Category Archives: Linux

Creating a bridge for VirtualBox / wireless bridging on Ubuntu

Following several guides on setting up a bridge on my laptop between the wireless network interface and VirtualBox for direct networking was simply not working for me. Today after lots of head scratching I finally discovered why.

Turns out that the standard bridge utils are no good for most wireless cards, but there is a workaround.

Check out this guide, and read under the wireless section:
Bridged Networking with VirtualBox on Linux Hosts

What you can do is add those various commands to a little script file in /etc/network/if-up.d/ which will set up the ‘bridge’ upon starting networking.


Ripping copy protected DVDs on linux (ripguard, puppetlock, arccos etc)

Unfortunately, you can’t!!! Well, not as far as I can tell, I’ve asked around and scoured the web but it seems there’s no use, there simply isn’t a way to do it on linux. The next best thing is to use DVDFab for windows via Wine (it kind of semi-officially works with Wine).

As I found nothing really solid on google, I thought I’d write this post as it’s annoying when you can’t find anything.


How infuriating! What a great way to encourage people to illegally download things instead of buying them. I wonder when (or if) these movie studios will ever learn that it’s a really dumb idea to stop people having total control over things they buy.

VirtualBox 1.5x

Looks like the guys over at Innotek have been busy, probably old news to most but I just realised they’ve released version 1.5 of Virtualbox last year.

Among a whole bunch of bug fixes and other improvements it seems they’ve added one cool feature that will make working with those windows only programs much easier – seamless window integration with your host OS (I think that’s linux only, but I might be wrong). I’ve not tried it out yet, but as far as I can tell you can have windows application windows displayed properly and running at full steam with all the rest of your windows – very much like running some kind of cool (sort of) hybrid OS!!! I thought it was exciting anyway.

To explain what I mean further, I found this rather strange video on youtube:

Once I get that new pc, I’ll give it a go!

It works, but it goes very strange if you have ‘desktop effects’/compiz turned on. Which is annoying! Nevermind!!! I’m sure it’ll be sorted out fairly soon.

ClearSilver PHP module on Ubuntu

I recently got the ClearSilver PHP module working on my Ubuntu laptop as we use it on a number of our web sites and I needed to develop a site with it locally. Then this morning I stupidly upgraded PHP and of course the module had un-resolved symbols. Dohh!

So I decided this time I’d write a better document on how to get it working, one which might actually help me and could perhaps help others. Check it out on my wiki:

ClearSilver PHP module on Debian based systems

It seems to work well, but please, please be careful following my instructions.

Skype – Why it's the thing to use.

Recently I’ve been using Skype a lot to speak to friends and family in the UK and Australia. It’s pretty good for the following reasons:

  • There’s no need to configure your firewall
  • Everyone else seems to have Skype already
  • It’s pretty good quality wise.
  • The webcam function is really good, especially in full screen

Yes, it’s not ideal – it’s a proprietary network and the software is closed source, but on the other hand it just works. And now that the linux beta version supports video calling, I think it’s the best there is.

However, Skype (the company) shouldn’t be praised too much for their new linux beta – why didn’t we get it when the Windows version was released? Why should open source community suffer? Did Skype not realise it’s another potential market for SkypeIn/Out? So frustrating, but that’s how it is in the world of linux I guess!

This morning we called my sister in the UK. The call quality was great as was the full screen video quality. You always know something is good when it’s shocking! My only little gripe was that we couldn’t view my sisters webcam when ours was on. I guess that’s just a bug in the beta (2.0.17 I think) and could well have been something to do with my webcam itself.

Get the latest release of the Beta here.

Google Android

The Android emulator viewing John-hunt.comGoogle recently announced it’s new open source Android platform for mobile devices. As a programmer and designer, it sounds fairly cool, and as an end user it sounds fairly cool too!! I think I’ll be getting one of these Android devices as soon as they’re released as it seems like mobile computing has finally landed!

There’s a few interesting videos on the aforementioned site too.

Virtualbox – Virtually twice as fast as vmware (and open source!)

A relatively unknown bit of virtualisation software called ‘virtualbox‘ from InnoTek has recently become open source’d. I’m actually quite surprised it hasn’t received more publicity. After hearing people rave about virtualbox in #hantslug on the blitzed irc network, I thought I’d give it a whirl. Setup was far easier and much more sane than vmware player/server, all configured via nice gui rather than weird perl script.

The best bit was yet to follow…the performance. Now, I’ve never used xen before, but compared to vmware, this thing flew. Honestly, I’ve never seen virtualisation so fast. Windows installed in no time at all on my Celeron 1.4ghz 768MB ram. Very impressive. So I thought I’d put it to the test. I loaded up a high def xvid video (960×528 w/5.1 sound).. it played flawlessly. This was stunning. I’d say it’s probably somewhere between 5-10% off native speed, and closer to the 5% than the 10%.

I’ve yet to comment on stability as I’ve not used it that long. The setup window did disappear once, but I think that may have been a one off.

There’s also USB support on the non-free binary, so it’s very close to having a native setup…virtually!

Try it now!!

Setting up VirtualBox on Ubuntu.

Installing Python2.5 on Debian Etch

Linking and byte-compiling packages for runtime python2.5...
pycentral: pycentral rtinstall: installed runtime python2.5 not found
pycentral rtinstall: installed runtime python2.5 not found
dpkg: error processing python2.5-minimal (--configure):
subprocess post-installation script returned error exit status 1
dpkg: dependency problems prevent configuration of python2.5:
python2.5 depends on python2.5-minimal (= 2.5-3); however:
Package python2.5-minimal is not configured yet.
dpkg: error processing python2.5 (--configure):
dependency problems - leaving unconfigured
Errors were encountered while processing:

Is your Etch install doing this? It was with me, really annoying. However, I found a solution (not a great one, but it works).

I got around the problem by forcing removal of python-central,
installing python2.5, then reinstalling python-central.

This seemed to work for me, although the remove did uninstall gnome (although easy to put back after). Thanks to Cameron (http://

Hope this helps!

Auto mounting using SSHFS and your /etc/fstab file (in Ubuntu)

Unfortunately, Ubuntu (Edgy and previous versions of Ubuntu) doesn’t seem to have a handy little script called mount.fuse which should come with the fuse-utils package.

This basically means it’s impossible to get Ubuntu to mount sshfs mounts upon startup (nicely), or using a nice and simple mount command like:

mount /my/sshfs/mount/point/

Anyway, personally, I find it really annoying. Yes, there are probably good reasons why they don’t include the script, but no I don’t care. Well, not until someone can tell me an easier/cleaner way of doing this.

First, you’ll need to:
sudo apt-get install sshfs
sudo apt-get install fuse-utils

Then, download mount.fuse (works with Edgy Eft Ubuntu, not sure about anything else!).. stick it in /sbin/ and then sudo chmod 777 /sbin/mount.fuse (or you could be more careful with those permissions).

You’ll want to add lines with this format to your /etc/fstab file:
sshfs#jrh@alf:/ /sshfs/alf fuse defaults,noauto,user 0 0

I’ve found there’s a lot of mount.fuse scripts out there, which expect the fstab lines to be in a different it’s quite important to use the right mount.fuse with the right fstab formatting!

Finally, if this happens when trying to mount:

fusermount: mount failed: Operation not permitted

try this.. it’ll allow your normal user to run fusermount (as root iirc):
sudo chmod 4755 /usr/bin/fusermount

It continues to amaze me how few people actually use this method of mounting with sshfs…it just seemed to make sense to me! Please leave a comment if you have a problem with this so I can add more info if needs be.