How to Setup Travis for Quick Ansible Playbook CI

If you’re looking for a quick, easy way to setup repository-based CI for your Ansible playbooks on Github consider Travis CI, it’s also a breeze to set-up for larger projects and not that involved.  This takes around 10 minutes to get in place for Ansible Playbooks, let’s get started. Continue reading

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Using Rofi for Agnostic Lightweight Window/App Management

Rofi is a super lightweight window switching and application launcher written entirely in C.  It’s totally agnostic to your desktop environment or window manager making it ideal to quickly search for or toggle between open windows and applications and other tasks.  It’s become an integral part of my daily workflow. Continue reading

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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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Automate RPM Builds from Git Sources using COPR

The Fedora project COPR service builds/hosts free RPM package repositories and provides useful automation hooks for your Devopsing.  You can combine COPR and any standard Git source (Github, Gitlab, etc) with webhooks for automated package builds when your source repository is updated.

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Backup and Restore using SpiderOak on Linux

Recently the SSD Operating System disk on my primary work desktop failed without warning and no manner of arcane xfsrepair or xfsdump/xfsrestore chicanery would bring it back.  Luckily I had SpiderOak backups as my employer offers this as a service to associates.  Being the first time I’ve needed to restore data with SpiderOak here’s some things I’ve learned and impressions of the service on Linux.

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Using Italics with Vim in your Terminal

I wanted all code, system configuration file comments or in-line replies in neomutt email italicised to stand out easier.  Many terminal emulators (xterm, xfce4-terminal, iterm2) don’t support [3m and [23m designators for italics but you can use a custom terminfo to do the trick.  Here’s how to get it working. Continue reading

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Using Offlineimap with the Gmail IMAP API

In a previous guide I documented my mutt + offlineimap + notmuch setup.  If you’re using Gmail with IMAP enabled you can still utilize the superpower of this trio but you’ll need to do some things differently.  I’ll show you how to use offlineimap with the Google Gmail OAuth2 API and configure it. Continue reading

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Distributed Remote Backups with Git and Etckeeper

Git is a powerful tool for lots of tasks, it makes a wonderful VCS that can drive easy utility and automation.  Recently I used git and remote repositories to deploy code & data fanned out to multiple locations.  Here are some examples along with using Etckeeper, a related wrapper tool for revision control around git (or other VCS) with some extra features. Continue reading

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Shell One-liners and Quick and Dirty Loops

Sometimes you just need to get stuff done quickly and there’s nary a replacement better than a quick shell one-liner.  Recently I’ve needed to feed some large, multi-variable commands into an external program for processing.  Here’s some simple shell one-liners and loops that have helped me along the way. Continue reading

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