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Using a Linux desktop computer

Not long ago, I have bought this cheap china laptop for US299. It was so cheap but have a backlighted keyboard, 256Gb SSD storage, a brilliant 1920 x 1080, 2.4/5Ghz band WIFI, Bluetooth 5 and it is a Windows 10 Pro. It is an N4100 Intel Celeron CPU with 8Gb RAM. It is not fast but with US 299, it is a steal.

I have raised the TDP power from 7 watts to 14 watts, it has generated more heat but still doable. My action is like overclocking the CPU, hopefully, it performs better. Unfortunately, for an i7 CPU users the overclocked N4100 laptop has performed much slower than expected on Windows 10. This is the first time I get an alert when I’m installing Bitdefender anti-virus.

It is asking me if I’d like to proceed while my notebook has not met the 1500Mhz CPU requirement. I did and it is even slower than before. I have realized on my mistake that I have overestimated a budget CPU laptop.

60% or more of my works is affected by the slowness of this budget laptop. For that money, you probably can do some word processing, internet surfing and couples of the youtube video, simply not amazing, I almost wanted to shelve it.

At a 2nd thought, I installed Ubuntu desktop Linux on this laptop. Guess what? It is alive and most applications I use come in Linux installer too. Now, I have ESET anti-virus, Whatsapp, Thunderbird, Chrome browser writing this article and listening musics on Spotify playing through a pair of bluethood earhphone.

It is definitely not as responsive as my i7 CPU laptop but nether it is slow. Next time you can install a Linux desktop on a slower computer too. I always have the impression that the Linux desktop is borng. It was in the past but it is not the case anymore, I simply love it.

These are a few advantages to use a Linux desktop for me;

a. Better security, as there are much lesser viruses and malware. Even for that reason, I install ESET real-time anti-virus protection.

b. Cheaper ownership. I have paid much lesser to get the same jobs done.

c. Useful out of the box functions have given me the convenient of my works like the terminal, the Linux CLI command, the snapshots, etc.

Moving to a Linux desktop is easier now. The learning curve is not steep than before as there are more ralated articles n the internet and more users.

“Screen” is very useful

The 1st thing I would tell a junior engineer, learn how to use “screen”. It’s extremely important tool allowing us to run scripts or commands in their own virtual window within the terminal, essentially allowing us to have a terminal on multi-tasking environment where we can switch between windows or another users at will. These are useful features that may help you in your daily administration tasks.

  • Use multiple shell windows from a single SSH session.
  • Keep a shell active even through network disruptions.
  • Disconnect and re-connect to a shell sessions from multiple locations.
  • Run a long running process without maintaining an active shell session.

 

If you do not have screen, then you can install it easily from an RPM or the package file for your system. For example, on CentOS you can install screen with yum: yum install screen

Basic but useful command with Screen
List a particular users screen sessions:

screen -list username/

(it’s important to have forward slash)

List your own active screen sessions:

 screen -ls

Re-attach to  users screen and session:

screen -x username/shared-session

Start a screen session and give it a unique name:

screen -S desired name

Detach from a running screen session leaving it running in the background:
Hit the key combination: Control + A/a + D/d (not case sensitive)
Re-attach to a specific screen you’ve named:

 screen -R "the screen name to be re-attached"

Power detach a screen that you are logged into from another location:
This is helpful if you’ve been accidentally disconnected from ssh while in a remote screen session and it’s still attached.

screen -D "the screen name to be detached"