Rebuilding my laptop – Preparation

Why am I doing this?

I am about to wipe my linux partition which was upgraded from Mint 14 to Mint 15. It left various residue of the mint 14 installation and I feel like doing it again from scratch.

I will be documenting the additional software I needed to install to get back to my preferred operating environment.


Backup my /opt directory which contains most of my development software, including various installations of eclipse, soapui, maven, ant, jdk, android-sdk, sqldeveloper, lampp, maven repository, etc.

My work svn git clone which has 2 months now of history, even though I have a clone on a company server I don’t want to have to redownload it. All my git clones from github, for same reason.

Backup my bin and ssh directories, plus my .mozilla profile and .profile. Any downloads I wanted to keep, plus any documents and images, anything else I discarded and will just have to restore.

And don’t forget to tar -ztvf / tar – tvf the backed up tar balls to make sure they actually were saved to external hard drive correctly.


Additional Software

The additional software I can remember installing includes:

  • Shrew VPN (see previous blog post) – because vpnc sucks!
  • CNTLM – I use this to switch between my corporate proxy and no proxy without having to update anything else. All my tools point at localhost:3128, I just restart cntlm with a different parent proxy or the no proxy hack.
  • k3b – is an awesome ripping and cd / dvd burning software, nothing else from gnome comes close.
  • Chrome browser

Goodbye VPNC, hello Shrew VPN Client

I have been having a hell of a time with reliability of VPNC.

I have spent a lot of time lately trying to understand why sometimes it works and sometimes it does not work.

I have decided to try a different VPN client – Shrew VPN Client for Linux. I had to compile it from source on my Linux Mint 15 laptop, but it worked flawlessly.

I followed the instructions below.

The only differences were I had to install flex and bison as well.

So the steps were:

1) cd /usr/local/src ; sudo wget

2) sudo apt-get install cmake libqt4-core libqt4-dev libqt4-gui libedit-dev libssl-dev checkinstall flex bison

3) sudo tar jxpvf ike-2.2.1-release.tbz2 ; cd ike


5) sudo checkinstall -y

6) sudo cp /etc/iked.conf.sample /etc/iked.conf

7) sudo iked

8) qikea

9) Import my pcf file

10) Change the policy to configure split tunnel

11) Use ikec to execute from command line:

ikec -r “XXXX-Corp” -u first.last -p mypassword -a &

And low and behold works really well so far

Linux kernel and entropy – Pollux’s blog

HRNGDEVICE=/dev/urandom RNGDOPTIONS="-W 80% -t 20"

via Linux kernel and entropy – Pollux's blog.