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Partitioning Lenovo X200 to Install Linux

By Jimmy Bonney | July 6, 2009

I wanted to install Linux on my computer (Lenovo X200) but I was a bit afraid to mess with the partition table due to the fact that there is a hidden Restore & Recovery partition available at boot up when one press on the ThinkVantage button.

I did want to keep Windows available as there are a few programs that can come handy and I didn’t want to mess with the default behavior of the computer (understand that the ThinkVantage button should still work, that windows should still be accessible and that I can basically still use the laptop the way I used to do :-)).

I will explain in the following paragraphs how to reformat the drive using open source tools and how I created the new partitions for the X200.


Install Linux Mint on Lenovo X200

By Jimmy Bonney | July 6, 2009

In my previous post, I detailed how I partitioned the drive of the X200 in order to install Linux. I will now give a few words about the installation process of Linux Mint 7. The focus of this post is set on how to keep your boot loader as it is and allow a dual boot Windows/Linux from the Windows boot loader.

There are only a few things that I changed from the default installation. The first one concerns the partitioning. Since the drive is already partitioned, it is necessary to tell the installer which partitions to use for what. From the picture below, you can easily see which partitions are used and where they are mounted.


Create SOCKS Proxy to Bypass Censorship

By Jimmy Bonney | June 17, 2009

Using the method described in my previous article, you can easily see the benefit to bypass censorship. By using the set up previously described, you can encrypt all your traffic through the proxy and therefore appear as if you are only having one long SSH connection.

But in addition, it can be a good idea to configure Firefox to use the proxy to resolve the DNS requests (in case the DNS server you are using are “filtered”). To do so, type “about:config” in the adress bar and change the setting of network.proxy.socks_remote_dns from false to true as shown below.

Firefox about config

Access Pandora Outside the USA

By Jimmy Bonney | June 16, 2009

If you enjoy Pandora or any content that is restricted to the USA, it is quite annoying when you cannot access it because you are out of the country (Ha! Good old Europe).

Fortunately, proxies can help you fix the problem quite easily. I used to employ GPass. It is an easy solution to use under Windows but last time I tried to start it, it couldn’t find any tunnel. There is however an alternative solution to put in place if you have a web host in the USA with SSH connection: create your own proxy tunnel.

The process is simple:

  1. Create a SSH tunnel
  2. Configure your web browser to use the tunnel.


SSH Console Under Windows

By Jimmy Bonney | December 11, 2008

While looking for an easy (and immediate) way to get an SSH console to windows, I found MobaXVT. It is describe as a “Free portable X server with Unix/Cygwin utilities”. As the description suggest, it is actually a Cygwin encapsulation into a nice multi-tab interface that has a built-in (among other things that I didn’t test) SSH client. Anyway, if you are just looking to have an SSH client under Windows, this is a great solution if you are allergic to the Cygwin installation. This is available for free download at

Moba XVT

SSH with PAM and Private / Public Key Authentication on Lacie Edmini

By Jimmy Bonney | April 17, 2008

Following the article where I explain how to install a SSH server on the Lacie Edmini, I will explain how to allow authentication through the use of private / public key so that you can use the method explained in another article to backup your files on your local server.

During the installation of the SSH server, we didn’t touch anything in the SSH configuration files. The result was that you could login with the root user you created during the process. The first thing I want to do is to allow a normal user to use ssh. Doing so is easy. Just open the /etc/passwd file and modify the line with the user you want to allow so that it finishes by /bin/bash or /bin/sh depending on the shell you prefer. Finally, a user allowed to connect with ssh will have a line look like:


Add SSH on a LaCie EdMini v2

By Jimmy Bonney | March 21, 2008

In a previous post, I explained how to make automatic backup on a server using SSH. I was suggesting that the server was somewhere on the Internet so we didn’t have to deal with any SSH installation. However, sometimes some data are to sensible to be stocked somewhere on the Internet so a good idea is to have your own little server running SSH. In addition, once data are backed up on your local server you can decide (automatically) which one of them can be send on a distant server.

I have a Lacie Edmini V2 (ethernet gigabit disk). It is a nice little network hard drive coming with a Linux OS. It already has a HTTP and FTP server but unfortunately, no SSH or rsync. Therefore, before being able to use the backup scripts we have to install these two services. Fortunately for us, some good work has already be done by some people. But unfortunately, I’m not as good with Linux as these guys are so everything they said was not always really clear. That is mainly the reason why I will try to create a guide that will be a little bit more explicit. I still assume however that you have some basic Linux knowledge.


SSH Restrictions

By Jimmy Bonney | March 3, 2008

Some time ago, I was explaining how to backup your important files using rsync and ssh. This solution allowed to transfer some content to your server in a secure way. Of course, I was using this solution myself, but I got some problems while using it due to SSH limitations with my webhost (webhostingbuzz). Indeed, after 30 minutes of connection, the SSH session was killed and therefore rsync that was using it got frozen.

After some researches on this Internet, I found some options to give to the SSH command to maintain a connection open with the server. Different solutions exist:


Find Other Websites Hosted On Your Server

By Jimmy Bonney | March 3, 2008

If you are using a shared webhosting like I do, it can be interesting to know which websites are located on the same server. Indeed, if you find your site too slow, it may be because another website is consuming too much resources. There can as well be some problems if you are sharing your IP address with some site that are censored abroad. Indeed, if one of the site of the server is blocked, the IP is probably blocked so you will not be able to access your own site even though there is nothing to censor in it. And you will not be able to access your own proxy server.

So here are two interesting links to find it out, but be aware that a few hundred websites can be located on the same server:

  1. My IP neighbors
  2. You get signal

Backup Your Files with rsync and SSH

By Jimmy Bonney | February 9, 2008

If you have many important files on your computer, you probably save them somewhere, from time to time: usb key, CD, server… the choice is yours. But the problem is to maintain this backup up-to-date. So what about making a backup à la “time-machine” to save your files on a regular basis and be able to access previous versions or the latest one easily. We will realize a backup of the files of the computer to our web hosting / server.

For that, we’ll use the linux tools rsync and SSH. This tools are usually built-in in Linux distributions or you can easily install them otherwise with your favorite packet manager. Under Windows, that’s another story but nothing is completely lost. I will begin to describe how-to install the tools under Windows (sometimes you just don’t have the choice of your OS) and then describe the backup procedure. The procedure applies for both linux and windows.

I make here the assumption that you have an ssh access to your distant server. This will allow you to have an encrypted connection between your computer and the server and and therefore will prevent anyone to intercept your backups when you send them.