10 December 2012

Accessing server vhosts on the VirtualBox guests

This post will probably help you, if you are searching for way to access an Apache/Nginx vhost on VirtualBox's guest. Let's assume we have vhost mega8080 listening on port 8080. The following makes it available for Windows XP guest.

Edit vhost configuration

Vhost configuration file like /etc/apache2/sites-available/localhost should listen to port 8080:

ServerName server.megahost

DocumentRoot /var/www/megahost8080
ServerName megahost8080

Register IP

In our sample /etc/hosts should have the following like:	megahost8080

Relay port 8080 connections to IP

# iptables -t nat -I PREROUTING -p tcp --dport 8080 -j DNAT --to-destination
# iptables -t nat -A OUTPUT -p tcp --dport 8080 -j DNAT --to-destination
We need this because in Windows XP ipconfig outputs:
Default Gateway:

We need port forwarding because it won't work if configure our vhost to listen to directly.

Simplest way to configure network for guest is to keep it's default NAT configuration :)

Network adapter: 
 - attached to: NAT 
 - type: PCnet-FAST III (NAT)

Forward port 8080 connections through TCP in VBox

$ VBoxManage setextradata "winxp" "VBoxInternal/Devices/pcnet/0/LUN#0/Config/http/Protocol" TCP
$ VBoxManage setextradata "winxp" "VBoxInternal/Devices/pcnet/0/LUN#0/Config/http/GuestPort" 8080
$ VBoxManage setextradata "winxp" "VBoxInternal/Devices/pcnet/0/LUN#0/Config/http/HostPort" 8080
Or, in new versions, just set it up via GUI: Settings - Network - Port Forwarding.

Bind guest IP to the hostname

File C:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts(or similar) should contain line like the following:	megahost8080

Test it

Go to http://megahost8080:8080

07 November 2012

Upgrading to Newest Version of an App Which Still Is Not Available In the Gentoo Portage

Sometimes you need new version of an app, but it is not yet availlable via Gentoo's portage(or overlays). If you want to keep things organized, you have to make package yourself. In some distros it is done easily with `checkinstall` utility, which helps to produce Debian, RPM or Slackware packages. In Gentoo we have make a ebuild ourselves.

However, ebuild tool and existing ebuilds in PORTDIR(usually /usr/portage) make it pretty easy too. I'll show it with example.

Let's say, I have to upgrade app-misc/sphinx to version 2.0.6. But even after emerge --sync the latest ebuild available is /usr/portage/app-misc/sphinx/sphinx-2.0.5.ebuild. For this, we'll do the following: 1) Add our custom portage directory 2) Copy and modify sphinx-2.0.5.ebuild in our brand new portage dir 3) emerge the new version, pulling the code from the official application maintainer's site

Add new portage overlay dir:

# mkdir -p /var/lib/layman/my_ebuilds
# vim /etc/portage/make.conf
# ...
PORTDIR_OVERLAY="${PORTDIR_OVERLAY} /var/lib/layman/my_ebuilds"
# ...

Copy existing ebuild:

# cp /usr/portage/app-misc/sphinx/sphinx-2.0.5.ebuild /var/lib/layman/my_ebuilds/app-misc/sphinx/sphinx-2.0.6.ebuild
# vim /var/lib/layman/my_ebuilds/app-misc/sphinx/sphinx-2.0.6.ebuild
... change version, URIs etc. if needed (in my case it detects version automatically)

Build ebuild manifest(this will fetch file from the Web):

# cd /var/lib/layman/my_ebuilds/app-misc/sphinx
# ebuild sphinx-2.0.6.ebuild manifest

Finally upgrade to the new version:

# emerge -Duva app-misc/sphinx

That's it! Enjoy:)


1. Gentoo WIKI: Writing Ebuilds

04 November 2012

Speeding Up Copy Process Between Two Hard Drives

cp command is not suitable for large data transfers between two hard drives. It makes about 10..100KB/sec. Obviously, it will take 29 hours to copy 10GB with 100KB/sec.

There are serveral ways to speed it up(copy over USB or Firewire, for instance). But I found it rather handy to use rsync.

Transfer rate over Ethernet is usually 10..100MB/sec(theoretically, even up to 1GB/sec). Thus, it will take about 17 minutes to copy 10GB over Ethernet. You can do it with command as follows:

$ mkdir -p /mnt/hdd
$ sudo mount /dev/sdbX /mnt/hdd
$ rsync -az user@localhost:/some/folder/* /mnt/dest-hdd/

a("archive mode") option takes care of permissions, ownership, group, symlinks and so. z instructs rsync to use compression.

11 May 2012

/var/run/mysqld is removed after each reboot?

After recent upgrade on my Gentoo box I've accidently got /var/run/mysqld directory removed. The socket path pointed there, and, of course, mysqld denied to launch. The same thing happened some time ago on Ubuntu and openSUSE. I've no clue what makes it(mysqld? rc script?) remove the directory. But I've got at least two simple fixes for that and wanna share it in this post.

Fix #1

Just change path to the socket in /etc/mysql/my.cnf and get rid of these upgrade issues:

socket = /tmp/mysqld.sock
I have it in client and mysqld sections.

Fix #2

Change the runlevel script. In Gentoo it looks like the following:

checkconfig() {
    if [ ! -d /var/run/mysqld ] ; then
        checkpath -d -m 755 -o mysql:mysql /var/run/mysqld
    if [ -z "${MYSQL_PERMS_OK}" ] && [ "$(stat -c %a /var/run/mysqld)" != "755" ] ; then
        ewarn "mysqld run dir is not world readable, you should reset the perms:"
        ewarn "chmod 755 /var/run/mysqld"
        ewarn "To disable this warning, set 'MYSQL_PERMS_OK' in /etc/conf.d/mysql"
start() {
    # ...
You should have got it. checkconfig is called on at the very beginning of /etc/init.d/mysql start handler.

That's it. I hope this saves someone's time.