Using ProtonVPN for Privacy and Security

Being a long-time user of OpenVPN and generally liking the security approach of ProtonMail I decided to take ProtonVPN for a test drive.  These are my experiences using their Linux CLI and a persistent systemd connection, Mac OSX briefly and IOS.  This Swiss-based VPN service provides a free tier and reasonably priced paid plans for more benefits. Continue reading

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Practical Ansible Solutions, a Video Course

Over the past year chipping away on the weekends I’ve just published an Ansible video course with Packt Publishing.  This is a 2.5hour course split across 6 chapters, focusing on getting up and running quickly with Ansible automation.  Check it out!

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Using VDO on CentOS/RHEL7 for Storage Efficiency

Besides Btrfs, native Linux-based storage solutions have lagged behind the robustness and features of ZFS and the BSDs.  Recently Red Hat acquired Permabit which provides an Open Source device-mapper Linux kernel driver and layer that sits between block devices and filesystems providing deduplication, compression and thin provisioning.  Here’s my first experiences setting it up and initial returns using it. Continue reading

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Run iTunes on Linux via Wine

Recent versions of Wine can run iTunes and Apple Music for Linux with no wizardry required.  Having been given a free Apple Music subscription as part of a family plan it’s useful to have additional streaming media options.  Below are the steps to use iTunes on Linux via Wine and have access to iTunes and Apple Music.

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Fix for Intel i915 GPU Freeze on Recent Linux Kernels

Recently Intel started including their graphics drivers into the mainline Linux kernel.  This is great except when it stops working.  Having suffered intermittent, sporadic GPU freezes on my Lenovo x270 (Kabylake) work laptop since Kernel 4.12+ I came across a bug report that seemed related.  Here’s my temporary fix on Fedora 28 for getting things stable again until it’s fixed for good upstream.

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Using Signal Desktop on Fedora with Flatpak

In the 2018 race to re-invent AOL instant messenger Signal comes out on top of the competition for end-to-end encryption and a focus on privacy and security.  Signal desktop was recently released for Windows, Mac and only Debian-based Linux distributions with no official RPM available.  Here’s how to use app sandboxing with Flatpak to get it running nicely. Continue reading

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Block Advertising on your Network with Pi-hole and Raspberry Pi

I recently setup Pi-hole on an existing Raspberry Pi running CentOS on my home network to serve as my DNS server and block advertising and unwanted domains for all internet-connected devices.  I’m still using an ASUS router with Shibby Tomato firmware for routing, DHCP and private VLANs so I had to make a few changes.  This is how I got up and running along with some performance tuning.

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