The Advisory Boar

By Abhijit Menon-Sen <>

Debian 8 on the Lenovo Ideapad S206

The Linux Laptop Wiki has a page about the Lenovo Ideapad S206; the quick summary is that everything works with only a little tweaking.

Read more…

Vodafone India snoops on e-mail

An article about Vodafone injecting javascript into web pages reminded me of a problem I investigated when Hassath couldn't send mail when connected through her phone's hotspot.

Read more…

Understanding sudoers(5) syntax

This straightforward guide to configuring sudo is for anyone who didn't expect to see “Don't despair” and a “Quick guide to EBNF” in the sudoers(5) manpage.

Sudo (su "do") allows a system administrator to delegate authority to give certain users (or groups of users) the ability to run some (or all) commands as root or another user while providing an audit trail of the commands and their arguments.

This guide is intended to supplement the manpage. The various environment, security, and logging options are not covered; the explanations in the manpage are easy to follow.

The first 90%

It's possible that the only sudo explanation you will ever need is:


This means “any user in the adm group on any host may run any command as any user without a password”. The first ALL refers to hosts, the second to target users, and the last to allowed commands. A password will be required if you leave out the "NOPASSWD:".

Read more…

Using fvwm2 as GNOME window manager (on Ubuntu 12.04)

Here's how I set up to use fvwm2 with GNOME, because I'm a dinosaur who has been using the same window manager configuration since 1996.

Read more…

Disabling touchpad buttons on the Thinkpad X120E

One of the two most annoying things about my Thinkpad X120E is that the touchpad buttons are flush with the outer edge of the chassis, and very easy to press inadvertently. I like the touchpad, so the option of disabling it in the BIOS or with "synclient TouchpadOff=1" did not appeal to me.

Read more…

Brother HL-2250DN and Linux

An inexpensive but featureful network printer that works well with Linux.

Read more…

Samsung SCX-3201G MFP and Linux

This inexpensive device is suitable for low-volume printing and scanning, despite some initial setup woes under CUPS on Linux.

Read more…

Buying an SSL certificate

After using and being happy with RapidSSL certificates for some time, I'm especially happy to buy them through Namecheap for a better price.

Read more…

Air2Web is avoidable

Air2Web customer care just ignored me when I wrote to them about a recurring problem.

Read more…

Vim and X terminals

I've been using vim for more than a decade(!) now, but every so often, I still learn something new that makes my life a bit easier. Here are two things I learned today.

Read more…