Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Using FreeNAS 8.0 as a Bridge

I have installed and tested this on FreeNAS 8.0 Beta

My FreeNAS server and one workstation are in the same room and I needed a way to connect them to the LAN to allow for fast file transfers between all computers in my network.

Since I lacked a switch, I needed to convert FreeNAS into a bridging device. It was just a matter of installing a spare NIC into the FreeNAS server and doing the following:

Make my CF card readable (you might skip this step if you installed FreeNAS on a mechanical Hard drive).

mount -t ufs -w /dev/ufs/FreeNASs1a /

Insert a FreeBSD 8.0 disk into your cd-rom drive and copy the files as shown:

mkdir /mnt/cdrom
Mount cdrom: mount -t cd9660 /dev/acd0 /mnt/cdrom/

Copy files across:

cp /mnt/cdrom/boot/kernel/if_bridge.ko /boot/kernel/
cp /mnt/cdrom/boot/kernel/bridgestp.ko /boot/kernel/

ee /boot/loader.conf

Add the following line:


Save and exit

Restart the server with "reboot"

Create the bridge and add interfaces:

ifconfig bridge create
ifconfig bridge addm em0 addm em1
ifconfig em0 up
ifconfig em1 ip

dhclient bridge0 (or ifconfig bridge0 inet 192.168.xx.xx netmask

The name of your interfaces might vary. Check with ifconfig.

Note: You can start the bridge automatically at startup. Refer to the FreeBSD Handbook Chapter 31.5 to see how its done.

P.S. You may do this on FreeNAS 7.x as well. You just need to get FreeBSD 7.x's bridge modules for that kernel. They can obtained from or from a FreeBSD 7.x iso image.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Greetings All,
I would like to seize this opportunity to wish you all a most Merry Christmas and very Happy New Year. 
I pray that the New Year brings you bleesed joy, prosperity and success.
Have a wonderful celebration...
With much festive spirit,


Monday, August 09, 2010

Installing Compiz Fusion on Fedora

Execute the following as root in a terminal.

yum install -y ccsm emerald-themes compizconfig-backend-gconf fusion-icon-gtk
emerald compiz-fusion compiz-fusion-gnome libcompizconfig compiz-gnome compiz-bcop
compiz compizconfig-python compiz-fusion-extras compiz-fusion-extras-gnome

Entering the BIOS Screen of an HP Proliant

I recently salvaged an HP Proliant Server from the trash (I know!!). It was in a fully functioning order, sporting 1 GB of RAM and a 2.6 GHz Pentium IV processor. It also had an Adaptec RAID controller for the hot swap module.

The problem I faced with the machine was when it boots up, the Adaptec controller displays its own boot-up screen - hence closing the default screen. I have never worked on an HP machine before so I had no idea how to get into the BIOS setup to configure the boot options.

I managed to stall the computer with a bootable USB drive and found what the keys were.

So, if you are stuck in the same dilemma I faced, these keys could come in handy.

F8 - Boot Menu
F10 - Setup Menu
F12 - Network Boot
ESC - Summary and Boot Progress

I am happy to say that this machine is now a dedicated NAS for my home network. :D (I also tried pfSense on it but NAS seem to be a more valuable duty for it - too powerful for routing.)

Monday, July 05, 2010

Solving SSH problem in Fedora

I have been asked many a times why SSH does not work on Fedora. The simple answer is SSH works. You just need to "unblock" it. The SSH port (22) is blocked by default in Fedora's firewall as a security measure. Go to System -> Administration -> Firewall and sign in as root. Check the box to allow SSH connections and Enable.

SSH should now work.

Installing Essential Software for Fedora

I recently came across a very handy utility which installs a lot of small but much needed extras for Fedora.

EasyLife for Fedora allows users to setup Flash, Java and a range of codecs and tools to play just about any multimedia file. It also has options to set the sudo functionality for normal users.

The utility can be downloaded from

Install it as root and you choose what features you want to enable. Its as easy as that.

Monday, June 14, 2010

TI-83 Program to calculate Modulus (Remainder)

Insert into PRGM Editor in TI Calculator

:Prompt A,B
:fPart(A/B)*B --> C
:Disp C

Friday, June 04, 2010

Google Wallpapers?

It's interesting to see Google borrowing features from Microsoft's Bing - like adding a wallpaper to the Google homepage. Check the story on Softpedia here.

Add a wallpaper to your Google homepage here.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fedora 13 is out

Fedora 13 is finally out after 2 weeks (or so!) of delay. It looks great - feature wise. I haven't had time to try it yet, but a review will come as soon as I find some time to test it.

Download it at

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Fedora 13 Goddard

Fedora 13 "Goddard" is due is 14 days. After the renewed disappointment that was Ubuntu 10.04, I can't wait to get Fedora 13 up and running. Fedora 12 is running full-time on both my servers and on my laptop - uptime of more than 5 months (on the server). Hehe :D

Go for Goddard!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Removing old packages from YUM cache

Running multiple Fedora machines means that I need to update them regularly to keep them in proper running conditions. Being a user in Australia, updating each and every machine puts a load on both my bandwidth and wallet since I pay per GB downloaded.

The simple solution is to enable YUM to keep the downloaded cache and tell all the machines to download the updates from that one machine. The downside of this method is that updates get acculmulated and hence puts a strain on hard disk space as old and new packages are collected.

I needed a way to clean-up the cache and keep only current updates.

The simple way to do it is to use a wonderful utility called Tidy RPM Cache. Its a python script written to recursively scan packages and remove the old ones. For Example if you have three versions of the same package (e.g. Wireshark 1.2.01, 1.2.02 and 1.2.03), Tidy RPM Cache, will only keep the latest one, i.e. Wireshark 1.2.03.

All you have to do is execute the script by pointing it to the directory where your cache is stored. The command is illustrated below. It will scan and clean all the repositories from which you have downloaded packages. Rest assured, you will be prompted whether or not you want to clear the packages once the scan is complete.

[UpdateServer Desktop]$ ./ --dir /var/cache/yum/i386/12/

Tidy RPM Cache can be downloaded from freshmeat. Just click on TAR/GZ in the Links section.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Making Latex Work on Fedora 12

Although, TeX packages can be easily installed via the Add/Remove software, I find it easier to use the command-line specially when you need to install the tex packages.

Just issue the following commands as root to get everything working. Some packages might be redundant but they do get all the aspects of compiling tex documents and their bib files working.

yum - y install tetex-latex
yum - y install texlive
yum - y install tetex-IEEEtran

After installing these packages, you can compile your documents to pdf easily using pdflatex documentname.tex and bibtex bibliography.aux and there you have it.