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Get USB working in Virtualbox under Debian and Ubuntu

Edit /etc/fstab and add:

[geshifilter-code] none /proc/bus/usb usbfs devgid=XXX,devmode=664 0 0 [/geshifilter-code]

Change XXX to be a group you are a member of, vboxusers is a natural choice (cat /etc/group | grep vboxusers - use the number there).

Creative X-Fi 5.1 on Ubuntu Hardy

I am ... still trying to get the creative x-fi 5.1 working satisfactorily. I have tried the OSS drivers, which would not suit my purpose, I need alsa support, so am now compiling a kernel as per the info here for installing the open source creative (beta and apparently buggy) 'official' drivers.

Posting to Drupal Blogs from Linux Desktop

I have finally found 2 basic acceptable ways to post content to a drupal site from a linux desktop using the xmlrpc method. In general the way to perform the config is to choose generic everything, manual setup. Enter the URL to your drupal install + xmlrpc.php, and after activating the blog and blog api modules in drupal, it should work.

How I do Password Management

I thought I would share a trick that has eased my cross-platform and cross-network password management tasks.

I run a LAN subversion server, which keeps track of the revisions of my password vault. For storing, organizing and encrypting passwords, I use Password Gorilla which is a great cross-platform (linux, windows, mac) application using twofish encryption to secure everything. One master password unlocks all the rest. The password generator included in PG is great, and allows for customizations like not using similar digits (O and 0), as well as desired password length, etc. You can also override password defaults on a case-by-case basis.

The glue that ties this all together and makes it a networked application is a bash script on linux (I have not bothered to automate this on other platforms since I am in linux 98% of the time). For this to work, I have set up ssh keys (not necessary, but a pain to type a password each time), gentoo's cool keychain program, and ssh-askpass-fulscreen (is called different things on different distros ie: ssh-askpass-gtk on gentoo i believe).

Mencoder AVI to FLV Conversion

Here is what I am using so far:


mencoder -forceidx \
-lavfopts i_certify_that_my_video_stream_does_not_use_b_frames \
-of lavf -ffourcc FLV1 \
-oac mp3lame -lameopts abr:br=56 -srate 22050 \
-ovc lavc \
-lavcopts vcodec=flv:vbitrate=250:mbd=2:mv0:trell:v4mv:cbp:last_pred=3 \
-vf scale=360:240 \
-o $1.flv $1

UPDATE (07-05-2008):

MYSQL database dumps through ssh



for i in `/usr/bin/mysql --user=root --password=$PASS --batch --skip-column-names -e "show databases" | sed 's/ /%/g'`;do
nice -n 19 /usr/bin/mysqldump -u root -p$PASS "$i" > /home/backupsql/"$i".sql
gzip /home/backupsql/"$i".sql

Disk Wiper

Darik's Boot and Nuke Darik's Boot and Nuke ("DBAN") is a self-contained boot floppy that securely wipes the hard disks of most computers. DBAN will automatically and completely delete the contents of any hard disk that it can detect, which makes it an appropriate utility for bulk or emergency data destruction.

Toshiba P30-R1 and Gentoo (and Ubuntu/Debian/FC/Knoppix)


  • Everything works except memory card reader which seems like it is a piece of crap if you will pardon the expression.
  • PS2 support should be compiled as a module and modprobed later in boot sequence for touchpad support.. I just add it to /etc/modules.autoload/kernel-2.6
  • You can either use radeon built-in xorg drier or the ati-drivers solution
  • Madwifi + wpa_supplicant works better than on any other distro. The tweaks to conf.d/net are awesome!
  • screen timings: HorizSync 31.5 - 57.0 ; VertRefresh 50-70




  • Keyboard would not work until I plugged and unplugged a USB one?
    • I think this was an issue with the kernel USB modules I selected (or did not select)... recompliling now to see..

Cross Compiling to Ubuntu or Debian System from Gentoo client

Came across this error while trying to set up my 2 ubuntu boxen to compile with distcc for my gentoo laptop and workstation.

(dcc_execvp) ERROR: failed to exec i686-pc-linux-gnu-gcc: No such file or directory




WPA on Ubuntu Dapper 6.06 LTS

WIFI support and documentation of using WPA on Ubuntu (or anywhere else for that matter) is RIDICULOUSLY BAD, if not non-existent. The vast majority of the docs you will find show how to setup WEP, which is horribly broken and insecure, not to mention ancient in this day and age. Obviously, we all must use WPA or better, yet linux seems to only now be catching up with this.
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