Shallow Thoughts : : linux

Akkana's Musings on Open Source Computing and Technology, Science, and Nature.

Thu, 22 Feb 2024

towebhost: a Handy Script for Mirroring Multiple Websites

I maintain quite a few small websites. I have several of my own under different domains (, and so forth), plus a few smaller projects like flask apps running on a different port. In addition, I maintain websites for several organizations on a volunteer basis (because if you join any volunteer organization and they find out you're at all technical, that's the first job they want you to do).

I typically maintain a local copy of each website, so I can try out any change locally first.

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[ 16:18 Feb 22, 2024    More linux | permalink to this entry | ]

Tue, 26 Dec 2023

Running Windows 10 under QEMU, Update: Debian Changed OVMF

In October I wrote about making a Windows 10 that Boots off a USB Stick, From Linux.

A Debian update today or yesterday (Merry Christmas!) broke that and I spent a few hours today chasing that down.

There's a package called ovmf that puts BIOS/firmware related files in /usr/share/OVMF/. The command I used in the earlier article included the flag -bios /usr/share/OVMF/OVMF_CODE.fd but as of today, -bios apparently doesn't work any more with any of the files there.

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[ 18:01 Dec 26, 2023    More linux | permalink to this entry | ]

Fri, 06 Oct 2023

QEMU Windows Guest: Easy File Sharing with QEMU's built-in SMB

Last year I wrote about my efforts to share files in QEMU between a Linux host and Windows guest. Someone in the comments pointed me to WinFSP and WinSSHFS, and I was able to get file sharing working that way, after installing both those packages on the Windows guest.

But I recently found a much easier way, using QEMU's built-in SMB handler.

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[ 08:02 Oct 06, 2023    More linux | permalink to this entry | ]

Sun, 01 Oct 2023

Create a Windows 10 that Boots off a USB Stick, from Linux

In 2019, I wrote about struggling to get any sort of Windows booting off an external USB stick, in order to Install Lenovo Firmware Packaged as a .exe on a Linux Machine. I ended up needing to borrow a real Windows machine and install Rufus on it.

In 2023, things are much better. Aki at atkdinosaurus has written a clear, concise tutorial on that topic: How to create a Windows 10 installation on a USB stick in UEFI mode. I love that it's all command-line, so you can duplicate the steps exactly.

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[ 10:07 Oct 01, 2023    More linux | permalink to this entry | ]

Thu, 28 Sep 2023

Opening a URL in a New Tab of an Existing Browser Window

My search for a good desktop Mastodon client has led me down a path that involved learning some fun ways to interact with existing browser windows on Linux with X programs like xdotool and wmctrl.

Like many people, I've switched from The App Formerly Known As Twitter to Mastodon (where I'm But the next question was which Mastodon app to use.

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[ 11:48 Sep 28, 2023    More linux | permalink to this entry | ]

Fri, 25 Aug 2023

Zenity for Notification Dialogs

When I wrote about Getting Linux System Notifications under Openbox, I ended up tossing out the whole notification system and using zenity to pop up a dialog directly. Specifically, a command like XAUTHORITY=~/.Xauthority DISPLAY=:0 zenity --title "Hello" --info --text="Hello world"

But customizing zenity to make it more attention-getting turned out to be more difficult than expected ...

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[ 13:55 Aug 25, 2023    More linux | permalink to this entry | ]

Mon, 21 Aug 2023

Getting Linux System Notifications under Openbox

I've been a fan of Linux's lightweight window managers, particularly Openbox, for many years.

But admittedly, there are some things they don't generally handle. One of those is system notifications.

Mostly, I've been happy to go without notifications. Firefox is forever asking me whether I want to turn them on for particular websites (which wouldn't work, but Firefox doesn't know that), usually websites I'm visiting for the first time and probably don't ever want to visit again, let alone let them spam me with ads as notifications outside my browser.

But every now and then it would be handy.

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[ 14:03 Aug 21, 2023    More linux | permalink to this entry | ]

Tue, 08 Aug 2023

Triaging Videos Using VLC's Python Bindings

[Screenshot of video triage program] A few days ago I wrote about finding a way to triage videos by adding captions to mplayer. Better than nothing, but I really wanted something like pho or MetaPho where I could add the tags in the program itself, rather than keeping notes on a piece of paper.

Turns out it wasn't that hard using VLC's Python bindings.

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[ 13:18 Aug 08, 2023    More linux | permalink to this entry | ]