The harmful command

Since I was bored, and curiosity killed me, I decided to take a hand at setting up my own server. To do it I used the guide at https://help.ubuntu.com/community/ApacheMySQLPHP. To install, the guide specified to run:

sudo tasksel install lamp-server

After this, however, I remembered that I had such a bad upload connection that any hit would create a noticeable lag on my Internet. Not being familiar with tasksel, I assumed it worked in the same vein as apt-get and that running the opposite would remove lamp-server and nothing more. It made sense, right?

How wrong I was.

It wasn’t before long until I caught it removing some of my most used programs, without my consent! So far, this is what I’ve found it remove:

audacity gnome-games exfalso update-notifier ubuntu-tweak brasero bluefish tomboy gnome-utils thunar conky hal network-manager policykit

Most of these programs aren’t a crucial loss. But some, like network-manager, disabled my Internet connection! Luckily, I had a plan: I would download these programs from the Windows laptop, save them on my flash drive and install them from there. Or so I thought. Without hal, my flash drive wasn’t detected on the computer. (I also wasn’t able to burn the contents of the flash drive onto a CD, since the other computers don’t have a CD burner. That and I don’t think the CD would’ve been detected without hal either.)

Eventually, I decided to boot from a Live CD (TinyMe, since I couldn’t find Ubuntu), plug in the flash drive, copy the contents onto my hard drive, reboot, and install them from there. Had I not thought of that, I may have been willing to reinstall, and lose over 20GB of *cough*legal*cough* music (with no external hard drive at the moment to back it up).

Anyway, long story short: don’t take commands for granted!!

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2 Responses to “The harmful command”

  1. klo Says:

    Poor you… Next time, try doing this in VM first 😉 .

    A separate data partition may also be a good idea. I wasn’t a big fan of that until I’ve had several very close calls…

    I went for a 12GB OS partition for Xubuntu.

  2. Thomas Says:

    This is why I always stuck with a plain apt-get or aptitude based LAMP install when I ran Linux…sometimes these programs try to do too much.


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