Debian Minimal Desktop 01

Been using Linux since 1997 and I have fun using it full time for my home desktop computer. I wasn’t able to enjoy it before when I was younger because yeah computer games so I had to dual boot linux with windows.

Back in the day it video card and game support for linux was zero to none. Back in the day the only way to play computer games if you are running linux was via Wine but it was not really mature enough then that it takes a lot of people time to configure and run games. Not sure now about wine since I have not used it for a long time.

Things changed when nvidia started supporting the operating system by releasing their own drivers. Then came along Steam and linux native games (not that I still play a lot of games).

I posted a screenshot of my current desktop on Reddit and many seem to like it and was asking how I configured my desktop to look this way.

So I am also sharing here the things I used to make the desktop look how it should

I would expect you know how to configure conky so I wouldn’t be giving out instructions on how configured my. There are also a lot of tutorials online about conky. But if you really feel the need to ask me things you can do so by checking the homepage for ways to contact me.

The title of this post includes the number “01” since I change my desktop from time to time which means I might be posting my other desktop configuration in the future.

Minimalist Linux Desktop

Got bored this afternoon so I decided to change the desktop yet again. You see I think this is one problem most Linux users run in to. Because of so much things you can do with the operating system and the amount of control that you have over it, people tend not to stay into one setting or one app. Everything keeps changing, keeps getting updated, new stuff comes out all the time.

Anyway I stumbled upon a few bits and pieces and combined them and came up with this

Current Desktop... Desktop

So I reformatted my main desktop yesterday and it is set to run exclusively on linux. I felt like the only thing that was stopping me from removing windows was Dota 2, which actually runs fine in Linux. I checked programs I was running on the desktop with windows and most if not all of them have open source equivalents.

So I spent sometime configuring my desktop and came up with this. I still need to work on my creativity.

Linux Mint 18 Dell Inspiron 5521 Fan Issue Fix

Last month I decided to upgrade my Dell laptop to Linux Mint 18 (Sarah) from Linux Mint 17.3. I have been using linux mint as a daily driver for that laptop and so far I have no issues with it until after upgrading to linux mint 18.

The fans on my laptop kept running at full speed even if its idle. A quick google search and I found out that I am not the only one having the issue. It does seem like it is a common issue with Dell laptops not just the model that I own and it is not specific with linux mint as well.

I did try to configure a lot of things including changing settings in acpi to linux but that did not seem to help. I found out about i8kutils during the process but after installing it, the fans just stopped working for a few seconds then went back to it’s merry own way of running at full speed.

Installing lm-sensors (sudo apt-get install lm-sensors) did not show that it detected any fans on my system (an update to this after a kernel upgrade provided by linux mint, running lm-sensors now show that it detects a fan and shows the fan speed) even though you can hear the fan physicall running.

Please watch the video below on how I fixed the issue for my machine. It might or might not work for you but it is worth a try anyway. This might also work for other Dell laptops not just the model that I have. If it does work for you please leave a comment here or on my youtube video and please state the dell laptop model you used it on to help other people.

My config file below (i8kmon.conf)

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# Run as daemon, override with --daemon option
set config(daemon) 0

# Automatic fan control, override with --auto option
set config(auto) 1

# Report status on stdout, override with --verbose option
set config(verbose) 1

# Status check timeout (seconds), override with --timeout option
set config(timeout) 20

# Temperature thresholds: {fan_speeds low_ac high_ac low_batt high_batt}
set config(0) {{-1 0} -1 40 -1 40}
set config(1) {{-1 1} 30 60 30 60}
set config(2) {{-1 2} 59 100 59 100}

# For computer with 2 fans, use a variant of this instead:
# Temperature thresholds: {fan_speeds low_ac high_ac low_batt high_batt}
# set config(0) {{-1 0} -1 52 -1 65}
# set config(1) {{-1 1} 41 66 55 75}
# set config(2) {{-1 1} 55 80 65 85}
# set config(3) {{-1 2} 70 128 75 128}

# end of file

BSD = Unilimited Headache

I started out my linux adventures via slackware linux. Now I am using the easiest way out Linux Mint just because I am getting old and when you get old there are a lot of things you best spend your time on. Back then everyone was playing with their redhat and I insisted that I wanted something out of the box. I still remember my happy mother when I ask her to buy me a book that was so thick and was quite expensive. It was a Linux for dummies book because I wanted to learn how to use the operating system and internet back then was a real pain in the ass. Google was not yet conceived so there was really not much for me to get the information from.

When I started with slackware I can still remember the 2 drives that died on me during the process for installing, removing, re-installing, partition, re-partition but I did learn a few bits here and there. Back then linux package management was not yet the thing. You have to download and compile including the dependencies for a program to be installed in slackware.

Fast forward this year, I got bored and said to myself that I really want to try and learn a fair bit of BSD. So I downloaded the iso and for testing purposes installed it in a virtual machine (thank God for the people who created those things). Yep it was a pain but using it brings back the slackware days during my younger years. Make, make install, tar etc etc. It’s only now that I understood what it meant by slackware is most unix like linux distro. So I guess having experience with slackware did help me with playing around with BSD.

I did have some old hardware I was planning to use BSD on and use the machine as my home server but unfortunately life is hard nowadays and I don’t really have the extra means to buy western digital red nas drives. Maybe in time I can learn more about bsd and the infamous file system they are using and be able to apply it on my home server but for now I will play around with it inside the virtual box. I might be able to score some cheap 250gb hdd soon and use that as my main bsd drive and dual boot the desktop.

For people who want to venture into BSD, I would suggest you read up the Freebsd manual its really quite good and has a lot of information. Let’s face it if you have no experience with BSD the first thing that will come to your mind would be FreeBSD. Be prepared for the unlimited headache you will get though, chances are some of your hardware requires a lot of configuring to do. Some of your linux application might not have been ported to FreeBSD. You might need to compile one on your own.

Dead Liquid Cooling

So I woke up today and turned on my desktop… 2x120mm AIO fans unusually running at full speed. I check speed and fan and my processor was burning. So I turned off my desktop and quickly checked inside bios and found out that the pump was not reporting any activity. I switched the pump fan header to a different fan header on my system board and turned on the machine. Result = SAME

My tower before the pump died

So I took out the OEM Intel fan that I had and quickly installed it hoping I would get the same result (hoping that the AIO pump was not dead) but viola the system temps were back to normal. So as it stand my Deepcool gamerstorm 240MM AIO pump is dead. The fans run but the stupid pump is dead.

Oh well the system is now back up to normal using the original OEM Intel fan. I am thinking of keeping it this way for a bit since I am due for a system upgrade soon and I only usually do light gaming on the desktop anyways (Dota 2) and thats about it. I mostly use it for torrents and watching movies on my TV.

Damn deepcool it’s so sad to see it die but you can’t have it all. I’m going to include it on the desktop set that I am selling (Intel E7400, 4gb corsair ram, Asus P5Q SE Plus, Coolermaster PSU and a broken 9800 GT) Hope someone buys it and I am going to use the money to buy WD NAS Reds.

RIP Deepcool