Category Archives: software

owncloud with external SMB through fritzbox

A USB disk can be connected to Fritzbox as a network attached storage (NAS). In case one wants to connect this to ownCloud through the External Storage App of ownCloud, then this is the configuration that at least worked for me:

Host: the IP of the Fritzbox, e.g.
User: FRITZ.BOX/fritzbox_username
Password: the password for the fritzbox_username
Remote Subfolder: /some/folder/on_the_NAS

The brown square on the SMB configuration page of owncloud should then become a green circle.

arecord duration bug and workaround

It seems, that "arecord" from "alsa-utils 1.0.28-1" has a bug if setting the duration in the command (-d). After the given duration, the recorded files disappears and multiple files are created every second.

I did not want to downgrade, so I used the command "timeout" in order to substitute the buggy -d flag; e.g. for recording 10 seconds:

timeout 10s arecord [flags except duration flag] [filename]

Get hash from an SSL certificate

A convenient way to get the hash value from a website, is to open the site with firefox, login (if needed) through the firefox pop-up window, click on the lock icon in the URL address field and click on "More Information" > "View Certificate" > "Details". In window "Ceritifcate Fields" click on the first line, then "Export" and save this on your disk, e.g. under CERTIFICATE.

The command

openssl x509 -noout -in CERTIFICATE -hash

should then output the hast value of the certificate.

Securing the mails in the cloud

After experimenting a lot with several ways, I came to the following specification of securing the mails in the cloud that combines easiness and high speed:


Preparation: have the complete mail folder in an encrypted file container and copy it in the cloud.


  1. synchronise the remote container to the local one (copy only the differences)
  2. mount the local container on a directory
  3. fetch the mail from the mail server
  4. edit the mailbox with a MUA
  5. unmount the container
  6. synchronise the local container to the remote one (copy only the differences)

A back up of the local container is recommended.

The process is very easy and can be automated with a shell script. In this way the mails are safe in the cloud as well as locally.

Slackware installed, LFS started

The day before yesterday I installed Slackware in less than an hour. It was maybe the installation that I enjoyed the most. I like very much its concept. It attracts me and I want to learn many things about this notable distribution.

Now, although I had decided not to try it, not to touch it, not to think about it, I have already started reading the book about Linux from Scratch and I was very surprised to see some of my questions about some issues been answered in that nice book... Thus I decided to start this project, as a hobby or as an exercise, in order to learn. Maybe I will never manage installing this to the end, but I am sure that the journey will be full of knowledge and experiences that will strengthen my capabilities in this wonderful operating system.

I have already checked the host requirements. Hmm, Arch's package versions are too "cutting edge" for this and I do not want to downgrade anything... Then I switched to Debian, and this matches all! So, I will start this in Debian.

First Post from Gentoo

This is my first post from my newly installed Gentoo Linux. I work in a VGA virtual console, no graphics, just text. Right now I am listening to an internet radio stiation with mplayer and I am surfing the web with text browsers (lynx, links, w3m). I can read greek text by typing start_unicode in the console (not in screen) before starting e.g. w3m. I did not figure out how to write greek in the vga console, but I am sure there is a way. I will use this for a couple of days, or weeks. It is an experiment to see if and how I can "survive" in a strict vga console before installing framebuffer of-later-Xorg. I like it!

gentoo installed

Today I deleted gentoo from my Virtualbox because I managed to install it on my hard drive. I installed it from my Arch box using chroot. What I was not expecting was to get the network smoothly working after boot, but I just followed some instructions about wpa_supplicant, and it just worked! I have now a working Gentoo system in virtual console, Xorg is coming at a later stage.

Of course there were some problems to fight with. I will write about them in one of my next posts. But having some experience, imagination and patience solved them all!

I believe, that installing and maintaining a Gentoo system is a very learnful experience for a dedicated linux user. Well, after all, I can now return to my Arch box and everything seems ridiculously easy!... 🙂