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Linux has a pretty good firewall, but it’s not very intuitive for new users. There aren’t any pop-up dialogs that let the user know what programs are doing, and everything is done with the terminal unless you’re savvy enough to install a program to control it. If you’re looking for a better solution, consider checking out Open Snitch. It’s a simple firewall application heavily inspired by the Little Snitch program on Mac OS. It isn’t easy to install Open Snitch because users need to manually set up a GO Path for the Google Go programming language, and install the program with it. Still, once you’ve got it going, anyone, including beginners, can get a lot of use out of it.
Note: Open Snitch is an experimental program and it may not build correctly on every version of Ubuntu. For best results, follow the instructions carefully, and refer to the Github page for further reading.
Set Up Go Path
Open Snitch is written in Go, so installing it requires the Go language. Unfortunately, Google Go doesn’t automatically configure itself correctly just by installing it on Linux. To use it, you’ll first need to set up a “path”. The path will allow packages to install to your Linux PC easily.
To set up a correct path, open up a terminal window and follow the instructions below.
First, use the mv and cp commands to create a complete backup of your bash_profile.
cd ~/ cp .bash_profile ~/Documents mv ~/Documents/.bash_profile ~/Documents/.bash_profile-backup
Now that everything is safely backed up, it’s time to open up bash_profile inside of the Nano text editor, to configure the Go path correctly.
Paste the following code in the bash_profile file:
You’ll also need to set the Go bin directory. Paste the code below into Nano to set it.
After adding the paths to the file, press Ctrl + O to save the edits.
Using the source command, tell Bash about the new Go path:
Your Linux PC has a correct Go Path. The next step to install Open Snitch is to install the Go programming language itself. Open up a terminal and follow the instructions below to learn how to install Google Go. Please understand that Open Snitch will not work if you do not have access to Google Go 1.8.
sudo apt install golang-go python3-pip python3-setuptools protobuf-compiler libpcap-dev libnetfilter-queue-dev python-pyqt5 pyqt5-dev pyqt5-dev-tools git
Installing Google Go on lesser-known Linux distributions is a little more difficult. To start off, use the wget tool and quickly download the latest version of the source code.
Before you can install Open Snitch, install the following dependencies. They may have different names. Use the Ubuntu dependencies above as a reference.
Note: Open Snitch was designed to run on Ubuntu, and the developer really only outlines instructions for the dependencies for that Linux distribution. If you attempt to use this on another Linux operating system, it’ll work but you may run into issues.
Downloading should be quick, and when it finishes, use the Tar command to fully extract the language to the correct location on your Linux PC.
sudo tar -C /usr/local -xvzf go1.10.2.linux-amd64.tar.gz
Next, open up your Bash profile and add the “Go root” path to it. Adding the location of Go to this file is necessary, as you’re installing Go by hand from the code rather than using the native, included package.
Paste the code below into the Nano editor to set the root path:
Save the edit with Ctrl + O, and then source it:
Getting Open Snitch
Installing Open Snitch on Ubuntu starts out with getting the source code. Start off by using Go to download the two important dependencies used with Open Snitch:
go get github.com/golang/protobuf/protoc-gen-go go get -u github.com/golang/dep/cmd/dep
Next, use the Python 3 package installation tool to grab Python related dependencies that Open Snitch needs.
WARNING: Do not run the command below as root, or sudo, as it will install these libraries system-wide, which is not what we need to use Open Snitch.
python3 -m pip install --user grpcio-tools
All the dependencies are taken care of, now it’s time to use Go to clone the latest source code of the program.
go get github.com/evilsocket/opensnitch
Do not worry if the Go prompt says “there are no files”, or something similar. Ignore it and use the CD command to move the terminal into the correct directory.
At this point, it’s possible to run the make and make install command to build Open Snitch on your Ubuntu Linux PC.
make sudo make install
The core of the code is built and installed. Next, enable the Open Snitch daemon.
sudo systemctl enable opensnitchd sudo systemctl start opensnitchd
If the installation for Open Snitch is successful, you’ll be able to search for “Open Snitch” as a desktop shortcut and run it. Alternatively, run opensnitch-ui in the terminal to launch.
Using Open Snitch
When the Open Snitch tool is installed and running, the user won’t need to configure or do much. Just let the program run in the background. It will scan and notify you of programs that attempt to change things on your Linux PC.
To allow a program temporarily, click “Allow Once”. Want to enable one permanently, click “Allow Permanently”.
Alternatively, block programs temporarily by clicking “Deny”, or “Block” to deny forever.
Many people buy the Raspberry Pi, ODroid, and other hobby boards to use it as a cheap, build-it-yourself media center that can play anything they want on it. However, there are other interesting things owners of these boards can do, like creating a Linux-powered classic video game console.
The retro scene for Pi owners is pretty much cornered by Retro Pi, and for good reason: they make a great free product that makes emulation on the TV easy. Still, Retro Pi isn’t the only emulation operating system available. If you’re looking for something a little more useful, install RecalboxOS.
In this tutorial, we’ll be focusing on installing RecalboxOS to the Raspberry Pi. Though, the Pi isn’t the only device that has excellent support for this Linux operating system. If you’re interested in using it, you’ll need a Raspberry Pi 1/2/3, an Odroid, or a traditional PC.
To use RecalboxOS, an installation disk needs to be created. The steps differ, depending on what kind of machine you’re installing it on. If you are planning on using this OS on a traditional PC, download this version of the OS. It’s designed to run specifically on any generic PC. Keep in mind that you’ll need a USB flash drive of at least 2 GB to flash anything.
Alternatively, if you plan on installing RecalboxOS on a Raspberry Pi or Odroid, you’ll need to download a different image entirely. RecalboxOS has images available for the Raspberry Pi 1, Pi 2, Pi 3, Pi Zero, Odroid XU4 and Odroid C2.
Please understand that in order to use RecalboxOS on the Odroid or Raspberry Pi, a high-speed SD card is required. When buying an SD card, look through the description for “high performance”, etc.
Once you’ve downloaded the correct image for your device, download the latest version of the Etcher USB/SD Card flashing app. This program works very well with this guide, as users on Mac, Windows, and Linux can all use it no problem.
When Etcher finishes downloading, extract the AppImage file from the archive file. Then, open up the Linux file manager and double-click on the extracted Etcher file. Click the option in the pop-up window, and the program should instantly open.
Next, plug in your SD card (or USB flash drive if you’re using the PC version), and click the “Select Image” button to open up the file-browser dialog. In the file browser, find the RecalboxOS image file you downloaded and select it to open it with Etcher. To start the creation process, click “Flash!”
Flashing RecalboxOS with Etcher will take a few minutes, so be patient. When it completes, remove the SD (or USB) from the PC, plug it into the device, and power it up to start the installation process.
As you plug in the device, you should see an installation screen. Depending on the device you’re installing on, the installation screen may look different. For hobby boards like the Pi and Odroid, it’s an automatic process. Don’t press anything and let RecalboxOS extract itself onto the SD card.
RecalboxOS will take more than a few minutes (depending on the speed of your SD card) to extract and create a fully functional, partitioned storage drive. When it completes, the grey install menu will fade away and replace itself with a black screen. Don’t worry, you won’t need to fiddle with this screen either. Be patient and wait for the next screen.
After the loading screens finish, RecalboxOS should be ready to use.
Gaming on RecalboxOS is fairly simple. Plug in a compatible game controller, and wait for the prompt that says “gamepad detected.”. Press and hold the button that RecalboxOS asks you to press, and soon you’ll be taken through the controller configuration menu.
Use the up and down buttons on your gamepad to select different emulators. Start a game by pressing the “A”, or “start” button on the gamepad. Need to quit? Press the “A” button on your USB/Bluetooth gamepad, select “close content”, then “quit”.
Adding ROM Files To RecalboxOS
Need to add some more video games to your RecalboxOS system? Plug in the SD card, and access the mounted device that says “SHARE”. In “SHARE”, go in the file manager, right-click and select “open in root”. If you don’t have that option, go to the Linux terminal and enter:
Inside the “SHARE” mounted partition, look for the “roms” folder. Inside this folder, there are dozens of emulators. Nintendo 64, PSP, SNES, NES, Sega, and more. To add ROMS for specific systems, find the correct folder and place the ROM inside.
Note: before adding any new roms, read the readme text file inside the emulator folder and follow the instructions.
When the new roms are added, unmount the SD Card, plug it back into the device and load RecalboxOS back up. You should see the new ROM files right away.
Everyone’s seen the horror stories. Someone placed an Internet connected camera in their home and left it open to attack, allowing strangers to eavesdrop on their most private moments. Here’s how to pick a camera that guarantees your privacy.
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