Sunday, October 16, 2011

Installing Ubuntu 11.10

Since upgrading didn't work on my machine, I went ahead and did a fresh install.

As I keep my /home partition separated from my / partition (they're in fact in different drives), I can install without much worries. I have to reinstall a bunch of things, but I was in need of a clean up anyway.


Installing
  • Backup your data!
  • Be sure you have the latest updates prior to this new release:
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get upgrade
  • Download Ubuntu. In my case was the 64bit version (ubuntu-11.10-desktop-amd64.iso).
  • Check the hash of the downloaded file:
$ md5sum ubuntu-11.10-alternate-amd64.iso
  • Compare the output with the Ubuntu hash list:
62fb5d750c30a27a26d01c5f3d8df459 ubuntu-11.10-desktop-amd64.iso
  •  Create a CD or a bootable USB stick. I used the "Startup Disk Creator" in Ubuntu. More information here.
  • Reboot into your CD or bootable USB stick.
  • Install!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Upgrading to Ubuntu 11.10

Ubuntu 11.10 came out last Thursday. Codename: Oneiric Ocelot.

I will be upgrading using the "Alternate CD/DVD upgrade".
This way I don't depend on Ubuntu servers during the upgrade.

Upgrading

  • Backup, backup!
  • Be sure you have the latest updates prior to this new release:
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get upgrade
  • Download the alternate iso image. In my case was the 64bit version (ubuntu-11.10-alternate-amd64.iso).
  • Check the hash of the downloaded file:
$ md5sum ubuntu-11.10-alternate-amd64.iso
  • Compare the output with the Ubuntu hash list:
5e427f31e6b10315ada74094e8d5d483  ubuntu-11.10-alternate-amd64.iso
  • Mount the iso file as a cdrom:
$ sudo mkdir -p /media/cdrom
$ sudo mount -o loop ~/Desktop/ubuntu-11.10-alternate-amd64.iso /media/cdrom
  • Run the installer:
$ gksu "sh /media/cdrom/cdromupgrade"

You can find more on how to upgrade to Oneiric in Ubuntu website.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Offsite backups with rsync.net

If you don't do backups... well, you should.

An example of a good backup system could be:
  • External drive backups: your computer is backed up at an external drive;
  • CD/DVD backups: burn your backups to a CD or DVD;
  • Offsite backups: your backups are located at a different site, ie, another place other than your home or office.
A good idea is to have all three backup systems in place. External drivers can brake and DVDs are misplaced, so a offsite location for your backups are a good idea.

I started using rsync.net for my offsite backups. It's a paid service, but it gives you monthly payments for GB (minimum 7 GB) and ssh, ftp, sftp, webdav, https, and... rsync. Check the site for full features.

A great way to use rsync.net for your backups is using duplicity. Duplicity is an encrypted bandwidth-efficient backup that uses the rsync algorithm.

I will show you how I set up my system to create encrypted backups in a rsync.net server.

More info about this setup can be seen at rync.net own site.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Moving /home to another disk

I have two hard drives in my computer: one with the / partition and the swap partition, and another with the /home partition.

The hard drive with the /home partition was getting full, so I bought another one.

Here's what I did to move the /home partition to the new hard drive:
  • Replace the old drive for the new one.
  • Connect the old drive to another sata port. This way the new drive is in the right place and after moving the /home partition I just have to remove the old drive.
  • Boot computer.
  • Create a new Extended Partition in the new drive (I used GParted) with a primary partition inside. At this point there is no mount point to this new partition. The new partition in this case is /dev/sdb5.