A new OS experience


WUSB54G, Chmod,GRUB and a Brainfart

Ok, so I installed Xubuntu 7.10 on my 5 year old desktop yesterday and I was having a really hard time with internet connection. I only use wifi at home, with WPA2 encryption, but my usb wifi card, the infamous WUSB54G, was being a pain. To ge the card working I am using ndiswrapper and the rt2500 driver. Coincidentally, this driver, which is v4 for my card, comes with the Xubuntu installation. For whatever reason once I install the driver, it won't let me connect on system reboot, so I have to do it manually every time I reboot the system.

Later, I really had a brainfart. I had created a fourth partition for Linux files, but I didn't update permissions. I couldn't remember how to change read-write permissions, but after a little while all I had to do was:

$ sudo chmod -R 777 /media/hd6/whateverFolderorFile

where the -R option stood for recursive, as it pertains to folders, and 777 corresponds to chmod making the file writable.

To date, I haven't found a soultion to my wifi issue. Will check ubuntuforums and other linux forums to see if anyone has an idea about what's going on.

My first install of Xubuntu was problematic. Once I established internet connection and updated the repositories, I initiated a system update via Synaptic. Problem was, I received an error message indicating some files weren't installed properly. Rather than look at the log files, I rebooted the system without making a backup. On reboot, GRUB ingratiated me with an Error 15 / File not found message. After a long search online and a post on ubuntuforums.org , I found the problem: my initrd file was the one "missing." Good news was that a backup (.bak). This blog entry confirmed it, and all I had to do is look under /boot to figure out what the hell went wron. I used the initrd.bak to get in my system.

Cisco VPN Client on Linux

I was trying to connect to my network drive at UTA but I was unsuccessful. Yeah, I completely did not read the instructions at the IT department's website. It turns out, a VPN connection is needed when connecting to the student (or faculty) server off-campus. Taking a look at the instructions on that site, the VPN of choice was Cisco's VPN client (multi-platform). In order to download it from their site, you need a school ID, but one can find it elsewhere on the web, available vpnclient-linux-x86_64- Setting it up was trickier than I thought, and of course the college's IT instructions were a bit short in explanation. As is the case with anything regarding Linux, I found a great how-to on this wiki by Soft Ice. Based on the wiki, this is what I did:

I. Installation

1. Downloaded the vpnclient tarball from: http://www.govnet.state.vt.us/restricted/ciscovpnclient/

2. Checked the kernel sources are installed:

$ sudo ls /lib/modules/

3. Downloaded the kernel patch (my kernel is 2.6.22-xx):

$ sudo wget http://tuxx-home.at/projects/cisco-vpnclient/vpnclient-linux-2.6.22.diff

4. Extraced the tarball:

$ sudo tar -zxvf vpnclient-linux-x86_64-

5. Applied the patch:

$ cd vpnclient
$ sudo patch -i ../vpnclient-linux-2.6.22.diff

6. Installed the vpn client:

$ sudo ./vpn_install

Accepted the default settings and moved on.

7. Confirmed vpnclient is installed:

$ ls /etc/opt

II. Configuration:

8. Started the vpnclient service:

$ sudo /etc/init.d/vpnclient_init start

9. Create a profile:

$ sudo nano /etc/opt/cisco-vpnclient/Profiles/mynewprofile.pcf

According to my college's IT department the minimum configuration of that file should be:


10. Started the VPN session:

$ sudo vpnclient connect uta

where uta is the name of the .pcf file created under /etc/opt/

That was all there was to it.