Why Linux is a preferred choice for Techies

Talking about nerds and geeks whomsoever concern 😉 Linux is definitely a way to go for a plethora of reasons. The free and open source nature and a strong code base makes it all the lovable reasons for a wannabe techie to adore Linux. Now wait I know there are plenty of Mac folks out there who are also techies and perhaps Windows users too but we are not considering this here for time being at-least as firstly this is a blog powered on open source tech and written on Linux OS and secondly Mac’s are shiny exhilarating flamboyant toys which costs too much and hey those Windows well they are Windows after all and take your call now, we ain’t talking on Mac and Windows, only Linux here folks so here we go:

Flavors, yummy makes me hungry:

When we talk about Linux and it’s ecosystem, boy there are not one or two but perhaps gazillions of flavors which we know and call them as distros or distributions in a way. From forks to respins, we have all the fancy bells and whistles which keep on blowing and sparking finesse here and there in the so called Linux ecosystem.

Choices, well I’ve to think and Google perhaps

Having the freedom of choice is great but techies are smart and they do some re-searching here and there over the internet and find the best or the most preferred way of there computing chore thing well suited for them and here is were we know Linux wins. From desktop choices to packages, front-ends and back-ends, well i mean the look and feel right from the terminal windows till the GUI and rest nitty gritty.

Beautiful and Ugly perhaps, bring em’ on

Well there are distros which are aesthetically so beautiful and pleasing to the eye. And there are some of them which does the job well and are oriented for specific purposes of just getting the task/work done for the end user and does little or maybe nothing to make things pleasing but finally the Linux kernel r0cks!

Faster then the fastest

Yay, Linux is fast, damn fast IMO it’s fastest OS the world has ever seen. Till this date Windows stands no match in terms of speed and i know Mac’s are blazing fast but they are Unix and matured than Linux, wait Linux still wins the race and leads here again this is my opinion here folks.

Security, well R0ck solid isn’t it

Who can argue on Linux security, well i can’t after using it for like a decade or more little bit. It’s just too good and no match in front of other technologies which techies would prefer in there computing chores where freedom and security is just unparalleled and goes pretty smooth.

The Future is here, it’s Linux or a fork of this?

Well this might be my prophecy in my opinion here. Even though things evolve with time Linux key principles shall always be implemented and considered for it’s true openness and transparency.

Conclusion:

Linux Rocks for me and shall always be, i adore this piece of tech and use it in my daily driver computing chore and I’d never felt that anything would or shall replace it sooner or later, but I’m open to my readers thoughts and constructive feedback on this which shall be appreciated.

Happy LinuXing!

G Suite vs Libreoffice vs Microsoft Office

Here, let us talk about the clash of the titans in office productivity software and for some primary reasons we’re not considering any other productivity similar software like those not mentioned here Apache Open office, WPS office so on and so forth for the sake of writing. Now let us see one by one and then finally let us dive into the conclusion.

G Suite

  • G Suite is a suite of cloud computing, productivity and collaboration tools, software and products developed by Google Cloud, first launched on August 28, 2006 as Google Apps for Your Domain.
  • It includes all the necessary tool which are of every day use as the name suggests and they have been given there dedicated/respected apps on mobile platforms for both iOS & Android.
  • Updates automatically in the cloud, so no need of human/user intervention for updating the web app all the time every single day, however this does not apply to the mobile platform, even though the updates thrown are rare and almost in a months time frame approx.
  • Runs and performs excellent on Google Chrome browser as it’s a Google product after all.
  • Has the ability to save things automatically(auto save) in few seconds as seen in Gmail the popular email client from Google.
  • Blazing fast thanks to Web kit(the rendering engine used in the Chrome browser) and Google’s own proprietary technologies, this office suite has some serious snappiness as ran and tested on Chrome.
  • Has all the ability to export and import a given document in any format as required and also export to PDF is something really handy which I’ve found to be impressive in order to make resume and other non-editable PDF’s in my opinion.
  • Can be used offline in airplane mode anywhere anytime either on smartphones, desktops and laptops.
  • Has this cool ability ti share the documents/spreadsheets etc to others and thus enabling real time collaboration.

Libreoffice

  • A free and open source software which has it’s own open source extensions and formats to save and edit files.
  • LibreOffice is a free and open-source office suite, a project of The Document Foundation. It was forked in 2010 from OpenOffice.org, which was an open-sourced version of the earlier StarOffice.
  • All in one Dashboard this is pretty cool thing as seen on Windows/macOS, even though Linux has it’s dedicated apps but this is something which impresses me as being an open source enthusiasts.
  • It’s getting matured more and day by day better as the newer versions keep coming. This is in contrast with MS Office as they are feature rich pretty late in the business and cost’s a ton of money.
  • The newer version has support for Flatpack’s as well as Snapcraft as seen on Linux.

Microsoft Office

  • Basically a closed source software so private use is limited even though pirated copies of it exists.
  • Heavily oriented for Commercial purposes and always works offline, even though needs a sign-in from hotmail Id or Microsoft Id.
  • Updates are available only for the paid users that is the subscribers who buy the license copy of this software and requires bandwidth of the user in order to fetch the latest update’s.
  • Even though this software is considered to be an industry standard it has a lot and perhaps a tough competition ahead seeing the pricing and features overall.

Conclusion:

Office tools are now common and maybe browser is the name of the game which people prefer than an offline native solution but all the above mentioned tools have there heads in place and have a considerate amount of market capture in there own forte. It’s early day who knows somedays there shall be a SaaS war as seen in the 90’s so called browser war between IE and Netscape.

Thanks for reading till here, In my opinion i prefer something where online wins me the game hence G Suite works for me anytime, let me know your thoughts below.

Grub/Lilo bootloader fix in Mint & Ubuntu on dual/multiple boot systems

Warning:- This Article is not recommended for an average user as things may break and do not try this on your mission critical systems, there is no guarantee that this will work well, but give it a shot if you like but do not blame me for this ;-). I’ve found the exact commands as mentioned below here for reference I’ve considered sda5 as my concerned targeted partition, your mileage may vary so input with caution. These commands have been taken fro Makulu Linux forum and are working at the time of writing, however be prepared to mess around with your system IMO, have fun 🙂

Input these commands one by one after reading the above warning, strictly after entering into the recovery mode and do not miss or change the order as mentioned below:

sudo chroot "/mnt/boot-sav/sda5" dpkg --configure -a
sudo chroot "/mnt/boot-sav/sda5" apt-get install -fy
sudo chroot "/mnt/boot-sav/sda5" apt-get purge -y grub*-common shim-signed

If you’re in luck, go for this 😉

sudo chroot "/mnt/boot-sav/sda5" apt-get install -y grub-efi-amd64-signed shim-signed linux-headers-generic linux-signed-generic

===================================================================================An error occurred during the repair.

A new file (/var/log/boot-repair/20200401_094847/Boot-Info_20200401_0948.txt) will open in your text viewer.

In case you still experience boot problem, indicate its content to:
boot.repair@gmail.com

You can now reboot your computer.
Please do not forget to make your BIOS boot on sda2/EFI/makululinux/shimx64.efi file!

If your computer reboots directly into Windows, try to change the boot order in your BIOS.(note this is applicable if Windows is installed).

If your BIOS does not allow to change the boot order, change the default boot entry of the Windows bootloader.
For example you can boot into Windows, then type the following command in an admin command prompt:
bcdedit /set {bootmgr} path \EFI\makululinux\shimx64.efi

That’s all, have fun hacking !

AppImage – Linux apps that run anywhere

Linux apps that run anywhere

“As a user, I want to download an application from the original author, and run it on my Linux desktop system just like I would do with a Windows or Mac application.””As an application author, I want to provide packages for Linux desktop systems, without the need to get it ‘into’ a distribution and without having to build for gazillions of different distributions.”

AppImage is an universal software package format that can be installed on any Linux OS without going through the traditional way of installation. It doesn’t require any root permission to install the software.

To install An AppImage, all you need to do is make it executable and run it. It is a compressed image with all the dependencies and libraries needed to run the desired software.

So there is no extraction, no installation needed. You can uninstall it by deleting it. Just compare it to .exe in Windows that can run without installing it.

Some notable features of AppImage are:

  • It can run on various different Linux distributions also on not so popular like Gentoo, Arch, Suse etc.
  • There’s no need for installing and compiling software
  • There’s no need for root permission and it’s Portable
  • Software is uninstalled just by deleting the AppImage file itslef

Since an AppImage is not “installed”, you don’t need to “uninstall” it. Just delete the AppImage file and the application is gone. Additionally you may want to remove menu entry by deleting the desktop file from $HOME/.local/share/applications/.

Files and directories with names starting with a full stop (dot) (.example) are hidden – you might need to turn hidden files visible. You can probably find it somewhere in the settings of the file manager.

Using Terminal

Open any Terminal of your choice, head over to the app image directory and run:

chmod u+x <AppImageFileName>

Then you can now double click to run it, just like any other files on Windows.

Android Security – Things to do once your device is compromised

We all know that in this world of internet connectivity, things can easily get compromised, and yes as the title suggests we are talking about Android devices. Now we know that every 8 out of the 10 smartphones on the planet is an Android, in real life it’s more than 85% and the number keeps on growing.

Android by far is secure in nature as it has inbuilt features that makes it formidable since it’s Linux inherited after all, i mean Android is nothing but a Linux kernel on which there are fancy tech things like SE-Linux etc, well I ain’t going too deep here but now shall start to mention few ways of making Android or rather getting the same old feeling that one gets before his/her phone got hacked, yeah i understand that. The bad vibes and the frustration you have when your device is not working smoothly or up-to the mark.

Use AV software’s:-

Yeah those antivirus software, use the free ones, it can be anything or any good old AV which can or is your fav, yeah windows fans i do get you antivirus’s does help in the Android world well sometimes, so get one and you’re good to go. Quick hint:- use the ones most popular like Quick Heal if you’re residing in India or Kaspersky, Avast Total Security. Make sure if you’re opting in for a paid solution then you’re secured the most as the complete suite makes sense here, however free ones sometimes do the magic well too in detecting the heuristics and the false positives.

Use Anti-malware software tools like the popular and my favorite “Malwarebytes” which is also the first line of defense for any malwares like Rootkits, Worms and also damn those nasty Ransomware’s too.

The other thing is “if you do not trust any link simply do not click” as this is the golden rule of thumb.

Avoid opening any suspicious emails coming from an unknown source and if you receive any text messages, SMS’s etc the short links make sure to use or confirm where the complete links finally redirects to and if possible you can quickly find out the origin here. Some services worth looking for are here. http://checkshorturl.com/ or https://www.expandurl.net/ can come handy for the day.

Also Scan the app’s from the inbuilt Google play store the feature is known as “Google Play Protect” it’s free and very reliable and make sure to turn off the installation from third party sources and also do not install the apps which you do not trust, even if it’s coming from a friend or a close acquaintances.

If nothing works out of the box then just take the backup of as much as you can and then simply format or factory reset your Android device. This shall be the final and the last resort but make sure you get almost 100% backup if possible again this is in theory but golden rule of backup shall be adhered to and be followed and make this as a practice.

The Future OS: Unikernel

Even though in the server regime, Linux is considered to be a rock solid OS. But considering the amount of cyber attacks happening all around the world and the hardware maturity along with the software tools which hackers are able to exploit and fetch over the dark web, things are getting nasty for Linux perhaps. Now let me tell you from last 50 years the server OS has not changed much and even though Unix and Linux like OS’s do co-exist and have comparatively huge amount of market share in the server region being adamant there is always a hope for new technologies to arise.

Now how can we change this let us see and understand the basic working of a VM and then a Linux host OS and the containers and finally let us talk about Unikernel and there various other distro’s used in the industry which are very rare of-course and let me explain this below:

So what the hell is a Unikernel?

Unikernel is nothing but an application that has been churned down to a small, secure, light-weight virtual machine which eliminates general purpose operating systems such as Linux or Windows. Unikernels aims to be a much more secure system than Linux. It does this through several chores and thrusts. Has nothing to do with the users, running a single process per VM, and limiting the amount of code that is incorporated into each VM. This means that there are no users and no shell to login to and, more importantly, you can’t run more than the one program you want to run inside. Now imagine there is no ssh you cannot see the logs even though you do a shell exploit, infact there is no shell inside this. sysdig, tcpdump and mysql-client is not there at all, even a hacker cannot apt-get install any packages etc by remote controlling the targetted machine. No database, hence nothing. This makes it almost a hack proof OS even similar to those of static site generators out there like Jekyll and Hugo.

So what’s next you might be wondering well, just try to get this running on AWS or Google Cloud via installing the OSv or the Unik OS. Happy deploying…

Btrfs my new choice after ext4

After toying around with Fedora, I suddenly came across this new sweet piece of file system and was wondering what was the benefit of this and how can this be useful to me from a Linux enthusiast point of view. It’s been like appropriately a decade since I’ve given up ext3 to ext4 the latest and perhaps the preferred file system as this was default in most of the OS’s out there, wherever and whenever I was distro-hopping. So According to Google:

The maximum partition size of a btrfs file system is 16 exbibytes, and the maximum file size is also 16 exbibytes. Considering that btrfs will be able to span over multiple hard drives, it’s a good thing that it supports 16 times more drive space than ext4.

Now the point is I’m just using this for my own purpose and not running any organizational chores or say mission critical workloads. So what is this btrfs and why it’s magnetic for me, so let me tell you. According to the wiki,

As Fedora is a bleeding edge software delivering machine and I’m super duper fan of this as things hardly seems to go wrong here. I thought let’s give this a shot and let me tell you i was pretty impressed on this on Wayland running latest Gnome 3.3X shell and was blazing fast on my laptop. Btrfs is on a different level compared to Ext4. Ext4 is a “pure filesystem” while Btrfs has disk and volume management built-in. You can’t have an Ext4 filesystem that spans across multiple disks without some dirty tricks (that still do not accomplish what you want). On the other hand Btrfs can do it without a hitch because it was designed to do that. Many other features such as checksums, snapshots, raid capabilities etc are also features that set Btrfs apart from other filesystems, that is the point which i wanna put forth firmly.

So my fellow readers give Btrfs a shot and forget ext4, it has some cool system rollback and snapshot features as well. Let me know if your distro supports this and your personal experiences in the comments sections below.

You’re buttery-smooth btrfs, yay! 🙂