Play all media formats on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Desktop

I still remember the first time I test-drove Mandriva Linux (formerly known as Mandrake), I could run every other audio and video format out-of-the-box without downloading anything (it was a dialup modem era so downloading was a pain-in-the-rear).

Many years after, I finally installed Ubuntu 14.04 LTS on my new laptop but it does not recognize some of my mp3 files and im like “Are you kidding me?”

Im glad I found a solution, there is a package called ubuntu-restricted-extras (read the Wikipedia entry and Ubuntu documentation) that you can install and it support all major media formats, Codecs and even Flash Player. To install, you need to run

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

Legal Notice Patent and copyright laws operate differently depending on which country you are in. Please obtain legal advice if you are unsure whether a particular patent or restriction applies to a media format you wish to use in your country.

Error: Could not stat() command file ‘/var/lib/nagios3/rw/nagios.cmd’!

Error: Could not stat() command file ‘/var/lib/nagios3/rw/nagios.cmd’!

The external command file may be missing, Nagios may not be running, and/or Nagios may not be checking external commands.

An error occurred while attempting to commit your command for processing.

Return from whence you came


Just do the following

root@nagios:~# ls -l /var/lib/nagios3/rw/nagios.cmd
prw-rw---- 1 nagios nagios 0 Aug 11 22:27 /var/lib/nagios3/rw/nagios.cmd
root@nagios:~# chmod -R g+x /var/lib/nagios3/rw
root@nagios:~# ls -l /var/lib/nagios3/rw/nagios.cmd
prw-rwx--- 1 nagios nagios 0 Aug 11 22:27 /var/lib/nagios3/rw/nagios.cmd
root@nagios:~# service nagios3 restart

Also change group of the file

root@nagios:~# ls -l /var/lib/nagios3/rw/nagios.cmd
prw-rw---- 1 nagios nagios 0 Aug 11 22:27 /var/lib/nagios3/rw/nagios.cmd
root@nagios:~# chown nagios:www-data /var/lib/nagios3/rw/nagios.cmd

And also, you may need to do the following and restart apache afterwards

root@nagios:~# usermod -G nagios www-data
root@nagios:~# service apache2 restart

Note: This tutorial is written keeping in mind Ubuntu distribution, on CentOS, things are a little different

How to find specific files and send alerts

Maintaining a shared hosting server is a full time job but tools and proper checks and balances can help make this burden lot less. I manage a shared hosting server for one of my friends and numerous times the scripts that people have installed over on their websites have vulnerabilities and hackers exploit it to upload stuff that mass-email or do other nasty stuff. Luckily, most of these exploits have common patterns like files names or other signatures that make them traceable (most of the time the so called hackers are just kiddy scripts)

Create a file and put this in it

find /home -name '*' | mail -s '[Woodcrest] Phishing Alert!'
find /home -name 'rout.php' | mail -s '[Woodcrest] Phishing Alert - Mail Bomber!'

This is a small script that finds specific named scripts in the /home directory (mostly cPanel servers). You can put this in the crontab to do a scan every x hours or so.

Have any questions or comments? feel free to post them below!

package-cleanup: command not found

I tried to do package-cleanup and found this

root@ns1 [~]# package-cleanup --problems
-bash: package-cleanup: command not found

If I was on Ubuntu, I would have done “apt-get install package-cleanup” but it does not work that way on CentOS, its actually available in yum-utils package, install it by typing

yum install yum-utils


How to configure repos to not overwrite base packages?

The greatest fear with adding additional and especially third party repos such as EPEL (we did a blog post on how to install EPEL earlier) is that it MAY overwrite base packages and bring the system to an unstable state.

We can fix this issue by installing Yum Priorities plugin

on CentOS 5:

yum install yum-priorities

on CentOS 4 or CentOS 6:

yum install yum-plugin-priorities

Then make sure that the plugin is enabled

nano /etc/yum/pluginconf.d/priorities.conf

Now there are two ways to do it, either set HIGHEST priority to CentOS repos OR set lowest priority to other repos. This is done by adding the line

# N=1 highest priority
# N=99 lowest priority

In this blog post, I will set 1 as the priority (highest) for my CentOS Base repo

nano /etc/yum.repos.d/CentOS-Base.repo

So that it becomes

# CentOS-Base.repo
# The mirror system uses the connecting IP address of the client and the
# update status of each mirror to pick mirrors that are updated to and
# geographically close to the client.  You should use this for CentOS updates
# unless you are manually picking other mirrors.
# If the mirrorlist= does not work for you, as a fall back you can try the
# remarked out baseurl= line instead.

name=CentOS-$releasever - Base

#released updates
name=CentOS-$releasever - Updates

Other repos do not need updating since I have assigned CentOS repos with the highest priority. The default priority for repositories is 99.

How to change time and/or timezone in CentOS

Generically, I use this

Change directory to /etc

[root@testbed ~]# cd /etc

Now create a symbolic link (aka symlink) to the timezone e.g. Asia/Karachi (for Pakistan standard time)

[root@testbed etc]# ln -sf /usr/share/zoneinfo/Asia/Karachi localtime
[root@testbed etc]# date
Mon Jan 16 19:26:52 PKT 2012

Please note that the timezone is following a directory-structure so if you want EST time, you should use

[root@testbed etc]# ln -sf /usr/share/zoneinfo/EST localtime

How to disable SELinux

SELINUX is a security feature on CentOS but some software such as SolusVM will require that SELINUX be disabled

Installation log : /tmp/install.log

 Add this slave to your SolusVM master using the following details:

 ID Key .......... : ABC
 ID Password ..... : XYZ

IMPORTANT!! You need to setup a network bridge before you can use KVM on this server.
 Please see the following link:

 Please set SELINUX=disabled in /etc/selinux/config before rebooting.

Thankyou for choosing SolusVM.

The solution?

1) Edit /etc/selinux/config using your favourite editor

[root@kvm ~]# nano /etc/selinux/config

and set SELINUX=disabled

# This file controls the state of SELinux on the system.
# SELINUX= can take one of these three values:
#       enforcing - SELinux security policy is enforced.
#       permissive - SELinux prints warnings instead of enforcing.
#       disabled - SELinux is fully disabled.
# SELINUXTYPE= type of policy in use. Possible values are:
#       targeted - Only targeted network daemons are protected.
#       strict - Full SELinux protection.

2) and don’t forget to reboot your system

CentOS minimal template’s issue with crontab

On my CentOS 5.x 64bit XEN PV template (XEN PV is a virtualization type, this means I am talking about a VPS) doing ‘crontab -e’ gave me the following error

[root@vpsadmin ~]# crontab -e
no crontab for root - using an empty one
/bin/sh: /bin/vi: No such file or directory
crontab: "/bin/vi" exited with status 127

To correct this issue, do the following

[root@vpsadmin ~]# touch ~/.bashrc
[root@vpsadmin ~]# export VISUAL=nano
[root@vpsadmin ~]# source ~/.bashrc

So, now if you do ‘crontab -e’ it will work as it should

[root@vpsadmin ~]# crontab -e
no crontab for root - using an empty one
crontab: no changes made to crontab