Category Archives: Linux

Cloning a gmail account with impasync

Following on from my post about using imapsync for mass email migration to google apps here is a one-liner to clone one gmail account to another using imapsync:

imapsync --usecache --tmpdir /var/tmp \
--host1 --port1 993 \
--user1 --password1 **** --ssl1 \
--host2 --port2 993 \
--user2 --password2 **** --ssl2 \
--exclude 'All Mail|Important'

If you have problems remove or tweak the –usecache and –tmpdir arguments. Remember this will only clone the mail, it won’t move over you other google content such as calendars, contacts, drive, etc.

Please support the author of imapsync (Gilles Lamiral) if you find his software useful.

Looping video playlist with Omxplayer on the Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi comes with an awesome little video player called Omxplayer that is very capable of playing back full 1080p video perfectly when encoded correctly in H.264/AAC. One problem is the current lack of playlist support in omxplayer, so this post explains how to create a bash script that will permanently loop through and play a directory of videos.

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Adding a FAT32 partition to Raspbian on a Rasperry Pi

This post explains how to add a FAT32 partition to Raspbian on a Raspberry Pi. This is really useful if you want to be able to add files to your Pi SD card (e.g. media files) directly from a PC or Mac.

Before we start

This post assumes that you already have a working Raspbian OS installed on the SD card, that you have SSH or direct access to the shell on your Pi, and you are comfortable using the command line. There is a risk that you’ll wipe your Pi if you do things wrong so make sure you understand each step!

It also assumes that there is some free space at the end of your SD card which will normally be the case if you have installed Raspbian directly from the downloaded image using a block level file copy (e.g. dd) onto an SD card that is larger than 2GB.

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Mass email migration from IMAP to Google Apps using imapsync

This post explains how I used imapsync on Linux to successfully migrate all our user’s emails and includes a few tricks specific to Gmail and bulk transfers of multiple accounts.

Google Apps offers a great email service but if you want to move from an existing email provider then you may need some way of migrating existing emails into your new Gmail or Google Apps accounts. There are lots of tools out there to do this, and Google provide some excellent tools themselves for a wide variety of servers and clients including Microsoft Exchange and Outlook.

However, these tools aren’t always suitable. In our case we don’t have access to a Windows machine with sufficient bandwidth for running their IMAP tool, so we needed to find an alternative. I have previously used imapsync by Gilles Lamiral for moving between IMAP servers so naturally I turned to this option again.

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Installing Fedora 11 on a MacBook

This guide will help you through all the steps necessary for installing Fedora 11 on a MacBook Santa Rosa. This guide is aimed at Fedora 11 x86_64 but will also work on i386 version (adjust as necessary). Most of the steps equally apply to pre-Santa Rosa models too.

These instructions are specific to the MacBook 3,1 (Late 2007) and newer but not the new aluminium MacBooks since they have different hardware (especially the graphics card). These instructions are not suitable for the MacBook Pro either!! That said, many of the steps here are common to all MacBook models and I have included a few tips for people with the Aluminum MacBooks.

This guide is based largely around my previous guides for Fedora 8 and Fedora 10. This guide is much shorter than the previous two guides and that can only be a good thing!

What works and what doesn’t?

There are a few things that need fixing (covered in detail below) but the following all work “out of the box” with Fedora 10: video/graphics, firewire, USB, CD/DVD reading and writing, suspend/hibernate, cpu speed control, fan control (including applesmc), volume function keys, sound, and ethernet. Even the new “plymouth” graphical boot screen works out of the box.

I have yet to try the infrared or connecting an external monitor but I suspect they work just fine. Everything else works with the tweaks described below.

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Fedora 11 – first impressions

Just got Fedora 11 up and running on my MacBook and it’s pretty damn good, nothing ground breaking but it seems like another solid release from the Red Hat folks and builds nicely on the foundations of Fedora 10. Here’s what I noticed so far compared to Fedora 10:

  • The installation process is way more streamlined – only took 20mins for me and that was including some custom parititioning and messing with the selected packages. Also has a whole lot more polished feel about it. Great work by the Anaconda team.
  • Boot time is improved. I can’t say how much quicker but it feels like it boots faster than Fedora 10, and gnome seems to login quicker too. I think they met their 20 second target time. Nice.
  • Gnome 2.26 – this is a minor update but has some nice features – Volume Control and support for multiple monitors are greatly improved.
  • Improved input device configuration and updated synaptics driver – this is huge. I especially like the fact that there is now an option to enable 2 finger scrolling on a touchpad without messing with HAL fdi files. The MacBook touchpad now works really nicely without having to getting knee deep in config files.
  • Firefox 3.5 and Thunderbird 3. Both beta releases but both seem stable and Thunderbird 3 finally has some half-decent search function and offline message caching.
  • Elisa Media Centre 0.5.37 – updated version that works really nicely. It was badly broken in F10 on my hardware.
  • Intel video drivers – these seem greatly improved since 10. No more system crashes when using 3D effect (touch wood).
  • Kernel – applesmc actually loads automatically now on a MacBook 4,1.

The bad: gstreamer is still broken with my webcam and gstreamer-properties refuses to save the custom config that would make it work.

It’s all minor stuff, but still it’s a big improvement over Fedora 10 which in turn was a big improvement over Fedora 9.

Simple time lapse video in Linux

Time lapse (or stop-motion) video is really cool, and this post explains how to make a simple time lapse style video in Linux using entirely free open source software.

There is more than one way to skin a cat and when I was searching for how to do this I came across many different methods and suggestions but not really anything that suited what I wanted. Andrew Wells suggests making a movie and then processing it with ffmpeg to only store 1 in every n frames. That seems a neat solution but I wanted to take a series of still shots and string those together into a movie. Tim Nugent published a teaser of some nice looking time lapse software he wrote but as yet there is no published source or binary. There were various other suggestions dotted around the web but each one I tried had some problem or other. So here’s how I did it.

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How-To: Automated incremental daily backups to Amazon S3 using Duplicity

This guide shows how to use Amazon S3 with duplicity to make secure GPG encrypted automated daily incremental backups (snapshots) of a Linux server or desktop. I have been using this method on various servers for several months and it has proved to be a reliable, secure, cheap, and robust method to create automated backups.

I have used this method on Fedora, YDL, and CentOS but the instructions should equally apply to other Linux distributions including Debian and Ubuntu. It will even work on OS X using the MacPorts version of duplicity.

Aims of this guide

This guide explains how to create a simple wrapper script for duplicity that allows you to automatically create GPG encrypted incremental backups that are saved to an Amazon S3 bucket. The script is designed to be executed as a daily cron job so that incremental snapshot backups are created each day. The script creates a full backup set on the 1st day of each month (or when an appropriate full backup cannot be found) and then creates incremental backups on subsequent days.

This guide provides a walk-through of how to create the GPG encryption key, and provides full scripts and example usage for both backup and restore. You could easily adapt the backup script so that it makes full backups each week, or otherwise adjust it to suit your individual needs.

This guide is written with the general Linux user in mind: you do need some understanding of basic linux concepts such as cron, permissions, and directory structures.

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RPM installation of Broadcom 802.11 STA wireless driver in Fedora 8/9/10

RPMs for the Broadcom 802.11 STA Wireless Driver are now available from the repos for Fedora 8, 9 and 10.

This is an official-release of Broadcom’s IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n hybrid Linux device driver for use with Broadcom’s BCM4311-, BCM4312-, BCM4321-, and BCM4322-based hardware. This driver also supports the incorrectly identified BCM4328 chipset which is actually a BCM4321 or BCM4322 chipset.

Previously I explained how to build the Broadcom STA driver from source but now the installation and updates can all be taken care of using yum and the rpmfusion non-free repository. Just follow these two simple steps:

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