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Writing system automation scripts and services

Fundamentally automation is being smart about being lazy, I like that. Writing scripts to do small tasks is an easy way to be lazy but there are times when you don’t want to run the script and remember to start it each time you log in. That’s where services come in handy, a lot of applications install their service to automatically do things. As an user you can do that too without needing admin rights. This article/guide goes through writing a small bash script, creating a systemd service, and running it as a regular user. ...

February 14, 2024 · 9 min
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Alacritty Auto Theme Switcher

I like and use the Alacritty terminal emulator, but it does not automatically follow the system theme. The issue tracker discussion made it clear this feature won’t be supported, fair enough. And after switching to TOML and discovering partial imports, I knew I could scratch my own itch. Someone wrote a rust tool which was helpful as a guide but I wanted something with low dependency. So I made a bash script and a systemd service and it was fun(?) to learn more about dbus. So, alacritty-auto-theme was born which automatically switches themes with manual override possible, repo on Github and Sourcehut. ...

February 13, 2024 · 1 min
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Alacritty: TOML and partial imports

I have written before about using Alacritty as my terminal and I’ve configured it using YAML. I’ve been a general fan of YAML, I like the way the syntax looks and there aren’t too many brackets of any kind, if it had a line terminator, that’d be great. The downside is that it is indent dependent. But for the most part I’m comfortable with YAML and wherever an option is provided for using YAML, I pick it over TOML....

January 25, 2024 · 2 min

Let's Encrypt with behind CPanel

I have access to webhosting through the generosity of a friend and his hosting provider used CPanel and offers paid SSL certificates but does allow for SSH access. So, the best and free way to get SSL certificates is getting certificates from Let’s Encrypt using While I’ve had this setup for years and it works great, it’s a real issue if it breaks because I do the sad thing of hitting up in the terminal history #somuchshame....

November 9, 2022 · 2 min
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Fun with pipes

Just came across this excellent post: Poor mans mind mapping tool with just the terminal from @fullstackthaumaturge (account no longer exists) toot on Fosstodon. The whole premise is that you can do a lot things with the UNIX philosophy of using files for everything and manipulating them with simple tools that do one thing but do it well. So if you wanted a mindmap then just touch files in a folder hierarchy and then print it out with tree....

September 19, 2022 · 2 min
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From fish on Gnome Terminal to zsh with Starship on Alacritty

Gnome Terminal and fish I have been using the default Gnome Terminal with the fish shell for a long time and it has served me well. Since fish provides a lot of functionality out of the box (including meta information about git repos in the prompt), I have stuck with it for the convenience. However, there is ONE major downside to fish; it is not POSIX compliant. Why ditch fish? See what had happened was… Non-POSIX compliant wasn’t a big problem until I found myself writing a couple helper functions with fish syntax....

May 14, 2022 · 6 min

OBS, virtual camera, guix

I’ve used OBS as a virtual camera input for various reasons (to compose scenes, to control field of view, etc.). I was setting it up on my desktop (Pop_Os! 20.04 with Guix as the package manager) today because Microsoft Teams recognizes my El Gato CamLink 4K but won’t show any video. Since I had successfully used virtual camera before I tried setting it up, but ran into some issues. OBS needs the v4l2loopback driver in order to enable the virtual camera functionality....

January 11, 2022 · 1 min

Setting up Protonmail in Emacs

I’ve used Protonmail for several years and use the web interface for the most part and used Thunderbird on the desktop to keep offline copies of email. Since Protnmail takes care of the encryption it requires a local bridge to provide a standard interface like IMAP. Essentially, it is running an IMAP server on the local machine that any compatible client can connect to. Technically, the bridge can be made accessible on a local network so many clients from many machines can connect to it....

January 8, 2022 · 4 min

Wine and CrossOver to use Lightroom on Linux

I have been using Darktable and transitioning away from Adobe’s Lightroom. However, I have almost a decade of edits and experience with Lightroom so doing a cold-turkey switch is proving to be challenging. So I decided to investigate if I could “natively” run Lightroom (without a VM) so I decided to give wine a try. I use guix as a package manager on Pop!_OS and guix has wine but it did a while to build and install....

October 16, 2021 · 2 min