Tag Archives: HowTo

Got old-buntu? Ubuntu EOL 9.10 to 10.04 Upgrade Mini HowTo

So several months ago, I like the rest of the world, was notified that end of life (EOL) for Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala would happening. In the news blurb/mailing list, wherever I found it, I walked away thinking that security updates would cease to exist.

In preparation for the upgrade, I went ahead and cloned the 9.10 server and proceeded to upgrade the server to Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx. This went off without a hitch from what I could tell and I scheduled the upgrade of the production server with my last client running 9.10.

Without fail, life happens, clients have things come up, and the upgrade never happened. Fast forward to present day and time, and my client tried installing a package using apt-get and received a slew of errors. Looking into the issue a bit further and I found the repositories gone. Interestingly enough, when EOL occurs for an Ubuntu release, it really ends, and not just for the security patches.

So one is left wondering, “how can I sudo apt-get install update-manager-core & sudo do-release-upgrade when I can’t even do a simple sudo apt-get update?” Solution: EOL upgrade. There are several different ways to go about this, the best are detailed here. At the time of this writing, the link is a little unclear about how to get 9.10 to 10.04 so here is the quick and easy way:

1. Backup your current sources.list:
sudo mv /etc/apt/sources.list ~/sources.list

2. Create a new sources.list:
sudo vim /etc/apt/sources.list

3. Add/paste in archive release repositories substituting CODENAME for release jaunty, karmic, etc:

## EOL upgrade sources.list
# Required
deb http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ CODENAME main restricted universe multiverse
deb http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ CODENAME-updates main restricted universe multiverse
deb http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ CODENAME-security main restricted universe multiverse

# Optional
#deb http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ CODENAME-backports main restricted universe multiverse

4. Update repositories and install update manager
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install update-manager-core

5. Initiate the upgrade
sudo do-release-upgrade

6. Enjoy!


Convert Thick Virtual Disks to Thin

When working with virtual machines, it is often advantageous to over allocate and under utilize resources. When it comes to virtual hard disks, this is even more common place. On low use or low demand servers, I always use thin provisioning. This saves disk space by only using physical disk space when the guest actually uses the virtual disk. But what about those disks that were created using the thick option, or brought over as thick automatically during a P2V conversion? Time to convert your thick virtual disk to thin.

As always, I recommend backing up all of your data and knowing what you are doing. Test this in a non-production environment.

Converting disks from thick to thin is actually quite easy and can be accomplished using these steps:

1. Log into your ESX host using SSH and cd into the VM directory that contains your virtual disk.

2. Shutdown the VM so that we can get exlusive access to the virtual disk.

3. Run vmkfstools -i yourthickdisk.vmdk -d thin yourthindisk.vmdk

4. Edit the settings for your VM and remove the existing drive. Add a new hard drive and choose the existing drive option.

5. Boot the VM and enjoy.

Note: Dont forget to go back to ESX server and remove the old .vmdk and -flat.vmdk files once you are sure that your VM is operating normally off the thin disk.


GDesklets won’t run in Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon

After a clean install/upgrade of Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) you may be unable to get gdesklets to run. I have noticed several threads out there with no resolution so I thought I would post a fix. Most users will get the app installed successfully but when they run the gdesklets shell, the app begins to load, goes gray, and then has to be closed using force quit. Also, running gdesklets start from a console shows that the daemon is starting but it never does. By default Gutsy Gibbon uses Python 2.5 while gdesklets is looking for 2.4. This is pretty straight forward to resolve using these steps. Install python2.4 by running sudo apt-get install python2.4 from a console. After that is complete we need to tell gdesklets to use Python2.4. From the console we need to add a few entries to the gdesklets config files. Locate the line that says “#! /usr/bin/env python” and append it with a 2.4. So each line should now look like “#! /usr/bin/env python2.4″. This line needs to be updated at the top of each of the files listed below.


After updating the files with your favorite text editor, start the app by running gdesklets start from a console. This should have you up and running in no time.