Postings by Valeri Galtsev

OT: android phone backup NOT to google cloud question

Dear All,

My apologies for OT question.

I wonder if someone of Android smartphone owners backs up their device
and user/application data NOT to google cloud.

I just had to get new smartphone, and discovered that short of rooting
device or unlocking bootloader and flashing one of "un-googled" android
builds I can not find the way to back up everything. To my storage, NOT

what writes to /root/.cache/mesa ?

Dear All,

I have several CentOS 7 machines (but not all of them) on which I have
noticed that something gets written to


every so often (once every several days). It is my understanding that
mesa is related to GUI (X11), but on these machines (on neither of my
machines, actually) root never logs in to GUI X11. I may have remote
root logins with Xforwarding though. Hence my puzzle: what is that that
writes to /root/.cache/mesa? Some, but not all of occasions seem to
happen upon machine [re]boots.


PS This gives me dejavu.

OT: good free email service ?

Dear All,

I know it is an oxymoron: good free ... service ;-)

Still, can someone recommend good free email service?

I definitely will not go with google, Microsoft, Apple.

command in kickstart file to write disklabel?

Dear All,

At some point after release of CentOS 7 (though this thing might have
started before, it is just when _I_ noticed it) I discovered that if I
stick into machine drive without disk label, and then do kickstart
installation, the command in kickstart file

clearpart --initlabel

does not work. Even worse: if I just use GUI installer the drive is not
listed between available disks. If I switch in the same installer to some
virtual console

Ctrl + Alt + F2

I can see that the kernel installer run under definitely sees the drive:
/dev/sda is present.

Document/collaboration server advise needed

Dear All,

Three groups of scientists need to write documents collaboratively. They
are going to use MS PowerPoint, Word, also store PDF files. They want to
be able to add external people from other groups they collaborate with
and give them access to some areas or "projects". In other words, they
want some collaborative work environment, mostly to work on documents.

In the past scientists were using TeX, and one of version control
systems (CVS, subversion,...).

/lib/firmware/microcode.dat update on CentOS 6

Dear All,

An update just brought on my CenOS 6 boxes updated microcode.dat files:


Does anybody know off hand what (how critical) is that, as, if it is
related to most famous these days trouble with CPU hardware, I will need
to reboot relevant boxes to have new microcode loaded.

GUI/X11 login and shells other than bash?

Dear Experts,

After one of updates that was released some time ago (a Month ago or maybe
even earlier) I have noticed the following. On the machines with default
runlevel 5 (sorry about old terminology, the new one is still confusing
for me ;-) GUI/X11 login (display manager) lists only users whose default
shell is bash.

Re: [CentOS] Broadcom BCM4360

On Mon, December 4, 2017 1:40 am, Alice Wonder wrote:

Good linux software RAID primer advise

Dear Experts,

Could someone recommend good Linux software RAID primer.

CentOS 7 "Set Up Enterprise Login" after update and reboot

Dear Experts,

Something went astray with one of my systems. Large number of updates were
installed on it all at once at some point. Then after system was rebooted
it does strange thing I haven't seen on other systems. The machine is set
up to boot into graphic login ("runlevel 5" to say it using outdated
language). But before giving login screen upon (re)boot it tries to walk
you through set of screens similar to first login to newly created

OT: some thread on FreeBSD-questions mail list

Someone started some discussion on FreeBSD-questions mail list that may
chime in with some sysadmins on this mail list, so I decided to pass it

<a href="" title=""></a>

Sorry about spam (those who consider it spam).


Valeri Galtsev
Sr System Administrator
Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics
University of Chicago
Phone: 773-702-4247

prevent users from fiddling with network?

Dear Experts,

"this is system from the hell!"

Than was my first reaction when I realized that logged in with GUI (X11)
user can turn off (and on) network interfaces. Without being in sudoers
file. Wow, this is scary to see on workstations I manage centrally. Even
though I did consider local user to be able to execute the command
"shutdown" (which distinguished RedHat and CentOS from other Linux
flavors: after all local user can yank power cord off the wall).

Sorry about my little rant above.

owncloud on CentOS - I have problems installing/updating recently

Dear Experts,

after quite some time of praising ownclowd, I started having problems with
installing and updating desktop owncloud-client on CentOS. Namely, yum
repository points to for rpm/yum based Linux distributions
lives on site (well, for all flavors of Linux, actually). I
remember it smelled fishy for me the first time I installed ownclouud on
CentOS using that repository living at

kernel update/reboot best practice question

Dear All,

Quite some time ago I have noticed that kernel updated quite often "come
in pairs". That is, if there was no kernel update for quite some time,
and, say, today kernel update for some system level (say, CentOS 6) was
released, then it is quite likely that there will be yet one more kernel
update for the same system level 3-5 days later.

Dear All,

Mark has problem sending mail to <a href="mailto: ... at centos dot org"> ... at centos dot org</a> list...

How to avoid "firstboot" in CentOS 7 kickstart

Dear Experts,

Sorry about taking shortcut and asking everybody...

My question is: how do you avoid "firstboot" screen in latest CentOS 7.3

I have installed about a dozen of CentOS 7 (none of which was 7.3) with
that kickstart file. None of them ever went to firstboot screen on first
boot. Now after kickstart installation of CentOS 7.3 it goes into
firstboot screen showing two configuration options:

1. [x] License information
(license accepted)


Re: [CentOS] Noise Cancellation of Server Noise

On Mon, December 26, 2016 9:51 am, Valeri Galtsev wrote:

CVE-2016-5195 “DirtyCOW”: Critical Linux Kernel Flaw

Dear All,

I guess, we all have to urgently apply workaround, following, say, this:

<a href="" title=""></a>

At least those of us who still have important multi user machines running

Dear Experts,

Could someone help Mark with his question. He appears to be blocked from
ability to post to list at the moment.

Disable hybernate/suspend in CentOS 7

Dear Experts,

Could someone point me in the right direction: how can I disable
hybernate/suspend in CentOS 7?

I get workstations for graduate students with decent amount of RAM (32
GB), and for machines with large RAM I either do not have swap at all of
have some small (4 GB) swap. As I remember from older manuals, one has to
have at least twice amount of swap compared to physical RAM for
hybernate/suspend to work. This probably is what bit me: new Dells came
with keyboard that has sleep button, when one hits that button the machine
locks up.

dictionary on centos

Dear All,

Could someone recommend open source dictionary one can install on CentOS 7?

I have a user who needs Chinese-English dictionary. He downloaded it from
some website in China. My problem is: I neither speak nor read Chinese
(were it English, Russian or German I would be OK), so I can not read the
License agreement, and I can not audit this software (or evaluate somehow
else its sanity).

Off Topic: CentOS Public mirror question

Dear All,

My apologies for asking my question on less appropriate list. I did ask it
on <a href="mailto:centos- ... at centos dot org">centos- ... at centos dot org</a>, but that list is really low traffic (and slow
response probably - I only got acknowledgement of my post...). On the
other hand, I'm sure there are many public mirror maintainers on this list
who may help me with my trouble.

Upon replacing faulty machine hosting public mirrors I have noticed that I
can not rsync CentOS (all other mirrors do rsync happily as they did on
failed box).

Re: [CentOS] script to make webpage snapshot

On Thu, August 11, 2016 5:13 pm, Dave Stevens wrote:

script to make webpage snapshot

Dear Experts,

Could someone recommend a script or utility one can run from command line
on Linux or UNIX machine to make a snapshot of webpage?

We have a signage (xibo) and whoever creates/changes content, likes to add
URLs of some webpages there.

CentOS 7 kickstart question

Dear Experts,

Could somebody point to kicstart HOWTO specific for CentOS 7?

On CentOS 7 I somehow am always given human intervention questions about
drive which defeats unattended ks install.

<rant ??>
I'm doing kickstart installations for quite some time, normally I was just
installing system when new release comes, and am basing kickstart file on
anaconda-ks.cfg - with some adoptions from my kickstart configuration for
previous system release. Never had a need to re-learn a set of trivial
things I use (as far back as I remember: CentOS 6, 5, ... Fedora 5, RH 9,
8, 7...).

Re: [CentOS] https and self signed

On Fri, June 17, 2016 10:19 am, James B. Byrne wrote:

Storage cluster advise, anybody?

Dear Experts,

I would like to ask everybody: what would you advise to use as a storage
cluster, or as a distributed filesystem.

I made my own research of what I can do, but I hit a snag with my
seemingly best choice, so I decided to stay away from it finally, and ask
clever people what they would use.

My requirements are:

1. I would like to have one big (say, comparable to petabyte) filesystem,
accessible on more than one machine, composed of disk space leftovers on a
bunch of machines having 1 gigabit per second ethernet connections


Dealing with MS Outlook winmail.dat on Linux mail server

Dear All,

Does someone do anything on your Linux (or UNIX) mail servers to convert
darn proprietary MS Outlook winmail.dat attachments your users may receive
(occasionally if lucky) into readable e-mail format.

I know quick answer to my question (good quick answer would probably be:
just trash them). Still, being involuntarily immersed into corporate world
(even at Educational institution), I'd like to know what clever and wise
people do. I can refer my users to some free online converters and get
over with that.

Help with Intel 6235 Wireless on CentOS 7 (pointer to good reading?)

Dear Experts,

I would like to ask your advise on good reading about how to add WiFi
device, and how to control its settings on CentOS.

Sounds really dumb, but this is what I am NOT able to do on CentOS 7 what
I was able to do in the past, beginning somewhere since RedHat 5 or 6,
through Fedora and up to CentOS 6.

In brief: my card is Intel 6235; CentOS 7 (fully updatted), latest kernel
(3.10.0-229.20.1), relevant Intel firmware version for my card is in
/lib/firmware (together with large bunch of other Intel WiFi firmware),
relevant modules are loaded in kernel:


CentOS 7 CUPS: where queue defaults are stored?

Dear Experts,

CentOS 7 outsmarted me (again...).

Could someone tell me where cups print queues' default settings are stored?

In the past I was doing rather trivial thing: I was setting up prototype
machine (making kickstart file based on it), then I was configuring all
printers on prototype machine. After which (with cups daemon stopped) I
was just packing /etc/cups (and maybe /usr/share/cups/model if extra ppd's
were added). Then as a post-install I was just moving /etc/cups off the
way, and unpacking /etc/cups, and all my printer configuration was there
on newly built machine.