VirtualBox Server inside a server

Recently, I was trying to import a VirtualBox virtual machine on to my Ubuntu headless server. This particular virtual machine was also Ubuntu Server. Since both machines are server installs with no GUI (or even monitor attached), the only connection I had to either of them is ssh.

Importing and Starting

The VirtualBox image imported pretty flawlessly. The only thing I really had to change was the location of the virtual disk, because I want all of my images to use a shared directory.

After starting the virtual machine with:
VBoxManage startvm MyNewFancyServer --type=headless

I would wait for a few minutes and try to ssh in to the server. No good. The DHCP server wasn’t even issuing an IP address to MyNewFancyServer.

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Access denied to my own files

Recently, I recieved an access denied message while trying to access some of my own files. I was using an administrator account, so this confused me greatly.

I was trying to clean up some files on my Windows 7 drive, when I came across a directory with a ‘lock symbol.

Directory with a lock symbol

It was a randomly generated name, so I assumed it was an update directory that I no longer needed. Not thinking anything of it, I went to browse the directory.

When I tried to go into the ‘update’ sub directory, I received a “You don’t currently have permission to access this folder. Click Continue to permanently get access to this folder.” message.

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This past weekend, I participated in Indy GiveCamp. I wanted to share some of my experiences over the weekend, and how everything turned out.

What is Indy GiveCamp?

GiveCamp is an event where web designers, developers and database administrators get together donate their time to provide software or web sites for charities. This allows charities to not have to worry about getting their website updated or trying to figure out how to pay someone to do it.

Indy GiveCamp contained around 40 volunteers. We were able to help 7 different charities.

We were assigned to our teams around 8pm on Friday. The goal was to have a brand new website ready to “hand over the keys” by 2pm Sunday.

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I have been using git as source control for all of my projects for a little while now. Now that I am getting used to git, I like it a lot. It’s a bit of a different style than other source control management systems, but it seems to work well. I am starting to store lots of things in source control. Not only my programming projects, but also my random helper scripts and configuration files that I write. Basically, anything where in the past I would simply rename the file to “File.old”, it makes more sense to add it to source control instead. That way I can go back as many versions as I need to (without having an .oldX) and also see exactly what I have changed.

Gitosis vs Gitolite

I started off using Gitosis for repository management on my server. I wanted to be able to clone repositories and commit updates easily. While Gitosis works; I have decided that I want to migrate to Gitolite for a few reasons:

  • Gitolite is still being maintained — Gitosis is not
  • Better user management of repositories. Allow different users different access. I.E. I can do everything, but a friend is unable to delete files permanently.
  • Multiple keys per user. I have a few different machines that I develop on, and each machine has its own ssh key. Gitolite allows a nice format where one user can have multiple keys without cluttering up the config file.
  • I don’t like how I have to use MyRepository.git when cloning with Gitosis. Gitolite allows simply a clone of MyRepository.
  • Easier to create new repositories.

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