/boot I hate you (fixed it, but I still hate you) [updated]

So thanks to ClearOS and their installer (in my defense I should not have used the autoinstaller but I had also tried a custom install a few times with no success so auto it was) I have a /boot partition with a fucking size of 30mb. Yeah thanks for that shit. So now I can’t seem to update cause I need at least 60mb more to do so. I have to resize it. Which the server has to be down for – no internet for the house – no Plex for the house. It’s 2016…Do you realize what this is asking of me? So I did it, brought it all down.

Fucking Optiplex refuses to boot from CDROM/DVDROM. I tried SATA4, and SATA3/ I tried ATA0 and ATA1. I tried removing a hard drive (SATA3). Refuses to see it. See its once booted, sees it in BIOS, won’t see it at boot. Fucker wont boot from USB even though BIOS says it should. Boot priority is good. Hard drive priority is good. What the fuck man?! I remember booting issue with this box before (which is why I didn’t originally use it).

Good news: ClearOS has been rebooted 3x so far and each time it has come back up with full internet support – no bullshit required to get it working as usual. Dunno wtf happened there, but I ‘ll take it! Yet the battle rages on…

UPDATE: I was able to get the 840 to boot off the USB stick. Apparently auto doesn’t do anything.You have to set the USB emulation to hard drive, not auto, then select the proper hard drive boot sequence. Pushing the new USB drive which you should now see to the top. You will NOT see the USB drive under boot priorities in the BIOS. You WILL see it under the hard drive boot priorities after setting the emulation to hard drive. Hopefully that is clear as mud and helps you out.

So I was able to boot but I was not able to resize the partition. The /boot drive that was generated by ClearOS installer was 95mb, whoo! And the scheme it used is all fucked up. Time to rethink ClearOS, like with Zentyal? All these little things are becoming an irritation. Part of me wants to scrap it all and go straight Debian. But then again since the family is involved I need to be able to make changes quickly, or someone else has to if I am away.

2mb….. unknown partition
95mb…. /boot
200gb… xfs partition
700gb… extended partition
… swap
… linux… ext4
… home…. ext4
… bullshit…

It wouldn’t let me resize anything other than the extended partition at the bottom (which is what I though I needed to do. I could shrink it and add unallocated space at the end of it but then it would not let me move any others “to the right”. Back to the drawing board.

UPDATE 2: I removed (after backing up) the vmlinuz-0-rescue-* and initramfs-0-rescue-* files. See this http://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/238081/removing-the-rescue-image-from-boot-on-fedora

UPDATE 3: I removed the files from /boot and I was able to update all but Samba – ain’t that a bitch. The one program that wont update is Samba. One… I use it…two..Samba doesn’t play well with others. I had to restart the Samba service to get it all working again. Now I am stuck because Samba won’t update along with some other lib module I can’t remember right now. Fubar. Then I noticed Transmission is down. For fucks sake man.

UPDATE 4: A simple uninstall and reinstall from the Marketplace solved the problem. But for some reason I am now expecting to have permission problems…

ClearOS 7 Multilib problems, thanks for that guys

So I tried to update my ClearOS 7 box the other day and ran into a shit ton of issues. Apparently the system had not been updating itself for quit a while and I hadn’t noticed. Skipping the GUI I went strait to my OSX terminal to use SSH. yum update got me the original multilib problem to display itself:

libldb-1.1.25-1.el7_2.i686 != libldb-1.1.25-1.el7_2.x86_64

After a bit of Googling the horrible ClearOS forums I found enough info to get going. I did not have the same problems that the OP had but I found the info on this page to be of great help, it is what enabled me to finally get to the state to update my system (or at least uncovered other issues I needed to fix):

From what I gathered there are so many things that need to be updated there is a dependency snafu. So we have to ignore all the updates to those apps until the dependencies can be met then we can go back and update those other guys, no man left behind.

yum --exclude samba*,libldb*,libsmbclient,libwbclient,pyldb*,app-samba-* update

Thats the command that led me to discover my other issues, probably why the system wasn’t self updating. My /boot partition doesn’t have enough space. Well WTF ClearOS I used your fucking installer. Douche cannons. On to that later. At first yum --exclude samba*,libldb*,libsmbclient,libwbclient,pyldb* update is what they had to get going and it worked a bit but samba still was throwing errors for app-samba-blah-blah the ClearOS samba module I assume. So we had to ignore that bitch too. Samba is always a bitch no matter what system I have worked on samba always rears its head somewhere.

I COULD update, if I didn’t have the partition issue. Great no I have to expand /boot. Fuck me.

Fuck ClearOS, I think I’m done

I am starting to get really tired of this distro. Their “support” forums are about the worst on the web. The forum software fucking sucks too, I have never seen a support forum that arranges posts the way they do. The shit is far from in order, the posts feel like Facebook – you know how they constantly rearrange shit for no good fucking reason. yeah like that so fuck that place. Not to mention there is no help there, all the posts that show up in searches are YEARS old and/or only apply to a version a few years old.

Besides the extreme lack of any public community support the shit isn’t stable’ish. Every the system reboots (usually due to a power failure or Comcast sucking ass) I have to spend hours trying to get my internet connection back. Clear does NOT play well with any fucking cable modem or NIC I have yet to come upon. That’s a serious fucking problem. Now lets get to why I am typing this post. I’m fucking irritated. My UPS battery decided to take a shit, so I lost power to the server. Upon reboot I actually happened to have an internect connection, which is really fucking odd – cause that has never ever ever ever ever happened before… But nooo, can’t just leave it at that nope. After the server came back up something happened to Transmission and its permissions. I’m not sure what, but it’s fucking bullshit. Transmission, a module available via the marketplace but it doesn’t configure itself properly. Permissions are a fucking nightmare trying to get it all to work, which I had until Clear rebooted. It won’t let me add the transmission user to the group, the group doesn’t show up everywhere, the users are where they are suppose to be. Fucking ridiculous.

Any other options instead of ClearOS? I was using Zentyal which was great until they removed every module I actually found useful, now Clear is giving me more headaches than I care for. A GUI is required, I am not messing with CLI shit all day long for a home box.

PCDUINOs, just don’t

Yeah like the title says: PCDUINOs, just don’t. While they look good and smell good, they don’t taste good.

The board has impressive specs, and it runs pretty rock solid. Not to mention it has a SATA port! But the support is horrific. The images to dump on it are horrific – if you have happened to find one. My whole experience so far (five months) has been bad. The board is still sitting on my desk because of these issues. The overall support blows. Now let me say, I have not contacted LinkSprite because there aren’t any issues that I feel they would/could resolve over an email. The community for these boards is horrible. The overall support for PCDUINOs on the intarwebs is just plan bad. And it seems to be that no one likes AllWinner chips.

Save yourself the headache and time and get a different board that has tons of support on the web. You will thank yourself that you did later, trust me.

UPDATE: I have decided to try to use the PCDUINO as an arcade emulator. As long as I can get a linux (ubuntu or debian) running on it with no issue I think I should be OK. I have a 250GB 2.5″ SATA drive on it now which is perfect. I don’t need the GPIOs for the emulator either so no fussin with that code. I just don’t get a fancy Raspi GUI 🙁 I’ll let you know what happens.

Enter the world of Jasper

Want to play around with some voice activation? Want to talk to your Raspberry Pi? Your choices so far are Alexa and Jasper. I went with Jasper after finding out AlexaPi requires you to press a button on a website to activate the voice goodies. So you would have to click a button on a web page every time you want to talk and are done talking to Alexa. Fuck that noise! Jasper it is! First off don’t follow the Jasper Documentation install guide. Do not! (as of 05/04/2016), it doesn’t work. It was also written for older Pies.

Instead you should probably follow this guide (Wheezy only): https://github.com/bablokb/jasper-install (I have not tried this myself). I downloaded an image made for a Pi2 B+.

Pros to not downloading an image, you don’t have to wait for the download and you can tweak stuff during the build I’m sure, if you know what you are doing, this is not me. Cons, the build time takes 4-8hrs. Pros to downloading an image, all that build time is gone. Cons, you have to (find!) download the 2gb-7gb torrent.

So this is what I did. Download the image for the Raspberry Pi 2 B+ and bake it to a SD Card (I use the ApplePi Baker, so easy). Do the standard raspi-config crap after your first boot. Now go and follow everything in the configuration section. All of it. Now you should be good to go. Use thePi Baker to “freeze” (copy the image) of the SD so when you fuck it up later you don’t have to start from scratch when you jack shit up later.

(Finding and) Downloading Jasper for the RPi2…
This guy did all the work and released it to the world for free but he requires you to download and install some shitty ass 3rd party torrent software to get it. What a total asshat, on top of that he protects everything with fucking keys. Total douche cannon move.

Mega download: https://mega.nz/#!T5VHXb4A!ZFaDDAUASswYb6Fi_-opDScBWOpNqmJMWS9KgPgn2nU
Guy that made the IMG: http://www.dansinclair.co.uk/raspberry-pi-2-jasper/

Debian DEB: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/jasper-support-forum/RVATTGel-OQ

You can also find a few IMGs for the RPi2/B+ in the Google Groups, most of them require that stupid 3rd party software and keys to unlock them (fucking asshat!!): https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/jasper-support-forum

Some side notes that may help keep your sanity longer:

To start Jasper at Boot
sudo crontab -e
Add the following:
@reboot /home/pi/jasper/jasper.py;

To remove Jasper start at boot
sudo crontab -e
place # in front of the job or remove it
save (ctrl+o) and quit (ctrl+x)

OR (untested, copy/pasted from Google-Groups)

You can just add the scrip to ‘/etc/rc.local’, something like:
su -c '/usr/bin/python /home/pi/jasper/jasper.py' pi

I removed News.py and HN.py, these news scripts were useless to me and for some reason News.py would override every other script. So Jasper would constantly tell me the news no mater what I asked him, and that is not a short script so you get tired of waiting for it to finish and telling him no all the time.

I tried to change the default voice (its hard to understand sometimes) but Google-TTS is a no go for me, it requires a Google Developer Account and that costs $25. I’ll pass. So stuck with espeak. Have not tried the others yet.

If you are running into “I’m sorry but I can’t see that far into the future” with Weather.py then you’re probably using your zipcode in the config, like the instructions said, well that wont work surprise. You need to use the special chart to get the closest big city in your area and use that number then Jasper will tell you the weather. I also started using the Weather.py from the google groups here instead, its better and worked for me out of the box.
(I can’t remember where that special chart was, soon as I do I will update the post)

Super handy tip #1:
The volume level will most likely not be set at a decent usable level. From a terminal run “alsamixer” on your Raspberry Pi for microphone and speaker level controls. Raising the microphone level will help Jasper to hear your voice from a greater distance, and up the output volume while you’re at it.

Super handy tip #2:
After a day or so of playing with Jasper he started crashed constantly for what seemed like no reason. The only error I would get is

Which after some digging I found is related to the Google email notification script. If you comment out your email address in profile.yml the error will go away. Google email notifications won’t work either, but at least Jasper will stop crashing.

Super handy tip #3:
This person suggests changing keywords to at least 4 syllables so Jasper has an easier time hearing you over background noise, sounds like a legit idea but I haven’t tried it yet.

Some useful information on how to write Jasper scripts:

Build your own Siri with Raspberry Pi2 and Jasper

Things left to do:
1. Spotify control
2. Integrate with the house security system/Raspberry Pi (the one in the garage)
3. Write some more scripts

Jasper modules I have found
Reports system status https://github.com/edouardpoitras/jasper-status

Collections of modules I have found
https://github.com/Hadjimina/JasperModules (some good ones)
https://github.com/aaskasen/JasperModules – sample home automation