Linux popular distributions common problems and solutions

In this article I discuss some of Linux popular distributions common problems and solutions that I've found when working with them.

Disable the "beep" for VM Workstation

If you're running Linux VMs on your VMware Workstation application, like I do, go ahead and disable the yelling beep so save you stress; add this line to the .vmx file of the VM:

mks.noBeep = "TRUE"

These are some of the problems I found while dealing with Linux

  • Ubuntu
    • Ubuntu privilege access
    • Ubuntu issues
  • CentOS
    • Secure your CentOS
    • User not in sudoers file




couldn't mount as ext3 due to feature incompatibilities. Ext4-fs (sda6): couldn't mount as ext2 due to feature incompatibilities.

After an upgrade or a reboot you might find the above error message, to fix it edit the /etc/fstab and change the affected drive from "ex3" to "ex4"

vi /etc/fstab


To break a computer disk partitioning, do this to override the boot partition, then see if you can fix it!

dd if=/dev/zero of-/dev/sda1 bs=1M count=20


Apps that are recommend to install on an Ubuntu machine:

sudo apt-get install tree
sudo apt-get install vim
sudo apt-get install openssh-server
sudo apt-get net-tools   #gives you the ifconfig commmand
sudo apt-get install screen   #type 'screen' to start a new session, then 'screen -dr' to retake that session if the console is closed
sudo apt install systat iotop #also use 'iostat' to check the system

#text editors
sudo apt install kate
sudo apt install plume
apt-get moo #that's is a funny one

sudo apt install postfix mailutils

sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool

Find out how to do a mirror of your Ubuntu machine, so that you copy all the repos to your VM, follow this guide: 

After you remove a package using 'sudo apt remove apache2' for example, always run 'sudo apt autoremove' to get rid as well of the dependencies that were installed

PPA (Personal Package Archive) ;sometimes it happens that applications have been releases on PPA repositories, and you need to install that repository on your Ubuntu machine. For example, to install the latest version of Mumble on your machine, do as follows using the add-apt-repository, adding the latest repo first

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mumble/release
sudo apt-get update

Ubuntu privilege access

If you are a bit tired or forget to put the 'sudo' in front of every command while working in Debian/Ubuntu, you can temporarily use the system as root by typing:

sudo su -

Ubuntu issues

If you get the error message "E: Could not get lock /var/lib/dpkg/lock-frontend - open (11: Resource temporarily unavailable)
E: Unable to acquire the dpkg frontend lock (/var/lib/dpkg/lock-frontend), is another process using it?" when trying to install an app, it is most likely that a previous installation did not finished successfully. to clear the process to as follows:

sudo lsof /var/lib/dpkg/lock  #this will show you the PID of the process
sudo kill -9 <PID>  #kill the affected process



Secure your CentOS

To limit the number of connections/sessions that root that use to the machine, leave only "console" on the file /etc/securetty

User not in sudoers file

If you keep getting the error "User not in sudoers file. This incident will be reported" when trying to run a command with "sudo" at the front, thus borrowing root access in CentOS, open the sudoers file by typing:

sudo visudo

And then make an entry for the user, similar to the one of the root already there:

#the below allows user to run in ALL hosts, ALL commands
user    ALL=(ALL)       ALL
#the below allows user2 to run in ALL hosts but only ls, without password 
user2   ALL=(ALL)       NOPASSWD: /bin/ls




To install SSH on an Ubuntu server:

sudo apt-get install openssh-server

If you get the error "E:  Unable to locate package openssh-server", run these two commands: sudo apt-get upgrade .Applications that I always install on my Linux systems: tree, synaptic,

 Install the development tools to compile a new kernel

sudo yum groupinstall "Development Tools"

To install Tiger-VNC on your CentOS

yum install tigervnc-server
#visit /usr/lib/systemd/system, then do:
cp vncserver@.service yourusername@.service #this is becuase we need a single configuration file per user
vncpasswd #set the vnc password for the current logon user
vim /usr/lib/systemd/system/This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
#once you open it with vim, execute %s/<USER>/username to update the username
systemctl daemon-reload #reload services after password change
firewall-cmd get-default-zone #to find out in what zone you are
firewall-cmd --zone=public --add-port=5901/tcp --permanent #open port 5902 if you're using display number 2
firewall-cmd --reload
systemctl start vncserver-username@:1.service #starts the service for username

Remember that if you are going to use display 2 (username@:2.service) you'd need to open port 5902 on the firewall. If you can't connect, look for *.lock files in /tmp and in /tmp/.X11-unix ; when using the client to connect, under VNC Server user IP-address:portnumber (

If you install XRDP on your linux box, ensure to apply the SELinux security context

Install "serverauditor" on your IOS device if you'd like to access Linux CLI remotely, for your adroid toy use "Connectbot"


To 'recall' the good old Tux icon linux, on an old distribution visit /usr/src/linux/Documentation/logo.gif

Old Linux commands

On kerles 2.6 and below you can run these commands:

fgconsole   #tells you on which virtual console number you're logon





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