Tuesday 19 January 2010

Create a new XFS+ partition in empty space on OSX, without spending any money!

Having recently cloned my Power-Mac G4's failing 80GB drive to a larger 120GB drive (maximum size allowed for it's onboard IDE), I needed to make use of the empty 38GB or so of space. Unfortunately Apple's drive utility doesn't have the ability to make a new partition in this space, it's pretty basic really. Having Googled around for a freeware OSX partition tool, it seems there isn't any, all I could find were paid for partition software and some complicated command-line tutorials.

So here's how to get your HDD space back:

1. Attach the drive via a USB/IDE adapter or drive caddy. Make sure it is set to Master.

2. Plug it in to a PC running Linux (I use Ubuntu), the Gparted live CD, or any other live CD with gparted.

3. Open gparted and select the correct drive (your XFS+ OSX boot drive should be visible and your free space). Right click and select unmount.

4. Right click in the free space and select create a new primary partition and select FAT32 as the filesystem, then click apply.

5. Safely remove or just shutdown your PC, then remove the drive from it's adapter or caddy.

6. Re-attach it your Mac, (making sure the drive's jumper is set to the correct position) and power it on.

7. Open Disk Utility and select your new FAT32 partition, it will be named something unfriendly.

8. Select Erase, and set the filesystem to XFS+ (Journaled), then it will format and it will auto-mount on your desktop.

9. Re-name the new volume as something useful. I named mine 'storage' as it's handy for downloads, software etc.

Job Done!
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Saturday 2 January 2010

A Beginners Guide To Ushare (Using Ubuntu)

This is a brief guide to getting UPNP sharing with Ushare working on Ubuntu, though should work on Debian and Debian-based distros.


In a terminal, type:

sudo aptitude install ushare
(then enter your password when prompted)

(you could also open synaptic and search for and double-click ushare)

Quick configuration:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure ushare

Go through the dialogues, you can keep the default name 'ushare', then tell it where it will find your videos or audio, with a space between directories, something like:


..and that's the basic configuration done.

Advanced Configuration

To get ushare streaming to your Xbox 360 you need to edit the config file:

sudo gedit /etc/ushare.conf

and find and edit this line so it reads


Also enable the web interface:

# Enable Web interface (yes/no)

..and then restart ushare with:

sudo invoke-rc.d ushare restart

You can now access the web interface by pointing your browser to

You will also need to invoke that command when you add more music/videos (or reboot) to make them appear in ushare, or refresh from the web interface.

You may need to do a little more fiddling, I don't have an Xbox to try it with, there's a more advanced guide for ushare and Xbox 360 here. and also here

For accessing your ushare server from another Linux desktop, I found a tutorial using djmount.
Update: Djmount is now available in the Ubuntu repositories, so there is no need to compile it, just 'sudo apt-get install djmount'

Here's how to start djmount on startup, reposted here just in case the source disappears:
The following steps do work for autostarting djmount under ubuntu:
cd /etc/network/if-up.d
gksudo gedit ./djmount
contents of script:

# Not for loopback!
[ "$IFACE" != "lo" ] || exit 0
Then do
sudo modprobe fuse
cd /media
sudo mkdir upnp
sudo djmount -o allow_other /media/upnp

sudo chmod 755 ./djmount
sudo chown root ./djmount
sudo chgrp root ./djmount