linux posts

Purchase: New laptop, MacBook Air

I’ve made another new laptop purchase in the past couple months: I bought a refurbished 2020 MacBook Air from It has a 10th gen i3 Intel processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage. I bought it to replace my struggling 11 year old MacBook. I bought a Lenovo Yoga 7i, but was struggling to get comfortable with it for my web development work. I made the call to get the Mac so I could directly migrate both my work computer user and my personal computer users, with the plan to use it for development and use the Yoga for other stuff.

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Purchase: New laptop, Lenovo Yoga 7i

Last month, I finally bought a new laptop with plans to replace my aging 2009 Macbook as my primary computer. It is a Lenovo Yoga 7i, purchased from MicroCenter. It is a switch from Mac, which has been my primary OS for pretty much since I’ve been using computers, but it has touch screen and I hope to switch to the open world of Linux.

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Custom logic for unattended upgrades reboot

The Ubuntu / Debian unattended-upgrades package has an option to automatically reboot as needed when it upgrades packages. It will do this without user input, at a chosen time. However, it doesn’t allow for any conditions beyond need and time. I found a need for more nuance recently, so I had to disable the built-in functionality and set up my own script on a cron job.

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Automatically deal with conf changes using unattended-upgrades

For Ubuntu servers, I use the unattended-upgrades package to automate keeping the system and packages up to date. I recently noticed some of Cogneato’s servers showing packages needing to be updated for multiple days. When I looked in unattended-upgrades.log (in folder /var/log/unattended-upgrades/), I found the message “WARNING Package something has conffile prompt and needs to be upgraded manually”. Basically, there was a change to a configuration file and it didn’t know how to handle it.

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Raspberry Pi: playing with BerryBoot, RetroPie, and OpenElec

Played with my Raspberry Pi a bit more this weekend. I bought another micro-SD card and installed BerryBoot, a bootloader / OS installer sort of like Noobs, on it.

I installed RetroPie, a project that is built on top of Raspbian but with numerous emulators and a special interface that can be operated by a gamepad. It seems like it would be cool to condense all of my video game systems and even my oldest Mac (an SE) into a tiny box. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do much with it since I have to figure out how to get games onto it. It doesn’t have a web browser or other normal Linux stuff accessible from its special interface.

I also installed OpenElec, a media center. It has a dedicated interface meant to be operated by a remote control, though since I don’t have one of those, it operates a bit slowly by mouse. It has various media applications that can be installed from its interface, basically one for each of any online services. I installed quite a few and watched some old commercials on GetTV.

I’m thinking maybe I’ll eventually get a second Raspberry Pi to use as a media / gaming center. It’s easy to dual boot them using BerryBoot. It would be cooler if I could figure out a way to more easily switch between them, rather than rebooting. opensource++