Termux – way more than a Android terminal emulator

For many years I have been a heavy user of ConnectBot. It was a fine SSH client for Android but it was usually missing latest ciphers and other new SSH features. Two weeks ago I stumbled upon Termux, a open source terminal emulator that bundles an APT-based Linux distribution for Android and immediately it became my ultimate Android console tool.

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FreeBSD on Hetzner dedicated servers

The European cloud and dedicated server provider Hetzner has silently dropped support for FreeBSD. A FreeBSD rescue system is not offered anymore so users running dedicated servers with FreeBSD may run into difficulties if anything goes wrong. But luckily it is still possible to install FreeBSD using a mfsBSD image and to manage the installation from the Linux rescue system to some degree if using a root-on-ZFS installation.

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Shelly firmware with ECO-Mode support

Alterco has released a new eco-friendly firmware for their home automation “Shelly” devices. This firmware utilizes power saving functions of the Espressif ESP8266 (gen1 devices, FW version 1.11.8) and ESP32 (gen2 devices, FW version 0.10.0) modules. The firmware promises reduced power consumption by up to 30% and lowered operating temperatures by 5-10 °C.

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Bluetooth mouse disconnects on Ubuntu

One of the most annoying problems I recently had with Linux notebooks with the “btusb” driver was the disconnect of bluetooth mouse devices. Devices like my Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Mouse 3600, Xiaomi Mi Portable Mouse or other Bluetooth LE (low energy) mice have had lost their connection when my notebooks ran on battery and a reconnect was possible only after a restart of the Bluetooth stack.

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OpenZFS 2.1 performance improvements

The version 2.1 of OpenZFS is going to be released soon supporting Linux kernels from 3.10 to 5.13 and FreeBSD 12+. This will be the first long term release (LTS) version of OpenZFS.

Alexander Motin and other OpenZFS developers are currently working on various micro-optimizations in areas like atomics, counters, scalability and memory usage. Most of the optimizations are already part of the upcoming release. Release candidate testers already report improved performance compared to OpenZFS 2.0 and previous releases.

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Problems with Ubuntu Linux on notebooks with AMD Ryzen APUs

End of last year I have replaced my aging ASUS Zenbook UX32LN with a Ryzen-based UM431DA. After installing Ubuntu 20.04 focal with kernel 5.4 I have noticed four annoying problems:

  1. Initializing X.Org and getting to the login screen may not work
  2. Suspend does not work (system freezes)
  3. There is disturbing tearing when moving windows or playing movies
  4. Sound is very loud and volume control does not work properly
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Installing Android 9 Pie on a Xiaomi Mi5

The Xiaomi Mi5 was introduced in February 2016 as a flagship phone with a Snapdragon 820 processor, 3 GB RAM (Pro edition 4GB) and 32GB (standard), 64GB (Prime) or128GB (Pro) of internal storage. Three years later the phone still offers a decent mid-range performance. The phone was initially released with Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

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mfslinux – minimalist in-memory Linux distribution

After many successful years developing mfsBSD for FreeBSD systems I started to work on a small memory-only diskless distribution for Linux. It comes in handy if you want to run a diskless system, have a recovery partition with a rescue system or simply want to modify your primary hard drive layout.

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