Virtualbox, Ubuntu and USB

Have you tried to install VirtualBox on a Debian-based system and had all kinds of problems? Typically it all starts with “sudo apt install virtualbox” and then you realize that you can’t install the Oracle VM VirtualBox Extension Pack. You can’t see any of your USB devices. You can’t update the software…UGH

Here’s a fix. If you already installed using the terminal, you can first “sudo apt remove virtualbox” and then “sudo apt autoremove”. Then bring up your web browser and go to the official Oracle VM VirtualBox website. From there, you can download the .deb package. Launch it and install.

Once your program is installed, open VirtualBox and navigate in the toolbar to File/Preferences and then to the Extensions icon. Make sure the Extension Pack is installed. If not, you can download it and install with the ‘plus’ icon on the right.

Now you can create your virtual machine using ‘New’ icon or alternatively, use the “Add” icon to add an existing machine from a folder. To get your USB device working with your virtual machine, either right click on the VM and go to settings, or select the “Settings” icon to the right of it. Toward the bottom of the icon panel on the left, you will see ‘USB’. Select that and you should see USB 1.1, 2.0, and 3.0 options. Pick the relevant one and then the “+” icon on the right. You should see a list of options. Once you add the USB device, it should be available once you boot your virtual machine. Enjoy!

OBS Studio on Raspberry Pi 4

Here is an extremely well documented guide on installing OBS Studio on your Raspberry Pi 4. I tried it and was successful in stalling. I even had the video driver error and was able to overcome it with “MESA_GL_VERSION_OVERRIDE=3.3 obs” as the guide suggested.

The only issue I found was that the icon under “Sound & Video” does not work. You have to type “MESA_GL_VERSION_OVERRIDE=3.3 obs” in a terminal for OBS Studio to work.

Alternately…you can install piKiss, which has an easy way to install OBS Studio. There’s a guide here. Once installed, navigate to “Multimedia”, and then “OBS”. With piKiss, you can also install many games, emulators, tweaks, multimedia programs and more. Very interesting program!

Pi-hole DNS Server

Vote For Your Favorite New Pi-hole Logo - Pi-hole®: A ...
Network-wide Ad Blocking

I have had a Pi-hole set up near my cable modem for at least 1-2 years now? Time moves differently for me for the last 18 months. Regardless, my Pi-hole device just sits there, filtering out ads from the network. I highly recommend setting up a Pi-hole for your home. It’s cheap, easy, effective and efficient!

What is it?
A cheap Raspberry Pi computer with an SD card. Gets power from a phone charger and connects with a simple Ethernet cable. Runs passively without any fans at about 37 degrees C.

How do you use it?
You can set it up as a Wifi source, or you can add the IP address in your wifi settings for DNS server. Use the same IP address in your web browser to see a web interface. From there you can modify the whitelist/blacklist and see in real time how many ads are being rejected.

Pi-Hole on Docker using OMV Raspberry Pi 4 "Network Wide ...

How do you set it up?
There are many guides. Here is a good one:
https://www.instructables.com/Pi-Hole-Setup-Guide/

Essentially, what is involved?
You flash a linux OS for Raspberry Pi onto your SD card using something like the Balena Etcher. I prefer “dietpi”, which is a low resource Debian distro.
https://dietpi.com/
A simple 8GB or higher card will suffice. Then you install Pi-hole on it.

How do you maintain it?
Every now and then, it’s good to log into it with SSH and run a “sudo apt update/upgrade” (if you choose a Debian distro). That’s it.

I have over 4 million domains on my blocklist and it makes a HUGE difference when I load websites without Pi-hole DNS configured in my wifi settings.

Bonus: You can SSH into it and install lynx, mc and any other useful linux terminal programs and have fun with it. As a double-bonus, you could even host web services like subsonic or ftp using it!

Big Tech Monopolies

If you do not like the Big Tech stranglehold on the economy, your privacy and your free speech, there’s only one way to take that control back and it might be uncomfortable. But if you care at all about winning in this fight, it’s worth it. Here’s how:

Your wallet, your data, and your time.

Don’t give them your money, access to your data and any of your time! They will die on the vine. This means not having/using a google account. This means carrying a flip phone when you travel outside the home. This means not using apps on IOS and Android that have full access to your contact list, camera, SMS messages, etc. This means canceling your social media accounts. By all means, never give these oligarchs your money! That includes cloud data usage, app purchases, online movie rentals, stock purchases, etc. If you say to yourself, “who cares, I have nothing to hide”, you will fall prey to their Artificial Intelligence as they collect *all* of your data, from your intimate sleep patterns, political/religious beliefs, sexual orientation, shopping habits, etc. They will use all this information against you in many ways and control every aspect of your life!

Spend your money, and time somewhere else. Do business with people and companies you trust. Ditch IOS/Android “apps” and start using your browser if you can’t give up your “smart” phone. The Brave Browser is a great one. Start using a good VPN like the one offered by Proton VPN or Private Internet Access (not sponsored, just ones I use and trust). Use Linux on your home computer, even if that means having one computer for business and a Linux computer for personal use. We can fight the big tech monopoly but it only starts when we divorce ourselves from them.

Install Brave Browser in Debian-based system like Ubuntu

How Does Brave Browser on Windows Compare?

Brave is a great privacy-focused browser with built-in (optional) crypto functionality. It blocks trackers and ads without an extension and it’s the only browser I know of that blocks Youtube ads. Very useful!

There’s only an X86 version as of now, so it will not work with Raspberry Pi yet. I am running it on my work iphone and my de-googled android.

sudo apt install apt-transport-https curl gnupg

curl -s https://brave-browser-apt-release.s3.brave.com/brave-core.asc | sudo apt-key --keyring /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/brave-browser-release.gpg add -

echo "deb [arch=amd64] https://brave-browser-apt-release.s3.brave.com/ stable main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/brave-browser-release.list

sudo apt update

sudo apt install brave-browser

Migrate from Windows to Ubuntu with 3 lines in a terminal

You can obviously tailor this list to your needs, but with this post you can install at once these programs in a Debian-based distribution (x86 or Raspberry Pi!):
FTP, audio editor/streamer/player/tagger, office suite, radio streamer, remote desktop client, video editor, web browser, social media, disc utility, bit torrent client, email client, virtual machine, photo editor, CAD, CD burner, comic/ebook reader

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

sudo apt install filezilla audacity vlc rhythmbox thunderbird lynx mc krita libreoffice brasero gparted picard freecad transmission remmina obs-studio kid3-qt sound-juicer snapd p7zip-full p7zip-rar

sudo snap install freac foliate telegram-desktop

At the end of the page is an explanation of which programs do what.
Note: Every program on this list works on almost any Debian-based Raspberry Pi distribution, including Kali, Ubuntu Mate, Ubuntu Desktop, Raspberry PI OS

Tip for games and tweaks:
There’s a CLI program called pi-kiss that can install multiple games, emulators, system configurations, tweaks, tools, scripts, etc.

curl -sSL https://git.io/JfAPE | bash

Launch the program:
cd /root/piKiss
./piKiss.sh

Continue reading “Migrate from Windows to Ubuntu with 3 lines in a terminal”

Install nifty Raspberry Pi Imager program on any Debian distro

The Raspberry Pi Image program that comes with Raspberry Pi OS allows you to install an OS (similar to Etcher but with Pi images incorporated into it) to SD card, SSD, etc. Has lots of stock images, including Retropie, several Ubuntu variants, Raspberry Pi OS and more. You can also flash a custom image and wipe drives.

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade
sudo apt install snapd
sudo snap install rpi-imager

Protonmail in eMail client

So far, Protonmail has evaded us with eMail client support.

Now the option exists via the Protonmail Bridge, which is available for Mac OSX, Windows 10 and GNU/Linux.

Here’s how I set it up in Ubuntu:
From the protonmail.com/bridge/install page, click on the GNU/Linux to download the .deb file. Double-click on it and launch the software manger. Install.
Unfortunately, right now the only email client that works with this Protonmail Bridge is Thunderbird, which is a Mozilla product. I had previously deleted this app out of protest of Mozilla’s anti-speech behavior but since it’s free and open source, and the only option for now, I will have to live with it. If you do not have this program, in a terminal, type:

sudo apt install thunderbird

Before you setup Thunderbird, you will need to launch and configure the Protonmail Bridge. All of the instructions for configuration are here: https://protonmail.com/bridge/install

Then to setup Thunderbird, go here for instructions:
https://protonmail.com/bridge/thunderbird

My64 – mini ITX system in a *new* c64 case

This is a project that I definitely WILL do early next year:

I thought the whole setup was great except for one annoying thing: I don’t like cables coming out the sides of anything.  I know this is standard procedure – even a macbook pro costing thousands of dollars does this. Would have been nice to have the power on the back. But this is a clean setup, looks great and isn’t too expensive, relatively speaking.
When I got to the end and saw what the function keys did I almost spit my coffee.
Outstanding!
The mainboard/CPU mini-itx combo was really interesting. I didn’t know those existed, especially at that low price. I tried to find the board and they are out of stock everywhere but even better – the highest end version of the board is available for only $120:
Now that ARM processors are coming to the market for desktop computing, I wonder what kind of mini-computing setups we will see in the near future. I can picture something that looks like a 5″x5″x1″ shape that people shove behind a monitor that has Windows 10 and an SSD drive for under $200. We’ll see…