Extracting your Windows Licence Key from Ubuntu

Turns out that working with PLC equipment you are still fully stuck to Windows. Which means I have to bite the bullet and get an up to date version of a Windows VM running on my machine. Since I have already paid for my Windows license with my laptop (even though I have never used it) this came in really handy. sudo apt install acpica-tools sudo acpidump -n MSDM This command should dump the Windows key in the bottom right of the output. You can download a recent Windows10 ISO image from Microsoft here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10ISO/ and then install via you favourite virtualisation environment.

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Goodbye Twitter – you were useful for (quite) a while.

After getting rid of my Facebook account a long time ago, finally, I have decided to pull the plug on Twitter as well. I have become increasingly wary of the changes of the platform as it seeks for a way to monetise it's user-base. The timeline has increasingly become infested with annoying ads and no way of getting rid of them. Since Twitter effectively killed the whole app ecosystem with their changes to API rules and banning anything that became useful to a substantial number of people. Another major annoyance has been Twitter's insistence in seeing itself as a 'media platform'. The last thing I need is another media consumption time-sink. The changes I.M.O. is completely misunderstanding their initial user base. While most 'media' people always complained about 140 characters, it served a purpose. Since Twitter started messing with the timeline (letting some algorithm decide what I might find useful) I have been toying with the idea of letting go of my Twitter account. The last straw was the last Australian federal election which really hit home what a toxic echo chamber this platform has become. Even though I have never followed any serving politician it was hard not to get drawn into some of the 'discussions' being a person interested in Agriculture, Environment & Energy policies and following a few accounts in those interest areas. I have better (more productive) things to do than being sucked into hyper-polarised #auspol threads (and frankly - when reading some of the replies…

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Moving to KVM virtual machines

Installing VirtualBox is getting increasingly painful on Ubuntu due to the problems with UEFI Secure Boot and the VirtualBox kernel modules. Another reason for an alternative is that running VirtualBox VM's completely in the background is not as straightforward as it could be. From the available alternatives I looked into (VMWare, Xen & KVM) it was KVM that fitted my needs (casual VM usage with mostly headless VM's for testing purposes). Main reasons: Well supported by Ubuntu Easy, straightforward install Background VM's are simple as Moving VM's from one host to another is a breeze Checking system To check if the CPU can actually support egrep -c '(svm|vmx)' /proc/cpuinfo If the number returned is > 0 your systems should be capable to run. You will also enable your BIOS for virtualisation (in Security settings of most BIOS's) if that has not already be done. You will get an error if not enabled if you are trying to run an install. The Install of KVM will work fine. Installation sudo apt-get install qemu-kvm libvirt-daemon-system libvirt-clients bridge-utils virt-manager sudo addgroup libvirtd sudo adduser libvirtd sudo service libvirtd start sudo service libvirtd status sudo virt-manager Moving VM's to another host Source Host virsh shutdown VMNAME virsh dumpxml VMNAME > /tmp/VMNAME.xml scp /tmp/VMNAME.xml TARGETHOST:/tmp/VMNAME.xml scp /var/lib/libvirt/images/VMNAME.qcow2 TARGETHOST:/var/lib/libvirt/images/VMNAME.qcow2 Target Host virsh define /tmp/vm.xml virsh start vm Once you have confirmed operation you probably want to remove the source VM from the Source Host. virsh undefine VMNAME rm /var/lib/libvirt/images/VMNAME.qcow2

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Giving Opera another spin – ad-blocking as a core feature

I haven't been using Opera for quite a while as I didn't really have a need for a third browser lately (Firefox & Chrome being the main ones). However I came across this article today mentioning that Opera has integrated ad-blocking as a core feature rather than a plugin to manage. If there were no bloated ads, some top websites would load up to 90% faster. Today, we wanted to share with you a native ad-blocking technology in our Developer channel for Opera for computers. “Native” means unmatched speed vs extensions, since the blocking happens at the web engine level. We are the first major browser vendor to integrate an ad-blocking feature, but this development should be a no surprise to anyone given the rising popularity of ad-blocking software and even Apple allowing it on its platform. Install procedure (Ubuntu 15.10) sudo add-apt-repository 'deb https://deb.opera.com/opera-stable/ stable non-free' wget -qO- https://deb.opera.com/archive.key | sudo apt-key add - sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install opera-stable Original: http://www.opera.com/blogs/desktop/2016/03/native-ad-blocking-feature-opera-for-computers/

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OpenVPN – fix issues with DNS server assignment (Synology NAS)

Synology NAS systems are great VPN servers for a home or small office. However if you want to connect to the VPN and route all your traffic through the VPN and be able to browse the internet there are a few things you need to change on the Synology server. Theoretically you should be able to set these options on the client, but I have not managed to get this to work with Synology and judging by the amount of forum threads a lot of other people had the same problem. If somebody has a better way to fix this I would love to know. I don't like to manually change these config files as I assume they will be overwritten when making changes to the web-interface. vi /usr/syno/etc/packages/VPNCenter/openvpn/openvpn.conf add the following lines. push "redirect-gateway def1 bypass-dhcp" push "dhcp-option DNS 8.8.4.4" push "dhcp-option DNS 8.8.8.8" Please note that the DNS option are Google's public DNS servers as an example, you probably want to use your ISP's (the one hosting the Synology server that is) DNS IP's instead. Please note that this was tested with Synology DSM version 5.2 only and Ubuntu & Android as the main client OS. Please leave comment for other combinations.

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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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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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Edit files on remote host via SSH

Whilst most commandline editors have the ability to edit files on a remote host directly this can get messy sometimes when there are multiple files involved. Mounting the remote folder via SSHFS seems to be more reliable in practical use. Mount sudo apt-get install sshfs sudo addgroup USERNAME fuse sshfs remoteuser@remotehost:/remote/path /local/mountpath Unmount fusermount -u /local/mountpath

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Using TOR and PRIVOXY on Ubuntu

This covers only the basic install and configuration for future reference. More info on Privoxy can be found on their website http://www.privoxy.org/. Install apt-get install tor privoxy vim /etc/privoxy/config uncomment the following line: forward-socks5 / 127.0.0.1:9050 . If you need to browse internal hosts while connected: forward 10.*.*.*/ Browser Configuration Firefox: FoxyProxy Chromium: Proxy Switchy Documentation: http://www.privoxy.org/faq/misc.html#TOR

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Wireshark install on Ubuntu 12.04

Just a short note on Wireshark install (needed to beat an Asterisk SIP install into submission) sudo apt-get install wireshark sudo useradd -U -M -s /bin/false wireshark sudo chgrp wireshark /usr/bin/dumpcap sudo chmod 754 /usr/bin/dumpcap sudo setcap 'CAP_NET_RAW+eip CAP_NET_ADMIN+eip' /usr/bin/dumpcap sudo gpasswd -a YOURUSERNAME wireshark Source: http://wiki.wireshark.org/CaptureSetup/CapturePrivileges

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