Category Archives: System Administration

Linux system administration.

Installing Samsung ML-1610 Linux driver manually

I’ve got a Samsung ML-1610 laser printer, which is a great value solid little laser printer (it was around fifty quid IIRC). Samsung even supply Linux drivers for it, which is great. However, their drivers use a GUI installer, which isn’t a lot of use if the box you’re connecting the printer to doesn’t run X (i.e. it’s a server).

For my future reference, and for anyone else who finds it useful, simple steps to get it working (for CUPS):

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Installing Intel IPW2200BG under Linux

I’ve been using wifi on my Dell Inspiron 1150 laptop courtesy of a D-Link AirPlus DWL-G650+ Wireless Cardbus Adaptor. It’s been a great little card, but there’s no decent native Linux drivers supporting WPA encryption (or, at least, there weren’t when I first installed it). Now I’ve finally decided to move on, and purchased an Intel 2200BG mini-PCI wireless adaptor.
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Poor site performance

Apologies for the slowness and occasional downtime lately – the server this blog is hosted on is a little VPS (a virtual dedicated server) hosted with Bytemark. It’s been a great little server and great value, but I think we’ve outgrown it now.

It only has 80MB RAM allocated, and watching vmstat shows that it swaps like mad reasonably often. I just had to restart MySQL, as presumably the kernel did an OOM kill overnight.  I’ve asked for an upgrade to give it more RAM, which should keep things going until we can finish refurbing our new server and whack it in a rack somewhere.

DNS Propagation Checker

Ever wanted to check the result of a DNS lookup from various DNS servers, perhaps to see how far a recent DNS change has propagated – which servers are giving the new answer, and which still have the old answer cached?

I recently wrote a little Perl script to do just that. My DNS Propagation Checker will query a set of 10 servers at random and show you the results. (Be warned, it may be a little slow at times, because (a) it has to wait for the DNS servers (I might re-write it one day to do the requests concurrently) and (b) my poor little virtual server is a little slow and overloaded right now.

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GNU Screen – a primer

GNU Screen is a little-used but very powerful utility, allowing you to do more from a Linux console, whether from a “real” console or logged in to another machine via SSH.

It is “a full-screen window manager that multiplexes a physical terminal between several processes (typically interactive shells)“.

This is a simple guide to getting started with GNU Screen.

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