"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." (Robert A. Heinlein)

Thursday, 25 June 2015

More work on the Raspberry PI


I've been working a little more on my Raspberry PI based server. After installing Minidlna server my Raspberry PI server needed some easy way to transfer media files into the USB disk. Sharing the disk with Samba has been, to me, the obvious solution. Also I installed the basis of a LAMP server (Apache2, MySQL, PHP5) for future installation of server applications.

Sharing a disk with Samba

The first step has been so installing samba from command line apt-get


sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install samba samba-common-bin
then I edited samba configuration file
sudo vim.tiny /etc/samba/smb.conf
where I added the definition instructions for sharing the USB disk
[usbdisk]
comment = Raspberry PI USB disk
path = /media/usbdisk
browsable = yes
guest ok = yes
read only = no
create mask = 0777
directory mask=0777
public= yes
only guest = no
force user = pi
force group = users
To keep things on the easy-to-use side I set the share for a public “guest” use without asking for passwords. Since my Raspberry server is still in a experimental status I don't have, not yet at least, many security worries to think about.
I tested the configuration with the testparm command
testparm /etc/samba/smb.conf
and eventually restarted the samba service.
sudo service samba restart

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Installed Xubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet on the EEEPC

After some testing of light-weight desktop environments I decided, at last, for installing Xubuntu (Xfce flavored Ubuntu) on my good old EEEPC 900. Xubuntu choice came because Xfce desktop environment behaved well, during my tests, working smoothly on the resource-poor EEEPC while being still able to render a modern enough user interface. Last but not least I've been using for years Xubuntu on my old desktop Sempron 2400 without problems.

Before installing

Before starting with installation procedure I had to do some preliminary operation. First has been, of course, backing-up my home folder into an external USB disk (hosting all my backup since I removed original Xandros installation). Then I executed Ubuntu's disk analysis tool in order to have a hint about how to partition the new installation disks. Until now, in fact, I kept the EEEPC900 4GB on-board disk for a minimal Windows XP installation (when I bought it the EEEPC was my fastest computer) but time has come to get rid of it. So a fair distribution of disk usage among the two netbook disks is going to be important.
The disk analysis showed how my disk usage was almost evenly split between the “home” and the “usr” folder (where most of application are installed) while the rest of system folder are well less of the 4GB limit.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Setting up a DLNA media server on the Raspberry Pi


My first though about how to use the Raspberry Pi has been to set-up a always-on, low-power, home-server. There are not many services that could be really useful at home but, among them, a DLNA compatible server is the one that more interested me.

Mounting the USB drive

In order to be a useful server, especially a media server, the Raspberry first needed some bigger disk than the system 8 GB micro SD. I so selected as main storage for Raspberry a old 3.5” IDE USB drive. No problems from the electrical power side since the drive it's externally powered.
Mounting a USB drive on the Raspberry is just a basic exercise of CLI Linux: after getting the device name with the lsusb command the disk can be mounted with a simple command:
sudo mkdir /media/usbdisk
sudo mount /dev/sda /media/usbdisk
the mount command automatically recognized the XFS file system the disk was formatted with (I used it, before, attached to the NAS). In order to make the disk permanently mounted I added the following line to the /etc/fstab file
/dev/sda1 /media/usbdisk xfs rw,defaults 0 0

Friday, 20 March 2015

Test Drive: Xfce (Xubuntu) on the EEEPC 900

As promised in previous post I continued in my touring about testing lightweight desktop environments on the EEEPC. This time I installed on my netbook the most famous lightweight desktop: Xfce.
I've been using Xfce for many years on my, now dismissed, old Sempron 2400 desktop computer. I never worked with it on the EEEPC. At the time the EEEPC was my “fastest” computer and Gnome used to work fine enough on it.

Installation and first impressions

I installed Xfce from shell by simply typing:
sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop
After the installation process competed I logged off from the Gnome-Shell session and logged back in after selecting Xfce (Xubuntu Session) as desktop environment.
Here is the Xfce just after logging in: