HowTo: Stop GRUB preventing auto-start of the OS after a previous boot failure

Tutorials
The GRUB boot menu by default will generally show its menu for about ten seconds before automatically booting the OS, but if something goes wrong, or an over-zealous party interrupts the boot process because he thought it had hung, the OS will tell GRUB that. Now that's all well and good, but GRUB's default action in such an instance is to abort the automatic timeout and stay at the GRUB boot menu waiting for a manual action, such as entering recovery mode. On systems that are unattended or without keyboards, this proves to be very annoying and generally you'd like the OS to boot up anyway despite the reported failure. So here's how you can fix it. (more…)
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HowTo: Install Flumotion Streaming Server on Ubuntu 14.04

Tutorials
Flumotion Streaming Server is a great open-source application that is available in the Ubuntu repositories that can easily allow you to broadcast a live stream from a video camera, or broadcast pre-recorded media. The end-user can view this media in any capable HTML5 web browser such as Google Chrome. Unfortunately Flumotion (version 0.10.0-1 at the time of writing) relies on some deprecated Twisted Python network functions that prevent the software from working properly on any release of Ubuntu from 13.04 and upwards. The obvious solution is to simply install Flumotion under Ubuntu 12.04 but then you will find that Flumotion in the 12.04 repository is buggy and out of date anyway, requiring you to update Flumotion from the official developer PPA to the stable release that is already in Ubuntu 14.04. There is…
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HowTo: Install the IBM Notes 9.0 client on Ubuntu 64-bit

Tutorials
IBM Notes (formerly Lotus Notes) is a corporate email and database collaboration tool. It's still popular and widely used, and at the time of writing is now up to version 9.0. Unfortunately IBM have a bad habit of assuming no-one uses 64-bit operating systems (yes, even in 2014), so with the exception of the Apple OS X version which doesn't have a 32-bit version at all, IBM continues to compile the Linux and Windows versions as 32-bit only applications. Installing the 32-bit Linux version does not work on 64-bit Ubuntu/Debian systems "out of the box" because of some hard-coded 32-bit only pre-requisites. This article will describe how to modify the installer so that it will work on 64-bit systems. (more…)
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HowTo: Fix Apt-Get failing with a “Method did not start correctly” error

Tutorials
So, you decide to install a new package on your system, or perhaps update your system with some outstanding updates. You either use the Software Centre or the Apt-Get command from a terminal to do this and you are suddenly greeted with the following error: Failed to exec method /usr/lib/apt/methods/ E: Method  has died unexpectedly! E: Sub-process  returned an error code (100) E: Method /usr/lib/apt/methods/ did not start correctly And everything stops. Repeating the command produces the same error over and over. What just happened and how do you fix this? (more…)
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HowTo: Fix Postgrey not working after upgrading from an older version of Ubuntu to a newer version.

Tutorials
Scenario: You've got some Postfix mail servers running with Postgrey for anti-spam greylisting. They're all using older versions of Ubuntu such as 10.04 LTS. You've decided that it's time to upgrade them to the next LTS, Ubuntu 12.04. You do the upgrade and it goes without a hitch. You restart the server, everything looks good, until you start seeing this message in your server's mail log:   Jan 23 21:17:58 mymailserver postfix/smtpd[7976]: connect from somecompany.com[100.200.300.400] Jan 23 21:17:59 mymailserver postfix/smtpd[7976]: warning: connect to 127.0.0.1:10023: Connection refused Jan 23 21:17:59 mymailserver postfix/smtpd[7976]: warning: problem talking to server 127.0.0.1:10023: Connection refused Jan 23 21:18:00 mymailserver postfix/smtpd[7976]: warning: connect to 127.0.0.1:10023: Connection refused Jan 23 21:18:00 mymailserver postfix/smtpd[7976]: warning: problem talking to server 127.0.0.1:10023: Connection refused Jan 23 21:18:00 mymailserver postfix/smtpd[7976]: NOQUEUE: reject:…
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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: Fix being unable to click in Flash applications in Ubuntu 64-bit

Tutorials
Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) has a curious bug on the 64-bit Intel/AMD version whereby on some systems you can play Flash perfectly, but the Flash application does not recognise any mouse clicks in it. This means in sites such as YouTube, you can't click the mouse to play and pause, or seek in a video - you're forced to use the keyboard. This is a known bug with the flashplugin-installer package and is currently being worked on by Canonical. In the meantime, if you wish to fix the problem yourself now rather than wait for the official fix, just follow these instructions... (more…)
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HowTo: Remotely collaborate with another user in a terminal

Tutorials
You do remote tech support for clients. One client calls you up needing assistance. You SSH into their machine as usual to check out the problem. You probably also have them on the phone so you can walk them through what you are doing or ask them questions, but making long support phone calls can be expensive if you're doing it via a mobile phone or internationally and it's tiresome to switch to an IM client window all the time to write comments, especially if the client is not running a graphical session and only has a text server console to look at. Sometimes actions speak much louder than words, and it would be great for the client to be able to see what you are doing without cumbersome and…
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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: Restore the Windows Master Boot Record (without using a Windows CD) using Ubuntu Karmic.

Tutorials
You know how it is - you take a client's Windows based machine, do a dual-boot installation of Ubuntu (which replaces the Windows Master Boot Record, or MBR, with GRUB and sets up an option to boot Ubuntu or Windows) so the client can evaluate Ubuntu, but then later on for whatever reason, Ubuntu is no longer wanted. It's removed and you need to restore the system's ability to natively boot Windows directly without a GRUB menu. You're probably thinking "why the hell would anyone want to do that?!"... well, the fact of the matter is you sometimes come across a client who is just too mind-set and refuses to use anything but Windows, so yes - sometimes you need to restore the Windows MBR, but how do you do…
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