Ubuntu 14.04 Webmin Install from PPA

On remote systems sometimes a web-based tool can be very handy. Webmin is such a tool that has been well maintained for decades. To install quickly on a Ubuntu Server without having to manage dependencies and keeping it updated as part of normal OS update operations installing from a PPA Repo is handy. sudo echo "deb http://download.webmin.com/download/repository sarge contrib" >> /etc/apt/sources.list wget -q http://www.webmin.com/jcameron-key.asc -O- | sudo apt-key add - sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install webmin After this you should be able to connect to your webmin instance on port 10000 https://hostname:10000 Security note: I would never allow direct access to Webmin on a remote server but rather tunnel port 10000 over SSH !

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Barebone Ubuntu 14.04 Cloud Desktop

Since I have found some issues with my previous LXQT setup in real-life work I decided to fall back to standard Lubuntu for my cloud desktop. As part of this I also switched to TightVNC which seems a lot easier to configure. Add local user account adduser USERNAME adduser USERNAME sudo Install Lubuntu Desktop sudo apt-get install --no-install-recommends lubuntu-desktop tightvncserver TightVNC Configuration sudo vim /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf # # VNC Server configuration # # enabled = True if VNC connections should be allowed # port = TCP/IP port to listen for connections on # [VNCServer] enabled=true port=5900 width=1366 height=768 depth=24 sudo /etc/init.d/lightdm restart Connect to the remote system ssh -L 5900:localhost:5900 -i /path/to/your/aws/keyfile.pem YOUR.EC2.IP.ADDRESS   If you are using a Chromebook then this article might help.

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Accessing your cloud desktop from Chromebook

One of the main reasons for setting up a cloud desktop is that I tend to use a lot of different devices some of which are not very powerful. One of my favorite devices of late has been a HP 11 Chromebook. I originally bought it for a new employee and wanted to check myself how this thing stacks up to do day-to-day computing tasks more efficiently than a standard laptop without all the headaches of running Windows (viruses, endless driver installs, bloatware, malware, ...). We already have several people at work working exclusively from Chromebooks and they absolutely love them. Long story short - I ended up keeping the Chromebook for myself as it's an absolutely great secondary device for me. I can carry it with me everywhere (doesn't weigh much more than a tablet, roughly the same size as a tablet & has a keyboard and is so much more useful than a tablet). Initially I was using it more as a secondary device, but lately I have been thinking that I will not even take my main notebook at all for travels. The problem with this is that I do (sometimes - very infrequently) need access to software not available on such a limited device. Accessing your Cloud Desktop via SSH (I know there seem to be people allowing direct VNC access - but that is just asking for trouble) is highly recommended. I also use RSA keys instead of password authentication. Copy SSH Private Key (generated…

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Vodafone LTE mobile data on Cyanogen Mod

I have had some issues recently with getting LTE (4G) connectivity on the Vodafone Australia Network using CyanogenMod 11 on multiple devices (http://forum.cyanogenmod.org/topic/92919-no-4g-signal-on-vodafone-au/). Turns out that it was an APN issue after all. The APN provisioned by default when the Voda SIM card is inserted (vfinternet.au) does not work for the LTE Data Network. It works with GPRS & WCDMA, but fails to connect when the phone is set to prefer LTE (4G) Networks and they are actually available. It means that the handset will loose mobile data connectivity altogether. There are various APN Settings floating around on the interwebs, but any I tried previously did not fix the issue. Ater needing to call Vodafone support for another device (on GPE Stock Android) that was experiencing the same issue I got given these APN Settings: Settings --> Mobile Networks --> Access Point Names APN Name: Vodafone AU APN URI: live.vodafone.com Leave all other settings at default (for MMS settings see the link to VF Support below). I have tested this for 2 days and works beautifully. The correct APN settings can be found here: http://support.vodafone.com.au/articles/FAQ/APN-Settings

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Sony Xperia Z2 upgrading to CyanogenMod 11

Contrary to my normal inclinations not to buy anything but Stock Android phones I ended up with a Sony Xperia Z2 in a hurry over the weekend (it's a long story...). It appears to be quite a decent handset (with a pretty good camera actually) and one of the main reason to choose this over the other options was that is was one of the few high-end devices which already had a CM snapshot rather than just nightly releases. However similar to their colleagues at Samsung the Sony people also opted to stuff all sorts of crap-ware bloat onto the Android base OS. It appears not to be as bad as the Samsung (who are the kings of crap) mods, but for somebody used to the clean Android experience it's just very annoying. So I opted to flash it straight to CyanogenMod.    by  epct414  Prerequisites You need the Android SDK installed and on your Path - see one of my other posts on how to do this. Get Bootloader Unlock Code Another annoying step which is not required with Google Nexus series. http://unlockbootloader.sonyericsson.com/instructions You will need to enter and confirm your email (WTF?) and need your IMEI number and at the end of the process you will get an update key that is required below. Put phone into bootloader (fastboot) mode Insert one end of the USB cable into your PC. Turn off the device and wait at least 5 seconds. Press and hold the Volume Down button and plug…

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Removing ‘Video Call’ default in Google Calendar

This 'feature' has been annoying me for a while and after this has caused some confusion with some of my clients I decided to go and look where to disable this. Why this has been made a system wide default is beyond me. Rather than in the users Calendar Settings this is actually in the Google Apps Admin Console (https://admin.google.com/) Console --> Google Apps --> Settings for Calendar --> Sharing Settings Disable the "Automatically add video calls to events created by a user" setting. Direct Link: https://admin.google.com/AdminHome?fral=1#AppDetails:service=Calendar&flyout=sharing

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Finding a private location check-in service

Foursquare decided that it was too hard for them to compete with location services like Yelp and split their app into two separate apps. Whilst that might make sense to the 4Square CEO and his VC masters, it makes no sense from a users perspective. Foursquare can be a bit of a battery hog already, and having 2 apps to open and "annoy" you with notifications is not an improvement by any means. And if I wanted Foursquare to be Yelp - I would have used Yelp in the first place. So no - I do not want to install another separate check-in App (called Swarm). One battery hogging location app was enough.    by  leogaggl  The other argument used by 4Square's CEO is that he didn't want users confused about the "gamification" aspects of 4Square. I personally think that this is highly patronising to the Foursquare user base. I am sure most users would be able to work out what it is useful for. Since I have always used 4Square mainly as a means to get some analytics of my movements and historic record of where I was at what time (I always downloaded my checkins to Thinkup on my own server) I was trying to find something that would fit the same use case. Meet Ushahidi (http://www.ushahidi.com/) - an excellent geo-coded "reporting" service developed in Kenya. I have been following this project for years already. Dynamic Timeline Track your reports on the map and over time, filter your data…

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ARD Mediathek offline viewing on Ubuntu

Since I am a bit of a sucker for German "Krimis" as well as some their excellent documentaries I like to watch ARD Mediathek IPTV. However there are several problems with this when you live at the opposite side of the world. ARD has a block for any films that are 15+ years outside of 20.00h-6.00h GMT+1. Which makes it pretty much impossible to watch at a reasonable time in Australia. I also like to watch these things on the plane which requires download of the media files. Install JSON Parser sudo apt-get install jq Download script wget https://github.com/leogaggl/media/raw/master/download_mediathek.sh chmod +x download_mediathek.sh Usage ./download_mediathek.sh -f save_as_filename.mp4 -q 3 MEDIATHEK-URL The -f and -q parameters are optional. -f filename.mp4 (or full path + filename to save in different directory). Defaults to original filename -q quality setting from 0 to 3 (where 0 is lowest and 3 highest quality). Defaults to highest quality Please leave a comment if you find any issues or log an issue on GitHub. NOTE (2014-07-06): If you are only interested in the Tatort series I suggest you look at this script by Felix Knecht (see comment below)

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Ubuntu 14.04 Amazon EC2 Cloud Desktop using LXQT

Using Amazon EC2's free usage tier to host your own cloud desktop is a very economical way to to have a desktop at hand anytime you can not be near one. Since I quite often use Chromebooks these days when on the road this is a particular handy way should I need a full desktop for certain tasks. Since Ubuntu 14.05 is my default desktop on my normal hardware I obviously want to have my cloud desktop running the same underlying OS. However I don't think running Unity as the desktop interface would be appropriate via a low-bandwidth remote desktop connection. For this reason I chose LXQT. If you need total stability you probably should go for the more mature LXDE instead, but I have already tried LXQT on an old EEE PC and was very impressed by the speed and low resource usage. NOTE (Edit: 2014-11-03): Please find an updated (and easier) version of this blog here. I was experiencing some issues with LXQT (which is understandable as it clearly states that it is not a release version) Provision Ubuntu 14.04 LTS EC2 Instance Instance details Connect to AWS Console and go to EC2 Service Choose OS Image: "Ubuntu Server 14.04 LTS" (see screenshot) Choose a "Micro Instance" if you want to use Amazon's Free Usage Tier Choose Instance details - the defaults will generally be fine Add Storage (I generally add a separate Volume for /home but default should do) Tag instance (just give it a name to…

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