Partitioning, Mount Points and other Gems in Ubuntu 7.10

Power Cuts

Two days ago we had several power cuts that completely managed to scrag my hard drives in logan and cerebro (the Fileserver), Ho hum… Time for a re-install, I guess. Good job the data on the file server was on a separate hard drive. Having done some research since the first install, now might be the time to add some security to the systems by utilizing several partitions to protect the data. The idea being that if the system goes down I can work on that and configuration as well as user data remains safe.

Partitions? Why bother?

When Ubuntu installs, it sets itself up in one large partition and up to this point I have used the Guided – Use Entire Disk option. So why use separate partitions for some of the installation? Well, I figure there are several advantages. It goes like this:

Partition Use

/ The root (/) partition stores the core system files and apart from some small additions and re-compiles will remain relatively fixed. Being separate from everything else should give it extra security.

/usr This directory holds user tools, compilers and other stuff. This will surely grow as I add stuff and being separate will allow easier and more secure re-installs.

/var This directory holds the log files, spool files and other stuff that changes a lot. Giving it a partition all to itself, it means that a runaway system generating loads of data will fill this small partition up rather than taking over the whole system. There is a type of system attack that generates millions of log entries with the aim of toileting free space so a separate storage space for these files seems a really good idea.

/tmp Temporary files could also possibly grow beyond belief, so that same logic applies here.

Placing the home directories on their own partition prevents users from filling up the hard drive and enforces a primitive form of quota management. This will have to do until I can figure out how to get home directories on the server.

The Plan

Logan has a 250 Gb hard drive and that gives 236 Gb to Linux. During the installation process, I choose Manual rather than either of the Guided partitioning systems. The first step is to delete the suggested partitions before setting up my own plan.

/ 25 Gb
swap 3 Gb
/usr 50 Gb
/home 50 Gb
/var 50 Gb
/tmp 72 Gb

On reflection I might change the home directory to 72Gb and reduce /tmp to 50Gb.

Mount Points

As you set the size of a partition (25000 for 25 Gb, for example) the dialog asks for a mount point and doesn’t offer me any choices. A Mount Point is a directory in the file system where the new partition is going to live, so all I’ve got to do here is type in the directory names listed above for each partition.

All have been set up and I click the go button, the rest of the system install flawlessly. Brilliant!

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Render PC 1 (Logan) crashes and forces re-install

LAN names

I decided to giver the machines names that are easier to remember than machine 1, 2 etc. So, they are named after various characters in the X-Men. That said, Logan had a serious Power Supply issue and after a new shiny 650 W had been fitted, GRUB informed me in very short terms that the hard drive was unreadable. Damn – time to re-install and make notes as to the Desktop configuration in the same way that I did for the server (Cerebro), Ultimately Logan will not be doing all the work, that will be the job of Phoenix but all the time I have data on Phoenix that needs backing up, he’ll have to cover for her! 🙂

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Installing the ePSXe Playstation 1 emulator in Ubuntu

Legal Note

Based on a tutorial I found here, I had the following results. This is the legal note that accompanies the tutorial:

Legal note: The installation and use of this emulator requires a Sony Playstation BIOS file. You may not use such a file to play games in a PSX emulator if you do not own a Sony Playstation, Sony PSOne or Sony Playstation 2 console. Owning the BIOS image without owning the actual console is a violation of copyright law. You have been warned. Do NOT ask in this thread, or message me, where to find the BIOS file or game images. Any such messages will be ignored and possibly reported.

This procedure will not work without a copy of the Playstation BIOS. The normal way to get one is to use the Action Replay cartridge and a cable to copy the ROM onto your PC.

Download Files

1. Open a root terminal and type:

2. aptitude install unzip

3. cd ~

4. mkdir ePSXe_install

5. cd mkdir ePSXe_install

6. wget

7. wget

8. wget

9. wget

10. wget

11. wget

12. wget

12. wget ‘’

13. wget

Install the Software

1. export EPSXE=’/usr/local/games/epsxe’

2. mkdir $EPSXE

3. unzip -d $EPSXE ~/ePSXe_install/

I had a problem with this line. Until I realised that my root terminal set the home directory (~) to be /root and not /home/, so I changed it to /home/gary and it worked.

4. aptitude install libgtk1.2-common libgtk1.2

5. Apparently that should do it for 32-bit Ubuntu, but for 64-bit users the rest of the instructions can be found here in the original article.


1. cd $EPSXE

2. chmod 777 cfg sstates snap memcards

3. touch memcards/epsxe000.mcr memcards/epsxe001.mcr .epsxerc

4. chmod 666 memcards/*

5. chmod 666 .epsxerc

6. tar xfz /home/gary/ePSXe_install/gpupetemesagl176.tar.gz -C $EPSXE/plugins/

7. tar xfz /home/gary/ePSXe_install/gpupetexgl208.tar.gz -C $EPSXE/plugins/

8. tar xfz /home/gary/ePSXe_install/gpupeopssoftx117.tar.gz -C $EPSXE/plugins/

9. tar xfz /home/gary/ePSXe_install/gpupeopssoftsdl116.tar.gz -C $EPSXE/plugins/

10. tar xfz /home/gary/ePSXe_install/spupeopsoss109.tar.gz -C $EPSXE/plugins/

11. tar xfz /home/gary/ePSXe_install/spupetenull101.tar.gz -C $EPSXE/plugins/

12. tar xfj /home/gary/ePSXe_install/omnijoy-1.0.0-beta2.tar.bz2 -C $EPSXE/plugins/

13. tar xfz /home/gary/ePSXe_install/padJoy082.tgz -C $EPSXE/plugins/

14. cd $EPSXE/plugins/

15. mv cfg* ../cfg/

16. mv *.cfg ../cfg/

17. chmod 666 ../cfg/*.cfg

18. cd /home/gary

19. rm -rf ePSXe_install

Remember to always change to gary to your username 🙂

Create a Startup Script

1. gedit /usr/local/bin/epsxe

2. Add the following code:


export EPSXE=’/usr/local/games/epsxe’
chmod 666 $EPSXE/cfg/*.cfg $EPSXE/sstates/* $EPSXE/memcards/*.mcr $EPSXE/snap/* 2>/dev/null

3. Save and close

4. Type: chmod 755 /usr/local/bin/epsxe

5. You should now be able to start the emulator by typing epsxe

Setting up the Emulator

The author then says:

  • In the menu, open “Config -> BIOS”, and set it to
    /usr/local/games/epsxe/bios/SCPH1001.BIN, click OK. (You must find and
    obtain ths file yourself. Once you have a copy of it, put it in
  • Open “Config -> Video”, and select either “Pete’s MesaGL Driver
    1.76”, “Pete’s XGL2 Driver 2.8” or “P.E.Op.S. Softx Driver 1.17”. Click
    configure, then OK to write a config file. Verify that it is working by
    clicking the Test button, then OK. (Which one you use depends on your
  • In “Config -> Sound” select “P.E.Op.S. OSS Audio Driver”,
    Configure, then OK. Verify that it is working by clicking the Test
    button, then OK. (The “NULL” driver are for those few games that just
    don’t seem to work with sound. Or if you have a slow computer, and
    figure you don’t care for the sound.)
  • In Config -> CDROM, set the path to your CD/DVD-ROM. In most
    cases it should be /dev/cdrom but in my case /dev/hdc. You can check
    your path by typing “mount |grep cd” in a console.
  • In Config -> Game Pad -> Pad 1 menu, you can set up the
    controls with the keyboard. If you have a real controller, use the
    “Config -> Ext. Game Pad” option, and pick either omnipad or padjoy,
    click configre, and set your buttons where you want them.


Well, it didn’t work for me. Another project then – try and find out why not….

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Installing an IDE for programming development

Installing Netbeans

There are many IDE (Integrated Development Environment) packages around and ideally I would like one that would enable me to work in Java, C, C++ and give me options to use easy GUI design. For testing purposes, I thought the Anjuta and Netbeans packages looked worthwhile. To start with I shall install Netbeans and the first step is to go to their site and download the package. It downloads to my Desktop. I decide to store it in /usr/bin/netbeans.

1. Open a root terminal and type: chmod +x , where the last in my case was netbeans-5_5_2-linux.bin

2. Type: ./, i.e. ./netbeans-5_5_2-linux.bin

3. It installs well but when I try and run the IDE it tell me that the JDK, Java Development Kit is not installed, so I also have to download that.

4. In Firefox, I go to Sun and download the JDK 6 with EE pack: JDK 6 Update 3 with Java EE 5 SDK Update 3

5. The same process installs it and I’m off! Well, crawling anyway. I notice that the Netbeans site has excellent tutorials on it, so that is where I shall start.

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