My Linux Home Away of Home
Just a site of stuff that I know or claim to. ;-)

ffmpeg and codecs March 28, 2017

Hey Guys,

I want to talk about the install of the video compression software called ffmpeg and its frontend app WinFF. The ffmpeg application is used for converting video and audio files from one format to another. Usually if you’re looking for better quality products or smaller file sizes, this will work for that. The ffmpeg website states, “FFmpeg is the leading multimedia framework, able to decode, encode, transcode, mux, demux, stream, filter and play pretty much anything that humans and machines have created. It supports the most obscure ancient formats up to the cutting edge.”

The WinFF application is the graphical frontend app for the ffmpeg applicationto change the encoding on a video or audio file that you created to make it smaller or change the overall qualify as well. When I installed Manjaro 17 Mate, I noticed something that was a little off. There were some issues installing the apps through AUR that needed to be fixed. The biggest issue was the the gpg keys were not being accepted from the packages so I had to manually add them by doing the following.

  • Create a gpg configuration file in your home folder locate in ~/.gnupg/gpg.conf
  • Add this to the gpg.conf file that you created, without the “”. “keyring /etc/pacman.d/gnupg/pubring.gpg”
  • Now, when your get the error about the key issue, do the following changing the example to the key that you see in the error. Try to run the following as your regular user but if needed issues sudo before the commands to add as the root level user.
    • pacman-key -r 919464515CCF8BB3
    • pacman-key -f 919464515CCF8BB3
    • pacman-key –lsign-key 919464515CCF8BB3
    • gpg –recv-keys 919464515CCF8BB3
    • gpg –edit-key 919464515CCF8BB3
      • trust
      • Choose full or ultimate
      • type quit once complete

Once you may have to do this with other applications but now you see how easy it is. I’m not sure why this is showing up now and in Mate, but the fix will work.



Something else that I noticed was an error during the installation of the ffmpeg-full application and codec is that jni which appears to be part of a java package is causing installation issues.

According to the following URL, the jni issue was removed in the git version of ffmpeg. The backend app and codecs should now install with no problems.

Just install ffmpeg-full-git from the AUR repository as you do with other applications. Depending on the speed of the system, the installation will take some time to complete.



I just found something out which is interesting. There is still a broken codec plugin called libvo-aacenc. It sounds like this one is not worth messing with as it is not located in the community or AUR repositories. It has been recommended to install libfdk-aac instead which ffmpeg will need to be recompiled with it. Now, with that being said, I was able to find libfdk-aac in AUR and it installed without any issues but it did rebuilt ffmpeg on its own. I’m not sure what was removed and readded when it comes to codecs as it removed the version of ffmpeg all together. Just by watching the install process, it is possible that the majority may have been reinstalled.

In order to make this change, you will need to do the following:

  • Open WinFF
  • Click on Edit
  • Select Presets
  • Choose the MPEG-4 codec
  • Select either MPEG-4 720p or MPEG4-1080p and change the library from libvo_aacenc to libfdk_aac
  • Click on Add/Update to make sure that the changes took
  • Click Save or an extra good measure
  • Click on Close


  • To test, Select MPEG-4 under Convert to:
  • Select MPEG-4 720p or MPEG-4 1080p under preset
  • Make sure you have your video selected
  • Click Convert
  • If everything is set correctly, you should see a terminal open and the conversion process should run

There is still an issue even with using libfdk_aac as the video is not coming out like its supposed to. I am going to look into this a little deeper to see what is going on. I am also trying Handbrake to see how that works with converting videos to different formats.


From a post that I found:

“As of FFmpeg 3.0 (Feb 2016), libvo-aac has been removed from FFmpeg because the built-in AAC encoder has superior quality and is no longer experimental. It is suggested to use the built-in encoder (-c:a aac) or libfdk-aac (-c:a libfdk_aac) instead.”

To look for the aac codecs, use the command, ffmpeg -codecs.

I took the libvo_aacenc codec from MPEG-4 and replaced it with the stock aac and the app worked. From what I have been reading on this subject, the libvo_aacenc codec has been removed from the repositories as a poor quality product and it was recommended to use one of the aac codecs instead. For a list of available codecs, see the links shown at the bottom of the page.


No Comments on ffmpeg and codecs
Categories: Multimedia

3D Printing tips for printing with the Prusa i3x Printer March 24, 2017

I am adding a tips that I have come across of found out on my own while using my 3D printer. 3D printing is not easy and take time but it can be rewarding in the end.

  • Print about 4 to 5 loops to get the filament to start and to adhere to the heat bed. Not needed all the time, maybe for testing bed leveling. This may or may not be necessary depending on the type of adhesion that you are using on your heat bed. Personally, with PLA, I use blue painters tape and the purple glue stick. With ABS, I use ABS juice that I put together with ABS pieces and some acetone mixed into a glass or metal container. I read that you need to allow the ABS juice to dry during the heating process and the part will still stick. I will try that part out.
  • Make sure that the bed leveling is spot on. Some people use calipers, some use a ruler to measure the distance between the print nozzle and the heat bed while others use automated bed leveling. I normally use calipers to measure between the Y axis bed frame and the heat bed to get things levels.
  • Don’t over tighten your X and Y axis belt idlers. If you over tighten the idler, you will over tighten the belts which will cause tension issues with the motors and cause skipping in the printer and bad prints and eventually burn out the motors.
  • Make sure that you have extra parts on hand such as bearings, bushings, spare belt, screws, nuts, washers, etc.
  • Depending on what filament material that you will be using you need to make sure that you have painters paint, glue stick, ABS juice, anything else you may need to help the parts stick to the heat bed. Down this page shows some information about filament and includes a link to some other information.
  • Speaking of heat bed, you need to make sure that the temp of the heat is correct for the material that you will be using as well. For instance, PLA would work just fine between 55 and 65 degree Celsius on the heat bed and 230 to 235 degree Celsius on the extruder. ABS needs to be around 80 to 100 degrees Celsius on the heat bed and around 230 to 250 degrees Celsius on the extruder.  Below is an example of how someone of thingiverse users their printer with ABS filament.



This is not mine, but I may have to try it out anyway.  😀

  1. I use a aluminium plate instead of the original glass plate, with same dimensions and thickness
  2. I heat up the plate to about 240F and spread the complete plate with a thin layer of hot glue. I use these sticks that are made for hot glue guns.
  3. I cover the plate with some piece of cardboard for about 10 minutes (or longer). This gives the glue time to spread evenly
  4. I start printing with plate temperature about 200F.
  5. After the second layer I reduce plate temperature to 70F. The model is glued to the printing plate very firmly, no warping
  6. When print is finished, I heat up the printing plate to 200F again – glue gets soft again, and I can remove the model.



I found the following at which works well as a guide on what the temps should be. Keep in mind that not all filament are created equal so the temps will differ from product to product but should be very similar. Check out the URL above as there are other filament types to choose from.


Filament Type   |   Extruder Temp  |  Comments


PLA (Original & Creative Series) 215°C – 235°C
  • PLA can be printed both with and without a heated print bed, but if your desktop 3D printer does have a heated print bed it is recommended to set your print bed temperature to approximately 60°C – 80°C.
  • First layer usually 5°C-10°C higher than subsequent layers.
  • Glow in the dark use 5°C-10°C higher.
  • Sticks well to Blue painter’s tape.
  • Sticks well to extra strong hair spray.
  • Sticks well with “ABS Juice” (scrap ABS filament dissolved in acetone)
ABS (Original & Creative Series) 230°C – 240°C
  • Heated print bed recommended. Set your print bed temperature to approximately 80°C – 100°C. After the first few layers, it’s best to turn down your print bed temperature a bit.
  • Glow in the dark ABS use 250°C
  • Sticks well to Polyimide/Kapton tape, PET tape, Blue tape.
  • Sticks well to extra strong hair spray.
  • Sticks well with “ABS Juice” (scrap ABS filament dissolved in acetone).




You know, where there’s a will, there’s a way. That holds true in 3D printing. If there is something that you are missing for a project, just make it and print it out. For example, I want to add dual extrusion to my printer. What this means is that I will be able to print with two different color filaments at the same time or two different types of filament as well. Now, the problem is that I do have two exact extruders but I am missing the bracket that holds them together in the mount. Well, there is a guy that I know on thingaverse that goes by his ham call sign of KB3LNN which created a dual extruder mount for the same extruders that I have and he created the mount bracket and add it because I said that I was missing it. That is awesome. He didn’t have to but did out of the kindness of his heart.

Now to print this bad boy out using my ABS filament. ABS is heat resistant and will allow this mount to work real well.

There is also another mount which appears to be a good one as well. This set was created by a gentleman called lukie80 on thingaverse and has multiple capabilities. For this project, we just need the two sections below, the first link being the carriage system and the second one being the dual extruder mount.  I will still have to print the bracket from the project above but it will all come together real well.




I need to come up with some changes for my Prusa i3x that works better on the Z Axis. One thing that is noticed since these are the acrylic frame printers, the weight is a little on the heavy side with the extruder in place as well. One thing that I was wondering is if it is possible to separate the motors placing them on top of the printer somewhere and placing the hotends on the extruder mount. There are printable parts to help fix the issues which if I print them in ABS, they will be strong enough to work for quite some time and actually be lighter than the acrylic material used on the printer to begin with. Some of things that I wanted to work on are the bearings or bushing to make sure that I have the right diameter ones. The X and Y Axis pulley bearings that keep wearing out. I have tried to go with printed parts for this and they work better than the microbearings that are added with the kits. I have gone through bearings like water going through me. LOL – You may want to bookmark or download these

No Comments on 3D Printing tips for printing with the Prusa i3x Printer
Categories: 3D Printing

Linux Backups (Are They Needed??) – Part 2 – BackInTime March 22, 2017

Now that we have a good snapshot backup application installed we need to make sure that our personal files such as documents, pictures, video, etc are backed up as well. Since TimeShift takes care of the operating system side an application called backintime will take care of the rest. This has very similar capabilities as TimeShift such as full and incremental backups but with TimeShift, from what I can tell, the backups stay on the local machine where with backintime you can tell the app where to place the backups. Backintime also uses the rsync command directly in doing its backups and restores.




The installation process is identical to the the way we install most packages. Below are the steps that can be used to install the backintime backup / restore application.


Now for the BackInTime installation from Pamac (Add / Remove Software Application):

  • Open the Pamac application (Add / Remove Software Application)
  • Type in backintime in the search
  • Click on the AUR tab
  • Select backintime
  • Click Apply
  • A popup will show that there will be dependencies that need to be resolved. Click on the Commit button
  • Enter the sudo password to elevate permission for the installer
  • Just sit back and let the installer finish.
  • Once the install is complete just close the Pamac application
  • Now you have a working version of backintime installed and ready to go.

If you choose to do this from a terminal, here you go:

  • Make sure that yaourt is installed by issue sudo pacman -S yaourt
  • Yaourt is the command line app to work with the AUR repository
  • Remember that yaourt complains about running in root. Run from your local account with sudo access.
  • Open a terminal and type sudo yaourt -S backintime
  • You will need to give your sudo password to elevate for the installation
  • If prompted to edit files, just say no unless you know what you’re doing
  • If prompted to install packages, just say yes
  • Once the installation is complete, you will have a fully operational version of backintime


Keep in mind that you can create and run the backups and restore either from the command line as shown below or from the desktop using the backintime application.




[kf4bzt@tim-pc ~]$ backintime –help
usage: backintime [-h] [–config PATH] [–debug]
[–profile NAME | –profile-id ID] [–quiet] [–version]

Back In Time – a simple backup tool for Linux.

optional arguments:
-h, –help show this help message and exit
–config PATH Read config from PATH.
–debug Increase verbosity.
–profile NAME Select profile by NAME.
–profile-id ID Select profile by ID.
–quiet Be quiet. Suppress messages on stdout.
–version, -v show backintime’s version number.
–license show backintime’s license.


backup – Take a new snapshot. Ignore if the profile is not
scheduled or if the machine runs on battery.
backup-job – Take a new snapshot in background only if the profile
is scheduled and the machine is not on battery. This
is use by cron jobs.
benchmark-cipher – Show a benchmark of all ciphers for ssh transfer.
check-config – Check the profiles configuration and install crontab
decode – Decode pathes with ‘encfsctl decode’
last-snapshot – Show the ID of the last snapshot.
last-snapshot-path – Show the path of the last snapshot.
pw-cache – Control Password Cache for non-interactive cronjobs.
remove – Remove a snapshot.
remove-and-do-not-ask-again – Remove snapshots and don’t ask for confirmation
before. Be careful!
restore – Restore files.
snapshots-list – Show a list of snapshots IDs.
snapshots-list-path – Show the path’s to snapshots.
snapshots-path – Show the path where snapshots are stored.
unmount – Unmount the profile.

For backwards compatibility commands can also be used with trailing ‘–‘. All
listed arguments will work with all commands. Some commands have extra
arguments. Run ‘backintime <COMMAND> -h’ to see the extra arguments.



Instead of posting all of the possible settings for the configuration file, I have attached a file with them in it.







If moving a configuration from one machine to another. Make sure that you change the hostname and make sure that the backup folder has been created. Once that is done, run the following to check the config file.


[kf4bzt@tim-pc ~]$ backintime check-config

Back In Time
Version: 1.1.14

Back In Time comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY.
This is free software, and you are welcome to redistribute it
under certain conditions; type `backintime –license’ for details.
│ Check/prepair snapshot path │
Check/prepair snapshot path: done

│ Check config │
Check config: done

│ Install crontab │
ERROR: Failed to get crontab lines: 1, no crontab for kf4bzt

Install crontab: done

Config /home/kf4bzt/.config/backintime/config profile ‘Main profile’ is fine.




Now that the configuration is setup and ready, go ahead and try the first backup run.


[kf4bzt@tim-pc ~]$ backintime backup

Back In Time
Version: 1.1.14

Back In Time comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY.
This is free software, and you are welcome to redistribute it
under certain conditions; type `backintime –license’ for details.

INFO: Lock
WARNING: Inhibit Suspend failed.
INFO: Take a new snapshot. Profile: 1 Main profile
INFO: Call rsync to take the snapshot
INFO: Save config file
INFO: Save permissions
INFO: Create info file
INFO: Remove backups older than: 20170220-000000
INFO: Keep min free disk space: 10240 MiB
INFO: Keep min 2% free inodes
INFO: Unlock




As you can see, the backup was successful and created the folder with the content, if any.


[kf4bzt@tim-pc ~]$ ls -alh ./Backups/backintime/tim-pc/kf4bzt/1/
total 12K
drwxr-xr-x 3 kf4bzt kf4bzt 4.0K Mar 22 15:19 .
drwxr-xr-x 3 kf4bzt kf4bzt 4.0K Mar 22 15:18 ..
dr-xr-xr-x 3 kf4bzt kf4bzt 4.0K Mar 22 15:19 20170322-151819-785
lrwxrwxrwx 1 kf4bzt kf4bzt 19 Mar 22 15:19 last_snapshot -> 20170322-151819-785





As I set Back In Time for Ubuntu Mate, I took some screenshots to show what this would look like. Back In Time can either be used as a standalone backup solution or as a supplement to the TimeShift backup agent for pulling use home folders and other things that may not be pulled from the original snapshot. As shown in the first screenshot, the Back In Time application can be used as a full system backup solution. When you click on yes, the settings get changed to make the app capable of doing a full system backup.



As we look into the settings, most can be left as default but there are some that do need to be modified in order for you to have the backups that you need when you need them. First first item to change will be where you want your snapshots to be located. Just create folder and point to it with Back In Time. You will also need to set a schedule for backup snapshots to be taken. I set mine as everyday at midnight local.



The Include tab allows you to choose either files or folders or even both if you like to be included in the regular snapshot. I chose most of the folders within my home directory as TimeShift does not include /home in its snapshots.



The excludes tab allows you to skip certain files or folders but I have left this at its default setting as I think what is had will work for now. This will be good for excluding certain data from a full snapshot that you do not need to be backed up.



The next tab called auto-remove, allows you to set how often you want snapshots to be removed within a certain time limit, drive space limit, as well as getting down to how many inodes left before removing snapshots. I just left this at the default settings for now. I may tweak it more a little later.



The items under the option tab was left at their defaults as well. Most of this is self explanatory for the most part.



And finally, the expert options tab, I just left this one as is as well.



Now that we have our settings the right way, Back In Time will take you to the main screen where you can kick off your first snapshot. In the upper left corner is an icon that looks like a harddrive with an arrow pointing down. Hit that button to start a manual backup of the files and folders shown in the middle of the screen.



After you hit the button, you will see data moving at the bottom of the screen. This just shows what is being backed up and what percentage is complete from each item.



If you are wondering what is being backed up and if the files and or folders are include a change or just informational, you can see the logs by going to the top of the screen, clicking on View and selecting view last log. This will show you everything that was backed up the last time and what its status was.


No Comments on Linux Backups (Are They Needed??) – Part 2 – BackInTime

Linux Backups (Are They Needed??) – Part 1 – TimeShift

Hey Guys,

To answer the question above, YES. Backups are needed when dealing with any computer operating system. There are many backup solutions out there that conduct backups in different ways. Some do full and incremental backups, some do bare metal type backups while some issue full and incremental system snapshots. Well, in this small post, I want to go over an app that I found for Manjaro and any other linux distro called TimeShift.

TimeShift is very similar to the MacOS Timemachine and the Windows built in backup and restore app for snapshots. This app has turned out to be an awesome package and a necessity for my linux system at home. Below is a description of the application from the development page on what this app is. I like the fact that it uses rsync as part of its operations. This makes for a good way to make sure that backups stay up to date and if something happens during the backup or restore process, the rsync side should be able to pick up where it left off.

“TimeShift is a system restore utility which takes incremental snapshots of the system using rsync and hard-links. These snapshots can be restored at a later date to undo all changes that were made to the system after the snapshot was taken. Snapshots can be taken manually or at regular intervals using scheduled jobs.”

Here is another statement that I thought would be appropriate here as well.

“TimeShift is similar to applications like rsnapshot, BackInTime and TimeVault but with different goals. It is designed to protect only system files and settings. User files such as documents, pictures and music are excluded. This ensures that your files remains unchanged when you restore your system to an earlier date. If you need a tool to backup your documents and files please take a look at the excellent BackInTime application which is more configurable and provides options for saving user files.”

To install TimeShift within Manjaro, you can do it one of two ways. Just in case, make sure that you have AUR initiated in the Pamac application:

  • To initialize AUR, open the Pamac application (Add / Remove Software Application)
  • Click on the button in the upper right that looks like three lines on top of each other.
  • Click preferences
  • Give the sudo password if asked
  • Click on the AUR tab
  • Click on Enable AUR Support
  • Select both Search in AUR by default and Check for Updates in AUR
  • Close the window

Now for the TimeShift install Process from Pamac (Add / Remove Software Application):

  • Open the Pamac application (Add / Remove Software Application)
  • Type in timeshift in the search
  • Click on the AUR tab
  • Select timeshift
  • Click Apply
  • A popup will show that there will be dependencies that need to be resolved. Click on the Commit button
  • Enter the sudo password to elevate permission for the installer
  • Just sit back and let the installer finish.
  • Once the install is complete just close the Pamac application
  • Now you have a working version of TimeShift installed and ready to go.

If you choose to do this from a terminal, here you go:

  • Make sure that yaourt is installed by issue sudo pacman -S yaourt
  • Yaourt is the command line app to work with the AUR repository
  • Remember that yaourt complains about running in root. Run from your local account with sudo access.
  • Open a terminal and type sudo yaourt -S timeshift
  • You will need to give your sudo password to elevate for the installation
  • If prompted to edit files, just say no unless you know what you’re doing
  • If prompted to install packages, just say yes
  • Once the installation is complete, you will have a fully operational version of TimeShift

Now that you have a working version of TimeShift installed and ready, go ahead and run the applications. There is an initial configuration process that you can set for your usage. Once that is done, click the create button. This will kick off an initial snapshot process and depending on the size of the hard drive, this process can take a little time. Once the initial process is complete, you can create incremental snapshots to be used as restore points within your system.

Here shows the help page for the timeshift command line application. The application is easy to use as you can probably tell.


[kf4bzt@tim-pc ~]$ timeshift –help

Timeshift v17.2 by Tony George (


timeshift –check
timeshift –create [OPTIONS]
timeshift –restore [OPTIONS]
timeshift –delete-[all] [OPTIONS]
timeshift –list-{snapshots|devices} [OPTIONS]


–list[-snapshots] List snapshots
–list-devices List devices

–check Create snapshot if scheduled
–create Create snapshot (even if not scheduled)
–comments <string> Set snapshot description
–tags {O,B,H,D,W,M} Add tags to snapshot (default: O)

–restore Restore snapshot
–clone Clone current system
–snapshot <name> Specify snapshot to restore
–target[-device] <device> Specify target device
–grub[-device] <device> Specify device for installing GRUB2 bootloader
–skip-grub Skip GRUB2 reinstall

–delete Delete snapshot
–delete-all Delete all snapshots

–snapshot-device <device> Specify backup device (default: config)
–yes Answer YES to all confirmation prompts
–btrfs Switch to BTRFS mode (default: config)
–rsync Switch to RSYNC mode (default: config)
–debug Show additional debug messages
–verbose Show rsync output (default)
–quiet Hide rsync output
–help Show all options


timeshift –list
timeshift –list –snapshot-device /dev/sda1
timeshift –create –comments “after update” –tags D
timeshift –restore
timeshift –restore –snapshot ‘2014-10-12_16-29-08’ –target /dev/sda1
timeshift –delete –snapshot ‘2014-10-12_16-29-08’
timeshift –delete-all


1) –create will always create a new snapshot
2) –check will create a snapshot only if a scheduled snapshot is due
3) Use –restore without other options to select options interactively
4) UUID can be specified instead of device name
5) Default values will be loaded from app config if options are not specified




To create a backup from the command line:

  • Type sudo timeshift –create
  • As this is a first time run, it will say “First run mode (config file not found)”
  • This will create the initial full snapshot of the operating system
  • Below is an example of the full system snapshot run




[kf4bzt@tim-pc ~]$ sudo timeshift –create
First run mode (config file not found)
Selected default snapshot type: RSYNC
Selected default snapshot device: /dev/sda1
Estimating system size…
Creating new snapshot…(RSYNC)
Saving to device: /dev/sda1, mounted at path: /
Synching files with rsync…

Created control file: /timeshift/snapshots/2017-03-22_11-03-47/info.json
Parsing log file…

RSYNC Snapshot saved successfully (845s)
Tagged snapshot ‘2017-03-22_11-03-47’: ondemand
Added cron task: /etc/cron.d/timeshift-hourly
Added cron task: /etc/cron.d/timeshift-boot




I issued the following to list the snapshots on the machine so far


[kf4bzt@tim-pc ~]$ sudo timeshift –list
[sudo] password for kf4bzt:
Device : /dev/sda1
UUID : 138fcf48-a8ea-49cd-aa1a-57f2a6a981c7
Path : /
Mode : RSYNC
Device is OK
1 snapshots, 129.5 GB free

Num Name Tags Description
0 > 2017-03-22_11-03-47 O




For the sake of testing I reran the create to kick off an incremental snapshot


[kf4bzt@tim-pc ~]$ sudo timeshift –create
Creating new snapshot…(RSYNC)
Saving to device: /dev/sda1, mounted at path: /
Linking from snapshot: 2017-03-22_11-03-47
Synching files with rsync…
Created control file: /timeshift/snapshots/2017-03-22_11-19-36/info.json
Parsing log file…
RSYNC Snapshot saved successfully (13s)
Tagged snapshot ‘2017-03-22_11-19-36’: ondemand




Here is another list with the initial and incremental snapshots in place


[kf4bzt@tim-pc ~]$ sudo timeshift –list
Device : /dev/sda1
UUID : 138fcf48-a8ea-49cd-aa1a-57f2a6a981c7
Path : /
Mode : RSYNC
Device is OK
2 snapshots, 129.4 GB free

Num Name Tags Description
0 > 2017-03-22_11-03-47 O
1 > 2017-03-22_11-19-36 O




To do a restore of the snapshot just issue the following


[kf4bzt@tim-pc ~]$ sudo timeshift –restore –snapshot ‘2017-03-22_11-19-36’
To restore with default options, press the ENTER key for all prompts!

Press ENTER to continue…

Re-install GRUB2 bootloader? (recommended) (y/n): y

Select GRUB device:

Num Device Description
0 > sda ATA ST3160023AS [MBR]
1 > sda1 ext4, 150.6 GB GB
3 > sdc ATA ST3160023AS [MBR]

[ENTER = Default (/dev/sda), a = Abort]

Enter device name or number (a=Abort): 0

GRUB Device: /dev/sda

Data will be modified on following devices:

Device Mount
——— —–
/dev/sda1 /
Please save your work and close all applications.
System will reboot after files are restored.

This software comes without absolutely NO warranty and the author takes no responsibility for any damage arising from the use of this program. If these terms are not acceptable to you, please do not proceed beyond this point!

Continue with restore? (y/n): y
Mounted ‘/dev/sda1’ at ‘/mnt/timeshift/restore/’
Backup Device: /dev/sda1
Snapshot: 2017-03-22_11-19-36 ~
Restoring snapshot…
Synching files with rsync…

Please do not interrupt the restore process!
System will reboot after files are restored

building file list … done
.d..t…… mnt/
.d..t…… timeshift/
>f..t…… var/log/journal/f035dd48f4eb41d0ba36ad8c9879b1bd/system.journal
.d..t…… var/log/timeshift/

sent 24,747,157 bytes received 49 bytes 16,498,137.33 bytes/sec
total size is 7,407,772,695 speedup is 299.34

Re-installing GRUB2 bootloader…
Installing for i386-pc platform.

Installation finished. No error reported.

Updating GRUB menu…
Generating grub configuration file …
Found background: /usr/share/grub/background.png
Found Intel Microcode image
Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-4.4-x86_64
Found initrd image: /boot/initramfs-4.4-x86_64.img
Found initrd fallback image: /boot/initramfs-4.4-x86_64-fallback.img
Found Windows 7 (loader) on /dev/sdb1
Found memtest86+ image: /boot/memtest86+/memtest.bin

Synching file systems…
Rebooting system…
Failed to read reboot parameter file: No such file or directory





While installing within Ubuntu Mate 17, I created the following screenshots to show what TimeShift should look like from the beginning. The first screenshot starts the configuration of Timeshift. I have been leaving this as RSYNC as I find it works better when creating backups for your data.



You need to choose a drive to place the snapshots onto for storage. As you can see, my laptop only has the one drive so I selected sda1 to store the snapshots.



Now, we have to choose how we want the snapshots to be complete. The default is Boot at 5 and Daily at 5. I added Weekly at 3 just to play around with the settings. Keep in mind that your machine has to be powered on for this work or not in sleep mode.



The next screenshot is for creating Includes and Excludes but if you want a full system snapshot them leave this at default. Keep in mind that the snapshots change only if there are changes to the file system. This does not include the items within the users home folders. You will need an app such as Back In Time to backup the home folders and content.



The screenshot shown below show a snapshot in place.



And the final screenshot shows the information about the snapshot.


No Comments on Linux Backups (Are They Needed??) – Part 1 – TimeShift

Infinality Fonts and Arch Linux March 21, 2017

The use of Infinality fonts within Arch linux will greatly improve font rendering. But as mentioned in a few posts on the interwebs, the developers of the Infinality fonts pretty much fell off the face of the earth and no one has heard for him in quite a while. There is a way to get around this issue from what I have found so far. The following is how I got the Infinality fonts to install as there appeared to be public key issues since this packages in the repository have not been updated for a little while now. I will take you through the process that I found to work.



This part is from AJ Reissig who came up with the initial installation process within Arch:


To improve the fonts in Arch we first need to add some additional fonts. Add the following to the terminal:

sudo pacman -S ttf-bitstream-vera ttf-inconsolata ttf-ubuntu-font-family ttf-dejavu ttf-freefont ttf-linux-libertine ttf-liberation

yaourt -S ttf-ms-fonts ttf-vista-fonts monaco-linux-font ttf-qurancomplex-fonts


–Since monaco-linux-font no longer exists, change it to ttf-monaco


Next we will disable bitmat fonts, which are used as a fallback.

sudo ln -s /etc/fonts/conf.avail/70-no-bitmaps.conf /etc/fonts/conf.d


— I skipped adding the repos to the pacman.conf as the locations no longer exist



[kf4bzt@tim-pc ~]$ yaourt -S freetype2-infinality


Now, more than likely you will see a similar error like below. There is a way to fix it so that you can get on with the install process. :0)


==> Verifying source file signatures with gpg…
freetype-2.7.1.tar.bz2 … FAILED (unknown public key C1A60EACE707FDA5)
freetype-doc-2.7.1.tar.bz2 … FAILED (unknown public key C1A60EACE707FDA5)
ft2demos-2.7.1.tar.bz2 … FAILED (unknown public key C1A60EACE707FDA5)
==> ERROR: One or more PGP signatures could not be verified!
==> ERROR: Makepkg was unable to build freetype2-infinality.



Take the public key that is shown in the error and receive the key into the keyring. The -r switch is the same as –recv-keys which is also Equivalent to the –recv-keys switch in GnuPG.


[kf4bzt@tim-pc ~]$ sudo pacman-key -r C1A60EACE707FDA5
gpg: key C1A60EACE707FDA5: public key “Werner Lemberg <>” imported
gpg: marginals needed: 3 completes needed: 1 trust model: pgp
gpg: depth: 0 valid: 1 signed: 19 trust: 0-, 0q, 0n, 0m, 0f, 1u
gpg: depth: 1 valid: 19 signed: 69 trust: 1-, 0q, 0n, 18m, 0f, 0u
gpg: depth: 2 valid: 69 signed: 7 trust: 69-, 0q, 0n, 0m, 0f, 0u
gpg: next trustdb check due at 2017-09-07
gpg: Total number processed: 1
gpg: imported: 1
==> Updating trust database…
gpg: next trustdb check due at 2017-09-07


Once you have receive the keys in the keyring, go ahead and sign the keys using the -lsign-key switch as shown below.


[kf4bzt@tim-pc ~]$ sudo pacman-key –lsign-key C1A60EACE707FDA5
-> Locally signing key C1A60EACE707FDA5…
==> Updating trust database…
gpg: marginals needed: 3 completes needed: 1 trust model: pgp
gpg: depth: 0 valid: 1 signed: 20 trust: 0-, 0q, 0n, 0m, 0f, 1u
gpg: depth: 1 valid: 20 signed: 69 trust: 2-, 0q, 0n, 18m, 0f, 0u
gpg: depth: 2 valid: 69 signed: 7 trust: 69-, 0q, 0n, 0m, 0f, 0u
gpg: next trustdb check due at 2017-09-07

Now that you have added the keys successfully, have gpg list the keys and created a trusted key database.


[kf4bzt@tim-pc ~]$ gpg –list-keys

gpg: /home/kf4bzt/.gnupg/trustdb.gpg: trustdb created



Add the following line to the ~/.gnupg/gpg.conf file which tells gpg where your keyring lives.


[kf4bzt@tim-pc ~]$ vim ~/.gnupg/gpg.conf

add “keyring /etc/pacman.d/gnupg/pubring.gpg” to the end of the configuration file



After you have the keys good to go, start the install process once more as shown below.


[kf4bzt@tim-pc ~]$ yaourt -S freetype2-infinality


That is all there is to it. You will now have a working copy of the Infinality fonts on your Arch system giving you better font rendering quality than the stock fonts.

No Comments on Infinality Fonts and Arch Linux
Categories: Arch Linux

New Mate Desktop Environment (1.18) Update

Hey Guys,

— As of March 22, 2017, the new Mate 1.18 release has been sent out to the Manjaro repositories —

Over the past week there have been talks of a new release of the Mate Desktop Environment. Currently Manjaro is on 1.16.1 stable release and the  dev teams are working to get the new 1.18 release added to the repositories. Ubuntu Mate picked up the new desktop environment release since it came out. Below are two videos that Len at Don’t Call Me Lenny put together on the new Mate 1.18.

For information on the release, go to the URL below. The biggest change that came out of this one is that it is completely GTK3 only!!


You can download the latest and greatest from the URL below:


For the latest Manjaro Mate build, click the link below:




From the Manjaro Mate Team:

Hi community ,
MATE 1.18 is in our unstable repo . Check it :wink:

to perform the update before do this :

sudo pacman -Rdd mate-panel-gtk3
sudo rm /usr/share/glib-2.0/schemas/org.mate*.xml

Test ISO can be found at the URL below:



Just an update

Manjaro released their OS with Mate 1.18 on March 25, 2017. There are several changes that came out. You can see these from the forum site listed below. I would recommend doing a full install as there are many packages that are not showing in the live media. This is to keep the iso small for download. But there are a lot which can be added during the install process.


From the Manjaro Mate Team:

This Isos ship with MATE 1.18 series , full ported on GTK3 .

No other relevant improvement after last our mate test iso only one note , you can select the extra pkgs to install during installation .


Stefano Capitani
Manjaro Team



In order to see what all had changed on the Mate side, the following URL will explain everything that was done. The biggest change was the removal of GTK2 and the strict usage of GTK3.

No Comments on New Mate Desktop Environment (1.18) Update

Another Look at the Latest Manjaro Cinnamon March 20, 2017

Hey Guys,

In my last post on Manjaro I mentioned how I may not be able to use the Manjaro Cinnamon on my laptop which is an Acer E1-510P-2671. Well this is partially true but I have to be careful on what I use within it. If I use the regular Cinnamon that includes the hardware compositor, I start having issues with screen rendering and video rendering. There are issues with the Intel video drivers that I am using for the Intel HD series mobile video cards. The screen recorders do not render properly while using hardware rendering and I am seeing slow performance with some of the compositors toys. If I don’t use the toys or the screen recorders then this will work just fine. Now on my desktop, I am using an Nvidia card with Cinnamon and have no problems like this at all. I can work with screen recording with no rendering issues.

All in all, the Cinnamon Desktop Environment works on my laptop from within Manjaro. On my desktop, it is awesome and all applications that I have installed on my laptop work on my desktop. But I still think another test is in order to make sure that Manjaro is not the problem. I think I will try a live version of Mint Cinnamon to see if that has a different effect on the laptop and as well as screen recording software performance. This doesn’t mean that I am switching. I am just testing to see of there is a difference or not. I have grown very fond of XFCE and Mate and those are what are keeping me on Manjaro. :0)

Well, I am not seeing simple screen recorder in the repository under Mint. There were some other packages that I wanted to use as well that I believe are not under Mint at least natively. There is an app called vokoscreen which is similar that I have tried under Manajaro so I will give this a try. Ok, I have found out something interesting. While running a live version of Mint Cinnamon, the vokoscreen recorder, worked just fine. I am not sure what the difference is between Manjaro and Mint when it comes to drivers, but when I went back to Manjaro and tested vokoscreen I ran into the original rendering problems as before. This makes no since.


As shown below, both operating systems are showing the same hardware in lspci and the system info panel.

Manjaro – Intel Corporation Atom Processor Z36xxx/Z27xxx Series Graphics & Display

Mint – Intel Corporation Atom Processor Z36xxx/Z27xxx Series Graphics & Display


Currently Installed Package


Mint Intel Packages:








Manjaro Intel Packages (Community):









Manjaro Intel Packages (AUR):




So what does this mean for my usage of Manjaro right now? I am still a die-hard arch user now, but I’m not 100% sure about my laptop because if there is a driver issue in Cinnamon then there may be a driver issue in the other desktop environments as well. As far as my desktop, I will keep it as is and run Manjaro on it since it runs Nvidia drivers. There are actually three Arch based released which have Cinnamon natively installed, the first being Manjaro, the second being Antergos, and the third being Apricity. Manjaro is a full up Arch operating which Antergos seems to be an Arch installer and Apricity is a full up Arch distro as well.

Just an update on Apricity, it appears that it has the same issue which tells me that this could be an Arch related issue and not just Manjaro is general. Apricity is an Arch distro which uses the ICE application to allow users to create launchers for common internet web sites. It is a cool package and has its place if you are looking to create a way to launch sites faster without all of the overhead. In most Arch releases, I am seeing the flickering in the screen preview of the screen recorder applications, and none of the menus are showing in the recordings. This is disappointing as I really like Manjaro and I really like the Cinnamon desktop for its smooth rendering and nice themes.

No Comments on Another Look at the Latest Manjaro Cinnamon

SSH Keys

One thing that I want to post on is how unsecure our communication can be. Yes, SSH tends to be somewhat secure but it needs help. FTP is horribly unsecure which is why SFTP is the preferred method for file transfer. FTP is open communications while SFTP uses the SSH protocol to send files from one location to another. In order to make sure that your connections are secure while either working on a Linux servers or workstation or file sharing, etc., you need to make sure that your connection is secure. This can be done a number of ways but the preferred method is to use RSA keys which are easy to create.

So, what are RSA keys you ask? Great question..Let’s see what the experts at Name Cheap have to say on this subject.

“An RSA key is a private key based on RSA algorithm. The private Key is used for authentication and a symmetric key exchange during establishment of an SSL/TLS session. It is a part of the public key infrastructure that is generally used in case of SSL certificates.” Beasically RSA keys use a public and private key pair to authenticate a set of communications between two devices. The private key should never be shared with anyone and the public key needs to be added to what is called an authorized_key file on each device.

You can login to a remote Linux server without entering a password in 3 simple steps using ssh-keygen and ssh-copy-id shown below. The ssh-keygen command creates the public and private keys where the ssh-copy-id copies the local-host’s public key to the remote-host’s authorized_keys file. ssh-copy-id also assigns proper permission to the remote-host’s home, ~/.ssh, and ~/.ssh/authorized_keys. You can also manually copy the public keys from device to another if you are more comfortable with that method.

Below, I will show how to use ssh-keygen command as well as the ssh-copy-id.

First things needed in a secure communications path is to generate a public and private key pair using the ssh-keygen command string on the local device. And don’t worry, for this demo, I will generate a new pair and I have already regenerated them.

Make sure that you are logged into the the server you need to create the keys on
Enter the following to create an RSA key pair. You can either use the –t switch with rsa or just type ssh-keygen by itself.

ssh-keygen –t rsa

In the following example, I have generated a new rsa key

[kf4bzt@tim-pc ~]$ ssh-keygen -t rsa

Generating public/private rsa key pair.
Enter file in which to save the key (/home/kf4bzt/.ssh/id_rsa):
Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase):
Enter same passphrase again:
Your identification has been saved in /home/kf4bzt/.ssh/id_rsa.
Your public key has been saved in /home/kf4bzt/.ssh/
The key fingerprint is:
SHA256:EVm/DIwjQJngLKZmkdm6p3SO5aPge300pNBcV7+QkV4 kf4bzt@tim-pc
The key’s randomart image is:
+—[RSA 2048]—-+
| .ooo .ooo. |
| o+ o. ..= o+E |
|.=o.o o = +oo. |
|o.o. o o o +… |
|.+ . o S o. |
|o . . o |
|.o +. . . |
|+ Oo . . |
| *+o. . |

Now that we have the RSA key pair generated and ready to use, let’s make sure that the public key is on the remote device.


[kf4bzt@tim-pc ~]$ ssh-copy-id -i ~/.ssh/ -p 2223

/usr/bin/ssh-copy-id: INFO: Source of key(s) to be installed: “/home/kf4bzt/.ssh/”
The authenticity of host ‘[]:2223 ([]:2223)’ can’t be established.
ECDSA key fingerprint is SHA256:8n59vxFvO+/FPqqcsEEc3oRrXDvzvftjSmRQJaTTD3Q.
Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)? yes
/usr/bin/ssh-copy-id: INFO: attempting to log in with the new key(s), to filter out any that are already installed
/usr/bin/ssh-copy-id: INFO: 1 key(s) remain to be installed — if you are prompted now it is to install the new keys
kf4bzt@’s password:

Number of key(s) added: 1

Note: ssh-copy-id appends the keys to the remote-host’s .ssh/authorized_key.


Now try logging into the machine, with: “ssh -p ‘2223’ ‘’”
and check to make sure that only the key(s) you wanted were added.

[kf4bzt@tim-pc ~]$ ssh -p 2223

Welcome to Ubuntu Zesty Zapus (development branch) (GNU/Linux 4.10.0-11-generic i686)

* Documentation:
* Management:
* Support:

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS end-of-life is April 25, 2017 — Upgrade your Precise systems!
$ sudo do-release-upgrade -m server

0 packages can be updated.
0 updates are security updates.

Last login: Fri Mar 17 13:29:22 2017 from


Keep in mind the first time you log into the device using RSA keys, you will be prompted for your user password. This is because the SSH connection is pulling the fingerprint to make sure that it and the key pair match. After that, you should have gotten logged in via SSH with no password prompt. If you are still getting password prompts, check the permissions of the authorized_keys file to make sure that they are set to 0600 and nothing else. This file needs to be locked down.



No Comments on SSH Keys
Categories: Linux Basics

First Take on Manjaro Linux March 17, 2017

Hey Guys,
You know, like most linux users, I have found that I do quite a bit of distribution hopping. I look to see what is different and what has changed and find it interesting to see what is out there outside of Windows. The distro that you use is dependent on what you are more familiar with. I have used Debian / Ubuntu releases, Redhat / CentOS releases and Arch releases. All of them have a place somewhere, but I find that I like Arch for my personal usage. As I am a big fan of the whole open source, bleeding edge concept, this works for me. I felt like I want to have the latest and greatest when it came to the Linux applications and tools that I use. Most Linux operating system don’t go along with the bleeding edge concept and that is fine.

While distro hopping, I came across an OS several months back called Manjaro. I looked at it for some time, try different desktop environments from Gnome, Cinnamon, KDE, Mate, XFCE and even LXDE and LXQT and have finally settled on two that I find work best for me. The two that I finally settled on are Mate and XFCE. These two desktop environments work quite well and are customizable for your needs. The Manjaro operating system “just works”. I haven’t had much issue with Manjaro with the exception of an occasional wifi issue but I can’t honestly say that the problem is with the drivers just yet. I am still looking into the issue that I found as it caused a major slow down in internet access. The installation process for Manjaro is very easy as they use the installer called Calamaros. This has made life so much easier in installing an Arch release. Just following along the install process and in no time at all, you will be up and running as well.

When it comes to package management, I feel that Manjaro and or Arch in general have better repositories than other distros out there. I feel that some distros need to keep their repositories trim because they are used in enterprise environments and you don’t want to introduce anything that may compromise customer servers. Since Manjaro is listed as a rolling release and has bleeding edge packages, in my opinion, this makes my experience better. I have compiled a list of applications that I use that I thought I would share to see what you all think and if you have suggestions on applications to try, let me know.

First, before looking at any applications, you need to choose the right desktop environment that works for you. I am a big fan of Cinnamon but had to move more toward XFCE and Mate due to the compositor that Cinnamon uses had caused some anomalies in the screen recording software which makes my laptop very unhappy. If I go to Cinnamon (Software Rendering) it seems to work just fine but a little slower because it uses software and not hardware graphic rendering. I read that you can’t turn the compositor off because that is what Cinnamon is based on and by turning off the compositor, you break your desktop environment. So just choose what you feel comfortable with and make sure that you don’t have any unexpected issue crop up before locking the system down.

The same software packages that you install can run on any of the desktop environment that you choose. Here are some of the software packages that I have found that I wanted to share. These are in the Arch repository or in AUR. I want to give a shout out to Len from the youtube channel (Don’t Call Me Lenny) for some of the suggestions below. I have enjoyed his reviews and he has given some valuable information which has turned me more toward the Manjaro and the desktop environments that I have chosen. Thanks Len for your help and I hope your health gets better!!


Make sure that your system is kept up 2 date with the following two commands.

Sync the package databases:
sudo pacman -Syy

To update the system and packages:
sudo pacman -Su


Just go to this URLs and choose the Manjaro release with the desktop environment that you like. The first one is for the Manjaro supports release and the second one are community created releases.

Manjaro OS Release 17
Manjaro Community Releases

Besides Manjaro, there are a few other Arch distros as well which are as equally good.

Antergos –

Antergos Builds –

OBRevenge –

Apricity –

Bluestar –


* – Installed Packages


Atom editor
* pyCharm
* Zerynth – A python Internet of Things (IoT) design suite




* Transmissions


Office / Text Editing:


* Libre Office
* leafpad – text editor
* wmail – GMail Client


Screen Recording and Streaming:


OBS Studio – screen recording and streaming
* simplescreenrecorder – screen recording
* guvcview – Webcam capture
EasyScreenCast – Gnome Extension


3D Printing Applications:


Repetier Host
Cura Engine

For the Prusa based 3D printers you can download a newer slic3r from this URL –


Remote Communications:


* skype – There is new release that introduces video conferencing now
* pidgin – IM App (Tested with the FB extension and works great)
* Hexchat – IRC Chat Application




* Chromium
Google Chrome


Terminal Emulation:


terminator – Multiple window SSH terminal
terminology – Enlightenment terminal


Note Taking:


leanote – Open Source equivilant to Evernote (A lot of Chinese characters and I’m not sure how to convert to english as of yet)
If you want to migrate to simplenote from evernote use this,
Here is a great URL for migrating from Evernote since they raised their prices again. LifeHacker How To Migrate From Evernote


Google Related:


Google Drive


Audio and Video Related:


* Kdenlive – Video Editor
* mpv-full
* WinFF – compression application and frontend for audio and video.
* ffmpeg-full-nvenc – backend compression application and all codecs (1.2 Gig)
* Handbrake – Video Encoder App
Pithos – Pandora app


Downloading and File Sharing:


* youtube-dl
* 4kvideodownloader
* 4kstogram – Instagram image downloader
* uGet
ramme – instagram app
* flashgot – Firefox Extension
* aria2 – to be used and selected in uGet
* Nitroshare- multiple platform file sharing. Can use TLS for secure transfer

For more on Nitroshare, click on Robs youtube page here.




* Gnome Boxes – much faster virtualization software


Docks / Task bars:


* Docky


System Backups and Data Protection:


* Timeshift – A backup app with similar capabilies as Mac TimeMachine and Windows System Restore
* Back in Time


Random Linux:


fdupes – duplicate file finder
*angryip – network IP scanner
fslint – file duplication finder
* etcher – burn ISO to USB Drive
* gufw – graphical ufw firewall interface

fdupes -rSm (your folder location)

-r = recursive includes files in subdirectories
-S = shows size of duplicate files

-m = summarizes dupes information

For more information on etcher, visit Robs youtube site here.



Infinality Fonts




ClamAV – CLI ClamAV

Clamtk – Graphical ClamAV



Sophos – CLI only it looks like



Mate / XFCE Add-Ons:


* Synapse – Use Alt-Space to bring up a search bar on the screen for easy app searches
* ClipIt – GTK+ Clipboard Manager
* Redshift – Eyestrain Relief app
* Caffeine – App to disable screensaver temporarily if running apps that you need to keep a close eye on
* psensor – App to monitor hardware temps



Graphite Zero


Also, if you are running XFCE, make sure that this is installed. It should be, but worth a check.
sudo pacman -S xfce4-goodies
No Comments on First Take on Manjaro Linux
Categories: Arch Linux

Hello All!! March 14, 2017

While working in IT, I have come across different topics of interest which make my job easier to understand so that I can give my customers a much better customer service experience. I have spun up this WordPress instance on Google Cloud to consolidate this information and present it to everyone. I plan on not making this site exclusive to IT administration but different topics of interest.

The topics could include but not limited to:

  • Operating System Topics
  • Linux Administration Topics
  • Arduino Topics
  • Raspberry Pi Topics
  • 3D Printing Topics


No Comments on Hello All!!
Categories: Uncategorized