Sunday, January 31, 2010

Installing Thoggen on Fedora 11

Thoggen is a DVD backup utility ('DVD ripper') for Linux, based on GStreamer and Gtk+. There are several other DVD rippers. There is a good article Choose the DVD ripper that's right for you which give a good account of the various DVD ripping application available on linux.

Some of the features of thoggen (taken from Thoggen Website) are as followed:
  • Easy to use, with a nice graphical user interface (GUI)
  • Supports title preview, picture cropping, and picture resizing.
  • Language Selection for audio track (no subtitle support yet though)
  • Encodes into Ogg/Theora video
  • Can encode from local directory with video DVD files
  • Based on the GStreamer multimedia framework, which makes it fairly easy to add additional encoding formats/codecs in future.

To install thoggen on Fedora 11, first you have to install RPM Fusion. For more information on RPM Fusion installation, see Blog Entry RPM Fusion Repository. Remember to do a "yum check-update" after you have install the repository

Step 1: Install thoggen
# yum install thoggen 

Step 2: Install libdvdcss2. libdvdcss is a free software library for accessing and unscrambling DVDs encrypted with the Content Scramble System (CSS).
# sudo -s
# rpm -ivh 

Step 3: Install gstreamer and related gstreamer-plugins
yum install gstreamer gstreamer-plugins-base gstreamer-plugins-good gstreamer-plugins-bad

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Compiling Grace: checking for a Motif >= 1002 compatible API... no

When you are compiling source package from Grace, you may encounter error during compiling on CentOS 5.x "checking for a Motif >= 1002 compatible API... no"

To resolve the issues, you will need to install the
# yum install openmotif openmotif-devel

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Grace plotting tool for X Window System

Grace is a WYSIWYG 2D plotting tool for the X Window System and M*tif. Grace runs on practically any version of Unix-like OS. As well, it has been successfully ported to VMS, OS/2, and Win9*/NT/2000/XP (some minor functionality may be missing, though).

Grace is a descendant of ACE/gr, also known as Xmgr.

The instruction set to install the source can be found in the User Guide

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Managing Volume using the command line tool aumix on Fedora

You can use the command line to manage the volume of a Linux PC.
yum install aumix aumix-gtk
To increase the volume by 10%,
# aumix -v +10
To reduce the volume by 10%
# aumix -v -10

To manage microphone volume, use aumix -m instead

Saturday, January 23, 2010

How to pin Firefox to the previous version on Linux Mint

There are occasion where you may want Linux Mint to pin a specific version of firefox on Linux Mint, you can do the following:
# vim /etc/apt/preferences

Package: firefox
Pin: 3.0*
Pin-Priority: 800

  1. "Package" refers to the name of the package
  2. "Pin" refer to the criteria used for the pinning. In this case version 3.0 of firefox
  3. "Pin-Priority": Priority to handle multiple pin entries
To get back your old programs, do the following:
apt-get upgrade 
apt-get update

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Deploying watchdog on ipfail-plugin for Heartbeat

The kernel uses watchdog to handle a hung system. Watchdog is simply a kernel module that checks a timer to determine whether the system is alive. Watchdog can reboot the system if it think it is hung. Watchdog is quite useful to to determine a server hang situation.....To read more, see

Deploying watchdog on ipfail-plugin for Heartbeat

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Deploying ipfail plug-in for HeartBeat

This is a continuation of the Blog Entry Deploying a Highly Available Cluster (Heartbeat) on CentOS. In this Blog Entry, we are looking ipfail plug-in that comes with Heartbeat package. Read Deploying ipfail plug-in for HeartBeat

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Monitoring net hogs using nethogs

Nethogs is a simple program that shows the send and receive rates per second organised by process.

To install, simply type on the command line
# yum install nethogs (For Fedora) 
# aptitude install nethog (For Linux Mint)

The default device to monitor is eth0. If you wish to use other device, simply type the argument after nethog
# nethogs eth1
To cycle through the available options for displaying the data transfer such as kilobytes, megabytes and bytes, just press m

For more information, click the nethogs project website

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Deploying a Highly Available Cluster (Heartbeat) on CentOS

Heartbeat is a software package that allows you to failover a resource from one computer to another. The blog entry Deploying a Highly Available Cluster (Heartbeat) on CentOS is a more detailed writeup on how to configure a heart-beat on CentOS

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Using pidof to test a daemon that is running

Pidof program can be used to test whether a particular daemon is working by providing a process identifier (PID) of a running daemon that you have supplied.

If pidof is used to determine a daemon (for example sendmail) is running, and if sendmail is running, pidof will exit with a return code of 0 and the PID is printed. If however, the daemon (for example sendmail) is not working, pidof will not print anything and exit with a nonzero return code

 Redhat Derivatives already come with pidof installed. If you do not have the program, you can install by using
# yum install sysvinit-tools 

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Linux Bonding Modes

This Blog entry is the extension  of Linux Network Bonding or Trunking on CentOS 5.x. RHEL derivatives have 7 modes (0-6) of possible bonding modes. Read Linux Bonding Modes for more information.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Linux Network Bonding or Trunking on CentOS 5.x

Finally, I have tested and setup a Linux Network Trunking. You will be very surprise it is very straightforward. See my blog "Linux Network Bonding or Trunking on CentOS 5.x"

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Running multiple commands

Sometimes as a system administrator, you will need to run multiple commands in sequence. One of the more classic example is ./configure followed by make and then make install. How do we do it?

Method 1 "./configure; make; make install"
  • The semi-colon causes the commands to be executed in sequence
  • If one of the intermediate commands fails, the subsequent commands after the failed command will still be executed and the error may be hidden in the output.
Method 2: "./configure && make && make all"
  • && represent if the ./configure and make and make all are true without error, the entire commands will run. If there is one error in either of the commands, the subsequent command will not run
Method 3: "./configure || ./setup"
  • || represent "or". If the first command fail to run, only then the 2nd command will run. It is useful for alert for example "./configure || echo "Configuration Error" "

Monday, January 4, 2010

error while loading shared libraries:

If you are having error during installation of application such as Intel Compilers and the error "error while loading shared libraries:", you need to install
# yum install compat-libstdc++-33

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Information on Setting up a hostname at on Fedora allows you to obtain your own free domain name like, host your own weblog/blog at home, or access your computer remotely. A very useful tool if you need more control of your resources

A good information to start, use Dynamic DNS How-To and Using ddclient With Services

To summarise,
Step 1: Copy the configuration file
cp ddclient /usr/sbin/
mkdir /etc/ddclient
cp sample-etc_ddclient.conf /etc/ddclient/ddclient.conf
vi /etc/ddclient/ddclient.conf
(Change the required information)

Step 2: Change the configuration file
# Basic configuration file for ddclient
# /etc/ddclient.conf

use=web,, web-skip='IP Address'

Step 3: Configure the Start-up
## For those using Redhat style rc files and using daemon-mode:
cp sample-etc_rc.d_init.d_ddclient /etc/rc.d/init.d/ddclient
## enable automatic startup when booting
/sbin/chkconfig --add ddclient
## start the first time by hand
/etc/rc.d/init.d/ddclient start

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Installing and configuring Ganglia on CentOS 5.4

For a more detailed writeup on Installing and configuring Ganglia on CentOS 5.4, see this latest entry from my blog Installing and configuring Ganglia on CentOS 5.4

Friday, January 1, 2010

Network design consideration for NFS

Network Design are an important consideration for NFS. Often we miss the infrastructure design consideration of NFS. Read further at Network design consideration for NFS