Tag Archives: Linux

SlimOS How To – A Minimal Debian Desktop with Minimal Fuss (Part 1)

I have been using an Ubuntu desktop for the last few years doing the version upgrades and having no issues to speak of with it. But I also started to notice that the system was being a bit slow with larger applications like Firefox and others. Recently I have been moving back to my roots in terms of using terminal apps over pretty GUI versions. So I decided to take on the challenge of doing my once every two years complete reinstall of my home desktop with a slant on minimalism and cleanness.

I looked at various “distributions” like Crunch Bang, Dream Linux, Arch Linux, and countless others.  Yet it is somewhat of a stretch to call most of them distributions since just bundling and branding or Debian based packages. So I decided to just go to the source and roll my own. This is by far the best option for a clean minimal desktop with only what you need and will use on it.

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Using Dropbox for SSH Key and Configuration Storage

I have been using the free 2GB Dropbox account to store my SSH keys for our servers. Along with my mutt and other configuration files. The best part of Dropbox on Linux is being able to symlink things into the Dropbox directory to allow me to have the same configurations on all the various computers I use.

Basically what I do is have a .ssh_keys directory in my main computer’s home directory which I symlink in my Dropbox directory. Then on other computers I create a:

ln -s /home/myuser/Dropbox/.ssh_keys /home/myuser/.ssh_keys

I do the same with my .muttrc and any other configs I want to use. I even keep my wallpapers in the Dropbox folder where my awesome config file randomly loads one using:

awsetbg -f -r /home/myuser/Dropbox/wallpapers/

Speeding Up Your Linux Desktop

Speeding Up LinuxFor some time I have been using Ubuntu as my desktop distribution.  Recently even though my computer is quite powerful I have run into issues of slow going. The first thing I did was change to using Google Chrome for my daily browsing and Firefox as my backup browser for certain things.  This has helped the issue greatly by just using Chrome and closing Firefox on occasion and restarting it when slowness occurs.  Yet the speed still was not there as it use to be for me.  So I made a simple but effective change to my desktop environment.  I switched from Gnome to IceWM which has made all the difference in the world. Gone are the nifty yet resource intensive Compiz trickery replaced by pure simplistic beauty.  Reminding me more of the basic X Windows days when all you needed was a terminal and your favorite shell. It seems in an effort to appease the Windows types the Linux sect has made their desktops bloated just like what they were trying to avoid doing.  I only use a small handful of things throughout my day.

  • Browser
  • XTerm
  • gedit (or similar text editor)
  • pidgin (for IM)

That is about it.  I sometimes might open GIMP to edit an image or something to manage images when I upload them.  But this is not a daily occurrence. For work I now use Google Apps which includes Google Docs so there is not even a need to use OpenOffice or a PDF viewer for that matter.  It’s a minimal new world and I am just fine with that.

How to Build a Lean Startup with Free and Open Source Software – Part 1

The keys to success!I have been reading recently about the “Lean Startup” concept, which is funny since I have been working with and been part of more than a few without knowing there is a nifty catch phrase for them. So now I am all up on the lingo and hash tag #leanstartup I can speak on it. Today is the perfect time to take a gamble and dive into a lean startup. Being that there are so many free tools and services you can use along with very inexpensive solutions to infrastructure that were not available even a few years ago. By using the power of Open Source software, free online services, and cloud computing one can build a scalable and very cost effective lean startup.

Core Needs

Let’s first look at your new companies hosting and servers.  being that you are lean you may most likely be working from home.  So let’s look at hosting and services you will need in order to host some of the Open Source applications will will talk about in a moment.  In my experience the basic things you need to get going in terms of setting up shop are the basics:

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