Category Archives: efficiency in Ubuntu

3 steps to install DNScrypt to improve your privacy – Ubuntu version

Also if you use OpenDNS to improve your standard of privacy, you are not protected by “last mile” dangers but you can boost your security installing DNScrypt on your digital device. DNScrypt “works by encrypting all DNS traffic between the user and OpenDNS, preventing any spying, spoofing or man-in-the-middle attacks”.

DNScrypt “is a protocol that authenticates communications between a DNS client and a DNS resolver” and it “is not a replacement for a VPN, as it only authenticates DNS traffic, and doesn’t prevent “DNS leaks”, or third-party DNS resolvers from logging your activity”.

For this reason you have to be conscious that DNScrpt is just a -very good- improvement of your privacy but not the definitive solution to all your privacy concerns.

DNScrypt is so versatile that you can install it on every kind of device you prefer. In fact it is possible to download DNScrypt for servers, IOS, OSX, Android, Windows and Linux computers (DNScrypt-proxy version). Obviously the installation and setup will vary a little depending the OS you installed on your device.

Concept-Skyscraper-Feeds-on-Air-Pollution-Uses-It-to-Grow-433607-2

Image from softpedia.com

Here we are talking about DNScrypt installation on Ubuntu.

For this purpose I suggest to use the Terminal that allows you to install DNScrypt i just 3 steps:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:anton+/dnscrypt
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install dnscrypt-proxy

Last but not least, you need to interface the Internet traffic of your computer through the DNScrypt-proxy. For this reason you have to Edit your Network Configuration and add the address 127.0.0.2 to the “DNS Servers” line as for the below screenshot:

DNSCrypt

Now you can start DNScrypt just typing:

sudo dnscrypt-proxy -R opendns -a 127.0.0.2:53 -u okturtles

Where, in my specific case, okturtles is the name of the remote DNS resolver I decided to use. I chose that specific risolver from the list I found into into my computer after DNScrypt-proxy installation:

/usr/share/dnscrypt-proxy/dnscrypt-resolvers.csv

As usual in similar situations, you may want to spend another couple of minutes to configure your computer to start DNScrypt at the computer boot. Open the Session and Startup manager through the desktop Dash and Add this specific command to the Application Autostart menu:

sudo dnscrypt-proxy -R opendns -a 127.0.0.2:53 -u dnscrypt

Synkron: a flexible & powerful way to synchronize your files or folders on Linux – An “encrypted” example for security and privacy reasons

Sometimes it is really easy, other times you waste your time. A good synchronization between files or folders is something you need everyday but it could become a nightmare if you miss something.

In my specific case I need to automate a synchronization between a folder (F1) where I usually save my office files (Documents) with a second folder contained, for security reasons, in an encrypted volume/partition (F2). This last folder (F2) automatically synchronize its content with a third folder (F3), located in the same encrypted volume/partition, that is the client folder of a remote storage hosting (F4).

This also means that when I am out of the office and I add a file in the online storage host (F4) the document is automatically copied to the client folder of the remote storage hosting and to the folder located in an encrypted volume/partition (F2 and F3).

Moreover, I need to erase the Documents folder F1 as soon as it is synchronized with its mirror F2 in the encrypted volume.

The described scenario is common in the everyday working life and it is conceptually not hard to solve… in theory… When I tried to set up the above described operations using grsync on Fedora and Ubuntu I had big problems to obtain an acceptable result.

Many times the synchronization was unidirectional and I was not able to run it properly just using grsync still I found one right solution with Synkron. Synkron  is a multi platform software (Linux, OSX, Windows and portable) written in C++ that is really flexible for all multitasking synchronization needs.

First of all, Synkron is multi-tab and this is a winning features because it let you to “slice” any problem (synchronization matter) into simple, easy to solve, tasks.

In my example I determined the two Folders I wanted to sync – F1 & F2) and  decided thath both folders had to be considered as Master by the software.

Then I used the Advanced Menu and I chose to “Move contents to Folder 2, leaving folder 1 empty” and to “Store database in a text file” for my convenience (F1 to F2 deleting F1 contents after synchronization).

At this point, I opened a second synchronization tab where I selected two folders (F2 to F3 sync) and I also asked Synkron to “Synchronize hidden files and folders” and to “Detect collisions”.

At this point I had obtained an acceptable solution to my initial task, simply dividing my problem into two separate operations.

Moreover, I’ld like to focus your attention on the fact that Synkron has a specific feature for multi-synchronizing three or more folders at the same tome. The tuning of this particular feature is really intuitive and you can also selected many of the different advanced options we described here above.

If you have complex synchronization needs and you have many tabs configured you can always choose what tabs you want to activate or deactivate using the “Sync folders” option you find in the upper part of each tabs. Another option for this specific issue is represented by the SyncView visualization that let ypu to have a quick general glimpse about the state of all the sync and multisync tabs.

Synkron has simply fantastic scheduling options that are able to solve any need you may have.

Furthermore you can decide to automatically synchronize your folder as soon as you launch Synkron.

You can also decide to automatically run Synkron at the startup but, in this case, you need to manually configure your Startup Menu.

As extra features you can always decide to create Blacklists that will exclude specific files, folders or extensions from the synchronization.

In addition you can define Filters by extensions to better refine your synchronization.

Last but not least, when you run Synkron you obtain a detailed report in real-time where you can check the state of operations by colors.

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Hibernate for Ubuntu

Since the Ubuntu 12.04 LTS the hibernate icon disappeared as possible option at the shutdown. It is not a big loss if you are not used to use (or overuse) it as I often do. Personally I think that the hibernate feature is really useful when you want to freeze your computer maintaining all the windows -and the work- you are working on at a precise moment. 

Ubuntu decided to “cut” this particular command from its GUI because it registered a remarkable number of problems caused by hardware conflicts in modern computers. 

If you use Ubuntu and you think that hibernate could till be useful for you (especially during busy working days), it is possible to insert again this specific feature as GUI on your Desktop.

First of all you have to test if your computer contains the right hardware for “hibernate” so open Terminal and type:

sudo pm-hibernate

The computer will hibernate itself but you have to reboot it to understand if hibernate worked properly in your case.

I hope (as it was for my PC) that all has gone well. In this case you can start to create the dedicated icon on your upper bar.

Before of starting it’s necessary to understand that the hibernate command will use the SWAP partition to save your temporarily data. Usually it is recommended to have a SWAP partition with, at least, the double of space of your RAM.

So I suggest to install Gparted to check the SWAP space and, only if necessary, increase your SWAP partition reducing the primary partition. Please, do this only after you safely backup all the data in your computer because this procedure could be risky if you are doing it for the first time and you have not enough experience:

sudo apt-get install gparted

Open a Terminal and install gedit and gksu (if you don’t have them already installed on your machine) typing:

sudo apt-get install gksu && sudo apt-get install gedit
Then type:
sudo gksu gedit /etc/polkit-1/localauthority/50-local.d/com.ubuntu.enable-hibernate.pkla
Now a blank gedit document, named enable-hibernate.pkla will appear on your screen.

Copy and paste the following text to “compile” it:

[Enable Hibernate]

Identity=unix-user:*

Action=org.freedesktop.upower.hibernate

ResultActive=yes

Save it and reboot your computer.

A new icon will appear on the right corner of the upper bar. When you click on it, a Terminal window will appear asking for the system password. Type it and click on Return and your PC will immediately hibernate. 

Good busy working days!

Video – Install Macbuntu on Ubuntu 11.04 by seaner992

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How to Make Your Ubuntu Desktop Look Like the One of Mac OS

If you are a fan of the design proposed by Apple for most of its operating systems, particularly Mac OS X, then there are a couple of things that you should take into consideration and some simple steps to follow. Therefore, you are advised to read the following information carefully in order to achieve the expected outcome in the shortest time.

There are two free pieces of software that can transform your Ubuntu desktop into one that looks identical to the one of Mac OS in no time. The Ubuntu version is called Macbuntu. First of all, you will need to install this program onto your local hard drive. Here is what you need to do for this step:

– If you are using Ubuntu 10.4 Lucid Lynx, you will need to open a new terminal and type the following lines into it:

$wget https://downloads.sourceforge.net/project/macbuntu/macbuntu-10.04/v2.2/Macbuntu-10.04.tar.gz -O /tmp/Macbuntu-10.04.tar.gz
$tar xzvf /tmp/Macbuntu-10.04.tar.gz -C /tmp
$cd /tmp/Macbuntu-10.04/
$./install.sh

– On the other hand, if Ubuntu 10.10 Maverik Meerkat or a similar version is installed in your system, you will need to use a different version of Macbuntu, which can be accessed by typing the following:

$wget https://downloads.sourceforge.net/project/macbuntu/macbuntu-10.10/v2.3/Macbuntu-10.10.tar.gz -O /tmp/Macbuntu-10.10.tar.gz
$tar xzvf /tmp/Macbuntu-10.10.tar.gz -C /tmp
$cd /tmp/Macbuntu-10.10/
$./install.sh

During the install process, you will be provided with the chance of choosing between different options. These are usually dependent on the different ways you wish your desktop to look like. Most of the choices will be based on your visual tastes, so make sure you choose according to them.

Finally, whenever you need to uninstall this special package for some reason you can follow the same procedure described above, with just an exception. Instead ./install.sh you will need to use the ./uninstall.sh command. AddThis

How to install Ubuntu 7.10 on a USB Key!

Ubuntu 7.10After only few days from the release of Ubuntu 7.10, the pendrivelinux.com has released the new manual to install this new version of the famous Linux distro on a USB key and we have posted a short but effective review about this new manual on our Linux Page (in Spanish). As usual the instruction contained on the site are very clear and simple to follow. We have been able to create our Ubuntu 7.10 Key in less than 40 minutes and without any particular problem. Unfortunately, we were not able to save the changes we had made to personalize our USB key but we really enjoy the possibilities offered by a so powerful OS as Ubuntu (if someone knows how to save the changes, please, post a comment – Thanks). Strongly recommended! AddThis mp3 link