Hackido

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Patch the Ubuntu Kernel

I bought an HP Envy x360 and out of the box it works pretty well with linux. I’ve got Ubuntu 18.10 installed and have only had to tweak a couple of minor things. There is however, one big problem and that is the touch screen doesn’t work. It might be the HP firmware (I am still figuring out how to update it in linux) but in the meantime, there is a patch available. The question is how do we apply it? Let’s find out.

Fix Occasional Freezing on the HP Envy X360

I recently bought an HP Envy x360 13” with AMD Ryzen 5 and Vega 8 graphics. I’ll get into why another time but one of the things that didn’t work quite well had to do with the laptop freezing every once in a while. It seemed random at first but some searching revealed that adding a kernel parameter solves the issue. That kernel param is idle=nomwait. Since it was successful in stopping the freezing, I thought I’d make it permanent. Here’s how:

ChromeOS Shortcomings

I’ve been using ChromeOS as my main development machine for a while now. At first I logged in under my personal gmail and used Crouton for development, but after Crostini I decided to separate out my work and personal items. Here are a few things that still bother me and why I might go back to a full linux environment:

Reinstall a broken MySQL 5.7 Ubuntu Xenial

I’ve noticed that particularly in Ubuntu Xenial, an apt-upgrade to mysql 5.7 fails. A standard re-install doesn’t work for me so I’ve resorted to more extreme methods to get my install working. This is only suitable for development, mind you. Please do not attempt in production without full backups and supervision.

Fixing keyboard and mouse lag in Xorg (crouton)

I’ve been using a Chromebook for development lately. On the side, I like to load up games and play using the linux installation I have loaded up via Crouton. Crouton is amazing and what we’ll be using until native linux comes baked in, but it has some issues. There are a number of “targets” for displaying a desktop environment including xiwi and xorg. Here, I’ll discuss those two targets and tell you how to fix performance in the latter.

Setting up PostgreSQL on Debian Buster

In a previous article, we set up your Debian Buster system with git, ruby, and a bash shell that tells you the ruby version and branch. Next up, we’re going to install PostgreSQL and dependencies needed to get it working with Ruby on Rails.

Setting up Debian Buster for Ruby Development

So you’ve got a new debian install and need to get it set up to do real work? Here’s a quick guide to get the packages you need assuming you’re using Debian’s current testing distro, Buster, installed.

Quick Tip: Exporting to CSV from Rails console

This is an ugly solution but one that can come in handy if you just need to get some sample data out of your rails application. My particular use case was exporting data from various tables into a CSV file so I could use a 3rd party email service. We have users in a multi-tenant app so it’s not quite so simple as just exporting a single table. This is something you almost certainly don’t need to use if your SQL-fu is strong. For the rest of us, here we go:

Quick Tip: Set up a Reverse SSH Tunnel

Often times I find myself using ssh to get to a server in order to get a file. The problem is that my local machine doesn’t have its own publicly accessible IP address. So I end up ssh’ing into the remote server, creating the file I need (e.g. database backup) and then exiting only to run scp from my local machine afterwards. Plus, if after that I want to erase the file on the remote server I have to ssh in again and tidy up after myself. That’s me running ssh x2 and scp x1 every time I want to accomplish what should be simple. There’s got to be an easier way, right? You bet..

Swapping Control & Alt in Linux

More for my own reference and in preparation of me completely gutting my system, I’m posting the contents of my .xmodmaprc file which swaps the left control and alt-keys. This allows me to use my linux laptop more like I used my mac, with the command key. Many distributions now let you swap this from a setting but if yours doesn’t here is how to go about it.

Quick Tip: Sort by directory size

If you’ve got files hidden around your system and you don’t know where they are, you can use a quick command to track them down and sort them with the largest first. Handy when trying to prune your old files or free up space on your hard disk.