By l0gix, October 22, 2007, 11:42 am o'clock

test for posting with a new writer. 

Cure for Fundamentalism Researchers have found an area of the brain that gets active when people have religious experiences. http://www.sciam.com/print_version.cfm?articleID=434D7C62-E7F2-99DF-37CC9814533B90D7&repost=with_catchy_title I know youre expecting me to say this proves religion is just an illusion caused by the brain. But Im not. If God exists, it seems entirely reasonable that hed design people with brains that can receive his transmissions. It wouldnt be that much different from giving us eyes so we can read Bibles. So I dont think this research says anything about the existence of God. But it made me wonder if science could come up with a drug to minimize activity in that part of the brain, essentially removing the feeling of being close to God. And if so, could we put it in the water supply to reduce terrorism from people who think God is on their side? Your first reaction might be that theres no way to reach the water supply in Wazeristan where Osama is hiding. But we wouldnt need to. We could spike our own water supply and drug the terror cells already operating on our soil. Every time they took a sip of water, theyd have a little more doubt about the afterlife. There are already drugs that alter moods in all sorts of ways. Its not a huge stretch to imagine a drug that could act on the religion portion of the brain. It would be easy to test. Just pick any town, add the drug to the water supply, and track church attendance. Would it be ethical to use this drug, assuming it had no side effects? Your first reaction would probably be no. Obviously its evil to drug people without their consent, no matter what the purpose. But wait, we do that already with fluoride in the water to reduce cavities. So we have a precedent. No one asked my opinion on that drug, and I take it daily. Suppose you are a person who believes humans are moist robots with no free will. For people who hold that view, morality is considered an illusion, so they would have no ethical problem with using this drug. On the other side of the issue, people who believe in free will would have to believe the drug wouldnt work. You cant believe a drug can change a persons religion unless you think people are moist robots with no free will. Therefore, it is inconsistent for this group to think the anti-religion drug is unethical, since they would also believe it has no effect. I think that covers everyone but the people who live in a state of perpetual uncertainty, and they tend to stay out of decision-making. Should we fund development of this drug? October 13, 2007 in General Nonsense | Permalink

The Dilbert Blog: Cure for Fundamentalism

By l0gix, October 12, 2007, 10:51 am o'clock

From Microsoft Newsgroups about repairing Windows Media player but has some great tips on how to repair Vista so I decided to post it here for my documentation.

 

————————————————————-

WMP isn’t a control panel entry and MSFT doesn’t support uninstalling it and
reinstalling it although I know how and when Zack Robinson from the WMP
posts, he doesn’t recommend it or rather he vehemently argues against that.

If you are specific about the problem, and the error it evokes (even if you
have to type “eventvwr.msc” in run box) >Application>read WMP errors or at
time the problem happened trying to use WMP and you post it up here, we can
help you.

Also you can try System Restore, and you can try SFC and you can try a
Startup Repair of Vista to try to restore your WMP:

run SFC
and if that doesn’t help,  do a startup repair if you have the Vista DVD–it
might fix this.

Once you run SFC, which replaces files that are corrupt with intact ones, I
would do a few troubleshooting moves then call the Cable Provider tech
support or schedule a truck roll and make them do their job and get you on
the web.

How to Run SFC:

Type  ”cmd” into the Search box above the Start Button>and when cmd comes up
at the top of the Start menu>right click cmd and click “run as Admin” and
when the cmd prompt comes up at the cmd prompt type “sfc /scannow” no quotes
and let it run.  This may fix things quite a bit. It replaces corrupt files
with intact ones, if you’re not familiar with it.

you can try Startup Repair from the DVD and you can try safe
mode from the same  Repair link on setup from the DVD.  Have you?  Here are
3 options.  Often system restore will work from the repair option when it
won’t work from F8 or Windows Advanced Options screen in vista.  You also
have access to the command prompt from Win RE or the repiar link on the DVD.
You can try the command for system restore there. It often works when other
modalities don’t.  I know you haven’t. I’ll bet you don’t know what the
command is to run system restore from the command prompt from the Recovery
Environment on the Vista DVD do you?

It’s %systemroot%\system32\restore\rstrui.exe  and it comes from this XP
MSKB and it would be nice if MSFT supplied it on their Win RE recovery
options screen but they weren’t smart enough to think of doing it.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/304449

You can also use this command as one of the five options from the F8 Windows
Advanced Options Screen which has 5 safe modes from which to access system
restore and Last Known Good Configuration.   I count 3eight options there
and I don’t think you’ve tried but one or two  of them.  Often one works
when another doesn’t.

If you have a Vista DVD try Startup Repair.  If that doesn’t work, try
SafeMode>System Restore from the Recovery Environment, and you always have
the F8 advanced options ( five of them including Last Known Good
Configuration) and a repair install (with the DVD) as well.

In addition you can use the Bootsect tool to manually repair the boot sector
by accessing the command prompt from the DVD or from F8 and typing at the
prompt:

If no help from SFC, you can try a restore point to before this happened or
you try the steps below if you have a Vista DVD:

Startup Repair will look like this when you put in the Vista DVD:

http://www.vistaclues.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/12/click-repair-you…

You run the startup repair tool this way (and system restore from here is
also sometimes effective):

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/925810/en-us

How To Run Startup Repair In Vista Ultimate (Multiple Screenshots)
http://www.windowsvista.windowsreinstall.com/vistaultimate/repairstar…

 I’m going to give you a bunch of links and most of them you won’t have to
use, but they are alternative ways to fix Vista.

Right now I want you to put in the DVD and restart.  It will automatically
take you to this on your screen:

http://www.vistaclues.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/12/click-repair-you…

 That will allow you to go to the Vista setup that has a Repair link on the
lower left corner>click it and then you’ll see a gray backgrounded list and
I want you to click Startup Repair from it and follow the directions.

The gray screen after you click the first link in the above pic will look
like this:

http://www.windowsreinstall.com/winvista/images/repair/staruprepair/I…

Click Startup Repair, the link at the top and after it scans>click OK and
let it try to repair Vista.  It will tell you if it does, and if not

This should work, but if not,then you can follow the alternative ways to fix
this including booting into Safe Mode by tapping the F8 key and using System
Restore.

Directions and links for alternative ways to fix this are below, but I hope
you won’t need them:

If you have any questions on getting the Startup Repair done, just post
them.

If you have a Vista DVD try Startup Repair.  If that doesn’t work, try
SafeMode>System Restore from the Recovery Environment, and you always have
the F8 advanced options ( five of them including Last Known Good
Configuration) and a repair install (with the DVD) as well.

In addition you can use the Bootsect tool to manually repair the boot sector
by accessing the command prompt from the DVD or from F8 and typing at the
prompt:

****Ten Methods to Repair BSOD No Boots or Serious Problems in   Windows
Vista****

***Startup Repair and System Restore from the Win Recovery Environment on
the DVD***

You can run Startup Repair by putting your Vista DVD in after theanguage
screen in setup. You can also run System Restore from the same
location.

You run the startup repair tool this way (and system restore from here is
also sometimes effective):

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/925810/en-us

How To Run Startup Repair In Vista Ultimate (Multiple Screenshots)
http://www.windowsvista.windowsreinstall.com/vistaultimate/repairstar…

Note The computer must be configured to start from a CD or from a DVD. For
information about how to configure the computer to start from a CD or from a
DVD, see the information that came with the computer.
2. Restart the computer. To do this, click Start, click the arrow next to
the Lock button, and then click Restart.

This usually means that you enter bios setup by whatever key or keys
(sometimes there is more than one key that will do it for your model–go to
pc manufacturer site) and configure CD to be first in the boot order (this
will allow you to boot from the Vista DVD as well):

See for ref:
Access/Enter Motherboard BIOS
http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/bios_manufacturer.htm

Boot Order in Bios (Set Boot from HD 1st)
http://www.short-media.com/images/mm/Articles/build_computer/bios/bio…

Note If you cannot restart the computer by using this method, use the power
button to turn off the computer. Then, turn the computer back on.

3. Set your language preference, and then click Next.

Note In most cases, the startup repair process starts automatically, and you
do not have the option to select it in the System Recovery Options menu.

4. Click Repair your computer.

5. In the System Recovery Options dialog box, click the operating system
that you want to repair, and then click Next.

6. In the System Recovery Options menu, click Startup Repair to start the
repair process.

7. When the repair process is complete, click Finish.

Additional References for Startup Repair With Screenshots:

How to Use Startup Repair:

***Accessing Windows RE (Repair Environment):***

1) Insert Media into PC (the DVD you burned)

2) ***You will see on the Vista logo setup screen after lang. options in the
lower left corner, a link called “System Recovery Options.”***

Screenshot:  System Recovery Options (Lower Left Link)
http://blogs.itecn.net/photos/liuhui/images/2014/500×375.aspx

Screenshot: (Click first option “Startup Repair”
http://www.leedesmond.com/images/img_vista02ctp-installSysRecOpt2.bmp

How To Run Startup Repair In Vista Ultimate (Multiple Screenshots)
http://www.windowsvista.windowsreinstall.com/vistaultimate/repairstar…

3) Select your OS for repair.

4) Its been my experience that you can see some causes of the crash from
theWin RE feature:

You’ll have a choice there of using:

1) Startup Repair
2) System Restore
3) Complete PC Restore
___________________

In addition you can use the Bootsect tool to manually repair the boot sector
by accessing the command prompt from the DVD or from F8 and typing at the
prompt:

Bootsect.exe is available from the \Boot\folder of the Windows Vista DVD and
can be run from within System Recovery or Windows XP on a dual boot.

1. Use Bootsect.exe to restore the Windows Vista MBR and the boot code that
transfers control to the Windows Boot Manager program. To do this, type the
following command at a command prompt: Drive:\boot\Bootsect.exe /NT60 All

In this command, Drive is the drive where the Windows Vista installation
media is located.

Note The boot folder for this step is on the DVD drive.
2. Use Bcdedit.exe to manually create an entry in the BCD Boot.ini file for
the earlier version of the Windows operating system. To do this, type the
following commands at a command prompt.

Note In these commands, Drive is the drive where Windows Vista is
installed. • Drive:\Windows\system32\Bcdedit /create {ntldr} –d “Description
for earlier Windows version”

Note In this command, Description for earlier Windows version can be any
text that you want. For example, Description for earlier Windows version can
be “Windows XP” or “Windows Server 2003″.
• Drive:\Windows\system32\Bcdedit /set {ntldr} device partition=x:

Note In this command, x: is the drive letter for the active partition.
• Drive:\Windows\system32\Bcdedit /set {ntldr} path \ntldr
• Drive:\Windows\system32\Bcdedit /displayorder {ntldr} –addlast

3. Restart the computer.
____________________________
******Using the BootRec.exe Tool

Using the System Recovery Tool from the Repair link on the DVD after the
language choice in the lower left hand corner you can select command prompt
and you have the following options:

Bootrec.exe  (You can use this tool to recover Vista even when you do not
receive the error message that is the title of the 2nd linked MSKB below):

How to use the Bootrec.exe tool in the Windows Recovery Environment to
troubleshoot and repair startup issues in Windows Vista

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927392/en-us

Error message when you start Windows Vista: “The Windows Boot Configuration
Data file is missing required information”
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927391/en-us
_____________________________________________________________
***Using the F8 Environment or a Repair Install from the DVD:***

See for ref:
Access/Enter Motherboard BIOS
http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/bios_manufacturer.htm

Boot Order in Bios (Set Boot from HD 1st)
http://www.short-media.com/images/mm/Articles/build_computer/bios/bio…

Repair Install
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/helpandsupport/learnmore/tip…

Repair Install (Method 2):
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/315341

III Taking Full Advantage of the F8 Options (Windows Advanced Options Menu)
by startin gth ePC and tapping  F8 once per second:

You could also:

Think: I have 4 different ways to get back my XP at F8 and try ‘em in order.
1) Safe Mode 2) Safe Mode with Cmd to Sys Restore which is simply a cmd
prompt in safe mode 3) Safe Mode with Neworking 4) LKG or Last Known Good
Configuration

Try to F8 to the Windows Adv Options Menu>try 3 safe modes there (I don’t
use WGA) and Last Known Good>then I go to Win RE in Vista.  That gives you a
choice of Safe Mode, Safe Mode with Networking,and Safe Mode with Command
Prompt.

These methods are outlined in

A description of the Safe Mode Boot options in Windows XP/and Vista
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315222/

How to Use System Restore

http://bertk.mvps.org/

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding System Restore  from MSFT:

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/winxppro/plan/faqsrwxp.mspx

 Using System Restore

http://tinyurl.com/dvekb

System Restore for Windows XP

http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_restore.htm

How to start the System Restore tool at a command prompt in Windows XP

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;304449

Repair Install: (This option has the best chance of succeeding and it
preserves everything in your OS–you do not lose anything with this option):

Make sure the DVD you have is a Vista DVD

Pitfalls:  If  the DVD came from friend or relative or P2P, you may have
problems.  P2P besides being illlegal in many countries including the U.S.
can  be corrupt.  If CD came from friend or relative, they may have given
you the CD to use but if product key is in use, MSFT is not going to accept
it for activation.  Make sure you clean the CD carefully using proper
cleaning fluid and strokes that radiate from center like spokes on a wheel.

Again a repair install has the most likely chance to succeed in XP, (and can
work in Vista)  but you need
to have a Vista DVD.

First, in order to do a Repair Install You must boot to the bios setup and
position booting from the “CD” first in the boot order–it probably will not
say DVD but might.

  Booting to Bios Setup:

  For 85% of PC’s  and all Dells you can tap the F2 key to reach bios setup.

How To Enable DVD/CD Rom Support (put CD boot first) in bios setup boot
order:

http://xphelpandsupport.mvps.org/how_do_i_enable_cdrom_support_i.htm

Screen Shot of bios setup boot order:
http://www.poy.net/proxy/bios2.jpg

Repair Install Does Not Lose Anything; you may need to try 2-3 times but
that’s rare.

How To Repair Install
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315341#XSLTH3127121122120121120120
Screen Shot Repair Install
http://www.windowsreinstall.com/winxppro/installxpcdrepair/indexfullp…

Good luck,

CH

“Voodoo” <Voo@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message

news:1C53D6DF-550A-4E2F-B98D-62EA8595B7C6@microsoft.com

>I have upgraded my Dell laptop from XP to vista. vista now comes included
> with microsoft windows media player 11. but i don’t know there is
> something
> wrong with the media player. I need to uninstall it and reinstall it
> again. I
> went to uninstall a program in control panel. But I couldn’t find media
> player there. I also searched on the website about media player 11 for
> vista.
> But everywhere I went, there was media player 11 for xp but not for vista.
> Can anybody give me link to download media player 11 for vista??

> I can’t watch any streaming videos in my computer.

By l0gix, October 10, 2007, 10:53 am o'clock

 

You want to learn about Ubuntu?

It’s all here – from Hardy Heron to Feisty Fawn

By Register Books More by this author

Published Thursday 4th October 2007 12:51 GMT

Ubuntu is the free Linux-based operating system designed with frequent updating in mind.

Released in October 2004, it has evolved into one of the best-known branches of the Debian tree and offers a strong focus on usability and easy installation, whether it be on a laptop, desktop or server machine.

With a development plan stretching forward for several years, Ubuntu is an ideal O/S addition to any desktop machine. With all versions including the latest Ubuntu release 7.04, aka “Feisty Fawn”, covered in these texts and our special promotional price of 40 per cent off*, these books will help you to take advantage of Ubuntu.

  • The Official Ubuntu Book 2nd Edition
    Written by leading Ubuntu community members, this book includes all you need to know to make the most of Ubuntu, whether you’re a home user, small business user, server administrator or programmer. Covering installation, configuration, desktop productivity, games, management, support and much more, this book will take you from start to finish.
  • Ubuntu for Non-Geeks 2nd Edition
    This newbie’s guide to Ubuntu puts the spotlight on multimedia enablement and desktop effects and lets readers learn by doing. Using immersion-learning techniques favoured by language courses, step-by-step projects build upon earlier tutorial concepts, stimulating the brain and increasing the reader’s understanding.
  • Ubuntu Linux Bible
    From the basics for newcomers to enterprise management for system administrators, this book is what you need to succeed with Ubuntu. From editing graphics to setting up an NFS server you’ll learn it all and more with the expert guidance, tips and techniques.
  • Ubuntu Hacks
    Ubuntu Hacks is a collection of 100 tips and tools to help new and experienced Linux users install, configure, and customise Ubuntu. With this set of hacks you can get Ubuntu Linux working exactly the way you need it to.
  • Hacking Ubuntu: Serious Hacks Mods and Customisations
    This down-and-dirty book shows you how to blow away the default system settings and customise Ubuntu however you want. You’ll learn how to optimise its appearance, speed, usability, and security and get the low-down on hundreds of hacks such as running Ubuntu from a USB drive, installing it on a Mac, enabling multiple CPUs, and putting scripts in menus and panels.

* Offer correct at time of going to press. Offer covers selected titles only. ®

You want to learn about Ubuntu? | The Register

By l0gix, October 10, 2007, 9:36 am o'clock

 

10 Ways To Break A Compulsive Spending Habit

con_burieduptoneckindebt.jpg

Debt: 10 Ways To Break A Compulsive Spending Habit – Consumerist

By l0gix, October 9, 2007, 11:51 am o'clock

 

Puppy Linux 3.0: tiny Linux distribution you can run from a thumb drive

Posted Oct 5th 2007 5:00PM by Brad Linder
Filed under: OS Updates, Linux

Puppy Linux 3.0

Puppy Linux 3.0 was released this week, and like earlier versions of Puppy Linux, it’s a tiny distro, weighing in at under 100MB. But it’s packed with features, making it an excellent distribution for older computers with small hard drives and slow processors. You can also run Puppy Linux from a LiveCD or throw it on a flash drive and run it from any computer that will boot from a USB drive.
Eagle-eyed readers will note that OpenOffice alone is larger than 100MB, so what kind of applications does Puppy Linux 3.0 include?

  • AbiWord for word processing
  • Gnumeric for spreadsheets
  • SeaMonkey for web browsing
  • Pidgin for instant messaging
  • XFinans financial management

Of course, if you want to install OpenOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird, or other programs on top of Puppy Linux you’re free to do so. But you might want to take it easy, seeing as the more apps you add the more memory you’ll use, which kind of defeats the purpose of having such a lightweight operating system.
It looks like some Puppy websites aren’t responding at the moment, so here are a few alternate download links.

Tags: gnumeric, pidgin, puppy, puppy-linux, puppy-linux-3.0, seamonkey

Puppy Linux 3.0: tiny Linux distribution you can run from a thumb drive – Download Squad

By l0gix, October 9, 2007, 11:44 am o'clock

 

UNetbootin: Create a dual boot Windows/Linux PC without a CD

Posted Oct 5th 2007 3:00PM by Brad Linder
Filed under: Utilities, Windows, Linux

UNetbootinUNetbootin is a tool that makes installing Linux about as easy as it can be. Like Wubi, you can install UNetbootin on a Windows partition to get started. Unlike Wubi, the end result with UNetbootin is a dual-boot machine that can boot either into a Windows partition or a Linux one.
So why use UNetbootin instead of downloading and burning a liveCD? Well, if you don’t have a spare CD-R writing around, of if your computer doesn’t have a CD burner, UNetbootin uses a network-based installation technique. Just select the flavor of UNetbootin you want to install, reboot your machine, and follow the on-screen instructions. This would be an awesome tool for anyone who has one of those super-portable laptops that don’t come with optical disc drives.
You can use UNetbootin to install Debian, Arch Linux, Fedora, Mandriva, OpenSuse 10.2, and Ubuntu 6.06 – 7.10. There are Linux and Windows-based installers available which means you can use UNetbootin to add Ubuntu to your Windows PC or to ad Mandriva to your OpenSuse machine. Windows Vista isn’t currently supported, but an update should be coming in a few weeks that will allow you to use UNetbootin with Vista.
[via Howtoforge]

Tags: arch-linux, fedora, installer, opensuse, ubuntu, unetbootin, wubi

UNetbootin: Create a dual boot Windows/Linux PC without a CD – Download Squad

By l0gix, September 20, 2007, 11:22 am o'clock

Where is the line of doing things for convenience and doing things for protection of the company?

I have users that are spoiled and whine like teenagers in a long car ride without a DVD player or their iPods. They think they are entitled to anything they want and fail to fully justify things. Its “Just because we need it.” No “It will provide me to quickly do my job hence being able to provide faster service or coding for our product.”

My upper management is annoyed with this. They haven’t exactly given me the power to tell the users too bad or to be able to send it back to the users to say need further justification, but they state they are not happy about the users here.

I believe that an employee is here to do a job. They need to state what they need to do their job and if the management doesn’t give it, they need to work around it by either taking longer to do the job or find other options that can get the job done.

I also believe IT’s responsibility is to provide a service to the company, by providing a service that is laid out by the management/owners along with doing what is needed to protect the company in the field of IT. Where we can provide service that enables the employees/company to do things faster or better, and its approved by the management, we should do it.

Now when a employee needs to have something fixed they need to have the expectation that it will take a while to get it fixed. Instead my users try to dictate the time they can give up their machine, with no thought to the fact that the solution will take longer and may make the system unusable in the middle of the repair. Entitled or Just dedicated to their job?

In the end its all up to the Companies Management to approve of things. Its up to IT to set the companies expectations in the scope of what the management has stated they want from IT, of what is able and what isn’t. Unfortunately its IT that is blamed by the employees for them not being able to do things. We are the faces of many of these IT decisions and will get blamed for it.

Sometimes the Messenger gets it in the back by upset employees.

 

Update: I complained in a IRC channel and was told to shut up. I’m whinnying like the users I loath and they pay for my salary. :)  Good Point.

By l0gix, September 18, 2007, 10:52 pm o'clock

 WAAAAA! We do something totally unpopular, putting our whole company on the line. Knowing that we would lose it all if it didn’t work out, we put our trust in FUD and questionable contracts.

We lost. We’re big babies that can’t handle the consequences of our actions.

“SCO Group CEO Darl McBride is now claiming that competition from Linux was behind the company’s filing of Chapter 11 bankruptcy. ‘In a court filing in support of SCO’s bankruptcy petition, McBride noted that SCO’s sales of Unix-based products “have been declining over the past several years.” The slump, McBride said, “has been primarily attributable to significant competition from alternative operating systems, including Linux.” McBride listed IBM, Red Hat, Microsoft, and Sun Microsystems as distributors of Linux or other software that is “aggressively taking market share away from Unix.”"

Slashdot | SCO Blames Linux For Bankruptcy Filing

I say they get what they deserve. As with all those companies that do nothing but sue over IP’s. If you haven’t done anything with the IP then your not entitled to it. Get off your collective asses and do some real work instead of make lawyers richer.

By l0gix, September 18, 2007, 2:18 pm o'clock

 

Changing distribution remotely — HOWTO

Disclaimer: Use any information on this page at your own risk. There is a good chance that your system will become non-bootable and/or you will lose your data. As a matter of fact, if I had to bet money on the outcome of your distro change, I would bet against you. This is a very simple yet dangerous procedure. You have been warned.

THIS INFORMATION IS PROVIDED TO YOU “AS-IS”. NO WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, ARE MADE TO YOU AS TO THE CONTENT OF THIS PAGE OR ANY MEDIUM IT MAY BE ON, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.

I DISCLAIM ALL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ACCURACY AND RELIABILITY OF INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE.

How to completely change your distribution on a remote box without a boot disk, with only ssh access, using only one partition, and with only one reboot at the very end of the conversion process. And by completely, I mean completely. You can delete every single file of the old distro if you want.

Why would you ever need to do something like that?

Well, a lot of hosting companies offer only the software configuration of their choice. On top of that, most of them would not agree to send someone to the datacenter to be on the phone with you while inserting/changing CDs to help you install a distro of your choice.

It’s easier to completely switch a linux distribution if the original configuration includes a swap partition. That partition can be reformatted to contain a fully-working system. Then, it can be used for booting up to let you free up the main partition(s).

But if there is no “spare” partition for you to use, of if it’s too small for you to be comfortable in the future, or if you want to completely change the partition table, then here is how to do it.

For this example, I am going to assume one large root partition, but you can just as easily perform the switch with multiple partitions.

The original distribution is not important, and the new distribution I picked is Debian.

You can use any distribution you want, but I used Debian because it has a debootstrap package, which can be used to create a basic installation in a chroot.

I’m assuming that you have your distro prepared in a file called newinstall.tar. It can either be prepared elsewhere and uploaded to your remote box or prepared right on the box.

Turn the swapping off and make sure it’s off.

# swapoff -a
# free

free should show swap 0. You only need to turn the swap off if you plan on changing something about your existing swap partition or if your swap is a file on the root partition.

Shut down everything you can except for sshd (and except for system processes of course).

You need to kill running processes until you can remount the root in read-only mode.

Keep killing processes that you don’t need until you can successfully run this command:

# mount -o remount,ro /

If you get

mount: / is busy

it means some process has a file open for writing on /.

You can use fuser and lsof to see which files are being accessed.

Once you have successfully remounted root in read-only mode and made sure there are no active processes writing to files on the root partition, remount it back in the read-write mode and move on to the next step.

# mount -o remount,rw /

Create a directory for your new distribution and put it on a temp drive. I’ll use /newinstall and assume that the new distro is in /newinstall.tar.

# mkdir /newinstall
# mount -t tmpfs -o size=230M tmpfs /newinstall

You should use a temp drive so that you can safely mess with your root partition. If you don’t want to change the file system type of the root partition and prefer to selectively delete directories of the original distro then you should be fine without using a temp drive.

Extract your new distro into the newinstall directory.

# tar xfp newinstall.tar

Chroot into your new distro.

# chroot /newinstall

# mount -t proc none /proc

Once inside chroot, update your /etc/fstab to what it’s supposed to be once your new distro is running. In the case of a single large root, you should have something like:

proc /proc proc defaults 0 0
/dev/hda1 / ext3 defaults,errors=remount-ro 0 1
/dev/hda2 none swap sw 0 0

Set up the kernel, network and disk drivers, boot loader, initrd and anything else that you need to make sure your new distro can boot. I’m not going to cover the details here because each of those tasks is well-documented elsewhere.

If your kernel uses initrd then make sure to include the correct modules for your disk drives, the network card and run mkinitrd.

If you are using grub then run grub-install and edit menu.lst.

One everything is ready and you are sure your new distro can boot, exit from chroot.

Try to remount root in read-only mode again just to be safe and remount it back to read-write.

Here comes the magic.

Change the running root of your system to your new distro.

# mkdir /newinstall/oldroot
# pivot_root /newinstall /newinstall/oldroot
# mount -t proc none /proc

At this point, your new root is in /newinstall and your old root (the real /) is in /oldroot.

If you want to change anything on your root partition (besides simple rm) then fix up your /etc/mtab with the data from /proc/mounts adjusted for your oldroot. If /dev/hda1 was / then put it in mtab as /dev/hda1 /oldroot.

Go to oldroot and remove everything you don’t need.

In my case, I removed everything except for /proc and /sys. You might also want to leave /dev/shm alone. Everything else can be removed at this point.

Once your oldroot (which is the real /) is empty or in the state you want it to be, copy your new distro out into the oldroot.

You might want to specify all directories separately to avoid error messages of oldroot not being copied onto itself.

# cp -a -i /bin /etc /dev /usr ……. /oldroot/

Do not include /proc and /sys in your copying command. They should still exist on the oldroot. If you changed your file system and it’s now empty then create those directories.

If you left more than a few things (like /dev/shm) on the oldroot and don’t care about overwriting them then don’t use -i with cp.

Once you are done copying, verify that your settings are correct and the system is indeed ready to boot. Make sure sshd is configured in init.d to start at boot and your networking configuration is correct.

Reboot.

# shutdown -r now

If the unimaginable happened and your box had booted successfully then consider yourself lucky. You are now running your new distro on a “clean” install.

If you have any questions, drop me a line a k AT goudkov DOT com.

Konstantin Goudkov,
www.goudkov.com

Copyright 2005 IDF Technologies, LLC

Linux: Changing distribution remotely — HOWTO

By l0gix, September 6, 2007, 9:38 pm o'clock

baby1 Step 1: Spy a baby

baby2

Step 2: Sniff for the scent of baby and wet diaper to make sure it is indeed a baby.

baby3

Step 3: Flatten the baby to begin the hugging process.

baby4

Step 4: The “paw slide” Simply slide paws around baby to prepare for possible close-up.

baby5

Step 5: Finally, if a camera is present you will need to execute the “hug, smile and lean to achieve the best photo quality.

This was e-mailed to me by another baby and dog lover. I thought I’d share it.