bash history

Remove and prevent duplicates in bash history

Step 1 – remove existing duplicates in .bash_history and create a new temporary file named unduped_history.

# change to the home directory
cd ~/

# remove duplicates and create unduped_history
nl ~/.bash_history | sort -k 2  -k 1,1nr| uniq -f 1 | sort -n | cut -f 2 > unduped_history

Step 2 – copy the unduped_history and overwrite .bash_history.

cp unduped_history ~/.bash_history

# unduped_history can be removed now
rm unduped_history 
  • For zsh history, just replace .bash_history with .zsh_history

Step 3 – to prevent duplicate history entries going forward, add this line to the .bashrc or .zshrc if applicable.

export HISTCONTROL=ignoreboth:erasedups

WSL ubuntu zsh nvm etc.

The Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) seems to be mature enough now to give it another shot. Copy and paste, and other simple annoyances that kept me away before are working better. Also, I’ve been reading that nvm (Node Version Manager) works now, so here goes.

As a precursor, note that my system is Windows 10 Professional (version 1709, build 16299.309) and is fully up to date with WSL enabled and Ubuntu installed from the Windows Store.

Ubuntu Update

If it has been a while, first thing I like to do with the Ubuntu app is update and upgrade the ubuntu Linux packages. First update the package database with apt-get update, then upgrade with apt-get upgrade or apt-get dist-upgrade. I prefer apt-get dist-upgrade since it will remove obsolete packages and add new ones as needed.

  • Windows update does not change the WSL Ubuntu installation. To upgrade to a new release, run sudo do-release-upgrade in the Ubuntu Terminal.

Oh My Zsh

Oh My Zsh will spruce up your Ubuntu bash and add some additional functionality. Here is a screenshot of my Ubuntu app to illustrate.

WSL Ubuntu bash example oh-my-zsh cowsay etc.

Install Oh My Zsh just as you would on any other ubuntu system. Note that Zsh is a pre-requisite. For installation instructions and more information, visit

Your going to want to change the font to fix unknown character issues. I’ve installed the DejaVu Sans Mono for Powerline font available here.

WSL Ubuntu bash font properties
  • To set WSL Ubuntu bash with zsh as your integrated terminal in VS Code. Update your user settings file, e.g., %appdata%\Code\User\settings.json with the following.
"": "C:\\Windows\\System32\\bash.exe",
"": ["-c", "zsh"]


If you want to use your existing git and/or other ssh keys, copy them from their folder in Windows into a .ssh folder under ubuntu. For example,

cd ~/
mkdir .ssh

# navigate to Windows .ssh folder, e.g.,
cd ../mnt/c/Users/Gilfoyle/.ssh

# copy the keys into ubuntu .ssh folder
cp id_rsa ~/.ssh/
cp ~/.ssh/

# set permissions on the private key for github
chmod 600 ~/.ssh/id_rsa


nvm is a utility for installing and managing multiple versions of node.js.

Install as an Oh My ZSH! custom plugin by cloning zsh-nvm into your custom plugins repo.

cd ~/.oh-my-zsh/custom/plugins

git clone ~/.oh-my-zsh/custom/plugins/zsh-nvm

Then load as a plugin in your .zshrc profile. Note that plugins need to be added before is sourced. For example, here is a snippet from my .zshrc profile.

# Which plugins would you like to load? (plugins can be found in ~/.oh-my-zsh/plugins/*)
# Custom plugins may be added to ~/.oh-my-zsh/custom/plugins/
# Example format: plugins=(rails git textmate ruby lighthouse)
# Add wisely, as too many plugins slow down shell startup.


source $ZSH/
  • If you want to install Yarn, use apt-get install --no-install-recommends yarn. By default, Yarn installs nodejs as a system-wide dependency.

After updating your .zshrc profile to load the nvm plugin, close and re-open the Ubuntu app and to install nvm when the plugin is loaded for the first time.

One the install has completed, you can verify by running nvm which should output the nvm --help contents.

Install the latest LTS version of Node.js which at the time of this writing is version 8.11.1

# install node
nvm install 8.11.1	
  • If you want to upgrade npm, use nvm install-latest-npm.


Bash-Snippets collection of bash scripts.

apt-get install fortune

apt-get install cowsay

apt-get install htop


Mount a drive such as a USB flash drive formatted as FAT, ExFAT or NTFS. For example, a drive listed as F:\ in Windows would be mounted as follows.

mkdir /mnt/f
mount -t drvfs f: /mnt/f


Bind a custom mount for any drives you want to access. For example, the C drive. This is also required should you want to use Docker volume mount paths as described in this post by Nick Janetakis.

Windows 10 17.09

mkdir /c
mount --bind /mnt/c /c

# unmount
umount /mnt/c
  • Included in Windows 10 version 1803 (April 2018 Update) is support for WSL launch configuration. The /etc/wsl.conf file contains settings for drive mounting and network configuration. Read the Microsoft Developer blog post, Automatically Configuring WSL for more information on how to use wsl.conf

Windows 10 18.03 WSL Configuration File

Create the /etc/wsl.conf file and set root = / so you can access drives with /c or /e instead of /mnt/c and /mnt/e.

root = /
options = "metadata"

File System

If you want to browse the files using Windows Explorer and/or backup the root file system, the location of these files is in the hidden AppData folder. For example:


From Rich Turners blog post

Do not change Linux files using Windows apps and tools

More info available at WSL File System Support.


VPS Proof of Concept for Docker and Traefik

This is a proof of concept for a VPS that includes ConfigServer Firewall (csf), Docker, Open SSH Server and Traefik as a reverse proxy to host multiple applications on the same Docker host.

The following notes document my experience while creating and configuring the VPS proof of concept local Virtual Machine with Ubuntu Server 16.04 on a Windows 10 host.

Virtual Machine

Since I am on my Windows 10 laptop for this, I used Hyper-V, an optional feature of Windows 10 Enterprise, Professional, or Education versions. Visit Install Hyper-V on Windows 10 | Microsoft Docs for more information on how to enable it. Virtual Machine creation from an iso image is fairly straight forward. More info at Create a Virtual Machine with Hyper-V | Microsoft Docs.

For installation, I downloaded the 64-bit Ubuntu Server 16.04.3 LTS (ubuntu-16.04.3-server-amd64.iso) bootable image from

  • Docker requires a 64-bit installation with version 3.10 or higher of the Linux kernel.

Create a Virtual Switch

Open Hyper-V Manger and select Virtual Switch Manager, and from there, select Create a Virtual Switch. For example, Name: WiFi Virtual Switch
Connection type: External Network Killer Wireless n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter

  • With Hyper-V, To get external internet/network access with your VM, you need to create an External Virtual Switch. This will use your networks DHCP server, bridge mode if you will.

SSH Server

Install and configure OpenSSH. Once OpenSSH is installed, the virtual machine can be run headless and administered using secure shell (ssh) just as we would a VPS.

For a VPS, it is recommended that a non-root user with sudo privileges is used instead of root. Therefore, create a new user and add them to the sudo group. Instructions are available in the sudo section on my Linux page. After that’s done, disallow root password login.

ufw instead of csf

The default firewall configuration tool for Ubuntu is ufw. To use ufw instead of ConfigServer Firewall, configure and enable ufw prior to installing Docker. For example:

# allow incoming port 22
ufw allow ssh

# allow incoming ports
ufw allow 80
ufw allow 443

# turn it on
ufw enable

# verify
ufw status verbose

To                 Action      From
--                 ------      ----
22                 ALLOW IN    Anywhere
80                 ALLOW IN    Anywhere
443                ALLOW IN    Anywhere
22 (v6)            ALLOW IN    Anywhere (v6)
80 (v6)            ALLOW IN    Anywhere (v6)
443 (v6)           ALLOW IN    Anywhere (v6)


To install the latest version of Docker, add the GPG key for the official Docker Ubuntu repository as a trusted APT repository key.

curl -fsSL | sudo apt-key add -

Add the Docker repository to APT sources and update the package database.

sudo add-apt-repository "deb [arch=amd64] $(lsb_release -cs) stable"

sudo apt-get update

Ensure that APT pulls from the correct repository.

apt-cache policy docker-ce

Install the latest version of Docker CE.

sudo apt-get install -y docker-ce

Docker should now be installed, the daemon started, and the process enabled to start on boot. Check that it’s running.

sudo systemctl status docker
systemctl status docker output

Docker Compose

To get the latest release, install Docker Compose from Docker’s GitHub repository. Visit to lookup the version number. Then use curl to output the download to /usr/local/bin/docker-compose. For example,

# check current release, update as needed
sudo curl -L`uname -s`-`uname -m` -o /usr/local/bin/docker-compose

# make executable
sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/docker-compose

# verify installation
docker-compose --version

Config Server Firewall (CSF)

Config Server Firewall contains a straight forward easy to understand configuration file. CSF also comes with a Login Failure Daemon that will alert you of large scale login attempts on ssh, mail and other servers. CSF also allows you to whitelist or blacklist IP addresses aside from the LFD real time monitoring and automatic IP blocking.

Disable the default firewall service.

sudo ufw disable

Since CSF is currently not available in the Ubuntu repositories, download it from the ConfigServer’s website into the home directory.

cd ~/


Unpack the downloaded TAR archive.

tar -xvzf csf.tgz

Run the install script.

cd csf
sudo bash

Verify the installation,

sudo perl /usr/local/csf/bin/

If everything is fine, you should see the following output.

Testing ip_tables/iptable_filter...OK
Testing ipt_LOG...OK
Testing ipt_multiport/xt_multiport...OK
Testing ipt_REJECT...OK
Testing ipt_state/xt_state...OK
Testing ipt_limit/xt_limit...OK
Testing ipt_recent...OK
Testing xt_connlimit...OK
Testing ipt_owner/xt_owner...OK
Testing iptable_nat/ipt_REDIRECT...OK
Testing iptable_nat/ipt_DNAT...OK

RESULT: csf should function on this server

Optional cleanup: remove unpacked TAR files after the install has been verified.

cd ../
rm -rf csf

The next page covers CSF Docker configuration, basic auth for port specific password protection and Traefik Docker configuration.



Change the permissions of files or directories. For example, changing permissions on a ssh key file for the current user.

chmod 400 ~/.ssh/id_rsa
  • If you’re not logged in as root, use sudo when permissions denied. more info

+x is used to make a file executable.

chmod +x


Change owner and group.

# change owner to gilfoyle
chown gilfoyle

# change owner and group to gilfoyle
chown gilfoyle:gilfoyle


Find all symlinks.

find . -type l -ls


Copy files and folders over ssh. For example, download home directory for user gilfoyle from machine into the current directory.

scp -r gilfoyle@ .

Upload folder and its files recursively. For example, with the root account, upload extracted Drupal devel module to /var/www/modules using port 8022.

scp -P 8022 -r devel root@

Download folder and its files recursively. For example, with the root account, download the devel module into the devel folder within the current directory using port 8022.

scp -P 8022 -r root@ devel

ssh server

Install openssh server

apt-get install openssh-server

Unlocking the root account

usermod root -p password

# enter new password to unlock root
sudo passwd root

Check status

service ssh status

Configure openssh server

Using Nano

nano /etc/ssh/sshd_config

Allow root password login

# change
PermitRootLogin prohibit-password

# to
PermitRootLogin yes

Disallow root password login

# change
PermitRootLogin yes

# to
PermitRootLogin prohibit-password

Restart the service for any config changes to take affect

service ssh restart


Retrieve information on files including permissions in both number and letter format.

➜  stat config
  File: config
  Size: 292             Blocks: 0          IO Block: 4096   regular file
Device: 2h/2d   Inode: 7881299347901219  Links: 1
Access: (0644/-rw-r--r--)  Uid: (    0/    root)   Gid: (    0/    root)
Access: 2018-07-27 09:03:56.943000400 -0400
Modify: 2018-07-27 09:03:56.943000400 -0400
Change: 2018-07-27 09:25:51.771887000 -0400
 Birth: -


Allows a user to run a command as another user, usually root. For a user to do this, they need to be added to the sudo group.

usermod -aG sudo gilfoyle

Logout Ctrl + D and test new user sudo access. Substitute with the server IP address.

ssh gilfoyle@

# list files in the /root directory
sudo ls -la /root

After sudo is enabled for the new user account, root password login can be turned off in the sshd_config file.

To prevent unable to resolve host message when using sudo, update the hosts file to contain the hostname for For example, what is after @ in the command line prompt. e.g., gilfoyle@vpshostname.

sudo nano /etc/hosts localhost vpshostname


Download package lists from repositories and update them to get information on the newest versions of packages and their dependencies.

apt-get update


Fetch new versions of packages existing on the machine if APT knows about these new versions by way of apt-get update.

apt-get upgrade

Does the same job as apt-get upgrade, plus it will also intelligently handle the dependencies, so it might remove obsolete packages or add new ones.

apt-get dist-upgrade


These examples use gilfoyle for the username.

Add a new user.

adduser gilfoyle


Shell Scripting

A collection of shell scripting resources.

Shell scripts are plain text files with an .sh extension.

If permission denied, the shell script may just need to be made executable. Example: for a script named, using chmod u+x will grant only the owner of the file execution permissions. For all users, replace the u with an a. You could also use chmod +x which is the same as chmod a+x

chmod u+x

Then try running the script again.



This OS X example uses rsync to backup the Documents folder on the hard drive to an existing Documents folder on a Lexar USB stick. The --delete-before option deletes files from the target that do not exist in the source before rsync.

if [ -d "/Volumes/Lexar/Documents" ];
    rsync -avP "/Volumes/Macintosh HD/Users/Woz/Documents/" "/Volumes/Lexar/Documents/" --delete-before

Use the --exclude option to prevent specific files and folders from being synced. This example excludes .DS_Store files, .git and node_modules folders from the backup.

if [ -d "/Volumes/Lexar/Code" ];
    rsync -avP --exclude .DS_Store --exclude .git --exclude node_modules "/Volumes/Macintosh HD/Users/Dinesh/Code/" "/Volumes/Lexar/Code/"
  • These shell script examples are written for Cygwin and /cygdrive/c is how the C: drive of Windows is accessed. For Cygwin, the rsync package would need to be installed. On OS X and Linux, rsync is usually included in the system install.

This example uses rsync to backup an existing file to a server share.

if [ -f /cygdrive/c/Users/Gilfoyle/Dropbox/Private/Hooli.xlsx ];
    rsync -avP /cygdrive/c/Users/Gilfoyle/Dropbox/Private/Hooli.xlsx //FILESERVER/share/Hooli.xlsx

This example uses rsync to backup an existing Private Dropbox folder to a server share.

if [ -d /cygdrive/c/Users/Gilfoyle/Dropbox/Private ];
    rsync -avP /cygdrive/c/Users/Gilfoyle/Dropbox/Private/ //FILESERVER/share/


This example checks for the existing source directory and creates a compressed archive in the current directory with a datetime string included in the filename. The source directory and its contents will be added to the archive while exluding node_modules .git and sass.cache

if [ -d /cygdrive/c/Users/Dinesh/Code ];
    now=$(date +"%Y-%m-%dT%H%M%S")
    tar -zcvf code_$now.tar.gz --exclude .git --exclude node_modules --exclude sass.cache /cygdrive/c/Users/Dinesh/Code


Find all files inside the current directory and execute dos2unix on each converting DOS format line breaks (CRLF) to Unix format (LF).

find . -type f -exec dos2unix {} \;


Find all files inside the current directory and execute unix2dos on each converting Unix format line breaks (LF) to DOS format (CRLF).

find . -type f -exec unix2dos {} \;


Virtual Machine for LAMP Development

This blog post addresses a common scenario — a local LAMP development environment on your Windows or OS X computer. You could use XAMPP on either Windows or OS X, MAMP on OS X or native Apache in OS X. Here, we will create a Linux virtual machine with Samba configured to share the Virtual Machine file system with the host computer. We will also create virtual hosts, install and configure WordPress and Xdebug.

First thing you will need is Virtual Machine software. For my Virtual Machine, I chose to install the free VMware Player. If your host operating system is OS X, you can install VirtualBox if you do not want to purchase VMware Fusion or Parallels. You could also use VirtualBox on a Windows host instead of VMware if you prefer.

Next, you will need to create a Linux virtual machine. I decided to Download Ubuntu Server 32 bit since it is compatible with the intel processor of my host computer.

Install SSH

After creating a new VM and installing Linux, time to get our dev environment setup. Install SSH so we can run commands from the host. Later we will use ssh to to tunnel the Xdebug connection from the VM back to the host.

# update the distro
$ apt-get update
$ apt-get upgrade -y

# install SSH
$ sudo apt-get -y install openssh-client openssh-server

Get the IP address of the Linux virtual machine.

# lookup inet addr ip 
$ ifconfig eth0

From the host, open a terminal and SSH into the virtual machine. In a Windows host, you can use Cygwin, PuTTY or a Git Bash.

$ ssh jim@
jim@'s password:
Welcome to Ubuntu 12.04.3 LTS (GNU/Linux 3.8.0-29-generic i686)

 * Documentation:
Last login: Sat Nov  2 12:55:45 2013

Install LAMP server

Read my blog post for more on how to install the LAMP server and phpMyAdmin: Mint LAMP Development Environment

# install LAMP server 
$ sudo apt-get install lamp-server^

Restart Apache and test the web server root URL from a host browser using the virtual machines IP address, e.g.,

$ sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

Virtual Hosts

# edit the Apache config
$ sudo nano /etc/apache2/apache2.conf

# in apache2.conf, add these virtual host settings below the files node
NameVirtualHost *:80

<VirtualHost *:80>
   DocumentRoot /var/www
   ServerName www.ubuntu.vm
   ServerAlias ubuntu.vm

<VirtualHost *:80>
   DocumentRoot /var/www/wordpress
   ServerName www.wordpress.vm
   ServerAlias wordpress.vm

Edit your hosts file in your host operating system to map to the virtual hosts you specified in the Apache config of the Linux virtual machine.  ubuntu.vm  wordpress.vm

Since we have set the hosts file to map to ubuntu.vm, once you disconnect your current ssh session (Ctrl+D), you will need to use the host alias you specified in the hosts file to reconnect.

ssh jim@ubuntu.vm

Samba Network Share

You can use Samba to share the /var folder in you virtual machine.

# install Samba 
$ sudo apt-get install samba

Linux system permissions take precedence over Samba permissions. For example if a directory does not have Linux write permission, setting samba writeable = Yes will not allow to write to shared directory / share.

# edit Samba config 
$ sudo nano /etc/samba/smb.conf

####### Authentication #######
  security = user

# bottom of smb.conf
    path = /etc
    browsable = yes 
    read only = no 
    create mask = 0755 
    admin users = jim

    path = /home
    browsable = yes 
    read only = no 
    create mask = 0755 
    admin users = jim

    path = /var
    browsable = yes 
    read only = no 
    create mask = 0755 
    admin users = jim 

Ctrl+C to exit nano, press Y to save and return to write your changes to the file.

Install the PAM authentication module for Samba which will sync the system users to the Samba user database.

# Install libpam-smbpass package
$ sudo apt-get install libpam-smbpass

# restart Samba for the new settings to take effect
$ sudo restart smbd
$ sudo restart nmbd

# set user jim as the owner of share directory
$ sudo chown -R jim /var/www

For OS X, open Finder, select Go > Connect to Server (command + K). Enter the server address: smb://ubuntu.vm and select Connect

OS X - Connect to Server Dialog
OS X – Connect to Server Dialog

For Windows, select Run from the Start menu or open Windows Explorer and enter:

Windows Run Dialog
Windows Run Dialog

Server Time Synchronisation

Server time is likely to become inaccurate in our development scenario. We can use Ubuntu’s NTP server and NTP’s server pool to keep the server datetime accurate.

# install ntp
$ sudo apt-get install ntp

# edit /etc/ntp.conf
$ sudo nano /etc/ntp.conf
# add these two lines

# change server time zone
$ sudo dpkg-reconfigure tzdata

Enabling Module Rewrite

The mod_rewrite Apache module is a rule-based rewriting engine to rewrite requested URLs. It is very useful for genarating SEO friendly URLs.

# enable the module 
$ sudo a2enmod rewrite

# restart apache to activate the configuration change
$ sudo service apache2 restart

Install WordPress

# download the latest WordPress to a downloads directory
$ mkdir ~/downloads
$ cd ~/downloads

$ wget

# -z : Uncompress the resulting archive with gzip command.
# -x : Extract to disk from the archive.
# -v : Produce verbose output i.e. show progress and file names while extracting files.
# -f latest.tar.gz : Read the archive from the specified file.
# -C : To change the directory (current directory is default)

# this will create /var/www/wordpress since the archive root directory is wordpress 
$ sudo tar -zxvf latest.tar.gz -C /var/www

# make yourself the owner
sudo chown jim /var/www/wordpress

Create Database

Create MySql database, user and grant permissions in one line.
base_user is typically root
base_user_pass is password for base_user (no space between -p and base_user_pass is important)

mysql -u base_user -pbase_user_pass -e "create database new_db; GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON new_db.* TO new_db_user@localhost IDENTIFIED BY 'new_db_user_pass'"


If phpMyAdmin is installed, you can use it to create the wordpress database as described in this next section. Read my earlier blog post if you need help doing this, Mint LAMP Development Environment

In the browser, goto http://ubuntu.vm/phpmyadmin/. Select the Databases tab and under “Create new database”, enter in a database name such as “wordpress”, and select Create. Collation will automatically be assigned by MySQL when the database tables are created, during the WordPress installation.

# copy WordPress sample config
$ cd /var/www/wordpress
$ cp wp-config-sample.php wp-config.php

In the browser, goto http://wordpress.vm and start the installation. If you need to manually edit the wp-config.php file, you can do so with nano.

$ nano wp-config.php 

// ** MySQL settings - You can get this info from your web host ** //
/** The name of the database for WordPress */
define('DB_NAME', 'database_name_here');

/** MySQL database username */
define('DB_USER', 'username_here');

/** MySQL database password */
define('DB_PASSWORD', 'password_here');

/** MySQL hostname */
define('DB_HOST', 'localhost');

After saving wp-config, complete the WordPress installation at http://wordpress.vm

You can backup the MySql database using mysqldump within your ssh session. For example, replace mysql_username with your username and mysql_password with your password:

$ mysqldump -h localhost -u mysql_username -pmysql_password wordpress > /home/wordpress-$(date +"%Y-%m-%d").sql

WordPress Revisions Cleanup

Run this sql query in phpMyAdmin to delete all revisions from each post, including all of its meta data.

DELETE a,b,c
FROM wp_posts a
LEFT JOIN wp_term_relationships b ON (a.ID = b.object_id)
LEFT JOIN wp_postmeta c ON (a.ID = c.post_id)
WHERE a.post_type = 'revision'


$ sudo apt-get install php5-xdebug

Check Xdebug

$ php --version

PHP 5.3.10-1ubuntu3.8 with Suhosin-Patch (cli) (built: Sep  4 2013 20:05:42)
Copyright (c) 1997-2012 The PHP Group
Zend Engine v2.3.0, Copyright (c) 1998-2012 Zend Technologies
    with Xdebug v2.1.0, Copyright (c) 2002-2010, by Derick Rethans

Configure Xdebug

$ sudo nano /etc/php5/conf.d/xdebug.ini

Add the following xdebug config values after the zend_extension path value so it looks like this.


When debugging from the host computer, use ssh to tunnel the debug-connection back to it.

# ssh remote port forwarding
ssh -R 9000:localhost:9000 jim@ubuntu.vm

Using the “-R” argument tells ssh to listen on TCP port 9000 on the ubuntu server and forward it back through the ssh connection to the TCP port specified (localhost:9000). So from Xdebug’s perspective on the Ubuntu server, it is talking to localhost on the local computer.

More info: Mint LAMP Development Environment – Part Two | Xdebug

Other PHP debugging options

You could use the FirePHP Extension for Firefox to log to your Firebug Console using a simple PHP method call. There is also a SublimeTextXdebug package for Sublime Text.

If all you have is ssh and nano

<?php var_dump(__FILE__, __LINE__, $_REQUEST); ?>
echo '<pre>';
print_r( $somevariable );
echo '</pre>';


Mint LAMP Development Environment – Part Two

Linux Mint 15 ‘Olivia’

I decided it was time to ditch my Linux 13 KDE setup and try the improved MATE 1.6 desktop now that Linux Mint 15 released. I find it pretty slick and fast, a nice change from Windows when I decide to do some development in a true LAMP environment. Speaking of which, we need to get that installed. Before doing that, the first thing I like to do is open up a terminal and run:

sudo apt-get update

This will download the package lists from the repositories and update them with information on the latest package versions. If you have not installed LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL & PHP) please read my earlier blog post, Mint LAMP Development Environment. Then you can return to this post to add an IDE with debugging capabilities along with some other nice tools.


sudo apt-get install php5-xdebug

Check Xdebug

php --version
PHP 5.4.9-4ubuntu2 (cli) (built: Mar 11 2013 16:09:26) 
Copyright (c) 1997-2012 The PHP Group
Zend Engine v2.4.0, Copyright (c) 1998-2012 Zend Technologies
    with Xdebug v2.2.1, Copyright (c) 2002-2012, by Derick Rethans

Configure Xdebug

sudo pluma /etc/php5/mods-available/xdebug.ini

Add the following xdebug config values after the zend_extension path value so it looks like this.



The IDE I prefer for Drupal development as of this writing is NetBeans. I found this post, Configuring NetBeans for Drupal development to be very helpful. In the Usage section of the post, the author suggests using the sites folder of your Drupal installation when creating the New Project > PHP Application with Existing Sources. This did not work for me, instead, I selected the root folder of my Drupal install as the Sources Folder for the NetBeans IDE project import. By including the entire Drupal installation in my NetBeans project, I could step through and debug any of the Drupal code including modules in the sites folder.

NetBeans IDE Resources



As of this writing, the latest stable version of Eclipse was Eclipse Juno (4.2). I downloaded the Eclipse Classic 4.2.2 64 bit Linux version from Make sure you download the appropriate 32 or 64 bit version of Eclipse to match your Linux Mint operating system. To check which version of Linux Mint you are running, in a terminal, enter

uname -m

i686 = 32-bit; x86_64 = 64 bit


Open up a terminal, change to the Downloads directory and and extract the archive.

cd ~/Downloads
tar xzf eclipse-SDK-4.2.2-linux-gtk-x86_64.tar.gz

With superuser permissions, move the extracted eclipse directory and its contents into the /opt/ folder.

sudo mv eclipse /opt/

Create a symbolic link so you can start Eclipse from a terminal

sudo ln -s /opt/eclipse/eclipse /usr/bin/eclipse

Launch eclipse


or if working on files directly in /var/www/

sudo eclipse

PHP Development Tools (PDT)

To install latest stable PDT build in Eclipse, select Help > Install New Software and enter following URL in the work with input:


You could use the terminal to search for files with commands such as find, grep, and awk. However, I like the the Recoll desktop search tool.


When you are ready to deploy your development work to a remote server via FTP or SFTP, this cross-platform FTP client is my goto tool for the job.

sudo apt-get install filezilla


Magento Development Environment


Requirements Test

Does your server meet the requirements for Magento?

Install Sample Data

Before installing Magento, download and install sample data and media.
  1. Using phpMyAdmin, import the sample data sql file “magento_sample_data_for_1.6.0.0.sql” into an empty magento database.
  2. Copy the contents of the sample “media” folder into the media folder of your Magento installation.

Admin login fails without error message on localhost

On or near line 104 of /var/www/magento/app/code/core/Mage/Core/Model/Session/Abstract/Varien.php
/* this is commented out for locahost development versions so admin can login

if (isset($cookieParams['domain'])) {
	$cookieParams['domain'] = $cookie->getDomain();
Add write permissions to:


Mint LAMP Development Environment

OPERATING SYSTEM: Linux Mint 13 Maya

For Drupal development, since I already have a Linux Mint system setup, I decide to focus on it rather than the Windows 8 Acquia Drupal setup I blogged about a few days ago.

Apache, MySQL & PHP

Install all of these applications with a single command. Thanks to Unix System Engineer, Nitin Sookun for posting this on the Linux Mint Community website.

Since you will need root permissions when performing write operations outisde of your home directory, the commands shown below presume that you are logged in as root or are in a root instance of the terminal. If you are not in a root terminal, you can prepend the commands with ‘sudo’, for example listing the contents of the current directory:

sudo ls
Sudo Sandwich

In a root terminal (such as ‘Konsole as root’).

apt-get install lamp-server

If you get this error message (as I did during a Mint Xfce LAMP install)

E: Unable to locate package lamp-server

Then you will need a carat at the end:

apt-get install lamp-server^

Then install phpMyAdmin

apt-get install phpmyadmin

Restart Apache and try loading http://localhost/phpmyadmin.

/etc/init.d/apache2 restart

If phpMyAdmin doesn’t load, try adding an Include to your Apache config with a text editor (such as ‘Kate’). In your terminal, open a new bash shell tab, and launch the editor (gedit, kate, etc.)

kate /etc/apache2/apache2.conf

In the apache configuration file, near the bottom, look for the location of other Include statements and insert this phpmyadmin include as needed.

Include /etc/phpmyadmin/apache.conf
/etc/init.d/apache2 restart


If you need to set or change the mySQL root password, use this command syntax when the password has not been set.

$ mysqladmin -u root password NEWPASSWORD

Use this command syntax to change the root password.

$ mysqladmin -u root -p'OLDPASSWORD' password 'NEWPASSWORD'


Download the latest stable Drupal core distro from Extract the downloaded file, for example, drupal-7.19.tar.gz to the host root, /var/www. Then with the mv command, rename the drupal-7.19 directory extracted into www to drupal7

tar -xf drupal-7.19.tar.gz -C /var/www
mv /var/www/drupal-7.19 /var/www/drupal7

Copy the default.settings.php to settings.php. Then apply write permissions to both the dafault directory and the settings.php file so Drupal can modify settings.php as needed during the install.

cd /var/www/drupal7/sites
cp default/default.settings.php default/settings.php
chmod a+w default
chmod a+w default/settings.php

Note, after Drupal is installed, reset settings.php file permissions to read only using a-w

Virtual Hosts

Setting up some Virtual Hosts in our Apache config. In terminal, open the apache cofig file for editing (gedit, kate, etc.)

kate /etc/apache2/apache2.conf

Below the Files node, add this code block.

NameVirtualHost *:80

  ServerName default
  DocumentRoot /var/www/

  ServerName drupal7
  DocumentRoot /var/www/drupal7

  ServerName drupal8
  DocumentRoot /var/www/drupal8

Restart Apache to load our config changes

/etc/init.d/apache2 restart

Hosts file

Add the two named virtual hosts to the hosts file

kate /etc/hosts	drupal7	drupal8

Restart apache …

/etc/init.d/apache2 restart

Now you can access the new Drupal website at http://drupal7

Next – Mint LAMP Development Environment – Part Two


Improved Font Rendering in Fedora 15 / Gnome 3

  1. Checkout this blog article at Subpixel Hinting and Other Enhancements for Freetype & Fedora 15 RPM Packages
  2. Per the infinality article, install the infinality-settings package
  3. Edit /etc/X11/.Xresources to read:
    Xft.autohint: 0
    Xft.lcdfilter:  lcddefault
    Xft.hintstyle:  hintfull
    Xft.hinting: 1
    Xft.antialias: 1
    Xft.dpi: 96
    Xft.rgba: rgb
  4. Install Windows fonts. To do this, I copied all the .ttf fonts from my mounted Windows 7 device (/mnt/ntfs/Windows/Fonts) to /usr/share/fonts.