The Linux Page

Help other users realize that everything is possible, especially avoiding Windows for their own personal use.

Welcome to The Linux Page

Fox Trot by Bill Amend. Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge

This site is a collection of my own work with Linux. Certain things are easy, others take time to decipher and if I ever need to repeat the work (which usually happens!), then I need to remember everything by memory or... have a site with all the steps taken and to take again.

The following are my most recent posts:

Forest Trail


The CMake search algorithms are fairely simple, but it feels like each time I try to use them I make a small mistake and something goes wrong.

First there are three very important variables that are used in the search. Note that there are many other variables that can be used in the search which are listed on this page. But 99.9% of the time, these three are enough:


    This variable defines where to search for modules, but only if the prefix matches. Without a matching prefix, it somehow gets ignored.


Broken Clock when Internet is not Available

I had an issue on a system which could be started in a complete standalone manner. In other words, without an Internet connection.

That system runs 10 computers, 9 of which are slaves as far as NTP is concerned and these computers must have their clocked set as close as possible to the controller's clock or the system won't work as expected.

So the main issue was that by default NTP is setup to listen to a few NTP servers on the Internet and if it can't connect to the Internet, it pretty much shuts down. In other words, the ability of the server to allow the slaves to get time ...

Adjusting to your preference

When trying to setup the Ubuntu environment automatically by installing a package so it works as expected, I have to use the gsettings command. Only, in most cases, the posts you find online tell you to tweak such and such value and these are wrong about 50% of the time. (Or to be more correct, they changed over time and now those old posts give you the wrong answer each time).

In order to find out what you need to change, one way is to use the GUI to make the changes and compare the settings from before and after. Here are the steps to do exactly that:

1. Open the GUI preferences allowing ...

My new TP-Link and what I think about it...

TP-Link AC1900 (click to find it on where I'm an affiliate)


As my old Belkin WiFi device was not able to properly support UDP packets that it was not even concerned about, I looked into a new system and selected the TP-Link AC 1900 also known as the Archer 9.

It works. But...


First I edited the settings. One reason I selected this (opposed to say a Google Nest thingy), is that this device has a normal web interface to edit the settings. I find that much better than the concept of the Google Nest WiFi router requires voice activation. I just ...

Removing the ffmpeg & ffprobe annoying banner permanently.

In some of my work, I use ffmpeg to compress/decompress video and audio files.

My big problem with the ffmpeg and ffprobe tools is the incredibly annoying banner that they print and covers most of my console output. It's not only useless, but it makes it really hard to very quickly see the standard output of the command. (if only they were to put a line of dash or something to separate that section with the next...)

Under Linux, there is actually a really easy way to prevent that stupid banner from appearing all the time. It's by using the alias command.

First, the command line ...

Hiding keyboard while typing.

Linux has options to encrypt zip or PDF files.

Note that the zip encryption capabilities are not very strong (i.e. they can be easily cracked). So don't use it if you can avoid it and keep in mind that most anyone can see what's inside either way.

zip --encrypt files

Note that there is an option to define the password on the command line (with --password) which is safe if you're the only user on your machine, but not so much on a shared machine since the password will appear in the list of processes.

And the PDF is very similar, but you have to enter the ...

Hard Drives for a RAID system

I got 4 x 10Tb HDD -- HGST Ultrastar He10 -- click the link to find them on Amazon

What Happened?

One of my RAID1 drives, the important ones, started sending me error email messages about 8 sectors being "unreadable".

So first I waited a bit to see whether it would resolve itself. It did go silent for a few months and came back...

At that point, I decided to purchase a replacement and retire the drive giving me errors. The new drive looks good so far!

Check Current SMART Status

To see what the SMART system discovered, you can use the smartctl command like so:


Transform a frame so the message fits.

If you are writing many scripts, once in a while, you may want to print out a message surrounded by a box. But how do you create a box of the right width?

Say for example, that you want to surround your message with + characters like so:

+ My Message Here +

The message itself would be coming from a variable. Maybe there is a filename into it so the width can vary widely.

Say the line in the middle is written like so:

echo "+ ${MESSAGE} +"

Then you can create the string of just + characters with the following command:


Repair your Windows Installation

My MS-Windows 10 instance would not run properly anymore. Once booted, the login prompt worked as expected (yeah!) but once logged in, the OS would crash after a minute or two and show me the blue screen of death (BSoD).

I wanted to try a repair, so I looked into various websites, here I write what I ran so I can remember for next time (assuming it worked this time, at least).

dism /image:C:\ /cleanup-image /restorehealth

Most often, somehow, you seen people tell you to use /online as the first parameter. The fact is that your drive is not likely going to be online if you can't run ...

How to connect to a server from your Termux terminal

I found that good documentation from Termux, about Remote Access. It mentions [S]FTP and SSH. The main problem to use SSH is that you need to have access to the public key and... how do you copy the public key from your Termux terminal to your server?

What I've found is that you can use ssh-copy-id with a local VPS on the same network. When I'm at home, I have my phone on a LAN IP address and I can access my VPS servers... at least those that allow for a password login.

So what I've done is something like this:

1. Make sure that your VPS SSH server is still allowing password ...

Unfreeze your Mouse when it Froze

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