How OCZ Vertex 2 and OCZ Petrol SSD successfully killed my data. Twice.

Short story of my Vertex 2′s short life   Several months ago, I wanted to give a little speedup to my aging laptop. It also seemed a perfect time to give a first try to the SSDs everybody had been talking about. All in all, the OCZ Vertex 2 seemed like a good choice : the Vertex 3 was just out, so [...]

How to securely keep a hard drive with bad blocks in a raid array

I’m using a custom-made NAS at home, with two hard-drives of 1 To. Some of the partitions of these 2 disks are organized in a RAID-1 setup using dmraid (and the mdadm user-space tool). This morning, I had some freaking lines in the dmesg. Any sysadmin sighs when he sees those (and cries if he [...]

lzop vs compress vs gzip vs bzip2 vs lzma vs lzma2/xz benchmark, reloaded

I’ve had a couple of interesting comments at my last attempt to benchmark those algorithms. So, here is a more complete benchmark, with hopefully more detailed results. 1) Benchmark protocol We are benchmarking all the algorithms supported by recent tar versions (1.22 was used): Benchmark protocol [...]

Fixing a locale-archive breakage

1) The symptoms of the problem If you are greeted with the following errors when trying to use perl: user$ perl -e ''perl: warning: Setting locale failed.perl: warning: Please check that your locale settings:LANGUAGE = (unset),LC_ALL = (unset),LANG = "en_US.UTF-8"are supported and installed on [...]

Listening to multi-channel audio with only two speakers in stereo using mplayer

Have you already noticed while listening to multi-channel music with only two stereo speakers with mplayer, how the sound is low ? Same thing applies with videos using the AC3 format, often composed of 5 channels. Mplayer, being the swiss-army knife of video players, gives you the tools to deal [...]

compiling the nVidia and VirtualBox modules for all available Fedora kernels

I like to keep some old kernel versions around, just in case. The problem is that their manually compiled modules are often not kept up to date by Fedora (notably VirtualBox modules and nVidia’s blob). So here are the two commands I use to do just that manually. nVidia’s blob (as packaged by [...]

collectd problems with grsecurity/PaX

I recompiled collectd some days ago, to get the latest version : 4.9.1. When I tried to restart it, I was greeted with a nice error message: root# /etc/init.d/collectd startStarting statistics collection and monitoring daemon: collectdlt_dlopen (/opt/collectd/lib/collectd/ failed: file [...]

Samba user shares broken on Fedora 12

If you’re using Samba user shares on your system (that is, shares that users can mount without being root), you were probably greeted with the following message for the last several weeks, when trying to mount a share: user$ mount nasThis mount.cifs program has been built with the ability to run [...]

Apache logical OR & AND conditions with SetEnvIf

Unfortunately, the Apache SetEnvIf module doesn’t support logical conditions, like OR & AND. More specifically, it is not possible to set a variable only if condition1 AND/OR condition2 are verified. For example, to log all the POST queries made from the loopback interface in a separate log file, [...]

Yum plugin to show installed package versions when upgrading

There is a feature apt-get has and yum misses : the ability to show installed packages versions, when asking confirmation about upgrading. There is a list of the about-to-be-installed packages version numbers, but not the already installed versions. For example yum might tell you that you’re about [...]
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