I was trying to boot Debian on a Sun Sparc Ultra 10 box yesterday, without success. I got myself this Sparc box from eBay many months ago, but until yesterday it was merely standing around here and taking up valuable space (just like the other dozen or so computers standing around in my room). So I thought I should really make some use of it, finally...
I booted it up and noticed that it came with SunOS 5.8 pre-installed. It boots quite fine into the graphical login prompt, but I don't have the root password (or the password for any other account). So my first task was to reset the root password. But I failed so far.
Out of curiosity I connected the machine to my laptop and ran nmap on it. It has several ports open (e.g. ntp, ssh, X11, nfs, ...), so I could probably try to find a remote root exploit (or run an ssh brute-force attack) and crack it open that way ;) While I might try that later just for the fun of it, I wanted to simply boot a Debian first and change the root password manually. That sounded simpler at first...
Anyways, here's what I tried so far:
As I had no experience whatsoever with Sparcs, it took me some time to read up all the stuff I needed... After a bit of googling, I found out that I need to press STOP+A to get into the boot prompt (the box has OpenBoot 3.19). There, I can type boot -s to boot into single user mode. Unfortunately, you still need the root password to boot into single-user mode. Argh!
Next, I found out how to boot from CD-ROM. Typing boot cdrom in the boot prompt should do the trick. So I downloaded and burned a the current Debian "businesscard" image for Sparc:
cdrecord -eject -v speed=2 dev=/dev/hdc -data -pad debian-31r1a-sparc-businesscard.iso
Booting seems to work partially. SILO seems to start fine, and I get to the "boot:" prompt. When I press Enter I get to the point where it says "Loading Linux..." but then the screen turns black and nothing happens anymore (hangup). The same happens when I type "linux" or "rescue" on the "boot:" prompt.
The monitor works fine, SunOS 5.8 can display graphics etc., so it's probably not a hardware problem.
After that, I tried to perform a network boot. This was fun and I learned a lot about RARP and TFTP, as I have never played with this stuff before. While the netboot part itself worked, it didn't solve my real problem, unfortunately...
/etc/ethers I added a line which tells rarpd which MAC address should be assigned to which IP address. I looked up the MAC address of the Sparc box (it's displayed when you boot) and then added "xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx 192.168.0.20" to
/etc/ethers. I configured my laptop to have the IP address 192.168.0.19:
ifconfig eth0 192.168.0.19 broadcast 192.168.0.255 netmask 255.255.255.0. Of course, I plugged an ethernet cable in the Sparc box and in my laptop so they can talk to each other.
Then, I created
/etc/xinetd.d/foobar which contained:
disable = no
socket_type = dgram
protocol = udp
user = nobody
wait = no
server = /usr/sbin/in.tftpd
# server_args = /tftp
This should tell tftpd to serve the Debian netinst boot image from
/tftp, but that didn't work for me. So I commented out the "
server_args = /tftp" and let tftpd fall back to the default location
/tftpboot. You need to reload xinetd after any change:
/etc/init.d/xinetd reload. Also, tftpd is compiled with TCP wrapper support, so you have to temporarily allow the respective connections, e.g. by adding "
ALL: 192.168.0.20" to
/etc/hosts.allow. Don't forget to remove that line again later on!
Now I downloaded the Debian netinst boot image for Sparc (hopefully the correct one):
mv boot.img /tftpboot/XXXXXXX
You need to place that image into
/tftpboot using the name under which the Sparc box requests it. I found that name by net-booting the Sparc machine and watching the network traffic with Ethereal on my laptop...
The final steps: boot the Sparc box, type STOP+A, type boot net. The Sparc machine gets the boot image from my laptop just fine (it seems), and I get to the "Loading Linux..." part again. But then I have the same problem as with the CD-ROM boot: the screen turns black, nothing happens anymore...
Update 2006-03-22: I have posted some lessons learned.
Although I'm not a "gamer", I enjoy playing computer games from time to time. First-person shooters are especially well-suited for relaxing after a long and exhausting day ;-)
IMHO a very good choice, if you're looking for a fun Free Software first-person shooter running on Linux, is Nexuiz.
Nexuiz version 1.5 has recently been released, which features new maps, new characters, better AI and lots more. Check it out!
High (arbitrary remote code execution under the user ID running the player) when streaming an ASF file from a malicious server, medium (local code execution under the user ID running the player) if you play a malicious ASF file locally. At the time the buffer overflow was fixed there was no known exploit.
Users of the older MPlayer 1.0pre7try2 should apply this patch in order to fix the security issue. CVS users should update to the most recent revision.
I tried to do the latter, but I stumbled over several problems. First, I noticed and filed a bug (I think) in Debian's libavcodec-dev package which prevented a successful compile. After a few more problems I gave up and stayed with 1.0pre7try2 by applying the above-mentioned patch. I'll wait a few more days until the MPlayer developers fix the build issues in CVS...
There's no known exploit in the wild yet, but I bet it won't take too long until one appears. So better fix your Mplayer!
Beagle 0.2.1 is out. Beagle is a very useful desktop search engine for GNOME (but you can use it with KDE, too, or even without any desktop environment like I do). Despite the low version number it is already quite stable and usable, and has lots of features.
It can index all kinds of files and information on your computer (txt, pdf, doc, emails, IM logs, IRC logs, source code, images, music, and whatnot) and provides a very nice (new) search interface (see screenshot).
Yes, Google Desktop Search and Spotlight do the same thing, but neither is available for Linux, and neither of them is Free Software. They can "phone home" without telling you and do other funny things. With Beagle you can easily check what it does (use the source, Luke!).
Oh, and Beagle can now also parse Ruby files, a simple filter I had written and submitted has been included in the latest release (well, actually it was there in 0.2.0 already, but I didn't tell anybody ;-)).
Note: Yeah, I'm abusing the latest Debian
flamewar meme for some attention mongering. Sue me.
A few days ago, I have tested my cheap, crappy webcam I bought more than a year ago for the first time. Using the latest SN9C10x driver (which is already included in recent 2.6.1x kernels) worked fine, i.e., the USB webcam was recognized.
I tried running sonic-snap (site is currently down, try the Google Cache) in order to get snapshot images and/or videos off the webcam, which initially didn't work. But I soon found out what the cause of the problem was and created a trivial patch which fixed the problem for me.
Then, after I made myself look like an idiot by reporting a bug against a non-existing sonic-snap Debian package, I finally sent the patch to the upstream author. I'll probably ITP the package, though, as I might be using the webcam more often...
I also tested the webcam with Gnomemeeting for some videoconferencing fun, which didn't work at first either. After some stupid guessing and googling, I finally found out that you need to apt-get install libpt-plugins-v4l2, which is not installed by default (why?). Other than that (and apart from the really, really crappy image quality of the webcam), it worked really nice...
Here's the exact
lsusb output for Google to parse, other people might be searching for this info:
Bus 003 Device 003: ID 0c45:602a Microdia Meade ETX-105EC Camera