systemd dependencies and processing /etc/fstab

The problem I wanted to solve On an embedded arm system running LUbuntu 16.04 LTS (systemd 229), I wanted to add a mount point to the /etc/fstab file, which originally was like this: # UNCONFIGURED FSTAB FOR BASE SYSTEM Empty, except for this message. Is that a bad omen or what? This is the time [...]

Remapping keyboard keys to allow å, ä and ö

Motivation I have an English / Hebrew keyboard, but occasionally I also want to use the Swedish letters å, ä and ö. The idea is to sacrifice three keys on the keyboard for this purpose. But which ones? I went for the keypad’s /, * and – keys. But hey, I use these normally every [...]

PPPoE on fiber with the Linux machine as the router

Introduction Having switched from ADSL to FTTH (fiber to the home), I was delighted to discover that the same script that set up the pppoe connection for ADSL also works with the new fiber connection. And as the title of this post implies, I opted out the external router that the ISP provided, and instead [...]

Notes on Bluetooth on Linux internals

Introduction These are notes I made while trying to make my Sony WH-CH510 bluetooth headphones work properly with my Linux Mint 19 machine. It’s evident that an upgrade of the whole OS would have fixed the problem, but I have my opinion on upgrades. The problem: It takes a long time for the headphones to [...]

udev, the “authorized” attribute and other failed attempts to ban a bogus USB keyboard

Introduction This is a spin-off post about failing attempts to fix the problem with a webcam’s keyboard buttons. Namely, that the a shaky physical connections caused the USB device to go on and off the bus rapidly, and consequently crash X windows. The background story is in this post. There is really nothing to learn [...]

Using git send-email with Gmail + OAUTH2, but without subscribing to cloud services

Introduction There is a widespread belief, that in order to use git send-email with Gmail, there’s a need to subscribe to Google Cloud services and obtain some credentials. Or that a two-factor authentication (2fa) is required. This is not the case, however. If Thunderbird can manage to fetch and send emails through Google’s mail servers [...]

Linux + webcam: Poor man’s DIY surveillance camera

Introduction Due to an incident that is beyond the scope of this blog, I wanted to put a 24/7 camera that watched a certain something, just in case that incident repeated itself. Having a laptop that I barely use, and a cheap e-bay web camera, I thought I set up something and let ffmpeg do [...]

Blocking bots by their IP addresses, the DIY version

Introduction I had some really annoying bots on one of my websites. Of the sort that make a million requests (like really, a million) per month, identifying themselves as a browser. So IP blocking it is. I went for a minimalistic DIY approach. There are plenty of tools out there, but my experience with things [...]

Thunderbird: Upgrade notes

Introduction These are my notes as I upgraded Thunderbird from version 3.0.7 (released September 2010) to 91.10.0 on Linux Mint 19. That’s more than a ten year’s gap, which says something about what I think about upgrading software (which was somewhat justified, given the rubbish issues that arose, as detailed below). What eventually forced me [...]

Run Firefox over X11 over SSH / VNC on a cheap virtual machine

To run over SSH: Not This is how to run a Firefox browser on a cheap VPS machine (e.g. a Google Cloud VM Instance) with an X-server connection. It’s actually not a good idea, because it’s extremely slow. The correct way is to set up a VNC server, because the X server connection exchanges information [...]