Debian 6 live USB flash drive

I got this from different locations and put the pieces together until I came up with the 10 step solution. Note that you need a running Linux in order to perform the given tasks. I don't know about Windows or MacOS. I will only pin down the several steps. I will not explain how to perform the single tasks. These are computer basics and you should know them already, otherwise: Google is your friend.

You should get any debian-6.0*.iso you like as bootable on an USB flash drive with this steps, as long as the flash drive is big enough for the contents of the iso and you know how to transfer the steps for your desired *.iso. I used the live-gnome one.

1. Format your USB flash drive with FAT16

2. Download your favorite debian*.iso via torrent from the debian site.

3. Extract the contents of the debian*.iso to your flash drive (yeah, extract. With an archiv manager or else.)

On your Flash Drive:

4. rename the folder isolinux to syslinux

5. open syslinux and rename isolinux.cfg to syslinux.cfg

6. open syslinux.cfg, stdmenu.cfg and exithelp.cfg in an editor and change any isolinux to syslinux

In a terminal:

8. run install-mbr /dev/sdX just to make sure, the stick has a mbr to boot from (X stands for the letter of your flash drive.)  

9. run syslinux /dev/sdX1 to install a simple bootloader

10. create a file syslinux.cfg on your stick and put following lines into it (if you want to start any other kernel than the live one, you may change it):

default live/vmlinuz
append initrd=live/initrd.img

Now boot from the stick. When Prompted "MBR FA:" press a, when promp

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Schlagwörter: linux

VirtualBox mouse problem in ubuntu 10.10

Sometimes it really drives you nuts.

Recently I had this problem (recently? since 10.04!): When trying to work with Windows in VirtualBox, it happened that the mouse pointer was not working for 2-3 seconds every 30 seconds. Obvious that you cannot work with such behaviour, so I did not for quite a time now and booted into windows if I needed it.

Google search did not bring a solution. Nobody seems to have this problem, so what now? Reinstall the box? Setting up a new windows? No.

The solution was easy in the end. I just looked at the german ubuntu user guide and found out that you need to do some extra work in order to get usb devices running like expected, if you have problems. Since my Logitech laser mouse is an usb device, I tried the upcoming solution and it worked!


As advised I set up a directory like this:

sudo mkdir /mnt/vm-usb 

I found out that the 'id' command does not show the vboxusers id, so I had to get the id of the group like this:

cat /etc/group | grep vboxusers


After I had the id of the vboxusers group (124 in my case) I opened the fstab file,

sudo gedit /etc/fstab


and replacing <id vboxusers> with 124 (id of the group on my system) I inserted this information at the end of fstab:

# usb nach virtualbox durchschleifen
none /mnt/vm-usb usbfs noauto,devgid=<id vboxusers>,devmode=664 0 0


after restarting Windows in the Virtual Box, mouse worked fine and seamless.  

Schlagwörter: linux

ALPS Touchpad Scrolling support

Since I loose vertical scrolling support, every time I update the kernel and have to patch it again, I write a small "How-To".

This is for my Dell Latitude E5410 ALPS Touchpad, which have a lot of problem, not only on Dells. Simply because ALPS is very, very closed regarding open drivers or specifications (what makes no commercial sense, since they earn money with selling hardware, not with selling drivers for it).

This experience, however, forces me to not buy any Laptop with ALPS hardware anymore in the future. If you are a linux user and want to buy a new Laptop, ask your hardware vendor what Touchpad is used in your laptop. Do NOT buy machines with ALPS hardware or you will get problems with it.

This How-To is for ubuntu maverick (10.10) 32bit and the generic 2.6.35 Kernel. If you want to patch other kernels you have to search or the appropriate patch, compiled against your kernel, in the bugreport or patch and compile the psmouse.ko module by yourself.


Now to the task:

Backup the original psmouse module. You might end up with no mouse support at all after patching and want to undo the changes.

sudo cp /lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel/drivers/input/mouse/psmouse.ko /lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel/drivers/input/mouse/psmouse.ko.backup

Now download the psmouse.ko module from https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bug/550625/comments/194. The patch disables clicks when tabbing on the touchpad (this feature is annoying if you are writing text directly on the laptop and your arm accidentally tabs the touchpad) and enables vertical scrolling on 2.6.35 gerneric 32bit Kernels.
If you want to patch other kernels you have to search for the appropriate patch in the bugreport or patch and compile the psmouse.ko module by yourself.

If you have your correct psmouse.ko fi

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Schlagwörter: linux

wireless keyboard mm keys mouse issues

I recently bought a Microsoft Arc keyboard to work with my ubuntu 10.10 maverick system and I am very happy with it.

Only one problem occured: When I hit one of the multimedia keys on it (Volume up, down or mute) my left mouse button stopped working. It seems like pressing a multimedia key is forcing a pushed down left mousebutton until you restart the x-server.

Really annoying, but the ubuntu guys have a fix for ubuntu maverick 10.10 in launchpads bugtracker already.

Install this Package for 32bit systems or this one for 64bit systems and reboot your system.

The annoying keyboard/mouse issue is gone.


Should work for ubuntu lucid 10.04 and other keyboards with multimedia Keys (Microsoft, HP, A4Tech) which suffer from this issue, too.

Schlagwörter: linux

change nautilus side pane colour

[UPDATE 18.01.2011]
Finally somebody had the same problem like me and came up with a better solution. The problem with what I wrote: Changes get lost on nautilus updates.

To get the "real deal", stick to Joeys How-To at OMG! ubuntu. Thanks for reading.


to change the side pane colour in nautilus, open the gtkrc file for your theme


sudo gedit /usr/share/Ambiance/gtk-2.0/gtkrc

and add

style "treeview-mod"
    GtkTreeView::even_row_color   = "#F2F1F0"
widget "*NautilusNavigationWindow*" style "treeview-mod"

only issue: when switching the view to treeview, the background changes, too. But thats not so bad as you mostly use treeview when the folder is full, so that you never see the background in treeview anyway.

I did this with nautilus elementary mod, so I do not know if it fully works with the standard nautilus. 

Take a look at these threads at ubuntuforums to get your own clues:

have fun customizing your nautilus. If not, just stick to the standard themes. ;)
Schlagwörter: linux