Well that was fast! Thank you bert!!!

Talk about how quickly the Linuxbasix folks are to act! A long standing member of our community AND recently minted LPI cert recipient Bert has donated everything up front. Thank you for keeping openspeak up for another year, you ROCK!!!

Where do I find old school Linuxbasix? Why the internet archive of course!


I love the internet archive for so many reasons – the live music, the old commercials where you can even find such nuggets as Fred Flintstone telling kids the awesomeness of Winston cigarettes! Ah those were heady times! I will be releasing a Juiced Penguin show shortly which includes my finds from the Internet Archive, so stay tuned. Why all this fuss about IA? Its now the new home of all of the linuxbasix podcasts! You can find them HERE. I haven’t uploaded all of them but hopefully over this long weekend I should have the bulk of them up. Keep checking back. I will also be appending the old show notes to them as well. The site may also change shortly as we keep adding more content.

Small fund raiser – We need $50

donate The above pic comes from – http://www.chacha.com/gallery/3981/worst-medical-malpractice-nightmares/37908

Good evening all, this is not a common request, all we’re looking to do is raise a total of $72. I will be kicking things off by throwing in $22 so all we’ll need to do is raise $50. This will keep our mumble server up for another year. Once we reach our goal, I’ll take the button down. If you use our mumble server please donate whatever you can. Thanks!

Memorial Day weekend!


Looks like the python group is no go for the moment. No one showed up this morning and it was just as well. This has given me time to take care of other things around the house. I will continue to show up on Saturday mornings just the same. You never know. Other than that we have a lot of good things coming soon. More importantly be sure to take time to remember those that have sacrificed so that we can have the freedoms we enjoy today. While it may not be the best weather here in the northeast, get out just the same. More to definitely come….

Fun House – X – RIP Ray Manzarek

By now most of you have heard about the passing of Ray Manzarek founding member of the Doors. I’ve always hated the Doors but was a huge fan of the band X which of course Manzarek both produced and financially backed. That’s the second large name in one month, lets hope it doesn’t end in threes. Anyway the next linuxbasix show is rapidly approaching and I’ll be giving a rundown of Bsides Boston along with tips for backing up email archives in both evolution and thunderbird and a small section covering Bash. For the win I’ll be working out of the Mark Sobell book – A practical guide to RHEL and Fedora. I’m determined to gain my LPI this year and there is no better time than the present. For those who are still interested we will be meeting this Saturday at 10:00am for our intro to python. Look forward to seeing you then!

Episode LB-005×2 show notes

Art and chattr meandered for about ten minutes at the start of the show, going over some stuff that’s happened since the last episode, LB-003×2.  We mentioned the following and other stuff.

  • Ohio Linux Fest 2012 audio files are now available on the Internet Archive,  go to archive.org and search for Ohio Linux Fest 2012 and you should get a page with some 45 links.  Thanks to Ahuka for the editing and posting.
  • Southeast Linux Fest 2012 session recording are being released on youtube
  • The Hackers On Planet Earth site is another source for plenty of good media content for your enjoyment.  radio.hope.net/archive.html has the content.

Our main topic was backups, and to start, we had a discussion of ‘backing up to what?’ usb stick? usb spinning drive? somethign else?  Each target medium has advantages and disadvantages, such as convenience, location (off site, on site, portable, etc.)

chattr mentioned that he uses the ‘ tar ‘ command and since he backs up the same stuff each time, the particular invocations of tar he uses are available in the bash shell’s history.  (tar gets run from the bash shell command line.)  That lead into a discussion of bash history, searching the history, retrieving the history: the ‘ history ‘ command, piping the history command’s output to a pager such as less, redirecting the history command’s output to a text file and searching with an editor, history getting written to the dotfile .bash_history in a user’s home directory, and using <ctrl>-r to reverse-history-search through bash history.

Making a list of installed packages: chattr’s system runs debian wheezy, so he’s familiar with how to do that in debian, using dpkg or aptitude.  Art runs an Arch-based system, so he gave us ‘ pacman -Q ‘ to output a list of installed packages on his machine.  Some of the ways to do this in debian are:

  • as root ‘ dpkg –get-selections | awk ‘$2==”install” {print $1}’ > list.of.packages ‘. See dpkg’s manual page for what the –get-selections option does.  The awk bit will filter the output so that the first field ($1), iow the package name,  will be printed if and only if the second field ($2) is ‘install’.  Output is then redirected with > to a plain text file with the name list.of.packages.
  • as root ‘ aptitude ~i -F %p > another.list.of.packages ‘  See the helpful aptitude manual supplied by the debian package aptitude-doc-en (or whatever language you’re comfortable with).  Install that package and point your browser to /usr/share/doc/aptitude/en/html/ch02s04s05.html for an explanation of ~i (installed packages) -F (apcify a particular format to put on the output) and %p (format is: package name).  The output is again redirected to a plain text file, this time named another.list.of.packages.

Here’s a tip when you name those plain text files: put the creation date in the file name to make it easier to identify a particular file of scan a number of file names. chattr uses bash command substitution to automatically include the date in the name, by doing the following:

  • rather than redirecting the output to another.list.of.packages, redirect the output to, say, another.list.of.packages.$(date -I) which will append the date in yyyy-mm-dd format to the end of the file name.  The -I is a capital letter eye, not the numeral one.

That’s using the system to do the work for you, cutting down on your typing.  In addition, if you’ve run a tar command and redirected the output to, let’s say, some.backup.$(date -I) then the next time you call that command from your bash history the $(date -I) will expand to the new date, not to the date you last ran that instance of tar.  Using the $(date -I) bit in the file name will work whether you’re creating the file with pacman, dpkg, aptitude, or really any time you’re creating a new file, text or not.

Art pointed out that one > symbol will create a new file with the name you specify.  If there’s already a file with that name, then the old file is overwritten and you will lose the contents of the old file.  You can use two > symbols ( >> ) to append what’s new to what was already in the old file.  You won’t overwrite with >>.

Once you have a list of installed packages, if you have to do a reinstall, you have a list of the packages on the old system.  Reinstalling those packages will get you some basic, system wide configuration files, but if you’ve changed any system wide configurations or made personal configuration tweak, using the package list will not restore those customizations.

That got us to the next question ‘what do I back up?’  First thing we covered was what’s in your /etc directory. An image illustrating some basic file system directory hierarchy information is at http://blog.mypapit.net/upload/files/linux_file_structure.jpg

chattr uses this command to back up his /etc:

  • as root, ‘ tar jvcpf /media/sdj1/etc.$(date -I).tar.bz2 /etc ‘ where /media/sdj1 is where his usb stick is mounted.

Art got us out of that rathole and back to a discussion of where to keep your backups.  The pogoplug is a useful device for that, since it can sit on your local network, or anywhere you can access the device over the internet.  It works ‘out of the box’, getting an ip address from your router.  Some other possibilities besides the pogoplug are dprobox, box.com, carbonite, a NAS machine, using a drive dock, cabling a portable drive or places for, say, photos like flickr.

And that pretty much wrapped up the show.  Please send comments  to linuxbasix@gmail.com or post in the forums or visit the #linuxbasix irc channel on irc.freenode.net


Episode LB-005×2 – A confederacy of audio madness!


Audio madness and Jeff Hanneman? What does this mean? Not very much but it was sad to hear that Jeff Hanneman of Slayer has died. What was odd was I was thinking the other day, how would this band retire? I never even entertained the idea of one of them passing away. That’s too bad. Pick yourself up by listening to the latest episode of Linuxbasix! Artv61 and Chattr entertain us with discussions of backup and other items of the day. When the shownotes make themselves available, I will add them to this post. We are closing in on 500 downloads already! I feel good about the group of guys we have working this podcast. Keep listening and thank you for your support!

Python group meeting pushed back to May 25th

python logo
Just a quick heads up folks, originally scheduled for this saturday I have to push this back one more week. This coming Saturday I will be HERE. For those late to the party here is what you will need:

1. An account on Codecademy
2. Setup mumble
3. All settings are on the right side of this post – >

If you have any questions please email us at Linuxbasix at gmail If you’re in the Boston area, tickets are still available for Bsides Boston and they’re only $20. If I don’t see you there, I’ll see you a week from Saturday!

Happy Mother’s day eh?

Different take on an old song but good just the same. Here are a couple of noteworthy events if you are in the Boston are this week. On Wednesday you have the Boston Linux Unix monthly meeting. This month the featured talk is BeagleBone Black and Open Source Computing. As always the talk will be at MIT. More info can be found here – http://blu.org/cgi-bin/calendar/2013-may. Also this coming Saturday you have B-sides Boston, this will be held at the NERD center in Kendall Square, more details can be found here – http://www.bsidesboston.com/. Other than that, Happy Mother’s day!

Numbas – episode madness – or why I did what I did…

I’ve been vacillating between using the old numbering system vs the new and improved and the final answer is to keep with the new numbering system. The reason behind my decision is that we were just continuing a fine legacy that was currently in place but now that is behind us, I realized this was a rash decision. That being said we are going to keep the reboot numbers so the latest episode is named lb-004×2.

lb – linuxbasix
004 – episode number
x2 – reboot

There now the madness has passed you’ll also notice that the ogg and mp3 rss feeds are up. Although we should only be using ogg, thats a discussion for another day. Artv61 and Chattr’s episode is in the can and as soon as Kevin edits the show, you’ll see the post along with the show notes.