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RHEL4 U5 Install, Boots Up with “GRUB” error on screen. 29 October 2008

Posted by Maulvi Bakar in : Linux,Work , 1 comment so far

This one is a funny error. After finishing the installation, the system reboots and ‘poof’ on screen only displays “GRUB”.

My suspicion is that, GRUB somehow or rather did not install properly onto MBR. Considering previously that the system comes only with a single harddisk. Later on, after fixing a second harddisk, the OS was re-installed with RAID1. Maybe that’s the cause as the old GRUB was not properly overwritten.

Basically, I re-insert the installation CD and boot up into rescue mode.
linux rescue

Upon boot up, mount the filesystem thus –
# chroot /mnt/sysimage

Use grub the regenerate the grub stuff on both hdds thus –
# grub

On the grub command line, select the 1st harddisk
grub> root (hd0,0)

Initialize grub onto the 1st harddisk
grub> setup (hd0)

Do the same for the 2nd harddisk
grub> root (hd1,0)
grub> setup (hd1)

Exit the grub menu –
grub> exit

Reboot the system and your grub should behave normally now..


From the Badlands to the Hardlands and finally to the Promised Land. 18 October 2008

Posted by Maulvi Bakar in : Home,Work , 2 comments


My retirement seems to be quite short-lived. I thought I’m gonna retire from the so called promised land. Well, I did retire.. Thought of taking up agricultural activities, then the economy gone south.

Turns out, the promised land is a Hardland. Well, I’m a former Badlander. At first, I thought I can hack it. Hack it I did! 3 years!.. or somewhere close to it! The results? Diabetic, Low Blood Pressure or somewhere close to it too 😉

The advise is to retire 😉 as if that is possible. Nope, it’s just that I need to be mindful of myself, my health and ultimately, all those who have a claim on my life (The spouse, the Inhouse Celebrity).

Then, I got head-hunted again! First from a Japanese Electronics Giant™, but they balked at my physical conditions. My suspicions is more due to my academics, being a graduate of the Jedi Academy (or maybe the Starfleet Academy ;-). Then, it’s an American Technology Giant™ (purportedly to be the largest in the world! It’s true!). Now, these guys didn’t even care about my formal background, just so I can demonstrate my abilities.

Heh! Use the force Luke!

I am grateful to be given an opportunity with the American Technology Giant™. Now I truly believe I am in the promised land. I sincerely believe I may just retire here instead… Professionally of course.. The union-like work environment. The superb benefits package, especially medical, hospitalization which covers spouse and children, unlimited mind you! All these does help nudging me towards my decision.

Wish me luck!

Time Travelling in VMware Server for Linux (Guest & Host) 6 August 2008

Posted by Maulvi Bakar in : Home,Linux,Work , 2 comments

I run two VMware host machines at home. This is where I do most of my ‘Training’. Well, most of my knowledge on Linux are self-learned anyway. This is where I do my R&D.

Simply, theory is good. But how do you know whether the theory is practical? What potential pitfalls when you deploy a solution? Especially Free (Libre) and Open Source Solutions? Not to say FLOSS solutions are no good, but in a commercial environment, when paying customers are willing to pay good money to transfer their operational risks to you, you better be sure of the solution that you’re proposing.

FLOSS solutions backed by commercial vendors – eg. Red Hat, is a safe bet. You can propose it to customers and as a fall back, there’s always Red Hat. Problem starts with FLOSS solutions that specifically states – ‘No warranty/guarantee of any kind’ 😛

Not to say they’re no good, mind you. That’s where you as a FLOSS Service Provider comes in. To provide the kind of warranty/guarantee that the customer wants for such FLOSS solutions. The other advantage of FLOSS, if the customer’s not happy with a FLOSS vendor, being FLOSS, you can always go to another vendor. That forces FLOSS vendors to always provide the best service.

Anyway, I’m rambling and digressing –

My guest OSes keep travelling faster than my host OS, sometimes as fast as 2 seconds every 10 seconds. Need to tune the VMware server host a bit –

file – /etc/vmware/config

host.cpukHz = 3400000
hostinfo.noTSC = TRUE
tools.syncTime = TRUE

The first line is to specify the maximum CPU clock rate the system may run.
Second line is to specify that the cpu is not running at a constant clock rate (speedstep, cpufreq or power management is active when idle) and the timestamp counter is inaccurate an to use it as the least.
The last line sets the default to use vmware-tools timesync function.

Well, I hope this is a permanent solution.


Linux NFS Server, AIX NFS Client 31 July 2008

Posted by Maulvi Bakar in : Linux,Unix,Work , 3 comments


We have a Linux NFS machine to extend the AIX Server’s chronic acute harddisk space shortage syndrome. Somehow, AIX Client could not mount the shared NFS folder from the Linux Server.

Apparently, AIX uses high ports to establish the connectivity to NFS Server. Linux NFS Server requires low ports (below 1024). So, you have to force AIX to use those reserved ports to establish the connection.

nfso -o nfs_use_reserved_ports=1

Then, the normal ‘mount’ should work from AIX after the medicine 😛


Apache Redirection – http to https 24 March 2008

Posted by Maulvi Bakar in : Linux,Work , add a comment

Many times have you encountered situation where you want to automatically redirect a page from one site to another. Simple problem of having a http://example.com/Some/Url/resource and http://www.example.com/Some/Url/resource to a https://www.example.com/Some/Url/resource

Actually, it is as simple as a single line in the http.conf file like thus –

Redirect permanent / https://www.example.com/

Therefore, anything that you put there will be redirected to the other site preserving the same resource url locations. It was so simple that I got disgusted! Darn!

unknown nfs status return value: -1 11 December 2007

Posted by Maulvi Bakar in : Linux,System,Unix,Work , 1 comment so far

I’m trying to mount an NFS export from an AIX machine to a Linux client.

Had encountered the above problem.  Apparently the NFS exports on AIX requires the client’s hostname and IP address within the /etc/hosts file.


MITI MATRIIX II – Project Team Dinner 10 August 2007

Posted by Maulvi Bakar in : Work , add a comment

Some of the SE Team with our EVP

Well, I had a grand night.. Firstly, I got my first real digital camera. A Fujifilm Finepix 3800. Bought it off Amazon refurbished. Reason I got it is because I wanna try some amateur photographing. 😉

Anyway, at my workplace, with project dateline fast approaching, our CEO organized a pep-talk session and dinner for the whole project team! This is sort of an exhortation gesture for everyone to pull their socks and really “up and at ’em” attitude. Oh yeah, XYBASE, Do it!

All I can say is, “What a grand dinner it was!”. I really stuffed myself until I couldn’t gorge a bit more.. 😉

Anyway, the whole photoshoot can be viewed here – XYBASE Matriix II Dinner (Flickr)

Lastly, I would like to thank Mr Islah, Trade Commissioner for Matrade Miami Office for the camera.

PHP with Informix IDS support via IFX Module – Centos5 / RHEL5 12 June 2007

Posted by Maulvi Bakar in : Linux,Work , 2 comments

Hello everyone, sorry for the long silence..

These are drafts mainly, careful with the syntax until I fix the coding code of my wordpress.. 😛
Firstly, install the Informix Client SDK for Linux..
Get the Client SDK from here – http://www-306.ibm.com/software/data/informix/linux/csdk.html

Download, untar it to a folder, then follow the instructions below –

# useradd informix
# passwd informix


install to /opt/IBM/informix

ensure “/etc/hosts” have these entry –

x.x.x.x informix_server_hostname

ensure that “/opt/IBM/informix/etc/sqlhost” have these entry –

database_instance_name onsoctcp informix_server_hostname 9088

add these at line number 38 in file “/etc/init.d/httpd”, which should be before the “# check for 1.3 configuration” line –

export INFORMIXDIR=/opt/IBM/informix
export INFORMIXSERVER=mtx2informix_prod
export ONCONFIG=onconfig

Download this –

and install it

rpm -ivh php-5.1.6-5.el5.src.rpm

go to /usr/src/redhat/SPECS/

edit the php.spec file at line 428 (approximately after the xml, before $*, add this line –

–with-informix=/opt/IBM/informix \

Then, run this command –

rpmbuild -ba php.spec

and also, prior to rebuilding the RPM, may need to export the environments –

export INFORMIXDIR=/opt/IBM/informix
export INFORMIXSERVER=mtx2informix_prod
export ONCONFIG=onconfig

Run this command to identify whatever php packages that you’ve installed –

rpm -qa | grep php

uninstall them using this command

rpm -e package_name1 package_name2

and re-install them using newly recompiled RPMs from this location –


May need to use “–nodeps” option – the .so files required are actually Informix libraries already found within the ld_library_lib path

Hope it is useful to someone else someday 😉

New Year Resolutions.. 14 January 2007

Posted by Maulvi Bakar in : Home,Linux,Society,Work , 2 comments

A week or so ago, I was asked by a journalist-friend to comment on my technological resolutions from last year and this year.  Particularly those made, kept and broken.  😉

Well, I did some and eventually, it appears in the local daily’s tech section!  😯

I am nowhere really an expert, but that was something that I really strive for, with the grace of god, and assistance from friends and colleagues alike – god-willing..

Below are part of the article which appears in full here

Resolutions made, kept, and broken

A system engineer with XyBase Sdn Bhd, Maulviridha Abu Bakar, is the resident Linux expert at work. Maulviridha is also into self-initiated awareness programs on Linux.
Last year, his resolution was to enhance his personal knowledge of Linux and Free and Open Source software. He had also intended to migrate all internal servers at work to Linux and Free and Open Source Software.
He had initiated the process last year at work and had been successful with some recognition from his employers.
They even let him conduct training internally and for customers, and Maulviridha intends to accomplish more this year.
He had also wanted to make Linux as the main operating system on his desktop for everyday use but to this day, he has only Linux installed on his desktop on a dual-boot configuration with Windows.
There appears to be a snag in the plan to go totally Linux both at work and home, says Maulviridha. “I seem to go back to Windows for some crucial usage and applications. For example, in the case of Microsoft Visio, there seems to be no quality alternative.”

Nonetheless, there’s much for me still to learn..  “Life is a lifelong learning experience”


Enabling JAVA plugin after installing JPackage JDKs 27 November 2006

Posted by Maulvi Bakar in : Linux,Work , add a comment

If you’ve installed java-1.5.0-sun-plugin and you want to use it with Firefox or any other mozilla-based browser, you’ll need to set up the link manually as there is a small bug in the java-1.5.0-sun-plugin package that causes it not to set up the link properly.

Please take note of the period (“.”) on the last line!

# cd /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins
# rm -f libjavaplugin_oji.so
# ln -s  ../../../lib/jvm/java/jre/plugin/i386/ns7/libjavaplugin_oji.so .