An Ubuntu live CD can save a regular sysadmin alot of trouble. It boots an entire Ubuntu Linux system right off the CD, without touching the harddrive. It can then be used for backups without requiring the system to even have an operating system.

Enable write support for NTFS

Ubuntu 7.04 comes with FAT read/write support and NTFS read support built-in. NTFS write support is available if you install and enable it.

The GUI way

  • Go to Applications -> Add/Remove...
  • In the upper right corner, choose All available applications
  • In the search box type: NTFS
  • Check the NTFS Configuration Tool
  • When asked to install the community maintained software, click Install
  • Check the NTFS Configuration Tool again (must be a bug that it removes the checkmark after installing the extra repositories)
  • Click OK
  • Go to Applications -> System Tools -> NTFS Configuration Tool (might have to ALT+F2 and "killall gnome-panel" to get it to show there)
  • Enable write support for the device types you need
  • Click OK

The CLI way

# Enable universe and multiverse if not enabled already
sudo sed -i 's/^deb \([^ ]*\) \([^ ]*\) main restricted$/deb \1 \2 main restricted universe multiverse/' /etc/apt/sources.list
sudo apt-get update
# Setup and install the actual write support for NTFS
sudo apt-get install ntfs-config
sudo ntfs-config

Set the keyboard layout

The CLI way

Find the layout out of the available ones:

ls /usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols

Change the layout, e.g. to the danish(dk) layout:

setxkbmap dk

Restore a grub MBR

The CLI way

Find the partition that has the root of your linux installation (usually the only one with partition ID 83):

sudo fdisk -l

Mount it and install grub on the MBR (replace sda and sda1 with the appropriate in your case):

sudo mkdir /mnt/hd
sudo mount -t ext3 /dev/sda1 /mnt/hd
sudo grub-install --root-directory=/mnt/hd /dev/sda

Network speed and duplex


Show the status of the network cards' current speed and duplex setting and whether it was auto-negotiated:


Show each network cards capabilities:

ethtool eth0 && ethtool eth1

Change speed and duplex

Set eth0 to 10half manually (doesn't last a reboot):

ethtool -s eth0 speed 10 duplex half autoneg off

For setting speed and duplex that will last a reboot see this thread on the Ubuntu forum

Server monitor

The CLI way

This small script counts the seconds of downtime (remember to set the IP address):

while [ true ]; do
 ping -W1 -c1 IP_address 1> /dev/null
 if [ $? -eq 0 ]; then
  echo Running...
  sleep 1
 else ((i++))
  echo Error. "Not running! Downtime: $i seconds"


External links

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