New Laptop, New Look

I bought a Dell XPS 15 last week. I was a bit concerned as it’s not an enterprise laptop,  but it is great and fast with Linux Mint on it.


  • CPU – 4th Gen Intel® Core™ i7
  • HDD – 640GB SSD
  • RAM – 16GB
  • Ultrasharp™ QHD+ touch screen display

Wanted to make it look slick. Still working out some conky scripts but this  is what I have so far.

Rob's Laptop

Rob’s Laptop

Posted in Linux Mint, nix, Scripting

Logstash and Kibana, Sorted!

Working with logstash and kibana in the upcoming weeks. This weekend I thought I would spend sometime learning the ins and outs. Not too Shabby! I will have a a little bit written up shortly with config examples in a few days. I am still working on grok’s and tagging bits.

Version 2


Version 1


Kibana – Logstash – Redis – Syslog – Beaver

Posted in 12.04.4, Linux, Scripting, Ubnutu

VMware Horizon DaaS = Lame

Today I needed a windoze box  to run a vSphere client, ESX had filled up it’s disk. Shocker, I know… So I thought what the hell and signed up for the 7 day free trial of Horizon. The plan was to install putty and the vSphere client. Once installed I could create SSH tunnels with local port forwards for vSphere into the Colo. Seconds later I had the email congratulating me on signing up. Cool right? ehhh no. I logged into the site, it told me I needed a client. I clicked the link to download the IPoPC client, seconds later synaptic told me no dice (could not find vmware-client-viewer). Update your links devs! OK so I went to apt-cache.
apt-cache search vmware-view-client – returned nil

What the hell? I tried again, you know because developers (especially in *nix) have a hard time keeping names straight.

apt-cache search vmware-view
vmware-view-open-client – VMware View Open Client

Booyah! apt-get also installed libboost-signals1.53.

So now I have my client, go to the site and both chrome and firefox have a problem with the URL. Essentially I grabbed what it spit into firefox and plug it into the client manually, just needed to remove vmware-view://. So now that I am logged in all I could really do was open Skype and Office apps, oh and you can go to a handful of sites. I tried downloading putty, negative! What a waste of time. Is it possible to have them  compensate me for the hoops I jumped through for the free trial and it being worthless? lamers!

So whatever, I went CLI on it. Took me 5 minutes to figure out the commands I needed at VMware’s CLI, took VMware 6 hours to delete 400GB of delta.vmdk’s. Lame! Next project, migrate VMware to KVM. :)

Posted in Uncategorized

VMware to Ubuntu 12.04.4 LTS KVM Migration

I’ve been toying with the idea of moving from VMware to KVM for a year now. After moving my media center’s from Win 8 to Ubuntu 13.10 with XBMC. After this move, I now have only one machine on my network running Windows. I guess it’s time! The

Windows box is acting as a file server and converting WKV’s to MP4.  It’s overkill really as the box is a 6 core AMD with 16GB RAM. I have decided that this should be the KVM server. My current ESXi 5.0 server is running a dual core AMD with 8GB of RAM. Perfect for running as file server running Openfiler. Also on the Windows box I am running 5 apps that need to be migrated to VM’s.

Apps to be migrated

  1. Sabnzbsplus
  2. SickBeard
  3. CouchPotatoServer
  4. Headphones
  5. MusicBrainz Server

So for this, I am just going to build out a new VM to store the app’s. I can then download a copy of MusizBrainz server OVF and convert to qcow2.

Check Virtualization Support

 $egrep -c '(vmx|svm)' /proc/cpuinfo

 $cat /sys/hypervisor/properties/capabilities

KVM Install

 $sudo apt-get install libvert
 $sudo apt-get install python-libvirt
 $sudo apt-get install virt-goodies


Change the Virtual Network

 $vi /var/lib/libvirt/network/default.xml
 $/etc/init.d/networking restart
 $virsh net-list --all

Musicbrainz Setup

 $mkdir musicbrainz
 $curl -O
 $tar xvf musicbrainz-server-vmware-2013-10-14.ova

Convert .vmdk to .qcow2

 $qemu-img convert musicbrainz-server-vmware-2013-10-14-disk1.vmdk /var/lib/libvirt/images/musicbrainz/musicbrainz-s erver-2013-10-14-disk1.qcow2

 $vmware2libvirt -f musicbrainz-server-vmware-2013-10-14-disk1.vmx > /var/lib/libvirt/images/musicbrainz/mbrainz.bla

Edit the .xml and change the disk path and extension

 $vi /var/lib/libvirt/images/musicbrainz/

Import the domain from the xml we just converted

 $virsh -c qemu:///system define /var/lib/libvirt/images/musicbrainz/
 $virsh start

 # virsh list
 Id Name State
 3 running

For the apps listed above, follow the README’s

Creating the VM to host the apps was a snap using vmbuilder. Sure it’s a long command, but well work working it out the first time. I created a template “/var/lib/libvirt/images/ubuntu”. Now spinning up new VM’s is super quick.

 $vmbuilder kvm ubuntu --suite=precise --flavour=virtual --arch=amd64 --mirror= --rootsize=60000 --swapsize=8192 --tmpfs=- -o --libvirt=qemu:///system --bridge=br0 --components=main,universe,restricted --templates=/var/lib/libvirt/images/ubuntu/templates --user= --name= --pass= --addpkg=vim --addpkg=acpid --firstboot=/var/lib/libvirt/images/ubuntu/ --mem=2048 -cpus=2 --ssh-user-key=~/.ssh/authorized_keys --hostname= --dest=/var/lib/libvirt/images/

 $virsh list
 Id Name State
 3 running
 5 running

My next post will cover creating a VM template for easy deployments.

Posted in 12.04.4, Media Center, Ubnutu Tagged with: , , ,

Rob’s Media Center Setup

FYI this is a work in progress.

For many years I have been using different file sharing apps to pull content from the internet. During those years I watched my cable bill reach upwards of $200. I would call in from time to time to see what i could take off to make the bill less. Never got the bill down under $150. So as I sat there watching content I downloaded, I wondered if there was a way to automate the manual process I was doing. A few google searches later I had my answer.

This is a list of what you need to automate your media collection. First thing is first, get a UseNET account. I can’t stress this enough,  stay away from bittorrent! Just google bittorent crackdown 2013 and you will understand. I use, safe and encrypted. :)




I use sabnzbd for my usenet client. I have it setup with categories to dump TV to a  staging TV directory and movies to the movies directory, then sabtocouchpotato.exe or sabtosickbeard.exe runs it’s magic and moves to to the TV/Movie drive. This is the list of newsgroups I have started for movies movies_newsgroups. This is my TV list tv_newsgroups.


The ultimate PVR application that searches for and manages your TV shows
Automatically finds new and old episodes for you and it works with your current download client!

An automatic NZB and torrent downloader, just fill in what you want to see and CouchPotato will add it to your “want to watch”-list. Every day it will search through multiple NZBs & Torrents sites, looking for the best possible match. Once a correct release is found, it will send it to uTorrent, Transmission, Sabnzbd or any other app you like.

Headphones is a SABnzbd add-on that automates your music downloading. It’s written in Python so it works on pretty much all systems, and it’s easy to setup and configure. You can import all your favorite artists from iTunes, and keep an eye out for any new albums they might be releasing. It can be configured to work with a few search providers, including NZBMatrix, and Newznab servers. Just enter your account details and you’re ready to go. Installation is just as easy, just download it, and run “python” (you can add a -q or -d in there to daemonize the app)

I installed the three of these on the same windows 8 box. I dedicated a 1 TB drive to movies, 1 to TV and the 3rd I use for Music and a download staging area. To keep storage space low, I am converting MKV to MP4 with Handbreak. This is copy of my script. I run it with a scheduled task, it runs from the root of the drive and searches for *.mkv then re-encodes to filename.mp4. mkvtomp4

I am happy to say I have been without Cable for almost two years now. I get what I want nothing more nothing less. It’s my media, my way. I also use Netflix to suplement my collection. I stream it off my Xbox 360, just as I do with Media Browser.  So all in all, I pay under $80 for FiOS, Usenet and Netflix. I told the cable company I would get my bill under $100. 😉


Media Center Extender: Xbox 360
Media Center: AMD 6 core
x3 1 TB 7,200 RPM HDD’s
256 GB SSD (OS Drive)

Other Software

Windows 8 with Media Center Pack.




Media Browser v2.6.1.0 R (with Neo theme)




Media Center Master v2.06

Media Center Master


DivX Codec Pack


Posted in Media Center, Win 7, Win 8, Windows

New Site… yet again!

Yes, this is the 1,000,000 and 1 reiteration of :) What can I say, I get very bored!


More content coming soon. Patience is a virtue!

Posted in Uncategorized

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