

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

I had heard of DreamLinux quite a while ago but only recently decided to try it out. It is a very polished distro that seems to strive for the perfect balance between up to date packages and ease of use in terms of configuration. It uses Debian packages and focuses on the Lenny branch which is testing. Images are linked to larger originals – click for full view.

The Install – It couldn’t get any easier than the method DreamLinux uses. After booting the Live CD, there is one screen where you can decide on your partitions and whether or not you want to use a bootloader or not and adding a user of your choice. Although it might have been nice to have a bit more configuration settings such as package selection, I tend to find package selection with preconfigured desktop distros to be more of a hassle. The DreamLinux team did a nice job of keeping things simple.

Upgrading – DreamLinux includes the Synaptic package manager. It was very easy to upgrade, although there were a great deal of packages to update after my install. I have yet to figure out how to get my Nvidia drivers installed despite reading forum tips and google searches. The upgrades took a while to complete, but it wasn’t too painful with a decent internet connection…

Sound and Video Menu – I was pleasantly surprised to see some of the applications preinstalled. It is very rare one ever sees either Mplayer or Easytag included with a default install and DreamLinux had both. Also included is Avidemux and Brasero is listed for burning…

Also worth mentioning is the fact that Sound Juicer was included and had a preset for creating mp3 files from cd’s which had not been included in the past. It seems to be a change in Sound Juicer but it’s definitely nice to have an application provided that does not require any intervention to add mp3 profiles as previous versions of Sound Juicer demanded…

Making Things Easier – A few things that are included in DreamLinux that some users may appreciate in terms of getting things running right away include a Gmail check application, The Gimp remodeled with the GimpShop configuration to make it work more like photoshop…

Extras – DreamLinux includes some extra configuration tools aside from its own control center as well. Of note, there is a simple colored folders window that allows you to change your aesthetic preference. Also, there is a built in tool for getting wireless drivers working that may need to load the Windows original using Ndiswrapper. This should be included in any distro that is looking to attract more users to switch to Linux.

In addition, you can see throughout the screenshots that DreamLinux uses AWN (Avant Window Navigator) as the dock at the bottom. I remember using a Gdesklets dock many years ago that I eventually became frustrated with because it broke with every Gdesklets upgrade. I can’t comment at all on AWN but I’ve seen it around more often recently so hopefully it is more stable than I remember Gdesklets.

Issues – The only issue I really ran into was trying to get my Nvidia drivers installed. I eventually deferred to trying the binary driver from the Nvidia site. Even when I tried to get back to a tty, the screen just went multicolored and did not seem to allow it. I also attempted to boot into single user mode and was unsuccessful with that. While compiz is provided with DreamLinux, it isn’t of much use without providing an easy way to get drivers working fully.

Overall – DreamLinux may not be considered unique to some because it uses Debian packages as a backend and this seems to be an ever-growing prevalence among startup distros; however, there are some unique characteristics about DreamLinux that make it worth checking out. DreamLinux uses the testing branch of Debian so it is more up to date than a lot of other distros. This means that you get all of the new features of applications, but there is also a risk of instability that is inherited. DreamLinux also has some cosmetic differences such as sing the AWN and also its own configuration tools and choice of applications. For any Linux enthusiast I would say it is worth installing and testing. I probably wouldn’t recommend it for production machines at least not until I’ve done more testing. There is more documentation and extra screenshots on the DreamLinux documentation page.

BestBuy Selling Ubuntu

Thursday, July 10th, 2008

Best Buy UbuntuYes this is all over the internet but I am going to post it anyway and make it even more viral. BestBuy is selling Ubuntu. I’ve read a lot of comments on this happening including the comments by the people who have purchased this OS from the store. There are many different angles to take on this and everyone from a new user to a Linux guru will have his own thoughts. I personally see it as a good thing. Anything to help spread the popularity of Ubuntu and Linux in general is a step in the right direction. For a mere $19.99, a prospective user gets a retail copy (which most of us know you can download or order directly from Canonical for free but this is a physical copy right in a major outlet store).

Hopefully this sells well and BestBuy continue to do this. Apparently 60 days of support and a light booklet come with this edition. More pics can be found here and here.

I am considering buying one if I can find one around here just to offer support.