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    1. Share your linux desktop/setup

      I've put quite a bit of work into my i3 set up recently and I'm curious if the people here are interested in that kind of thing. I'd be interested in looking through configs to get ideas, and...

      I've put quite a bit of work into my i3 set up recently and I'm curious if the people here are interested in that kind of thing.

      I'd be interested in looking through configs to get ideas, and sharing screenshots and such.

      Here is what my desktop looks like right now. Let me know what you think.

      26 votes
    2. What should a lay user know about Linux app packaging?

      I’m enough of a Linux lay user that I’m not even sure if I’m using the right terminology in the question (feel free to tweak it if needed!). Here’s what I mean: I’m running Pop!_OS currently, and...

      I’m enough of a Linux lay user that I’m not even sure if I’m using the right terminology in the question (feel free to tweak it if needed!). Here’s what I mean:

      I’m running Pop!_OS currently, and I have at least one app installed via each of the following methods:

      • Deb app from the distro repositories
      • Deb deb downloaded from program website
      • Flatpak app downloaded from Flathub
      • AppImage app downloaded from program website
      • Snap app downloaded from the Snap store

      As someone who doesn’t really know or necessarily even care to know what’s going on under the hood, these all pretty much work identically for me (with the exception of AppImage which doesn’t integrate into my regular programs menu, and the standalone Deb, which requires manual updating). In fact, for most of the programs on my computer I couldn’t tell you which one they’re sourced from. They all just run like they should.

      I’ve looked up differences between all of the options and usually end up finding conversations that go well above my head and get deep into technical details. My question here is basically aimed at cutting through a lot of that depth: what is the important, need-to-know information about these different methods of installing apps? Is there anything I should be aware of if all I’m really going to be doing is running them as a standard, non-power user? Also, if an app is available via multiple methods — is there one that is preferred/better/safer/superior/etc.?

      14 votes
    3. [SOLVED] Tech Support Request: Finding the biggest files of a specific type

      Hey Tildes! I need some help with a specific tech issue, and I'm sure someone here can help me do it way quicker than I would be able to on my own. General Request I'd like to be able to scan a...

      Hey Tildes!

      I need some help with a specific tech issue, and I'm sure someone here can help me do it way quicker than I would be able to on my own.

      General Request

      I'd like to be able to scan a directory and find all of the largest files of a specific type (e.g. the largest .jpg files). I'm running Pop!_OS and I'm assuming there's some way to do this in the terminal, or alternately some utility I could use.

      More Specific Details

      I'm cleaning up my digital music library, and I realized in setting it up I made some errors by saving some very high res cover art. Many of my Bandcamp purchases come with a cover.jpg or cover.png file that is several megabytes large. I made the mistake of writing these into the files (adding, for some albums, an extra, say, 100 MB across all tracks). They also take a lot longer to load when I pull them up in my cloud music player. I'd like to be able to identify the albums with the largest cover.* files so that I can go in and replace the album art with a lower res version and gain back all that wasted space lost to unnecessary duplication.

      I could go folder by folder and take a look at the sizes of each, but I figure there's an easier way to surface the ones that need my attention. Everything I've looked at online so far has helped me figure out how to identify the biggest files in general, but all that will do is surface the actual audio files, when it's the cover art that needs the specific attention.

      Also, in case it's necessary information, the directory structure is Music/[artist]/[album]/cover.*

      Any help will be very appreciated!

      12 votes
    4. Ubuntu sends http requests to Google cloud, here’s a fix

      Ubuntu has this package installed by default: network-manager-config-connectivity-ubuntu It's only purpose is to provide settings for NetworkManager to send requests to...

      Ubuntu has this package installed by default:
      network-manager-config-connectivity-ubuntu

      It's only purpose is to provide settings for NetworkManager to send requests to connectivity-check.ubuntu.com , and based on the result (AFAIK) detect redirection by captive portals and open an ISP's page (think public WiFi, or hotel rooms, where you need to authorize to access the net).

      Well, connectivity-check.ubuntu.com is hosted on Google cloud (you can check that by running:

      dig connectivity-check.ubuntu.com
      whois [the IP from previous query]
      

      ), so by default Ubuntu sends requests to a Google cloud page.
      I don't say Google counts daily active Ubuntu users (because many of those have the same IP), or that Google actively logs and analyzes that data. But some of you guys may not like that behavior.

      So what's the fix?

      Purge the package

      sudo apt purge network-manager-config-connectivity-ubuntu
      

      If you do need a captive portal detection, create your own config file to query some HTTP (not HTTPS) page of your choice, in the example below I have a Debian page used for the same purpose. Use your favorite text editor to create and edit /etc/NetworkManager/conf.d/90-connectivity-custom.conf :

      [connectivity]
      uri=http://network-test.debian.org/nm
      

      Restart NetworkManager

      sudo systemctl restart NetworkManager
      

      If you run an Ubuntu derivative, please report if you have network-manager-config-connectivity-ubuntu installed in the comments.

      11 votes
    5. What is the difference between Linux distros? Why do you use the one you use?

      I still mainly use Windows, although I've dual-booted Linux a few times and I have Linux Mint on an old laptop right now. One thing I've never understood about Linux is all the different...

      I still mainly use Windows, although I've dual-booted Linux a few times and I have Linux Mint on an old laptop right now. One thing I've never understood about Linux is all the different distributions - their different reputations and why they have them. What is the mechanical difference between using one distribution of Linux and another? Or are the differences usually not mechanical?

      For example, Ubuntu and Debian seem to be large families, meaning that a lot of other distributions are based on them (using packages built for them in their package managers at least) as well as being popular distros on their own. But what's different between the two of them, and between each and the other distros based on them? (and what's similar? I gather they all use the Linux kernel at least!)

      I also know that people are quite opinionated on their choice of distro, I wondered what reasons people had for their choice. What things are easier or harder for you in your distro of choice? Is it mainly day-to-day tasks that are important or more how the OS works underneath? How much difference does your preferred distro make?

      For myself, I've only used Kubuntu (though not much) and Linux Mint, which was mainly for UI reasons, and particularly for the latter, ease of use for someone used to Windows (at least that was what I found years ago when I first looked into it).

      Though I doubt I'll ever fully move away from Windows I would like / need to have access to a Linux OS, so maybe this will help me to know what is important to look for. But I also hope it'll be a useful and interesting discussion topic. Also, there are some previous discussions on the latter question so I'd be more interested in learning about the main topic.

      also, please do add more tags

      29 votes
    6. Anyone using a lightweight browser with Linux?

      I've got a crappy Chromebook running GalliumOS (Xubuntu) and Chromium is slow as molasses. I tried a few other browsers like Otter and Falkon. They're alright for most sites -- not Tildes, but...

      I've got a crappy Chromebook running GalliumOS (Xubuntu) and Chromium is slow as molasses. I tried a few other browsers like Otter and Falkon. They're alright for most sites -- not Tildes, but this seems consistent with QT5 browsers.

      Anyway, outside of text browsers, anybody have any light weight browser suggestions?

      14 votes
    7. Does reformatting an ext4 partition fix bad sectors, and what are they anyway?

      My Linux desktop is having a bit of difficulty with bad sectors. Lately I've had to boot into recovery and run an fsck a few times to try to fix a problem where the OS drops into read-only mode at...

      My Linux desktop is having a bit of difficulty with bad sectors. Lately I've had to boot into recovery and run an fsck a few times to try to fix a problem where the OS drops into read-only mode at the drop of a hat. Today I tried copying some files from one directory to another and got the following error message:
      cp: error reading "foo/bar": Input/output error

      I've just booted into a live USB and run fsck /dev/sda1 -c and it fixed a load of bad sectors, but the above error message is still happening.

      A bit of googling tells me that this is down to bad sectors on the SSD, and I'm not really sure what that means. Is anybody able to enlighten me? And as a follow-up question, would reformatting the hard drive resolve the problem, or are there any other things I can try to fix it?

      9 votes
    8. NixOS Configuration for a VPS

      Since I took so long to reply to Tips to use NixOS on a server? by @simao, I decided to create a new topic to share my configs. Hopefully this is informative for anyone looking to do similar...

      Since I took so long to reply to Tips to use NixOS on a server? by @simao, I decided to create a new topic to share my configs. Hopefully this is informative for anyone looking to do similar things - I'll also gladly take critiques, since my setup is probably not perfect.

      First, I will share the output of 'lsblk' on my VPS:

      NAME      MAJ:MIN RM   SIZE RO TYPE  MOUNTPOINT
      vda       253:0    0   180G  0 disk  
      ├─vda1    253:1    0   512M  0 part  /boot
      └─vda2    253:2    0 179.5G  0 part  
        └─crypt 254:0    0 179.5G  0 crypt 
      

      That is, I use an unencrypted /boot partition, vda1, with GRUB 2 to prompt for a passphrase during boot, to unlock the LUKS encrypted vda2. I prefer to use ZFS as my file system for the encrypted drive, and LUKS rather than ZFS encryption. This is an MBR drive, since that's what my VPS provider uses, though UEFI would look the same. The particular way I do this also requires access through the provider's tools, and not ssh or similar. The hardware-configuration.nix file reflects this:

      Click to view the hardware configuration file
      # Do not modify this file!  It was generated by ‘nixos-generate-config’
      # and may be overwritten by future invocations.  Please make changes
      # to /etc/nixos/configuration.nix instead.
      { config, lib, pkgs, modulesPath, ... }:
      
      {
        imports =
          [ (modulesPath + "/profiles/qemu-guest.nix")
          ];
      
        boot.initrd.availableKernelModules = [ "aes_x86_64" "ata_piix" "cryptd" "uhci_hcd" "virtio_pci" "sr_mod" "virtio_blk" ];
        boot.initrd.kernelModules = [ ];
        boot.kernelModules = [ ];
        boot.extraModulePackages = [ ];
      
        fileSystems."/" =
          { device = "rpool/root/nixos";
            fsType = "zfs";
          };
      
        fileSystems."/home" =
          { device = "rpool/home";
            fsType = "zfs";
          };
      
        fileSystems."/boot" =
          { device = "/dev/disk/by-uuid/294de4f1-72e2-4377-b565-b3d4eaaa37b6";
            fsType = "ext4";
          };
      
        swapDevices = [ ];
      
      }
      
      I disobey the warning at the top to add `"aes_x86_64"` and `"cryptd"` to the available kernel modules, to speed up encryption. The `configuration.nix` follows:
      Click to view the configuration file
      # Edit this configuration file to define what should be installed on
      # your system.  Help is available in the configuration.nix(5) man page
      # and in the NixOS manual (accessible by running ‘nixos-help’).
      
      { config, lib, pkgs, ... }:
      
      {
        imports =
          [ # Include the results of the hardware scan.
            ./hardware-configuration.nix
          ];
      
        # Hardware stuff
        # add the following to hardware-configuration.nix - speeds up encryption
        #boot.initrd.availableKernelModules ++ [ "aes_x86_64" "cryptd" ];
        boot.initrd.luks.devices.crypt = {
          # Change this if moving to another machine!
          device = "/dev/disk/by-uuid/86090289-1c1f-4935-abce-a1aeee1b6125";
        };
        boot.kernelParams = [ "zfs.zfs_arc_max=536870912" ]; # sets zfs arc cache max target in bytes
        boot.supportedFilesystems = [ "zfs" ];
        nix.maxJobs = lib.mkDefault 6; # number of cpu cores
      
        # Use the GRUB 2 boot loader.
        boot.loader.grub.enable = true;
        boot.loader.grub.version = 2;
        # boot.loader.grub.efiSupport = true;
        # boot.loader.grub.efiInstallAsRemovable = true;
        # boot.loader.efi.efiSysMountPoint = "/boot/efi";
        # Define on which hard drive you want to install Grub.
        boot.loader.grub.device = "/dev/vda"; # or "nodev" for efi only
        boot.loader.grub.enableCryptodisk = true;
        boot.loader.grub.zfsSupport = true;
      
        networking.hostName = "m"; # Define your hostname.
        # networking.wireless.enable = true;  # Enables wireless support via wpa_supplicant.
      
        # The global useDHCP flag is deprecated, therefore explicitly set to false here.
        # Per-interface useDHCP will be mandatory in the future, so this generated config
        # replicates the default behaviour.
        networking.useDHCP = false;
        networking.interfaces.ens3.useDHCP = true;
        networking.hostId = "aoeu"; # set this to the first eight characters of /etc/machine-id for zfs
        networking.nat = {
          enable = true;
          externalInterface = "ens3"; # this may not be the interface name
          internalInterfaces = [ "wg0" ];
        };
        networking.firewall = {
          enable = true;
          allowedTCPPorts = [ 53 25565 ]; # open 53 for DNS and 25565 for Minecraft
          allowedUDPPorts = [ 53 51820 ]; # open 53 for DNS and 51820 for Wireguard - change the Wireguard port
        };
        networking.wg-quick.interfaces = {
          wg0 = {
            address = [ "10.0.0.1/24" "fdc9:281f:04d7:9ee9::1/64" ];
            listenPort = 51820;
            privateKeyFile = "/root/wireguard-keys/privatekey"; # fill this file with the server's private key and make it so only root has read/write access
      
            postUp = ''
              ${pkgs.iptables}/bin/iptables -A FORWARD -i wg0 -j ACCEPT
              ${pkgs.iptables}/bin/iptables -t nat -A POSTROUTING -s 10.0.0.1/24 -o ens3 -j MASQUERADE
              ${pkgs.iptables}/bin/ip6tables -A FORWARD -i wg0 -j ACCEPT
              ${pkgs.iptables}/bin/ip6tables -t nat -A POSTROUTING -s fdc9:281f:04d7:9ee9::1/64 -o ens3 -j MASQUERADE
            '';
      
            preDown = ''
              ${pkgs.iptables}/bin/iptables -D FORWARD -i wg0 -j ACCEPT
              ${pkgs.iptables}/bin/iptables -t nat -D POSTROUTING -s 10.0.0.1/24 -o ens3 -j MASQUERADE
              ${pkgs.iptables}/bin/ip6tables -D FORWARD -i wg0 -j ACCEPT
              ${pkgs.iptables}/bin/ip6tables -t nat -D POSTROUTING -s fdc9:281f:04d7:9ee9::1/64 -o ens3 -j MASQUERADE
            '';
      
            peers = [
              { # peer0
                publicKey = "{client public key}"; # replace this with the client's public key
                presharedKeyFile = "/root/wireguard-keys/preshared_from_peer0_key"; # fill this file with the preshared key and make it so only root has read/write access
                allowedIPs = [ "10.0.0.2/32" "fdc9:281f:04d7:9ee9::2/128" ];
              }
            ];
          };
        };
      
        # Configure network proxy if necessary
        # networking.proxy.default = "http://user:password@proxy:port/";
        # networking.proxy.noProxy = "127.0.0.1,localhost,internal.domain";
      
        nixpkgs.config = {
          allowUnfree = true; # don't set this if you want to ensure only free software
        };
      
        # Select internationalisation properties.
        i18n.defaultLocale = "en_US.UTF-8";
        console = {
          font = "Lat2-Terminus16";
          keyMap = "us";
        };
      
        # Set your time zone.
        time.timeZone = "America/New_York"; # set this to the same timezone your server is located in
      
        # List packages installed in system profile. To search, run:
        # $ nix search wget
        environment = {
          systemPackages = with pkgs; let
            nvimcust = neovim.override { # lazy minimal neovim config
              viAlias = true;
              vimAlias = true;
              withPython = true;
              configure = {
                packages.myPlugins = with pkgs.vimPlugins; {
                  start = [ deoplete-nvim ];
                  opt = [];
                };
                customRC = ''
                  if filereadable($HOME . "/.config/nvim/init.vim")
                    source ~/.config/nvim/init.vim
                  endif
      
                  set number
      
                  set expandtab
      
                  filetype plugin on
                  syntax on
      
                  let g:deoplete#enable_at_startup = 1
                '';
              };
            };
          in
          [
            jdk8
            nvimcust
            p7zip
            wget
            wireguard
          ];
        };
      
        # Some programs need SUID wrappers, can be configured further or are
        # started in user sessions.
        # programs.mtr.enable = true;
        # programs.gnupg.agent = {
        #   enable = true;
        #   enableSSHSupport = true;
        #   pinentryFlavor = "gnome3";
        # };
      
        # List services that you want to enable:
      
        # Enable the OpenSSH daemon.
        services = {
          dnsmasq = {
            enable = true;
            # this allows DNS requests from wg0 to be forwarded to the DNS server on this machine
            extraConfig = ''
              interface=wg0
            '';
          };
          fail2ban = {
            enable = true;
          };
          openssh = {
            enable = true;
            permitRootLogin = "no";
          };
          zfs = {
            autoScrub = {
              enable = true;
              interval = "monthly";
            };
          };
        };
      
        # Set sudo to request root password for all users
        # this should be changed for a multi-user server
        security.sudo.extraConfig = ''
          Defaults rootpw
        '';
      
        # Define a user account. Don't forget to set a password with ‘passwd’.
        users.users = {
          vpsadmin = { # admin account that has a password
            isNormalUser = true;
            home = "/home/vpsadmin";
            extraGroups = [ "wheel" ]; # Enable ‘sudo’ for the user.
            shell = pkgs.zsh;
          };
          mcserver = { # passwordless user to run a service - in this instance minecraft
            isNormalUser = true;
            home = "/home/mcserver";
            extraGroups = [];
            shell = pkgs.zsh;
          };
        };
      
        systemd = {
          services = {
            mcserverrun = { # this service runs a systemd sandboxed modded minecraft server as user mcserver
              enable = true;
              description = "Start and keep minecraft server running";
              wants = [ "network.target" ];
              after = [ "network.target" ];
              serviceConfig = {
                User = "mcserver";
                NoNewPrivileges = true;
                PrivateTmp = true;
                ProtectSystem = "strict";
                PrivateDevices = true;
                ReadWritePaths = "/home/mcserver/Eternal_current";
                WorkingDirectory = "/home/mcserver/Eternal_current";
                ExecStart = "${pkgs.jdk8}/bin/java -Xms11520M -Xmx11520M -server -XX:+AggressiveOpts -XX:ParallelGCThreads=3 -XX:+UseConcMarkSweepGC -XX:+UnlockExperimentalVMOptions -XX:+UseParNewGC -XX:+ExplicitGCInvokesConcurrent -XX:MaxGCPauseMillis=10 -XX:GCPauseIntervalMillis=50 -XX:+UseFastAccessorMethods -XX:+OptimizeStringConcat -XX:NewSize=84m -XX:+UseAdaptiveGCBoundary -XX:NewRatio=3 -jar forge-1.12.2-14.23.5.2847-universal.jar nogui";
                Restart = "always";
                RestartSec = 12;
              };
              wantedBy = [ "multi-user.target" ];
            };
            mcserverscheduledrestart = { # this service restarts the minecraft server on a schedule
              enable = true;
              description = "restart mcserverrun service";
              serviceConfig = {
                Type = "oneshot";
                ExecStart = "${pkgs.systemd}/bin/systemctl try-restart mcserverrun.service";
              };
            };
          };
          timers = {
            mcserverscheduledrestart = { # this timer triggers the service of the same name
              enable = true;
              description = "restart mcserverrun service daily";
              timerConfig = {
                OnCalendar = "*-*-* 6:00:00";
              };
              wantedBy = [ "timers.target" ];
            };
          };
        };
      
        # This value determines the NixOS release from which the default
        # settings for stateful data, like file locations and database versions
        # on your system were taken. It‘s perfectly fine and recommended to leave
        # this value at the release version of the first install of this system.
        # Before changing this value read the documentation for this option
        # (e.g. man configuration.nix or on https://nixos.org/nixos/options.html).
        system.stateVersion = "20.09"; # Did you read the comment?
      
      }
      
      You'll notice that this server acts as a Wireguard endpoint and as a Minecraft server. I described the first part on the [NixOS wiki page for Wireguard](https://nixos.wiki/wiki/Wireguard) under the section that mentions dnsmasq. The second part is done using NixOS's systemd support, which can be a bit confusing at first but is easy enough once you know how it works.

      Edit: Also, the provider I use is ExtraVM, who has been excellent.

      6 votes
    9. Tips to use NixOS on a server?

      I see some people using NixOs on their servers. I would like to try it out to self host some services and learn about NixOs. I use hetzner and they have an NixOs iso available so I can just use...

      I see some people using NixOs on their servers. I would like to try it out to self host some services and learn about NixOs.

      I use hetzner and they have an NixOs iso available so I can just use that to install NixOs. But how do people manage remote instances of NixOs? They would just use ansible or something like it, to run nix on the host, or is there a better way?

      Thanks

      11 votes