New Ohai Plugin for Linux VServer

Today I posted my first Ohai plugin to Github and put a link on the Opscode Community Plugins wiki page. I know not a whole lot of people useVServer, but hopefully some will find it useful. :) #opschef

Fixing pianobar error on Ubuntu Maverick

For anyone using Pianobar and upgrading to Ubuntu Maverick, Pianobar would no longer run and would give the error: pianobar: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory The solution I’ve found is to make sure you have libao-dev installed and then run: sudo ln -s /usr/lib/{.4.0.0,.2}

Installing RubyGems on Centos 5

This should apply to RHEL5 as well, but I haven’t verified yet. The easiest solution I’ve found is to simply install Ruby and it’s dependencies and then install RubyGems from source. I’ve written a small script which installs Ruby and it’s dependencies. It then grabs the RubyGems source tarball and installs Gems from source. As I wrote this to get a working Chef install, it also adds an opscode gems source.

Dress-up your Firefox

I just stumbled across a Mozilla Labs project called Personas. It’s light-weight theming for Firefox that can be changed without restarting the browser. After you install Personas, you get a new menu entry Tools->Personas for Firefox, where you can quickly change the persona you are using. From what I can tell, Personas seem to change the your browser toolbar and menu font colors and usually add a lightweight background picture. According to the website, the project has been going since Dec 2007, so there’s a lot of Personas to choose from.

Compiling Pure-FTPD with MySQL Support in RHEL5 x86_64

I really had a hard time getting pure-ftpd 1.0.22 to compile properly witih mysql support on a RHEL5 x86_64 server. It turns out that the mysql libraries path in the configure script is incorrect. I’m not sure if this is just a problem with my particular configuration or with the way pure-ftpd tries to figure out where the mysql libraries are. In any case, I modified the configure script to use mysql_config with appropriate options to set the mysql include paths and lib paths as appropriate.

Combine your partition space with mhddfs.

As I was browsing the Gentoo forums today, I came across a very interesting post. A user had 2 partitions on different hard drives that he wanted to combine the space on. Ok, well the interesting part was one persons reply about a new fuse filesystem called mhddfs. He pointed out an article on that explained a bit about this new filesystem and how to use it. Sure, there’s multiple ways to combine the two drives, but this one is pretty intesting.

Conky now supports MOC player

So, I found myself tweaking my Conky rc file today. I’ve been using mocp for playing music becuase it’s a really lightweight, versatile and can run detached from the console. I really wanted to see my currently playing music info on my desktop in Conky, but Conky’s documentation shows no mention of any support for moc and thier are no mention of variables to use for the config. So, in doing some googling, I found a website that has a patch for moc support and also mentions that it’s been in Conky since September 28th!

Huge List of Tips and Tricks

I can’t believe I never saw this before. Sourceforge has an absolutely HUGE list of tips and tricks. There’s hundreds of Linux tips and lots of programming tips as well.

Funtoo Articles

This is really old news, but it’s new news to me because I just noticed this. Daniel Robbins Funtoo site now has some articles on it that he recently created. Right now, he has posted some of the articles that we’ve previously seen on the IBM Developer Works website, but there’s also now a quide for installing Funtoo. Technorati Tags: gentoo,funtoo,linux

Using CPAN Unattended

CPAN is great for easily installing and updating Perl modules. I use it all of the time on my servers. It’s a lot easier than managing Perl modules through the systems package manager. The problem is, when you want to install or update a Perl module, it asks you if you want to follow and install all of the dependencies and the dependencies for that… and so on. Sometimes you want to be anal and make sure it doesn’t install any extra crap, but quite often, it would be nice to just have it install what it needs automatically, so you can walk away and do other things while it’s installing.

Quick and Dirty Linux Load Testing

Today I had a need to keep the load on a server at 20 for an extended period of time. I was doing this to test notification escalations in Nagios. So, I found a nice little program call cpuburn-in that will load a processor at 100%. It’s just a tarball with an executable and a single README file included. To run the program, call the executable and supply the number of minutes you want it to run.

Quickly get up to 5% more disk space from your ext3 volumes

I’ve seen many websites that have pretty much the same ext3 performance tips, but I just came across this one today that had something very useful on it. It turns out that the ext3 filesystem by default reserves 5% of the disk space of the volume just in case the volume fills up. This would allow the system to continue running and allow the root user to still log in and clean things up.

Cheat Sheets for Front-end Web Developers

In this article, you’ll find 23 excellent, print-ready cheat sheets for HTML/HTML, CSS, and JavaScript (including MooTools and jQuery). read more | digg story

Turbotail and multitail

I just found a couple cool programs called turbotail and multitail while searching for rbot using eix. Turbotail is just like tail, but it uses dnotify instead of auto refreshing a defined number of seconds. I always thought it was kind of silly to keep refreshing the screen searching for new content with tail. Turbotail just sits there until the kernel notifies of a change in the file that you are tail’ing and then it updates what you see.

Powerful CSS-Techniques For Effective Coding

In this post we present 50 new CSS-techniques, ideas and ready-to-use solutions for effective coding. … There are some very nice techniques here. Item #43 is very cool. It might come in handy for a site I’m currently working on. read more | digg story

Finding Gentoo

This is more or less a follow-up to my previous blog post Good ole Gentoo. Where art thou? Anyone can just complain about the status of things, so I thought I would provide a little help with finding out more about Gentoo and what’s going on with the distro. So, you’re a long time Gentoo user getting tired of the old stale web page that shows a 2 month old GWN as the latest news.

Good ole Gentoo. Where art thou?

I remember when I first started using Gentoo (back in the Gentoo 1.4 days), the community activity was just amazing. Each and every day or week, there was always something new and exciting going on in the Gentoo community. I looked forward to the GWN (Gentoo Weekly Newsletter) coming out each week, so I could try to catch up on what I might have missed or not even realized was happening.

The Gentoo Debate Continues

_Wow! I guess I created this post quite a while ago, but I never did publish it. It’s old, but still pretty relevant. Here ya go … _ Gentoo seems to be one of the most controversial Linux distributions out there. It seems, people either completely hate it or love it. Not much middle of the road in Gentoo land. This was brought to my attention again after reading a couple articles that I ended up coming across on Digg.

Say goodbye to Microsoft today ...

Say goodbye to Microsoft today … Now this is really cool. Now you can start a Debian installation from your Windows desktop.


I finally hope to start using this blog. At the very least, I want to start putting Linux tips and tricks in here. Most will probably be from the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter, while others may be original. :)