Setting up IPv6 connectivity for my home LAN and my laptop

Our ISP has been saying that they will be rolling out a trial of IPv6 for more than 3 years now. Since this does not appear to be forthcoming I decided instead to make use of an IPv6 tunnel.

This tunnel behaves in much the same way as a VPN tunnel. You use IPv4 to connect to an endpoint, then use IPv6 addresses on the tunnel virtual interfaces. I used the Hurricane Electric tunnelbroker.net for my home IPv6 access, and a sixxs.net AYIYA tunnel for my laptop when away from home. I chose the AYIYA for my laptop since it is NAT friendly and is a better choice if your IPv4 address changes regularly. Both services are free.

Since I have a simple Linux machine as my main router this was actually a straightforward process. If you have a router that supports IPv6 tunnels, this can be even easier. In my case I had to setup the tunnel interface in /etc/network/interfaces (this is a Debian install, this should be the same for Ubuntu). The actual IPs have been obfuscated):

iface eth1 inet6 static
address 2001:a:b:c::3
netmask 64

auto he-ipv6
iface he-ipv6 inet6 v4tunnel
address 2001:aaaa:b:cccc::2
netmask 64
ttl 255
gateway 2001:aaaa:b:c::1

kwin crashes after enabling nVidia optimus in Ubuntu 13.10

After enabling the nvidia drivers for my optimus based laptop (Intel iGPU + nvdia discreet GPU), kwin crashed regularly. The main symptom was that application windows would not respond to mouse clicks, even though the mouse cursor still responded.

The fix was to create some symlinks in /usr/lib that pointed to a specific OpenGL library as apparently the nvidia OpenGL library was getting called by default (this should not be the case since optirun should be loading the nvidia libraries at run time).

  1. sudo ln -s /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/mesa/libGL.so /usr/lib/libGL.so
  2. sudo ln -s /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/mesa/libGL.so.1 /usr/lib/libGL.so.1

This seems to have corrected the issue for now.

Connecting to ProXPN with Linux

I recently heard about the VPN service from ProXPN. Since they were using OpenVPN under the hood I thought that it would be pretty straightforward to get running on my Ubuntu laptop (running 12.10 at the time of writing this). I have Vyper VPN (also using OpenVPN) working on this exact same configuration.

It turns out that officially there is no support for Linux, and the only downloads were .dmg (OsX), and .exe (windows)files. This was not looking good.

What I did first was to use 7zip to extract the contents of the downloaded .exe file. In the extracted folder was a folder called "config". In this folder was the .ovpn config file, was well as a folder called "ssl" which contained all of the required certs:

  1.  ls config/ssl
  2. ca.crt  client.crt  client.key

With this information I was able to build a command line to connect to the ProXPN service. The only two missing pieces was an auth.txt file containing my ProXPN username (an email address) and password. This is the same username and password you used to register with them.

How to restore your GNOME panel bar after accidentally removing it.

I accidentally deleted the GNOME bar while messing around with it. I could have rebuilt it by hand, applet by applet, but I thought that there must be some way to reset it back to the default. It turns out that this is a pretty straight forward thing to do.

In the /etc/xdg/menus folder are the templates for the default menus. The one we are interested in is "applications.menu.orig.dpkg-new".

Simply copy this file to your /home/<usr_id>/.config/menus/ directory and then rename it to "applications.menu"

I got this tip from the following forums:

Fedora Equivalent to Debian/Ubuntu's build-essential

I have been playing around with Fedora and Cent lately to get re-acquainted with RPM based Linux distros (it has been 8 or so years since I last bothered).

Anyway, I have grown very used to having certain bundles available to me. For example, on debian or Ubuntu, I would

sudo aptitude install build-essential

to get all of the required packages for compiling software. It seems that Fedora does this a little differently. For the moment, the closest equivalent to build-essential that I could find is:

 sudo yum groupinstall "Development Tools" "Development Libraries"

More to follow on my adventures in RPM-land.

Changing the date display format in Ubuntu 10.04 LTS

I am basing the majority of this off of the info I found at: http://ccollins.wordpress.com/2009/01/06/how-to-change-date-formats-on-u...

Basically I wanted to change how GTK based apps display the date. I wanted the format to be YYYY-MM-DD. In KDE this can be changed via the control panel-like interface. Gnome does not seem to have this option.

Gnome simply uses the same data that you can find by running the locale command. What we will end up doing is cloning our current locale, editing it, then installing our custom locale.

The locales are located at /usr/share/i18n/locales. In my case my locale is en-CA so I am going to use that as a base for my custom locale, thus preserving currency and language settings.

  1. sudo cp /usr/share/i18n/locales/en-CA /usr/share/i18n/locales/custom

I then edit that file looking for a line that starts with , the complete line looks like this:

  1. d_fmt  "<U0025><U0064><U002F><U0025><U006D><U002F><U0025><U0079>"

While this may look unintelligible it is really just a Unicode representation of the "date" command's command line interface.

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