Creating live isos with livemedia-creator

In this post I am going to describe how to create bootable live isos using livemedia-creator (lmc). It was created so that the same Anaconda installer logic would be used for installing systems and creating bootable media like the live iso. lmc can also be used to create disk images, but I'll cover that in the next post. Anaconda and kickstart are used to install the packages, and lmc compresses the filesystem and wraps it up in an iso.

Creating the Anaconda boot.iso with lorax

Fedora 22 is almost here, so I thought I'd write a couple posts on how to use lorax and livemedia-creator to create bootable Fedora images. I'll start with lorax. It is used to create the Anaconda boot.iso which is used to install systems using a network connection. You can also automate your installations by using the boot.iso with a kickstart file. Lorax is part of the current release-engineering workflow and is used to create the boot.

Automatic Backup of Files to S3 and Glacier

Automatic backups are important, especially when it comes to irreplaceable data like family photos. I have used s3cmd to maintain my website’s static files for a while now, and it was simple to use it to push my 100GB+ archive of photos over to S3. But I needed an automated way to update it with any new photos that my wife or I may take. The sync protocol really isn’t what you want – there should be no need to re-examine all the files that have already been archived.

Chat with Tor and socat

It is easy to setup a simple chat over Tor using the socat utility. To receive incoming messages you first need to setup a Tor hidden service . Add this to the end of your /etc/tor/torrc file: HiddenServiceDir /var/lib/tor/hidden-chat/ HiddenServicePort 2330 After restarting Tor check the /var/lib/tor/hidden-chat/hostname file for your hidden service .onion address. Use socat to setup a listener on port 2330, now incoming connections to ADDRESS.onion:2330 will show up on your terminal.

Moving a BackupPC Pool

I have been using BackupPC to automatically back up the systems on my LAN for years now. It started out with a 3x250GB RAID5 as the storage pool and when I ran out of space on that I added another disk to bring it up to about 700GB. BackupPC does an excellent job of pooling common files together so that they don’t take up extra space. This is especially useful if you are backing up system files on multiple systems running the same OS release.

Local time for mutt email display

I use mutt as my email client. Something that has recently been bugging me is that when reading a message it displays the original Date: header with the sender's timezone. Since I work with people in several different zones I am constantly having to do timezone math when looking at these. So I decided to fix that with a bit of python. One of mutt's features is that you can feed every email you view through a filter by using the display_filter setting.

AIS feed is up again

A few weeks back my ancient Compaq laptop stopped booting (two LOUD beeps, no display, no drive noises). This system has been used in the garage to act as a serial to WiFi bridge for my AIS receiver, and to log temperatures for the garage and freezer temps you see at The AIS data feeds the Live AIS view of Puget Sound. The laptop was exiled to the garage after its power connector broke for the 3rd time and I had to hard-wire it by soldering it directly to the motherboard.

Using RAID to Escape Disaster

Failed hard drives are inevitable. Especially when the drive in question was manufactured on November 27, 2001. You know the time has come to replace it when your log files start filling up with errors like this: Oct 28 03:53:05 cat kernel: res 51/40:00:fc:33:4e/00:00:00:00:00/e0 Emask 0x9 (media error) Oct 29 16:06:46 cat smartd[24427]: Device: /dev/sdb [SAT], FAILED SMART self-check. BACK UP DATA NOW! Failure is inescapable. Everything fails eventually, computers, people, electronics.

Kindle on Linux using Wine

I have a few books I've bought for reading using the Kindle app on my iPhone. I'd like to be able to read them on my Fedora Linux based MacBook as well, but Amazon hasn't released a version for Linux yet, which is ironic given that the Kindle's OS is Linux based. All is not lost, there is an excellent project called Wine that enables you to run many Windows applications on your Linux system.

Sharing Music on the LAN

No, not on the lam. On the LAN. I have a fairly large collection of music. Years ago I used iTunes to rip the CD's to AAC format. Recently I've been using for more of my downloads so I have converted the library to high quality VBR mp3 files instead. I like being able to play the music no matter which system I am using, and the iTunes sharing works well for that.