Moving Grub from the MBR to the Install Partition

I realize this is nothing new to experienced Linux users, but I figured I’d document the process I used to move GRUB from the master boot record (MBR) of my notebook’s hard drive to the partition where I had Linux installed. I got the steps straight out of the Ubuntu forums as a result of a Google search for “move grub mbr.” The reason I am moving it is because, as I write this, I am using TrueCrypt to encrypt my entire Windows partition. To be able to boot Linux, I needed to move GRUB to make room for the TrueCrypt boot loader, since the MBR ain’t big enough for the both of them!
So, the process was:

  1. Identify the partition in which Linux is installed.
    Look for the / partition, which, in my case, is /dev/sda2 (as /dev/sda1 is where Windows lives on this machine).
  2. sudo grub-install /dev/sda2
    Voila! GRUB now lives in /dev/sda2 (as well as in the MBR).

Of course, there’s no real way to verify that this will work until you overwrite the MBR with something else, as GRUB still lives in the MBR, so effectively nothing has changed. In my case, I installed the TrueCrypt boot loader in the MBR. I then booted and selected my Linux partition from the TrueCrypt boot loader, which brought up my friendly GRUB boot menu! Now assured that things were working and that I could get back into Linux, even if I somehow hosed my Windows partition, I continued on with encrypting the entire partition.

Christopher Moore's "Practical Demonkeeping"

I just read Christopher Moore’s book, “Practical Demonkeeping.” It was a great little read. Think “Stephen King or Neil Gaiman with some of the seriousness replaced with humor” and that’s what you get. I believe this was Moore’s first published work, released in 1992. It mixes old legends and mysticism with a great plot that, despite having many characters, is easy to follow without leading you by the nose. Highly recommended.

Stop Stealing My Focus!

A few weeks ago, my friend Dave Yates announced in his podcast how he accidentally typed his IRC password into the chat room that he was in. I can easily see how this could happen, while someone was trying to identify themselves to the server. To prevent this, he could have taken a couple of steps to ensure that he was not typing into an active chat window, so that even if he had made the same typo, his password would not be exposed. Alternately, just being careful might have prevented this.
Then again, it might not have… Continue reading “Stop Stealing My Focus!”

Installing Ubuntu Netbook Interface

I decided to give the (recently much-ballyhooed) Ubuntu Netbook Remix a try on one of my virtual machines. Here are the steps I followed to get it installed:
sudo su
cat >> /etc/apt/sources.list
deb hardy main
apt-get update
apt-get install go-home-applet window-picker-applet maximus human-netbook-theme \ ume-launcher
Once installed, I logged off, then logged back in and wham! I was in the new interface. Except, I wanted to see what it would look like on a small screen. I changed my resolution to 800×480, and it fits great, but the fonts did not scale accordingly, so they were unreadable.
I figured the quick fix might be to uninstall the packages I added, set my resolution to 800×480, then install them, because presumably it would detect and choose the correct font size then.
That didn’t work so well. I was able to remove and re-install the packages, but now the new interface won’t come up, and all I have is a little GNOME desktop.