Posts from 2010-02

SSH Welcome Banner

To warn unauthorized users logging in via ssh, you can add a ssh banner.

echo "Banner /etc/" | sudo tee -a /etc/ssh/sshd_config > /dev/null
cat << EOF | sudo tee /etc/

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AqBanking CLI

AqBanking is used as a backend for gnucash and therefore very mature. It features a CLI to query CSV files of transactions and more.

There is a newer blog post on this subject: AqBanking CLI on Mac OS...

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Delete Wine Launcher Files from Gnome Menu

To delete a launcher for an installed Windows program via Wine just remove it from the directory ~/.local/share/applications/wine/Programs.


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Aiptek HP 12000u Tablet on Ubuntu 9.10 karmic

The tablet works well with Ubuntu karmic, this blog post describes my settings.

technical data

  • Aiptek HyperPen 12000 U
  • Dimensions 38.5 x 34.7 x 1.2 cm
  • Work Area 304 x 228 mm
  • Maximum Resolution 3048 lines/inch - 120 lines/mm
  • Accuracy 0.2 mm (or 0.422 mm ?)
  • Detection Distance maximum 8 mm
  • Pressure Sensitivity 512 stages
  • Number of Macro Keys...

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Composing Music


sudo apt-get install noteedit


commercial Windows software


FL Studio

good supplement: halion player with complete halion 3 sound database


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Text to Speech



echo "Hello world!" | festival --tts


better than recite but not excellent




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Hauppauge Nova-T USB2 DVB-T Stick – again

may need libxine1-ffmpeg and/or libavcodec-unstripped-52 to work:

sudo aptitude install libxine1-ffmpeg libavcodec-unstripped-52

Also check out my older blog post on the Nova-T USB2.


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My Recommended Firefox Plugins

All of the following Firefox addons can be found directly on the Mozilla Addons Site.

Extremely useful, improving your browsing experience

  • Adblock Plus This a great plugin to get rid of annoying ads of any kind on the web. It works against popups, flash banners, animated gifs any other text ads...

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'remove duplicates plugin' - A Plugin for evolution to Remove Duplicate Email Messages

cd ~/Downloads
tar -xf remove-duplicates-plugin-0.0.4.tar.gz
cd remove-duplicates-plugin-0.0.4
sudo make install

Could not successfully run the ./configure script. :(


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Convert mbox to Maildir

A link collection for howtos to convert mail stored in the mbox format to the Maildir format:

Perl Scripts

Combinations of Scripts

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Enter Unicode Characters directly on Ubuntu Linux

To enter a unicode character directly on your Ubuntu system do the following:

  • Press [Ctrl]-[Shift]-[u]
  • Enter the unicode hex code of the character you want to type
  • Press [Space] or [Enter] to confirm your input.

To be able to do so is great because I often used the ASCII character combination -> to mean...

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Write the system status to a logfile every hour

It may happen that your system is slow for some reason, it may fail completely, be under an attack, it can even have a troyan and you do not even know. I found a script recently which integrates into your system via a daily cronjob. It uses logrotate. So it...

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Analyse illegal SSH login attempts

Filter the authentication log file for failed authentications and count the attempts (lines in the log file):

grep -i fail /var/log/auth.log | wc -l

Check for all attacks with non existing usernames:

grep -i "Failed password for invalid user" /var/log/auth.log | cut -d " "...

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Have a look at your MBR using `dd`, `hexdump` and `file`

With two little tools (dd and hexdump) you can use your command line to inspect / investigate the master boot record of a hard disk.

The command is

sudo dd if=/dev/sda bs=512 count=1 | hexdump -C

where /dev/sda is the hard disk you want to inspect.

So here I provide an example...

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Create an .ISO Image File From the Contents of a Folder

Easily create an iso image using mkisofs from command line.

To produce an ISO image of a directory (with -J Joliet extensions; with -r Rockridge extensions; with -R Rockridge extensions preserving rights and ownerships; with -V to set the Volume-ID) run:

mkisofs -J -R -o image.iso -V "Data Backup" folder/data


  • <a...

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OfflineIMAP - have a local copy of your mail

While it is very convenient to have all mail available online and it is cheap (Google Mail offers a lot of storage for free), you might sleep better at night if you were sure to have a copy of you mail on your own hard disk drive at home. offlineimap...

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impressive – presentations of PDFs

impressive was formerly known as KeyJnote.

Impressive is a great tool to present PDF presentations to an audience using nice transition effects. It is ideal for everyone who creates a good looking presentation using advanced techniques like LaTeX (beamer class) as it combines good looking PDFs with the refreshing transitions of...

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My documented Search for Free Software for IMAP Synchronisation

To dump / backup your IMAP Mail Folder to a local directory, there are some projects in the Ubuntu repositories:

looked for last changes on 2010-01-10

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Read and Redirect Local System Mail to `/var/mail/USERNAME`

Read Local Emails Using Evolution

  1. Start Evolution
  2. Edit → Preferences → Add
    (replace "USERNAME" with your login user name):
  3. Name: USERNAME@localhost
  4. Fullname: USERNAME
  5. Server type: Local Delivery
  6. Path: /var/mail/USERNAME
  7. Sending Mail: sendmail

Read Local Emails Using mutt

start Mutt using


you will end in the mbox dir /var/mail/USERNAME. After reading the messages, they are...

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Install Google Earth - using the Medibuntu Repositories

The Medibuntu repository offers you a coolection of software that is not free and can therefore not be shipped with the standard distribution of Ubuntu linux. This example shows you how you can use Medibuntu to install google earth.

Add Medibuntu to your repositories (this is just one line!):


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Synchronize Directories using Unison

Unison is a great tool to keep directories and files synchronized. It is extremely simple to use once you figure out how to do the setup and it can be done automatically (via a cronjob).

I show you here how to do it:

If you are not sure if used Unison before,...

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Series60 Remote - for Nokia S60 phones

Series60 Remote nice GUI software to send SMS and edit contacts of Nokia S60 phones via Bluetooth.

So here is how you install it (you might look for a newer version on Lukas' site):

sudo aptitude install python python-obexftp python-matplotlib python-bluez python-qt4 python-qt4-sql sqlite3 libqt4-sql-sqlite
cd ~/Downloads
tar -xf series60-remote-0.3.90.tar.gz
cd series60-remote-0.3.90/

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Annotate PDFs

When you want to annotate PDFs using Ubuntu linux you've got the following possibilities:

install PDFXChange

cd ~/Downloads;...

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Eliminate delay when opening the Gnome printer dialog on Ubuntu 9.10

Ubuntu 9.10 has a bug that lets the gnome printer dialog wait for several seconds when opened:


sudo gedit /etc/cups/cupsd.conf

then comment out the line including /var/run/cups/cups.sock and leave this line untouched: Listen localhost:631.

Works flawlessly. The delay is gone and I can print as before.


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Little tricks to speed up Ubuntu 9.10 karmic koala

Tips found on:
If you want to know how those tricks work, have a look at the link above!

  • enable preload: sudo apt-get install -y preload
    Find detailed information on preload here.
  • disable Pango smoothing on Firefox export MOZ_DISABLE_PANGO=1. Put this in your ~/.bash_profile or ~/.bashrc.
  • start Firefox and...

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Repair Broken ZIP Files

Options to repair broken zip files on Ubuntu Linux include the following:

  • Winrar runs perfectly with WINE
  • ZIP Repair runs with WINE
  • zip -F [or -FF, depending on how broken it is] --out

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Tools For The DjVu File Format


  • with gscan2pdf (needs the package djvulibre-bin to create DjVu files)
  • JPEGs: convert them to separate pages in DjVu format using an encoder like cjb2 or cpaldjvu
  • use pdf2djvu to convert PDFs: pdf2djvu mypdf.pdf -o mydjvu.djvu


  • djvused (multi-purpose DjVu document editor) man page

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Git for Synchronization and Backup

Git might be used as a back up system. There used to be an article on this topic on Unfortunately it is not available any more. Here are the main headlines:

  • Why git, not rsync
  • What folders / files to exclude ( to be set in .gitignore )
  • How to do it
  • Pros...

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eqonomize - A software for your private bookkeeping

When you want to use a software to keep track of your personal household income and expenses, eqonomize is a good software to go. To me, gnucash seems to be too complex for that purpose.

sudo aptitude install eqonomize

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