Tag Archives: Ubuntu

Test your VPN through Terminal – Linux Tips


Do you use a VPN to connect to Internet and increase your privacy? If you are one of the many you would be sure that the VPN you are paying is really working properly.

You can always use, via browser, one of those dedicated websites that check your Ip and, in some cases, test the real effectiveness of VPN and/or use Terminal.

But, for my experience, if you prefer to test your public IP without using the Terminal, the best tutorial for this specific task has been published by http://www.tecadmin.net.

Get Public IP using Linux Terminal

Recommended!… if you are looking for an extra test that you can manage directly from Terminal.



79419-wallpaper_black1b5 commands to check memory usage on Linux

Simple Terminal Commands to check 32/64-bit Version and Installed RAM on Ubuntu Computer


Courtesy of nixpal.com

When you want to check if you have a 32-bit or a 64-bit Linux you can open a Terminal and just type:

file /sbin/init



If you prefer to know how much about the RAM you installed on the PC, type:

free -m


grep MemTotal /proc/meminfo

for more detailed info you can try:

cat /proc/meminfo


grep MemTotal /proc/meminfo

if you prefer to monitor your RAM in real time.


Courtesy of validwebs.com

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.


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 to the “DNS Servers” line as for the below screenshot:


Now you can start DNScrypt just typing:

sudo dnscrypt-proxy -R opendns -a -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:


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 -u dnscrypt

Configure OpenDNS on your Ubuntu Computer through DDclient in just 6 steps – Tutorial

1 – Why should I change DNS? 
You “use” them in any moment, every time you are in front of a computer but usually you don’t consider to directly manage or change them because you think that it is not worthy to do anything with them. 
On the contrary, you know that many different online companies offer dedicated DNS addresses you can use to substitute the default DNS addresses provided by your ISP.
So, at this point, your main question is “Why should I change DNS on my route or my computer”?
For example, for one or more of these different reasons:
– to have a chance of a possible increasing of speed and reliability when you surf Internet; 
– if you want to delegate to a third “professional” part some security tasks (e.g. third party security filtering to protect yourself against phishing or viruses);
acces websites that are normally geoblocked by commercial policies/agreements or censorship imposed by Governments;
parental monitoring if you prefer to have a rough idea of what websites your children visit or if you whant to filter some specific contenents.
2 – Choose a reliable DNS provider
If you decide that you want to try a different DNS provider you need to choose a reliable one. A quick search on Internet will help you to find the most appropriate DNS Provider for your needs.
In this specific case we are examining how to configure the DNS from OpenDNS.com so, if you want to test it, you have to sign up for a free account on opendns.com or simply copy the DNS addresses you find in the bottom right of their homepage or sign up for a OpenDNS.com free account. In the last case, you have the possibility of monitoring your traffic in a professional statistical way and probably you will satisfy one or more of the reasons that may explain your choice to use different DNS. 
3 – Install DNS from OpenDNS on your router
If you want to use OpenDNS on your LAN you have to configure the router through the its configuration interface. The way you can do this varies from one router to another but in all the popular models you will easily find a specific sub-menu where you could activate the “use predefined DNS” option compiling the two addresses provided by OpenDNS.
In this way all your LAN traffic will be pipelined through OpenDNS and you will not need to singularly configure each computer you have.

Image from: oriental-press.com

4 – Install DNS from OpenDNS on your Linux computer
4a – Preliminary configuration.
The problem with opendns.com is that it doesn’t provide an official tutorial to correctly install its DNS on a Linux machine. For this reason you can follow this brief notes that I wrote after installing it on a Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Ubuntu computer.
Go to the OpenDNS.com support page dedicated to the installation on Ubuntu and follow their instructions:
I exactly followed all the instruction till the point 8 but, when I had big problems when I typed:
sudo ifdown eth0 && sudo ifup eth0
because this message appeared:
ERROR unknown interface eth0=eth0
The matter is that my ethernet is really named eth0 (I double checked using the commands ifconfig and netstat -r -n) but it was not possible to operate on it.
To solve this problem I used the Poorak’s Blog suggestion and I had to open the interface file via Terminal with:
sudo nano /etc/network/interfaces 

– or if you prefer:

sudo gedit /etc/network/interfaces
and manually add these lines:
auto eth0
iface eth0 inet dhcp
then I restarted my networking
sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart
4b – Install DDclient on Ubuntu if you have a dynamic IP
Normally the Internet Service Provides provides a dynamic IP to users that may change over time. So, if you don’t want to pay more to obtain a static IP, you need to install a software that could constantly communicate your actual IP address to OpenDNS.com. In my case, I dedcided to install DDclient to be able to continue to properly use the OpenDNS.com services.
To install DDclient I preliminarly had to install coreutils through Terminal:
sudo apt-get install coreutils
and the required SSH and SSL sockets:
sudo apt-get install ssh libio-socket-ssl-perl
and finally the DDclient:
sudo apt-get install ddclient
At this point you manually edit the configuration file:
sudo nano /etc/ddclient.conf
(or, if you prefer sudo gedit /etc/ddclient.conf)

## OpenDNS.com account-configuration
use=web, web=myip.dnsomatic.com


– ‘opendns_network_label’ is the label given to the network you’re updating in your account.
If you have spaces in your network label, replace them with an underscore ( _ ) 
You can find the network label in the Settings Tab of the OpenDNS Dashboard.
– the login is your email address with OpenDNS
– the password is your opendns password. 
“If you have special characters in your password wrap the password in single-quotes ( ‘ ). 
If there are any single-quotes in your password, put backslash ( \ ) before the single-quote to escape the character”.
5 – Start OpenDNS and DDclient on your Ubuntu computer
At this point you have all the elements to start  so you can open a Terminal and type: 
sudo /usr/sbin/ddclient chkconfig ddclient on && sudo /usr/sbin/ddclient service start
On the other side, if you want to check the status of DDclient, you will type:
sudo /etc/init.d/ddclient status

6 – Configure Linux OS to start DDclient at boot on Ubuntu

On Ubuntu is really simple to configure DDclient to start at the computer boot. You have to open the Session and Startup manager through the desktop Dash. Now you are able to Add a specific command to the Application Autostart menu to run DDclient at the boot:
sudo /usr/sbin/ddclient chkconfig ddclient on && sudo /usr/sbin/ddclient service start
If you are configuring OpenDNS through DDclient on a different Linux distribution you can google the right tutorial or follow the guide created on aboutLinux.info.
At this point you will automatically use OpenDNS on your Ubuntu computer. 


Image: Jack Wallen


Ubuntu GNOME 15.10: The perfect Linux desktop distribution


What about the low-cost Tablet Market?

Newcomers  are not always the happiest guy…. This because not often there is not  much room left by the first-comers that usually had the “good idea” and  consequently became the market leaders.

But sometimes things go differently. This is the case of low-cost tablet market where a  big number of semi-unknown producers from Asia have been able to create good products at a very affordable price.

If you google “tablet”  and visit some specialised, B2C, websites you can find some interesting  products. Obviously I’m not talking about the top of the production and you will not find any top level tablet but you could be interested to some of them if you consider their prices.

The middle level market wasn’t considered interesting by big players till now. But the  potential  increase of demand in this segment has changed the scenario. 

Tablets are very common devices and today many of us could be interested to have a second or third device to avoid the matter of carrying our expensive, branded tablet everywhere. Personally I am not planning to buy a second “branded” tablet to increase my comfort when in remote places but I could really consider to buy a second, not the top, device if it is really cheap. I am sure it will be a little be slower and less performant than the one I use every day but what does it matter if its price will be just a fraction of my main tablet?

For above marketing reasons Amazon is planning to sell a low-cost 50 USD tablet before the end of the year.

On one end the attended success of this marketing strategy could be read as another way to chain its customers to the brand. On the other end low-cost tablets represent a real remunerative economic niche that worths a good slice of the market (and consequently a lot of money).

Moreover the tablet market starts to be “mature” and this niche could be one of the last ones before the decline. Moreover Ubuntu is coming

In fact Ubuntu is actively working on a new generation of tablets that will run a native version of Linux. The tablet devices we are using today have enough power to smoothly run some of the main common Linux OS and overcome the main problems that were registered when some “primitive” Linux tablets were launched some years ago.

For this reason Linux enthusiasts like me hope in something new… and useful in the near future. Cross your fingers!