All posts tagged linux

Manually set FreePBX timezone

Check here for the correct timezone:​
SSH into the server
Run the following, with the relevant TZ database timezone. In this example, Europe/London
​ln -sf /usr/share/zoneinfo/Europe/London /etc/localtime
Then, edit /ect/sysconfig/clock
nano /etc/sysconfig/clock
Change the line to the correct TZ timezone:
Save the file
Run to check all is now correct:
Reboot the server

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DamianManually set FreePBX timezone

Installing Ubuntu 8.04 on a Viglen MPC-L


The Viglen MPC-L (<– PDF link) is a low powered (both in terms of CPU speed and power consumption) compact computer.

They are extremely similar to the Linutop machine (i.e. identical) and are actually an FIC ION 503 under the hood.

It comes preinstalled with xubuntu, a version of ubuntu that substitutes the gnome window manager with XFCE.

Better still, email Duncan Hargreaves at Viglen (tell them the ubuntu podcast sent you) and you can pick one up for a mere £79.

If like us, you are a stickler for utilising similar OS environments for support reasons (including the window manager) then a full install of ubuntu is the way to go.

Other than gnome, a newer version of ubuntu is necessary for long term support – the version of xubuntu preinstalled on the MPC-L is 7.04 which is now end of life. This means no more automatic updates (in fact, these result in a 404 error…)

Beyond the software, the hardware has a couple of foibles, which we will need to work around for ubuntu to boot properly. ACPI support is non existent, and the BIOS does not appear to be PNP compliant.

The installation process for Ubuntu 8.04 is thankfully simple. (You will need a USB CD drive to carry this out)

1. Attach the CD drive via the rear USB ports on the MPC-L. The machine will not boot from a device attached to the front ports.

2. Check the BIOS boot order – ensure USB CD-ROM drive is higher on the list than IDE HDD.

3. Restart the machine with the ubuntu installation CD in the CD drive

4. When you hit the main installation menu, press F4 and ensure ACPI=OFF is selected (with a small x)

5. Install as normal beyond this point – selecting keyboard language and location etc.

BE WARNED: The installation will take a very long time – approx 2-3 hours

6. Upon restart, you need to edit the GRUB boot string, so ACPI is off. Edit the first ubuntu 8.04 entry on the grub list. One of the entries looks contains the line “UUID=xxxxxxx” where the ‘x’ are hexadecimal characters. Append this line, adding:

pnpbios=off pci=noacpi

Then press enter to save the entry.

7. Press ‘b’ to boot from the edited entry.

8. Upon logging into gnome for the first time, you will need to update (if only for the updated graphics driver which will allow resolutions over 800×600 – the key package is available here (xserver-xorg-video-amd))

9. You will need to permanently edit your GRUB list, to avoid having to edit the line (as per step 6) on every boot. The file is located at /boot/grub/menu.lst. Edit this with gedit or similar (from terminal: sudo gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst) and then run: sudo update-grub from the terminal.

10. That’s it! A fully working installation of ubuntu hardy!

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DamianInstalling Ubuntu 8.04 on a Viglen MPC-L

Enable DVD Playback in Ubuntu – Fast

It’s a pain that ubuntu does not play DVDs ‘out of the box’ as it were.

To fix this, quite simply, open a terminal session and type:

    • sudo apt-get install totem-xine libxine1-ffmpeg libdvdread3
    • sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread3/

      That should be it!

      Note that the DVD decrypting tool you’re installing is not licensed or supported by ubuntu, so tread carefully. I have never experienced any issues with the above commands however.

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      DamianEnable DVD Playback in Ubuntu – Fast

      Alternatives to Microsoft Office


      Sun Microsystems have now released v3.0 of their popular ‘’ productivity suite. It’s a fantastic alternative for current users of Microsoft Office, or those who wish to have the functionality of the Microsoft Office suite, but do not like the high pricetag.

      It has compatibility with all the Microsoft Office file types (including new .docx for Microsoft Word 2007)

      Installation of is easy – follow the links below for walkthroughs:

      For online only use, perhaps consider Google Docs – you can download and upload files from here also, meaning that at a push, you could use it to edit a file where you do not have your normal office suite installed.

      There is a huge list of other alternatives at wikipedia – our preference definitely lies with however.

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      DamianAlternatives to Microsoft Office

      Using a BlackBerry with ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04

      Mad Analogy has a nice walkthrough on how to charge or backup your BlackBerry device under Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon. This also works fine on Hardy Heron 8.04.

      Barry, the software package he reccomends installing can also be installed by double-clicking on the RPM files that are available on the site for the tool:

      You will need to download and install the following packages:


      Which some may find a little easier than the normal apt-get malarkey!

      Link to Mad Analogy walkthrough:

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      DamianUsing a BlackBerry with ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04

      Free alternative to Norton Ghost and Acronis True Image

      Norton Ghost is an extremely useful utility that allows you to duplicate one hard drive to another. In How to install/replace a PATA (IDE) hard drive we shared a video showing how to physically replace an ATA or IDE hard drive.

      But what about your old data? Well, you can copy this from your old hard drive with a number of utilites, Norton Ghost and Acronis True Image being some of the more popular commerical programs.

      You can use a nifty utility called Clonezilla to do this for free.

      Some of the key features of Clonezilla:

      • Free (GPL) Software.
      • Filesystem supported: ext2, ext3, reiserfs, xfs, jfs of GNU/Linux, FAT, NTFS of MS Windows, and HFS+ of Mac OS (testing feature provided by partclone). Therefore you can clone GNU/Linux, MS windows and Intel-based Mac OS. For these file systems, only used blocks in partition are saved and restored. For unsupported file system, sector-to-sector copy is done by dd in Clonezilla.
      • LVM2 (LVM version 1 is not) under GNU/Linux is supported.
      • Multicast is supported in Clonezilla SE, which is suitable for massively clone. You can also remotely use it to save or restore a bunch of computers if PXE and Wake-on-LAN are supported in your clients.
      • Based on Partimage, ntfsclone, partclone, and dd to clone partition. However, clonezilla, containing some other programs, can save and restore not only partitions, but also a whole disk.
      • By using another free software drbl-winroll, which is also developed by the same people, the hostname, group, and SID of cloned MS windows machine can be automatically changed.

      For most home and small business users, the live CD Clonezilla live is probably your best bet. By recording the ISO (CD image file) to CD with a free utility like ISORecorder you can boot from the CD and duplicate your hard drive.

      Links: – A walkthough of CD burning with ISORecorder
      Clonezilla – A walkthough of using Clonezilla live (technical)

      Of course, Jaytag are on hand to assist in dulicating your data – give us a call on 0845 310 2750 for free advice, or to arrange an appointment.

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      DamianFree alternative to Norton Ghost and Acronis True Image