Posts

Encrypted Internet with WireGuard and Manjaro Linux

0 minute read Published

How to install and configure WireGuard on Linux Manjaro, a step-by-step guide.

One of the motivations behind dual-booting Linux on my MacBook Pro was to take back control of my personal data. Not just because Apple uses fake encryption on iCloud. And not because macOS has been shown to leave users open to eavesdropping exploits. But because when I use my Mac with macOS the operating system constantly beams out activity records1, sharing my personal details with strangers I’ve never met.

So why should anyone care? What difference does it make? Privacy is human right, it’s universal and not for sale. (Besides the data you’re leaking is worth loads of money and in the future some of us will be getting paid for it.)

In this short guide I’ll show you how to encrypt and route your local Internet traffic through a fast, modern, and secure VPN tunnel called WireGuard using a free and open source operating system called Manjaro Linux. I will explain how to install WireGuard on Manjro, share a simple means of establishing and testing an encrypted Internet connection and leave you with next steps to further your understanding.

I see that Jason actually made the pull request to have wireguard included in the kernel. Can I just once again state my love for it and hope it gets merged soon? Maybe the code isn't perfect, but I've skimmed it, and compared to the horrors that are OpenVPN and IPSec, it's a work of art.

Linus Torvalds, LKML (2 Aug 2018)

Follow along if you’re ready take back control of your personal data too.

Burying Firefox's White Tab of Death

3 minute read Published

How to change the Firefox New Tab page for suitable display in low-light.

I don’t know about you but I really like dark interfaces. Dark interfaces use less battery on AMOLED screens, reduce eye strain at night, and help protect you from shoulder surfers and nosy bar flies. Plus they just look good.

Which is why I was a bit miffed after installing ghacks-user.js to lock-down security in Firefox Quantum. I finished setup right before bed, opened the browser and – WHAM – my entire room illuminated with New Tab page:

Dual-Boot Linux Manjaro & macOS Mojave on the MacBook Pro

10 minute read Published

Improve the utility and enjoyment of your MacBook. Learn how to dual-boot macOS Mojave and Linux Manjaro directly from your Apple SSD hard disk.

Are you familiar with the concept of “habit fields”? They’re these magical auras we give to everyday objects, assigning them purpose and allowing us to focus our awareness to accomplish tasks faster. But habit fields can work against you as well, if you’re not careful:

If you’ve been trying to do everything from one place and one device, then you may need to make a conscious decision to divide different modes of behavior.

Jack Cheng, Habit Fields (2010)

One device you may be trying to do everything from one place is the MacBook Pro. With the beefy specs on the flagship Apple notebook it can be easy to piledrive too many activities all into one place, affecting your Mac’s habit field.

But there’s a trick you can use to divide different modes of behavior on a Mac. And that’s to add a second operating system and dual-boot. Here’s how to install and dual-boot Linux Manjaro alongside macOS Mojave on a MacBook Pro.

Self-host Gitea on Amazon Lightsail

9 minute read Enclosure Published

Learn how to self-host Gitea on Amazon Lightsail for only $3.50 USD per month.

Shortly after the buzz of MS purchasing GitHub I started self-hosting a Gitea stack using a Docker Compose file I threw together just for the occasion. The hosting I chose at the time was a $5 Vultr VPS with the following specs:

  • CPU: 1 vCore
  • RAM: 1024 MB
  • Storage: 25 GB SSD
  • Bandwidth: 1000 GB

I chose Vultr partly because they’ve been shown to be faster than DO and Lightsail. But really I just needed a testbed to prove things out. Something I did through sharing knowledge on the Gitea Support forums before, months later, finally feeling confident enough to abandon GitHub.

But Vultr isn’t cutting it anymore. Their $5/month VPS option, while arguably a great deal, isn’t delivering enough storage. Sure I could add block storage at $0.50 per GB or even consider switching to Linode. But I don’t see the point of either when Amazon offers a 40 GB SSD option at $5 an instance with double the bandwidth offered by Vultr and half the cost of the Linode equivalent plan.

As luck would have it, last night I ran out of disk space on Vultr. What better a time to make the switch over to Amazon Lightsail? And if you’re looking to self-host Gitea on Lightsail, here’s how you can too.

Unbrick a Micro SD Card using Tails and macOS Mojave

7 minute read Published

Learn to dual-boot a Mac using a second operating system running Linux and use it to troubleshoot hardware problems by unbricking a Micro SD card.

Recently, while creating a physical back-up of my Mac, I ended up corrupting the Micro SD card I was using to perform the back-up operation. This translated into a one line cautionary alert inside the related blog post:

Caution: DO NOT attempt to remove the SD card or adapter during this process.

Turns out removing an SD card during a 100+ GB 77,000 file transfer from a Mac to an SD card isn’t the best idea – despite what a five year-old might tell you.

After several hours of toiling with Disk Utility, diskutil and dd on macOS the furthest I got was to experience the same issues as another individual who posted on Apple Exchange 3 years ago - their question unresolved, until now.

Awesome React Components

7 minute read Updated

Hand-picked components and libraries to help you build your next hot app.

One of the best parts of building with React is discovering new and awesome open source components to use. Rather than just throwing the kitchen sink at you, here’s a short list of React components and libraries I feel are truly awesome.

How to Backup & Restore macOS Mojave

16 minute read Enclosure Published

If there's one thing computers do well, it's malfunction. Plan ahead so you don't lose data should your Mac start behaving more like a computer.

Last month, while download Mojave patches for at least two zero-day exploits a malfunction occurred and I couldn’t upgrade, leaving my machine vulnerable:

During a 10 minute chat with Apple Care it was suggested I back-up and restore Mojave. The resolution wasn’t exactly what I’d hoped for. But not a big deal as I hadn’t created a backup in 3 years and it was about that time.

Coding Mass Destruction

2 minute read Enclosure Published

GitHub's new policy on the use of its services for the creation of WMDs.

Gitea announced just last week gitea.com was now live and accepting user registrations while the Gitea development team prepares for their eventual move off GitHub. I was excited to see this as, just a few days prior, I sent some encouragement after myself leaving GitHub. Then I signed-up.

Blocking MinerBlock

4 minute read Updated

How to cloak your Webminer from the MinerBlock browser extension.

MinerBlock is a browser extension which alters the content of a webpage in an attempt to prevent a handful of crypto miners from running.

To function MinerBlock must be installed and left running in the browser while a user surfs and it must be trusted even though extensions can get you hacked.

Consolidate a Jekyll site with Hugo

8 minute read Published

How to migrate a website hosted on Jekyll into an existing Hugo site.

Three years ago I started a website called hackcabin.com to scratch an itch after discovering Hugo and starting development on After Dark. At the time my primary website was running Jekyll and build times were nearing the 2-3 minute mark for little more than 70-80 blog posts.

Adeng Adeng, GitHub

3 minute read Published

Why I deleted a 10 year-old GitHub account and how I expect it will improve my development workflow in the Saka New Year.

The P20 Pro blinked itself on the morning after Nyepi, alarm sounding as the Hindu island of Bali reopened at the first new moon in March. I looked over at the planning board on the wall. Unlike the day prior, it was now filled with cards ready to be transitioned to the DONE column. Leaving GH wasn’t one.