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Mandriva Linux 2008 and vncserver

I mentioned a few days ago that I ordered parts for a new webserver. I picked up the pieces on Saturday, and finished the physical assembly in a couple of hours. It is a very compact and, dare I say, “cute” box. I’ll have to take some pictures of it once everything is finished.

I was making such good progress on Saturday that I started right in to the OS install and config. Install of Mandriva Linux 2008 went very smoothly, but post install config caused me some grief.

  • First, there was a problem with the screen saver… basically, the power management features of X Windows powered off the display output, and no amount of moving the mouse around or tapping the keyboard would fix the problem. I overcame the issue (I hope) by turning the display power management feature
  • Second, vncserver (tightvnc-server) refused to launch generating a “fatal” error due to not being able to find any fonts. I corrected this problem by installing the xfs (X windows font server) package
  • Third, vncserver corrupts all keyboard input. The display and mouse works fine remotely, but anything typed turns into gibberish. Apparently I am not alone in experiencing this problem, but there doesn’t seem to be a solution yet

While trying to correct these various problems, i successfully broke my install three times in succession. Since the install is so new, I decided to re-install the OS each time so that I would have a “clean” build. But that means that my progress has been… disrupted. At one point, I had all of my MySQL databases migrated and was starting to think I might have an 80% complete working replacement for my webserver in place today- unfortunately, that has been undone. I’m giving up for now, with the server sitting on my desk in a seemingly functional but incomplete state. I’ll see how it looks in the morning.

To make things even more interesting, my wireless hub died on me. Fortunately, I still had my ancient but not-so-secure Linksys sitting on a shelf, so I have basic wireless back again. The timing is crappy, though- I want to buy a new Apple Airport Time Capsule 802.11n/Gigabit wired Ethernet/NAS device, but that’s not quite shipping yet. Ah well, life is full of challenges.

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