Fedora and Wireless

I installed Fedora on my laptop for various reasons and I’m pleased to say most stuff seems to have just worked out the box on my Lenovo 3000 N100. Even the wireless appears to work out the box. The one thing missing was that it doesn’t start network manager by default so it took a while to figure out how to use the wireless!

The article http://fedoramobile.org/fc-wireless/network-manager/ gives the directions on how to get that going.  It looks like Fedora 8 should hopefully have the Network manager loaded by default assuming it meets the schedule.

The services are NetworkManager and NetworkManagerDispatcher.  You can also use the script ‘system-config-network’ to prevent the wifi and wired network from being loaded at startup.  That makes booting faster and then the Network Manager takes over.

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Checking your site remains up

Since I just wanted to check the email and webserver remained up I constructed a noddy python script.

This is it with the actual addresses modified. Feel free to use it as you want. I just have it running every half hour on a cron job.


0,30 * * * * /home/colin/check_site.py


#!/usr/bin/python

import httplib
import smtplib
import poplib

def send_email(http_error, pop_error):
    subject = ""
    reason = ""
    if http_error == "" :
        subject = "Email down - website up"
        reason = pop_error
    elif pop_error == "":
        subject = "Website down - email up"
        reason = http_error
    else:
        subject = "Website and email down"
        reason = http_error + "\r\nEmail - " + pop_error
    try:
        server = smtplib.SMTP("smtp.myhost.com")
        from_add = "from@someserver.com"
        to_add = ("my.email@server.com")
        message = "Subject: " + subject + "\r\n"
        message += "To: Name <my.email@server.com>\r\n"
        message += "From: Name <from@someserver.com>\r\n"
        message += "\r\n"
        message += "Server down - " + reason
        server.sendmail(from_add, to_add, message)
        server.quit()
        print "Sent email"
    except:
        print "Unable to send"
        # guess we must not have a connection,
        # don't bother storing the email because
        # the problem is most likely at our end.

http_error = ""
pop_error = ""

try:
    connection = httplib.HTTPConnection("www.ourserver.com")
    connection.request("HEAD", "/")
    response = connection.getresponse()
    if response.status != 200:
        print response.status, response.reason 
        send_email("Invalid response - %d %s" % (response.status, response.reason))
    connection.close()

except Exception, inst:
    http_error = "Unable to connect " + inst.message

try:
    pop = poplib.POP3("pop3.ourserver.com")
    pop.quit()
except Exception, inst:
    pop_error = "Unable to connect " + inst.message

if not (http_error == "" and pop_error == ""):
    send_email(http_error, pop_error)

Linux in Microsoft Virtual PC 2007

Several people have written about installing Linux on a Windows Virtual PC, Phil Haak, David Brunelle and a bunch more.

The gist is to install using text mode or ‘safe’ graphics mode then before X loads to edit the configuration to prevent it from using 24bit colours and turn it down to 16 bit. This prevents the messed up graphics.

Using Fedora 7 on Virtual PC 2007 seems to require more than was mentioned in those articles. Luckily one of the commenter’s on David Brunelle’s blog had the solution, change the boot line to remove the “rhgb quiet” and replace it with “vga=788”. You should then be able to boot into single mode (just add the word single after all that).

You can use the recovery CD instead of single mode, in which case follow the recover prompts which look like the original installer until it drops you onto a root shell.