Posts Tagged ‘deb package’

Reinstall all Debian packages with a copy of apt deb package list from another working Debian Linux installation

Wednesday, July 29th, 2020

Reading Time: 11minutes


Few days ago, in the hurry in the small hours of the night, I've done something extremely stupid. Wanting to move out a .tar.gz binary copy of qmail installation to /var/lib/qmail with all the dependent qmail items instead of extracting to admin user /root directory (/root), I've extracted it to the main Operating system root /directrory.
Not noticing this, I've quickly executed rm -rf var with the idea to delete all directory tree under /root/var just 3 seconds later, I've realized I'm issuing the rm -rf var with the wrong location WITH a root user !!!! Being scared on what I've done, I've quickly pressed CTRL+C to immedately cancel the deletion operation of my /var.


But as you can guess, since the machine has an Slid State Drive drive and SSD memory drive are much more faster in I/O operations than the classical ATA / SATA disks. I was not quick enough to cancel the operation and I've noticed already some part of my /var have been R.I.P-pped in the heaven of directories.

This was ofcourse upsetting so for a while I rethinked the situation to get some ideas on what I can do to recover my system ASAP!!! and I had the idea of course to try to reinstall All my installed .deb debian packages to restore system closest to the normal, before my stupid mistake.

Guess my unpleasent suprise when I have realized dpkg and respectively apt-get apt and aptitude package management tools cannot anymore handle packages as Debian Linux's package dependency database has been damaged due to missing dpkg directory 




Oh man that was unpleasent, especially since I've installed plenty of stuff that is custom on my Mate based desktop and, generally reinstalling it updating the sytem to the latest Debian security updates etc. will be time consuming and painful process I wanted to omit.

So of course the logical thing to do here was to try to somehow recover somehow a database copy of /var/lib/dpkg  if that was possible, that of course led me to the idea to lookup for a way to recover my /var/lib/dpkg from backup but since I did not maintained any backup copy of my OS anywhere that was not really possible, so anyways I wondered whether dpkg does not keep some kind of database backups somewhere in case if something goes wrong with its database.
This led me to this nice Ubuntu thred which has pointed me to the part of my root rm -rf dpkg db disaster recovery solution.
Luckily .deb package management creators has thought about situation similar to mine and to give the user a restore point for /var/lib/dpkg damaged database

/var/lib/dpkg is periodically backed up in /var/backups

A typical /var/lib/dpkg on Ubuntu and Debian Linux looks like so:

hipo@jeremiah:/var/backups$ ls -l /var/lib/dpkg
total 12572
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root    4096 Jul 26 03:22 alternatives
-rw-r–r– 1 root root      11 Oct 14  2017 arch
-rw-r–r– 1 root root 2199402 Jul 25 20:04 available
-rw-r–r– 1 root root 2199402 Oct 19  2017 available-old
-rw-r–r– 1 root root       8 Sep  6  2012 cmethopt
-rw-r–r– 1 root root    1337 Jul 26 01:39 diversions
-rw-r–r– 1 root root    1223 Jul 26 01:39 diversions-old
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root  679936 Jul 28 14:17 info
-rw-r—– 1 root root       0 Jul 28 14:17 lock
-rw-r—– 1 root root       0 Jul 26 03:00 lock-frontend
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root    4096 Sep 17  2012 parts
-rw-r–r– 1 root root    1011 Jul 25 23:59 statoverride
-rw-r–r– 1 root root     965 Jul 25 23:59 statoverride-old
-rw-r–r– 1 root root 3873710 Jul 28 14:17 status
-rw-r–r– 1 root root 3873712 Jul 28 14:17 status-old
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root    4096 Jul 26 03:22 triggers
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root    4096 Jul 28 14:17 updates

Before proceeding with this radical stuff to move out /var/lib/dpkg/info from another machine to /var mistakenyl removed oned. I have tried to recover with the well known:

  • extundelete
  • foremost
  • recover
  • ext4magic
  • ext3grep
  • gddrescue
  • ddrescue
  • myrescue
  • testdisk
  • photorec

Linux file deletion recovery tools from a USB stick loaded with a Number of LiveCD distributions, i.e. tested recovery with:

  • Debian LiveCD
  • Ubuntu LiveCD
  • SystemRescueCD
  • Trinity Rescue Kit
  • Ultimate Boot CD

but unfortunately none of them couldn't recover the deleted files … 

The reason why the standard file recovery tools could not recover ?

My assumptions is after I've done by rm -rf var; from sysroot,  issued the sync (- if you haven't used it check out man sync) command – that synchronizes cached writes to persistent storage and did a restart from the poweroff PC button, this should have worked, as I've recovered like that in the past) in a normal Sys V System with a normal old fashioned blocks filesystem as EXT2 . or any other of the filesystems without a journal, however as the machine run a EXT4 filesystem with a journald and journald, this did not work perhaps because something was not updated properly in /lib/systemd/systemd-journal, that led to the situation all recently deleted files were totally unrecoverable.

1. First step was to restore the directory skele of /var/lib/dpkg

# mkdir -p /var/lib/dpkg/{alternatives,info,parts,triggers,updates}


2. Recover missing /var/lib/dpkg/status  file

The main file that gives information to dpkg of the existing packages and their statuses on a Debian based systems is /var/lib/dpkg/status

# cp /var/backups/dpkg.status.0 /var/lib/dpkg/status


3. Reinstall dpkg package manager to make package management working again

Say a warm prayer to the Merciful God ! and do:

# apt-get download dpkg
# dpkg -i dpkg*.deb


4. Reinstall base-files .deb package which provides basis of a Debian system

Hopefully everything will be okay and your dpkg / apt pair will be in normal working state, next step is to:

# apt-get download base-files
# dpkg -i base-files*.deb


5. Do a package sanity and consistency check and try to update OS package list

Check whether packages have been installed only partially on your system or that have missing, wrong or obsolete control  data  or  files.  dpkg  should suggest what to do with them to get them fixed.

# dpkg –audit

Then resynchronize (fetch) the package index files from their sources described in /etc/apt/sources.list

# apt-get update

Do apt db constistency check:

#  apt-get check

check is a diagnostic tool; it updates the package cache and checks for broken dependencies.

Take a deep breath ! …

Do :

ls -l /var/lib/dpkg
and compare with the above list. If some -old file is not present don't worry it will be there tomorrow.

Next time don't forget to do a regular backup with simple rsync backup script or something like Bacula / Amanda / Time Vault or Clonezilla.

6. Copy dpkg database from another Linux system that has a working dpkg / apt Database

Well this was however not the end of the story … There were still many things missing from my /var/ and luckily I had another Debian 10 Buster install on another properly working machine with a similar set of .deb packages installed. Therefore to make most of my programs still working again I have copied over /var from the other similar set of package installed machine to my messed up machine with the missing deleted /var.

To do so …
On Functioning Debian 10 Machine (Working Host in a local network with IP, I've archived content of /var:

linux:~# tar -czvf var_backup_debian10.tar.gz /var

Then sftped from Working Host towards the /var deleted broken one in my case this machine's hostname is jericho and luckily still had SSHD and SFTP running processes loaded in memory:

jericho:~# sftp root@
sftp> get var_backup_debian10.tar.gz

Now Before extracting the archive it is a good idea to make backup of old /var remains somewhere for example somewhere in /root 
just in case if we need to have a copy of the dpkg backup dir /var/backups

jericho:~# cp -rpfv /var /root/var_backup_damaged

jericho:~# tar -zxvf /root/var_backup_debian10.tar.gz 
jericho:/# mv /root/var/ /

Then to make my /var/lib/dpkg contain the list of packages from my my broken Linux install I have ovewritten /var/lib/dpkg with the files earlier backupped before  .tar.gz was extracted.

jericho:~# cp -rpfv /var /root/var_backup_damaged/lib/dpkg/ /var/lib/


7. Reinstall All Debian  Packages completely scripts


I then tried to reinstall each and every package first using aptitude with aptitude this is done with

# aptitude reinstall '~i'

However as this failed, tried using a simple shell loop like below:

for i in $(dpkg -l |awk '{ print $2 }'); do echo apt-get install –reinstall –yes $i; done

Alternatively, all .deb package reninstall is also possible with dpkg –get-selections and with awk with below cmds:

dpkg –get-selections | grep -v deinstall | awk '{print $1}' > list.log;
awk '$1=$1' ORS=' ' list.log > newlist.log
apt-get install –reinstall $(cat newlist.log)

It can also be run as one liner for simplicity:

dpkg –get-selections | grep -v deinstall | awk '{print $1}' > list.log; awk '$1=$1' ORS=' ' list.log > newlist.log; apt-get install –reinstall $(cat newlist.log)

This produced a lot of warning messages, reporting "package has no files currently installed" (virtually for all installed packages), indicating a severe packages problem below is sample output produced after each and every package reinstall … :

dpkg: warning: files list file for package 'iproute' missing; assuming package has no files currently installed
dpkg: warning: files list file for package 'brscan-skey' missing; assuming package has no files currently installed
dpkg: warning: files list file for package 'libapache2-mod-php7.4' missing; assuming package has no files currently installed
dpkg: warning: files list file for package 'libexpat1:amd64' missing; assuming package has no files currently installed
dpkg: warning: files list file for package 'libexpat1:i386' missing; assuming package has no files currently installed
dpkg: warning: files list file for package 'php5.6-readline' missing; assuming package has no files currently installed
dpkg: warning: files list file for package 'linux-headers-4.19.0-5-amd64' missing; assuming package has no files currently installed
dpkg: warning: files list file for package 'libgraphite2-3:amd64' missing; assuming package has no files currently installed
dpkg: warning: files list file for package 'libgraphite2-3:i386' missing; assuming package has no files currently installed
dpkg: warning: files list file for package 'libbonoboui2-0:amd64' missing; assuming package has no files currently installed
dpkg: warning: files list file for package 'libxcb-dri3-0:amd64' missing; assuming package has no files currently installed
dpkg: warning: files list file for package 'libxcb-dri3-0:i386' missing; assuming package has no files currently installed
dpkg: warning: files list file for package 'liblcms2-2:amd64' missing; assuming package has no files currently installed
dpkg: warning: files list file for package 'liblcms2-2:i386' missing; assuming package has no files currently installed
dpkg: warning: files list file for package 'libpixman-1-0:amd64' missing; assuming package has no files currently installed
dpkg: warning: files list file for package 'libpixman-1-0:i386' missing; assuming package has no files currently installed
dpkg: warning: files list file for package 'gksu' missing; assuming package has no files currently installed
dpkg: warning: files list file for package 'liblogging-stdlog0:amd64' missing; assuming package has no files currently installed
dpkg: warning: files list file for package 'mesa-vdpau-drivers:amd64' missing; assuming package has no files currently installed
dpkg: warning: files list file for package 'mesa-vdpau-drivers:i386' missing; assuming package has no files currently installed
dpkg: warning: files list file for package 'libzvbi0:amd64' missing; assuming package has no files currently installed
dpkg: warning: files list file for package 'libzvbi0:i386' missing; assuming package has no files currently installed
dpkg: warning: files list file for package 'libcdparanoia0:amd64' missing; assuming package has no files currently installed
dpkg: warning: files list file for package 'libcdparanoia0:i386' missing; assuming package has no files currently installed
dpkg: warning: files list file for package 'python-gconf' missing; assuming package has no files currently installed
dpkg: warning: files list file for package 'php5.6-cli' missing; assuming package has no files currently installed
dpkg: warning: files list file for package 'libpaper1:amd64' missing; assuming package has no files currently installed
dpkg: warning: files list file for package '' missing; assuming package has no files currently installed

After some attempts I found a way to be able to work around the warning message, for each package by simply reinstalling the package reporting the issue with

apt –reinstall $package_name

Though reinstallation started well and many packages got reinstalled, unfortunately some packages such as apache2-mod-php5.6 and other php related ones  started failing during reinstall ending up in unfixable states right after installation of binaries from packages was successfully placed in its expected locations on disk. The failures occured during the package setup stage( dpkg –configure $packagename) …

The logical thing to do is a recovery attempt with something like the usual well known by any Debian admin:

apt-get install –fix-missing

As well as Manual requesting to reconfigure (issue re-setup) of all installed packages also did not produced a positive result

dpkg –configure -a

But many packages were still failing due to dpkg inability to execute some post installation scripts from respective .deb files.
To work around that and continue installing the rest of packages I had to manually delete all files related to the failing package located under directory 


For example to omit the post installation failure of libapache2-mod-php5.6 and have a succesful install of the package next time I tried reinstall, I had to delete all /var/lib/dpkg/info/libapache2-mod-php5.6.postrm, /var/lib/dpkg/info/libapache2-mod-php5.6.postinst scripts and even sometimes everything like libapache2-mod-php5.6* that were present in /var/lib/dpkg/info dir.

The problem with this solution, however was the package reporting to install properly, but the post install script hooks were still not in placed and important things as setting permissions of binaries after install or applying some configuration changes right after install was missing leading to programs failing to  fully behave properly or even breaking up even though showing as finely installed …

The final solution to this problem was radical.
I've used /var/lib/dpkg database (directory) from ther other working Linux machine with dpkg DB OK found in var_backup_debian10.tar.gz (linux:~# host with a working dpkg database) and then based on the dpkg package list correct database responding on jericho:~# to reinstall each and every package on the system using Debian System Reinstaller script taken from the internet.
Debian System Reinstaller works but to reinstall many packages, I've been prompted again and again whether to overwrite configuration or keep the present one of packages.
To Omit the annoying [Y / N ] text prompts I had made a slight modification to the script so it finally looked like this:

# Debian System Reinstaller
# Copyright (C) 2015 Albert Huang
# Copyright (C) 2018 Andreas Fendt

# This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
# it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
# the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
# (at your option) any later version.

# This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
# but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
# GNU General Public License for more details.

# You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
# along with this program.  If not, see <>.

# —
# This script assumes you are using a Debian based system
# (Debian, Mint, Ubuntu, #!), and have sudo installed. If you don't
# have sudo installed, replace "sudo" with "su -c" instead.

pkgs=`dpkg –get-selections | grep -w 'install$' | cut -f 1 |  egrep -v '(dpkg|apt)'`

for pkg in $pkgs; do
    echo -e "\033[1m   * Reinstalling:\033[0m $pkg"    

    apt-get –reinstall -o Dpkg::Options::="–force-confdef" -o Dpkg::Options::="–force-confold" -y install $pkg || {
        echo "ERROR: Reinstallation failed. See reinstall.log for details."
        exit 1
done working modified version of Albert Huang and Andreas Fendt script  can be also downloaded here.

Note ! Omitting the text confirmation prompts to install newest config or keep maintainer configuration is handled by the argument:


-o Dpkg::Options::="–force-confold

I however still got few NCurses Console selection prompts during the reinstall of about 3200+ .deb packages, so even with this mod the reinstall was not completely automatic.

Note !  During the reinstall few of the packages from the list failed due to being some old unsupported packages this was ejabberd, ircd-hybrid and a 2 / 3 more.
This failure was easily solved by completely purging those packages with the usual

# dpkg –purge $packagename

and reruninng on each of the failing packages.

Note ! The failing packages were just old ones left over from Debian 8 and Debian 9 before the apt-get dist-upgrade towards 10 Duster.
Eventually I got a success by God's grance, after few hours of pains and trials, ending up in a working state package database and a complete set of freshly reinstalled packages.

The only thing I had to do finally is 2 hours of tampering why GNOME did not automatically booted after the system reboot due to failing gdm
until I fixed that I've temprary used ligthdm (x-display-manager), to do I've

dpkg –reconfigure gdm3


 to work around this I had to also reinstall few libraries, reinstall the xorg-server, reinstall gdm and reinstall the meta package for GNOME, using below set of commands:

apt-get install –reinstall libglw1-mesa libglx-mesa0
apt-get install –reinstall libglu1-mesa-dev
apt install –reinstallgsettings-desktop-schemas
apt-get install –reinstall xserver-xorg-video-intel
apt-get install –reinstall xserver-xorg
apt-get install –reinstall xserver-xorg-core
apt-get install –reinstall task-desktop
apt-get install –reinstall task-gnome-desktop


As some packages did not ended re-instaled on system because on the original host from where /var/lib/dpkg db was copied did not have it I had to eventually manually trigger reinstall for those too:


apt-get install –reinstall –yes vlc
apt-get install –reinstall –yes thunderbird
apt-get install –reinstall –yes audacity
apt-get install –reinstall –yes gajim
apt-get install –reinstall –yes slack remmina
apt-get install –yes k3b
pt-get install –yes gbgoffice
pt-get install –reinstall –yes skypeforlinux
apt-get install –reinstall –yes vlc
apt-get install –reinstall –yes libcurl3-gnutls libcurl3-nss
apt-get install –yes virtualbox-5.2
apt-get install –reinstall –yes vlc
apt-get install –reinstall –yes alsa-tools-gui
apt-get install –reinstall –yes gftp
apt install ./teamviewer_15.3.2682_amd64.deb –yes


Note that some of above packages requires a properly configured third party repositories, other people might have other packages that are missing from the dpkg list and needs to be reinstalled so just decide according to your own case of left aside working system present binaries that doesn't belong to any dpkg installed package.

After a bit of struggle everything is back to normal Thanks God! 🙂 !


Installing the phpbb forum on Debian (Squeeze/Sid) Linux

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

Reading Time: 4minutes


I've just installed the phpbb forum on a Debian Linux because we needed a goodquick to install communication media in order to improve our internal communication in a student project in Strategic HR we're developing right now in Arnhem Business School.

Here are the exact steps I followed to have a properly it properly instlled:

1. Install the phpbb3 debian package
This was pretty straight forward:

debian:~# apt-get install phpbb3

At this point of installation I've faced a dpkg-reconfigure phpbb deb package configuration issue:
I was prompted to pass in the credentials for my MySQL password right after I've selected the MySQL as my preferred database back engine.
I've feeded my MySQL root password as well as my preferred forum database name, however the database installation failed because, somehow the configuration procedure tried to connect to my MySQL database with the htcheck user.
I guess this has to be a bug in the package itself or something from my previous installation misconfigured the way the debian database backend configuration was operating.
My assumption is that my previously installed htcheck package or something beforehand I've done right after the htcheck and htcheck-php packages installation.

after the package configuration failed still the package had a status of properly installed when I reviewed it with dpkg
I've thought about trying to manually reconfigure it using the dpkg-reconfigure debian command and I gave it a try like that:

debian:~# dpkg-reconfigure phpbb3

This time along with the other fields I've to fill in the ncurses interface I was prompted for a username before the password prompted appeared.
Logically I tried to fill in the root as it's my global privileges MySQL allowed user.
However that didn't helped at all and again the configuration tried to send the credentials with user htcheck to my MySQL database server.
To deal with the situation I had to approach it in the good old manual way.

2. Manually prepare / create the required phpbb forum database

To completet that connected to the MySQL server with the mysql client and created the proper database like so:

debian:~# mysql -u root -p
CREATE database phpbb3forum;

3. Use phpmyadmin or the mysql client command line to create a new user for the phpbb forum

Here since adding up the user using the phpmyadmin was a way easier to do I decided to go that route, anyways using the mysql cli is also an option.

From phpmyadmin It's pretty easy to add a new user and grant privileges to a certain database, to do so navigate to the following database:

Privileges -> -> Add a new user ->

Now type your User name: , Host , Password , Re-type password , also for a Host: you have to choose Local from the drop down menu.

Leave the Database for user field empty as we have already previously created our desired database in step 2 of this article

Now press the "Go" button and the user will get created.

Further after choose the Privileges menu right on the bottom of the page once again, select through the checkbox the username you have just created let's say the previously created user is phpbb3

Go to Action (There is a picture with a man and a pencil on the right side of this button

Scroll down to the page part saying Database-specific privileges and in the field Add privileges on the following database: fill in your previosly created database name in our case it's phpbb3forum

and then press the "Go" button once again.
A page will appear where you will have to select the exact privileges you would like to grant on the specific selected database.
For some simplicity just check all the checkbox to grant as many privilegs to your database as you could.
Then again you will have to press the "Go" button and there you go you should have already configured an username and database ready to go with your new phpbb forum.

4. Create a virtualhost if you would like to have the forum as a subdomain or into a separate domain

If you decide to have the forum on a separate sub-domain or domain as I did you will have to add some kind of Virtualhost into either your Apache configuration /etc/apache2/apache2.conf or into where officially the virutualhosts are laid in Debian Linux in /etc/apache2/sites-available
I've personally created a new file like for instance /etc/apache2/sites-available/

Here is an example content of the new Virtualhost:

<VirtualHost *>

# Indexes + Directory Root.
DirectoryIndex index.php index.php5 index.htm index.html index.cgi index.phtml index.jsp index.asp

DocumentRoot /usr/share/phpbb3/www/

# Logfiles
ErrorLog /var/log/apache2/yourdomain/error.log
CustomLog /var/log/apache2/yourdomain/access.log combined
# CustomLog /dev/null combined
<Directory /usr/share/phpbb3/www/>
Options FollowSymLinks MultiViews -Includes ExecCGI
AllowOverride All
Order allow,deny
allow from all </Directory>

In above Virtualhost just change the values for ServerAdmin , ServerName , DocumentRoot , ErrorLog , CustomLog and Directory declaration to adjust it to your situation.

5. Restart the Apache webserver for the new Virtualhost to take affect

debian:~# /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

Now accessing your should display the installed phpbb3 forum
The default username and password for your forum you can use straight are:

username: admin
password: admin

So far so good you by now have the PHPBB3 forum properly installed and running, however if you try to Register a new user in the forum you will notice that it's impossible because of a terrible ugly message reading:

Sorry but this board is currently unavailable.

I've spend few minutes online to scrape through the forums before I can understand what I have to stop that annoying message from appearing and allow new users to register in the phpbb forum

The solution came natural and was a setting that had to be changed with the forum admin account, thus login as admin and look at the bottom of the page, below the text reading Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group you will notice a link with Administration Control Panel
just press there a whole bunch of menus will appear on the screen allowing you to do numerous things, however what you will have to do is go to
Board Settings -> Disable Board

and change the radio button there to say No

That's all now your forum will be ready to go and your users can freely register and if the server where the forum is installed has an already running mail server, they will receive an emails with a registration data concerning their new registrations in your new phpbb forum.
Cheers and Enjoy your new shiny phpbb Forum 🙂

Removing exim and installing qmail / Generate and install pseudo mta dummy package on Debian / Ubuntu etc. .deb based Linux

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

Reading Time: 2minutes

If you happen to be installing Qmail Mail server on a Debian or Ubuntu (.deb) based Linux, you will notice by default there will be some kind of MTA (Mail Transport Agent) already installed mail-transfer-agent package will be installed and because of Debian .deb package depedency to have an MTA always installed on the system you will be unable to remove Exim MTA without installing some other MTA (Postix / Qmail) etc.

This will be a problem for those like me who prefer to compile and install Qmail from source, thus to get around this it is necessery to create a dummy package that will trick the deb packaging depencies that actually mta-local MTA package is present on the server.

The way to go here is to use equivs(Circumvent debian package dependencies):

debian:~# apt-cache show equivs|grep -i desc -A 10

Description: Circumvent Debian package dependencies
 This package provides a tool to create trivial Debian packages.
 Typically these packages contain only dependency information, but they
 can also include normal installed files like other packages do.
 One use for this is to create a metapackage: a package whose sole
 purpose is to declare dependencies and conflicts on other packages so
 that these will be automatically installed, upgraded, or removed.
 Another use is to circumvent dependency checking: by letting dpkg
 think a particular package name and version is installed when it

Btw creating a .deb dummy package will be necessery in many other cases when you have to install from some third party debian repositories or some old and alrady unmaintaned deb-src packages for the sake of making some archaic software to resurrect somewhere, so sooner or later even if you're not into Mail servers you will certainly need equivs.

Then install equivs and go on proceeding creating the dummy mail-transport-agent package

debian:~# cd /tmp debian:~# cp -rpf /usr/share/doc/equivs/examples/mail-transport-agent.ctl . debian:~# equivs-build mail-transport-agent.ctl

Above command will build and package /tmp/mta-local_1.0_all.deb dummy package.
So continue and install it with dpkg as you use to install debian packages


debian:~# dpkg -i /tmp/mta-local_1.0_all.deb

From then on you can continue your standard LWQ – Life with Qmail or any other source based qmail installation with:




So that's it now .deb packaging system consistency will be complete so standard security package updates with apt-get and aptitude updates or dpkg -i third party custom software insatlls will not be breaking up any more.

Hope that helped someone 🙂





How to install and configure djbdns from source as a Cachening Localhost Proxy resolver to increase resolving efficiency on Debian 6 Squeeze

Monday, August 1st, 2011

Reading Time: 3minutes

It seems DjbDNS on Debian Squeeze has been not included as a Debian package. There is still possibility to install djbdns from an older deb package or install it from source. I however decided to install it from source as finding the old Debian package for Lenny and Etch takes time, plus I'm running an amd64 version of Debian and this might even more complicate the situation.
Installing it from source is not really a Debian way but at least it works.

In this article I assume that daemontools and ucspi-tcp are preliminary installed, if not one needs to install them with:

debian:~# apt-get install ucspi-tcp daemontools daemontools-run

The above two ones are required as DJBDNS is originally made to run through djb's daemontools.

Here is the exact step I took to have it installed as local caching DNS server on a Debian Squeeze server:

1. Download and untar DjbDNS

debian:~# wget -q debian:~# tar -zxvvf djbdns-1.05.tar.gz

2. Add DjbDNS users to /etc/passwd

Creating the below two users is not arbitrary but it's recommendable.

echo 'dnscache:*:54321:54321:dnscache:/dev/null:/dev/null' >> /etc/passwd
echo 'dnslog:*:54322:54322:dnslog:/dev/null:/dev/null' >> /etc/passwd

3. Compile DJBDNS nameserver

First it's necessery to use the below echo command to work around a common Linux bug:

debian:~# cd djbdns-1.05
debian:/root/djbdns-1.05# echo gcc -O2 -include /usr/include/errno.h > conf-cc

Next let's make it:

debian:/root/djbdns-1.05# make

4. Install the compiled djbdns binaries

debian:/root/djbdns-1.05# make setup check
# here comes some long install related output

If no errors are produced by make setup check this means that the djbdns should have installed itself fine.

As installation is compileted it's a good idea to report about the newly installed DjbDNS server if running a mail server. This info is used by Dan Bernstein to gather statistical data about the number of installations of djbdns servers throughout the world.

5. Do some general configurations to the newly installed DJBDNS

Now let's copy the list of the IP addresses of the global DNS root servers in /etc/.

debian:/root/djbdns-1.05# cp -rpf /etc/ debian:/root/djbdns-1.05# ./dnscache-conf dnscache dnslog /etc/dnscache

dnscache-conf will generate some default configuration files for djbdns in /etc/dnscache

Next allow the networks which should be able to use the just installed djbdns server as a caching server:

debian:/root/djbdns-1.05# cd /etc/dnscache/root/ip
debian:/etc/dnscache/root# touch 192.168.1
debian:/root/djbdns-1.05# touch 123.123

First command will allow all ips in range 192.168.1.* to be able to access the DNS server and the second command will allow all ips from 123.123.1-255.1-255 to be able to query the server.

Some further fine tunning can be done from the files:

/etc/dnscache/env/CACHESIZE and /etc/dnscache/env/DATALIMIT

As a last step, before it's running, we have to link the /etc/dnscache to daemontools like so:

debian:/root/djbdns-1.05# ln -sf /etc/dnscache /etc/service/dnscache

If the daemontools is not linked to be accessible via /etc/service it's also a good to link it there:

debian:~# ln -sf /etc/service /

Now the DJBDNS should be running fine, to test if it's running without errors through daemontools I used:

debian:~# ps ax|grep -i readproc
5358 pts/18 R+ 0:00 grep -i readproc
11824 ? S 0:00 readproctitle service errors: ...........

If no errors are displayed it's configured and running to also test if it's capable of resolving I used the host command:

debian:~# host localhost
Using domain server:
Name: localhost
Aliases: has address mail is handled by 0

Now the DJBDNS is properly installed and if you test it for a while with time host localhost , you will see how quick it is in resolving.

The advantage of running DJBDNS is it does not require almost no maintance, its rock solid and great just like all other Dan Bernstein's written software.
Enjoy 😉

Frogatto & Friends – One of the TOP 10 Arcade Free Software & Open Source Games for GNU / Linux and FreeBSD

Friday, December 16th, 2011

Reading Time: 4minutes
Frogatto old-school 2d jump and run free software game for GNU / Linux and FreeBSD
1. Frogatto & Friends – Is an Indian Free Software (Open Source) game in the spirit of old-school jump’en runs like Commander Keen, Prehistoric, Jazz Jack Rabbit

The game is really entertaining, the graphics looks approximately nice, the music is awesome, the gamelplay is good even though after some point in the game the moment with “where should I go now, I can’t find exit” comes through and it gets boring.

Generally if you compare with all the existing jump and run arcade games free software games available for Linux and FreeBSD the game will definetely arrange itself in the list of TOP 10 free software Arcade Games
and therefore its my own believe that Frogatto is a game that every GNU / Linux and FreeBSD desktop should have in Application -> Games GNOME menu.

Frogatto is rich of levels, enemies obstacles objects, places to visit (which puts it ahead of many of the linux arcade games which often miss enough game levels, has a too short game plots, or simply miss overall game diversity).

Frogatto linux freebsd game bombing airplaine

The game’s general look & feel is like a professional game and not just some tiny free software arcade, made by its authors for the sake to learn some programming, graphics or music creation.
Frogatto door leading to Grotto

Frogatto Free Software game wood screenshot

Besides that Frogatto & Friends is multi-platform supporting all the major operating systems.
Game supports:

  • Windows
  • Mac
  • iPhone
  • Debian GNU / Linux
  • FreeBSD

The game source code is also available on – The Game’s Official website

The game is available as a deb package in Debian and Ubuntu GNU / Linuxes so to install on those deb based distributions, simply use apt:

debian:~# apt-get install frogatto

The above command will install two packages frogatto (containing the game’s main executable binary) and frogatto-data containinng all the game textures, levels, graphics, music etc.

BTW the package saparation on a gamename and gamename-data in Debian (for all those who have not still noticed), can be seen on most of the games with a game data that takes more disk space.

After the game is installed the only way to start the game is to run it manually through pressing ALT+F2 in GNOME or running the progrtam through gnome-terminal with cmd:

debian:~$ frogatto

Here are few more Frogatto gameplay screenshots:

Frogatto free open source game screenshot a game bad guy

Frogatto different level screenshot

I’ve noticed Frogatto is also available as an RPM package for Fedora Linux, as well as has a FreeBSD port in the /usr/ports/games/frogatto and this makes it easy to install on most free software OSes in the wild.

While checking , I found an interesting link to a website offering free graphics (pictures), textures and sounds for free and open source games for all those who hold interest into the development of Free Software & Open Source Games make sure you check looks like a great initiative and will definitely be highly beneficial to the development of more and better FSOS Games so I wish them God speed with this noble initiative.

Frogatto is very suitable for growing kids since it doesn’t contain no violence and every now and then the main game actor the Frogatto Frog leads few lines English dialogues with some of the characters found in the quest.
For none speaking English countries, the game can help the kids to learn some basic english words and thus can help develop kids intellect and knowledge
And oh yeah one more criticism towards the game is the Enlish structure, it seems people who wrote the plot can work this out in the time to come. Many of the English sentences during dialogues the frog leads with the cranks he met does not sound like a common and sometimes even correct english / phrases.

Besides those little game “defect”, the game is pretty awesome and worthy to kill some time and relax from a long stressy day.

Fixing Shellshock new critical remote bash shell exploitable vulnerability on Debian / Ubuntu / CentOS / RHEL / Fedora / OpenSuSE and Slackware

Friday, October 10th, 2014

Reading Time: 2minutesBash-ShellShock-remote-exploitable-Vulnerability-affecting-Linux-Mac-OSX-and-BSD-fixing-shellshock-bash-vulnerability-debian-redhat-fedora-centos-ubuntu-slackware-and-opensuse
If you still haven’t heard about the ShellShock Bash (Bourne Again) shell remote exploit vulnerability and you admin some Linux server, you will definitely have to read seriously about it. ShellShock Bash Vulnerabily has become public on Sept 24 and is described in details here.

The vulnerability allows remote malicious attacker to execute arbitrary code under certain conditions, by passing strings of code following environment variable assignments. Affected are most of bash versions starting with bash 1.14 to bash 4.3.
Even if you have patched there are some reports, there are other bash shell flaws in the way bash handles shell variables, so probably in the coming month there will be even more patches to follow.

Affected bash flaw OS-es are Linux, Mac OS and BSDs;

• Some DHCP clients

• OpenSSL servers that use ForceCommand capability in (Webserver config)

• Apache Webservers that use CGi Scripts through mod_cgi and mod_cgid as well as cgis written in bash or launching bash subshells

• Network exposed services that use bash somehow

Even though there is patch there are futher reports claiming patch ineffective from both Google developers and RedHat devs, they say there are other flaws in how batch handles variables which lead to same remote code execution.

There are a couple of online testing tools already to test whether your website or certain script from a website is vulnerable to bash remote code executions, one of the few online remote bash vulnerability scanner is here and here. Also a good usable resource to test whether your webserver is vulnerable to ShellShock remote attack is found on ShellShocker.Net.

As there are plenty of non-standard custom written scripts probably online and there is not too much publicity about the problem and most admins are lazy the vulnerability will stay unpatched for a really long time and we’re about to see more and more exploit tools circulating in the script kiddies irc botnets.

Fixing bash Shellcode remote vulnerability on Debian 5.0 Lenny.

Follow the article suggesting how to fix the remote exploitable bash following few steps on older unsupported Debian 4.0 / 3.0 (Potato) etc. – here.

Fixing the bash shellcode vulnerability on Debian 6.0 Squeeze. For those who never heard since April 2014, there is a A Debian LTS (Long Term Support) repository. To fix in Debian 6.0 use the LTS package repository, like described in following article.

If you have issues patching your Debian Wheezy 6.0 Linux bash, it might be because you already have a newer installed version of bash and apt-get is refusing to overwrite it with an older version which is provided by Debian LTS repos. The quickest and surest way to fix it is to do literally the following:

vim /etc/apt/sources.list

Paste inside to use the following LTS repositories:

deb squeeze main contrib non-free
deb-src squeeze main contrib non-free
deb squeeze/updates main contrib non-free
deb-src squeeze/updates main contrib non-free
deb squeeze-lts main contrib non-free
deb-src squeeze-lts main contrib non-free

Further on to check the available installable deb package versions with apt-get, issue:

apt-cache showpkg bash
4.1-3+deb6u2 -
4.1-3 -
Reverse Provides:

As you see there are two installable versions of bash one from default Debian 6.0 repos 4.1-3 and the second one 4.1-3+deb6u2, another way to check the possible alternative installable versions when more than one version of a package is available is with:

apt-cache policy bash
*** 4.1-3+deb6u2 0
500 squeeze-lts/main amd64 Packages
100 /var/lib/dpkg/status
4.1-3 0
500 squeeze/main amd64 Packages

Then to install the LTS bash version on Debian 6.0 run:

apt-get install bash=4.1-3+deb6u2

Patching Ubuntu Linux supported version against shellcode bash vulnerability:
A security notice addressing Bash vulnerability in Ubuntus is in Ubuntu Security Notice (USN) here
USNs are a way Ubuntu discloses packages affected by a security issues, thus Ubuntu users should try to keep frequently an eye on Ubuntu Security Notices

apt-get update
apt-get install bash

Patching Bash Shellcode vulnerability on EOL (End of Life) versions of Ubuntu:

mkdir -p /usr/local/src/dist && cd /usr/local/src/dist
gpg --import gpgkey.asc
gpg --verify bash-4.3.tar.gz.sig
cd ..
tar xzvf dist/bash-4.3.tar.gz
cd bash-4.3
mkdir patches && cd patches
wget -r --no-parent --accept "bash43-*" -nH -nd # Use a local mirror
echo *sig | xargs -n 1 gpg --verify --quiet # see note 2

cd ..
echo patches/bash43-0?? | xargs -n 1 patch -p0 -i # see note 3 below

./configure --prefix=/usr --bindir=/bin

make test && make install

To solve bash vuln in recent Slackware Linux:

slackpkg update
slackpkg upgrade bash

For old Slacks, either download a patched version of bash or download the source for current installed package and apply the respective patch for the shellcode vulnerability.
There is also a GitHub project “ShellShock” Proof of Concept code demonstrating –
There are also non-confirmed speculations for bash vulnerability bug to impact also:

Speculations:(Non-confirmed possibly vulnerable common server services):

• XMPP(ejabberd)

• Mailman



• Bind9

• Procmail

• Exim

• Juniper Google Search

• Cisco Gear


• Postfix

• Qmail

Fixing ShellShock bash vulnerability on supported versions of CentOS, Redhat, Fedora

In supported versions of CentOS where EOL has not reached:

yum –y install bash

In Redhat, Fedoras recent releases to patch:

yum update bash

To upgrade the bash vulnerability in OpenSUSE:

zipper patch –cve=CVE-2014-7187

Shellcode is worser vulnerability than recent SSL severe vulnerability Hearbleed. According to Redhat and other sources this new bash vulnerability is already actively exploited in the wild and probably even worms are crawling the net stealing passwords, data and building IRC botnets for remote control and UDP flooding.

Installation and Configuration of Clamav antivirus on Debian GNU / Linux

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Reading Time: 4minutes

Clamav logo installing Clamav antivirus to scan periodically Debian server websites for viruses

Clamav Antivirus is one of must have packages installed on a new Debian Linux server. It is not only necessary whether configuring a new Mail server be it Qmail or Postfix but is good to have to always check files on a Webserver. Until few years infecting of Sites with Viruses / Installing WebShells or Backdooring for further access using Perl or PHP vulnerable PHP code was not so common, However nowadays with increase of complexity of languages and increase of not security minded programmers this possibility dramatically increaed. Thus nowadays, whether I configure a new Apache + PHP + CGI support server I always install Clamav AV. Some might argue that Clamav Virus definitions are still too little compared to proprietary solutions like BitDefender / AVG or Avast but since my experience with this under Linux is not so bright as well as Clamav captures essential Viruses and Backdoors I still prefer to keep on with Clamav.  Even on home Desktops with Linux clamav is of use as there are plenty of free-ware software for Linux which come only distributed only in a binary form and hence its good to check them with clamav before use whether they don't contain some well known Rootkit or Virus. Over the years Clamav has done great job for me whether I had to clean up "hacked" hosts containing  script kiddie exploit scanners or Virus infected ELF binaries
1. Installing ClamAV in Debian Wheezy Linux

Before time there was a separate Debian repository called Volatille providing latest version release of Clamav, since Debian Squeeze Volatille project is discontinued, thus installing on Wheezy as a deb package is only available via standard Debian repositories.

apt-get update && apt-get --yes upgrade

apt-get install --yes clamav clamav-daemon

As package dependencies you get installed:

clamav clamav-base clamav-freshclam libbz2-1.0 libclamav1 libcurl3 libidn11 ucf

Clamav-Daemon will launch immediately after packages are installed and is available as process name /usr/sbin/clamd

# ps ax |grep -i clam
 2641 ?        Ssl    6:39 /usr/sbin/clamd
 2791 ?        Ss    12:04 /usr/bin/freshclam -d --quiet
12300 pts/0    S+     0:00 grep -i clam

2. Updating Clamav Antivirus Definitions

Its worthy say few words on clamav-freshclam as it is part of ClamAV which is used to update Clamav Virus definitions. Update of ClamAV vir definitions are updating automatically through /usr/bin/freshclam daemon which is started automatically by Debian postconfiguration scripts right after Clamav install.

Manual update of AV definitions can be done also with freshclam.

# freshclam
ClamAV update process started at Sun Sep  8 17:48:36 2013
main.cvd is up to date (version: 54, sigs: 1044387, f-level: 60, builder: sven)
daily.cvd is up to date (version: 17830, sigs: 1696886, f-level: 63, builder: neo)
bytecode.cld is up to date (version: 225, sigs: 42, f-level: 63, builder: dgoddard)

To keep an eye on definition auto-updates (useful to check where something fails), check out in /var/log/clamav/freshclam.log

A sure indication that Anvirus updates are conducting fine should be log records like:

Sun Sep  8 16:27:44 2013 -> ————————————–
Sun Sep  8 17:27:44 2013 -> Received signal: wake up
Sun Sep  8 17:27:44 2013 -> ClamAV update process started at Sun Sep  8 17:27:44 2013
Sun Sep  8 17:27:44 2013 -> main.cvd is up to date (version: 54, sigs: 1044387, f-level: 60, builder: sven)
Sun Sep  8 17:27:44 2013 -> daily.cld is up to date (version: 17830, sigs: 1696886, f-level: 63, builder: neo)
Sun Sep  8 17:27:44 2013 -> bytecode.cld is up to date (version: 225, sigs: 42, f-level: 63, builder: dgoddard)
Sun Sep  8 17:27:47 2013 -> ————————————–

3. Configuring ClamAV

For Desktop use clamav default config is pretty good. However for servers its good to raise  2 up MaxThreads:

By default MaxThreads is 12

MaxThreads 12

Change to from 30 to 80 depending on how powerful machine ClamAV runs, even on some servers more Clamav threads might be necessary

MaxThreads 30

Other value I like changing is SelfCheck 3600 is too long time for clamav Virus definitions integrity I prefer to set it to 600, i.e.

SelfCheck 600

By default ClamAV is also configured to scan archive files as well. However for this to work you will have to have previously installed unzip and unrar on system. If still you don't have them installed run:

# apt-get install --yes unrar unzip

Note that you will need to have non-free part of Debian deb repositories to /etc/apt/sources.list

Here is one of my sources.list

deb squeeze main contrib non-free
deb squeeze/updates main contrib non-free
deb-src squeeze/updates main contrib non-free

deb squeeze main contrib non-free
deb-src stable main contrib non-free

deb squeeze/updates main contrib non-free
deb-src squeeze/updates main contrib non-free

3. Scanning with ClamAV

# clamscan -r /tmp/
./dos- OK
./dos- OK
./dos- OK
./dos- OK
./dos- OK
./dos- OK
./dos- OK
./dos- OK

----------- SCAN SUMMARY -----------
Known viruses: 2735887
Engine version: 0.97.8
Scanned directories: 1
Scanned files: 129
Infected files: 0
Data scanned: 0.00 MB
Data read: 0.00 MB (ratio 0.00:1)
Time: 4.769 sec (0 m 4 s)

-r flag stands for recursive scan – e.g. scan all sub-directories in directory and its content

To not flood your console / ssh connection one very useful option is -i (print only whetherinfected files are matched). Here is one more sample case:

# clamscan -r -i /var/tmp/
----------- SCAN SUMMARY -----------
Known viruses: 2735887
Engine version: 0.97.8
Scanned directories: 1
Scanned files: 2
Infected files: 0
Data scanned: 0.26 MB
Data read: 0.13 MB (ratio 1.97:1)
Time: 4.824 sec (0 m 4 s)

Whether you're on a physical server console and it has pc speaker or sound blaster use –bell option to ring a bell every time a Virus infection is found, for exmpl.

# clamscan -r -i --bell /var/www/

4. Scanning periodically and reporting with ClamAV directories with websites

A very common use of ClamAV is to just setup a scheduled cronjob once a month to scan, whether server folder containing a bunch of websites in separate Virtualhosts contain some viruses or malicious stuff. Then as administrator check those logs once a month to make sure server site or group of sites does not become banned in search engine (blocked by Google Chrome and Firefox as Virus hotbed) …
# crontab -u root -e
00 02 01 * * clamscan -r /var/www -l /var/log/websites-scan.log

Then once a month check out /var/log/websites-scan.log

How to make VPN PPTP (Point to Point Tunnel) Server on Debian Wheezy GNU / Linux

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

Reading Time: 3minutes

VPN pptp server linux debian logo

Creating VPN server for allowing users to connect is as early practice as the internet was used over Dial-Up modems.PPTP Connections were useful for separating user accounts traffic and easily keeping an eye on who connects to a server via phone line. Besides that VPN tunnels allows the user to connect to every possible running service locally on the server, meaning whether a user opens a VPN (PoPTOP) connection to the VPN server there is no need for port forwarding to local running server services.

Other advantages of plain VPN connection is it is a good way to grant access of Remote host not belonging to a network to have access to a distant local network using the internet as well as it is ultra easy to configure and use.
Even better PPTP is supported by virtually almost any modern operating system including all versions of Microsoft Windows.

As connection between client -> server is insecure and only password is transferred securily there is no complexity of SSL Certificate generation and Exchange like for instance whether configuring to use OpenVPN tunnel, IPsec or L2TP+IPsec.

Besides the many upmentioned advantages, there are some disadvantages of PPTP as it is unsecurely transferring data between VPN Client and VPN server.

After this short intro, here is how easy is to configure PPTP.

1. Install pptpd deb package

apt-get install pptpd

2. Edit /etc/pptpd.conf

vim /etc/pptpd.conf

Place near end of file:


localip variable sets local VPN server main IP and remoteip sets range of IPs in which VPN clients will be assigned IPs. As you see clients IPs will be assigned from; to .

Some other reasonable values for localip and remoteip are:


As you see it is possible to set only a set of few ranges of IP in class C network to be assigned new IPs on connect to PPTPD server.

3. Modify /etc/ppp/pptpd-options configuration

mtu 1490
mru 1490

I prefer setting Google's Public DNS for VPN clients use (ms-dns … etc.), as they are often more reliable than provided ones by ISPs, however others might be happier with custom ones as they might be quicker to resolve.

4. Edit chap-secrets to place client authentication usernames and passwords

File should look something like:

# Secrets for authentication using CHAP
# client           server         secret                          IP addresses
internet pptpd qwerty

For multiple VPN users just add all user usernames and passwords. If you want to assign certain username IPs from above pre-selected range put write it too.

5. Restart PPTPD server script

/etc/init.d/pptpd restart
Restarting PPTP:
Stopping PPTP: pptpd.
Starting PPTP Daemon pptpd.

By default PPTP server listens for network connections via port 1723. If server launches properly port 1723 should be listening for connections.

netstat -etna|grep -i 1723
tcp       0           0        *               LISTEN       0        32810

6. Enable VPN server access to all nodes on local network

Enabling PPTP Client to access the whole network is tricky and very bad security practice especially if VPN server is not behind DMZ. Anyways allowing a client to all local network computers is often needed. This is done via;

enabling IP Forwarding

To do so add in /etc/sysctl.conf


i.e. exec:

echo 'net.ipv4.ip_forward=1' >> /etc/sysctl.conf

sysctl -p

That's all now PPTP is ready to accept connections. I will not get into details how to configure VPN PPTP Connection from Windows host as this is an easy task and there are plenty of good tutorials online.
Cheers 😉

How to Read Holy Bible on GNU / Linux with Xiphos

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

Reading Time: 3minutes

If you're a Christian and you need application to read the Holy Scriptures in Linux. You definitely have to take a look at Xiphos Open Source Bible Study tool.

Here is Xiphos deb package desciprtion;

linux:~# apt-cache show xiphos|grep -i description -A 4


Description: environment for Bible reading, study, and research
 Xiphos is a Bible study program for the GNOME desktop environment, based on The
 SWORD Project by the CrossWire Bible Society, a framework for developing Bible
 study tools and of associated texts such as commentaries and dictionaries.


To install Xiphos on Debian, Ubuntu and other Deb derivatives run in terminal:

linux:~# apt-get --yes install xiphos

To run it further type in terminal:

hipo@linux:~$ xiphos

Xiphos American King james Holy_Bible on Debian Ubuntu GNU Linux screenshot

Default Holy Bible provided by Xiphos is American version of King James Holy Bible.

However a Holy Bible translation is available on almost any popular Language on earth and is easily installable via Xiphos Module Manager. Xiphos Module Manager uses text obtained from Crosswire  Bible Society – Sword Project.

Linux Xiphos Holy Bible reading GNOME tool Module Manager screenshot

To install your Homeland language Holy Scriptures translation choose whatever language via menus:

Edit -> Module Manager -> Install/Update -> Biblical Texts

Linux Holy Bible reading tool Xiphos choose bible texts in all country homeland language

For English Speaking people, there are some extra Books, Heretical texts well known in Christiandom as well as Concordance (Interpretation of Holy Bible writtings with some general marks on Bible verses).

Xiphos Linux bible reader program Extra General Books screenshot

Orthodoxy as you see in the screenshot doesn't have unfortunately nothing to do with Orthodox Christianity. Take few minutes and click on each of the books install them and check out what's inside. The books are interesting for anyone like me who holds deep interest in Christianity. Something else worthy to check out from Module Manager is Commentaries on Holy Bible unfortunately available only in German, English, Dutch and Finnish.

Xiphos module manager Linux commentaries

The Sword Project has  also few interesting sub-projects, worthy to check out whether you use Linux with KDE or for those who want read Holy Bible on Mac OS and IPhone.

BibleTime – A Free and Easy to Use Bible Reading Tool intended for Linux KDE environment users.

PocketSword – An Iphone Bible Study Open Source App

MacSword – is a free & open-source application for research and study of God and His Word. It is developed specifically for Macintosh computers running Mac OS X.

Alkitab Bible Study – An open source and free desktop Bible study software. It supports parallel view, commentaries, dictionaries, lexicons, daily devotions, with powerful search capability.

XiphosParallel View funtionality and Tabs are very handy as they offer the user a very easy way to open a number of Bible Translations in various languages and make comparison between different Holy Bible translations.
Reading in Parallel the Holy BIble in two or more different languages is a great way to learn quickly a new language. On below screenshot you see opened, American King James Holy Bible in Tab 1 and Bulgarian Language (the well known Tsarigrad Edition) in Tab 2

Linux Xiphos Bulgarian with two tabs American King James Translation and New Testament from 1914 known as Tsarigrad Edition

Well that's all, Happy Blessed Bible reading on your Linux Desktop 🙂

Preventing packages on Debian and Ubuntu Linux to not update on system updates

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

Reading Time: < 1minute

On Debian based GNU / Linux distros, there are some critical packages which need to be disabled to update during the common routine apt-get update && apt-get upgrade which is a almost daily part of Debian sysadmin living. Example for packages which are good to mark not to upgrade are for example; linux kernel, java virtual machine, adobe flash plugin,  etc.

Setting a package to omit upgrade on system package update for adobe flash plugin for example is with:

# echo adobe-flashplugin hold | dpkg –set-selections
debian:~# echo adobe-flash-properties-gtk hold | dpkg --set-selections
debian:~# echo flashplugin-nonfree-extrasound hold | dpkg --set-selections

To do deb package update on hold for kernel;


debian:~# echo linux-image-generic hold | dpkg --set-selections
debian:~# echo linux-image-3.2.0-38-generic | dpkg --set-selections

Do the same for as many packages which seem to break up on updates and when, you explicitly want remove the hold/s run:

debian:~# echo adobe-flashplugin install | dpkg --set-selections
debian:~# echo linux-image-generic install | dpkg --set-selections