Monday, December 26, 2011

SMS emulator with original pads

I have always liked the SEGA consoles (and games) more than the Nintendo stuff. So I decided to install an emulator for my old SEGA Master System games and build an adapter to play the SMS games with the original gamepad on my old 650MHz Notebook. The reason that I play the games on my old notebook is simple: I have no new workstation or notebook with a parallel port anymore. Before you start make sure that your parallel port supports EPP:

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Creating an LDAP based address book

Imagine you have a small company with one manager, his secretary and a couple of workers. Each of these guys needs their own space to store some contacts, eg. the manager needs to store some manager contacts, the secretary needs to store some secretary contacts and workers need to store some contact about sales guys. At this point you need to create an organizational unit for your address book with more organizational units in it for all workers etc:

Friday, December 23, 2011

LDAP for Solaris 10

With this article I want you to show how to set up OpenLDAP for Solaris 10. I have here a small Sun Fire V100 with 2GB running - perfect for playing around. Using Solaris as a LDAP client is a little bit strange first, but with the time you will enjoy it. Solaris comes with a tool called ldapclient to initiate a Solaris host as a LDAP client. There is a daemon called ldap_cachemgr which will be started when you initialize Solaris as a LDAP client and it runs all the time.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

SNES emulator with original pads

If you are a retro gamer like me then you know emulators. With emulators you can play variuos games of old consoles. Less known is the ability to connect the original gamepads to your computer. In most cases you need to build or buy an adapter. With this article I want you to show how to connect the original SNES gamepads to your parallel port on your PC and play games with them. I have build an adapter out of my old SNES console to keep the original gamepads intact. Before youthink about building an adapter for yourself make sure that your parallel port supports EPP: 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Streaming audio server with Icecast (OGG/MP3)

Creating your own internet radio station isn't very hard. There is a nice software called Icecast which can do it for you. Icecast was designed to stream any audio file if a appropiate streaming client is available. For OGG/Vorbis you can use ices and for MP3 icegenerator. Here is a small tutorial how to setup Icecast for streaming OGG/Vorbis and MP3. I am using Slackware Linux again.
This article contains the following topics:

Monday, December 12, 2011

Slackware package management


The Slackware package management is one of the easiest to understand and to use. All packages are just ordinary compressed (gzip) tar files, since Slackware 13.37 the tar files are compressed with xz. All files in the package are already at their places except for the leading slash. Symbolic links will be created during package instalation. To look into a package you can use tar. First make sure you have access to the packages, eg. mount the CD/DVD iso image: 

Saturday, December 10, 2011


This article is an update to the prior released article Setting up a pppd server. In this article I want you to show how to setup PPPD with authentication against LDAP using PAM in Slackware. How to setup LDAP and PAM in Slackware is described here: LDAP for Slackware Linux
Normally pppd looks for users and their passwords that may login via PPP in /etc/ppp/pap-secrets, /etc/passwd and /etc/shadow. But when you are using LDAP for your users then you need to use PPP with PAM and LDAP.

Friday, December 9, 2011

IMAP server with dovecot

If you need an IMAP server then dovecot might be the right one for you. It is very easy to install and to configure. This article is a short description how to install and configure dovecot 2.0.16 in Slackware. This description should also work for Solaris. The features in this description are the following:

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Migrating /etc/protocols into LDAP

The file /etc/protocols contains information about the protocols and their numbers. To be honest, until I tried to put every database into LDAP  that getent can handle I did not recognized or cared about the file /etc/protocols...
Before you continue reading keep in mind that I had serious trouble with my server while looking up for /etc/protocols in my LDAP. Currently I don't use it anymore just like my prior released article about migrating /etc/services into LDAP.

Migrating /etc/services into LDAP

Before you continue reading you should know that migrating /etc/services into LDAP may refuses your system to boot. I had plenty of trouble with /etc/services in LDAP, that is why I don't use it anymore. The next point is that you may use different operating systems. In this case the content of /etc/services may differ. When I take a look at /etc/services in Slackware, I have three entrys for port 1: 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Migrating /etc/rpc into LDAP

If you are using any rpc service like NFS or NIS then you probably know the command rpcinfo. With rpcinfo you can get all rpc servives running on a remote host:

# rpcinfo -p dc01
   program vers proto   port
    100000    2   tcp    111  portmapper
    100000    2   udp    111  portmapper

Monday, November 28, 2011

Available, used and free memory in HP UX

To see how much memory is consumed in HP UX use swapinfo:

# swapinfo -tam
            Mb      Mb      Mb   PCT  START/      Mb
dev       16368    1252   15116    8%       0       -    1  /dev/vg00/lvol2
reserve       -   15116  -15116
memory    16354   15707     647   96%
total     32722   32075     647   98%       -       0    -

Sunday, November 27, 2011

LDAP N-Way Multi-Master Replication

When you are using OpenLDAP for any reason then you should think about replication. With replication you have to setup minimum two LDAP servers. If one of your LDAP servers accidently shuts down then the other will take over. If you add content (or remove content) then you have to do it only once, the other server will get the new content by replication. Before you can use replication you have to setup a ntp server (not shown here). It is very important that both LDAP servers are usingthe same time. Also make sure that both server always know each other by FQDN. My current setup looks like this:

Friday, November 25, 2011

Creating a Slackware package

This article is outdated. See Slackware package management for a newer version.

Creating a Slackware isn't a hard job. In contrast to rpm or deb it is very easy. In this article I will show you how to compile a small (but very cool) piece of software, how to create a appropiate directory structure and finally how to create a Slackware package that you can install and remove with the default tools installpkg and removepkg. To show you how to create a Slackware package I will use Lua but you can use what ever you want. Lua is a very small and easy to compile piece of software and should work out of the box. First get the software: 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Migrating /etc/networks into LDAP

If you are using /etc/networks than you can move it into your LDAP. First take a look at your /etc/networks:

# cat /etc/networks

Migrating /etc/ethers into LDAP

If you are using /etc/ethers than you can move it into your LDAP. First take a look at your /etc/ethers:

# cat /etc/ethers

Migrating /etc/hosts into LDAP

If you are using /etc/hosts than you can move it into your LDAP. First take a look at your /etc/hosts:

# cat /etc/hosts        localhost     blog01     dc01     wlan01

Backing up and restoring your LDAP

If you're using LDAP with BDB backend then you have two chances to backup your LDAP server:

1. from any client via ldapsearch
2. on the LDAP server via slapcat

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Get the current used memory with ps

Last time I had a customer complaining about his 72GB RAM machine that it was swapping. Then he told me that all processes were using 0% RAM. He showed me something like this:

# ps aux
oracle    4539  0.0  0.0    708 48264 ?        Ss    2008  16:23 ORACLE

Monday, November 7, 2011

SmartPCI56(UCB1500) 56K Modem with Slackware

I got another Modem PCI card - again. This time something like this:

# lspci
00:09.0 Modem: Philips Semiconductors SmartPCI56(UCB1500) 56K Modem (rev 01)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

PCTel Inc HSP MicroModem 56 with Slackware

Yesterday I got an old PCI Modem card, something with pctel anything. I was wondering if I could get it to run, so I did some research on the Internet and found the pctel software for Linux. The disapointment was that i will only compile on 32bit machines. Anyway, I setup my old Athlon 800MHz desktop with the pctel card and installed the current Slackware release (13.37). Then I donwloaded the driver from

Saturday, November 5, 2011

LDAP for Slackware Linux

When you work with Slackware Linux and try to authenticate with LDAP then you will figure out that it won't work. This has a simple reason: to authenticate with LDAP you need PAM, but Patrick Volkerding refuses to put PAM into Slackware because of security reason - AFAIK. Here is a small description how to setup Slackware for authentication with LDAP. But be aware: I am doing some things here that you shouldn't do under normal circumstances.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Available disk space in Linux

One of the basic tools to monitor your harddisks and partitions is df - disk free. It shows you a couple of information about how your harddisk is used. A sample output maybe like this:

# df
Filesystem           1K-blocks      Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/root            251915124  33553292 205565260  15% /

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Available, used and free memory in Linux

free will show the used and available memory. The default output could be like this:

# free
             total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:       3792504    1499452    2293052          0      48460     586436
-/+ buffers/cache:     864556    2927948
Swap:      4200992          0    4200992

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Configuring network and SSH in NetBSD

I have set up my old workstation (AMD Duron with 1.2GHz and 512MB of Ram) with the current NetBSD release 5.1 to play a little around with it. I installed it in a VM (without any networking hardware) directly on the harddisk and after installation I placed the harddisk into the computer. When the OS is booted, I took a look at the networking hardware: 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Available, used and free memory in Solaris

To get the amount of memory installed use prtdiag:

# prtconf | grep Memory
Memory size: 16384 Megabytes

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Reusing/relabeling media with bacula

A few weeks ago I reinstalled my backup server with bacula. I have a small machine (2x700MHz, 1GB, Solaris 10, Bacula 5.0.3) with 3 DDS-3 tape drives (and other stuff to play around). Now I want to reuse my old tapes which were already labeled. So I have to do some kind of relabeling. When I try to normally label the prior used tapes I get the following error: 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Creating mp4 for Android with ffmpeg

I am traveling to work by public transportation and I thought it would be a cool idea to have some movies with me during the train ride. Of course I have to encode them first. Here is a way to do this with ffmpeg:

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Mirroring an existing and encrypted disk with mdadm

I have all my data (personal, music etc.) stored on one 1.5TB disk and to avoid manual backups to external devices I want (need) to create a mirror. The disk itself is encrypted and formatted with ext3. The big picture is like this:

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Using a 2GB Jaz drive with Solaris

If you have a old Jaz drive and want to use under Solaris, then this might be interesting for you. First build in your drive into the server. Then boot and make sure that volfs is not running (you can turn it on later again): 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Configuring YUM

I have a small VM running RHEL 6 (just for playing around). The installation was some kind hard - I have to do nearly everything by hand... Anyway the operating system itself is running now. To automatically install software from the DVD I would like to use YUM, but I have to set it up first. There is a main configuration file - yum.conf which resides in /etc. This is the default content of it: 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Configuring NTP in Solaris 10

First, go to /etc/inet and create ntp.conf. Define your NTP server and a place for the drift file:

# cd /etc/inet
# vi ntp.conf
driftfile /var/ntp/ntp.drift

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Disable MSI on a bnx2 driver

Today I had a customer telling me that his network on one machine is slow sometimes. I took a look at it and and saw some Broadcom devices (I don't remember the model) and the bnx2 driver loaded. Also both devices were attached to a bonding device. First step was to figure out the active interface:

Monday, July 25, 2011

Obtaining NIC/LAN information in HP-UX

First find out which devices are available, by which dirver it is used, hardware path etc:

# ioscan -fnClan
Class     I  H/W Path       Driver   S/W State   H/W Type     Description

lan       0  0/4/2/0        iether   CLAIMED     INTERFACE    HP AB352-60003 PCI/PCI-X 1000Base-T Dual-port Core
lan       1  0/4/2/1        iether   CLAIMED     INTERFACE    HP AB352-60003 PCI/PCI-X 1000Base-T Dual-port Core
lan       2  0/6/0/0/0/0/0/0/0/0  iether   CLAIMED     INTERFACE    HP AD337-60001 PCIe 1000Base-T Dual-port Adapter
lan       3  0/6/0/0/0/0/0/0/0/1  iether   CLAIMED     INTERFACE    HP AD337-60001 PCIe 1000Base-T Dual-port Adapter

Configuring NTP in HP-UX

Assuming is your local NTP server, then you need to edit /etc/rc.config.d/netdaemons first. Add your NTP server to NTPDATE_SERVER and change the value for XNTPD from 0 (zero) to 1 (one):

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Setting the keyboard layout with hal

Everytime when I start my X it has a US keyboard layout. After login I could change it with:

$ setxkbmap -model pc104 -layout de

to work with my german keyboard layout. But I have to do it everytime when I log in, which is not very professional. Even modifying the xorg.conf to load the german keyboard layout did not work:

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Setting up a pppd server


I tried to clean up my space a little bit and found some old modems and a analogue telephone system. Perfect for playing around, setting up a pppd server and client and remember some old times. And so I decided to create this small workshop. Maybe somebody wants/needs to do the same one day. Currently I am using the following hardware:

Friday, May 13, 2011

Extracting images from a pdf file

This week I went to the local photo shop in our town to scan some documents. I gave the salesperson my documents and he told me to come back in a couple of hours. I returned and received my scanned douments. At home I figured out that he gave me a CD with a couple of pdf files (my fault, I forgot to tell him that I need images). Here is a trick that will extract images from a pdf document:

Monday, May 2, 2011

rxvt and bash

I am using rxvt as my default terminal emulator when I am working on a WM. And I like bash as my default shell. My problem was that everytime I started rxvt it ignored /etc/profile. Here is the solution (found in man bash):

Friday, April 8, 2011

Setting up another NIC in Solaris

Nothing special: my Solaris box has a quad port network card (I think it is more like 2 dual port network cards). The first NIC is normally configured with an IP and netmask, for testing purpose I needed to setup the second one. Her is my configuration so far:

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Toshiba Satellite Pro 4600 internal modem

My Toshiba Satellite Pro 4600 has a internal modem which I want to use. I found the software slmodem, it contains the driver and the daemon slmodemd which allows you to communicate with your modem. To setup the software download and compile it:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Configuring network in AIX

Configuring your AIX machine for network acces isn't real hard. First get all available network devices:

# lsdev -Cc if
en0 Defined   02-08 Standard Ethernet Network Interface
en1 Defined   02-09 Standard Ethernet Network Interface
et0 Defined   02-08 IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Network Interface
et1 Defined   02-09 IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Network Interface
lo0 Available       Loopback Network Interface

Monday, March 14, 2011

Changing the boot order in AIX

I have here two AIX machines, one seems to be broken nut the other works fine (so far...). I need to reinstall the operating system but the machine always boots from harddisk by default. The solutions to this is the command bootlist. The following examples show the current boot order:

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Adding a 2nd harddisk to a SunFire V100

I have a SunFire V100 with a 40GB IDE harddisk and 2GB of memory (I found this poor machine in the internet for 50€). Today I decided to add a 2nd 40GB harddisk. The harddisk is left from my old workstation and should work perfectly with the system.
It doesn't. The system even didn't recognize the harddisk. After doing some research on the internet I found out that most Sparc Systems with support for IDE only recognize the IDE harddisk when the
harddisk jumpers are set to Cable Select. So I jumpered the harddisk to Cable Select and surprise - works perfect:

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Configuring ALOM from commandline

Last time i was in the challenge to configure the ALOM of a Sunfire V240 from commandline. First get some information:

Thursday, February 17, 2011

xscreensaver, pam & fluxbox

This is an update to the article xdm, pam & fluxbox. In this article I explained how to set xdm for use with pam and howto start fluxbox on Slackware. Now I want you to show how to add pam support for xscreensaver on Slackware. First grab a copy of the source for xscreensaver from the DVD (or CD):

Thursday, February 10, 2011

HP9000: Booting from CDROM

I have here a small HP 9000 machine which I need to reinstall. The installed Operating System is a HP-UX 11.31 which is messed up. I have no access to the MP via LAN, so I used the serial console. I connected the MP to my Solaris machine and started tip:

# tip hardwire

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

X on a Toshiba Satellite Pro 4600

I have a old Toshiba Satellite Pro with the following graphics adapter:

# lspci
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: Trident Microsystems CyberBlade/XP (rev 63)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

xdm, pam & fluxbox

I have configured xdm on my Slackware machine to use pam and authentication against LDAP. I won't show you here howto setup LDAP or pam on Slackware, this is more a quickie for xdm - assuming everything else is already setup!

The first thing that need to be done is to grab a copy from the source Patrick uses for xdm. You can

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I really like to work with the commandline but framebuffer is something i don't wanna miss anymore. The default installation of CentOS-5 comes with framebuffer support but it is not activated. To activate it edit your grub.conf and append to the kernel line with the vga parameter:

# vi /boot/grub.conf

Sunday, January 23, 2011



This weekend I setup my DNS and DHCP again (updated to new version and changed the software). I am currently using the DNS and DHCP from ISC. There is nothing special about it, just the usual stuff. This configuration example will allow you to setup a normal DNS for caching and with a forward and reverse lookup zone, incl. access for rndc and updates from DHCP. The DHCP server will be configured with a small range of IP's and with access to update the DNS.