Offline RSS Reading on Ubuntu

I sometimes have time to read RSS feeds when I have no Internet connection. Granted this is happening less often these days with wireless connectivity pretty much ubiquitous, but I frequently have that need. Most often it's in an air-plane when you want to catch up on non-essential news and don't have any connectivity. This is where Lightread comes in handy. It synchronizes your Google Reader Account with excellent integration into the Ubuntu UI (desktop notification of new items ...). sudo add-apt-repository ppa:cooperjona/lightread sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install lightread

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CoffeeScript on Ubuntu 12.04

Installing CoffeeScript on Ubuntu 12.04 is a complete no-brainer by the looks of it (since both node.js Core as well as Node Package Manager are in the Ubuntu repos). sudo apt-get install nodejs npm sudo npm install -g coffee-script To check the installation coffee -v Just as a reminder for myself & in case it helps somebody ...

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Saving Video Streams in Ubuntu

Flash Media rtmpdump apt-get install rtmpdump rtmpdump -r "rtmp://domain.tld/video_name.flv" -o video_name.flv Docs: http://rtmpdump.mplayerhq.hu/rtmpdump.1.html Windows Media mimms apt-get install mimms mimms mms://domain.tld/video_name.wmv Docs: http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/precise/man1/mimms.1.html mplayer mplayer -dumpstream -dumpfile video_name.wmv mms://domain.tld/video_name.wmv

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OpenVPN Install on CentOS 6 Server

I recently had a need to install a VPN service in a OpenVZ container. Since I normally only use Hardware emulating VM's I ran into quite a few issues in terms of low-level networking support on this Container Virtualisation System. Turns out that you are stuck with a TUN/TAP solution as most services won't enable PPP services on their infrastructure. Also Ethernet bridging is not available (at least on the service I used) so you're stuck with NAT IP masquerading. Considering the options I thought best served with using OpenVPN server. Install Server yum --enablerepo=epel -y install openvpn Server configuration cp /usr/share/doc/openvpn-*/sample-config-files/server.conf /etc/openvpn/ These are the contents of /etc/openvpn/server.conf local XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX #Server External IP port 1194 proto udp dev tun ca ca.crt cert SERVER.crt key SERVER.key #keep file secret dh dh1024.pem server 10.8.0.0 255.255.255.0 ifconfig-pool-persist ipp.txt push "redirect-gateway def1 bypass-dhcp" push "dhcp-option DNS 8.8.8.8" #using Google Public DNS push "dhcp-option DNS 8.8.4.4" #using Google Public DNS keepalive 10 120 comp-lzo max-clients 5 user nobody group nobody persist-key persist-tun status openvpn-status.log log /var/log/openvpn.log verb 3 mkdir -p /etc/openvpn/easy-rsa/keys cd /etc/openvpn/easy-rsa cp -rf /usr/share/openvpn/easy-rsa/2.0/* . vim vars #Set the country (KEY_COUNTRY) #state (KEY_PROVINCE) #locality (KEY_CITY) #organisation name (KEY_ORG) #support email (KEY_EMAIL) Create certificate authority ./vars ./clean-all ./build-ca The CA key and certificate should not be in the keys directory inside the easy-rsa directory. Create certificate for the server ./build-key-server NAME_OF_SERVER Answer the questions and commit the certificate into the database Create the Diffie Hellman files These files are used for the actual…

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Installing Poptop (pptpd) VPN Server on CentOS 6

For roaming mobile clients PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol) is still the quickest way to get VPN connections to tunnel traffic over a secure link. Installation I always prefer installation via a yum repository as this will ensure patches are applied during regular system updates sudo rpm --import http://poptop.sourceforge.net/yum/RPM-GPG-KEY-PPTP sudo rpm -Uvh http://poptop.sourceforge.net/yum/stable/rhel6/pptp-release-current.noarch.rpm sudo yum install ppp pptpd -y Configuration Note: replace $USERNAME and $PASSWORD with actual values IP configuration echo "localip 192.168.0.1" >> /etc/pptpd.conf echo "remoteip 192.168.0.100-199" >> /etc/pptpd.conf DNS configuration echo "ms-dns 8.8.8.8" >> /etc/ppp/options.pptpd echo "ms-dns 4.2.2.1" >> /etc/ppp/options.pptpd Authentication configuration echo "$USERNAME pptpd $PASSWORD *" >> /etc/ppp/chap-secrets Firewall config service iptables start echo "net.ipv4.ip_forward = 1" >> /etc/sysctl.conf sysctl -p echo "iptables -t nat -A POSTROUTING -o eth0 -j MASQUERADE" >> /etc/rc.local iptables -t nat -A POSTROUTING -o eth0 -j MASQUERADE service iptables restart service iptables save chkconfig iptables on Start ppptd chkconfig pptpd on service pptpd start

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Disable services on boot – Ubuntu 12.04

To keep my desktop (notebook) machine light and responsive I don't want unnecessary services starting on boot-time. Turns out Ubuntu is surprisingly cumbersome to configure in this area (compared to RedHat / Fedora). Two services I need on my notebook, but don't want them to start unless I require them running are MySQL and Apache. But it looks like some services are started using upstart init daemon and it appears there is no management tool for this. Services can pe prevented from auto-starting either by renaming the config file or commenting out the start line in the config file sudo cp /etc/init/mysql.conf /etc/init/mysql.conf.modified sudo rm /etc/init/mysql.conf Or comment out the following line in the config file sudo vim /etc/init/mysql.conf #start on runlevel [2345] Reference: http://upstart.ubuntu.com/cookbook/#disabling-a-job-from-automatically-starting Other services are still started using rc.d such as Apache. They can be disabled using sudo update-rc.d -f apache2 disable Now these services should not start up when the machine boots and can be started manually sudo service apache2 start sudo service mysql start EDIT (2012-08-07): thanks to a comment below from Van Luu there is a GUI option that I was unaware of called BootUp Manager (http://www.marzocca.net/linux/bum.html) sudo apt-get install bum

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Galaxy Nexus Firmware Upgrade on Ubuntu (manual)

As a Galaxy Nexus Owner I have been waiting for months for an OTA (over the air) upgrade to the factory installed Firmware (4.0.2). I am finally sick of waiting and complaining to Google (an absolute lost cause). After some research it turns out that (contrary to popular opinion) not every unlocked Google Nexus actually has the 'official' Google Firmware. Some of them have a Samsung variant (WTF !?) of the firmware. Now I really don't want to get off the technical topic, but I personally think that this means Google is misleading their most loyal customer base. The reason I chose a Nexus device over the (from a hardware perspective) superior HTC One X was the fact that they were supposed to have the official Google Firmware and I did not have to wait forever for bugfixes from the manufacturers. There are a reportedly several different versions out there. Google's 'official' build for the GSM version of the Galaxy Nexus is named 'yakju'. Samsung builds 'yakjusc', 'yakjuxw' and 'yakjuux'. While they appear mostly the same, only Google’s yakju build is likely to get updates as they happen. Go figure why there was a need for others ... :( To find out which version your Nexus uses you can use this key combination (in the phone app) *#*#4636#*#* or for a more permanent option grab "Android System Info" from the Google Market. Disclaimer: this procedure obiously has the potential to 'brick' your mobile. Only attempt this if you are absolutely…

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Open Source creative tools

Since I am tired to constantly recite this list whenever one of these designer-type people tells me that they need Adobe's Whatever Suite to do some basic task here is a summary that I can point them to. Vector Graphics Inkscape (http://inkscape.org/) Xara Extreme (http://www.xaraxtreme.org/) Raster Graphics Gimp (http://www.gimp.org/) Desktop Publishing Scribus (http://www.scribus.net/) Photo Editing Gimp (see above) Darktable (http://www.darktable.org/) RawTherapee (http://www.rawtherapee.com/) Luminance HDR (http://qtpfsgui.sourceforge.net/) Layout Tools (DTP): Scribus (http://scribus.net/canvas/Scribus) 3D Modelling & Animation Gimp (see above + plugins) Blender (http://www.blender.org/) Video Editing CinelerraCV (http://cinelerra.org/) OpenShot (http://www.openshot.org/) Audio Editing Audacity (http://audacity.sourceforge.net/) Ardour (http://www.ardour.org/) Before anybody thinks this is to start a flame-war - I don't have a problem with a creative professional whose livelyhood depends on this work needing a professional package such as Adobe Creative Suite. I do however have a problem when some graduate or work-experience kid dabbling in graphics tells me he can not do this with anything else. Hopefully this list helps to open some minds ....

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Running Android 4.0 (ICS) on Virtualbox

Debugging things on the Android Emulator (incluced in the SDK) can be a very slow and cumbersome process. Thanks to the Android-x86 Project it's quite easy to run Android in VirtualBox. This is highly useful when you need to test mobile apps and websites from the Android Browser (as well as Chrome Mobile). Download an Ethernet enabled ISO from Tablets x86 wget http://dl.dropbox.com/u/75945873/android-x86-4.0-eth0-generic_x86-20120426.iso.torrent transmission android-x86-4.0-eth0-generic_x86-20120426.iso.torrent Create new ViratualBox VM Important Settings (see screenshots) OS: Linux, Version: Linux 2.6 Enable VTx/AMD-V Use Bridged Network Adapter (if you want to allow direct Internet Access) Mount the ISO file downloaded previosly and start the VM Create the Root Filesystem (ext3) on the VBox .vdi created with the new VM, mark as bootable Write the Filesystem changes to disk (VDI) and format the disk Install GRUB Boatloader Copy files from ISO to VDI Unmount the ISO image and reboot Note: You need to disable the mouse pointer integration (if you have installed VirtualBox Client Add-ons) in the menu of Virtualbox ('Machine' --> 'Disable Mouse Integration') when you start the VM (see screenshot). I have not found a way to disable this by default on Virtualbox on Ubuntu (If anybody has managed this I would love to know how !) Start the Android Setup Wizard to set locale and you should be up and running (network should already function to test external sites from Android browser) !

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Install GIMP 2.8 on Ubuntu 12.04

Since the latest version of GIMP has not been included in the main 12.04 repositories because it was not ready at release time you have to use a PPA at current. sudo add-apt-repository ppa:otto-kesselgulasch/gimp sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install gimp TIP: Go to the "Windows" menu and select 'Single-Window Mode' to use Gimp in one window (see screenshot).

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