Compacting a Virtualbox image

Posted by coldtobi | 11 Oct, 2009, 20:06

My Laptop is on the move: I finally decided to reinstall it as a consequence from a self-inflicted filesystem crash. But this is also a good chance to switch filesystems. This was also already on my list for some time.

While coping all data to a safe place, I tried to figure out how to compact the Virtual Box image I use once in a while -- as its containing XP guest bloated during its lifetime. So when doing the autumn cleanup, why I shouldnt also try to clean up that to?

Disclaimer: The instructions are conserving space very aggressivly. You should not follow them if you are unsure what you are doing.  Repeat: No safety pins attached! It may explode right into your face! You did backup, right?

With some help of google, here are the instructions to shrink a vdi, the image containing the guest Windows XP:

1. Merge all snapshots (optional, but for best results you should do it).Note: Click the topmost "parent" snapshot and use "discard snapshot" to actually merge all together.....)

2. Start the Guest XP and clean it up:

  • Remove all unused programs.
  • To see space-hogs, use a tool like WinDirStat. If you see that there are programms you need seldom but takes lots of space, consider "compressing" it (Can be enabled on the files property dialog, "advanced settings")
  • Remove all Service-Pack and Windows Update folder (In the Windows directory, something like $NTServicePackUninstall$ or $NTUninstallKB<number>) Check Google for detailed instructions. 
  • Empty the trash can
  • Disable suspend-2-disk (hibernate) and virtual memory
  • reboot the guest
  • Defrag the guests' drive. Do it twice.
  • Use nullfile (get it here) to fill unused sector with "easy to compress" zeros.
  • Turn on again virtual memory and hibernation support. 
  • Turn off the guest OS

Now, the vdi is ready to be compressed. 

Start a shell and execute this command to complete the operation:

VBoxManage modifyhd <path-to-your-VDI> compact
(for me its: VBoxManage modifyhd /home/tobi/.VirtualBox/VDI/WindowsXP.vdi compact)


Beware: This takes some time. So do not use it if you are in a hurry or on battery power ;-)

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Posted by coldtobi | 7 Jul, 2009, 19:14

"" was a project that helpes Webmasters to ensure their privacy: In Germany you have to put a phone number on your site (or you might get sued). And "Einmalnummer" (translated one-time number) was perfect to protect your privacy, as no call center was able to use that number that fast.

But these times are gone: It seems that a governmental agency (the one responsible to regulate telecommunication -- The Bundesnetzagentur) had objections against the services....


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Libucommon for debian

Posted by coldtobi | 11 Jun, 2009, 22:00

During my recent programming on solarpowerlog, I discovered that  the Lib Common C++ seems to have some bugs, at least in the TCPStream class. (bugreport)

So I decided to check its supposed succeedor. But this one is not packged for debian.... (RFP pending)

Short stort: Here it is.


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Mini trick: Don't show printers in samba shares

Posted by coldtobi | 19 May, 2009, 22:24

To help Windows understanding, that your local samba server does not support a printer, add to your smb.conf in the [global] section

    disable spoolss = yes

Reload samba, add it will vanish ;-)

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Nominations for Community Open Source Awards are open!

Posted by coldtobi | 17 May, 2009, 09:27

I  think "NAVIT" is a break-through project that should be nominated for the award:

So I did for:

  1. NavIt for Best Project
  2. NavIt for Most Likely to Change the Way You Do Everything

If you share this opinion, please feel free to click that button!


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php based home inventory system

Posted by coldtobi | 19 Apr, 2009, 21:07

I'm currently looking for a system for keeping an overview over my electronic parts I have "on stock", storing the datasheets and keeping and especially where I put them.

During this I found "home-inventory". Looks ok, but also lacks some features, like it can only store images...

PS: I have to rethink about the "looks ok". The first peek on the source code reveals, that the author did not care about sanitizing user input:

                // delete first picture if exist
                $sSql = 'SELECT ITM_Picture FROM Item WHERE ITM_ID = ' . $_REQUEST['id'];
                $pictName = fetchFromDb($sSql, true);



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ScribeFire Inserts Zemanta Web Bug

Posted by coldtobi | 28 Mar, 2009, 20:20

I'm using the firefox extension "ScribeFire" for Firefox. It is a convenient blogging editor allowing me to prepare articles also when offline. But currently I'm a little pissed. 

By coincident, I checked the generated html source and found that the plugin inserts the  following "web bug" in each and every post:


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