Monday, July 30, 2007

Lessons Learned: Numero Uno

I would like to open a new topic as I go on using Ubuntu. In this new entry, I would like to discuss things you should not do. There is a program called "Alien" that converts RPM packages (Red Hat) to DEB (Ubuntu). You may ask why, but with so much software available in the Ubuntu repositories, there are still programs that are not available as DEB packages. You have a few options: find RPM package and convert with Alien or compile from source code. Since I am still barely walking on the Linux surface I chose the easier path. I didn't find a Debian package for VMware as crazy as it sounds but eventually I did find it in the repositories, only after what I will tell you next has happened. I started converting the RPM package found at the vmware site with Alien but I forgot to include a switch to with the sudo alien to include scripts. I had to interrupt the conversion and turns out that I created a folder on my desktop that was impossible to remove since I didn't need it anymore. The folder was owned by root and I didn't have permissions to delete it. I used a root access for terminal to delete the folder, it took me hours because commands to remove non-empty directories was not accepted. I'm yet to learn how to enforce that. Anyhow, I issued "sudo rm -r *" to remove everything in the current directory and I must've been careless and didn't realize with directory I was in. I deleted some system files and when I rebooted the machine I couldn't boot up anymore. The funny thing is, once in trash I would've have had to go through the same deletion process all over again since trash has my logon permissions, not root. So here's the lessons learned for you guys, be extra careful when you use sudo and remove and always make sure you're in the right directory.
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