Category Archives: Configuration

How to Install VirtualBox Guest Editions in Ubuntu Server 14.04

As I always forget how to do this in Ubuntu Desktop and Ubuntu Server, I wrote this brief tutorial to help me remember. It should work with any Debian based distribution.

Hopefully you will also find it useful.

Continue reading How to Install VirtualBox Guest Editions in Ubuntu Server 14.04


Installing Madsonic 5.1 the FREE Subsonic alternative on NAS4Free

Why Madsonic rather than Subsonic?

Madsonic is a fork of Subsonic the excellent cross platform web based media streamer which is free to use for media streaming but which has some ‘premium features’ only available by a low cost subscription.

Of particular interest to me was the ability to record, store, manager and stream my podcast subscriptions as there is nothing else similar which provides a web interface and cross platform APPs for mobile devices which works in NAS4Free. The Podcast capability comes under the Premium features of Subsonic. Madsonic being a fork of Subsonic works in a similar way to Subsonic, except it is truly free and Podcast management is included and runs exceptionally well in a BSD Jail in NAS4Free.

Continue reading Installing Madsonic 5.1 the FREE Subsonic alternative on NAS4Free

Install And Configure Nagios on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

This is a great blog post on Unixmen about installing Nagios, an open source network and infrastructure software solution, on Ubuntu Server 14.04LTS. Not only does it cover the install but also a basic configuration for monitoring a networked computer.

If you do not know how to install Ubuntu Server 14.04.1LTS then read the following blog post on HowToForge

If you have not got a spare computer lying around but have one with 4Gb of RAM, make it multi-purpose and install VirtualBox on it . Then install Nagios as virtual machine on Ubuntu Server under Virtualbox.

As with everything open source, the only cost is your time to install and your willingness to explore and learn.


Installing Subsonic 5.0 on NAS4Free 9.2.x Embedded–PART 2

Installing Subsonic 5.0

Part 1 of this post can be found here

With the Subsonic Jail created, you now need to install Subsonic.

These instructions are based on

SSH into the Subsonic Jail by entering from Terminal


e.g. ssh root@

Enter the root password and you should be taken to a command prompt for NAS4Free!



this checks your new jail, you should see something like this


Continue reading Installing Subsonic 5.0 on NAS4Free 9.2.x Embedded–PART 2

Installing Subsonic 5.0 on NAS4Free 9.2.x Embedded–PART 1

To be able to run Subsonic on a NAS4Free server you need to run it within its own separate environment which is called a Jail. There are different ways of creating a Jail within NAS4Free, this post is going to cover installing TheBrigg Jail manager. In part 2 we will look at how to install Subsonic within a Jail in NAS4Free.

PART 1 – Install TheBrig Jail manager and associated YouTube video

Note: All existing Jails must be removed from NAS4Free

Create a directory to contain your Jail, do this in the root of your data drive rather than anywhere else. in my case the directory was created on the first data drive called data1

From terminal SSH into your server and create a directory called Jail in the root of your share:

mkdir /mnt/data1/Jail

Change directory to the root of the share by entering

cd /mnt/data1

Now we are going to download the script from and save it to the current directory using the fetch command

fetch -o

If successful you should get something similar to the following

clip_image001.png Continue reading Installing Subsonic 5.0 on NAS4Free 9.2.x Embedded–PART 1

Installing MiniDLNA extension in NAS4Free

Before you start making any changes to your NAS4Free server, please remember to backup your config.xml file

Before you can install MINIDLNA on your NAS4Free server, you need to ensure you have SSH setup.

Configuring SSH Access

From the NAS4Free menu select Services > SSH

Check the Enable box on the right hand side to enable SSH.

In my screenshot below I have checked the Permit Root Login option, this is optional but useful.


Then click Save and Restart to start the service.

Continue reading Installing MiniDLNA extension in NAS4Free

Dual Booting the HP Pavilion Sleekbook 15 with Windows 8.1 and Ubuntu 13.10

The HP Sleekbook 15 was launched late in 2012 and if you get the Intel variant it comes with a 3rd generation Core ix processors (Ivy Bridge), offering good battery life for a 15.6″ laptop which is around five hours with average use or the AMD A series or processors. Graphics options are quite broad with either stock Intel HD Graphics 4000, AMD Radeon or nVidia GPUs. On some models there is even an option for a SSD drive although apparently you can’t install Ubuntu to thsi drive.

Much to my surprise you get s choice of pre-installed operating systems from HP:

  • Windows 8.x
  • Ubuntu 12.04LTS 64-bit – Certified by Cannonical, although this is only the Pentium Gen. 2 variant.

There are also touchscreen (Sleekbook Touchsmart) variants as well as 14″ screen versions making the model range quite extensive. Because all Sleekbooks are around 2cm thin, there is no room or a DVD drive and no external drive is supplied as standard. However, if you need one these are cheap to buy.

My own model is a Sleekbook 15-b052sa which was pre-installed with Windows 8 and uses a Intel Core i5 CPU (3rd gen) running at 1.7Ghz 8Gb RAM and now fitted with a 500Gb Seagate Momentus XT hybrid had disk drive replacing the stock 750Gb SATA drive.

As with all new computers they are supplied with the dreaded UEFI BIOS which adds aditional security to the computer whilst eliminating the traditional BIOS. For users of non-Microsoft operating systems and Microsoft ones before Windows 8 this has the potental of being an additional hurdle to jump. However, in reality this is not a deal breaker people make it out to be and is just different to the traditional way of installing an operating system with some additonal steps.

Continue reading Dual Booting the HP Pavilion Sleekbook 15 with Windows 8.1 and Ubuntu 13.10

Encouraging Linux not to use the SWAP partition

I recently doubled the memory in my eee PC 1005HA netbook running Mint 16 from 1Gb to 2Gb and to try to maintain the 7 hours battery life I get out of it decided to reduce the possibility of it using the swap drive unless necessary. My initial thought was to delete the swap partition but after some research decided that this was not a good idea, it would be better to discourage Linux from using the SWAP partition!

I came across an excellent post written in 2012 by mikecrosoft in the Linux Mint Forums which clearly explains the steps. As I can’t improve it have reproduced it below. Of course this would apply to all modern day Linux systems, so I’ve since applied it to all of my desktop PCs and to my HP Sleekbook laptop.

Continue reading Encouraging Linux not to use the SWAP partition

Mini How To…. Moziilla Thunderbird associating HTTP Links in e-mails with a web browser

So you get this e-mail and it contains a number of links to various web pages, you click on a link expecting Firefox, or your web browser of choice, to open only to get this annoying Launch Application window

User friendly it isn’t!
To resolve:
  1. Click Choose, a file browser window will be displayed
  2. Navigate to the /usr/bin directory, in Ubuntu Linux this is where the installed application executables are located
  3. Locate the file firefox (substitute firefox with your own personal choice of browser) thunderbird
  4. Select it and click Open, Firefox Thunderbird will now be listed in the above Launch Application
  5. Tick the check box next to Remember my choice for http links
  6. Click OK
That’s it, any further links of this type (http in this example) will open using Firefox.
To edit or display your Links in Thunderbird:
  1. From the menu bar select Edit > Preferences
  2. From the Thunderbird preferences menu select Attachments, from here you can change the way Thunderbird responds to each of the content types listed
One feature I think is missing from this preferences menu is the ability to manually add new content types and to clone/ copy existing, changing the content type to something else. e.g. clone http and make it https. As you can already delete content types by clicking on the association under Action this would be a logical enhancement.

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Mythbuntu 11.04 to 11.10 Upgrade Issues

I run two MythTV combined backend/ frontend servers, one with 1Tb of storage and the main one with 2Tb.

The former also doubles up as my upgrade test server, so this is the one which I’ve upgraded to Mythbuntu 11.10. Previous upgrades have been without fault, unfortunately this was not the case this time around!

Problem #1 – No Display after upgrade or subsequent reboots

This is the guts of the solution to the startx issue. In summary the screen appears to be blank, this can be fixed by do the folowing. I did this via another PC and SSHing into the affected MythTV PC




$ sudo su
# apt-get update
# apt-get upgrade
# apt-get remove unity-greeter
# apt-get install lightdm
# cd /etc/lightdm/
# mv lightdm.conf lightdm.conf.old
# pico lightdm.conf

In the lightdm.conf file put the following:




autologin-user=<<your mythtv user ID, ie: superm1 or whatever>>

Problem #2 – MythTV Backend not automatically starting

I did some digging around and checked out the following:

1. mysql.txt is correctly sym linked and has the right ownership and permissions.

2. I can start mythbackend manually (ALT-F2) or add it in to Application Autostart, although on reboot this gets unticked?!? Using either method Mythbackend works so I think that this is correctly configured.

3. My mythbackend.log file is producing the following when mythbackend fails to start. I’m using a combined front/ backend and a static IP

Would you like to configure the database connection now? [no]
[console is not interactive, using default ‘no’]
2011-10-20 19:20:48.841 Deleting UPnP client…
2011-10-20 19:20:49.555 Failed to init MythContext.
2011-10-20 19:21:04.897 mythbackend version: fixes/0.24 [v0.24.1-80-g1de0431]
2011-10-20 19:21:04.938 Using runtime prefix = /usr
2011-10-20 19:21:04.971 Using configuration directory = /home/mythtv/.mythtv
2011-10-20 19:21:05.005 Empty LocalHostName.
2011-10-20 19:21:05.039 Using localhost value of mythtvtest
2011-10-20 19:21:05.084 New DB connection, total: 1
2011-10-20 19:21:05.114 Unable to connect to database!
2011-10-20 19:21:05.148 Driver error was [1/2002]:
QMYSQL: Unable to connect
Database error was:
Can’t connect to local MySQL server through socket ‘/var/run/mysqld/mysqld.sock’ (2)

………………………………………….. …………………………
2011-10-20 19:21:07.227 UPnPautoconf() – No UPnP backends found
2011-10-20 19:21:07.260 No UPnP backends found

No UPnP backends found

Would you like to configure the database connection now? [no]
[console is not interactive, using default ‘no’]
2011-10-20 19:21:07.505 Deleting UPnP client…
2011-10-20 19:21:08.225 Failed to init MythContext.

If I run mythbackend via ALT-F2, nothing gets written to the log file and MythFrontend works fine.

On the Mythbuntu section on Ubuntu forums it was suggested that Mythbackend may be timing out on MySQL.

This got me thinking! After the upgrade to 11.10, on boot I was always getting the messgesWaiting for Network configuration…

Waiting up to 60 more seconds for network configuration

Whilst this was a pain as it added 2 minutes to the boot, networking was working fine. To find out what was happening I rebooted the PC.

When the Mythbuntu splash screen appeared I pressed a key, I think any key at this stage allows you to toggle between splash and the message screen so you can see boot progress. 

This is what is happening:

Stopping userspace boot splash [ok]
Starting Mythbuntu backend [ok]
Waiting for Network configuration
Starting Mythbuntu backend [ok]
Starting Mythbuntu backend [ok]
Starting Mythbuntu backend [ok]
Starting Mythbuntu backend [fail]
Stopping Mythbuntu backend [ok]
Waiting up to 60 more seconds for network configuration

The “Waiting for Network configuration” was adding a 2 minute time delay, causing mythbackend to time out (reason unknown). My PC has two network cards of which only one is connected and configured.

I checked my /etc/network/interfaces file as this PC uses a static address and historically Network Manager is not static IP address friendly! I found the following:
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

auto eth0
iface eth0 inet dhcp

# iface eth0 inet static
# address
# netmask
# broadcast
# gateway

auto eth1
# iface eth1 inet dhcp

iface eth1 inet static

I commented out the offending line relating to eth0 which is not connected.

auto eth0
iface eth0 inet dhcp

Rebooted and problem solved, message “Waiting for Network configuration” did not come up, Mythbuntu booted up normally and quickly and MythWelcome worked.

This was not a problem before the upgrade, so I assume Ubuntu 11.10 does more rigorous testing of your network interfaces before giving up. Unfortunately this takes nearly 2 minutes which is enough time for mythbackend to time.

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