Tag Archives: Linux Mint

Samba and Linux Mint

In my original post on Samba I covered a lot of basics. Recently I learned a bit more using Linux Mint. In Mint Samba is already loaded in the process of installing the OS. I remembered that I had to add all the computers to the same workgroup to get Linux and Windows to play together. But I couldn’t get two Mint machines to work via Samba. Name resolution was the issue.

I kept getting a “Failed to Retrieve Share List from Server” error. I was able to move files from a Mint machine to the Windows machine and then to the other Mint machine. The only thing I had to do is open up permissions on the folder to let Samba write to it. I used the Public folder under the /home/user directory. I would think that adding Samba to my user group would also work, I have checked into this and this is the answer I find…



I did install Winbind thinking that it might help out. Windows machine can see Public folder, go into it and read and write with 777 permissions on it.

winbind is a component of the Samba suite of programs that solves the unified logon problem. Winbind uses a UNIX implementation of Microsoft RPC calls, Pluggable Authentication Modules (PAMs), and the name service switch (NSS) to allow Windows NT domain users to appear and operate as UNIX users on a UNIX machine.



I started with this post which got me sort of there…

Samba Basic – Lesson 1: Samba Simply



Name Resolution with Samba


How to Fix ‘Failed to Retrieve Share List from Server’ in Ubuntu 12.04 / 11.10 when File Sharing with Windows

How to Fix ‘Failed to Retrieve Share List from Server’ in Ubuntu 12.04 / 11.10 when File Sharing with Windows


avconv replaces ffmpeg for Video/Audio Conversion

Recently I wanted to convert an AVI file to an m4v on Linux Mint 17.3. I tried to use ffmpeg, it’s not there. I can’t isntall it…hmmm. So I did some digging, it has been replaced by avconv. To get avconv….

sudo apt-get install libav-tools

To use

Online, I read that there are some syntax differences between ffmpeg and avconv, so I was reluctant to just symlink pointing ffmpeg to avconv and have scripts break.

But I did a quick test taking a good guess…

avconv -i timelapse-wx-station-4-08-to-7-12-2016.avi timelapse-wx-station-4-08-to-7-12-2016.m4v

…and, it worked. Got me a much smaller file than the AVI and worked it’s magic in a short minute or two.

Video of Weather Station from April 8,2016 to July 12,2016

This was what I was testing out with the conversion. Video taken by using fswebcam to gather a still shot of my weather station once per hour on the Raspberry Pi. Once per day the shots are rolled up into an AVI video and stored in a tmp folder which is mounted in RAM. Well the RAM folder does fill up after a while and I copied the file off and saved it on my desktop. This video shows the weather changing from spring to summer.




Creating a Bootable USB Drive

A bootable USB works great, it can be very helpful at times. And it is now so easy to create a bootable USB drive with a Linux Distro of your choice. The bootable USB stick works like the Live CD but with the advantage of persistence. Persistence means you can load programs on the USB drive, unlike the Live DVD. Plus settings are remembered. It also means that you can load tools on it to help rescue a broken computer, Windows or Linux. I have rescued many a PC (Windows) by booting using Linux and copying files off and rescuing them. Or you can replace bad files directly. It is like carrying  a “computer” that you can keep in your pocket and plug into a PC and have it boot right into an environment you have set up for your self. Just be aware that certain PC’s that run Windows 8 try to block the ability to boot off of external devices. You have to go into the BIOS and switch off or over ride this behavior of the so called boot protection. It usually requires one to enter a 4 digit code when you leave the BIOS. Some PC’s flash this briefly, too fast to see in my opinion.

I installed Linux Mint XFCE 32bit on a USB drive recently. XFCE mostly for the fact that XFCE is light and will run on just about any PC, 32 bit will run on both 32 and 64 bit machines. Mint because I haven’t tried it yet and a bootable USB drive would make a good test drive, especially since I can do a lot more than I can with just the Live CD. The USB drive I bought for this was off of eBay, I opted for a USB 3.0 device for the speed when a machine has USB 3.0.

Linux command line using dd

Linux as well using dd to copy from the iso to the usb drive, make sure you know where the drive is mounted when doing this via the command line. Use sudo fdisk -l to list all of your mount points. Alternatively you can use  lsblk and you will see mounted and unmounted devices.

See the sdb1 below all of the info about sda1 ( hard drive )….

Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
 /dev/sda1   *           1        3648    29296875    7  HPFS/NTFS
 /dev/sda2            3648        9729    48850529+   5  Extended
 /dev/sda5            9668        9729      497983+  82  Linux swap / Solaris
 /dev/sda6            3648        9667    48352256   83  Linux
Partition table entries are not in disk order
Disk /dev/sdb: 16.1 GB, 16079781888 bytes
 256 heads, 9 sectors/track, 13631 cylinders
 Units = cylinders of 2304 * 512 = 1179648 bytes
 Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
 I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
 Disk identifier: 0xc3072e18
Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
 /dev/sdb1   *           8       13631    15694808    7  HPFS/NTFS


To burn ISO to sdb1 for example…

sudo dd if=~/Desktop/linuxmint.iso of=/dev/sdb1 oflag=direct bs=1048576

oflag=direct may not always work, leave it out if the copy fails. For more on doing this from Linux see the link below.

Mounting USB Drive from the Linux Command Line

First use fdisk -l or lsblk to find the location of the drive. Then for example to mount a usb drive at /dev/sdc1 to /mnt/sdc1 use…

 sudo mount /dev/sdc1 /mnt/sdc1

You can choose a mountpoint other than mnt, Linux can mount a drive to just about any folder you create. That is the beauty of it over lettered drives like Windows uses.

Universal USB Installer

The Universal USB Installer allows you to do all of this from Windows,

How to create a bootable Linux Mint USB drive using Windows…

 Test Drive

I have tried the drive on a fast machine with USB 3.0. Dell quad core 2.4GHz, 8GB RAM. It does boot fast, not as fast as a hard drive but very reasonable. I was able to stream video and watch TV with it, play DVD’s and adjust the screen saver NOT to come on.