Installing LibreELEC Kodi in a VMware vSphere Virtual Machine

LibreELEC banner

I tried a couple of methods of installing LibreELEC in a VMware virtual machine before finding the solution. The first was to simply pass through a Jump drive with a bootable image to the virtual machine. This didn’t work as I discovered that vSphere virtual machines cannot boot from USB.

I also tried converting an image file to an .iso and booting from that – that also didn’t work.

I finally discovered the LibreELEC virtual appliance and simply deployed that to vSphere.

I would typically just post a link, but it appears that the LibreELEC mirrors seem to change so it is best to know how to get a link to the .ova file.

First head to the LibreELEC download page. What we are looking for is a link named info behind which is a mirror list.

libreelec mirror list
(info) link to LibreELEC mirror list.

On the mirror list page you can see that I have two mirrors available in the US:

 

LibreELEC Mirrors 2
LibreELEC mirrors with path to URL highlighted.

Notice that I have the first portion of the path to a LibreELEC image selected. This URL takes me to the full listing of available LibreELEC images on that mirror.

 

libreELEC ova
Mirror link to LibreELEC .ova highlighted.

Copy the link to the LibreELEC .ova file and then run the vSphere Client to start deploying the virtual appliance.

Click the File menu and then Deploy OVF Template.

Paste the LibreELEC .ova hyperlink and then click Next to continue through the rest of the deployment wizard.

 

virtual LibreELEC
LibreELEC installed in VMware vSphere 5.5.

 

 

 

 

 

Ubuntu Server 14.04 (Trusty Tahr) – Zentyal 3.5 Installation

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Zentyal Server is an open source Linux small business server, that can act as a Gateway, Infrastructure Manager, Unified Threat Manager, Office Server, Unified Communication Server or a combination of the above.

I am performing this setup on a minimal virtual machine installation of Ubuntu Server 14.04. At the time of writing Zentyal 3.5 is the most current Zentyal release.

First make sure that repositories and software are up to date:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Add the Zentyal 3.5 repository to /etc/apt/sources.list:

echo "deb http://archive.zentyal.org/zentyal 3.5 main extra" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list

Import public keys for Zentyal 3.5:

sudo apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys 10E239FF
wget -q http://keys.zentyal.org/zentyal-3.5-archive.asc -O- | sudo apt-key add -

Update repositories:

sudo apt-get update

Install Zentyal:

sudo apt-get install zentyal
  • When prompted enter a password for the MySQL root user.
  • Confirm port 443 as the Zentyal https port.

From here we simply setup Zentyal using the web-gui. Open Firefox (the only officially supported browser) and enter the url for your Zentyal install: https://zentyal-server-ip.

Confirm the security exception in Firefox and then log in to Zentyal using your Ubuntu Server credentials:

Zentyal - login

Ubuntu Server 14.4 (Trusty Tahr) – add-apt-repository: command not found

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The last time I encountered the add-apt-repository: command not found error I was using Ubuntu Server 12.4 Lucid. The solution then was to install python-software-properties as follows:

sudo apt-get install python-software-properties

 

This did not resolve the issue on my minimal virtual machine installation on Trusty so I installed apt-file – which is an apt package searching utility:

sudo apt-get install apt-file

 

Update apt-file:

apt-file update

 

Finally use apt-file to search for the add-apt-repository package:

apt-file search add-apt-repository

 

As you can see add-apt-repository is in software-properties-common:

software-properties-common: /usr/bin/add-apt-repository
software-properties-common: /usr/share/man/man1/add-apt-repository.1.gz

 

After installing software-properties-common I was able to use add-apt-repository without any further issue:

sudo apt-get install software-properties-common

Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise) – Could not apply the stored configuration for monitors

ubuntu-logo

Booting in to a clean installation of Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise) with VMWare Tools installed I get a Could not apply the stored configuration for monitors error:

Could not apply the stored configuration for monitors.
Could not apply the stored configuration for monitors.

The solution is to remove monitors.xml from /home/<username>/.config.

To do this I opened a Terminal and changed the directory to .config:

cd .config

I backed-up and then deleted monitors.xml:

cp monitors.xml monitors.bak
rm monitors.xml

I rebooted for good measure – now VMWare Tools adjusts my resolution without errors.

Source:  http://askubuntu.com/questions/67337/how-do-i-get-rid-of-this-monitor-error

Ubuntu Server – Installing Tiny Tiny RSS

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I have been using Gregarius as my web-based RSS aggregator for quite some time now but have wanted to try Tiny Tiny RSS for a while.

Now that WebUpd8 have created a PPA (Personal Package Archives) for Tiny Tiny RSS I really had no excuse for not installing it.

Note: I am installing Tiny Tiny RSS on Ubuntu Server 12.04. PPAs have been available for Ubuntu since Ubuntu 9.10 – so this will not work on prior editions of Ubuntu Server.

The first step is to update our repositories and install Apache and MySQL:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install mysql-server mysql-client apache2 libapache2-mod-php5

When prompted enter a password for your MySQL root user:

MySQL Password

Confirm your MySQL password:

Confirm MySQL Password

Now that we have our prerequisites installed we can add the Tiny Tiny RSS PPA.

Note: On a minimal virtual machine installation of Ubuntu Server we need to install the  python-software-properties package to be able to add a PPA:

sudo apt-get install python-software-properties

Add the Tiny Tiny RSS PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/tt-rss
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install tt-rss

Set Apache as the Tiny Tiny RSS web server:

tt-rss apache

Set the URL for the Tiny Tiny RSS installation – for a local install on my LAN i used http://localhost/tt-rss/:

tt-rss url

Select Yes for database configuration:

tt-rss database config

Confirm MySQL as the database for Tiny Tiny RSS:

tt-rss database mysql

Enter your root MySQL password:

tt-rss root mysql password

Enter a password for Tiny Tiny RSS to register with MySQL – a random password will be generated if left blank:

tt-rss application password

Confirm your application password:

tt-rss confirm application password

Next we need to use nano to edit some configuration files.

First we need to edit our server address in /etc/tt-rss/config.php:

sudo nano /etc/tt-rss/config.php

Find the line  define('SELF_URL_PATH', 'http://yourserver/tt-rss/'); and change it to  define('SELF_URL_PATH', 'http://localhost/tt-rss/'); (as per the server address that we set previously):

tt-rss config.php

Press Ctrl + O then Enter to save the changes to config.php and then Ctrl +X to exit nano.

To get Tiny Tiny RSS to update feeds we need to edit /etc/default/tt-rss:

sudo nano /etc/default/tt-rss

Change DISABLED=1 to DISABLED=0 to allow the Tiny Tiny RSS daemon to be started:

tt-rss tt-rss

Press Ctrl + O then Enter to save the changes to config.php and then Ctrl +X to exit nano.

Start the Tiny Tiny RSS service:

sudo service tt-rss start

Obtain the IP address of your Ubuntu Server installation:

ipconfig

tt-rss ifconfig

Open a browser on another machine and navigate to your Tiny Tiny RSS URL:

tt-rss login

Login with the username: admin and the password: password.

Click Actions, Preferences and Users to change your admin password and add users. You can import feeds under the Feeds tab or click Exit Preferences and then Actions, Subscribe to feed to add feeds manually.

Source: http://www.webupd8.org/2013/05/tiny-tiny-rss-ubuntu-ppa-google-reader.html

Ubuntu Server – Unattended Installation (Custom CD)

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I’ve lost count of the number of times that I have installed Ubuntu Server on my VMware vSphere box – so I finally looked in to performing an unattended install.

I could have setup DHCP and TFTP servers and done PXE boot from images over the network – but I wanted to work on something quicker than that (and I don’t have that much spare RAM on my vSphere box as it is).

So I settled on re-mastering an Ubuntu Server .iso image. The result is an unattended install, except for the initial boot screen (where I need to select a minimal virtual machine installation anyway).

The following steps were performed on Ubuntu Desktop.

Download Ubuntu Server – I am using the 32 bit version of Ubuntu 12.04.

Open a Terminal and create a directory to mount the Ubuntu Server iso to.

sudo mkdir -p /mnt/iso

The -p switch is very useful as it allows you to create a directory structure which does not already exist (as opposed to creating a single directory).

Change directory to Downloads:

cd Downloads

I renamed my download UbuntuServer.iso.

Mount UbuntuServer.iso to /mnt/iso:

sudo mount -o loop UbuntuServer.iso /mnt/iso

Create a directory and copy the mounted Ubuntu Server files:

sudo mkdir -p /opt/serveriso
sudo cp -rT /mnt/iso /opt/serveriso

The -r switch copies directories recursively and -T specifies no (singular) target directory.

Now we have a copy of our Ubuntu .iso to work on in /opt/serveriso – but we need to make these files writable:

sudo chmod -R 777 /opt/serveriso/

With this preparation done we can start customizing things.

If we look at the isolinux/langlist file we see all the supported languages listed that Ubuntu supports (in an abbreviated format):

am
ar
ast
be
bg ...

I am only interested in an English install so I am going to overwrite the contents of isolinux/langlist with the single abbreviation for English, which is “en”.

cd /opt/serveriso
echo en >isolinux/langlist

This stops the language selection menu from appearing during installation.

The next step of the process is to create a kickstart file – this will provide the server install with the answers to the various questions asked during installation, such as timezone, username, password, partition structure and so on.

Install Kickstart Configurator:

sudo apt-get install system-config-kickstart

Click the Dash button and type kickstart and then click on the kickstart application.

kickstart

Obviously you should customize your settings as you see fit – I have provided mine for reference.

Basic Configuration
Basic Configuration: Set Timezone
Installation Method
Installation Method: Choose the CD-ROM installation method

Boot Loader Options

Partition Options: Add an ext4 partition to the root file system that fills all unused space on the disk
Partition Options: Add an ext4 partition to the root file system that fills all unused space on the disk
Partition Options: Add a swap file system that uses the recommended swap size
Partition Options: Add a swap file system that uses the recommended swap size
Network Configuration: Add network device eth0 and set to DHCP
Network Configuration: Add network device eth0 and set to DHCP
User Configuration: Provide username and password
User Configuration: Provide username and password

Click File, Save File and save the kickstart file ks.cfg to /opt/serveriso.

While using the Kickstart Configurator you may have noticed that the Package Selection screen did not work. Fortunately we can manually edit the ks.cfg file so that the packages that we want are installed during Ubuntu Server installation.

At the end of ks.cfg add %packages and then list the packages that you want installed. I chose to install nano, openssh-server and open-vm-tools:

%packages
nano
openssh-server
open-vm-tools --no-install-recommends

–no-install-recommends installs open-vm-tools in headless mode.

Now we need to configure the CD boot command line to use the kickstart ks.cfg file.

Browse to and open /opt/serveriso/isolinux/txt.cfg.

We need to edit the append line of the default install section at the top of the file.

default install

At the end of the append line add ks=cdrom:/ks.cfg. You can remove quiet — and vga=788.

My append line is as follows:

append  file=/cdrom/preseed/ubuntuserver.seed initrd=/install/initrd.gz ks=cdrom:/ks.cfg

The final step is to create a new Ubuntu Server .iso using this command:

sudo mkisofs -D -r -V "ATTENDLESS_UBUNTU" -cache-inodes -J -l -b isolinux/isolinux.bin -c isolinux/boot.cat -no-emul-boot -boot-load-size 4 -boot-info-table -o /opt/autoinstall.iso /opt/serveriso

The finished .iso is /opt/autoinstall.iso.

Test your .iso in a virtual machine to make sure that everything works as it should.

The minimal interaction that I need to set my Ubuntu Server install going is documented below:

1. Press the Enter key to confirm the English language selection
Press the Enter key to confirm the English language selection
Press F4, select Install a minimal virtual machine, and then press Enter
Press F4, select Install a minimal virtual machine, and then press Enter
Press Enter to install Ubuntu Server
Press Enter to install Ubuntu Server

From here installation continues without any further input being required.

Sources: http://askubuntu.com/questions/122505/how-do-i-create-completely-unattended-install-for-ubuntu

Windows Server 2012 – Installing Active Directory Domain Services

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Today I set about installing Windows Server 2012 in a virtual test environment. Further down the road I plan to look at publishing remote applications, but for now let’s begin with installing Active Directory.

This is a basic outline of the post-installation steps that I will follow:

  • Change the machine name
  • Set a static IP address
  • Install Windows Updates
  • Install Active Directory Domain Services
  • Promote server to Domain Controller

1. Change the machine name

From the desktop press Ctrl + X and then click System on the pop-up menu. Under Computer name, domain and workgroup settings click Change Settings.

Serv2012-CompName-ChangeSettings

In the System Properties window click the Change button and then change the Computer name. Click OK to exit.

2. Set a Static IP Address

From the Start Screen click Control Panel and then click Network and Sharing Center and then click the link for your Ethernet connection.

Serv2012-NetworkSharingCenter-Ethernet

In the Ethernet Status window click the Properties button. Scroll down and select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and then click the Properties button.

Set your static IP address, Subnet mask, Default gateway and Preferred DNS server.

Serv2012-IP-DNS-Settings

My settings are provided just so that you have a screenshot. I am using a NAT network provided by VMware Player.

Reboot.

3. Check for Windows Updates

From the Start Screen click Control Panel and then click Windows Update. If necessary turn updates on and then Check for updates and install them.

4. Installing Active Directory Domain Services (ADDS)

From the Server Manager Dashboard click Add roles and features.

Install ADDS 01

Review the Before you begin screen for any actions that are required prior to installing roles, role services or features, and then click Next.

Install ADDS 02

Select Role-based or feature-based installation and then click Next.

Install ADDS 03

Select your server from the server pool and then click Next.

Install ADDS 04

Select Active Directory Domain Services from the list.

Install ADDS 05

Review the role services and features to be installed and click the Add Features button.

Install ADDS 06

You will be returned to the Server Roles page of the Add Roles and Features Wizard, click Next to proceed.

On the Features page of the Wizard the Group Policy Management feature is automatically selected, click Next.

Install ADDS 07

Review the AD DS page and then click Next. If you do not have a DNS server on your network you will be prompted to install DNS later.

Install ADDS 08

The Confirmation page gives the option to Export configuration settings and to Restart the destination server automatically if required. Configure as required and then click Install.

Install ADDS 09

The previously selected roles and features will now be installed. Click Close to exit the wizard.

Install ADDS 10

5. Promote Windows Server 2012 to a Domain Controller

An Alert notification will appear on the Server Manager Dashboard prompting you to Promote this server to a domain controller.

Install ADDS 11

Review the domain deployment options. I will Add a new forest called Pricklytech.local. Click Next.

Install ADDS 12

Select the Forest functional level (FFL) and the Domain functional level (DFL) from the two drop-down menus – they should be set to the highest level that your environment supports (to enable as many AD features as possible). The FFL, for example, can be set to Server 2003, 2008, 2008 R2 or 2012.

Next specify domain controller capabilities. I have Domain Name System (DNS) server selected as I do not yet have a DNS server in this particular test environment. You will also notice that Global Catalog is checked and greyed out – because this is the first domain controller in a new forest.

Type and confirm the Directory Services Restore Mode (DSRM) password. DSRM is  a safe mode boot option that is used to repair / recover Active Directory.

Click Next.

Install ADDS 13

Review the DNS delegation alert. In my environment no action is required – so after closing the alert I clicked Next.

Install ADDS 14

The NetBIOS domain name is supplied – click Next.

Install ADDS 15

The default paths for the AD DS database, log files, and SYSVOL are displayed. Click Next.

Install ADDS 16

Review your selections. You can export a Powershell script to automate additional installations by clicking the View script button. Click Next.

Install ADDS 17

Install ADDS 18

A prerequisite check is run. If All prerequisite checks passed successfully click Install to continue.

Install ADDS 19

Once the server is successfully promoted it was automatically rebooted.

Install ADDS 20