11 February 2009

Change reserved disc space on ext2 or ext3 partition

When you are formating a hard drive in Linux and using ext2 or ext3 file system there is a default of 5% of the space that is allocated for the superuser (root). A normal user can fill up the disc to 95% but after that only the superuser can write to the disc.

This is probably good for a partition that contains /var/log so that the system can work even though the disc is full. But for a user-partition to use to storage user data there is no need for this.

To change this:
sudo tune2fs -m 0 /dev/sdc1

09 February 2009

VMWare server 2 - a small evaulation

I have run VMWare Server 1 for some time. It though that it was time for an upgrade and decided to try VMWare Server 2. I'm using Ubuntu 8.10 as the host operating system.

The install file was 500 Mb, a lot larger then version 1. But okay, space is cheep.

The install process successfully managed to compile the VMWare kernel modules for Ubuntu 8.10 (2.6.27-11). Previous versions could never compile the kernel modules because VMWare did not keep up to date with newer kernel versions. The solution for version 1 was always to find a path file (vmware-any-any for example). So a big plus for the installation with VMWare Server 2!

But now the problems began:
I logged in via the web GUI. The web GUI is okay, but a bit slow. To see each virtual machine desktop a local program must be downloaded. For me as a firefox user it went rather easy by installing a firefox plugin. I tried Google Chrome, and it did not work there.

Two of my virtual machines was reported as "corrupt". I don't know why, possible because I have hand edited the configuration files. But VMWare server 1 had no problem with these. It got no better error message, just corrupt. Thats bad. A line number would be better.

I created an administrator user to login as. I tried to create users for the other persons on my company. I managed to create ONE other user. But after that it was impossible to create any more users. It got an error message that didn't help me anymore.

The issue of not been able to create uses made me revert to VMWare Server 1. Although VMWare Server 2 has some nice features on the paper (more memory allocation and local folder sharing), I must say that so far VMWare Server 2 is an immature product. I would recommend waiting with an upgrade.

Of you could try to look for alternatives. For example Sun VirtualBox.

Finnaly a hint of how to install VMWare server 1.0.7 on Ubuntu 8.10: http://ubuntu.se/forum/showthread.php?t=1780

01 February 2009

DVB-C configuration in linux

I'm trying to get a DVB-C tv card to work in a linux computer. It's amazing how complicated it can be. After some time I managed to create an initial scan file for kaffeine that can be used in my cable tv-network:

# Sweden, Umea, Bostaden Kommunicera open network DVB-C
# Updated: 2009-02-01
# freq sr fec mod

C 306000000 6875000 NONE QAM64
C 314000000 6875000 NONE QAM64
C 322000000 6875000 NONE QAM64
C 330000000 6875000 NONE QAM64
C 402000000 6875000 NONE QAM64
C 410000000 6875000 NONE QAM64
C 418000000 6875000 NONE QAM64
C 426000000 6875000 NONE QAM64
C 434000000 6875000 NONE QAM64
C 442000000 6875000 NONE QAM64
C 450000000 6875000 NONE QAM64
C 458000000 6875000 NONE QAM64
C 466000000 6875000 NONE QAM64
C 490000000 6875000 NONE QAM64
C 634000000 6875000 NONE QAM64
C 642000000 6875000 NONE QAM64
C 650000000 6875000 NONE QAM64
C 658000000 6875000 NONE QAM64

Should it be this hard!? Must I guest frequencies and other parameters? This is an area where there is room for big improvements.

The small utility w_scan (http://edafe.org/vdr/w_scan/) is a step forward. It can make a complete frequency scan. The problem is that is takes some time (about 30 min for me).