floppy0: no floppy controllers found – HP / IBM / Dell Server error and solution

Posted on in Categories Debian Linux, GNU/Open source, Howto, Linux, RedHat/Fedora Linux, Sys admin, Tips, Troubleshooting, Ubuntu Linux last updated February 27, 2007

An anonymous frustrated reader asks:

Why am I getting a ‘no floppy controllers found’ error message – /var/log/messages file on my RedHat (RHEL) HP BL20P Blade server ? Log attached:

…
Feb 27 05:14:01 oradb9 kernel: Floppy drive(s): fd0 is 1.44M
Feb 27 05:14:27 oradb9 kernel: floppy0: no floppy controllers found
…

First of all this problem is not specific to any server vendor. This message will be displayed on any system connected without a diskette / floppy drive

All you need to do is blacklist / disable floppy driver or module.

Debian / Ubuntu Linux user

Add your driver /block device to /etc/modprobe.d/aliases file.
# vi /etc/modprobe.d/aliases
Add following line
alias block-major-2 off
Or comment out line
# alias block-major-2

Reboot the system.

Redhat enterprise Linux user (RHEL)/CentOS/Fedora Core Linux user

Open /etc/modules.conf file
# vi /etc/modules.conf
Append following line to file:
alias block-major-2 off

Save close the file. My complete file looks as follows:

alias eth0 tg3
alias eth1 tg3
alias scsi_hostadapter sata_svw
alias usb-controller ehci-hcd
alias usb-controller1 ohci-hcd
alias block-major-2 off

Now rebuild the initial ramdisk:
# mkinitrd -f -v /boot/ initrd-2.6.9-42.0.8.ELsmp.img 2.6.9-42.0.8.ELsmp

Reboot the server.

This is the only way to disable floppy drive, AFIK.

An open letter to Steve Ballmer: Show us the code that violates Microsoft’s Intellectual Property

Posted on in Categories GNU/Open source, Linux, News, Windows last updated February 25, 2007

This project sends an open letter to Steve Ballmer and requestss:
Publicly pledge your support for Microsoft showing the public the code within Linux that violates their intellectual property by May 1st, 2007.

From the site:
It’s come to many in the Linux community’s attention you have claimed again and again, that Linux violates Microsoft’s intellectual property. Not only that, but it’s been reported Microsoft has convinced businesses to pay for a Linux patent that you can’t provide.

Therefore, this website will serve as a response to this accusation, and within it, a request. The request is simple, since you, Microsoft, claim to be so sure of yourself: Show Us the Code.
If Linux developers are made aware of the code, then the code can be omitted and Linux can re-write necessary aspects of the kernel or operating system. This is a fairly simple request and common courtesy. Why wave around lawsuit threats, threats that will cost Microsoft in a court room as well as the defendants? It lacks logic, especially when you consider that there are developers around the world who would be more than happy to work with Microsoft to resolve this issue. Don’t you owe it to your shareholders to work with others to ensure their intellectual property isn’t being violated?

Show us the code : Open Letter to Steven Ballmer

Dell to ship Desktop and notebook PC with Pre Installed Linux

Posted on in Categories Linux, Linux desktop, Make money with Linux, News, Save money with FOSS, Suse Linux, Windows last updated February 25, 2007

Now you don’t have to pay Microsoft tax :D

Dell customer demanding free Linux version pre-installation on all Dell PCs to cut down cost.

Now Dell announced that – It’s exciting to see the IdeaStorm community’s interest in open source solutions like Linux and OpenOffice. Your feedback has been all about flexibility and we have seen a consistent request to provide platforms that allow people to install their operating system of choice. We are listening, and as a result, we are working with Novell to certify our corporate client products for Linux, including our OptiPlex desktops, Latitude notebooks and Dell Precision workstations. This is another step towards ensuring that our customers have a good experience with Linux on our systems.

As this community knows, there is no single customer preference for a distribution of Linux. In the last week, the IdeaStorm community suggested more than half a dozen distributions. We don’t want to pick one distribution and alienate users with a preference for another. We want users to have the opportunity to help define the market for Linux on desktop and notebook systems. In addition to working with Novell, we are also working with other distributors and evaluating the possibility of additional certifications across our product line.

This is great news. I only purchase Dell laptops and rest of my system is build using components (whitebox). My next desktop machine will be dell for sure. However using Linux on corporate desktop is still a big dream because of MS Exchange, custom made support & sales software etc. I hope this will also change in coming days.

Download of the day: Firefox 2.0.0.2

Posted on in Categories Download of the day, Linux, Linux desktop, Ubuntu Linux, Windows last updated February 24, 2007

Mozilla project has released an update to its Firefox browser. New version fixes lots of bugs and close security flaws.

What’s New in Firefox 2.0.0.2

=> Security Update

=> Many enhancements and fixes for Windows Vista

Download link

=> Download Firefox

=> You may also find Firefox installation and security instructions useful.

Download of the day: Firefox Dictionary.com search plugin

Posted on in Categories Download of the day, Linux desktop, Mozilla, Tips, Windows last updated February 24, 2007

English is not my first language. Often I open urls http://dictionary.reference.com/ and http://thesaurus.reference.com/ to get a more information.

The Mycroft project provides a collection of search plugins which allows you to access a search engine right from your browser. In Mozilla Firefox, you use the search box on the toolbar including Dictionary.com plug-in :)

=> Download Dictionary.com Free Firefox Plug-ins

=> The Mycroft project

Mozilla has put a list of few popular search sites in the Search Bar in the upper-right corner of Firefox. If you’d like to add more, there are hundreds to choose from. Click on a Search Engine to add it to your Firefox Search Bar.

Now I can search directly from Firefox :D

Secure Suse Linux Server with AppArmor – Howto

Posted on in Categories Debian Linux, GNU/Open source, Howto, Linux, Security, Suse Linux, Ubuntu Linux last updated February 24, 2007

Application Armor (AppArmor) is security software just like SELinux. It is currently maintained by Novell and available under Suse Linux enterprise server.

Why use AppArmor (or SELinux) mandatory access control?

Both of these provide a protection against zero-day security flaw. The security flaw allows an attacker to execute any code on server. If AppArmor or SELinux is enabled it will protect Linux applications (such as httpd/squid/ssjhd) from such code.

I found SELinux bit hard to manage and some time it breaks the system. These instructions seem quite easy to me. Christian Boltz explains how to use the YaST AppArmor modules or the command-line tools to secure your server using AppArmor.

From the article:
If you want to secure your server using AppArmor, you have to create and modify the profiles for all the applications you use. This can easily be done using the YaST AppArmor modules or the command-line tools.

The YaST modules are more or less self-explaining, but more for mouse users – and you should never have a mouse attached to your server ;-)

Therefore I’ll explain the command-line tools a bit. I’ll also explain some AppArmor basics when needed.

Securing Your Server With AppArmor

Also note that AppArmor packages exists for:

  1. Slackware Linux
  2. Debian Linux
  3. Ubuntu Linux etc.

PS: These tools are not silver bullet but provide little more isolation and makes crackers life littler harder :)

Howto: Suse Linux Set Up a Bluetooth Proximity System

Posted on in Categories Debian Linux, Gentoo Linux, Howto, Linux, Linux desktop, Linux laptop, Suse Linux, Tips, Ubuntu Linux last updated February 24, 2007

This is an excellent howto about setting up a bluetooth proximity system.

Have you ever wished your computer would keep track of your comings and goings and secure itself accordingly (when you walk away from your computer, you want the screen to lock. When you come back you want the screen to unlock.)? Odds are good that if you have a newer laptop and cell phone you can do just that

Many laptops now come with Bluetooth chips and most phones now support Bluetooth as well. This can allow your computer and cell phone to “talk” and create a simple proximity badge for you to use. Dan Elder explains how to set up the connection between the two and then have your laptop lock itself when you’re away.