Tag: linux

Linux Mint Essentials Cover

Book review: Linux Mint Essentials

a few day’s ago I seen a post on facebook about reviewing a book called “Penetration Testing with BackBox”. Such a pity that I was to late for it but Priyanka from Packt Publishing gave me the opportunity to review Linux Mint Essentials.

Now I am not a novice with the enormous amounts of different Linux distributions. I am chrunchbang and BackBox minded. I tried Linux mint once. Thought it was a nice distro but it just wasn’t my thing. Might be the fact that Linux Mint is finished.

Linux_Mint_15_Cinnamon

Anyway back to the book.

The eBook (PDF) is a 12 MB download, Has a good chapter index and is clearly written. The title says its for Linux Mint but because its based on Ubuntu other novice users might be interested in the book to.

Its starts with the many way’s to create a boot disk and what I realy liked what kinda desktop and menu’s you want to use. For Mint you have the option to look at and work with four different desktop environments KDE, Xfce, MATE and Cinnamon. They writer explains the difference between the four choices.

After we have installed Linux Mint the book goes more into getting to know the Cinnamon environment because its most popular Mint flavour. At the end of the book the author takes the time to take a dive with you into MATE and the KDE version of Linux Mint.

My conclusion:

If you are a novice user or curious about the standard software, this book is for you. From chapter 11 on this gets interesting for the more experienced user. Its about securing, tweaking, updating and upgrading your Linux Mint version. Again, if you use an Ubuntu based Linux distro, this might also be learn full. Its well written and it will take you from a novice to a Linux Mint User who knows how the system will work.

Get Linux Mint Essentials here.

 

 

 

 

Bus Pirate v3.6 Communication error fix for Windows

The Bus Pirate v3.6 from Dangerous Prototypes arrived. So I followed the links on the wiki and installed the latest drivers on my windows 8.1 machine.  Ready to go right? Nope.

Putty says no:

Putty

Putty

Looked in device manager and the drivers are installed and do not have any warning signs in front of it. Putty has some sort of connection and the PWR LED on the Bus Pirate is on. But I can type whatever I want into the terminal but nothing happens.

Weird. So I followed a lot of different suggestions from the community on the Dangerous Prototype forum (they are really helpful!). Tried to dig into it with the Bus Pirate GUI, thinking that if there is a connection I might update the firmware and then everything will work:

As you can see the GUI says No too.

ds30 gui

ds30 gui

Well lets see if I can upgrade the bootloader. There is a “hello world test” on the cmd-prompt. When you connect the PGD and the PGC the MODE LED lights up. Ok, thats good!

But then this output:

Darn. So I am into my “WTF mode” and installed the drivers on the windows 7 machine. Same error. More shouting and cursing. Blame windows 8.1 and windows 7 so lets try it on the test machine (Vista). Nope, nada, nee! More cursing and shouting but that did not help me further either.

Now I am at the boiling point. Seeedstudio customer support (thanx Kevin!) was good (Seeed are the people who shipped it) and asked me all the things I already tried out so we could easily exchange errors and screenshots. Done that, been there, tried that.. After many emails forward and back, Seeed asked me to send the board back and they would return me another one.

Frustrated as I can be (why can’t I get it to work under all those windows flavours) I decided to do one more trick. I booted into my favorite Linux distro Crunchbang. I expected to see some errors in the log’s about the USB connection that might help me or the folks at Seeed to debug the error. To my surprise there was a /dev/ttyUSB0 available!

So I did the magic with

And there it was! YES: Houston we have a connection!

First things first: Tried the self test to make sure everything was working ok and while I was on it I upgraded to the latest firmware.

Selftest with the Bus Pirate in Crunchbang screen

Selftest with the Bus Pirate in Crunchbang screen

Now I was sure the Bus Pirate worked, the latest firmware was on it. Back to windows and go go go!

Well the computer/putty said no again.

Then Samuel on the forum poked me about the drivers. But hey I made sure that I had the latest drivers installed so that could not be a problem! But who knows what happened (on three different windows machines). So I looked at the drivers in device manager. There are two: the Serial port and Serial Converter driver from FTDI. Both the latest version: 2.08.30

Update 21-12-2013:
Again Samual pointed out a driver uninstaller that works great:
http://www.ftdichip.com/Support/Utilities/CDMUninstaller_v1.4.zip

Or do it manual: 

I decided to uninstall the drivers and try the “older” ones (2.08.28).

Windows 8.1 device manager (dutch language)

Windows 8.1 device manager (dutch language)

Now there this is the tricky part. First you need to uninstall (from within the device manager) the drivers and make sure you also remove the files. There is a checkbox you need to check! Somehow I installed the the drivers two times and to make sure the were gone to I had to check “show hidden drivers” under view. And remove them also. Almost there! If you are like me you have a download or driver installation directory. Delete the 2.08.30 installation drivers or windows will look in there and will use those again.

Anyway, Installed the 2.08.28 drivers from the FTDI download page and then started a putty session. Checked COM port, Baud Rate and and and…YES! Putty and the Bus Pirate worked! I also did the same on the win7 and win Vista machines and same thing. a Working connection between the machine and the bus pirate.

Now, I still think its strange that the latest drivers from FTDI wont work with the Bus Pirate.. But I am glad that this worked.

The folks at Seeed were happy to know that this might be the solution for some of us that write them that their Bus Pirate is bricked, DAO or broken.

In the long run I learned a lot about the Bus Pirate, reading the wiki and learning from the folks at the forum. You can do a lot with this tiny gem.

 

How do I run a linux command (job) every x time

How do I run a linux command (job) every x time…

That’s why they invented a cron job.

Start it with:

Then you might like to use this little cheat sheet.

More info about a cron job

Problem parsing dependency Depends

Got this message this morning while trying to do an update/upgrade check…

E: Problem parsing dependency Depends
E: Error occurred while processing zita-rev1 (NewVersion2)
E: Problem with MergeList /var/lib/apt/lists/mirrordirector.raspbian.org_raspbian_dists_wheezy_main_binary-armhf_Packages
E: The package lists or status file could not be parsed or opened.

You can fix this with the next command:

-v means verbose and the f stands for force.. (Remove all files and show the user what it is doing.

After that do the update as usualy:

buienradar (weather image) in conky

Erik wanted some help with getting a piece of an animated gif to show up in his conky (Conky Help::Tips, Tricks & Scripts::CrunchBang Forums.)

Now I liked that idea very much so came up with this:

First I created a directory ~/.conky/radar/  (for the temp.gif).
Then the knmiradar.sh: (chmod it +x)

Then in Conky:
add variable:

and use this (dont forget to edit the path):

Works great here…