Linux Drama is Over! (For Now.)

I’m happy to report that my “Linux drama” has ended (for the moment). See?

gnome_desktop.png

Unfortunately, this required me doing a factory reset of my machine, so I lost all my data – yeah, tease me all you want. That’s why you do backups, right? Fortunately, nothing I had was irreplaceable, with the exception of a few drafts I had written.

I did get rather frustrated with the process, but I know that that’s part of coding and using computers/smartphones in general. Can I get back to the dark web now? Sure. Let’s hope it doesn’t compromise my system.

At the moment, I’m going back to the terminal and attempting to reinstall some of the missing programs I had before. Easy, right? You would think so.

More specifically, I’m attempting to install HexChat, which is one of the IRC clients I liked, and the terminal is saying that the repository I’m trying to use doesn’t exist. I’m assuming that it’s just on a different repository, but I’m not sure which one that is. This is strange, because right before my system went down, I  was using HexChat without any problems.

Is there another client I should be using? WeeChat, perhaps? (Oh no.)

YFy0a

My friends mess with me about being technically incompetent, but usually my problem is that I overthink things and get stuck on one or two steps – I think that’s the curse of coding in general.

Anyhow, it’s good to be back! Have any requests for posts? Please share.

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Linux Drama Part 2: Trolling!

I found a great quote on bash.org today that applies to my Linux dilemma:

I discovered that you’d never get an answer to a problem from Linux Gurus by asking. You have to troll in order for someone to help you with a Linux problem…Instead, I did what works. Trolling. By stating that Linux sucked because it was so hard to find a file compared to Windows, I got every self-described Linux Guru around the world coming to my aid. They gave me examples after examples of different ways to do it. All this in order to prove to everyone that Linux was better.

So OK then. Linux sucks! It’s shit! Windows was better! There, I said it. (haha.) Just kidding.

In all seriousness, as I’d mentioned on my earlier post, I attempted an update, and it seems that I really messed up my system. At present, I’m working on booting the system with GRUB, which, to be honest, is completely new to me. It’s not complicated at all, though!

IMG_20180707_080447_475 OK, maybe a little complicated. What I was attempting to do was choose the previous kernel from this menu, but then I got a message that I didn’t have permission to do that. I’m not entirely sure how to change the permissions so that I can choose it.

So, I’m asking the Linux users out there – is this the right route? I don’t want to further mess up things in the process of trying to fix them!

In the meantime, I’m writing this blog from whatever machines happen to be available (including my phone).

It’s weird – this is the kind of thing that people expect to happen when they’re on the dark web, and yet it happens to me without any “help” from the dark web. If need be, I’ll just completely reinstall everything, but it might help to know where to start!

And I used to get annoyed with this:

Blue_Screen_Of_Death_by_Xentalion

 

 

Linux Drama: I Was Frozen Today!

Before they make memes illegal here too, I’ll post this:

i_was_frozen_today

Now that that’s out of the way – this morning, I was doing an upgrade to my Ubuntu system, and everything seemed to be going well. As a guide, I was following this article: How to Upgrade To Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Bionic Beaver

linux_upgrade

I started with the command:

$ sudo apt-install update-manager-core

Afterwards, I followed up with:

$ sudo do-release upgrade

This didn’t work, and I believe the issue was that the release wasn’t available yet. So, here’s where my big mistake happened. I attempted to force the upgrade by entering:

$ sudo do-release upgrade -d

This was where I clearly screwed up, because afterward, I was unable to get past the login screen on my system. Well, let me take that back – I could get past it, but all I would see is a blank desktop, very similar to this:

ubuntu_blank

Interestingly, some other users on Ask Ubuntu have had similar issues:

ask_ubuntu

Fortunately, another user on that same site had a good solution. He suggested opening the GRUB menu and selecting the previous kernel. This sounds like my best option. If I did actually lose all my data, thankfully there wasn’t anything irreplaceable there.

It’s funny – I have times when I can do all these advanced coding-related things, and yet something simple like this will put me out of commission.

You can’t keep a good man down, though!

 

Getting the Hang of Linux! (Really.)

Some of the bros on MadIRC were messing with me about giving some variety to the blog, and suggested that I document my Linux learning process for you all. After all, the “dark web” isn’t always as fascinating as it’s made out to be.

So, as I’ve mentioned, my particular Linux distro is Ubuntu, which is considered to be a good distro for a beginner. I suppose that, after time, I may move on to something more advanced (yes, that’s what I tell myself…).

As some of you may know, Ubuntu at least has a GUI to start off with (I’m using the GNOME desktop), as opposed to, say, Arch, which is bare bones. Maybe I’ll get to that one day.

Mine looks very similar to this one:

cinnamon2ubuntu-large_001

One of the major adjustments, of course, has been using the Terminal, and learning the associated commands. I assume this will become second nature at some point. I’m already used to typing:

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get upgrade

And getting the message “Permission denied, are you root?” That’s so much fun, isn’t it?

http_cdn5.howtogeek.comwp-contentuploads201203apt-get-update

One of the major reasons I switched to Linux was that I was tired of getting viruses on Windows, and as many had told me, “Don’t use Windows with the dark web!” I guess they weren’t kidding, huh?

Another reason is the fact that it’s open source, and that there seems to be a lot of Linux community support. In particular, I really disliked Windows 10 – I felt as though it was collecting way too much info about me, and had numerous glitches.

Anyway, a lot of the learning has been trial-and-error, but I subscribed to Linux Hint, which is helping, and plus, I know a lot of Linux users, so they’ve been giving me useful hints along the way. Hints like, “Type ‘yes [string]’ on the terminal.”

funny_commands-yes

Very funny guys.

Of course, I use Tor with it too, which seems to run very smoothly. I don’t know if it’s my imagination, but it seems faster. Is it?!

tor_browser_ubuntu

In addition, I liked the idea of running Tor from the terminal, with a command like:

start-tor-browser

I plan on documenting more of my Linux/dark web drama as it unfolds, so expect to hear more!

Besides, I know that some of you readers are also Linux users, so do you have any terminal hints for me? Feel free to leave them in the comments.

angry_penguin

 

Should You Use a VPN with Tor? (Well, No.)

vpn-graphic-100022486-orig

This seems to be a very frequently asked question, and on many sites, people will tell you that you should use a VPN with Tor, for “extra protection.”

Based on my research, however, I disagree – and this seems to be an unpopular opinion. One reference I’d like to cite is a blog post by Matt Traudt, a.k.a. system33-, who is someone I respect with regard to Tor. The post in question is VPN + Tor: Not Necessarily a Net Gain.

One of the points he brings up here is the following:

Tor is trustless, a VPN is trusted. Users don’t have to trust every Tor relay that they use in order to stay safe with Tor. As long as the right ones aren’t compromised, working together, or otherwise malicious, the user stays protected.

This is the main problem with insisting on combining Tor and a VPN. VPNs can keep logs of your activity online (though some claim not to), whereas Tor does not.

However, using a VPN can hide your Tor usage from your ISP, especially if said ISP is suspicious of Tor.

The Tin Hat, on their post Tor And VPN – Using Both for Added Security, also makes the point that “Where this setup fails is at hiding your traffic from a malicious Tor exit node. Because the traffic goes through the VPN, and then to the Tor network, exit nodes can still watch your traffic unencrypted.”

My preference, personally, is to use a Linux distribution with Tor, like Tails or Qubes, or for the more advanced, Arch Linux or Manjaro Linux. These, of course, take time to learn and won’t do everything for you, but they are designed for security. While this doesn’t mean they are vulnerability-free, they can improve your protection, particularly if you understand their ins and outs.

Don’t get me wrong – Unix-like OS’s are not invincible – see Sophos: Don’t believe these four myths about Linux security, but depending on the situation, it’s preferable to using an OS like Windows.

Oddly enough, I haven’t “contracted” any malware via the dark web – at least not to my knowledge. This has happened more often on the clearnet, ironically. Maybe it’s because I don’t download mysterious files or install programs that I find randomly on networks like Tor.

I’m paranoid that way.

What about you, readers? What OS’s do you prefer to use (specifically in combination with Tor, I2P, Freenet, etc.)?

In the meantime, enjoy your dark web adventures, my friends – and please research any VPN or other “privacy” software before trusting it blindly.

16199cffb76fff8c74ad6dd8eac6afab

 

Looking for Linux!!

 

Linux_command-line._Bash._GNOME_Terminal._screenshot

Well, it finally happened.  The previous computer I had been using to write this blog crashed…permanently.

Now, whether that had anything to do with the fact that I was using the dark web or not, I don’t know. (I’d like to think not.)  It was also a seven year-old computer, and some of the error messages indicated that the hardware was having issues, so that was more than likely the problem.

You may ask – so how are you writing right now?  Well, I have a few older systems I can use for the time being, but I would like to ultimately switch to a Linux OS, even though that’ll take some getting used to.

I have some limited experience with them through live CD operating systems, but I know that that’s not quite the same thing.  One reason I’d like to switch is that because I’m also learning to code, Linux systems seem more geared toward that (am I wrong?).

I also feel that, in general, they’re more secure, although of course no system is completely unhackable.  Even more than that, though, I like that they’re less automated.

One thing that used to frequently annoy me about Windows systems was that they would try to do everything for you and guess your every move.  I remember using an early version of Word back in the day when I would write fantasy stories, and it would autocorrect the names of my made-up characters.

Me (typing): Zostarath and Megilligand fought valiantly with their swords.

Autocorrect: Zoroastrian and Megillah fought valiantly with their swords.

Me: Damn you, autocorrect!

Of course, there were ways around this, but it was still frustrating, and I had the same problem with later versions of Windows too.

Command Lines, How Do I Love Thee?

Command_line

So, I’m aware that using the command line interface after many years will take some getting used to, and may involve a little frustration, but I think I can get the hang of it again.

This also seems ideal for coding, in a sense.  The question is, which system should I use?  I haven’t decided that yet.  (Oh, woe is me!  Woe is me!)

I’ve been browsing Linux Preloaded to see some of what’s available, and I’m sure I’ll come up with something.

And before I officially start using one of these systems, I’ve been brushing up on my Linux commands with sites like Red Hat Developers.

Now – I’m sure this isn’t quite as exciting as talking about the dark web, but hear me out. If I’m going to delve deeper into the world of internet security, etc., I think I need the appropriate system.

It seems as if there are a million options, so the sky’s the limit.  Seriously, if any of you are experienced Linux users, and you have some good suggestions, feel free to share them.

I will say that I’m not going into this blindly – Whonix did have something similar, called the Konsole, which was essentially the command line interface.  I’ve used it enough to get the hang of it, but still, it was a far cry from a full Linux OS.

Am I about to get frustrated all over again?  Probably.  But that’s OK in my book.

Hey, I’m always up for a good learning experience…this will just be one more, right?

linux-penguin-savers-1920x1200-wallpaper540853