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Topics - chemicalfan

General Discussion / Windows 10 & privacy
August 05, 2015, 01:31:45 PM
I'm currently embroiled on an interesting debate on Windows 10 and it's massive changes in privacy policy on another forum (some details here - http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-08-02/surveillance-state-goes-mainstream-windows-10-watching-logging-everything). The basics are that Windows 10 will include (enabled by default) a keylogger, web history logger, voice & webcam logger, screen grabber, location logger, document/e-mail inspector, all with a unique identifier to you, all of which point back to MSHQ. Most of the debate points out that privacy has been gone for ages via other firms:

  • Google & Facebook relentlessly mining data, even more minor websites grabbing what they can (including mouse position & keystrokes, presumably via some Flash "exploit")
  • ISPs being forced to hand over data without warrant
  • NSA/GCHQ cracking encryption using Nvidia Titan GPUs amonst other APICs in days rather than months & years
  • US Navy backdoor built into Tor (most exit nodes owned by US government
And the list goes on.....

Other interesting points are people claiming that due to lack of privacy/security, only local LANs are secure - once you step out into the wider world, despite best efforts, privacy is gone. Your data is as good as public. In terms of Windows, it's the blatant collection of data that is real shot across the bows - and now it all makes sense why this OS is free. I'd assumed they'd monetise it by creaming off the app store, but it's now clear that they'll comb your data and sell it to the highest bidder(s). Not to mention assisting the governments where profitable (call it "contracting"). I bring this up here, as the debate basically fractured into 2 camps - those resigned to defeat, accepting Windows and the theft of their personal information because it's already happened (also includes those too apathetic to care, the "nothing to hide" crowd), and the other camp who are jumping ship to Linux or sticking with Windows 7/8 (no-one trusts Apple thanks to Siri). There's an interesting claim that Linux isn't any more secure, including distros like TAILS, because of the lack of privacy on the internet. I think it's a real shame, and quite unnerving that it's come to this, that the world has gone this way. I've known about Facebook for years hence why I don't use it - it's a rich company only because of data mining, and the social pressure that has built to provide that data to your "friends", with no care that you're giving it to Facebook as well, and then indirectly to the rest of the world.

Anyway, to prevent this becoming an irrelevant rant, I'll pose a question - will we see another influx of new Linux users jumping ship, similar to when XP lost support?
I claim absolutely no credit for this, and I apologise if this is a duplicate of instructions contained within other posts on this forum, but hopefully this will save someone from despair at some point. Instructions are on a blog post here - http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/ubuntu-trusty-realtek.html

This blog looks pretty decent, worth a lunchtime read  :)
Linux Support / Setting up new dual-boot
April 27, 2015, 10:46:10 PM
Received my new laptop, pre-loaded with Windows 8.1, and I want to set up Mint on a dual boot. It's a complicated set up because it has two hard drives (one SSD). I've got my partition layout in my head, but need to know the best sequence of events now. I think this is a UEFI machine (it's brand new, so probably?). I haven't booted it yet, wanted to double-check here first.
Anyway, do I:

  • Boot into Windows, activate it etc, then use partition manager to shrink the 2 NTFS partitions (one on each drive). Then reboot into Mint liveUSB and install from there
  • Don't boot Windows at all, boot Mint liveUSB first and then use GParted to shrink the partitions. Install Mint & GRUB (to MBR), then reboot into Windows and sort it all out
Or doesn't it matter? I know next to nothing about UEFI, apart from it seems to be Microsoft's way of getting their hands on the firmware  >:(
I'm also assuming it's got MBR and not GPT - again, I know next to nothing about GPT other than it complicates things  :(

QuoteI personally like LXDE, Lubuntu and Peppermint OS. I have especially had good luck introducing people to Linux by installing Peppermint on ageing computers that formally ran Windows XP

Always glad to hear of good press!  :)
Linux Support / Laptop & external display
March 09, 2015, 10:47:55 AM
Post title isn't great  ::)

Basically, I need to know how to configure my laptop to remain on while the lid is closed, if an external display is connected via HDMI. As the moment, closing the lid suspends the laptop, even if the HDMI cable is connected and working. I can't even see any options for configuring the external output - it "stretches" the desktop dual-monitor style, and that's my only option (no blanking or mirroring). It is plug-and-play at least, setting correct resolutions across the two screens, and in that respect, is awesome. IIRC, it even routes sound correctly via the HDMI cable. But it's annoying that I have to have the laptop screen on.

I'm running Mint 17.1 Cinnamon, and I'm not in front of the laptop at the moment (it's at home, I'm at work)
Linux Support / External audio output Mint 17.1
January 26, 2015, 09:57:55 AM
I finally got round to testing my new HDMI cable with my laptop yesterday, and was most impressed that it was very much plug-and-play. Linux Mint managed to detect the TV, and automatically set resolution & "stretch" the desktop to it, all within 2 seconds without me having to do anything. However, it didn't take the audio - that was still left through the laptop speakers (come to think of it, I didn't actually turn the TV up, so it could be my failing there  :-[)

Anyone, this post is still valid because I want to get Bluetooth audio working. We have a soundbar that has Bluetooth input, and ideally I'd like to stream the audio from laptop to soundbar whilst the HDMI cable is inserted into the TV. I went into the "Bluetooth settings" in Mint, but it said "no Bluetooth devices detected". Windows would beg to differ. I reckon this is a "lack of libraries" issue, but I'm pretty lost when it comes to Bluetooth.  ::)

Can I get some basic stuff that I can try to get Bluetooth recognised?
General Discussion / Poster design software
January 06, 2015, 03:51:35 PM
I need some suggestions on software that I could use to design a poster. The poster itself will be something like A1 or maybe A0, and will be formed of several rectangle JPG images, which will be locked to a 6x5 grid. So, nothing complicated, but I was hoping that there might be some software that would sort the grid out for me to save messing about with a ruler on screen?

The only thing I've come across before is the Windows printing software you get with some printers, that will put several images on one sheet. Problem is, they're designed for A4, not poster size!
I've Googled around and can't find what I need to. I need to find a way to install (or check if already installed) the 32 bit Nvidia driver on my 64 bit Linux Mint 17.1 install (Ubuntu 14.04.1). I've got the propriatory driver already installed via Synaptic, and it's all working fine apart from one game - Awesomenauts. Looking on their FAQs, it's been suggested that I need the 32 bit video drivers to avoid a crash to desktop on launch. Strangely, it crashes whether I use my Nvidia or Intel GPU (I switch using bumblebee), so if it's easier to check for the Intel open-source 32 bit driver, we'll go for that as if I've got it, it rules that out as an issue.
Quote...Like its Windows counterparts, the Linux trojan is extremely stealthy. It can't be detected using the common netstat command. To conceal itself, the backdoor sits dormant until attackers send it unusually crafted packets that contain "magic numbers" in their sequence numbers. The malware may have sat unnoticed on at least one victim computer for years, although Kaspersky Lab researchers still have not confirmed that suspicion. The trojan is able to run arbitrary commands even though it requires no elevated system privileges.

"It's a very interesting piece of code," Baumgartner said. "Not only does it run on Linux, but you can't detect it in the usual ways."

Even a regular user with limited privileges can launch it, allowing it to intercept traffic and run commands on infected machines. Capabilities include the ability to communicate with servers under the control of attackers and functions allowing attackers to run commands of their choice and perform remote management.

Even after its discovery, the Linux component remains a mystery. The underlying executable file is written in the C and C++ languages and contains code from previously written libraries, a property that gives the malicious file self-reliance. The code is also stripped of symbol information, making it hard for researchers to reverse engineer or analyze. As a result, Baumgartner said the trojan may have capabilities that have not yet been uncovered.....

Main article here - http://arstechnica.com/security/2014/12/powerful-highly-stealthy-linux-trojan-may-have-infected-victims-for-years/

Source article (Kaspersky) here - https://securelist.com/blog/research/67962/the-penquin-turla-2/

Scary stuff...
Not the actual malware itself (it's highly targetted), but the concept is worrying. Especially if Android would ever be in scope of future malware of this nature, due to the lack of access to investigate the device.
Linux Support / 256MB RAM, live CD won't boot
November 24, 2014, 12:31:29 PM
My dad has an old laptop which he wants to take to Spain, and it's running XP. This laptop doesn't have wireless inbuilt, and the USB adaptor he bought doesn't work (as XP doesn't support WPA2, at least not on his service pack - doesn't matter, XP is going!). Anyway, trying to boot P5 i386 live CD didn't work, it spun for a while (10 minutes), then it gave up on a black screen. Got the Peppermint splash, screen went black but still loading, then 10 minutes later, activity ceased. It's an ATI graphics card, so I figure "nomodeset" was necessary. This differed slightly - the screen didn't go black after the splash, it filled the screen with an accented U terminal character. A terminal prompt popped up for about a second, then a distorted line pattern appears all over the screen (graphical glitch style), then the screen went black, and that was it (after a while of some activity). Under no circumstances was a different tty available - it was dead.

For comparison, Puppy Slacko 5.7 (latest) will boot to a desktop with "nomodeset", proving that the laptop is functional - but it has the same "no WPA2 support" that XP has :( The USB wireless works (detects SSIDs), but won't connect. It's also really quite heavyweight for Puppy (desktop idle is at 226MB used), hopefully that's because it's a live environment, but doesn't bode well :( Really don't want to have to build up from a Debian minimal install or something, any clues on debugging Peppermint?
General Discussion / Malware ads article on Tom's Hardware
September 23, 2014, 08:41:42 AM

Ok, I'm a month late to the party, but I came across this article yesterday, and at first I brushed it off as "Windows problem", but then I gave it a second thought. Can Linux be affected by these drive-by malware attacks? I know they can't get deep into the OS without root/su access, but can they mess things up enough to be significant? I mean, trashing /home is pretty bad, and installing browser plugins would be bad too (can these be installed without root access)?
Linux Support / Replacing laptop HDD
August 11, 2014, 03:08:51 PM
Which procedure would you guys recommend for copying data from my existing HDD to a new one? I think I might buy an SSHD for my laptop, to improve I/O performance (only got 1 bay, so an SSD is out). My current HDD is 500Gb, I'll probably replace it with a 500Gb SSHD, but might be a 1Tb drive if I have more money than I thought!

Anyway, what's the best process for this? I'm assuming I can borrow/buy an external enclosure so I can mount both drives simultaneously (in fact, I think I might have a USB2 one somewhere...). Use a CLI dd command? Something like Clonezilla? Archive the lot then restore it onto the new drive? Or use a bog-standard liveCD, then just GParted the new drive & copy folders over in file manager? I guess I'd prefer the last option as I'm most familiar with the idea of it (plus, it would work in the "upgrade" scenario), but I'd be worried about permissions & UUID issues.

Got a couple of NTFS partitions with Windows & the system recovery partitions on it, not sure how to pick those up using the liveCD method? I guess this is where dd comes in...? This isn't a UEFI system, if that makes a difference (Mint 17 is the distro, Win7 on the Windows partition)
Linux Support / Automounting Windows partition
April 13, 2014, 06:41:19 PM
This is kinda embarrassing, but I'm really struggling to get this Windows partition to automount correctly :(

There are 2 NTFS drives with a partition each in the system, in addition to the Linux ones. One is a USB drive (called "Expansion Drive", for some reason), that I do not want automounted. The other is an IDE drive (I think, might be SATA...), and I do want this to automount. I have already symlinked Documents, Pictures & Music from /home to the relevant My Documents folder under Windows. Problem is, I cannot get it to automount at boot. When trying to mount it post-boot, it asks for the root password - I do not want this behavior, as I will not be giving out the root password. Once the drive is manually mounted, the symlinks work perfectly.

For info, blkid:
Quote/dev/sda1: UUID="56241CCE241CB34B" TYPE="ntfs"
/dev/sda6: LABEL="swap" UUID="74283a74-60b4-4373-9e49-4806f65d0656" TYPE="swap"
/dev/sda5: LABEL="boot" UUID="4ba95011-a723-4136-82f5-e91477bc44f9" TYPE="ext2"
/dev/sda7: UUID="c0ed3643-7339-4087-8156-bb76d94d47f3" TYPE="ext4"
/dev/sda8: LABEL="home" UUID="2b101c2c-a0f8-4707-8a15-243d15492ee4" TYPE="ext4"
/dev/sdb1: LABEL="Expansion Drive" UUID="A2CC6E0BCC6DDA55" TYPE="ntfs"

proc   /proc   proc   defaults   0   0
# /dev/sda5
UUID=4ba95011-a723-4136-82f5-e91477bc44f9   /boot   ext2   rw,errors=remount-ro   0   0
# /dev/sda6
UUID=74283a74-60b4-4373-9e49-4806f65d0656   swap   swap   sw   0   0
# /dev/sda7
UUID=c0ed3643-7339-4087-8156-bb76d94d47f3   /   ext4   rw,errors=remount-ro   0   1
# /dev/sda8
UUID=2b101c2c-a0f8-4707-8a15-243d15492ee4   /home   ext4   rw,errors=remount-ro   0   0
# /dev/sda1
UUID=56241CCE241CB34B   /media/restall/56241CCE241CB34B    ntfs   auto,rw,errors=remount-ro   0   0
(the sda1 entry was manually entered, and it doesn't work)

I should know this, but I've been over it trying different things, and it won't play!
Linux Support / [SOLVED]Kodak Hero 5.1 on LMDE
April 08, 2014, 12:24:29 PM
I know it's supported under the c2esp driver (of a fashion), and under the Add Printers page, the Hero 5.1 was listed. It's connected wirelessly, and the Add Printers dialog seemed happy to find and add it to the system. Printing a test page though, produced absolutely nothing from either the PC or the printer. Is there any kind of log where it would have written errors to? Or can I enable some kind of verbose debug log for printing temporarily? Also, I guess I'm out of luck getting the scanner to work?

This is an LMDE x86 MATE install, fully updated.

* This is just a stub posting - I can't provide any more info until the weekend probably, as I won't have access to the machine. A list of stuff to try would be nice though :)
Linux Support / Interesting post about Lubuntu
March 21, 2014, 10:19:25 AM

Just spotted the above, it's an old post from November, but it's an interesting read, especially this part:

Quote- LXDE is dying. Well, except pcmanfm, all components are frozen and will
probably not going to see any improvements in the next 6 months. Expect
only bug fixes and translations updates.

- LXQt (the merge of Razor-qt and LXDE, using Qt instead of GTK) is slowly
taking the place of the LXDE GTK. All work are done on this branch.

What are Peppermint's plans (presumably for Peppermint 6), regarding this statement? Or is it just the Lubuntu dev making a statement, rather than LXDE themselves?
General Discussion / Bash/sh programming books
February 14, 2014, 09:18:51 AM
Can anyone recommend a book on bash/sh scripting? Preferably once that would also cover the use of GNU utilities within a script, like tee, grep, sed, awk....you get the idea.
I've found this website - http://www.linuxconfig.org/Bash_scripting_Tutorial - which is ok, but I really wanted a book rather than relying on a website. It's also a bit example-heavy, with not a lot of description.
Linux Support / Another shout-out on Distrowatch!
January 20, 2014, 01:01:34 PM

Right at the bottom of this section, under best overall GNU/Linux distribution! Ok, it's not the first in the list, but good to see it mentioned regardless!
Linux Support / Using newer kernel than provided
December 20, 2013, 01:16:30 PM
Reading this - http://kernelnewbies.org/Linux_3.12 - it seems like there are changes that would benefit both of my machines (Optimus laptop running Mint 14 = Ubuntu 12.04, and AMD desktop running Mint 15 = Ubuntu 13.04).

Rather than grabbing the kernel source from kernel.org and compiling it myself (bit of a risk that it may not be fully-compatible, and it won't auto-update via APT), I'd rather use a PPA. I found a PPA seemingly hosted by Ubuntu themselves (http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa), which has 3.12 packages for saucy & trusty (13.10 & 14.04), but not for raring or quantal. Is it a good idea to install these packages, or do I run the risk of dependency issues? Also, will APT keep them up-to-date if I install with "wget && dpkg", assuming I can just "apt-get install" once I've added the PPA to sources?

Edit - I'm working on the assumption that they won't backport 3.12 in the future.......
Linux Support / *SOLVED* Moving /home to new partition
December 03, 2013, 01:11:30 PM
On my desktop rig, I'm dual-booting Mint 15 & Windows Vista, with GRUB on the MBR of sda (Mint is on sdb, with a NTFS data partition also on the disc). Vista was first (many years prior), and I installed Mint in the summer to get round a problem with Steam (multiple users just doesn't work on Windows). Anyway, as this was done quickly, I just went with one primary partition for Mint, mounting / only. I'm regretting this now, as Mint 15's support will run out before Mint 17 LTS comes out. So, rather than run unsupported for 5 months, and in the spirit of "do it sooner rather than later", I want to repartition the drive to add another primary partition, so that I can mount /home on it, thus allowing me to re-install without losing the /home partition (and the 20Gb of Steam downloads).

My question, is once I've done the easy part and repartitioned the drive, how do I move /home to the new partition? What is the procedure, other than using a liveCD to move the data then updating fstab?
Linux Support / New release!
November 29, 2013, 05:04:01 PM
Thought there'd be a mention of this - Distrowatch posted about a new Peppermint release today!