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Updating NodeJS

Posted 2017-05-26 21:33:26 GMT

And while we are on the topic of NodeJS, both Debian and Ubuntu ship ancient versions of it out of the box. If you want to upgrade, the n package makes this pretty painless.

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Using node on Debian-based distros

Posted 2017-05-26 21:25:58 GMT

Old news for most of you, but since I got bitten by this again, I figured I'd share.

On Debian-based Linux distributions, the NodeJS executable gets installed as nodejs, not node. As it turns out, this is an easy problem to fix.

Happy Friday!

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OpenVPN and Linux

Posted 2017-05-23 21:39:04 GMT

I am getting my first experience with the OpenVPN client on Linux at $new_job. As with most things Mac, I got pretty spoiled by the Viscosity VPN client on macOS, so having to manually configure things on Linux seemed a bit daunting at first (I had used the network configuration GUI in GNOME at first to try and set up my VPN connections, but it failed for both home and work connections), but with a little RTFM I got things running pretty smoothly.

I opted to create a new tunneling network interface to make my VPN work. In /etc/network/interfaces:

auto tun_vpnname
iface tun_vpnname inet manual
openvpn vpnname

vpnname matches up to the file /etc/openvpn/vpnname.conf. In other words, when I bring up the tunneled connection, the OpenVPN client starts using the specified configuration:

sudo ifup tun_vpnname

If I want to disconnect from the VPN:

sudo ifdown tun_vpnname

Enjoy!

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The Price of Freedom

Posted 2017-05-16 03:46:39 GMT

You get a lot of freedom with Linux: price and choice to name a few. But it comes at a cost.

That cost is frustration. Lots of it.

In my particular case, it started when a routine update of packages prevented me from having icons with text on the desktop. Compound that with a few other issues and you end up with an 11th hour reinstall. Not my idea of good time.

Bluetooth has stopped working. The laptop doesn't even think it has a Bluetooth adapter anymore. Not the first time this has happened with this laptop. I have no idea how to resolve this yet.

And finally, I have been trying for two days to change the wallpaper on the display manager's login page. This is the most ridiculous way to fix such a simple problem. Even Windows gets this one right.

Linux on the desktop: you are way better than you used to be. You still have a long ways to go, though.

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Now developing on Linux!

Posted 2017-05-09 18:27:57 GMT

"Dude, you got a Dell." Please, don't snicker.

No, I haven't given up on Apple. I am still heavily entrenched in the Apple infrastructure, and have no intent of changing that. I still do lots of development on macOS, and will continue to do so for some time. But my next gig is heavily ops oriented, and I want to develop on something as close to what I will deploying on as possible. And you get a lot more hardware for your money at the expense of some quality and good looks when you buy non-Apple.

I settled on a Dell Precision 5520. It runs Ubuntu 16.04 LTS out of the box - no driver woes! The Unity desktop sucks, so I went and grabbed the latest Cinnamon desktop from the Mint project. Now, it's much more usable!

There are three minor problems that plagued me that took me a bit to figure out:

- VirtualBox on Linux: When you have a Windows 10 virtual machine, make sure you don't shut the VM down when it is maximized - there seems to be a driver issue that makes it difficult - if not impossible - to boot successfully again.

- CrashPlan: I love CrashPlan, and it is my backup system of choice for everything, except Linux apparently. I am not sure if it misconfigures dnsmasq or does some other networking magic, but it completely hosed my networking stack. It took a bit of time to unravel this, but disabling the CrashPlan service was the easiest fix. I am hoping this will get resolved at some point.

- Trackpad sensitivity: The trackpad is overly-sensitive under Linux (and that is a huge understatement!). Thankfully, I was able to find a good page to help get the settings straightened out.

And that's it! Happy hacking to me! I'll be sure to report any other issues I encounter along the way.

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Tags: crome-plated linux ubuntu apple macos dell