Category Archives: OS

SDU m-drive Personal Network Folder on Linux Machines

I’ve written this guide before somewhere, but always fails to find it when I need it, so here is again. A guide for students and employees at University of Southern Denmark SDU for mounting their personal folder, the m-drive, on a Linux machine.

First step is to figure out what the path to your m-drive is… on a Windows machine find the folder, right click and select properties. On the tab “DFS” there is a full path to the folder. The path displayed in the title bar, which includes something like “\dfs\data” in it, is not the right one. For employees of the Technical Faculty the path currently is: “\\tek-data0a.tek.c.sdu.dk\tekansatte”

You need “smbfs” and “cifs-utils” installed on your machine. On an Ubuntu machine write: “sudo apt-get install smbfs” in a terminal and you’ll get all the necessary components.

You can now mount the m-drive from a terminal with the following command:

sudo mount -t cifs -o username=<username>,domain=<domain>,password=<password>,iocharset=utf8,codepage=unicode,uid=1000,gid=1000 //tek-data0a.tek.c.sdu.dk/tekansatte/<username> /mnt

where you need to change <username>, <password> and <domain> to reflect your information. Also the path, in this case “//tek-data0a.tek.c.sdu.dk/tekansatte/<username>” should be changed to what you were seeing in the properties of the m-drive. Notice the backslashes have been changed into forward slashes.

For a permanent mount add the following to fstab:

//tek-data0a.tek.c.sdu.dk/tekansatte/<username>       /var/m-drive    cifs    credentials=/root/.smbpasswd_mdrive,_netdev,iocharset=utf8,codepage=unicode,uid=1000,gid=1000

where the credentials are stored in a file in the /root folder.

See here, here and here for more information, including credentials, _netdev and isocharset.

Kernel Panic

Recovering encrypted home folders in Ubuntu

Yesterday was my first day back in the office after a 6-months stay at UCSC and some leave and obviously my computer insisted on having a number of updates installed immediately when I got it started. A distribution upgrade to Ubuntu 11.04 was available, so I decided to go with that. After the download was done, and about halfway through the installation of the updates the computer ran out of disk space… and got completely stuck. Lots of I/O errors flooding the consoles, the installation process not getting anywhere, unable to open and close programs etc. I left the computer running, but eventually it crashed completely and rebooted. Next step was kernel panic… so it was time for a reinstall.

I booted into Ubuntu 11.04 Live from a CD and got access to the machine. Next step was to get the files out of my encrypted home folder. The home folder contained two files, a .desktop file and a readme file. The desktop file did nothing but make Nautilus complain about something untrusted and the readme tells you to run ecryptf-mount-private. That resulted in an error, basically saying that the home folder is not set up correctly, but no information on what is wrong, or how to correct that. Instead your left on your own. After googeling and trying several suggested solutions I found a method to get access to the encrypted folder. All you need is your old username and login password. No need for the encryption key / mount password.

First mount the partition with your home folder somewhere, for example in /mnt:

sudo mount /dev/sdXXX /mnt

Then move the existing home folder of the live system to somewhere else:

sudo mv /home /cdhome

Now make a symbolic link from the old home folder in the mount you did and to the root of the live system:

sudo ln -s /mnt/home /home

Then create a new user with the username that matches the username you had on the system with the encrypted home folder:

sudo adduser xyzw

and go through all the questions. Finally, su into that username:

sudo su xyzw

and with a little luck, you will be asked for the login password that matches the encrypted folder. That password is the last login password you had on the system the folder came from, not the password you just made when you created the user in the previous step.

Using Evolution Mail Client With Exchange At University of Southern Denmark (SDU)

It is possible to connect to and use the Exchange hosted mail and calendar at University of Southern Denmark (SDU) with the Evolution mail client under Ubuntu.

You will need the Evolution client and the Evolution MAPI plugin, as well as a VPN connection to SDU’s network if your computer is not on the local network. I have described my VPN connection setup here (in Danish, ask for translation).

Evolution is installed by default in all Ubuntu versions, and probably on any system that uses Gnome. Since 12/2009 SDU is using Exchange 5.5 which is not supported in Evolution. Instead you will have to rely on the Evolution MAPI plugin. In Ubuntu this can be installed with the following command:
sudo aptitude install evolution-mapi

After installing start Evolution and add a new account. Select the Exchange MAPI type and fill in the appropriate fields. You will need the host name of the mailbox server, which can be found by logging in to your webmail account. When logged in to the webmail system, follow the settings link, and select the about menu option. In my case the information is listed under the entry mailbox server name. Put the server name in the Server field. The username is your normal domain username, and the domain is your normal logon domain e.g. TEK, SDU etc.

That is it…