cheat: cheatsheets from the terminal

cool_penguin_smallcheat is a utility to look up common usage of popular Linux commands from the command-line. While it doesn’t attempt to become a replacement of the extensive man pages, a quick set of explained examples surely come in handy when you want to check out just the common usages of a command. This way you do not need to remember them. cheat also is interactive. cheat allows creating or modifying cheatsheets too. So you can add new commands or more examples to any list. You can use your favourite editor to do the same from within cheat.

At the time of writing cheat depends on python and pip. The homepage (link below) clearly explains the following:

  • Installation
  • Modifying cheatsheets
  • Configuring

cheat installs with help on around 90 commands at the time of writing. You can always check which commands are available using

$ cheat -l

Webpage: cheat

Stream and listen to music from Dropbox on Linux

dropbox_compMany of us stash their whole music collection on Dropbox and forget all about it for a while. The next time we want to listen to some old tune, we (at least I) feel too lazy to sync the directory or search and download the file. Here are some ways to listen to your music on Dropbox without literally downloading them.

Clementine

Clementine is an awesome music player that can stream music not only from Dropbox but from other services like Box, Google Drive and OneDrive. Just search and play!

Droptunes

Web service to stream music from Dropbox. You can browse all your directories and listen to your favourite music.

streamboxr

Web service that authorizes with Dropbox and needs you to create a directory inside Dropbox folder tree. You can move the files you want to listen to under that directory and streamboxr will play it for you.

Vagrant: quickly setup a customized virtual environment

vagrant_compPreconfigured virtual machines always come in handy and save the pain and time of manually setting them up from scratch. Vagrant is a community based service that works like a repository of preconfigured virtual machines of diverse configuration. Want a Ubuntu 14.04 server with LAMP or a Red Hat server with chef configuration? Vagrant has those! Vagrant supports both VMware and VirtualBox VMs.

Whether you are a developer or a system administrator, Vagrant is always at your beck and call to create an isolated development environment or a dedicated server.

Here’s how easy it is to use Vagrant. It is multiplatform and supports Linux, Windows and Mac. Download Vagrant from its website (link below) and install it on you machine. You need to have either VMware or VirtualBox installed on your box to install VMs from Vagrant.

Initialize and start a 32-bit Precise VM:

$ vagrant init hashicorp/precise32
$ vagrant up

In case you are wondering how to get the container for precise32, you can search VMs and use the container that matches your needs. There are a number of criteria to filter the results. Find more community provided boxes (standard templates) here.

Vagrant is very flexible and has many options. Vagrant docs is the best place to get started.

Webpage: Vagrant

Linux distros with UEFI support

tux_compUEFI laptops are very common nowadays. Popular distros like Ubuntu, Fedora. OpenSUSE etc. come with UEFI support. But how about some relatively lightweight distros which can boot fast and live over USB and are useful for quick browsing sessions without saving anything on the disk? Unfortunately, support for UEFI is still not very common across Linux distros. There are hacks to make them work (like I did for Slitaz or ArchBang in the past, introducing¬†rEFInd etc.) but normal users will definitely look for something that works out of the box. While I couldn’t find distros as light as Slitaz, I found some less than 800MB distros which work out of the box on UEFI devices. I have only tested x86_64 ISOs as UEFI is more common on 64-bit hardware. I tested on a UEFI VM and as there was no option to enable Secure Boot I can only claim that these work fine with Secure Boot disabled. I have included the versions I tested because older versions might not have UEFI support.

Fatdog64-631

Lightweight and provides the Openbox desktop environment. “dd” the ISO to a USB flash drive to make a bootable flash drive. ISO size 248MB.

Manjaro 0.8.10

Based on Arch Linux and provides a familiar look and feel to users migrating from Windows. Comes with many Linux desktop environments through community editions. Find the UEFI live USB creation guide here. ISO size 687MB (Openbox edition).

Semplice 6

Based on Debian Unstable and the desktop environment is Openbox. Installation guide. ISO size 634MB.

Siduction 14.1.0

Once again based on Debian Unstable. Offers several desktop environment options like GNOME, KDE, LXDE, LXQt, Razor-qt, Xfce. Installation guide. ISO size 793MB (LxQt edition).

Slackel Live 6.0

Based on Slackware and Salix distros. Offers KDE and Openbox desktop environments. Couldn’t find a comprehensive guide for this one but the procedure should be similar to the other distros in the list. ISO size 696MB (Openbox edition).

This is a growing list. If you find any other lesser known Linux distro which works out of the box on UEFI devices please leave a comment and I will add it to the list.

Play chess online with friends or engines

chessLooking for a good chess website to play with friends or practice against powerful chess engines but do not want to create a permanent account? Here are two good options for you.

lichess

You have options to play with friends or against the powerful chess engine stockfish. You can also post seeks or accept seeks from others. If you want to play against a friend create a game and send him/her the link to join the game. Each game is unique and you can replay later. You can also adjust the strength of the stockfish engine when initiating a game against machine. The interface is clean and distraction free.

Shredder

Shredder is a powerful game playing and analysis engine. You cna play against Shredder online in its website. There are three difficulty levels to choose from. As additional perks you can solve various chess problems or learn from endgame and opening databases.

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