For the longest time now I have been running Debian squeeze. Initially I did not update my system to Wheezy due to the whole Gnome 3 debacle. Then with the advent of the Mate I was up for an upgrade but figured I would wait until Jesse. Unfortunately, Jesse decided to incorporate systemd. I learned what I could about systemd but it just caused to many issues for me.
Alas, I have finally reached the point where I need software that I just can’t run native in Debian 6 anymore. One big example is Google Chrome Web browser. I would like to have this browser so that I can watch Netflix. Running graphical applications in a chroot environment can be tricky. I explored some options on how to make it easier. I downloaded the xchroot script but found it unnecessarily complicated; meaning I could script together something just as “flexible.” This is what brought me to schroot.
Most modern filesystems allow you to create virtual disk files without pre-allocating disk space. These virtual disks grow in size as the space is needed. The default virtual disk image type in KVM/QEMU is a sparse “raw” disk image which consumes real disk space as files are added. Interestingly, when files are deleted the virtual disk does not shrink. This makes sense as deleting files from a filesystem doesn’t typically erase the data but only the reference to where the data is stored on the disk. What follows is a recipe to reclaim this disk space. Read more
Not too long ago VMware has a product called “VMware Server” which originally came with a dedicated management application. Later VMware threw out the console and created a web interface for VMware Server. Not long after that they completely threw VMware Server away in favor of their new enterprise software solution(s) ESX/ESXi/vCenter/vSphere/etc. For the new(ish) VMware Workstation 8 one of the most notable features is the “Shared VMs” which is more or less a reawakening of their original VMware Server application functionality. With this feature you can once again set VMs to run in the background, autostart, and access via network. However a problem arises with the installation on systems which use insserv. Read on and I’ll explain the problem and show you how to fix it. Read more
Following on with this project I have finally put together a script to custom build a Debian installation ISO. Although this script does not provide a solution to all the design goals I had in mind it does provide a simple method and framework to work towards my ultimate goals. Read more
This year I came into possession of a new MacBook Pro 8,1 laptop. Not my personal choice in hardware platforms but after some research it was actually a good value for the hardware. Of course the first thing I did was to attempt and install Linux. Unfortunately the newer hardware made it rather impossible to install the “Stable” version of Debian Linux. With some tinkering I was able to get Debian Unstable (Sid) running but a few weeks ago Debian Sid switched to Gnome-Shell (gnome3). Avoiding the new Gnome desktop environment I re-installed my O/S this time using Debian Testing (Wheezy.) Sure enough a few weeks later Wheezy was pushed the updated Gnome from Sid and I found myself in a real pickle. I spent an entire evening installing and tweaking to get Debain Stable (Squeeze) working. In the end I was very successful. This article contains the steps necessary in getting this running. Read more