Category Archives: Linux

Recovering from a Botched CrunchBang Upgrade

I recently botched an upgrade of the kernel in my CrunchBang VM and it broke the X window system leaving me staring at a black screen after boot. Thankfully it wasn’t terribly difficult to fix. See below for the steps to take to re-apply the upgrades and make the system bootable once again.

When initially booting, CrunchBang shows a Grub menu with the kernel to boot and another option with the same kernel in recovery mode. Choose this second kernel option to log in as root and then run these commands in single-user mode.

First we need to get the network interface up:

# ip link set eth0 up

Next we need to get an IP address using DHCP:

# dhclient eth0

Let’s see how the interface looks now:

# ifconfig eth0

And now we can run the update process again:

# apt-get update
# apt-get dist-upgrade

Reboot and it should all just work now:

# shutdown -r now

This is not a cure-all for all booting problems, but for a botched kernel upgrade this did the trick for me!

Optimizing CrunchBang Linux for VirtualBox

CrunchBang is an excellent version of Linux to run in VirtualBox due to the fact that it’s a nimble Openbox Linux distribution. That being said, the OS still requires tweaking after install in a VM to get the most performance and satisfaction out of it. I’ve put together a guide to walk one through the installation and optimization settings. So take this opportunity to grab the requisite softwares:

And then click here to see how it’s done.

LFS Slackware VirtualBox Appliance

I’ve created an optimized Linux From Scratch build environment using Slackware 14.0 and exported it as an Oracle VirtualBox Appliance to ease installation. The size was kept to minimum (less than 200 MB) and the packages included are as follows.

You can get the appliance here.

You can get the tagfiles to modify your Slackware ISO as well as a floppy image with the tagfiles included here.

NOTE: Login as root with password slack

Linux From Scratch Build Environment

Would you like to build Linux From Scratch but are unsure of the optimum environment in which to do so? If so, then this how-to is for you. I’ll be showing you how to install a customized Slackware Linux virtual machine that you can utilize to build Linux From Scratch. The advantage of doing this in a VM is that you leave your base OS untouched and can easily revert to prior images or even start again from scratch (no pun intended) if needed. Unfortunately, according to the LFS site, the LiveCD is no longer maintained (and which was the preferred host for building LFS):

Note: The LiveCD is no longer being maintained. However, it still works well for many purposes, such as a rescue disk. The packages and the rendered LFS book on the CD are quite out of date.


With that said, this how-to is one avenue to proceed and build your LFS in a host that is sure to work without issues. Keep in mind there are other LiveCD type environments (Knoppix for example), but I’ve never found a better one than what I’ll show you here. So roll up your sleeves, grab a cup of Joe or a pint, and get ready to get your geek on.

Click here for the how-to.