Linux Desktop Rebuild Checklist 2 – Web Dev Tools

(This is pretty old now…)

Following Linux Desktop Rebuild Checklist 1

Sublime Text

I’m a Sublime Text convert. Official docs are sparse, but there are great unofficial (community) docs for Sublime Text.

It’s quite easy to install on Ubuntu/Kubuntu via webupd8.

# now for Sublime Text 3
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/sublime-text-3
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install sublime-text-installer

# old 2 stuff...
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/sublime-text-2
sudo apt-get install sublime-text


Change a file in your project and LiveReload automatically refreshes the browser via an extension (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Mobile Safari, and Opera with a config change).  Check out “LiveReload” in the Chrome Web Store.  Best out-of-the-box support for the filesystem piece is on Mac (and $$), but the Ruby project Guard and its various plugins allow for even more functionality for no charge (except the effort to figure it out).

On Linux, it’s quite simple, even for someone (like me) who knows very little about Ruby.

Install RVM and Ruby.

$ curl -L | bash -s stable --ruby
$ source ~/.rvm/scripts/rvm
$ rvm use

Install Guard and Guard-livereload

$ gem install guard
$ gem install guard-livereload

Create a sample Guardfile (do this in your project dir).

$ guard init livereload

Then, edit the file for the filenames/patterns to watch. Here’s my simplest Guardfile.

guard 'livereload' do

Finally, run guard from your project dir.

$ guard
19:16:14 - INFO - Guard uses NotifySend to send notifications.
19:16:14 - INFO - Guard uses TerminalTitle to send notifications.
19:16:14 - INFO - LiveReload 1.6 is waiting for a browser to connect.
19:16:14 - INFO - Guard is now watching at '/home/mghicks/...'

I haven’t tried Ruby on Windows, but there is a tutorial for using RVM with Cygwin. Git for Windows also has the option to work with Cygwin (selected during installation). I’ve tried Git on Windows with the Git shell, but not with the Cygwin option.

JSHint and JSONLint via NodeJS

Never sweat a missing comma or semi-colon again!  JSHint and JSONLint are the two biggest time-savers I’ve added to my toolset.  Thanks to the NodeJS community, NPM, and NVM, it’s trivial to install and use them.

Install NVM and the latest Node.

curl | sh
echo "\n. ~/.nvm/" >> ~/.bashrc
source ~/.bashrc
nvm ls-remote
nvm install 0.x.x (use version from ls-remote)

Install JSHint and JSONLint.

npm install -g jshint jsonlint

Configuring Sublime Text next…

Linux Desktop Rebuild Checklist 1 – Base System

  1. Install via Unetbootin (I’m using Kubuntu these days)
  2. Fix monitors (important to do before next step)
  3. Install synergy
    sudo apt-get install synergy
  4. Add synergy to startup (see
  5. Connect to NAS
    sudo apt-get install nfs-common
    sudo vi /etc/fstab	/home/mghicks/Data  nfs rsize=8192,wsize=8192,timeo=14,intr /home/mghicks/Media nfs rsize=8192,wsize=8192,timeo=14,intr
    mkdir /home/mghicks/Data /home/mghicks/Media
    sudo mount -a
  6. Additional repositories
    sudo cp /etc/apt/sources.list /etc/apt/sources.list.backup
    sudo wget$(lsb_release -cs).list --output-document=/etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install medibuntu-keyring
    sudo apt-get install linuxmint-keyring
    sudo apt-get update</span>
  7. Additional codecs, fonts, tools, etc.
    sudo apt-get install ttf-mscorefonts-installer non-free-codecs flac libdvdcss2 vlc* mplayer dvdrip
    sudo apt-get install build-essential curl git-core
  8. Install Chromium
    sudo apt-get install chromium-browser

    and extensions: Adblock Plus, Reddit Enhancement Suite, LiveReload, Personal Blocklist

  9. Install Banshee (not the best, but the only one I’ve found that *easily* syncs my ratings between players–suggestions welcome)
    sudo apt-get install banshee
  10. Install Shotwell
    sudo apt-get install shotwell

Network Traffic on Ubuntu 12.04 vs Fedora 17

Recently, I started obsessing over network traffic on my (recently upgraded) Ubuntu 12.04 system.  This is what it looked like, with only a few user processes (just chromium and synergyc).

Ubuntu system monitor network history
Screenshot of Ubuntu’s System Monitor Network Traffic

I could never pin down a process that was causing the traffic; netstat -p and nethogs reported the bulk of traffic from an unknown PID.  It may have been malicious, or simply a weird Ubuntu issue.

So, naturally I did what I do when I’m paranoid.  I wiped and reinstalled.  Since I didn’t want the Unity desktop, anyway, I figured it was time to try something new.  Fedora 17, with Cinnamon.

Contrast the Ubuntu traffic above with the Fedora traffic here.

Fedora's System Monitor Network History
Screenshot of Fedora’s System Monitor Network History

That one blip is Banshee pulling the next song from my NAS.  And where I had no user processes running in Ubuntu, this Fedora traffic includes a torrent trickle (10kB/s limits), my media player, and synergy.  Nethogs shows very little traffic from sources it can’t determine.

Nethogs output on Fedora 17
Screenshot of nethogs on Fedora 17

I also have ntop running now. More on that, later.

And finding Cinnamon was a big silver-lining in this whole process.

What’s Causing that Network Traffic on Linux?

I noticed some periodic network traffic on my Ubuntu 12.04 box.

System monitor network history
Screenshot of Ubuntu’s System Monitor Network Traffic

Naturally, I wonder what was polling like that…

Then I realized netstat -ap  will tell me the process using a port, but just doesn’t provide enough info to figure out which is responsible for the traffic.

sudo apt-get-install iftop
sudo iftop -Pp

Iftop is closer to what I wanted, showing traffic, but it didn’t connect the ports with traffic to the PID.  At least it showed me all the traffic was local or to google’s, rather than to any of the other connections netstat showed. But I still didn’t know which process was responsible.

A little googling turned up Nethogs. Much closer to what I needed and easy to install.

sudo apt-get install nethogs
sudo nethogs

Nethogs console output
Nethogs console output

But here I get stuck.  I killed the synergy client and chromium, but the traffic pattern is still there.  Nethogs lumps all the packets it can’t associate with a PID in the ‘?’ row.

To sum up…

  • netstat connect ip-port to pid
  • iftop connects port to traffic
  • nethogs connects pid to traffic, but most traffic is lumped into ‘unknown’

Then, there’s ntop, which runs as a daemon, has a web interface, and produces incredibly detailed reports.  I installed it. We’ll see what it comes up with after it’s run for a while.

sudo apt-get install ntop

You have to create an admin password during the install.

Monitors won’t sleep (power management) if synergy is running

Similar question to Monitor won’t enter power save mode, however I only experience the problem under synergy. Screensaver settings work, but the monitors never go to sleep. When synergy is not running, monitors go to sleep at the interval set in Power Mgmt Preferences. I’m running synergy under my user account. Dell Desktop, Ubuntu 11.04, standard install video drivers (installing the proprietary drivers causes many errors.)

Turns out, this behavior is caused by screenSaverSync=true and the fix is screenSaverSync=false. Pic shows the windows GUI placement.

See also,

I love the classic dodge in the bug report:

Closing this bug report since it is more than 2 years old. If this is still a valid bug, please request that it be reopened on the mailing list.

Virus Scanning Windows from Knoppix

Why worry about scanning Windows for viruses from inside Windows? Use Knoppix to scan for viruses from the safety of a linux-based, read-only OS.

If you don’t already have it, get Knoppix with your favorite BitTorrent client (I use Azureus 2.5) and this tracker. I use the DVD, but the CD version should work the same for this.

You can find downloading, burning, and booting help here. Boot to Knoppix.

In order to update virus definitions, a working internet connection is needed. In my case (a DHCP-enabled Linksys Cable/DSL router) things “just worked” with Knoppix’s magic boot configuration. If you run into problems, I suggest starting with the FAQ Pages then trying Google.

Naturally, the disks I want to scan need to be available–that is, they need to be recognized by the kernel and mounted. For me this just works again thanks to Knoppix boot config magic. If you run into bad magic, consult the above sources, or whatever divine ones you have access to.

I check to see if they’re already there. Since I have SATA drives in this box, they should appear as /dev/sd*. IDE drives would appear as /dev/hd*.

# df
Filesystem ... Mounted on
/dev/root ... /
/ramdisk ... /ramdisk
/dev/shm ... /dev/shm

No harddisks are mounted, so I check /etc/fstab to see if Knoppix recognized them.

# cat /etc/fstab
/proc /proc proc rw,nosuid,nodev,noexec 0 0
# Added by KNOPPIX
/dev/sdc1 /media/sdc1 ntfs noauto,users,exec,umask=000,uid=knoppix,gid=knoppix 0 0
# Added by KNOPPIX
/dev/sdc2 /media/sdc2 ntfs noauto,users,exec,umask=000,uid=knoppix,gid=knoppix 0 0

The Added by KNOPPIX entries are the two partitions on my SATA drive. Since Knoppix recognized them, I can simply mount them.

# mount /dev/sdc1
# mount /dev/sdc2
# df -k
Filesystem ... Mounted on
/dev/root ... /
/ramdisk ... /ramdisk
/dev/shm ... /dev/shm
/dev/sdc1 ... /media/sdc1
/dev/sdc2 ... /media/sdc2

Just like any OS, Knoppix gets patched regularly. Since I want to have the latest, greatest virus scan, I’ll get (some of) the updates with the bundled Debian package manager.

#apt-get update

There’s a lot of output from that command to update the Debian package manager’s package list. It just means the installer knows about the latest stuff now.

I use ClamAV to scan for viruses. So, I’ll check that it’s up-to-date per the package installer.

#apt-get install clamav
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree... Done
The following extra packages will be installed: libclamav2
Suggested packages: unrar
The following packages will be upgraded: clamav
Do you want to continue [Y/n]? Y

The changelogs are presented (press ‘q’ to exit) and there are more prompts to follow, but the install should work without any errors.

I also want to update the ClamAV utility that fetches the current virus definitions.

#apt-get install clamav-freshclam

This time, the install wants to replace a conf file that has been locally modified. I choose to install the package maintainer’s versions, after I compare them side-by-side.

When that’s done, I update the virus definitions.

# freshclam

Finally, scan.

# cd /media
# clamscan -r -l /var/clamlog

The options -r and -l [filename] are for recursively scan directories and log scan output, respectfully. Note that this will only identify viruses. If I wanted to take action when an infection is found, I’d have to specify what to do in different options.

As I write this up, I’m scanning my squeeky-clean new computer. I don’t expect any problems there. Once it’s done, I’ll scan my older Windows machine and that might be more interesting.