Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Unix: Minix3 ( A minimal Unix Clone )


An introduction from the Minix 3 site:

"What Is MINIX 3?
MINIX 3 is a new open-source operating system designed to be highly reliable, flexible, and secure. It is loosely based somewhat on previous versions of MINIX, but is fundamentally different in many key ways. MINIX 1 and 2 were intended as teaching tools; MINIX 3 adds the new goal of being usable as a serious system on resource-limited and embedded computers and for applications requiring high reliability

This new OS is extremely small, with the part that runs in kernel mode under 6000 lines of executable code. The parts that run in user mode are divided into small modules, well insulated from one another. For example, each device driver runs as a separate user-mode process so a bug in a driver (by far the biggest source of bugs in any operating system), cannot bring down the entire OS. In fact, most of the time when a driver crashes it is automatically replaced without requiring any user intervention, without requiring rebooting, and without affecting running programs. These features, the tiny amount of kernel code, and other aspects greatly enhance system reliability."

Some of the greatest news to come to Minix 3 recently is that it was entered in Google's Summer of Code which will add mature code to jump start this minimal OS.


MINIX firewall
Multiboot compliance
Porting Pkgsrc
Unix domain sockets

I will have a couple follow-up segments in regards to Minix 3, but I encourage people to give it a shot. I understand its not for everyone though :)

Alien - A conversion tool for packages :)

I rarely find a case where Fedora/Centos/Rhel lacks a package for something on debian/ubuntu. In fact as mature package management systems become increasingly common such as emerge,yum, dpkg/apt, yast, and pkgsrc. I expect this will become increasingly rare amongst distro's as time goes on. In the long run there are few solutions but there is one I prefer... Alien :)

Source URL:
GIT: git://
Apt: sudo apt-get install alien

Conversion of an *.deb file to *.rpm file.


workbox:~/Downloads$ wget

workbox:~/Downloads$ sudo alien -r --scripts debreate_0.7.0-0alpha5_all.deb
debreate-0.7.0-1.noarch.rpm generated

Most notably this conversion tool works with the following formats:

Rhel/Centos/Fedora : rpm
Debian/Ubuntu : deb
Stampede : slp
Slackware/Slax : tgz
Solaris/*BSD : pkg


Friday, August 6, 2010

Linux: TRK ( Trinity Rescue Kit )

This week my company fired our SEO guy, Eh.. That wasnt pretty and such. Most notably when you have those situations where it was not under great terms you find "repurposing" there work station becomes a nightmare.

The set up was a machine with Windows 7, and the only user was the guy who was
fired and his password. His password of course wasn't documented anywhere so I was left to the task of getting in.

In another life I was into stuff like bypassing and all that jazz. I went out on the internet and with in a few searches I found the right "tool" for the "job".

Trinity Rescue Kit

Homepage Url:
Download Url:

I did the following:
1. Downloaded the trk iso & put my thumbdrive(2gb) in the machine.
2. Mounted the iso to a VM on virtualbox (Non-OSE)
3. Enabled usb passthrough in virtualbox for my thumbdrive.
4. Booted the iso, and hit the default boot option
5. At command promt:
$> mountallfs
$> trk2nfs -d /dev/sda -s 1024
~~~~ Waited for it to do its thing ~~~~
$> reboot
6. turned off the virtual machine and removed my thumbdrive.
7. moved over the the former employee's work station.
8. booted machine, and edited the bio's to boot from the thumbdrive.
9. let trk start up and then selected default boot.
10. At command promt:
$> mountallfs
$> winpass
4) to unlock the administrators account (might have this to do a few times it didnt stick the first time.
$> winpass
3) to wipe the password for that account.
$> reboot
11. wait for it shutdown.
12. pull thumbdrive and let system boot normally.
13. Login as administrator, reset account passwords and such.

^^ Have fun