Lack of availability

A few people have been inquiring where I’ve been online the last few weeks/months and am I ok?

Short answer – Yes I’m fine 🙂

Longer [only slightly] answer – Yes I’m fine, my laptop broke.   A couple of weeks ago, my laptop started powering off for no reason, it wouldn’t stay up for more than 2 mins at a time.  To be honest it’s an old laptop so apart from all the standard checks/taking apart/cleaning/brief investigation, it’s not worth spending any more time on it.  As it was my workhorse, I don’t have a replacement yet.  I’ve been loaned a laptop which I’m grateful for, but really need to replace my own.   For the time being then, I’ll not be online much in the evenings and weekends.  Please bear with me.  Guess I’m on the lookout for a cheap laptop replacement that runs linux.

This has been a #scheduledpost announcement.

Well they can try!

It’s yet another day and yes another day where I relentlessly receive email spam.  9 out of 10 times my outlook account is catching this spam, but do you really know what you’re looking at?  Today I received this email.  It looks valid, but if I didn’t know better I might even had clicked the link to validate my account.


No I’m not daft and I didn’t click the link, why?  Well I hovered over it and noticed that it was taking me here

** WARNING DO NOT VISIT THIS LINK ** [in fact i’ve changed some of the chars]


You can clearly see this isn’t an Apple email, it’s just someone trying a phishing scam.  If you receive an email like this, and it contains links for you to click, hover over it, see if it’s a link to the actual companies site.  If it’s not and your spam filter hasn’t picked up on it, then delete the sucker.


Fedora 24 – MariaDB

I’m wanting to do some development on my laptop so as MariaDB has replaced mySQL I’ve installed that.  It was simple enough all you need to do is run dnf install mariadb done.

However when I ran my usual mysql -uroot -p the password for root on my laptop didn’t work.  So what was the root password.

Well in my case it was the default and on Fedora 24 that’s a blank password.

[root@sheldon paulmellors]# mysql -u root -p
Enter password:
Welcome to the MariaDB monitor. Commands end with ; or \g.
Your MariaDB connection id is 3
Server version: 10.1.16-MariaDB MariaDB Server

Copyright (c) 2000, 2016, Oracle, MariaDB Corporation Ab and others.

Type ‘help;’ or ‘\h’ for help. Type ‘\c’ to clear the current input statement.

ok so now i’m in, but I don’t want a blank root password what do I do.

Well you can just set the root password using a funky sql command, however there is a tool that comes with MariaDB that does it all for you.


[root@sheldon paulmellors]# mysql_secure_installation


In order to log into MariaDB to secure it, we’ll need the current
password for the root user. If you’ve just installed MariaDB, and
you haven’t set the root password yet, the password will be blank,
so you should just press enter here.

Enter current password for root (enter for none):
OK, successfully used password, moving on…

Setting the root password ensures that nobody can log into the MariaDB
root user without the proper authorisation.

Set root password? [Y/n] y
New password:
Re-enter new password:
Password updated successfully!
Reloading privilege tables..
… Success!
By default, a MariaDB installation has an anonymous user, allowing anyone
to log into MariaDB without having to have a user account created for
them. This is intended only for testing, and to make the installation
go a bit smoother. You should remove them before moving into a
production environment.

Remove anonymous users? [Y/n]
… Success!

Normally, root should only be allowed to connect from ‘localhost’. This
ensures that someone cannot guess at the root password from the network.

Disallow root login remotely? [Y/n]
… Success!

By default, MariaDB comes with a database named ‘test’ that anyone can
access. This is also intended only for testing, and should be removed
before moving into a production environment.

Remove test database and access to it? [Y/n]
– Dropping test database…
… Success!
– Removing privileges on test database…
… Success!

Reloading the privilege tables will ensure that all changes made so far
will take effect immediately.

Reload privilege tables now? [Y/n]
… Success!

Cleaning up…

All done! If you’ve completed all of the above steps, your MariaDB
installation should now be secure.

Thanks for using MariaDB!

There you go, simple when you know how.

Debian + KVM Virtualization

Moving on from my getting Nvidia working in Debian for my laptop, I thought I’d move onto the server and have a play with KVM Virtualization.  I’ve experiance with VMware and Hyper-V and Virtualization using RHEL, but that’s with a GUI and I wanted to everything from scratch.  I did the Debian minimal installation so I new I didn’t have anything I didn’t want.  I then did this.

  • apt-get install qemu-kvm libvirt-bin

A lot of extra dependencies were added as well.  Once I’d done this, I rebooted just to make sure.

To make sure it was up and working, you can run the following command to check it’s all working

  • virsh list –all

You should see something like this.  All this is telling you is what VM’s are running currently.


That’s all I had to do to get it working.

From that point on, all I needed to do was install virt-manager onto my laptop, setup keys so that virt-manager could log onto the server, upload a few iso images and install some vms, but that can be for another post.

Look Look Virtual Machines Running 😀



Dell Latitude E6510 + Debian + Nvidia

** Please note, this worked for my laptop, but it might hose yours, so be careful and make sure you have a complete backup **

I have a Dell Latitude E6510 and I wanted to give the latest Debian a go.  It’s easy enough to get the iso onto a usb stick and there are plenty of guides to do that so I won’t go into that here.

Installation was straight forward and worked a treat, so lets reboot and see what this puppy does.

uh-ho black screen.   I could get past the boot menu [I’m dual booting windows 10 as well] but other than that, everything else was black, no screen at all.

Google to the rescue.

Once you’re at the grub menu prompt, type e to edit the line

Go to the line starting with the word linux and ending with the words: quiet splash

Add nomodeset to the end of the line and boot the machine.

This should boot the machine, but in a very low graphics mode, time to get the nvidia working.

In this laptop I have the NVM 3100M nvidia card and this is what I had to do to get it working

Make sure you have contrib non-free in your sources.list file

Run these commands from the terminal as root

  • apt-get install nvidia-driver
  • apt-get install nvidia-xconfig
  • nvidia-xconfig

Reboot the machine and you should have nvidia graphics 🙂  Well it worked for me.

Let me know if it works for you 🙂


Tweaking your Fedora – FEDY

** UPDATE **

I’ve had it under great authority that lots of people are saying don’t use this tool.  While in theory it’s a great idea, you don’t really know what it’s actually downloading and as someone that doesn’t read the code for it, could well be downloading something malicious, no, I’m not saying this package does at all.

For the time being, while I investigate, please be wary using a tool like this.


One of the first things I like to do after I’ve installed Fedora, is install the Tweaking tool Fedy.  If you’re unsure what Fedy is, then have a look at this page –

1, install the application using this comment line

bash -c 'su -c "curl -o fedy-installer && chmod +x fedy-installer && ./fedy-installer"'

Screenshot from 2016-08-08 10-07-58.png

Once, you’ve installed it, just run it and you’ll see all the options you can install from within Fedy.  It’s an easy way to install Google Chrome, Multimedia Codecs and other little things that might make your life a bit easier.  As part of the install it will install the RPM Fusion repos which contain a lot of cool stuff.

Simple 😀  Give it a go….let me know what you think of it.

VNC to RHEL 7.2 Server

For what ever reason, you may want to have the gui installed on a RHEL 7.2 server, in my case I do.  And for what ever reason you might want to vnc to that server so you don’t need to stand in front of the physical box.  Here’s how I set it up.

First you need to install tiger-vnc-server and some fonts.


Then you’ll need to cp and edit the vnc service file


Replace the <user> in the white boxes with your username


if firewall is enabled on your server

firewall-cmd –permanent –zone=public –add-port=5903/tcp
firewall-cmd –reload

Next stage is to set the password for the vnc user so you can login


This should be enough for the setup, you’ll need to restart and enable services now


Now is time to connect to the server from your pc using VNCViewer or Remote Desktop


BOOM We’re in 🙂


Quite easy when you know how eh 😀