📅 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,
- 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.
📅 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.
📅 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.
📅 January 29, 2021
It’s time for a new keyboard!
As good as the Logitech G513 might be with its Romero switches, RGB lettering, and low profile, metal design, the key caps have worn to the point of making typing an unpleasant and unreliable process.
Seeking an upgrade, I looked at a popular line of mechanical keyboards by a company called Ducky and settled on the Ducky One 2 Horizon with Cherry MX Silent Black switches.
Wow, what a keyboard!
Here are my thoughts using this sturdy, plastic wonder of typing fun and aesthetic delight.
📅 January 2, 2021
Are you looking for an itty-bitty USB 3 flash drive that is compatible with Linux and lost easily?
Does the SanDisk Ultra Fit work with Linux, and, if so, what is its performance like?
I had the chance to test this out, and here are my results.
📅 January 13, 2021
“Will 10 gigabit Ethernet work with a desktop Linux distribution?”
Curious to find out how well 10 gigabit Ethernet will work with a desktop version of Linux, I embarked on an experiment to see what hardware is required, how well it connects, and how well it performs with Linux Mint 20.
My experiment was met with a resounding success, and everything proceeded better than I expected! In fact, it was easy. However, the world of 10 gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) contains differences not found in the 1 gigabit Ethernet (GbE) world. From hardware to software, there is learning required to make it all work. 10GBase-SR. SFP+. 10GSFP+Cu. Transceivers. DAC. Jumbo frames. These are terms you will not find on the side of a box in the electronics department of your local store. We are dealing with a different puzzle, so the pieces are different.
Here is my journey into this exciting world by setting up a very simple 10GbE network using Linux utilizing 10GBase-SR fiber optics and SFP+ DAC cable to hook systems together.
📅 January 2, 2021
With the NUC project up and running fine with FTP, SSH, Emby, and Pi-Hole, why not expand its capabilities by turning it into a network monitoring station (NMS) as well?
Have you heard of SNMP? It stands for Simple Network Management Protocol, and it is a handy way to monitor network devices. SNMP is one of those seemingly dry, stuffy network technologies everyday users will likely never encounter or know about, but once you have had the chance to see it in action for yourself, you will think, “Oh, wow! This is cool!” and wonder how you managed to live without it.
Whether you have experience using SNMP or not, it is a great learning experience that has real use and worth becoming familiar with.
This article will show how to install an NMS called LibreNMS on the NUC running Xubuntu 19.10 in order to monitor port traffic on a network switch using graphs in a web page that we can call up from anywhere on the local network. We can even monitor Pi-Hole statistics using SNMP!
Ready? Let’s have fun!
📅 December 22, 2020
What? Why is this drive still insisting that it is a part of a RAID array?
If you use mdadm, you might have encountered a situation where, even though you entered the correct commands to fail a member drive and remove it from the array, another computer or the same computer still recognizes it as a part of the old array.
This is normal because mdadm member drives contain superblocks that contain RAID information. If a computer still sees a removed drive as part of a RAID array, it is usually because the superblock was not removed from the drive.
Here is how to do that.
📅 December 15, 2020
With Christmas and snowy weather this time of year, why not add some gaudy festive decoration to your carefully crafted clean and minimal Linux desktop?
xsnow is a program that displays falling snow animations on top of your Linux desktop wallpaper complete with stars, wind gusts, accumulating snow, shooting stars, and Santa in his sleigh!
📅 December 7, 2020
“Aww…look at da wittle USB stick. It’s sooo cute!”
USB sticks have improved greatly in the past years. Now, they support USB 3.1 with triple-digit read/write speeds depending upon the model.
Needing a new USB stick, I tried the Lexar 64G JumpDrive for its small size, fast speeds, and metal construction. Is it compatible with Linux? What is its performance like?
Here are my results with this little storage-capacity wonder with Linux Mint 20.