Category Archives: Linux System Administration

Notes from administering and working with Linux based servers.

Debian Squeeze – .xinitrc .xsession and .xprofile (X startup script)

Annoyed that tapping my trackpad was no longer being recognised as a mouse click after an upgrade to Debian Squeeze, I sought to have “synclient TapButton1=1” executed after login.

It would appear that both ~/.xinitrc and ~/.xsession are not used. Placing the above command in the file ~/.xprofile resolved the issue and I am now happily tapping my trackpad.
(tested when using GDM for logging in and Enlightenment for the Window Manager)

fsck on encrypted (AES-256) Linux (ext3) partitions

As AES-256 partitions using either a block file device or a physical partition cannot be mounted automatically at boot, they will not be automatically checked.

To manually run a fsck:

  • Unmount the partition
  • Setup loop device: losetup -e aes-256 /dev/loop0 /dev/sdaX
    (use loop1, loop2 etc if the others are being used)
  • Enter encryption password

The losetup will not give an error if the password was incorrect. Therefore a test is needed to confirm that the password was entered correctly – mount then umount the loop device:

mkdir /tmp/test
mount /dev/loop0 /tmp/test
ls /tmp/test
umount /dev/loop0

If the device could not be mounted, run: losetup -d /dev/loop0 and try again.

Execute the fsck:
fsck.ext3 -f /dev/loop0

After running the fsck, delete the loop device: losetup -d /dev/loop0 and mount the partition like usual.