Using rsync via the Windows Subsystem for Linux to backup a Windows computer

From the world of “why would anyone ever bother to do this?” comes a new approach to backing up your favourite Windows 10 computer! OK so why am I even doing this? I guess the answer to that question is really “just to see if I could.” It’s not the best answer but not everything needs a practical reason right? So how does one go about using the awesome rsync utility to perform a Windows backup?

Commonly Whitelisted Domains for pi-hole

Pi-hole is a great piece of software that will block almost every ad for all devices on your network. However by blacklisting some domains you can occasionally run into problems with unrelated services. Thankfully someone has created an excellent list of commonly whitelisted domains here as well as the related commands you need to run in order to actually whitelist them. I’ve re-produced the list below in case the original link stops working at some point.
Shove ads in your pi-hole!

Shove ads in your pi-hole!

There are loads of neat little projects out there for your Raspberry Pi from random little hacks all the way up to full scale home automation and more. In the past I’ve written about RetroPie (which is an awesome project that you should definitely check out!) but this time I’m going to take a moment to mention another really cool project: pi-hole. Pi-hole, as their website says, is “a black hole for Internet advertisements.

Fixing Areca Backup on Ubuntu 16.04 (and related distributions)

Seems like I’m at it again, this time fixing Areca Backup on Ubuntu 16.04 (actually Linux Mint 18.1 in my case). For some reason when I download the current version (Areca 7.5 for Linux/GTK) and try and run the script I get the following error: tyler@computer $ ./ ls: cannot access ‘/usr/java’: No such file or directory No valid JRE found in /usr/java. This is especially odd because I quite clearly do have Java installed:

Murdering misbehaving applications with xkill

Have you ever had a window in Linux freeze on you and no matter how many times you tried to close it, it just wouldn’t go away? Then when you try and find the process in System Monitor (or the like) you can’t seem to identify it for whatever reason? Thankfully there is a really easy to use command that lets you simply click on the offending window and POOF!… it goes away instantly.

Limit bandwidth used by a command in Linux

If you’ve ever wanted to run a bandwidth intensive command (for example downloading system updates) but limit how much of the available bandwidth it can actually use then trickle may be what you’re after. Simply install it using sudo apt-get install trickle and then you can use it with the following syntax trickle -d X -u Y command where X is download limit in KB/s, Y is the upload limit in KB/s and command is the process you want to start limited to these bandwidth constraints.

A nifty utility to limit CPU usage on Linux

If you want to run a command that you know is going to use quite a bit of CPU but you don’t want it to completely take over your system there is a really neat utility that can help you out. It’s called cpulimit and it does exactly what you think it would. The basic usage is this: cpulimit -l XX command where XX is the CPU % you want to limit the process to and command is the process you want to run.
Setting up Syncthing to share files on Linux

Setting up Syncthing to share files on Linux

Syncthing is a file sharing application that lets you easily, and securely, share files between computers without having to store them on a third party server. It is most analogous to BitTorrent Sync (BTS) but whereas BTS is somewhat undocumented and closed source, Syncthing is open source and uses an open protocol that can be independently verified. This is going to be a basic guide to configure Syncthing to sync a folder between multiple computers.

Linux alternatives: Mp3tag → puddletag

Way back when I first made my full-time switch to Linux I made a post about an alternative to the excellent Mp3tag software on Windows. At the time I suggested a program called EasyTAG and while that is still a good program I’ve recently come across one that I think I may actually like more: puddletag. A screenshot of puddletag from their website While it is very similar to EasyTAG I find puddletag’s layout a bit easier to navigate and use.
A brief update on my switch to Linux

A brief update on my switch to Linux

It has been almost four months since I made a complete switch over to the Linux operating system on my home computers. So how have I managed since switching and what problems have I run into? Am I ready to go back to Windows yet? To be honest the switch has been almost completely uneventful. In fact I wish it was more drama filled because then it would be good fodder for blog posts like this.