The 5TB WD Black P10 External USB Drive and Linux

📅 July 2, 2021
Five terabytes.

Or 5 TB…That is a lot of hard drive space. Well, for raw, unformatted capacity that is. Even though 5 TB formats to 4.54 TB of usable space, that is still a lot of storage capacity.

The Western Digital Black P10 is an external USB 3.0 (USB 3.0 is also known as USB 3.1 Gen 1 to make matters confusing) removable hard drive that offers a vast amount of storage in a small size. The P10 is available in a number of capacities, but this article covers the 5 TB version to see what its performance is like in Linux.

Is it any good? What is the build construction like? Will it work with VeraCrypt? Here are my results…

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Automount VeraCrypt with Crypttab

📅 May 20, 2021
Is it possible to automatically mount a VeraCrypt drive during system boot without entering a password?

Yes!

Linux already provides a mechanism to do this. It’s called crypttab. With a little configuring, you can automount a VeraCrypt block device at system boot so the encrypted drive is available to all users on the system instead of waiting for a user to manually mount the drive.

Here is how to set this up in Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix.

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How to Install Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix Using GPT Partitioning and UEFI

📅 May 18, 2021
Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix is a fine Linux distribution based on Ubuntu that supports MBR (Master Boot Record) and GPT (GUID Partition Table) booting.

While MBR installation is easy and straightforward, GPT for any Linux distribution can be confusing and troublesome because it requires prior BIOS setup and planning during the Ubuntu installation.

Watch out! There are some gotchas to be aware of. Here is how I achieved a successful Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix installation that boots from a GPT partitioned NVMe drive.

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Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix

📅 May 11, 2021
For those who enjoy the deliciousness of the Cinnamon desktop interface with Ubuntu, there exists a Linux distribution that combines the two into a single flavor: Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix!

Linux Mint Cinnamon is a long-time favorite of mine, but when I needed to install a more recent version of Ubuntu in order to install kernel 5.12.1, I answered the call of adventure to embark upon a quest in search of a newer 21.04 release. I still find the Cinnamon desktop interface tasty because of its attractive simplicity, and I wanted an Ubuntu derivative.

Then, I encountered this hidden gem of an operating system.

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Block the Accept Cookie Popups with I Don’t Care About Cookies

📅 April 30, 2021
“This site uses cookies…Do you Accept?”

“Do you want to accept cookies?”

“Usage of the site constitutes your acceptance of cookies. Do you agree?”

Do you care about cookies? I sure don’t.

It seems like a majority of the web sites today display a popup asking the user to accept or reject cookies. Often, this is presented in the form of a popup that covers a portion of the content.

Is there a way to automatically remove these annoying nag questionnaires?

Yes! Using a Firefox/Chrome web browser extension called I Don’t Care About Cookies, these popups become a thing of the past.

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Bash: Get Motherboard Information

📅 April 22, 2021
Imagine the scenario: Mr. Tiddlywinks the Teddy Bear needs to find out what kind of motherboard is in the system he is logged in to, but he cannot open the case, look inside, or consult a manual. There is no why to know by looking at the system.

Can Mr. Tiddlywinks discover the motherboard model from the command line?

Hey, this is Linux, so the answer is definitely yes!

I encountered a similar situation where I needed to know motherboard details and what was supported by the hardware. Details can be obtained from a manual, but to know what motherboard manual to consult, I first needed to know the model and maker of the motherboard.

“Why not just open the case and look?”

This is not an option when logged in remotely or if the system is physically inaccessible for whatever reason.

Here are three ways to learn about the motherboard from Bash.

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NFS: How to Automount with autofs

📅 April 18, 2021
NFS (Network File System) is a great way to mount remote drives across a network and treat them like local drives on a local Linux system.

With a 10 gigabit Ethernet connection (10GbE) and remote SSD or NVMe storage, remote drives can be every bit as speedy and zippy as local SSD or NVMe storage. This is an excellent way to create centralized network storage for multiple Linux clients.

One little downside to NFS involves auto-mounting the remote shares using /etc/fstab. If the server is online, everything is good, but if there is no network connection, client boot time increases as Linux times out while attempting to mount a nonexistent remote share.

One way to solve the automounting problem is to use a program called autofs.

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Intel NUC, Linux, Pi-Hole, and NAS – Part 10: NFS

📅 April 9, 2021
The Intel NUC project has turned out to be a fun, impressive gift that continually bequeaths gifts.

So far, we have turned this low-power, quiet, speedy machine into a miniature Xubuntu powerhouse with features like,

 

  • Pi-Hole
  • FTP server
  • SSH server
  • DLNA server for use with clients like Emby
  • Network monitoring station (NMS) to show network activity on a managed switch
  • 10 gigabit Ethernet (10GbE)

Can we improve the NUC further?

Indeed we can! Our next experiment utilizes NFS, the network file system to let us mount remote directories locally and transfer files at 10GbE speeds so they behave like local NVMe storage.

I wanted to experiment with NFS after encountering some issues with FTP and slower (less than 300 MB/s) speeds using SSH. The result was better than expected and easier to set up too given the robustness of NFS.

This article shows how to set up a simple NFS server on a private LAN so client Linux computers can mount a remote NFS directory hosted on the NUC server so we can share those silly cat videos.

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A Quieter TEG-30284 Switch Fan Replacment

📅 March 18, 2021
The TRENDnet TEG-30284 has proven to be a reliable 28-port managed switch. It does exactly what is advertised and supports a myriad of features like 10Gbps, SNMP, and VLANs.

However, there is one glaring annoyance that is difficult to ignore no matter how much I try. The TEG-30284 has a fan to keep internals cool, and this fan is NOISY! Even at minimal load, the tiny 40mm fan is audible from across a room.

Sure, rackmount networking hardware has the reputation of running loud and hot, but there has to be a better solution, right?

Indeed there is! I replaced the stock fan with a classic brown Noctua fan, and the result makes a significant difference with quieter acoustics.

The installation is not a simple unplug and replace operation because the Noctua is not plug-and-play compatible. So, here is my adventure in making this work to enjoy improved aural purity.

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Intel NUC, Linux, Pi-Hole, and NAS – Part 9: 10 Gigabit Networking

📅 February 13, 2021
When dealing with multi-gigabyte network transfers involving NVMe and SSD, suddenly, gigabit Ethernet becomes the bottleneck. Is there any way to speed up network transfers?

Yes, there is!

The Intel NUC contains a Thunderbolt 3 port, and, through this, we can connect the NUC to a 10GbE (10 Gigabit Ethernet) network for ten times the transfer rates.

Here is an experiment that I played with that connects the NUC to a 10GbE switch over OM4 fiber optic cable for blazing fast file transfers.

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