Tag: Linux

Software Flow Control and vim

In the early 90’s, one of the things I liked about Microsoft’s ecosystem was that they developed a standard for keyboard shortcuts. In most applications, developed by Microsoft or not, you could hit ctrl-p to print or ctrl-x to exit. Or ctrl-s to save. It’s quite convenient when I’m using Windows applications, but hitting ctrl-s to save without really thinking about it hangs vim. Hangs like “go into another shell and kill vim & that ssh session”. This is because ctrl-s, in Linux, means XOFF — the software flow control command that means “hi, I’m a thing from 1968 and my buffer is getting full. chill out for a bit and let me catch up”. Recovery is simple enough, send XON — “hi, that thing from 1968 again, and I’m all caught up. send me some more stuff”. That’s ctrl-q.

But there aren’t many slow anything‘s involved in computing these days, which means XON/XOFF isn’t the most useful of features for most people (* if you’ve got real serial devices attached … you may not be “most people” here). Instead of remembering ctrl-q gets gets vim back without killing it, just disable START/STOP control. Thing is it’s not really vim that’s using flow control — it’s the terminal emulator — so the “fix” isn’t something you’ll have to do in vim. In your ~/.bashrc or ~/.bash_profile (or globally in something like /etc/profile.d/disableFlowControl.sh)

# Disable XON/XOFF flow control so ctrl-s doesn’t hang vim
stty -ixon

If you can add -ixoff to avoid ctrl-q from meaning XON too … but I don’t bother since “start sending me data” doesn’t seem to hang anything.

Un-killable Process

Scott had a Dolphin instance veg out on him. Not much for it other than killing the process. Except it didn’t kill. Now SIGTERM (15) I don’t expect to kill a vegged out process, but SIGKILL (9)? I’ve never seen that fail. A little research later, and I’ve discovered “uninterruptible sleep”.  Which, at 11PM is starting to sound really good to me. But not something I associate with computer programs. Essentially, processes that are waiting on I/O very briefly pop into this state and pop out of the state when the I/O operation completes. Code needs to have timeouts to prevent the application from getting stuck waiting for I/O. And, evidently, Scott has discovered a scenario in which Dolphin does not have a timeout.

How can you tell that your process is stuck in uninterruptible sleep? Use “ps u” (or “ps aux” for all processes) and check the “STAT” column.

From “man ps”:

PROCESS STATE CODES
Here are the different values that the s, stat and state output
specifiers (header "STAT" or "S") will display to describe the state of
a process:

D uninterruptible sleep (usually IO)
I Idle kernel thread
R running or runnable (on run queue)
S interruptible sleep (waiting for an event to complete)
T stopped by job control signal
t stopped by debugger during the tracing
W paging (not valid since the 2.6.xx kernel)
X dead (should never be seen)
Z defunct ("zombie") process, terminated but not reaped by its parent

For BSD formats and when the stat keyword is used, additional
characters may be displayed:

< high-priority (not nice to other users)
N low-priority (nice to other users)
L has pages locked into memory (for real-time and custom IO)
s is a session leader
l is multi-threaded (using CLONE_THREAD, like NPTL pthreads do)
+ is in the foreground process group

Rebooting clears the process (or sorting whatever is blocking the I/O operation). But there are processes that “kill -9” won’t terminate.

Recreating Grub Bootloader After the Windows Install Wipes It

Setting up the dual-boot Windows/Fedora system was straight-forward on my laptop. I installed Windows, then installed Linux and grub mkconfig found Windows and included it in the menu. Scott already had Fedora, and we needed to repair his Windows installation. Which, of course, blew away grub. Easy enough to get back, provided you’ve got a Live USB installation from which to boot.

Boot the Live media and use fdisk to find the Linux partition (in our installations, /boot is contained within the root partition).

[root@fedora02 ~]# fdisk -l
Disk /dev/sda: 10 GiB, 10737418240 bytes, 20971520 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 4096 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 4096 bytes / 4096 bytes
Disklabel type: dos
Disk identifier: 0xd847fbc2

Device Boot Start End Sectors Size Id Type
/dev/sda1 * 2048 1026047 1024000 500M 83 Linux
/dev/sda2 1026048 20971519 19945472 9.5G 8e Linux LVM

Mount that partition somewhere:

mkdir /mnt/mycomputer
mount /dev/sda2 /mnt/mycomputer

Add bind mounts so /dev and /proc are in there

mount –bind /dev /mnt/mycomputer/dev
mount –bind /proc /mnt/mycomputer/proc

Chroot yourself into the mount point

chroot /mnt/mycomputer

Now you can reinstall grub. You don’t want the partition (e.g. /dev/sda2) but the disk. The following commands install the grub2 bootloader and reboot.

grub2-install /dev/sda
reboot

If you forget to pay attention on boot and thus inadvertently end up in the default operating system (<G>), edit /etc/default/grub and increase “GRUB_TIMEOUT=5”. Build the grub config — this should identify your Windows partition and include it in the menu

grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg

Reboot again, and you’ll be able to select between Windows and Linux.

Using grub rescue to boot machine and repair MBR

Using grub rescue to boot machine and repair MBR

Use “ls” to find your partition list:
ls
(hd0) (hd0,msdos3) (hd0,msdos2) (hd0,msdos1)

Check the content of each to find your Linux partition:
ls (hd0,msdos3)/
ls (hd0,msdos2)/
ls (hd0,msdos1)/

You want the one with the /boot folder. In our case, this is (hd0,msdos3). The following commands will boot your Linux OS.

set prefix=(hd0,msdos3)/boot/grub2
set root=(hd0,msdos3)
insmod normal
normal

<root password for maintenance>

Use “df” or “mount” to figure out which disk holds the Linux partition. In our case, it is /dev/sdb. You don’t want the partition (e.g. /dev/sdb2) but the disk. The following commands install the grub2 bootloader and build a config file.

grub2-install /dev/sdb
grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg

Linux – Finding “Missing” Disk Space

You can have ‘stuff’ in a folder, mount a partition to that folder, and have disk space used for which you cannot account. Rather than randomly umounting partitions to see if there’s anything in the mount point folder, you can bind mount root to another location and check the disk utilization on the new mount.

 

[root@fedora123 ~]# mount -o bind / /mnt/fakeout/
[root@fedora123 ~]# du -sh `ls /mnt/fakeout | grep -v mnt`
0 bin
0 boot
280K ca
8.0K cacert.pem
4.0K careq.pem
0 certs
0 crl
0 dev
44M etc
52K home
0 index.txt
0 lib
0 lib64
0 media
0 newcerts
0 openhab
724K opt
4.0K private
0 proc
847M root
0 run
0 sbin
227M srv
0 sys
4.0K tmp
3.0G usr
4.0K var
[root@fedora123 ~]# umount fakeout

Updating ll alias

Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux have an alias “ll” which uses the long listing format. It’s a quick little tweak that I love, but I generally want to list hidden files too. Seemed easy enough to tweak the alias … but I never had any luck overriding the system setting or finding the source of the alias. Typing “ll -a” gave me what I wanted, although that’s not appreciably easier than typing “ls -al” …

The ll alias is defined in /etc/profile.d/colorls.sh (or colorls.csh if you use the C shell). Add the ‘a’ and “ll” produces a long list format of all files.

lisa@fedora123 ~]# grep “alias ll” /etc/profile.d/colorls.sh
alias ll=’ls -la’ 2>/dev/null
alias ll=’ls -la –color=auto’ 2>/dev/null

Quicker Way To Set Up Key-Based Authentication

I’ve always added my public key to a remote host’s authorized_keys file manually, but happened across the “ssh-copy-id” command which does that for you.

[lisa@workstation-fedora .ssh]$ ssh-copy-id -o PreferredAuthentications=password -o PubkeyAuthentication=no lisa@fedora123.example.com
The authenticity of host ‘fedora123.example.com (10.1.2.3)’ can’t be established.
ECDSA key fingerprint is SHA256:5EuKd5LNRnx5sHgQNFb6HO6W/p0hQk4pEmShTgj3zyU.
Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no/[fingerprint])? yes
/usr/bin/ssh-copy-id: INFO: attempting to log in with the new key(s), to filter out any that are already installed
/usr/bin/ssh-copy-id: INFO: 1 key(s) remain to be installed — if you are prompted now it is to install the new keys
lisa@fedora123.example.com’s password:

Number of key(s) added: 1

Now try logging into the machine, with: “ssh -o ‘PreferredAuthentications=password’ -o ‘PubkeyAuthentication=no’ ‘lisa@fedora123.example.com'”
and check to make sure that only the key(s) you wanted were added.

Omit the -o options when attempting to log in over the key-based authentication. This, of course, presupposes that you have a public/private key pair. To create one, use ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 2048

Linux Mounts Windows Volumes As Read Only

Since I’ve got a larger hard drive installed, I have both Fedora and Windows in a dual boot configuration. I have a shared NTFS partition for data, but it’s mounted as read-only under Fedora. Turns out that Fedora sees the file system as not cleanly shut down when Windows Fast Boot is enabled. I disabled fast boot in power management, and the shared data volume is mounted rw as expected.

Iterating through files/folders with spaces in name using find in bash

Ran into a problem using Sphinx to document some Python modules and scripts that Scott put together for OpenHAB. They’re making some changes to the files to get Sphinx to process them, thus making copies of the original code. Problem is, some of the folders just weren’t showing up in the copy. Needed to change IFS in order to tokenize the find results into full paths that don’t break on spaces in file or folder names.

SAVEDIFS=$IFS
IFS=$(echo -en "\n\b")

for DIRNAME in $(find "$COMMUNITY_DIR" -maxdepth 1 -type d 2>/dev/null); do
     echo $DIRNAME
done
IFS=$SAVEDIFS

Finding Block ID

I upgraded my Fedora kernel to 5.1 and the secondary disk mounted to /var disappeared. I use the old-school device notation in fstab;  when a disk comes up with a different name, the partition fails to mount. I wanted to change fstab to use a UUID. But first I needed to find the UUID. Enter blkid

[root@linux123 ~]# blkid /dev/sdb1
/dev/sdb1: LABEL=”mnt-var” UUID=”50545e50-75c5-45q5-95b5-34f5456515d5″ TYPE=”ext4″ PARTUUID=”m50525d5-05″

The command output includes the device UUID which is used instead of the /dev/sdb# string.

#/dev/sdb1                                                                           /var ext4 nodev,nosuid 0 2
UUID=50545e50-75c5-45q5-95b5-34f5456515d5 /var ext4 nodev,nosuid 0 2

Rebooted and my partition mounted.