Friday, November 25, 2011

How to use easy_install through a proxy

You first need to make sure that the shell variable http_proxy is defined:
$ env | grep http_proxy

On this done you can run simply run easy_install as follow:
sudo -E easy_install your_package
The "-E" parameter for sudo preserves your environment (namely variables) which is not the default behavior.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

How to fix windows 7 install stuck at step "Finalizing your settings"

While trying to install windows 7 on my shiny Macbook, after the whole ordeal i had went through (See here and here for more details), I finally had the install going and was at the last step.
By last step I mean my computer had already rebooted several times, went through "Setting up your computer for first time use", and was at the step "Finalizing your settings".
Unfortunatly this last step took forever. By Forever i mean, after leaving my computer at it the whole night, was still stuck there in the morning.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Install Windows 7 with boot camp on mac (Part 2)

Small resume from Part 1:
  • I am the (un)happy owner of a late 2008 Macbook Pro
  • My super Drive is DEAD
  • I have Mac OS X Lion installed on my mac
  • For whatever (foolish) reason I want to install Windows 7 on a Bootcamp partition
  • I used Bootcamp 4.0.1

In the guide below i will explain how i managed to (finally) install Windows 7 on my bootcamp partition. But before we go further, some important warning. This whole procedure is at best dangerous, and is not for the faint hearted. It can possibly screw up your disk, follow it at your own risk. I strongly advise that you read this guide completely before starting this whole procedure by yourself. Now that you've been warned, let's get started.

Windows 7 with boot camp on macbook late 2008 (Part 1)

In this serie of articles, i will describe the steps I followed while trying to install a Windows 7 in Boot Camp. I will try to make this guide as detailed as possible in hope it'll be helpful to other people. But before i dive in a bit of context, that has its importance.

My computer is a MacBook Pro of late 2008, whose Superdrive is unfortunately dead. Which meant i was not able to simple put in the DVD install of Windows 7 into my Superdrive into my MacBook, which left me with trying to install it from a USB boot disk. Unfortunately, my Mac being from late 2008, it means that usb boot disk was out of the question, which i only discovered after trying to the steps below.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

How to install cx_Oracle and oracle client on debian

In this post i'm going to explain how to install and use the python lib named cx_Oracle on a debian box. To make things a little more spicy, i will start from the assumption that oracle is not installed on the box, and that i don't want to install a full fledged oracle server on my box.

So after this procedure i will have a minimal install of oracle libs, that means the bare minimum to use cx_Oracle. More precisely, that means no oracle client, no sqlplus will be on that box.

The first step is to download the oracle instant client and the cx_Oracle library that matches. Out of laziness, i decided to use the pre compiled version of cx_Oracle.

Do download oracle instant client, go on oracle website here. Then choose the platform that / library that matches your oracle server. For me it was ""

Once you have downloaded that file unzip it and install it. I personnaly chose to install it in (i.e move the unzipped folder) into /usr/local/lib.

Once this done, you need to define two variables:
export ORACLE_HOME=/usr/local/lib/instantclient_11_1
export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$LD_LIBRARY_PATH:/usr/local/lib/instantclient_11_1

Once this is done, we can move on to install cx_Oracle. I downloaded the RPM version that matches my python and oracle version, in my case cx_Oracle-5.1.1-11g-py26-1.i386.rpm.

Being under debian, RPM is not the favored method to install packages. Fortunately there's an utility that allows to convert RPMs to DEB files called alien. Here's the steps to install alien and cx_Oracle:
# install alien
sudo apt-get install alien

# convert cx_Oracle-5.1.1-11g-py26-1.i386.rpm to cx_Oracle-5.1.1-11g-py26-1.i386.deb and install it
alien -i cx_Oracle-5.1.1-11g-py26-1.i386.rpm

Once that done, there's one last step. This installed cx_Oracle library was installed under /usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages. Unfortunatly by default, site-packages wasn't part of the default python search path. There's several ways to go around that which i won't describe at length (more details here under "Modifying Python’s Search Path"). I chose to modify under /usr/lib/python2.6/ (mostly because it's the first but probably not the last package that will be installed in site-packages).

In order to do that I simply edited and searched for addsitepackages and edited it as follow:
def addsitepackages(known_paths):
    """Add site-packages (and possibly site-python) to sys.path"""
    sitedirs = []
    seen = []

    for prefix in PREFIXES:
        if not prefix or prefix in seen:

        if sys.platform in ('os2emx', 'riscos'):
            sitedirs.append(os.path.join(prefix, "Lib", "site-packages"))
        elif os.sep == '/':
            sitedirs.append(os.path.join(prefix, "local/lib",
                                        "python" + sys.version[:3],
            sitedirs.append(os.path.join(prefix, "lib",
                                        "python" + sys.version[:3],
            sitedirs.append(os.path.join(prefix, "lib", "dist-python"))

        # added following line to make site-packages part of default search path
            sitedirs.append(os.path.join(prefix, "lib",
                                        "python" + sys.version[:3],

            sitedirs.append(os.path.join(prefix, "lib", "site-packages"))

        if sys.platform == "darwin":
            # for framework builds *only* we add the standard Apple
            # locations. Currently only per-user, but /Library and
            # /Network/Library could be added too
            if 'Python.framework' in prefix:
                        os.path.join("~", "Library", "Python",
                                     sys.version[:3], "site-packages")))

    for sitedir in sitedirs:
        if os.path.isdir(sitedir):
            addsitedir(sitedir, known_paths)

    return known_paths

After all that, you should be able to type "import cx_Oracle".