Posts Tagged ‘installation’

KVM Virtual Machine RHEL 8.3 Linux install on Redhat 8.3 Linux Hypervisor with custom tailored kickstart.cfg

Friday, January 22nd, 2021

Reading Time: 6minutes


If you don't have tried it yet Redhat and CentOS and other RPM based Linux operationg systems that use anaconda installer is generating a kickstart file after being installed under /root/{anaconda-ks.cfg,initial-setup- ks.cfg,original-ks.cfg} immediately after the OS installation completes. Using this Kickstart file template you can automate installation of Redhat installation with exactly the same configuration as many times as you like by directly loading your /root/original-ks.cfg file in RHEL installer.

Here is the official description of Kickstart files from Redhat:

"The Red Hat Enterprise Linux installation process automatically writes a Kickstart file that contains the settings for the installed system. This file is always saved as /root/anaconda-ks.cfg. You may use this file to repeat the installation with identical settings, or modify copies to specify settings for other systems."

Kickstart files contain answers to all questions normally asked by the text / graphical installation program, such as what time zone you want the system to use, how the drives should be partitioned, or which packages should be installed. Providing a prepared Kickstart file when the installation begins therefore allows you to perform the installation automatically, without need for any intervention from the user. This is especially useful when deploying Redhat based distro (RHEL / CentOS / Fedora …) on a large number of systems at once and in general pretty useful if you're into the field of so called "DevOps" system administration and you need to provision a certain set of OS to a multitude of physical servers or create or recreate easily virtual machines with a certain set of configuration.

1. Create /vmprivate storage directory where Virtual machines will reside

First step on the Hypervisor host which will hold the future created virtual machines is to create location where it will be created:

[root@redhat ~]#  lvcreate –size 140G –name vmprivate vg00
[root@redhat ~]#  mkfs.ext4 -j -b 4096 /dev/mapper/vg00-vmprivate
[root@redhat ~]# mount /dev/mapper/vg00-vmprivate /vmprivate

To view what is the situation with Logical Volumes and  VG group names:

[root@redhat ~]# vgdisplay -v|grep -i vmprivate -A7 -B7
  Segments               1
  Allocation             inherit
  Read ahead sectors     auto
  – currently set to     8192
  Block device           253:0


  — Logical volume —
  LV Path                /dev/vg00/vmprivate
  LV Name                vmprivate
  VG Name                vg00
  LV UUID                VVUgsf-FXq2-TsMJ-QPLw-7lGb-Dq5m-3J9XJJ
  LV Write Access        read/write
  LV Creation host, time, 2021-01-20 17:26:11 +0100
  LV Status              available
  # open                 1
  LV Size                150.00 GiB

Note that you'll need to have the size physically available on a SAS / SSD Hard Drive physically connected to Hypervisor Host.

To make the changes Virtual Machines storage location directory permanently mounted add to /etc/fstab

/dev/mapper/vg00-vmprivate  /vmprivate              ext4    defaults,nodev,nosuid 1 2

[root@redhat ~]# echo '/dev/mapper/vg00-vmprivate  /vmprivate              ext4    defaults,nodev,nosuid 1 2' >> /etc/fstab


2. Second we need to install the following set of RPM packages on the Hypervisor Hardware host

[root@redhat ~]# yum install qemu-kvm qemu-img libvirt virt-install libvirt-client virt-manager libguestfs-tools virt-install virt-top -y

3. Enable libvirtd on the host

[root@redhat ~]#  lsmod | grep -i kvm
[root@redhat ~]#  systemctl enable libvirtd

4. Configure network bridging br0 interface on Hypervisor

In /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0 you need to include:


Next use nmcli redhat configurator to create the bridge (you can use ip command instead) but since the tool is the redhat way to do it lets do it their way ..

[root@redhat ~]# nmcli connection delete eno3
[root@redhat ~]# nmcli connection add type bridge autoconnect yes con-name br0 ifname br0
[root@redhat ~]# nmcli connection modify br0 ipv4.addresses ipv4.method manual
[root@redhat ~]# nmcli connection modify br0 ipv4.gateway
[root@redhat ~]# nmcli connection modify br0 ipv4.dns
[root@redhat ~]# nmcli connection add type bridge-slave autoconnect yes con-name eno3 ifname eno3 master br0
[root@redhat ~]# nmcli connection up br0

5. Prepare a working kickstart.cfg file for VM

Below is a sample kickstart file I've used to build a working fully functional Virtual Machine with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3 (Ootpa) .

# Run the Setup Agent on first boot
firstboot --enable
ignoredisk --only-use=vda

# Use network installation
#url --url=
##url --url=

# Use text mode install

# System language
#lang en_US.UTF-8
keyboard --vckeymap=us --xlayouts='us'
# Keyboard layouts
##keyboard us
lang en_US.UTF-8

# Root password
rootpw $6$gTiUCif4$YdKxeewgwYCLS4uRc/XOeKSitvDJNHFycxWVHi.RYGkgKctTMCAiY2TErua5Yh7flw2lUijooOClQQhlbstZ81 --iscrypted

# network-stuff
# place ip=your_VM_IP, netmask, gateway, nameserver hostname 
network --bootproto=static --ip= --netmask= --gateway= --nameserver= --device=eth0 --noipv6 --onboot=yes
# if you need just localhost initially configured uncomment and comment above
##network В --device=lo --hostname=localhost.localdomain

# System authorization information
authconfig --enableshadow --passalgo=sha512 --enablefingerprint

# skipx

# Firewall configuration
firewall --disabled

# System timezone
timezone Europe/Berlin

# Clear the Master Boot Record

# Repositories
## Add RPM repositories from KS file if necessery
#repo --name=appstream --baseurl=
#repo --name=baseos --baseurl=
#repo --name=inst.stage2 --baseurl= ff=/dev/vg0/vmprivate
##repo --name=rhsm-baseos В  В --baseurl=
##repo --name=rhsm-appstream --baseurl=
##repo --name=os-baseos В  В  В --baseurl=
##repo --name=os-appstream В  --baseurl=
#repo --name=inst.stage2 --baseurl=

# Disk partitioning information set proper disk sizing
##bootloader --location=mbr --boot-drive=vda
bootloader --append=" crashkernel=auto tsc=reliable divider=10 plymouth.enable=0 console=ttyS0 " --location=mbr --boot-drive=vda
# partition plan
clearpart --all --drives=vda --initlabel
part /boot --size=1024 --fstype=ext4 --asprimary
part swap --size=1024
part pv.01 --size=30000 --grow --ondisk=vda
##part pv.0 --size=80000 --fstype=lvmpv
#part pv.0 --size=61440 --fstype=lvmpv
volgroup s pv.01
logvol / --vgname=s --size=15360 --name=root --fstype=ext4
logvol /var/cache/ --vgname=s --size=5120 --name=cache --fstype=ext4 --fsoptions="defaults,nodev,nosuid"
logvol /var/log --vgname=s --size=7680 --name=log --fstype=ext4 --fsoptions="defaults,nodev,noexec,nosuid"
logvol /tmp --vgname=s --size=5120 --name=tmp --fstype=ext4 --fsoptions="defaults,nodev,nosuid"
logvol /home --vgname=s --size=5120 --name=home --fstype=ext4 --fsoptions="defaults,nodev,nosuid"
logvol /opt --vgname=s --size=2048 --name=opt --fstype=ext4 --fsoptions="defaults,nodev,nosuid"
logvol /var/log/audit --vgname=s --size=3072 --name=audit --fstype=ext4 --fsoptions="defaults,nodev,nosuid"
logvol /var/spool --vgname=s --size=2048 --name=spool --fstype=ext4 --fsoptions="defaults,nodev,nosuid"
logvol /var --vgname=s --size=7680 --name=var --fstype=ext4 --fsoptions="defaults,nodev,nosuid"

# SELinux configuration
selinux --disabled
# Installation logging level
logging --level=debug

# reboot automatically


# Tune Linux vm.dirty_background_bytes (IMAGE-439)
# The following tuning causes dirty data to begin to be background flushed at
# 100 Mbytes, so that it writes earlier and more often to avoid a large build
# up and improving overall throughput.
echo "vm.dirty_background_bytes=100000000" >> /etc/sysctl.conf

# Disable kdump
systemctl disable kdump.service

Important note to make here is the MD5 set root password string in (rootpw) line this string can be generated with openssl or mkpasswd commands :

Method 1: use openssl cmd to generate (md5, sha256, sha512) encrypted pass string

[root@redhat ~]# openssl passwd -6 -salt xyz test

Note: passing -1will generate an MD5 password, -5 a SHA256 encryption and -6SHA512 encrypted string (logically recommended for better security)

Method 2: (md5, sha256, sha512)

[root@redhat ~]# mkpasswd –method=SHA-512 –stdin

The option –method accepts md5, sha-256 and sha-512
Theoretically there is also a kickstart file generator web interface on Redhat's site here however I never used it myself but instead use above kickstart.cfg

6. Install the new VM with virt-install cmd

Roll the new preconfigured VM based on above ks template file use some kind of one liner command line  like below:

[root@redhat ~]# virt-install -n RHEL8_3-VirtualMachine –description "CentOS 8.3 Virtual Machine" –os-type=Linux –os-variant=rhel8.3 –ram=8192 –vcpus=8 –location=/vmprivate/rhel-server-8.3-x86_64-dvd.iso –disk path=/vmprivate/RHEL8_3-VirtualMachine.img,bus=virtio,size=70 –graphics none –initrd-inject=/root/kickstart.cfg –extra-args "console=ttyS0 ks=file:/kickstart.cfg"

7. Use a tiny shell script to automate VM creation

For some clarity and better automation in case you plan to repeat VM creation you can prepare a tiny bash shell script:

VM_DESCR='CentOS 8.3 Virtual Machine';
# size is in Gigabytes

virt-install -n "$VMNAME" –description "$VM_DESCR" –os-type=Linux –os-variant=rhel8.3 –ram=8192 –vcpus=8 –location="$ISO_LOCATION" –disk path=$VM_IMG_FILE,bus=virtio,size=$IMG_VM_SIZE –graphics none –initrd-inject=/root/$KS_FILE –extra-args "console=ttyS0 ks=file:/$KS_FILE"

A copy of script can be downloaded here

Wait for the installation to finish it should be visualized and if all installation is smooth you should get a login prompt use the password generated with openssl tool and test to login, then disconnect from the machine by pressing CTRL + ] and try to login via TTY with

[root@redhat ~]# virst list –all
 Id   Name        State
RHEL8_3-VirtualMachine   running

[root@redhat ~]#  virsh console RHEL8_3-VirtualMachine


One last thing I recommend you check the official documentation on Kickstart2 from CentOS official website

In case if you later need to destroy the VM and the respective created Image file you can do it with:

[root@redhat ~]#  virsh destroy RHEL8_3-VirtualMachine
[root@redhat ~]#  virsh undefine RHEL8_3-VirtualMachine

Don't forget to celebreate the success and give this nice article a credit by sharing this nice tutorial with a friend or by placing a link to it from your blog 🙂



Enjoy !

VIM Project (VI Improvied IDE Editor extension to facilitate web development with vi enhanced editor

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Reading Time: 4minutes

I use VIM as an editor of choice for many years already.
Yet it's until recently I use it for a PHP ZF (Zend Framework) web development.

Few days ago I've blogged How to configure vimrc for a php syntax highlightning (A Nicely pre-configured vimrc to imrpove the daily text editing experience

This enhancements significantly improves the overall PHP code editing with VIM. However I felt something is yet missing because I didn't have the power and functunality of a complete IDE like for instance The Eclipse IDE

I was pretty sure that VIM has to have a way to be used in a similar fashion to a fully functional IDE and looked around the net to find for any VIM plugins that will add vim an IDE like coding interface.

I then come accross a vim plugin called VIM Prokject : Organize/Navigate projects of files (like IDE/buffer explorer)

The latest VIM Project as of time of writting is 1.4.1 and I've mirrored it here

The installation of the VIM ProjectVIM extension is pretty straight forward to install it and start using it on your PC issue commands:

1. Install the project VIM add-on

debian:~$ wget
debian:~$ mv project-1.4.1.tar.gz ~/.vim/
debian:~$ cd ~/.vim/
debian:~$ tar -zxvvf project-1.4.1.tar.gz

2. Load the plugin

Launch your vim editor and type : Project(without the space between : and P)
You will further see a screen like:

vim project entry screen

3. You will have to press C within the Project window to load a new project

Then you will have to type a directory to use to load a project sources files from:

vim project enter file source directory screen

You will be prompted with to type a project name like in the screenshot below:

vim project load test project

4. Next you will have to type a CD (Current Dir) parameter
To see more about the CD parameter consult vim project documentation by typing in main vim pane :help project

The appearing screen will be something like:

vim project extension cd parameter screen

5. Thereafter you will have to type a file filter

File filter is necessary and will instruct the vim project plugin to load all files with the specified extension within vim project pane window

You will experience a screen like:

vim project plugin file filter screen

Following will be a short interval in which all specified files by the filter type will get loaded in VIM project pane and your Zend Framework, PHP or any other source files will be listed in a directory tree structure like in the picture shown below:

vim project successful loaded project screen

6. Saving loaded project hierarchy state

In order to save a state of a loaded project within the VIM project window pane you will have to type in vim, let's say:

:saveas .projects/someproject

Later on to load back the saved project state you will have to type in vim :r .projects/someproject

You will now have almost fully functional development IDE on top of your simple vim text editor.

You can navigate within the Project files loaded with the Project extension pane easily and select a file you would like to open up, whenever a source file is opened and you work on it to switch in between the Project file listing pane and the opened source code file you will have to type twice CTRL+w or in vim language C-w

To even further sophisticate your web development in PHP with vim you can add within your ~/.vimrc file the following two lines:

" run file with PHP CLI (CTRL-M)
:autocmd FileType php noremap <C-M> :w!<CR>:!/usr/bin/php %<CR>
" PHP parser check (CTRL-L)
:autocmd FileType php noremap <C-L> :!/usr/bin/php -l %>CR>

In the above vim configuration directovies the " character is a comment line and the autocmd is actually vim declarations.
The first :autocmd … declaration will instruct vim to execute your current opened php source file with the php cli interpreter whenever a key press of CTRL+M (C-m) occurs.

The second :autocmd … will add to your vim a shortcut, so whenever a CTRL+L (C-l) key combination is pressed VIM editor will check your current edited source file for syntax errors.
Therefore this will enable you to very easily periodically check if your file syntax is correct.

Well this things were really helpful to me, so I hope they will be profitable for you as well.
Cheers 🙂

A quick and easy way to install Social Network on Linux/BSD System with Elgg

Monday, March 14th, 2011

Reading Time: 3minutes

I'm experimenting this days with Elgg – An Open Source Free Software GPLed Social Network which enables users to quickly create Communities.

Elgg is really easy to install and all it requires is a Linux/BSD or Windows system with PHP, MySQL and Apache installed.

Elgg is provided with dozens of nice plugins which for a short time enables individual to create fully operational Social Network like facebook.

Many people nowdays use facebook without realizing how bad facebook is how it breaks their privacy.
Facebook is actually a spy network, it stores data and pictures, likings and user behaviour of million of users around the world.
This needs to be stopped somehow, maybe if people start using the free software networks like elgg to build a mini-community which has profound interests in a certain spheres of work, life and amusement.
The evil empire of facebook will slowly start to loose it's position and the small projects networks based on Elgg and the other Free Software Social Networks which are currently available will start to rise up.
I'm currently really a novice into Elgg but I'm more convinced that the guys who develop it and contribute to it in terms of handy plugins have done really a great job.

It's ultra easy even for non professional middle level user to setup himself an Elgg install.
The installation procedure is not much harder than a simple wordpress blog or joomla based website install.
The installation of elgg takes no more than 10 to 20 minutes, the plugin installation and setup time further could take few days but in the end you have a full featured Social Network! This is really amazing.
The installation of new plugins in elgg is also fool proof / easy all you have to do to equip a newly installed elgg with plugins is to go to it's root directory and look for the mod directory. The new plugins which needs to be installed, could be directly downloaded and saved via links, elinks, lynx or even wget to the elgg installation directory.

Most of the elgg plugins comes in a form of zip files so after being installed simply executing:

server:/home/elgg/mysocialnetwork/mod# unzip

The above cmd will for example unzip the WallToWall elgg plugin and the plugin will be further ready to be enabled via the administrator user set upped during your elgg installation.

The configurations of elgg are being accomplished via:

Administration -> Tool Administration

I should I'm still experimenting with Elgg social, until this very moment I've installed the following elgg plugins:


One very handy feature I truly enjoy about Elgg is that it gives every user an own blog which or in other words when somebody registers in Elgg, he automatically gets a personal blog! How cool this is Yeash 😉
The Elgg photo upload plugin is also another interesting story. The photo plugin is a way better from my first impressions than facebook's buggy upload client.
Elgg also uses heavily jquery for it's various operations and the user experience feels very interactive.

Of course as with all free software things are not perfect some of the elgg plugins or (mods) as they are called are not working.
For example I couldn't make by so far the weather plugin which is supposed to report the weather.

Maybe some tweakening of the not working plugins will easily make them working. What is really important is that the Elgg basis system looks and seems to work really good and enpowers the user with a social network alternatives to the ugly facebook.

In order to experiment with Elgg and I've established a small social network targetting at University College and School Students called MockATeacher –>/i>. The idea behind is to help students in their report writting by providing them with a place where they can meet other students and share files.

Some other aspects I've planned for MockATeacher is to build a small community of people who would like to share about idiot teachers, teacher stupid sayings as well as to mock the idiotic type of education that we and our children are up to in this age.
Just to close up, if you're looking for some time to spend in experimenting in an enjoyable way you definitely need to install elgg and play with it 😉

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 🙂

xorg on Toshiba Satellite L40 14B with Intel GM965 video hangs up after boot and the worst fix ever / How to reinstall Ubuntu by keeping the old personal data and programs

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Reading Time: 4minutes

black screen ubuntu troubles

I have updated Ubuntu version 9.04 (Jaunty) to 9.10 and followed the my previous post update ubuntu from 9.04 to Latest Ubuntu

I expected that a step by step upgrade from a release to release will work like a charm and though it does on many notebooks it doesn't on Toshiba Satellite L40

The update itself went fine, whether I used the update-manager -d and followed the above pointed tutorial, however after a system restart the PC failed to boot the X server properly, a completely blank screen with blinking cursor appeared and that was all.

I restarted the system into the 2.6.35-28-generic kernel rescue-mode recovery kernel in order to be able to enter into physical console.

Logically the first thing I did is to check /var/log/messages and /var/log/Xorg.0.log but I couldn't find nothing unusual or wrong there.

I suspected something might be wrong with /etc/X11/xorg.conf so I deleted it:

ubuntu:~# rm -f /etc/X11/xorg.conf

and attempted to re-create the xorg.conf X configuration with command:

ubuntu:~# dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg

This command was reported to be the usual way to reconfigure the X server settings from console, but in my case (for unknown reasons) it did nothing.

Next the command which was able to re-generate the xorg.conf file was:

ubuntu:~# X -configure

The command generates a xorg.conf sample file in /root/xorg.conf.* so I used the conf to put it in /etc/X11/xorg.conf X's default location and restarted in hope that this would fix the non-booting issue.

Very sadly again the black screen of death appeared on the notebook toshiba screen.
I further thought of completely wipe out the xorg.conf in hope that at least it might boot without the conf file but this worked out neither.

I attempted to run the Xserver with a xorg.conf configured to work with vesa as it's well known vesa X server driver is supposed to work on 99% of the video cards, as almost all of them nowdays are compatible with the vesa standard, but guess what in my case vesa worked not!

The only version of X I can boot in was the failsafe X screen mode which is available through the grub's boot menu recovery mode.

Further on I decided to try few xorg.conf which I found online and were reported to work fine with Intel GM965 internal video , and yes this was also unsucessful.

Some of my other futile attempts were: to re-install the xorg server with apt-get, reinstall the xserver-xorg-video-intel driver e.g.:

ubuntu:~# apt-get install --reinstall xserver-xorg xserver-xorg-video-intel

As nothing worked out I was completely pissed off and decided to take an alternative approach which will take a lot of time but at least will probably be succesful, I decided to completely re-install the Ubuntu from a CD after backing up the /home directory and making a list of available packages on the system, so I can further easily run a tiny bash one-liner script to install all the packages which were previously existing on the laptop before the re-install:

Here is how I did it:

First I archived the /home directory:

ubuntu:/# tar -czvf home.tar.gz home/

For 12GB of data with some few thousands of files archiving it took about 40 minutes.

The tar spit archive became like 9GB and I hence used sftp to upload it to a remote FTP server as I was missing a flash drive or an external HDD where I can place the just archived data.

Uploading with sftp can be achieved with a command similar to:

Connected to
sftp> put home.tar.gz

As a next step to backup in a file the list of all current installed packages, before I can further proceed to boot-up with the Ubuntu Maverich 10.10 CD and prooceed with the fresh install I used command:

for i in $(dpkg -l| awk '{ print $2 }'); do
echo $i; done >> my_current_ubuntu_packages.txt

Once again I used sftp as in above example to upload my_current_update_packages.txt file to my FTP host.

After backing up all the stuff necessery, I restarted the system and booted from the CD-rom with Ubuntu.
The Ubuntu installation as usual is more than a piece of cake and even if you don't have a brain you can succeed with it, so I wouldn't comment on it 😉

Right after the installation I used the sftp client once again to fetch the home.tar.gz and my_current_ubuntu_packages.txt

I placed the home.tar.gz in /home/ and untarred it inside the fresh /home dir:

ubuntu:/home# tar -zxvf home.tar.gz

Eventually the old home directory was located in /home/home so thereon I used Midnight Commander ( the good old mc text file explorer and manager ) to restore the important user files to their respective places.

As a last step I used the my_current_ubuntu_packages.txt in combination with a tiny shell script to install all the listed packages inside the file with command:

ubuntu:~# for i in $(cat my_current_ubuntu_packagespackages.txt); do
apt-get install --yes $i; sleep 1;

You will have to stay in front of the computer and manually answer a ncurses interface questions concerning some packages configuration and to be honest this is really annoying and time consuming.

Summing up the overall time I spend with this stupid Toshiba Satellite L40 with the shitty Intel GM965 was 4 days, where each day I tried numerous ways to fix up the X and did my best to get through the blank screen xserver non-bootable issue, without a complete re-install of the old Ubuntu system.
This is a lesson for me that if I stumble such a shitty issues I will straight proceed to the re-install option and not loose my time with non-sense fixes which would never work.

Hope the article might be helpful to somebody else who experience some problems with Linux similar to mine.

After all at least the Ubuntu Maverick 10.10 is really good looking in general from a design perspective.
What really striked me was the placement of the close, minimize and maximize window buttons , it seems in newer Ubuntus the ubuntu guys decided to place the buttons on the left, here is a screenshot:

Left button positioning of navigation Buttons in Ubuntu 10.10

I believe the solution I explain, though very radical and slow is a solution that would always work and hence worthy 😉
Let me hear from you if the article was helpful.

Install and Run Multiple Tomcat and JAVA server instances on single Windows server Howto

Friday, June 17th, 2016

Reading Time: 7minutes

I've had a task at my work place to install Multiple Tomcat servers on Windows 2012 Server R2 the task seems trivial however I've faced few minor issues and the few searches in Google returned very few articles discussing the topic and this give me the idea that it might be helpful to others to come up with my own article as this might save time for those Linux guys who need to install Multiple Tomcat instances on the same Windows server without spending too much time to dig into the arcane winblows.

I stumbled on some issues during installation thus took the time to systemize below shortlyhow I managed to run 2 Tomcat servers on One Windows 2012 R2 machine.

First thing to do is to obtain latest compiled Tomcat server archive from Tomcat's official download page here.

Latest Tomcat stable release as of time of writting this article is 7.0.69, so I've downloaded 64 Bit archive (as the server is running X64 Operating system) and unarchived it twice on the Install server under 2 separate directory locations under:








Copy of the 7.0.69 X86 tomcat zip archive is hereand X64 bit tomcat 7.0.69 is here

Once the files are properly untarred I also needed to download also Java as the WAR application supposed to run on the Windows machine had as requirement Java JDK 8.

Downloading Java is a trivial task, however in my case the server used to be in DMZ (Demiliterized Zone) / Firewalled network and hence instead of using the default Java installer provided from Oracle website which is trying to download from Internet, I had instead to download and use the Offline current JAVA 8u91 version.
Just for sake of some convenience I've made a mirrored version of X86 JAVA 8 (8u91) is here and JAVA 8u91 X64 version here



JAVA JDK install is a trivial task just run the isntaller set the proper locations initially for JDK base folder in my case this was:




and later throughout during install, I was asked also to fill in full path location for JRE, in my case this was




It was a little bit surprising for me that JRE install path had to be entered and because I was not careful enough I had twice entered the same path for both JRE and JDK, i.e. entered on both prompts:




This caused issues and a messed Java install but I realized that after the 3rd re-install of Java when I decided to also read instead of by habit click Next / Next and Complete the install as used to be in the good old days of Windows XP and Windows 98 🙂

Once Java set up correctly I've tested it with:


C:\Users\georgi> java -version




It is also necessery to set properly following 2 JAVA command line environment variables:


On the logged in user Environment Variables with which Tomcat will be running on how to do that check my previous article how to add Environment Variables on Windows


Make sure you have the following 2 environment variables set upped:







For one time set (assuming Java is installed) under D:Javajre and D:Javajdk, you will need to type in command prompt:

set JAVA_HOME=D:\Java\jdk

set JRE_HOME=D:\Java\jre

Once assured Java is running fine I proceeded to run the Tomcat serevrs, in order to make them working it was necessery to change all coinciding Port names under:




because if there are coinciding ports (assuming that like me you're trying to run both Tomcat under the same IP address), the servers will fail to run because they're trying to bind under the same Port TCP addresses.

Assuming that the tomcat archive files are copied from .zip into D:TomcatTomcat_Instance-1 and D:TomcatTomcat_Instance-2 folders and you have in each of the 2 the following directory structure:


    /bin : This directory contains the startup and shutdown scripts for both Windows and Linux.
    /conf : This directory contains the main configuration files for Tomcat. The two most important are the server.xml and the global web.xml .
    /server : This directory contains the Tomcat Java Archive files.
    /lib : This directory contains Java Archive files that Tomcat is dependent upon.
    /logs : This directory contains Tomcat’s log files.
    /src : This directory contains the source code used by the Tomcat server. Once Tomcat is released, it will probably contain interfaces and abstract classes only.
    /webapps : All web applications are deployed in this directory; it contains the WAR file.
    /work : This is the directory in which Tomcat will place all servlets that are generated from JSPs. If you want to see exactly how a particular JSP is interpreted, look in this directory.


You will need to edit server.xml in both of the Tomcats and make sure the configuration for ports is not coinciding, i.e., I've changed the following configurations for Tomcat_Instance-2 installation:


    Connector Port : This is the port where Apache Tomcat listen for the HTTP requests. Default port is 8080, I've changed this to 8089 for second Tomcat server
    Shutdown Port : This port is used when we try to shutdown the Apache Tomcat Server. Default port is 8005 so changed that to 8006 in Tomcat_Instance-2
    AJP (Apache JServ Protocol) Connector Port : The Apache JServ Protocol (AJP) is a binary protocol that can conduct inbound requests from a web server through to an application server that sits behind the web server.
I've commented out the configuration for AJP completely and used for my custom needs the following server.xml configuration:

<Connector port="11111" address="" protocol="AJP/1.3" enableLookups="false"/>

    Redirect Port : Any redirection happening inside Apache Tomcat will happen through this port. In Apache TOMCAT there are two instance where redirect Port is mentioned. First one is for the Apache TOMCAT server and other one is for the AJP port. Default here is port 8443 so changed that one to to listen to 8444 instead.

Another thing necessery to do is to create setenv.bat file under both D:\TomcatTomcat_Instance-1\bin and D:\Tomcat\Tomcat_Instance-2\bin with following content:

set JRE_HOME=D:\java\jre
set JAVA_HOME=d:\java\jdk
exit /b 0


The quickest way to do it without bothering with Notepad text editor is by issuing:


cd tomcat\Tomcat_Instance1\bin
echo set JRE_HOME=D:\java\jre > setenv.bat
echo set JAVA_HOME=D:javajdk >> setenv.bat


cd tomcat\Tomcat_Instance2\bin
echo set JRE_HOME=D:\java\jre > setenv.bat
echo set JAVA_HOME=D:\java\jdk >> setenv.bat

The is a standard variables file read by Tomcat on Instance start up time

Next part of Tomcat installation is to install each of the 2 instances after defining CATALINA_BASE to point to first and second Tomcat instance directories, e.g open a Command Prompt (cmd.exe) and run there:


set CATALINA_BASE=D:\Tomcat\Tomcat_Instance-1

C:|> d:

D:|> cd Tomcat\Tomcat_Instance-1\bin


D:Tomcat\Tomcat_Instance-1\bin> service install Tomcat_Instance-1

You will get output like:


Using CATALINA_BASE:   " D:\Tomcat\Tomcat_Instance-1"
Using CATALINA_HOME:   " D:\Tomcat\Tomcat_Instance-1"
Using CATALINA_TMPDIR: " D:\TomcatTomcat_Instance-1\temp"
Using JRE_HOME:        "D:\java\jre"
Using CLASSPATH:       "D:\Tomcat\Tomcat_Instance-1\bin\bootstrap.jar; D:\Tomcat\Tomcat_Instance-1\bin\tomcat-juli.jar"


Then for the second Tomcat server instance run in command prompt:


set CATALINA_BASE=D:\Tomcat\Tomcat_Instance-2


cd Tomcat\Tomcat_Instance-2\bin
service install Tomcat_Instance-2

Using CATALINA_BASE:   " D:\Tomcat\Tomcat_Instance-2"
Using CATALINA_HOME:   " D:\Tomcat\Tomcat_Instance-2"
Using CATALINA_TMPDIR: " D:\Tomcat\Tomcat_Instance-2\temp"
Using JRE_HOME:        "D:\java\jre"
Using CLASSPATH:       "D:\Tomcat\Tomcat_Instance-1\bin\bootstrap.jar; D:\TomcatTomcat_Instance-2\bin\tomcat-juli.jar"


Here is all the service.bat batch file parameters:


D:\Tomcat\Tomcat_Instance-11\bin>service.bat /
Unknown parameter "/?"


Usage: service.bat install/remove [service_name] [/user username]

To test both Tomcat servers where they run simultaneously without issues, I run in 2 separate command prompts – opened (cmd.exe) two times and run in each of them:

What this little command does is uses Tomcat7.exe command to Add / Remove / Modify the Tomcat instance into Windows Services, the same can be happily done also with the good old
sc (service configure) windows command.



cd Tomcat\Tomcat_Instance-1\bin\startup.bat


cd Tomcat\Tomcat_Instance-2\bin\startup.bat

Both executed without errors in command line and to stop them I've pressed the usual CTRL+C.
To make sure once again both server instances ran wihtout errors, I've checked in D:TomcatTomcat_Instance-{1,2}logs/catalina*.log and in both of them all looked fine.
Another good check if you want to be 10000% sure Tomcat is running is to look up for Tomcat listening on above configured ports, for example run below in cmd:


D:Tomcat> netstat -a|findstr "8080"

I've also used the 2 following command to set up proper Services description for both of services:


D:\Tomcat\Tomcat_Instance-1\tomcat7 //US//Tomcat_Instance1 –Description="Apache Tomcat Server –"

D:\Tomcat\Instance_Instance-2\tomcat7 //US//Tomcat_Instance2 –Description="Apache Tomcat Server – "


A very helpful resource during the Apache (Windows Service) instance install / setup /modification that helped me is on Tomcat's official site here

N! B! Very important note to make here for anyone experiencing strange issues when trying to add multiple issues is below:

I've experienced some issues while trying to add the 2 Tomcat servers into Windows services initially with tomcat7.exe command like so:

Trying installing Tomcat71 service with cmd:

 tomcat7 //IS//Tomcat71 –DisplayName="Apache Tomcat 7" ^
     –Install="D:\Tomcat\Tomcat_Instance-1\bin\tomcat7.exe" –Jvm=auto ^
     –StartMode=jvm –StopMode=jvm ^
     –StartClass=org.apache.catalina.startup.Bootstrap –StartParams=start ^
     –StopClass=org.apache.catalina.startup.Bootstrap –StopParams=stop


And Tomcat72 instance with cmd:

 tomcat7 //IS//Tomcat71 –DisplayName="Apache Tomcat 7" ^
     –Install="D:\Tomcat\Tomcat_Instance-2\bin\tomcat7.exe" –Jvm=auto ^
     –StartMode=jvm –StopMode=jvm ^
     –StartClass=org.apache.catalina.startup.Bootstrap –StartParams=start ^
     –StopClass=org.apache.catalina.startup.Bootstrap –StopParams=stop


I've tried multiplet imes to Add and remove the Tomcat71 and Tomcat72 Windows service names (with) Tomcat DS (Delete Service)

tomcat7 //DS/Tomcat71
tomcat7 //DS/Tomcat72

And strangely the two instances were continuously crashing when I tried to start them (with Properties button and Start instruction) from Windows Task Manager(taskmgr.exe) -> Services

Finally I realized the issue is caused by some problems that somehow occured with Windows Service Names Tomcat71 and Tomcat72 by simply readding the two instances under another name the instances stopped crashing and all worked thanks to help of colleague Anatoliy who pointed me tot he problem by trying to install his own instances under a different service name).

Thanks God finally the 2 instances run fine !


How to show country flag, web browser type and Operating System in WordPress Comments

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Reading Time: 2minutes



I've come across a nice WordPress plugin that displays country flag, operating system and web browser used in each of posted comments blog comments.
Its really nice plugin, since it adds some transperancy and colorfulness to each of blog comments 😉
here is a screenshot of my blog with Comments Info Detector "in action":

Example of Comments Info Detector in Action on wordpress blog comments

Comments Info Detector as of time of writting is at stable ver 1.0.5.
The plugin installation and configuration is very easy as with most other WP plugins. To install the plugin;

1. Download and unzip Comments Info Detector

linux:/var/www/blog:# cd wp-content/plugins
linux:/var/www/blog/wp-content/plugins:# wget
linux:/var/www/blog/wp-content/plugins:# unzip

Just for the sake of preservation of history, I've made a mirror of comments-info-detector 1.0.5 wp pluginfor download here
2. Activate Comment-Info-Detector

To enable the plugin Navigate to;
Plugins -> Inactive -> Comment Info Detector (Activate)

After having enabled the plugin as a last 3rd step it has to be configured.

3. Configure comment-info-detector wp plugin

By default the plugin is disabled. To change it to enabled (configure it) by navigating to:

Settings -> Comments Info Detector

Next a a page will appear with variout fields and web forms, where stuff can be changed. Here almost all of it should be left as it is the only change should be in the drop down menus near the end of the page:

Display Country Flags Automatically (Change No to Yes)
Display Web Browsers and OS Automatically (Change No to Yes

Comments Info Detector WordPress plugin configuration Screenshot

After the two menus are set to "Yes" and pressing on Save Changes the plugin is enabled it will immediately start showing information inside each comment the GeoIP country location flag of the person who commented as well as OS type and Web Browser 🙂

Check Windows Operating System install date, Full list of installed and uninstalled programs from command line / Check how old is your Windows installation?

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

Reading Time: 3minutes

Sometimes when you have some inherited Windows / Linux OS servers or Desktops, it is useful to be aware what is the Operating System install date. Usually the install date of the OS is closely to the date of purchase of the system this is especially true for Windows but not necessery true for Liunx based installs.

Knowing the install date is useful especially if you're not sure how outdated is a certain operating system. Knowing how long ago a current installation was performed could give you some hints on whether to create a re-install plans in order to keep system security up2date and could give you an idea whether the system is prone to some common errors of the time of installation or security flaws.


1. Check out how old is Windows install?

Finding out the age of WIndows installation can be performed across almost all NT 4.0 based Windowses and onwards, getting Winblows install date is obtained same way on both Windows XP / Vista/  7  and 8.

Besides many useful things such as detailed information about the configuration of your PC / notebook systeminfo could also provide you with install date, to do so just run from command line (cmd.exe).

C:\Users\hipo> systeminfo | find /i "install date"
Original Install Date:     09/18/13, 15:23:18 PM


If you need to get the initial Windows system install date however it might be much better to use WMIC command to get the info:



C:\Users\hipo>WMIC OS GET installdate

The only downside ofusing WMIC as you can see is it provides the Windows OS install date in a raw unparsed format, but for scripters that's great.

2. Check WIndows Installed and Uinstalled software and uptime from command line

One common other thing next to Windows install date is what is the Windows uptime, the easiest way to get that is to run Task Manager in command line run taskmgr


For those who want to get the uptime from windows command line for scripting purposes, this can be done again with systeminfo cmd, i.e.:


C:\> systeminfo | find "System Boot Time:"
System Boot Time:          03/29/16, 08:48:59 AM


Other helpful Windows command liners you might want to find out about is getting all the Uninstalled and Installed programs from command line this again is done with WMIC


C:\> wmic /OUTPUT:my_software.txt product get name



Alternative way to get a full list of installed software on Windows OS is to use Microsoft/SysInternals psinfo command:


C:\> psinfo -s > software.txt
C:\> psinfo -s -c > software.csv

If you need to get a complete list of Uinstalled Software using command line (e.g. for batch scripting) purposes, you can query that from Windows registry, like so:


C:\>reg query HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall

Command Output will be something like on below shot:


Well that's all folks 🙂


Install simscan on Qmail for better Mail server performance and get around unexisting suid perl in newer Linux Debian / Ubuntu servers

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

Reading Time: 3minutes


I've been stuck with qmail-scanner-queue for a while on each and every new Qmail Mail server installation, I've done, this time it was not different but as time evolves and Qmail and Qmail Scanner Wrapper are not regularly updated it is getting, harder and harder to make a fully functional Qmail on newer Linux server distribution releases.

I know many would argue QMAIL is already obsolete but still I have plenty of old servers running QMAIL whose migration might cause more troubles than just continuing to use QMAIL. Moreover QMAIL once set-upped works like a charm.

I've been recently experiencing severe issues with clamdscan errors and I tried to work around this with compiling and using a suid wrapper, however still the clamdscan errors continued and as qmail-scanner is not actively developed and it is much slower than simscan, I've finally decided to give simscan as a mean to fix the clamdscan errors and thanksfully this worked as a solution.

Here is what I did "rawly" to make simscan work on this install:

Make sure simscan is properly installed on Debian Linux 7 or Ubuntu servers and probably (should work) on other Deb based Linuxes by following below steps:

a) Configure simscan with following compile time options as root (superuser)

./configure \
–enable-user=qscand \
–enable-clamav \
–enable-clamdscan=/usr/local/bin/clamdscan \
–enable-custom-smtp-reject=y \
–enable-per-domain=y \
–enable-attach=y \
–enable-dropmsg=n \
–enable-spam=y \
–enable-spam-hits=5 \
–enable-spam-passthru=y \
–enable-qmail-queue=/var/qmail/bin/qmail-queue \
–enable-ripmime=/usr/local/bin/ripmime \
–enable-sigtool-path=/usr/local/bin/sigtool \

b) Compile it


 make && make install-strip

c) Fix any wrong permissions of simscan queue directory


chmod g+s /var/qmail/simscan/

chown -R qscand:qscand /var/qmail/simscan/
chmod -R 777 simscan/chown -R qscand:qscand simscan/
chown -R qscand:qscand simscan/

d) Add some additional simscan options (how simscan is how to perform scans)

The restart qmail to make mailserver start using simscan instead of qmail-scanner, run below command (again as root):

echo ":clam=yes,spam=yes,spam_hits=8.5,attach=.vbs:.lnk:.scr:.wsh:.hta:.pif" > /var/qmail/control/simcontrol


e) Run /var/qmail/bin/simscanmk in order to convert /var/qmail/control/simcontrol into the /var/qmail/control/simcontrol.cdb database

/var/qmail/bin/simscanmk -g

f) Modify /service/qmail-smtpd/run to set simscan to be default Antivirus Wrapper Scanner

vim /service/qmail-smtpd/run

I'm using thibs's run script so I've uncommented the line there:


Below two lines should stay commented as qmail-scanner is no longer used:


qmailctl restart
* Stopping qmail-smtpdssl.
* Stopping qmail-smtpd.
* Sending qmail-send SIGTERM and restarting.
* Restarting qmail-smtpd.
* Restarting qmail-smtpdssl.

g) Test whether simscan is properly sending / receiving emails:

echo "Testing Email" >> /tmp/mailtest.txt
env QMAILQUEUE=/var/qmail/bin/simscan SIMSCAN_DEBUG=3 /var/qmail/bin/qmail-inject < /tmp/mailtest.txt

Besides that as I'm using qscand:qscand as a user for my overall Qmail Thibs install I had to also do:

chown -R qscand:qscand /var/qmail/simscan/
chmod -R 777 simscan/
chown -R qscand:qscand simscan/


It might be a good idea to also place that lines in /etc/rc.local to auto change permissions on Linux boot, just in case something wents wrong with permissions.

Yeah, I know 777 is unsecure but without this permissions, I was still getting errors, plus the server doesn't have any accounts except the administrator, so I do not worry other system users might sniff on email 🙂

h) Test whether Qmail mail server send / receives fine with simscan

After that I've used another mail server with mail command to test whether mail is received:

mail -s "testing email1234"

Then it is necessery to also install latest clamav daemon from source in my case that's on Debian GNU / Linux 7, because somehow the Debian shipped binary version of clamav 0.98.5+dfsg-0+deb7u2 does fail to scan any incoming or outgoing email with error:

clamdscan: corrupt or unknown clamd scanner error or memory/resource/perms problem – exit status -1/72057594037927935

So to fix it you will have to install clamav on Debian Linux from source.

Voilla, that's all finally it worked !