Thursday, August 31, 2017

dist-upgrade, full-upgrade

From what I can determine, these two commands do the same thing:

# apt-get dist-upgrade

# apt full-upgrade

The following appears to work the same as the above commands as well, although the option is not explicitly defined in man apt:

# apt dist-upgrade

This is because most (if not all) apt-get commands can also be used as apt commands.

From man apt-get:

       upgrade
           upgrade is used to install the newest versions of all packages currently
           installed on the system from the sources enumerated in
           /etc/apt/sources.list. Packages currently installed with new versions
           available are retrieved and upgraded; under no circumstances are currently
           installed packages removed, or packages not already installed retrieved and
           installed. New versions of currently installed packages that cannot be
           upgraded without changing the install status of another package will be left
           at their current version. An update must be performed first so that apt-get
           knows that new versions of packages are available.

       dist-upgrade
           dist-upgrade in addition to performing the function of upgrade, also
           intelligently handles changing dependencies with new versions of packages;
           apt-get has a "smart" conflict resolution system, and it will attempt to
           upgrade the most important packages at the expense of less important ones if
           necessary. The dist-upgrade command may therefore remove some packages. The
           /etc/apt/sources.list file contains a list of locations from which to
           retrieve desired package files. See also apt_preferences(5) for a mechanism
           for overriding the general settings for individual packages.


From man apt:

       upgrade (apt-get(8))
           upgrade is used to install available upgrades of all packages currently
           installed on the system from the sources configured via sources.list(5). New
           packages will be installed if required to satisfy dependencies, but existing
           packages will never be removed. If an upgrade for a package requires the
           remove of an installed package the upgrade for this package isn't performed.

       full-upgrade (apt-get(8))
           full-upgrade performs the function of upgrade but will remove currently
           installed packages if this is needed to upgrade the system as a whole.


refcard

Screenshots of the two-page Debian Reference Card:



There are a couple of different ways to get a copy of this handy document. The package debian-refcard (v. 9.0.4) is available from the Stretch (Stable) repos, but it isn't the most up-to-date version of the document. Once installed, it can be found at /usr/share/doc/debian-refcard/refcard-en-a4.pdf.gz/refcard-en-a4.pdf. When I open up this document, I see:
Debian GNU/Linux Reference Card
Version 9.0 - Debian 9 'Stretch' - 2016-07-09
Alternatively, one can click on the "Debian GNU/Linux Reference Card" link at https://www.debian.org/doc/ to download the refcard document, or download the latest refcard.en.pdf document from https://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/refcard/. When I open the refcard.en.pdf document I downloaded, I see:
Debian Reference Card
Version 10.0 - Debian 10 'Buster' -- 2017-07-14
That more up-to-date version appears to be the same one currently found in the Testing and sid repos.

brain damaging sports

Column by Steve Chapman in the Chicago Tribune: I don't think I can watch football anymore
The most debilitating part of the sport appears to be not the rare concussion but the regular, inevitable blows to the head that occur at every level. A study conducted by Stanford researchers on Stanford players found that in a game, the typical offensive lineman endures 62 such hits, each equivalent in force to driving a car into a brick wall at 30 mph.
Ouch. Same thing with boxing, I'm thinking. But I don't know if I'm at the point where I can stop watching football and boxing. Not yet, anyway.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

soul deluxe

The "Soul Deluxe" radio program plays on KUNM here in Albuquerque every Sunday morning from 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. Nice segment.

The DJ is Byron Fenix, out of Camelback H.S. in Phoenix. Born to a Navajo father and a half-Hopi, half-Navajo mother.

This show comes to us in Albuquerque via Native Voice One, the Native American Radio Network.

From http://www.souldeluxeradio.com/about/:

Soul Deluxe is a weekly radio program featuring eclectic mix sets by Phoenix-based DJ Byron Fenix.  The show spotlights Soul music and various genres that either gave rise to or were influenced by it, including Electronic, Disco, Funk, Hip-Hop, House, Jazz, and R&B. In addition to the music, the show exposes listeners to a variety of emerging urban-themed artists and musicians.

The program has its genesis in “Unity Vibe,” an earlier mix show launched in late 2008 on community radio station Radio Phoenix, which was hosted by Phoenix-based DJ RMC (Ruben Candelaria). One of RMC’s regular co-hosts was an emerging mix DJ by the name of Byron Fenix. When RMC decided to end “Unity Vibe” in mid 2010 to focus on his family, Byron took over his old time slot and launched the weekly radio program now known as Soul Deluxe. Since “Unity Vibe” focused on spotlighting house music, the early days of “Soul Deluxe” followed in the same direction.

As time went on, Byron decided to focus his mixes on more soulful cuts from a variety of genres including electronic, disco, jazz, and R&B. The show also began to spotlight emerging urban artists and musicians. Past guests on the show have included dance music artists Mochico & Boogie, Native American artist Damien Jim, and Byron’s former co-host DJ RMC.

Soul Deluxe is produced by Radio Phoenix in Phoenix, Arizona, and is distributed nationally by Native Voice One (NV1).

Monday, August 21, 2017

fluxbox info

For those who want to learn to use Fluxbox, it's all about finding and reading the documentation -- the online documentation (a few web searches will turn up tons of info) and the installed documentation.


Documentation that comes with Fluxbox (in most distros):

As I wrote in "diggin' some fluxbox!":

For a little help and info, run:

$ fluxbox -h

$ fluxbox -info

man pages
:
See man fluxbox as well as these other man pages: fluxbox-apps(5) fluxbox-keys(5) fluxbox-style(5) fluxbox-menu(5) fluxbox-remote(1) fbsetroot(1) fbsetbg(1) fbrun(1) startfluxbox(1)



Online documentation:

Fluxbox home page: http://www.fluxbox.org/
Fluxbox FAQ: http://fluxbox-wiki.org/FAQ_en.html
man fluxbox online: http://www.fluxbox.org/help/man-fluxbox.php

Some distro-specific Fluxbox pages:

Debian: https://wiki.debian.org/FluxBox
Ubuntu: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Fluxbox
Arch: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Fluxbox

Friday, August 18, 2017

smh

Atlantic article:

What Kind of Monuments Does President Trump Value?

"He’s spoken in support of Confederate statues while threatening to undo as many as 40 conservation parks."

"...the excitement with which the president defends one kind of monument, while undermining another, does raise the question: What kind of history does the president value? What does it look like when history is destroyed? And what kinds of beauty and culture can be truly lost—what treasures of the United States can, once removed, never by human hands be comparably replaced?"

Ugh.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

42.3 review

A nicely done review of openSUSE "Leap" 42.3 at DistroWatch, by Joshua Allen Holm: https://www.distrowatch.com/weekly.php?issue=current&mode=67#opensuse

the latest gparted live

I wrote about GParted Live a few years back in "for partitioning" (January 25, 2015). That was version 0.20.2, and I used Unetbootin to put it on a flash drive. For the current version, I downloaded gparted-live-0.29.0-1-amd64.iso (released August 8, 2017) and used the following dd command to put it on my flash drive:

$ sudo dd if=/home/steve/Downloads/gparted-live-0.29.0-1-amd64.iso of=/dev/sdb bs=4M; sync

Partitioning hard drives is about the only thing I ever use GParted Live for, and that's its main purpose. The system boots up, and GParted is started automatically:



GParted uses the Fluxbox window manager. Here's a shot of the empty desktop:



GParted Live ships with other tools besides GParted, including:

PCManFM 1.2.5
NetSurf 3.6
LXTerminal 0.3.0
Leafpad 0.8.18.1
GSmartControl 1.0.1
Partition Image 0.6.9

NetSurf didn't work for me out of the box, so I didn't concern myself with it:



I don't know why the Calcoo calculator is included, but it's pretty cool:



The lower-level tool xcalc is also available, for those who want something simpler.

GSmartControl, as described here, "is a graphical user interface for
smartctl (from smartmontools package), which is a tool for querying and controlling SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology) data on modern hard disk and solid-state drives. It allows you to inspect the drive's SMART data to determine its health, as well as run various tests on it."

Here's a shot:



Tools that don't appear in the Fluxbox menu can be found by examining the /usr/bin and /usr/share/applications directories. Some included command-line utilities:

fsarchiver      - File system archiver and restorer
partclone       - Backup partitions into a compressed image file (e.g., partclone.ext4)
partimage       - Backup partitions into a compressed image file
testdisk        - Data recovery tool that can help recover lost partitions
gpart   - (Older) data recovery tool that can help recover lost msdos partition tables
grub    - GRand Unified Bootloader for restoring GRUB 2 boot loader
mc      - Text based file manager known as Midnight Commander
nano    - Text editor
vim-tiny        - Enhanced vi text editor
parted  - Partition table editor
fdisk   - MSDOS partition table editor
sfdisk  - MSDOS partition table editor also useful to save/restore partition table to/from a file
gdisk   - GPT partition table editor
sgdisk  - GPT partition table editor also useful to save/restore partition table to/from a file
gptsync         - GPT and MSDOS partition tables synchronization tool useful for Mac OS X users
openssh         - Secure shell (ssh) connectivity tool suite
screen  - Screen manager with VT100/ANSI terminal emulation
ping    - Check network connectivity to another host on a network
rsync   - Fast, versatile, remote (and local) file-copying tool
telnet  - Communicate with another host using the TELNET protocol
traceroute      - Print the route packets trace to network host
bc      - Arbitrary precision calculator language

So, GParted Live can be used for a lot of things. While partitions on a hard drive or flash drive are not, by default, automatically mounted and accessible from GParted Live, I was able to access my hard drives, as well as another flash drive, by creating a mount point and then mounting the partition. I think I had to use sudo, but it didn't prompt me for a password. To get access to my drive's sda6 partition, for example, I used the following commands (after taking a look at the output from the lsblk command):

$ sudo mkdir /mnt/sda6
$ sudo mount /dev/sda6 /mnt/sda6

I used a similar routine to mount and access a flash drive (at /dev/sdc).

GParted Live's repository files are at /etc/apt/sources.list and /etc/apt/sources.list.d/drbl-repository.list. As you can see below, GParted Live is based on Debian Sid. The contents of the sources.list file:

deb http://free.nchc.org.tw/debian sid main non-free
deb-src http://free.nchc.org.tw/debian sid main non-free

And, the contents of the drbl-repository.list file:

deb http://free.nchc.org.tw/drbl-core drbl unstable live-unstable
deb-src http://free.nchc.org.tw/drbl-core drbl unstable live-unstable

For download links and (much) more information, visit: http://gparted.org/livecd.php

Also, see the GParted Live page at DistroWatch: https://www.distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=gparted

Monday, July 31, 2017

diggin' some fluxbox!

After installing Fluxbox in Debian Stretch, it might look like the default setup isn't much to work with, and the first impulse might be to go online to look for help. However, I found that apt-get install fluxbox brought in most of what I needed to get going, including great documentation.

If you can't find the app you're looking for in the default Fluxbox menu, commands can be run by opening up fbrun with the Alt+F2 keystroke.

Fluxbox comes with a bunch of fairly easy text files that can be used to modify just about anything. The key to Fluxbox, I think, is reading the documentation that Fluxbox comes with -- examine the default Fluxbox files, and definitely read the man pages.

I found the default Fluxbox files in the /etc/X11/fluxbox directory. Default Fluxbox styles are at /usr/share/fluxbox/styles. The idea is to copy default files into the ~/.fluxbox directory, then edit as desired.

For a little help and info, run:

$ fluxbox -h
$ fluxbox -info

man pages:
See man fluxbox as well as these other man pages: fluxbox-apps(5) fluxbox-keys(5) fluxbox-style(5) fluxbox-menu(5) fluxbox-remote(1) fbsetroot(1) fbsetbg(1) fbrun(1) startfluxbox(1)

Users should be sure to check out the ~/.fluxbox/keys file, to see what can be done on the Fluxbox desktop with the keyboard and mouse. This is important! See man fluxbox-keys for more info about using the keys file. My current ~/.fluxbox/keys file (Mod1 = Alt; Mod4 = Super):

# click on the desktop to get menus
OnDesktop Mouse1 :HideMenus
OnDesktop Mouse2 :WorkspaceMenu
OnDesktop Mouse3 :RootMenu

# scroll on the desktop to change workspaces
OnDesktop Mouse4 :PrevWorkspace
OnDesktop Mouse5 :NextWorkspace

# scroll on the toolbar to change current window
OnToolbar Mouse4 :PrevWindow {static groups} (iconhidden=no)
OnToolbar Mouse5 :NextWindow {static groups} (iconhidden=no)

#added by steve - middle click on the toolbar to open root menu
OnToolbar Mouse2 :RootMenu

# alt + left/right click to move/resize a window
OnWindow Mod1 Mouse1 :MacroCmd {Raise} {Focus} {StartMoving}
OnWindowBorder Move1 :StartMoving

OnWindow Mod1 Mouse3 :MacroCmd {Raise} {Focus} {StartResizing NearestCorner}
OnLeftGrip Move1 :StartResizing bottomleft
OnRightGrip Move1 :StartResizing bottomright

# alt + middle click to lower the window
OnWindow Mod1 Mouse2 :Lower

# control-click a window's titlebar and drag to attach windows
OnTitlebar Control Mouse1 :StartTabbing

# double click on the titlebar to shade
OnTitlebar Double Mouse1 :Shade

# left click on the titlebar to move the window
OnTitlebar Mouse1 :MacroCmd {Raise} {Focus} {ActivateTab}
OnTitlebar Move1  :StartMoving

# middle click on the titlebar to lower
OnTitlebar Mouse2 :Lower

# right click on the titlebar for a menu of options
OnTitlebar Mouse3 :WindowMenu

# alt-tab
Mod1 Tab :NextWindow {groups} (workspace=[current])
Mod1 Shift Tab :PrevWindow {groups} (workspace=[current])

# cycle through tabs in the current window
Mod4 Tab :NextTab
Mod4 Shift Tab :PrevTab

# go to a specific tab in the current window
Mod4 1 :Tab 1
Mod4 2 :Tab 2
Mod4 3 :Tab 3
Mod4 4 :Tab 4
Mod4 5 :Tab 5
Mod4 6 :Tab 6
Mod4 7 :Tab 7
Mod4 8 :Tab 8
Mod4 9 :Tab 9

# open a terminal
Mod1 F1 :Exec x-terminal-emulator

# open a dialog to run programs
Mod1 F2 :Exec fbrun

# volume settings, using common keycodes
# if these don't work, use xev to find out your real keycodes
176 :Exec amixer sset Master,0 1+
174 :Exec amixer sset Master,0 1-
160 :Exec amixer sset Master,0 toggle

# current window commands
Mod1 F4 :Close
Mod1 F5 :Kill
Mod1 F9 :Minimize
Mod1 F10 :Maximize
Mod1 F11 :Fullscreen

# open the window menu
Mod1 space :WindowMenu

# exit fluxbox
Control Mod1 Delete :Exit

# change to previous/next workspace
Control Mod1 Left :PrevWorkspace
Control Mod1 Right :NextWorkspace

# send the current window to previous/next workspace
Mod4 Left :SendToPrevWorkspace
Mod4 Right :SendToNextWorkspace

# send the current window and follow it to previous/next workspace
Control Mod4 Left :TakeToPrevWorkspace
Control Mod4 Right :TakeToNextWorkspace

# change to a specific workspace
Control F1 :Workspace 1
Control F2 :Workspace 2
Control F3 :Workspace 3
Control F4 :Workspace 4
Control F5 :Workspace 5
Control F6 :Workspace 6
Control F7 :Workspace 7
Control F8 :Workspace 8
Control F9 :Workspace 9
Control F10 :Workspace 10
Control F11 :Workspace 11
Control F12 :Workspace 12

# send the current window to a specific workspace
Mod4 F1 :SendToWorkspace 1
Mod4 F2 :SendToWorkspace 2
Mod4 F3 :SendToWorkspace 3
Mod4 F4 :SendToWorkspace 4
Mod4 F5 :SendToWorkspace 5
Mod4 F6 :SendToWorkspace 6
Mod4 F7 :SendToWorkspace 7
Mod4 F8 :SendToWorkspace 8
Mod4 F9 :SendToWorkspace 9
Mod4 F10 :SendToWorkspace 10
Mod4 F11 :SendToWorkspace 11
Mod4 F12 :SendToWorkspace 12

# send the current window and change to a specific workspace
Control Mod4 F1 :TakeToWorkspace 1
Control Mod4 F2 :TakeToWorkspace 2
Control Mod4 F3 :TakeToWorkspace 3
Control Mod4 F4 :TakeToWorkspace 4
Control Mod4 F5 :TakeToWorkspace 5
Control Mod4 F6 :TakeToWorkspace 6
Control Mod4 F7 :TakeToWorkspace 7
Control Mod4 F8 :TakeToWorkspace 8
Control Mod4 F9 :TakeToWorkspace 9
Control Mod4 F10 :TakeToWorkspace 10
Control Mod4 F11 :TakeToWorkspace 11
Control Mod4 F12 :TakeToWorkspace 12



Lately, I've been much more interested in Openbox than in Fluxbox, but I've gained a new appreciation for Fluxbox after installing it in Stretch and getting it set up to suit my tastes. It's super-customizable, it includes lots of great features for navigating and manipulating the desktop, and it's a pleasure to use for just plain getting work done.

Fluxbox is at version 1.3.5 in Debian 9 ("Stretch"), but the latest version (currently 1.3.7) can be found at http://fluxbox.org/download/ or at https://sourceforge.net/projects/fluxbox/files/fluxbox/.

See:

https://wiki.debian.org/FluxBox
http://fluxbox.org/

Sunday, July 30, 2017

a tweak here, a tweak there

Another look at my Fluxbox setup in Debian Stretch, this time with a top panel -- "toolbar" in Fluxbox-speak -- set to 100% width, and a revised menu:


In the ~/.fluxbox/init file, I'm using the following line for the toolbar:

session.screen0.toolbar.tools:    RootMenu, workspacename, prevworkspace, nextworkspace, iconbar, systemtray, clock

The "RootMenu" part puts a right-arrow button on the toolbar; clicking on that opens the Fluxbox menu (which can also, of course, be opened with a right-click on the empty desktop).

Saturday, July 29, 2017

adding fluxbox in stretch

I installed Debian Stretch on an old notebook a few months ago; for this installation, I went with the Openbox window manager, but no desktop environment.

Later, I decided to add Fluxbox.

The default Fluxbox desktop in Stretch:


The default menu wasn't all that great, but it included an entry for gmrun, which was enough for me to get to work.

Here's how my Fluxbox desktop is looking right now:



Not too bad.

By the way, there's a project (still under development) called DebianFluxbox, which is "a Debian Pure Blend which aims to provide a fully configured installation of Fluxbox, a light weight windows manager, out of the box." Interesting; I'd like to check it out sometime.

Monday, July 10, 2017

time and date in plasma 5

KDE Plasma 5 (version 5.8.6 in Debian 9) is still kinda lacking when it comes to being able to customize the date and time formats, but the "Formats" window in the System Settings Module does help somewhat.


I prefer to have a 24-hour digital clock, and I like a mm-dd-yy date format. Or even something like  Jul 07 17 or Jul 07  -- either one would be fine with me. I can easily do these things in Xfce, but not in Plasma 5.

Getting the 24-hour digital clock was fairly simple; I marked the "Detailed Settings" box; then, changed the setting for "Time" to "Default (C)":


Then I clicked the "Apply" button. I had to log into a new session for the changes to take effect.

Note the "Examples" towards the bottom of the "Formats" window. The "short format" for the date is not exactly what I want. The "short format" is what shows up for the date on the panel; I saw no easy way to customize it to my liking, so in the end I decided to leave the date off the panel. I guess I can live with seeing the date when the cursor is hovering over the digital clock:


goodbye to the K, hello to the Swirl

Clicking on the big "K" icon on the KDE Plasma 5 panel brings up the Application Menu -- aka, at least in the old days, as "the KMenu." That icon is shown here, at the bottom of my left-side, vertical panel:


In Debian 9 ("Stretch"), I prefer a Debian logo icon. To change it, first I right-clicked on the "K" icon and selected "Application Menu Settings...":


In the Applications Menu Settings window, I marked the box to "Use custom image":


Then, over to the right of that, I clicked on the folder icon:


In the "Choose an image" window, I navigated to the /usr/share/pixmaps directory and selected debian-logo.png:


Then, back in the "Application Menu Settings" window, I clicked the "Apply" button:


All finished:


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

stretch, with kde and openbox

Debian 9 ("stretch") was officially released as the latest Debian Stable on June 18. A little over a week later, I downloaded the debian-9.0.0-amd64-netinst iso and did a network installation; I went with the KDE Plasma 5 desktop, and I also added Openbox.

Stretch ships with KDE Plasma 5.8.6. I've added the Double Commander file manager to use instead of Dolphin, along with several other apps that weren't provided by default, like Geany text editor, VLC media player, Geeqie image viewer, and Mirage image viewer. Stretch comes with Firefox ESR (version 52.2.0), but I installed Pale Moon web browser to use instead.

Some other packages I added included synaptic, inxi, rsync, localepurge, screenfetch, and some stuff to use in Openbox, like nitrogen, gmrun, the Debian menu package, compton (for Konsole transparency in Openbox), and gxmessage for my logout/shutdown script.

The default Plasma desktop in Stretch:


Note the absence of application launchers on the panel. Those can be added, of course, but I kinda like that the choice is left to the user.

Here's a shot of the empty desktop after I made some changes:


Clicking on the KMenu displays what, in my opinion, is a smart arrangement: a customizable "Favorites" bar, which I use instead of "traditional" panel launchers; below that, the Logout, Reboot, and Shut Down buttons; the Application Menu, which I use instead of Plasma 5's default Application Launcher; and below that, a search box:


From the Desktop Settings, I switched around the mouse actions so that a left-click on the open desktop reveals the Standard Menu and a right-click opens the "Application Launcher" menu:



I've turned off most of Plasma 5's desktop effects, but one I've kept is the Desktop Cube. In my case, it isn't really a "cube" since I use only three virtual desktops:


For my Openbox setup, I'm using a customized desktop right-click menu, and a left-side, vertical tint2 panel with a few application launchers at the bottom. KDE apps, and all other apps, are of course available from within the Openbox session:




While many people complain (quite loudly, in many cases) that Debian is still too time-consuming (and, at times, still to difficult) to install and set up, I rather enjoy the process. I feel the same way about installing Arch Linux. For users with less patience and less time on their hands, there are many other Linux distros out there that provide nicer out-of-the-box experiences than what you'll get from Debian (or Arch), but at the cost of fewer installation options. Also, those "easier distros" tend to include a lot more stuff that I don't want or need.

In any case, I'm now set with another nice Debian Stable installation, which I'll be using on my main computer for the next two or three years. Life is good.

Some options for getting Debian can be found here: https://www.debian.org/distrib/

Monday, May 29, 2017

keyring issues

While trying to bring in updates in Antergos the other day (with the pacman -Syu command), I saw the following error messages:

error: antergos-keyring: signature from "Antergos Build Server (Automated Package Build System) " is unknown trust
:: File /var/cache/pacman/pkg/antergos-keyring-20170524-1-any.pkg.tar.xz is corrupted (invalid or corrupted package (PGP signature)).
Do you want to delete it? [Y/n]
error: antergos-mirrorlist: signature from "Antergos Build Server (Automated Package Build System) " is unknown trust
:: File /var/cache/pacman/pkg/antergos-mirrorlist-20170527-1-any.pkg.tar.xz is corrupted (invalid or corrupted package (PGP signature)).
Do you want to delete it? [Y/n]
error: pamac: signature from "Antergos Build Server (Automated Package Build System) " is unknown trust
:: File /var/cache/pacman/pkg/pamac-4.3.6-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz is corrupted (invalid or corrupted package (PGP signature)).
Do you want to delete it? [Y/n]


I typed n for "no" at each of those prompts. Result:

error: failed to commit transaction (invalid or corrupted package)
Errors occurred, no packages were upgraded.


I got things fixed, but only after having to dig through a few threads at the Antergos forums. Today, I see the issue mentioned in the "Pacman & Package Upgrade" section at the main page of the Antergos forums (at the moment, there's a link to the "Error during updating" thread). Too bad that there wasn't an "official" announcement posted somewhere.

In any case, the commands I used here to fix the problem:

wget http://mirrors.antergos.com/antergos/x86_64/antergos-keyring-20170524-1-any.pkg.tar.xz
sudo pacman -U antergos-keyring-20170524-1-any.pkg.tar.xz
sudo pacman -Scc
sudo pacman-key --refresh-keys
sudo pacman -Syu

The above-mentioned "Error during updating" thread contains posts showing a similar set of commands -- slightly different than what I ended up using here, though:

wget http://mirrors.antergos.com/antergos/x86_64/antergos-keyring-20170524-1-any.pkg.tar.xz
wget http://mirrors.antergos.com/antergos/x86_64/antergos-keyring-20170524-1-any.pkg.tar.xz.sig
pacman-key --verify antergos-keyring-20170524-1-any.pkg.tar.xz.sig
pacman -U antergos-keyring-20170524-1-any.pkg.tar.xz
sudo pacman -Scc
sudo pacman-key --refresh-keys
sudo pacman -Syu


Or, to "skip the sig-check":

wget http://mirrors.antergos.com/antergos/x86_64/antergos-keyring-20170524-1-any.pkg.tar.xz
pacman -U antergos-keyring-20170524-1-any.pkg.tar.xz
sudo pacman -Scc
sudo pacman-key --refresh-keys
sudo pacman -Syu


Good luck, Antergos users!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

from the 'labs

I haven't tried this one myself, but ArchLabs Linux was "inspired by" BunsenLabs. I'm a big fan of BunsenLabs even though I don't really use it these days, as I prefer my own Debian Stretch + Openbox installation. Still, BunsenLabs is easily my favorite Debian derivative, so maybe one day I'll have a look at ArchLabs. Can't imagine that I'd ever replace Arch with it, but I might like ArchLabs for a quick installation on a spare computer.

Anyway, thought I'd post a couple of links, for those who might be interested:

https://archlabsblog.wordpress.com/
https://sourceforge.net/projects/archlabs/

They've got a tutorial about installing ArchLabs in Virtualbox, too.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

juiced

For years, I've been a proponent of a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables. Many elite athletes would agree.

Consider the San Antonio Spurs and their cold-pressed fruit and vegeatable juice drinks. It seems that the Spurs are kinda tight-lipped about it, but according to the article linked below, "Several Spurs see their special drinks as an all-important first step to the recovery process that staves off fatigue and injury."

They may be on to something:

"Over the last decade, and despite an older roster, the Spurs have ranked first in the league with only 1,054 missed games to injury."


Article: The San Antonio Spurs, made with 100 percent juice

Sunday, April 30, 2017

use real words!

I hate emojis. What, people are too lazy to write with real words anymore? Or do they think emojis are cute?

They aren't cute. They're stupid.

linux setups

"The Linux Setup" feature at My Linux Rig: Nice place to read about what some people are doing with their Linux systems: http://www.mylinuxrig.com/tagged/the_linux_setup

Sunday, April 23, 2017

phones

Nice piece written by my friend, Wesley Hazen, for The Albuquerque Journal:

Downtown museum celebrates the telephone

I'm hoping to go over and check out the Telephone Pioneer Museum soon. Thanks, Wes!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

future system

A background I found today. I thought it fit nicely with Openbox, in Arch Linux.





The concept behind this "planetary system" may have roots in the sci-fi classic Ringworld, by Larry Niven (1970); the novel opens in the year 2850 AD.

"Ringworld won the Nebula Award in 1970, as well as both the Hugo Award and Locus Award in 1971."

- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ringworld

Monday, April 10, 2017

one step closer

Announcement: Debian Installer Stretch RC 3 release

I don't think I'll be needing to try the RC3 release of the installer. I used debian-stretch-DI-rc2-amd64-netinst.iso for a Stretch network installation -- added Openbox to that -- and I used debian-stretch-DI-rc2-amd64-xfce-CD-1.iso for a Stretch Xfce installation. Both systems have been up and running for about a month now, and both look great. The final release of Debian 9 "Stretch" is just around the corner, looks like...

Sunday, April 9, 2017

plain and simple rules, no problem

I see a lot of shots being fired at the Arch forums for "their antagonistic approach" and "elitism" towards users of Arch derivatives who want to come to the Arch forums for support.

Personally, I have no issues with the Arch forum rules, which begin with:
These boards are for the support of Arch Linux, and Arch ONLY

If you have installed Archbang, Antegros, Chakra, Evo/Lution, Manjaro, Whatever, you are NOT running Arch Linux. Similarly, if you followed some random video on YouTube or used an automated script you found on a blog, you are NOT running Arch Linux, so do not expect any support, sympathy or anything but your thread being closed and told to move along.

Arch is a DIY distro: if someone else has done it for you, then showing up here asking to have your hand held for more help is just help vampirism and is not welcome.

I started out in the Arch world by trying out Arch derivatives Chakra, Bridge Linux, and ArchBang. Those distros convinced me to finally install "straight" Arch. I currently have an Arch installation as well as an Antergos installation.

Arch derivatives have been very important here, but, I'm sorry, they are not Arch. In all this time of running Arch and Arch derivatives, the Arch forum rules have never been a problem for me. These Arch-based distros do have their own forums, and there are also some Linux forums out there where questions about any distro are welcome -- for example, LinuxQuestions.org and the Bruno's All Things Linux forums.

Besides all that, users have the excellent Arch Wiki, web searches, and system documentation (man pages, help documents, etc.). With these tools at hand, I haven't found it necessary to post more than a few Arch-related questions at any forum.

If you use an Arch derivative, don't go to the Arch forums asking for help with that distro. Plain and simple. This is not "elitism", as some like to call it, but just a sensible approach that the Arch folks feel is the best one for them to take. Works out fine, seems to me.

d'backs sweep!

The Diamondbacks sweep the series! Not sure how many times I'll get to say that this season! This afternoon in Phoenix, the final score was Arizona 3, Cleveland 2. D'Backs start the (very) young season on fire, with 6 wins and 1 loss.

another amazing finish by westbrook

You can't be serious!

I didn't see the game, but...

Russell Westbrook gets his record-breaking 42nd triple-double of the season, with 50 points, 16 rebounds, and 10 assists on the road against the Denver Nuggets.

For Westbrook, the coolest part had to be that Oklahoma City trailed for much of the game, trailed by 9 going into the 4th, and trailed by 14 with 5:56 left. Westbrook notched his 10th assist, breaking the triple-double record, with 4:17 remaining; scored the team's last 15 points and 18 of their last 21; and hit a 40-foot game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer. Thunder 106, Nuggets 105.

udisksctl

For most users these days, accessing flash drives in Linux is handled nicely by the desktop and file managers. But sometimes it's convenient to be able to mount a flash drive from the command line, as a normal user; for that, try the udisksctl tool.

I tested this in Antergos, in Debian Stable ("Jessie"), and in Debian Testing ("Stretch"). Insert the flash drive and run lsblk to check for the device name:


sdb1 is the device name for my flash drive. To mount it, I used:

$ udisksctl mount -b /dev/sdb1


The -b switch is short for --block-device, according to udisksctl mount --help.

Running lsblk again shows the flash drive mounted:


To unmount the flash drive, I used:

$ udisksctl unmount -b /dev/sdb1



For more info see man udisksctl, udisksctl help, udisksctl mount --help, and these excellent articles:

https://zeth.net/2014/05/28/modern_mounting_with_udisks2.html

https://people.freedesktop.org/~david/udisks2-20110628/udisksctl.1.html

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Udisks

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

moving on

There will be no Unity desktop in Ubuntu 18.04. Mark Shuttleworth announced today that "...we will end our investment in Unity8, the phone and convergence shell. We will shift our default Ubuntu desktop back to GNOME for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS." (See: "Growing Ubuntu for Cloud and IoT, rather than Phone and convergence")

Good decision. I'm not one of those Unity-haters; I came up with a Unity setup that works for me, and I have no problem using it to get things done. That being said, I actually prefer using GNOME Shell instead of Unity, so I always add GNOME to Ubuntu. I'd even been thinking that maybe I'd want to try Ubuntu GNOME next year, instead of going on to Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. Today's announcement, I'm guessing, spells the end of the Ubuntu GNOME spin...

Anyway, I'll enjoy logging into Unity over the next year or so, then I'll bid it farewell. Unity was never the greatest Linux desktop, but I never thought that it was all that bad.


By the way: Check out the Ubuntu Vibes piece, "Why is Ubuntu Popular? End Users Share their Opinion".

Sunday, March 26, 2017

getting tired of waiting for this to get fixed

I like KDE Plasma 5 except for one big thing: You can't have different wallpapers (and different widgets) on different virtual desktops. See: https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=343246

I have Plasma 5 in openSUSE 42.2, but I'm still using plasma-desktop 4.11.x in Debian Jessie. I'm in no hurry to give up Plasma 4, mainly because of the above issue.

It seems clear that the KDE devs don't think this is important. But I can have different wallpapers for different workspaces in Xfce, and in LXDE. Why can't something similar be done for KDE Plasma 5?

I use several different desktop environments and window managers, but I've run KDE since I started out with Linux. Perhaps it's about time to move on. Like many others have expressed, I never wanted KDE's "Activities" and don't want or need that "feature" now. It's still a pretty good desktop environment, overall, but not being able to have different wallpapers on different desktops takes a lot of the fun out of it for me.

Just fix this one thing. Please.

Monday, March 20, 2017

reading kissinger

Just finished reading On China by Henry Kissinger, which was published back in 2011 and details Sino-American relations over the past 50 years or so. I quite enjoyed the book. Check out this New York Times review of it: "Henry Kissinger on China"

I'll try to get a copy of Kissinger's 2014 work, World Order (see: https://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/09/books/in-world-order-henry-kissinger-sums-up-his-philosophy.html?_r=0)

do it again

Ah, "Let's Do It Again", the song by The Staple Singers that was featured in the 1975 movie of the same name... Groove to that while you read on, if you want to...

Reinstalling can be good. Sometimes ya like to do a Steely Dan and go back, Jack, do it again. A few weeks ago, I reinstalled Antergos, as I wanted to revise the partition setup on the computer where the old Antergos installation was. Going through the process again gave me a system that (I think) is a little nicer than what I had before, and gave me a little better understanding of how Antergos is put together.

I went with Openbox again, but this time decided not to add LXQt, at least for now. But as usual I added a handful of apps and packages that didn't come with the default Openbox installation, and I customized the desktop to my own tastes. Here's a "clean" shot of the desktop, showing the Accessories submenu in the Antegos Applications menu opened up:


Installing Antergos doesn't take nearly as much time and effort as installing its parent distro, Arch Linux. That's nice for folks who want to get a feel for Arch, but it seems to me that the only way to get a "real" Arch system, and to acquire a good understanding of how Arch works, is to do a "real" Arch installation. Those who have done so, I think, will have a better experience with Antergos than those who haven't.

It's important that Antergos users refer back to the Arch wiki, and that they check Arch's home page for announcements prior to pulling in package updates. (Probably wouldn't hurt to glance at Arch's Installation Guide, as well.)

Antergos uses the Arch repos, and as with Arch, repository configuration is done via the /etc/pacman.conf file. There's also an Antergos repo, which by default is listed first in pacman.conf, giving packages from the Antergos repo priority over those from the Arch repos. That's important; one should certainly take a look at man pacman, man pacman.conf, and the Arch wiki's Pacman page for more info. Also informative: The Pacman Home Page at https://www.archlinux.org/pacman/.

Take, for example, a recent announcement posted at the Arch home page: "ca-certificates-utils 20170307-1 upgrade requires manual intervention". Antergos users needed to run the commands listed in that announcement (I did), same as Arch users.

Here's a screenshot that shows, among other things, the result of the paclist antergos command, listing the packages on my system that originate from the Antergos repo:


Note the antergos-repo-priority package. I ran pacman -Qi antergos-repo-priority to see more info:


This line in particular caught my eye:

Description     : Automatically adjusts the priority of the antergos repo in pacman.conf as needed.

Not sure that I want anything happening to my system "automatically"! I'll keep an eye on things; maybe this turns out to be no big deal.

I don't know yet if I'll end up keeping Antergos; maybe I'll want to replace it with Arch. But right now it looks good enough to keep installed for the long term. As their website describes it, Antergos "provides a fully configured OS with sane defaults that you can use right away." That, for sure, can be a good thing. The underlying system is about as close to "pure" Arch as you'll get with an Arch derivative; I think that's a good thing, too.


from around the world

I currently have eight "favorite" Linux distributions either installed here on laptop hard drives or that I run from flash drives for live sessions. The places of origin of each of those distros, according to DistroWatch:

Debian - Origin: Global
Arch - Origin: Canada
openSUSE - Origin: Germany
Ubuntu - Origin: Isle of Man
Antergos - Origin: Spain
BunsenLabs - Origin: Japan
MX - Origin: Greece
GParted Live - Origin: USA

Of course, humans all around the planet use, develop, and contribute to each of those distros.


Monday, March 13, 2017

"go-to" file manager?

SpaceFM has been my go-to Linux file manager for some years now, but recently I noticed that the spacefm package has been moved from Arch's Community repo to the AUR. It seems that SpaceFM development may have ceased. I'm thinking that it might be time for me to look for another go-to file manager.

I can get along fine with just about any file manager. I can use mc (Midnight Commander), and there's always the command line. GUI File Managers like Dolphin, Thunar, Nautilus, Nemo, PCManFM, those are all nice, but I do prefer something that isn't tied in with any particular desktop environment.

Double Commander might be just what I'm looking for. I found GTK and Qt versions in the Debian and Arch repos. I wouldn't describe Double Commander as a thing of beauty, but after using it for a little while, I'm finding myself wondering why I wasn't using it all along.

Double Commander in Openbox in Antergos

A couple of articles about Double Commander, with screenshots:

https://www.maketecheasier.com/dual-panel-file-manager-double-commander/
http://www.tuxarena.com/2014/03/double-commander-yet-another-twin-panel-fm/

Monday, January 30, 2017

zemlin speaks out

Posted at Foss Force (http://fossforce.com/2017/01/linux-foundations-jim-zemlin-speaks-immigration-ban/):

Linux Foundation Executive Director’s Statement on Immigration Ban

The Linux operating system underlies nearly every piece of technology in modern life, from phones to satellites to web searches to your car. For the Linux Foundation, openness is both a part of our core principles and also a matter of practicality. Linux, the largest cooperatively developed software project in history, is created by thousands of people from around the world and made available to anyone to use for free. The Linux Foundation also hosts dozens of other open source projects covering security, networking, cloud, automotive, blockchain and other areas. Last year, the Linux Foundation hosted over 20,000 people from 85 countries at more than 150 events. Open source is a fundamentally global activity but America has always served as the hub for innovation and collaboration. Linux’s creator, Linux Foundation Fellow Linus Torvalds, immigrated to America from Finland and became a citizen. The Administration’s policy on immigration restrictions is antithetical to the values of openness and community that have enabled open source to succeed. I oppose the immigration ban.

Jim Zemlin, Executive Director, The Linux Foundation

Sunday, January 29, 2017

the most important thing

Perhaps my favorite quote from Martin Luther King Jr.:

"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?' "

Monday, January 23, 2017

bunsenlabs live

Here's a link to a piece by a former CrunchBang user taking his first look at a live session of BunsenLabs "Hydrogen":

A Deep Look at BunsenLabs

adding lxqt to antergos

As I wrote in "from spain, antergos", "The Antergos installer lets the user choose between Cinnamon, GNOME, KDE, MATE, Openbox, and Xfce desktops; I went with Openbox."

Later, I added LXQt, from the Arch repos. Here's what I saw at the command line:

$ sudo pacman -S lxqt
[sudo] password for steve:
:: There are 19 members in group lxqt:
:: Repository community
   1) libfm-qt  2) lxqt-about  3) lxqt-build-tools  4) lxqt-common  5) lxqt-config
   6) lxqt-globalkeys  7) lxqt-notificationd  8) lxqt-openssh-askpass  9) lxqt-panel
   10) lxqt-policykit  11) lxqt-powermanagement  12) lxqt-qtplugin  13) lxqt-runner
   14) lxqt-session  15) lxqt-sudo  16) openbox  17) pcmanfm-qt  18) qterminal  19) qtermwidget

Enter a selection (default=all):
warning: openbox-3.6.1-3 is up to date -- reinstalling
resolving dependencies...
looking for conflicting packages...

Packages (38) kidletime-5.30.0-1  kwayland-5.30.0-1  kwindowsystem-5.30.0-1
              libdbusmenu-qt5-0.9.3+16.04.20160218-1  libkscreen-5.8.5-1  liblxqt-0.11.0-2
              libqtxdg-2.0.0-1  libxkbcommon-x11-0.7.0-1  media-player-info-22-2  muparser-2.2.5-2
              polkit-qt5-0.112.0+git20160226-1  qt5-base-5.7.1-2  qt5-declarative-5.7.1-1
              qt5-script-5.7.1-1  qt5-svg-5.7.1-1  qt5-x11extras-5.7.1-1  qt5-xmlpatterns-5.7.1-1
              solid-5.30.0-1  tslib-1.3-1  libfm-qt-0.11.1-1  lxqt-about-0.11.0-5
              lxqt-build-tools-0.3.0-2  lxqt-common-0.11.1-1  lxqt-config-0.11.0-2
              lxqt-globalkeys-0.11.0-1  lxqt-notificationd-0.11.0-1  lxqt-openssh-askpass-0.11.0-1
              lxqt-panel-0.11.0-1  lxqt-policykit-0.11.0-1  lxqt-powermanagement-0.11.0-1
              lxqt-qtplugin-0.11.0-1  lxqt-runner-0.11.0-1  lxqt-session-0.11.0-1
              lxqt-sudo-0.11.0-1  openbox-3.6.1-3  pcmanfm-qt-0.11.1-1  qterminal-0.7.1-1
              qtermwidget-0.7.1-1

Total Download Size:    23.33 MiB
Total Installed Size:  104.90 MiB
Net Upgrade Size:      103.71 MiB

:: Proceed with installation? [Y/n]



Here's what the LXQt desktop looked like when I first logged into the session:



I had to change the icon theme from Adwaita to Numix to get all of my icons to show up in the menu and on the panel:



Looks like there aren't many themes for LXQt, and I don't think user themes are supported. I'm using the Ambiance theme for now:



To get transparency in xfce4-terminal, I enabled Compton in Session Settings:



A couple of shots of my current LXQt desktop in Antergos:



Monday, January 2, 2017

a good arch derivative

From what I'm seeing so far (after about a month and a half), Antergos seems like a very solid distro. As advertised, Antergos provides an easy way to get an Arch system up and running, ready to go out-of-the-box.

The installer provides a choice of desktops. I went with Openbox, but still the installer (called "cnchi") downloaded a ton of packages (cnchi showed 779 packages being installed). The system's loaded with useful apps. The number of installed packages appears to have no effect on the system's performance while running Openbox; everything's snappy and crisp.

The Pamac package manager is fun to play around with, but for package management I'm using pacman, from the command line, same as with my Arch installation. Antergos uses the Arch repos, plus an Antergos repo for some packages, as pamac shows in this shot.



The following yaourt command shows the packages that come from the "antergos" repo:

$ yaourt -Q | grep antergos
antergos/antergos-keyring 20150806-1 (antergos-base)
antergos/antergos-mirrorlist 20161107-2 (antergos-base)
antergos/antergos-openbox-setup 0.3.1-2
antergos/antergos-repo-priority 1.0.4-2 (antergos-base)
antergos/antergos-wallpapers 0.7-1
antergos/antergos-welcome 0.0.2-2
antergos/galculator 2.1.4-4 (mate-extra)
antergos/light-locker-settings 1.5.2-3
antergos/lightdm-webkit2-greeter 2.2.1-1 (system)
antergos/numix-frost-themes 3.6.6-1 (themes themes::gtk)
antergos/numix-icon-theme 1:0.r1890.2-1
antergos/numix-icon-theme-square 1:0.r83_8-1
antergos/obkey 1.0-4
antergos/openbox-menu 0.8.0-1
antergos/package-query 1.8.r380-2
antergos/pamac 4.1.6-2
antergos/paranoid 1.1.1-2
antergos/plank-theme-numix 0.1-1
antergos/ttf-google-fonts 20160408.r423-1
antergos/waldorf-ui-theme 0.07-1
antergos/yaourt 1.8.1-1



I'm using Antergos' Numix-Frost theme for Openbox, with a few key launchers on the tint2 panel and a customized menu that has all of my Openbox-related tools under one submenu:


But I also have the Antergos Applications menu available:


A "clean" shot from (empty) workspace #3: