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Having a gigabit connection and choosing a far-away mirror causing long time to update system is always frustrating. Its also hard to figure out the nearest mirror for every server, when you are dealing with servers deployed world-wide.

Luckily for Debian, there is a mirror selector which automatically finds the nearest one and uses it while working with apt.

To use it, replace the currently configured Debian mirror in sources.list with the following address:

e.g. for Debian jessie

deb jessie main contrib non-free

Its also available for Backports and older versions. More details at

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Everytime, when I do a fresh installation of Debian, I come across the issue of mounting USB drives. Since all the USB drives I connect are of NTFS partition, spends time on searching issues related to NTFS and finally sorts out the issue, which has nothing to do with NTFS.

The error is caused by an entry in the “/etc/fstab” file, which contains the configurations for mounding drives. Since I use Pen drives for installation, an entry is created for the device during installation, detected as “/dev/sdb1”, which is the second disk after the internal hard disk.

The first partition of all usb devices plugged in first will be detected as “sdb1”, and the entry in “fstab” file prevents mounting it. To get rid of the issue, just delete the line starting with “/dev/sdb1” in the “fstab” file.

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We @ DayScholars finally managed to arrange a good PC to setup as a centralized server for our code and databases. The server is running a customized Debian Squeeze distribution with MySQL Version 5.1. So the next requirement is to allow MySQL access for all of us. This is how we managed it. You must login as root user or must have root privilege to do this.

Edit the MySQL configuration file, located at /etc/mysql/my.cnf.

We prefer using vim. You can use any others like nano or even gedit.

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Today, almost all in my class(May be all @ college) came to college thinking of strike. But surprisingly, nothing was there in front of the college gate(For all strikes, we usually see a lot of students gathered there blocking the way to college). So, everyone went to classes sadly… 🙁

There were rumors that the class will be suspended by noon. After the 2nd period, few seniors came with the notice and all was happy. I have nothing to do at home, so, I stayed at college and with the permission of HOD, continued with the Debian installation in the Internet and Multimedia lab of CSE department. Though Mahesh was present, he was busy with some other works. My classmate Mansoor KPA also helped me in the installations. By 4.30PM, we installed 15 systems with Debian and the one alloted for GNULab with gNewSense.

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I was in my father’s house at Mankery for the previous two days. I was informed yesterday that all the 20 systems must be delivered tomorrow. Only four systems were complete at that time. I reached home by about 2PM today noon and the installation of 15 systems were complete by 10.30PM despite the frequent power failures and half an hour power cut.

The most helpful tool during the installation was “Symantec Ghost”, which helped to create copies of the hard disk. Its a DOS based software. But, DOS doesn’t have SATA drivers and the SATA CD drive won’t be detected as a drive, but the system can boot from the SATA disk drive. So, we copied the Ghost software to a drive and executed it from there after booting to DOS mode from the CD drive. Since it didn’t work with the Linux file system, ext3; we had to install Linux in each and every system but the additional burden of installing drivers and softwares in Windows was removed and the windows came up with all the drivers and softwares in just 5 minutes.

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