Friday, October 07, 2005

I'd arranged to install the ADSL connection at the home business I look after the IT for this morning.

My mate turned up, and dropped off a PC I'm supposed to look at, to test the DVD burner in or something.

After I finish settinng up the ADSL, I'm heading off for a few days, so I hed to get some stuff setup so I could do that, like the VPN peer.

I took the new disk out, that's stuck with an apt dependency issue, and put the old noisy disk back in, since it's all configured and works.

I grabbed my stuff, and we took off, and went to do the setup. We started setting up the modem, and then my mate goes "there's no power adapter with this ADSL modem".

Hmm? Then he says, "it must be USB powered", maybe it is, but that's worrying me.. I look at the modem, and see that the only ports on it, are the phone line, and the USB.

"Where's the ethernet jack?" I ask. Hmm. It turns out they sent a USB only modem.

That's completely useless, because the modem needs to be connected to the firewall, and while the firewall has USB, I'm not even going to attempt to get an ADSL modem working via USB under linux.

It was bad enough when I had to setup one of those hideous Alcatel Stingray things a few years ago, I never want to deal with another USB ADSL modem again.

So basically, that was the end of that, I couldn't setup the connection, so I didn't need to do anything with the firewall configuration.

I put the dialup modem back, and got that running again, and we left.

I came back home, and looked online to find a proper ADSL modem. The place I ordered all my stuff from before (WRT54G's, NSLU2 etc) didn't have a linksys one, they only had Dlink, and Netgear, both of which I won't buy, and the cheap Dlink was USB only anyway.

My mate called up his supplier, and I asked him about ADSL modems with built in wireless APs, and he only had crappy brands, like netgear, and they were expensive.

I had another look at netbro, and found they had the Linksys WAG54G, a 4 port ADSL modem/AP, for $170. Details about it are here.

Hmm, bit much, but works out better than spending $100 on a proper ADSL modem, and then $125 or so on an AP. I'll just have to order that.

My mate left, and said he'd give me a lift to the train station in a couple of hours.

I started looking at the PC he'd dropped off this morning, to test the DVDR drive.

I booted up the machine, crappy XP on it. Then I found that I had to login, and my mate hadn't told me the password, so that was the end of that.

I grabbed my Mepis disc, and I booted the machine up off that.

While I waited for that to boot, I decided to muck around with the disks in my other machine, to try to get that apt dependency issue sorted out, so I could get that noisy disk out again.

I connected both disks to the machine, with the new one as master, and booted it up.

I tried to ssh to the machine from my laptop, but ssh complained about someone trying to do a man-in-the-middle attack, because the host key had changed. Crap.

I figured I could just get the old host keys off the old disk, and put them on the new one.

When I mounted the partitions on the old noisy disk to the new one, there was some stuffup, and linux mounted the old root partition as a vfat partition, so it looked like it was empty.

When I forced an ext2 fs during mounting it would work, I don't know what's going on there.

I backed up the host keys, and replaced them with the old ones, I was able to login from my laptop then.

The I tried to install things, and found that I didn't have sudo, so I wanted that, and I was trying to install IMAPd, so I could get the machine running as my IMAP server again (since that is mainly what it does).

I switched to root using su, and then tried to install sudo:

apt-get install sudo
Reading Package Lists... Done
Building Dependency Tree... Done
The following extra packages will be installed:
e2fslibs e2fsprogs initrd-tools kernel-image-2.6.8-2-386 libc6 locales
Suggested packages:
gpart parted e2fsck-static lilo kernel-doc-2.6.8 kernel-source-2.6.8
glibc-doc
The following NEW packages will be installed:
sudo
The following packages will be upgraded:
e2fslibs e2fsprogs initrd-tools kernel-image-2.6.8-2-386 libc6 locales
6 upgraded, 1 newly installed, 0 to remove and 108 not upgraded.
Need to get 0B/23.8MB of archives.
After unpacking 1602kB of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n]
E: This installation run will require temporarily removing the essential package e2fsprogs due to a Conflicts/Pre-Depends loop. This is often bad, but if you really want to do it, activate the APT::Force-LoopBreak option.
E: Internal Error, Could not early remove e2fsprogs

Crap. I googled around, and found a reference to a guy who fixed that by uninstalling e2fsprogs, and then reinstalling it, and all the other packages it caused to be removed.
So, with my fingers crossed, I tried "apt-get remove e2fsprogs", and got:

The following packages will be REMOVED:
base-config console-common console-data console-tools e2fsprogs initscripts
modutils sysvinit

nasty, I don't like that the console stuff will go, and the init scripts. I think the machine might have a bit of trouble booting in that state.

It then came up to tell me that I was trying to do something really nasty/dumb etc, and I had to tell it that I did really want to do that, at which point e2fsprogs and the other packages above were removed.

After this, apt actually continued configuring other packages, must have been part of the initial setup continuing, where it got stuck a few days ago.

Once that went through, and I was back at the prompt, I was a bit worried, about the fact the machine would basically not be able to reboot at this point.

I did a quick "apt-get install base-config console-common console-data console-tools e2fsprogs initscripts modutils sysvinit" to put them all back.

This resulted in an "oh shit" moment, as apt asked me to put in the install CD.. this would be rather difficult, since I disconnected the CD drive after the initial install.

I can't just attach it and reboot either, since I can't reboot.

I figured I could just edit the sources list, and take the CD contents out. I did this, and this time apt worked out that it needed to download some files, which it did, and then everything came back properly.

After that I installed sudo, which went through without issue (after all that), and configured it, and it worked.

I then setup the VPN user that I needed to run the SSH tunnel, and installed pppd.

I copied all my mail off the old disk, onto the new one, and installed IMAPd.

I tried to connect, but for the life of me, I couldn't get Thunderbird to authenticate against the machine.

It looked like it was something to do with plain text authentication being disabled, but I couldn't find where to enable it, or how to get Thunderbird to authenticate securely with it.

My mate turned up again not long after that, so I gave up, shut the machine with the DVDR in it down that I'd booted up abd then not done anything with, grabbed my stuff, and left.

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