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Fighting with Linux

Soldier TuxLast night I had bit of a battle with my Linux server. The evening had already started out badly with a backup of this website failing due to some mysterious Sqlite error (note, that is was on a Windows machine). Next, backups from my laptop to the server failed, and I could suddenly no longer access network shares on the server by the server's name. So, I logged on to the server from my laptop, opened the Samba config file, and added an entry, specifying its netbios name, and then restarted Samba. At this point, the server was visible in the "network neighbourhood" again, and the backups could proceed. Little did I know that this was only the first problem that I was going to be dealing with that evening.

With the backups working, I turned my attention to the little indicator that said that there were system updates available. "Might as well update those files while I'm here," I thought. Bad idea; had I not done this, my evening would have been much more enjoyable. One by one all of the updates were failing, due to not being accessible. I had noticed this before, and decided to fix this issue. was actually accessible; it responded to pings, and the web browser had no problems accessing it. After searching the internet, I discovered that you disabling ipv6 solved the problem (I've written a how-to, here, for future reference). With that done, the updates started coming. At the same time I decided to upgrade to the latest version of Debian.

Upgrading a Debian distribution takes a long time, so I left my machine running, and went off to more fun stuff. Returning late in the evening, the remote Gnome session window on my laptop, had gone black, and wouldn't wake up. Normally, I would just close the session and start a new one but, with an update in progress, I did not want to do this. After another search on the internet for ideas, I eventually discovered that one can regain access by killing the screen saver.

My joy at having learnt a new trick was short-lived. The system update had stalled a while ago because one of the updates had a question for me. Grumbling, I pushed enter, and then waited; I knew that there would be many more questions during the update process. Eventually, updates started failing. was un accessible, again. A system reboot failed to make a difference. This was rather frustrating since it was late, and I thought that I had fixed this problem. Pinging the server gave the answer; this time really was down. Argh! remained down till mid-morning today. Now the system is completely up to date, and I'm relying on Debian's reputation for reliability to save me from having another frustrating battle like this for a while. Ah, computers; so much more complicated then they need to be.

Blog » Fighting with Linux

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Blog » Fighting with Linux