HowTo: Setup Darik’s Boot and Nuke (DBAN) to automatically erase storage devices via PXE boot

Tutorials
Darik's Boot and Nuke (abbreviated as DBAN) is a popular tool used by many organisations and individuals to securely erase hard-drives prior to disposal, or perhaps just to fix Windows problems ;) . It typically comprises a small 15MB ISO image that you can burn to CD or make a bootable USB stick from so you can boot up a PC on it and set about erasing all detected storage devices. When you're doing a lot of machines, however, booting a CD is tedious, especially when you accidentally scratch the disc and need to burn a new one. Using a USB stick and either misplacing it, or forgetting to remove it before erasing starts means you lose the content of the boot stick too. Wouldn't it be nice to be able…
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HowTo: Resize an LVM partition on a GPT drive after expanding the underlying array

Tutorials
Scenario: You have an Ubuntu Linux server. The storage system is a large RAID array, partitioned as a GPT disk and it has two partitions on it - a small boot partition and the second partition is setup for use with LVM with one or more Logical Volumes in it. You're starting to run out of space and intend to expand the system by adding one or more disks to the array. Once you've done this, you will obviously need to extend the partition to use the new space, but GPT is a slightly different kettle of fish to regular partitioning, and being a server you don't have a GUI to use traditional tools. So how do you do this? (more…)
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HowTo: Pair a Sony PlayStation3 DualShock controller with Ubuntu

Tutorials
The ubiquitous Sony PlayStation3 DualShock controller. This controller has been around for ages now and IMO it's one of the nicest multi-button game controllers out there. One of its nicer features is that it has USB and Bluetooth connectivity.   [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="320"] The Sony Dual Shock 3 controller[/caption] It's already been proven that you can connect a PS3 controller to Ubuntu using a standard USB cable, which is fine, but it'd be kinda cool to use Bluetooth as well. The thing is that the PS3 controller doesn't follow the complete Bluetooth specification with regards to pairing. The reason for this is deliberate - you don't want people being able to steal control of your PS3 controllers or your PS3 remotely, so pairing is performed manually using the USB cable.…
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HowTo: Fix networking not working after installing Ubuntu Desktop from a PXE-booted Live Environment

Tutorials
Scenario: You've setup a PXE server. You've setup an Ubuntu Live CD to boot over your network via PXE. Everything works well. You then decide to install a fresh Ubuntu Desktop installation from your PXE-booted environment. All goes well. The install finishes and your system reboots. When the system comes up, you discover that there's no network connections. Ethernet doesn't work, but wifi probably is working OK, or you can't get wifi working yet because you need to install a closed-source driver for it. You check the Network Manager and find that there is no automatically defined ethernet connection such as "Auto eth0". What's the go? Here's how to fix it. (more…)
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HowTo: Configure an APC UPS to communicate with your Ubuntu Desktop or Server

Tutorials
It's been a while since I've written something here, so time to break the drought. APC make some great UPS products and they all have the ability to communicate with a host PC to advise of its state, eg: on mains, on battery, fault, etc. The support software is available aplenty for Windows and Mac, but what about Linux? This guide will show you how to hook up an APC UPS to an Ubuntu-based Desktop or Server PC and allow your UPS to email you when mains power has failed, when mains power has been restored, and also give your PC ample opportunity to shutdown when battery on the UPS gets to a critical low. (more…)
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Mini-Review: Generic hot-swap eSATA Docking Bay with Ubuntu

Review
I regularly deal with external hard-drives, be it for data backup or if I'm rescuing a client's hard-drive from uncertain death. Since the idea of opening my PC on a regular basis to connect a drive is a bit of a turn off, I used to use an external USB drive enclosure. This works fine, but it's a bit slow (well, at least until USB 3.0 makes its debut). The eSATA standard allows you to connect external drives at full SATA speed, but it's not cost-effective to buy an enclosure for every external drive you have. Enter the Docking Bay. This is a simple weighed base that allows you to connect a hard-drive in a similar way to how you used to plug in game cartridges into a classic game…
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HowTo: Fix a missing eth0 adapter after moving Ubuntu Server from one box to another.

Tutorials
Scenario: You have a box running Ubuntu Server. Something happens to the box and you decide to move the hard-drive to another physical machine to get the server back up and running. The hardware is identical on the other machine, so there shouldn't be any issues at all, right? The machine starts up fine, but when you try and hit the network, you can't. Closer inspection using the ifconfig command reveals that there is no "eth0" adapter configured. Why? Here's how to fix it. (more…)
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HowTo: Deal with BD+ copy protection when ripping Blu-ray titles using Ubuntu

Tutorials
A fair while back now, I wrote an article detailing how to decode Blu-ray titles using Ubuntu and an LG GGC-H20L Blu-ray optical drive. This article detailed how to decrypt just about every movie under the sun except for a newer type of protection called "BD+" which I never got around to supplementing my original article with. What is "BD+" protection? Well in short, it's the deliberate corruption of random parts of the video track of the movie (well, OK - that is a highly simplified definition as BD+ protection can do a lot more than that, but the end result is the same - to prevent unauthorised playback which includes ripping). The idea BD+ is that when you rip the title, you can still watch the movie, but with…
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HowTo: Pair your Bluetooth mobile phone with Ubuntu Jaunty for file transfers etc.

Tutorials
Following up my previous article of how to pair your Bluetooth mobile phone with Ubuntu Intrepid, I present this updated article for pairing your mobile phone using the updated version of the Bluez Bluetooth stack and the newer and better Blueman applet for Jaunty which greatly simplifies the process of pairing Bluetooth devices and transferring files to your mobile phone. (more…)
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HowTo: Setup your Nokia N95 mobile phone as a Mobile Broadband Device via Bluetooth in Ubuntu Jaunty

Tutorials
Following up my article of how to setup a Nokia N95 as a mobile broadband device using a USB cable, we've been waiting for the Network Manager and/or Bluetooth stack to be updated so we could do the same thing via Bluetooth - damn those pesky cables to hell! Well, it's finally happened. While Ubuntu itself hasn't been updated yet, the Bluetooth package that Ubuntu uses has been updated by the parent Blueman Project. So here's a guide on how to update your Ubuntu Jaunty installation to the latest version of the Bluez Bluetooth stack, pair your Nokia N95 and how to setup a Broadband connection to go through it. (more…)
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