[conspire] Utility to rescue formatted EXT3 partition & distribution, choice?

Edmund J. Biow biow at sbcglobal.net
Tue Mar 13 16:07:59 PDT 2007

Message: 1
> Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2007 12:07:21 -0800
> From: Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com>
> Subject: Re: [conspire] Utility to rescue formatted EXT3 partition &
> 	distribution choice?
> To: conspire at linuxmafia.com
> Message-ID: <20070309200721.GZ28151 at linuxmafia.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
> Quoting Edmund Joseph Biow (biow at bigfoot.com):
>> I'm looking for a utility to recover a formatted EXT3 partition. 
> I am terribly sorry to have to give you the bad news:
> "ext3 No Undeletion" on http://linuxmafia.com/kb/Filesystems 
> (item description: "Why undeleting files on ext3 isn't possible, even
> though it is on ext2")
Well thanks for confirming it, Rick.  I did point testdisk at the
partition after deleting it with QTPARTED and testdisk only saw the
inchoate files from the lost+found directory of the new partition, so I
just went ahead and installed Sidux 32 over the partition.
> I am very sorry about your data loss.  I hope you didn't have much work
> invested into it.  (When the pain fades, start thinking about
> backup/restore.)
No real data loss, just a few hours of adding programs and configuring
various files.  Actually, a large dollop of time with that install was
spent setting up my home directory, which was its own partition.  My
user preferences survived the reinstallation.

I'll take a closer look at rsync and rdiff-backup at some point in the
near future.
>> Some people seem to really like Dreamlinux, Linux Mint, and SabayonLinux
>> for 3D / "desktop" sorts of things.  You're more than welcome to come to
>> Saturday's CABAL meeting and make exact media copies of any/all of them, and
>> of as much of http://linuxmafia.com/cabal/installfest/#distros as you
>> like.  (Reload that link, if you aren't taken right away to the top of
>> the distros list.)
I've got copies of most of those and have even installed a couple of
stripes of Mint and DreamLinux on various boxen.  Actually, my copies
may not be in such good shape since I tipped over a glass of whisky on
my CD rug while trying to hook up a friend with DreamLinux Saturday
evening, but discs are drying out in my attic and I still have the ISOs
on my server.  Do you think rotgut scotch will delaminate the surface?
>> MythTV?  Before you attempt an installed distribution for that, save
>> yourself some pain and try the (installable) KnoppMyth live CD, which is
>> set up to Just Work:  http://mysettopbox.tv/doc.html
I played with it a year or two ago without much success and it doesn't
look like it is progressing too rapidly.  First I've got to get a low
profile card that is compatible with Linux.  Any suggestions on that score?
>> I'm having some second thoughts about installing 64 bit anything. 
> If you don't have several gigs of RAM, it doesn't really buy you
> anything.  With more modest amounts of RAM, you should still go with
> x86_64 distros _unless_ you're feeding a proprietary-software addiction,
> which creates problems because those asshats tend to still offer
> i386-only binaries -- which still can be supported by pose varying
> degrees of hassle.
This box only has two slots, both filled with gig sticks.  However I did
notice that the 64 bit version of Sidux did "feel" considerably snappier
than 32 bit Sidux.  That rather surprised me, I figured it would be an
"only the benchmark can tell for sure" type of difference.

Unfortunately, I like my Flash movies.  I don't subscribe to cable, so
that's about the only way I can experience a large chunk of Americana,
the Daily Show or Colbert Report, for instance.  Please don't hate me. 
Flash 7 barely worked on Linux.  Pictures or audio sometimes didn't
play, there were synchronization issues, occasionally flying monkeys
were emitted by my USB ports.  Flash 9 generally works pretty well.  My
understanding is that Gnash can play up to version 7 Flash videos (and
some 8 & 9), but can't handle ActionScript (no YouTube).  Other free
players top out at SWF v4. 

>> Also, at this point I'm also wondering about my choice of SIDUX.  I'd
>> like to be somewhat closer to the cutting edge than Sarge (which
>> periodically updates me to the latest revision of Firefox 1.0.4).  I
>> figured this isn't a great time to install Etch, since it is about to go
>> stable in a couple of months.  At the beginning of the next release
>> cycle Etch will probably become much more like Alpha software, no?  I
>> don't really want to experience major breakage every few weeks.  
> Um, you're stuck in a very common mental trap -- which is interfering
> with your analysing this situation correctly.  You're thinking of 
> Debian-branch installion media as endpoints, rather than as initial
> mechanisms intended solely to get you onto one of the three moving
> (i.e., evolving) development tracks (stable, unstable, testing).
> This is an understandable error because (1) most _other_ distros are
> release-oriented with huge discontinuities between releases, and (2) 
> one of the Debian tracks ("stable") mostly follows those other distros'
> example, except with smoothly managed transitions between releases.
My misapprehension was not immediately dispelled by several previous
visits to www.debian.org, which really seems to emphasize Stable to the
exclusion of other varieties.  It took following four
not-particularly-intuitive links to get to a page where I could click on
a Testing download.  When I looked at the CDIMAGE page last week before
downloading SIDUX it mentioned that the latest weekly versions were
suffering from some sort of apt/archive key interaction issue and might
fail to install, which enhanced my trepidation about playing with Etch
at this juncture.  http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/weekly-builds/

I probably do not need a jigdo of all 22 ISOs in testing, but then
again, the netinst may not quite give me a complete system with X and a
window manager, so I gather that the 1 CD KDE image may be a good place
to start.  Bandwidth isn't much of an issue (I have DSL), so I could
grab the first DVD image, as well.
> "testing" is always an _approximately_ constant degree of beta-ishness
> away from the cutting edge.  Presumably, you installed using the Etch
> installer in 2007 because you _like_ the current tradeoff it gives you
> of recent app versions versus beta-ishness.  If so, you should 
> _leave sources.list alone_, forget about all the Toy Story names 
> (Sid, Buzz, Rex, Bo, Hamm, Slink, Potato, Woody, Sarge, Etch, Lenny), 
> and remain comfortably on the gradual ride that is "testing", with the
> rest of us.

 I followed SID via Kanotix for a couple of years until the machine that
it was on was mothballed last fall.  I had to restrain my desire to do a
apt-get upgrade every time I booted or I would have been downloading
probably a gig or two a month, plus, on that old PIII 550 installing the
new software took forever if I didn't do it regularly. Once or twice I
had some serious breakage, but generally things cleared up in a day or
two with a few more updates.  Eventually the machine just felt too pokey
even though it had 384 MB of RAM.  I'm not sure if that was because I
ended up just installing too many packages trying to get things to work
or if there were underlying problems or if a machine of that vintage
just couldn't gracefully handle the latest stripe of KDE.

My only real experience with Etch was Mepis 3.3, but though it was a
snapshot of Etch, it didn't evolve with it, and at some point it fell
too far behind Etch.  When I did a few things to try to catch up it
broke the install badly enough that I abandoned it (I could have kept at
it, but it was early in my Linux experience and I hadn't allocated
enough disk space, anyway, so it was easier to just scrap Mepis and
start over).

Anyway, tracking real Etch should be a breeze compared to those two
installs.  I going to be out of town for a while and RC 2 should be
posted by the time I get back, so I'll probably just install the 64 bit
version on my new system along with Sidux 32 (which is working very
well, thank you). 
> (I note that Warren Woodford reportedly got into annoying amounts of
> trouble trying to converge MEPIS onto Debian-testing.  I don't have
> details, but suspect he simply hadn't realised the effect of the
> above-described KDE dependency-hairball issue, and how it interacts with
> variable quarantine delays.)
 I experienced that joy first hand.
> ------------------------------
> Message: 2
> Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2007 14:06:25 -0800
> From: Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com>
> Subject: Re: [conspire] Utility to rescue formatted EXT3 partition &
> 	distribution choice?
> To: conspire at linuxmafia.com
> Message-ID: <20070309220625.GD28151 at linuxmafia.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
> Quoting David E. Fox (dfox at m206-157.dsl.tsoft.com):
>> How is the 3D acceleration? Have you tested anything like beryl or
>> compiz (they are not on the sidux distribution CD, but Knoppix has
>> them.) 
> Finding these things packaged for Sidux / Debian-unstable doesn't
> actually take much looking, e.g.,
> http://www.sidux.com/PNphpBB2-viewtopic-t-618-highlight-beryl.html
>> I take it that all that comes with the installation CD is the
>> non-proprietary driver, and you might need the proprietary one.
Actually, the video on the 32 bit version of Sidux worked very nicely. 
Unlike the 64 bit version, the installation script set up xorg.conf
acceptably (1024 on the 17" CRT monitor I was using), and the Sidux
Nvidia installation script worked properly. 

Setting up Beryl was very easy, as well.  I just set up the "relatively
stable" Beryl SVN "Repository of Shame" put together by some British cat
who is active over at the Sidux forum:
Then I installed a meta-package that downloaded everything at once
including all sorts of plugins and themes.  You've got to love a command
    apt-get install beryl-shame

I restarted X, kicked up the beryl-manager, and everything worked
beautifully, as much as I've played with it. There is a lot to explore.
>> But with Xen being in the offing (as well as kernel support for HW
>> virtualization) one wonders why you couldn't run a i386 program inside
>> of an amd64 kernel (I suppose you would just boot the other root
>> partition as a virtual task).
> It's actually easier to just have i386 support libs present -- or, for
> recalcitrant proprietary apps, running them in chroots.  And that's
> certainly one heck of a lot faster and less RAM-chewing.
Good to know.  I'm actually going to try to shun all proprietary
software on my soon-to-be new 64 bit Etch installation and see how far I
get with it.  I'll just Gnash my teeth.   I guess I'll have to set up a
separate user identity or else I'll experience weirdness going back and
forth between Beryl/Proprietary on Sidux 32 and open source settings for
Etch 64. 
>> If your sources list tracks 'testing', you always are using 'testing'.
>> Caveat though if you do that when Etch becoms stable - at least for a
>> while (anyone else had issues like that during transitions? they seem
>> to come up now and again on debian-user).
> Very nervous / skittish people who've been tracking "testing" might
> retreat onto stable=etch at the time of release, rather than following 
> the "testing" symlink automatically onto testing=lenny at the time of
> etch release.  I've never bothered to do that, in the past, and never
> regretted just letting the system work as intended.
I'm not doing anything mission critical, I'm convinced to just stay on
the Testing track with my new machine.

But I intend to keep my little Via C7 server running stable.  It has
been a champ..  Anybody know off hand if stable automatically update my
kernel from 2.4 to 2.6, or should I do that before or after I do the
"apt-get dist-upgrade" or should I just keep running 2.4?

Speaking of server issues, one thing I noticed was that Sidux comes with
both SMBFS and CIFS, which I've never seen before.  I had assumed that
it used CIFS, since most distros released in the last year do.  I set up
CIFS in my FSTAB and the performance was just unacceptably wretched,
both in 64 bit and 32.  When I looked over at the Sidux site for hints I
noticed that the manual had instructions for how to set up SMBFS in the
FSTAB, so I tried that instead and the performance was MUCH better
(still a little pokey, 2-3 mbps transfer rates, not great directory
rendering speed).  I still haven't tried any big transfers using SSH or
RSH.  Maybe I should give NFS a try.  I seem to recall that NFS had
security issues if you didn't run NIS.   I have a wireless router
running WPA-PSK so my neighbors can share my connection. Eh, I can live
with my SAMBA performance.
> [Sidux:]
>> This has also been a concern of mine. There are a lot of 'small'
>> distros (small in the number of users/developers, not in the sense
>> of 'small' footprint) that seemt to just coem and go, cause a flurry
>> of attention, and then they're gone. Many don't (unless they're a
>> fork of debian) have a clear upgrade path.
> One nice thing about Sidux is very limited downside risk if the Sidux
> developers ever hang up their hats:  You have a fully functional "sid"
> system.
> You can at that point just keep following pure "sid" or converge onto
> some other Debian-compatible offshoot, just by changing a couple of
> lines in /etc/apt/sources.list.
There were scripts & repositories out there to aid conversion from SID
and KANOTIX to SIDUX for a while, though I gather they are no longer
maintained and the supported transition window has passed.  If something
happens to SIDUX I suspect something similar to transition you back to
SID would pop up.
> ------------------------------
> Message: 3
> Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2007 17:32:14 -0800
> From: Eric De Mund <ead-conspire at ixian.com>
> Subject: Re: [conspire] Utility to rescue formatted EXT3 partition &
> 	distribution choice?
> To: conspire at linuxmafia.com
> Message-ID: <17906.2718.397976.812585 at bear.he.net>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
> The impossibility of undeleting files on ext3 refers, of course, to
> software methods. In case of real emergencies, one needs to keep in mind
> the (typically costly) option of hardware recovery, as a minimum of the
> last seven writes to magnetic hard disk drives are recoverable. Cf.
> Peter Gutmann's classic paper:
That's why a local computer recycler will charge you $10 per hard drive
to run your disk under his degausser, plus another $10 to remove the
drive from the case for you.
Of course, the magnetic field renders the drive useless as a storage
medium, though it still makes a spiffy paper-weight.  Personally, I
would just take a ball peen hammer to the thing, though I suppose that
might reduce the drive's aesthetic appeal as said paper-weight.



If he wasn't a nice person why would he be doing 500 hours of community

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