Archive for the ‘Linux’ Category

Setting up custom buttons for Kensington trackballs under Linux

The Kensington Expert Mouse and Slimblade trackballs have four buttons and a scrollwheel, and I have my personal preference for their layout. There is a utility program available for Windows and macOS to customise the button mapping, but no equivalent program exists for Linux. Fortunately it doesn’t need to, because under Linux there are multiple […]

Backing up ZFS datasets from Linux to FreeNAS (TrueNAS Core)

A FreeNAS box (okay, TrueNAS Core as we should now call it) is an ideal place to perform set-and-forget, reliable backups of my Linux laptop, given that both devices now use the OpenZFS 2.x filesystem. This howto is not intended to be a ZFS primer – I am assuming the reader already understands ZFS terminology […]

Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon HDMI audio output under Linux

If the Lenovo forums are anything to go by, getting audio to come out of the TV when connecting a Lenovo laptop via HDMI in non-obvious for many folks, regardless of the operating system in use. Under KDE Plasma with PulseAudio, the volume control applet does not add an output device for HDMI audio as […]

Installing the EQ10Q equalizer on Gentoo

EQ10Q appears to be the absolute best quality equalizer available for Linux. I have tried that that comes with pulse-effects, but found that it introduced occasional audio glitches; no good for audiophile use. EQ10Q is an LV2 plugin, so I start from the assumption that you already have JACK installed (doing so is trivial so […]

Sync music playlists to Android

tl;dr MTP sucks hard, and none of the free linux music players seem to have a reliable method for syncing a library subset (such as a playlist) to another device. rsync plus SSH plus ADB (and a little light shell scripting) to the rescue! the problem I have music in my library that is not […]

Mounting NFS shares when using dhcpcd as a network manager under Gentoo

tl;dr If you use NFS shares and/or want your workstation to have a static LAN IP and want seamless wired<->wireless LAN roaming under Gentoo/OpenRC, then dhcpcd is your go-to network manager. But not without a bit of manual tweaking.. Use Case You have the following requirements: your workstation is a laptop that moves between wired […]

Upgrading the Gentoo kernel when running ZFS on an NVME SSD

Gentoo user FearedBliss wrote the de-facto guide for installing Gentoo to boot up from a ZFS partition, alongside a tool to build an init ramdisk that support ZFS partitions. Unfortunately their init ramdisk does not support ZFS partitions on NVME SSD drives (something to do with how they are represented in /dev/disks/by-id). Happily, top dude […]

OpenRC – managing dependency when you’ve multiple network interfaces

tl;dr If you have multiple network interfaces and cannot guarantee that all will always be up, but have other services that depend upon network availability, set rc_depend_strict=”NO” in /etc/rc.conf. I habitually use a wireless network at home and tether my cellphone whilst out and about. I was finding that the VPN service refused to start […]

Using ffmpeg to downmix Dolby DTS or 5.1 audio to stereo

So you have a surround sound audio file (DTS, 5.1, quadrophonic, whatever) that you want to play back on your old-skool stereo hi-fi system. It’ll play, but you only get to hear front-left & front-right of the many channels. What’s needed is a way to mix the content of those other channels into FL & […]

Install Gentoo linux on ZFS

Gentoo, being a source-based linux distribution, has a very particular installation process. One has to make many decisions at every step along the way, since installation and configuration effectively happen at the same time, and certain things can be very hard to change once the installation has completed. The prime example of this hard-to-change-after-the-fact situation […]