Archive for October, 2017

How to enable Gravis UltraSound in DOSBox for enhanced music experience in DOS programs and Games

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

DOSBox

Gravis UltraSound Classic

 

Gravis UltraSound

Gravis UltraSound or GUS is a sound card for the IBM PC compatible systems.
It was lunched in 1992 and is notable for it's ability to use real-world sound recordings (wavetable) of a musical instruments rather than artificial computer-generated waveforms.
As one of my friends used to say back then: "it sounds like a CD".

To enable GUS in DOSBox all you need to do is:

1. Download the archive with the GUS files from https://alex.pc-freak.net/files/GUS/ULTRASND.zip. Extract the archive (there is already a directory in it so you don't have to create one) preferably where you keep your DOSBox stuff (like Games).

2. Find your DOSBox config file. Depending on the version or host OS, the dosbox conf file is located either inside the user profile folder or inside the same folder as dosbox.exe. In Windows 7 the config file is located at

"C:\Users\Fred\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files (x86)\dosbox.conf"

where "Fred" is your username.

In GNU/Linux it's in "/home/Fred/.dosbox/dosbox.conf" where "Fred" is your username.

The name of the conf file may also have dosbox version (for example –

"dosbox-0.74.conf").

Open it with a text editor like notepad (Windows) or equvalent for GNU/Linux (vi, Kate, gedit…). Locate "[gus]" section (without the quotes) and edit it so it looks like this:

[gus]
#      gus: Enable the Gravis Ultrasound emulation.
#  gusrate: Sample rate of Ultrasound emulation.
#           Possible values: 44100, 48000, 32000, 22050, 16000, 11025, 8000, 49716.
#  gusbase: The IO base address of the Gravis Ultrasound.
#           Possible values: 240, 220, 260, 280, 2a0, 2c0, 2e0, 300.
#   gusirq: The IRQ number of the Gravis Ultrasound.
#           Possible values: 5, 3, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12.
#   gusdma: The DMA channel of the Gravis Ultrasound.
#           Possible values: 3, 0, 1, 5, 6, 7.
# ultradir: Path to Ultrasound directory. In this directory
#           there should be a MIDI directory that contains
#           the patch files for GUS playback. Patch sets used
#           with Timidity should work fine.

gus=true
gusrate=44100
gusbase=240
gusirq=5
gusdma=3
ultradir=C:\ULTRASND

Then save the dosbox conf file.

3. Start DOSBox and mount "ULTRASND" directory to "C:".

You can do that with

mount c (directory to ULTRASND)

For example if you have extracted the archive in "C:\Games" it has created "C:\Games\ULTRASND" and the command you will have to write in DOSBox is

mount c c:\Games

(example: if your game is in "C:\Games\Heroes2" and your GUS directory is "C:\Games\ULTRSND" (if you have extracted the archive "C:\Games\") then you "mount c c:\Games" and you are set)

or for GNU/Linux if you have extracted the archive in "/home/Fred/Games" it has created "/home/Fred/Games/ULTRASND" and the command you will have to write in DOSBox is

mount c /home/Fred/Games (where "Fred" is your user name).

(example: if your game is in "/home/Fred/Games/Heroes2" and your GUS directory is "/home/Fred/Games/ULTRSND" (if you have extracted the archive" /home/Fred/Games/") in  then you "mount c /home/Fred/Games" and you are set)

You can make this automatic so you don't have to write it everytime by adding this command in the end (bottom) part of your dosbox conf file and save it.

You're practicly ready. All you need to do now is set Gravis UltraSound in your game or application setup (for example with the file "setup.exe") with IO: 240, IRQ 5 and DMA 3. If you prefer you previous sound card you can do that by selecting it again from the setup without disabling GUS from the dosbox conf file.

Happy listening!

Gravis Ultrasound

 

Article written by Alex

Share this on

Install TeamViewer on latest Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, CentOS Linux quick how to

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

teamviewer-howto-install-on-gnu-linux-teamviewer-and-tux-penguin-logo

If you're a sysadmin who uses GNU / Linux as a Desktop as me you will certainly need to have TeamViewer installed and ready for use on your Linux desktop.

Even though TeamViewer is a proprietary application and I prefer not to use it I'm forced to have it installed because of every now and then a friend or customer would require you to login remotely to his Windows server and clean up the system either from spyware or viruses or just deploy some new software.

Nowdays most of people are running 64 bit ( amd64 ) built operating system and the problem with TeamViewer on Linux 64bit is that it doesn't have an actual full featured 64 port of the application but only have a 32 bits install, besides that big part of components of TeamViewer are running using wine windows emulation and hencing making it work on Linux is sometimes not so trivial as we might have desired.

Because TeamViewer is a 32 bit application, it has a number of dependency libraries that are 32 bit in Linux that's the so called (i386) built libraries (packages).

Hence to make TeamViewer work on modern GNU / Linux operating systems such as Debian / Ubuntu / Mint Linux / Fedora / CentOS etc. it is necessery to have some i386 libraries and other 32 bit things pre-installed and only then you can have a working copy of teamviewer on your Linux.

1. Installing i386 applications required for TeamViewer operation

– On Debian / Ubuntu / Kubuntu / Xubuntu Linux run below commands:

First we need to add the i386 architecture to be supported by Linux

 

dpkg –add-architecture i386
apt update

 

Then on Debian and other deb based Linux we need to install following libraries
 

# apt install libjpeg62-turbo:i386 wget gdebi-core
 

 


2. Download latest teamviewer version from TeamViewer website

– On Debian, Ubuntu and other deb based Linux distros.

Download latest teamviewer version and install it:

 

# wget https://download.teamviewer.com/download/teamviewer_i386.deb

 

 

 

On CentOS, Fedora, OpenSuSE other RPM based distros:

Download the Teamviewer package and package signature using wget

 

# wget https://download.teamviewer.com/download/linux/signature/TeamViewer2017.asc
# wget https://download.teamviewer.com/download/teamviewer.i686.rpm


 

 

3. Insteall teamviewer with gdebi (Simple Tool to install deb files)

 

# gdebi teamviewer_i386.deb


Remote control and meeting solution.
 TeamViewer provides easy, fast and secure remote access and meeting solutions
 to Linux, Windows PCs, Apple PCs and various other platforms,
 including Android and iPhone.
 .
 TeamViewer is free for personal use.
 You can use TeamViewer completely free of charge to access your private
 computers or to help your friends with their computer problems.
 .
 To buy a license for commercial use, please visit http://www.teamviewer.com
 .
 This package contains Free Software components.
 For details, see /opt/teamviewer/doc/license_foss.txt
Do you want to install the software package? [y/N]:y

 

On Fedora, CentOS, SuSE RPM based ones:

 

# rpm –import TeamViewer_Linux_PubKey.asc

 

 

# rpm -i teamviewer_12.0.xxxxx.i686.rpm

 

or if you face some failed dependencies you better use zypper that will download any missing teamviewer dependencies.

 

# zypper install teamviewer_12.0.xxxxx.i686.rpm

 

 

 

4. Start Teamviewer

 

 

teamviewer-running-on-linux-screenshot

 

linux:~$ teamviewer
Init…
CheckCPU: SSE2 support: yes
XRandRWait: No value set. Using default.
XRandRWait: Started by user.
Checking setup…
wine: configuration in '/home/hipo/.local/share/teamviewer12' has been updated.
Launching TeamViewer …
Launching TeamViewer GUI …

 

Share this on

How to install “Beneath a Steel Sky” (Freeware) PC game and add enhanced music

Monday, October 30th, 2017

Beneath a Steel Sky

Beneath a Steel Sky Screenshot 1Beneath a Steel Sky Screenshot 2

 

 

 

 

 

Beneath a Steel Sky (BASS) is a 1994 PC point-and-click adventure game developed by Revolution Software that has been made available as freeware for PC platforms in 2003. I really like those type of games and the sense of humour in this one is top notch. So you want to try it for yourself?

All you need to download is:

1. ScummVM

ScummVM (Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion Virtual Machine) is a software that allows you to play games (mainly point-and-click adventures) by interpreting the scripting languages that games use to describe the game world. You can download a version for your system from https://www.scummvm.org/downloads/.

2. Beneath a Steel Sky (BASS) for ScummVM

This is a version of the game that is made to work with ScummVM and it's a freeware. Download it from https://www.scummvm.org/games/#sky. You can choose between CD or Floppy version. The Floppy version is smaller but it does not have speech (subtitles only).

3. Enchanced music (optional)

Back in the days the game was created there were a lot of sound card options and there was midi music. Some sound cards were more advanced in the midi music instruments compartment. Maybe you want that kind of enchanced sound but you don't have the hardware for it? Fortunately a guy called James Woodcock has recorded the midi tracks with powerful MIDI equipment and made them avaylable with ScummVM (thanks to the ScummVM guys too). You can download them from http://www.jameswoodcock.co.uk/content/scummvm-music-enhancement-project/beneath-a-steel-sky-enhanced-soundtrack-for-scummvm/ (Beneath A Steel Sky Enhanced Soundtrack for ScummVM) (mirror).

There are different quality versions (lossless or lossy) and different ScummVM versions. If you have downloaded the latest version of ScummVM from the link I gave you in the 1 then I recommend you to download "OGG Vorbis – Lossy (53MB) Beneath A Steel Sky – Full Soundtrack Version 1.2 (13th May, 2013)". If you are a audiophile and want only the best possible audio experience and you don't care about the bigger file size you should download the "Flac – Lossless (212MB) Beneath A Steel Sky – Full Soundtrack Version 1.2.1 (2nd Feb, 2014)" version.

How to install and start playing?

First install ScummVM. Then extract the archive with the game "Beneath a Steel Sky" in a directory of your choosing.

Then start ScummVM and choose
"Add game…".

Go to and highlight the directory you have extracted "Beneath a Steel Sky" in and click

"Choose".

Click "OK". The next step is optional if you want and downloaded the enchanced music.
Extract the archive with the music in the "Beneath a Steel Sky"'s directory.
Start the ScummVM program and select "Beneath a Steel Sky".

Now select [Edit Game], switch to Audio tab, tick the

"Overide Global Audio Settings" and set Sample Rate to 44kHz.

All you need now is to select the game from ScummVM and click "Start". That's it! If you want to return previous way of sound of the music just move or delete the music files from the game directory.

Happy playing!

Beneath a Steel Sky Screenshot 3

Article written by Alex

Share this on

Why don’t you use Window Maker GNU Step to improve your computer interaction performance

Monday, October 30th, 2017

Why-dont-you-use-Window-Maker-graphical-environment-for-your-GNU_Linux-FreeBSD-desktop

If you're pissed off too already of GNOME 3 Unity / GNOME 3 Flashback and KDE Plasma  as I am you perhaps are looking for something more light weigth but you're not okay with default Debian Cinnanom GUI environment or you don't feel confortable for system administration jobs and programming with XFCE then perhaps you would like to give a try to something more old school but build with good design in Mind.

Those who are fans of the evil genius Steve Jobs (as Richard Stallman use to call him), definitely Remember NeXT company and the revolutionary Graphic Environment they tried to develop NeXT Step then you'll be happy to hear about GNUStep  which historically was called AfterStep and is a Free Software remake of NextStep graphical environment for Free and Open Source operating systems (FOSS) such as GNU / Linux and FreeBSD / OpenBSD / NetBSD etc.

Amanda_the_panda_mascot_of_window_maker-graphical-environment-system

Amanda the Panda is the mascot of Window Maker. She was designed by Agnieszka Czajkowska.

The good thing about Window Maker and the complete bunch of desktop environment GNUStep is it much lighter and less complex than the more and more becoming bloated modern Free Software graphical environments, it definitely easifies the way the user interacts with basic browsing with Firefox / Opera, terminal code writting or command system administration and basic chat functionalities such as with Gajim or Pidgin and basic email writting operatins be it with some text email client such as Mutt or with Thunderbird. Its great also to reduce the overall load the Operating System puts on your brain so you can have more time to invest in more useful stuff like programming.

windows-maker-increase-performance-of-work-with-your-computer-howto-wmaker-screenshot

After all simplicity in Operating System is a key for an increased productivity with your computer.
Besides that stability of Window Maker is much better when compared to GNOME and GNOME 2 fork MATE graphical environment which nowadays in my opinion is becoming even more buggy than it used to be some years ago.

Below is how Window Makers site describes Window Maker:

"Window Maker is an X11 window manager originally designed to provide integration support for the GNUstep Desktop Environment. In every way possible, it reproduces the elegant look and feel of the NEXTSTEP user interface. It is fast, feature rich, easy to configure, and easy to use. It is also free software, with contributions being made by programmers from around the world.

Window Maker has a stable user interface since many years and comes with a powerful GUI configuration editor called WPrefs, which removes the need to edit text-based config files by hand. It supports running dockapps which make everyday tasks such as monitoring system performance and battery usage, mounting devices or connecting to the internet very easy. Please see the features section for more specifics on what Window Maker can do, and how it compares with other popular window managers."

Window Maker is bundled with a number of useful applications which gives ability to put Dock applets easily for easily intearcive desktop update of current Weather Report, Monitoring Network Traffic, TV Player (video4linux), laptop battery info dock, CD player and Volume control management app, text editor, pdf viewer, integrated Mail application, Calculator, RSS Reader, GNUStep games and much useful things to customize from the desktop resembling many of the basic features any other graphical environment such as GNOME / KDE Provides.

The User Interface (UI) of Window Maker is highly configurable with an integrated WMaker tool called

WPrefs

Why-dont-you-use-Wmaker-for-better-desktop-performance-Windowmaker_colour_preferences

All generated settings from WPrefs (Window Maker Prefernces) GUI tool are to be stored in a plaintext file:
 

~/GNUstep/Defaults/WMRootMenu

All Wmaker configurations are stored inside ~/GNUstep/ (Your user home GNUStep), so if you're to become its user sooner or later you will have to get acquired to it.

Wmaker is very minimalist and the performance is killing so Window Maker is perhaps the number one choice Graphical Environment to use on Old Computers with Linux and BSD.

Below is a full list of all packages installed on my Debian GNU / Linux that provides WMaker / GNUStep great functionalities:

root@jericho:/home/hipo# dpkg -l |grep -i wmaker; dpkg -l |grep -i gnustep
ii  wmaker                                        0.95.8-2                             amd64        NeXTSTEP-like window manager for X
ii  wmaker-common                                 0.95.8-2                             all          Window Maker – Architecture independent files
ii  wmbattery                                     2.50-1+b1                            amd64        display laptop battery info, dockable in WindowMaker
ii  wmcdplay                                      1.1-2+b1                             amd64        CD player based on ascd designed for WindowMaker
ii  wmifs                                         1.8-1                                amd64        WindowMaker dock app for monitoring network traffic
ii  wmnut                                         0.66-1                               amd64        WindowMaker dock app that displays UPS statistics from NUT's upsd
ii  wmpuzzle                                      0.5.2-2+b1                           amd64        WindowMaker dock app 4×4 puzzle
ii  wmrack                                        1.4-5+b1                             amd64        Combined CD Player + Mixer designed for WindowMaker
ii  wmtv                                          0.6.6-1                              amd64        Dockable video4linux TV player for WindowMaker
ii  wmweather                                     2.4.6-2+b1                           amd64        WindowMaker dockapp that shows your current weather
ii  wmweather+                                    2.15-1.1+b2                          amd64        WindowMaker dock app that shows your current weather
ii  addressmanager.app                            0.4.8-2+b2                           amd64        Personal Address Manager for GNUstep
ii  agenda.app                                    0.42.2-1+b7                          amd64        Calendar manager for GNUstep
ii  charmap.app                                   0.3~rc1-3                            amd64        Character map for GNUstep
ii  charmap.app-common                            0.3~rc1-3                            all          Character map for GNUstep (arch-independent files)
ii  cynthiune.app                                 1.0.0-1+b4                           amd64        Music player for GNUstep
ii  dictionaryreader.app                          0+20080616+dfsg-2+b6                 amd64        Dict client for GNUstep
ii  edenmath.app                                  1.1.1a-7.1+b1                        amd64        Scientific calculator for GNUstep
ii  gnumail.app                                   1.2.2-1.1                            amd64        Mail client for GNUstep
ii  gnumail.app-common                            1.2.2-1.1                            all          Mail client for GNUstep (common files)
ii  gnustep                                       7.8                                  all          User applications for the GNUstep Environment
ii  gnustep-back-common                           0.25.0-2                             amd64        GNUstep GUI Backend – common files
ii  gnustep-back0.25                              0.25.0-2                             all          GNUstep GUI Backend
ii  gnustep-back0.25-cairo                        0.25.0-2                             amd64        GNUstep GUI Backend (cairo)
ii  gnustep-base-common                           1.24.9-3.1                           all          GNUstep Base library – common files
ii  gnustep-base-doc                              1.24.9-3.1                           all          Documentation for the GNUstep Base Library
ii  gnustep-base-runtime                          1.24.9-3.1                           amd64        GNUstep Base library – daemons and tools
ii  gnustep-common                                2.7.0-1                              amd64        Common files for the core GNUstep environment
ii  gnustep-core-devel                            7.8                                  all          GNUstep Development Environment — core libraries
ii  gnustep-core-doc                              7.8                                  all          GNUstep Development Environment — core documentation
ii  gnustep-devel                                 7.8                                  all          GNUstep Development Environment — development tools
ii  gnustep-games                                 7.8                                  all          GNUstep games
ii  gnustep-gui-common                            0.25.0-4                             all          GNUstep GUI Library – common files
ii  gnustep-gui-doc                               0.25.0-4                             all          Documentation for the GNUstep GUI Library
ii  gnustep-gui-runtime                           0.25.0-4+b1                          amd64        GNUstep GUI Library – runtime files
ii  gnustep-icons                                 1.0-5                                all          Several free icons for use with GNUstep and others
ii  gnustep-make                                  2.7.0-1                              all          GNUstep build system
ii  gnustep-make-doc                              2.7.0-1                              all          Documentation for GNUstep Make
ii  gomoku.app                                    1.2.9-2+b2                           amd64        Extended TicTacToe game for GNUstep
ii  gorm.app                                      1.2.23-1                             amd64        Visual Interface Builder for GNUstep
ii  gridlock.app                                  1.10-4+b2                            amd64        Collection of grid-based board games for GNUstep
ii  grr.app                                       1.0-1+b2                             amd64        RSS reader for GNUstep
ii  gworkspace-common                             0.9.3-1                              all          GNUstep Workspace Manager – common files
ii  gworkspace.app                                0.9.3-1+b2                           amd64        GNUstep Workspace Manager
ii  helpviewer.app                                0.3-8+b3                             amd64        Online help viewer for GNUstep programs
ii  libaddresses0                                 0.4.8-2+b2                           amd64        Database API backend framework for GNUstep (library files)
ii  libaddressview0                               0.4.8-2+b2                           amd64        Address display/edit framework for GNUstep (library files)
ii  libgnustep-base-dev                           1.24.9-3.1                           amd64        GNUstep Base header files and development libraries
ii  libgnustep-base1.24                           1.24.9-3.1                           amd64        GNUstep Base library
ii  libgnustep-gui-dev                            0.25.0-4+b1                          amd64        GNUstep GUI header files and static libraries
ii  libgnustep-gui0.25                            0.25.0-4+b1                          amd64        GNUstep GUI Library
ii  libpantomime1.2                               1.2.2+dfsg1-1                        amd64        GNUstep framework for mail handling (runtime library)
ii  libpopplerkit0                                0.0.20051227svn-7.1+b9               amd64        GNUstep framework for rendering PDF content (library files)
ii  libpreferencepanes1                           1.2.0-2+b2                           amd64        GNUstep preferences library – runtime library
ii  librenaissance0                               0.9.0-4+b6                           amd64        GNUstep GUI Framework – library files
ii  librenaissance0-dev                           0.9.0-4+b6                           amd64        GNUstep GUI Framework – development files
ii  librsskit0d                                   0.4-1                                amd64        GNUstep RSS framework (runtime library)
ii  mknfonts.tool                                 0.5-11+b5                            amd64        Create nfont packages for GNUstep
ii  price.app                                     1.3.0-1                              amd64        Image filtering and manipulation using GNUstep
ii  projectcenter.app                             0.6.2-1                              amd64        IDE for GNUstep Development
ii  renaissance-doc                               0.9.0-4                              all          GNUstep GUI Framework – documentation
ii  systempreferences.app                         1.2.0-2+b2                           amd64        GNUstep preferences application
ii  terminal.app                                  0.9.8.1-1                            amd64        Terminal Emulator for GNUstep
ii  textedit.app                                  4.0+20061029-3.5+b1                  amd64        Text editor for GNUstep
ii  viewpdf.app                                   1:0.2dfsg1-5+b2                      amd64        Portable Document Format (PDF) viewer for GNUstep
ii  zipper.app                                    1.5-1+b2                             amd64        Archive manager for GNUstep

Well yes it is true Window Maker is not a spoon for every mouth, those who want to have more confortable desktop environment better look out at other options as Window Maker is Unix / Linux graphical environment that fits better hackers, computer developers and system administrators.

Anyhow if you have some old family member that has to use an old computer architecture and the person is only to use mainly just browser to check email, youtube and basic surfing then Wmaker will be a great choice as it will consume little CPU and Memory much less than the heavy and computer resources sucking GNOME and KDE.

I've historically used Wmaker also with its teminal emulator rxvt (VT102 terminal emulator for the X Windows System) which is a kinda of improved version of xterm (the default terminal program bundled with Xorg server), but for those who are already used to Gnome Terminal nice tabs perhaps that would be not the terminal of choice.

rxvt was build to match well the look and feel of AfterStep and consequently Wmaker, its scrollbar was aiming to very much resemble NeXTStep style scrollbar

windowmaker-bind-run-application-to-make-alt-f2-work-like-in-gnome

Most "custom" shortcuts are used to launch specific applications. To add your own keyboard shortcut for an application, go to the "Applications Menu Definition" panel in the Preferences app.  Select the application item in the menu for which you want to create a shortcut, then use the "capture" button to capture the keystrokes you want to assign to that item.  In the screenshot, I've assigned Mod1 + W to open Firefox.

Above  screenshot shows how to map the Run Application keyboard bind to behave like GNOME Run application ALT + F2

window-maker-run-command-like-gnome-run-screenshot-gnu-linux-unix-freebsd

Customizing background of Window Maker

Because WMaker is so simple made and targetting more of a developer audience for use it doesn't have a special graphical interaface to set a Background if you like so, but instead you need to use a wmsetbg command to do so:
 

wmsetbg -s -u filename.jpg

 

WMSetBG command stands for WindowMaker Set Background


If you're too lazy to install and start configuring wmaker, there is a Window Maker LiveCD, you can run Window Maker through LiveCD in Virtual Machine such as VirtualBox to get feeling what you're about to get if you install and start using Wmaker on your Computer.

window-maker-livecd-screenshot-synaptic+wprefs
 

Well at first with Window Maker you might feel confused and quickly irritating missing the already established way to work with your computer, but that's just for a starter sooner you will realize, that for using a limited number of applications for work wmaker, makes you much more efficient. Moreover using your computer with Wmaker can rewire your brain circuits to think a little bit different.

Once you switched to Window Maker you will likely want to have a graphical option to connect to Wireless Networks especially if you're using Wmaker on a notebook it is convenient to not always manually do scan for networks with
 

Iwlscan


commad and use wpasupplicant command to connect instead you can just install wicd and stop default Gnome Network Manager (called Network Manager), you can do so by running as root:
 

service network-manager stop
apt-get install wicd wicd-gtk
service wicd start
wicd-gtk &

 

Share this on

FreeBSD post install configuration steps to make on fresh FreeBSD install to make ready for server and Desktop use

Saturday, October 28th, 2017

freebsd-post-install-configuration-steps-to-make-on-fresh-install-to-make-ready-for-server-freebsd-logo


1. Update binary packages

First thing to do just like on any new operating system install is to update / patch the server
 

# freebsd-update fetch
# freebsd-update install

 


2. Update FreeBSD port packages

As a FreeBSD administrator you will need ports every now and then so make sure you have them at their latest release for your FBSD release

 

# pkg update
# pkg upgrade

 


3. Install editors and bash

 

# pkg install nano vim joe bash bash_completion

 


4. Install sudo

To be able to run commands without becoming superuser root just like on any Linux you will probably want to have sudo package installed

# pkg install sudo

 

Sudo config file is under /usr/local/etc/sudoers

To edit it with syntax check enabled use visudo

 

# visudo

# sudo pkg update
 

 

If you want a regular account to have root superuser edit / modify and do things permissions

 

# pw groupmod wheel -M your_user_name

 

Then to make the wheel permissions work add to sudoers:

 

%wheel    ALL=(ALL=ALL)    ALL

5. FreeBSD modify personal information for account

 

# chpass your_user_name

To change your account and others to use bash instead of default freebsd csh

 

# csh -s /bin/bash your_user_name

 


7. Set a Static IP address for a FreeBSD server and configure DNS

Edit /etc/rc.local to look something like so

 

#ifconfig_em0="DHCP"
ifconfig_em0="inet 192.168.1.100 netmask 255.255.255.0"
# default gateway
defaultrouter="192.168.1.1"

 

/etc/rc.conf is also the file where you can easily enable / disable freebsd startup scripts

To restart network interafaces just like Debian Linux's /etc/init.d/networking restart type

 

# service netif restart
# service routing restart

 

To set Google DNS in FreeBSD just like in Linux add the IPs with nameserver prefix to /etc/resolv.conf

 

# echo 'nameserver 8.8.8.8' >> /etc/resolv.conf
# echo 'nameserver 8.8.8.8' >> /etc/resolv.conf
# echo 'search your-domain-name' >> /etc/resolv.conf

 

– If you need to change the hostname of the FreeBSD server change in /etc/rc.conf

hostname="your-freebsdhostname"

– To add multiple IP addresses to a network interface on FBSD add line like below to /etc/rc.conf

ifconfig_em0_alias0="192.168.1.5 netmask 255.255.255.255"
ifconfig_em0_alias1="192.168.1.6 netmask 255.255.255.255"

To apply changes and bring up the newly set multiple IPs

# service netif restart


8. Setting up proper timezone

If for some reason the Time zone is improperly set during FreeBSD install, you can later set that with

# tzsetup

9. Set up ntp time server synchronization daemon

# vim /etc/rc.conf

ntpd_enable="YES"
ntpd_sync_on_start="YES"

First command will bring up NTP server at start up and second make it synchroniza with Internet NTP servers, to restart ntp so it set proper time
immediately

# service ntpd start


10. Add additional SWAP space to FreeBSD server after install

– First we need to create the swap file with command and then set up proper permissions for it

# truncate -S 3G /swapf
# chmod 0600 /swapf

– Then to make the swapf being used on boot we need to add it to /etc/fstab

# echo "md99 none swap sw,file=/swapf,late 0 0" >> /etc/fstab

To immediately apply the new added swap to be used by the system run:

# swapon -aqL

To check various things on how swap is configured use

# swapinfo -g


11. Configure Firewall in FreeBSD

# vim /etc/rc.conf

firewall_enable="YES"
firewall_script="/usr/local/etc/ipfw.rules"

A very basic firewall to add to ipfw.rules file would be something like so:
 

    $IPF 70 allow all from any to any out keep-state
    $IPF 80 allow icmp from any to any
    # open port ftp

    $IPF 110 allow tcp from any to any 21 in
    $IPF 120 allow tcp from any to any 21 out

    # 22 for ssh
    $IPF 130 allow tcp from any to any 22 in
    $IPF 140 allow tcp from any to any 22 out

    # mail port 25

    $IPF 150 allow tcp from any to any 25 in
    $IPF 160 allow tcp from any to any 25 out

    # dns (53) udp and tcp in
    $IPF 170 allow udp from any to any 53 in
    $IPF 175 allow tcp from any to any 53 in

    # dns (53) udp and tcp out
    $IPF 180 allow udp from any to any 53 out
    $IPF 185 allow tcp from any to any 53 out

    # http (80),
    $IPF 200 allow tcp from any to any 80 in
    $IPF 210 allow tcp from any to any 80 out
    # deny and log everything
    $IPF 500 deny log all from any to any

To launch the firewall
 

# service ipfw start


To list current FreeBSD Firewall rules use

# ipfw list

Finally if you need to check your connections to the server just like Linux's netstat you might consider using sockstat comand
 

# sockstat -4 -6

– 4 -6 will list you network connections for ipv4 and ipv6 both tcp and udp

Share this on

How to Downgrade WordPress install to a prior release to Fix problems with wordpress after upgrade

Friday, October 27th, 2017

howto-downgrade-wordpress-to-a-prior-previous-version-easily-with-wp-downgrade-plugin-step-by-step-guide

Are you a wordpress website or blog owner? Did you recently upgraded to the latest WordPress release as you wanted to always keep ahead with security and latest wordpress functionalities ?

but out of a sudden components of WordPress stopped working after the upgrade …

I'm one of this and recently I've upgraded WordPress to 4.8.2, hopeing that this would make my blog even better with the fresh new wordpress but suddenly my Widgets stopped working, e.g.

 

Appearance -> Widgets

 

Show me strange blank page, when I tried to debug that in browser, with browser console in Google Chrome and Firefox ESR / Opera with Inspect elements, I could see some partially generated webpage, so I investigated further to see what in reality is creating my WordPress Widget troubles, I tried adding WordPress Debugging in wp-config.php for those who don't know how to do it to do so, you need to add the following line of code to wp-config.php
 

# vim /var/www/blog/wp-config.php

define( 'WP_DEBUG', true );
define( 'WP_DEBUG_LOG', true );

 

If everything is fine with your wordpress installation (e.g. directory / file permissions are reporting the fine), The log file should be situated under
 

wp-includes/debug.log


But if you enabled debugging like me and nothing was visible neither in WordPress WP generated page, neither in that log or even worse, the file is not being written, that might be an indicator of either a seriously messed wordpress installation, or bugs occuring due to combination of WordPress release with the PHP installed on the server in my case the WordPress was 4.82 and PHP is standard Debian package PHP 5.6.30

 

The next place I checked logically is HTTPD (Apache) both access and error logs and there I found the widgets.php once called is returning 500 (Internal Server Errors), so I was forced to do something to make my appearance work again.

I tried my best to make Appearance -> Widgets and Appearance -> Customize WP Dashboard menus to work but without success so I finally got pissed off and decided to downgrade WordPress to the previous version where everything was running fine.

A quick investigation in Google led to find that there is an easy to use WordPress plugin that is capable of upgrading / downgrading wordpress to virtually all official WordPress releases.

Below is shortly what I had to do to Downgrade my WP 4.8.2 to WP 4.7.3

 

1. Download WP Downgrade Specific Core Version wordpress plugin
 

 The plugin “WP Downgrade” forces the WordPress update routine to perform the installation of a specified WordPress release. The Core Release you specify is then downloaded from wordpress.org and installed as would any regular update. You can permanently stay on a previous version of your choice or update selected.

To download the plugin click here, save it to your computer and then transfer to server or directly use wget or curl commands with the exact plugin location and unzip it standardly

#  cd /var/www/blog/wp-content/plugins
#  wget https://downloads.wordpress.org/plugin/wp-downgrade.zip
#  unzip wp-downgrade.zip

N.B. ! On a shared hosting or CPanel, you might have to upload the plugin with FTP.

 

2. Enable WP Downgrade Specific Core Version wordpress plugin
 

Plugins -> WP Downgrade Specific Core Version enable


Below is a quote from the plugin website describing more about WP Downgrade plugin:

"WP Downgrade | Specific Core Version has the potential for becoming one of the best-loved plugins among those, who simply cannot update to the latest WP release.

In the past the latest WP release was the only offering for WP’s Automatic Update routine. This left all those behind, who have to wait with Core updates, until their plugins become compatible with newer WP releases. When this finally happens, more often than not there has already been yet another Core update. In the end a dreaded, cumbersome, time-consuming and error-prone Manual Update used to be the only way to go.

With WP Downgrade | Specific Core Version this is now a thing of the past. Anyone who lags behind the latest WP release is now able to use Automatic Updates even to lower WP versions. What WP Downgrade does simply is to make WP believe that the version you want to update to actually is the latest version. Because of this, there is no difference to updating to the latest version."

 

3. Configure WP Downgrade Specific Core Version plugin

 

Navigate to:

Settings -> WP-Downgrade

how-to-downgrade-wordpress-easily-to-a-previous-prior-release-wp-downgrade-screenshot

 

 

4. Install (Downgrade) WordPress to the previous release


Next you will have to press the re-install button to install the desired WordPress release, if you're unsure which was the exact previous version you used you can check the list of All WordPress official released versions here choose any version that was released few months before the latest that was creating troubles for you and do re-install with it, if you face issues with it, you plenty of other versions that are close to it with which you can try, after all one of them should be working.
 

downgrade-wordpress-howto-wordpress-re-install-button-screenshot
 

Assuming that your directory structure of the current installed WordPress is not having any permission issues, the respective version of wordpress would be downloaded and untarred over the actual latest release you're having, so soon you'll have your WP reverted to the OLD release.

Once downgrading in my case immediately my Appearance -> Widgets started working again. Hooray!

Note: that if you face some permission errors during download or install of the downgradable version of wordpress you will be notified, to fix that just take few minutes with chown command and so something like:

 

chown -R www-data /var/www/blog/


that should fix permissions for you so then you can happily again, re-run the re-Install button to finalize WP Downgrade.

Now you can enjoy your life as everytihng will be working as expected, no broken more strange plugins behavior (which is another additional effect showing incompitability between WordPress release and a Plugin, no nothing), you can sleep calmly again.

Enjoy! 🙂

Share this on

The Best Most Effective Search Engine Optimization SEO tips or how to stay ahead of your competitors

Friday, October 27th, 2017

 

The 16 most effective search engine optimization tips

I've found an infogram that is showing the best practices of Search Engine Optimization as today SEO has been dependent strongly on this factors I suggest you closely check your site, whether all of the 16 pinpointed tips are already implemented in your site if not you better implement them before the robots (Machine Learning), Cloud Computing and the rest of the modern tech savy mambo jambo stuff modern technology takes over SEO ranking in Google. If you run a start up business like me this tips will definitely help you to keep up in the list of Google, Bing and Yahoo ahead of your competitors.

Enjoy Learning and please share anything you find missing on the diagram which you already do to Boost Up your SEO!

Share this on

Check is MySQL dropping connections or how to check drop out SQL problems and debug problems with slow queries

Thursday, October 26th, 2017

mysql-dropping-connections-how-to-check-command-drop-out-sql-problems-and-debugging-slow-queries

If you have migrated a website or you recently upgraded MySQL and you face occasional problems with dropped connections to remote Web site or application it is likely that the problem is rooted either in Apache being unable to handle multiple connections, e.g. you will get a lot of 503 errors in log or MySQL dropping connections due to someout or MySQL / PHP bug that occurs after packages upgrade.

So how to check is MySQL dropping connections?

Use below command one liner shell script and check for Aborted conncetions a relatively high number is indication MySQL is dropping connections from PHP script or local / remote application such as SOAP or XSLT connects.
 

# echo 'show global status' | mysql -u root -p |grep -i connect
Enter password:
Aborted_connects    710
Connections    49537
Max_used_connections    76
Ssl_client_connects    0
Ssl_connect_renegotiates    0
Ssl_finished_connects    0
Threads_connected    1

Another indicator for MySQL dropping connections is if you find MySQL to have many slow queries, that would mean the slow queries won't be processed on time and there will be consequential connection drop outs.
 

# echo 'show global status' | mysql -u root -p |grep -i slow
Enter password:
Slow_launch_threads    0
Slow_queries    120237


If you find any you can use some MySQL / MariaDB monitoring script such as (mytop / mtop – for more on monitoring MySQL queries in real time I recommend you check out my previous article Monitoring MySQL queries and debugging performance (slow queries))

Share this on

THX 1138 a must see SCI FI-movie every Computer geek or IT professional must watch

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017

 

 



thx-1138-a-must-see-sci-fi-movie-of-the-past-thx-film-poster

 

 

THX 1138 is an American science fiction film set in a dystopian future in which the populace is controlled through android police officers and mandatory use of drugs that suppress emotion, including outlawed sexual desire. It was directed by George Lucas in his feature film directorial debut in 1971.

Produced by Francis Ford Coppola and written by Lucas and Walter Murch, it stars Donald Pleasence and Robert Duvall.

THX 1138 was developed from Lucas's student film Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB, which he made in 1967 while attending the University of Southern California's film school. The feature film was produced in a joint venture between Warner Bros. and Francis Ford Coppola's production company, American Zoetrope. A novelization by Ben Bova was published in 1971. The film received mixed reviews from critics and failed to find box office success on initial release; however, the film has subsequently received critical acclaim and gained a cult following, particularly in the aftermath of Lucas's success with Star Wars in 1977.

THX1138 Director's cut: The Future Trailer

The movie is one of the most awesome movies on SCi-Fi Topic I've ever seen much better than comercial ones such as Star Wars and perhaps one of the best if not the best movies, George Lucas has done ever.

The THX with its Android police is another inspirational one that perhaps has inspired the naming of the Android Operating System like that.

THX 1138 movie is an example of a kind of communist society in the future which perhaps the global elite has planned for humanity. The only mean of the THX 1138 is to consume and work being programmed (conditioned) by the central authorities with a full control over all aspects of the individual life, its kinda of pretty much what is today western world has been turning into.

I believe we're currently in a transitional stage to this futuristic society in which, the life costs zero.

Well, after all the global programmers of society in our age has a sense of humour to finance a movie like that 🙂

Share this on

Fixing Mate Adwaita theme problems on Debian and Ubuntu Linux

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017

fixing-mate-adwaita-theme-problems-on-Debian-Ubuntu-Linux-the-actual-problem-screenshot

After  trying out GNOME 3.2.x enough and giving it enough chance I've decided to finally migrate to Linux Mate graphical environment (the fork of gnome 2 for modern PCs).

I have to say I'm running Debian 9 Stretch on my upgraded Thinkpad R61, after 2 / 3 days upgrade operations from Debian 7 to Debian 8, from Debian 8 to 9.

Just Migrated to Mate all looked fine, but just as I wanted to make the look and feel identical to GNOME 2, I played with Appearance because I wanted to apply theme Adwaita the one, the one so popular since the glorious times when GNOME 2 was a king of the Linux Desktop. 

To add additional themes to MATE, I've installed gnome-themes-standard package, e.g.

apt-get install  --yes gnome-themes-standard

This package provides a number of Themes I could choose from and one of them is Adwaita Not surprisingly, I faced a theme issue
it complains about window manager theme "Adwaita" missing.

Using the example for Adwaita mate-appearance-properties gives, I believe this is the "Proper" way to fix it, so do the following in order;

The quick and dirty way when using it

  • Select Adwaita theme
  • Click on Customise

     

    • Select the Window Border tab
    • Select window border theme "TraditionalOk" and close

 

A Permanent Fix to the Adwaita missing its Theme Manager using terminal / console

I found that all I had to do to resolve the issue permanently was to do this;

vim /usr/share/themes/Adwaita/index.theme

And change at the bottom where it says 

MetacityTheme 

to say 

TraditionalOk 

instead of Adwaita.

I know why this works, I just do not know why Adwaita can't use its own Metacity theme without issues, aside from what the kind people at #gnome@irc.freenode.net said about Adwaita previously relying on Mutter.

Feel free to tell me if up explained did not work for you or if you have a better way to deal with the Adwaita missing manager theme issueso far I believe the  problem is resolved correctly.

Enjoy

Share this on