Wednesday, May 7, 2014

New live CD release livecd-i686-sid-20140507.iso

For the past few days, I've been working on an updated edition of my live CD that runs Debian Linux Sid. It was a very tedious task, but I was able to finish it with an ISO file that boots into a functional, fine-looking X11 Windows desktop. It's sort of minimalistic but can be used in many useful ways. Hope anyone find it useful. Try it from Google Drive.

Okay, I've got to tell you it's only i386 architecture, but should also work on 64-bit personal computers. Given more time, I'll follow up with an amd64 edition. Any suggestion is welcome.

To find the list of included packages, run:

grep '^Package: ' /var/lib/dpkg/status | cut -d ':' -f 2 | sort


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Building and Installing Digest::SHA1 Perl module on Debian / Ubuntu Linux

The Digest::SHA1 Perl module is not available on Debian and Ubuntu Linux because the libdigest-sha1-perl package has been removed from Debian 7 Wheezy in favor of the Digest::SHA module provided by perl. This may cause some problems for people who use a Perl application that still uses the obsolete Digest::SHA1 module. No worry. You can build and install Digest::SHA1 using the CPAN Plus installer(cpanp), as shown below.

First, make sure that perl, gcc and make packages are installed. If not, use apt-get to install them.

apt-get install perl gcc make

Then, use the cpanp command to install Digest::SHA1. The module will be compiled from downloaded source code and installed.

cpanp i Digest::SHA1

Later, if you decide you don't need Digest::SHA1 any more, use cpanp again to uninstall it.

cpanp u Digest::SHA1

These steps can be applied to other Perl modules you want to build manually. However, it is recommended that you install Debian packages providing the Perl module whenever possible.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Installing FOSWiki on Debian Linux

I am looking for Perl-based software that I can use to build a Web site. Compared to PHP and Python, the number of available Perl Web applications are limited, and the development has been relatively lukewarm. Nonetheless, Perl is still a viable programming language, and there are still some good Perl applications for powering a Web site. With that said, FOSWiki may not be your ideal choice, but I think it's quite a flexible application that I can use to build a collaborative Web site.

Installing FOSWiki the Debian way

Fortunately, there are already pre-built FOSWiki packages, and that saves us a lot of hassle. Just create a new text file, called foswiki.list, in the /etc/apt/sources.list.d folder.

# /etc/apt/sources.list.d/foswiki.list
deb stable main contrib
deb-src stable main contrib

Note the spelling of Then, run:

apt-get update

Ignore the message about the public key not available. Then, use apt-get or aptitude to install the foswiki package.

Manually installing FOSWiki

Install all the dependencies listed in the FOSWiki System Requirements page.

apt-get install apache2 cron rcs zip

Also install the following CPAN modules.

apt-get install libarchive-zip-perl libauthen-sasl-perl libdigest-sha1-perl libhtml-tree-perl libnet-smtp-ssl-perl libversion-perl libwww-perl

Then, download the foswiki package and unpack it into a folder, such as /srv/foswiki. Then follow instructions on this page.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

To Build Task Coach for Debian Linux Wheezy

Badly in need of a really good to-do list application to organize my life, I decided to give Task Coach a try after researching and reading about such programs as:

Unfortunately, Task Coach is not available in Debian Wheezy, the Linux distro I'm using. However, I could find taskcoach in Debian testing and unstable branches, so I can use apt-get to build a taskcoach package as follows:

apt-get --compile source taskcoach

Manually installing Task Coach

First, install dependencies for Task Coach.

apt-get install libxss1 python-chardet python-dateutil python-keyring python-pyparsing python-squaremap python-twisted python-wxgtk2.8 python-xdg

Then, download the Task Coach source, unpack it, and install it.

python install

The following set of files and directories will be installed after that.

  • /usr/local/bin/
  • /usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/TaskCoach-1.3.38.egg-info
  • /usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/taskcoachlib/
  • /usr/local/share/applications/taskcoach.desktop
  • /usr/local/share/pixmaps/taskcoach.png

Running Task Coach

Just run the python script

python /usr/local/bin/ &

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Creating a developmental chroot system on Debian Linux

Lately, I've been trying many possibilities with chroot virtual systems. I found many uses with chroot: to create a live CD, to create a chrooted Web server, and to create a VNC desktop server. Now I want to create a temporary, disposable chroot for the purpose of compiling software.

This time I am going to create the chroot under /srv/develop, so I make the directory first.

mkdir /srv/develop

I install a minimal Debian system into /srv/develop. Adjust the --arch parameter to suit your architecture, for example, amd64.

apt-get install cdebootstrap-static
cdebootstrap-static --allow-unauthenticated --arch=i386 --flavour=minimal stable /srv/develop

I mount proc, devtmpfs and devpts for chroot.

mount -t proc -o nodev,noexec,nosuid proc /srv/develop/proc
mount -t devtmpfs -o size=8192k,nr_inodes=64k none /srv/develop/dev
mount --bind /dev/pts /srv/develop/dev/pts

I chroot into /srv/develop.

chroot /srv/develop

I type some commands to fix minor issues.

ln -s /proc/mounts /etc/mtab
dpkg --purge cdebootstrap-helper-rc.d

I check /etc/apt/sources.list and update the apt-get database.

apt-get update

Then, I run the following command to install the basic compiler suite.

apt-get --no-install-recommends install binutils bison bzip2 dpkg-dev flex gcc g++ gettext less libc6-dev libtool locales make patch perl pkg-config python texinfo vim-tiny wget whiptail xz-utils

Now I am ready for some basic coding and compiling. If I am really serious, I may install a full-blown GUI IDE. However, for now I just want to compile something quickly without messing up the main system, and then destroy the chroot.

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