Monday, 3 March 2008

My first practical use of Linux

While looking into whether Linux could read NTFS file systems (don't ask why, I sometimes just get really curious about stuff like that) I came across Trinity Rescue Kit, which is a Linux Live-CD that has a whole bunch of tools for sorting out dead PCs and getting the data off them. A free tool set like this seems too good an offer to pass up, so I downloaded an iso disk image for version 3.2 (the latest stable release) and burnt a disk, on the basis that I might find a use for it some day, as people are often asking me to sort out their dead PCs.

As it happens I had occasion to use it within a couple of days. I had to set up a demo system at a remote site, which entailed setting up VMware, installing a couple of virtual machines and ensuring all the clients were configured. Because the training room where all this was to run, was unexpectedly not available in the morning, all I had to work with was a windows server standalone from the network. This should have been no problem all, I needed to do to get under way was copy the software and vm images onto the machine from a USB drive. However Windows refused to talk to my USB drive, I tried a number of things to fix it but really needed to get started. At this point I remembered the Trinity Rescue Disk, its NTFS support would enable me to do this. Sure enough it booted first time enabled me to mount all the drives with read/write access, including the USB hard drive, with a single 'mountallfs -g' command. After which I was able to move all the stuff across relatively quickly with the Linux cp command.

So that was my fist practical use of Linux, it saved me a couple of hours of hanging around waiting for a network connection so that was pretty good.

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