Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Don't like the way things are going with the GNOME desktop?
Try MATE. I like to describe this as the 'classic GNOME'

Install is fairly easy in debian. Add the MATE repo to your sources.list and off you go. All details can be found on mate-desktop.org/install/#debian

Enjoy your new desktop environment!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Mint goes debian

Usually I'm not a fan of "based on..." distros, but I kinda like this one...;


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

WMB54G works in Windows 7 !!!

Okay, this is way out of topic but I want to share how to get the WMB54G music bridge (and probably also the Sondigo Sirocco) working in Windows 7.
The system used was a laptop with Windows 7 pro 64 bit and a WMB54G connecting on a wired network with firmware v2.18. UAC is set to minimum, all is done with an admin user.
I got several tips of the internet and blended them together. Here's what I did:

1) download the drivers from the linksys site (v1.3) and install it
2) open msconfig and uncheck the CMFlyWave application
3) open C:\Program Files (x86)\Linksys\WMB54G and set WMB54G.exe to compatibility mode Windows XP SP2 (or SP3). Do the same for cmas2ds.exe and CmFlywav.exe in the "Driver" directory.
4) run hdwwiz.exe and manually add the driver. Choose "Sound, video and game controllers" and point the driver path to C:\Program Files (x86)\Linksys\WMB54G\Driver. Install the WMB54G driver
5) make this batch file and put it in your startup folder:
ping localhost -n 5
start /b /d "%ProgramFiles(x86)%\Linksys\WMB54G\Driver" cmas2ds.exe
ping localhost -n 2
start /b /d "%ProgramFiles(x86)%\Linksys\WMB54G\Driver" cmflywav.exe
ping localhost -n 2
start /b /d "%ProgramFiles(x86)%\linksys\wmb54g" wmb54g.exe
6) reboot
7) connect to the WMB54G with the utility
8) open the sound control panel and check if the playback device is set to Linksys Wireless-G Music Bridge
9) enjoy your music

note: for 32 bit systems: drop the "(x86)" in the batch file and directory paths.

For Mac OSX users: The alpha driver that Sondigo offers works okay. Only when closing the program it crashes, but sound is ok.

Such a shame that Linksys is not yet providing a real Win7, Mac OSX and Linux driver.
Or at least open source the protocol used to stream the audio.

please leave comments

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

directory monitor dnotify

Yesterday a copier was installed in the company network. The machine could do a scan-to-FTP. So on the local debianbox I set up vsftpd. I wanted to change the permissions of each new scan that was made, so other users could use it as well. Instead of fiddling with the vsftpd config, I tested dnotify. It's a very small utility, very simple but very usefull. You can monitor a directory for changes, new files, deleted files, ... and add a command to execute upon one of these events.
For example: dnotify -b -C /share/scan -e chmod -R 0777 /share/scan
Everytime a new file is created in /share/scan it will set the permission.
-b tells it to run in background.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

minimal X server/windowmanager

To install X server from a minimal Debian install and make it start on boot:
apt-get install xserver-xorg
apt-get install fluxbox (for example)
apt-get install xinit
put "su -c /usr/bin/X11/startx " in your /etc/rc.local
Make sure the user can start X. Therefor you might have to edit /etc/X11/Xwrapper.config and use: allowed_users=anybody

Monday, July 6, 2009

managing startup processes

Untill today I thought managing startup processes and it's corresponding runlevels were a bit cumbersome. I used (well, I still actually) RedHat based distros, and they had the nice little utility called ntsysv. You can select what programs to run by means of a simple text gui. Thanks to Amoena's blog, I discovered sysv-rc-conf! Check it out!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

backup up a dozen of windows PC's

There are many backup solutions out there. To get a second copy of all windows clients you could install software on each PC like Cobian, Mirrorfolder or Viceversa. And then let the data copy to a fileserver somewhere in the network. This works fine for a single PC, but if you have more than ten clients to configure, it gets quite hard to maintain.
I wanted a solution with the following features:
- centralized management of directories to backup and schedule.
- automated backup
- minimal software on the windows PC
- open source

What I did:
Installed Deltacopy on the windows PC's. This is basically a rsync server with a GUI. I created one big "rsync-share" which is the C: drive.
On the linux fileserver (a nslu2 with a big usb disk) I wrote some small scripts.
Here is an example:


RSYNCPARMS="-avtol --stats --bwlimit=200 --delete"


while test 1
while ! ping -c1 -w4 $BCKHOST > /dev/null
sleep 300
echo "DELTACOPY -- [`date`] $BCKHOST is up" >> $BCKLOG

sleep 200

echo "DELTACOPY -- [`date`] starting backup on $BCKHOST" >> $BCKLOG


echo "DELTACOPY -- [`date`] backup finished" >> $BCKLOG

while ping -c1 -w5 $BCKHOST > /dev/null
sleep 300
echo "DELTACOPY -- [`date`] $BCKHOST is down" >> $BCKLOG

For each host you'll have to make a copy of this script.
The script waits until the PC is on the network and then starts the rsync backup. When finished it waits until it's powered off. Then the scripts starts over again. At night a second script takes care of email notification, here it is:


# usage: sendreport

DATESTAMP=`date | cut -b 1-10`

if [ ! -f $REPORT ]; then
if ( `grep -q "rsync" $REPORT` || `grep -q "fail" $REPORT`); then


Et voila... simple and reliable.
Feel free to comment.


What!? indeed: baobab. A colleage of mine told me this was some kind of remarkable tree, but it also turns out to be a little handy utlility.
With baobab you'll get a nice overview of all the directory sizes. You can also let this utility connect to a remote filesystem. The sector view is a bit akward at first but it's quite convenient. Requires gnome. An apt-get install shows that the package is to be replaced by gnome-utils, so chances are it's already on your linux box.

Monday, June 30, 2008

alternative windowmanager: WindowMaker

I wanted to install WindowMaker because I needed a windowmanager that runs on low resources.
Also it is very nice to customize and installation is a breeze. To configure what user runs what desktop, you need to make a .xsession file in the home directory of that user. Mind the dot (hidden file) and make sure it's executable (chmod). Edit the file and put this line in it: exec wmaker. Here you can also specify some other programs to autostart or add arguments to the windowmanager. I've used the --no-dock and the --no-icons arguments to make WindowMaker start with an empty desktop. This page also has some nice WindowMaker tricks: www.gbar.dtu.dk/index.php/WindowMaker

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

apt and proxyserver

If you're on a network that connects to the internet through a proxyserver, you can't use apt-get.
To fix this use export http_proxy=http://username:password@proxyserver:port/ and
export ftp_proxy=http://username:password@proxyserver:port/
Username and password is not needed if the proxy does not use authentication.
You need to do this in each shell or terminal. To avoid that, you need to add these lines in your /etc/bash.bashrc file. Other commands might use this too. The second option is to only configure apt to use a proxy. Edit your /etc/apt/apt.conf like this: Acquire::http://Proxy "http://proxyserver:port";

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

make applications start up faster

There is a program called preload, that loads the most used programs into memory, so when you run them they start faster. Preload is adaptive, which means you don't need to configure it. It will monitor your working habbits and choose what programs to preload into memory. Personally I prefer to have some config files or some sort of status or logging, but the program does a good job and uses very few resources, so why not let it run? Everyone likes speed.

Monday, June 16, 2008

vi improved editor

I'm not a vi guru, but I use it a lot. By default debian has vi installed, but I prefer vim (vi - improved). It makes things a bit easier. Use apt-get install vim. You might want to enable syntax highlighting: edit the /etc/vim/vimrc and uncomment the syntax on option.

install ati and nvidia cards in sid

I used this script a lot to install the proprietary nvidia driver in debian sid: http://techpatterns.com/downloads/distro/sgfxi
I only tested it with an nvidia card. You don't even need to download anything, the script does that automatically. Sgfxi is originally for sidux, which in fact is sid. Worth a try but your mileage may vary.

find the biggest packages in debian

What package is eating up all your disk space? Install the debian-goodies (apt-get install debian-goodies) and run dpigs. Use the -n option to see more big packages.

lazy command repeater

Okay, this probably works on all linux boxes, if they're using bash:
You want to repeat a command but you are too lazy to retype it. And it's been a while since you used it, so you don't want to type the arrowkey-up 100 times.
Try this in a shell or terminal window: press CTRL-r, a (reverse-i-search)`': will appear. Now you can type the first letters of the command you used earlier, bash will search prevoius commands and suggest one of them. Type more letters for a better result. Simple, fast and lazy!

kill them all

Have you lately installed a Debian (sid, etch, ...) and noticed that the killall command is missing? Use apt-get install psmisc, et voila!
Byebye bad process.

exclude a package from upgrading

Debian has it's wonderful package management system called 'apt'. You can upgrade your entire box with just one command: apt-get upgrade. This will upgrade all installed packages. If there is one package you want to exclude from updating; use this:
wajig hold
I used this for the vtun package because newer versions had some compatibility issues.


Hi! My name is deeLer, welcome to my blog. Here you'll find usefull tips and trick to administrate your linux/debian box. Some of the topic apply for linux or even unix in general, some are specificly related to debian.
It's stuff for geeks, but I hope you find it usefull.