The Kernal Guy With A Computer

Ghostbsd Review

Sometimes, you’ve got to feel bad for BSD. Despite being a mature, well developed project with an amazing community and tons of development, it has less than a 0.01% desktop market share. It’s constantly beaten by Linux in the usability and hardware support departments. There’s not much that the already overworked FreeBSD team can do to support the proprietary firmware required by Intel, AMD, & Nvidea, but, there’s still a lot of work that can be done in terms of usability. Now, FreeBSD isn’t ever going to have an official ISO with a super noob-friendly desktop environment and installer, but GhostBSD certainly will. But does in deliver?

Install

GhostInstall

GhostBSD installs just like every single modern Linux distro. You boot the live USB, are taken to a live desktop, and then there’s a bog-standard Calamares installer. It was over in about 15 minutes, and required no skill at all to use. Perfect for someone’s first jump into UNIX.

Resource Usage

GhostResource

I was astounded at just how efficient GhostBSD was. I’m used to Mate desktops using about 500-600MB of RAM, but GhostBSD, with all its bells and whistles rarely ever went over 300MB without any apps open. The CPU was pretty good too. There’s not a whole lot to write home about, but it almost never used more than 5-9% unless I opened Firefox, Transmission, or a similarly bloated application.

Boot Speed

GhostBoot

I was quite impressed with GhostBSD’s boot speed as well. On my pretty slow HHD, in a virtual machine, it still managed to boot relatively fast. It only took 26 seconds. That’s almost 10 seconds faster than my Fedora laptop, and approaching my super minimal Void machine. That’s an A+ in my book.

Desktop

GhostDesktop

GhostBSD chose the Mate desktop environment, the perfect choice for the user-friendly, lightweight distro that GhostBSD aims to be. And by god, it’s one of the most beautiful Mate desktop iterations that I’ve ever seen. It sticks to the traditional panel layout, but makes use of the Vimix theme & Qogir icons to make MATE a little easier on the eyes. It’s not quite as heavily riced as Ubuntu Mate, but I think that’s the point.

Default Software

GhostBSD has very sane software choice. There’s only 7 non-mate GUI applications, and most of them are pretty useful.

App Function
Firefox Web Browser
VLC Media Player
Evolution Email Client
RhythemBox Music Player
Atril Document Viewer
Shotwell Image Editor
Plank Desktop Dock

All 7 of these are pretty great applications to have in general. I’d personally get rid of Shotwell & Plank, but I’m sure that there are quite a few people that appreciate their addition. Other than that, GhostBSD just comes with all of the regular Mate apps that one would expect from a fairly minimal distribution. That being said, basically all daily tasks can be done without ever having to open up the terminal and install anything.

Conclusion

GhostBSD is pretty great. In many ways, it’s like the original Ubuntu of the BSD family. It takes a complicated, clunky, and unfamiliar operating system and makes it accessible for the average person. It may not be perfect, and it has a long way to go before it can compete with a lot of the heavy hitters in the Linux space, but I think that GhostBSD defiantly has potential to turn a lot of people twords an operating system that they would not ordinarily consider.

So, if you’re interested, you can download GhostBSD at the link below.

GhostLogo

Click Me!!

Use Yt Dlp To Download Songs And Video From Youtube

Youtube is the defacto place for video on the internet. There are other video hosting platforms, but none have even come close in popularity, profitability, or ease of use. Youtube is an essential pillar in the modern internet. However, it’s owned by Google. There are many privacy concerns, along with inescapable adds and an insane amount of bloat. So, in response, people have started making various back-ends and clients. However, by far, the best option is to simply download the video files to be watched locally and offline. That’s where yt-dlp comes in. yt-dlp is a package that downloads Youtube videos, extremely quickly and efficiently. And so, I’m going to show to install, and use yt-dlp, while providing a handy bash script that makes using yt-dlp a breeze.

Installing yt-dlp

Depending on what distro you use, one of these commands into your terminal.

Ubuntu/Debian

sudo apt install yt-dlp ffmpeg

Fedora/CentOS/Rocky

sudo dnf install yt-dlp ffmpeg

Arch/Manjaro

sudo pacman -S yt-dlp ffmpeg

Using yt-dlp

yt-dlp, at its core, is very simple. However, due to the considerable amount of audio and video formats provided, there’s a few flags you have to memorize. Here are some of the commands for different formats.

mp3

yt-dlp -f 18 -x --audio-format mp3 ***LINK***

ogg

yt-dlp -f 18 -x --audio-format ogg ***LINK***

flac

yt-dlp -f 18 -x --audio-format flac ***LINK***

mp4

yt-dlp -f 18 ***LINK***

webm

yt-dlp ***LINK***

Automating with a script

YTD

While you definitely can write out the entire command every time you want to download a file, I find it extremely convenient, especially when dealing with music, to have a useful little simple shell script instead. So, with my limited knowledge, I wrote one. It’s fully POSIX compliant and only 25 lines long.


echo "Enter the youtube link"
read link

echo "Would you like to download audio or video? Enter 1 for video and 0 for audio"
read va

if [ $va -eq 0 ]; then
cd ~/Music
echo "What audio format would you like? (mp3, ogg, flac)"
read aformat

yt-dlp -f 18 -x --audio-format $aformat $link

else

	cd ~/Videos
	echo "What video format would you like (mp4 or webm) "
	read vformat
	if [ $vformat = 'mp4' ]; then
		yt-dlp -f 18 $link
	else
		yt-dlp $link
	fi

fi

You can just copy-paste that into a file in your ~/.local/bin, or, if you’re weird, you can grab it from my Github.

Conclusion

Now, you can download Youtube videos directly onto your hard drive to enjoy at your leisure. yt-dlp is simply, a better way of using Youtube. There’s no fuss, no buffering, and best of all, no adds! You can download anything and everything. So go, build your music playlist, watch your favorite video essays, and do it all without all of Google’s shittyness.

Turn Firefox Into A Qutebrowser Clone

If you care about privacy, want some addons, and a generally fast and lightweight browsing experience, you probably use Firefox, or one of the many forks. But Firefox, like many other modern browsers has become increasingly bloated and inefficient to control with a keyboard. As a result, people have been switching over to Qutebrowser and Surf. And while these are amazing browsers that I would definitely recommend, there’s another option that fewer people consider.Using CSS and Web Extensions to can get the fast, keyboard centered browser of your dreams. Here’s how.

Vim Input

While I have recommended Vim-Vixen in the past, I have found another browser extension that one ups Vim Vixen by a long shot. Tridactyl brings the modal control from Vim straight to your web browser. You can move around the web page in normal mode, manage history, bookmarks, and tabs using command mode, and of course, input text in input mode. It truly is a game-changer that has made my browsing experience much more cohesive and efficient.

You can install it like any other extension in the Mozilla Addons Store using the link below.

Click Me!

CSS Theming

PIC1

Thanks to the expansive community of Firefox users, there are hundreds, even thousands of CSS themes available for use right now. For our purposes, a CSS theme with very few menu bars and maximum screen real estate is ideal. There are many ‘One Liner’ themes that put all browser options on a single bar. However, the one I’ve chosen is even more minimal, in an attempt to integrate nicely with i3 and dwm.

Enabling CSS Theming

PIC2

In modern versions of Firefox, CSS theming is not enabled by default. In order to enable it, you have to go to the about:config page. You can ignore the warning, and in the bar at the top of the page, type,

toolkit.legacyUserProfileCustomizations.stylesheets

then click the box on the right so that it’s set to ‘true’.

Downloading the CSS theme

Assuming that you have git installed, all you need to do is type this command in your terminal to clone the repository.

git clone https://github.com/aadilayub/firefox-i3wm-theme 

Applying the CSS theme

PIC3

In order to apply the theme, you first need to find your correct Firefox profile directory. While you could go fishing in your file system yourself, there’s a much easier way. Simply go to about:profiles and copy the root directory on your default profile. Once you’ve done that, you must create another directory called ‘chrome’ where your userChrome.css file is going to go. Just copy this command into your terminal, to achieve just that.

midkr -p ~/.mozilla/firefox/PROFILE.profile/chrome

Now, all you need to do is copy the userChrome.css file over like so.

cp ~/firefox-i3wm-theme/userChrome.css ~/.mozilla/firefox/PROFILE.profile/chrome 

Conclusion

Qutebrowser is a fine browser, and may even be better than Firefox for some users. However, Firefox has much better support and many more addons. If you’re just a regular user, I’d stick with Firefox, and these two tools allow a seamless Vim + tiling window manager experience. So now, if you need a browser to scratch that particular itch, you don’t have to go through the hassle of switching browsers.

Badwolf Review

Your browser sucks. It’s just the cold hard truth. Almost every modern browser is extremely slow, confusing, and privacy invasive. While there have been many attempts to create a usable and fast browser, almost all of them are based on Ungoogled Chromium or Firefox, which, while good for privacy, are incredibly bloated. I’ve searched far and wide for a browser that fits my needs without adding on too much unnecessary crap, and I think I may have found it. Badwolf is a WebKitGTK based, Suckless browser that’s quick, standardized, and no-nonsense. So if you’re interested in Badwolf, I’ll give you some general pointers and facts about this one-of-a-kind browser.

Installing

Arch Linux

  • Requires a AUR helper. I’m using Yay, but feel free to use any other helper you choose.

    yay -S badwolf-bin

Fedora

sudo dnf install badwolf

OpenSUSE

Ubuntu/Debian

  • Build the package from source

Usage

Badwolf1

Overall, Badwolf is extremely simple. Almost everything is done with a mouse, and most of the shortcuts should carry over from your previous experience with other browsers. However, there are a few keyboard shortcuts that aren’t very natural or common. I’ve compiled a table with some of the ones that I’ve personally had trouble with, but all of the shortcuts are also available on the manpage if you’re still confused.

Action Shortcut
Go back/forward in tab history Ctrl-[ & Ctrl-]
Go to the next/previous tab Alt-Right & Alt-Left
Focus on URL entry bar Ctrl-l
Kill the current tab Alt-d

Resource Usage

Badwolf2

Badwolf is very lightweight. More than any other browser that I’ve ever used. RAM usually stays around 80-100MB, with a few tabs open. But the most surprising thing you’ll see if you more closely inspect the picture above, is that the CPU usage is 0%. That’s right. With some more tabs open, I’ve seen it get up to around 5%, but it never uses any more than that. It’s truly remarkable how lightweight this browser is.

Privacy

As promised on the webpage, there is absolutely no browser-level tracking, including telementary (Mozilla cough cough). But there’s one thing that not every browser has the cojones to do, disabling Javascript by default, which does wonders to prevent cross site scripting attacks and general spying from your favorite tech Oligarc’s. But no worries, if there’s a website that really needs Javascript, you can turn it on using a convenient little button. There’s also a button that turns off images, which doesn’t do much to protect privacy, but may help in very niche cases.

Some Drawbacks

It can’t be all good. In order to make the browser as fast and compact as possible, it seems like there have been quite a few features of most browsers that’ve been thrown out entirely. For example,

Web History

Badwolf has absolutely no web history. Which, admittedly, isn’t that bad for most people, but may be of concern if for some reason you can’t remember the URL’s of the sites that you commonly visit.

Cookies

Cookies are one of the main methods used by companies to track users. However, they also have a very viable use for logins and other info you like to save. As soon as you close a tab, all the cookies are destroyed. So get used to typing your username and password every time you want to login to any website.

Adblock

Badwolf comes with absolutely no form of adblock. And due to the lack of extensions, any sort of adblocking is very difficult. You have to create a json config file full of manually added ad systems. It’s not ideal.

Conclusion

Badwolf is an amazing, fast, and unique browser. It may not be the thing for you, but it still fills its niche incredibly well. It’s a browser, nothing more. And that no-nonsense approach is something that is needed now more than ever, in the current space full of dime-a-dozen bloated, slow, and feature packed browsers. If you are in the need of something fast, and can handle the drawbacks, I would highly recommend that you give Badwolf a try, and see what it’s like to have a browser that doesn’t suck.

Use Transmission Cli To Download Torrents In The Terminal

Personally, I torrent a lot. I use torrents to download Linux ISO’s, but also use them to download movies and TV shows. So, like every vital piece of software on my system, I’m very opinionated in terms of what I use. And after searching, finding, and using many different torrent clients, I have settled on Transmission. Transmission is a torrent client that can be used in many different platforms, under many different frameworks, including on the command line. So, if having a fully functional torrent client on the command line is something that appeals to you, I’ll show you how you can install and use Transmission CLI on any Linux distro.

Installing Transmission

Depending on what Linux distro you use, feel free to copy-paste these command into your terminal to install the Transmission daemon and CLI program.

Ubuntu/Debian

sudo apt install transmission-daemon transmission-cli

Fedora/CentOS/Rocky

sudo dnf install transmission-daemon transmission-cli 

Arch/Manjaro/Endeavour

sudo pacman -S libtransmission transmission-cli 

Enabling the Transmission Daemon

Before you can actually use Transmission, you are going to have to start the daemon. As long as you are using a distro with Systemd (You probably are) you can enable Transmission with this simple command.

sudo systemctl enable transmission-daemon

From there, you can either reboot into your machine, or start the daemon with this command.

sudo systemctl start transmission-daemon

Using The CLI

Downloading

Whether you have a torrent file or a magnet link, all you need to do is run transmission-remote with the -a flag followed by link or file in quotes, like so.

transmission-remote -a "TORRENT.torrent"

Monitoring Your Download

If you want to monitor your download, all you’ve got to do is run this command.

transmission-remote -l 

It should spit out an output that looks like this.

ID   Done      Have  ETA      Up    Down  Ratio  Status  Name
1     0%       None  Unknown  0.0   0.0   None   Idle    TORRENT
Sum:           None           0.0   0.0

Removing a Torrent

Now, ideally, you’d seed the torrent for as long as you possibly can, but eventually you’ve got to remove it. To do that, you’re going to need to use the torrent’s ID. This is the same ID that you can see when you run “transmission-remote -l”. Then, once you know the ID, you can use this command.

transmission-remote -t ID -r

Conclusion

Whether you have a system with crappy specs, want to use MPV with framebuffer for a dedicated movie watching system, or just like using the terminal, transmission-cli is a easy, fast and effective way to torrent without ever having to touch a GUI.