Monday, September 19, 2016

the Perfect Ubuntu 16.04 LTS desktop

So you've just installed Ubuntu 16.04 LTS desktop (64bit of course)  what next?

well, of course you are going to install chrome, dropbox, geany, lastpass plugins,  and probably some other apps, but to make the system really sing I have some things I always do.

Here you go:

1:  Gnome-Shell.  This is how I roll.  Why not just use the offical gnome ubuntu distro?  SHUT UP - that's why!  load a terminal:

     sudo apt-get install ubuntu-gnome-desktop

be sure to pick GDM3 (as opposed to lightDM) when prompted

2:  modify nautilus to show folders before files when browsing:

     launch dconf editor
     browse to org > gnome > preferences  
     check the "sort-directories-first" option

3:  Install MS TTF fonts.  Yes I still do this, I just think the look better. load a terminal
     sudo apt-get install ttf-mscorefonts-installer
Note:  I've seen this fail on numerous occasions.  It appears that the download location of the fonts has been less than reliable.  So these may not be around forever

4:  I also prefer to use the topicons extension, which moves icons for things like dropbox to the top bar.
Note: This appears to work better in firefox over chrome.

5: Install VLC
     sudo apt-get install vlc
if you have a system that has a DVD drive, you can add restricted DVD support by following these instructions.

I always load the time and date settings, and date show, setting the format to am/pm.
I also make some standard changes using gnome tweak tool.  I'll detail those later.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Shred Free Hard Drive Space in Windows

As you may know, when you delete something from your hard drive, you don't really delete it, the space is just marked as available for use.  So until you over-write it with some other file, it still sits there on the drive and can be recovered using utilities designed for this purpose.

The good news is that you can use the Windows utility cipher to overwrite the free space on your NTFS drive, thus truly wiping out those deleted files.

From the command line:

cipher.exe /w:C

Where "C" can be any drive letter you want to wipe the free space on.

More detail here:

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Ubuntu, Avahi, and .local Domains

So, today I completed set-up on a test domain for our network. 

Because I'm suuuper nice, I figured I should make some DNS entries in our production server for this new test domain.  That way the users of this domain wouldn't need to remember the IPs in play.

This was my first experience trying to remote a machine on a .local domain from my ubuntu box.  It did not go well - I could not get the names to resolve to IPs even though they all work fine for windows clients.  Turns out that .local does not play nice with Ubuntu.

Avahi is a zero config networking implementation, similar to apple's Bonjour.  So long story short, it is useless to me.  It turns out the the .local TLD gets used by Avahi, and here in lies my trouble.


Edit the : /etc/nsswitch.conf file:

Comment out the line:

     hosts: file mdns4_minimal [NOTFOUND=return] dns mdns4

And add this in its place:

     hosts: files dns

doesn't even need a reboot to start immediately resolving .local names from your DNS server.

Note:  in case this is not clear, this will break Avahi