27 November 2010

FTP synchronization

I have found a very nice way of synchronizing local and remote directories over ftp using lftp and following this easy-to-understand article at

The procedure is quite simple. To download from the server you need to create a file named download.x and write (with your data):

open -u user,password -p [port] [server]
mirror -c -e /remote_directory /local_directory

To upload files to the server you need to create another file named upload.x and write (with your data):

open -u user,password -p [port] [server]
mirror -c -e -R /local_directory /remote_directory

To download files simply type 'lftp -f download.x' at the command line.
To upload files simply type 'lftp -f upload.x' at the command line.

That's it. Of course you can automatize these actions with cron or anacron.

01 November 2010

Writing hybrid .iso images (howto)

I'm writing this short blog entry on how to write hybrid .iso images because I have found very little useful information on the net myself. There is no technical info here, just simple, easy to follow steps because in fact it is a very straightforward logical thing to do.

After some time trying GNU/linux live cds, I had almost mastered the art of burning iso images to cds (and dvds). Some time before the debian live project was started I began to become familiar with the .img images to copy to usb pendrives. Well, sometimes I used .iso and sometimes .img. Depending on the target: cd or usb.

The present

And then some day a new technology appeared: Hybrid images. The word hybrid is self-explanatory enough. They can be burnt to any device. There is no need to choose between iso or img anymore. Just download hybrid isos and that's it. Burning isos to cds is a straightforward usual thing. You can use wodim at the command line or alternatively use your preferred GUI program to burn isos: K3b, brasero, gnomebaker, xcdroast or whatever. At the command line simply type:

 ~$ wodim -v speed=0 dev=/dev/hdc  debian-live-60alpha2-i386-gnome-desktop.iso

And when it comes to copying them to a usb pendrive? Here is where I found myself at a loss. I googled for information but I couldn't find the answer. But nevermind, it's as easy as a horse to ride. Just treat the hybrid iso as a normal img file. I always use dd. Follow these steps.

1. Open a terminal.
2. cd to where the iso image is located. For instance:
  ~$ cd downloads
3. Type: dd if="input file" of="output file" For instance:
  ~$  dd if=debian-live-60alpha2-i386-kde-desktop.iso of=/dev/sda1
It's easy to do!!!

The future

Well, I hope this helps. I was in doubt whether this information could be useful or not. Perhaps it is so evident that noone has any question regarding the subject. But just in case ... here it is.

The future will bring new technologies and hopefully we'll be there to try them out, to give our opinion on them and if possible to suggest ideas and improvements, that's what we are up to!!!