Category Archives: Administrative


Partly out of interest, and partly because there don’t seem to be any yum packages for Kerbal, I decided to load it on a spare SSD (not using grub, I just go into the BIOS and decide which drive I want to boot). I set up an account. It didn’t ask me to create a password for root, just a personal account. I try to ‘su -i’ and it asks me for a password. I use the one I created for my personal account. Nope.

Way to go, guys.

VirtualBox Problem

OK, I took previous advice and installed VirtualBox. It seems to work, but I want to mount a physical drive to it. It’s NTFS, and when I try to load the vmdk file for it, I get a permissions problem.

Failed to open the hard disk file /home/pat/VirtualBox VMs/Windows 8.1/VirtualBox\ VMs\ Windows\ 8.1.vmdk.

Permission problem accessing the file for the medium ‘/home/pat/VirtualBox VMs/Windows 8.1/VirtualBox\ VMs\ Windows\ 8.1.vmdk’ (VERR_ACCESS_DENIED).

Result Code: VBOX_E_FILE_ERROR (0x80BB0004)
Component: Medium
Interface: IMedium {05f2bbb6-a3a6-4fb9-9b49-6d0dda7142ac}
Callee: IVirtualBox {fafa4e17-1ee2-4905-a10e-fe7c18bf5554}

I’m running VB as a user, but a user doesn’t have permission to do a disk mount (also, the drive itself, when I mount it as admin, shows it owned and grouped as root, probably because it’s NTFS). The file itself is owned and grouped by the user. Any suggestions?

Anza Borrego

We spent yesterday checking out wildflowers in Henderson Canyon, then driving up to Font’s Point, over to the Salton Sea, and back through Ocatillo Wells. Today we hiked up Palm Canyon, saw a lot more flowers, birds, and desert bighorn sheep (just a couple ewes, not rams). We also discovered how out of shape we were. Recuperating now, heading back to LA tomorrow. We clearly need to do this more often.

What strikes me about these desert communities, like Borrego Springs, Salton City (also Cal City up north of Mojave) is the boundless optimism of the founders. They’re huge, with lots of roads laid out ready for building, perhaps decades out. The optimism in Salton City was expressed in the street names — Marina Blvd, Sea Isle Lane, Ocean Avenue, you get the picture. Unfortunately, in the past few years, the lake level has receded a hundred yards from the planned shoreline. It was a depressing place.

In Borrego Springs, there are a lot of wealthy new estates, with little oases of palms and and palo verde. Most of the street names are ranch brands — Tilting T, Double O, Frying Pan…

It was interesting to see a part of California I’d never explored for thirty-five years, only a couple hours away.

Chrome And Systemd

Just did an upgradedate in Fedora. Looks like the new systemd has broken Chrome. Anyone have any ideas? Nothing about it at the site that I saw, at least based on a Google search. This is sort of a PITA, because Chrome is the only way I can access Tweetdeck, which I need for my multiple Twitter accounts.

[Update a while later]

This is the error message I get when I run from command line: “Failed to create /home/*****/.pki/nssdb directory.”

[Update late afternoon]

I realize the title may be a little cryptic. Every time Chrome fails to open, I get a message that systemd had a problem. Before the update, no problem, after the update, borked.

[Late-afternoon update]

OK, partially solved problem. If I disable SELinux, I can fire it up. Then I can re-enable. Here’s the errors when I run it:

ATTENTION: default value of option force_s3tc_enable overridden by environment.
[7630:7630:0315/] InitializeSandbox() called with multiple threads in process gpu-process
[7571:8329:0315/] PostClientToServerMessage() failed during GetUpdates
[7571:7605:0315/] Failed to log in to GCM, resetting connection.

And there about about ten instances of chrome sandbox process running. Not sure what this means, but at least I can use it for now, until I figure out what’s going on. Unfortunately, I lost all recent history.

Virtual Machines

So I ended up installing Windows into one in Qemu. Now I can’t get out of it. I thought that ctrl-alt-L would release it, but nothing happens. I somehow got into a full-screen Windows mode and can’t get out or even see the virt-manager. Any ideas?

[Update a while later]

OK, I figured it out. I’d accidentally clicked on “Full Screen View,” and had to get out of that mode to release the mouse and keyboard, by getting it to drop down from the top.

[Update a few minutes later]

OK, next question. Anyone know how to make a physical NTFS partition viewable by a virtual machine?

[Saturday-morning update]

I decided to try to look at the drive by making it a share on the network, through the virtual ethernet port, but I can’t get Samba to work. Maybe Winscp?