Archive for the ‘HOWTOs’ Category

These days, virtualisation is all the rage. The various competing virtualisation products have reached a level of maturity where they can be reliably used for server consolidation. VirtualBox is one of the easiest to use, most featureful programs available in this space and with the ability to run on many different OSes on hardware with or without VM extensions, it is also one of the most popular. However, there is one wrinkle when it comes to using it for server consolidation: the proprietary RDP/USB2 extension pack.

The conventional wisdom when running a headless server with VirtualBox is that you need to install this proprietary extension pack from Oracle. This is fine until you want to use the server in production: as the PUEL only covers you for personal use and evaluation, you must purchase licenses. You can either pay £34 per user or £670 per “socket” (which has quite a convoluted definition). This gets you USB2 and RDP support.

However, there is another way, at least when it comes to RDP support. (more…)

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Update 2012-04-25: mysql workbench has now appeared in the universe package archive. You should be able to install it with a simple:

sudo apt-get install mysql-workbench

Read on if you still want to compile from source.

Right now (2012-04-04), Ubuntu 12.04 hasn’t been released yet, and so there is no binary package from Oracle of MySQL Workbench for Precise. I managed to get the MySQL Workbench binaries for Oneiric to run, by manually installing libzip1_0.9.3-1_amd64.deb from Oneiric, but this wasn’t stable (crashed as soon as I tried to run a SQL Query).

So I decided to build from source. Here’s how I did it (more…)

Update: I’ve now rolled this blog post into the Ubuntu wiki’s: EC2 Starters Guide page. Hopefully this helps out the Ubuntu community!

The informatics team here at MalariaGEN have been working with ec2 since before I joined them. So naturally, it’s one technology with which I’ve had to come to grips in the course of doing my job. For me, EC2 had a fairly steep learning curve, and after spending a while trying to learn it through doing, I decided that I would just have to spend some time getting properly to grips with how things worked. As part of that I decided to document it in a way that I’d not yet seen on the web: logically, comprehensively, explaining all the strange concepts and quirks that were clouding my understanding and stopping me from getting my job done efficiently. (more…)

I have a confession to make: I really like Ubuntu’s design, its look and feel, and its colour scheme. And it seems to get better with each release. The new Natty theme is really beautiful, and the dark window decorations of the Ambiance theme are great (especially now that they’ve chased down the odd dark text on dark background problems).

Having said that, there’s one thing that I really don’t like: the way that it’s virtually impossible to tell what you have selected in windows other than the one that happens to be focused. This is because the focused elements get completely desaturated, like this:

Which items are selected? It's anyone's guess!

(more…)