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Linux tips and tricks for all users.

A good guide to creating SSH keys and disabling the password for an SSH login.

This guide I just used used allows a Linux user to disable the password and enable SSH keys to manage logins to an SSH server. http://lani78.com/2008/08/08/generate-a-ssh-key-and-disable-password-authentication-on-ubuntu-server/. This is very useful, you can access your machine remotely and without requiring the user to remember a complex password. if you are on Windows, the Bitvise SSH client can import the SSH key from your Linux server without problems and allow you to connect over a proxy: http://www.bitvise.com/ssh-client-download. I had problems using Putty, but this utility works perfectly.

Very old CRT terminal.
Very old CRT terminal.

How to bypass Internet censorship in a repressive regime. A useful PDF file.

A very useful PDF file with information about bypassing Internet censorship in a repressive regime. Countries like China and Iran have restricted Internet and this necessitates a method of bypassing this restriction on free speech and enabling unrestricted Internet access to allow the user to upload photos and video of government abuses.

Source: http://www.nartv.org/mirror/circ_guide.pdf.

Get information about your network interface with Linux.

Linux has quite a few commands for finding out information about your network adapters. Below is an example. Using the ethtool command as root.


homer@deusexmachina ~ $ sudo ethtool eth2
[sudo] password for homer:
Settings for eth2:
Supported ports: [ TP MII ]
Supported link modes: 10baseT/Half 10baseT/Full
100baseT/Half 100baseT/Full
Supported pause frame use: No
Supports auto-negotiation: Yes
Advertised link modes: 10baseT/Half 10baseT/Full
100baseT/Half 100baseT/Full
Advertised pause frame use: No
Advertised auto-negotiation: Yes
Link partner advertised link modes: 10baseT/Half 10baseT/Full
100baseT/Half 100baseT/Full
Link partner advertised pause frame use: Symmetric
Link partner advertised auto-negotiation: Yes
Speed: 100Mb/s
Duplex: Full
Port: MII
PHYAD: 32
Transceiver: internal
Auto-negotiation: on
Supports Wake-on: pumbg
Wake-on: d
Current message level: 0x00000007 (7)
drv probe link
Link detected: yes

The ethtool command may also be used to get the driver information from the ethernet adapter.


homer@deusexmachina ~ $ sudo ethtool -i eth2
driver: 8139too
version: 0.9.28
firmware-version:
bus-info: 0000:06:02.0
supports-statistics: yes
supports-test: no
supports-eeprom-access: no
supports-register-dump: yes
supports-priv-flags: no

This command may also show the features of the ethernet interface. Use the sudo ethtool -k eth2 command.


homer@deusexmachina ~ $ sudo ethtool -k eth2
Features for eth2:
rx-checksumming: off [fixed]
tx-checksumming: on
tx-checksum-ipv4: off [fixed]
tx-checksum-ip-generic: on [fixed]
tx-checksum-ipv6: off [fixed]
tx-checksum-fcoe-crc: off [fixed]
tx-checksum-sctp: off [fixed]
scatter-gather: on
tx-scatter-gather: on [fixed]
tx-scatter-gather-fraglist: off [fixed]
tcp-segmentation-offload: off
tx-tcp-segmentation: off [fixed]
tx-tcp-ecn-segmentation: off [fixed]
tx-tcp6-segmentation: off [fixed]
udp-fragmentation-offload: off [fixed]
generic-segmentation-offload: on
generic-receive-offload: on
large-receive-offload: off [fixed]
rx-vlan-offload: off [fixed]
tx-vlan-offload: off [fixed]
ntuple-filters: off [fixed]
receive-hashing: off [fixed]
highdma: on [fixed]
rx-vlan-filter: off [fixed]
vlan-challenged: off [fixed]
tx-lockless: off [fixed]
netns-local: off [fixed]
tx-gso-robust: off [fixed]
tx-fcoe-segmentation: off [fixed]
tx-gre-segmentation: off [fixed]
tx-udp_tnl-segmentation: off [fixed]
tx-mpls-segmentation: off [fixed]
fcoe-mtu: off [fixed]
tx-nocache-copy: on
loopback: off [fixed]
rx-fcs: off
rx-all: off
tx-vlan-stag-hw-insert: off [fixed]
rx-vlan-stag-hw-parse: off [fixed]
rx-vlan-stag-filter: off [fixed]

And the ifconfig command is also useful, it shows IP addressing information.


homer@deusexmachina ~ $ sudo ifconfig eth2
eth2 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr f8:1a:67:10:b1:63
inet addr:192.168.100.4 Bcast:192.168.100.255 Mask:255.255.255.0
inet6 addr: fe80::fa1a:67ff:fe10:b163/64 Scope:Link
UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST MTU:1500 Metric:1
RX packets:27539 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:24493 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
RX bytes:21266891 (20.2 MiB) TX bytes:6593141 (6.2 MiB)

Yet another command that may be used to show all network interfaces and IP addresses is the sudo inxi -i command.


homer@deusexmachina ~ $ sudo inxi -i
Network: Card-1: D-Link System RTL8139 Ethernet driver: 8139too
IF: eth1 state: down mac: 00:13:46:3a:02:83
Card-2: Realtek RTL-8139/8139C/8139C+ driver: 8139too
IF: eth2 state: unknown speed: 100 Mbps duplex: full mac: f8:1a:67:10:b1:63
Card-3: Realtek RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Controller driver: r8169
IF: eth0 state: down mac: 6c:f0:49:b5:e6:2a
WAN IP: xxx.xxx.xxx.xx IF: sit0 ip: N/A IF: eth0 ip: N/A IF: eth1 ip: N/A
IF: eth2 ip: 192.168.100.4

Finally, the ip a command will show all network interfaces on the system.

Get more information about the ip command here: http://www.cyberciti.biz/faq/linux-ip-command-examples-usage-syntax/.

Strange object photographed in the Martian sky. Is this a UFO?

Strange object in the Martian sky.
Strange object in the Martian sky.

This is a strange object photographed in the Martian sky. Could this be a photographic anomaly or is it an Unidentified Flying Object. Someone might know what this is but I am not sure. Make up your own mind about this strange object. The high resolution version of this image was here; but now it is gone. This is the only working link at the time of writing: http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl-raw-images/proj/msl/redops/ods/surface/sol/00688/opgs/edr/ncam/NRB_458574869EDR_F0390444NCAM00295M_.JPG. This is an intriguing image, I wish I could get ahold of the full-resolution images, but NASA have deleted them. As usual. Why do they keep covering up amazing discoveries like this? There are other related images on this page, the image with the strange object is the only one that is inaccessible. I wonder why that is.

Who knows what this could be; but the low resolution pictures are annoying.

Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic review.

How to use SFTP on Linux and copy files easily.

How to take a screenshot of a Linux desktop over SSH.

To take a screenshot of a Linux desktop over SSH; firstly you must set the DISPLAY environment variable.


homer@deusexmachina ~ $ export DISPLAY=:0

Then use scrot to capture a screenshot of the desktop to a file.


homer@deusexmachina ~ $ scrot :0 my.jpeg

Since I am using my Windows Server 2012 laptop to connect to my Linux machine over a proxy, I installed the WinSCP application and this allows me to upload and download to my files over an SFTP connection. This provides a simple two-pane display of the local machine and remote directories.

Download this application here: http://winscp.net/eng/index.php. If you have sessions saved in Putty, these can be imported into WinSCP.

WinSCP. A good way to copy files from a Linux machine.
WinSCP. A good way to copy files from a Linux machine.

Here is how to retrieve the file using sftp.


Administrator@WIN-EM8GK0ROU41 ~
$ scp -P 443 homer@122.148.123.87:/home/homer/my.jpeg /home/Administrator/
LMDE MATE Editionhomer@122.148.123.87's password:
my.jpeg

This is an easy way to take a screenshot of the Linux desktop and copy it to your local machine, either Windows or Linux.

And this is the screenshot that I was able to retrieve from my Linux machine to a Windows laptop. Purely using SSH.

My mwm desktop screenshot.
My mwm desktop screenshot.

A good guide to the backend functioning of a VOIP system.

A look at the CDE UNIX desktop running on Debian.

I have recently had a look at the CDE desktop running on Debian. This is an old but good desktop environment that allows a user to make the best use of their computer. I found a Linux distribution named CDebian that is a distribution of Debian as a Live CD that includes the CDE desktop and login manager. Below is a screenshot of the CDE desktop.

The CDE desktop running on Debian.
The CDE desktop running on Debian.

And this is the control panel that enables a user to change the wallpaper and set the screensaver they desire.

CDE control panel open.
CDE control panel open.

Selecting a wallpaper for the CDE desktop. There are not many wallpapers distributed with CDE.

Selecting a wallpaper.
Selecting a wallpaper.

The CDE desktop also has a good selection of screensavers that are available to make your idle screen pretty.

Selecting the desired screensaver in CDE.
Selecting the desired screensaver in CDE.

The Live CD I am using is based on 2.6.32 and uses the CDE desktop. I have uploaded this to Google Drive as the only other download mirror I could find had a 52 kilobits per second download speed.

Download the ISO image here: CDebian ISO.

Username: cdeuser
Password: cde

Use sudo to access a root prompt. I do not know the root password.

The handles at each end of the CDE toolbar allow you to drag it around the screen and position it wherever you wish. This is a very good feature. Just the thing that the modern Unity desktop sorely needs. I wish that CDE was available for Ubuntu and Linux Mint. A CDE respin of Ubuntu would be a very popular download. Anyway, this ISO works very well in VMware workstation and is well worth a look if you want to try out the CDE desktop for yourself.

How to fix the incorrect time in Linux Mint Debian Edition.

The time in Linux Mint Debian Edition can be wrong compared to your Windows installation; this is easily fixed though.

Open the /etc/adjtime file in VIM.


vim /etc/adjtime

Then change the last line from UTC to LOCAL as shown below.


deusexmachina ~ # cat /etc/adjtime
0.014261 1405441104 0.000000
1405441104
LOCAL

Then save the file and the changes will be ready to be applied immediately.

Run the hwclock command as root to set the proper time.


deusexmachina ~ # hwclock -s

And use the date command to see the new time setting.


deusexmachina ~ # date
Wednesday 16 July 21:11:21 EST 2014

That is how easy it is to fix the time in LMDE. And you do not need a re-boot either.

Awesome themes that would suit a modern KDE 5 desktop.

Windows 7 and KDE 5 side by side.
Windows 7 and KDE 5 side by side.

Themes.

Oxygen GTK, a port of the KDE Oxygen theme to GTK: http://kde-look.org/content/show.php/Oxygen+Gtk?content=136216.

Aeri 5.0. This is a flat and light theme inspired by mobile and tablet operating system interfaces: http://kde-look.org/content/show.php/Aeri+?content=162303.

Kawai. A very smooth and sleek KDE theme: http://kde-look.org/content/show.php/Kawai+%5BQtCurve%5D?content=141920.

Descartes Breeze: http://kde-look.org/content/show.php/Descartes+Breeze?content=165578.

Soft Metal: http://kde-look.org/content/show.php/Soft+Metal?content=120867.

Lightning Unified QtCurve: http://kde-look.org/content/show.php/Lightning+Unified+QtCurve?content=155169.

Polyester 1.0.4: http://kde-look.org/content/show.php/Polyester?content=27968.

Skulpture: http://kde-look.org/content/show.php/Skulpture?content=59031.

KDM themes.

Clean 1.0. A very simplistic and nice KDM theme: http://kde-look.org/content/show.php/Clean?content=74405.

Elegant Air KDM theme: http://kde-look.org/content/show.php/Elegant+Air+KDM+Theme?content=110756.

SoftGreen KDM Theme: http://kde-look.org/content/show.php/SoftGreen+KDM+Theme?content=40573.

Wallpapers.

Misurina lake Lavaredo hights – dolomiti: http://kde-look.org/content/show.php/Misurina+lake+Lavaredo+hights+-+dolomiti?content=111824.

Colored larches in Ulten: http://kde-look.org/content/show.php/Colored+larches+in+Ulten?content=166208.

Fantasy Space wallpaper: http://wallpaperswide.com/download/future_world-wallpaper-1920×1080.jpg.

How to use rsync to copy files from one computer to another.

This is an example where I am using the rsync command to copy files from one computer to another.


homer@deusexmachina ~ $ rsync -avz -e "ssh -p 443" homer@192.168.100.4:/home/homer/Desktop/ /home/homer/Videos
The authenticity of host '[192.168.100.4]:443 ([192.168.100.4]:443)' can't be established.
ECDSA key fingerprint is ############################################.
Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)? yes
Warning: Permanently added '[192.168.100.4]:443' (ECDSA) to the list of known hosts.
LMDE MATE Editionhomer@192.168.100.4's password:
receiving incremental file list
./
Screenshot-1.png
Screenshot-2.png
Screenshot-3.png
Screenshot-4.png
Screenshot.png
note.txt
om mani padme hum.txt

sent 160 bytes received 6,162,675 bytes 821,711.33 bytes/sec
total size is 6,172,665 speedup is 1.00

This is another example using cygwin to connect to my Linux Mint Debian Edition server. I am using port 443 to connect to my Linux machine.


Administrator@WIN-EM8GK0ROU41 ~
$ rsync -avz -e "ssh -p 443" homer@192.168.100.4:/home/homer/Desktop/ /home/Administrator/Documents
The authenticity of host '[192.168.100.4]:443 ([192.168.100.4]:443)' can't be established.
ECDSA key fingerprint is ################################################.
Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)? yes
Warning: Permanently added '[192.168.100.4]:443' (ECDSA) to the list of known hosts.
LMDE MATE Editionhomer@192.168.100.4's password:
receiving incremental file list
./
Screenshot-1.png
Screenshot-2.png
Screenshot-3.png
Screenshot-4.png
Screenshot.png
note.txt
om mani padme hum.txt

sent 163 bytes received 6162630 bytes 648715.05 bytes/sec
total size is 6172665 speedup is 1.00

As you can see; this is a very useful command for copying files from one machine to another.

Use rsync this way to get a list of files from the server.


Administrator@WIN-EM8GK0ROU41 ~
$ rsync -avz -e "ssh -p 443" homer@192.168.100.4:/home/homer/Desktop
LMDE MATE Editionhomer@192.168.100.4's password:
receiving incremental file list
drwxr-xr-x 4096 2014/07/09 21:12:11 Desktop
-rw-r--r-- 1471271 2014/07/06 13:20:28 Desktop/Screenshot-1.png
-rw-r--r-- 1720427 2014/07/07 12:36:19 Desktop/Screenshot-2.png
-rw-r--r-- 1722143 2014/07/07 12:36:25 Desktop/Screenshot-3.png
-rw-r--r-- 1002758 2014/07/07 15:10:17 Desktop/Screenshot-4.png
-rw-r--r-- 256022 2014/07/05 22:01:48 Desktop/Screenshot.png
-rw-r--r-- 25 2014/07/05 22:24:43 Desktop/note.txt
-rw-r--r-- 19 2014/07/09 21:12:11 Desktop/om mani padme hum.txt

sent 24 bytes received 212 bytes 42.91 bytes/sec
total size is 6172665 speedup is 26155.36

This is how to return a file list from the server using rsync.


Administrator@WIN-EM8GK0ROU41 ~
$ rsync -avz -e "ssh -p 443" homer@192.168.100.4:/home/homer/Desktop | awk '{ print $NF }'
LMDE MATE Editionhomer@192.168.100.4's password:
list
Desktop
Desktop/Screenshot-1.png
Desktop/Screenshot-2.png
Desktop/Screenshot-3.png
Desktop/Screenshot-4.png
Desktop/Screenshot.png
Desktop/note.txt
hum.txt

bytes/sec
25719.44

This is how to return a more verbose output.


Administrator@WIN-EM8GK0ROU41 ~
$ rsync -avz -e "ssh -p 443" homer@192.168.100.4:/home/homer/Desktop | awk '{ print $F }'
LMDE MATE Editionhomer@192.168.100.4's password:
receiving incremental file list
drwxr-xr-x 4096 2014/07/09 21:12:11 Desktop
-rw-r--r-- 1471271 2014/07/06 13:20:28 Desktop/Screenshot-1.png
-rw-r--r-- 1720427 2014/07/07 12:36:19 Desktop/Screenshot-2.png
-rw-r--r-- 1722143 2014/07/07 12:36:25 Desktop/Screenshot-3.png
-rw-r--r-- 1002758 2014/07/07 15:10:17 Desktop/Screenshot-4.png
-rw-r--r-- 256022 2014/07/05 22:01:48 Desktop/Screenshot.png
-rw-r--r-- 25 2014/07/05 22:24:43 Desktop/note.txt
-rw-r--r-- 19 2014/07/09 21:12:11 Desktop/om mani padme hum.txt

sent 24 bytes received 212 bytes 52.44 bytes/sec
total size is 6172665 speedup is 26155.36
1 [waitproc] -bash 2972 sig_send: error sending signal 20, pipe handle 0xB9C, nb 132, packsize 0, Win32 error 109

Some more useful Linux commands for the desktop and server user.

This simple command allows the user to print the contents of a variable.

homer@deusexmachina:~ % echo "$LOGNAME"
homer

Use the netstat command to get information about all network connections to and from your machine.

homer@deusexmachina:~ % netstat
Active Internet connections
Proto Recv-Q Send-Q Local Address          Foreign Address        (state)
tcp4       0      0 192.168.233.133.ssh    vrrp.uglsmts51mg.50529 ESTABLISHED
Active UNIX domain sockets
Address  Type   Recv-Q Send-Q    Inode     Conn     Refs  Nextref Addr
fffff800029ff4b0 stream      0      0        0 fffff800029ff5a0        0        0
fffff800029ff5a0 stream      0      0        0 fffff800029ff4b0        0        0
fffff800029ffb40 stream      0      0 fffff800028db1d8        0        0        0 /var/run/devd.pipe
fffff800029ff3c0 dgram       0      0        0 fffff800029ff960        0 fffff800029ff690
fffff800029ff690 dgram       0      0        0 fffff800029ff960        0 fffff800029ff870
fffff800029ff780 dgram       0      0        0 fffff800029ffa50        0        0
fffff800029ff870 dgram       0      0        0 fffff800029ff960        0        0
fffff800029ff960 dgram       0      0 fffff800029f8b10        0 fffff800029ff3c0        0 /var/run/logpriv
fffff800029ffa50 dgram       0      0 fffff800029f8ce8        0 fffff800029ff780        0 /var/run/log

Do you want to see how much free space there is on your hard drive? use the df -Hla command to get this information.

homer@deusexmachina:~ % df -Hla
Filesystem    Size    Used   Avail Capacity  Mounted on
/dev/da0p2     19G    1.5G     16G     8%    /
devfs         1.0k    1.0k      0B   100%    /dev

This command gets the IP address of a host and feeds it to the host command.

homer@deusexmachina:~ % host `dig +short john.com`
212.156.252.162.in-addr.arpa domain name pointer perfora.net.

How the new video dictionary app DIVII helps in English learning?

Have you ever wondered if you could become proficient in the English language by watching videos and movies on your smartphone? Here’s good news for you. DIVII – English Video Dictionary is here! This cross-platform application helps in learning English by watching subtitled videos. What’s more? You learn every aspect of the language through the app, namely pronunciations, spellings, grammar, examples, reading, and writing. DIVII encourages all-encompassing education process and all of it in an interesting and stress-free manner. Curious about the unique concept of video dictionary app? Read on…

How video dictionary works?

DIVII lets you search and watch videos with English words. When you search with a keyword, you get a list of subtitled videos to choose from. Every video opens exactly at the moment where the searched words or phrases have been used in that particular video. Videos open in repeat mode so that you can focus on word usages better. Just a tap and you can continue watching the whole of the video unhindered. Moreover, you can search dictionary meanings of just any word you come across in video subtitles. Thus, DIVII makes learning a continuous process and not just a horizontal one-way flow.

How subtitles help in learning English?

As already discussed, you can search for dictionary meanings of words from subtitles. In addition to that you can get instant pronunciation guide to those words. You also get text examples of the words you search for.

There’s another benefit of watching subtitled videos – it is easier to follow what is being said in the video. Subtitles are a great help to ESL students who often find it difficult to follow native pronunciations. Reading subtitles also help them to practice reading English. Through subtitled videos, DIVII also has the potential to help hearing impaired students to learn English. Thus, with the new video dictionary it is possible to help students with special needs.

Note and Notebook to help you scribble and practice

If you feel you need to scribble something as you learn, you can use the Note feature of the app. In the Note section you can write anything against the words you searched for. DIVII lets you search for meanings of words and phrases in around 13 languages! Getting meanings in native languages helps in better understanding. Moreover, there is the Notebook where you can save and organise all words you searched for along with their dictionary meanings and examples. You can organise search queries either in curated or customized lists. Thus, you can use the app as your own personalized jotter.

Increasing your vocabulary is also important

Learning English is not restricted to learning words, meanings, and grammar. It is very important to enhance your vocabulary. The more words you know, the more you are fluent in the language. DIVII has curated Vocabulary Lists in its Knowledge Hub section. Resource from Knowledge Hub can also help you to prepare for English tests like SAT, GRE, GMAT, and TOEFL. And, do not miss the Flash Cards! They are there to help you memorize and retain words better.

DIVII promises to be an app worth installing if you desire to know English like a native. The best part of downloading this app now is that it is still available free! Rush on.

Author’s Bio: Mark is a graphologist who finds his recent interest in the typography of an old English dictionary he came across in his university library. He loves cycling and playing chess in his free time.

Why Linux is better than Windows; some screenshots of Linux goodness.

Linux has many advantages over Windows; one of them is the long uptime that you get from a Linux machine.

Linux uptime 52 days.

Another is the ability to customize your Linux desktop to look just the way you want it to.

A gorgeous Linux Fluxbox desktop environment.
A gorgeous Linux Fluxbox desktop environment.

This is another example; the awesome Gnome 3 desktop.

A beautiful Gnome 3 desktop.
A beautiful Gnome 3 desktop.

The KDE desktop is a Windows styled desktop for Linux that is very attractive when you theme it right.

The beautiful KDE 4 desktop environment.
The beautiful KDE 4 desktop environment.

The kernel may be customized for your needs as well; this is very useful for building a custom system for a particular need.

You can customize the entire Linux kernel to your needs.
You can customize the entire Linux kernel to your needs.

And the Eterm terminal is a very nice way to create a custom terminal window that you can show off and use in your day to day Linux tasks.

The terminal may be customized to your needs.
The terminal may be customized to your needs.

 

This goes to show that a Linux desktop is more customizable than Linux.