Email Linux alternative text console clients to Thunderbird, fetchmail, Mutt, fetchmail + Alpine how to

November 4th, 2017


As a GNU / Linux user you might end up searching for the best email client to satisfy your needs, for those who used so far Outlook Express on M$ Windows first switch to GNU / Linux the most likely one to choose is either Mozilla Thunderbird or GNOME's Evolution default Mail Clientbut what more text / console programs are there that will allow you to easily check email via POP3 and IMAP on Linux?


1. Install Fetchmail and use to collect and copy your emails from remote server to your local machine

 SSL enabled POP3, APOP, IMAP mail gatherer/forwarder
 fetchmail is a free, full-featured, robust, and well-documented remote mail
 retrieval and forwarding utility intended to be used over on-demand TCP/IP
 links (such as SLIP or PPP connections).  It retrieves mail from remote mail
 servers and forwards it to your local (client) machine's delivery system, so
 it can then be read by normal mail user agents such as mutt, elm, pine,
 (x)emacs/gnus, or mailx.  The fetchmailconf package includes an interactive
 GUI configurator suitable for end-users.

To install it, issue:

apt-get install –yes fetchmail procmail

To configure fetchmail to gather your mail from your POP3 / IMAP mailbox, create below
.fetchmailrc configuratoin and modify according to your account


# vim .fetchmailrc


#### .fetchmailrc
 set daemon 600
 set logfile fetchmail.log

 poll the_mail_server_hostname proto POP3

  user "Remote_Username" pass "PASSWORD=" is "local_username" preconnect "date >> fetchmail.log"
  #no keep
  no rewrite
  mda "/usr/bin/procmail -f %F -d %T";

Here is also few words on each of the .fetchmailrc config options

set daemon 600 The fetchmail binary with run in the background in daemon mod and fetch mail from the server every 600 seconds or 10 minutes.

set logfile fetchmail.log This will set the directory and file name of the fetchmail user log file. Eveytime fetchmail recieves an email, checks the pop3 server or errors out you will find an entry here.

poll the_isp_mail_server proto POP3 This line tells fetchmail what mail server to contact, in theis case "the_isp_mail_server" and to use the "POP3" protocol.

user "remote_user_name" pass "PASSWORD" is "local_username" preconnect "date >> fetchmail.log The user directive tells fetchmail what the name of the user on the remote mail server is for example "remote_user_name". The pass directive is simply the password you will use for the remote user on the mail server. The "is" directive is optional. It tells fetchmail to deliver mail to a diferent user name if the user on the remote mail server and the local machine are different. For example, I may be using the name "joe.doe" on the mail server, but my local user name is "jdoe". I would use a line like user "joe.doe" pass "PASSWORD" is "jdoe". The preconnect command simply adds the current time and date to the fetchmail log file every time fetchmail checks for new mail.

ssl The "ssl" directive tells fetchmail to use encryption when connecting to the pop3 mail server. Fetchmail will use port 995 instead of port 110 for un-encypted mail communication. In order to use ssl the remote mail server must be able to use ssl. Comment out this directive if you do _not_ use pop3s.

fetchall Fetchall just means to fetch all of the mail on the mail server no matter what the "read" flag is. It is possibly to read mail through many different processes. If you use another mail client from another location, for example you could have read you mail and kept it ont he server, but marked it with the "read" flag. At this point if you did _not_ use the "fetchall" flag then only mail marked as new would be downloaded.

no keep Once the mail is downloded from the mail server fetchmail is to tell the server to remove it from the server. You may choose to comment this option out if you want to leave all mail on the server.

no rewrite Do not rewrite headers. When fetchmail recieves the mail you do not want any of the headers mangled in any way. This directive tells fetchmail to leave the headers alone.

mda "/usr/bin/procmail -f %F -d %T"; The mda is your "mail delivery agent. Procmail is the program that fetchmail will hand the mail off to once it is downloaded. The argument "-f %F" logs who the mail if from and "-d %T" turns on explicit delivery mode, delivery will be to the local user recipient.

For configuring multiple mailboxes email to be gathered to local machine through fetchmail add to above configuration, some more config similar to this:

 poll protocol pop3:
       username "admin" password "your-plain-text-password" is "username" here;
       username "what-ever-user-name" password "Just-another-pass#" is "foreman" here;

  poll protocol pop3 with option sslproto '':
       user "whatever-user1" password "its-my-pass" mda "/usr/bin/procmail -d %T":   user "whatever-user1" password "its-my-pass" mda "/usr/bin/procmail -d %T


Because as you can see fetchmail keeps password in plaintext it is a best security practice to set some good file permissions on .fetchmailrc just to make sure some other local user on the same Linux / Unix machine will not be able to read your plaintext password, to do so issue below command.

chmod 600 ~/.fetchmailrc


For the purpose of logging as we have it into the config you will also need to create new blank file fetchmail.log

touch fetchmail.log

Once fetchmail all your emails you can use mail command to view your messages or further configure alpine or mutt to read the downloaded messages.


2. Use Alpine text based email client to check your downloaded email with fetchmail

Alpine is Text-based email client, friendly for novices but powerful
 Alpine is an upgrade of the well-known PINE email client.  Its name derives
 from the use of the Apache License and its ties to PINE.

In other words what Alpine is it is a rewritten and improved version of the good old PINE Unix email client (for those who remember it).

To give alpine a try on Debian / Ubuntu install it with:


apt-get install –yes alpine pilot




3. Use MuTT advanced and much more colorful text email client to view your emailbox


 Mutt is a sophisticated text-based Mail User Agent. Some highlights:
  * MIME support (including RFC1522 encoding/decoding of 8-bit message
    headers and UTF-8 support).
  * PGP/MIME support (RFC 2015).
  * Advanced IMAP client supporting SSL encryption and SASL authentication.
  * POP3 support.
  * ESMTP support.
  * Message threading (both strict and non-strict).
  * Keybindings are configurable, default keybindings are much like ELM;
    Mush and PINE-like ones are provided as examples.
  * Handles MMDF, MH and Maildir in addition to regular mbox format.
  * Messages may be (indefinitely) postponed.
  * Colour support.
  * Highly configurable through easy but powerful rc file.


To install MuTT:


linux:~# apt-get install –yes mutt

Configuring mutt if you don't have priorly set-up with fetchmail to collect your remote e-mails, you might want to try out .mutt's email fetch features to do so you will need a .muttrc configuration like that:

# Automatically log in to this mailbox at startup
set spoolfile="imaps://"
# Define the = shortcut, and the entry point for the folder browser (c?)
set folder="imaps://"
set record="=Sent"
set postponed="=Drafts"

You might also omit placing the password inside .muttrc configuration as storing the password in plaintext might be a big security hole if someone is able to read it at certain point, but the downside of that is you'll be asked by mutt to fill in your email password on every login which at a point becomes pretty annoying.

If you face problems with inability of mutt to connect to remote mail server due to TLS problems, you can also try to play with below configurations:

# activate TLS if available on the server
 set ssl_starttls=yes
 # always use SSL when connecting to a server
 set ssl_force_tls=yes
 # Don't wait to enter mailbox manually
 unset imap_passive        
 # Automatically poll subscribed mailboxes for new mail (new in 1.5.11)
 set imap_check_subscribed
 # Reduce polling frequency to a sane level
 set mail_check=60
 # And poll the current mailbox more often (not needed with IDLE in post 1.5.11)
 set timeout=10
 # keep a cache of headers for faster loading (1.5.9+?)
 set header_cache=~/.hcache
 # Display download progress every 5K
 set net_inc=5


Once you have the emails downloaded with fetchmail for your mailbox mutt should be showing your email stuff like in below screenshot

linux:~$ mutt




Of course a very handy thing to have is w3m-img text browser that displays images as it might be able to open your pictures attached to email if you're on a physical console tty.

I'll be curious to hear, if you know of better and easier solutions to check mail in console, so if you know such please drop a comment explaining how you check your mail text.


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How to make for loop (cycles) in KSH useful for FreeBSD / UNIX system administrators

November 3rd, 2017


Sometimes we have to administrate this operating systems such as FreeBSD / AIX / HP UX or even Mac OS server where by default due to historical reasons or for security bash shell is not avialable. That's not a common scenario but it happens so if as sysadmin we need to create for loops on ksh it is useful to know how to do that, as for loop cycles are one of the most important command line tools the sysadmin swiss army knife kind of.

So how to create a for loop (cycle) in ksh (Korn Shell)?

The most basic example for a KSH loop shell is below:

for i in 1 2 3 4 5
  echo "Welcome $i times"


Add the content to any file lets say ksh_loop.ksh then make it executable as you do in bash shells



$ chmod +x ksh_loop.ksh
$ ksh ksh_loop.ksh


The overall syntax of the for loop ksh command is as follows:



for {Variable} in {lists}
    echo ${Variable}


Hence to list lets say 20 iterations in a loop in ksh you can use something like:

for i in {1..20}
  echo "Just a simple echo Command $i times";
# add whatever system commands you like here


Example for some useful example with KSH loop is to list a directory content so you can execute whatever command you need on each of the files or directories inside


for f in $(ls /tmp/*)
        print "Iterating whatever command you like on /tmp dir : $f"

Other useful for loop iteration would be to print a file content line by line just like it is done in bash shell, you can do that with a small loop like belows:


for iteration_variable in $(cat  file_with-your-loved-content-to-iterate.txt)
        print "Current iteration like is : $iteration_variable"


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How to configure Joystick ( Gamepad ) on Debian, Ubuntu, Mint GNU / Linux easily

November 2nd, 2017


"All work and no fun makes Jack a dull boy …."

If you own a PC joystick and you're a gamer who just migrated to GNU / Linux and you enter the wonderful world of Linux gaming (haha what wonderful world its nightmare :), perhaps you will want an easy way to make your Joystick work on GNU / Linux.

In this article I'll try my best to explain how you can relavitely easy make your Linux joystick (joy stick 🙂 ), bring you the happiness of playing old arcades in an old school joystick way.

1. Install necessery packages for joystick under Linux

gamelinux:~# apt-get install –yes joystick jstest-gtk joy2key gjoypad xserver-xorg-input-joystick \
xserver-xorg-input-joystick-dev kodi-peripherals

2. Test wherher joystick is properly detected by kernel


gamelinux:~# cat /dev/input/js0





If above cat command returns a bunch of weird signs in your terminal, that means the joystick was successfully detected and should be working.

3. Load Joystick necessery Linux modules if your Gamepad is not properly detected

Note that I assume you're super user most of below commands are preferrably to be run as root:

If you're Gamepad is not detected, you'll have to manually create /dev/input/js0

gamelinux:~# cd /dev/input
gamelinux;~# MAKEDEV js0

Further on you'll need to perhaps load at least the following 3 modules which gives support for a number of JoySticks / Gamepad devices

gamelinux:~# modprobe joydev
gamelinux:~# modprobe ns558
gamelinux:~# modprobe sidewinder
gamelinux:~# modprobe gameport

Just in case if you're planning to play old Arcade games I recommend you load also following bunch of modules:

gamelinux:~# modprobe snd-seq
gamelinux:~# modprobe 3c59x
gamelinux:~# modprobe snd-emu10k1
gamelinux:~# modprobe snd-pcm-oss
gamelinux:~# modprobe snd-mixer-oss
gamelinux:~# modprobe snd-seq-oss

If you get an error message and don't suceed to calibrate your gamepad, you need to look under to know the modules that fit your Joystick model.


For a MS Sidewinder gamepad

gamelinux:~# modprobe joydev
gamelinux:~# modprobe ns558
gamelinux:~# modprobe sidewinder
gamelinux:~# modprobe analog
## This one work only for analog pad, like joysticks

For a Logitech WingMan digital gamepad

gamelinux:~# modprobe joydev
gamelinux:~# modprobe ns558
gamelinux:~# modprobe adi
## Specific driver for Logitech gamepads

For a Logitech WingMan gamepad (analog)

gamelinux:~# modprobe joydev
gamelinux:~# modprobe ns558
gamelinux:~# modprobe analog
## Module for analog gamepads
gamelinux:~# modprobe pcigame
## Module for PCI card (??)
gamelinux:~# modprobe adi
## Module for Logitech pads

For a MS SideWinder ForceFeedBack Pro

gamelinux:~# modprobe joydev
gamelinux:~# modprobe ns558
gamelinux:~# modprobe analog
gamelinux:~# modprobe sidewinder
gamelinux:~# modprobe iforce
## Force Feedback driver
gamelinux:~# modprobe evdev


For a Guillemot dual analog gamepad (gameport, non-USB)

gamelinux:~# modprobe joydev
gamelinux:~# modprobe ns558
gamelinux:~# modprobe guillemot
gamelinux:~# modprobe analog
## to check
gamelinux:~# modprobe iforce
## to check

If auto-detect of joystick doesn't work (hopefully not your case)


gamelinux:~# modprobe usbhid
gamelinux:~# modprobe joydev


– Enable Joystick for KDE Users

Luckily though historically the kcontrol package was required but nowadays, KDE users could usually calibrate joystick via KDE K Control Centrer

To make joystick configuration permanent on Linux you need to add the modules that worked with your Joystick device to /etc/modules,

for eample I own


And my

/etc/modules file

looks like so:


gamelinux:~# cat /etc/modules

# /etc/modules: kernel modules to load at boot time.
# This file contains the names of kernel modules that should be loaded
# at boot time, one per line. Lines beginning with "#" are ignored.

In case of some problems with SoundCard conflicting joystick or the other way around you might also want to add into /etc/modprobe.d/options something similar to


gamelinux:~# vim /etc/modprobe.d/options

gamelinux:~# options snd_ens1371 joystick_port=1


4. Calibrate your joystick either using jstest / jscal commands or GNOME's jstest-gtk

To calibrate joystick in text mode use below commands


jscal /dev/input/js0
jstest /dev/input/js0

For the lazy ones you can calibrate your joystick via GNOME's graphical tool jstest-gtk



This article is just a basic explanation on how to make your joystick work, for thoroughful advanced explanation on JoySticks and Gamepads I recommend ArchLinux Wiki explanation on how to configure Gamepads

5. Create missing Symlinks from /dev/input/js0 to /dev/js0

I've personally experienced a problem with Xmame / Xmess (Multimedia Arcade Emulator) and other old arcade Virtual Machine Emulators that are supposed to recognize the joystick, but because it is common that the joystick is trying to be invoked via /dev/js0 /dev/js1 (depending on its model), but somehow this links are missing, thus I had to manually create the links with ln command, like so:

– For /dev/input/js0 to link /dev/js0


cd /dev; ln -sf /dev/input/js0;

– For /dev/input/js1 to link /dev/js1


cd /dev; ln -sf /dev/input/js1;


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

October 31st, 2017


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 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 –


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: 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.


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

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

October 31st, 2017


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




On CentOS, Fedora, OpenSuSE other RPM based distros:

Download the Teamviewer package and package signature using wget


# wget
# wget



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
 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





linux:~$ teamviewer
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 …


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

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

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 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 (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


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

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

October 30th, 2017


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 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.


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



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


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                            0.4.8-2+b2                           amd64        Personal Address Manager for GNUstep
ii                                    0.42.2-1+b7                          amd64        Calendar manager for GNUstep
ii                                   0.3~rc1-3                            amd64        Character map for GNUstep
ii                            0.3~rc1-3                            all          Character map for GNUstep (arch-independent files)
ii                                 1.0.0-1+b4                           amd64        Music player for GNUstep
ii                          0+20080616+dfsg-2+b6                 amd64        Dict client for GNUstep
ii                                  1.1.1a-7.1+b1                        amd64        Scientific calculator for GNUstep
ii                                   1.2.2-1.1                            amd64        Mail client for GNUstep
ii                            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                                    1.2.9-2+b2                           amd64        Extended TicTacToe game for GNUstep
ii                                      1.2.23-1                             amd64        Visual Interface Builder for GNUstep
ii                                  1.10-4+b2                            amd64        Collection of grid-based board games for GNUstep
ii                                       1.0-1+b2                             amd64        RSS reader for GNUstep
ii  gworkspace-common                             0.9.3-1                              all          GNUstep Workspace Manager – common files
ii                                0.9.3-1+b2                           amd64        GNUstep Workspace Manager
ii                                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                                     1.3.0-1                              amd64        Image filtering and manipulation using GNUstep
ii                             0.6.2-1                              amd64        IDE for GNUstep Development
ii  renaissance-doc                               0.9.0-4                              all          GNUstep GUI Framework – documentation
ii                         1.2.0-2+b2                           amd64        GNUstep preferences application
ii                                                    amd64        Terminal Emulator for GNUstep
ii                                  4.0+20061029-3.5+b1                  amd64        Text editor for GNUstep
ii                                   1:0.2dfsg1-5+b2                      amd64        Portable Document Format (PDF) viewer for GNUstep
ii                                    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


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


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.


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


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 &


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

October 28th, 2017


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="inet netmask"
# default gateway


/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' >> /etc/resolv.conf
# echo 'nameserver' >> /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


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

ifconfig_em0_alias0=" netmask"
ifconfig_em0_alias1=" netmask"

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


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

# 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


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

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

October 27th, 2017


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


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 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
#  unzip

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




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.


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! 🙂

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

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!

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