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Finding out the character set of a file in Linux

Submitted by Druss on Tue, 2011-09-27 22:21

It is often important, especially when dealing with databases and such, that files are stored in the correct character set. Failure to do so can result in illegible displays or even data corruption. Checking the character set of a file in Linux can be accomplished using the file command:

Jubal@Stranger:$ file migrate1.csv
migrate1.csv: Little-endian UTF-16 Unicode English text, with CRLF, LF line terminators
Jubal@Stranger:$ file migrate2.csv

MySQL charset issues while importing data using LOAD DATA INFILE

Submitted by Druss on Tue, 2011-09-27 20:47

Earlier today, I was banging my head against the wall trying to import some data in a CSV file into MySQL. While my imports have gone well thus far, this time around I was dealing with data involving lots of strange diacritics, runic squiggles and other manners of gibberish that make the world as fun as it can be. In other words, I was dealing with Unicode.

Vim/Gvim and missing line numbers in the interface

Submitted by Druss on Sat, 2011-09-24 00:32

I'm not sure whether it was something I did, something that the Vim developers did, or an anomaly with the Windows 7 binary, but I could no longer see the line number and cursor position tracker in the bottom right of my interface. Looking at the menus, I could find nothing. I could turn on a line number prefix for each bleeding line, but this is not what I was after.

Kubuntu: Moving an installation hard drive from one system to another

Submitted by Druss on Sat, 2011-08-27 02:58

One of my local servers died a quiet death last week. Much as I tried to revive the li'l bitch, she refused to accede to my plaintive entreaties. She is now consigned to a forlorn corner and I am yet to see to her last rites. In the meantime, I have recently introduced a new addition to my family of servers through the cannibalisation of older (and now retired) members of the same. So, I settled on trying to see if I could save the soul of my now recently defunct Kubuntu box by simply transferring its hard drive to this new server. When I tried to do so, this is what transpired:

Implementing a shutdown timer in Linux

Submitted by Druss on Fri, 2011-08-19 02:38

Even when compared to the simplicity of Windows 7's shutdown function, Linux goes a step further in flexibility and ease of use. Shutting down a system at 8 AM in Linux is as easy as saying shutdown 8:00 in a terminal. To explicitly state that the system should power down after shutting down, we would expand it to shutdown -h 8:00. Alternatively, if we want to perform a reboot, the switch would change to shutdown -r 8:00.

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Configuring Vim/Gvim to use spaces instead of TABs for indentation

Submitted by Druss on Wed, 2011-08-10 03:00

Some people like to indent their code using TABs. I used to like doing this. I still think that it's a good idea. But circumstances have dictated for the past several years that I need to indent using spaces instead. My favourite command-line editor in Linux and text editor in Windows is VIM / Gvim (where Gvim is basically Vim with a GUI). To configure this editor to override its default and use spaces instead of TABs for indentation, perform the following steps:

SSH password-less login using PuTTY on Windows

Submitted by Druss on Thu, 2011-06-30 00:27

So, if you, like me, have to resort to PuTTY sometimes to SSH into a Linux box, I'm sure that you have also subjected yourself to much gnashing of teeth at the lack of a Windows solution to password-less logins into your server. For the uninitiated, password-less SSH allows you to log into a server without manually authenticating yourself.

Linux: Finding all the members of a group

Submitted by Druss on Tue, 2011-05-17 11:00

Finding all the members of a group is an occasional requirement and while there are a number of ways to do this by parsing the /etc/group and /etc/password files, Debian/Ubuntu come with a simpler solution that performs all this skulduggery for you. This is the members function that can simply be installed using sudo apt-get install members . Once this is done, members of a group named foo can be listed using:

Bind error: zone example.com/IN: NS 'ns1.example.com' has no address records (A or AAAA)

Submitted by Druss on Thu, 2011-05-12 23:44

While checking the logs of my server, I ran into the following errors:

May 11 18:00:04 named[31875]: zone example.com/IN: NS 'ns1.example.com' has no address records (A or AAAA)
May 11 18:00:04 named[31875]: zone example.com/IN: NS 'ns2.example.com' has no address records (A or AAAA)
May 11 18:00:04 named[31875]: zone example.com/IN: NS 'ns3.example.com' has no address records (A or AAAA)

I ran into the same errors when I checked the zone files themselves using:

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