Fonts in Gnome

A couple of weeks ago I complained about the font size in gnome. After some fooling around in my menu settings I found a small little tweak.

System -> Preferences -> Appearance

You’ll see a dialog with a couple of tabs. Choose the Fonts tab and click on the Details button. I changed my Resolution to 84 dots per inch. I’m using a dual 24″ TFT setup and looks much nicer. The fonts look more crispy and the whole desktop just feels nicer to play with.

On a side note for the hosting and colo side of our company we bought a new NAS. I asked the reseller to install an Openfiler on it. It is now fully configured and is already being used to backup all of our systems. I first had some trouble with the setup of the LDAP but now it works. So if you need a free nice NAS solution go ahead and check it out.

ssh -X to the rescue

I’ve got a dedicated pc running some vmware images (trixbox,openbravo,oracle on linux,…) but after upgrading to ubuntu heron I couldn’t start my vmware console anymore. (Yes I know if I would be using Xen I didn’t have this issue.) But I like vmware better because you don’t have run a modified kernel. (maybe that info is outdated, not sure). In the end it just works. That is until the upgrade. I can’t start my vmware console to connect remote and my server is headless …

ssh -X to the rescue, you just gotta love linux 🙂

Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy

I upgraded a while ago to Ubuntu 8.04. I wasn’t really impressed, I didn’t see much difference with the previous version. Now after a while I’m actually getting pissed off with it :s I had configured my system just like I wanted it. apt-get installed most of the things I wanted. And now it seems many of the upgrades weren’t like I had expected. (prolly it’s my own fault, I’m also using non standard repo’s)

I also have a lot of firefox plugins installed (google calendar,,firebug,…) most of them can’t be upgraded to firefox 3. Also my zoneminder got broken so I have to recheck why that is happening (and yes, prolly I had better done this on a real server, but who hooks up a webcam to a server 😉 )

In the end I wished I had waited a bit longer until all applications got upgraded as well. Reminder to be more patient next time around.

Postgresql nice to know

I had built a small application using Postgresql as my database. I used the phpgpadmin to create my database schema (if I remember correctly). When I tried to issue SQL statement I always received errors that the tables didn’t exist, I figured out that if I used “TABLE”, then it worked.

Yesterday evening I had enough. I started googling why this was happening. After some time I found the answer and doing some testcases, it seems that this behaviour was pretty logical.

In short if you use Postgresql

create table TeSt(iD varchar(200));

Is not the same as

create table "TeSt"("iD" varchar(200));

If you do the first you can actually perform select id from test (or select Id from tEsT (reverse capitals). I get the feeling everything is converted to lowercase!

But if you issued the second statement the former selects won’t work. You really have to make it pinpoint accurate. So any people out there giving Postgresql a go. Take care how you generate your tables!!

The fix I did was pretty straightforward. Export my database to a sql file (using phppgadmin)(Also export data!). Then open with your favorite editor and replace all ” with nothing, save. Drop all your tables (but be sure you exported also the data 🙂 ). After you schema is empty, perform the SQL and you should be up and running without the case sensitive stuff.

I do agree that TeSt is not the same as test. I’m pro linux filesystem file conventions, but for sql it really is a pain in the ass when you use generator tools and they fuck up.


If your monitoring tool get’s out of control this is your lifesaver!!

mailq | tail +2 | awk ‘BEGIN { RS = “” }
# $7=sender, $8=recipient1, $9=recipient2
{ if ($7 == “” && $9 == “”)
print $1 }
‘ | tr -d ‘*!’ | postsuper -d –

Blog hacked

Thanks pvanhoof for notifying me that my blog got hacked. I performed the XML-RPC upgrade. Bizar thing is that you couldn’t see it on my blog, you had to check the RSS feed to see it. So the planets got the SPAM, my apologies. I deleted the SPAM but I’m not sure if the planets will refetch the data and clear my posts. Some times writing your own software is better than using a well known product 🙂

Subversion issue

Today I lost some time with my local Suversion setup. I kept on getting access denied ???
In the logs I found these errors:

)Error string not specified yet: Can’t open file ‘/raid/public/svnroot/project-name/format’: Permission denied
[Mon Mar 10 12:22:58 2008] [error] [client] Could not fetch resource information. [500, #0]
[Mon Mar 10 12:22:58 2008] [error] [client] Could not open the requested SVN filesystem [500, #13]
[Mon Mar 10 12:22:58 2008] [error] [client] Could not open the requested SVN filesystem [500, #13]

When I checked, the permissions where Okay, www-data was owner of the project-name and all files and subdirs. But still this error. I performed a svnadmin verify and recover as indicated in many posts. But no go 🙁

After some more googling I found the solution. The svnroot dir wasn’t accessible by www-data so changed this as well and now everything works fine. I found this problem many times but the indication to also check your parent directories wasn’t mentioned (off course this is a stupid mistake, but probably more people will forget to check this!). Hopes this helps some people out there!

Vmware copy paste reminder

This post is more for myself (as a reminder) than for others 🙂

I had made a debian 4 image in vmware. I copied the base install and zipped it, when I unpacked it today and ran it, it came to ask me if I wanted to recreate some stuff. I clicked on yes (as I always did) when the Linux came up my network wasn’t working. I checked and my eth0 wasn’t available anymore, so I checked ifconfig and I found a eth1 instead. I could have replaced my eth0 with eth1 in the interfaces file but I wanted to check out why this was.

It seems when you click on the Yes button, you get a new MAC address. What offcourse is logical as you don’t want the same as your other VM. I found some stuff about changing the settings in your vmx file, but found changing the udev rule easer. So I went into /etc/udev/rules.d do a grep eth0 * and you find your old eth0, with the ifconfig find out the new mac address and change it in the rule. Afterwards you do a udevtrigger and off you go.

You have to admit that Linux is just cool 🙂

Switching back to thunderbird

On my windows and mac machines I’m using Thunderbird but on my Linux machines I was using Evolution but after a lot of crashes and latency with my Imap store I switched also to Thunderbird. I have to say I’m glad I did, everything seems to working much better now.

Wonder why evolution is still the preferred mail client for gnome as I have the feeling that Thunderbird is a much better product?

Reading up on spamassassin

Last week our backup process almost took our mailserver down, not so good. But we managed to fix it. Unfortunately we had a small backlog on our queue that took a bit to catch up. Funny thing is that after restarting the spamassassin process, it seems to have difficulties to detect SPAM . Before the restart I almost didn’t receive any SPAM, now I had to lower my required score for SPAM. It seems it has forgotten some stuff it learned, very strange. So one of these nights, I’m gonna read up on the documentation seeing what could have gone wrong.

Anybody ever seen this phenomenon?