Puja Holidays in Guwahtai

Happy Durga Puja to all.

It has been a long run since I left for Durgapur after the Software Freedom Day,2009 at Kolkata. I reached Howrah station at around 8:15 PM on 15th September 2009. Though I got an¬† e-ticket for Durgapur in the Danapur Express which was about to leave from Howrah at 9:35 PM, I still didn’t have a hard copy. I thought I could get a print out at the station from the .html file of the e-ticket I was having in my mobile phone. As ill luck would have it, the one cyber cafe that was there in Howrah station was being demolished (might be for repairs … drastic). I had plenty of time though, so I went outside the station to try my luck. With some help from the folks out there, I started my venture to find a place to print my ticket. Couldn’t find any in the proximity. Finally I found one, but the shop’s printer ran out of ink. What the hell! It was 9:15 PM and so I returned and boarded the train. My mobile phone was almost out of charge, and so I transferred the only document of my ticket to my laptop. When the TTE came, I showed him the html file and after some arguments, I was able to convince him. It could have been worse. I didn’t have my Identity Card with me.

I reached Durgapur at 11:30 PM. Then at around 3:00 AM in the morning boarded the JHAJHA-Guwahati Express for AlipurDuar Junction, my father’s home town. Quite uneventful days in AlipurDuar and Coachbehar ( my mother’s home town) except for family reunion. Finally came back to Guwahati on 20th September, 2009.

First thing I did was install linux (omega) in my father’s computer and explained the advantages of it to my father. Next day, my father told his colleagues that in linux, you don’t need to worry about viruses ( in general). I started getting calls from them to install Linux in their systems too. I did two installs of Omega coupled with the other packages installed from the Fedora 11 repository I am carrying in my portable HDD.

Internet connection had been quite unstable here. The BSNL link most of the times is down and since yesterday, the phone line is dead. This week, mbuf made some new plans for fedx and told me to go through Makefile HowTo. He assigned me some tasks. Today I have completed the first one of them … that was to write a makefile rule to check is vsftpd is installed in a system. If not, to install it in the system. Made a commit today in my fedx’s clone at gitorious. Thanks to smartnet, it came as life saver, when BSNL is down.

This week, did lots of fun with my brother. Went for long distance biking, to restaurants, to computer shops to enquire about notebooks for him. Today it was Ashtami, we fasted till noon and offered pushpanjali to Goddess Durga. Then in the evening, me and my BRO went to see the Durga Pujas in Maligaon in the evening.

Tomorrow I plan to go to Accoland with my brother. Looking forward to a great day ūüėÄ

Fedora Offline Repo Setup now known as FedX

This summer I am working on building a GUI for easy setup of a completely offline Fedora repository as a part of my DGPLUG summer training 2009. This, if successfully implemented, will greatly help us to spread Fedora and FOSS usage in areas where decent internet connections are not available in general.

I am being mentored by mbuf in this project. He gave a COOL name to this project


The project tree has been created at http://gitorious.org/fedx

Also, the project wiki will be kept updated.

How to setup a GPRS internet connection in Linux via bluetooth …

Often I hear questions like this “How do I connect to the internet from linux via my bluetooth mobile phone GPRS?”

Yes, there are ways to do that, but telling a newbie to go to the terminal and do hcitool scan, rfcomm, etc. spooks him out. And also The system-config-network, while setting up a Modem Connection through it, one has to com across port numbers, baud rate, etc. and a user not used to Linux, most of the time finds these things weird, especially the users. These issues need to be looked into and some actions are required to come up with a more user friendly interface in this regard. That’s another topic of discussion though …

Let’s see how to connect to the internet via GPRS over a phone with a Bluetooth Modem :

1. Use the bluetooth-applet to setup your phone if it is not yet paired with your PC. Alternatively you can do this via the terminal

$ bluetooth-applet

and then follow the on – screen instructions.

2. Once done setting up your phone, do the following in the terminal to know your mobile phone’s bluetooth address

$ hcitool scan

In my system, it shows something like this

Scanning …
00:1D:98:78:A2:A1    Nokia 5310 XpressMusic
00:1D:98:78:A2:A1 is the bluetooth address of my mobile phone. Yours will be of similar type.

3. Now as root, do the following

#rfcomm connect rfcomm0 <bluetooth address> 1

Keep this process running

4. Open System->Administration->Network, select New, then select Modem Connection, and enter the following values for the respective field

Modem Device:    /dev/rfcomm0

Baud Rate: 460800

this is the safe limit for most Nokia phones, may vary for different phones.

Then click Forward. Then fill in the requisite details, then click Forward, and accept the default settings, like automatically obtaining IP Address and DNS Information from provider. Then select Apply. And then click on File-> Save to save your new settings.

Then click the Activate button for the modem connection just set up, and enjoy.

4. Every time, you want to connect to the Internet, before activating the connection via Network, you have to connect your phone as a bluetooth modem as in step 3 .

Hope to see a new GUI dedicated to setting up bluetooth internet connection in Linux soon.

Fiasco trying to upgrade fs from ext3 to ext4

It was afternoon when I tried my hands on trying to upgrade my filesysten from ext3 to ext4. I referred to :


As mentioned… I did the following :

# tune2fs -O extents,uninit_bg,dir_index /dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00

# e2fsck -fD /dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00

After quite some time, the procedure finally completed. I was so delighted that I did a sytem reboot to find that my system won’t boot. The reason, I didn’t update my kernel ramdisk image, and it tried to mount the / partition as ext3 and failed as the partition has already become ext4. What I forgot to do was :

#mv /boot/initrd-‘uname -r’.img /boot/initrd-‘uname -r’.img.bak

// this is to keep a backup of the existing initrd image

#mkinitrd -v –with=ext4 /boot/initrd-‘uname -r’.img ‘uname -r’

Also the following line in /etc/fstab :

UUID=fd296dfc-e7b3-4dc9-adf9-0038631d9c1f /                       ext3    defaults        1 1

needed to be updated as :

UUID=fd296dfc-e7b3-4dc9-adf9-0038631d9c1f /                       ext4    defaults        1 1

But, I was a bit hasty. I tried to correct this issue. I booted my system from the F11-Beta installed in my pocket hard drive. I learnt how to mount an LVM partition:

#vgchange -ay

#mount /dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00 <mount point>

I tried updating the initrd images in the mounted LVM partition to find that the kernel modules for the particular kernel version of the initrd image was not found. As F11-Beta was running on a newer kernel. Tried to update the initrd images on other similar system as mine, copied the respective files in /boot and pasted it in my /boot folder and I tried to boot. It didn’t boot and gave an error message saying :

cannot mount /dev/root to /sysroot

Any suggestions?

Resolved Kernel boot problem :D

I am using Fedora 10 and I was running the kernel and I was happy until I did a ‘yum update’. My kernel got updated to kernel, and then the system won’t boot the latest kernel. While booting it gave a mesage :

Unable to access resume device (/dev/dm-1)

mount : could not find filesystem ‘/dev/root’

I wondered what had happened? But, the old kernel seemed to work perfectly. I became fanatic to resolve this issue. I did some googling, and finally came to know that the issue was with /etc/fstab and my Fedora 10 being installed on LVM. Here is my previous fstab details :

# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
# <file system> <mount point>   <type>  <options>       <dump>  <pass>

tmpfs    /dev/shm    tmpfs    defaults    0    0
devpts    /dev/pts    devpts    gid=5,mode=620    0    0
sysfs    /sys    sysfs    defaults    0    0
proc    /proc    proc    defaults    0    0
/dev/dm-0    /    ext3    defaults    1    1
#Entry for /dev/sda7 :
UUID=3bb42530-5757-4f5a-9c10-16580ee6994a    /boot    ext3    defaults    1    2
#Entry for /dev/sda5 :
UUID=08563C60563C50A4    /media/Personal_Data    ntfs-3g    defaults,locale=en_US.UTF-8    0    0
#Entry for /dev/sda2 :
UUID=FCB60995B6095196    /media/c:    ntfs-3g    defaults,locale=en_US.UTF-8    0    0
/dev/dm-1    swap    swap    defaults    0    0

But there were no /dev/dm-0 and /dev/dm-1 in /dev/ folder. The solution was to replace dm-0 by VolGroup00/LogVol00 and dm-1 by VolGroup00/LogVol01. Actually in LVM, the root is denoted by /dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00 and swap by /dev/VolGroup00/LogVol01. I made the necessary changes. Now, /etc/fstab looks like this:

NOTE : For the following steps, root access will be required, do ‘su -‘ first.

# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
# <file system> <mount point>   <type>  <options>       <dump>  <pass>

tmpfs    /dev/shm    tmpfs    defaults    0    0
devpts    /dev/pts    devpts    gid=5,mode=620    0    0
sysfs    /sys    sysfs    defaults    0    0
proc    /proc    proc    defaults    0    0
/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00    /    ext3    defaults    1    1
#Entry for /dev/sda7 :
UUID=3bb42530-5757-4f5a-9c10-16580ee6994a    /boot    ext3    defaults    1    2
#Entry for /dev/sda5 :
UUID=08563C60563C50A4    /media/Personal_Data    ntfs-3g    defaults,locale=en_US.UTF-8    0    0
#Entry for /dev/sda2 :
UUID=FCB60995B6095196    /media/c:    ntfs-3g    defaults,locale=en_US.UTF-8    0    0
/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol01    swap    swap    defaults    0    0

Now I just needed to create initial ramdisk images for preloading modules. So I did :

mkinitrd -f -v /boot/initrd-

and also for the previous kernel

mkinitrd -f -v /boot/initrd-

Then I did a reboot, and booting with the kernels ( and were as smooth as before.

That was all.

Thank you



Bijra Project Updates

It has been quite some time I blogged on our ongoing classes. And how are we doing? So far it’s been quite some good experience taking classes in Bijra High School. Hope to make it better and better.

Lately, classes were taken in Bijra High School on 4/3/2009 and on 6/3/2009.

Let me remember…mmm…what did we do out there on 4th March…I remember now :

We were lucky to get the 11:20 B-Zone bus to Kataberia. People who went to Bijra? Ratnadeep (rtnpro), Kishan, Bappi, Meejanur, Harsh ( with his digikam). We reached the school by 12:00 PM. We called the Std. VIII students in groups in the Computer Lab. Bappi and Kishan took charge of the lab. Basically, it was kind of a recapitulation or better introductory class for the Std. VIII students. They were introduced to the OpenOffice Writer and later they had some hands-on with TuxPaint. I and Meejanur went to Std. V to take theory. O Gash! It was some different Std. V than the last time we saw it, full of din and bustle. We started the speak on the topic CPU and its components. Don’t know what happened, was it that we could not communicate the topic nicely or they were in a mood of fun, the class could not continue. We talked on this matter to their teachers and asked for their cooperation to make the students more disciplined. Then it was the half day break. After that, there was the computer lab for the students of Std. VI and I and Bappi went to Std. VII. The students were serious. The class was responsive and inquisitive. I remember them even asking :

Can I see what’s in my friend’s bag with a computer?

How to start a computer?

How to play games in computer?

As always, Bappi gave a nice brief introduction on the basics of a computer. And I spoke on the WHY part … Why to study computers? How it will make their education a fun? How info was shared before the advent of computers , mobiles, phones and what it is now? All this time, Harsh was on the move taking the pics for the day’s Bijra report. We were about to end the class, but we had to end it in an unusual manner when we heard the horn of the 3:15 PM Bus back to Durgapur. I shouted for the Bus to wait, I and Bappi bade them goodbye and ran for the bus. We called others and finally boarded the bus. The students were all gathered near the windows to bid us Good Bye.

6th March, 2009:

It was a normal day at Bijra High School, I, Bappi and Harsh went there with our notebooks all running on Fedora 10. It was the previous day’s fiasco in Std. V that made me think that the kids need to enjoy the computers and then start learning the boring theory. So, I talked with Subhodip Biswas and decided to go to Bijra High School with notebooks, to make the classes more interactive. As expected, when we went to Std. VII, the all jumped up to their feet to see us opening our notebooks infront of them. We showed them how to start the computer, how to login, explained the username-password relation with lock-and-key analogy. Then Rangeen Basu Roy Chowdhury and Shreyank Gupta from NIT Durgapur arrived at Bijra High School. Then we continued with our class. We showed the kids some cool KDEedu applications like Marble, Kbruch, played Videos, Songs, pictures, showed them themselves on the Laptop screen with Cheese. In between, harsh was so frustrated that he was dying to teach apart from taing pics. Lucky, for him he found that the kids understood Hindi and he right away dived in to interact with the kids. We did it in groups. They were all elated. Then they were taken to the lab in two groups. There Bappi, Rangeen and Shreyank took charge. Shreyank also mended the mouse-cut wires of the speakers, and made them functional. He started showing to the students some cool Nat-Geo videos, while others were on the other comuters with Bappi and Rangeen trying their hands on TuxPaint. Meanwhile, I and Harsh went to Std. VI with our notebooks. It was kind of the same response as we received in Std. VII. As in Std. VII, we showed them how to start a computer and do login. We also showed some cool applications like Marble, Kbruch, videos, music and pics. They were all enjoying the class. They now seemed really serious in learning this computer subject. It was around 3 PM that we wrapped up the classes. We introduced Rangeen and Shryank to Nizam Sir, the HeadMaster at Bijra High School. Then we got the 3:15 PM bus to Durgapur.

Thus a normal day at Bijra turned out to be a great successful day for both us and the students of Bijra.