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Messages - Mad Penguin

Erm, not entirely sure what you mean, but I'm not noticing anything different in terms of colours and my browser? (which browser are you using?)
General Discussion / Re: Is it me?
June 20, 2022, 11:28:06 AM
Hi Mike,
Generally people use CD's to hold ISO images, which are a pre-defined generic format which tend to work cross platform, although (from memory) it is possible to use CD as block devices, the result of which won't necessarily behave as you expect. 

So when you write to the CD, are you literally copying files to the CD folder, or, are you telling it to burn an ISO image of a folder containing the files you wish to copy?

(my expectation is that the latter will do what you expect, and the former may be causing you a problem)
I'm afraid it's many years since I've tried this sort of thing, you might consider that a flash drive formatted with a DOS filesystem might be a better / easier / cheaper way to do this, unless you specifically need an immutable copy?

Mm, as I say, over the years I've tried various manufacturers, I tend to stick with NVIDIA where possible, just because on balance these cards seem to deliver the best results vs being easy to work with. I too have had problems with RADEON cards, although I've also had some good results.
My only real concern historically was that NVIDIA drivers were proprietary, however looking at the news it does seem that (finally) NVIDIA have now or at least are in the process of Open Sourcing their Linux video drivers ...
Ok, I'm a little out of touch with FAT based filesystems, but it looks like exfat might not be a native filesystem, in which case you may need some additional packages to be installed .. which might be installed by default on some distributions and not others. You could try (if you haven't already);
sudo apt-get install exfat-fuse exfat-utils
It might be for example that you have exfat-utils (which I guess is where exfatfsck is coming from) but maybe not the fuse filesystem component? (which it looks like is needed to mount the fs?)
Hi @donvito7 ,
Looks like ipx.h might have been depreciated in the latest kernel. From what I can see the driver will probably still work, you may just need the missing header files, so if you try copying;



/usr/src/linux-(your version)/include/uapi/linux/ipx.h
/usr/src/linux-(your version)/include/net/ipx.h

(or similar, depending in what previously working version you have) 
.. see if that compiles ....
Hi Helen .. technically "yes", however the question "is this wise" is not so clear cut. What sort of technology does your USB device employ, is it literally a cheap flash stick (which could have a write cycle limit as low as 500, or SSD/NVRam in which case it could be up over 1M?). If it's a low end device (in terms of write cycles) then you might be chancing your arm a little if you put something that's relatively write-intensive (like a VM) on it.

If it's a device that's less likely to wear out in a hurry, it might depend on what sort of USB interface your computer has in terms of speed. It's it's a relatively recent PC it's likely to be USB2, 3 or 3.1. If it's USB2 then it will work, but it's going to be pretty slow, my experience of a VM on USB2 is a read/write rate of ~ 25M/sec (as opposed to ~200M/sec on a regular hard drive)

I'm running a USB NVRAM root on my Raspberry Pi 400, although the NVRAM is in theory capable of 2G/sec, the USB 3.0 is limiting throughput to ~ 280M/sec, which is sort of fast HDD speed in terms of throughput and you also get some benefit from the NVRAM's reduced latency. My expectation is that running a VM on this would be fine in terms of general performance.

If you have USB 3.1 on your machine, and if your device is 3.1 compatible, my expectation is (I've not tried it) that you should get more like 500-600Mb/sec, which should be up in "better than SSD" territory ...

Only other thing to watch out for is inadvertently unplugging it while the VM is running ...  ;)
Linux Support / Re: Why is SAMBA so bad
April 28, 2022, 03:32:24 PM
Ok, so LAN networking between Linux computers IS standard (out of the box) and you can set up SSHFS or NFS (or Samba) on a per-linux user basis very easily. (indeed there are a bunch of UI tools to assist with this)

Depending on your UI, KDE for example provides a "sharing" tab in the file manager which sets up file sharing via Samba and indeed walks you through installing Samba if it's not installed - maybe try Ubuntu if Mint has a problem, not all Linux distributions are created equal ...

Do you mean that you think interop between Linux/Samba and Windows should work out of the box?

Do you think it would be unfair to say that given the resources at M$'s disposal, if THEY wanted it to work out of the box ... it would? If you've followed the various SAMBA related issues over the years, you might find that the reason it doesn't - isn't a Linux issue or deficiency (!)

If you google "ibm baystar microsoft" and "microsoft balmer linux cancer", and have a read of some of the resulting links, the reasons behind the issues you're seeing may become clearer. The new line that M$ is now "linux friendly", yeah, maybe a pinch of salt.
News and Events / Domain Names ...
April 15, 2022, 04:30:23 PM
Ok, so I'm kind of plugging a vendor here, however as they're supplying at cost it really doesn't feel like an 'advert'. For anyone who uses domain names (UK or US in particular) you'll likely be using a third party vendor who is "probably" charging you between £10 and £20 per year for regular domains. (first year special offers aside) They do this by getting a bulk price from national registries, adding (quite a hefty) markup, then selling the service on.

We now have a vendor (!) who is providing the service with no markup, so you effectively pay wholesale prices, which is between £3 and £4 per year for a UK domain and maybe £6 for a US .com.


And of course once you have your domain name there, you're just a few clicks away from using their primary service which is to protect your website(s) and other online assets. Again they have a free tier so I feel this isn't really an advert as such. Looking at the stats they seem to have foiled around 47,000 malicious attacks on "this" site in the last month alone and have provided a consistently 'good' service.

Linux Support / Re: Why is SAMBA so bad
April 15, 2022, 03:22:44 PM
Erm, well, is it possible you are maybe not asking the best question?

I used to use Samba (a lot) probably 20 years ago, so much so that we used to use Linux servers on our local network for Windows computers to connect to, mainly because we found it so much more reliable (and easier) than using Windows servers. So, has Samba just gotten worse over the last 20 years? I rather doubt it. Is it more likely that the long term issues are either down to a certain company just not caring about interoperability with Linux, or indeed pursuing a long term campaign to encourage questions like this one?

If you take competing ("vendor neutral") technologies for example, do you see the same issues?

Skipping straight to the point, whereas I can see why large companies with complex security requirements, who are tied to Windows, might prefer Windows native file-sharing, for anyone else SSHFS might seem to be a MUCH better solution. I use it here (and have done for longer than I care to remember) and it's quite happy working with Linux, Mac and Windows. It's pretty much (comparatively) zero-config and generally just doesn't go wrong. And let's face it, it's "ssh" so you get that nice fuzzy feeling inside knowing all your traffic is encrypted with your own keypair :)

It's supported natively on most Linux desktops and is integrated into various file explorers. For Windows there are a number of SSH solutions, but if you take a look at (for example) WINFSP, this integrates into the WIndows desktop and presents as just "another" transport for Windows file-sharing.


I tend to find that questions that begin "why doesn't Linux ..." or "why isn't Linux ...", are often more effective when re-phrased; "what is it about Linux I've not spotted yet ..."  ;) .. but to return to the original point, when there are potentially "better" options available, there are limits to how much free time people will sink into .. I'll choose my words carefully .. "tech that typically isn't preferred on Unix OS's".

Mm, no idea .. that screenshot is from me selecting it .. maybe your machine is a secret Jedi with an aversion to the dark side?   ;)
From memory key bits were --quiesce and the --active --pivot re; getting a consistent backup without having to stop the VM ..
In which case Brian, you might like this for hot / consistent backups of KVM virtual machines using snapshots and Borg ..  ;D

export BACKUP_NAME=`date "+%A_%d_%B_%Y_%H_%M"`
IMAGE=`virsh domblklist ${DOMAIN}|grep vda|xargs|cut -d" " -f2`

if [[ "$IMAGE" == *".backup."* ]]
        echo "ERROR: snapshot already live - please fix!"
        exit -1
if [ -f $BACKUP ]
        echo "ERROR: snapshot file already exists - please delete!"
        exit -1

virsh dumpxml --migratable ${DOMAIN} > ${DOMAIN}.xml
virsh snapshot-create-as --domain ${DOMAIN}   \
                             --name backup.qcow2 \
                             --no-metadata       \
                             --atomic            \
                             --quiesce           \
                             --disk-only         \
                             --diskspec vda,snapshot=external

borg create --stats $REPO::${BACKUP_NAME} ${IMAGE} ${DOMAIN}.xml
virsh blockcommit ${DOMAIN} vda --active --pivot

IMAGE=`virsh domblklist ${DOMAIN}|grep vda|xargs|cut -d" " -f2`
if [[ "$IMAGE" == *".backup."* ]]
        echo "ERROR: pivot did not succeed!"
        exit -1
echo "Deleting... ${BACKUP}"
sudo rm "${BACKUP}"
Mmm, when you select SociWT there is a dropdown listing "Style1" or "Style2" .. 1 is dark (default) 2 is light ... 
Yeah, I tried SociWT for a bit, little too dark for my taste although a bit smoother than Evolution. You can lookup 2.1 compatible themes on the SMF site here; https://custom.simplemachines.org/index.php?action=themes .. if you see anything else you want to try, let me know.
Another way to do it (!) is to run Seafile (or similar) in a virtual machine. Then backup the virtual machine image using Borg. Then every (interval), snapshot the virtual machine and backup the snapshot. Because Borg does de-duplication at source, if you backup a snapshot against a pre-existing machine image, it will only actually backup the changes, leaving you a new / consistent backup on the remote server .. if that makes sense?