7 Best Tools for Managing IP Addresses – 2019

IP addressing is probably the most basic building block of modern networks, including the Internet. Without IP addresses, computers can’t talk to each other. Browsers can’t reach websites. Emails are not delivered and Instant messaging grinds to a halt. Many things we’ve come to take for granted rely heavily on IP addresses to do their magic. But IP addresses are not an unlimited resource. And to get the most out of them, it’s important to manage them properly. For instance—and this is just one example—care must be taken to avoid duplicate IP addresses on a network. Managing IP addresses can turn out to be a huge part of the daily work of many administrators. Fortunately, tools called IP Address Management (or IPAM) systems can help. But how do you find your way around the many tools offered? This is where we come in as we’re about to review the best tools for managing IP addresses.

Before we get to reviewing the best IP address management tools, we’ll first explain IP addresses, what they are and how they work. We’ll also discuss DNS as it is a complementary tool to IP addresses and they both work together. Next, we’ll talk about managing IP addresses, what it means and what the challenges are. And finally, we’ll have a word about DHCP, which can be thought of as an extension of IP address management. Only then will we be ready to review to best IP address management tools.

IP Addresses, What They Are And How They Work

IP addresses are used to uniquely identify each and every device connected to an IP network. This IP network could be your home WiFi network, the network at your place of work or the Internet. Although each of these may be interconnected, they are individual networks. An IP address is in many ways similar to a street address. Its primary purpose is to help in transporting data from an origin to a destination.

IP addresses are binary numbers which are 32 bits long. But since it would be awkward and error-prone to write them in binary, they are split into four chunks of 8 bits each which we usually represent as a suite of 4 decimal numbers between 0 and 255 separated by dots. For instance, the IP address 11000000101010000000000000000001 becomes 192.168.0.1, a much easier to read format.

An IP address is comprised of two parts, the host and the network or, more precisely, sub-network. This has to do with IP routing which is used when sending data to an IP address on a different network—typically a different location. Now, which part of an IP address represents the host and which part represents the network is the most complicated aspect of IP addressing. It is complicated because it left to networks designers and administrators to determine it. The boundary between the subnet, as it is often called, and the host can be at any bit within the address’32.

Communicating what part is subnet and what part is host is another complicated matter. At the beginning of IP addressing, we used what was called classful addressing where certain predefined address ranges had predefined boundaries. For instance, any address starting with 192.168 had 24 bits for the subnet and 8 bits for the host. That worked well but it was not flexible enough so classless addressing started to be used where the boundary can be anywhere.

In order to indicate what part of an IP address is the subnet and what part is the host, two different notation schemes have emerged. The first way is to specify a subnet mask along with the IP address. This is another dotted decimal number where each 1 indicates a subnet position and each zero indicate a host position. For example, the 255.255.255.0 subnet mask indicates 24 bits for the network and 8 for the host. Another notation which is often referred to as classless addressing requires adding a forward slash followed by the number of subnet bits to an IP address. For example, one would write 192.168.0.2 /24.

DNS, A Close Friend Of IP Addresses

IP addresses are great for computers to use to locate each other and exchange data but they are not really user-friendly and easy to remember. At the beginning of IP networking, each computer had a “hosts” file where the correspondence between IP addresses and hostnames were listed. That enabled a user who wanted to connect to a remote computer to use its hostname rather than its IP address.

The Domain Name Service was later created to enable a distributed database of hostname to IP address correspondences. Instead of looking up an address in its local “hosts” file, a computer would query a DNS server which, through a rather simple yet elaborate process, would eventually—within a matter of a few tenths of a second—return the corresponding IP address. IP addresses and DNS work together at enabling computers and their users to easily locate remote systems.

Managing IP Addresses, An Essential Task

Managing IP addresses is among the most important tasks of network administrators. It mainly serves two purposes: making sure each device is assigned an IP address and making sure no IP addresses are duplicated within a network. Back when networks used to be small(er) manually managing IP addresses was the way to go. Administrators typically kept a text file or Excel spreadsheet where each assigned IP address was documented. As networks grew bigger, this method started to show serious shortcomings. For starters, how can you assure that each and every change to the network will be reflected in the documentation? Also, how do you assure or verify that the IP addresses that are configured on devices are those that were assigned? Also, how do you make sure that any change in IP address assignment is added to the local DNS server?

Automating IP Address Management

Automation is the key to avoid many of the issues mentioned above. And this is why IP Address Management, or IPAM, tools were first created. These tools vary greatly in their functionality with the most basic simply being glorified versions of the text files or spreadsheets of yesteryear while others are complete automated systems which will connect with other related systems—such as DNS and DHCP—to offer the most robust of solutions.

A Word About DHCP

The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, or DHCP, is also closely related to IP address management. As its name suggests, it is used to automatically configure hosts with the proper IP address and other network interface settings. Computers using the protocol will contact the DHCP server upon startup to get their IP address, subnet mask, default gateway, DNS server(s), and a few more configuration parameters dynamically. Many IP address management tools either include a DHCP server or can communicate with an existing DHCP server, ensuring that the information they contain is what is actually configured on the networked computers.

Our 7 best DDI/IPAM Systems

We’ve searched the Internet for the five best DDI/IPAM systems we could find. Some of the products we found include all three functions in one and can truly be considered DDI systems. Other might not include DNS or DHCP functionalities but they will often integrate with many popular DNS and DCHP server such as those we find on Windows and Linux.

1. SolarWinds IP Address Manager (FREE Trial)

SolarWinds is one of the best-known names in network management. The company makes some of the best tools to assist administrators. Its flagship product, the Network Performance Monitor consistently scores among the top network monitoring tools. SolarWinds is also known for its free tools. The Kiwi Syslog server and the Advanced Subnet Calculator are two such tools.
To manage IP addresses, SolarWinds offer the IP Address Manager. This tool features built-in DHCP and DNS servers but it can also interact with DHCP and DNS server from Microsoft and Cisco so you won’t have to replace your existing infrastructure.

The SolarWinds IP Address Manager lets you allocate IP addresses in different ways. You can, for instance, use reservations for servers and other equipment and use dynamically allocated addresses for workstations. Everything gets seamlessly integrated into the DNS. Furthermore, a setup wizard is included to assist in configuring DHCP scopes.

SolarWinds IP Address Manager Screenshot

The SolarWinds IP Address Manager lets you set up user accounts with different access levels. You could, for instance, give only partial access to some junior admins or let managers view the reports but not change anything. The tool’s logging system which records every change with a time stamp and the username of the operator making the change is more than just a nice-to-have, it can help with compliance issues.

Prices for the SolarWinds IP Address Manager are based on the number of managed IP addresses and start at $1 995 for up to 1024 addresses. If you’d rather try the software before purchasing it, a free fully functional 30-day trial version is available.

2. Blue Cat Address Manager

While BlueCat might not be as famous as SolarWinds, it is still one of the industry leaders in the field. The Blue Cat Address Manager is better suited for larger organizations with a network management team. The company’s IPAM system also includes DHCP and DNS functionality but it can also interoperate with DHCP and DNS servers from Microsoft.

The BlueCat Address Manager can work with both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses at the same time. It’s a great tool to use when migrating from one version to the other. The system has workflows and approval chains as well as user accounts with hierarchical rights for the best possible security.

Blue Cat Address Manager

This tool uses a concept called network templates. They enable the administrator to use information layouts that ensure essential tasks cannot be overlooked and that all important data is present. In summary, the BlueCat address manager automates as many network administration tasks as possible. As a result, the risk of a problem caused by human error is reduced.

The BlueCat Address Manager is a premium package so you can expect to pay premium prices but if you’re managing a large network, it is well worth the investment. Detailed pricing information can be obtained by contacting BlueCat.

3. ManageEngine OpUtils IP Address Manager

Next, we have a tool from ManageEngine, another company famous for its network management tools. The OpUtils IP Address Manager provides centralized management of the IP address space and it can handle both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses. Its built-in IP manager software assists network administrators in identifying whether an IP address is available or not. The tool performs periodical scans of subnets and keeps the availability status of IP addresses in each subnet up to date.

ManageEngine IP Address Manager

The IP Address Manager’s tools can be used to quickly and easily verify whether a particular IP is reserved or available. The tool accepts multiple subnet inputs, which helps in scanning the entire network to get the status of all IP addresses.
Although a free version is available, it is limited to managing a single subnet. While this is enough to give the product a test run, you’ll want to acquire a license to use it. Pricing can be obtained by contacting ManageEngine.

4. Infoblox IPAM & DHCP

The Infoblox IPAM & DHCP system is another software that’s better suited for larger networks. Like other similar-sized systems, it has templates to automate routine tasks. It also comes with some excellent standard reports. And if the existing templates or reports don’t seem to offer what you’re looking for, you are free to customize them at will.

Infoblox IPAM

The Infoblox IPAM & DHCP lets managers track the usage of key resources. It also features tracking functions which can help manage DHCP usage more effectively. From a security standpoint, this is a great feature as it also includes the ability to identify out-of-scope addresses and isolate rogue devices. You won’t find that on other systems. It goes to show how Infoblox is as concerned with security as it is with IPAM and has built major safeguards right into its system.

Pricing information for the Infoblox IPAM and DHCP software can be obtained by contacting Infoblox. A free evaluation version of the product is also available from Infoblox.

5. GestióIP

Our next tool might be from a company that is not as famous as the previous four but don’t let that fool you. GestióIP is an excellent piece of software. And it is free and open-source. The website states that “GestióIP is an automated, web-based IPv4/IPv6 address management (IPAM) software. It features powerful network discovery functions and offers search and filter functions for both networks and host, permitting Internet Search Engine equivalent expressions. This lets you find the information that administrators frequently need easily and quickly.”

GestioIP Address Management

What can be added to such an eloquent description? Concretely, this is an excellent system, especially for smaller businesses that might not be able to afford the larger systems such as those from Infoblox or BlueCat. Despite being free, this is a feature-rich tool which has all the functionalities a network administrator might need without the high price. And it does come with a few unique features such as a subnet calculator and an IP address plan builder. This is certainly a package worth looking into.

6. Diamond IP

BT(AKA British Telecom) probably needs no introduction. But not everyone knows that the company makes network administration tools. One of them is the Diamond IP, an IP address management tool. It can facilitate multi-cloud IPAM with virtual appliances for AWS, Azure, Oracle VM, VMware, Hyper-V and others. The tool’s cloud automation feature dynamically automates the assignment and tracking of private and public cloud instance IP addresses and DNS names.

This is a unique tool in that it is available as an appliance, as a software to install on your own hardware or as a cloud-based, fully-staffed managed solution making it ideal for companies with a small IT department or those who don’t have a centralized IT staff. Whichever version you choose, the tool integrates with existing DNS and DHCP services on your network.

Pricing for the BT Diamond IP software can be obtained by contacting the vendor.

7. LightMesh IPAM

Last on our list is a lesser-known product called LightMesh IPAM. This offers the same basic functionality as other IP address management tools. However, a user-friendly and sophisticated GUI allows the tool to stand out among the crowd. This tool not only does a very good job at presenting the data and information in a way that is intuitive and efficient but its functionality is also excellent.

Lightmesh IPAM - Screenshot

The tool includes IP planning and visualization features, Network discovery, audit history, permissions management with multi-group security permissions. LightMesh IPAM can easily integrate with your existing DNS and DHCP servers to provide you with an integrated IP address management solution with a view of all your IP, DNS, and DHCP information, no matter where it resides.

LightMesh IPAM is subscription-based and prices start at just $200 per month for up to fifty subnets and ten thousand IP addresses and $500 per month for five hundred subnets and a million IP addresses. Furthermore, a free 30-day trial version is available.

Read 7 Best Tools for Managing IP Addresses – 2019 by Renaud Larue-Langlois on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

Best DNS Tools to Assist Network Admins – 2019

The Domain Name Service, or DNS, is one of the cornerstones of modern IP networks, including the Internet, the best-known network of all. The DNS’ sole purpose is to find the IP address of a computer when all you have is its hostname. As simple as that may seem, it’s actually quite elaborate. On the Internet scale, any user must be able to find the IP address of any resource, wherever that resource may be. On the local scale, DNS must resolve any hostname to its local IP address and forward Internet address requests to public DNS servers. To assist network administrators in managing DNS efficiently, several different tools are available. Some will help with setting up DNS while others will assist with troubleshooting or monitoring your DNS environment. Today, we’ll be reviewing some of the best DNS tools available today.

We’ll start off our discussion by trying to explain what DNS is and how it works. We’ll do our best to keep it as non-technical as possible. Next, we’ll discuss DNS management. We’ll have a look at the different aspects of managing DNS. And since this article is all about tools, we’ll then introduce the different types of DNS tools that are available to network administrators. This will naturally lead us to our core subject: the best DNS tools available. We will review some of the most useful tools we could think of.

DNS – What It Is And How It Works

In the early days of the Internet, only a few handfuls of computers were interconnected in order to avoid having to address them using cumbersome IP addresses, each computer has a hostname and each interconnected computer had a text file—aptly named “hosts”—which contained the IP address to hostname correspondence of every other computer on the network.

As long as there were a limited number of interconnected computers, that worked fine but it soon became apparent that some better way of distributing the information had to be devised. DNS was thus specifically created for that very purpose. In a nutshell, DNS is a distributed version of the “hosts” file which can resolve the IP address of any hostname. The beauty of DNS is that it is a distributed system where each local administrator is only responsible for keeping data about the hosts he manages up to date on DNS servers.

Typically each organization has a local DNS server. It is responsible for resolving IP addresses for local resources. That server will transmit any request it can’t resolve to its forwarding server, a public DNS server on the Internet. I’ll spare you the details of exactly how they do it but each public name server can resolve any public hostname to a public IP address. By extension, your local DNS server can do that too as it will forward requests to a public server.

One of the drawbacks of this architecture is that resolving an IP address can take a while as many servers might have to forward the request to another one. This effect is mitigating by local caching. Whenever a DNS server requests some information on behalf or another server, it will still cache that information. The next time it is requested, it won’t have to fetch it from another server. Caching is not eternal, though, and sooner or later it will expire and require the servers to query other servers.

Managing DNS

Managing local DNS is an important task. Every time a new device—be that a computer, a printer or any piece of network-connected equipment—is added to the network, its hostname and corresponding IP address must be added to the local DNS server. Depending on how you manage IP addresses and what tool you use, this could be a totally manual process, a fully automated one or anything in between.

Another important aspect of managing DNS is ensuring that the name resolution of your publicly available resources—such as your website, for example—is correctly configured and available on public DNS servers for any user to be able to reach them.
Monitoring is another important part of DNS administration. When the DNS is down, no hostname to IP address is possible and all interconnected resources become unreachable. This is definitely something one would want to avoid.

Different Types Of DNS Tools

There are several different types of DNS tools available. The first type is DNS audit tools. These types of tools will perform forward and reverse DNS requests to validate that both match. This is very useful as mismatched forward and reverse entries can cause all sorts of problems.

Another type of tool can be used to analyze the structure of your DNS architecture. It can discover the relations between DNS servers and help you have a more deterministic approach to DNS resolution. As we said earlier, DNS request forwarding can end up taking time so you’re better with an efficient architecture which this type of tool will help you confirm. DNS benchmarking software can also be used for that purpose. Just as it can be used to compare the performance of one public DNS server against another, which could help you determine the best public DNS server to forward requests to.

Next are command line tools which are typically used to test name resolution by manually querying servers. Nslookup and Dig are two such commands which we’ll look into later.

The last type of tools is online tools that can be used to run various DNS-oriented tests from multiple locations throughout the globe. These tools can give you a pretty good idea of how your hosts are resolved from distant clients.

The Best DNS Tools

With so many types of tools available, finding the best ones was no easy task. We’ve tried to find at least one of each type of tools to give you an idea of what’s available. We’re therefore including a mix of locally-installable software packages, command-line tools which are already built right into most operating systems and online tools.

1. The SolarWinds Engineer’s Toolset (FREE Trial)

SolarWinds Engineers Toolset Desktop Console

Our first two tools are part of the SolarWinds Engineer’s Toolset. Perhaps you already know SolarWinds. Perhaps you’re even using some of its products. The company has carved itself a solid reputation for making some of the best network administration tools. Its flagship product, the Network Performance Monitor, is recognized by many as one of the best network monitoring tools. SolarWinds is also famous for its many free tools. They are smaller tools, each addressing a specific need of network administrators. Two examples of these free tools are the Advanced Subnet Calculator and the Kiwi Syslog Server.

Back to the SolarWinds Engineer’s Toolset, this is a bundle of over 60 different tools. Some of the included tools are free tools from SolarWinds whereas others are tools that are exclusively found as part of this package. When it comes to DNS tools, two of them are included in the Engineer’s Toolset, the SolarWinds DNS Audit and the SolarWinds DNS Structure Analyzer. As for the other tools the bundle contains, we’ll get back to them shortly.

1.1 SolarWinds DNS Audit (FREE Trial With The Engineer’s Toolset)

The SolarWinds DNS Audit tool is mostly useful to administrators who manage and configure their DNS manually. What it does is pretty simple but its benefits are incredible. This tool will scan a range of IP address and issue reverse-DNS queries for each address. Reverse DNS is the process of interrogating a DNS server to get the hostname corresponding to an IP address instead of the contrary. A properly configured DNS server should have a reverse DNS record for each forward record it contains.

SolarWinds ETS - DNS Audit

So, once the tool has finished resolving each IP address into a hostname, t will try to resolve each hostname to its IP address and it will report on any record where a mismatch is found. The result of the audit is shown in tabular form with one line for each IP address scanned.

1.2 SolarWinds DNS Structure Analyzer (FREE Trial With The Engineer’s Toolset)

This next tool from the SolarWinds Engineer’s Toolset, the SolarWinds DNS Structure Analyzer tool is very different in what it does and how it operates. This tool will discover and create visual diagrams the of hierarchical DNS structure of your organization’s DNS resource records, including root servers, name servers, global top-level domain servers, cName pointers, and authoritative address servers. The tool also makes it easy to distinguish the relationships between multiple name servers and target IP addresses using the DNS structure diagram. Furthermore, redirections from one DNS server to another are graphically displayed.

The SolarWinds DNS Structure Analyzer tool might not be for everyone but for those who have a need for this type of tool, it can’t really be beaten. And since it is part of the Engineer’s Toolset free trial, we can only suggest you give it a try and see for yourself if you have a need for it.

Other Tools Included In The Engineer’s Toolset

The SolarWinds Engineer’s Toolset includes many great troubleshooting tools. You’ll find tools such as Ping Sweep, DNS Analyzer and TraceRoute which can be used to perform network diagnostics and help resolve complex network issues quickly. And for the security-conscious network administrators, some of the tools can be used to simulate attacks on your network and help identify vulnerabilities.

The SolarWinds Engineer’s Toolset also has some excellent monitoring and alerting tools. Some will monitor your devices and raise alerts when they detect availability or health issues. This can often give you enough time to react before users even notice there is a problem. And to make thing even better, you can use some of the included tools for configuration management and log consolidation.

Here are some of the tools you’ll find in the SolarWinds Engineer’s Toolset besides the DNS audit and DNS Structure Analyzer tools.

  • Port Scanner
  • Switch Port Mapper
  • SNMP sweep
  • IP Network Browser
  • MAC Address Discovery
  • Ping Sweep
  • Response Time Monitor
  • CPU Monitor
  • Interface Monitor
  • TraceRoute
  • Router Password Decryption
  • SNMP Brute Force Attack
  • SNMP Dictionary Attack
  • Config Compare, Downloader, Uploader, and Editor
  • SNMP trap editor and SNMP trap receiver
  • Subnet Calculator
  • DHCP Scope Monitor
  • DNS Structure Analyzer
  • DNS Audit
  • IP Address Management
  • WAN Killer

There are many tools included in the SolarWinds Engineer’s Toolset. Too many to mention them all, actually. With a free 14-day trial available, Perhaps your best bet is to download the bundle and see for yourself all that the toolset can do for you.

2. GRC’s DNS Benchmark

The name of this tool says a lot about what it is. If you’ve been wondering if your choice of DNS servers is impeding your Internet experience, the GRC’s DNS Benchmark will provide a unique, comprehensive, accurate and free Windows—and Linux when using Wine—utility to determine the exact performance of local and remote DNS servers.

GRC's DNS Benchmark - Screenshot

Although GRC’s DNS Benchmark is packed with features to satisfy the needs of even the most demanding and seasoned network administrators—and it offers features designed to enable serious DNS performance investigation, the tool is also extremely easy to use, even for casual and first-time users. One of the best features of this tool is its price. Although the product is no open-source, it is free and anyone can download it.

3. Nslookup

Next on our list is a pretty useful troubleshooting tool that’s included with most operating systems—including all modern versions of Windows—called nslookup. It is often overlooked as a troubleshooting tool yet it brings real value. Nslookup is one of the most basic tools you can use to verify the proper configuration of DNS servers. Its name is short for “name server lookup”.
Seeing nslookup at work is the best way to understand what it does and how you can benefit from it so we’ll start with a small demonstration. Using the command is rather simple, you just type it in followed by whatever you’re querying. For our example, we’ll use www.google.com.

The command would look like this:

C:\>nslookup www.google.com

And this is what the response from nslookup would look like:

Server: my.local.dns.server 

Address: 10.10.10.10
Non-authoritative answer:

Name: www.google.com

Addresses: 2607:f8b0:4002:80f::2004
172.217.4.4

The first two lines of the response tell you what server it is using to obtain the information and that server’s IP address. By default, it will use the first DNS server that is configured on the computer where you use the command. In the second nslookup tells you it is providing a non-authoritative answer. This is not something to be concerned about. It just means that the server giving the answer has obtained the information from another server. In fact, it would be rather surprising to obtain an authoritative answer from your local computer’s DNS server. You’d typically see that when querying about another local machine. Next, of course, is the information about your actual query. Nslookup first lists the name that you queried, followed by the actual answer or, in the specific case, answers. In our example, the query returned both an IPV6 and an IPV4 address.

Nslookup also has an interactive mode which you activate by typing the command by itself. Once the tool is started—you’ll notice that the command prompt changes to a “>”—you’re ready to answer commands directly.

There are many different ways that you can query DNS servers with nslookup. You can fetch only information about mail server settings by typing “set type=mx” in interactive mode. You can also connect to a specific DNS server. For example, to connect to Google’s DNS server, you would type “server 8.8.8.8”.

Nslookup has many more options than that and it helps to be knowledgeable about the Domain Name Service to get the most out of it. Although this is a dated tool and many would like to see it replaced by something more modern—such as dig, our next tool—it remains one of the most-used DNS tools.

4. Dig

Dig is another command-line tool that has been gaining in popularity. Its purpose is almost identical to nslookup’s but its syntax is a bit different. Also, answers from dig are a bit more elaborate than those from nslookup. This is one of the reasons why dig has not managed to supersede its older cousin. Another reason is that, while nslookup is on almost every system, dig is only present on some Linux distributions. It can be installed on any Linux or Windows computer but, to many administrators, why bother when nslookup gets the job done?

This is what a typical dig query looks like:

$ dig -t mx www.google.com

; <<>> DiG 9.10.3-P4-Ubuntu <<>> -t mx www.google.com
;; global options: +cmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 40683
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 0, AUTHORITY: 1, ADDITIONAL: 1

;; OPT PSEUDOSECTION:
; EDNS: version: 0, flags:; udp: 4096
;; QUESTION SECTION:
;www.google.com. IN MX

;; AUTHORITY SECTION:
google.com. 60 IN SOA ns1.google.com. dns-admin.google.com. 164707171 900 900 1800 60

;; Query time: 61 msec
;; SERVER: 127.0.1.1#53(127.0.1.1)
;; WHEN: Wed Aug 09 14:34:03 EDT 2017
;; MSG SIZE rcvd: 113

As you can see, it is much more elaborate than a typical nslookup’s response.

5. Online DNS tools – DNSstuff

The last set of DNS tools we want to talk about are online DNS tools. Those tools can be very handy as they give you a different perspective, that of a remote device somewhere on the Internet. There are countless websites which offer DNS tools. They vary in the exact tools they offer but all of them will at least let you obtain a public IP address from a fully qualified domain name.

DNSstuff - Screenshot

For example, DNSstuff is one such website which offers about a dozen different tools to test various aspects of DNS, including an elaborate and easy-to-use equivalent of nslookup or dig. The main drawback of these types of tools is that you can’t usually pick a specific DNS server. What you get is the perspective from a remote Internet location.

Read Best DNS Tools to Assist Network Admins – 2019 by Renaud Larue-Langlois on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to install ANGRYsearch on Linux

ANGRYsearch is a quick desktop search application that lets users instantly locate files and folders on the Linux desktop. The program is highly configurable (thanks to its extensive configuration file), and is considered the best alternative to Fsearch, a search application we’ve covered on Addictivetips in the past. In this guide, we’ll show you how you can install ANGRYsearch on Linux.

Install on Arch Linux via AUR

If you’re an Arch Linux user, you’ll be able to get your hands on ANGRYsearch through the Arch Linux User Repository. To interact with the AUR on Arch Linux, you’ll need a few packages. Specifically, you’ll need to install Git and Base-devel. To get these packages, open up a terminal window and enter the Pacman package command below.

sudo pacman -S git base-devel

With the Git and Base-devel packages set up on Arch Linux, it’ll now be possible to download the ANGRYsearch AUR package. To download, use the git clone command.

git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/angrysearch.git

Now that the ANGRYsearch AUR snapshot is done downloading to your computer use the CD command and move the terminal session into the “angrysearch” folder.

cd angrysearch

Inside of the “angrysearch” folder, run the pkgbuild command to generate and install the ANGRYsearch program on Arch Linux. Keep in mind that when you run this command, errors can happen. If you run into issues, be sure to check the official ANGRYsearch AUR page, and read the comments. It’s very likely that other users with similar problems can help you.

makepkg -sri

Install on Fedora Linux via RPM

Those on Fedora Linux don’t need to download and compile the ANGRYsearch source code to use it. Why? There are multiple Fedora RPM packages for the software on the OpenSUSE build service. It should be noted that as of writing this, there are only downloadable RPM packages for Fedora 28 and 29. That said, it’s expected that the packages will be updated with each new Fedora release in the future.

To install the RPM version of ANGRYsearch on Fedora Linux, open up a terminal and follow the step-by-step instructions below.

Step 1: Using the wget downloader tool, grab the latest ANGRYsearch RPM package on your computer.

wget http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/KAMiKAZOW:/Fedora/Fedora_29/noarch/angrysearch-1.0.1-2.30.noarch.rpm -P ~/Downloads

or

wget http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/KAMiKAZOW:/Fedora/Fedora_28/noarch/angrysearch-1.0.1-2.68.noarch.rpm -P ~/Downloads

Step 2: Move the terminal session from your home directory (~/) to ~/Downloads by executing the following CD command.

cd ~/Downloads

Step 3: Install ANGRYsearch to your Fedora Linux PC via the DNF package management program.

sudo dnf install angrysearch-*.noarch.rpm -y

Install on OpenSUSE via RPM

ANGRYsearch is on the OBS, so naturally, you’ll be able to install it on OpenSUSE quite easily. Currently, the versions of OpenSUSE that ANGRYsearch supports is LEAP 15.0, LEAP 42.3, and OpenSUSE Tumbleweed. To get it working, open up a terminal window and enter the commands below.

LEAP 15.0

wget http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/woelfel/openSUSE_Leap_15.0/noarch/angrysearch-0.9.5-lp150.30.1.noarch.rpm
cd ~/Downloads

sudo zypper install angrysearch-0.9.5-lp150.30.1.noarch.rpm

LEAP 42.3

wget http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/woelfel/openSUSE_Leap_42.3/noarch/angrysearch-0.9.5-30.1.noarch.rpm

cd ~/Downloads

sudo zypper install angrysearch-0.9.5-30.1.noarch.rpm

Tumbleweed

wget http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/alanbortu:/angrysearch/openSUSE_Tumbleweed/noarch/angrysearch-0.9.5-29.14.noarch.rpm -P ~/Downloads

cd ~/Downloads

sudo zypper install angrysearch-0.9.5-29.14.noarch.rpm

Alternatively, if you’re not a fan of installing ANGRYsearch from the command-line in OpenSUSE, head over to the app’s OBS page. Once there, look for the “1-click” install button and select it to start the GUI installer.

Source code instructions (Ubuntu, Debian, and others)

While it’s excellent that distributions like Arch Linux, Fedora, and OpenSUSE are supported by ANGRYsearch, it’s not the case for all distributions. If you want to use ANGRYsearch on Linux OSes like Ubuntu, Debian, and others, building the program from source is required.

Before we get started in building ANGRYsearch from the source code, you’ll need to install the dependencies. In this section, we’ll cover how to install the dependencies on both Ubuntu and Debian. However, those that use a lesser-known Linux distribution will need to figure out the dependencies they need on their own.

Ubuntu dependencies

sudo apt install python3-pyqt5 xdg-utils git

Debian dependencies

sudo apt-get install python3-pyqt5 xdg-utils git

With the ANGRYsearch dependencies taken care of, it’s safe to download the latest release of the source code from the developers GitHub page with the git clone command.

Note: if you dislike using Git, you can get a recent version of the source code on the developer’s release page.

git clone https://github.com/DoTheEvo/ANGRYsearch.git

When the git clone command finishes running, use the CD command and move your terminal session from the home directory (~/) to the new “ANGRYsearch” code folder.

cd ANGRYsearch

In the ANGRYsearch Git folder, there are dozens of files. Disregard them, as the only file to worry about is the “install.sh” file.

Run the “install.sh” script with:

sudo ./install.sh

or

sudo bash install.sh

Read How to install ANGRYsearch on Linux by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to install the Tracktion audio workstation on Linux

Tracktion is a commercial audio workstation for Windows, Mac, and Linux. It has dozens of great features and is perfect for composing music, editing audio and using in a sound production environment.

In this post, we will be going over how to set up the program on Linux. Specifically, on Ubuntu, Debian, Arch Linux, and Fedora.

Ubuntu installation instructions

Version 7 of Tracktion is easy to install on Ubuntu Linux, via a downloadable DEB package file. It doesn’t explicitly say on the website, but generally, we expect that the program is targeting Ubuntu 16.04 and newer. To get the app working on Ubuntu, follow the step-by-step instructions below.

Step 1: Tracktion isn’t open source software, so it’s not possible to quickly download without needing to worry about anything. Instead, if you want to use this program on Ubuntu, you must create an account. Head over to this link here and register for an account on the website. Be sure to use the Strongpasswordgenerator.com tool when you create your account, for security purposes.

Step 2: When you’ve finished registering an account on the website, you’ll see three operating system logos appear. These logos are Mac, Windows, and Linux. Click on the download link for the Linux one, and the DEB package for Tracktion should automatically start downloading.

Step 3: Let the Tracktion DEB package download. After the download is complete, open up the file manager on your Linux desktop, locate the “Downloads” folder and double-click on the Tracktion DEB package to launch it in the Ubuntu Software Center.

Step 4: Ubuntu Software Center will load up the Tracktion Audio Workstation package inside it. From here, click the “Install” button, enter your password and allow it to install to the system.

Terminal instructions for Ubuntu

Don’t want to use Ubuntu Software Center to install Tracktion? Open up a terminal and enter the following commands.

cd ~/Downloads

sudo dpkg -i TracktionInstall_7_Linux_64Bit_latest.deb

sudo apt install -f

Debian installation instructions

While Debian Linux likely isn’t the target for the Tracktion Audio Workstation (as the developers main Linux focus is Ubuntu), it’ll run on it just fine. To get it working, go to the official Tracktion website. When you’re there, click on “products,” then “DAW,” then “T7 DAW” to get to the free app that has Linux support.

After selecting the “T7 Daw” page, you’ll be prompted to register a free account on the website. Do so. Making a new account is critical, as you’ll need it to use the program.

Note: when making an account on the website, be sure to use Strongpasswordgenerator.com to secure your account.

When you finish the registration process on the website, three OS logos will appear. These OS logos are Mac, Windows, and Linux. Click on the download link under the Linux icon, to get the latest DEB of Tracktion for Linux.

Now that Tracktion is done downloading, open up the Linux file manager, click on “Downloads” and locate the DEB package. Double-click on the file to open it up with the Debian package installation tool.

Use the package installation tool to get Tracktion set up on Debian.

Terminal instructions for Debian

If you don’t want to set up Tracktion on Debian with a graphical package installation tool, follow these terminal commands instead.

cd ~/Downloads
sudo dpkg -i TracktionInstall_7_Linux_64Bit_latest.deb
sudo apt-get install -f

Arch Linux installation instructions

Looking to use Tracktion on Arch Linux? You’ll need to build it via the unofficial AUR package. To get the AUR working, follow the step-by-step instructions below.

Step 1: Install Git and the Base-devel packages to your computer using the Pacman packaging tool.

sudo pacman -S git base-devel

Step 2: Using the Git command, clone the latest AUR snapshot of Tracktion 7.

git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/t7-daw.git

Step 3: Move the terminal session into the “t7-daw” folder with the CD command.

cd t7-daw

Step 4: Once you’re inside the t7-daw folder, you’ll be able to use the makepkg command to download the DEB package file, decompile it, etc.

makepkg -sri

Installing Tracktion on Arch Linux is iffy, as the program doesn’t officially support it. Be sure to check with the official AUR page and read the comments if you run into issues setting it up. Also, if dependency errors occur during installation, download the dependencies manually on the AUR page under the “Dependencies” section.

Fedora installation instructions

Fedora Linux doesn’t have an AUR, and there’s no RPM available for Tracktion 7, so if you want to use it, you must manually decompile the DEB package.

Note: we can confirm that Tracktion works on Fedora 29 though, be warned that it may not work for you.

To get Tracktion working on your Fedora Linux PC, open up a terminal and follow the step-by-step guide below.

Step 1: Install the needed dependencies for Tracktion to run.

sudo dnf install libXinerama libXext libXext-devel mesa-libGL mesa-dri-drivers libcurl-devel alsa-lib-devel libstdc++ libgcc glibc-devel freetype

Step 2: Go to the Tracktion website and create an account. Then, locate the “Linux” logo and download the DEB package to Fedora.

Step 3: Set up Alien on your computer by following this guide. Then, convert the DEB package to a TarGZ file with alien -tvc.

cd ~/Downloads
alien -tcv TracktionInstall_7_Linux_64Bit_latest.deb

Step 4: Extract the TGZ that Alien generated with the Tar command.

mkdir -p ~/tracktion7

tar xzvf tracktion7*.tgz -C ~/tracktion7

Step 5: Move the terminal into “tracktion7” with CD, and use rsync to install the program.

cd ~/tracktion7
sudo rsync -a usr/ /usr

Read How to install the Tracktion audio workstation on Linux by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter