Tag Archives: Linux

Reset your “Lost” Password in Ubuntu

I have a few VM’s setup at home. One is Ubuntu. I haven’t been on it for a while. Figured I knew what the password was when I set it up months ago, but for some reason it wasn’t work. So how to change?

1. Reboot into “recovery mode”

Reboot, hold down shift and the boot menu will come up, choose the option with (recovery) at the end.

2. Mount as root

Once through that, choose the option to mount as root.

3. Reset Password

#passwd username (username is the username you want to reset)..

enter the password twice, and then

#reboot now

Bonus: If you get “Authentication token manipulation error” as I did, you need to remount your file system as read/write at the root prompt.

#mount -rw -o remount /

Bonus 2: Once you actually get into the system, it is going to probably complain about your keyrings password not matching. Goto your home folder (make sure you have all folders shown) and goto .gnome2/keyrings and delete and files and reboot.

Overall not that bad, but yeah, don’t lose your passwords. Keep them in a password manager! (I didn’t with this one of course, didn’t keep it in my head either!)

Cool Things I Have Been Doing On the Computer Lately

In the past couple of months, weeks, whatever (time flies) I have been doing some pretty cool things on the computer, in a wide range of areas. Just want to get them down on paper (you know what I mean)…

1. Yammer – working hard on growing Yammer community, external networks, just getting engagement and showing the benefits. It’s fun.

2. Kinect – did some Kinect hacking. On my own then with the group, got some cool stuff to show. It is crazy how easy it is to get something up and running with Kinect and the SDK. I see this stuff taking off in the coming months/years.

3. Azure – dorking around with Azure, looking at what it can and can’t do, what it could do well, how it would fit in with everything.

4. SQL 2012/Power View – been playing around with SQL 2012 since “Denali”, but now its got an official launch date (March 7th) and things are getting real. Power View demos online, trying to figure out how SQL 2012 is going to fit into our infrastructure and just learning as much as I can about it.

5. Ruby – been getting into Ruby and Ruby on Rails on my Mac, git, sqlite3, heroku, etc. Trying to learn more things that just the .NET ecosystem.

6. Ubuntu – same here, set up a VM, been trying to use it consistently, trying to get the other viewpoints from Windows and Mac and where things are at. Keep up with the joneses so to speak.

7. Android – I picked up a Samsung Galaxy (Verizon 4G) a few weeks ago and have been using it. I still love my iPhone, but getting more into Android. Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) is a pretty good OS, there are still quirks, but its better. Verizon sucks around where I live btw.

8. Google+/Picasa Web Albums – been getting this into my photo workflow, for sharing and backup. Liking it so far.

9. SharePoint 2010/FAST – been researching and reading FAST server like crazy trying to see how it will fit in with a potential project. I think it could be amazing. more to come.

10. SMS – been playing around with different frameworks, and seeing how they compare, trying things out. Using Voice and SMS is all the rage these days. (Hall and Oates thing anyone?)

Bonus: Nothing with computers, but I have been really getting into brewing beer/homebrewing. I think we have made 5 batches now, and the ones I have tasted so far are really good. It is a fun hobby and breaks up the constant technology I am involved in. More to come here too.

And much much more. Time is limited, time to post is limited. Getting out there and doing cool things is fun, and sharing them is fun too. Gotta find the right balance. I hope everyone is having a cool 2012 so far.

Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron – Second Chance, Wireless Works and was Easy!

So, last night I decided to give Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron another try. I blogged previously about setting it up and getting wireless to work, and what a nightmare it was

What I did this time was this. First off, I have computers everywhere, a MacBook, MacBook Pro, Dell Desktop and Dell Laptop. I have Vista on the desktop, and the Dell laptop I wasn’t doing much with, so I decided to load up Ubuntu on it. After installing, I connected it to a wired connection, downloaded the OS updates and let is sit for a while. After a few minutes it popped up with an alert telling my that there were updated drivers for the BroadCom wireless nic card. Wha?!? I open the alert, hit enable, and it downloads new drivers and fwcutter and lo and behold, wireless starts working with no hassles. I am on Ubuntu right now dinking around. So what is the first thing I do? Well make it look like a Mac of course.

So now I have Mac OS 10.5, Vista, and Ubuntu 8.04 all running on different machines. I would say right now though I do like the Mac the best. I use Vista for anything that really needs Windows. I will probably setup VMWare Fusion again on the MBP, but a smaller partition. I moved all my music there (80+ GB) and had to free up some space, my Vista partition was 60 GB.

Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron – Linux is Cool, Linux Wireless is Not – 10 Step Program

Gah. I have a love hate relationship with Linux. It is pretty cool, can do pretty much everything. But.. But.. wireless support is just a joke. Same issues with Yellow Dog Linux on the PS3.

Wireless should JUST WORK.

I downloaded the 8.04 iso, and burnt it to cd. Installed it in windows, which is cool, a 10 GB partition. rebooted and the windows boot manager lets you choose , Vista or Ubuntu.

After getting set up, logged in, I tried to get on wireless. Doesn’t work. The thing is with Linux, is if you start configuring stuff here and there, it can get WAY out of hand, and then its just wacked. That happened, so I reboot to Vista, uninstall Linux, reinstall.

Now, lets search the forums, blogs and what not to get wireless to work. These are the steps I took to get it to work. My laptop is Inspiron E1705 with Broadcom wireless..

Fire up terminal..

1) sudo apt-get install build-essential

2) wget http://bu3sch.de/b43/fwcutter/b43-fwcutter-011.tar.bz2

3) tar xjf b43-fwcutter-011.tar.bz2

4) cd b43-fwcutter-011

5) make

6) cd..

7) wget http://downloads.openwrt.org/sources/broadcom-wl-

8) tar xjf broadcom-wl-

9) cd broadcom-wl-

10) sudo ../../b43-fwcutter-011/b43-fwcutter -w “/lib/firmware� wl_apsta.o

Now, reboot a few times, and then maybe.. just maybe your wireless will connect and work. Once it latches on, it seems to be fine. I am on Ubuntu right now, writing this post.

Only 10 steps to get wifi working, all manual, and just a PITA. Granted it took me about an hour to patch together 18 different ways to get it to work..

Now I know why people use Mac and Windows. There is now way regular users are going to put up with that. Its like having to turn a crank to get your engine in your car to start. Just ain’t going to happen. Maybe in version 9 :)

Windows Vista vs. Windows XP Debate. Who Wins?

I have been using Microsoft’s Windows Vista since it came out RTM, Oct 30 2006. I had it on a Dell desktop, which worked fine. Some driver issues before January 2007, but it still worked. I have had it on my main Dell laptop since May 2007. I use this laptop for work (read: Visual Studio 2005, 2008, SQL Server, Office 2007 etc, etc)

I started using XP the same way since it came out in 2001. Even though, at work, I was forced to use 98/2000 for a while, but I had XP running at home, and ran it all they way up till I installed Vista fresh.

Now XP SP0, was very buggy, driver issues. Same with Windows 2000, SP1 came out and a lot of issues were fixed and it was more stable, yet insecure. SP2 fixed most of the big problems and it was very stable, mature OS, and now SP3 is RTM which adds a few hidden features, as well as all the security patches since SP2. Good deal, yeah, XP is stable, mature and works. Guess what? So is UNIX. It doesn’t mean we want to use it on our machines.

Vista is the new OS in town from Microsoft, and it works just fine. Great almost. Yeah, you heard me right. It works, it doesn’t suck, and yeah, it is better than XP.

Anyone who says otherwise either

a) Doesn’t know how to setup and work Windows

b) has hardware that they can’t get working

c) has an OEM machine full of bloatware slowing it down

d) doesn’t know how to tweak a machine for performance.

e) they haven’t used Vista (because of work reasons or whatever)

Yes, XP works, it works well, for people running Compaq Pesarios or HP machines that are 5-6+ years old. It works well for Linux geeks who really don’t know how to work Windows. It works well for Mac people that need Windows every now and then.

But Vista, just works. My desktop was purchased in Nov 2005. 2 GB of ram. Vista works like a champ. Laptop in May 2007, once again, runs like a champ. Even my MacBook with 1GB runs Vista very well using Apple’s Boot Camp.

Vista IS more secure. You can run it without added bloat of an antivirus/spyware in my opinion. And if you are behind a router, you don’t need a firewall. Now, in XP’s case.. you probably need all three, just because XP is more vulnerable, and when by chance it does get hit by malware, it makes it MUCH harder to get it off XP (I know from helping people) compared to Vista.  Vista has built in tools to identify rouge programs, processes, and things that just shouldn’t be there. It gives you more insight into what is going on – the control panel has tons of options to monitor everything, and, Vista is locked down by default.

Yes UAC is a pain. I disable it, I am a power user. You don’t even need to be a power user, just a smart user. Don’t install crazy things, use Firefox, things like that.

I have been using Mac OS 10.4 and 10.5 now for about 6 months. It is OK, it works, depending on what you want to do. If I wasn’t a Windows developer, I could get by on Mac. I could get by on Linux (I have used it on and off for 8 or so years). But could an average user get by on Linux? No. That is why Linux will never become mainstream for end users – it is too difficult. Even Mac/Windows (and pssst Linux) geek’s give up on Linux because it is just too damn non-user friendly sometimes. No, I shouldn’t have to recompile my kernel to get wireless working. No, I shouldn’t have to edit config files ANYWHERE to change settings, not as an end user. As a power user, yea, that’s fine.

Back to XP vs. Vista – the petition to keep XP alive is just like trying to keep VB6 alive – it will always fail. VB.NET is superior to VB6, Vista is superior to XP – it just is. Vista MCE is much better than MCE 2005, just a ton more options and features, and it works, I could just keep going on and on listing feature comparisons, but it isn’t worth it.

I can say from experience, that Vista wins this war with XP, and until someone can convince me, that is how I roll :)

HowTo: Hack Your PS3: Installing Yellow Dog Linux 6.0, and Actually Getting It To Work!

So, a couple of weeks ago, I bought a PS3, for the Blu-Ray disc capabilities. Since HD-DVD has died and I can get Blu-Ray discs through Netflix, and since the PS3 can be updated with new features, I figured I would give it a try. (The 100 dollar EB games credit I had made the decision easier as well)

After playing around with the PS3 (I bought one game disc ; Uncharted, Drakes Adventures, and one Online game; Pain) I figured it would be good to hack around and install Linux on it. With the PS3, Sony makes it really easy to install Linux.


I decided to go with Yellow Dog Linux (YDL), version 6.0 (the latest). Other distros will work, but this is the main one they support – you can download it here – http://www.terrasoftsolutions.com/support/downloads/

After getting the 3.7 GB file, which took forever, I burnt the ISO to DVD using Active@ ISO-Burner (a sweet ISO burner BTW). Ok, all set to install. A few things to consider

1) You need a USB keyboard and mouse

2) You need a HDTV for this to work

In the PS3, go to settings, system settings, and then format utility. You can format a 10 GB partition for “Other OS”.  Restart the PS3

Then put in the Linux DVD, go back to settings, system settings, Install Other OS. YDL said /ps3/otheros/otheros.bld  … so, hit start. Then it will tell you how to get to the other OS.

Go then to “Default System” menu and choose Other OS, and then restart..

It should restart into Linux. It will be at a prompt, “kboot:” – hit enter, it should get into setup, you can follow the onscreen instructions from there. Everything is pretty much default and hitting yes to any prompts, a basic install. You set up a root password, etc. Reboot after it is done, it will go through some final setup steps (checking sound, etc), after that, you should be able to login.

Logging in, first thing I wanted to do was get networking set up. I am not using the wired connection, rather I am using wireless, with WPA. Here is where the fun starts, and why I hate Linux.

YDL doesn’t support WPA out of the box, isn’t that awesome? The wifi was there in network config, etc, and I could put in settings, but it would never connect. I do love the error it gives you as well… “Check Cable?” umm… well, I would but Linux, remember we are configuring a Wi-Fi Connection? No Cable?

Anyway’s.. debacle time.. found this after some searching – http://dachaac.blogspot.com/2007/08/guide-to-get-wpa-psk-working-on-ps3-ydl.html

This works… I just connected to a “linksys” for 2 seconds to download the RPM (or you can just put it on a flash drive as well), and then disconnected. Going through that tutorial though,there was one thing I was getting hung up on. The networking commands were not working for me. I was logged in a regular user, so I tried “su” to switch to root. Still no dice. I had to logout, and login as root, and run through that tutorial (unpacking the RPM with –force works with “su”).

Awesome, my networking is working and I am using WPA… yesssss! Now, just check a few things, email, reader, Facebook, cool. How about YouTube… wait… no flash. Check Adobe’s site.. no flash for PPC architecture.. WTF? So no flash at this point…which stinks..

Whew, all the Linux hacking is making me thirsty.. ok, lets boot back to the PS3 OS…wait.. how?

After doing some more digging, there should be a command “boot-game-os” you can run from the terminal and it should reboot. Wait, trying to run that command, it says “command not found”… another WTF…

After some more digging, it turns out the command resides in the “/sbin” directory, which users don’t have access to… (even root? man…)

So we need to make a sym-link. You can do this as a regular user, but you need to “su”, then run

cd /bin

ln -s /sbin/boot-game-os boot-game-os

Then, you can just go to the “start” menu in TDL, and there is an option then to “Boot Game OS” – works like a charm, reboot and you are back to the PS3