Thursday, 8 January 2009

Ubuntu on MS Virtual Machine (FIX)

To install

- At the prompt, press F4 and select “Safe graphics mode”.
- Then press F6 and delete the part that says “quiet splash –” and replace it with “vga=791 noreplace-paravirt”.

Once installed

1. Install Ubuntu 8.04
2. When Ubuntu is up and running you will need to make the “vga=791 noreplace-paravirt” fix permanent.
3. If you have installed Ubuntu and have not yet rebooted the OS, go to step 10. Else continue with step 4.

4. Press ESC quickly when you reboot. You should drop to a command mode interface.
5. Select “Ubuntu 8.04, kernel 2.6.24-16-generic” from the menu and press “e” to edit.
6. Select “kernel /boot/” etc, from the menu and press “e” to edit.
7. Add “vga=791 noreplace-paravirt” after “quiet splash” so the end of the line now reads “quiet splash vga=791 noreplace-paravirt xforcvesa”.
8. Press ENTER to finish the edit and then “b” to boot the system.
9. Ubuntu should come up with no problems. Log in with your username and password.

10. To make the fix permanent, open the Terminal window from the Applications/Accessories menu.
11. Type the command “sudo gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst” and press ENTER.
12. You will be prompted for your password. Enter it and press ENTER.
13. The Text Editor will then open. Add the same “vga=791 noreplace-paravirt” after “quiet splash” in about the 15th line from the bottom of the file.
14. Save the file and restart the system. Ubuntu should start with no problems.

Debian on MS Virtual Machine (FIX)

At weird screen press CTRL + ALT + F1. One of your ALT buttons is used to restore focus back to your real Windows environment, so you’ll need to figure out which ALT button to press. That key combination should get you back to the Debian command line.

At the command line login by entering “root” (Enter), then your administrative password (then Enter again).

Then type the following, followed by Enter:

sudo nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf

That brings up a “text editor”, which lets you edit the xorg.conf configuration file. Use the keyboard arrows to scroll down until you see the section titled “Screen”. Change the default depth from 24 to 16. Then press CTRL + O, Enter, CTRL + X.

Once you’ve done that, type the following (followed by Enter) to reboot the GUI:

sudo reboot

How to make your spam filter hardcore (IMF tweaking)

NB. The following document makes the assumption that you are using Exchange 2003 SP2 and that connection filtering/IMF on the SMTP virtual connector is enabled.

Step 1: Enable Intelligent Message Filter (IMF) auto update -The regular updates to the Intelligent Message Filter (IMF) will place the newest spam definitions onto mail processing Exchange Servers. (

Step 2: SCL rating - We need to find out the average SCL rating of legitimate mail and the SCL rating of SPAM so we can tweak the IMF. To do this we can add a SCL rating header within an Outlook client. (

Step 3: Store Junk E-mail Configuration - We should now have the average (ish) SCL rating of legitimate mail and spam. Go into the IMF settings tab on the Exchange server and amend the Store Junk E-mail Configuration to a number higher than the legitimate mail threshold but lower or equal to the spam threshold. If you set this number too low, you’ll get false positives and legitimate emails will be placed into the junk folder.

Step 4: Gateway Blocking Configuration – Set the number pretty high, seven is always good. If you are using additional software such as Symantec Mail for Exchange then set the When blocking messages action to No Action. We do this because we want our additional software to handle the messages from now on. If however you are not using any additional software then set this to one of the other options Archive, Delete or Reject depending on how you want the IMF to handle the spam.

Step 5: Connection Filtering Tab – Here we can enter the Real-time Blacklists (RBL). RBL’s deny SMTP connections to your server. They have no concept of email addresses and can only block connections based on whether the remote address is listed or not. Using RBL’s will block vast amounts of spam so I would recommend it. The following RBL’s seem to be pretty good:

If you are using additional software such as Symantec Mail for Exchange then don’t bother configuring the Connection filtering at this stage, instead it can be done using your additional software. If you are not using any additional software then add the lists mentioned above.

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