Update on BookAuthority

After some additional research, it turns out that BookAuthority is merely an Amazon “partner.” They advertise Amazon books and get a bit of money from Amazon for doing so. As near as I can tell, they create these “top X” categories and use that to attract potential purchasers whom they hope will click through and purchase from Amazon. They also provide meaningless graphics for us authors to place on our web sites to generate traffic to their web site.

They claim on their web site that the “ratings” they give each book are calculated using a “proprietary algorithm” from publicly available data. Whatever. This seems to be a way to prevent authors and purchasers from finding out how they really work.

I do not believe that they have any relationship with the people they claim recommend the books they list. That is not to say that those people don’t recommend those books, just that the don’t do it “for” this organization.

So my conclusion is that being on any of their lists is bogus and meaningless in terms of the value of my books. Such value would be impossible to determine because not one of the three volumes in my “Using and Administering Linux: Zero to SysAdmin” series is available yet so no sales figures can possibly be available for a few months at least.

You will need to determine for yourself whether my books are of any value to you or not. If you do find that they have some value – after you purchase and use them to learn how to be a Linux SysAdmin, please leave a legitimate review on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or GoodReads. Thank you!

However, with all that said, it really did boost traffic on my personal web site considerably when I posted the article yesterday.

My source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/simple-secret-being-big-deal-online-john-nemo

Outage fixed

A few days ago we had an outage on this web site that lasted from Monday through Wednesday night. This has – obviously – now been fixed and we are back up and running.

The problem appears to have been a surge from a nearby lightning strike that somehow powered off the server. This was not a power failure and there are no indications of that on any of my UPS systems.

Because I was out of town and this required a physical intervention I was unable to resolve it until Wednesday night. It only took a few minutes once I was able to restart the server.

In any event all is well now.

Status update

I have been too busy to keep this web site up to date with the latest information I have gleaned from my experiments and experiences with Linux. This has mostly been due to the work on my book projects over the last couple years which have taken up almost all of my time.

The good news is that I am working on the last few chapters of my current book project, after which I will return to keeping this web site more up to date. I have plans to add new content as well as move some of the older and less relevant content to an archive section.

Please bear with me and be patient. I have much interesting new stuff to add here as soon as work on my books tapers off.

My next book: Using and Administering Linux

From Zero to Linux SysAdmin Self-Study – Book 1

My next book is a self study course, “Using and Administering Linux – From Zero to Linux SysAdmin Self-Study – Book 1.” It is set to be published by Apress in 2020. I do not yet know the exact date, but it should be early in the year. As you can tell from the title, another book will follow soon after.

About the book

Become a Linux sysadmin and expert user of Linux, even with no previous Linux experience and learn to manage complex systems with ease. This book provides you with the tools necessary for mastering user management; installing, updating, and deleting software; creating and managing simple firewalls; and using command line tools to do performance tuning and basic problem determination.

You’ll begin by installing a Linux instance on a VirtualBox VM on an existing Windows or Linux computer that can be used for all your projects. You will then move on to the basics of using the Xfce GUI desktop and the many options Linux provides for working on the command line including virtual consoles, various terminal emulators, BASH, and other shells. Some of the more advanced user level tasks include creating, deleting and managing files and directories, managing the users own processes, writing short command line programs, and creating shell scripts to begin learning how to “Automate Everything.” 

Improving efficiency using command line recall and editing, command line history, and by creating command line aliases is addressed as well. You’ll configure your own BASH environment by directly editing the user level BASH configuration files, and learning the Vi editor in the process. Using and Administering Linux, the first book in the From Zero to SysAdmin series will help in using and managing Linux client services, such as DHCP network configuration, Chrony, SSH, DNS name services, and more. 

What You Will Learn

  • Install Fedora Linux and some basic configuration of the Xfce desktop
  • Access the root user ID, and the care that must be taken when working as root
  • Explore administrative tools available to root that enable the student to manage users, filesystems, processes, and basic network communications
  • Configure the boot and startup sequences, start, stop, and obtain the status of running services
  • Review methods of performing and testing backups.

Who This Book Is For

Anyone who wants to learn Linux as an advanced user and system administrator at both the command line and the GUI desktop. 


The ISBN number for this book will be ISBN 978-1-4842-5049-5. The estimated cost is $39.99US.

“The Linux Philosophy for SysAdmins” now available in hardcopy at Amazon

My book The Linux Philosophy for SysAdmins is now available in hardcopy (softcover) at Amazon. Hardcopy is now available at Apress, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble. The ebook versions are now available at Apress in multiple formats including PDF, and the Kindle version is at Amazon.

Please note that for a couple days Amazon was fulfilling this via a third party storefront on Amazon. Amazon now has my book in stock and it is currently sold and fulfilled directly through Amazon.

I would appreciate any reviews you post on Amazon, good or bad. I am writing two new books and any feedback will be appreciated so that my next books can be even better. If you wish to contact me directly, please do so.

LinuxGeek46 {at} both {.} org


Hardcopy of “The Linux Philosophy for SysAdmins” now available

The hard copies of my book, The Linux Philosophy for SysAdmins, are now available at Apress and on-line at Barnes & Noble but not yet at Amazon. Amazon is showing availability in February of 2019 but I think it will actually be available sooner.

This is all quite exciting for me as an author. I wrote a couple chapters for a book on OS/2 many years ago, and I have written for various publications such as Linux Journal, Linux Magazine, and Opensource.com but having my own book published is amazing.

I am looking forward to your feedback. I hope you will purchase my book, if you haven’t already, and leave a review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Goodreads. If you may email me directly at LinuxGeek46@both.org with direct feedback such as errors and typos. If I do not respond, it may be because my server has blocked your email for some reason so contact me on Twitter @LinuxGeek46 and let me know of the problem so I can whitelist you.

Thank you!

KDE Improvements

After my post, KDE Komplications, I have noticed some definite improvements in the KDE applications I like to use. I like to use Gwenview image viewer, Krusader file manager, and Konsole terminal emulator. These had all been having problems until I recently installed a new set of updates for Fedora 28. I do not know if this has resolved all of the problems with the KDE desktop but it has definitely resolved all of the problems I was having with those applications. Gwenview no longer crashes and all of the apps now display the correct icons where they showed no icons while the problem existed.

For the time being I intend to continue using the Xfce desktop and the xfce4-terminal because they are fine applications in themselves and give me the features I need and most that I like.

I will probably continue to switch between file managers as I have a different favorite for many of the tasks I do. I like Krusader when I need lots of directories open using both tabs and twin panels. I like XFE because it has a great sidebar that shows the directory tree and makes navigation to distant places easy. I also like the text-based Midnight Commander (mc) for use in terminal sessions. I find Thunar especially good for browsing with thumbnails to locate specific images or documents and it has a good sidebar.

At some point soon I will try the KDE desktop again and see if it still crashes and causes long, resource-eating core dumps.

My Book “The Linux Philosophy for SysAdmins” – details

Front cover of the book "The Linux Philosophy for SysAdmins"The Linux Philosophy for SysAdmins

Softcover ISBN 978-1-4842-3729-8
Ebook ISBN 978-1-4842-3730-4

Barnes and Noble

Availability dates updated.
Expected hardcopy availability, September 21, 2018
Expected ebook availability, September 21, 2018

The Linux Philosophy for SysAdmins” is the book I wish I had when I was starting life as a SysAdmin and before I found my mentors.

For more information and a link to a complete book description, see the post on my personal web site.

“The Linux Philosophy for SysAdmins” sent to production

My new book, “The Linux Philosophy for SysAdmins” has been sent to production. The next step for me is reading the proofs to verify that everything has been translated onto the page as I intended. I am especially interested to see how some of my illustrations turn out.

Stay tuned!  I will have availability dates as soon as possible.

KDE Komplications

I have very much enjoyed using KDE for most of the last twenty or so years that I have been using Linux. Not to mention many of the KDE applications that I find useful. However, over the years, KDE has become massive, komplicated, and monolithic; it is fat and the pieces are so interconnected and interdependent such that it can no longer be properly managed.

I really like many of the KDE features and applications, but KDE insists on having not just one or two but several daemons running underneath the slick desktop in order to accomplish many tasks that I find useless. These daemons do everything from keeping track of files and directories to managing core dumps. KDE itself has become unstable so that core dumps are a common occurrence.

All of this results in a Linux experience that is slow most of the time, and positively glacial at worst.

I have been using other desktops for months, now and am finding the experience much better, However some of the KDE applications I still like have infected my otherwise decent LXDE desktop with remnants of their crapware. For example, Gwenview, a KDE application, is great and it meets all of my needs in an image viewer. However it seems to crash frequently these days and those crashes result in kactivitymanagerd generating many core dump files in /var/lib/systemd/coredump. This takes huge amounts of disk bandwidth and slows down the entire system. More than once it has also resulted in filling the /var filesystem with core dumps which brings the entire system to its knees.

Just to be clear, these problems occur on multiple computers and whether the system was upgraded or installed to bare metal. I have even seen them occur on virtual machines. Google searches indicate that I am not the only one experiencing these problems. Of course this is in addition to the regular five-year release of KDE that is almost completely broken and unusable.

So I am saying goodbye to KDE for the foreseeable future. I will be using LXDE which meets my needs and is also much slimmer and faster than KDE. I also intend to try other desktops from time to time in case they might also meet my needs, but for now I will use LXDE and remove all vestiges of KDE from all of my systems.

See my article “Removing kactivitymanagerd” for details on removing the kactivitymanagerd program.


Overclocking Fedora 27

I recently purchased a new ASUS TUF X299 motherboard and an Intel i9 processor with 16 cores (32 CPUs / threads). The processor runs at a default of 2.8 GHz but is actually capable of being overclocked to much higher speeds on this Fedora 27 box.

I really don’t care about getting the last bit of performance out of my computer; I really would rather have reliability than maximum speed. But I do want a bit more than 2.8GHz.

After fussing with the system for a few days and not getting any stable results, I decided that it would be interesting to try reinstalling fedora from scratch. For the last several versions I have been doing upgrades rather than reinstalls, so I thought I might as well try the reinstall. That did work for me and I was able to get to my target of 50% overclocking without any trouble.

You should note that the Fedora Project recommends not overclocking your CPU.   https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/HardwareProblems

The bottom line in this case is that Fedora should be installed from scratch on a host in order to ensure best performance from these newer and very powerful CPUs.