Technology Support Articles
(A number of articles have been removed due to those articles being
about nonfree software.)
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
# iwlist wlp2s0 scan
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:
# wpa_passphrase > /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.
You'll now want to connect to the network. You can
use WPA_SUPPLICANT(8) to do this. The below command worked
# wpa_supplicant -c /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf -i wlp2s0
If your network uses DHCP, you will want to use DHCLIENT(8).
This command is fairly simple, and works as shown below:
# dhclient 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
to /etc/systemd/system/, and running the following command:
Your WiFi should now be configured.
# systemctl enable --now wifi.service dhcpclient.service
Converting a Mailbox Into a Maildir
When using Dovecot, I would suggest switching from the mailbox format
to maildir, due to issues that will happen with locking conflicts. To
switch from mailbox to maildir, you can use the following
command: mb2md -s [source] -d [destination].
For example, with the testing user:
mb2md -s /var/spool/mail/chelsea -d /usr/home/chelsea/Maildir
Converting a Maildir Into a Mailbox
If you are using a standard GNU/Linux distro or a free software BSD
system, there may be instances where a mailbox format for e-mails
would work better. If you use POP3 or a single local e-mail client,
the locking issues may really just be a nonissue. To switch from
maildir to mailbox, you can use the md2mb.py
script following command: mb2md -s [destination] [source].
For example, with the testing user:
md2mb /usr/home/chelsea/Maildir /var/spool/mail/chelsea
Strangely, during the test, the user's e-mails were out of order in
the resulting mailbox. Thankfully, I was not the first to have this
problem, and someone
provided an answer
that worked for fixing message sorting.
from email.utils import parsedate
date = email.get('Date')
the_mailbox = mailbox.mbox('/var/spool/mail/chelsea')
sorted_mails = sorted(the_mailbox, key=extract_date)
(Source post licensed
Afterwards, the user's e-mails were in a more normal-looking order.
Fixing 'pkg: Shared object "libssl.so.111" not found, required by
"pkg"' After Upgrading FreeBSD
After upgrading FreeBSD from version 13.2 to 14.0, the pkg command
started ti show the following output:
pkg: Shared object "libssl.so.111" not found, required by "pkg"
After some reading, I found that this was caused by the change to
OpenSSL in this version of FreeBSD. Attempt to update the static
pkg-static install -f pkg
If you are still having
issues, consult the
Password Protecting Files/Directories on Apache2 with .htpasswd
Note: You must have sudo/root access for some commands.
Step 1: Create the .htpasswd file
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
(Replace /path/to/directory/ and 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
Step 2: Create the .htaccess file
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"
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 GNU/Linux and *NIX 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 screen
or 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 ''
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 ''
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
with kill [Mosh-PID].
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 ~/.emacs
(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 <!--LASTMOD-->
and <!--END--> were cribbed
Tatham's Home Page. They seemed to be logical names to give to
the start and end indicators.
Mentions of ~/ for the .emacs file path refer to your user
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: Thu Feb 22 23:54:14 EST 2024