Tag: linux

  1. Spending quality time with the Pi-Top.

    05 May 2017

    A couple of months ago for my Lesser Feast I decided to treat myself to a toy that I've had my eye on for a couple of months: A Pi-Top laptop kit.  My fascination with the Raspberry Pi aside (which includes, to be honest, being able to run a rack full of servers in my office without needing to install a 40U rack and a new 220 power feed), it strikes me as being a very useful thing to have under one's desk as a backup deck or possibly a general purpose software development computer.  Most laptops have one unique …

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  2. Gargantuan file servers and tiny operating systems.

    02 May 2017

    We seem to have reached a unique point in history: Available to your average home user are gargantuan amounts of disk space (8 terabyte hard drives are a thing, and the prices are rapidly coming down to widespread affordability) and enough processing power is available for the palm of your hand that makes the computational power that put the human race on the moon compare in the same was that a grain of sand does to a beach.  For most people, it's the latest phone upgrade or more space for your media box.  For others, though, it poses an unusual …

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  3. Guerilla archival using wget.

    11 February 2017

    Let's say that you want to mirror a website chock full of data before it gets 451'd - say it's epadatadump.com.  You've got a boatload of disk space free on your Linux box (maybe a terabyte or so) and a relatively stable network connection.  How do you do it?

    wget.  You use wget.  Here's how you do it:

    [user@guerilla-archival:(9) ~]$ wget --mirror --continue \
        -e robots=off --wait 30 --random-wait http://epadatadump.com/

    Let's break this down:

    • wget - Self explanatory.
    • --mirror - Mirror the site.
    • --continue - If you have to re-run the command, pick up where you left off (including the …

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  4. Autostarting Kodi on an Arch Linux media box.

    25 January 2017

    Not too long ago, when the USB key I'd built a set-top media machine died from overuse I decided to rebuild it using Arch Linux with Kodi as the media player.  The trick, I keep finding every time, lies in getting Kodi to start up whenever the machine starts up.  I think I've re-figured that out six or seven times by now, and each time after it works I forget all about it.  So, I guess I'd better write it down for once so that I've got a snapshot of what I did in case I need to do it …

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  5. Upgrading Ubuntu Server 14.04 to 16.04.

    02 November 2016

    A couple of days ago I got it into my head to upgrade one of my Exocortex servers from Ubuntu Server 14.04 LTS to 16.04 LTS, the latest stable release. While Ubuntu long-term support releases are good for a couple of years (14.04 LTS would be supported until at least 2020) I had some concerns about the packages themselves being too stale to run the later releases of much of my software. To be more specific, I could continue to hope that the Ruby and Python interpreters I have installed could be upgraded as necessary but at …

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  6. Exocortex: Setting up Huginn

    20 September 2016

    In my last post I said that I'd describe in greater detail how to set up the software that I use as the core of my exocortex, called Huginn.

    First, you need someplace for the software to live. I'll say up front that you can happily run Huginn on your laptop, desktop workstation, or server so long as it's not running Windows. Huginn is developed under Linux; it might run under one of the BSDs but I've never tried. I don't know if it'll run as expected in MacOSX because I don't have a Mac. If you want to give …

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  7. Arch Linux, systemd, and RAID.

    16 May 2016

    Long, long time readers of my blog might remember Leandra, the server that I've had running in my lab in one configuration or another since high school (10th grade, in point of fact). She's been through many different incarnations and has run pretty much every x86 CPU ever made since the 80386. She's also run most of the major distributions of Linux out there, starting with Slackware and most recently running Arch Linux (all of the packages of Gentoo with none of the spending hours compiling everything under the sun or fighting with USE flags). It's also possible to get …

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  8. Ubuntu Syndrome.

    11 February 2015

    Warning: Bitter BOFH ahead.

    There is a phenomenon I've come to call Ubuntu Syndrome, after the distribution of Linux which has become the darling of nearly every hosting provider out there (and no, I won't call them bloody cloud providers). All things considered, it seems to have a good balance of stable software, ease of use, availability, and diversity of available software. It also lends itself readily to the following workflow:

    • Use a tool like packer.io to automagically instantiate a copy of Ubuntu at the hosting provider of choice.
    • Never patch the machine under any circumstances.
    • Use Chef, Ansible …

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  9. Linux on the Dell XPS 15 (9530)

    05 January 2015

    Midway through December of 2014 Windbringer suffered a catastrophic hardware failure following several months of what I've come to term the Dell Death Spiral (nontrivial CPU overheating even while in single user mode, flaky wireless, USB3 ports fail, USB2 ports fail, complete system collapse). Consequently I was in a bit of a scramble to get new hardware, and after researching my options (as much as I love my Inspiron at work they don't let you finance purchases) I spec'd out a brand new Dell XPS 15.

    Behind the cut I'll list Windbringer's new hardware specs and everything I did to …

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  10. How to move your /boot partition onto removable media.

    19 April 2014

    Part of every traveler's threat model today should include the following scenario:

    When you're trying to fly into or out of an airport en route to someplace else, it is entirely possible that the airport's security staff will take you aside for a more thorough search and questioning while your stuff is taken someplace out of your control and analyzed. We know that there are malware packages available today that boobytrap the boot device of laptop computers to install various forms of surveillance malware which run the next time you start your machine up and compromise the OS even though …

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