Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Create a Static IP from the Command Line

Creating a static IP from the command line is a very short task. All you need to edit is one configuration file and restart the networking service. You will need to know the settings for your network to do this. I will show how to set a static IP of on a network with a gateway of
  1. Open the configuration file in your favorite editor (mine is nano)
    sudo nano /etc/network/interfaces
  2. Comment out the section where dhcp is being used (put the # in front of the line):
    #auto eth1
    #iface eth1 inet dhcp
  3. Add a section like this example:
    auto eth1
    iface eth1 inet static
  4. Close and save the file
  5. Reload the network service:
    sudo /etc/network restart
  6. Check to make sure you can access other computers/internet by using ping:
  7. If you don't get a response then you may have set your network information incorrectly. Just go back and repeat this process at step 3.
Make sure you have entered the correct information for YOUR network. Once you have the static IP set up properly you can then have your other computers access that computer through it's IP address.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Add extra storage on the fly with LVM2

Currently I am in the process of creating a file/print server for my home network. It's an older computer but I wanted to experiment with various set-ups and configurations. Two of my requirements were that I must be able to add extra storage on the fly and I must be able to see the two hard drives as one logical unit. The only way (at least that I know of) is to use LVM. I have used it in the past, but I never really needed so I usually did not pick it during the install. In fact my current Ubuntu desktop does not have LVM on it.

During my internet searches I came across this great article, A Beginners Guide to LVM. Read this all the way through and you should get a good grasp of the main commands of LVM. Since that article did not really explain how to what I wanted I had to adapt it to my needs. Here are the steps I used to get my 80GB Maxtor(sda) and 60GB Western Digital(sdb) to work together as one logical unit. I am also using ext3 as my filesystem because it supports on-line resizing.
  1. Fresh install of Ubuntu Server 8.10
  2. Run updates:
    sudo aptitude update && sudo aptitude safe-upgrade
  3. Reboot because of kernel upgrade
  4. Figure out what the extra hard drive is (mine is sdb):
    sudo fdisk -l
  5. Partition the hard drive as Linux LVM:
    sudo fdisk /dev/sdb
  6. Initialize partition for use by LVM (on my system sdb1 is swap):
    sudo pvcreate /dev/sdb2
  7. Display attributes of volume groups to find your group name (mine is ubuntu-server):
    sudo vgdisplay
  8. Add my physical volume to my volume group:
    sudo vgextend ubuntu-server /dev/sdb2
  9. Now extend the logical volume root to include the new physical volume:
    sudo lvextend -L128G /dev/ubuntu-server/root
  10. Lastly, resize the filesystem to include the new free space:
    sudo resize2fs /dev/ubuntu-server/root
After reading the beginners guide posted above I was able to go through these steps and add extra storage without unmounting the root parition. This is one of the features of ext3, but I do not know whether you can do that with other filesystems. Now I am able to use both drives to the fullest extent and when I want to add another drive it will be quite easy.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Developing with NetBeans IDE

Programming is a hobby of mine and in recent days I have been testing out various IDEs (Integrated Development Environments). One such that I have really enjoyed using is the NetBeans IDE. One of the greatest features (at least in my opinion) is that no matter what OS I am using I can still be editing my programs with Netbeans. In my daily routines I will end up using Windows, Mac, and Linux so cross platform applications will always get a plus in my book. I also find that one of my greatest frustrations about programming is that most developers only create programs for a specific OS. Now, I understand why they do this (majority), but for people like me (minority) it is always a drawback to an application that only works in one OS. Enough ranting though lets get the latest NetBeans installed in your Ubuntu computer.
  1. Go to to download the version you want. Personally I chose the Java version but if you want Ruby, C++, or PHP you will want the All version. At the time of this writing the current version is 6.5 and my download was 208 MB.
  2. Wait for download to complete...
  3. Open a terminal and cd to the directory you saved it in. For me I saved it to my desktop so I typed in: cd Desktop/
  4. Now type: ./ (or whatever your version happens to be, use tab to autocomplete).
  5. If that doesn't work then it is possible that it needs the permission to execute. You could right-click>properties. Then under permissions check the box that says "Allow executing file as program" or you could type into command line: chmod +x ./
  6. You should see a screen much like the one above. Just follow the prompts and you will have NetBeans installed in no time.
Below is a screenshot of NetBeans right after opening it for the first time. Now all that needs to be done is some programming projects. Hope this is useful!