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Shrinking VMware virtual disk from command line

While shrinking virtual disks is very functional using VMware tools from the guest machine while it is running, from time to time it may be convenient to do it offline, from command line. Here's the procedure to do that (linux host, windows guest):

First we have to mount the virtual disk on the host machine, to prepare it for shrinking:

vmware-mount vmachine.vmdk /mnt

If your guest is also windows OS, you need to make sure that you have ntfs-3g installed on your system. Most linux distributions nowadays have it enabled by default.

Mounting samba share with space character from /etc/fstab

If you have a windows share with a space character in it's name, e.g. something like \\server\my share, to properly mount it from /etc/fstab you need to use the octal code instead of a space character. Otherwise parsing /etc/fstab would produce an error, because space character is a delimiter.

The octal code for space character is \040 (don't forget the leading zero!), so you'd put //server/my\040share in the /etc/fstab for the example above.

Key sequence to kill the X server (Control + Alt + Backspace)

Current default for X servers as shipped in various distributions is to not enable the traditional Ctrl-Alt-Backspace key combination to kill the X server. If you would like to re-enable this feature, you may do so in your desktop's Keyboard Preferences application. You may also enable it for the current session using the command "setxkbmap -option terminate:ctrl_alt_bksp".

VMware mouse grab/ungrab problem

If you upgrade GTK library to the newest 2.18 version (comes with the new Gnome 2.28) your VMware Workstation 6.5.3 won't work well. Even if you have "Grab when cursor enters window" option set, VMware won't grab your pointer when you move mouse into the VMware window. Also, if you use ctrl-G to capture the pointer, VMware window will release it as soon as you move mouse around a little bit. Quite annoying behavior...

Full screen flash not working under compiz?

If you have trouble maximizing those YouTube videos when run under compiz-fusion, here's what you can do to fix it.

Go to CompizConfigSettingsManager, choose General Options and unclick 'Unredirect Fullscreen Windows' option under General tab. Then click Back and select 'Workarounds'. Turn on 'Legacy Fullscreen Support'. Of course, 'Workarounds' plugin must be enabled on the front page for this to come in effect.

And that should be it!

Now try maximizing flash videos again and report you success below.

VMware Workstation 6.5.1 build-126130 and Linux kernel 2.6.29

With the attached patch you can persuade your VMware Workstation to work on the newest Linux kernel 2.6.29. There are no guarantees, but it works for me(tm).

Unpack tar's from /usr/lib/vmware/modules/source into some directory (except vmppuser.tar), patch the source (patch -p1), run make in every subdirectory, copy resulting kernel modules to /lib/modules/2.6.29/misc and run depmod -a. Then you can run /etc/init.d/vmware start and check that all modules loaded correctly. That should be it.

Running Nvidia display drivers with X.Org 7.3

This morning, hardworking Debian developers pushed the remaining pieces of the brand new X.Org 7.3 to Debian sid (unstable) distribution. And it must be said, a well done job!

ii  x11-apps            7.3+1      X applications
ii  x11-common          1:7.3+2    X Window System (X.Org)
ii  x11-session-utils   7.3+1      X session utilities
ii  x11-utils           7.3+1      X11 utilities
ii  x11-xfs-utils       7.3+1      X font server utilities
ii  x11-xkb-utils       7.3+1      X11 XKB utilities
ii  x11-xserver-utils   7.3+1      X server utilities
ii  xbase-clients       1:7.3+2    miscellaneous X clients - metapackage
ii  xorg                1:7.3+2    X.Org X Window System
ii  xorg-dev            1:7.3+2    the X.Org X Window System development
ii  xserver-xorg        1:7.3+2    the X.Org X server
ii  xutils              1:7.3+2    X Window System utility programs

Nvidia Linux driver 1.0-9639, 1.0-7185 and Linux kernel 2.6.23

Referencing the post Nvidia Linux driver 100.14.11 and Linux kernel 2.6.23. Here I have attached the patches for the older versions of Nvidia drivers. The procedure to follow is the same as described in the above document.

Building Debian FreeRadius package with EAP/TLS/TTLS/PEAP support

Debian's FreeRadius package is built without support for EAP/TLS/TTLS/PEAP because of the licensing problems of the OpenSSL library. But, if you want to implement 802.1x network authentication with strong security, you'll need it. This is a short tutorial that explains how to build Debian (sid aka unstable) package linked to libssl and with EAP/TLS/TTLS/PEAP support compiled in.

First, download the newest source package (orig.tar.gz), Debian diffs (diff.gz) and description file (dsc) from the freeradius package page. The version I tested the procedure with is 1.1.7-1.

Renegotiate ethernet card link speed / duplex

Due to software or hardware (network switch or ethernet card) error it may be possible that you need to restart auto-negotiation on the ethernet device. Here's how to do it:

mii-tool -r eth0

or

ethtool -r eth0

Then check the kernel log to see what happens:

% dmesg
eth0: link down
eth0: link up, 100Mbps, full-duplex, lpa 0x45E1

Thanks for this tip goes to Vivek.

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