Category: Linux

Transmission, a CLI torrent manager

How to use transmission from CLI and remotely

3 minute read

Pirate

At home, I have a scrawny HTPC called chimp in my living room connected to the TV —as I don’t own a Smart TV for good reasons—. Even though I have a NAS in the network capable of serving media, I connected a dedicated external disk directly to chimp because my stock router is not the fastest around. Whenever I use the HTPC, I use it remotely from either my desktop, bonobo, or my laptop, simian. Sometimes I need to fetch torrents and download them to the disk connected to the HTPC. Enter Transmission. Transmission is a somewhat popular BitTorrent client that includes a ‘hidden’ command line interface which is very, very useful and simple to use. Learn to use it and you will probably never want to open a GUI torrent client ever again.

A few words about MPD

MPD is the superior way to access your music library

3 minute read

I remember many years ago, when I was a Windows user, and even later after I made the switch to Linux, I always struggled to find the perfect music player that would fit my needs perfectly. From time to time I would fantasize about programming my own little, perfect, shiny music player program that would fit my needs perfectly like Cinderella’s shoe. But I was nowhere near naïve enough to actually start the project, let alone finish it. I know how much time and effort it would take. Then I discovered mpd (Music Player Daemon).

Use smartphone as a webcam

Droidcam makes the setup easy on Linux

3 minute read

These days of coronavirus where a lot of people work from home the number of teleconferences per unit of time has skyrocketed. Most of us are forced to use video conferencing software of dubious privacy practices1 without having much say in the choice, but that is a story for another day. If you are like me and do not have an external webcam to plug into your PC, don’t run off to the store just yet. There are solutions to make your Android smartphone act as a webcam that work really well. One of them is droidcam from Dev47Apps, which works even if you don’t have Google Services installed. This post quickly discusses how to set this up on your Linux PC using both wifi and ADB.

Arch with LVM on LUKS

Arch Linux installation with LVM on a LUKS-encrypted drive

8 minute read

Edit (2020-06-16): use dd to create swap file instead of fallocate
Edit (2021-07-01): fix typo in GRUB_CMDLINE: cryptodevice -> cryptdevice
Edit (2021-11-04): fix terminology mess-up: LUKS on LVM -> LVM on LUKS


Disclaimer: some of the steps in the Arch Linux installation procedure change from time to time, so I would recommend to check out the awesome Arch Linux installation guide in the Arch wiki to get a fully up-to-date picture of the process.


It is well known that Arch Linux does not have the easiest install process of all Linux distributions. In my opinion, for technical users this is a big plus, as you get to know your system better simply by having to set it up from scratch. This comes with the perk that you only install the packages you need, leading to a smaller and arguably snappier system.

In this guide, I’m documenting my latest Arch Linux installation on my laptop, where I set up a logical volume with LVM on top of a fully-encrypted disk with LUKS. Encrypting your disk in your mobile devices should be a requirement if you value your security and/or privacy. Nowadays it has almost no performance penalties and it provides countless benefits.

Tor with qutebrowser

Run qutebrowser with tor by default

1 minute read

If you are a qutebrowser user and care about privacy and anonymity, you may want to run qutebrowser using the tor network by default. Doing so is easy. This post documents how to set it up.

Learning ncurses

Implementing a snake game in the terminal

6 minute read

tsnake, a snake game in the terminal

Lately, I have been kicking the dust off my C++ skills, and decided to start by learning to use a library which I have been eyeing for a while, ncurses. ncurses is a C library which lets you create text-based UI programs for the terminal, in the same fashion as the gif above. Basically, you can use the terminal to implement text-based user interfaces. Since I seem to have an obsession with snake games, I figured I’d create a snake game for the terminal.

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