Thursday, November 23, 2006

Pay Your Dues

Tristan posted an article about Microsoft, Novell and the Linux kernel. In the article, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has said that every user of the open source Linux system could owe his company money for using its intellectual property. Tristan then came to an idea to send monopoly money to Microsoft to pay for using the Linux kernel. So lets all pay Microsoft for the code we use. You can print of money from here. The address is below:

Microsoft Corporation
c/o Steven Ballmer
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052-7329

With the money send this note:

Mr. Ballmer, Since you live in a fantasy world, thought we’d pay some fantasy money for your fantasy claim.

This is a good idea and I request that everybody help participate in this action. If you like this idea please mail some money and digg the story.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

FTP User Individuality

Ok, so I fixed the next issue with my ftp, which is upload access. This is an easy issue if you just want to give everybody and their mother upload access. However, I don't want to do this so I had to setup per-user configuration in vsftpd. Since this is built-in it is a lot easier than it sounds.

  1. Add the following line to /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd.conf:


  2. Create that directory:

    mkdir /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd_user_conf

  3. Next create the users configuration:

    echo "write_enable=YES" >> /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd_user_conf/fred
    echo "anon_upload_enable=YES" >> /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd_user_conf/fred
    echo "anon_mkdir_write_enable=YES" >> /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd_user_conf/fred

I created a couple simple bash scripts that can be used add users and add upload access to users. Both scripts must be ran as root.

Script to add users to your ftp.

# Name:
# Description: Adds users to /etc/vsftpd/logins.txt and resets the database
# Arguments: $1=Username $2=Password
# Author: Kevin Harriss
# Version: 0.01
if [ $# -ne 2 ]
echo "Username and Password needed!!!"
echo $1 >> /etc/vsftpd/logins.txt
echo $2 >> /etc/vsftpd/logins.txt
db_load -T -t hash -f /etc/vsftpd/logins.txt /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd_login.db

Here is the bash script to add upload access to a user.

# Name:
# Description: Gives user upload access to ftp.
# Arguments: $1=Username
# Author: Kevin Harriss
# Version: 0.01
if [ $# -ne 1 ]
echo "Username needed!!!"
echo "write_enable=YES" >> /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd_user_conf/$1
echo "anon_upload_enable=YES" >> /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd_user_conf/$1
echo "anon_mkdir_write_enable=YES" >> /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd_user_conf/$1

Sharing is Caring

I am so excited right now, I finally got my ftp back up and running. I run vsftpd with virtual users and this will be a guide to setting it up.

  1. Install vsftpd. On foresight just run:

    sudo conary update vsftpd

  2. Create the file with username and password (/etc/vsftpd/logins.txt). The file is an alternating list of username and passwords:


  3. Add the database file (This requires Berkeley DB program installed):

    db_load -T -t hash -f /etc/vsftpd/logins.txt /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd_login.db

  4. Fix database permissions:

    chmod 600 /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd_login.db

  5. Setup pam, Change /etc/pam.d/ftp to only contain the following lines:

    auth required /lib/security/ db=/etc/vsftpd/vsftpd_login crypt=hash

    account required /lib/security/ db=/etc/vsftpd/vsftpd_login crypt=hash

  6. Create virtual user:

    useradd -d /home/ftp virtual

  7. Create /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd.conf containing the following lines:


  8. Restart vsftpd:

    sudo /etc/init.d/vsftpd restart

Anytime you add a user to /etc/vsftpd/logins.txt you have to add the database again by running:
db_load -T -t hash -f /etc/vsftpd/logins.txt /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd_login.db

If you would like an account just let me know.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Banshee Issues No More

This past week I ran into more problems with banshee then ever before, but thanks to the great community behind banshee I got them all fixed. The first issue was that I was missing the plugins directory in ~/.gnome2/banshee I fixed that by reinstalling the base-plugin package. The next issue was that I couldn't search for a word in banshee that contained a shortcut key. For example, a search for "rancid" would search for "racid" but start playing the next song. This issue was fixed by this patch. I added the patch to banshee recipe for foresight so that is fixed. The latest issues was due to a mono upgrade. The mono runtime is not running correctly with banshee. This problem is that if banshee is compiled with mono 1.2, banshee can't import songs if its using mono 1.2 as the runtime; but if mono is mono 1.1.18 at runtime it will work fine. Also if banshee is compiled against mono 1.1.18 then it will work fine with mono 1.2 or mono 1.1.18. A fix for this problem is being worked on, in the mean time issuing this command will fix the problem:

gconftool-2 --set /apps/Banshee/IOBackend --type string systemio

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Welcome back tilda

Well since I reinstalled foresight on my laptop and desktop I lost tilda. For those of you who don't know what tilda is go check it out. It is a drop down terminal that is raised and lowered by a key or combinations of keys, so it's like having a terminal always at your fingertips. So I decided that I would fix this problem by repackaging them, but that did not turn out as easy as I thought. Tilda would not pick up the libconfuse dependency. Thanks to mkj in #conary on freenode for helping me get this issue resolved. To fix that problem I had to add a r.Requires('confuse:devel','/usr/bin') to the recipe. Now if you run rPath Linux, foresight or the like you can install tilda with the following command:

conary update

Monday, November 06, 2006

Richard M. Stallman at IIT

This past Saturday, Richard M. Stallman of Free Software Foundation, GNU, and emacs fame came to speak at Illinois Institute of Technology. He was sponsored by the Chicago GNU/Linux User Group, IIT-ACM, IIT CS Department. He did his standard talk about the four freedoms and the use of free software. He also spoke about the defective by design initiative that has been started. The speech was very informative, even though I have seen him speak on a previous occasion. A recording of his speech can be found here.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The rPath to Software Appliances

So today I gave my presentation on rPath/Conary to the Chicago GNU/Linux User Group. My presentation covered appliance creation, conary based system maintenance, and introduction to conary packaging. I feel my presentation went over very well, I even talked 2 people into trying out rPath Linux. Even more people were talking about using the rPath tools to create a 'free' distro, along the lines of gNewSense and Ututo. I hope I can continue to convince more to people to try out rPath Linux or better yet Foresight Linux and even help the community.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Chicago Fire

I decided to sign up Planet Chicago GLUG for feedburner. We got a new feed from feedburner, the feed is So if you have the old feed for the planet in a feed reader such as bloglines or google reader, please update your feed to the new feed.

Planet Got Its Groove Back

Planet Chicago GLUG has got a brand new skin. This new skin is based on the skin from Planet Gnome. You may ask "How can I get in on this kick ass planet?" Well, here are your options:

If you have a blog: Email me with your blog feed, name, nick and hackergotchi(if you have one).

If you need a hackergotchi: Email me with your photo, and I will try to make you a hackergotchi.

If you have a hackergotchi: Email me with your hackergotchi.

Even though the new planet looks sexy there is still some work to be done:

* Change updated time from UTC to CST
* Clean up the default hackergotchi
* Change feed links to images
* Add icons to add feed to google reader and bloglines
* Create .ico
* Sign up for feedburner???

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Feeling the Burn

I decided to try out feedburner, mainly for that fact that I wanted a way to see the statistics of my blog and blogger had no way of showing that. So with feedburner I have a new feed, so if someone could update my feed on Planet Foresight it would be greatly appreciated. Along with a new feed I have a new hackergotchi thanks to Michael, aka l0wrd. I also fixed to auto-discovery feed from blogger to point to my new feed.

Here are the steps on how to fix this:

1. Delete old auto-discovery - To do this find in the HTML of your template:
< b:include data="blog" name="all-head-content"> and change it to this
<!-- < b:include data="'blog'" name="'all-head-content'/"> -->

2. Add your auto-discovery - To do this add this to the head section of your template.

<link href="FEEDBURNER-FEED" rel="alternate" title="FEED-TITLE" type="application/rss+xml">

Next, change the FEEDBURNER-FEED and FEED-TITLE to the feed and title from feedburner.

UPDATE: Thanks to blogger, my first post didnt display the old auto-discovery correct. It should be fixed now.

Friday, October 27, 2006

We Are The Champions

This is a great day in baseball, at least from my point of view. The Saint Louis Cardinals won the 2006 Major League Baseball World Series. Everyone counted them out saying that they didn't even deserve to be in the playoffs, but they showed everybody it is not over until it is over. To everybody who is crying, and you know who you are, remember there always is next year.

Need For a New Sexy Hackergotchi

First off I would like to say hey to all readers of the Foresight Planet. Since, I am on there I think it would be a good time to update my hackergotchi, however I have no gimp skills. I am wondering if anybody out there on the interweb would be interested in making one for me. Here is a photo that can be used or this one, use the one that would be the easiest or look the best.

Thanks all

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Ricer No More

First off I would like to apologize for the posting of previous post, I decided to try out the blogger beta. So, when I transferred my blog it reposted all of my previous posts.

This post may sound all to familiar to followers of the planet, since I am now the third person to drop Gentoo. Both Tristan and Jordan have posted their reasons for leaving. I am leaving Gentoo and going to Foresight Linux. I am not moving to a distro that is more "free" like Tristan and Jordan; instead I am moving to a distro that has all of the software and functionality I want out of the box. Another plus is not spending days to get my desktop setup just how I want with gnome and all the other programs that I use. The main reason I stayed with Gentoo for so long was that I wanted a distro that I could keep on the "bleeding edge" with gnome and the such. Since, Foresight's claim to fame is its bleeding edge gnome following, so this is the perfect distro for me. If you are interested in learning more about Foresight come to the next Chicago GLUG meeting on November 4th. I will be giving a presentation on rPath and Foresight.

Later all

Planet Upgrade

So I don't know if anybody noticed that Planet ChiGLUG was having some problems with is feed generation and we were also having problems with it not picking up some new feeds. Well I got these problems fixed by upgrading to stable version 2.0 of the planet software. I also decided to change the old style of just text links to the feeds to image links for the feeds. Also I added links to add the planet to your bloglines or google reader. If there are any other such sites that you would like me to add just let me know.

We are always looking for new blogs to add to our planet so if you want to get your blog posted on our planet just email me( with the feed to your blog, your full name, and your nick/handle if you have one you want to go with your posts.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Take The Power Back

At work we got a brand new apc ups so I had to connect our 2 linux servers to the ups. I decided to connect the websever as master controller for the ups and the samba server as the client controller. The following are the basic configurations to create this situation.


## apcupsd.conf v1.1 ##
UPSTYPE smartups
DEVICE /dev/ttyS1
UPSCLASS netmaster


## apcupsd.conf v1.1 ##
UPSTYPE smartups
LOCKFILE /var/lock
UPSCLASS netslave

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Tilda .09.3 in Ubuntu

Its been a while since my last post. I will describe the process to install tilda .09.3 on Ubuntu. Since they only have .09.1 in their repo you will have to install from source I will describe the step required.

1. Get the source from here
2. Extract the source:
- tar xvf tilda-0.09.3.tar.gz
3. Install required software:
- sudo apt-get install libconfuse-dev
- sudo apt-get install libvte-dev
- sudo apt-get install libgtk2.0-dev
- sudo apt-get install gcc
- sudo apt-get install libc6-dev
- sudo apt-get install make
4. Change to the tilda source directory
5. Install tilda
- ./configure
- make
- sudo make install

There you go tilda in now installed. Run it with the command 'tilda'

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Emacs Remap Keys

This tip is about mapping keys. This example will map the compile function to F10 and will map F11 to jump to the next error. By default to compile something you would have to issue the compile command by using Mx compile and then to go to the next error Cx `. However this tip makes it even easier. Just add the following lines inside your custom hook as seen in my previous post.

Add these lines:
(local-set-key [f10] 'compile)
(local-set-key [f11] 'next-error)

Now you will be ready to compile your code with F10 and then jump to the next error with F11. If you want to change it to a different key just change [f10] to the key you want.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Indentation Celebration

This tip is how to setup a custom configuration for C# files along with how to setup custom indentation.

First to define a custom hook for C# define your function
(defun my-chsarp-mode-hook ()
--insert custom csharp setings--)
then you need to add the hook
(add-hook 'csharp-mode-hook 'my-csharp-mode-hook)

Here is the settings to have tabs be 4 spaces and have {} line up. Also this will line up argument list even with variable names.

(defun my-csharp-mode-hook()
(setq c-basic-offset 4)
(c-set-offset 'substatement-open 0)
(c-set-offset 'statement-cont 4)
(c-set-offset 'topmost-intro-cont 0)
(c-set-offset 'block-open 0)
(c-set-offset 'arglist-intro c-lineup-arglist-intro-after-paren)
(c-set-offset 'arglist-cont-nonempty 4))

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Welcome to the Church of Emacs

Thanks to Tristan for his post about emacs abbreviations for LaTeX. It got me to try out emacs as my default editor for coding and such. So I decided that I will document any tips or tricks that I stumble upon during my journey.

The first tip is going to be how to get a mode for C# programming.

To start off you need to download the code for C# mode that can be obtain here.

If you don't have a version of CC Mode of 5.30.x or greater you will need to get a newer version from here.

To check what version of CC Mode you currently have open a C file with emacs and use Mx c-version.

To install csharp mode run the following commands:
mkdir -p ~/elisp
cp csharp-mode.el ~/elisp

Now to enable csharp mode you need to add the following to your .emacs file:

(add-to-list 'load-path "~/elisp")
(autoload 'csharp-mode "csharp-mode-0.5.0" "Major mode for editing C# code." t)
(setq auto-mode-alist (append '(("\\.cs$" . csharp-mode)) auto-mode-alist))

If you have any questions about this just add a comment. Look for tips on customizing your emacs environment in the upcoming post.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Bye Bye Network Neutrality

Some of you may have heard about the COPE Act (HR 5252). For those of you who have not the COPE Act is a major overhaul to the Telecommunications Act that is working its way through Congress. A problem with this modification is the weakening of network neutrality, which guarantees a free and open Internet. Net neutrality is the principle that you should be able access whatever content or services without interference from your ISP. The COPE Act is changing net neutrality by making it impossible to create laws preventing obstacles to access of information on the Internet. The COPE Act could allow for a multi-tiered Internet creating a 'fast-lane' and 'slow-lane' on the internet, where for a fee websites and services can run at high speeds unobstructed and others would be stuck in the 'slow-lane'. This plan has been announced by Comcast and Verizon. The problems with a multi-tiered internet are political organizations and non-profits groups could have a harder time starting up due to the fact of an added fee to get unobstructed access on the Internet. This would also make it harder for individuals like us to post and write our own blogs.

With the current version of net neutrality problems have occurred with lower quality of service and censorship. For example in 1994 Madison River ISP blocked their users from using rival companies web-based phone services. Also in Canada, Shaw intentionally downgraded quality and reliability of rivals Internet phone services. In 2005 Telus, a Canadian telephone giant, blocked customers from visiting a site favoring the Telecommunications Workers Union during a strike. Also AOL blocked all emails mentioning, a campaign against AOL's pay-to-send email scheme. So even with the current form of net neutrality problems arise so why should we weaken it and allow more problems to occur.

There will be a day of action in Chicago, Boston, New York and more on Wed. May 24. The location for the protest will be outside of the AT&T /SBC Building at the intersection of Congress Parkway and S. Federal St. at 4:00 pm. If you feel that the Internet should be free and open please let show your support by signing the petitions or coming out to the day of action.


Thursday, May 04, 2006

Hail Those Who Write Good Documentation

I always appreciated good documentation when I read it. That is an aspect that some open source projects excel at while others struggle to get anything together. I always knew that it was a pain to write good documentation, after last night I just realized how tedious it is to write documentation. I had to write a user manual for my Software Engineering class, and this documentation wasn't even at the level of what I would classify as good. So now I would like to give all you authors of good documentation, and you know who you are, a round of applause.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

WeeeeEEEEeeee First Post

Welcome this is my first post, hopefully all goes good and this gets added to Planet Chicago LUG. First off some LUG business please post presentation ideas here, it would be great to get a nice list of presentations that people would like to see done. Also if you have a blog that you would like on Planet Chicago LUG let us know. Hope to see you Saturday at the meeting.