Discovering Debian 10 on the X200 ThinkPad

Still running Libreboot but intend to follow this guide to switch to coreboot:

So, syntax being what it is distro to distro, I spun up Debian 10 & was quite impressed with this professional OS! There is an option to do a net install (like openSUSE) & visuals are that comfortingly greyish & beige, retro, reminiscent of Windows 2k, hey, if not a little!

However plumping for the vanilla default Debian desktop I was surprised to see a version of GNOME, & even more surprised it was more responsive than Xubuntu. This performance trend continues with Debian dispensing with Plymouth entirely, seemingly speeding up boot & shutdown. A cursory Google search later, shows Debian is lighter than Ubuntu, go figure?!?

Being familiar with Linux, most tweaks are just a Google away, every distro does something a little different. Hibernate was as simple as expanding the swap to 8GB & installing an extension, hotkey just works. With Libreboot the suspend hotkey fails to resume, something only Manjaro managed. One more argument for coreboot (plus the Tux hugging a Yak eyesore.) However the ThinkPad will resume suspend from lid close to lid open.

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Xubuntu Full Circle


I still hear various Linux commentators swear allegiance to XFC3 to this day, & it is fairly rapid while still being customizable. I started out with Hardy Heron Xubuntu on a IBM ThinkPad T21 that could not stream YouTube due to the measly graphics “accelerator!”

Any way fast forward to 2019 & I have a rather unremarkable Lenovo ThinkPad X200 running Xubuntu 19.10. The C2D chipset just about holds it’s own for my basic needs. Sure the screen is not suitable for outdoor use but’ve been desperate to afford one in it’s hey day. They can be picked up cheap on eBay these days & can max out at 8GB of RAM, on par & sometimes exceeding the latest Raspberry Pie model performance wise while being in similar price bracket once screen & keyboard are added. The keyboard is battle proven & highly regarded to this day, the form factor pleasing & just so damn lovable! You can even Libreboot them, but this gave me trouble with LVM partitioning, suspend & hibernate.

It reminds me of my first laptop hand modded from 800Mhz to 1GHz upgraded with a T22 heat sink to compensate for thermals. Many a happy hour wasted reinstalling what was peak Windows, Win2k, because I had not heard of disk images & Linux was a far cry from regular use. (I had tried to install Ubuntu but got a kernel panic.)

So here is looking forward to the next “H” installment!

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Plasma Applet Thermal Monitor

Thermal monitor displays off for CPU;

sudo nano ~/.local/share/plasma/plasmoids/org.kde.thermalMonitor/contents/ui/main.qml

property var systemmonitorAvailableSources
property var systemmonitorAvailableSources: []

Works under openSUSE Tumbleweed.

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ALL-OR-NOTHING THINKING: You see things in black-and-white categories. If your performance falls short of perfect, you see yourself as a total failure.

OVERGENERALIZATION: You see a single negative event as a never-ending pattern of defeat.

MENTAL FILTER: You pick out a single negative detail and dwell on it exclusively so that your vision of all reality becomes darkened, like the drop of ink that colors the entire beaker of water.

DISQUALIFYING THE POSITIVE: You reject positive experiences by insisting they “don’t count” for some reason or other. In this way you can maintain a negative belief that is contradicted by your everyday experiences.

JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS: You make a negative interpretation even though there are no definite facts that convincingly support your conclusion. Mind reading. You arbitrarily conclude that someone is reacting negatively to you, and you don’t bother to check this out. The Fortune Teller Error. You anticipate that things will turn out badly, and you feel convinced that your prediction is an already-established fact.

MAGNIFICATION (CATASTROPHIZING) OR MINIMIZATION: You exaggerate the importance of things (such as your goof-up or someone else’s achievement), or you inappropriately shrink things until they appear tiny (your own desirable qualities or the other fellow’s imperfections). This is also called the “binocular trick.”

EMOTIONAL REASONING: You assume that your negative emotions necessarily reflect the way things really are: “I feel it, therefore it must be true.”

SHOULD STATEMENTS: You try to motivate yourself with shoulds and shouldn’ts, as if you had to be whipped and punished before you could be expected to do anything. “Musts” and “oughts” are also offenders. The emotional consequence is guilt. When you direct should statements toward others, you feel anger, frustration, and resentment.

LABELING AND MISLABELING: This is an extreme form of overgeneralization. Instead of describing your error, you attach a negative label to yourself: “I’m a loser.” When someone else’s behavior rubs you the wrong way, you attach a negative label to him: “He’s a goddam louse.” Mislabeling involves describing an event with language that is highly colored and emotionally loaded.

PERSONALIZATION: You see yourself as the cause of some negative external event which in fact you were not primarily responsible for.

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Mean Green Machines


Green is the colour of the beautiful new Mint 19.2 flat theme & also the default colour of openSUSE. I run a double vertical full HD (4k? Pah!) monitor C2D micro ATX battle stationed Minty setup in my man cave, with a double battery Lenovo X250 ThinkPad running all the openSUSE goodness.

Mint has the long familiar Ubuntu base (itself based on Debian) with Cinnamon running atop. This strikes a nice middle ground between GNOME & KDE. (I run KDE Plasma on my openSUSE box.) With Ubuntu comes the familiarity of apt & PPAs. My openSUSE install always used to eventually break with zypper dup. This is before I discovered the –no-allow-vendor-change switch, now the default behaviour. PPAs on the other hand rarely caused problems. Both are more than 99% of the way there to the ultimate Windows replacement for the casual & even the odd professional use case. The last mile being polish, often a graphical glitch. Things have certainly come a long way since the Hardy Heron & can only improve.

Screenshot from 2019-09-14 11-55-26

The new Icon theme for Tina had me switch full time from Numix Circle! I do believe there’s been some cross pollination from Daniel Fore (?!?) elementary founder, as Icons really pop in HD.

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An Ode to OSMAnd

Open door, open data, hit the trail, see you later…

Open Street Map is a real boon! Whether navigating the Quantocks or Tenerife, handy is understated. The ability to flag way points, GPX track & tell you which way you are walking (without onboard compass) is barely scratching the surface!

Get hiking!

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Android P

Peanut butter jelly time!!!

Peanut butter jelly time!!!

Peanut jelly jelly time!!!

Peanut butter jelly!

Peanut butter jelly!

Peanut butter jelly with a baseball bat…

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Migrating Linux OS from 256GB to 512GB SSD

Thought I’d document how to migrate a Linux OS to a larger disk using 100% FOSS tools. 256GB is a bit pokey these days especially when dual booting, virtual or otherwise. Let’s get to it:

The first step is optional & can be disregarded if you are familiar with partitioning but is handy if your a newb like me. In this example we will clone sda to sdb, both disks can be identified by there volumes.

  1. We will start Clonezilla in disk to disk mode & proceed to clone the smaller volume to the larger. The advantage of this is an exact copy of your smaller disk will be created to use as a template.
  2. Using GParted, whilst keeping boot & swap untouched, we will delete the home partition. Now grow the root partition, for arguments sake, to double the size. Apply, You may see an error state if root partition is BTRFS, this can be safely ignored. Recreate home partition with remaining space. Apply & execute all changes.
  3. Now we will reboot into Clonzilla, this time being careful to start in partition to partition mode. Now we will need to select our root source partition (smaller volume) and our root target partition (larger disk.) Clone being sure to recreate the partition table proportionately. We will want to repeat this for our home partition.
  4. Now to increase the size of your VM;

cd /var/lib/libvirt/images

sudo qemu-img resize generic.qcow2 +20G

This worked perfectly with BTRFS / & XFS /home, any less exotic file systems should be a sinch. Happy computing!

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So, the Mint devs have nailed the suspend issue introduced in 18.1! Good job as accidentally deleted my Clonzilla image back up of Mint 18.0. Doh! 

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Massive Attack

Everything running like a Swiss watch after latest nuke & pave. Most likely attack vector? A dodgy repo! Never add & trust random strangers security key! Home repos are excluded by default, which I will definitely steer clear in future, as once the key is trusted is there really anyway to verify what is installed?

On a side note the X250 was the last X Series ThinkPad with old style logo (BBC anyone?) which I hugely prefer, also the fingerprint reader works reliably under openSUSE. Not like the X260’s encrypted effort.



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