Blog Archives

From Around The Web: Red Hat Collaboration with Docker

Redhat recently announced its new collaboration with the developers of the popular Docker software, which enables applications to be packaged with their dependencies into “containers,” rather than requiring a host OS for each application (monolithic approach).  This developement is quite interesting, as development of Docker, and bug fixes should increase, as well as this method for sandboxed applications.  This should also trickle down to Fedora and like distros that use similar structure (RPM based).  The move will primarily focus, at first, at removed the need for AuFS with a provisioning method based on the device-mapper technology in Fedora, RHEL, and others.  This will ensure compatibility with upstream kernel versions. Read the rest of this entry

Software Spotlight: Bitmessage

Bitmessage is one cool piece of software.  There are a lot of good things about it, but also a few pitfalls to watch out for.  In concept, Bitmessage is a P2P communications protocol in which you can send encrypted messages to others through special IDs or “subscribers.”  Being decentralized in nature, it is a much desired messaging system for those who do not wish to be identified.  Bitmessage is built on Python, enabling it to be cross-platform.

Authentication is strong and a paramount feature of the software, deterring spoof attacks and avoids storage of “non-content” data from the sender and receiver.  This includes identifying information that may finger either side.  In doing so, Bitmessage sidesteps eavsdroppers and wiretappers who are clawing at breadcrumbs for potential “threats.”

The one thing that is not quite there yet is an audit of the software itself.  Bitmessage carefully puts this disclaimer right on the homepage.  The source code is available however, on the github site.  If you are interested, there is also a very comprehensive whitepaper.

Installing Bitmessage

As far as I know, you have to compile Bitmessage unless a distro you use, has a user-generated package available (such as the AUR on Arch Linux).  Below are compile instructions that should get you going on Linux.   The full set of instructions can be found here.

Install the dependencies

APT-based distributions (Debian, Ubuntu):

sudo apt-get install python openssl git python-qt4

Raspberry Pi (Raspbian “wheezy”, PiBang):

sudo apt-get install python-qt4

RPM-based distributions (Red Hat, Fedora):

sudo yum install python openssl git


sudo pacman -S python2 openssl git python2-pyqt
Optional Daemon

Optionally, you can install the Bitmessage daemon , sidestepping Qt as a requirement.  You will also then need the API. Additinally this requires a keys.dat file  if you haven’t run Bitmessage yet, After doing this, you will have the keys.dat file.

Install the client:

To install bitmessage, perform the following:

git clone $HOME/PyBitmessage
cd $HOME/PyBitmessage/src/ && python

This will install the necessary files for the python client.  You can modify the $HOME path to be another directory, if desired.

Upgrading Bitmessage

Upgrading Bitmessage is fairly easy:

cd $HOME/PyBitmessage/src/ 
git pull origin master

Using Bitmessage

Bitmessage is pretty straightforward after installation.  To clarify, the official client is “PyBitmessage,” and Bitmessage is just the protocol.  You will need the “ID” of the person you will be sending the message to.  Also available are blacklists, and an Address book.  Be very careful when whitelisting or blacklisting, as it is not something to take lightly.  Bitmessage also will give you several options, including making multiple identities to receive mail from.

The inbox is where all your received messages will reside.  Down at the bottom of the screen you will see the context of any selected message, which allows copying and editing the message but it does not save any changes. The context menu in the message list provides additional features, such as HTML view or reply option. If you use the HTML view it will render some HTML tags from the message, like images.  Hitting delete will move the current message to trash.


Software Spotlight: easyLife for Fedora

I think the title pretty much says it all.  Installing software on Fedora is not “difficult,” even for a new user, but sometimes we just want it to get even easier.  Because I am lazy like that sometimes !  While I spend most of my time configuring via the Terminal window, I had to give this a good shot, as there are always cool project going on, and what better on to try that makes being a bum easy?  🙂 Read the rest of this entry

Android App Pick: Mobile Financial/Budgeting With GnuCash for Android

___________              GnuCash - screenshot thumbnail     GnuCash - screenshot thumbnail

GnuCash is my go-to defacto budgeting/financial program on Linux.  I love its double-entry classic system with standard XML protocol support.  The only thing missing from GnuCash is an online sync option, in my my opinion.  And as you will find out, that same flaw exists in its mobile cousin.  Read the rest of this entry

Distro Test Drive: Don’t Go Skydiving, Just Install Arch Linux…

This is pretty much a full on test drive. From start to finish, of my current distro I am using actively as on my main desktop. Let me tell you right now, Arch Linux is a huge learning experience.  You will get mad.  You will get frustrated, and trust me you WILL want to give up…several times.  This goes for those in the intermediate skill level, such as myself, but obviously the beginners as well.  Arch is not to be trifled with.  It takes no prisoners, no mercy, and hears no cries of “FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU” or the more popular, “IMPOSSIBRU!!”

With that out of the way, let’s get down to looking at what it takes to get a FULL Arch Linux system working:

Read the rest of this entry