Author Archives: gmcdavid

About gmcdavid

Retired IT professional with a wide range of interests. Married. Three sons, two with autistic-spectrum disorders and the third being transgender with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. From Chicago but now living in the Twin Cities metro, Minnesota. Episcopalian. Carleton College (BA 1972, physics) and Stanford University (MS 1974, Applied Physics; MS 1976 Statistics).

Duct tape disk

Following up on Installing Debian Linux I decided to replace that machines’s hard drive by a 500GB SSD. This went quite smoothly. The only hitch was that the 3.5″ SSD mounting bracket for the 2.5″ SSD did not have any any screw holes to match those in the space left behind by the old 3.5″ drive. So I ended up securing it with duct tape!

I also had to reinstall Debian. The free edition of Macrium did not have an obvious way to transfer the Debian partition from its external USB drive to the new internal SSD, even though there was plenty of space. I expect this can be done, but I did not have the knowledge. I could have left Debian on the USB drive, but the new SSD had space for it and I have too many USD devices hanging off that machine anyway.

Adding new disk partitions to a Linux system

The default Ubuntu installation process places all of the files in a single disk partition. However, it may be desirable to use multiple partitions. In particular you might want to have /home in its own partition and have yet another partition for the swap area. This way you could install another Linux distribution and have it share the swap area and /home, so you can save swap space and share your data files between the distributions. I have done this successfully on another system. In that case I created the multiple partitions when installing the distributions. For the Ubuntu installer it is the “something else” option when you choose how you are going to use your disk. It is fussier than following the defaults, but easier than the Slackware disk partitioning I used to do.

What if you followed the default Ubuntu install process and want to create additional partitions after the fact? That is what I wanted to do before I ended up Rebuilding a Linux System.

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Rang Gaeilge, 28ú lá Mí na Mheán Fómhair 2021

  • Is ansin a chuir an diabhal cathú air. Bhí air suí síos ar an
    trasnán. Phléasc a cheann le físeanna. An mhaith a dhéanfadh
    dornán beag bonn do mhuintir Shé … aturnae don mháthair,
    spré do Bhrídín, faoiseamh don deirfiúr bhreoite, dram don
    lady, cearca . . . bó. Bhí a lámha ar crith nuair a bhrúigh
    sé an cláirín anuas ar an mbosca. Chuir sé ar ais sa pholl folaigh
    é. Chuir sé an tomhaisín ina phóca.

    It was then that the devil tempted him. He had to sit down on the crossbar.
    His head exploded with visions. A small handful of coins would be good for
    the Shea family … an attorney for the mother, a dowry for Bridey, relief for
    the ailing sister, a dram for the old lady, hens … a cow.
    His hands were shaking when he pushed the palm down on the box.
    He put it back in the hiding hole. He put the small paper cone in his pocket.

    cathú Conflict, battle; temptation
    dornán Fistful, handful; small quantity or number m
    bonn sole; coin gpl here
    aturnae Attorney, solicitor
    spré wealth; dowry
    faoiseamh Relief; alleviation, ease m
    breoite Sick, ailing.
    crith tremble, shake; trembling, shaking v and m
    brúigh press; push, shove
    cláirín Little board; short stave; Flat part; palm (of hand m
    tomhaisín Small measure, small amount; Cone-shaped paper bag; wallet, purse m
  • Léigh tuilleadh

Installing Debian Linux

After Rebuilding a Linux System I decided to see if I could add another distribution to it. I was short of space on the hard drive, but I had a 250GB SSD. Unfortunately, on opening up the computer I could not see an easy way to connect the drive internally. I did, nowever, have an external SSD case with a USB 3.0 connection, so I put the drive in there and connected it to a USB 3.0 port on the computer. Then I booted from the netinst iso for Debian 11. I set the root (/) partition on the new USB ssd, but used the same swap and /home partitions I had created for Ubuntu. I could not see any reason not to use the same swap partition and I am guessing that since Ubuntu and Debian are quite similar it will possible to share /home. We will see….
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Rang Gaeilge, 30ú lá Mí na Lúnasa 2021

Duinnín agus na Bollain (tuilleadh)

  • D’imigh an Duinníneach leis go Buailín Siar. D’fháiltigh a
    chairde roimhe. D’éirigh leis bainis Bhridín a chur as a cheann
    agus codladh maith mór a dhéanamh. Ar maidin, i ndiaidh
    bricfeasta, thug sé bóthar Thrá Lí air féin. Thug sé cuairt ar Ard
    Fhearta, ón uair go raibh sé ag dul thairis, agus shroich sé baile
    Thrá Lí anonn go maith sa lá. Dhírigh sé láithreach ar
    phroinnteach Sally Murphy, gar don stáisiún traenach.

    Dineen left for Bouleenshere. His friends welcomed him. He succeeded in getting Bridín’s wedding out of his head and got a good big sleep. In the morning, after breakfast, he took to the Tralee road himself. He visited Ardfert, since he was passing by, and reached the town of Tralee well into the day. He presently aimed for Sally Murphy’s cafeteria, near the train station.

    anonn Over, to the other side.
    dírigh straighten; direct, aim
    láithreach Present, immediate
    proinnteach Dining-hall, refectory
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A Linux System that booted slowly

Rebuilding a Linux System went well, but afterwards I realized that my new system was taking forever to boot. [SOLVED] Slow Boot w/errors suggested some ways to proceed. A first step was to edit /boot/grub/grub.cfg, replacing GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash" by GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="", to show all the messages in the boot process, and also get a quick look at where it might be hung up. Fine with me, I like to see all those messages. Also, the command systemd-analyze blame shows how much time each step was taking. The offender appeared to be on or just after mounting the root (/) partition.

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Rebuilding a Linux System

I meant this to be “Reconfiguring a Linux System,” but that is not how it turned out. I had followed the default Ubuntu installation process when I set up this system. I wanted to change it so that the swap area and /home would be in separate disk partitions, as decribed in these articles in How to Geek and Make Tech Easier. The first step in this process is to create the new partitions using GParted, which I have used before. GParted always gives dire warnings about the need to back up your files before using it. I have always heeded these warnings, but this was the first time the reason for them was brought home to me.

“Failure is always an option.”-Adam Savage

Replacing another hard disk

Following my success in Replacing a hard disk I decided to do the same for a Lenovo ThinkPad X130e, which I had purchased for about $250 (again) from Micro Center. The BIOS on this system dates from 2011, not quite as ancient as the Optiplex I had modified before. This replacement was somewhat more risky, since I had installed Linux on it in addition to the Windows 10 home edition it came with. Would the GRUB dual boot system survive the cloning process? I also used a 512GB SSD to replace the 320GB hard drive, hoping to install an additional Linux distribution or two.

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