Linux System Administration

Converting Matroska file format to m2ts for use on PS3 has number of advantages. PS3 is able to play mt2s directly from the USB or m2ts file can be copied directly to PS3 it self. There is also way to transcode matroska mkv format with some media server such as "PS3 Media Server". However the disadvantages are that you need to have yet another PC on every time you want to watch and fast rewind forward does not work properly if you do not have fast network and CPU.

If we want to convert mkv to m2ts and yet avoiding propriety software and use Linux, the easiest way is to use shell script created by Brian Kulyk. Using script is simple, however installation of all pre-requisites to get the script running may be little bit tricky especially if your current Linux distribution does not include tsMuxeR and media mediainfo tools. In this article I'm using chroot debian-sid environment to get available prerequisites from Debian sid and multimedia repository and compile mediainfo from source code. If you do not have chroot debian-sid installation follow this simple chroot tutorial.

Add debian-sid multimedia repository

First we need to download Debian multimedia keyring and install it with dpkg:

# dpkg -i debian-multimedia-keyring_2008.10.16_all.deb 

Use your favorite text editor and add following line into /etc/apt/source.list file:

deb sid main non-free

Install prerequisites available from debian repository

# apt-get update
# apt-get install tsmuxer bzip2 aften mkvtoolnix libdca-utils faad vorbis-tools

Compile mediainfo tool

before we can start compilation of mediainfo package we need to download a source code.

Extract, compile and install mediainfo software:

# tar xvjf MediaInfo_CLI_0.7.33_GNU_FromSource.tar.bz2
# cd MediaInfo_CLI_GNU_FromSource
# ./
# cd MediaInfo/Project/GNU/CLI && make install

Get script

# wget
# chmod +x

Convert matroska mkv to m2ts format

./ mkv_matroska_format.mkv

pax is an archive utility somewhere between cpio and tar. This is just because is independent of the specific archive format, and supports a wide variety of different archive formats. It can perform simple tasks as creating a compressed archive of a selected directory or it can as much easily create a daily incremental backups. In this short article we will see how to protect our daily work by creating an incremental backup with pax. Read more ...


Although FAT32 or FAT16 are very old file systems, which reflects on their poor performance in comparison with other file system alternatives they are still widely used by many electronic devices. Usually, these devices include USB stick's, digital cameras , camcorders and etc. Chances are that you own and store personal data on a device with FAT flesystem is very high as is a likelihood of an accidental deletion of your important data. In this article we will use testdisk utility to undelete files from FAT file system.

OOPS.. I have accidentally removed a video file from my camcorder ! The first thing before we start panic is to unmount USB device and create a low level backup of the device partition with a dd command.

If from any reason you cannot unmount your device, remount it with read-only permissions:

# mount -o remount,ro /dev/sdX

Any data written or file manipulation after accidental file removal will weaken our chances for deleted file recovery. On the other hand creation of a low level backup with dd command gives us an opportunity for unlimited recovery attempts since we are always able to put the entire partition back bit by bit exactly as it was right after accidental file deletion.

After file deletion from a FAT file system the actual file was not removed immediately, but the sectors on which the file resides is now available to be overwritten. From this reason a backup of the entire partition:

# dd if=/dev/sdX of=/my/storage/backup_sdX.dd

To recover a backup for *.dd file we simple reverse the process:

# dd if=/my/storage/backup_sdX.dd of=/dev/sdX

Testing conditions

To test testdisk recovery utility we will create a vfat file system, store video.mp4 and readme.txt files, get md5sum and simply remove and undelete both files.

Read more ...

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