Merry Christmas and something to look forward to on Friday Dec 27, 2013

Well, let’s see how this works. Maybe someday I can figure out how to correctly put a title on this.

This is in the nature of a test post. I have some access now and (here it comes) intend to post maybe once or twice a week.

First thing to throw out is: coming up starting Fri Dec 27 2013 is 30c3, the Chaos Computing Club’s 30th congress|conference.

Violet Blue’s post on links to the page where the schedule is available in various formats.
Glenn Greenwald to deliver keynote at 30C3 hacker conference for her article, and Schedule 30C3 for, yes, the schedule.  If you use korganizer, as I do, grab the .ics file (iCalendar on the linked page), and import the .ics into korganizer.

tbh, most times I find video a waste for things like keynotes, and I try to get an audio file instead of video. If there’s only video and no audio, it’s trivial to create one with avconv.

Another reason I listen instead of watching is what I’ve mentioned from time to time: I work 3rd shift and have hours available when I can listen. I don’t have any way I can watch.

I don’t know if I can enable comments to this post. I know when some of us were posting before, comments were off. Personally, I want comments on. Comments off on a blog seems to me like typing something in irc and having everyone in the channel on /ignore, but maybe I can’t change that, maybe it’s whoever controls the site controls commenting. I do see that I can’t add a category for this post (I’d like to categorize this as ‘worthalisten’), all I can do is select Podcast, Shownotes, or Uncategorized. I did ask a while ago about changing the footer ‘© 2013 LinuxBasix. All rights reserved’ to ‘cc-by-sa’  but nothing’s changed yet.

Merry Christmas.

If I can’t turn comments on, catch me in irc in #linuxbasix on (nick chattr). I’m not one for forums, so I don’t have a forums account on

I previewed this and comments are off. I don’t see any way in the Add New Post page to turn them on. Not what I’d prefer, since comments off makes the blog ‘here are my thoughts, and you don’t get a chance to tell me what you think, so don’t even try’.

— chattr (who will try not to use the first person singular so much next time)

So, you’ve decided to run linux….


So, you’ve installed linux and you’ve run into a problem. What do you do? Where do you go? There are plenty of resources and a myriad of websites to visit. Sometimes the search for help can be both frustrating and overwhelming. So here are some suggestions. I’m not going to tell you to read the f’ing manual. There is some important info in them make no mistake but most of us are impatient and to tell you the truth I’ve only read the manual maybe, MAYBE twice. Depending on the distro, I would suggest checking out the distros official forums. Most major distros have really good forums. I use centos and they have a very active forum. Two of the most popular distros LinuxMint and Ubuntu have very good forums and you can usually find your answers there. Next if you are unable to find what you are looking for there, check the wiki. Again a lot of real useful info there. Another avenue is web search. Lastly, when the above fail, head over to IRC for some real time help. When looking for help either on IRC or web search or any search be sure to include at very minimum – distro, hardware and problem item. More info always makes helping you solve your problem easier and quicker. Say for example the Banshee music player does not work you need to provide the following info:

What distro are you running? Ubuntu 12.04, Slackware 14, Fedora 18, etc
What version of the app are you using? You can find this info by choosing Help in the application menu and looking for the About Banshee
Because this is a music player people will want to know are you using Pulse audio or Alsa?
You may also have to provide some hardware info too. Laptop, Desktop, Tablet? Speakers – internal, external?

The above is not an exhaustive list, it is just a start but hopefully you get the idea. Provide as much info as you can.

Lastly when going on IRC and asking for help, please, please, please be patient. Some IRC sites have over 20+ people, not everyone is paying attention to the main “room”, it may take a few moments for someone to see a question has been asked. Be assured someone will eventually take the ball and run with it.

There are so many other avenues you can go when seeking help if you have some of your own, feel free to share and I’ll post it on this site.

I do want to pimp out one help site worth checking out and has been a great source for answers over the years and that is the grand daddy of all forums, that is This is possibly the oldest help forum out there for linux. If you run into a problem you can most likely find the answer there.

OpenStack from Scratch

If you are in the Boston area, tomorrow is the monthly gathering of the Boston Linux Unix group. Details from the website below:

OpenStack from Scratch

Date and Time

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm


MIT Building E-51, Room 335


Federico Lucifredi – flucifredi acm org


Federico talks about OpenStack


Details to follow

About Federico Lucifredi

Federico Lucifredi is the maintainer of the man suite, the primary documentation-delivery tool under Linux, a graduate of Boston College and Harvard University, and the Ubuntu Advantage Product Manager at Canonical. As a software engineer-turned-manager at the Novell corporation, Federico was part of the SUSE Linux team for five years, overseeing the update stack of a 150 million dollar maintenance business. Previously, Federico has been a CIO and a network software architect at technology and embedded Linux startups, and he has spent two years teaching in Boston University’s graduate and undergraduate programs, while simultaneously consulting for MIT. He is a frequent speaker at user group and conference events, notably the Linux Foundation’s LinuxCon, LinuxWorld, the O’Reilly Open Source Convention, and the IMPlanet conferences, where he was a panelist representing the Jabber community. Federico is a recognized expert in computing performance issues, and consults pro-bono with Standard and Poor’s clients interested in Free/Open Source Software technical and strategic issues. He participated in the GPL v3 drafting process in the large-corporation panel.

CentOS 6.4 that is my final answer!

I can’t believe we’re already at the tail end of August! This past Summer has been eye opening for many reasons. I will elaborate in future posts. First up, CentOS. I have been mulling over this question for quite some time. A couple years back I set up some friends with Linux Mint 10. Over the years it has been a fine distro but only recently we’ve had to start considering alternatives. At first I was hoping to stick with Linux Mint it is a really solid distro and I really liked the Mint community. What I had to really focus on was this. People who use computers casually do not like change. They also don’t understand why operating systems need to change. We’ve seen the fallout from Window 8, even when Windows 7 first came on the scene a few years back, the change was very minimal but for basic computer users it was a huge change. I guess what I’m getting at is, after much consideration, I will be suggesting CentOS for new users from here on out. The most compelling reasons are 1. Current release is supported until 2020. 2. The desktop is the venerable gnome 2.3 Those are the two largest reasons. The beauty of linux is that you can make the distro as exciting as you want but with CentOS you start with a very basic desktop with only the apps you need to get going. You are not paralyzed by the vast application options on a default install. The only criticism I’ve heard about using CentOS is that you are using an older linux kernel but I have to tell you, I have not heard a good arguement of why this is a problem. The other reason why I am choosing CentOS is that this is still an enterprise OS and what this means is that you don’t necessarily get the latest and greatest. In terms of the constantly changing world of Firefox updates/upgrade things tend to break, in CentOS, you don’t get the upgrade until it has been thoroughly tested. Currently I am running 6.4 with Firefox at version 17. This distro is rock solid and I urge you to heavily consider making this your new distro.

Linux for the rest of us…


For most of the long time listeners of Linuxbasix, we are well aware of Linux for the rest of us. I would like to take a moment to urge all of the folks who have supported and listened to Linuxbasix to make the migration over to Linux for the rest of us. Why? The upcoming shows will be very, very basic. I want to stress basic. This is largely in response to a demo I attended last week. The demo was for a linux distro and when the day was done, the folks who were shown what a linux distro could do, were largely impressed but the drawback here, it might as well have been a magic show. While explanations were given in very laymans terms, the audience was far from computer literate. Not a criticism, just a fact. So while our listeners are more than welcome to continue listening to the show, our content is going to be from the start. I have been wrestling with the format of the current show and I have segments still yet to air (soon). I think our long time listeners will be better served by the Linux for the rest of us show. On a side note, if you can support the ACF please consider doing so –

Out and about


So now that we are firmly set in Summer, there has been little time to dedicate to linux things. That being said, it looks like we’re on for the Northeast GNU/Linuxfest next April 5/6 2014 at MIT. Jonathan was giving a presentation at the Boston Linux Unix group and prior to that Gerry Feldman gave us a tour of what MIT had to offer in terms of space. Needless to say we were both blown away! Each room is equipped with dedicated seating with a counter so you can set your laptop while listening to a talk. You can take advantage of the free wifi. The rooms are fully equipped with overhead projectors and webcams. In short it is the perfect place for us. We’re really excited to get this going for next year. Details will be coming shortly on the NELF site. This coming Wednesday, Jonathan and I will be in Boston for a demo of Sonar for the Easter Seals Foundation. This could be a huge opportunity for Jonathan and will very much put Sonar at the forefront of linux distros for the blind. More to come on that front on Wednesday. As for Linuxbasix, I’ll be focusing a lot on Centos in the upcoming show. The videos will finally be posted tomorrow evening.

Episode 131-LinuxBasix Duck Duck Go! How I avoided being a prism b!tch


This episode I talk about Prism break and go over a couple of the suggested apps you should consider using for your day to day computer work. There is even a fun fact about Ed Snowden, Booz Allen, the Carlyle Group, George Bush Sr. and the CIA. You can find all the suggested anti prism apps below:

Next up? Duck Duck Go! I briefly go over what the search engine can do for you and why you need to make this your new default search engine.

DuckDuckGo Goodies
Don’t Bubble
Don’t Track
Get DDG swag!!_Search_BOSS

After I’ve given you the rundown on DDG, we move on to the Tor browser bundle. This is not the full blown Tor, this is for private, encrypted browsing. I will address the full Tor application down the road. For the browser bundle you need to go here:

When you download the tar file you will need to move it over to a folder somewhere within your home folder. Do not try to install this in the /opt folder. When you’ve moved the tar file over to a folder, open a terminal and change into (cd) into that directory. NOTE**** Do not try to install this as admin or root! Tor will not setup correctly if you do. When you are ready to untar the file do so by using the command below:

tar -xvzf tor-browser-gnu-linux-i686-2.3.25-10-dev-LANG.tar.gz

When the file has uncompressed, enter ls -al to get a list of the files and directories list. You will now see a directory named tor-browser_en-us. In the terminal change (cd) into that directory. You will now see a script start-tor-browser. You can now run this script
with the following command ./start-tor-browser There will be a short delay of about 10 seconds, Vidalia will popup, after it initializes, the tor browser will now popup! You’re done!

Finally I wrap things up with the rm and the rmdir commands. I messed up my initial install of the tor browser bundle. I was in /opt and tried to install this while logged in as root. You know folks, that’s why there is documentation! So things got a little janky. I had to remove those directories. Of course you just can’t use rmdir tor-browser_en-us. All this will do is tell you that directory can’t be deleted because there are files in the folder. Log in as root, you cannot run the commands as a normal user. So, the work around for this, you need to use the following command:

rm -rf /opt/tor-browser_en-us/*

What the above script does is remove (rm) -r (recursive) f (force), meaning keep deleting everything until there is nothing left. That is what the wildcard * is. Please, please, please be careful when employing this command. Only use it on folders you have installed and are trying to remove. If ever in doubt, leave it alone. After running the above command, the directory is now empty and you can now go ahead and remove the directory using rmdir tor-browser_en-us and that’s it!

I’ve run out of time tonight so I will post the videos for these soon. Enjoy and stay private!

Just added – links to Linuxevents


Ok, I can’t promise that the events I listed will be anything like a Brazilian Carnival I can guarantee you will learn something. Anyway the links are above in the menu titled – Linux Events!

Happy 4th!

american eagle photo: AP American-Flag-Eagle_zps4005acdd.jpg
So, with a hot dog in one hand and a hot dog in another and a hamburger in my heart, I am The American! Of course I’m referencing the latest BUGLE PODCAST. If you haven’t heard episode 240, you’re missing out. Funny, funny show! Well, looks like we’ve got some surprises coming in the near future. Among them, look for a segment from the FSF! We are also going to be adding three new segments to the show. More to come in the next three days. That being said, today is going to be a hot one so stay in the shade, keep the grill going and if you’re not near any water, every town has a pond you can swim in. Except maybe not in Camden N.J. I think the only thing to come out of Camden and then went back just as quickly as he broke out was Dwight Braxton but I digress. Happy 4th and remember to be nice to British people today after all no one needs to be reminded of an empire lost!

Centos ok!


I was having a tough time getting Debian to recognize a dual screen setup. It was a tough week no doubt but while I was trying to figure out the dual monitor problem, the video card in my machine died. Luckily I had a spare but I also have been using a debian centos windows setup at work. I decided its time to consolidate. So this afternoon I took stock of the machines I have – Dell 6420, Dell Optiplex960 and a Lenovo M58p. Both Dells are leased machine, the Lenovo is a frankenstein machine I put together. I also realized I had been under using the ram in this machine. I have a total of 8gigs and have been using 32bit Debian build. That all changed today. I’m going to moth ball the Dell machines because those will need to be returned in about 6 months. My lenovo machine will be my primary machine. I’ve installed Centos 6.4 – 64bit version. Now I’m using most of the 8 gigs of RAM. I have three vms I can run simultaneously if I choose. I’ve also decided I’m wiping my slackware laptop at home and putting centos on this machine as well. As mentioned in previous posts, its time to finally stop talking about trying for my LPI cert and actually do something about it. In the coming weeks whenever I have spare time you’ll start to see those videos I have been promising. Including my recent reinstall of thunderbird. I think I may have left one key element out of my tutorial. The video will make up for that. My laptop is almost up to speed already. I’ve installed mumble, audacity right off the bat. The machine is good to go.