Linux Blog

Debian 8.1 OpenVPN Setup

Filed under: General Linux,Linux Software — Owen at 12:12 am on Thursday, July 23, 2015

ovpntech_logo-sAfter installing the latest Debian “Jessie” 8.1 and attempting to setup OpenVPN, I noticed a small issue with the OpenVPN Debian Wiki page. In step 2 of the Server Configuration section the information is no longer correct. After reading the /usr/share/doc/easy-rsa/README.Debian file it became apparent that rather than doing:

mkdir /etc/openvpn/easy-rsa
cp -ai /usr/share/doc/openvpn/examples/easy-rsa/2.0/ /etc/openvpn/easy-rsa
cd /etc/openvpn/easy-rsa/2.0

You need to do:

make-cadir /etc/openvpn/easy-rsa/

and adjust the remaining instructions to not use /easy-rsa/2.0/ accordingly.

Not rocket science, but I figured I’d post since in my brain more people will Google a question rather than reading the documentation.

Running dual boot for gaming or using Virtual Machines

Filed under: General Linux,Linux Software — Owen at 12:01 am on Tuesday, May 26, 2015

This is a guest post by Fredrick Cameron and Parking Games 365!


Being a hardcore gamer is not an easy “job” – you have to invest large amounts of money into cutting-edge hardware, and just when you think you have the best gaming rig, something better pops up. As if that’s not enough, you might find yourself in the situation of having to use multiple operating systems, which will lead you to one crucial question: what’s the best approach for getting everything working just right? When it comes to using multiple operating systems and gaming on a single machine, is dual-booting the better choice, or will virtual machines get the job done just as good?
Convenience vs. Performance
Dual-boot and virtualization are both use for the same final purpose: being able to run multiple operating systems on a single machine. However, each approach works differently, and thus they’re not both appropriate for all tasks.

Virtual machines are exactly what their name suggests – virtual computers that run inside your own real computer. The main advantage of virtual machines is that they run inside the main operating system, and as long as your hardware can keep up the pace, you can have multiple virtual machines running simultaneously, each machine being able to run a different operating system. By running inside the operating system, virtual machines are easy to manage, configure and deploy, thus being very convenient if you need to quickly switch between operating systems, as you don’t have to restart your PC and wait for everything to load over and over again.

Dual-booting implies installing two operating systems on a PC. Unlike the case of running virtual machines, in a dual-boot system you have to restart the PC every time you want to switch between operating systems. Installing the two operating systems also requires considerably more work and configuration. So far all these aspects seem to indicate that dual-boot is far less convenient than running virtual machines, so you might expect there’s a catch, and there is: dual-booting means that each system gets exclusive access to the hardware in your PC. In other usage scenarios, this might not mean much, but when it comes to gaming, it’s a complete game-changer. Literally.

Virtual machines get limited access to hardware, as they run as “guests” inside the main operating system. For example, if you’re running a PC with a dual-core processor and 4GB of RAM, one core of the processor and 2GB of RAM might be used by the host operating system, leaving the guest operating system with just one core and the other 2GB of RAM. This basically cuts down the performance of both the host and the guest operating systems to 50%. When you’re running a powerful gaming machine, with quad-core, hexa-core or even octa-core processors and tons of RAM, having the host operating system consume a chunk of those resources might not seem like such a big deal, but gamers tend to hold on to every bit of computing power, as recent games are power-hungry.

However, the key factor that prevent virtual machines from being adequate solutions is the fact that they can’t access and use the hardware as efficiently as a separate operating system does. Ironically, the main component that can’t be fully taken advantage of via a virtual machine is the graphics card, which also happens to be the most important component when it comes to gaming. There is a VGA pass-through procedure that should allow you to give the virtual machine direct access to the video card, but setting it up is a lengthy and complicated process.

Dual-boot may seem a bit inconvenient at first, requiring you to install and configure two separate operating systems, and have to go through “the pain” of a system reboot every time you want to switch, but it’s still far better than having to go through the pain of seeing your games shutter or lag.

Expert tips to play games on your Linux machine

Filed under: General Linux,Linux Software — at 12:52 am on Friday, March 20, 2015

This is the guest post by Fredrick Cameron and Dirt Bike Games 365!

Linux is the leading operating system on servers around the world, yet it is used on only 1% of desktop PC’s. Linux is free and open source collaboration – meaning it is available to anyone and can be modified, distributed or just used. Due to its rarity on desktop PC’s it has not been well catered for the massive games market. However, it is now possible to play games on Linux. In fact, the system is now so good that you may question whether you need a Windows PC to play games.

Linux is a top-choice for high-performance computing these days. The operating system has come a long way, and because it is “open-source”, users can easily change its code and make it suit their gaming needs. Also, you don’t need a licence to use Linux. It also prides with a smooth infrastructure, and it can run on every form of relevant piece of hardware. Linux is becoming more and more user friendly and the following tips will allow you to play any modern PC game on your Linux system:

(Read on …)

Compiz Config

Filed under: General Linux,Linux Software — at 8:00 am on Wednesday, February 18, 2015

One of the great things about Linux is that if you don’t like something, you have the power to change it. You can add features, or remove them to suit your needs. One of the cool features that has been added to modern distributions is the OpenGL compositing manager called Compiz. A lot of distributions come with Compiz as standard, but some don’t. If it does and you have no need for it you can remove or tweak features and functionality it provides. Personally I’m not a fan of every feature or all of the flashiness, so sometimes I tweak it. Follow the jump for more information.
(Read on …)

Media Purge

Filed under: General Linux,Linux Software — at 8:23 pm on Tuesday, September 16, 2014

In order to reduce the amount of crap stuff I have laying around, in addition to making a box of old hardware to donate, I’ve been going through old Linux CD’s. Deciding which ones to pitch was a harder task than I first thought, so I figured I’d take a methodical approach to it. The criteria was this:

Have I:

Used it recently?
Ever used it?

Does it:

Have a download available?
Have a current community?
Contain customized content?
Have a special meaning?


I ever use it?
Someone else be able to use it?

Since most of these were burned disks, the only reason to keep something would be if it is not available anymore, has a special meaning, or I’ve used it a bunch and it contains customized content. Based on this, I’ve decided to pitch (in no particular order)
(Read on …)

xrandr – Set Primary Monitor

Filed under: Linux Hardware,Linux Software,Shell Script Sundays — Owen at 11:04 pm on Sunday, October 27, 2013

I had an issue with my dual monitor setup where my primary monitor was my second, but only in X. Rearranging the monitors in Gnome preferences did nothing to solve the problem. While not exactly a shell script, here is a one-liner to change your primary monitor with xrandr.

xrandr --output DVI-0 --primary

The above uses xrandr to set the primary to DVI-0. I put this in my ~/bin folder, chmod’d and set it to start when Gnome starts. Problem solved!

The First Unreal Engine 3 Game Ships for Linux

Filed under: General Linux,Linux Software — at 1:23 pm on Friday, January 25, 2013

Guest Post From Davis Miller

Score! a HUGE victory for Linux gaming in 2013! Ryan Gordon confirmed via Twitter that “Dungeon Defenders is an Unreal Engine 3 game on Linux, and it’s the first thing I’ve shipped with SDL 2.0!” The launch of Humble Indie Bundle 7 is a tower defense and action oriented role playing game that was originally designed and released for the standard PC in 2011. Though it began as a development for Unreal Engine 3, it now has a native Linux port.


The reality of Linux gaming has been in question for years. Interested parties jump in, and then jump out. Plagued by technical and developmental problems, Linux gaming technology has taken nothing more than baby steps over the years. The recent strides leading up to the shipment of a Linux ported games have happened incredibly fast, with no signs of slowing in the near future. (Read on …)

Buy Vs. Build Vs. Cloud

Filed under: General Linux,Linux Software — at 12:31 am on Wednesday, January 23, 2013

When a company needs a piece of software there is lots of open source software available that may suit their needs. But what happens when there isn’t?
Lets take a look employee performance evaluation software (like this) for example. To build a full featured business supporting application like this is no easy task. Lets weigh in the options:

Build It
There is always the option to build software, depending on the complexity this option can cost a lot of money. You need to either build from scratch, use a framework or modify an existing open source project. Some corporations have the funds for hardware, a development team, system administrators and support team. Those that dont are pretty much left with the buy or cloud solutions.

Buy it
If building isn’t an option due to cost another is to buy. Software support and hardware are sometimes additional costs buying is a viable option depending on the application. What is often the case for small to medium sized companies, a piece software will not feature what they need, while having 90% of everything else. This can lead to leaving critical business functions out, or even a hodgepodge of multiple versions of software that do the same thing.

Cloud / hosted solitions.
For certain applications “heading to the cloud” can be a smart way to go. Not having in house hardware to inventory and maintain is one benefit, and access from multiple locations is another. With the vendors providing support. One concern is security, although this is the same with tbe build/buy options that is often overlooked.

While off the shelf products may exist there are still expenses where choosing the hosted solution may turn out more cost effective.

The top 3 widely used open source accounting applications

Filed under: Linux Software — at 6:30 am on Wednesday, December 19, 2012

This is a guest post from Brianne

There many excellent options for open source accounting software which cover basically anything from ledger bookkeeping to report and forecasting. However, you must know that having an accounting software does not turn you into an accountant and you still need a basic grounding of the fundamentals of accounting and bookkeeping. However, these accounting software applications are a decent mix of old school accounting merged with ERP that helps you to understand where your business is going and what needs to be improved or fixed. Hit the jump for the top three picks for open source accounting software (Read on …)


Filed under: Linux Software,Quick Linux Tutorials — at 9:15 am on Friday, December 14, 2012

I’ve written in the past about automatically performing an action when a host comes back online. However, this post is geared towards a more permanent solution than the one time usage connection.

Introducing autossh:

Description-en: Automatically restart SSH sessions and tunnels
autossh is a program to start an instance of ssh and monitor it, restarting it
as necessary should it die or stop passing traffic. The idea is from rstunnel
(Reliable SSH Tunnel), but implemented in C. Connection monitoring is done
using a loop of port forwardings. It backs off on the rate of connection
attempts when experiencing rapid failures such as connection refused.

It is available on most distributions, and even jailbroken iPhones. Its a great utility.

If you want to use it here’s howto:

Install it:

:~$ sudo apt-get install autossh

Run it:

:~$ autossh [host]

That’s pretty much all there is to running it, although if you want to check out all of its features you should read the help file and man pages. If you want you can resume your SSH sessions without using a password, by using the no password SSH login technique.

Better System Information with inxi

Filed under: Linux Software — at 1:23 am on Saturday, November 17, 2012

Better System Information with inxi
Getting system information can be a tricky task, having to gather bits a bobs of information from various places. A Friend recently sent me a link to a little script called inxi. It comes pre-installed with SolusOS, Crunchbang, Epidemic, Mint, AntiX and Arch Linux but as it is a bash script it works on a lot of other distributions. Although it is intended for use with chat applications like IRC it also works from a shell and provides an abundance of information. Installation is as easy as downloading and chmoding a file so next time you find you need some information about your hardware, rather than poking around in /proc, just fire up ./inxi -F

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