11 things to do after installing Linux Mint 17 (Qiana) XFCE

3406f-thumbnail-aspxLinux Mint 17 is now out.  Previous readers know that I install the XFCE version on my laptop

I was running the XFCE version of Linux Mint 16 on my desktop, where previously, I had been running the Cinnamon version.  This time around, I’m going to try the MATE version  on my desktop to see what it’s like.  I’m planning another post similar to this one on that, but I’m not sure when I’ll get there to type this in.

There’s nothing actually wrong with the Cinnamon (or the MATE) version, but for my laptop, the XFCE version of Linux Mint is, in my opinion, just as good.

Obviously, with a new version of an operating system there are glitches.  Hopefully, most of these have been ironed out, but in case there are any, I apologise if things here don’t work.  The fine print of my apology, unfortunately, is that this apology only applies in the empathetic sense: I certainly am in no position to take responsibility for changes that you are making to your computer, and would expect that you understand that I am not a computer wizard, and that you are reading this as part of a broader program of research where you consider several online articles, and not just this one.

That out of the way, let’s get started.

Note: The following tips are for the 64bit version of Linux Mint 17 (Qiana) XFCE. Certain things might be different for the 32bit version, as well as the Cinnamon, MATE or KDE versions..
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Building a home file server part 7: Sharing to Windows

431486-500-224In our last instalment, we set up NFS so that we could share with the Linux PC’s in the house.

But you might recall me mentioning that NFS wasn’t going to be of much use to the Windows users in the house.  Tough, I should have said.  They can start using Linux, I also should have said.

But I didn’t.

Samba is the program that we are going to use in this instance to get our Windows PCs talking to the server.  Samba implements the SMB/CIFS protocol and allows file and print sharing between Windows PCs and servers running Linux (or any other kind of *nix/UNIX-like OS).  And it’s open-source.

Unfortunately, there appears to be one hell of a lot of options in Samba.  Some of which I still haven’t got my head around yet.
Continue reading ‘Building a home file server part 7: Sharing to Windows’


8 useful cloud storage services for Linux users and others

cloud2_55171579Most of us have heard of Dropbox.  Or Google Drive.  You might possibly have a preferred provider for your cloud services.  I don’t have a favourite: I get what I can get from a variety of providers.  This might sound like I’m potentially overcooking the proverbial goose, but I don’t think that you can ever have too much cloud space.

My point is borne out by the reason that I’m writing this very post: Canonical have just closed down their Ubuntu One service and I was using it to the tune of about 20 GB.  Naturally, I’m a little annoyed by this, but because I use a number of providers, I have backup!

Believe it or not, there are still people who don’t use these services.  I do have some understanding of this.  I do know about the convenience of knowing that your data is physically on a drive in your possession.  And I know that if you’re restricted in your data usage through your ISP or telecom, then transferring large amounts of data into the cloud is going to look either prohibitively expensive, or slow as you do it over a matter of months.  Finally, I realise that entities such as Google, Microsoft, and Apple are craven pussies who I suspect raised no objections at all to requests by the US spy agencies to snoop on users.
Continue reading ‘8 useful cloud storage services for Linux users and others’


Building a home file server part 6: Configure NFS

431486-500-224We created our new logical partitions last time, which are going to be our shares.

To do this, we’re going to use Network File System, or NFS.  This will allow anyone operating a PC with Linux or OS X to access the server.  Or anyone else operating an *nix/UNIX-like operating system such as BSD, Solaris or anything else.  NFS seems pretty effective and rather simple to get operational.  Which is good – it means that most of the users in the house should have access by the end of this session.

Everyone except Windows users, unhappily.  We’ll deal with Samba a little bit later on, but unfortunately NFS doesn’t work too well with Windows PCs.

Never mind.  On we go.
Continue reading ‘Building a home file server part 6: Configure NFS’


Building a home file server part 5: Create logical volumes

431486-500-224Now, I’m going to create logical volumes on my second hard drive.  You may recall that the second drive is to be set up as a straight, ordinary media repository.

It’s probably a sign of the times, but I still get asked, why do you have such a small amount of space for your media?

It’s a very good question.  I must admit that I haven’t transferred terribly much of my media collections over to digital yet.  Which probably means that I’ll eventually need to buy either two more hard drives, or get enlarged ones.  2 TB seems to be the go at the moment.

Still, I’m presently happy with what I’m using.

Today, we will be adding logical volumes to the existing disk.  This is part 5, and follows on from our previous part, where we set up Webmin.  We’re going to use Webmin a bit today, so make sure that you have seen that last post.
Continue reading ‘Building a home file server part 5: Create logical volumes’


Building a home file server part 4: Set up Webmin

431486-500-224Webmin is a web interface that allows access to many server functions that are difficult to configure through configuration files. Through it we can easily set up cron jobs, edit samba users and shares, configure our NFS Exports, manage our websites, and much more.

I like it because I hate working with a command line.  Having said that there is still stuff that seems to set up easier without using Webmin.

For those who came in late, you can catch parts one, two and three where I just linked.  This is the fourth part in the series.  Let’s get into it.
Continue reading ‘Building a home file server part 4: Set up Webmin’


Building a home file server part 3: SSH and setting up

431486-500-224This is part 3 in a series.

Part 1 is here.

Part 2 is here.

We’re actually nearly done with dealing directly with the server now.  We just need to do a couple of things with it.

Your server will have rebooted now, stopping only to spit out the disk that you booted it from.  If everything installed correctly, you should have a login screen that looks like this:
Continue reading ‘Building a home file server part 3: SSH and setting up’

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Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


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