Posts for the month of July 2005

Mjolnir, Ghost, Backup, etc

NOTE TO EVERYBODY WHO IS NOT ME: You can ignore this post. It's just random notes that I need somewhere safe. However, as of Dec 2006, it no longer applies, I use a modified version of SaraB.

Ghost really doesn't like my combo of SATA, IDE, LVM, and whatnot. To get the IDE (hdb) backup copied to the SATA (sda) I had to:
1. GHOST /FDSZ /IAL image /boot from hdb (Drive 4) to an image.
2. Put a partition on sdb (good thing it was empty)
3. Re-run ghost, copy image to sdb (not sda2 where it should be!)
4. Boot from CentOS install DVD with kernel command line:
linux rescue hdb=noprobe noexec=off noexec32=off
(took ~2 hours to find out the last two stop grub 0.95 from segfaulting on an install!)
5. mount up /dev/sda2 (destination) somewhere. Go into that directory and wipe it clean.
6. From that directory: dump -0 -f - /dev/sdb1 | restore -rf -
7. Relabel sdb1 so we don't have two /boot partitions!: tune2fs -Ljunk /dev/sdb1
8. unmount /dev/sda2
9. chroot /mnt/sysimage
10. grub --no-floppy
root (hd0,1)
setup (hd0) <== kept segfaulting here on SATA drive until noexec flags from above.
[Don't use grub-install that bombed too!]

OK, that's all the scraps of paper I can find. I really need to get a backup system running on this server before I migrate to it!

How to edit RAM disk images

I really want to read more about how this nash/lvm stuff works on my server...

Editing Ramdisks (initrds)

Following are the steps that enable one to edit a ramdisk for any changes:

  1. gunzip -c /boot/initrd-.img >initrd.img
  2. mkdir tmpDir
  3. mount -o loop initrd.img tmpDir/
  4. cd tmpDir
  5. Make all necessary changes (copy over modules, edit linuxrc etc)
  6. umount tmpDir
  7. gzip -9c initrd.img >/boot/initrd-.img

(stolen from )


At some point, they stopped making them loopback ISOs and now they are just a compressed cpio archive:

 mkdir initrd
 cd initrd/
 gzip -dc /boot/initrd-2.6.23-0.104.rc3.fc8.img | cpio -id

The cpio is in the "new" format, so when recompressing, you need to use --format='newc' .

(stolen from )

My Kingdom for a Command Line!

I need to disable a drive in Linux (the BIOS hides it, but the kernel is 'too smart'). I searched high and low for "linux kernel command line" etc, etc.

Anyway, what I was looking for:



One of my 3 Linux boxes has that man page. The other 2 DON'T. That, and it seems ancient but helpful nonetheless.

Ghost no likee LVM

Yet more problems with Ghost... LVM crashes it with some nasty error about sectors that were in the negative billions. Anyway, tell it to just blindly copy Linux partition sectors (which sucks):

ghost /FDSZ /IAL

Firefox and Thunderbird Extensions

These are the ones I currently use. Find the links yoself.

FF: (ListZilla exported this list:) someorbityellow 0.2.2 - A theme for Firefox based on Orbit 3+1 Autofill 0.2 - Automatically fill out HTML forms BugMeNot 0.6.2 - Bypass compulsory web registration with the context menu via Ext2Abc 0.2.1 - Alphabetizes your extension manager list. Flashblock 1.3.1 - Replaces Flash objects with a button you can click to view them. Flowing Tabs 0.4 - Wrap excess browser tabs onto multiple rows Forecastfox - Get international weather forecasts and display it in any toolbar or statusbar with this highly customizable extension. googlebar - The Googlebar for Firefox GooglePreview 0.9 - Inserts web site previews in google and yahoo search results. Linky 2.6.0 - Open/download/validate links and pictures in tabs or windows ListZilla 0.5.1 - Outputs an alphabetical list of either extensions or themes to a text, vB code, or HTML file. miniT (drag+indicator) 0.5 - Adds tab dragging with drop place indicator. QuickNote 0.6 - A note taking extension with advanced features SpoofStick 1.05 - A simple way to detect spoofed websites.

Allow Empty Subject (c'mon!)
No New Window on Double Click
Quote Colors
QuickNote (Interchanges with FF)
Virtual Identity (very useful for mailing lists)