Showing posts from 2014

Intel SS4200 NAS doesn't start, because old linux images, modules and headers

Some days ago, my SS4200, running Ubuntu 1404 server from an USB pendrive did not start :-(

The investigation was painful, because I had to take out the VGA card from my desktop computer and put it to the SS4200 with all the cables for PCI-E and power, and after doing all this changes, I could see, that the machine is still not starting.

To handle the situation I have booted up a systemrescuecd from a second USB pendrive, and after some investigation it turned out, that the root disk on the original 4 Gigabyte pendrive become full :-(

Some more investigation revealed that the reason was a lot of unused linux kernel versions with all of their headers, modules and other files. To fix the problem I manually removed them:

 dpkg --get-selections linux*

to list them, and

sudo apt-get  purge *package*

to delete all not needed.

But today I have put back the VGA card to my computer and searched for a better solution, end there is a very nice script to do it in one step:

dpkg -l 'linux-*'…

Ubuntu Server 1404 hangs at GRUB screen after boot failure

In the standard Ubuntu Server installation if there was a problem during the boot process, next time you start the machine it will stop at the GRUB menu and wait for manual interaction.

On headless machines this is not desired, but you can avoid it using the following settings:

Edit /etc/default/grub and add the following line:


Then run:

sudo update-grub

Next time the machine will not stop if there is a boot error.


Installing Ubuntu 1404 to Intel SS4200 NAS on external pendrive

The Intel SS4200 is a, now already discontinued, NAS product, with the advantage that it is an x86 computer, designed to hold 4 SATA HDD drives, which makes it ideal candidate  to install Ubuntu Server on it.

After the unsuccessful installation to a bulit in  CF card in my previous blog, finally I decided to install the operating system to an external pendrive.

Here is how to install it:

Install Ubuntu Server 1404 on the pendrive

The easiest way is to set up a virtual machine on your PC (I have used VMWare Player), where you connect the pendrive to the virtual machine, connect the Ubuntu Server Install CD image as the CD rom and simply install the Server to the pendrive. In the SW selection select OpenSSH, Samba and LAMP, the later for the case if you would like to do some custom web interface to your box. When installing GRUB, install it to the MBR of the pendrive.

After installation, try if it is working in the vitrual machine, but as VMWare Player do not boot images from pendrive, …

Speed of some pendrives

I have measured the speed of some of my pendrives and a CF card.

Installing Ubuntu Server 14.04 on Intel SS4200 NAS

Some years ago I bought an Intel SS4200 NAS, specially for the purpose to install custom "firmware" on it. It has a standard PC hardware with an 1.6 Ghz Celeron processor, 4 bays for SATA drives and it has a community dedicated to HW and SW modifications.

Originally I have installed Ubuntu Server 10.04 on it using an external flash drive, but recently I refreshed the system to Ubuntu Server 14.04 on a Compact Flash card connected to the internal IDE connector using adapter.

Here I will describe how I have installed 10.04 and how I did it for 14.04. I did the installation only once, I have some toughs that were I could have done it more easy, but after the system became operational I did not go back and test if the simplifications working in theory would work in practice.

Unfortunately after a lot of experimenting, it turned out, that the pata_legacy driver is painfully slow and the normal drivers coming with Ubuntu 14.04 doesn't recognize the parallel ATA interface …

Installing Lubuntu 13.10 on Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo L7320

My 75 years old mother was using very happily an Amilo L7320 laptop with Ubuntu 10.04, but after an (non intended) upgrade to 12.04 the machine became very slow, and sometimes crashing. Looking into it revealed, that the machine has slowed down very much and even on the command line is vas extreemly slow.

After some considerations I have decided to use Lubuntu 13.10, in order to have a supported operating system, which is designed to run on older hardware.

For some unclear resons the USB installers created with the normal USB creation tools (Unetbootin, UniversalUSBInstaller, LinuxLiveUSBCreator) were not working so finaly I have used a rewritable CD to install the operating system.

The installation was strait forward, the installer run without any problem, but after restarting we got an empty black screen :-(

Fixing video display problems

For the impatient I continue straight with the solution, but later I will provide some information about how could I identify the problem.

So putti…