Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Set Up Sudo: Escalate Privilege Without Using SU

I've been using Arch Linux now for more than a year and all that time I have not set up sudo. Sudo is a better way to perform root jobs without logging in to your root account. Among many benefits of sudo is that once you're finished with your business it drops the privileges back to normal. You can also specify which users can perform what actions.

Download the sudo program.
$pacman -S sudo

The configuration file for sudo is the /etc/sudoers

Warning: always use visudo to edit /etc/sudoers.

Which means don't open /etc/sudoers with an editor? not really. You can set visudo to use your favorite editor. For example vim, nano, gedit.

#to set visudo to use nano and open a default sudoers file
$ EDITOR=nano visudo

#add a user (you perhaps) to do root activity
USER_name ALL=(ALL) ALL

Read about all the options available for sudo in this Arch wiki.
Read the sudo manual.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

On Being A Temporary Power User

Most of the time I use a desktop application called Gwibber to read twitter and to send the occasional twits. On average I usually send 5-10 twits a day. There are those exceptional instances when I have to search for particular twits, read them and then send 5 times the normal average number of twits. When these exceptional times happen I switch to the official twitter client which is their website, which means I'm going to the browser.

Most of the keyboard shortcuts in twitter don't work in Firefox or it is terribly clumsy. I use Chromium or Google Chrome for this. The twitter shortcuts work uniformly in Chrome and the speed of Chrome makes it a no brainer to use.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Repairing A File System Indeed

It should have been a routine update with Pacman last Saturday. But it didn't go so smoothly at all.

The Arch Linux site posted a warning on those who are going to update their systems. I have quick hands and not too much sense to check the site first. So I forced the updates and borked my filesystem. There are solutions offered but it didn't work for me.

I did what I could do. With a lot of help from my trusted live cd I repaired my filesytem. I have a dual boot with Ubuntu 12.04. Somehow I managed to ruin grub too. Ubuntu is using GRUB2 and ArchLinux is using the legacy GRUB. I was using the GUI featured GRUB2 since it's easier to edit. I just do 'update-grub'. The legacy GRUB offers a text configuration file.

I also created a dedicated partition for /boot in ArchLinux. Formerly I just use the /(root) partition. I shrunk the /home directory and use the freed space for /boot and /. I did the hard drive preparation before hand with gParted when I was safely logged in Ubuntu 12.04.

I also learned a few things for when I had to reinstall ArchLinux. Yes I am not suppose to reinstall ArchLinux but I'll never learn if I didn't purposefully take the unrecommended path. GNOME's GDM (login manager) habitually gives me trouble when it refuses to acknowledge my user account. This time before I include gdm in /etc/rc.conf, I made sure gdm allows me in.

Pacman 4.x checks package integrity and authentications. A new installation requires me to issue:
$ pacman-key --init  
#and
$ pacman-key --populate archlinux.

Then I can download more applications. In Arch Linux, you slowly build up the system. Install the base system first. Then the sound and video next. I refer to alsa-plugins and xorg-utils. Then the video drivers. Then the big group of desktop environment.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Invasion of The Small Computers

The goal and their reason for existence is the cost of making them for the masses. A 200 dollar desktop will change the ballgame for many many people.

First shot is courtesy of Raspberry Pi. 



Then it's Hardkernel.com 's time to shine now.
Presenting ODROIDX. 

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/6DWnwMZxIW0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

We are in exciting times here.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Just Type: Chrome's Address Bar

I don't know why you like Chrome, the browser Google gave us but a lot of people like it. If I tell you back in 2008 what features I want to see in a browser, you'd probably give me your reasons not to do that feature. A lot of people praised the way Chrome updates. Now that most browsers do the same, people are letting their annoyance known for the constant updating.

You can't satisfy all the people all the time.

My favorite feature in Chrome or Chromium (if you prefer the open source browser) is the super address bar. I think they call it the omnibar. I like it that I can navigate to the address bar with a keyboard shortcut (CTRL+L). I like it that I can just start typing a character and it tries to guess what I want. Is it your bookmarks or your history? It even offers me a site search on the site before it loads it. How cool is that?



Type "imd-" and this image shows up. Punch the tab key and you go into search mode in the imdb site. This browser knows the web better than any browser I know.

It isn't the fast paced development, although that's cool. It isn't the web store that sold me although that is very welcome.

Chrome tells you to "hold my hand" and like instantly you're going.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Need To Upgrade Chromium Browser

I did notice that Chromium browser in Ubuntu Precise (perhaps also in other versions) is running stale now. It is stuck at version 18.x. I have Chromium at version 20 in my Arch machine last week already.

So I added Tobias Wolf's PPA to my source list. Thank you!

Until the chromium daily build PPA resolves itself and gets updated, this will do.

# to add Tobias Wolf's PPA start a terminal:
$ add-apt-repository ppa:towolf/crack
# to update your repository
$ apt-get update
# to upgrade Chromium browser
$ apt-get upgrade

Or just wait for the Update Manager to pop up. It's Ubuntu.

btw Tobias Wolf's PPA has version 21 of Chromium.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Keeping Busy Helps

I spoke to mom last night. I told her about the tenants situation and the delayed payment. I also reassured her that we are fine despite this situation. Mom is seventy years old and still going strong. I am forty-five but it seems like I am as fragile now as she is at her age. Why?


Perhaps it is just my subjective thoughts. I find that working and keeping busy physically helps in having a positive image of yourself. In mom's absence I am keeping her garden for her. Nothing much just potted plants and trees planted in front of the house. Keeps me busy. I get sunlight everyday. I get my daily dose of vitamin D and I sweat. 



Update For Libreoffice 5.3 --> 5.4

The Libreoffice blog says there's an update available today for Libreoffice suite. The productivity suite is now ready with version 5.4...