GNU/Linux, open-source/Libre computer tips ( Daniel Villarreal


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Daniel Villarreal (email:
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Aug. 21, 2017 Changed the main web site back..

July 23, 2017 Added post on correcting mangled text issue in Mozilla Firefox

July 19, 2017 – Updated Partitioning page

July 13, 2017 – Updated Fedora-related pages [1][2]

June 11, 2017 – Updated Browsers/cookies and backup pages, links, etc.

Content is provided under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported” license (CC-BY-SA)

Thanks for visiting !


Daniel Villarreal

Sites I edit and/or contribute to…,,

Use this information at your own risk. A link to another web site does not necessarily imply my endorsement. Any trademarks used are the property of their owners.




Written by Daniel Villarreal

August 21, 2017 at 6:27 am

Posted in introduction

printing labels, etc.

by Daniel Villarreal –

For writing to CD- and DVD-ROM discs directly, in Linux, you can use Lightscribe technology. Luckily I still have Lightscribe software for Linux in my software collection. To use print technology, you’d have to find a way to use the manufacturer’s software in Linux, perhaps one could use WINE. Here’s an example of an old WINE report for this type of endeavor.

For other labeling uses, even for t-shirt iron-on transfers, you’d use special printing media, and software such as libreoffice.

Written by Daniel Villarreal

August 21, 2017 at 11:10 am

Posted in Printing


by Daniel Villarreal –

From Roderick Smith article “If you use GRUB 2 on a BIOS-based computer, create a BIOS Boot Partition… [from 32 kiB to 1 MiB] [1]

Viewing Block Devices and File Systems Fedora 26

Manual partitioning  Fedora 26

Storage and Partitioning  Fedora 26

Filesystems (here , here, and here), Fedora offers Btrfs

Please back up your information before attempting to edit partition(s).  I prefer to manually edit partitions. Here’s some information on filesystems here, and here.


view block devices and file systems: lsblk and blkid




Written by Daniel Villarreal

August 21, 2017 at 10:16 am

Posted in Software

Seagate hd firmware update

by Daniel Villarreal –

Seagate ST3750330AS hard drive

1. I searched for “seagate barracuda 7200.11 firmware update,” and followed the first Seagate URL, i.e.

2. I prepared the .iso image (instructions here, and here)

3. I had the hard drive in question connected only, i.e. it’s the only hard drive in the computer.

4. I booted up the computer with the Seagate CD-ROM.

5. I exited the message screen and pressed the appropriate letter to download the firmware to the hard drive. The firmware updated and the computer restarted.

6. I booted up with the Seagate CD-ROM, and hit S) to scan ATA drives, to verify that the firmware was indeed updated, it was. Data is still intact.


Seagate ST32000542AS hard drive

Click on pictures to enlarge, use back key to see web page.

I had issues updating firmware for a Seagate ST32000542AS hard drive. Here’s the main link for Seagate firmware updates. I read this article by Niall Best. As the original link Mr. Best linked to in regards to the parameters for the forced firmware update no longer functioned, I figured I’d try it anyway and see how it worked out. I made sure to back up all information on this hard drive. I cooked the firmware update .iso image to a CD-R, set the motherboard BIOS settings for SATA and booted up to the CD-R disc.
1. Booting up


2. Menu


3. (L)ist supported  models on this release


4. (D)ownload Firmware to supported models [“Model matched but firmware version is not compatible”]


5. Ctrl-C, I did this command “FDL486A.EXE -m Hepburn -f HECC358H.LOD -s -x -b -v -a 20”


6. Forcing update, program is “saving data…”


7. Update is complete, command prompt comes up. After this I power off computer, then power it back on.


8. Reboot into firmware update program, to verify… Confirmed that there was no data loss, operation went very smoothly.



Written by Daniel Villarreal

August 21, 2017 at 10:15 am

Posted in Hardware


by Daniel Villarreal –

Getting error in Fedora 26 when doing
# journalctl -f
$ su -c “journalctl -f”

Couldn’t write ‘0’ to ‘net/bridge/bridge-nf-call-iptables

See this bugzilla report

Common F26 Bugs” Fedoraproject

Fedora 26 documentation

Upgrade to Fedora 26 or install , DNF System Upgrade  Fedora

How to use IPTables Instead of firewalld for Fedora [Fedoraproject] [Michael Douse]

Set up iptables [1][2], adjust TCP Wrappers , secure SSH , Fedora security policy), Modify /etc/fstab, set up sysctl [1][2][3][4], set up a custom hosts file [1][2] , “Common Post-Installation Tasks” , etc.

See SysVinit to Systemd Cheatsheet @ Fedora, for more details on options

systemd vs sysVinit Linux Cheatsheet – by  Bobbin Zachariah at

RPM Fusion (third-party) repository

@ Fedora

How to edit iptables rules

networking guide  Fedora 25

SELinux User’s and Administrator’s Guide Fedora 24

sysVinit command equivalents in systemd at Fedoraproject

Fedora/EPEL keys

Fedora Community websites , Fedora magazine

systemd vs sysVinit Linux Cheatsheet – by  Bobbin Zachariah at

Archlinux systemd , systemd FAQ , systemd-networkd

IPTables and Securing OpenSSH centos wiki

Troubleshooting SSH Connections”

default policy of DROP on the input chain ssh” DuckDuckGo

Flushing iptables on Fedora” by

how to install CentOS – by  Bobbin Zachariah at

ReleaseNotes – Centos wiki

HowTos – index at Centos wiki


Virtual training video @ RedHat

Taste of Red Hat Training:  Managing SELinux modes video @ RedHat

manage w/ systemd @ RedHat

RedHat blogs, social

Written by Daniel Villarreal

August 21, 2017 at 10:12 am

Posted in Fedora

Fedora video

by Daniel Villarreal  –

Problems with Booting into the Graphical Installation” Fedora 26

When you use this method, remember to wait for the system to upgrade when a new kernel is released.

If you ever can’t get video to display, and you can’t login by using Ctrl-Alt-F2, you might ssh in from another computer on your home network and reboot.

Managing Services with systemd Targets

NVidia drivers were updated May 4, 2017:

Written by Daniel Villarreal

August 21, 2017 at 10:00 am

Posted in Fedora

Disk drives

by Daniel Villarreal  –

If an older computer doesn’t recognize a SATA hard drive, set the drive jumper to OPT1 setting. See this Western Digital explanation.

For hard drives, consider the warranty. I find that HGST drives cost a little more than Western Digital, but in my experience, the warranty is better. [1][2]

When running GNU/Linux, I can connect hard disks “on the fly”. See Intel information for hot swap. Make sure to sync, preferably several times (sync && sync) and make sure drive activity light(s) are off before unmounting and removing disks from system.

For an SSD drive, a secure erase restores it to factory default write performance, according to this article on ATA Secure Erase.

For SSD drive optimization, see here.

Written by Daniel Villarreal

August 21, 2017 at 9:59 am

Posted in Hardware

Computing performance

by Daniel Villarreal –

At Archlinux: Improve boot performance , Maximizing performance, e4rat, and Speeding up SSH

See the chapter on managing system resources in “Essential System Administration” By AEleen Frisch

Keep your computer/smart phone/game console lean by only having programs installed that you use.

Most computer hobbyists will just want to maximize hard drive speed.

For GNU/Linux, you might look into using the noatime option for speed increase, although you should research to see if it will affect any programs you use, i.e. email programs like Mutt, see here.

re: noatime vs. relatime, see this article by Theodore Ts’o. Also see [thread in linux-kernel archive] here, here, here, here, and here.

Some might be interested in the file change notification system inotify see here, here, here , here.

For OpenBSD you have this to consider (

For microSD cards, check out these speeds

Written by Daniel Villarreal

August 21, 2017 at 9:56 am

Posted in Software