Archive for the ‘Linux’ Category

Permission denied when using Dropbox on Ubuntu with NTFS

July 21st, 2013 No comments

All credit to

Many people working with Linux utilise an ntfs partition to share data with other operating systems. So do I. Unfortunately, ntfs does not support access right to files as Linux does. Nevertheless, the Linux version of Dropbox tries to assign proper access rights to the synchronised files, but as it cannot assign these access rights with files on the ntfs drive, it assumes that there are no appropriate permissions and fails to sync.

Dropbox error message [sync "file name" permission denied].

A work around to that problem is to add the UID 1000 to your mount directive in the /etc/fstab as shown below be opening the fstab file as root

sudo gedit /etc/fstab

and change  the appropriate line i.e. as follows:

/dev/sda5 /media/part ntfs rw,auto, ...,default_permissions,uid=1000 0 0



Categories: Linux Tags: ,

Raspberry Pi Entertainment Centre

April 8th, 2013 2 comments
I’ve been looking at getting an entertainment centre for a while now. But they are all so expensive. Instead I got a $35 Raspberry Pi and with some spare cables (and Lego bricks) that I had lying around I made myself an inexpensive, but brilliant, entertainment centre.


My Current Setup

Currently I have it set up with the following (which I will run you through setting up in this post)


  • XBMC Video & Music Media Centre
  • TV Remote Control
  • Android App remote
  • RTÉ, AerTV and TV3 Players
  • BBC and 4OD Players
  • YouTube
  • 1Channel, Free TV Project and Navi-X on demand video
  • iTunes Podcasts
  • EU Radio Stations, Shoutcast
  • Transmission BitTorrent Client
  • Transmission/EZTV Android app
Raspberry Pi
What is a Raspberry Pi? It’s a credit-card sized computer that plugs into your TV and a keyboard. It’s a capable little PC which can be used for many of the things that your desktop PC does, like spreadsheets, word-processing and games. And most importantly for me it also plays high-definition video.



What are the specs?
  • 2MB of Ram – Loads!
  • 700Mhz ARM CPU – Which means no running windows, but don’t worry
  • Broadcom Videocore IV Graphics – Nice 1080p HD graphics
  • 1 x USB Ports – For your keyboard, mouse, hard drive
  • HDMI and RCA video – To connect to your TV
  • 3.5mm or HDMI Audio – Video is no good without audio
  • SD Card – For the operating system and multimedia files
  • NIC – For networking
  • HDMI-CEC – So you can control it with your TV remote control
  • Mini USB – For Power (I power mine off my TV’s USB port)


That can’t play HD video!

Yes it can actually. Don’t be put off by the low amount of  RAM and CPU. What matters is the graphics card. And it’s well able to handle HD video. And with the HDMI output you can just plug it directly into the TV.
The GPU provides Open GL ES 2.0, hardware-accelerated OpenVG, and 1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode. The GPU is capable of 1Gpixel/s, 1.5Gtexel/s or 24 GFLOPs of general purpose compute and features a bunch of texture filtering and DMA infrastructure.

That is, graphics capabilities are roughly equivalent to Xbox 1 level of performance. Overall real world performance is something like a 300MHz Pentium 2, only with much, much swankier graphics. What does that mean? Simply put it means it can play High Definition video.


If you are like me you never throw away a cable because you never know when you might need one. Well it turns out we were right! For the Pi you will need the following cables (and a SD card)

  • HDMI
  • Network Cable
  • Mini USB
  • USB Keyboard & Mouse (for the initial setup, after that you won’t need them anymore)
  • SD Card

 Getting Started



If you follow the steps above you’ll get your Raspberry powered up but it’s not much use without an operating system. Since we are planning on installing an operating system and a media centre lets download something that will allow to install both at the same time. And don’t worry it’s really straightforward.

XBMC Video & Music Media Centre

As you might have guessed we aren’t the first people to have the bright idea of installing a XBMC media centre on a RaspberryPI. What we are going to do is pop the SD card into our Windows, MAC or Linux laptops. Once this is done go to here for Windows or here for MAC and Linux and follow the simple instructions.

Once you have followed the instructions insert your SD card into your Pi and sit back and watch it install. You’ll need your network cable plugged in.


To be honest, that is pretty much it. If you connect your hard drive you should be able to play videos. Of course when you try and plug in your hard drive you might notice you can’t. Because your USB slot is in use by your keyboard/mouse. Well don’t worry, if you want you could simply plug in a USB hub and use them all. But there are better ways.


The easiest thing to use would be your TV remote control. If you are connected to your TV using the HDMI cable and your TV is CEC compatible then it should just work. Every wondered what those media buttons on your remote were for? Well now you know.

Or, you could download the Yatse android app. You can launch XBMC add-ons, queue music, play TV shows and more from this app.




The cool thing about XBMC is that people have written a load of apps for it. They are very easy to install. All you need to do is add a repository of apps and then install them from the Add-ons menu. The hardest thing is finding the repositories and installing them. But don’t worry. You can use this site to get a list of useful repositories and use the Repositories Installer to install those repository. Some of the apps I  like are

  • RTÉ, AerTV and TV3 Players
  • BBC and 4OD Players
  • YouTube
  • 1Channel, Free TV Project and Navi-X on demand video
  • iTunes Podcasts
  • EU Radio Stations, Shoutcast
  • ……and so many more



Even though there are a number of places to stream videos from it’s still nice to have stuff locally. In fact XBMC excels at organising and displaying Movies, TV shows and Music. Since XBMC on the Raspberry is running Linux in the background you can simply install a BitTorrent Client on your Pi. The one I chose to use was Transmission.

To install it;

Run the following from the command line

sudo apt-get install transmission-daemon

If you can’t find the command line type Alt + Ctrl + F1 to open the console. The default login is pi with the password raspberry

To configure it;

Your main configuration file is


In here you can set up usernames, passwords, ports and download locations. If you have hard drive connected it should be under the /media directory. By default you can open the GUI by pointing your browser at http://<raspberry-ip-address>:9091


To manage it;

Well as shown above you can just use your web browser but I use the Transmission Android App.


To find Torrents;

I use the EZTV android app. It is very quick to show you the latest TV shows. Often only minutes after they are aired.

That’s it!

And that’s it. in a short time you have a full featured entertainment centre. Where you can stream and download Movies, TV shows and music. Hopefully you found these tips helpful. If you need anymore detail on anything let me know in the comments.

Using a Wyse terminal as a Linux Torrent box and Streaming Media Centre

January 7th, 2013 No comments

Wyse_V10I have Linux running on an old grey Wyse Terminals (V10L) that I recycled from the office. First of all a little technical info on the terminals they have 128MB of flash memory. It has a 800Mhz processor and 256MB of RAM. I run Linux from a bootable USB drive.

First of all you’ll need a small USB key. I have put Puppy Linux on it which seems to work great. You can download it from here. Once you have downloaded it you’ll need to put it onto a bootable USB stick. You can download an application to do that (on windows) from here.

Next you’ll need to set up the Wyse to boot from USB. When it boots and you see the Wyse screen press delete. The default password is Fireport. Once you are in change the boot order to boot from USB-ZIP instead of the disk.

Once that is done plug in the USB, boot the Wyse and away you go.

If the screen (X Windows) doesn’t work press Ctrl + Alt + F1. Here you should see something that says “Running X….” or something like that. Press Ctrl + C to stop it.

To manually choose the appropriate screen resolution run xorgwizard and choose the screen and resolution. It will tell you what to do after that.

With PuppyLinux I used the Partition Manager (GParted)  to partition the /dev/sda device (the flash drive) as linux-swap. Once I rebooted the terminal the swap was then picked up by the OS and began to be used. You can confirm it’s used by running the “free” command.

I enabled the Ubuntu repositories on Puppy and was able to very easily install Opera and a BitTorrent Client called Transmission which work really well. I also installed uShare and started streaming my downloaded movies directly to the XBox. Also since the XBox now has a browser I can download files from the XBox using Transmissions web interface also.

Unfortunately you’ll have to stream it to something as the graphics card isn’t good enough to play movies directly. At least movies played with VLC didn’t work for me anyway.

How to play MP4 files on an XBox 360

October 25th, 2012 No comments

I stream my videos to my XBox from a little cheap Linux Box using UShare. Most videos I download these days are in MP4 format which the Box doesn’t play. You get an error saying that basically it can’t understand the file. So how can you get an MP4 to play on an XBox. Well it’s actually pretty straightforward. Just change the file extension from MP4 to MOV. It seems that if the XBox thinks it’s a MOV file it will play. Weird.

Categories: Linux Tags: , , , ,

Running VMware SSO Scripts on SQL Express 2008 with no Management Studio

October 4th, 2012 No comments

I was upgrading from vCenter 5.0 to vCenter 5.1 in my test environment today. One of the pre-requisites was to install SSO. I didn’t want to install a second DB for it so I decided I’d use the vCenter Database installed with vCenter 5.0.

During the install it asked me for the sa password of the vCenter DB. I don’t know what it is because vCenter installed it all automatically. So I chose the second option which asked me to use an existing supported database. The problem here is that I has to run some scripts. Well I tried to install SQL Management Studio for SQL2008 and it turns out that you can’t! You can only install Management Studio when you are first installing the DB. That means now I have to run the scripts using the command line which I’ve not done before.

Okay, so how did I do it? Well it’s not difficult when you know how.

  • Copy the .sql script called SetupTablespaces.sql from the MSSQL directory on the vCenter CD. I copied it to C:\SSODB\
  • Edit it using Wordpad or something and change the directory called CHANGE_ME to the directory you want to use to store the database. Again I am going to use E:\SSODB
  • Run this command

    sqlcmd -S YOUR_SERVER_NAME\VIM_SQLEXP -i E:\SSODB\rsaIMSLiteMSSQLSetupTablespaces.sql

  • Then you should see some RSA files have been created in the SSODB directory
Categories: Linux, VMware Tags: , ,

iTunes URL Decoder

December 18th, 2011 No comments

I love my android. And I love podcasts. I often listen to them in my car on my way to and from work. I find it makes my commute go a lot faster when I’m listening to stuff I’m actually interested in. The problem I have however is that most sites make their podcasts available on iTunes only, which doesn’t work with android.

What is doubly annoying is that iTunes doesn’t actually store the podcasts, they are stored on another site. iTunes is in fact just a directory of podcasts. So if the people who make the podcasts just gave us the original link to the site they are using to actually store the podcasts I could easily add them to my android or any non-apple device for that matter. It’s really annoying!

Luckily the website allows you to simply paste in the iTunes URL and it finds the back end website URL that you can add to your android. Sorted!

Categories: Linux, Music, Opinion Tags: , , ,

Watching Irish Television in Canada

September 5th, 2011 1 comment

Does this sound like you? Saturday night is looming. You’re looking to let you hair down. But the match is on at 10:00am in the morning. You know if you go out for “one or two” there is no way you’ll be able to get up and drag yourself to the pub to watch the match. And the funds are low so you don’t want to pay 20 bucks at the pub. Oh if only the TV could tune RTÉ or RTÉ Player worked outside of Ireland! Or maybe you really wanted to see the Rose of Tralee live when abroad. I don’t judge.

Well using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) you can fool RTÉ Player into thinking you are in Ireland. Or any country in the world in fact. And it couldn’t be simpler. You download the VPN Client onto your laptop, select the country you want to appear to be and in that’s it. Simple!

How does it work? Well VPN guys have a server in Dublin that will go to RTÉ Player and get the match for you. Then it sends it over to Canada to your computer.

An added advantage is that you can select the UK to watch Soccer on BBC Player, or USA to use US Netflix (which is much better than Canadian Netflix) or whatever else might be restricted in Canada (such as downloading torrents of your favourite shows). It can fool any software into thinking you are in a different country.

A quick search online give you a number of options such as,, or All of these allow you to pretend you are in Ireland for between 5 and 10 bucks a month. You can go to to get a side by side comparison of what each VPN provider offers.

You’ll never have to miss another episode of Republic of Telly again. And it’ll be great to hear Hook and Pope arguing during the World Cup.

Categories: Canada, Linux, Sport, Travel Tags: , , ,

vSphere Client Command Line Options

February 21st, 2011 12 comments

I have a number of different ESX Servers and vCenter Servers to connect to at work. None are set up in DNS because they are just test servers. So every time I want to connect I have to try and remember the IP address. Also some are ESX Servers where the login is root, and others are vCenter where the login is administrator. So I often have to connect to two or three different IPs, trying both logins, until I get the one I want.

Today I decided to create a number of shortcuts to each server. I wanted to be able to click on a vSphere Client link and have it automatically connect to eh correct Server, enter the username and password and log me in. Turns out it’s quite easy as the client can’t take that information as a command line argument. However I found it hard to find anything on the internet explaining the options. Of course running \? on the client gives me nothing.

Anyway here is the options you need to pass to the vSphere Client executable to get it to connect to a server with a certain username or password. Now all you need to do is make a number of shortcuts to each server in a folder and you can quickly launch the one you want. Very handy!

VpxClient.exe -i yes -s -u root -p vmware

Categories: Linux, VMware Tags: ,

Sharing my Laptops Network Connection with my Android Phone

December 6th, 2010 2 comments

When I’m at work I don’t want to be using my Mobile Data Connection to download content onto my android phone. I had a look to see how I could easily share my laptops network connection with my phone. I came across a very useful piece of software called VirtualRouter. It takes care of everything for you. It bridges your network connections, installs a small DHCP Server and creates an ad-hoc wireless network for your phone to connect to.

Now I can browse the market, read emails, and check my social networking sites from my phone, at work for free!

Currently this software only works with Windows 7. If you want to do this for older Windows Operating Systems you can set up an ad-hoc network manually by following these steps. If you want to use Ubuntu you can follow these steps.

Categories: Linux, Opinion Tags: , , , ,

Open iTunes Podcasts in any Player

October 26th, 2010 No comments

I’ve installed Linux on my new Laptop at work and I’ve got nearly everything working that I would’ve used on Windows. Well except a client that connect to Exchange properly but that’s another story. Anyway, the one thing that bugged me was podcasts that I listen to that are only available on iTunes. There is no iTunes for Linux. However with Feed Flipper you can convert any iTune URL (itms://) into a standard xml based RSS feed.

Great now I can load all of my Podcasts on my iPhone to listen too on the long drive home.

Categories: Linux Tags: