Unix noob adventures

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Re: flip's Unix noob adventures

Postposted on Tue Jan 20, 2009 2:00 pm

Um, yeah, just stopping in to say that Ubuntu is fantastic! OMGWTFBBQ. Want to share a directory with windows computers? Right click and select share! Need the right tool for the job? Google it then fire up Synaptic, do a quick search there, put a check in the box and press apply! Damn I am pleased.
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Re: flip's Unix noob adventures

Postposted on Tue Jan 20, 2009 2:18 pm

That alone has got to be the most satisfying feeling there is. Add that with some VirtualBox Windows XP action . . .you know. . . .for the times you actually need to use AutoCAD, but can't on your buntu box . . . . and said machine is the only thing you will ever need . . . . . .for work that is.
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Re: flip's Unix noob adventures

Postposted on Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:12 pm

Yes, another Ubuntu fan here! I'm using it for an increasing percentage of my computer tasks both at home and work.

I do find compiz (the compositing window manager) to still be a bit unstable for serious use though. Perhaps by the time 9.04 ships it'll have matured enough that I'll be willing to use it as my default window manager.
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Re: flip's Unix noob adventures

Postposted on Tue Jan 20, 2009 6:58 pm

Virtualization yes, but I prefer a single central box with more grunt running VMware Server. I prefer it that way because the frontend can run on anything, and all the computational grunt work of the VM is done on the host. It's nice connecting to a VM from my desktop and setting it to work, disconnecting, and then connecting from my laptop, and having the VM keep running just fine cause it never realized anything changed.

To each his own, though! That's one of the things that makes Linux (most non-Windows OSes, for that matter) great, choice!
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Re: flip's Unix noob adventures

Postposted on Tue Jan 20, 2009 7:33 pm

Forge wrote:Virtualization yes, but I prefer a single central box with more grunt running VMware Server. I prefer it that way because the frontend can run on anything, and all the computational grunt work of the VM is done on the host.

This functionality is available in VirtualBox as well. If you start a VirtualBox VM from the command line (instead of from the GUI), it creates a virtual RDP console instead of the normal VirtualBox console window. You can then connect to the console using any Remote Desktop client.

IMO the main shortcomings that VirtualBox still has are:
- Lack of SMP support
- Lack of 64-bit guest support unless the host CPU supports hardware virtualization extensions (this will become less of an issue as time goes on since AFAIK all current 64-bit CPUs support it)

Edit: I forgot to mention that the RDP console functionality is only available in the closed-source version of VirtualBox. But their free "personal use" license for the closed-source version is fairly liberal, and should not be an issue for most people.
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Re: flip's Unix noob adventures

Postposted on Wed Jan 21, 2009 8:33 am

just brew it! wrote:IMO the main shortcomings that VirtualBox still has are:
- Lack of SMP support
- Lack of 64-bit guest support unless the host CPU supports hardware virtualization extensions (this will become less of an issue as time goes on since AFAIK all current 64-bit CPUs support it)


Yeah, that former one is a killer for me. I run mostly SMP VMs on a Q6600, so I never hurt for CPU time, either in the VM or on the host. Once my desktop gets some i7, the Q9450 will serve VMs. I've got Intel VT, so the 64 thing is no big deal, but I hate having a single-core VM, for a 9X or something. How did we ever live with single core single threaded machines? At least these days I can get my >2 core loving on without buying expensive/limited workstation gear anymore.
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Re: flip's Unix noob adventures

Postposted on Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:28 am

Time for a guilty confession: since I have installed Ubuntu, I have barely touched the command line. Really, this is not that surprising. When I was fiddling with BSD, I was mostly just trying to get things installed and configured. With Ubuntu, a lot of what I need is already installed (desktop environment for one) and Synaptic MAKES IT TOO DAMN EASY to install any of a billion things. I am very in love with Synaptic.

I installed PC-BSD 7.0 at work. It is pretty slick, but it possibly is constantly hitting the CPU up for one thing or another because the Optiplex's fan never fully spins down to idle speed (Fusking Pentium-D is alway scorching hot and gets my vote for worst CPU to own). Maybe it is KDE4 that requires more of the CPU. Anyway, I might try Ubuntu on that machine and see if it actually lets the fan get quiet once in a while. And besides, Ubuntu is just so polished it is hard to choose anything else.

Gnome frequently gets a little choppy, especially when scrolling a web page or scrolling in just about any application. Is this true for anyone else?

I spend almost no time in Windows. I suppose when I get Fallout 3 that will change.

Also, I just added 4 gigs of RAM so I have a total of 6 gigs in the box now. That required a BIOS update on the ga-ma69g-s2h to F6, which surprises me because I'd figure that any 939 or later board would be very well prepped for 4+ gigs right out of the gate. Ah well, at least Gigabyte provided a BIOS. Anyway, I suppose I'll have to get some virtual machine love going just to do something with this enormous pool of RAM :D Furthermore regarding hardware, there is simply no need for me to upgrade from my x2-3600, which kind of makes me mad :lol: But I suppose I'll grab a Phenom 2 (hopefully the DDR2/3 variant one released) as soon as it is financially appropriate, just because.
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Re: flip's Unix noob adventures

Postposted on Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:52 am

flip-mode wrote:Gnome frequently gets a little choppy, especially when scrolling a web page or scrolling in just about any application. Is this true for anyone else?


I usually find this to be the case when 2D/3D acceleration isn't working or isn't available. On my big box, the Nvidia driver takes care of business for me. On my little boxes, it's mostly Intel IGP graphics, which often works out-of-box. In a few cases (Radeon X1400 in my Dell e1505), I've had to fiddle a little bit to get acceleration enabled and working.

Once it's accelerated, I haven't had any non-smooth operation in Gnome. If anything, it's faster/smoother than Vista Aero.
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Re: flip's Unix noob adventures

Postposted on Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:50 am

flip-mode wrote:Time for a guilty confession: since I have installed Ubuntu, I have barely touched the command line.


I used the command line a lot less when I switched to Ubuntu from Debian. When I'm really jonesing, I'll fire up my Slackware VM and revel in the CLI goodness.
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Re: flip's Unix noob adventures

Postposted on Mon Feb 02, 2009 6:05 pm

Ugh Grrr :x I am officially annoyed with Ubuntu and I am going to vent about it for a moment.

I had pretty much decided to drop FreeBSD in favor of Ubuntu. This is for a couple of reasons. I am running an Ubuntu desktop, so it seemed to make sense to me to go Ubuntu ( the server version) for the file server rather than FreeBSD. Linux is more popular and more well known and knowing Linux (and GNU) might be a more valuable item on the resume, but I dunno. More importantly, some things on Linux, Ubuntu Linux at least, seem to work better; specifically, apt-get seems to work better than FreeBSD's ports, but that is based on the following very limited experience: most of my attempts to use FreeBSD ports have failed, while my first (but so far only) use of apt-get just worked.

But I have a few points of frustration.

First, as I have already complained about, the state of documentation for Linux is what I would have to call pathetic. That may sound harsh; I am not trying to be harsh or rude. I am just being candid. This is especially apparent after experiencing the stellar state of documentation in FreeBSD.

Second - Ubuntu 8.10 did not offer me the chance to configure a static network interface during install. I have not yet figured out how to configure it. Well, I have been able to configure it but the configuration only lasts for the current session and gets blown away after a reboot. Now the GUI network config tool will let me set my IP which is all fine and good but it won't (that I can see) let me set my default gateway.

Third - Ubuntu 8.10 does not use inittab but, apparently, instead uses an event.d directory full of stuff. Personally, FreeBSD's approach seems infinitely more intuitive.

So I am a little miffed. It seems like somebody decided that Ubuntu's resource configuration needed to get a little more FUBAR and a little less standard.

If there is a good explaination for all of this (there has to be some sort of explaination) then it would make me feel better. At this point I am just annoyed.
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Re: flip's Unix noob adventures

Postposted on Mon Feb 02, 2009 6:34 pm

flip-mode wrote:Second - Ubuntu 8.10 did not offer me the chance to configure a static network interface during install. I have not yet figured out how to configure it. Well, I have been able to configure it but the configuration only lasts for the current session and gets blown away after a reboot. Now the GUI network config tool will let me set my IP which is all fine and good but it won't (that I can see) let me set my default gateway.
See a prior thread ranting about this.

flip-mode wrote:Third - Ubuntu 8.10 does not use inittab but, apparently, instead uses an event.d directory full of stuff. Personally, FreeBSD's approach seems infinitely more intuitive.
It is true that they don't use inittab, but it shouldn't concern you at all. If you are mucking with inittab on most Linux distros, I virtually guarantee you're doing something the wrong way.

Edit: oh, and as far as documentation goes, there's a lot of it out there, it's just not centralized or well-organized like the FreeBSD Handbook. Try the Ubuntu Wiki, Ubuntu Forums and the Ubuntu Guide, though. Watch out for out-of-date or bad info, though -- there's a ton of that (especially on blogs and random forums).
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Re: flip's Unix noob adventures

Postposted on Mon Feb 02, 2009 8:22 pm

While I would wholly endorse a Linux OS for a desktop machine, because it's more "popular", if I was building a firewall or dedicated network gateway, it would be either FreeBSD or OpenBSD all the way, no contest.
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Re: flip's Unix noob adventures

Postposted on Mon Feb 02, 2009 8:41 pm

bitvector wrote:See a prior thread ranting about this.
Ouch :o So it's not just me, which means it is worse than I thought.

bitvector wrote:If you are mucking with inittab on most Linux distros, I virtually guarantee you're doing something the wrong way.
:lol: remember whom you are talking to... and rest assured I am doing something the wrong way. But thanks for the tip. 8)
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Re: flip's Unix noob adventures

Postposted on Mon Feb 02, 2009 8:42 pm

Buub wrote:While I would wholly endorse a Linux OS for a desktop machine, because it's more "popular", if I was building a firewall or dedicated network gateway, it would be either FreeBSD or OpenBSD all the way, no contest.
Noted. What about just a file and print server, and an FTP server? I want to do a file and print server here at home and an FTP server (behind a pfSense firewall) at work.
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Re: flip's Unix noob adventures

Postposted on Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:21 pm

flip-mode wrote:
bitvector wrote:See a prior thread ranting about this.
Ouch :o So it's not just me, which means it is worse than I thought.

As mentioned in the last post of that thread, ripping out the new network manager applet, and configuring things manually in /etc/networks/interfaces seems to clear up the static IP stupidity. Aside from that there are a few other niggling annoyances in 8.10, but no other major mess-ups (at least not that I've found yet). I am actually using 8.10 on my home Linux desktop now, and I'm reasonably happy with it.

I do wonder how they managed to let such a blatant regression in functionality make it into a released version, though. :roll:
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Re: flip's Unix noob adventures

Postposted on Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:03 pm

Yes, it does not inspire confidence. I guess I am going to ponder these revelations and I may end up going back to FreeBSD for my server needs. Dunno.

Edit, Oh yeah, and just about every man page on Ubuntu that I have opened has had a typo of one kind or another. I don't recall ever seeing that with FreeBSD's documentation.

On the other hand, I did install PC-BSD briefly and it did not seem as polished as Ubuntu.

But if some serious regard for quality is not put into Ubuntu I don't see how it will ever gain any serious trust. Sloppiness will not be kind to its reputation.
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Re: flip's Unix noob adventures

Postposted on Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:07 pm

They seem to pay more attention to polish on the LTS (Long Term Support) releases. If I was setting up a server with Ubuntu, I would go with the 8.04 LTS version (not 8.10).

For a serious Linux server, the best bets are probably Debian (if you're hard-core), RHEL (if you're willing to pay money), or CentOS (if you want a RHEL-style system for free)...
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Re: flip's Unix noob adventures

Postposted on Tue Feb 03, 2009 12:02 am

flip-mode wrote:But if some serious regard for quality is not put into Ubuntu I don't see how it will ever gain any serious trust. Sloppiness will not be kind to its reputation.

The thing you have to understand is that Linux distros have different target audiences and use-cases. On one end of the spectrum, you have RHEL and Debian stable, which are heavily tested and slow moving. They put a premium on stability and no surprises. These are meant for servers and workstations, but you often see people misapply them and complain that the software is "old" and it doesn't have the newest video codecs or KDE release. At the other end of the spectrum, you have Fedora, which is committed to pushing forward new, bleeding-edge functionality regardless of whether it is really ready for prime time. Ubuntu has slid further to Fedora's side since its target audience seems to favor things like 3D desktop effects, wobbly windows and shiny geegaws over stability. They demand brand new features even if they are half-baked, so that's what they are delivered.
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Re: flip's Unix noob adventures

Postposted on Tue Feb 03, 2009 6:12 am

Thanks for that post BV. It seems prudent for that spectrum to exist. I guess I wish that Ubuntu was slightly more conservative.

Edit: and I do not mean to be a complainer. After all, if I really have an issue then I could jump to another distro! I am not complaining about anything other than the fact that, as JBI said, they rolled out a release that won't even hold a static IP!
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Re: flip's Unix noob adventures

Postposted on Tue Feb 03, 2009 6:21 am

Anyway, I got to work this morning (early) and removed NetworkManager (update-rc.d - see bitvector, there was no need for inittab :) and then configured a static IP in /etc/init.d/networking and everything is working proper and holds over after a reboot. So I am happy for now.

Quick question: I noticed that Debian's documentation is pretty good and since Ubuntu is based on Debian I am wondering how applicable Debian's documentation is to Ubuntu?
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Re: flip's Unix noob adventures

Postposted on Tue Feb 03, 2009 8:29 am

flip-mode wrote:Quick question: I noticed that Debian's documentation is pretty good and since Ubuntu is based on Debian I am wondering how applicable Debian's documentation is to Ubuntu?


Debian documentation is nearly always directly applicable to the corresponding Ubuntu releases, with the one major caveat of package versions. If the Debian docs mention specific versions, those specific versions are generally Debian-only. You can usually adapt a little and continue on, however.

You want Ubuntu, but a little more conservative on the just-works/newest-shiniest curve? It's called Debian and it's where Ubuntu came from. A tiny bit further up/down that curve would be RHEL/CentOS, which are quite stable and unpleasant, but they work really well.

If you just find yourself missing FreeBSD-isms, I've heard Gentoo is as close as it gets with a Linux kernel. I haven't spent a lot of time in FBSD, but I've used Gentoo a lot and liked it. It can be quite a shift getting used to the compiles though.
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Re: flip's Unix noob adventures

Postposted on Tue Feb 03, 2009 8:49 am

I will give Gentoo a shot on another machine then.

I gotta say that messing around with a bunch of different distros and OSes is pretty fun.

I will keep Ubuntu/Vista as OSes on the primary desktop because they let me be immediately productive, and fool about with other things on the side (Gentoo, FBSD) that I can take all the time in the world to learn.

So here is the breakdown of what I will run on my various machines:
Primary Desktop: Ubuntu/Visa
NAS: FBSD
Experimental 1: Gentoo or Debian
Experimental 3: PC-BSD

Hmm, it probably makes sense to do virtual machines for the Debian and Gentoo installs.
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Re: flip's Unix noob adventures

Postposted on Tue Feb 03, 2009 9:02 am

just brew it! wrote:Aside from that there are a few other niggling annoyances in 8.10, but no other major mess-ups (at least not that I've found yet). I am actually using 8.10 on my home Linux desktop now, and I'm reasonably happy with it.
I'm running 8.10 everywhere and one thing that's bitten me hard is the compiler default is now gcc-4.3 and I've had a complete nightmare getting it to build my diskless folding stuff. I've given up and swapped the link back to gcc-4.2 and I'm doing a lot better, but still not quite there yet. I also had the Network Mangler issues in the other thread and that is uninstalled now.
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Re: flip's Unix noob adventures

Postposted on Tue Feb 03, 2009 12:20 pm

Forge wrote:If you just find yourself missing FreeBSD-isms, I've heard Gentoo is as close as it gets with a Linux kernel. I haven't spent a lot of time in FBSD, but I've used Gentoo a lot and liked it. It can be quite a shift getting used to the compiles though.


Actually, that would be the opposite of what I'd want. I don't think he's asking for FreeBSD-isms (other than complete, reliable, coherent documentation). And I wasn't recommending FreeBSD-isms. IMHO, if you're running the Linux kernel rather than the FreeBSD kernel, you're losing the primary benefit.

The reason I recommend FreeBSD or OpenBSD for firewall/router duty is because of the superior BSD networking code and the much more excellent firewall implementations. What's used for the UI is much less important, and as far as command-line goes, they're 95% the same.
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Re: flip's Unix noob adventures

Postposted on Tue Feb 03, 2009 12:39 pm

Well, something in my brain just sort of clicked and now the 'info' system makes sense to me and perhaps I have a lot less to gripe about now, documentation wise. Why the info system was not immediately obvious to me, I have no idea :oops:
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Re: flip's Unix noob adventures

Postposted on Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:00 pm

just brew it! wrote:As mentioned in the last post of that thread, ripping out the new network manager applet, and configuring things manually in /etc/networks/interfaces seems to clear up the static IP stupidity. Aside from that there are a few other niggling annoyances in 8.10, but no other major mess-ups (at least not that I've found yet). I am actually using 8.10 on my home Linux desktop now, and I'm reasonably happy with it.

Glad to hear I'm not the only one experiencing the static IP annoyance. That said, I've been very happy with 8.10 overall as well, and I'm even using ATI graphics drivers and Creative X-Fi drivers with no issues. I did need to remove the "Ubufox extension for Firefox" package in order for my Firefox add-ons to work properly. And being a former Fedora and Debian user, I had to go in and disable the boot-up splash screen... seeing an Ubuntu logo instead of kernel boot messages just doesn't feel like Linux to me ;)
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Re: flip's Unix noob adventures

Postposted on Tue Feb 03, 2009 3:00 pm

flip-mode wrote:I will give Gentoo a shot on another machine then.

Gentoo-wiki.com and Gentoo-portage.com are your friends. (As well as me.) I'm also a contributor over there. I have start a couple articles, and have cleaned up a bunch more. One thing you might want to consider is looking for binary distributions within the Portage tree. So, instead of:
Code: Select all
# emerge -av openoffice

You would:
Code: Select all
# emerge -av openoffice-bin


I'd have to say that my major annoyance with Gentoo is the documentation of the USE Flags. The summaries are little more than an overly concise statement. And sometimes, there isn't even a statement to that effect. "cxx" apparently does nothing since it's description is blank. :lol:

Other than that, everything else makes sense to me, and it's fairly easy to find solutions to problems. And, it doesn't overwrite any configuration files without your intervention. (Which was actually a problem I've had in the past.)

As a side note, Gentoo recently earned top honors for handling more DNS quries than any other OS/distribution. :D
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Re: flip's Unix noob adventures

Postposted on Wed Feb 04, 2009 10:13 am

nerdrage wrote:
just brew it! wrote:As mentioned in the last post of that thread, ripping out the new network manager applet, and configuring things manually in /etc/networks/interfaces seems to clear up the static IP stupidity. Aside from that there are a few other niggling annoyances in 8.10, but no other major mess-ups (at least not that I've found yet). I am actually using 8.10 on my home Linux desktop now, and I'm reasonably happy with it.

Glad to hear I'm not the only one experiencing the static IP annoyance. That said, I've been very happy with 8.10 overall as well, and I'm even using ATI graphics drivers and Creative X-Fi drivers with no issues. I did need to remove the "Ubufox extension for Firefox" package in order for my Firefox add-ons to work properly. And being a former Fedora and Debian user, I had to go in and disable the boot-up splash screen... seeing an Ubuntu logo instead of kernel boot messages just doesn't feel like Linux to me ;)


FWIW, you can bypass this WTF by using the Server install media instead of the Desktop install media. The default kernel is different and the default configurations of the core system are different (system-wide firewalling by default FTW), but the same packages are available. If you install off Server, update to the default/mainline/desktop kernel, and add gdm/gnome/whatever, it bypasses the whole NetworkManager/DHCP stupidity while giving you all the advantages of 8.10. The more secure defaults are kind of nice in a few places, too.
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Re: flip's Unix noob adventures

Postposted on Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:31 am

Gentoo is what you need if you want documentation and you have a multicore CPU with good integer performance. I started out with Gentoo, and I must say each time I hear someone's testimony about Ubuntu and "I'm so glad I haven't had to touch the command line" (yet), I smirk and mouth 'noobs', because Gentoo really teaches you a lot. A simple 3 line script can install your compiled kernel instead of having to run dpkg in Debian/Ubuntu.

I've been back on Windows for the past year, though, because I find that Windows is too good to be replaced. I mean, it's stable, I don't have to look up how to get things working (unlike Linux and ESPECIALLY BSD), and I can get the job done with less hassle than in any other Linux, although Debian comes close to the no hassle part, because the QC is very strict there. In contrast, Gentoo can sometimes throw a compile error. When that happens, you can say goodbye to a few hours of your life.
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Re: Unix noob adventures

Postposted on Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:39 pm

I'm building a Gentoo box. The other night, before I left, I executed the following command so that my machine would be busy compiling the whole time I was gone:

emerge -uDa gcc && emerge -C gcc-4.1.2 && gcc-config 1 && source /etc/profile && cp /etc/make.conf.core2 /etc/make.conf && emerge -e world && emerge -uDa world && emerge -uDa gnome && cd /usr/src/linux && make clean && cp /boot/current.cfg /usr/src/linux/.config && make oldconfig && make && make modules && make modules_install && make install && shutdown -r now

It all worked too. The interpretation would be 'upgrade gcc, remove old gcc, update gcc variables, copy my new GCC-4.3 core2-specific options over the old compile config, rebuild the whole system with the new gcc, update anything on this box, install gnome, clean the kernel, rebuild the kernel, install the new GCC-4.3 compiled kernel and reboot.'

Thought nothing much of it at the time, but that command would give most Ubuntu users a hernia, if not panic attacks.
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