Linux Tips

Creating LIVE CD out of existing Linux installation

If you have been working with Linux for long enough time, you must have came across this question… “I have setup my Linux exactly the way I need it, now how do I replicate same setup in someone else’s computer?” or even better, “It would be great if somehow I can make LIVE CD out of my current setup”. This is more or less like what you would do using Sysprep but on steroids Smile for Linux. I ran into this situation recently at work where I have to make bootable ISO (read live CD) out of existing Linux machine.

After initial struggling with my web searching skills (or may be it was my refusal to use Google for search… I am using DuckDuckGo), I found that there are in fact more than few tools available that do just that! I decided to give try a tool that made sense to me (which can be totally different for anyone else) is called Pinguy Builder. This tool is only for *buntu family. It is simple to use tool with decent GUI and ability to use shell interface…. win win for me. Following is what I did to create copy of my Linux installation in Live CD form so I can distribute it for my purpose. Depending on your *buntu version you need to download required version. Download page has more details about what version is needed for what version of OS, so I am not repeating that here.

Install DEB package as you would normally install any DEB package. Once it is installed you can start program by looking up for “Pinguy Builder” shortcut (or via shell). For first run you should see screen like this…

Oracle Tips

TNS Protocol Adapter Error in Oracle

I like to spend time with Oracle DB just as much time I spend with SQL Server, but we exclusively use SQL Server at our work so I am not getting enough time with Oracle anymore. And another reason is it with Oracle there are way too many variable to consider when you are troubleshooting something. So when couple of days back when I boot up my VM of Oracle, I ran into this strange error and I was genuinely surprised to find how minute the cause could be.

So, this how the story goes …. after booting my VM, I started SQL PLUS utility (it is kind of SQLCMD equivalent of SQL Server, it is CLI to access Oracle DB to be exact). When I was asked to provide login credentials, when I provided ‘em I was greeted with following error message,


ORA-12560:  TNS: protocol adapter error




Weird Snipping tool error

I rely on great windows utility called Snipping tool both at work and at home to take screenshots of different things to write and keep things in records. And in past I have tried other screenshot replacement tools like Green Shot and Snag It but they are too much for my simple needs to take screenshot. So today when this tool stopped working in my home system, it was my top priority to fix it Open-mouthed smile


There were bunch of solutions explained over different forums including repairing office, killing another running snipping exe, reinstalling tablet pc component etc but none of them worked. One of the suggestion was to do system restore but that will not work for me either (because I have always felt lazy to keep by system backedup to the date Thinking smile).



Moving Outlook .PST file

With SSDs getting cheaper everyday, I finally decided to upgrade myself to newer SSD few months back. SSD gives really nice IOPS pertaining to reads and writes of data but one very major flaw of this technology is it has limited number of read / write life span and you still need tweak your system in certain ways to make sure that your SSD performs well and have big enough lifespan. For example, you disable file Indexing in windows (which never helps anyways)… to avoid constant reads and writes to SSD. One more limitation of SSDs is smaller size (atleast in my case), I got 240 Gb SSD (‘coz don’t want to bet too much on new untested technology Don't tell anyone smile ) … so I have kept all non-essential application installed on my good ol HDD to save space.

Since I have used Outlook for ever, my outlook files are pretty big (>5 Gb X 3 accounts) so they were taking significant space on my SSD plus there was also constant indexing and writing done by process. So I decided to move them to my HDD today.

According to MSDN all I had to do was to move PST file and start Outlook … at which point it will prompt me for location of PST file but after trying number different approaches, Outlook was simply recreating those PST files again and again at same location. So that approach was dud for me. After Ducking (yes, I have officially switched my search engine to DuckDuckGo … but my experience about it in some other posts Thumbs up) …

Tips Tools

My own RSS synching Server using Tiny Tiny RSS

After demise of my favorite RSS Synching Service … Google Reader back in July 2013, I was little lost in quest for ultimate alternative Open-mouthed smile since like many IT guys, I don’t stick to just one device and read my feed always from there. Plus me “experimenting” on different things on same system means loosing all of my unbackedup feeds at some unfortunate event of catastrophic system failure … which is just not acceptable for me.

So after little Googling I found out that it’s not just me there are many many people who were upset with Google for discontinuing this great service in the name of “cleaning”. And unlike many upset users who switched to just other local readers… some went a step further and decided to not to be dependent of any other service but to rollout their own solution !! I was able to find two services particularly interesting, one is CommaFeed and another one is Tiny Tiny RSS (aka tt-rss). But former can be pain in back to setup since it requires to checkout project from github and then deploy it on your sever and do whole lot of juggling. But Tiny Tiny RSS (aka tt-rss) is way more simpler solution than that. So I decided to use it to take my revenge to Google Reader Open-mouthed smile. This post is about how did I setup tt-rss on my own server and use it to synch my feeds automatically.

First thing first, you need to find a hosting provider who provides hosting with PHP v. 5.3 or up. There are many providers that do free hosting with required PHP version. I decided to try for this demo (no strings attached with this provider Don't tell anyone smile).

Next is to get latest version of tt-rss from project site. And either extract whole project in your computer and upload everything from your computer OR just upload one TAR file and extract it on site.

How To Tips

Remotely execute file on another machine

As usual, I was searching something over internet and going through random crap to look for something (I don’t remember now what was that) and I somehow found that there is really great utility available in good ol’ Sysinternals Suite which literally allows user to remotely execute any application on another machine !! That utility is called PsExec.

Honestly in past sometimes I really had wished that if there is some kind of tool available which can run some program on remote machine so that I don’t have to do something crazy. But I always assumed that it simply is not possible for whatever reasons and so it crossed my mind to even search for something.

Use of this tool is actually pretty simple. And like may other tools of Sysinternals suite this one too doesn’t have any GUI to interact with. Users are required to feed bunch of parameters in order to make it work. And it is very possible that it will not work in first try because of missing parameter. To get list of all parameters you can simply run exe on command prompt and you will see something like this …


DOS PowerShell Tips

SVN checkout using BATCH and PowerShell

Few days back I was working on a script to automate project builds. And at one step I was required to checkout code from source control and build the application. Since everything was done using a single script there was no way I could prompt to user GUI because in this case it was just a plain PowerShell script. After bit to experimenting and Googling, I was able to find a solution that fit my need, but then I thought to use same script as a batch script (of course with some modifications) and I was surprised to see that many commands in PowerShell are declared and used differently then what we normally do in batch script. That was same case with SVN commands.

I use Tortoise SVN for both work and myself, so I am showing this using it. But if you look at help file it is clear that Tortoise SVN is more like a GUI tool not something that can be used via CLI, in fact it is even recommended by author himself to use Official SVN tools instead of Tortoise SVN. But lucky for us, Tortoise SVN already includes official SVN tools !! You can find them at “%ProgramFiles%\TortoiseSVN\bin\”, it includes exes like SVN, SVNAdmin, SVNLook, SVNVersion etc. If they are not there then most likely they are excluded during installation (which is default installation choice). So just grab installation EXE from Tortoise SVN site and run installer again to install these tools.