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Wild Penquin

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About Wild Penquin

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    Asus Maximus VII Gene
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    EVGA GTX 970 (04G-P4-3975-KR)
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    Lian Li DX-04
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    Works and is silent
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    Corsair K95RGB Platinum
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    Logitech G703
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    Jazz, Progressive Rock, electronic music!
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    Arch Linux

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  1. The bootloader is kinda trivial to restore, however it might not seem like that not for a novice user in Linux. Better research how to do it before installing Windows (though, you can do this "research" from windows afterwards, too). What you probably need is t a Fedora installation / bootable live media. Some distributions might come with a user-friendly application on their installation media to restore bootloader, some might not (I don't know about Fedora). Even in worst case, it can be achieved by following steps: 1) boot from liveUSB media 2) chroot to your current installation 3) run command to restore bootloader. Details vary on the setup and bootloader used. If you are UEFI enabled, it might even be as easy as to choose the right entry from BIOS after installing Windows and then restoring the default (either from the OS, or it might even be possible from BIOS, depending on your MB). It is certainly possible Windows still assumes being the center of the world on UEFI systems and removes all other entries (haven't installed Windows on a dual-booting UEFI system).
  2. I still think that backing up to optical media is a bad idea ... but you say you have done research on the pros and cons of different media, also you have not stated what is the actual use case. There might be some, so maybe it really makes sense to you to back up to optical media (I can think of mobility being one, in case some network transfer is not a possibility, and one needs to mobilize any part of the data at will). However, that is probably the reason such software might not exist: as it doesn't make sense in most people's (and developer's) eyes, as they use some other solution for backing up - and hence, it doesn't make sense to develop one (I'm not saying it doesn't exist, just stating the reason why it might not exist - haven't actually looked into it). However, in case your search comes up as zero and you absolutely need it, I'd make my own script. I know there are the usual command line tools for writing optical media (it's been a while since I've burned anything, but back in the day USB drives were uncommon, I frequently burned stuff on Linux - but up to DVD/BluRay era only occasionally). Look at man cdrecord. The working of the script could be something like this: ### !!!Pseudo-Code!!! DIR_TO_BACKUP=/home/you/some/dir get_backupdir_size () { check size of current dir to be backed up. (du -chs ? )... } get_current_bluray_size() { Some command to check current bluray disk contents size (i.e. free space); again du -chs, or cd-info ? } clean_backup_dir() { REALLY DELETE THE FILES assumed to be backed up! Only run after you are sufficiently certain the backup is succesfull, or the files have already been backed up... } burn_disk () { check if disk empty some burn command if not empty some other burn command to append to disk (with a check if disk needs to be "closed" after this burn) if successful -> clean_backup_dir (or prompt?) } check if max_size > current_bluray_size + backupdir_size; burn OK, run burn_disk() if not: a) ask user to decrease backupdir_size (to choose which files to burn on current disk) b) use some kind of automatic function to choose which files to include on this burn (and adjust clean_backup_dir()!)
  3. I don't think the NVidia Linux driver let's you to touch the power draw options at all, at least not directly. FWIW you could take a look at "Coolbits" option in xorg.conf. See: http://us.download.nvidia.com/XFree86/Linux-x86_64/430.50/README/xconfigoptions.html After you have enabled bit 3, you should be able to apply setting "per-clock domain and per-performance level offsets to apply to clock values". However, that does not apply to power level per se, but underclocking will reduce power draw, and might work for you, depending on your actual goal. Last time I checked there was little working over- (or under-) clocking utilities on Linux for NVidia (and this kind of tinkering falls in that category). But I've since moved away from team green to red so can not try it out for myself anymore. EDIT: Bit 4 also allows overvoltage via CLI, according to the same documentation I linked. It might also allow undervolting, although it is not mentioned in the documentation. Also, no GUI...
  4. They have chosen a bad example for an exercise! I mean, it is nice to know about how to control input and output via pipes. The gist of it is this: [command 1] | [command 2] [command X] here is everything the command may contain (it might even be a while/until loop or possibly something else altogether). However, having "ls | grep something" as an example is a bad example, since that is a very bad use case and does not demonstrate what the pipe is actually useful for. To list any file containing "G" it makes much more sense to just use shell expansion (ls -l /etc/*[gG]* in this case). Much more simple and nicer to achieve the wanted output! Also, the exercize makes assumptions like: /etc always contains something with a "G" in it (or g or G) and possibly even assumes the date format is such it does not contain a g, not to mention user and groups .... of course, you could tell the user to look at the output, and make up some kind of regular expression which only targets the file name on the certain output. While possible and actually even somewhat trivial, but what a convoluted way that would be! But then again, this could also be used as an example when not to use grep. There are other much more usable cases for grep, but OPs exercise example is a prime example of giving c*p examples for any thing being taught (this is quite a common problem in teaching - giving nonsensical examples might only give the impression to the students the skill / tool being taught is useless). It shouldn't be too difficult to find a more sensical example; for example, give ready-made text file to the user (student) and then manipulate it with grep, sed and whatever - this way, the result is the same irrespective of the environment, and the student won't learn just plain wrong assumptions as they could learn from that exercise (or might not, if they are familiar enough with the environment - but this is some introductory course, so the assumption should be they are not!). If the file absolutely needs to be generated, there needs to be some consideration to be put into making sure the output is identical for all students, or at least in format that the exercise can be made in the first place (I'm assuming the exercise here was not to make more complicated REs). For example, a list of [made up / spoof] names of people, persons genders, favorite colors, age, favorite food, best friends and whatnot ... and, let's say, some people inputted colors in German; change these to English color names with sed. Or for grep: take all men or women from the file (to separate files), and lastly, all of those who chose neither / something else / empty for their gender, etc... or learn how to sort that file etc.
  5. What Silversoul says is true. However if one knows his way around in a Linux distribution, things can be worked around. Macbook Airs without RJ45 connection can be problematic, since the WiFi chip might not work on the Live installation media. I still got buggy graphics (neither Nouveau nor NVidia proprietary drivers can handle all gaming and multiple displays (needed for giving presentations!), and text-mode). Backlight needed some workarounds. Libinput is better than the default evdev for touchpad. These are the problems I needed to work around, and still the hw support is subpar to OS X. I still prefer booting into Linux for my use case.
  6. What hasn't been ruled out is a corrupt EFI partition and/or corrupt EFI entries in the BIOS. Make sure you start from a clean table; remove all partitions from the HDD (make sure you have moved all data away from there you may wish to retain - this will wipe your HDD). Also, make a BIOS (CMOS) reset; you could remove EFI entries manually (say, from a live Linux distribution) but that is more work, *and* there could be something else corrupted in the CMOS, too.
  7. @SamLeo678: The thing is, most distributions bootmedia grew beyond CD size (~700MB) years ago. Who uses CDR(W) anyways, these days? You need a DVD(+-R(W)) and a suitable writer, to be able to use some optical media, if you are hard-determined to use one. Booting any Linux distribution from USB should be trivial. ~10 years ago (or more) some Laptops were buggy / hard-wired to their rescue media, and they could not boot from USB. Even then there usually is some way around this limitation. And, the said laptops might even have problems booting from optical media, too... (but there are some Windows-laptops which can not even boot Windows from USB stick!). IMHO using Optical Media should be avoided for this kind of usage whenever possible.
  8. Also, another advice: I tried to find via Google a journalists/human rights activist from somewhere South-America, who was having an anonymous blog and writing activities about the local mafia (IIRC - my memory is vague!). However, he/she was not as anonymous as he/she thought he/she was, because of using Google Analytics (intentionally or unintentionally with the same user ID). I did find this: https://www.wired.com/2011/11/goog-analytics-anony-bloggers/ (but this is another case; I'm certain there was this another person who really got killed because wrong people found out his/her identity - still, the underlying service / issue is the same). So: depending on whatever you have in mind, doing stuff anonymously online might not be that easy. Some things have nothing to do with the OS you are using. Also think about the IP addresses your activities leave behind (if you do anything outside Tor, this might be an issue), what E-mail addresses you use and for what (for registration for example), and which services you use / log in online! Because of login / service provider congregation, someone might be able to connect your anonymous activities to your identity, if you are not careful (enough). These are some things I would consider, in case I needed (or ever need) to stay anonymous!
  9. IMO it's not so much about what distribution is most secure, it's about how you configure the installation and how / for what you use it for. The biggest security risk is in front of the keyboard and mouse! In my opinion you can forget to use a VM for security (probably in your use case). A VM can be useful in case you want to do something potentially insecure within the VM, or test something for security (or create honeypots and whatnot). That way, potential breaches and issues might be confined within that VM. Remember: anything inside the VM should be considered compromised if the host is compromised, so this does not work the other way around! Dual booting is also a security feature for automated breaches (viruses, worms and such) since they are (usually/probably!) not aware of any dual-bootable other OSes. However, were there a rootkit on any of the OSes and some human hacker contacting the compromised computer, it is trivial for them to install another rootkit to the other (non-booted) OS (unless you have encrypted the system and have some external key needed for the whole bootup chain!). Some distributions are more geared towards a server usage, so they might be more stable and/or get more security patches. But that does not necessarily mean they are more secure for any usage: their web browser might be older, which from security point it might even be the opposite. Their Kernel might have more security-oriented patches backported than your average distribution, and some services (such as Apache and whatnots) patched up promptly after vulnerabilities are found (this is mostly some gut feels I got; I don't maintain any servers). In conclusion: to be secure, you need to think about your use case, and then do some of your own research. One sensible approach is to separate insecure stuff from secure (i.e. don't go to shady Pr0n sites with the same browser session, or even the same user, with which you do important stuff with - you may take this to an extreme and even use a separate OS installation. Just keep in mind what I said about VMs and dual-booting earlier!). Also, security is a double-edged thing. For example: there is loads of illegal activities in the Tor network, but also journalists and human rights activists in countries which are ... problematic for these people. It's not about the tools but how (for what) you use them. EDIT: Whonix and Tails are definitely good suggestions if your main concern is browsing as anonymously / securely as possible! Limit the sessions to the stuff you actually want to be secure, and only that. Don't use any accounts which could be connected to your identity within / from them!
  10. I don't know about newest Macbook Pros and about the T2 chip thing, but from the looks of it, it (secure boot) can be disabled. It shouldn't matter which distro you install. Some might have a more working bootloader config for the Macbook Pro OOTB, but that can be installed by hand, too. I recommend ReFind. I use Manjaro on my Macbook Pro 5,5 (2009). One word of warning: the biggest gripe I've had with Linux desktops on a Macbook Pro, is inferior touchpad and multi-touch support. You can tweak it to be better, and it is quite good - but not on par with OS X. Out of curiosity: why buy MacBook Pro, specifically, to run Linux? There are better laptops out there, with better Linux support, and better built quality. Especially never Macbook Pros are worse in their built quality than they used to (I believe, could be wrong), and the only reason I'd think of buying any Macbook would be exactly because I'd want to run OS X (and don't want to Hackintosh).
  11. My guess: you have several grub installations; perhaps some are UEFI and one of them could be in the MBR. The one booted per default is different from the one you force from BIOS (and the one who fails is looking for grub configuration file from a device it, obviously, can not find). Actually, I believe this is the only way your situation can be explained. After booting to Linux, can you run command: 'ls /sys/firmware/efi/efivars' We're (only) interested if the file /sys/firmware/efi/efivars exists or not (technically, it's not a file.... or is, but let's not go into that). List your efi boot entries by running 'efibootmgr' Also, try to determine if the boot entry you force from BIOS is legacy or UEFI. Do you have Legacy, UEFI or both/hybrid enabled in your BIOS? Which MB do you have?
  12. That's quite strongly put. I know there are people who don't like systemd, and some discussion and controversies revolving around it. I've never gotten into the bottom of it, but I'd really be interested in hearing why you have such a strong opinion against it. There are some things I don't like in systemd, but it is still manageable. I don't know enough about the internals and different use cases to really have a insightful opinion either way (betweeen systemd, openRC or some other init system). OpenRC was much simpler and easier to handle from an amateurs tinkering perspective. Given the current information, I definitely disagree with the part I quoted (staying away from systemd). Like it or not, systemd has become a kind of industry-standard in most current Linux distributions. If need arises going deeper into the configuration of the distribution, most documentation is now made with systemd in mind. One might even say, other init systems are dying (none of the distributions you mentioned are mainstream in any way). I'd say a beginner ought to choose a mainstream distribution in any case! There already are other suggestions in the thread. I'd stay away from Gentoo, unless the user wishes to tinker for tinkerings sake, or has some very special needs in regards to deploying some software into various different environments (Gentoo makes compiling with different settings and even cross-compiling somewhat more easier and automated than other distributions).
  13. If you want help, don't link to Video Tutorials. Link to some more official documentation like this one. No one has a crystal ball here, there are several things that could fail, or where an error could be made. You need to post more information about your system. Boot from a live Linux, copy+paste the output from the commands recommended in the tutorial, especially if there are any errors there. You also need to actually understand the tutorial and adapt it into your computer. To begin: boot in UEFI mode, chroot into Manjaro installation as per the link I've posted, and post output of commands "sudo fdisk -l" and "sudo lsblk". EDIT: you don't need to chroot to run fdisk -l or lsblk
  14. I'd also agree things have improved a lot, but of course it is no where near that you could run *every* game. Based on the information you've given about your needs, it is difficult to say whether you should switch or not. One good approach is to look at the DBs (like protondb, wine appdb) and search for the games you absolutely need to run and see what the experience is generally. If in doubt, dual boot first. You can always remove Windows if your choice of Linux distribution works for you (or Linux if it doesn't work well for you; just make sure you do the removal / repair by re-instating a working bootloader from Windows).
  15. You say "all hard drives" .... well, of course that depends on how many hard drives you have and sometimes even on what type they are. All advices already given are sound. In short, to account for ALL hard drives, something like this will work for most systems: for HARDDISK in /dev/sd? ; do dd if=/dev/zero of=$HARDDISK ; done But, this command, too, will also erase the running OS. It should work if you tweak the command so that the hard disk with the OS is the last erased (or exclude it!). While erasing the running OS, you might run into something like a Kernel Panic which might interrupt the erase. Just to keep my sanity, I'd do this kind of operations from some other live enviroment (USB / CD / DVD / network bootable Linux). I don't like to pull out the carpet of a running OS, but in case you are on a OS killing mission, I suppose it wouldn't matter A bit of background: all SATA (EDIT: this is not conclusive - usually also USB, and possibly others are here!) drives are named as /dev/sdX (where X is a, b, c, d etc.); partitions are sdXN, where N is the partition number. With the above command you will be writing all /sd? with zeroes (EDIT: it will take quite a long time - depending on the size of the disks!). But it can be the case, there are other hard drives besides /dev/sdX; for example, M.2 NVME disks will be named /dev/nvmeAnB - and there's no reason there couldn't be others. In case you haven't tinkered with your distribution and don't use exotic hardware, you are good. Historically, hard disks were named /dev/hdX (IDE drives) and the device nodes could be renamed various ways. To make sure, you might want to run commands such as "lsblk" and "blkid" as root, to see what block devices the Kernel has found on the running system. Also, there are different ways to erase. If you just want to erase partitions, removing the label is enough (i.e. the first 512 bytes should do, for DOS partition tables and probably GPT too, though I'm not sure - just increase to few kilo-megabytes and every disk label will be erased for sure). If you want to do it securely, i.e. make impossible to retrieve files, then DDing zeros to the whole disk is enough for civilian usage, but in case the hard disks contain secrets which might interest the FBI, NSA, CIA, KGB or some industrial espionage organizations, that might not be enough (EDIT: The shred command suugested by @dhumes05 will probably be enough, or at least make it very difficult / infeasible to retrieve data even in a very advanced laboratory). Also, SSDs are another thing altogether (use some TRIM command to actually erase it, wear leveling might preserve data even though one thinks it is erased). EDITX: Talking bout secure erasing ....