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'[EE] Technology Adoption Lag (now: linux flames!)'
2005\09\04@040821 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Sep 3, 2005, at 11:08 PM, digitaladdictions wrote:

> I really do think modern Linux distro's are easier to use than windows
> and involve less tinkering. I realize people are scared to type but
> with a single command you can download and install a program, without
> worrying about finding it or any of its dependencies on the web the
> package manager takes care of all of it for you.

Heh.  I just turned on my debian linux system, after about a year of
not using it.  I wanted to install gputils and such, figuring that
would go somewhat more smoothly than it did on my mac...

So, after six hours or so of recovering from a forgotten root password
(wasn't it nice of it to configure itself so that booting in singleuser
mode wasn't sufficient to fix such things.  Anyone know how to turn
that "feature" off?), I fired of deselect, eventually figured out how
to get it pointed at a site that knew about gputils, and had it ready
to update and install that, along with some assorted systems updates
it thought I should install.

Hmm.  600+ Megabytes of assorted systems updates.  Including who knows
how many megabytes of KDE "games" that were "required" by a mysterious
chain of dependancies, plus "edutainment" packages with useful stuff
like
a russian language tutor.  I *think* I weeded most of that out, and
got down to a more reasonable 400+ Mbytes of download.  I let that
go overnight, fiddled with the instal and configure errors today.  And
now, only 24 hours after I decided to download gputils, it looks like
it's working!  "Package managers make things easy" - HAH!

Sigh.
BillW

2005\09\04@042007 by Dave King

flavicon
face
I've got an old Windows 95 cd you can have... ;-]

Dave

{Quote hidden}

> --

2005\09\04@130155 by Peter

picon face


On Sun, 4 Sep 2005, William Chops Westfield wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Put the shell name as a kernel parameter. e.g. ... init=/bin/bash

this will drop you into bash as root. man 7 bootparam

Just dont't lose the root password of an OpenBSD system.

> Hmm.  600+ Megabytes of assorted systems updates.  Including who knows
> how many megabytes of KDE "games" that were "required" by a mysterious
> chain of dependancies, plus "edutainment" packages with useful stuff like

You can break out of the elephantine dependency lists by installing
packages manually.

> it's working!  "Package managers make things easy" - HAH!

For users who use default options and update when told. (you probably
accumulated half a year's worth of updates)

Peter

2005\09\04@181822 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Sep 4, 2005, at 10:01 AM, Peter wrote:

>> (wasn't it nice of it to configure itself so that booting in
>> singleuser
>> mode wasn't sufficient to fix such things.  Anyone know how to turn
>> that "feature" off?), I fired of deselect, eventually figured out how
>
> Put the shell name as a kernel parameter. e.g. ... init=/bin/bash
>
Did that.  /etc claimed to be a read-only filesystem, so I couldn't
fix anything :-(

BillW

2005\09\04@184939 by Alex Harford

face picon face
On 9/4/05, William Chops Westfield <westfwspamKILLspammac.com> wrote:
>
> On Sep 4, 2005, at 10:01 AM, Peter wrote:
>
> >> (wasn't it nice of it to configure itself so that booting in
> >> singleuser
> >> mode wasn't sufficient to fix such things.  Anyone know how to turn
> >> that "feature" off?), I fired of deselect, eventually figured out how
> >
> > Put the shell name as a kernel parameter. e.g. ... init=/bin/bash
> >
> Did that.  /etc claimed to be a read-only filesystem, so I couldn't
> fix anything :-(

Something like:

mount /etc -o remount,rw

should allow /etc (or maybe you need to use / ) to be remounted as read/write.

man 8 mount for more details.

Alex

2005\09\04@204222 by Chen Xiao Fan

face
flavicon
face
Broadband is important to run Windows and Linux now!
It seems that my Ubuntu box needs more update than
Windows. Perhaps I installed too many non-essentail
packages. However I prefer to install more than less.

Another thing is that for new users, I think it is
better to use latest Linux distribution. My linux
experimentation restarted this year with Ubuntu 5.04.
It is quite a nice distribution. I suggest you install
Debian Sarge or Ubuntu. Perhaps your Debian is really
old. For experienced Linux user or server user, maybe
it is okay or better to use older system.

I installed Fedora Core 3 installed on my notebook and I
was having the same situation as you (600M of updates).
I then switched to Fedora Core 4 and things is much better.
Still I have not boot into FC4 enough times to make a
judgement. I do not like RPMs in general. However I
find Debian package to be more and more like RPMs. I
no longer know how to build my kernel on Ubuntu becauee of
so many customized patches and special build instructions.
Last time I was trying CDC demo on PICDEM FS USB and I have to
update to a new kernel (from 2.6.10 to 2.6.12) and I chose
to use a test kernel from Ubuntu Breezy, I found out I
need so many dependency packages in order to update. That
is really making life difficult. I started with Slackware 3.6
(1998) and it seems that people had better control of the system
on Slackware. It is said that Gentoo is good now. However
I am not so good at Linux to use it.

Still no pain no gain. It is always frustrating initially.
After the painful process (okay I do not have painful process
with Ubuntu initially but I do have painful initial process
with Redhat 9 some years ago and stopped my Linux experimentation),
things become better.

For me two things make Linux new user's life much more difficult
than it should be.

1) lack of hardware support: it is much better now than
some years ago. Be careful to choose the components which
support Linux. MPLAB ICD2 is a pain when PIC development comes
to mind. It is simply not working under Linux even though
there are efforts like LPLAB/PIClab.

2) lack of standard package: RPMs/DEBs from different vendors
are not really compatible. RPMS/DEBs from different versions
are not really compatible even from the same vendors. This is
the biggest problem. Some of the dependencies are really
strange to say the least.

Dual boot (Linux and Windows) is always better for news users.
There are thing easier in Linux (eg: connecting to Unix
servers running X). There are things easier in Windows.
To have more choice is always good. Linux is now so much
better than 3 years ago. Windows XP SP2 is now so much better
than Windows 98/Me.


Regards,
Xiaofan

{Original Message removed}

2005\09\04@210521 by Mark Rages

face picon face
On 9/4/05, Chen Xiao Fan <.....xiaofanKILLspamspam.....sg.pepperl-fuchs.com> wrote:
> Broadband is important to run Windows and Linux now!
> It seems that my Ubuntu box needs more update than
> Windows. Perhaps I installed too many non-essentail
> packages. However I prefer to install more than less.

Remember, Windows is only an operating system.  Ubuntu is updating
both the OS and most of your applications.

> Another thing is that for new users, I think it is
> better to use latest Linux distribution. My linux
> experimentation restarted this year with Ubuntu 5.04.
> It is quite a nice distribution. I suggest you install
> Debian Sarge or Ubuntu. Perhaps your Debian is really
> old. For experienced Linux user or server user, maybe
> it is okay or better to use older system.

For almost everyone, the new stuff is better.

> I installed Fedora Core 3 installed on my notebook and I
> was having the same situation as you (600M of updates).
> I then switched to Fedora Core 4 and things is much better.
> Still I have not boot into FC4 enough times to make a
> judgement.

Fedora is kind of a special case because it is Red Hat's testing
ground for new stuff.  I just set a cron job to update it when I
sleep.

> I do not like RPMs in general. However I
> find Debian package to be more and more like RPMs.

.debs are more or less equivalent to rpms.

( By the way, Xiaofan, I got "Four bytes at once" mode working with
the Pickit 2.  It programs a 3700 word program into a 16F688 in less
than 5 seconds... Just have to get the EEPROM working and I'll make a
release.)

Regards,
Mark
markrages@gmail
--
You think that it is a secret, but it never has been one.
 - fortune cookie

2005\09\04@222146 by Chen Xiao Fan

face
flavicon
face
Oh yes that is true. I removed Open Office because of the
sheer size of the updates. The problem is that I am experimenting
with Linux so I tend to install more things than I should. However
it seems to me that it is better to install more because of the
dependency problem.

Linux PIC development on Debian seems to be more difficult
than Redhat based system since most of the Linux PIC guys
are running Redhat/Fedora system.

Anyway after getting gpsim/gputils/sdcc/PICkit1/Wisp628 working
on my Ubuntu/FC4, now I do have a working environment on Linux.
Take note that my Linux PIC experiment started only this May
and I am not a very experienced Linux user.

I also managed to get C18/C30/MPASM/MPASM30 working
under Linux with Wine. BTW, it seems to me I need to write
something up on this issue because quite some people still
ask me how to do it (even those running MacOS X) even though
I have stopped testing Wine.

I am looking forward to test your PICkit 2 application so
that I have one more tools working on Linux. ICD2 is the last
one I really want to get work under Linux (but it is difficult
since Microchip has not release the on-chip debug specification
and the ICD2 communication protocol/API). I have PICDEM FS USB
and it already works under Linux thanks to Rick Luddy's fsusb
application. Libusb is great stuff! Hopefully there are something
like "lib-serial" and "lib-parallel" (cross platform serial and parallel
library).

Regards,
Xiaofan


{Original Message removed}

2005\09\05@172756 by Peter

picon face

On Sun, 4 Sep 2005, William Chops Westfield wrote:

> On Sep 4, 2005, at 10:01 AM, Peter wrote:
>
>>> (wasn't it nice of it to configure itself so that booting in singleuser
>>> mode wasn't sufficient to fix such things.  Anyone know how to turn
>>> that "feature" off?), I fired of deselect, eventually figured out how
>>
>> Put the shell name as a kernel parameter. e.g. ... init=/bin/bash
>>
> Did that.  /etc claimed to be a read-only filesystem, so I couldn't
> fix anything :-(

As it would be ;-) It boots into single user with root mounted ro so the
filesystem can be checked before mounting it rw. This allows the
legendary crash-proofness of the linux filesystems to work. Data loss by
unclean shutdown is almost unheard of.

You have to remount the fs containing /etc read-write and edit it, and
don't forget to shut down cleanly. You will also need to edit things by
hand (using sed and grep for example). Basically the commands are:

<boot> ... init=/bin/bash

# /bin/cat /etc/fstab
...
# /sbin/fsck /dev/xxx <- put the root device fs here, or the one
                         containing /etc, taken from the fstab output above
# /bin/mount -o remount,rw /dev/xxx /
# /usr/bin/passwd root
# umount -a
# shutdown -r -t1 now

Note: watch your typing!!! On some systems /etc is not in the root
volume. In that case mount /dev/xxx that says its mount point is /etc,
on /etc (not on /) and do not make root rw. This is likely not your
situation however (and it may lead to other problems as you would need a
writable /tmp to run passwd probably).

Should passwd not work, edit /etc/shadow using sed and substitute the
crypted password of another user for root's.

good luck,
Peter




2005\09\05@181459 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Sep 5, 2005, at 2:27 PM, Peter wrote:

>>> Put the shell name as a kernel parameter. e.g. ... init=/bin/bash
>> Did that.  /etc claimed to be a read-only filesystem, so I couldn't
>> fix anything :-(
>
> As it would be ;-) It boots into single user with root mounted ro so
> the filesystem can be checked before mounting it rw.

Ah, that makes sense.  Having bypassed the normal init, I didn't get the
normal fsck on boot behavior.  While not terribly useful (see below),
at least that explains what seemed mysterious behavior...

> don't forget to shut down cleanly.

That's a bit difficult when you don't have the root password :-)
>
> You have to remount the fs containing /etc read-write and edit it

In the end, I downloaded and booted tomsrtbt, a "recovery" linux that
boots from floppy/cd to ramdisk, manually mounted and fsck'ed the real
filesystem, and manually edited the shadow file with the provided vi
clone (very painful for an emacs user!)

But how do I undo debian's attempt at security?  This system is in a
position where I'm perfectly willing to live with the "physical access
is root access" "problem"  (and doubly so since the added security
provided seems so minimal.)  In fact, the system's "real" security will
probably increase if I normally keep the root password so complex that
I can't possibly remember it, and boot singleuser to change it to
something simpler only when necessary...

BillW

2005\09\05@215628 by Matthew Miller

flavicon
face
Hi Bill,

On Mon, Sep 05, 2005 at 03:14:57PM -0700, William Chops Westfield wrote:
>
> In the end, I downloaded and booted tomsrtbt, a "recovery" linux that
> boots from floppy/cd to ramdisk, manually mounted and fsck'ed the real
> filesystem, and manually edited the shadow file with the provided vi
> clone (very painful for an emacs user!)

Yep, tomsrtbt disk is a very useful tool! I use emacs for all editing needs,
except in one situation: for quick sysadmin tasks I use vi. For this you
only have to learn a few commands and as you've seen during system recovery,
vi is likely to be to most sophisticated editor available.

> But how do I undo debian's attempt at security?  This system is in a
> position where I'm perfectly willing to live with the "physical access
> is root access" "problem"  (and doubly so since the added security
> provided seems so minimal.)  In fact, the system's "real" security will
> probably increase if I normally keep the root password so complex that
> I can't possibly remember it, and boot singleuser to change it to
> something simpler only when necessary...

I may be misunderstanding your problem, but here goes: you want to access
the root account remotely, right? I'm assuming this based on the "physical
access is root access" statement. The way around Debians security is to SSH
or, god forbid, telnet to the machine, as a regular user, and use the "su"
command to switch to root; of course, you need the root password, so don't
make this password too complex! ;) Also, check out the "sudo" command, it
preforms a similar function.

Take care.

Matthew

--
Time between slipping on a peel and smacking the pavement: 1 bananosecond

2005\09\05@232309 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Sep 5, 2005, at 6:56 PM, Matthew Miller wrote:

> I may be misunderstanding your problem, but here goes: you want to
> access
> the root account remotely, right? I'm assuming this based on the
> "physical
> access is root access" statement. The way around Debians security is
> to SSH

No, no.  For normal use I remotely access the machine using ssh and X
(from the mac.)  That works fine, and I have it set up so that I don't
normally need to use any passwords.  Occasionally I need root access to
install software or something, in which case I normally use "su" on the
ssh connection.  That works fine as long as I remember the root
password.

But I don't WANT to have to remember the root password.  I don't want to
use root, or need to use root, that often on this machine.  It's just
a linux and dos(vis dosemu) "peripheral" that does some things the mac
can't (used to be Eagle, but that runs native on Macs now!)  So if I've
forgotten the root password, I want to go to the linux system, plug in
a keyboard and monitor, reboot in singleuser mode, set the root password
to "foo" or whatever, do what I have to do, change it back to a random
string of 12 digits, and continue onward till the next time I need root.

Debian has the capability of making this harder than it ought to be,
presumably to solve the "computer in a public place" problem.  And it
seems to be turned on in this mode by default.  I want it to work like
all the other unix systems I've used and give me a root prompt on the
console as soon as the single user boot is done.

BillW

2005\09\05@232812 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Sep 5, 2005, at 6:56 PM, Matthew Miller wrote:

> For this you only have to learn a few [vi] commands, and as you've
> seen, during system recovery vi is likely to be to most editor
> available.
>
toms USED to include one of the tiny emacs clones, but it apparently
it was removed to make room for other things.  I've been fiddling with
it for several years now, originally as just a sort of tiny linux for
possible embedded use.  I think this is the first time I've used it
for its intended application :-)

Using random editors has become a lot easier due to the standardization
of PC keyboards.  All I had to remember of vi was "save" and "quit"
commands; for the rest I just used arrow and function keys :-)

BillW

2005\09\06@013406 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Sep 5, 2005, at 8:23 PM, William Chops Westfield wrote:

> Debian has the capability of making this harder than it ought to be,
> presumably to solve the "computer in a public place" problem.  And it
> seems to be turned on in this mode by default.  I want it to work like
> all the other unix systems I've used and give me a root prompt on the
> console as soon as the single user boot is done.
>
Ah.  It's controlled by /etc/inittab, and the following change
seemed to do what I had in mind:

# What to do in single-user mode.
# (nothing!)  #  ~~:S:wait:/sbin/sulogin
~~:S:wait:/bin/bash

2005\09\06@073621 by olin piclist

face picon face
William Chops Westfield wrote:
> Debian has the capability of making this harder than it ought to be,
> presumably to solve the "computer in a public place" problem.  And it
> seems to be turned on in this mode by default.  I want it to work like
> all the other unix systems I've used and give me a root prompt on the
> console as soon as the single user boot is done.

If you're happy with physical access to the machine allowing root
priveledges, then how about a yellow sticky with the root passwords on the
monitor?  If you don't want casual observers to see it, stick it to the
bottom of the keyboard or something.


*****************************************************************
Embed Inc, embedded system specialists in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com

2005\09\06@084220 by Matthew Miller

flavicon
face
Hi Bill,

On Mon, Sep 05, 2005 at 08:23:06PM -0700, William Chops Westfield wrote:
>
> No, no.  For normal use I remotely access the machine using ssh and X
> (from the mac.)  That works fine, and I have it set up so that I don't
> normally need to use any passwords.  Occasionally I need root access to
> install software or something, in which case I normally use "su" on the
> ssh connection.  That works fine as long as I remember the root
> password.

O.K., gotcha. I would suggest using sudo then; it can be configured to allow
you to run certain commands as root. I've even used sudo before to give me a
root shell (which may not be the most secure thing to do.)

You may also want to be lazy like me and write down your root/admin
passwords and store them in a safe place. ;^)

Take care.

Matthew

--
"Few people can be happy unless they hate some other person, nation, or
creed."    -- Bertrand Russell

2005\09\06@112338 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Sep 6, 2005, at 4:36 AM, Olin Lathrop wrote:

> If you're happy with physical access to the machine allowing root
> priveledges, then how about a yellow sticky with the root passwords on
> the
> monitor?  If you don't want casual observers to see it, stick it to the
> bottom of the keyboard or something.
>
I actually thought of doing that.   The system is headless, though (no
monitor or keyboard), and I didn't have a lot of faith that a post-it
note would stay attached.  And people who shouldn't have root access DO
walk past now and then, at birthday parties and similar.  A postit
inside
the case might be a fine idea...

But I think I've solved the unix issue, and have it behaving the way
I want now.

BillW

2005\09\06@114655 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>A postit inside the case might be a fine idea...

Always put it inside the CDROM drive - easier to get out when you need it.

2005\09\06@122934 by Neil Cherry

picon face
William Chops Westfield wrote:

{Quote hidden}

sudo & visudo are 2 commands you want to check into. Here's a
sample config:

# User privilege specification
root    ALL=(ALL) ALL

# Uncomment to allow people in group wheel to run all commands
# %wheel        ALL=(ALL)       ALL

# Same thing without a password
%wheel  ALL=(ALL)       NOPASSWD: ALL

# Samples
# %users  ALL=/sbin/mount /cdrom,/sbin/umount /cdrom
# %users  localhost=/sbin/shutdown -h now

asterisk ALL = NOPASSWD: /sbin/shutdown

#
njc     ALL=(ALL)       NOPASSWD: /home/njc/stuff/usb/insteond/insteond

Basically it says root can do anything it wants, those in the group
wheel can do anything they want, user asterisk can do a shutdown
and user njc can run the insteond command all with no password.
You need to preface the commands with sudo /home/njc/....
and the command will execute as if you are root. The obvious danger
is to open a user wide up but their normal commands (w/o sudo)
execute as a normal user. So an rm -rf * (in /) won't kill your
system but sudo rm -rf * (in /) will.

--
Linux Home Automation         Neil Cherry       EraseMEncherryspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTcomcast.net
http://home.comcast.net/~ncherry/               (Text only)
http://hcs.sourceforge.net/                     (HCS II)
http://linuxha.blogspot.com/                    My HA Blog

2005\09\06@210332 by Chen Xiao Fan

face
flavicon
face
Speaking of sudo, what are the things that root can do but
sudoers can not do?

I raise this questions because I am using Ubuntu 5.04 as
my main Linux system and it by default does not enable the
root user. The first user added during installation got
the sudo right and is supposed to carried out the necessary
admin tasks using sudo. I am not so familiar with this
so I enable the root early in my experiment of Ubuntu.
It seems to me that it is not really necessary other than
mounting the NTFS partition. Use sudo I can not use the
tap key for command line completion for files under NTFS.
However use su to be the root and I have problems to run
some GUI programs.

Regards,
Xiaofan

-----Original Message-----
From: Neil Cherry
Sent: Wednesday, September 07, 2005 12:29 AM
To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
Subject: Re: [EE] Technology Adoption Lag (now: linux flames!)

sudo & visudo are 2 commands you want to check into. Here's a
sample config:

...

2005\09\07@143511 by Peter

picon face

On Wed, 7 Sep 2005, Chen Xiao Fan wrote:

> Speaking of sudo, what are the things that root can do but
> sudoers can not do?

You can delimit what sudoers can do from sinple wildcard matches,
through exect command syntax. It depends on what you put in the
/etc/sudoers file.

Peter

2005\09\09@035656 by Nate Duehr

face
flavicon
face
On Mon, Sep 05, 2005 at 03:14:57PM -0700, William Chops Westfield wrote:
> >don't forget to shut down cleanly.
>
> That's a bit difficult when you don't have the root password :-)

Little late to the party here, but if you're on the console of the
machine, most distros make this rediculously easy: Hit the old
CTRL-ALT-DELETE combination.

It's definited in /etc/inittab:

# What to do when CTRL-ALT-DEL is pressed.
ca:12345:ctrlaltdel:/sbin/shutdown -t1 -a -r now

Of course, the -r causes a reboot, but you can turn the power off before
it starts back up.

If you use it regularly to shutdown, you can remove the -r.

--
Nate Duehr <natespamspam_OUTnatetech.com>

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