Installing ownCloud server

So my brother gave me a gift the other day. Access to a dual-core Debian Virtual Machine server wth 4gb of RAM and 100gb HDD. While thinking how to take advantage of the 100% available machine with a static IP, an idea popped in my mind. I had read about ownCloud as a private storage space, and I wanted to give it a try. What better use for my server. These are (roughly) the steps I took.

After installation of the base system (Debian 7.8) was complete, my first steps was to turn the stable version to a pure testing release. I changed my sources to pure testing in the /etc/apt/sources.list with :

 deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian testing main contrib non-free
deb-src http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian testing main contrib non-free
deb http://security.debian.org/ testing/updates main contrib non-free
deb-src http://security.debian.org/ testing/updates main contrib non-free

Afterwards I upgraded my system, it needed 300mb of new software. Thankfully the connection was fast to download them.
Next step was creating a new user for my daily use (there was only root user available up until then) with the adduser command :

root@snf-629784:~# adduser tasos
Adding user `tasos’ …
Adding new group `tasos’ (1000) …
Adding new user `tasos’ (1000) with group `tasos’ …
Creating home directory `/home/tasos’ …
Copying files from `/etc/skel’ …
Enter new UNIX password:
Retype new UNIX password:
passwd: password updated successfully

And gave my new user, sudo capabilities with :

 usermod -a -G sudo

My system was ready, it was time to install ownCloud server. The best tutorial was found here

Specifically firstly I downloaded the Release Key of the server :

 cd /tmp
 wget http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/isv:ownCloud:community/Debian_7.0/Release.key
 apt-key add - < Release.key

And added the ownCloud repository :

echo 'deb http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/isv:/ownCloud:/community/Debian_7.0/ /' >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/owncloud.list

To let me finally install the server :

 apt-get update
 apt-get install owncloud

I hadn’t previously installed mysql, so I needed to install and setup a database

apt-get install mysql-server

After the installation is complete, I had to provide a password (twice for confirmation) for the root user of the mysql. In order to be able to configure it though some more commands are needed to be able to run mysql :

 mysql -u root -p

That granted me access to the mysql server to be able to create a database :

 CREATE DATABASE owncloud;

In order to assign privileges to a new MySQL user to handle database operations for ownCloud, which will be used when gaining access to the ownCloud server through the web interface :

 GRANT ALL ON owncloud.* to 'owncloud'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'password;

This was it. All other operations can be handled in the web interface (which will ask creating a user and pointing towards the database giving the user/password configuration stated previously, on your first login) accessed from the http://xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx/owncloud (or domain/owncloud).

Farewell #!

After reading Corenominal’s post for the discontinuing of CrunchBang Linux, a feeling of sadness overwhelmed me. I am still a Linux noob in terms of knowledge, but I know and have tried almost every distribution out there,   CrunchBang was my constant, the distribution I knew I would turn if I could not settle in any other.
I know it is just software but just hearing this kind of news I feel like something I thought that would always be there, will not be.
Farewell old “friend”, and I wish all the best to Mr. Newborough for one of the greatest distros of the last decade.

Creating swap partition

When I installed my OS, somehow I managed to somehow mess my swap partition, the most probable cause was that firstly I encrypted my drive and afterwards I partitioned it encrypting my swap with no way to access it. Thankfully I don’t use it much so it took me two days and a Conky setup to figure out that my swap partition was a zero byte partition. So the solution was to create a new partition, the space was there waiting, to be used as swap.

First of all after logging in as root in the terminal, I ran : blkid /dev/sdX where X is your various partitions, my output was :

Synapse ~ # blkid /dev/sda1
/dev/sda1: UUID="xxxx-xxxx" TYPE="vfat"

Synapse ~ # blkid /dev/sda2
/dev/sda2: UUID="xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxx" TYPE="ext4"

Synapse ~ # blkid /dev/sda3
Synapse ~ #

That means, no partition was identified in sda3. Now, I created an empty partition in the place of sda3 and then I ran mkswap :

Synapse ~ # mkswap /dev/sda3

Next, I used the swapon command to enable the partition :

swapon -U UUID where UUID is the output of running the command blkid /dev/sda3

The final step was to add the new UUID in /etc/fstab, which should look like this :

# swap was on /dev/sda3 during installation
UUID=xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxx none            swap    sw              0       0

That was it, my swap was identified and ready to be used.

 

Installing Linux Mint 17.1

Installing Linux on my PCs always feels easier than installing Windows, mainly because most of the times, I’m logged in a productive environment moments after installation is complete. Recently I decided to find a distribution to stick with, my choice – for reasons I have stated in older posts – is Linux Mint Ubuntu edition with the Cinnamon desktop.

Linux Mint’s 64bit Cinnamon can be downloaded from here and be used as a live system running from USB, from which it can be installed on a HDD. The installation process is very straightforward and blazingly fast.

After booting on the live session, a welcome screen appears with various links on the Linux Mint site, forum and documentation pages. On the desktop, alongside the Computer and Trash icons, there is an Installation icon which opens the Linux Mint installer. The installer is identical to the Ubuntu official installer, tweaked to Mint’s specific software and principles. Most of the steps are about configuring your custom system, language – location – keyboard layout – username & password. The only step worth mentioning is the partitioner. Most people (not dual booting) should use the “Use entire disk” option which auto-partitions your disk. It is worth mentioning that Linux Mint has the ability to boot an EFI system, just adds a small efi partition.

My setup, on a system with a 128GB SSD and 8GB of RAM, is :

Device           Type   Mount Point   Size

/dev/sda1    efi         /efiboot           512MB

/dev/sda2   ext4      /                        125GB

/dev/sda3   swap     swap                 2GB

I decided to use a unified root and home directory due to storage restrictions, if  I play games a 40GB root partition may not be enough. Also after reading various articles for swap on Linux systems I found that 2GBs of swap space are enough (maybe overkill for some).

Afterward all the procedure is just waiting for the installer to finish copying the files, which on my system lasted under 20 minutes and voila I was ready to be productive. No hassle, no drivers, all my hardware was detected, Lenovo’s function keys worked out of the box, as well as brightness control, microphone, suspend etc.

So after 30′-45′ I had a system with everything I needed for every day use. But no system comes tailored to everyone’s needs, it needs some minor (or major) tweaking. That leads us to…

Next : Tweaking Linux Mint

Commitment

If you have read my previous posts on Linux distributions, you would have figured out that I was undecided on which one I should use for my main PC. Since then I distrohopped like a maniac, used Manjaro KDE edition, Debian Testing GNOME and Cinnamon versions, Antergos GNOME, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, Crunchbang Linux, Sparky Linux, Chakra to find what suites my needs.

To reassert my needs, what I really need from a distribution :

  • I own a laptop which I can’t have powered on 24/7, meaning I need fast boot and shutdown times plus good power and temperature management.
  • UEFI support and excellent hardware detection. I don’t have the time and enthusiasm to configure my system from the bottom up, I want my GPU-Ethernet-WiFi-Bluetooth adapters to be fully identified and functional after installation.
  • Stability over bleeding edge software (but not staying with ancient versions).
  • Small (if possible) system footprint. My laptop is fully capable of running a resource hungry system, but I just don’t like having such a machine, they tend to get slower and slower as time passes.
  • My laptop is the first machine I want to install Linux, but I want to install the same distribution on most (if all) my machines. My NAS has been hacked to have a Debian barebone installation to use Transmission, but that doesn’t count as a full distro. I own a Raspberry though and some spare parts can be used to assemble a headless server or something else entirely.
  • On the software side of a distribution, I don’t like bloated OSes. Why would I want to have 3 video players, 2 music players and 3 browsers?? Keep it simple, install the minimum amount of needed applications and let the user decide.
  • System customizing. I love tweaking my desktop, so a desktop environment which lets me do some tinkering, without the fear of breaking the whole system, is definitely a big plus.
  • Friendly community. I want to be part of a community, not something huge though, with the fear of “getting lost” nor too small without the traction to keep going and evolving. This point is kind of weird and doesn’t have anything to do with the software itself, but is a point when choosing.

Secondly what I intent to use my system for :

  • The most common uses obviously. Browsing, multimedia and office applications will be mostly used.
  • Want to begin studying HTML and maybe start learning how to code. Maybe use GIMP a little.

The title of this post stands for my need to commit on a single platform, distribution or better package manager (apt, pacman etc.). That may sound wrong, considering that Debian is better suited for a server than Arch, but Arch is better suited for desktop use.

Concluding, I want to add that I am a Linux newbie. Maybe I don’t want to admit it but I haven’t used any distribution long enough to get acquainted with it. So it feels like unknown territory when really dealing with the inner workings of a distribution. That maybe better though, I will get to know a distribution clean slated, thus I believe the 4 most probable distributions are :

  • Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
  • Linux Mint 17.1 Cinnamon
  • Manjaro 0.8.11 KDE
  • Manjaro 0.8.11 Cinnamon

15/1/15 is Installation Day

Steps Forward

Sometimes life catches up to you, sometimes you don’t even have time to install an OS on your machine, or even plug in your media system.

But hey that’s OK!

Since July my life has changed, dramatically some may say. We are waiting the birth of our daughter, we moved in a new apartment, we got married… One of these alone can consume all of your free time, all three at the same time… fun times!! I am not complaining, on the contrary, I believe all these have helped shape me as a more mature person, someone who can take all these responsibilities and at the same time have a good time.

As the end of the year is drawing near, it is time for a good inside talk, what I’ve achieved, where I excelled, where I have fallen short. Mostly where I’ve fallen short of myself, my wife and the circumstances. I will not hide behind my thumb, all these changes took me by surprise, even took me to a bleak “place”. But today I have a more positive attitude towards life and what’s to come.

I believe I’m ready.

Aftermath (wedding thoughts)

That was that!!… After much anxiety coupled with weariness, but with overall happiness and expectation.. We got married last Saturday on the 22th of November in Kamatero, Athens.
Thankfully the weather was good, just a little chilly after sunset, so there were a little less than 400 people in the ceremony.
The ceremony itself lasted 1 hour – give or take – we on the other hand believed it lasted only half an hour, nervousness had kicked in.
The reception afterwards was beautiful, we had a video with photographs as we were growing up before our entrance under the sound of Scorpion’s Hurricane 2000 with the Berlin Orchestra.
No more details on the wedding though, shared enough. So CHEERS to our new life…