Posts Tagged ‘debian’

Nexenta (OpenSolaris + Ubuntu)

May 31, 2009 3 comments

Vous le savez probablement, Sun a libéré (GPL v3) le code de son OS-phare (Solaris) il y a déjà quelques années.
La version communautaire de cet OS s’appelle assez logiquement OpenSolaris.
De cette version, en développement constant, sont issues les versions propriétaires de Sun (appelées “Solaris 10”).

Il tourne sous plusieurs architectures différentes: x86, x86_64 (selon la nomenclature Solaris, AMD64 selon la nomenclature Linux), et Sparc (l’architecture de Sun, pour les incultes). Il faut d’ailleurs savoir que cela fait longtemps que Solaris est à la fois 32 et 64 bits (multiarch, selon la nomenclature Linux).

Après une période de prise en main par une communauté (toujours assez réduite aujourd’hui, il faut bien le dire), plusieurs dérivés ont commencé à apparaître, menant à des versions LiveCD, des versions seulement pour une architecture ou une autre, …
Toutes intègrent tout ou parties des fonctionnalités particulières de Solaris (ZFS, SMF, Containers, DTrace, …).

Le problème de Solaris venant plutôt des outils utilisateurs (non-)fournis. Le choix (et souvent la qualité ou le côté pratique) est beaucoup plus vaste sous GNU/Linux.

Alors, plusieurs jouent le rapprochement avec Debian/Ubuntu, à des niveaux divers (avec ou sans Glibc, avec ou sans système de packaging correct, …).
Parmi celles-ci, l’une d’entre elles à retenu toute mon attention: Nexenta.

Nexenta est une petite société spécialisée dans le storage à base d’OpenSolaris (grâce à ZFS, qui Tue(tm)[1]). Pour son produit-phare, NexentaStor, elle a décidé d’utiliser un kernel OpenSolaris avec un userland Ubuntu[2].
Et pour (avoir une chance d’)obtenir de l’aide de l’extérieur, ils se basent sur une version communautaire, totalement libre[3], et appelée Nexenta Core Platform (qui en est à sa version 2.0, la version 3.0 étant en préparation).

Le problème principal de NCP est la fraîcheur des logiciels qui viennent du monde GNU/Linux, puis la non-intégration des Zones dans apt-clone (on ne peut pas mettre à jour les packages d’une zone non-globale). Mais c’est déjà actuellement une solution particulièrement adaptée comme serveur (de fichiers ou même applicatif).

Et donc voilà, c’est cool, mais il y a encore du travail pour que ce soit vraiment utilisable par le commun des mortels.

Read more…

HOWTO Build current XAMS Debian packages

July 14, 2008 Leave a comment
This article was first written in September 2004 for the BeezNest technical
website (

For the moment, no official XAMS binary package exist. You have then to play a bit with the Subversion repository.

So, update or export your xams-0.0.x and xams-0.0.x-debian repositories.

Done? Ok, let’s continue then.

Copy your xams-0.0.x directory to another name, like xams-0.0.15+svn20040908 for example:

$ cp -ar xams-0.0.x/ xams-0.0.15+svn20040908/

Then, copy the debian subdirectory from your xams-0.0.x-debian directory to your newly-created one (xams-0.0.15+svn20040908


$ cp -ar xams-0.0.x-debian/debian/ xams-0.0.15+svn20040908/

Copy then the autogen.conf preconfigured for Debian.

$ cp xams-0.0.x-debian/autogen.conf xams-0.0.15+svn20040908/

Install the latest build-dependencies (see list in the debian/control file).

Enter the newly-created directory and modify the version number of the last entry of debian/changelog as well as the maintainer’s line. Issue a debuild in the directory.

$ cd xams-0.0.15+svn20040908/
$ vi debian/changelog
$ debuild

It should build without problems.

HOWTO Setup NUT (Network UPS Tools) on Debian

July 14, 2008 Leave a comment
This article was first written in August 2004 for the BeezNest technical
website (

NUT is the Network UPS Tools.

To setup NUT on Debian, you first need to know what kind of UPS you have, and how it is/will be connected to your Debian machine.

We will not yet analyse how to do monitoring over the network, but only on the machine physically connected to the UPS, which we suppose has been installed under Debian GNU/Linux (tested on Sarge).

First, install the package nut (there are several other NUT-related packages, but you only really need this one).

It will create a /etc/nut directory, which you have to populate with files in /usr/share/doc/nut/examples/. Uncompress them all, and change the owner to nut:nut and the rights to -rw-r—–. Then, modify the ups.conf file to suite your UPS. Example:

        driver = apcsmart
        port = /dev/ttyS0
        desc = "APC SmartUPS"
        sdtype = 0

You can find the list of drivers and options available in /usr/share/doc/nut/README.gz.

Go change the “no” you need (at least START_UPSD) into “yes” in /etc/default/nut.

Now, the tricky part is that upsd needs to be able to access the peripheral, for example /dev/ttyS0. It is really different given that you use devfs or udev or yet the old /dev way… I will provide more information here soon.

Categories: English, OSS Solutions, Tech Crunch Tags: , ,

HOWTO Install kana and kanji for Firefox on Debian Sarge

This article was first written in May 2004 for the BeezNest technical
website (

This is a quick manual on how to install kana and kanji (Japanese writing) handling for the Mozilla-Firefox browser (and probably all other browsers) on Debian Sarge.

I don’t know whether the following is or isn’t mandatory, but these steps were enough to give a good result.

Installing the “Languages” extension

* Note: this section has proven useless so I have moved it to the end of this article. Just for info on how to install this extension.

Installing the fonts

The first (and only) step to take is to install the fonts on your system.

The easiest way is probably to use apt-cache search (or search within synaptic if you’re more like this) for “japanese fonts” and you’ll find some fonts packages.

Install some of them. I’ve used: apt-get install ttf-kochi-mincho for additional fonts, you might want to install the following, but just ttf-kochi-mincho (9MB) should be enough apt-get install ttf-kochi-gothic xfonts-intl-japanese xfonts-intl-japanese-big xfonts-kaname (you’ll need to have root access or sudo in order to use apt-get install)Note the xfonts ones are smaller in size (but didn’t help in my case)

You should already be able to see the japanese fonts in your browser. If this doesn’t work, try the following in any order:

  • restart your browser (close every window before launching it again)
  • go to the extensions page for Firefox and follow the link to the “Languages” extension’s homepage, then follow the link to the language-specific extensions and install the Japanese one (strange characters ending with “Ja”)
  • restart your X server (in order for him to take into account the new fonts – I really don’t think this is needed, but just in case…)

If you have comments about this article, please send me an e-mail.

Installing the “Languages” extension – most probably useless for you

Start Firefox and go to the extensions handler (Tools -> Options -> Extensions) and click on the link to get to the extensions’ page.

Select “Install” on the “Languages” extension section. Install the extension by clicking “Cancel” if you’re not administrator so that the extension is installed only for your user. Clicking “OK” when you’re not administrator will probably not succeed in installing the extension.

Then you’ll have to restart your browser in order for your changes to take effect.

XAMS – The eXtended Account Managing Software

July 6, 2008 Leave a comment
This article was first written in April 2004 for
the BeezNest technical website (

XAMS (eXtended Account Managing Software) is a powerful application suite for managing e-mail accounts for multiple domains in a virtual hosting environment, using a simple set of web pages coded in PHP.

It provides with quotas on mailboxes and delegation of management of some tasks to others, through a simple, neat web interface.

XAMS is written using PHP and Perl, which are our core competency fields in development area. It is based on Exim 4.x, Courier-Imap and/or Courier-POP, and MySQL (work is on the way to provide PostgreSQL support as alternative), and some other IMAP/POP3 servers are already usable.

It can optionally use an anti-spam and/or anti-virus software, and support is available for Mailscanner.

There is also special integration with Squirrelmail, probably the best free webmail available today.

See the official website for more information.

We have been working on deployment of XAMS on Debian for quite some time now, and have worked to give the best possible Debian packages to the Free Software Community.

Webalizer installation and use on Debian

June 30, 2008 Leave a comment

This is a simple guide on how to install Webalizer on a Debian system equipped with Apache. This should work for every version of every three elements (Debian, Apache and Webalizer) all together.

Webalizer is a statistics application which analyses the Apache logs (in /var/log/apache) and makes a graphical output in web format, using the libgd libraries.

Please note that we, at BeezNest, tend now to prefer AWStats to Webalizer because we feel it is better in every aspect.

To install Webalizer:

# apt-get install webalizer

The version tested asks for libgd2 to be installed. The configuration of Webalizer is pretty easy for a totally clean system. You are just asked two questions:

  • where will Webalizer keep its data? (default: /var/www/webalizer)
  • what title will the output page display? (defaults to something common)

When installed, a simple execution of webalizer will generate the Webalizer files. To make this generation automatic, you’ll need to add a cron script in /etc/cron.daily for example.

If for any reason your log files are not kind of /var/log/apache/access.log, the execution of Webalizer will stop before doing the export and you will get the following error:

  • No valid records found!

you should edit /etc/webalizer.conf and change the corresponding settings to your log file, then try again to start webalizer.

Now you can access your stats by reaching the web server directory in which you asked Webalizer to store its data (default: http://www.yoursite.ext/webalizer/)

There are many additional statistical options you can set. To know about them, a very good start is to read the comments in /etc/webalizer.conf

This article was first written in November 2003 for
the BeezNest technical website (

Netfilter – iptables on Debian

June 29, 2008 Leave a comment

To create and save iptables rules the default Debian way, this is the way to go:

  • create your rules using the CLI [1] iptables
  • save them on the active rule by issuing a /etc/init.d/iptables save active
  • create the rules for the inactive state (when booting, for example) and save them accordingly

That way, the rules will survive a reboot.

To delete a specific rule previously saved as above:

  • go into /var/lib/iptables/active and take the line corresponding to the rule you want to delete and execute iptables with those parameters changing the beginning -A with -D

[1] Command Line Interface

This article was first written in October 2003 for
the BeezNest technical website (
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