Create virtual machine in VirtualBox from real partition

If you already have Windows 10 (Technical Preview) installed on a real partition and you want to boot it from Linux Ubuntu you can do so very easily. I assume you have VirtualBox installed. Get it at otherwise.

At first find out what your Windows 10 parition is. You can use blkid for that.

It will give you output similar to the following:

/dev/sde1: LABEL="win10" UUID="75C..." TYPE="ntfs"
/dev/sdd1: LABEL="Data" UUID="723..." TYPE="ntfs"

When I partitioned my drives I already named the partition “win10” so it is easy to spot later on. In my case the partition is sde1 and the disk is sde.

sudo VBoxManage internalcommands createrawvmdk -filename win10.vmdk -rawdisk /dev/sde

This will create our virtual machine disk from the real partition.

Hit Alt-F2 and enter gksudo VirtualBox (we have to run it as root for physical partitions)

Create a new virtual machine and use Windows 8.1 (64-Bit) as your operating system. (“Other Windows” won’t work and will give you the error 0x0000005D if you try to boot it)

Assign it a proper amount of RAM. Then select “Use an existing virtual hard drive file” and select the previous created vmdk-file. Now boot into your virtual machine. Windows 10 now needs to repair (don’t worry, it’s because of the changed file system) and restart.

You should now be able to boot into Windows 10 from Ubuntu.

Flattr this!

Create a bootable Windows 10 USB drive from Linux Ubuntu

If you want to try out Windows 10 on your machine (and not within a virtual machine) and only have Linux operating systems around you and no DVD burner (or don’t want to spend a blank DVD) and a 4.3 GB USB drive you may want to follow this guide.

You can download the “Windows 10 Technical Preview ISO” from Microsoft for free as long as it isn’t released. Grab it from

As the current version of UNetbootin obviously is missing the required “show all drives”-feature to copy to a user-selected partition you need to download the older Version 494 from

At first we need to create a NTFS partition on the drive. I used gparted for that. Find the current partition of your USB drive, unmount and remove it and create a new one with NTFS as the file system type. Remember the device name of your USB drive as stated in gparted. In my case it was “/dev/sdl1”.

Now mount the USB drive again. Mark the previously downloaded unetbootin as executable and start it.

Choose diskimage and find the downloaded Windows 10 ISO.

Then check “Show all drives” and select the device name from your USB drive. Press “OK” and we’re almost done.

Depending on the possible transfer speed the copy step will require some time to finish and will stay at 55% for quite some time. So don’t abort the copy process without waiting a little bit.

Flattr this!

Starting Ubuntu Server with Chromium as the only graphical application

I have a personal server at home with JIRA, Stash, Jenkins, Nagios and the like installed on it. I wanted to frequently see the status of those applications and also the visitor count from my Piwik installation.

My server:

Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description: Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS
Release: 14.04
Codename: trusty

So I decided that my server should start up with the chromium browser that will open a custom html page which will switch between the various sites automatically.

We start with installing the required packages:

sudo apt-get install xorg chromium-browser

Then set up an init script that will be invoked on startup.

sudo vim /etc/init.d/monitor

In this script we basically just start the X server with the browser: (wrapped in an usual service script)

xinit /usr/bin/chromium-browser --app=http://localhost/monitor/monitor.html --user-data-dir=/home/klaus/.config/chromium &

Now we add the script to the runlevels:

update-rc.d monitor defaults 99 01

This will start the monitor as the last item and kills it the first. More information can be found here.

The browser will not start in fullscreen. For this to work, you have to edit the following file (adapt path accordingly of course):

sudo vim /home/klaus/.config/chromium/Default/Preferences


Flattr this!

Check_mk and Ubuntu 14.04 Server

If you want a quick monitoring solution with a comprehensive list of automatically generated checks then check_mk is the way to go.

Requirements for this guide

  • Ubuntu 14.04 Server
  • Running Nagios3 installation


On the systems that you want to monitor you have to install the check-mk-agent and the xinetd package from the Ubuntu repos. Also recommended is the check-mk-agent-logwatch package.

Open the /etc/xinetd.d/check_mk file and change the disabled attribute from yes to no. Also uncomment the only_from attribute and adapt accordingly.

Restart the xinetd daemon:

/etc/init.d/xinetd restart

And check if the agent port is open:

netstat -tulpn | grep 6556



On the system where the Nagios installation is running, install the check-mk-server package.

Adapt the check_mk configuration found at:

vim /etc/check_mk/

Insert the hosts you want to monitor.

Make an inventory of the hosts by running the following command:

su nagios -c "check_mk -I"

Check_mk will now automatically retrieve the possible checks for the hosts! Awesome! 😉

Write out the configuration by running the following:

su nagios -c "check_mk -O"

And restart Nagios. Voilá!

If you want nice visualizations of your data, then you also have to install the pnp4nagios package.

Flattr this!