Clear Linux Cheat Sheet

Clear Linux has Big Slackware Energy, in that if you want to use it as a daily driver, you’ll need to know your way around the underlying software. That said, I don’t think that’s how you’re supposed to use it (despite what that one Phoronix post might have you believe). It really feels purpose-built for connecting to cloud-init or Ansible or something like that, for machines you’ll spin up then throw away tomorrow afternoon.

Things I’ve learned while tinkering with Intel’s new Clear Linux distribution. Will probably get updated from time to time, unless I get bored.

  • Checking for updates: sudo swupd update
  • Installing a new bundle (their version of a package group): sudo swupd bundle-add bundlename
    • Bundles you’ll probably want for general tinkering: dev-utils, tmux
    • Bundles you might want if you want a traditional GUI experience: desktop (GNOME) or maybe os-utils-gui (a basic xfce desktop)
  • Growing the hard disk (probably needed if you want to install GNOME on a VM): see this (basically, grow it the VM-specific way, install the storage-utils bundle, use parted and resize2fs to actually use the new space)

 

Clear Linux Cheat Sheet

PAC Files and the Inconstant Constant

Recently, I was working on an update for the PAC files we use at work. Had a clever idea for making clients more resilient in the event of an individual proxy failing – just list all the proxies in the PAC file, and use a bit of MATH to spread the load. This initially failed, but not for any of the reasons you might expect…

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PAC Files and the Inconstant Constant

Updating your WSL Debian Image to “Buster”

While Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) isn’t perfect, it’s coming along nicely as a replacement for many of the Unix-y things I used to do with Cygwin. And since most of my server work involves Linux as opposed to generic *nix, it’s nice to have handy access to something that more closely resembles my work environment.

Just a few days ago, the Debian project announced “Buster,” the first major upgrade in a couple years. (If you want to be boring, it’s also “Debian 10.0”.) As of this writing, the Microsoft app store doesn’t have Buster ready-to-go. And even if it did, there’s not a super-clean way to migrate any custom work, home directories, etc. from an old Debian installation to a new one. So here, I throw caution to the wind and update my existing Debian WSL installation from “Stretch” (9.x) to Buster.

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Updating your WSL Debian Image to “Buster”

Changing the screen resolution on a RHEL guest under Hyper-V

I wanted to tinker with the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 beta at work. Since it’s work, I’m technically not supposed to use the free-as-in-beer version of VMware Player, even though it seems like everyone does. And hey, my Windows laptop comes with Hyper-V, which should do the job just fine.

Hyper-V is a younger product, and it seems like it’s not as well-supported. In particular, if I’d spun up a RHEL 8 guest under VMware, I strongly suspect that changing the screen resolution wouldn’t be a problem at all. But Hyper-V only appears to present a single default resolution from its virtual frame buffer to the guest.

Anyway, if you go into the GUI settings on a RHEL 8 guest, I didn’t see any other resolutions available to me, just an odd “1152×864” default. And there’s no obvious way to change that, even though the guest video card is capable of more.

To change how the frame buffer is presented to the guest, you actually have to provide a kernel command-line option. You could probably do this at boot-time via the GRUB interface, but the lazy way to do it is just to use grubby to make the change permanent:

sudo grubby --update-kernel=ALL --args="video=hyperv_fb:1440x900"

You can of course enter any resolution you like. (If you like to full-screen your guests, you might want 1920×1080, or whatever matches your monitor.)

Since this is a kernel option, you can’t just logout and login again; you must reboot before you’ll be able to use the new resolution. And you still won’t be able to resize the guest screen dynamically; any time you want to change it, you’ll have to reboot the guest after. This seems like something that will probably get hammered out by the time RHEL 8 is released.

Changing the screen resolution on a RHEL guest under Hyper-V

How to apply for a nerdy job at Bandcamp

One of the jobs currently posted at Bandcamp is a “Senior Fraud/Risk Engineer”. To apply, you have to finish a small puzzle, to demonstrate your infosec basics. Note that if you have to read a blog post to figure it out, you almost certainly are not qualified for the job. (I’m not qualified for the job either, but I like puzzles.)

Spoilers abound, obviously…

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How to apply for a nerdy job at Bandcamp