Linux Work

So, this weekend I’ve got some time to spare and dedicated it to restoring my Linux laptop to life. I foolishly tried to update to RedHat 9 from 8 without considering the limitations of a 6 Gb hard drive with 2 Gb already dedicated to another OS. I was surprised that RedHat crashed the machine, rather than gracefully declined, but it left the machine a mess, with two hard drive partitions full to overflowing, and an OS that would boot and then lock up attempting to start X Windows.

My first urge was to just blow away everything and start again. However, that really isn’t the way to learn anything. Instead, I took it as a learning experience. What if a client had a locked-up or corrupted machine, but needed to recover some precious files? Looked at in this light, I hadn’t encountered a problem, but rather an educational opportunity.

I used a Knoppix 3.3 CD to boot into a working Linux OS, and then followed the Repair FAQ on the Knoppix site to clean some space off each partition. I also used the RedHat 9 CDs in “repair” mode to clear off still more files, test the file systems for integrity, and get the system to restart.

There were a number of problems with my last set of installs, and I set off to fix them. First, I got a few of the basic services restarted. I reconfigured the networking software to use the docking station’s ethernet rather than the wireless card. Once I was satisfied that was working properly, I reconfigured TCP/IP for a static address and programmed the router to allow minimal services to be exposed to the outside world – port 8080 for Apache and 23 for SSH. Over Apache, I’m running Twiki, a wiki written in Perl, and I use port 23 for a secure tunnel for shell work and also to run a remote graphical session via VNC.

Next, I tried to set up Samba, and ran into some problems. The RedHat Network insists the latest Samba for my distribution is 2.2.7-5.8.0, while I had somehow installed a 2.2.8a on the system, I suspect by downloading the wrong version directly from the Samba site. The installer wanted the Redhat 8 CDs, which I had given away, so BitTorrent to the rescue, and I was able to download and burn a new set of disks from Uninstalling the wrong version and finally getting the correct version installed was an education in the Redhat Package Manager (RPM) command line, but I am up and running.

Today, the goal is to configure MySQL and the MyODBC software so that I can read and write MySQL data from my Windows workstation. Onward and upward!


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This work by Ted Roche is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.