Tag Archives: Fedora

Linux and NTFS

I’ve been through this before and had to look it up again today.  This post is simply a reminder for the inevitable next time I can’t remember it.

I typically install CentOS on a box or in a VM with minimal packages so I can bring in only what I need.  I did just such a thing yesterday to have a machine I can use to rsync data here and there, and do some remote administration.

One primary purpose was to take my backup drives from my house and sync to a share on a storage array at work.  This serves as my off-site backup consolidation.

Instead of tying up a Windows machine and using their experimental SyncToy (which has been performing worse and worse lately), I chose to use a Linux-powered data management machine.  It will eventually synchronize the local backups at home to the storage array at work, but there’s only so much time…

Anyway, my little 1TB external drives are formatted in NTFS, and we all know that’s not a native Linux filesystem.  We’ll have to install a library.  We had to do the same thing to mount a Windows network share (CIFS), a library which was readily available in the default YUM repository – no problem.

The utility needed for NTFS is not, however.  It’s found in the Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL) repository, available from the Fedora project.  This is a very long way of saying that you need to enable the EPEL repo by installing the proper RPM (currently available here for EL6 x86_64), and then install the ntfs-3g NTFS userspace library package with YUM.

Keep in mind that there are a lot of other cool things in EPEL, but at present you just need to remember this one.

Fedora 15 Firstboot Problems

I had some trouble after installing Fedora Linux 15 tonight (on two separate occasions) and thought I’d post here since I didn’t find a thread on the tubes about my specific issue.

I installed FC15 on a desktop at work tonight and it went well.  However, at the first boot where it asks for the first user’s details, license agreement, etc., it would not progress past the time zone settings.  Pressing “Forward” did not go forward as expected.  There was no way to skip the setting, and I was frozen there.

I sat for a few minutes and decided that the machine was set up; I’d already entered my user details and the thing was ready to go except for the time zone and whether or not I’d like to send my system configuration to the Fedora team (I usually do).  But how to get past this screen that doesn’t let me through?  A trick I remembered from way back when…

If you were on FC3 or so, with root logged in to the desktop but with the screen locked, you could just hit CTRL+ALT+BKSP and it would kill the Gnome session and return you to a text console.  Bad security hole.  Nowadays it just restarts Gnome and you are presented with the logon screen.

So that’s what I did.  CTRL+ALT+BKSP skipped that first boot session and gave me a login prompt.  I continued to set up my environment and had to reboot after disabling SELinux.  Upon reboot, I was taken to the first boot sequence again, and it stuck at the time zone setting again.  Damn.

On to searching for a solution.

Found one.  /etc/init.d/firstboot runs at every startup and checks for a file at /etc/sysconfig/firstboot.  If it exists and contains “RUN_FIRSTBOOT=NO” it will not run the firstboot sequence.  There’s your solution to it.  Create a file, /etc/sysconfig/firstboot.  It should contain one line – RUN_FIRSTBOOT=NO

Reboot.  Be happy.

I’m not entirely sure what the issue is/was, but unless it’s an isolated event with the image I have or the disc quality I used when burning, I am very surprised I didn’t find a solution at the Fedora forums.


49times.com is down since yesterday. You know it’s on that powerful box, and I think it took the grid down for a few seconds yesterday when traffic was high. I can’t tell yet, but I think there might have been as many as 2 simultaneous users, overloading the system.

Actually, the power blinked and I’m not home to restart it. Friday night is the soonest; I know you guys can’t wait, but we all need to suffer a little bit for the cause.

And I’m Spent…

It is working. After a long battle all day yesterday (and giving up on Apache), Ruby on Rails is running. The rest of my configuration is yet to be done (no database yet), but all in good time. Take nothing for granted: this is a very powerful server. Here are the specs (and yes, it is 2008):

Fedora Core 8
450MHz Pentium II

Should serve very well for the amount of traffic I expect at 49times.com.

Insert Title Here

These new LCD televisions are pretty neat. I finally broke down and bought one a couple of months ago and the idea just hit me this weekend to put a computer behind it. I have just the machine.
I’ve had a Dell PowerEdge SC440 on my desk with no monitor for several months. It’s an overpowered, underused machine, so I gave it a DVD+R drive and set it behind the new television in the bedroom. The audio already goes out through a PC speaker set, so why shouldn’t I complete the package?
So now I have a blazing-fast Fedora Core 7 box with a 32″ widescreen monitor, right in my bedroom. I’m still working on the wireless keyboard and mouse part, but so far it’s fun. I’ve been ripping DVDs with HandBrake and looking for ways to have this machine become a media center of sorts.
The one thing I enjoyed about this project was the wireless Ethernet bridge I installed in under 10 minutes. I used the Linksys WRT54GL employing dd-wrt to create a network link without running a single wire. As a bonus, I can now connect the Xbox to the Internet (but I still have no need to).
In the near future, we’ll upgrade to Fedora Core 8 (released last month) and see what there is to see. Until then, try to find something you like to do in your own bedroom.