Knowledge - Kunskap

Screenshot of my Debian 11 Bullseye Xfce

  • Hardware: Lenovo ThinkPad T430s; CPU 2.60 GHz Dual core, RAM 8 GB and SSD 250 GB. 14 inch screen with 1366x768 resolution.

When Debian 11 was released around September 1st, 2021, I installed it with Cinnamon desktop: Exploring Linux OS: Debian part #2 (Bullseye). My first Debian article: Exploring Linux OS: Debian, part #1

I was interested to try Cinnamon desktop, as I have Cinnamon as first choice for Linux Mint. When I had Debian 10, I tried KDE Plasma desktop. However, Debian 11 does not use the at the time of release latest Cinnamon - not strange considering Debian has a "conservative" approach favouring stability and lead time from project start to release.

Therefore relatively soon I reinstalled Debian 11, but this time with Xfce desktop. Debian 11 has the latest Xfce version (4.16). I am familiar with Xfce, I have it on one Mint installation as well. To me Debian and Xfce are a good combo; they are both giving releases in slower pace, they are solid and built with quality.

Both in the Cinnamon version and the Xfce version, I have not found any included software that alerts me about updates and present them in anything similar to the Mint Update manager. The Mint Update manager also can help with maintenance like cleaning older Linux kernels. Possibly there exist some tool to install in Debian, I have not investigated further. Else, it works with the Synaptic GUI software, or for that matter the Terminal. Debian 10 with KDE Plasma had a tool resembling to the Mint Update manager, but if that came from KDE Plasma or Debian, I am not sure.

Like I have stated before, I like Debian although not as much as Mint as per today. And for me, the Xfce version of Debian appears to be a good or the best, choice for the desktop.

Finally, if you are interested in other Linux distributions, I recommend listen to the podcast Distrohoppers Digest. They try and review distros and talk about their views and findings. The currently latest episode 28 (Dec 2021) was more of general talk about preferred distros, Debian was one of their favourites. Listen to learn more!

Henrik Hemrin

14 January 2022

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The ultrabay with the SSD halfway inserted in the slot on the Lenovo ThinkPad T430s [photo: Henrik Hemrin]

I have a Lenovo ThinkPad T430s. I bought it refurbished a few years ago. In the ordinary drive slot, HDD 0, I have an SSD with Linux operating systems on it (currently Linux Mint, Debian and Elementary). The laptop was purchased with Windows 10 Pro included, which I have on another drive. On this older laptop, which is a good example of Modularity, it is relatively easy to swap drives. But, better to have both installed, of course. This is possible by using the ultrabay slot, a slot typically used for DVD.

I bought a "Slim SATA 5.25'' Installation frame". According to the specification, it is suitable for HDD/SSD, made by Delock and manufactured in China. It is very simple to slide in the SSD drive into the frame, and then insert the frame into the ultrabay. However, beside the LED showed some life existed, nothing happened. I dived into the BIOS (F12 key on T430s when laptop is starting up) and looked around but nothing solved it. For example I checked in the BIOS setup, tab Security, selected I/O Port Access, that the "ultrabay (HDD/Optical) was Enabled. I then read various articles on internet and understood it appears as a standard frame like mine cannot work, it must be a customized version for this laptop. I had no intention at this time to try to modify the frame, which might be doable by spending some time and having the right tools.

So I bought another frame for the ultrabay instead, a "HDD/SSD Uultrabay Slim module for IBM Lenovo ThinkPad...T430s... Adapter Caddy 9.5 mm made by The Neutral 2020" manufactured in China. Also in this frame, it is very easy to slide in the SSD into the frame, and insert the frame into the ultrabay slot.

This time I came one step further - I got an error message. The error code by the Lenovo laptop (I do not remember it exactly) stated that the SSD in the ultrabay was defect and must be replaced. I double checked this SSD by swapping it into the main slot, and it worked properly there.

So another dive into the BIOS and I was successful this time:

In BIOS setup, tab Startup, select Boot: At the bottom of the list, there is a heading "Excluded from priority order", where I found "Other CD" and "Other HDD". I moved both of them into the "Boot Priority order". This appears to have been the missing BIOS setup. After this change it is possible to boot both from HDD 0 (main drive slot) and HDD 1 (ultrabay)!

So, my advice to get the ultrabay to work as an additional drive:

  • Make sure that the ultrabay frame is designed to work for the specific laptop
  • BIOS settings - Security - I/O Port Access - ultrabay (HDD/Optical) - Enabled
  • BIOS settings - Startup - Boot - Excluded from priority order - move eg Other HDD to the Boot Priority order

Beside those two BIOS settings, more BIOS settings may be needed to check, like SATA Controller Mode Option to be set as AHCI (at least if you use SSD).

Finally, a tip regarding the Windows 10 Pro: Windows has a tendency to require multiple restarts when the operating system is updated. Before such updates is triggered, it will be easier if that drive is higher in priority order than the other drive. The priority order is easily set in the BIOS settings - Startup - Boot - Boot Priority order, eg by moving items with the F5/F6 keys, in my case to move HDD 1 to be above HDD 0.

Henrik Hemrin

29 December 2021

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Lohilo och Nibe är två aktiebolag med huvudsäten i Småland. Lohilo i Växjö och Nibe i Markaryd. Deras aktier har gått superolika på börsen i år.

Vi kan börja med att börsen i sin helhet har gått vädligt bra i år, alltså stigit kraftigt. Betydligt mer än jag begriper att den kunnat göra. För att ta ett vanligt index baserat på stora bolag på Nasdaq Stockholm, OMXS30, så har det indexet stigit över 26% i år.

Men går man ner på specifika aktier, så är det en väldig spridning.

Lohilo har i år gått ner -73%!

I kronor ser grafen för i år ut så här:

Lohilo kursutveckling under 2021 (tom 11 nov). [Källa: nasdaqomxnordic.com]

Lohilo är ett litet bolag, ligger på First North Stockholm. Innan året, så har den gått uppåt rejält på några år, flerdubblat kursen. Bolaget hette tidigare Alvestaglass, och det är deras ursprungliga produkt. De har under några år varit i kraftig expansion både vad gäller produkter och marknader. Inom glass har de köpt några andra bolag och har haft distribution av ytterligare några. Sedan har de börjat utveckla drycker typ energidrycker. Nyligen köpte de också Superfruit. Aktiekurser speglar inte bara hur det går just nu, utan också förväntningar framåt. Och förväntningarna har nog varit väl stora. Det har gått sämre än förväntat. Men som jag minns, själva rötterna i Alvestaglassen, är ett område som tuggar på och går bra (även om glass är en produkt som smälter). Den tidigare VDn och en av grundarna lämnade VD-posten och började fokusera mer på marknads-produktstrategi och liknande och en utomstående VD rekryterades. Även en ny finanschef rekryterades. Man behövde också expandera med större lokaler. Förutom produkter är en satsning att öka marknader, bland annat Kina. Under sommaren-hösten har den nye VDn lämnat, och den gamle VDn kommit tillbaka som VD. Efter vad jag läst så har han på sistone bott i Lissabon, oklart för mig om han är mer i Växjö igen nu. Finanschefen slutade och alldeles nyligen annonserades om att ny finanschef ut. En nyemission ska beslutas om snart. Och man har dragit i en del bromsar. Om jag ska gissa, så tror jag Lohilo har en god chans att överleva och komma tillbaka både lönsamhetsmässigt och därmed också kursmässigt.

Så går vi över till Nibe, som gått upp +103% i år!

I kronor ser grafen för i år ut så här:

Nibe kursutveckling under 2021 (tom 11 nov). [Källa: nasdaqomxnordic.com]

Nibe är ett betydligt större och äldre bolag, ligger på Large Cap Stockholm. Nibeaktien har gått bra inte bara i år utan under ett flertal år. Tidningen Aktiespararen hade en artikel under hösten om att Nibeaktien är som en humla som inte förstått att den inte kan flyga, den bara stiger. Nibe går bra som jag förstår. De har under många år expanderat både genom egen tillväxt (organisk tillväxt) och genom att köpa andra bolag och uppenbarligen varit duktiga att införliva utomstående bolag i familjen. Men det är inte bara att de går bra som ligger i kursen, utan en klar förväntan på att de ska fortsätta växa, vilket är också är företagets målsättning. Men, det återstår ju att se om framtiden blir så. Artikeln menar i alla fall att det finns en stor fallhöjd om Nibes framtid inte blir så bra som man hoppas, att det finns en fallhöjd på 50%. Ska jag gissa på den här också, så näe, jag vet inte. Jag tror att företaget kommer vara lönsamt och gå bra, men aktiekursen gissar jag inte.

Slut på denna aftons nattsudd om dessa aktier. Ta detta för lite småfunderingar från mig, baserat på minnet (förutom graferna). Vill du ha konfirmerade fakta och professionell analys, så får du leta upp en annan källa.

Vill du läsa något mer vad jag skrivit förut som berör dessa aktier på denna hemsida, så kan du kolla in:

Om hur man väljer vinnarna

Lohilo Foods nyemission - och hur det har gått

Tre trevliga aktier - behålla, sälja, återköpa?

Henrik Hemrin

12 november 2021

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Bottom side of ThinkPad T430s [photo: Henrik Hemrin]

This is the bottom side of my Lenovo ThinkPad T430s. It is a business grade laptop and is several years old. I like the modularity of the older laptops, especially on those business grade. I use this laptop very frequently, although it is not my daily drive for now.

Today I wanted to swap the SSD (Solid State Drive). It only took me a few minutes!

As precaution, I first remove the battery (no screw, no tool is needed):

Battery removed [photo: Henrik Hemrin]

Then, as a second precaution, I push the power button for a few seconds to discharge any eventually charged capacitor, that potentially could damage the drive when I dismount it:

Power button [photo: Henrik Hemrin]

Then I am ready to open the cover for the SSD drive, one screw: screw and cover for drive

By that, the slot is open and the drive is ready to pull out:

slot with the SSD inside

I dismount (no screw) the rails and move them to the other SSD:

 SSD and rails [photo: Henrik Hemrin]

Then I simply insert the other SSD in the slot, screw the cover, mount the battery, and that's it!

The RAM memory is under another cover, also easy to access. And not to mention the battery is easy to swap.

Those laptops that has this modularity cannot be as slim as the slimmest laptops. But to me, and for sustainability, it is a more useful that it is easy to replace, upgrade and perform other maintenance for a longer useful lifetime of the computer.

Henrik Hemrin

25 October 2021

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Haiku OS R1/Beta 3 on my ThinkPad T430s, live-USB [photo: Henrik Hemrin]

It is not Windows, not macOS, not any Linux-kernel, not any BSD-kernel. It is Haiku OS!

About two years ago I read the book “In the Beginning was the Command Line”, by Neal Stephenson. It is a funny essay from 1999, and can be found free to download on internet. Not at least he talks about BeOS, and I quote:

“The ideal OS for me would be one that had a well-designed GUI that was easy to set up and use, but that included terminal windows where I could revert to the command line interface, and run GNU software, when it made sense. A few years ago, Be Inc. invented exactly that OS. It is called the BeOS.”

Haiku OS is “inspired” by BeOS and I became curious in Haiku after reading the book. I flashed a USB with the R1/Beta 2 ISO as well as the at the time latest nightly build a while ago. I tried several times on a Lenovo IdeaPad 100S-14IBR and a ThinkPad T430S. The boot process never completed. I did some research but not that deep so I got it working.

R1/Beta 3 was released earlier this summer and I gave it a try two days ago. To my surprise, Haiku started on both machines above! Wifi-connection was no issue. I played a couple of minutes with the live-USB, checked the depot, started to read the introduction guide and some more exploration. I am inspired to look more into it. Not that it is a ready OS like Linux Mint and many other Linux-kernel based distributions. But it is cool it exist and that it is in active development. I plan to one day somehow install it on one or another machine (e.g. on a partion, a separate drive or in a virtual machine), and hopefully use it for real, although I do not believe it will be my daily drive at least not in any near future.

Henrik Hemrin

18 September 2021

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Debian 11 Bullseye with Cinnamon desktop on my T430s [photo: Henrik Hemrin]

Exploring Linux OS: Debian 11 Bullseye.

  • Hardware: Lenovo ThinkPad T430s; CPU 2.60 GHz Dual core, RAM 8 GB and SSD 250 GB. 14 inch screen with 1366x768 resolution.

Debian to me is like a Volvo car (at least the older models like PV, Amazon, 140s, 240s and more): Robust, reliable and simply works day by day.

Beginning of summer 2020 I installed Debian 10 Buster; Exploring Linux OS: Debian, part #1. I had big troubles to get Debian working. I had installed the official version which meant no proprietary firmware. I solved it, and I explained how I did it in the article.

It is possible to upgrade from Debian 10 to Debian 11. But by mistake I overwrote the Debian partition when I installed elementary 11 Odin a couple of days ago... therefore no alternative than make a fresh new installation.

This time I instead decided to go for the unofficial version with proprietary firmware included. Debian has so many alternatives, and a big website, so it is easy to get lost what to choose and where to find it. For this installation, I went to this directory: Unofficial non-free images including firmware packages and further to here. In comparison, Elementary that I installed a few days earlier is an easy decision, they simply have one alternative to install.

I downloaded and flashed four desktop variants: KDE Plasma, Cinnamon, MATE and Xfce. I tried all as live-USB and decided then to install the Cinnamon desktop version. Debian 11 is based comes with Cinnamon 4, so not the latest Cinnamon 5. Several more desktop options are available.

Installation of Debian 11 Bullseye went very well and with non-free firmware included I did not get into those troubles I had with Debian 10.

Debian 11 Bullseye comes with a set of software needed for most users as a good start, far more software than in elementary and more similar to Mint. For an overview of news for Bullseye release, see the Debian news article.

Generally I like Debian. Not at least for its robustness and its huge repository of applications. And its availability in so many versions for different needs and tastes. A drawback as I understand is that the "conservative" approach means the latest versions of applications are not available and also based on not the latest Linux kernel. I still consider Mint as my Linux home (I currently most use macOS, with Linux in my roadmap as primary operating system family). Mint is, in my view, an evolution of Debian that is less conservative. Mint, like elementary, are based on Ubuntu, and Ubuntu is based on Debian.

It is a greatness of Linux OS: there are so many to choose from, and the one I prefer is different from many others needs and preferences. And I can also have multiple myself for different needs. As I am relatively new to Linux, and so far not using it as primary OS, I may change my mind regarding Mint. I think I always will like Debian, and as a friend said he always comes back to Debian. I am hesitant if Debian will be my primary choice, but maybe.

In short, Debian 11 Bullseye went well to install and is a good operating system.

Henrik Hemrin

7 September 2021

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Elementary 6 Odin desktop on my T430s [photo: Henrik Hemrin]

Exploring Linux OS: Elementary 6 Odin.

  • Hardware: Lenovo ThinkPad T430s; CPU 2.60 GHz Dual core, RAM 8 GB and SSD 250 GB. 14 inch screen with 1366x768 resolution.

Elementary 6 Odin was released a month ago. I downloaded and installed it only a few days after the release. Read elementary own blog post elementary OS 6 Odin Available Now for details about everything new in this release.

Elementary 6 goes FlatPak only. All software including in the AppCenter are FlatPak. I am not the software expert, but as far as I understand FlatPak is one of the container/sandbox/all in one box solutions to deliver and handle software in Linux. It means that "all" needed to run the application is within the box. The traditional handling as with e.g. deb packages, in my simple understanding, contains only of the software that is specific for that software and interact with other installed software (it has dependencies to other software). This should mean that a computer based on FlatPak generally will require more storage memory (drive space) than one that is based on deb packages.

Elementary emphasises its privacy and security focus. And I understand that with FlatPak applications it is easier for elementary to handle privacy and security, and have a good interface for those settings.

I asked on Twitter how FlatPak only in AppCenter will impact if I can use .deb and AppImage. Most important reactions:

  • @elementary responded: The same as before! It’s your computer, you can do whatever you want with it. But we highly recommend sideloading apps from Flatpak and some platform features (like permissions) only work with Flatpak apps.
  • @icancclearynow responded: If you absolutely need AppImages, I’ve found this tool to particularly useful: https://github.com/TheAssassin/AppImageLauncher
  • @christophtill responded: Deb is possible to install. I would recommend to get Eddy from the AppCenter, which helps installing, updating and removing DEB Apps.
  • @probonopd responded: Please let the elementary OS developers know if you'd like to see better AppImage integration out of the box. In the meantime, here are some options: https://github.com/AppImage/awesome-appimage#appimage-consumption-tools
  • @bluesabredavis responded (regarding concern some FlatPak are not maintained, when developer distribute as eg .deb or AppImage): To be fair, Flathub does encourage and support the developers to own or take ownership of their Flatpak packaging. To be fair, Flathub does encourage and support the developers to own or take ownership of their Flatpak packaging.

The last comment above, was related to an experience I have of FlatPak (not from elementary AppCenter), that the FlatPak was so old and appeared to be handled by someone not related to the designer.

The AppCenter currently holds few applications. Elementary I understand only include FlatPak applications in the AppCenter that are curated by elementary, hence up to date and working well with elementary. And it is possible to install from other repositories as well.

I installed elementary 5 Hera one and a half year ago, see Exploring Linux OS: elementary, part #1.

Although they have done a lot in the new release, the new release is an evolution. Like before, elementary 6 is very good looking, easy to understand and familiar look and feel for me who use macOS daily. Like before it is very few applications included in the installation. As before they also incourage to pay as I want to for elementary as well as applications, but at the same time it is free to use (without any limitation) not to pay. My standpoint is that for all free and open software, really consider and act to donate or in one way or another contribute.

I do like elementary. But I do like Mint better. I have a bit of problem with elementary having so few applications in the installation and at the same time very few in the AppCenter. The lack of an office suite is fundamental to me. I can hardly think of myself not having office suite on my computer. I wonder if they think people should use cloud services for that? As it is now, I cannot think of using elementary as my daily driver without other software that their own. It is fully possible to install other software, but then I think some of the advantages with elementary are lost. Because I think elementary is at its best if you stay within their "ecosystem". Elementary indeed has an appeal on me, and congratulations to everyone who feel its the best operating system for you! I will keep an eye on elementary and for time being keep it on a partition and use it now and then. If I get a spare computer, especially an Apple, I may save it for elementary.

Remarks about my installation of elementary 6

General

I downloaded the software and flashed a USB-memory with the iso in a normal manner. Like before, only one variant of elementary exist.

There is no upgrade path available from elementary 5 to elementary 6. My intention was to install on same partition as elementary 5, i.e. write over the older release. However, after installation I had instead overwritten ny Debian 10 partition... I am pretty sure it was my mistake.

Specific issue

When I started the live-USB, I got error messages. It was three error messages:

[0.108553] x86/cpu: VMX (outside TXT disabled by BIOS
[2.266619] sd 6:0:0:0: [sdb] No cashing mode pagre found
[2.266620] sd 6:0:0:0: [sdb] Assuming drive cashe: write through

This follows a lot of text, the USB-stick was checked and finally "Check finished: no errors found" and the the live-USB starts up as normal after several minutes after I started.

Elementary 6 Odin installation issues [photo: Henrik Hemrin]


I could get rid of the first error message by enable virtualization in the BIOS settings, but the other two I have not been able to solve.
However, despite above, I could install elementary.

When I start the installed elementary 6, it first shows some "terminal text" and also when shut off. This is different to my earlier elementary 5 installation.

Henrik Hemrin

6 September 2021

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When I ruined my laptop from starting - and fixed it.

First wave

Background and about GRUB boot menu

Most common is to have only one operating system on a computer. But on this laptop, Lenovo ThinkPad T430s, I have several operating systems. At this point I had six operating systems; Microsoft Windows and five variants of Linux operating systems. All on same SSD drive, but on different partitions of the drive.

Partition means that the physical drive is splitted into several parts softwarewise. This works so that when I start the laptop, it will not start an operating system directly. Instead it will open a menu with all operating systems listed and I can select which one to start. If I wait a couple of seconds, it will start the default one automatically.

This menu is called GRUB, GRand Unified Bootloader, or actually GRUB 2 for the second generation (first generation is now renamed to GRUB legacy).

If Windows is one of the operating systems, it is recommended to install Windows first followed by the Linux operating system(s). The GRUB menu is handled by the latest installed operating system.

The task

Below is my GRUB menu when I started this task. The information in brackets for each entry states which partition it is on. For any reason, the GRUB menu does not tell the partition for the first default operating system.

My GRUB menu before I started the task

So now to my task: To delete the operating systems I do not want anymore and by that free up space on the drive. It is the first time I do this. I have been hesitant to do this as I have been concerned for troubles, although I have tried to learn how to and not to do. Yeah...

It is sda5 (elementary 5) and sda7 (Mint 19) I plan to delete. The tool I use is GParted (here with menu in Swedish).

GParted with all my partitions

I start GParted from the latest installed operating system, i.e. Debian 11 on sda11. I delete sda5. However, when I try to execute the delete action, a pop-up message tells me (in Swedish): Please unmount all logical partitions higher than 5.

GParted with error message

This is impossible to do as I am working from sda11. I cannot figure out how I could move to a lower sda than 5 and execute from there. I believe it is possible to handle from it Windows which is on a lower number, but I have not explored how to do it from Windows.

So, as next step I instead start elementary 5 on sda5. From there I can without any problem delete Mint 19 on sda7, because all sda´s higher than 5 are unmounted. However, I did not foresee this would renumber the sda´s above sda7. Because automatically sda11, which holds the GRUB meny, becomes sda10.

If I now had started the terminal and executed "sudo update-grub", it had probably repaired the GRUB menu and the computer had worked. But it still had not solved how to delete partition sda5.

But I do not execute the "sudo update-grub"command. Instead I restart the laptop. Now the GRUB meny can not be found... because booting is looking for sda11 that does not exist. Instead GRUB rescue menu starts. But, I skip the GRUB rescue tool. Instead I insert a USB-memory with a live-version of Debian 11 and restart the computer. It actually is the same Debian 11 as I used when I installed Debian 11 a few days earlier, but any live-USB would do.

I open the terminal window to follow the instruction in the article "How to Fix Grub error: no such partition Grub Rescue". I know I should not type commands I find on the internet and do not understand. But I decide this is a credible source. Most steps works well. But in the latter steps, when I tabulate to select Yes, I cannot get it to accept and execute. Restart of the computer confirms my repair has not worked.

While pondering what to do, I leave the terminal and start GParted on the live-USB (I had to install it from the Debian repository, but no issue to do that). I delete sda5, which is no problem at all from the live-USB.

Now I am considering what to do to repair the GRUB. Should I ran the command instruction in the terminal again? Another option can likely been a USB/CD with repair tools (I have some CDs in a box).

However, I decide to test a simple and dirty method: The Debian 11 Bullseye on the drive was installed only a few days ago. Beside a few settings, nothing important. So I decide to install Debian again, overwriting on the same partition.

And yes, the new installation works and it also fix the GRUB issues! The reinstallation is the latest installed operating system and GRUB is connected to it.

For fun, I also test the command "sudo update-grub" from the terminal, and it works to refresh the GRUB meny.

Next time

My conclusion of how I believe I should have done this from start to avoid any problem:

  • Do all of the work from the live-USB from beginning.
  • Start the GParted on the live-USB and delete both sda´s I did not want any more.
  • Open the terminal and execute the command "sudo update-grub".

When I then restart the computer, I believe it all had worked properly.

At least this is my thought strategy for next time.

A final note. Before I started all above, all essential data on the whole drive was stored on backup. So even if everything had been lost on the drive, it would not have caused me any big trouble.

Second wave

Now, a couple of months later, it is time to continue to cleanup the same SSD drive. I have moved the Microsoft Windows 10 Pro to a separate SSD drive and will therefore delete Windows from this drive. I also have some unallocated partitions and more that I can cleanup. My goal for this exercise is to only have partitions for three Linux operating systems; Debian, Elementary and Mint, plus a swap partition.

This time I will try ot do it without the troubles I got into last time. I look at my three Next time bullets above. I start a live-USB. Before I start the cleanup with the GParted tool, I try the "sudo update-grub" command in the terminal. But it does not work. I did not think about it last time, but it is reasonable it will not work directly because I must first come in to the relevant partition on the SSD drive. Beside mounting of the partition, there are several commands needed to execute, to reach the goal, ie kind of complicated for a novice like myself.

So, I decide for another strategy. The Linux Mint live-USB (I used Linux Mint 20.2 Cinnamon) is handy, because it includes a few "repair tools" that are useful. From the Linux Mint live-USB I use two tools: GParted and Boot Repair tools. And this way, it works! I cleanup the SSD drive with GParted. The work includes many steps to "move around" partitions, but finally I have achieved the partitions as I planned, and no unallocated waste. The Boot Repair tool works very well to analyze the boot system, and the Recommended repair that runs by itself makes the job to fix the Grub menu.

With the advanced option I also change the boot order in the GRUB menu; normally the latest installed operating system will be the default one in boot order, but here it is possible to change the boot order. In my case, I changed to Linux Mint. However the GRUB background is not the standard one delivered by Linux Mint. When I start Linux Mint, I open the terminal and run the "sudo update-grub" command, and next time the standard Linux Mint Grub background appears.

It is good to always have a live-USB with a operating system available in those situations. And especially one like Linux Mint which has included some additional tools. A dedicate rescue USB (or CD) with multiple repair tools can also be good to have in the pocket for more serious issues.

My second wave of disk cleanup and GRUB boot repair went smoothly!

Henrik Hemrin

31 August 2021 and 1 November 2021 (second wave)

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The Guardian skriver i dagarna mycket om spionprogrammet Pegasus från israeliska NSO Group. De skriver om hur det installerats i bland annat journalisters telefoner. Och hur det installeras utan att användaren aktivt gör något och utan att användaren märker något.

Erik de la Reguera skriver i sin artikel Avlyssning på entreprenad gör vanliga medborgare till stora förlorare i Dagens nyheter den 21 juli som avslutning att "Trots rubrikerna om statschefer lär därför signalspaning på entreprenad slå hårdast mot andra grupper: demokrati- och människorättsaktivister, journalister och alla vanliga medborgare som då och då vill kunna skriva, prata och surfa i fred."

Det får mig att åter tänka på pågående utveckling av två mobiltelefoner som jag följt under längre tid: PinePhone från Pine 64 och Librem 5 från Purism. De har flera likheter. PinePhone ligger i ett lägre prissegment än Librem 5.

Bägge telefonerna har fysiska switchar för vissa funktioner, bland annat mikrofonen. Man kan alltså stänga av mikrofonen mekaniskt med en switch så den är elektriskt avskuren och därmed går det inte att avlyssna mikrofonen medan man stängt av den.

Bägge telefonerna har också löstagbara batterier så att man enkelt kan byta batteri när det åldrats. Det är rimligen också bra ur säkerhetsvinkel att man kan stänga av hela telefonen elektriskt genom att ta bort strömförsörjningen.

Inget av detta torde stoppa Pegasus helt, eftersom man måste ha saker påslagna och aktiverade om man själv ska kunna ha nytta av telefonen.

Nästa speciella sak med dessa telefoner är att de siktar på Linux operativsystem. PinePhone testas med ett flertal olika Linuxvarianter medan Librem 5 bygger på företagets egna Linuxvariant (PureOS), med mål att använda samma OS (operativsystem) som de har i sina vanliga datorer. Alla dessa är operativsystem open source och fria. Ur säkerhetssynpunkt är det bra genom att vem som helst (med programmeringskompetens) kan granska källkoden. Även att Linux är mer udda, än så länge, kan vara en fördel säkerhetsmässigt eftersom den därmed är mindre utsatt för säkerhetsproblem. Den öppna källkoden borde också öka möjligheten att avslöja om ett program som Pegasus installerats i lönndom.

Det här med utbytbara batterier är förstås bra ur miljösynpunkt. Men Linux operativsystem kan också vara något som är bra för att förlänga livet för mobilen och därmed miljöbra. Kyle Rankin på Purism skriver eller talar om detta och förklarar att man förfinar ofta Linux öppna programvaror genom åren så de blir lättare (men jag hittar inte referens enkelt). Alltså en Librem 5 kan komma att fungera bättre med åren. Android och iOS nya releaser gör ju snarast telefoner långsammare. Men finns förstås rimligen en relation till vilka nya funktioner som stoppas in. Purism har för övrigt visionen att mobilen ska kunna fungera som den fullfjädrade datorn genom att koppla den till stor skärm och tangentbord. Jag ser nu när jag kollar artikellänkar, att Kyle Rankin skrivit en ny bloggpost på Purism hemsida: Defending Against Spyware Like Pegasus.

Not: Android är också Linux, men ändå något sär-skilt från de Linux jag tänker på ovan.

Librem 5 satsar på produktion och kretsar tillverkade i USA som ännu ett led i deras säkerhetsarbete.

Ett stort aber med Linux operativsystem är att vanliga appar bara görs för Android och iOS. Åtminstone PinePhone går att köra med dual boot; ett operativsystem på interna minnet och ett operativsystem på minneskortet. Då skulle man alltså kunna ha Linux på det ena och Android i någon form med mer eller mindre Google i Android'en eller Androidliknande såsom Lineage på det andra för att komma åt att installera Android-appar. För att i mobilen på något vis ha tillgång till speciella appar såsom BankID, Swish, SJ (tågbiljetter) är trots allt till stor nytta att ha i mobilen, och då är man idag hänvisad till de stora drakarna.

Jag tycker dessa, och kanske några fler, "alternativa" mobiltelefoner fortsatt är intressanta att följa. Och jag är intresserad av att gå över till någon av dem. Men det stora hindret är just det här med vissa speciella appar. Vi får se!

Henrik Hemrin

24 juli 2021

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The operating system Linux Mint has released a new version: Linux Mint 20.2 Uma. If you have release 20 or 20.1 installed, you can upgrade with the Update Manager. You can of course start a new installation directly with 20.2.

For all details about changes, release notes, detailed how to install and so on, please visit the Linux Mint website and their linked Linux Mint Blog. Troubles can be discussed in the Linux Mint Forum.

Before you update, do not forget to have fresh backup, license keys for software and so on that you do not want to loose, in case of trouble. Although computers are logical creatures, or because of that, upgrades can go wrong. Make sure also you are connected to power.

I started with my Lenovo ThinkPad T430s where I had Linux Mint 20.1 Cinnamon installed. When I started the upgrade, it worked extremely slow and I could find a message about the mirror was outdated. So I aborted the upgrade, changed to default sources for download and restarted. I installed all normal updates and then I went to the upgrade process again. This time the new release downloaded fast and installed fast as well, and the upgrade was completed in far less than ten minutes. Final step to restart, and no issue seen.

For my second laptop, Lenovo IdeaPad 100s where I had Linux Mint 20.1 Xfce installed, lesson learned and I started with changing to the default sources for download, I executed normal upgrades and then went on with the upgrade. For this very low spec laptop, the upgrade took just under ten minutes.

So, in short, a successful and smooth upgrade of Linux Mint,

Thanks Clem & Co!

Henrik Hemrin

15 July 2021

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