Customization Tips and Tricks

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BCCDv3 -- Configuring and Customizing



Contents

Configuring Reverse-DNS on a Static Network

This section is for you if you have a static network and, while configuring it with BCCD's, you received the message about the nameserver not resolving to IP numbers. Below are a few simple steps to follow to remedy the problem:

nameserver 127.0.0.1
host xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
assign_hostname

Setting up the BCCD to Go Through a Proxy

For those of you that must go through a proxy for net-fetched things (such as man pages, list-packages, etc), it's a simple process to set up your environment to do this. In your home directory, fire up your favorite editor and create a file named .wgetrc. Inside of .wgetrc, put the following lines:

use_proxy = on
http_proxy = http://myproxy.is.here.net:8080/
proxy_user = (your username)
proxy_passwd = (your password)

of course filling in your own values for http_proxy, proxy_user, and proxy_passwd. That's it!

Allowing SSH Access to the User Root

First, open the file /etc/sshd_config using your favorite editor. Find the line that reads:

PermitRootLogin no

Change that no to yes, save, and exit. Secondly, restart sshd using the following command:

/etc/init.d/sshd restart

Enabling USB Mice

The most recent versions of the BCCD have full support for USB mice on bootup and no magic incantations are required. Even the BCCD 2.2.0 release had a quirk where USB mice were detected just fine -- provided you unplugged them and re-inserted them (how strange, I know). If your USB mouse is still lying limp on the desktop, try following these steps:

su
ln -sf /dev/input/mice /dev/mouse

One last suggestion is that you'll want to restart X (right click desktop, select Logout, then issue start x at the command line again) in order for the changes to take effect. When X starts back up, there may be a short delay before you see your mouse respond on the desktop. That's "normal."

Making the Drives Read/Write

This is an unimplemented feature.

By default, the BCCD mounts the local drives read-only. This is " a good thing " when you think about it. The BCCD adopts the lnx-bbc mentality of "Do No Harm" to the local system, which also means that it won't mount some journal-based filesystems because while simply mounting the partition read-only does not modify the contents of the partition, it does modify the journal. But if you want to mount your drives read-write, then a simple command will make it so. Find the partition in question (say /mnt/rw/discs/disc0/part1) and issue the following.

mount -o remount,rw /mnt/rw/discs/disc0/part1

Supplementing RAM

Sometimes, if you're trying to install large packages (for instance, mpiBLAST) with list-packages, the system will give you an error similar to this:

Unpacking mpiblast... tar: ./bin/testval: Wrote only 6656 of 10240 bytes
tar: Skipping to next header
tar: Archive contains obsolescent base-64 headers
tar: Error exit delayed from previous errors
FAILED

Because the BCCD runs in RAM rather than touching the hard drive, you're limited to only the former when installing items. There are a couple options to give the system additional space to run in. In both of these options, you'll be supplementing the directory /usr/local/, where all of the additional packages are installed by default.

USB Flash Drive

First, become root. If you have a blue prompt that starts with the word root, you're good. Otherwise, log into the bccd with the username root or issue the command su -. Either way, the password should be letmein, or see your distribution's splash screen. Then insert your flash drive.

If you're at the console (text mode interface), you should see a lot of messages dumped to the screen, similar to the following:

Initializing USB Mass Storage driver...
usb.c: registered new driver usb-storage
scsi1 : SCSI emulation for USB Mass Storage devices
  Vendor: LEXAR     Model: JUMPDRIVE         Rev: 1.11
  Type:   Direct-Access                      ANSI SCSI revision: 02
Attached scsi removable disk sda at scsi1, channel 0, id 0, lun 0
SCSI device sda: 125952 512-byte hdwr sectors (64 MB)
sda: Write Protect is off
 /dev/scsi/host1/bus0/target0/lun0:<7>ldm_validate_partition_table(): Found an MS-DOS partition table, not a dynamic disk.
 p1
WARNING: USB Mass Storage data integrity not assured
USB Mass Storage device found at 2
USB Mass Storage support registered.

If you don't see these diagnostic messages, issuing dmesg should produce the same information. The BCCD uses hotplug to automatically register and load the drivers for common USB devices. Most commonly, your USB storage device is registered as a SCSI drive. You can see from the above, that the USB drive has been registered as /dev/sda.

Check the partition table by issuing fdisk -l /dev/sda

Disk /dev/sda: 64 MB, 64487424 bytes
4 heads, 32 sectors/track, 984 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 128 * 512 = 65536 bytes

   Device Boot    Start       End    Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1   *         1       983     62896    6  FAT16

This disk has a FAT16, or DOS-style, partition on the first partition of the first scsi disk (sda1). That's all the information that you'll need. Finally, mount the USB drive, using the partition information you determined from above (here, sda1):

mount -t vfat -o uid=bccd /dev/sda1 /usr/local

DisplayLink

See DisplayLink for information on setting up a DisplayLink monitor as a second monitor.

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