Complete Computer Hardware Information with one command

There is always something hidden in Debian, and there is always another Debian Geek who will find it. In this  case thanks go to Debian Maniáco.

Open your terminal and type in this command:

  sudo dmidecode -s

Then add one of these arguments after it for the information you want.


Nice find Lex Aleksandre !!


Howto install Iron Browser and Fix Nacl errors

Google Privacy vs Chrome usefulness
After mulling over some Google privacy issues Vs how good Chrome browser is, I decided to give Iron a go.

Iron Browser
Iron is a Chrome-based browser created by SRWare which claims to eliminate the privacy issues which come part and parcel with Google’s Chrome browser.
Iron vs Chrome:
Linux Download:

Installing Iron on Debian 64bit
I chose to install the Iron Debian 64bit .deb instead of compiling. It was easy.

1. Go to your downloads directory

cd downloads

2. Download the iron .deb file


3. Use dpkg to install it

sudo dpkg -i iron64.deb

I’ve got Google Chrome and a whole load of dev files installed and had no dependency problems, but just in case you get any problems just install any dependencies by running:

sudo apt-get -f install

Running Iron
I use Openbox, so I always manually add applications to my menu, but if you have Gnome or some other auto-menu-add desktop, you won’t have to worry about this.
I updated my system database and used locate to find Iron.

sudo updatedb
sudo locate iron

The launcher resides in “/usr/share/iron”, so I cd’d there and ran it.

cd /usr/share/iron

NACL Error Message
I got an error message in the terminal and Googled (parts of it), only to find that the problem had already been posted on the Iron download page:

LaunchProcess: failed to execvp:
[] Bad NaCl helper startup ack (0 bytes)
[] Failed to open NaCl IRT file “/usr/share/iron/nacl_irt_x86_64.nexe”: -4

Workaround / Temporary Fix
This is just a workaround while I investigate further or if the SRWare guys actually reply to the bug reports on their forum, whichever comes first.
Chrome nacl files not in present with Iron
After searching my system from Nacl related files, I found three in the Google Chrome directory “/opt/google/chrome”, and just copied them over to the Iron directory one by one, launching Iron after each move to see if the error message disappeared. It did.

sudo cp /opt/google/chrome/nacl_irt_x86_64.nexe /usr/share/iron
sudo cp /opt/google/chrome/nacl_helper_bootstrap /usr/share/iron
sudo cp /opt/google/chrome/nacl_helper /usr/share/iron

At the moment Iron launches and runs perfectly, but I will be investigating any issues that may be caused by using the Google Nacl files with iron. I’d also welcome any feedback other iron users may have.

Howto install Mac OSX Snow Leopard in Virtualbox on Linux

Why Mac? You’re a Debian Gnu/Linux user
I did this out of curiosity and just for the challenge more than anything, then deleted this VM shortly afterwards.
One thing I did notice while playing around with Mac, is how similar Ubuntu (Unity) is becoming to the Mac desktop. Everything was polished and nice to look at, but as a Debian (Openbox) user, i’m impressed by speed and reliability, not pretty wallpapers and icons.
What Hardware and Debian do you have?
I use Debian Squeeze with an AMD 64bit Quadcore CPU, Ati 1Gb GPU and 8Gb RAM. This is why I did this out of curiosity, as Apple Macs are Intel-centric.

Part 1 – Virtualbox & Ext4
One thing i noticed is that Virtualbox has an Ext4 bug which means that if you want to install Mac, your VirtualBox VMs directory needs to be on an NTFS partition. Luckily I have one of these, so I created the directory there, and pointed VirtualBox to use that one instead.

Part 2 – Which Mac iso?
I got one created by Hazard that is AMD 64bit compatible. Obviously, the legality of this image and running it virtually is in question, but as I said, both the iso and VM have been deleted now.

Part 3 – Create and Configure the Virtual Harddrive
Create a 30 Gb fixed Virtualbox drive for Mac. Once it is done, open Settings > System > Mother Board, and change:

  1. Remove the Floppy drive.
  2. Chipset selected to ‘ICH9’
  3. Enable IO APIC
  4. Disable EFI (This caused me a couple of failures) 
  5. Only provide up to 2048Mb of RAM, more fails for some reason.

Part 4 – Starting the installation
In the drive settings, choose Hazard’s Snow Leopard iso, attach it the tht virtual CD drive, and start the VM
1. As soon as it starts run, a message will appear for you to hit enter to boot from CD
2. Follow the screens step by step, most of it is common sense.
3. The VBox HD is blank. So you have to format it with ‘Disk Utility’. When you get to the first screen with a menu bar, choose Utilities-> Disk Utility.
4. You’ll see the Disk, but it can’t be used until it formatted.
Choose the Harddrive and click the ‘Erase’ tab. Under Erase, choose Mac OS X Extended (Journaled) and then name it ‘OSX’ and click ‘Erase’ again.
5. Now close the Disk Utility and continue with the installation.

Part 5 – Special Settings for AMD CPUs (Screenshot 1)
At the next screen you’ll see a “Customize” button at the bottom left. Click it, and check the same boxes I have in  the screenshot above, then continue the install. It took about 10 minutes on my machine.
**NOTE** See the Updates marked in RED – Do not install them, you’ll be left with an Unbootable Mac that hangs at the Apple Logo Splash Screen.

Part 6 – First Boot
1. Once the install is finished, remove the CD from the drive, by clicking the Virtualbox window menu Devices > CD/DVD Devices > Remove Disc from virtual drive.
2. Shutdown the VM, close VirtualBox, then reopen VirtualBox and start the VM. If all went well, you will now be greeted with the Mac preparation screen asking for your personal details to setup the desktop.

That’s it, basic install complete.

**NOTE** If you get a Kernel Panic with “vm_page_set_colors” Error
Paul Edwards commented that it can be solved by a simple boot option of “colors=32”.
Thanks for that Paul 🙂

Part 7 – Screen Resolution
I did two hacks to get my Screen Size – 1920×1080

From Linux:
1. Open your terminal, and as a user (not Root, nor Sudo) type this command with your screen resolution and the name of your VM:

VBoxManage setextradata “Snow Leopard” “CustomVideoMode1” “1920x1080x32”

2. Restart the Virtual Machine

From Mac VM:
1. Open the file browser, go to the root directory and open the “Extra” folder. You’ll see a file called “
2. Open it with the Text Editor, add the code below, then save it to your Desktop with exactly the same name and suffix (.plist).

Graphics Mode

3. Now drag it back to the “Extra” directory, and type in your password (admin permissions) and replace the old one.
4. Restart the Virtual Machine, and you should now have full screen available.

Here it is after the Screen Resolution Hack, which is perfect when you change it to Full Screen:

That’s about it. Have fun.

A heads up to these guys for their isos and guides:

Hazard Mac isos –
Vbox Mac Howto –
Vbox Mac Howto –
VM Guide –
VM Error Help –

Pacpl Music Converter/Ripper/Tagger on Debian

Rhythmbox and Windows Media Audio (wma)
I recently decided to clean up my music collection and found that some files were uneditable from Rhythmbox on Debian as they were old wma (windows media audio) files from back in the day which I had ripped from CD to a Windows computer. I would have ripped the CD again, but it is old and pretty scratched up.

Pacpl on Debian
I love Perl, and when I did an “apt-cache search” in the terminal for Audio Converters, I was over the moon to find Pacpl, a Perl based CLI audio converter/ripper/tagger script in the repos:


1. sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
2. sudo apt-get install pacpl

Usage Information:

man pacpl

Basic example:
I have a storage directory with a Music folder containing all my music. The Album in question was Gangsta Blues by Tanya Stephens, and I wanted to convert the entire album to Mp3 and remove the Wma files after.

pacpl –to mp3 -r -p /storage/Music/Tanya_Stephens/Gangsta_Blues/ –outdir /storage/Music/Tanya_Stephens/Gangsta_Blues/

Which gave this output:

Converting:  [01 Intro.wma] -> [mp3] ..done.
Converting:  [02 Way Back.wma] -> [mp3] ..done.
Converting:  [03 Boom Wuk.wma] -> [mp3] ..done.
Converting:  [04 Damn.wma] -> [mp3] ..done.
Converting:  [05 Good Ride.wma] -> [mp3] ..done.
Converting:  [06 Little White Lie.wma] -> [mp3] ..done.
Converting:  [07 It’s a Pity.wma] -> [mp3] ..done.
Converting:  [08 Tek Him Back.wma] -> [mp3] ..done.
Converting:  [09 I Am Woman.wma] -> [mp3] ..done.
Converting:  [10 This Is Love.wma] -> [mp3] ..done.
Converting:  [11 Gangsta Gal.wma] -> [mp3] ..done.
Converting:  [12 What’s Your Story.wma] -> [mp3] ..done.
Converting:  [13 Can’t Breathe.wma] -> [mp3] ..done.
Converting:  [14 Sound of My Tears.wma] -> [mp3] ..done.
Converting:  [15 The Other Cheek.wma] -> [mp3] ..done.
Converting:  [16 What a Day.wma] -> [mp3] ..done.
Converting:  [17 We a Lead.wma] -> [mp3] ..done. 

Removing old files:

1. cd /storage/Music/Tanya_Stephens/Gangsta_Blues/
2. rm -r *.wma

Pacpl provides superfast conversion, as you’d expect from anything Perl, and has a whole heap of different audio related features. I highly recommend this script if you prefer CLI over GUI.