Wednesday, March 9, 2011

VMWare 2.0.2 server on OpenSuSE 11.2 64bit

This is a quick summary of what is described on

In order to install VMWare Server 2.0.2 on OpenSuSE 11.2 64bit you need to install the kernel source and kernel devel packages. Make sure you choose the right kernel type when selecting the packages, uname -r will tell you what you have.

Download VMware-server-2.0.2-203138.x86_64.rpm from and the patch from to your tmp folder or elsewhere.

As root perform the following steps:

cd /tmp
rpm -i VMware-server-2.0.2-203138.x86_64.rpm
cd /usr/src/linux
make mrproper
make cloneconfig
make modules_prepare
cd /tmp
tar xvzf vmware-server.2.0.1_x64-modules-
cd /usr/lib/vmware/modules/
rm -rf binary/

That's it, afterwards you VMWare server should be ready to use.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

SLES 11 Regigrstion Problem: wrong GUID

I recently had a problem that a technician could not register a SLES 11 system. The registration process ended with an error message from the Novell registration service: wrong GUID.

Running the registration from the command line...:

$ suse_register -a regcode-sles=..... -a email=.... -d 3

... showed that there was indeed a wrong GUID sent to the server. I grepped for the GUID string in /etc/* and found it in /etc/zypp/credentials.d/NCCcredentials. Deleting this file solved the problem, the registration worked as usual.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Oracle quick and dirty

Recently, I had the opportunity to install a Oracle database on RHEL5.5. Not really an enlightenment when you come from a PostgreSQL/MySQL background.


I've followed the instruction from Oracle:

A few things that are not mentioned in the prerequisites and may lead to problems:
  1. make sure your hostname is correclty resolved, I got some errors during the installation when this was not the case
  2. choose a memory usage that fits into your tmpfs and you have to have /dev/shm mounted
    sudo mount -t tmpfs shmfs -o size=300m /dev/shm

    otherwise you get an error when you want to start or connect to the database instance:
    SQL> ORA-00845: MEMORY_TARGET not supported on this system

    see for details.
  3. Once your done an you've created a database, link the oratab file to /etc
    [oracle@columbus_rhel5 opt]$ ll /etc/oratab
    lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 53 Feb 24 13:52 /etc/oratab -> /opt/oracle11g/product/11.2.0/dbhome_1/install/oratab

    This file will tell you your ORACLE_SID, by the way.
Starting a Database

First, you should consider reading through the quick administration guide:

The easiest solution is to get the Oracle Enterprise Manager Database Control web-interface running and perform the administrative tasks from there. You can start the web-interface from the command line as the oracle user:

[oracle@columbus_rhel5 opt]$ ORACLE_SID=omero41 ORACLE_HOME=oracle11g/product/11.2.0/dbhome_1/ /opt/oracle11g/product/11.2.0/dbhome_1/bin/emctl start dbconsole

Oracle Enterprise Manager 11g Database Control Release
Copyright (c) 1996, 2009 Oracle Corporation. All rights reserved.
Starting Oracle Enterprise Manager 11g Database Control ........ started.
Logs are generated in directory /opt/oracle11g/product/11.2.0/dbhome_1/localhost_omero41/sysman/log

As you see, you'll get the information under which port the web-interface is accessible. In case you loose this information and the web-interface is already running, you get it from the portlist.ini file:

[oracle@columbus_rhel5 dbhome_1]$ cat /opt/oracle11g/product/11.2.0/dbhome_1/install/portlist.ini
Enterprise Manager Console HTTP Port (omero41) = 5500
Enterprise Manager Agent Port (omero41) = 1830

Now point your browser to http://oracle_host:5500/em and login with sys as sysdba with the password you specified during the installation.

On the home page you can start the database and listener processes.

Creating and Dropping Databases

Databases are created with the dbca tool, which you launch from the command line, make sure you have an X-Server running on the local or remote machine. The rest is pretty much self-explanatory, just follow the steps:

[oracle@columbus_rhel5 dbhome_1]$  ORACLE_SID=omero41 ORACLE_HOME=oracle11g/product/11.2.0/dbhome_1/ /opt/oracle11g/product/11.2.0/dbhome_1/bin/dbca

As described below, in order to re-created the  database, the simplest solution is to drop all database objects, rather than deleting the database and create at new, as this is a time consuming process.

Creating and Dropping Users

In the database control web-interface you can use the Server link to create new user accounts. Roles and/or privileges need to be assigned to the new user in order to allow access to the database. The Resource role maintains the default privileges to create, update and select standard database objects. However, view and procedure privileges need to be assigned additionally.

Once you want to get rid of the database content, the easiest solution is to drop the users that owns the database objects.

Connecting to the Database using SQLPlus

Remember to put quotes arround the logon identifier, as the shell expansion might spoil the input. In addition the tralling slash on the ORACLE_HOME environment variable could lead to errors (

[hollaebn@columbus_rhel5]~% ORACLE_HOME=/opt/oracle11g/product/11.2.0/dbhome_1/ /opt/oracle11g/product/11.2.0/dbhome_1/bin/sqlplus "columbus/columbus@localhost/omero41"

SQL*Plus: Release Production on Mon Feb 28 14:52:32 2011
Copyright (c) 1982, 2009, Oracle. All rights reserved.
Connected to:
Oracle Database 11g Release - 64bit Production

Monday, February 14, 2011

sudoers require tty in RHEL5 prohibits use of sudo in rc scripts

Since the scripts are not run from a login shell, you sudo call will not work. This can be fixed by commenting out the 'requiretty' option in the /etc/sudoers file on RHEL5.

The default option is 'off' anyway.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Compiling Gnuplot with TTF support on RHEL5.4

I just had to install a recent gnuplot (>4.2) version on RHEL5.4. You need to build libgd and gnuplot yourself in order to get PNG and Truetype font support on that OS.

Before you start compiling libgd you'll need to 'yum-install' devel packages for png, jpeg, freetype and fontconfig. Once you've done this you can download the source package of libgd and do the typical:

$ ./configure --with-jpeg --with-png --with-freetype
$ make
$ sudo make install

You might want to add the library location (default /usr/local/lib) to /etc/ and add /usr/local/bin to your PATH variable.

Now  you're almost ready to build gnuplot after you've downloaded the source package However, there is a problem with the libgd-config tool that is used by gnuplot's configure. It prints out a bogus library in the libs sections:

$ gdlib-config --all
GD library  2.0.35
includedir: /usr/local/include
cflags:     -I/usr/local/include
ldflags:      -L/usr/lib64  -L/usr/lib64
libs:       -lXpm -lX11 -ljpeg -lfontconfig -lfreetype -lpng12 -lz -lm  @LIBICONV@
libdir:     /usr/local/lib

In order to dynamically get rid of the @LIBICONV@ entry I renamed gdlib-config and created tiny shell script that removes the bogus library from the output:

$ mv /usr/local/bin/gdlib-config /usr/local/bin/gdlib-config-org
$ cat /usr/loca/bin/gdlib-config
/usr/local/bin/gdlib-config-org $* | sed "s/@LIBICONV@//"

Now glib-config produces the correct output and you can configure and make install gnuplot:

$ ./configure --with-gd=/usr/local/lib
$ make
$ sudo make install

Without patching gdlib-config gnuplot's configure will disable PNG and TTF support by default.