Jimmy's weblog


Summerbreeze Festival

Filed under: — jimmy @ 11:44 am

Last week I was at the summerbreeze festival, therefore I didn’t have time to post to my weblog. It was a great festival with a lot of cool bands(Finntroll rules :-) ).


VPN with pptpd

Filed under: — jimmy @ 9:43 pm

When installing pptpd on a debian machine you just need to install the packages kernel-patch-mppe, pptpd and ppp. The packages work well and the bug concerning the openssl license is also fixed. Unfortunately you don’t have all of the packages in debian stable :-(
You can install pptpd but you have to patch the kernel and compile ppp(ppp in stable doesn’t include mppe, which is needed for encryption). I had problems installing the kernel patch from source so I just installed the source of the package kernel-patch-mppe(from testing) and copied the patch to /usr/src/linux. Although the patch was tested for kernel 2.4.25 there have been no problems applying it to kernel 2.4.21, which is the latest kernel in stable.
These are the important options(under network device support):

<M> PPP support for async serial ports
<M> PPP support for sync tty ports
<M> PPP Deflate compression
<M> PPP BSD-Compress compression
<M> PPP MPPE compression (encryption)

Now I had to compile ppp. Lazy as I am I took the source of the debian package(from testing) and used the .orig.tar.gz. ./configure, make and make install.
I only had to change /etc/pptpd.config, /etc/ppp/chap-secrets and /etc/ppp/pptpd-options. There are a few wrong options in /etc/ppp/pptpd-options because their names changed. It’s easy to find out the new names by using the strings tool:

strings /usr/sbin/pppd |grep mppe
strings /usr/sbin/pppd |grep chap


New CD-ROM for my notebook

Filed under: — jimmy @ 2:06 am

I really hate my notebook. Today my CD-ROM stopped to work(Thought I had fixed it :-( ). So I was looking for a new one at geizhals. Fortunately the slim CD-ROMs are a whole lot cheaper now:


Onboard RAID Controller

Filed under: — jimmy @ 7:20 pm

I have a Gigabyte GA-7N400 Pro motherboard(nforce2) which has a raid controller onboard. I do not need the raid functionality but I wanted to know if I can use the IDE ports.
Here’s the output of lspci:

RAID bus controller: Integrated Technology Express, Inc. IT/ITE8212
Dual channel ATA RAID controller (PCI version seems to be IT8212, embedded seems (rev 10)
Subsystem: Integrated Technology Express, Inc.: Unknown device 0001
Flags: bus master, 66MHz, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 11
I/O ports at 8010 [size=8]
I/O ports at 8400 [size=4]
I/O ports at 8810 [size=8]
I/O ports at 8c00 [size=4]
I/O ports at 9000 [size=16]
Capabilities: [80] Power Management version 2

The driver for the ITE8212 controller is not part of the linux kernel so I had to google. This article was very helpful.
Basically you have to:

  • Enable the controller in the BIOS :-)
  • Get the driver source from the manufacturer.
  • Copy the source into your kernel source directory and compile the module.

The last step is a little bit tricky. My solution was to make a new Makefile for the iteraid driver and to include this Makefile in the Makefile of the kernel. So I copied the driver source to /usr/src/linux/drivers/scsi and made a Makefile called iteraid:

EXTRA_FLAGS += -Wno-cast-qual -Wno-strict-prototypes
obj-m += iteraid.o
iteraid-obj := iteraid.o

Then I appended the following line to the Makefile(at the beginning) of the scsi directory:

# Added for iteRAID
# Without absolute path it did NOT work
include /usr/src/linux/drivers/scsi/iteraid

Now I was able to compile the module. The only test I’ve done was with one harddisc connected:

kernel: scsi0 : ITE RAIDExpress133
kernel:   Vendor: ITE       Model: IT8212F           Rev: 1.3
kernel:   Type:   Direct-Access                      ANSI SCSI revision: 00
kernel: SCSI device sda: 488397168 512-byte hdwr sectors (250059 MB)
kernel: sda: asking for cache data failed
kernel: sda: assuming drive cache: write through
kernel:  sda: sda1
kernel: Attached scsi disk sda at scsi0, channel 0, id 2, lun 0

Openoffice and MySQL

Filed under: — jimmy @ 1:25 pm

When using Openoffice and mysql together there a few things to notice:

  • Mysql needs to be configured to use networking. Most distributions setup mysql to skip networking for security reasons. When enabling it again you should secure your server with other methods, like iptables.
  • You need the unixODBC driver and have to populate /etc/odbc.ini. Otherwise openoffice will claim that it has problems with the odbc libs. Details can be found here.

Now it should be possible to use openoffice and mysql together, as described here.

Openoffice: forms and database access

Filed under: — jimmy @ 12:19 pm

Yesterday I was looking for a replacement for MS Access. I found knoda and kexi. I didn’t test knoda, since there was no debian package available. Kexi looks nice but there is no documentation, AFAIK.
Finally I found out that openoffice has support for databases. Take a look at the homepage of the Database Access Project. There’s also a list of external resources, describing how to get started.
After some reading I started to use a flatfile database for contacts. It worked fine except one bug in the current openoffice debian package(only when using german translation) that makes using forms impossible. See bugreport #216647 for a workaround.


USB Host2Host cable

Filed under: — jimmy @ 3:14 pm

I’ve tested a USB Host-To-Host cable today on my notebook. It worked out of the box since my kernel supported its driver(There’s a section called “USB Host-to-Host Cables” in the USB-support menu. You also have to select “Multi-purpose USB Networking Framework”, which compiles the usbnet driver).
After plugging in the cable I took a look at the logs:

usb 2-1: new full speed USB device using address 2
usb0: register usbnet at usb-0000:00:1f.4-1, Prolific PL-2301/PL-2302
usbcore: registered new driver usbnet

ifconfig now shows usb0 as a network device:

usb0      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 92:42:FA:E2:8C:60  
               BROADCAST MULTICAST  MTU:1500  Metric:1
               RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
               TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
               collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000 
               RX bytes:0 (0.0 b)  TX bytes:0 (0.0 b)

But I couldn’t find software for Linux that enables drag&drop of files between two hosts like PC-Linq does under windows :-(


WordPress pingback

Filed under: — jimmy @ 3:10 pm

Just testing the pingback function, since I can’t ping mika’s blog.
I’ve found an article about problems with pingback.
And here is one fix.
Unfortunately, that was not the problem. I’m now able to ping mika’s blog, if I don’t refer to a posting. But then my posting will be posted as a comment to the first posting in mika’s blog *argh*

apt-listchanges and apt-listbugs

Filed under: — jimmy @ 9:40 am

Mika wrote a posting about debian logging in his blog. I’ve never heard of those debian tools, so today I’ve tested apt-listchanges and apt-listbugs on my server(unstable). After the installation I reviewed the changes made in /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/ by debconf. When installing new packages or upgrading packages apt now retrieves information about bugs and changes before installing them. Both tools have a config file in /etc/apt/.
To see what happens I’ve updated mutt and apt displayed the grave bugs of libtasn1-2 and mutt and asked for confirmation to install the packages. When the upgrade was finished I received a mail containing the changes.
Here’s the output of my shell after running “apt-get install mutt”(only the interesting lines):

Get:1 http://localhost unstable/main libgcrypt11 1.2.0-6 [179kB]
Get:2 http://localhost unstable/main libgcrypt7 1.1.90-9 [326kB]
Get:3 http://localhost unstable/main libopencdk8 0.5.5-9 [76.0kB]
Get:4 http://localhost unstable/main libtasn1-2 0.2.10-3 [42.5kB]
Get:5 http://localhost unstable/main libgnutls11 1.0.16-5 [299kB]
Get:6 http://localhost unstable/main mutt 1.5.6-20040803+1 [1394kB]
Fetched 2317kB in 11s (204kB/s)
Reading package fields... Done
Reading package status... Done
Retrieving bug reports... Done
grave bugs of libtasn1-2 (0.2.7-2 -> 0.2.10-3) 
 #259601 - libtasn1-2: no binaries on ia64
grave bugs of mutt (1.5.6-20040523+2 -> 1.5.6-20040803+1) 
 #259520 - mutt fails to start up : libtasn1.so.2 missing
 #262719 - fails to open editor
 libtasn1-2(1 bug), mutt(2 bugs)
Are you sure to install/upgrade these packages? [Y/n/?/...]
Reading changelogs...
apt-listchanges: Mailing root: apt-listchanges: changelogs for ultimate


Modified style for wordpress

Filed under: — jimmy @ 7:44 pm

The darkness style is really cool, but I didn’t like the pictures. So I exchanged them and called my new style “darkone”

Finally I’ve started my weblog, too

Filed under: — jimmy @ 3:34 pm

Since Mika forced encouraged me to blog I installed wordpress today. After a few modifications I feel happy now. The WordPress CSS Style Switcher was very helpful.