A blog about tech, programming, security, and various other subjects.




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To curl|bash or not to curl|bash  Tags: software, security.
People have a lot to say about how terrible piping from curl to bash is. These are the reasons people give:

1. It executes arbitrary code on your system!

I'm sure these people never ran a .exe file in their life.

2. The download could cut off mid-file and turn "rm /opt/something" into "rm /opt"!

Valid point! This is why we commonly wrap the installer as a big function, and call it in the end. If you care, you can even inspect the source to see if it does this, and if the software is on Github or something (curl|bash-using software usually is) or has nice developers, you can just let them know or send a pull request.

3. The code is not signed! If it was from the repositories, it would be signed.
SSH tips (and GNU screen)  Tags: tutorials, software, networking.
Just a quick blogpost about some things for ssh that make my life easier. No more password typing, hostname, user and port remembering, or even losing your session when a connection drops. The latter didn't seem easy to find and I had to piece some things together, but I'll explain how to use ssh with gnu screen from step three onwards.

One

Configure an ssh host config if you haven't already. This is not necessary, but boy does it make things easier. Do you want to remember that you're supposed to connect as user vhost89103 to ssh.pcextreme.nl, as user oa to the gameserver on port 222, as user ...
Do something  Tags: programming, software.
I'm running GNU/Linux right now. For free. I can do pretty much everything Windows users can, and it's all free of charge and open source. According to Wikipedia, the kernel alone is worth billions of euros in development costs, let alone the three thousand other packages I have installed. Or the hosting costs of providing me with all these packages plus updates.

Every time I pause to look at what I'm running and realize it's all done by others for free, I feel like I'm in their debt. They wrote millions upon millions of lines of code and everyone can use it for free.
Using Tor as a sysadmin tool  Tags: networking, software.
It's not every day that I get to combine the tags "networking" and "software". Using Tor as a sysadmin tool (system administration tool) is really neat and changes the way I can work with networks. Instead of having a bunch of firewalled and unreachable systems, I can now configure Tor and happily connect to any place I damn well please. Within computers that I own, of course, but at least I'm no longer bothered by routers and portforwarding.

Tor, in this way, works like a virtual network.
Android, rooting, warranty, Linux and more  Tags: apps, software, tutorials.
As suggested by @wesleypennock, I'll tell you more about running Linux on Android. Actually he asked about Xfce, but that would be a rather short article ;)

Rooted phone
First of all, you need a rooted phone. I was kind of shocked to hear how few people have a rooted phone, since there is no good reason not to do it. Except when you don't need it, like my mother, but many tech people also don't have it because it'd void warranty.


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