TAPCUG Linux SIG
(bookmark this page)
A Division of Tacoma Area PC Users
The TAPCUG Linux SIG mission is to get everyone switched over to Linux, a better computer operating system,
by helping to install it on existing computers or by selling Linux computers at A+ Computers.
On site meetings were not bringing new Linux users like they did when we started in 2001. Google Hangouts have had insufficient attendance
partially because some people were technically challenged in making it work. Again the goal is new Linux users not body count.
Therefore we are looking for new ways to accomplish our mission. Currently we are doing a blog, working to be involved
with Makerfest in Lakewood and building Linux computers for those that need them but cannot afford them.
Currently we are getting far more persons converted to Linux this way than we could any other way!
Our Linux computer donation program is making great progress! Perhaps you know of someone who needs one.
SIGs or Special Interest Groups can have different forms, not just regular meetings you have to physically attend.
If you need help getting switched over to Linux, contact Joel, fox7799 at gmail dot com . (no meetings at SE Tacoma Community Center).
The TAPCUG General Meeting is usually the 2nd Saturday 9:30 AM at 9112 Lakewood Dr SW, Lakewood, WA 98496.
We usually arrive at 9 AM for setup and conversations.
Remember that Linux is free, easy and much more secure than proprietary operating systems giving it a huge head start.
At the TAPCUG General Meeting A+ Computer free parts table there are Linux Mint XFCE and Xubuntu live/install DVDs
which you can run live without affecting your computer or install if you choose. In your BIOS boot order your DVD must
be ahead of your hard drive for this to work. These two distributions are recommended because the XFCE desktop
is very well designed, intuitive and fast. A desktop is the Graphical User Interface to the underlying Linux system.
Please visit our booth at LinuxFestNorthwest May 6-7, 2017 where we will have the latest Xubuntu, Mint XFCE and Kubuntu DVD's.
We also hope to have the new Pinebook laptop for $89 running Xubuntu.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has an https://www.eff.org/https-everywhere extension that makes sure your browser is always
connected securely. This seems to be working well on my computers.
We had an HP Deskjet 5150 printer stop working on Xubuntu 16.10 with a message that it could not connect. The mystery
was solved when we clicked USB instead of the printer name during setup. Googling for help didn't show this.
Xubuntu 17.04 scheduled for release mid April 2017 is really looking good, download here.
Perhaps the best bet for an affordable, lightweight 11'6" laptop is the upcoming $89 Pinebook which is based onthe same processor running my Pine64 development board, details here. I have an 11.6" Pinebook with Xubuntu on
order, shipping is supposed to start Mar 2017, details here.
Firefox has been the preferred browser for a long time because of security but we are looking into Midori for the Pinebook
because it is faster. So far we have had problems getting the Chrome, Chromium and Opera browsers to run on ARM processor
computers like the Pinebook. If you know of any solutions please let us know. Opera details here.
I loaded the Endless OS which is based on Ubuntu on a flash drive, details here. This is another cool attempt to bring
Xubuntu to the masses. It has similarities to Cub Linux below since it can run a lot of apps. I plan to demo it at Saturday's
Jan 14, 2017 TAPCUG General meeting (we usually are there 9 AM), details here.
We seriously considered installing Crouton on my Samsung ARM Chromebook 3 so Xubuntu and Chrome OS could
both run on it rather than just Chrome OS. However you need to be in developer mode to do this and it was considered
too inconvenient when I previously had Bodhi Linux dual booting on it. Cub Linux below dual boots Xubuntu and Android
without developer mode on an Intel computer. Crouton details are here.
Cub Linux is worth trying since it combines Xubuntu and Chrome OS into one operating system. While Xubuntu is preferred,
we may need to adapt to a world of applications in the future and Cub Linux does a good job of combining the two worlds.
Unfortunately it does not yet run on ARM processors but it does have a 64 bit intel version. We added the xfce4 desktop or
Graphical User Interface, upgraded to ubuntu 16.04 and now can log into Xubuntu or Chrome OS by default. When you log outyou can choose which desktop to log in as. Try it here .
Having a good firewall to protect you is very important. http://gufw.org/ gives you extra protection over what you have
on your router. Just install it, go to firewall and turn it on.
An easy way to turn a document into a photo or image is to create it in Libreoffice Writer, export it as a pdf document,
open that pdf in Gimp and export it as an image (.png, .jpg, etc.).
We are trying Startpage search for Firefox to have privacy from bad guys and the NSA, details at https://www.startpage.com/ .
Would like to hear any feedback on this.
Earlier we tried VPNBook but had setup difficulties. DotVPN and HoxxVPN are extensions for Firefox or Chromium which
make setup easier but we need testing to evaluate them.
I've been hearing a lot about Antergos recently which is based on Arch so installed the minimal iso with XFCE desktop on
my test computer. Don't install this on a computer with other Linux partitions because it will destroy them. I still prefer
Xubuntu or Mint XFCE but it is interesting to keep up with what's happening.
Use the 'youtube-dl (youtube url)' command to download youtube videos, details here.
We use Puppy Linux to copy files because you are not obstructed by permissions. However if you use it to copy files to a
new partition you need Naultilus to change the owner of the files to your username instead of root. Do this by entering
gksu nautilus in your terminal and change the permissions.
To avoid future DNS attacks we may want to consider OpenDNS, details here.
A server was set up on the Pine64 with Raspberry Pi instructions at https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/remote-access/web-server/apache.md .
I didn't install the PHP capability so am doing static html. Also http://bluegriffon.org/ was installed to create web pages for it.
At the Oct 8, 2016 TAPCUG General Meeting I was asked if I could print from my Samsung ARM Chromebook so I tried it for the first time. The Chromebook
recognized my HP Deskjet 6122 printer, displayed the needed software to install but printed all black so while it printed there is some bug to resolve.
Also I asked people at the meeting if they had any experience with virtual reality headsets. None did so I ordered a Viewrvr headset from Amazon for $18.99
in which you can insert a virtual reality app running on your smart phone. Some apps work well while others don't. This is new technology and a work in progress.
I suggested that we get involved in http://lakewoodmakerfest.org/ next year.
Xubuntu 16.10 is final and fantastic! Download it here.
Topics include Pine64 install, Pine64 dev, apt command, gpt partitioning, Cub Linux,
Ubuntu16.04 XFCE on Raspberry Pi 2, Jide Remix Mini, Termux, Linux Mint 18 XFCE,
Network Manager, Route commands, DD-WRT, SSH, SSL, HTTPS,
IRC, Linux Voice Recognition, movies,
youtube-dl, on the go cable, usb 3 power hub,
Remix, BerryBoot, Noobs,
plex, sabnzbdplus, Couch Potato, xampp, vpn,
Convert Android to OnePlus One, xda, TWRP, Gmail texting.
Contact us: fox7799 at gmail dot com
We have three major computer systems today: Windows and Mac are closed proprietary systems.
Linux, which is based on the Linux kernel and unlike the first two is basically free and open source.
Companies make money from the packaging and support of Linux.
becoming the preferred computer operating system!
secure because its roots are from Unix,
18 XFCE 32-bit or 64-bit here .
A good summary of why you should switch to Linux is here.
was created by Linus Torvalds in 1991 because he wanted a better
desktop operating system.
ARM processor Chromebooks are top sellers at Amazon,
Best Buy, Office Depot, etc. for around $200.
We also plan to let other persons display their desktops so
they can demonstrate what they are using.
Please E-mail us: Fox7799 at gmail dot com for information or to get on the notification list.
Because of increased Linux threats it is advisable to install gufw in Synaptic and turn it on.
Alternately on the command line you can enter sudo apt install gufw
We used to be to change the owner/permissions of imported folders and subfolders with Nautilus.
Apparently you have to do it on the command line now: sudo chown -hR /home/user/Pictures etc.
OpenElec in Berryboot on the Raspberry Pi 2 has very good video and sound on TV,
monitor and projector. So does Plex.tv on an Intel processor Linux computer.
However we haven't yet found a way to get Plex.tv on ARM processor computers.
Ubuntu Mate 16.04 with an XFCE desktop works best on the Raspberry Pi 2
with videos, Google Hangouts working well.
I have Xubuntu running on the 64 bit ARM Pine64. Have wifi, Midori browser and Firefox, Need Chromium and Chrome.
Download Pine64 file here, extract and run dd if=xubuntu-xenial-20160421-longsleep-pine64-8GB.img of=/dev/sdb bs=1
(change image if different, change sdb if your sd card is different)
This will be part of the discussion in upcoming meetings.
gpt partitioning with gparted: select Device, Create partition table, Advanced and choose gpt instead of msdos.
Details at http://akabaila.pcug.org.au/gpt/gpt_gparted.html . Works great. After this I'll use gpt and avoid msdos extended partitions.
your used computer equipment for free to A+ Computers,
We are Linux distribution neutral and try out all
sorts of Linux distributions.
Linux file system.
to Linux here.
Check back often for the latest updates.
Get started with Linux now!
Discover why you should switch to Linux here.
Linus says 2017 will be the year of the Linux desktop! details here.
$79 ARM Linux laptop with Remix OS released (we need Xubuntu), details here.
See why Windows and Mac users should immediately switch to Linux Mint XFCE here.
See how to install your favorite Linux on an Android phone here.
Linux Torvalds TED talk Feb 2016 here.
ARM Linux laptops could have replaceable CPU cards! details here.
RISC-V processors are coming, details here.
ARM64 Linux computers are coming!, details here.
Windows, Mac users advised to install Linux Mint now! details here.
Users are advised to avoid Windows 10! Details here.
Microsoft will make Windows 10 harder to dual boot, details here.
Windows users may be forced into crappy Windows 10! details here.
See why children should use Linux here.
At the Jan 19, 2016 meeting we tackled virtual private networks (VPN) and
point-to-point tunneling protocol secure connections (PPTP).
Network Manager is the default on Mint and Ubuntu.
Left click on it to add a VPN or PPTP connection. Your gateway can be determined
by entering route -n in the terminal. VPNBook is the best
free VPN or PPTP service. Setup instructions are here.
The one unsolved part of this is how to insert the certificates as shown in
the screenshot below:
Meanwhile there is an alternate command line option to get you started:
Go to https://www.vpnbook.com/freevpn download one of the packages and extract it.
Open a terminal and go to the folder where you extracted the package then aquire root or use sudo
Make sure that you openvpn installed. If not, you can do it in the next set of steps.
On the page where you downloaded the files you will see the username and password near the bottom.
Note these as you will need them later. Also on that page, across the top are different selections, click on "How-To".
This will take you to a different page which has two columns. The left column header is OpenVPN (Recommended).
About 2/3's of the way down you will see "How to set up OpenVPN on Ubuntu". Click on that and it will start a slide show.
Follow the steps in this tutorial. One of the steps in installing Openvpn if you haven't already.
On the last step, after entering username and password it will connect you to a tunnel.
You can leave the terminal open or you can issue the command with a space and then & This will cause it to run in the background.
If you right click on the network connection and select "Connection Information" you will see that a tunnel has been established and
that you are fairly safe to proceed with whatever task you want to do. You could also enter netstat in the terminal for connection info.
The site does say it does not support peer-to-peer.
05/06-07/2017 LinuxFest Northwest, Bellingham, WA
TAPCUG Linux SIG booth at LinuxFestNorthwest 2016
1. Changing to Linux: Most Linux CD's or DVD's will boot live on your computer running in memory and give you an option to (1) install alongside your existing operating system (2) replace your existing operating system or (3) manually install on partitions you created earlier. If you have another operating system already installed on your hard drive, you could use GParted (partition manager such as that on Puppy Linux) or the KDE partition manager to shrink that partition and make a new partition for your Linux operating system. In the future you could always expand your original operating system back to original size if necessary.
If you use a bootloader like GRUB (Grand Unified Bootloader) to boot multiple operating systems, you need to be fully prepared and have a good understanding of what you are doing. Being prepared includes defragging proprietary, unstable operating systems like Windows and having a backup of your operating systems along with the appropriate rescue disks. If possible, use a secondary computer that you don't rely on for critical day to day use for your first install. You can easily copy your documents, photos, etc. from the old system to the new using Puppy Linux. The above described Linux distributions have the ability to resize partitions, including Windows, with partition editors such as GParted so you have room to install Linux. Do the custom partitioning to be sure the install is what you want. A typical dual boot configuration for a 40 GB hard drive would be 1 GB on sda3 (or hda3) for Linux swap, 30 GB on sda2 for Linux and 9 GB on sda1 for Windows. Kubuntu Linux can also be installed on Apple computers so that you have a better operating system.
You could have separate
hard drives, flash drives, etc.
for different systems on your computer and use GRUB to boot any
combination of systems. You can change your GRUB menu by going to boot
- grub - menu.lst in your home directory in whatever partition you are
booting from. When modifying GRUB, you could just copy an existing
menu, paste and change the details accordingly. Let's say your computer
is currently booting from (hd0,2), also called hda3 (the third
partition on your first hard drive), & you want to boot from
(hd0,1), also called hda2. In your Konsole command line enter the
following as root (your admin account). You can use the konsole on a
live CD including Puppy Linux, Mepis Linux, OpenSUSE Linux, etc. Often
the easiest option is to boot Puppy Linux live to change the root
partition, copy boot menus, etc. This tells your master boot record
where your root partition (the one that boots your computer) is. Note
that the Linux count starts at zero so (hd0,1) = hda2:
A typical multiple boot menu (/boot/grub/menu.lst) would look like the following:
You may want to change vga=791 to vga=normal if you are getting an undefined video mode message. In this case, Puppy Linux 5.2.5 is on a usb drive which is seen as a second hard drive. A second partition on the second drive would be sdb2 and so forth. Note that sdb1 = (hd1,0).
Partition Magic with Boot Magic, which sells for around $80, can be installed on Windows but then you are relying on Windows to boot your computer. Note that a Windows Vista partition must be resized in Vista by right clicking on Computer, opening Storage, then Disk Management and right clicking on the partition. Partition Magic does not work in Vista. In Mepis Linux you can do this at Start - System - File System - GParted. In Puppy Linux you can do this at Start - System - GParted. In OpenSUSE Linux you can use Start - System - YaST - System - Partitioner to alter partitions after the install.
Recently we have migrated to Linux Mint KDE because of a more recent kernel and more functionality, especially with Google hangouts, and multimedia which customers are now asking for. Linux Mint KDE uses grub2. Web site to get started is here. For a color background install grub2-splashimages , find an image you like at /usr/share/images/grub and then put that address in wallpapers at /etc/grub.d/05_debian_theme . A handy Kubuntu cheat sheet is here. To change your Grub2 boot menu, go to /etc/grub.d
You can remove old kernels with Synaptic. Search for linux-headers and completely remove the old ones. You may want to keep the one before the current as a fallback in case the current doesn't work correctly.
2. Restore grub2 from
your live CD/DVD: Enter
the following in the terminal once you have booted live:
If that doesn't work,
3. Booting an external hard drive or SD card: This is similar to howto #1 except that you would first install Linux to the external hard drive using a live Linux CD with initrd checked. Then still running the live CD, enter "fdisk -l" as root in the konsole to see how the external hard drive is recognized. It will likely show the first partition in your external hard drive as something like /dev/sdb1. If this is the case and you want to boot from the first partition of your external hard drive, you would have root in howto #1 be (hd1,0) which means the first partition on your second hard drive. If you want to boot from your existing internal hard drive menu, you would need to copy your new install's portion of the /boot/grub/menu.lst from your external hard drive to your internal /boot/grub/menu.lst. Other commands would include "ls /media/usbdisk" to check if the mount point or directory for the device has been created and "cat /etc/fstab" to check if the system has entered your device in fileystem information. Note that your computer's BIOS must be capable of booting an external hard drive. Some older computers may not have this capability. Your feedback on this and attendance at the Linux SIG meeting is encouraged.
netbooks and laptops have a port for an SD card which could
boot a Linux distribution such as Puppy Linux. The problem is that the
boot system on the SD card is different from the Grub boot on the hard
drive or SSD drive so your Grub menu ( /boot/grub/menu.lst ) needs the
following changes which can be done graphically using the home
directory as follows. In this case Puppy Linux was on the 2nd partition
of the SD card (Swap was on the first partition):
5. Restore your Network Manager applet in Linux Mint XFCE: If Network Manager disappears from the panel go to Start - All Settings - Session and Startup - Application Autostart and click Add. The name is Network Manager and the command is nm-applet.
6. Live evaluation Linux CD's: Linux distributions can be tried live in your RAM without affecting your hard drive and then permanently installed on your system if you wish. Bodhi Linux, Mepis Linux, Puppy Linux & Kubuntu have live/install DVD's or CD's and can be downloaded at the links listed above.
7. Adding Linux installation sources: Most Linux distributions have repositories you can add for a greater selection of software.
8. Terminal, console (or konsole in KDE): Linux gives you the capability to use a powerful text based interface that interacts directly with the underlying operating system. This is usually located under system in your start menu or you can use the find function to locate it. Entire books are available for its use. Most general users may never have to use it but the capability is there.
9. DVD/CD video
playing can sometimes be
improved by installing codecs or libdvdcss. For Puppy Linux, install
the codecs in PupGet.
11. File systems: Whereas systems like Windows have data scattered all over, Linux stores data neatly in file systems. That is why you don't have to defrag Linux. For example, your documents would be at home - username - Documents, photos in home - username - photos in your home directory. Details here and here.
12. Linux for old computers & small appliances: There is a growing demand for Puppy Linux to run inexpensive laptops, older computers, flash drives, etc. You can get surprisingly good desktop performance on an older computer! For these mini distros you need a CD player, at least 60 MB of hard drive space (& you can download a boot floppy if needed).
13. Use Firefox browser: Due to security concerns, if you are not already using Firefox, download & install it from http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/new/ . Firefox is much more secure than browsers like Internet Explorer (details here) and has much more advanced features. We also advise setting your Edit - Preferences - Privacy - Cookies in Firefox for the originating web site only and to only keep the cookies until you close Firefox so your system doesn't accumulate a lot of cookies. Recommended addons for Firefox include Adblock Plus, Web of Trust. pdf download and possibly flash-aid. Google's Chrome browser or Chromium browser are good options too. Computer users are being warned to dump Internet Explorer now, details here . Internet Explorer usage has dipped below 50% while Firefox and Chrome usage has greatly increased for a good reason.
14. Wireless laptop internet connection: If the driver for your wireless card is not in your current Linux distribution, you need to copy the Windows driver into Linux so ndiswrapper can adapt to it. Make sure you have ndiswrapper and kinternet installed. Our experience is that kinternet gives you the best control over all your connections. Let's say you copied the WLAN folder containing the bcmwl5.inf driver on the CD to your tmp directory. You would enter ndiswrapper -i /tmp/WLAN/bcmwl5.inf in the command line followed by ndiswrapper -l to check the install followed by ndiswrapper -m to write the configuration. You can view your current wireless configuration by entering iwconfig.
15. Linux system
security: Everyone knows that
Linux is much more secure than closed, proprietary systems like
Windows. A big part of the reason is that Linux uses iptables , netfilters and
non-root operation so that
malicious attacks can't get through. Linux by nature is also much more
secure because it was designed from the start to be a multi-user
system. However, certain prevention measures are still advised. Be sure
that your updater, usually an icon at the bottom of your KDE screen,
stays current. If it has a green arrow in it or not the usual color,
there are usually patches our updates that need to be installed by
clicking on the icon. The open source ClamAV or KlamAV
(for KDE) can
be added for further protection.
16. Autologin: If you are the only person using your computer, the autologin feature saves you from having to log in each time you use the computer. The automatic login settings need to be changed if you change users. In Mepis Linux, click on Start - Control Center - System Administration - Login Manager - Convenience. If you don't want autologin, leave it blank.
17. Downloading ISO
files. You could right mouse
click on the .iso link and save it where you want. Once you have
downloaded, you can click on the iso file in your home directory and
K3B will launch to make a copy in your CD or DVD writer. When K3B
appears on the screen, click on start and your DVD or CD will be
created. K3B is excellent software. In SUSE Linux go to Multimedia -
CD/DVD Burning - K3b.
18. Manual CD burning:
If you wanted to copy
files on your hard drive to a CD using the command line, you would
first gather up the files to a temporary ISO-9660 file (CD-ROM data
format) on your hard drive using the following command:
19. Make free or very reasonable phone calls with Google Hangouts: The video and voice quality is excellent, there were no delays, it is better than talking on a regular phone and how nice it is to see who your you are talking to on full screen. How nice it is to see who you are talking to in full screen mode! First you need a web cam and a Google Gmail account at http://mail.google.com . Then in Gmail, click the little wheel in the upper right corner, then Mail settings - Chat - Learn more to get your video plug-in, then Verify your settings to make sure everything is working. You can also launch your video at http://google.com/ig . Voice over IP or VOIP will be a huge industry in the near future. Avoid Skype if possible.
Deb files or RPM is much easier
but if you need to untar:
To assemble, read the manual that comes with your motherboard. Basically attach the motherboard to the back of the case making sure it is spaced properly & the screws are not overtightened. Then connect the power supplies, IDE-floppy cables & jumpers. Insert whatever PCI or AGP cards in their slots. Inert your hard drive, DVD, CD, etc. & connect. Once your computer is assembled, make sure your BIOS is set to boot your install DVD or CD ahead of the hard drive & then insert your Linux Mint XFCE DVD to install. In about 45 minutes you have the world's best computer system..
27. Web page construction. We have found the the best and easiest way to construct web pages is to use Kompozer, install instructions here. LibreOffice Writer does a good job of error trapping, structuring, etc. You see how your web page will look while you work on it (wysiwyg) and there is an option to look at the source code too.
liked VirtualBox which can
virtually run any operating system including Windows, Mac without
special CPU virtualization capability. You may be asked to enter
"/etc/init.d/vboxdrv setup" in your konsole as root (admin) if you are
setting up VirtualBox in your user account. You may also want to add
your username to the vboxuser group so you can run VirtualBox in your
user account. Having Windows virtualization capability means you can
easily run those few remaining programs on Linux that are not yet
written for Linux. Another excellent virtualization program probably
more suitable for commercial applications is Xen.
41. Using remastersys to create your own DVD, CD or flash drive: 1. Install programs you want on the stock distribution of Linux Mint XFCE (and probably other Linux distributions). 2. Install remastersys from http://crunchbang.org/forums/viewtopic.php?id=36322 . 3. In Linux Mint XFCE enter sudo-remastersys-dist in the command line. 4. Create your new remastered DVD or CD. Another option is Ubuntu Customization Kit, http://sourceforge.net/projects/uck/ but it did not work as well for us.
42. Change your Linux
password: The easiest way is to open a terminal and enter sudo
passwd . Enter your new password twice and you are done.