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    Archive for the '*nix' Category

    Linux server remote backup options

    3rd October 2010

    Recently I finally managed to configure remote (aka off-site) backup for my Debian server. As always, I started with a comparison of existing solutions.

    Debian has a number of packages enabling remote (over the network) backup: backupPC, backupninja, backup-manager, dirvish, duplicity, luckybackup, rdiff-backup, and some others.

    Read the rest of this entry »


    Posted in *nix, Links, Software | 1 Comment »

    Linux: how to label swap partition w/o losing swap UUID

    16th July 2010

    In short: sudo mkswap -L new_swap_label -U old_swap_UUID /dev/sd_swap_device.
    If you don’t care about the UUID: just sudo mkswap -L new_swap_label /dev/sd_swap_device.

    Read the rest of this entry »


    Posted in *nix, how-to | No Comments »

    Best Linux software to import still images from a digital camera

    2nd May 2010

    digikamBack in the times when Windows was my OS more than 75% of the time in front of the computer, I really liked a simple photos import utility, supplied for Canon digital still image cameras. It allowed the import of all the new media items (photos and movies) from a camera into a pre-configured location in one click, and it also automatically created date-based directories for new photos. Given the removable media autoplay feature, after connecting the camera it was really a matter of one click (or one button press) to have everything copied.

    Today, I decided to have a look at what the FOSS community has to match that simple and useful Canon utility. Here’s my “rating”:

    1. digikam: nice and easy import; supports date-based auto-creation of albums (directories); feature-reach, suitable as a primary images-viewing application; my personal “number one” for now.
    2. f-spot: easy import; has nice date-based photos browser; on import, converts photo filenames to lower case; my second choice, will have a closer look at its features.
    3. gThumb: good import, but haven’t found a way to configure/create target directory during import.
    4. gtkam: unusual interface; while testing, it died once unexpectedly; otherwise easy to use.
    5. picasa: haven’t tried to import with a recent version, but I generally dislike the idea of using software which requires an extra layer to run (wine in this case), unless it is unique. Picasa is not unique, and thus looses (in my opinion) to digikam.

    Related: list of 100 most useful open-source software tools.


    Posted in *nix, Software | No Comments »

    The list of Linux music players with CUE sheet support

    30th April 2010

    Last updated: 2011-12-13

    • Clementine music player
    • DeaDBeeF (as in 0xDEADBEEF) is an audio player for GNU/Linux systems with X11 (though now it also runs in plain console without X, in FreeBSD, and in OpenSolaris) with CUE sheets support
    • AudioPlayer51 is a free, open-source, cross-platform audio player written to handle FLAC files and CUE sheets (exclusively). If you don’t use FLAC files and CUE sheets, you won’t find AudioPlayer51 very useful.
    • Amarok: only for WAV+CUE, doesn’t currently support FLAC+CUE; version 2.3.1 is promised to fully support CUE sheets
    • Audacious (through the .cue plugin)
    • QMMP (haven’t tested this one)
    • XMMS through mp3cue (also untested)
    • foobnix (untested, suggested in this comment)
    • cueplay

    Some extra links:


    Posted in *nix, Links, Software | 8 Comments »

    screen mastery with only 3 keyboard shortcuts

    1st March 2010

    screen is a must-use for anyone familiar with SSH sessions; it saves your time by keeping your console apps running even after (an unexpected) disconnect from the remote session.

    The easiest way to start with screen is screenie – an interface to screen. To use it, you only need to memorize a single keyboard shortcut: C-a d (Ctrl+a, d). This shortcut detaches (hides) your current screen session, allowing to resume later – either with the help of screenie, or by issuing screen -r command.

    After a while, with increased screen (and screenie) usage, you will find it inconvenient detaching every time you need a new screen session. Here comes the second keyboard shortcut: C-a c (Ctrl+a, c), which creates a new window within a current screen session, and switches to it.

    Finally, you will find it tiresome detaching to then re-attach to a different screen. C-a “ (Ctrl+a, Shift+’) will display a list of screen windows for you to select and switch to.

    Screenie, an excellent beginner’s interface to screen, is no longer needed after you memorize these 3 keyboard shortcuts.

    Many will say that this is a bare minimum, and also there is much more to screen than what you present here, and that will be true. However, these 3 shortcuts are sufficient for simple but convenient everyday screen sessions management.


    Posted in *nix, Software | 2 Comments »

    ntfstruncate binary for Debian (resetting NTFS bad clusters counter)

    1st March 2010

    There is an excellent step-by-step instruction on resetting the bad clusters counter of an NTFS partition with linux-ntfs tools. I’ve checked – it works as expected:

    1. Back up important data from partition just in case
    2. Find out size of ‘$Bad’ attribute in $Badclus using ntfsinfo -i 8 partition (partition is for example /dev/sda1). It will be the “Allocated size” value in the “Dumping attribute $DATA (0x80)” (there will be two 0x80 attributes. Only one has an “Allocated size” line). Let us write down (remember) this size as ntfs_size.
    3. Use ntfstruncate partition 8 0x80 ‘$Bad’ 0 to set $Bad’s attribute length to zero.
    4. Use ntfstruncate partition 8 0x80 ‘$Bad’ ntfs_size to set $Bad’s attribute length back to proper value ntfs_size which was recorded in step 2.
    5. Boot into Windows and run chkdsk -f diskname. It will find errors and should fix them.

    However, Debian’s ntfsprogs package does not have the ntfstruncate binary.

    Here’s how you can easily build one yourself (you may need a few extra packages with build tools for that):
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    Posted in *nix, how-to, Software | 3 Comments »

    Chandler 1.0.3 package for Debian testing amd64

    25th January 2010

    Recently, I have come across the Chandler project. Chandler is a sophisticated organizer, including tasks, calendar, appointments, invitations, and many more.

    The project does provide a 64-bit package for Ubuntu 8.10 “Intrepid Ibex”, but it has a dependency on python-zope-interface – which in Debian testing is a virtual package, currently provided by python-zope.interface. That single dependency made my aptitude complain all the time, so I edited the .deb-file, renaming depends/python-zope-interface to depends/python-zope.interface (following nice and simple instructions). After that – no more aptitude complaints, and Chandler works fine.

    Download the modified Chandler 1.0.3 Debian testing amd64 package (md5: 239071715977bea2eb75f3bb54491a02).


    Posted in *nix, Software | 1 Comment »