Technology Support Articles
Connecting to WiFi on a Systemd-based GNU/Linux distro using only
the command line and standard utilities
You first want to scan for WiFi networks. My laptop's WiFi adapter
interface is wlp2s0. Replace this if yours is different.
Hint: If you need to check what your adapter's interface is,
you may use IWCONFIG(8) for that.
Assuming you know your WiFi network's name already, you can skip this
step You can list available networks using IWLIST(8) with the
To connect to your network, you can use WPA_SUPPLICANT(8).
Using WPA_PASSPHRASE(8), you can generate a WPA PSK from the
ASCII passphrase. You can use the following command which generates
output and saves it in the /etc/ directory:
# iwlist wlp2s0 scan
You'll now want to connect to the network. You can
use WPA_SUPPLICANT(8) to do this. The below command worked
# wpa_passphrase <SSID> <pass> > /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf
Note: if either your SSID or passphrase has spaces, make sure
to put it in quotes. For example, if your SSID and passphrase have
spaces, write it as wpa_passphrase "Secure WiFi" "p4ss w0rd".
You can use quotes without spaces too, but it's not necessary to do
so. Using quotes will make it read the entire phrase as a single
argument, rather than multiple arguments separated by a space.
If your network uses DHCP, you will want to use DHCLIENT(8).
This command is fairly simple, and works as shown below:
# wpa_supplicant -c /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf -i wlp2s0
And that should be it! Your system, if it worked, should now have a
WiFi connection. One drawback I've found is
that WPA_SUPPLICANT needs to constantly run, but it is
possible to use SYSTEMD(1) to run it automatically on boot.
You can do that by downloading and
saving wifi.service and
to /etc/systemd/system/, and running the following command:
# dhclient wlp2s0
Your WiFi should now be configured.
# systemctl enable --now wifi.service dhcpclient.service
How to Password Protect Files/Directories on Apache2 with
.htpasswd and .htaccess
Note: You must have sudo/root access for some
Step 1: Create the
The htpasswd file is where you set the specific username and password.
To generate this file run the following command:
htpasswd -c /path/to/directory/.htpasswd username
with your web site's path and desired username.)
It will then ask for your desired password. The resulting file will
be encrypted. If you want to add additional users, run the command
again without the
-c flag as shown below:
htpasswd -c /path/to/directory/.htpasswd username
Step 2: Create the
You will want to make sure to place the
.htaccess file in
the directory you want password protected.
Copy and paste the following code into the .htaccess file:
This is not intended to provide a perfect or fool-proof secure way to
protect a directory. Any attackers who can get the password will be
able to access the directory's contents as well, especially since this
method is only single-factor. Do NOT use this to hide your critical
information on a publicly available web server. I hereby disclaim all
liability from using this as a security measure.
AuthName "Dialog prompt"
AuthName "Dialog prompt"
Installing FileZilla Without Getting Potentially Unwanted
The default installer for FileZilla, a popular program for FTP, SFTP,
and other protocols, may leave your PC with potentially unwanted and
potentially malicious software.
Fortunately, it is possible to download and install FileZilla without
the bundled software, by adding ?show_all=1 to the end of the
URL -- so the URL would look like this:
From there, at least as of writing this post, you will now be able to
safely download FileZilla for all supported operating systems.
Installing Google Chrome on Debian GNU/Linux
Google Chrome is undoubtedly the most popular web browser in the
world, and has several forks from being based on a free software
program. With Google Chrome's continued success, it makes sense for a
web developer to have it for testing when perse want to make sure that
per project works for Chrome users. While Windows and macOS users
basically have 1 important step, those not familiar with Debian may
find themselves unsure how to install the browser since it's not in
apt repositories. Chromium is, but there are
some features Chrome users are familiar with that aren't in the
Installation is quite simple. In order to install, you'll need access to either
sudo, or more preferably,
Download the .deb file for Google Chrome.
Install Google Chrome with
Enjoy Google Chrome!
Please note that Google Chrome will now automatically update from
Google's APT repository when updates become available. Make sure that
the file "/etc/apt/sources.list.d/google-chrome.list" exists and
deb [arch=amd64] http://dl.google.com/linux/chrome/deb/
stable main. Updates to Chrome may automatically update or
modify the file, and manual changes may get removed.
Performing a Full Shutdown on Windows 10 and Windows 11
Windows 10 and Windows 11 by default use a hybrid shutdown for their
fast startup feature, which works similarly to hibernate. While it
may have some benefits, there are going to be times when you want to
perform just a normal shutdown. I was able to find 2 ways to do so.
Some sites showed a command-line method as well, but it may confuse
less tech savvy users to have to paste things into a Command Prompt
Go to start and click the power icon
Press the shift key and click "Shut down"
Your computer will be shut down as opposed to being hibernated.
Recommended Options Changes for Using the Built-In Console on
Windows 10 and 11
Disclosure: This article was first written to
address an issue one user on a shared shell server was having while
trying to copy+paste text due to her computer's default terminal
config. I would like it if Mirosoft would be able to make these the
default settings, so that this article is no longer necessary.
Microsoft made a great decision by adding native SSH support to their
operating system (after around 4 decades or so), but there are still
some problems users can face with how much different Windows can work
compared to other operating systems. For example, the Windows Console
by default will use CTRL+C or "Copy", while
on GNU/Linux or
UNIX (excluding macOS, which is a bit problematic in programs that use
the control key for things such as
emacs), it is used
SIGINT (signal interrupt), which will quit/kill most
Here are some things I recommended changing in Command Prompt or
PowerShell for the best possible user experience.
Right click the icon in the top left corner of the window, and select
Change the following:
Disable "QuickEdit Mode"
Enable "Use CTRL+Shift+C/V as Copy/Paste"
Why we may want to change these options
QuickEdit Mode: This enables things such as pasting on right
clicks. While this may sound helpful, it can lead to a lot of
accidental pasts, especially on laptops.
Use CTRL+Shift+C/V as Copy/Paste: This brings copying and
pasting on this client more in line with the current standard key
combinations on GNU/Linux terminals (to avoid messing with programs
that already had those keybinds for other purposes).
If you are promoted on whether the settings should apply to every
window or just that one when clicking OK, select every window. This
way you will not need to keep re-setting these every time.
I had erroneously, without any sort of testing, suggested disabling
"insert mode". Disabling it actually had the opposite effect from
what I was expecting.
Resetting Windows 10
Note 1: If your device is encrypted, you
will need your BitLocker key when resetting your PC. If you don't know
your BitLocker key, please
see Find my BitLocker recovery
Note 2: I recommend *not having
this guide opened on the device you want to reset, especially if you
reset it from WinRE (Method 2). If you have another device, such as a
phone, tablet, or another PC, it is recommended that you open the
guide on there if you will want to keep following it after you restart
When resetting Windows 10, you are given the following options:
What the option does
Keep my files > Change Settings > Preinstalled
Reinstalls Windows 10 while keeping your personal files, removes any
apps and drivers you installed, and restores default settings and
Keep my files > Change settings > Preinstalled
Reinstalls Windows 10 while keeping your personal files, removes any
apps and drivers you installed along with preinstalled apps, and
restores default settings.
Reinstalls Windows 10 while removing personal files, all apps,
drivers, and settings changes. Preinstalled apps will be
reinstalled.Data erasure On removes all files and
cleans the drive. If you plan on donating, recycling, selling, or
disposing your PC, this option is highly recommended. It takes longer
but makes it harder for other people to access removed files.Data
erasure Off simply removes files, and is less
Method 1: Resetting From Settings
Select Settings > Update
& Security > Recovery
Under the Reset this PC section title,
select the Get started button, and choose
your setting from the above table
Method 2: Resetting From Sign-In Screen
Press the Windows logo
key+L to get to the sign-in screen
Select the Power icon in the lower-right corner and then
select Restart while holding
the Shift key
Once your PC restarts to the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE),
select Troubleshoot > Reset
this PC, and choose an option from the above table
Still Having Issues?
If your device is still having issues, you may want to
consider contacting Microsoft support.
Setting a Custom DirectoryIndex Page on Apache2
Typically, when you access a web site, there are pages that I'm going
to refer to as "index pages" -- these are typically going to
be index.html on the web server. While most webmasters keep
this as the default, when handling .html pages like on this web site,
others may need to change this setting.
For example, if you use WordPress, you will want to set the web server
to use index.php instead.
Making this change is fairly simple:
And it should be set up. This would mean that your web site's
visitors would not get an unexpected "Index of [path]" or 403
Open either your .htaccess or domain.conf file
If you are not using an .htaccess file, you will need to write lines
reading <Directory [dir]>
and </Directory>. HTACCESS users can skip this step.
Inside either the <Directory /> lines or .htaccess file, write
"DirectoryIndex file.ext". So, for WordPress, you would do
Setting and Using Variables on UNIX and GNU/Linux Shells
The specific process used to set variables will depend on the shell
that you are using. For example, GNU/Linux distros such as Debian and
its forks (ex: Ubuntu, Mint, Trisquel, etc.) default to the BASH(1),
or, the GNU Bourne-Again
SHell. This article currently only gives examples for both
shells. CSH was tested on FreeBSD and BASH was tested on Debian
GNU/Linux. The concepts described should be able to, with some
modifications, work with other system setups.
Examples were produced on chell.aperture.presumed.net
Creating a Variable
To create a variable to last during the current shell session only,
you may use "export" to do so from the command line.
set [VAR_NAME] = "[STRING_OR_COMMAND]"
export [VAR_NAME] "[STRING_OR_COMMAND]"
For the variable to stay saved for use with multiple instances, or
to persist between logins, you may add it to either your local
.profile file, or to the /etc/profile
Removing a Variable
To remove a variable, run the unset command from the command
CSH & BASH
If added to .profile or /etc/profile,
you will also want to delete or comment out the line for that
variable. Commenting out is preferred if you intend to use it again
in the future, or if you want to use it as a reference.
Using Variables with Spaces
At this time, I am not aware of ways to set variables with spaces in
them. The easier short-term option out of the two I can think of is
to put the variable in quotes. For example:
chelsea@lodge:~/variables % cd "$TEST_VAR"
chelsea@callisto:~/variables$ cd "$TEST_VAR"
The easier long-term option would be to simply remove the space from
the file path, but you will need to ensure that you do not have any
scripts or programs that have the path hardcoded in them, or else bad
things will happen.
Setting up DNSSEC on Bind9
There may be a "better" way to do DNSSEC on Bind 9
(NAMED(8)), but this is what eventually worked for me. This
page will exist as a guide for if I need to re-install Bind 9 at any
point in the future.
dnssec-keygen -a ECDSAP256SHA256 -n ZONE example.com
dnssec-keygen -a ECDSAP256SHA256 -fKSK -n ZONE example.com
dnssec-signzone -A -3 $(head -c 4096 /dev/urandom | \
shasum -a 256 | \
cut -b 1-16) -N INCREMENT -o example.com \
Set paths in named.conf to .signed file;
Starting Programs on Boot/Reboot with CRON(8) and TMUX(1)
When rebooting your PC or server, there may be interactive programs or
small scripts that you would want to have automatically load on boot,
such as chat clients or shell scripts. Even though you can manually
start them when you log in, it's more convenient to have these scripts
run automatically. Fortunately CRON(8) jobs make it possible to
automate processes in this sense, and tools like
tmux can make it so you don't need to keep a terminal
window and SSH connection open 24/7.
To start a program, you can easily launch a program in tmux with:
tmux new-session -d -s <program> '<program>'
To launch the above script and/or example with a cron job (via
crontab) type crontab -e and add the following line:
@reboot tmux new-session -d -s <program> '<program>'
Stopping Apps From Automatically Loading Themselves on Microsoft
Auto-starting apps get annoying. Here's how to stop them from
automatically opening themselves.
- Click "User Settings"
- Scroll down in the side menu and click "Windows Settings"
- Click the slider for "Open Discord" to the off position.
- Optionally, click the slider for "Minimize to Tray", so that
closing the app would (hopefully) actually close the app.
- Click the three horizontal dots next to your user's profile image
in the top bar
- Click "Settings"
- Uncheck "Auto-start application"
Even better yet than these "fixes" would be to use
100% free software as
opposed to these proprietary applications and disservices.
- Click the menu labeled by your account's display name
- Click "Settings"
- Scroll down to "Startup and window behavior"
- Change the option for "Open Spotify automatically after you log
into the computer" to no.
Stopping Detached Mosh Sessions
Mosh (the mobile shell is a remote terminal application
that allows roaming, supports intermittent connectivity,
and provides intelligent local echo and line editing of user
keystrokes. It works as a replacement for Interactive SSH terminals,
and can go between Wi-Fi, Cell, and long-distance links.
If your mosh connections gets closed improperly, you may see the
following message the next time you log in:
Mosh: You have a detached Mosh session on this server (mosh [Mosh-PID]).
For security reasons, Mosh connections can only be reconnected to the
corresponding client. If that client is dead or closed improperly
(such as the client closing while the user is disconnected from the
Internet or network), the only option is to kill the listening server
Using a Save Hook for an Automatically Updating "Last Modified"
There are multiple ways that save hooks on GNU Emacs can be used for
automatically updating timestamps. By default, Emacs will update
timestamps in the first eight lines of a file. The lines would look
In order for the timestamp to automatically change when you save a
document, you need to add the save hook to your
(add-hook 'before-save-hook 'time-stamp)
This is not the only way your timestamp can work, especially since it
may be a bit awkward to look at an HTML document. Another way you can
display timestamps would be how I do with my own web pages. To do
this, you'll need to add the below code block to your .emacs
(add-hook 'html-mode-hook (lambda ()
(set (make-local-variable 'time-stamp-pattern)
"-8/+%3a %d %3b %:y %02H:%02M:%02S %p %Z")))
The above code will look in the last 8 lines of the document, and will
add the time stamp in between the below comments:
HTML mode hook based on the example
The article's and web site's use of
<!--END--> were cribbed
Tatham's Home Page. They seemed to be logical names to give to
the start and end indicators.
~/ for the .emacs file path refer to your
user home directory.
similar thing to the Emacs save hook (it would've shown "Last
things since it is going to be broken on web browsers that disable
regenerate the entire web site on every tiny change.
See Dr. O'Neil's web site
if you need proof of this.
Watching YouTube Videos Without Nonfree Software, Advertisements,
Since around 2022, I've been encouraging people to
use Invidious, a
free software front-end for YouTube, over the standard YouTube web
site, since it lets people watch the same videos free of advertising,
tracking, and nonfree software. It fortunately does not use the
YouTube API, decreasing the amount of data that needs to get handed
over to Google to get sold around down by a ton. It also, by design,
gets rid of the forced advertisements for nonpremium users entirely.
To use Invidious, simply replace "www.youtube.com" in the URL bar with
"invidio.us", and select any instance from the list.
to your bookmarks bar to easily switch from YouTube to Invidious:
Anton McClure /
Last modified: Wed Nov 15 13:34:45 EST 2023