Posts Tagged ‘linux’

Some Dropbox tips

February 14, 2011 Leave a comment
Dropbox (from

File synch and sharing utility. (image from

I’ve been using Dropbox for a while now. Dropbox is a service that allows you to synchronize files of the Dropbox folder accross all your devices that have it installed AND the internet. You get 2GB with your free account and 250Mb for every person that joins if you invite them. I have around 4Gb at this point, free.

Its simplicity is what makes it so useful. When you install dropbox on your device (laptop, smartphone, desktop, etc) you will just see a folder called Dropbox (or My Dropbox in Windows). Everything that you “drop” in there, it will synch with the internet and all devices you have. Great huh?

The simple usage is great and the support for different platforms and devices makes it better. I have it on linux, windows and andriod.

If you are on a PC that you cant install dropbox (cafe, office, etc) you can still access your files through the dropbox website.

What I use dropbox for?

  • Small backups. Documents, Some pictures, etc.
  • Sharing pictures. You have a Photos folder. Every folder with pictures in that folder can be shared as an album with others.
  • General sharing. It is possible to share all kinds of files with others and even collaborate on documents with others worldwide.

KeepassX screenshot (picture

Password management: Together with KeePassX you can have a centralized password manager.
KeePassX is a free application available for android, linux, windows and mac. It uses an encrypted database to store the passwords. Simply save the database file in dropbox and it will synch accross all your KeePass instances.

Truecrypt screenshot (picture

Encrypted content: Together with truecrypt you can save important files inside a container that will also synch across your devices. Create the container and save it to dropbox. You can now mount the container from all devices where you have dropbox and truecrypt installed. There are some limitations tho:

  • at the moment of writing is that there is no android app for truecrypt.
  • You can not access your encrypted files from the web.
  • Truecrypt needs admin rights to mount the container, e.g. you can’t access those files from a PC where you are not admin. This can be safer since if you encrypt the files you might not want to access those from an unkown PC.

There are other ideas like automating your backups using rsync and cron jobs in linux and task scheduler in windows.

You have any good ones? post them! to get the most out of dropbox.


Can access google only?

May 18, 2010 Leave a comment

This very weird problem started showing up quite sudden in my Debian Lenny installation. In a network that I’ve been using for months.

-You can access google and all related sites (picasa, google docs, etc)
-You can ping all sites ( successfully
-Your dns resolves names correctly
-Your browser times out when trying to open any other site but Google!!! wtf?!

This problem happens because your MTU (Maximum Transmission Unit) setting of your interface is wrong. Don’t ask me exactly what is wrong and why it is wrong because i don’t now it :). I DO know how to fix it!

type as root:
# ifconfig eth0 mtu 1400

this should do the trick! The next time you start your PC this setting might have gone lost. try adding that line to the

hope this helps!

Categories: linux, networking Tags: , , ,

Bridged connection problem with VMplayer

April 23, 2010 1 comment

Playing around with VMplayer 🙂 I was having trouble getting my bridged connection to work. I then realized that my vmnet0 was trying to bridge wlan0.
Editing the /etc/vmplayer/locations file adding the following:

answer VNET_0_INTERFACE eth0
file /dev/vmnet0

-where eth0 is the desired host interface- and running as root:

#/usr/bin/vmnet-bridge -d /var/run/ -n 0 -i eth0

solved the problem! and no need to restart the VM btw… linux is so nice…
Other solution is to run but i dont seem to have that file 😦


GParted experience

April 22, 2010 Leave a comment

After letting debian do the partinioning for me I realized that my usr/ partition was way to small, given that all package managers install the apps there! so i thought I should resize it: Enter Gparted.
I downloaded the image and made myself a nice CD.
Booted with the default options and started playing with the really easy to use GUI.
When I was happy with the partition table I clicked on Apply!
It started doing its thing but suddenly when it came to the Swap it failed!
I check the details and googled around for solutions. It seems that it uses an option -U that fails if it doesnt get the expected UUID value back. the error:

mkswap -L "" -U "" /dev/yourswapparition
mkswap: error: UUID parsing failed

So after some forum reading I read that you could just delete the old swap and recreate it in the place you want to have it!
This worked for me! But it still has to finish the other operations. I will update as soon as it finishes!
Other than this small problem, its a fine Tool for playing with your partitions with little risk of loosing data. But as always, make Backups first!

After it finished (successfully) I rebooted.
After getting my console flooded with:

VFS: busy inodes on changed media /dev/hda

i just ignored it and pressed the reset button of my laptop. Then the next problem! Grub didnt want to start!
So I got out my rescue CD Super Grub! and repaired the boot loader.
Cool! Its back!
I started my linux machine and then the next problem arised! Since I messed so much with my partitions: (deleted the Swap and recreated it meaning that now it wasnt sda7 but sda9) my #fdisk /dev/sda didnt match with my /etc/fstab.
Debian is so nice to offer a rescue console. So i went ahead and edited my fstab to match my “new” partition table.
then did a #mount -a and done!
My laptop lives again! with brand new resized partitions. 🙂


Categories: linux Tags: , ,

Don’t be afraid of backports

April 15, 2010 Leave a comment

Playing around with debian, i realized that most of my packages were really outdated. Was running Openoffice 2.4 and some other stuff i needed for developing software (java, python and python-webpy) were really old.
I am kinda new to Debian so I was being really carefull with the packages until I get comfortable with apt-get, dpkg and aptitude.
But after some time browsing around and doing single upgrades I decided to go for it. I just did
#aptitude -t lenny-backports safe-upgrade
Everything went fine! now I’m running actual versions of the packages i needed! pretty cool. I am starting to like the Debian package managers.

Still be carefull when doing this as some stuff could break. I did this because I had no important stuff here and didnt have much to loose. Make backups and so on before doing something like this. At your own risk!

have fun!

Debian Lenny ath5k and AR242x: the solution

April 12, 2010 Leave a comment

As promised.
In my previous post i mentioned the 2 possibilities to get this working. I decided to go with the kernel upgrade from the backports repositories.

After some reading and experimenting i got the wifi to work. It is not a clean solution but it works (at least in my home wlan, tomorrow ill test from work).

First get the backports repository to work (as root #):
#nano /etc/apt/sources.list
add these lines:
# repository
deb lenny-backports main contrib non-free

after that run:
# aptitude update

this will get u the backports repositories.

to get the kernel issue the following command:
#aptitude -t lenny-backports install linux-image-2.6.32-bpo.3-686
note: this is the image for my architecture and the kernel is the version at the time of writing.

Reboot when done.
Check with uname -a if the kernel installed succesfully.

For me it worked great. The only hiccup is that my network manager does not show the wlan but when issuing iwlist wlan0 scan i can sucesffully scan for networks! cool huh?

Now the configuration for your network:
#nano /etc/network/interfaces
add the following lines:
auto wlan0
iface wlan0 inet dhcp
wpa-ssid mynetworkname
wpa-psk mysecretpassphrase

The “auto” stanza will bring your interface up at system startup. If not desired, remove or comment this line.

going to System>Administration>Network should now show your wlan connection.

Thats it! i hope i could help!



Categories: debian specific, linux Tags: , ,

Debian Lenny ath5k and AR242x

April 12, 2010 Leave a comment

As i got my nokia n900 I started to experiment a little with Debian. So I decided to Install Debian Lenny on my main Laptop. Moving from Slackware to Debian was a tough decision but I thought it was time for me to try a new flavour of linux.

Installation was kinda long but easy. X booted nicely and I was enjoying the looks of Gnome (used to fluxbox).

After a while I tried to go online over WLAN. To my surprise my WLAN was not found. My thoughts were that maybe some module didnt load but everything was there.

ifconfig and iwconfig showed my wlan0 interface.

i made an lspci to see if my hardware was detected and the AR242x from Atheros showed fine. Now i googled why the hell isnt it working?

It turns out the out-of-the-box Lenny kernel 2.6.26-2-686 and the ath5k driver included do not like the AR242x.

check this link:

There are 2 options:

  • Use madwifi drivers.
  • install a newer backported kernel since this bug has been fixed in newer kernels.

havent tried it yet but i guess ill go for the 2nd option! I will keep you informed!


Categories: debian specific, linux Tags: , ,