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Showing posts from December, 2017

Happy New Year 2018 !

The Family Reunion for the Manings - Tan - Roque.

lsblk: Mounted Directories In Arch Setup

[ ~]$ lsblk -o name,size,fstype,mountpoint,uuid NAME                        SIZE FSTYPE      MOUNTPOINT                UUID sda                         2.7T                                        └─sda1                      2.7T LVM2_member                           Ao59b9-Vkww-EoFz-M51N-HRn2-NNZB-y6vTZP   ├─vol2-Musiclv            500G ext4        /home/donato/Music        ac16a063-3c09-4141-b7b7-1a0138c3b59f   └─vol2-Videoslv             2T ext4        /home/donato/Videos       35b88f11-c23e-43f2-a569-7c0773a31097 sdb                       223.6G                                        ├─sdb1                      550M vfat        /boot                     4124-C894 ├─sdb2                       30G ext2        /                         766007c4-57be-4fdd-b183-16f99397e371 ├─sdb3                       17G swap        [SWAP]                    19e69f3b-33d3-4678-ab05-73b82da4e83a └─sdb4                      176G ext4        /home                     1cae9f86-0d9f-47bf-8184-65afe28fe904 sdc        …

Arch Install: Post Post Install Considerations

Now that I have a graphical desktop with the full installation of GNOME, what else do I do to my arch to be able to accomplish my work. The first thing to check is make sure you're not running as root. You should create a user account with lower priveleges and use it for everyday computing.
$ adduser <username>
$ passwd <username> ##give it a password; this is different from the root password
Now that you have a user account, you can use sudo when performing administrative tasks without going to root.
$ pacman -S sudo
$ visudo ##edit your sudoers file using visudo, add your username and give it proper priveleges
Check if you have a firewall. I installed ufw and enabled it.
$ sudo pacman -S ufw
$ sudo ufw enable & ufw status verbose & ufw default deny
I like to monitor my hard drives with SMART. I installed smartmontools. Check the configuration file in /etc/smartd.conf. List your block devices with lsblk.
$ lsblk
$ sudo pacman -S smartmontool…

It's (nearly) 2018 And I'm Installing Arch

I've been installing Arch linux since two days ago. After an update to the kernel in my old Arch, my gnome log me out. So instinctively I should have log in but I don't know what, I reboot instead. That was a big mistake. First of many in fact.  The message I believe was "kernel panic, kernel not found" or something to that nature. I contemplated the task ahead and compared that to my blank stare and the blinking prompt of my computer.

I found my bit of hope with an old USB stick containing an Arch iso I can use to maybe repair / install a fresh linux. And the journey began...
Do I know that i can start elinks in the shell and open the wiki? Yep, I know. So I just have to follow the article with a switch of a tab. Right. Remember not to go too fast or an important point go passed you. Many things, most things hold true in these pages in the wiki. I'm grateful that people do spend time making these wiki pages for the public who needs them. It is much more practic…
I am tryng to finish installing linux on a computer. I am always interrupted by noise downstairs. My struggle with Arch and UEFI began with an unfinished update. I made a mistake of impatiently rebooting when it is not yet finished.

I had to read the Arch documentation. I had to start from scratch because it wont boot. Then i got stuck on the grub shell. Then there's the bios loop. I never thought i'd regret putting a password on my motherboard.

I learned from my mistakes. It felt good.
posted from Bloggeroid

Ubuntu 16.04 LTS On My Machine

I migrated my data and lvm, all my data and its backup lv's from Arch to
Ubuntu. I decided to use Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. I forgot how easy it is to
install Ubuntu with its graphic installer. But it isn't just the
graphics installer but the installer itself would go out of its way to
install this despite my "mistakes". For example I want to mount my
Musiclv to /home/AUser/Music but made an account for BUser and so on. So
it happily installs ubuntu but after booting and starting my BUser
session I quickly found that there are two user filesystems for home.
One for AUser and the second for BUser. On second thought this method is
the "safe" way to do this. My hat's off to Ubuntu. I also have to check
my /etc/fstab if my lv's were given the right mountpoints. I have four
lv's to check and they were all there and the data is safe.

The bad news is the stock GNOME config files for the desktop wreck havoc
on Unity as it became confused with my Wallpapers and …


rsync is a very versatile copying tool. When I was writing about backing up an lvm and restoring backups, I quickly forgot about rsync. Rsync is a remarkable tool that copies files from a source to a destination quickly comparing the file size and modification times and only transfers the changed files. It's called delta-transfer and it saves on bandwidth. However, I keep my initial backups locally but it does save on time if only those changed files or new files are copied to the destination.
The general syntax of the rsync command is $ rsync -av <options> <source> <destination>. It's very simple and elegant.
My lv's are mounted on ~/Music and ~/Videos while my backup directory is /backups/Musicbackups and /backups/Videosbackups. To use rsync :
$ rsync -av ~/Music/ /backups/Musicbackups
$ rsync -av ~/Videos/ /backups/Videosbackups
That trailing backslash "/" in the source dire…

How To Restore A Backup Or Just Lucky Me

I posted a how to on using LVM snapshots to make a backup here. As luck would have it, I would need that backup file because one of my hard disks failed. SMART sent me an email warning of disk failure. Minutes later, my music player began skipping tracks and reporting unplayable files. I lost all my data! Fortunately, I made a backup of everything that's in there yesterday. Or just hours ago.
I removed the failing hard disk.
$ umount /dev/mapper/vol2-Musiclv
$ umount /dev/mapper/vol2-Videoslv ##to unmount device
$ vgreduce vol2 --removemissing
I have a fairly new backup, several hours old in fact. I replaced the failed hard disk with a new one. I used fdisk to partition and format the disk.
$ fdisk /dev/sda
I created a single partition. I have to create a pv out of it and make it a part of a volume group.
$ vgextend vol2 /dev/sda1
I can now create my lost lv's.
$ lvcreate -L 500G -n Musiclv vol2 /dev/sda1
$ lvcreate -L 2000G -n Videoslv vol2 /dev/sda1
Then create a filesystem.
$ m…

How To Backup Using LVM Snapshot

I just finished doing a simple backup using logical volume management's snapshot tool. I decided to use an unused hard disk (empty) that's already a PV on my volume group for backup storage. If you intend to use another storage solution, perhaps that would be the subject of another blog post.

Create An LV

In my case, I have to create 2 LVs for each originLV I want to make a backup of. I want to make a backup of my Musiclv and my Videoslv. Also I have to create a standard LV where my backup file will end up. If you have "other" destinations for your backup file then you don't have to create these standard LVs.
To create a snapshot LV the command is: $ lvcreate -s -n Musicbackup -L <size> /dev/vol2/Musiclv
$ lvcreate -s -n Videosbackup -L <size> /dev/vol2/Videoslv
A snapshot LV creates a frozen image of the originLV. So these are: Musiclv -->> Musicbackup and Videoslv -->> Videosbackup. The -s flag is the --snapshot option for the lvcreate comm…

Update on SMART Error Log And Added New Device

This is to update the post on SMART read error log. It seems that it's just another common loose cable thing. I removed the cable and connected it to a new device. I tested the connection. I re-attached the connection as before and added a new device to complete the motherboard SATA ports (6).
Disk /dev/sdb: 223.6 GiB, 240057409536 bytes, 468862128 sectors Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 4096 bytes I/O size (minimum/optimal): 4096 bytes / 4096 bytes Disklabel type: dos Disk identifier: 0x00d8d469
Device     Boot   Start       End   Sectors   Size Id Type /dev/sdb1          2048   1026047   1024000   500M 83 Linux /dev/sdb2       1026048 468862127 467836080 223.1G 8e Linux LVM

Disk /dev/sda: 2.7 TiB, 3000592982016 bytes, 5860533168 sectors Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 4096 bytes I/O size (minimum/optimal): 4096 bytes / 4096 bytes Disklabel type: gpt Disk identifier: 3E6BD329-EDA9-2A47-825F-E465…

SMART Notification Email Received But No Smartctl Error Log

This message was generated by the smartd daemon running on:

   host name:  archdesktop
   DNS domain: [Empty]

The following warning/error was logged by the smartd daemon:

Device: /dev/sde [SAT], Read SMART Error Log Failed

Device info:
ST31000524AS, S/N:5VP9CZC8, WWN:5-000c50-02a4da21e, FW:JC4B, 1.00 TB

For details see host's SYSLOG.

You can also use the smartctl utility for further investigation.
No additional messages about this problem will be sent.

So I went and checked smartctl on the device being reported to me.

SMART Error Log Version: 1
No Errors Logged

SMART Self-test log structure revision number 1
Num  Test_Description    Status                  Remaining  LifeTime(hours)  LBA_of_first_error
# 1  Extended offline    Completed without error       00%     38484         -
# 2  Short offline       Completed without error       00%     38480         -

Command: lsblk With -fs flag

I have been using lsblk with its default for so long I didn't know I could find the mountpoint and uuid along with this command.
]$ lsblk -fs NAME          FSTYPE      LABEL UUID                                   MOUNTPOINT sdb1          LVM2_member       Pcb0u3-svqO-y3V5-0hkI-3qkx-Mn0f-HEXjeg  └─sdb                                                                   sdc1          LVM2_member       M1Cqew-otGb-uzbi-7t2E-lpEa-U1Op-F9zYM2  └─sdc                                                                   sdd1          LVM2_member       rH12Vh-nWmL-aoau-xQyE-XMWv-kgi1-MMw4Ji  └─sdd                                                                   sde1          LVM2_member       VzQwtZ-W4e9-LrMU-b2Dr-0Zkj-fp0m-fHt3Kr  └─sde                                                                   vol1-root     ext4              7001b658-213a-4047-8919-59f0e81e390d    / └─sdb2        LVM2_member       l82sdU-U39d-VNm6-J6PC-UPaP-Q4Fa-v9WWVA    └─sdb��������������������������…

Final Storage Decisions On My PC

I made some final decisions on my storage solution. I'm going to do away with RAID and stick with Logical Volume Management and ext4. I'm researching ZFS and btrfs but even in a cutting edge distro like Arch Linux, official support for ZFS is far from reassuring. In the end the added complexity and lack of widespread support in linux just isn't there yet - for RAID and ZFS. Well for RAID I decided that for my humble requirements, the added costs and complexity tell me it isn't going to pay much return. For one thing RAID 5 which is the most cost efficient doesn't give me enough data protection for the price.
So I just made backups and use the entire disks as one partition. I created the second volume group and in one command formed the PV's for it. I remembered that some files are still in the trash bin, so I just restored them to their appropriate directories. Most of my home directories were untouched.
$ sudo pvs [sudo] password for donato: 
  PV         VG   F…

My Top Ten Films Of All Time

I'm a fifty year old male. I am a college level professional. What are my top ten films of all time?
Godfather I and II. Besides Goodfellas these two films are my Scorsese favorites. It's the story of family and organized crime. Outstanding acting by Marlon Brando and Al Pacino.

Schindler's List. I have many Spielberg films in my drawer of favorites but this is the definitive cap on that stack. That list includes Jaws, Raiders Of The Lost Ark, E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, and Always.

Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb. I have many Stanley Kubrick film favorites. I love to watch Spartacus, 2001:A Space Odyssey, The Shining and Full Metal Jacket. The comic portrayal of the cold war in this film is a political satire of the conflict between the US and the Russians. Peter Seller's roles of security adviser and his role as english officer made this film memorable.
Vertigo. Alfred Hitchcock films form a large stack in my favorites film drawer.…

Update Gnucash 2.6.x -->> 2.7.x

I had to install this git version or developmental version, some say the unstable version, oh wait, developers really call it the unstable version. The not-so-official 2.6.x version in the Arch User Repository didn't work for me after an update with a particular package it was dependent on. So I tried compiling gnucash-2.7.x.

GnuCash: Switched To The Git Version, Arch Linux

"Teach me how to fish, I will feed my village."
GnuCash is important to me in a daily basis. Its developers are moving away from webkitgtk with all its vulnerabilities and for now users are experiencing some of the hiccups from the transition from the old to the new stable version. Enough so that Arch removed it from the official repos. We have a few options in the Arch User Repositories. There's the 2.6.x version which is the old stable version and the 2.7.x version which is the unstable version. The 2.6.x old stable stopped working for me a couple of weeks back. And I want to thank the maintainer for a gallant stand, so to speak, but it's important to me that work, the show must, go on. Thank you to @Smeidenbacher I learned how to mount a /tmp/source/chroot and use a clean environment to compile packages from source using PKGBUILD scripts. Really useful tool and skill.
[2017-12-04 13:42] [PACMAN] Running '/usr/bin/pacman -U /tmp/source/gnucash-gtk3-git/gnucash…

Changing My RAID Array,Removing A Device To Grow Array Size huh?

See my previous post, on how to remove a device and partitioning.

See my previous post, on how to check status of recovery and rebuilding.

Note that you can still use the array, use the computer, read and save files while the array is recovering. I have this third post because I still want to remove the 1TB block device legacy component of the array. The removal of this smaller size device will increase the array size to 4TB from 3TB. Yup, I removed 1TB but increased the array size by 1TB. The annoying part of using RAID with different size block device is a lot of space is wasted or unused. You can check your RAID configurations in the raid-calculator sites out in the internet.

So I'm trying to fix my RAID by using same size block devices. I don't want to waste storage space which could amount to half the total raw storage space. Using RAID makes you think about three things: amount of s…

Update Linux kernel 4.14.x

Arch linux pacman updated the linux kernel from 4.13.x to 4.14.x to
stable channel.

[2017-12-03 20:00] [PACMAN] Running 'pacman -Syu'
[2017-12-03 20:00] [PACMAN] synchronizing package lists
[2017-12-03 20:03] [PACMAN] starting full system upgrade
[2017-12-03 20:28] [ALPM] transaction started
[2017-12-03 20:28] [ALPM] upgraded linux-firmware (20171009.bf04291-1 ->
[2017-12-03 20:28] [ALPM] upgraded linux (4.13.12-1 -> 4.14.3-1)
[2017-12-03 20:28] [ALPM] transaction completed

Changing My RAID Array, Add A Device And Resync

My previous post discussed removing a block device and partitioning it. 

After creating the 2TB partition I can now add it to the existing array.

$mdadm /dev/md127 --add /dev/sda2        ##to add the 2TB partition (block device) to the array

$mdadm --detail /dev/md127        ##to check status of the array and component device

        Version : 1.2
  Creation Time : Tue Sep  6 02:59:21 2016
     Raid Level : raid5
     Array Size : 2929890816 (2794.16 GiB 3000.21 GB)
  Used Dev Size : 976630272 (931.39 GiB 1000.07 GB)
   Raid Devices : 4
  Total Devices : 4
    Persistence : Superblock is persistent

  Intent Bitmap : Internal

    Update Time : Sat Dec  2 10:00:56 2017
          State : clean, degraded, recovering
 Active Devices : 3
Working Devices : 4
 Failed Devices : 0
  Spare Devices : 1

         Layout : left-symmetric
     Chunk Size …

Changing My RAID Array, Removing And Partitioning Block Device

I'm attempting to shape my RAID to an all 2TB 3-block device array. My
current array is as follows:

/dev/sda1        3TB          active          clean     ==>>   
/dev/sda1          796GB

/dev/sda2              2TB
/dev/sdc1        2TB          active          clean
/dev/sdd1        2TB          active          clean
/dev/sde          1TB          active          clean     ==>>   --fail
then --remove

My goal is to end up with a 4TB RAID array with 3 devices. Then use the
"free" partitions /dev/sde and /dev/sda1 to create another RAID array later.

$mdadm /dev/md127 --fail /dev/sda1             ##to set the block device
as fail

$mdadm /dev/md127 --remove /dev/sda1            ##to remove the block
device from the array

$mdadm --detail /dev/md127              ##to check the array status,
note the status of each of the component devices

You should see that one block device is removed now. I can start
partitioning /dev/sda1 with fdisk.

$fdisk /dev/sda             …