reverse engineered

Debian Gitweb server

After getting sick of GitHub’s clunky closed-source interface, I decided to migrate my repositories to my own Debian-based server using the gitweb web interface. Considering that I already have SSH access to the server, I only needed to provide read-only public access. As well as providing this access via the traditional 9418/tcp git protocol port, I wanted to provide access via HTTP too (I sometimes get caught behind firewalls which block 9418/tcp). Read more →

Update Intel CPU Microcode

You are probably familiar with the terms firmware and drivers in the context of computer hardware, and the endless updating that they require. Most people associate these drivers and firmware updates with peripheral equipment such as graphic cards and DVD drives. You might not however be aware that you can also update the firmware on your CPU (firmware is called microcode in CPU speak). These microcode updates are normally bundled in with BIOS updates. Read more →

Monitor Sleep on Screen Lock

I lock my screen when I know I’m popping away from the computer for a few minutes. It therefore makes sense to place the screen(s) in sleep mode while I’m away. On Linux, I use this handy script from a fellow called Marco. I’ve packaged it up for Debian and Ubuntu users to make it easier to install, and can be downloaded from here. On Windows, I use this little program from a fellow called Kevin. Read more →

Aptitude List Recently Installed

Below is a grep one-liner to look through the logs and find out what was recently installed. Comes in handy if you can’t remember what the exact name of that package you installed earlier was. grep "install\ " /var/log/dpkg.log This should give you a helpful output in the form below: root@lambda:~# grep "install\ " /var/log/dpkg.log 2011-07-05 09:17:07 install libpam-modules-bin <none 1.1.3-2 2011-07-05 09:17:13 install libsane-common <none 1.0.22-4 2011-07-05 09:17:52 install libqzeitgeist0 <none 0. Read more →

figlet ASCII art

When sysadmining a number Debian machines, you start to get sick of the default login message very quickly (and they all start to look the same too!): Linux alpha 2.6.32-5-amd64 #1 SMP Wed May 18 23:13:22 UTC 2011 x86_64 The programs included with the Debian GNU/Linux system are free software; the exact distribution terms for each program are described in the individual files in /usr/share/doc/*/copyright. Debian GNU/Linux comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by applicable law. Read more →

kexec Fast Reboot

kexec is a handy tool which allows you to perform faster reboots. kexec works by using the existing kernel that is already in memory to boot again. The result is that you do not have to see the BIOS screen again, the new kernel will execute immediately after the system has halted. To install kexec on a Debian/Ubuntu system, use the following commands: apt-get install kexec-tools dpkg-reconfigure kexec-tools This will make kexec your default handler for reboots. Read more →

Debian/Ubuntu Serial Port Access

By default, standard users are not allowed to access the serial ports on a Debian machine. A workaround is to run that program as root, but this is inherently unsafe. A better solution is to add your unprivileged user account to the dialout group. usermod -a -G dialout username This allows an unprivileged account to access the system’s serial ports. This is handy with programs such as the Arduino IDE, which require serial port access to program the microprocessors. Read more →

Wine foobar2000 5.1 Surround

Wine is a compatibility layer to allow you to run Windows programs on Linux with near native efficiency. I use Wine to run foobar2000 on Linux. On Windows, foobar2000 supports upmixing stereo tracks into 5.1 surround sound. This was the first thing I missed when I moved my Desktop to Linux full time. After a good bit of googling, it turns out that it is actually possible to pass 5.1 surround sound from a Wine application to the native Linux sound driver. Read more →

AppleTV Linux Broadcom BCM4328 Wireless

I have an AppleTV 1.0 running Ubuntu 8.04 Server with an XBMC front end as a HTPC/media streamer. The Broadcom BCM4328 wireless card in the AppleTV is not supported according to the supported devices list of the Broadcom propriety driver, but I’ve managed to get it to work. SSH to your AppleTV and download the 32-bit driver from Broadcom: wget Extract that tarball to the current directory: tar -xvzf hybrid-portsrc*. Read more →