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Bluetooth

Yesterday, I’ve purchased a Bluetooth Windows 10 dongle. I’ve purchased this device with a lot of apprehensions since the package had no mention of Linux compatibility. However, after returning home, connecting the device to a USB port, I’ve started my work.

ASUS BT4.0 DONGLE USB 2.0

The installation process is quite easy. The first thing I did was to install the necessary Bluetooth packages. After installing the package the next step was to make sure that nothing is blocking the Bluetooth packages or device. I’ve used the following commands:

sudo apt-get install bluetooth bluez bluez-tools rfkill
sudo rfkill list

The first command is self explanatory, install all of the necessary packages to work with Bluetooth. The second command helps you review if the device is recognized and ready. Then ensure nothing is blocking it.

However, if the device was blocked, then use:

sudo rfkill unblock Bluetooth

The above command will aid in unblock it. A fourth command will be needed to start and activate the Bluetooth service. To activate the service use:

sudo service Bluetooth start

Once you complete the above step, you will need to use an additional command to install a Bluetooth manager. Use the Blueman command as follows:

sudo apt-get install blueman

The rest is easy, once the manager is running, seek for active Bluetooth devices and pair the devices to your Linux Computer. However, I personally like to restart the computer to ensure that all changes have been set in stone.

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Gaming on Linux

Today, I upgraded my Linux box to higher-end graphics card. Actually, it’s an old higher-end graphic card that I had laying around. I’m running an old Dual-Core AMD Athlon II X2 255 processor with 4Gb of memory. This Linux desktop, had a Radeon HD 5450 advance graphic processor installed. I removed the Radeon HD 7750/8740 / R7 250E from a old Gateway computer I have laying around and removed the Radeon HD5450, replacing it with the Radeon HD7750.

I also downloaded and installed Lutris. Lutris is a FOSS game manager (Open Gaming Platform) for Linux-based operating systems. Lutris is a gaming client for Linux. It gives you access to all your video games with the exception of the current console generation. Works great with Debian 10 Buster. Lutris is developed and maintained by Mathieu Comandon and the community. It is listed under the GNU General Public License.

I was not aware that there was a Lutris game manager application in my system. I ran into it while reviewing the games I currently have installed in my Linux Desktop. However, I think, that came about when I manually installed Lutris. There are two things that I like about the Lutris desktop application. One, that I was able to import my Steam games. Second, that I was also able to install a few other games using the one-click installation feature. Lutris does have a few hundreds of games for the Linux users. I’m sure more will come with time. If you want to know more about Lutris, check out “Lutris – Install and Play Linux Games with Ease,” Written by Martins D. Okoi.

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It’s Back-up time

I had a minor mishap early this morning. I’ve decided to reboot the desktop and upon the system rebooting, the system was in Rescue mode. I hate when this happens.

Apparently, I had mistakenly enabled “BlueTooth.” Upon rebooting the system was looking for the Bluetooth files to no avail. Prior to this, I had logged in as root using the root password and used the journalctl command. This command allowed me to review the systemd’s logs. That’s when I discovered the “BlueTooth” issue. A few commands more and I was able to restore the system.

With this problem behind, I started to think about back-up. Therefor to resolve future situations I installed the rsync which allows me to create a backup into a remote device. Rsync is nothing more than a utility, which efficiently transfers and synchronizes files between a computer and an internal or external hard drive. Rsync also allows one create back-ups remote networked storage devices or other computers. I’m not going to discuss in full details what rsync does, this is a subject you can easily search using your favorite search engine. However, backups are important and do save you from losing data.

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Linspire is Back!

Holly Macaroni! Linspire is Back! This was one of my favorite Debian/Linux based OS back then, if I recall dates to 2001. Linspire was and is again a commercial operating system. IT seems they have been back since 2007. I was not aware of this. To my understanding it’s based on Debian GNU/Linux and Ubuntu. Back in the days it was owned by Linspire, Inc, and then later acquired by Xandros OS. Currently Linspire is owned PC/OpenSystems LLC.

One of it’s catchy sales point was the beautiful boxes advertised on-line like Linspire 5., and Linspire CNR. Then for some reason, they dropped out, and left a lot Linspire users hanging. See, back then, there was other good distros like Mandriva and Xandros. However, these two had the same death as Linspire, they dropped out. I was heavily into Linspire. I believed in their business mission and supported them. I wonder if they are going to be around for a long, and I mean a long time to come, or are they going to batch out again.

Back then, Linspire, had some very good points, like the “one-click” install. It also had a great support community. I hope they come and do the same thing again. However, this time around, I will not download and install this OS. I may try later (in a few months) in a virtual box to see what they have done. In the mean time I’m going to sit on the side-lines and watch their business progress.

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Pantheon Desktop on Debian

Today, I decided to install a new desktop. I have always been a KDE/GNOME desktop user. However, I have used other desktops, I always stay with what I know and what I’m used to.

The Pantheon desktop has been around for some time. I have used this desktop on and off on some of my Linux Desktops installation. This desktop environment was originally developed for the Elementary operating system, another Linux derivative. Personally, I have never tried this distribution.

Since there are no official desktop packages for Debian, I had to use the instructions published in LinuxConfig.org. Thus, to install this desktop, click the following link: How to Install the Pantheon Desktop on Debian This on-line article written by ‘Nick Congleton’ will guide you from beginning till end to install this awesome desktop. I say that Pantheon has a similar look to Mac OSx. On a closing notes, an on-line found on FossLinux, “Pantheon – Everything you need to know about the elementary OS desktop,” say that Pantheon desktop may have issues with some of the other distros as it is build specifically for Elementary OS. I’ve it installed with Debian 10 Buster., as of this writing so far, its working good.

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Open Media Vault

This is a first one for me. I’m writing this blog using my cell phone’s voice recognition app. I’ve have tried voice recognition years ago. It was not perfect, but today, it’s near perfect. I had only to do minor editing. However, this is not the point of this article.

In this article, I would like to discuss something. Something, new to me, because I didn’t have any knowledge of Open Medial Vault. I always knew and know about “FreeNas.” FreeNas, it’s FreeNAS is a free, open-source network-attached storage server software. FreeNas is based on FreeBSD and uses the OpenZFS file system. However, FreeNas is not what I’m here to talk about today.

I here to write about Open Media Vault(openmdiavault). As I mentioned last week, I was in the middle of installing the Amahi home sever. I have done this installation a few time. However, I have to say, that I’m not impress with Amahi. However, please don’t take me wrong, I do like it, but it’s not my thing. Actually, I never got anywhere with it. In fact, I dropped the Amahi home server set up.

I completely erased the installation and decided to install open media vault (openmdiavault) instead. This article is about OpenMedialVault. In fact I have to say that I was not aware of this server software. I learned about OpenMediaVault from The YouTube, Techno Dad Life video blog.

As I just mentioned I dropped the Amahi home server set up and I never got anywhere with it. I completely erased the installation and decided to install open media vault (openmdiavault) instead. The set-up was straight forward, without any problems.

The Open Media Vault was straight forward and it was up and running within 5 to 10 minutes. Below is a screen shot of the login screen.

Going back to the installation. In actuality, as I just mentioned, I used the Techno Dad Life, YouTube’s video blog installation instructions which turned out to be quite good. I do recommend “Techno Dad Life,” thereforee if you are thinking of using OpenMediaVault, I suggest you take a look at Techno Dad’s life blog.

The title for this particular video blog is “Openmediavault 4 Install and Complete Setup: Current Version.” In Techno Dad’s video blog he takes you step-by-step through the Installation process, from beginning to end., (take a look at the screen shot below of the main screen). He offers very good tips, such as how to get the share ready,. Basically by the end of the video you should be able to do your have and own an Open Media Server installation.

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8Gb to Amahi

Yesterday, I’ve completed the Amahi Home Server Install.  However, the previous installation was incomplete, due to lack of memory.  I had an issue with the final installation process.  The final process of the installations runs an internal configuration, I believe this part of the installation process pre-configures the server shares. However, in my case with only 2Gb of Ram, the process took longer than expected.  I had turned off the the computer and aborted the installation. I had to scramble and purchase 8Gb of DDR2 memory, which took a few days to arrive. 

Amahi is software operating system based on Linux that runs on a dedicated central computer.  When we say dedicated, it means it will act and work like a server to your home network.  This server basically will handle your entertainment, storage and other centralized home computers needs. It will also act a Dynamic host controller, (DHCP), therefore you can have the server act like a router.

Once the memory arrived, I added the new memory, and reinitiated the installation from the beginning.  Within a few minutes I had a fully operational, Intranet ready Amahi home server with all of its pre-configure shares.  The developers recommend minimum of 1Gb.  However, I do not recommend you try to install Amahi Home Server with only 1Gb.   Whenever possible always ad a minimum of 8Gb, the installation and subsequent OS processes will run smoothly.

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Events and Notifications

The ClearOS server has an events and notifications app, that its quite handy. This app provides an interface for other apps to listen for events three types of events, informational, warnings and critical. These events are the internal and external events that occur in real-time in the server. You can view them understand the servers health in terms of security.

As home server administrator is imperative and very important that you constantly review the events and notifications. You can create bulk reports or e-mail notifications. These events and notifications alert you of certain illegal events that may be taking place. Therefore, you can immediately take remedial actions like creating block list. Stay alert!

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Memory is a Factor

Either, I’m out of touch with the realities of a server install or things have changed with time and I just happen to miss something. The minimum server install specifications (back in the days) were something like a 512MB or 1Gb of Ram with a lower-end processor. Today we are looking at a minimum of something like a 1.4Ghz 64-bit processor, 512 MB of RAM with a an estimated disk space of 32 GB.

The reality is far from the truth. I’ve just completed an Amahi home server install with an 64-bit AMD processor and 2Gb of RAM. The install was successful, however, the performance was less than desirable with a 2Gb of Ram. I turned around and decided to try Free NAS., to my surprise during the installation Free NAS displayed an error message – “You have 2 GB of Ram, Free NAS requires a minimum of 8Gb.” What the …

This left me thinking that the 64Bit PCs requires more memory than a regular 32-bit. Since, I’ve been living in a 32-bit world for who knows how long. Frist, thing, RAM to me was like limited in the sense of the amount that I’m accustomed to work with. Thus having more ram is necessary.

I should have verified the specifications prior to instilling the software. With all that said, memory is a factor in today’s high powered Linux distributions. Just about every Linux distributor has moved in support of the higher 64-bit CPU’s and from what I’ve seen is that the norm is a minimum of 8Gb. Keep, this in mind if you will be doing your own server install start with a reasonable amount of memory that will allow the sever software to operate and not create bottle-neck.

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Amahi Server Install

Yesterday, one of my work colleagues gave me an old cannibalized computer case. After a good clean-up of the case, I replaced the motherboard’s CMOS battery, added a new hard disk, and installed Amahi Server. The memory battery (aka motherboard, CMOS, real-time clock (RTC), clock battery) is generally a CR2032 lithium coin type cell. Amahi is a media, home and app server software known for its easy-to-use user interface. Amahi has the best media, backup and web apps for small networks.

This is not my first Amahi install. I’ve have installed and tested this home-server software several times. My first Amahi server install was through a virtual console, it worked flawlessly. The second time around it was directly into a pc and this third time around into another pc.

The installation is straight forward, once configured, it will reboot several times until it gets all of its dependencies and packages installed. Once all that its completed then you access the server via a clients web browser. The rest is history as the server is very easy to configure. I’ll come back later with more on this install and how it will end up.