Fecking Fedora

I made the mistake of trying the Yum Upgrade method of moving my rock-solid F13 install to F14 before they end-of-life’d it. Well that resulted in a machine that would constantly reboot at the “Loading operating system….” bit just before Grub. I couldn’t fix it no matter how many times I tried variations of “grub-install /dev/sda”.

So I decided I might as well bite the bullet and do a fresh install of Fedora 15. The first problem there was that my computer becomes very unreliable when I plug in the DVD drive (I really have to buy a new PSU) so I created a bootable USB installation using the UNetBootIn instructions. Well that took literally hours to write 3Gb to my flash drive on Ubuntu for some reason and then wouldn’t boot anyway, the fix was to type “/isolinux/vmlinuz initrd=/isolinux/initrd.img” at the boot: prompt.

So I merrily went and selected a smallish installation, not every package a I usually would do. Apparently this came to over 2000 packages! 4 hours later its still installing, then I notice the switch is blinking like crazy, guess what – despite unticking the “Use Fedora Updates repository” option, it seems to be downloading 2000+ RPM’s from the internet!

Anyway, eventually I’m booted and into Gnome3 – well what a screwup that is – I can’t even find where to configure the screensaver! The only thing I like about it is I don’t have to spend a day configuring compiz-fusion plugins as most of what I use is built-in and preconfigured now (like drag’n’drop windows between workspaces). Gnome-Shell I hate, what is it with having to search through a list of all your applications rather than just selecting from a menu?!

I found this site which at least tells you how to move the stupid clock and get the shutdown menu back again.

The SysV-init replacement “systemd” doesn’t integrate with any of the GUI tools for configuring services and doesn’t work with akmods so every kernel update is going to be fun with NVidia/VirualBox. I can see that becoming the next PulseAudio heathen.

For some reason NFS is all screwed up with Nautilus and won’t let a regular user unmount (although it will mount!) despite what /etc/fstab says. So I went back to autofs, which at least these days seems to cope with the remote server being offline. Then I noticed that USB drives won’t mount – turns out I can’t use /media for NFS mounts anymore, so have to create a specific /nfs directory now:


/nfs /etc/auto.nfs --timeout=3600 --ghost


data0 -fstype=nfs4,hard,intr,timeo=10,rw,rsize=32768,wsize=32768,noatime server:/data0
data1 -fstype=nfs4,hard,intr,timeo=10,rw,rsize=32768,wsize=32768,noatime server:/data1

So I’m pretty much back at a working system now, although I’m getting the odd hard-lockup like I was with F14 (despite removing USB/DVD devices) so I think I need a new PSU. Odd that F13 was fine.

Skype works, Firefox4 by default, Nessus’ F13 RPM works, VirtualBox has a new F15 RPM, I can rsync all my servers etc. I rebuilt my RPM’s for JtR, gSTM, gIP and knockd and I built VirtualBox4 and CyanogenMod7 using Sun JDK.

I noticed that even if you run “ssh-add” you still get a popup dialog box from gnome-seahorse-whatever asking for the passphrase. Apparently ssh-add is deprecated, and ssh-agent is fired up by the dialog now, so just enter the passphrase in there and it will cache it in the agent.

Nothing but Totem will play .FLV files for some reason – I think RPMFusion broke their MPlayer build or something.

Whenever I fire up QGit now I get some annoying warning:

An error occurred while executing command: git repo-config --get i18n.commitencoding
Git says: WARNING: git repo-config is deprecated in favor of git config.

One thing I noticed was that when restoring, BackInTime (root) sets all the directory modification times to now, although files get their original datestamp. Bit of a shame that, as it means sorting a directory listing my date is pretty ineffectual.

Freesat HD recording

I’m thinking of getting a WinTV Nova HD-S2 card for my PC as there’s a satellite feed right by the computer in my bedroom – albeit with an aerial connector on it, so I’d need a female aerial to female F-type adaptor.

I could watch/record Freesat HD in my bedroom and stream it over the new GigE to the Revo downstairs (which has hardware accelerated HD playback – currently using about 30% CPU watching 720p from BBC iPlayer) and also watch SD Sky using the box in the lounge.

At 85ukp its a lot cheaper than 250ukp for a Humax Foxsat HDR (especially after knocking off 20% VAT), Hell its even cheaper than a non-recording Freesat HD box. Time to fit that second 1Tb hard disk….

This will work so much better than my old WinTV PVR250 which didn’t have a DVB tuner so required a Sky box as well – and was pretty poor even for SD resolution.

Update: I’ve rebuilt JtR 1.7.6 with the new MSCash2 patch on top of Jumbo-9. Fedora 13/14 downloads here.

I’ve also rebuilt Back In Time 1.0.6 and tested on Fedora 14, downloads here.

101 NASL’s

I’ve just finished writing some new Nessus plugins, taking my NASL count to over 100 now.

Just as I finished checking them into Git, Tenable decided to renumber the plugin ranges. Custom NASL’s were always given a range around 50000-53000, but now Tenable are up to 50321 themselves, so have decided on a new set of ranges:

Passive: 1 – 10,000
Active: 10,001 – 900,000
Custom: 900,001 – 999,999
Compliance: 1,000,000+

I’ve made some changes to my backup regime too, from now on I’m backing up my whole $HOME directory using BackInTime to an encrypted drive, rather than encrypting a tarball. This saves space as BIT uses rsync and hard links to create incremental backups. The old tar+gpg method would create a 3Gb file per backup, with BIT I’ve got 11 incremental backups totalling 9Gb.

Decrypting, decompressing and unpacking a 3.5Gb tarball to get to perhaps one file inside it is painfully slow, with BIT I can instantly restore (or just view or copy) a file at any date.

As it uses rsync as a backend its also simple to run from cron, which you can’t really do with GnuPG as you need to enter your passphrase.

I was thinking of using Deja Dup as its nicely integrated into Nautilus in Fedora/Ubuntu but its GUI is pretty minimal – literally a button or menu item for backup/restore/revert, and I’m not keen on the backend or limited use of GnuPG (passwords not keys, and no password input checking).