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As mentioned previously, it's possible to install the usual set of command-line tools without the full XCode installation. However this seems to confuse Apache (at least with version 2.2), which is expecting to find a C compiler in the XCode folder:

checking for chosen layout... Apache
checking for working mkdir -p... yes
checking build system type... x86_64-apple-darwin12.2.1
checking host system type... x86_64-apple-darwin12.2.1
checking target system type... x86_64-apple-darwin12.2.1

Configuring Apache Portable Runtime library ...

checking for APR... yes
  setting CC to "/Applications/"
  setting CPP to "/Applications/ -E"
  setting CFLAGS to " "
  setting LDFLAGS to " "

Configuring Apache Portable Runtime Utility library...

checking for APR-util... yes
checking for gcc... /Applications/
checking whether the C compiler works... no
configure: error: in `/Users/ian/src/httpd-2.2.24':
configure: error: C compiler cannot create executables

Posted in Mac OS X | add a comment

Thursday, March 21, 2013  12:24 AM

Using MacPorts without a full XCode installation

As mentioned previously, it's now possible to install XCode's command line tools without installing the entire XCode environment. This is particularly handy when setting up an environment on a remote Mac. However it looks like MacPorts is still expecting to find the full XCode installation and will complain like this:

Some-Mac-mini:~ root# port install somepackage
Error: No Xcode installation was found.
Error: Please install Xcode and/or run xcode-select to specify its location.

Posted in Mac OS X | add a comment

Wednesday, March 20, 2013  11:30 PM

Install XCode command line tools via the command line

Occasionally I've needed to set up some kind of script or even a server application in a remote office, where the only computer with a UNIX-style environment is a Mac. Although OS X comes with a fair amount of tools built-in, these are usually not sufficient for the specialised configuration required, which means I need to compile some applications from scratch and probably install a command-line driven package management system such as MacPorts. To get this up and running of course, I need a compiler and associated tools, which are not built in. These are available from Apple as part of the XCode package; recently the non-IDE parts of XCode have been made available as a separate dmg file.

Posted in Mac OS X | add a comment

Friday, February 1, 2013   2:12 AM

Remove all cookies in SeaMonkey

Occasionally I like to remove a bunch of cookies from a SeaMonkey profile, unfortunately at some point it appears the Great Dumbing Down is spreading even to obscure browsers such as this Netscape descendant, and the "Tools > Cookie Manager > Manage Stored Cookies" dialogue only allows you to delete cookies for individual sites (trying to mark multiple sites no longer works).

Luckily it appears there is a hidden chrome URL which still offers this functionality:


(paste into the address bar).

There's a list of similar useful chrome URLs here:

Posted in WWW | add a comment

Wednesday, January 30, 2013   3:07 AM

Installing Debian VirtualBox GuestAdditions

While installing Debian 6 on VirtualBox, I noticed it evidently detected it was running in VirtualBox and automatically added three virtualbox-ose-guest-* packages to the install, which is nice. However they are somewhat dated - version 3.2.x whereas the GuestAdditions virtual CD mounted by VirtualBox provides 4.1.x.

Remove the existing packages with:

  apt-get remove virtualbox-ose-guest-dkms virtualbox-ose-guest-utils virtualbox-ose-guest-x11

(otherwise the GuestAdditions installer will complain) and reboot to remove installed kernel modules.

The virtual CD does not appear to be startable from a double click - the error "Cannot find the autorun program" pops up - instead run the script directly with:


A further reboot will activate the GuestAdditions.

Posted in Linux | add a comment

After upgrading my development environment to openSuSE 12.1, I started getting a bunch of notices like the below after every Subversion operation which uses SSH:

A    /tmp/svn25825/public/favicon.ico
Exported revision 16786.
Killed by signal 15.

The issue is discussed here; in a nutshell, the solution is to add "-q" to the ssh command invoked by SVN, which is defined in the configuration file (typically ~/.subversion/config). In my case, the line in question now looks like this:

ssh = $SVN_SSH ssh -q -o ControlMaster=no

Note: ensure this line is in the [tunnels] section of the config file.

Posted in Devel | add a comment

I got the following error when building PHP with cURL (on openSuSE 12.1):

/usr/lib64/gcc/x86_64-suse-linux/4.6/../../../../x86_64-suse-linux/bin/ld: ext/curl/.libs/interface.o: undefined reference to symbol 'CRYPTO_set_id_callback'
/usr/lib64/gcc/x86_64-suse-linux/4.6/../../../../x86_64-suse-linux/bin/ld: note: 'CRYPTO_set_id_callback' is defined in DSO /lib64/ so try adding it to the linker command line
/lib64/ could not read symbols: Invalid operation
collect2: ld returned 1 exit status
make: *** [sapi/cli/php] Error 1

Not sure why it's happening, but a look in Makefile showed that EXTRA_LIBS contained "-lcrypt" twice:

EXTRA_LIBS = -lcrypt -lz -lresolv -lcrypt -lpq -lrt -lpq -lpng -lz -ljpeg -lcurl -lrt -lm -ldl -lnsl -lxml2 -lzlcurl -lxml2 -lz -lm -lxml2 -lz -lm -lcrypt -lxml2 -lz -lm -lxml2 -lz -lm -lxml2 -lz -lm -lcrypt

Changing the last "-lcrypt" to "-lcrypto" resolved the problem:

EXTRA_LIBS = -lcrypt -lz -lresolv -lcrypt -lpq -lrt -lpq -lpng -lz -ljpeg -lcurl -lrt -lm -ldl -lnsl -lxml2 -lzlcurl -lxml2 -lz -lm -lxml2 -lz -lm -lcrypt -lxml2 -lz -lm -lxml2 -lz -lm -lxml2 -lz -lm -lcrypto

Posted in Linux | add a comment

Wednesday, February 9, 2011   5:31 AM

magpie-crawler/1.1 (Brandwatch)

I was idly watching some Apache access logs scroll by (well actually I was busy doing something, but like to keep an eye on things to spot any interesting or worrying trends early) and noticed a bunch of entries like this: - - [06/Feb/2011:06:21:23 +0100] "GET /blog/?o=10 HTTP/1.1" 301 290 "-" "magpie-crawler/1.1 (U; Linux amd64; en-GB; +" - - [006/Feb/2011:06:21:33 +0100] "GET /blog/?o=40 HTTP/1.1" 301 290 "-" "magpie-crawler/1.1 (U; Linux amd64; en-GB; +"

Never noticed that UA before, and it never seemed to follow up on the (perfectly valid) 301 redirects. A scan through 3 months of logs shows it's been doing that all the time - what a dumb bot.

Checking the URL provided, this appears to be the home page of a UK-based company providing "Social Media Monitoring Tools" - and who don't have the courtesy to provide any more information about their bot / crawler. Which is evidently not popular in some quarters.

So, as "Brandwatch" provides neither myself not the sites I run with any conceivable benefit, it's on the blocklist they go.

(I wonder if they monitor their own brand?)

Friday, December 10, 2010   1:11 PM

XFCE and Xmodmap

OK, this has been driving me crazy for a bit - all I want to do is map the ol' caps lock key to CTRL using my .Xmodmap, but it seems XFCE4 overrides any settings made in .Xmodmap.

Turns out the solution (at least in Xubuntu 10.10 ,"Maverick Meerkat") is to navigate to "Xfce Menu" > "Settings" -> "Keyboard" and to click the "Use system defaults" option:

XFCE4 Keyboard Settings

On a related note, I wonder if this solution still works...

Posted in Linux | add a comment

Tuesday, August 31, 2010  12:50 AM

Purebot from

I noticed this fella hammering away at one of my sites: - - [31/Aug/2010:02:16:10 +0200] "GET /some/url.html HTTP/1.1" 200 13427 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Purebot/1.1; +" - - [31/Aug/2010:02:16:12 +0200] "GET /some/other/url.html HTTP/1.1" 200 55822 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Purebot/1.1; +"

The URL in the browser UA string appears at first glance to be some kind of search site, but the "category link" on the page are stuffed with the kind of keywords you associate with spam of all kinds and no actual search results were returned for a couple of common keywords.

It now has its own entry in the Bad Bot List and some special rules at firewall level. Hasta la vista.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010   3:45 PM

Web Royalty - ignoble spam

Here at Penguin Blogs, Inc. we get a fair bit of comment spam. Most of it is automatically blocked by a fairly ingenious filter mechanism, but from time to time unknowns get through such as contentless posts like the following:

Very nice posting. I liked it.
thank you for your great posting.
Well that was a nice post

Purportedly this was written by a "Nick Matyas" of "Web Royalty" - what looks to be a legitimate SEO consultancy (look them up yourself, I'm not giving them the benefit of a link) but who are either using underhanded spamming methods, or have made a bad choice in outsourcing their own SEO.

Whatever, their URL is now on the filter list for this and many other sites, so they won't be troubling us here again.

Saturday, November 28, 2009   9:30 AM

Installing a RocketRaid 1740 (rr174x) in Ubuntu 8.04

The RocketRaid 1740 (rr174x) is a  4-channel PCI to Serial ATA II RAID controller, which according to the documentation is "ideal for small business home and office servers, NAS storage, workgroup and web servers". In this case it is being used in a generic PC to create and manage a RAID5 array of 4 1TB disks for a simple data storage facility.

The 174x (and other HighPoint products) have good and well-documented driver support for a range of operating systems including diverse Linux distributions and FreeBSD, see here for details:

It appears the most reliable way to install the driver is to use the "Open Source Driver" provided at the bottom of the drivers page. Follow a fresh installation the following packages need to be installed to do this:

  • gcc
  • make
  • linux-headers-$(uname -r)

Download the .tgz file to a suitable directory, and in the directory product/rr1740pm/linux/ execute "make install". (No need for a prior "make").

Following a reboot the rr174x kernel module should be successfully installed and issuing dmesg | grep rr174x  should produce output like this:

[   27.757987] rr174x: module license 'Proprietary' taints kernel.
[   27.766618] rr174x:RocketRAID 174x controller driver v2.4 (Nov 28 2009 17:49:58)
[   27.766694] rr174x:adapter at PCI 2:4:0, IRQ 18
[   28.342352] rr174x:start channel [0,0]
[   28.343802] rr174x:start channel [0,1]
[   28.345248] rr174x:start channel [0,2]
[   28.346694] rr174x:start channel [0,3]
[   28.556067] rr174x:[0 0] Start channel soft reset.
[   28.556094] rr174x:[0 1] Start channel soft reset.
[   28.556115] rr174x:[0 2] Start channel soft reset.
[   28.556134] rr174x:[0 3] Start channel soft reset.
[   28.956572] rr174x:channel [0,0] started successfully
[   29.088461] rr174x:channel [0,1] started successfully
[   29.210253] rr174x:channel [0,2] started successfully
[   29.322073] rr174x:channel [0,3] started successfully
[   29.416168] scsi2 : rr174x


Update: this works in exactly the same way in Ubuntu 10.4 LTS, so presumably all recent Ubuntu versions, and probably most recent Linux distributions.

Posted in Linux | add a comment