Category Archives: Computer Hardware

Synology installation of ipkg DSM yum or apt-get equivalent

The reference for the first part is at but is in German.

First up we need a package installer, ipkg

Check the Synology device for which cpu it has,

#cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep cpu

Then select the appropriate script

CPU Bootstrap Script
ARM (armv5tejl)
PowerPC (ppc_6xx)
PowerPC (ppc_85xx, e500v?)
Marvell Kirkwood 88F6281, 88F6282, 88FR131 (ARMv5TE Feroceon)
Intel Atom

and get it with

#wget http://your_selected_cpu_bootstrap_script_here

then run it with

#sh http://your_selected_cpu_bootstrap_script_here

This install ipkg, but it is not in the path for the Synology system. To add it to the path:

1. check the path

#cat /etc/profile

and this should be there

PATH=/sbin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/usr/syno/sbin:/usr/syno/bin:/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin export PATH

extend the path to include our /opt directories with two command lines

# PATH=/opt/bin:/opt/sbin:$PATH
# export PATH

Then we can test that ipkg is installed and will run from anywhere with

# ipkgv -v

Should respond with something like

# ipkg version 0.99.163

If you now try to install a package, you will get an error

#ipkg install mc
Nothing to be done
An error ocurred, return value: 4.

Which is ok, this is expected because the new install does not yet know where to look for ‘mc’

Note: ‘mc’ is just a favourite package of mine, (midnight commander, with the excellent mcedit editor) but you could try any packge you want like ‘nano’, etc.

The final step for installing ipkg is to update the repositories

# ipkg update

Then try again and as ipkg now has a repository to call on, it should find the install package and install it.

Toshiba Kira Ultrabook vs older Satellite Z830 Review

I love Toshiba notebooks. I have used them as my own notebook of choice for almost 16 years. I dallied with a Sony light weight notebook for a while but ended up back with Toshiba.

Now my new toy was purchased for one key reason, disk space. My current Satellite Ultrabook is only 18 months old but it has a small 128G SSD storage device and I need more space. The new Kira is a 256G equivalent SSD and it also adds another 2G of RAM in its total of 8G above the earlier model.

So on to my likes and gripes after 1 day of hardly using it while I started installing software applications.

Aside from the Windows 8 which I will sledge elsewhere, my first gripe is that the Function keys are disabled by default in favour of the settings keys. To use the function keys you must use the Fn + the Fx key combination. Ok, so I can live with that, but it is disconcerting when you hit F5 by accident and disable the glidepad mouse!

The likes list is somewhat longer, the major difference is in the screen hinge which is far more robust and positive in its feel and action on the Kira. The case has more alloy and less plastic and feels more solid. Of course, this adds around 200g to the weight of the unit at 1.3Kg being heavier than the Z830 at 1.1Kg. However on your lap it makes little difference and on a desk or table no difference at all.

The keyboard retains the island key and back lighting style that I loved on the Z830. The units are very close in physical dimensions but the width of the keyboard varies considerably narrower at 267mm vs 195mm on the Z830. The depth of them remains almost the same with only 3mm difference as the top row Fn keys are shallower. Yet the QWERTY keys are the same dimensions, the width difference is in the other keys with a narrower space bar and repositioned and smaller PgUp / PgDn keys. The latter were always my biggest gripe with the Sony notebook I had, as the PgUp / PgDn required a Fn key combination to work.

The Synaptics pointing device or glidepad control mouse seems far more sensitive on the Kira than the one on the Z830 but that could be the difference between brand new and 18 months of daily scratching and bashing.

Both ultrabooks are i7 Intel CPU’s and the Kira has a heftier sound card with inbuilt Harman / Kardon speakers. Not sure if it will make that much difference to me as I am not into watching videos on the computer.

Overall, day 1 with the Kira has been okay. I’ll update this in a week or two when I have finished configuring and have it in daily use.




Raid 1 repair on SMEServer

I had the displeasure to find a failing drive within a server earlier today.

But with trusty SME Server and the Linux software raid process it was relatively painless, albeit that I had the wrong drive out at the first attempt.

The reference at How-to Forge was the one I used and it made it easy to follow.