Setup grub as the boot loader in your MBR

# Boot from CD and choose linux rescue which will mount the system.
# Write to the MBR. Assuming grub.conf is intact, continue with the process. Type "grub" (return) to enter the grub shell.

Tell grub where to find the requisite files. If you know where they are, enter something like:

root (hd0,1)

(hd0,1) means primary controller master, second partition. If you DON'T know where they are, type:

find /boot/grub/stage1

setup (hd0)

This command will install grub on the MBR of the first drive.

# Type quit and reboot. Everything should proceed normally.

In our case, the details were all identical except that we used (hd0,0) in place of (hd0,1) because our /boot was on the first partition of the first drive.

How to put real java on your Linux machine

Fedora Systems

This set of commands will get rid of the stupid gcj java that is packaged with Fedora and other Linux distros and replace it with the real java from Oracle.

alternatives --config java
alternatives --remove java /usr/lib/jvm/jre-1.4.2-gcj/bin/java
alternatives --install /usr/bin/java java /usr/java/latest/bin/java 1
alternatives --config javac
alternatives --remove javac /usr/lib/jvm/java-1.4.2-gcj/bin/javac
alternatives --install /usr/bin/javac javac /usr/java/latest/bin/javac 1


update-java-alternatives -l
update-java-alternatives -s java-6-sun


Building an RPM on Fedora 12 for an older system

If you are building an RPM on a Fedora 12 system (or later) and you want that RPM to be installed on a system with an older version of rpm, such as an older Fedora or Centos, define these values in your ~/.rpmmacros.

%_binary_filedigest_algorithm 1
%_source_filedigest_algorithm 1
%_binary_payload w9.gzdio

This sets the hash algorithm and the payload compression used by RPM to be compatible with older versions of rpm. This avoids the following errors:

error: Failed dependencies:
rpmlib(FileDigests) <= 4.6.0-1 is needed by x
rpmlib(PayloadIsXz) <= 5.2-1 is needed by x


Linux drivers for a Dell 1235CN printer - kudos to Samsung

I purchased a Dell 1235CN laser multi-function printer, which arrived today. Unfortunately Fedora 12 doesn't know about the printer, so this lead me to the inevitable search for the right drivers.

I found a post by someone who had the same problem. She/he had called Dell support who told her/him that Dell did not support Linux for that printer, but that the printer is actually a rebadged Samsung CLX-3175 printer.

I visited the Samsung web site and was really happy to see that Samsung to a great job of supporting their printers on Windows, Mac and Linux. I was able to download a Linux tarball that contained the necessary drivers wrapped up in an easy to use installer.


After installing the tarball my printer was working.

Thanks to the people at Samsung! Excellent work for your top class Linux support.


VMWare MKS Console Plugin - problem and solution

While messing around with a beta service from Melbourne IT called vCloud Express, that is based on VMWare, I was frustrated that I could not get the VMWare MKS console plugin to work in Firefox on Fedora 12.

I tracked down a forum post that showed me how to run it from the command line:


This was very useful because I showed that I was missing a number of old shared libraries on which the VMWare console plugin relies: libexpat.so.0 and libstdc++.so.5.

It was then a simple matter of installing the two RPMS: compat-expat1 and compat-libstdc++-33.