Monthly Archives: February 2011

Solaris show available RAM

Just a reminder to myself.  To find out how much RAM is in a Solaris machine:

$ /usr/sbin/prtconf | grep Memory

Rhythmbox and Banshee cannot import music from Samba Drives

Was trying to access my music stored in a network drive (accessed via samba) using Rhythmbox and Banshee, unfortunately, both of them cannot handle samba shares.  For Rhythmbox, I can browse to the samba drives (and the music folder), but after I click the import button, nothing was imported.  This bug has been reported and fixed in a later version of Rhythmbox (v0.13).  Too bad I have v0.12.8.  Banshee on the other hand, simply do not have any option to browse to a samba share.

The only workaround I found is to mount the samba share to a local mount point.  The commands:

# aptitude install smbfs
# mkdir /media/musicFolder
# mount -t smbfs //networkServer/musicFolder /media/musicFolder

Now, my music is accessible by both Rhythmbox and Banshee.

Disable “Recent Documents” in Gnome Desktop.

In Gnome Desktop, whenever you open/view a file, it is recorded/remembered. You can access the files again via “menu > Places > Recent Documents”. To turn off this feature, edit (or create) the file ~/.gtkrc-2.0 and add the following line:


Save the file and you are done.

Running WinXP using qemu-launcher under Debian Squeeze

Installing WinXP using qemu-laucher under Debian Lenny is simple but doing the same in Debian Squeeze is not so smooth.  Last night, I set up a new WinXP using qemu-launcher on my newly installed Debian Squeeze.  The installation went smoothly and I was booting into WinXP after less than 2 hours.  But then, I realize that the network card is not installed.  It seems like WinXP does not have the driver for it.  The whole reason for installing a WinXP is to run a proprietary networking software which runs on Windows only.  It seems like the qemu version shipped in Debian Squeeze has a different default NIC than the previous version in Lenny.  Thus, the solution is to launch the virtual machine directly from command line and specify a NIC explicitly.  To get a list of supported NIC model:

~$ /usr/bin/qemu  -net nic,model=\? winXP.qcow
qemu: Supported NIC models: ne2k_pci,i82551,i82557b,i82559er,rtl8139,e1000,pcnet,virtio

I pick the first first model and successfully launch my WinXP installation with the following command:

~$ /usr/bin/qemu -boot c -m 512 -hda 'winXP.qcow' -localtime \
> -net nic,vlan=0 -net user,vlan=0 \
> -net nic,model=ne2k_pci &

This time, the network card is recognized and setup properly by WinXP.  Since I do not know how to tell qemu-launcher to use a different NIC, I’ll have to use the above command (I put it in a script) to launch my WinXP installation.

Debian 6.0 Squeeze

Debian Squeeze was release 2 days ago. Yesterday, I downloaded the i386 DVD disk 1, burnt it and replace (format then reinstall) my Lenny installed laptop (Twinhead: Twinmate M95). The installation took less than an hour but the system didn’t work. The system booted with a nice space fun wallpaper as the background of the Grub menu, but came to a halt a few seconds after the mouse was shown. After some investigation, the culprit was the nouveau module (NVidia driver).  My laptop has an old GeForce 8200MG graphic card.  To resolve it, I booted into the rescue mode, fired up aptitude and purge the xserver-xorg-video-nouveau package (xserver-xorg-video-all was also removed because of dependency).  Reboot and my laptop is up and running (I later installed the NVidia proprietary driver).

Not long after logging into the Gnome desktop, I realized that, the Wifi was not working.  The running kernel does support the hardware (in lenny, I was using a backport kernel).  Reading the error log, I realized the firmware was missing.  Downloaded it from, extracted the firmware-ralink_0.28_all.deb then installed it (dpkg -i xxx.deb).

That’s it, I’m now running the Debian Squeeze!  Thank you to all Debian contributors!  🙂