Netatalk authentication gotchas and diagnostic steps for Ubuntu 10.04

Posted: September 11th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: netatalk, Ubuntu | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

For some reason the netatalk package that is in the Ubuntu repository doesn’t come with any password authentication packages. So unless you want a fully non password appletalk setup on your Ubuntu server. DO NOT apt-get install netatalk!

I followed Mr. Kretschmann’s handy HowTo for installing Netatalk on Ubuntu. It seems to work for Ubuntu 10.04 (actually it should work with all linux distributions). However when I try login, I kept getting unknown username / password problem.

Here are my installation steps:

sudo apt-get source netatalk
sudo apt-get build-dep netatalk
sudo apt-get install cracklib2-dev
sudo apt-get install libssl-dev
cd netatalk-2*
sudo DEB_BUILD_OPTIONS=ssl dpkg-buildpackage -rfakeroot
sudo dpkg -i ../netatalk-2*.deb
echo "netatalk hold" | sudo dpkg --set-selections

Here are my diagnostic steps:

  1. Check your afpd.conf and AppleVolumes.default files for any typos, especially when you are cutting and pasting!
  2. If you want to let each user to access his/her own directory, you should put
    ~/ "$u" allow:$u cnidscheme:cdb

    in AppleVolumes.default; $u is the variable for username; instead of username1/username2 combination as listed in the HowTo. The list of variable names is in the comment section of the file or here.

  3. Open Log File Viewer under System -> Administration. What this does is whenever there is any updates in any of the log files, the updated log file on the left will appear bold.
  4. What I encountered was my installation steps above only created the uams_dhx2*.so authentication libraries. My syslog file has these entries
    afpd[17919]: ASIP started on (2.0.5)
    afpd[17919]: uam: loading (/usr/lib/netatalk/
    afpd[17919]: uam: uam not found (status=-1)
    afpd[17919]: uam: loading (/usr/lib/netatalk/
    afpd[17919]: uam: uam not found (status=-1)
    afpd[17919]: Finished parsing Config File
  5. Go to /usr/lib/netatalk directory and verify which authentication modules you have. Update your afpd.conf appropriately. Mine is:
    - -transall -uamlist -savepassword -advertise_ssh

    dhx2 authentication is only supported by MacOSX machines, if you have OS9 or earlier you will have to have the others fall back to. I think it is much easier to use a normal MacOSX machine to do Appletalk though.

  6. I also noticed in with Netatalk 2.0.5 (vs 2.0.3 in the HowTo), there is a Time Machine support option in the AppleVolumes.default file. So an entry like this:
    ~/TimeMachine "$u" allow:$u cnidscheme:cdb options:usedots,upriv,tm

    would allow a per user login to have their own TimeMachine backup. or you can do it by ip via the $c variable. With that option enabled, I can run TimeMachine without having to create my own sparsebundle etc. You still have to issue the Defaults write TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1 command in a terminal of the Mac you want to start TimeMachine though.

  7. Oh after each change, remember to run:
    /etc/init.d/netatalk stop
    /etc/init.d/netatalk start

    I find 2 commands work better than one command using the restart flag.

Upgrading VirtualBox 3.1 -> 3.2 on Ubuntu 10.04

Posted: July 19th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Ubuntu, Virtual Box | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

Assume: you have VirtualBox (OSE / non OSE) 3.1 installed. You also have sudo rights.
Note: OSE version doesn’t have RDP support, non OSE has RDP support.
VirtualBox files are usually stored in: /home/username/.VirtualBox/ directory with HardDisks and Machines sub directories. (A backup is always a good idea before an upgrade!)

    Upgrade Steps:

  1. Shut down your existing VMs. I find if you are using VBoxHeadless, the process might not end after the VM has been shutdown.
  2. Quit VirtualBox GUI (if running); kill all VBoxHeadless processes.
  3. Use dpkg -remove packagename or Synaptic Package Manager to remove your exisiting installation. (Synaptic is probably easiest since you don’t need to look up the package name). Even if you remove the package your existing VMs will still be around, but it never hurt to do a backup before hand!
  4. Locate your VirtualBox 3.2 .deb package.
  5. Install via dpkg -i debfilelocation
  6. VirtualBox Guest Additions are located in /usr/share/virtualbox. You have to manually mount the Additions in the virtual machines. I find it the quickest to edit the setting via the VirtualBox GUI
  7. Restart VirtualBox, and run the Guest Addition updates.
  8. Stop the VMs and launch them via VBoxHeadless if so desired.

Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Nvidia restricted driver VNC issues

Posted: May 20th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Ubuntu | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

I run a few machines in my house. I like machines to perform one and only one task. eg I have a machine that does all my communications (email, IM etc), one runs simplicity (a Tivo indexing program) and another that runs utorrent. They are all Windows boxes because I do believe of all things Microsoft might have screwed up, they make a superior remote access protocol (RDP). Recently my email machine decide to throw a few bad sectors (it barfed while backing up a 6GB SENT file), so I decided to task a spare Core2 machine to run Ubuntu 10.4 and consolidate my machines into virtual machines managed by Virtual Box.

Everything installed smoothly until I decide to activate the Nvidia restricted drivers AND VNC into the machine. The keyboard and mouse stopped responding via VNC (it worked via local console). It works fine with the Ubuntu’s OSE drivers (jockey). (However the OSE drivers are restricted to 1024×768 on the monitor, not to mention the lack of acceleration etc). I decide to live with that solution because most of the time I remote terminal in anyways.