This was covered by myself in this previous article when I first ventured into the world of Linux and Ubuntu.
I have learned some new things now and this is a follow up to correct some inaccuracies. Firstly, you should not install Linux on any FAT file system including FAT32 as these file systems don’t work correctly with linux file permissions.
Choose a partition size greater than 6GB preferably 10GB minimum for the primary partition which will contain the linux OS files and boot loader. Create a 4GB linux-swap partition as previously. Choose the ext4 journaling file system for the primary partition.
During installation I made a mistake and installed the ext2 file system which is a legacy linux file system and does not support journaling. A Journaling file system verifies the state of a file during the copy/move process by keeping logs. If a power outage occurred during the file copy process the system would know about it and inform the user that the file was not transferred/saved successfully. There is no such tracking with a non journaling file system and the corrupted file would be saved as a valid entry. I will have to see if I can convert from ext2 to ext4 without having to re-install.
The rest of the installation procedure for a portable Ubuntu linux 18.04 is still valid.
I decided to invest in a Bluetooth dongle to help me access the internet on my desktop etc via my smartphone. Why, I think is more secure in being less visible than a Wifi connection.
After having a look around I decided to go for the Plugable USB-bt4le from amazon. This is because it claimed be run on Linux. You can read the review here
And it did! However I had an issue when connecting on an unlocked smartphone that was on the Orange network. This forced me to dig into the world of Android development . It was a baptism of fire. 🙂 I spent and entire day and most of the night learning about Android’s adb (android debug bridge) and the android development environment.
Thanks to Canonical who maintain the software packages for Ubuntu, it is easy to install adb using the apt install adb command in Terminal.
After digging around
on the internet I found that tethering was set to use DUN and to
disable this you had to run
sudoadb shell in Terminal
followed by the statement below after you enter shell in
shell@E####:/ $ settings put global tether_dun_required 0
I think removing the APN for the DUN setting from the mobile phone carrier (on the Orange network in my case) also helped as it seemed to re-enable DUN on reboot.
shell@E####:/ $ settings delete global tether_dun_apn=[ApnSettingV3]Orange Internet,orange.fr,,,orange,orange,,,,,208,01,0,DUN,,,true,0,,,,,,,spn,Orange F
This did not solve the tethering problem entirely although it prevented the DUN (Dail-up Network)lookup on trying to connect.
What really got it working – Solution to Bluetooth tethering the Smartphone running Android 6.0.1
On your Android Smartphone Go to Settings
Turn on Bluetooth first (ensure you also have an internet connection although this can be done later ). Then
Settings → More → Tethering and Portable Hotspot
And this should
work! Unfortunately it seems you have to do this each time you turn
I uninstalled the older version of phpMyAdmin via Terminal and running :
sudo apt remove phpmyadmin
These were originally
installed from the Debian repository using Terminal and command line
when I setup LAMP .
Do not use the autoremove command if you want the current version of php left in place. I also left the old phpMyAdmin database in place. Because I was not sure if it was needed by the new version.
My current php and phpMYAdmin versions are as shown in the image below
You can refer to this article here. phpMyAdmin never worked properly. When accessing tables in databases I got the following type error.
Warning in ./libraries/sql.lib.php#613
count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable etc….
After looking at various articles the best solution I think is the one I found at AskUbuntu.com . See the image below.
It is simple and very effective. And exemplifies the portability of phpMyAdmin. The other methods of removing the installed version of phpMyAdmin and installing a newer version look painful and are not guaranteed as the Debian repository may not have the latest version or version compatible with your current Php version.
Go to the phpMyAdmin website. Download the latest version in zip format (5.0.4 at the time of writing). Copy the hash number as well. This will enable you to verify the integrity of the downloaded file.
Verify the hash number. To do this, open Terminal, supply the path where the zip file has been downloaded and type sha256sumfilename.zip . Verify the hash number is the same as that supplied by the phpMyAdmin download site. See image below.
Unzip the file.
Copy the unzipped folder and all it’s contents to your public folder. On Ubuntu 18.04 running Apache 2.4.29 this is in ‘/var/html’ . You can renamed to folder to something shorter if you like.
Make a copy of config.sample.inc.php and rename it to config.inc.php.
Make sure you have the authentication part setup correctly as follows to use a cookie and your web server is correctly specified in host.
Authentication type */
Server parameters */
Launch phpMyAdmin by accessing the phpMyAdmin hosted folder.
Audience: Ubuntu Desktop and Server users. Tested on 18.04
Steps to follow to setup a local development WordPress installation.
1) Copy your entire
live WordPress directory to your local LAMP server.
Do this by means of
FTP using and FTP Client such as Filezilla.
This should include your wp-admin, wp-includes , wp-admin and all the files in the root directory in which these reside. This is where the wp-config.php, wp-login.php, .htaccess files etc reside.
2) On your LAMP
server these should be placed in the
directory. It is advisable to create a folder under the html
directory where these files will go if you are hosting more than one
test site. e.g var/www/html/testsite
3) Backup the MySql database related to your WordPress live site. It is easiest to do this using PHPMyAdmin provided by your control panel of your hosting site. This is the only way have done it so far. Accept defaults and export the database. You will be given the option to save the file as a *.sql file.
4) On your LAMP server create a MySql database and database user. You can use PHPMyAdmin. However I have had problems, with PHPMyAdmin throwing up errors and not importing the database correctly or granting user privileges correctly. I have had to do it via command line like this. I strongly advise this method, as command line rules. 🙂
Log into mysql as root
create database db_name;
mysql> source backup-file.sql;
Create a user and grant privileges
GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON mydb.sql TO myuser@localhost IDENTIFIED BY "mypassword";
your WordPress wp-config.php ensuring that the database name,
username and user password match the ones created.
6) Update your tables to ensure your links work but running the following 3 command line MySql queries on the following tables. You can do this by logging into mysql as root via command line.
wp_options SET option_value = replace(option_value,
'http://www.example.com', 'http://localhost/test-site') WHERE
option_name = 'home'OR
option_name = 'siteurl';
wp_posts SET post_content = replace(post_content,
will replace references
to your live site’s URL from database with the localhost URL.
7) Lastly, an mostly importantly this pertains to the Ubuntu operating system environment. Apache here is installed differently from a native install for security reasons. In order to get your development WordPress running, you must do the following otherwise none of the symlinks ( symbolic links) to other pages on your site will work.
Note: nano is a text editor that’s pre-installed on Ubuntu
In /etc/apache2/apache2.conf, edit AllowOverride
None for /var/www/ to AllowOverride All
To edit use
sudo nano /etc/apache2/apache2.conf
Press CTRL + W and search for “<Directory /var/www/>”
Change here AllowOverride None to AllowOverride All
Save file and exit. (Press CTRL + X, press Y and then press
Type in the following command to enable mod_rewrite for
sudo a2enmod rewrite
Restart your apache server:
sudo service apache2 restart
Finally make sure you have a .htaccess file in the root
directory where WordPress is installed.
It should contain code similar to this:
# BEGIN WordPress
/your_directory index.php [L]
# END WordPress
That’s about it for now! Coming soon, a Control Panel App for a local LAMP install.
You should see the following page with a message saying that it work
can check your PHP by executing any PHP file from within /var/www/.
you can execute the following command, which will make PHP run the
code without the need for creating a file .
php -r ‘echo “Your
PHP installation is working\n”;’
yourself on the back and take a break. Congratulations! You have just
successfully installed a LAMP server on Apache.
As a reward install and play Chromium BSU.
you have an internet connection then open Terminal.
sudo apt install chromium-bsu
This should download and install this excellent arcade game which you can play for 5 minutes to have a break :). I tried downloading it from the Ubuntu Snap store but it didn’t install correctly from there.
LAMP to run as a local WordPress and Web Hosting Test Environment.
installs Apache in modules and splits the configuration files which
is different from the standard install.
Mysql server installs with the Ubuntu user as root for
authentication. WordPress and other applications use native mysql
Here ishow to enable native root user authenticationand change the mysql root user password.
$ sudo service mysql stop
to stop the current server before
performing the steps. Only one server can run at a time.)
$ sudo mkdir /var/run/mysqld; sudo chown mysql /var/run/mysqld
$sudo mysqld_safe –skip-grant-tables&
You should see sonething like this if it runs successfully
2020-04-29T20:36:42.126862Z mysqld_safe Logging to syslog.
mysqld_safe Logging to ‘/var/log/mysql/error.log’.
mysqld_safe Starting mysqld daemon with databases from
mysql --user=root mysql
will log you in as the native mysql root user.
“Welcome to the MySQL
monitor. Commands end with ; or \g.
Your MySQL connection id is 2
you should have the mysql prompt mysql>
change the root pasword run
user set authentication_string=PASSWORD('new_password')
OK, 1 row affected, 1 warning (0.03 sec)
matched: 1 Changed: 1 Warnings: 1”
To change the authentication
UPDATE user SET
should see someething like
Query OK, 4 rows affected
matched: 4 Changed: 4 Warnings: 0
and start the mysql server and test root login:
Microsoft Windows 7 ended support in January 2020. What this means to MS Windows users like myself is that your computer will be increasing at risk as it is no longer patched for security vulnerabilities by Microsoft.
your head in the sand is not an option. However if you are using an
island configuration which never has to connect to other computers
or the internet you can carry on as you are.
two options are to upgrade to Windows 10 or move to another operating
system such as Linux.
I have been looking into Ubuntu Linux from Canonical. Their latest desktop version is 18.04 which you can download here.
have older machines with 32 bit operating systems you will have to
use another distribution of Linux , as Canonical, the owners of
Ubuntu only support 64 bit cpus (central
processing units) . Linux itself dropped
support for 32 bit cpus in 2012.
tested any of these as yet but here are a couple of 32 bit
This is what I have been testing. You can download the
.iso file from (link)here and create a bootable USB or DVD with it.
You will also need the Rufus program to burn the .iso. Full
instructions can be found here:
Ubuntu Linux 18.04 LTS?
The LTS (Long Term Support) for starters. This means
the operating system is supported for 5 years by Canonical so you
will receive security patches. 18.04 LTS will be supported for 5
years until April 2023.
The Snap App installer ensures you download software
that has been tested and checked for malware by the developers.
The GNOME 3 desktop is delightful to use.
I am quite impressed. It picked up and installed the
drivers for my network card and wireless worked straight away so I
was able to connect to the internet and print to my HP 2600 printer
without having to anything.
The only major drawback was there was no storage i.e
persistence.. Any programs installed and changes made were lost once
you turned the computer off.
Linux with Persistence on a USB stick
The Rufus v3.8 has the ability to create a bootable usb version of linux on a USB drive. See image below. However this does not work for Ubuntu 18.04.4 There is some bug that has not been fixed apparently. (Mosty, 2020).
I found this article on Foss Linux (Adel, 2019) and had a go using the Gparted application on the bootable Ubuntu USB created from the .iso image. You need another spare USB drive on which to install Ubuntu with persistence if you are booting Ubuntu from a USB drive rather than a DVD.
After using the Gparted app. to delete all partitions on the target USB, I began the installation.
I selected Normal installation and Something else as
recommend by the article.
Select the drive to partition. Also make sure the correct drive is selected in “Device for boot Menu” at the bottom.
I partitioned the drive with a FAT32, where the installation goes. You can give the mount point any name. This is a Primary partition. This should be a minimum size of 5.3 Gigabytes.
I next created a logical drive with a ext4 journaling partition (“ / ” mount point) and a swap file partition.
The swap file partition should be a minimum of 4.096 Gigabytes.
The ext4 journaling partition is what gives the installation the capability of persistence. I found you can’t see the FAT32 partition by default.
The Gparted application doesn’t seem to get installed by default when you install Ubuntu.
You can setup Live Patch to keep you secure once you
and install Apps with the Ubuntu Snap-in Application
All in all I am happy with Ubuntu 18.04 and am getting to grips with finding my way around this new operating system 🙂
Note: THe FAT32 on which the Ubuntu OS is installed is not visible with File Manager even as Administrator
H. Edel 2019, https://www.fosslinux.com/10212/how-to-install-a-complete-ubuntu-on-a-usb-flash-drive.htm
We all probably use Extensions in our web browsers without hesitation as they make our life easier.
Popular web extensions include Ad Blockers which block adverts, Video Downloaders which help us download Youtube videos and more .
There is a price to be paid for this convenience as you are literally handing over your life to some other parties. This is especially the case with using free apps out there as not every has good intentions. It is best to start from a point of mistrust until the position of an application such as an Extension or Plugin can be proved otherwise.
Let‘s look at the popular video downloader extension, Video DownloadHelper for the FireFox and Chrome web browsers.
Besides the web browser extension, Video DownloadHelper now insists on installing an Companion Application onto your device (where device is desktop or laptop. I have never installed it on a smartphone). All this so that you can download Youtube and other video clips with a couple of mouse button clicks.
However, if you take a look at the permissions this Extension and Companion Application require to run you nay as well hand over your computing device to someone with all your passwords and data including government business and banking details.
Have a look below and the permissions list and you will see that this extension with it’s Companion app can record and send your every action performed on your device to other parties.
I advice checking the permissions that Extensions and plugins require very carefully before you install them. This includes Advert blockers like AdBlock Plus.
You can get around the problem of downloading videos without signing your life away, I recommend using VLC Playerwhich is a genuine open source project created by the good :).
Here is a link to how to download videos using VLC Player.
Have fun browsing but remember to stay safe. Make a text file of sites and login info you needneed and then periodically clear your cookies and historic data stored in your browser.
A couple of applications for the android smartphone.
The first application is a BitCoin wallet. This application is quite lightweight and works well on my Sony Ericsson Xperia smartphone. The system requirements don’t seem to be quite low. This is because the software does not download the full BitCoin blockchain. This makes it quicker at processing the transaction in a reasonable amount of time with limited processing power. It took under two minutes to send Bitcoins from the wallet on my PC to my wallet on my smartphone.
The software can be downloaded directly from the developer’s site as well as Google’s Play Store.
Not being a fan of Google, I prefer to download software that is available directly from the developer. Here’s the link to developer’s site:
After installing the BitCoin wallet please remember to encrypt it and PLEASE make sure you REMEMBER the password that you choose for this. As if you forget it, there is no way that you will be able to access your wallet. It is also advisable to make a copy of this encrypted file and store it elsewhere for example, your computer’s hard drive or a usb stick.
You can also see what developments are being made to the software and make your own requests too on the forum. At the moment NFC (tap to transfer type transaction) functionality has been implemented and is being tested.
My Xperia came without a decent text editor. It had one of sorts but I could never summon it at will and did want to use a google app. Anf give the corporations and GCHQ yet more material to work with. After having a look around I found Jota Text Editor which is a brilliant little text editor it’s pronounced as i-o-t-a by the way.
With the current value of BitCoin soaring against the fiat currencies it’s inevitable that it will attract keen interest from cyber criminals. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security by having your wallet stored at an online exchange.
Whilst many exchanges provide good file security and network on their networks, they are not responsible for the contents of your wallet being stolen should your password be compromised through a phishing attack or if you login password gets captured by a trojan on your computer/mobile phone.
The best way to secure your wallet is by having two factor authentication set on it.
Whilst the largest bitcoin exchange Mtgox provides support for this security model the documentation provided by Mtgox is a appalling and two factor authentication would not be able to be implemented by non technical computer person.
If you have an online Mtgox wallet that you access by means of a home computer download and install the the the Google Authentication App. I’m not a big fan of becoming even more dependent on Google but this is what is supported by MtGox and will have to do for now unless you decide to buy a YubiKey which is a hardware implementation (via a USB key).
You should have a screen looking something like this, with only the default google alice account. Click the ‘+’ to create an Mtgox account and enter the PRIVATE Key here that you create at the MtGox site. Login to MtGox now to create this PRIVATE KEY.
2. Creating your Private Key. Log into your MtGox account and go to the Security Centre.
Click on the ‘Add New’ New Software Authentication System. This will bring up the screen shown below.
Print and Save this in a safe place! Take a screen shot of it as you will need to know and keep hold of your Secure Private Key for future reference.Do not Lose it!
3. Now enter this PRIVATE Key into the place requesting it in the Google Authenticator. You should then have your OTP (one time password aka passcode) appear fro the MtGox account in Google Authenticator and the changes ever 30s.
4.Copy the OTP (also called the Code on the mtGox site) from the Google Authenticator and enter it into the 4th field at the bottom called ‘Code’. Then click on the ‘Save’ button.
5. Applying the Security.
Go back to the mtGox security centre. When you created the Private Key using the New Software Authentication System, the first entry created was the Auth Name. This was done automatically. In the screen above it it OTP#5059.
You can apply your OTP to the LOgin, Withdrawal and Security Centre.
Apply it to both the Withdrawals and Security Centre as shown in the screen shot below. Why link this Google Authentication to the Security Centre. This is so that if someone does gain access to you email account the won’t be able to reset/remove the security on your Withdrawals and thus steal your BitCoins and other Funds.
You should now be able to sleep more securely knowing that your valuable BitCoins cannot be stolen should your email account used to autheticate you at MTGox ever get compromised.
Special thanks to BitCoinBull at BitCoinTalk.org for the original posting in the form and to G.Braad (firstname.lastname@example.org.) for compiling the Google authenticator for HTML5.
Well, perhaps Love/ Hate are too strong a word. Especially since I am no techno geek or techno whizz and slow to make the change from a proven and working system. Indeed my N95 came out in 1997 and we have only been together for 3 months. So I am not really up there with the latest technology. In fact the only reason I got it is that I felt it would be handy to be able to access the web via wifi.
So let’s start with the short comings of my Nokia N95.
For one you can use it like a normal phone because the ear piece does not work 95% of the time. It’s a bug in the software that never seems to have been ironed out. You have to speak to your call either via loudspeaker or headphones. Shocking! A lot of people must have returned these phones for this reason.
Volume control does not work – a design fault where the button breaks of it’s mountings. You can hover adjust the volume and leave it at a preset level using the external volume control cable. No ideal but a work around.
Nokia has provided sync support only for MS Outlook and IBM Lotus Notes. This means that you cannot sync your calendar with open source email applications like Mozilla’s Thunderbird which is a pain. And please no one mention Google Calendar. We have already given Google too much power with near search engine monopoly, our addiction to Youtube videos that I don’t really want to hand them my Calendar.
Not many applications out there, but I don’t find this to be a limitation as it does web, email, calendar and a couple of instant messenger programs.
Some say it’s a bit bulky but I don’t find this a problem.
The things I like about the N95
Pretty stable Symbian S60 operating system
Decent SatNav and Nokia Maps
Great sound system! Puts Apple iPhones to shame. You don’t need external speakers with this on to get the party going )
4 Gb memory for storageis sufficent and the apps cope okay with the 48 Mb internal RAM.
Takes great pics with the 5 Mega pixel camera
Plays Youtube videos well – Real Player
Crystal clear and bright display
Supports OggPlayer (free app. but they accept donations) which is great for Audio books – has independent volume control and fast forward/rewind which default Nokia Music Player lacked.
Buttons – I like buttons. Nokia’s 3 lettered buttons suit me down to a tee.
Well, that’s be and my N95 in a nutshell. I am not looking to get another phone anytime soon )