System Tweaks Pt1 Add a CloneZilla Partition

Clonezilla is an excellent free utility that can back up disks or disk partitions (some of you may be familiar with Ghost). I use Clonezilla to backup my systems. To restore the disk on my netbook takes about 10 minutes and the saved image fits on a usb key.

Clonezilla can also backup to network shares, a small barrier to doing backups is having some media near to hand to boot the system from. So I have started adding an extra partition to all my systems that contains clonezilla so I can just boot from it.

Instructions on how to do this can be found at the Clonezilla web site  One note, when you get to the update grub stage, dont be fooled by your Clonezilla option not showing up when the command runs. You should find that when you boot grub does show up option to boot from the clonezilla partition.

The 3 ZTE Broadband Dongle and Ubuntu

I was using one of the Huawei adapters on Ubuntu 8.10 with an eeePC. Installation could not have been easier. But we recently acquired a new dongle which turned out to be the ZTE is not natively unsupported.

Thanks to some handy notes here my task was made much easier. The steps I took were

A copy of the files and the script to install them are here jtztedongle but if you do download them you use them at your own risk.

The steps based on the information available here are shown below in the script I used.

#see notes at
#should install required stuff to allow ZTE MF627 Broadband dongle as sold by
#3 in the UK to work on Ubuntu
#for later in the script I want todays date and time
the_date=`date +%y%m%d_%H%M%S`
#I downloaded usb mode switch
#1)install usb mode switch
dpkg -i usb-modeswitch_0.9.5_i386.deb
#first we’ll back up existing one
mv /etc/usb_modeswitch.conf /etc/usb_modeswitch.conf.jon.$the_date
cp usb_modeswitch.conf /etc/usb_modeswitch.conf
#3)Create udev ruls
cp 999-zte.rules /etc/udev/rules.d/999-zte.rules
cp 20-zte-mf628+.fdi /usr/share/hal/fdi/information/20thirdparty/20-zte-mf628+.fdi

Remote Ubuntu Admin

For anyone using the rather useful NoMachine NX service to enable remote gui access to a machine theres been an† little problem with Ubuntu Hardy. To do jobs like add users there is an unlock button on the dialog box and when accessed via an NX session this is grayed out. Its down to the “policy kit”.

To work round the policy kit weirdness there are some notes here which is where I finally got my solution

in short, login to a terminal

sudo -s

ck-launch-session users-admin

or if you want o admin services

ck-launch-session† services-admin

and volia the unlock button is no longer greyed out.