How to install Webtorrent on Linux

Webtorrent is an exciting application that lets users stream video and music files over the p2p (person to person) Torrent protocol. It’s cross-platform and works on Mac, Linux as well as Windows.

While some may choose to use this program for illicit purposes, that’s not the intention of Webtorrent. It’s intended to make viewing legal media over Torrent fast and easy. One such use case is streaming and accessing music and video content from Archive.org, a site that distributes a lot of its media via BitTorrent files.

Use a VPN with Webtorrent

Even though there are perfectly safe and legal reasons to use the Torrent protocol, ISPs don’t often see it that way. In a lot of cases, they ban this kind of traffic, even when they shouldn’t. For this reason, consider using a VPN when running Webtorrent.

ExpressVPN takes the top spot as the best VPN reviewed by our security experts. It works well on Linux and has an excellent client for download. Better still, they offer fast download speeds with 256-bit AES encryption and perfect forward secrecy across 94 different countries. Also, they have an exclusive offer for AddictiveTips readers: 3 months free on the annual plan, a 49% discount.

Webtorrent on Linux

Webtorrent is available on multiple platforms, including Linux. The distributions they support are Ubuntu and Debian. The developers also have a downloadable source-code package which can be used on nearly every Linux OS.

Ubuntu

Like most popular applications that support Linux, Ubuntu (and Debian by extension) is usually one of the distributions that get first-class support.

To get the Webtorrent application up and running on Ubuntu, you’ll need to manually download a DEB package. Then, once it’s downloaded, you’ll need to load it up on the system.

Download the latest version of Webtorrent for Ubuntu by going to the official Webtorrent website. Then, once you’re on the official website, locate the “Linux” logo and click on it to start the download.

Once the DEB package is done downloading to  your Linux PC, launch a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T. Then, use the CD command to move into the ~/Downloads folder.

Inside the ~/Downloads directory, execute the dpkg command and install the Webtorrent application on Ubuntu.

sudo dpkg -i webtorrent-desktop_*_amd64.deb

When dpkg is done, finish up by running the Apt install -f command to correct any dependency issues that may come up.

sudo apt install -f

Debian

The Webtorrent developers target Ubuntu Linux by default. Since the developers focus on Ubuntu, Debian users are also able to easily install the Webtorrent application, by downloading the DEB package file here.

Once the file is done downloading to your Debian Linux PC, you’ll be able to start the installation process on Debian. Launch a terminal window with Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T.

Now that a terminal session is open, use the CD command and move the terminal into the ~/Downloads folder.

cd ~/Downloads

Inside the ~/Downloads directory, install the app with dpkg and correct the dependencies with Apt-get.

su -
dpkg -i webtorrent-desktop_*_amd64.deb

apt-get install -f

Arch Linux

Arch Linux doesn’t explicitly support Webtorrent. Despite this, there is an AUR package available for users to install.

Installing Webtorrent via the Arch Linux User repository is a quick process and it starts by using the Pacman command to install the base tools that are required for building AUR packages.

sudo pacman -S git base-devel

With both Git and Base-devel working on your Arch PC, use the git clone command and download the latest code for the Webtorrent AUR snapshot.

git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/webtorrent-desktop.git

When the downloading process is done, use the CD command and move your terminal into the ~/Downloads folder.

cd ~/Downloads

Finally, install Webtorrent on Arch Linux by executing the makepkg command. Keep in mind that when you run this command it may fail. If this happens, consult with the comment section and ask for help there!

makepkg -sri

Fedora and OpenSUSE

If you’re a Fedora or OpenSUSE user, you won’t be able get Webtorrent installed easily, as the developers have  not made an RPM package available. Luckily, in our testing, we found out that the DEB converts fine to RPM via Alien.

In this section, we’ll breifly go over how to convert the files to alien. If you need more guidance, check out our in-depth tutorial on the subject!

To start off, install Alien to your PC.

Fedora

sudo dnf install alien

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper in rpmbuild

Then, once RPMBuild is up and running, install Alien from this page here.

Once Alien is running, download the latest version of Webtorrent from the internet. As we are converting the code, we’ll just use Wget.

wget https://github.com/webtorrent/webtorrent-desktop/releases/download/v0.20.0/webtorrent-desktop_0.20.0-1_amd64.deb

Using the Alien package converter, convert the software to an RPM file.

sudo alien -rvc webtorrent-desktop_0.20.0-1_amd64.deb

Finally, install Webtorrent.

Fedora

sudo dnf install webtorrent-desktop-0.20.0-2.x86_64.rpm

OpenSUSE

Please note that OpenSUSE will complain that the RPM file isn’t signed. Be sure to ignore it!

sudo zypper in webtorrent-desktop-0.20.0-2.x86_64.rpm

Source

Webtorrent has a source release for Linux on their GitHub page. This is great, as it enables users of lesser-known distributions to get Webtorrent on Linux. To get it, open up a terminal and use the wget command to download the source release.

wget https://github.com/webtorrent/webtorrent-desktop/releases/download/v0.20.0/WebTorrent-v0.20.0-linux.zip

Then, extract it with unzip.

unzip WebTorrent-v0.20.0-linux.zip

Finally, run the app with:

cd WebTorrent-linux-x64
./WebTorrent

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

How to find hard drive info on Linux

For many operations on the Linux platform, you’ll need to know information about your hard drive. Unfortunately, most beginner Linux users are unaware of how to find hard drive info on Linux. As a result, many they into problems when running advanced operations like formatting, moving files around, etc.

In this guide, we’re going to cover how you can quickly find information about your hard drive. We’ll go over how to discover the drive label, partition information, UUID info and more!

Hard drive label

On Addictivetips, I reference the LSBLK tool quite a lot in my Linux tutorials. The reason I talk about it so much is that it’s incredibly useful for day-to-day operations on Linux, especially with things that have to do with hard drives and other removable data storage devices on the platform.

Lsblk isn’t a program you’ll ever need to install. It’s a core utility on all Linux distributions and is intended for basic diagnostic purposes. Furthermore, the Lsblk tool doesn’t require a root account or even “sudo” access. Not requiring root means that even if you’re using Linux on a PC with no ability to enter system-level commands easily, you’ll still be able to quickly and easily view the information you need.

To use Lsblk with its primary function, launch a terminal window. Unsure about how to find the terminal on your Linux PC? Press Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Alternatively, you can use the Ctrl + Alt + T keyboard combination to open a window as well.

When the terminal window is open, run the command below.

lsblk

After running the lsblk command in a terminal, you’ll see a tree-like structure. This structure shows you several columns, such as NAME, MAJ: MI, RM, SIZE, RO, TYPE, and MOUNTPOINT.

All of the names in the tree list are important, and you can use them to determine information about your storage devices. However, the only thing that matters when you’re trying to figure out a hard drive label is the “NAME” column.

For example, I have several hard drives plugged in, and I need to find the name of my 931 GB hard drive. So, to find the correct label for my usual I’d do the following.

Step 1: go to the “SIZE” column and look for the hard drive that is 931.5G.

Step 2: move on from the “SIZE” column backward and make my way to “NAME” on that same line. The “NAME” area will show me the 931.5 GB drive’s label is/dev/sda.

Locate partition names

Another use of the Lsblk command is its ability to show the user partition information. It works a lot like viewing device names. To do it, execute the lsblk command like usual.

lsblk

Once the command prints the info out on screen, locate the drive you’d like to find partition info for. Then, scroll down and look at the tree diagram under “NAME.”

In the tree diagram, Lsblk will show you lines pointing to each of the partitions. Each partition’s name is denoted by a number. For example, under /dev/sda (the 931.5 GB drive used in the example) we see two partitions. Their names are /dev/sda1 and /dev/sda2.

Find UUID info

If you’re manually setting up a hard drive on your Linux system, you’ll need to add an entry in the /etc/fstab file. Usually, setting up a drive requires special information, known as a UUID (universally unique identifier).

There are a few ways to find the UUID information for a hard drive on Linux, but by far the quickest and easiest way is by once again using the Lsblk tool with the -f switch.

Note: you may need to use sudo to access the UUID info with Lsblk, as some Linux OSes disable the ability to view it as a regular user.

To access your UUID info, run:

lsblk -f

Or, if your system disables viewing UUID info on drives as a regular user, do:

sudo lsblk -f

When the command output finishes, you’ll see the Lsblk tool print out drive information as it usually does, with a new “UUID” column.

Save UUID info

Need to save the UUID information for later? In the terminal window, enter the following command.

Note: the command written out below is an example. Be sure to replace the X with the UUID code output that appears when you run the lsblk -f command in terminal.

echo "X" >> ~/my-uuid.txt

View the saved UUID text file at any time in the terminal by using the cat tool.

cat ~/my-uuid.txt

Or, if you’re not a fan of Cat, consider opening it up in the Nano text editor for a better viewing experience.

nano ~/my-uuid.txt

Read How to find hard drive info on Linux by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to import photos on Linux with Shotwell

Do you have a DSLR or digital camera and take lots of pictures? Are you tired of manually importing all of the photos on your camera onto the Linux desktop? If so, you’ll be interested to know about Shotwell: a photo management app for the Linux platform that lets you import photos on Linux from cameras, SD cards and other external mediums refreshingly simple.

Install Shotwell

Many Linux distributions have the Shotwell photo management tool set up by default. However, not everyone uses it, so in this section of the guide, we will be going over how to install Shotwell on Linux.

To get it working on your particular distribution open up a terminal and follow the instructions that correspond with the Linux OS you use.

Ubuntu

A relatively recent version of Shotwell is available to Ubuntu users in the primary package archive. To get it going, open up a terminal window and use the Apt package manager.

sudo apt install shotwell

Debian

Shotwell is on Debian, and you can install it from the central software repositories very easily. However, keep in mind that due to the way that Debian releases packages, Shotwell is significantly out of date.

To install the app on your Debian Linux PC, open up a terminal and use the Apt-get command.

sudo apt-get install shotwell

Alternatively, if you need the absolute latest, follow our tutorial and learn how to enable Debian Backports.

Arch Linux

Arch Linux is a current, bleeding-edge Linux distribution. For this reason, users should have no issue getting the absolute latest release of Shotwell working. To install it, launch a terminal window and use the Pacman package management tool to get it going.

sudo pacman -S shotwell

Fedora

As Shotwell is open source, Fedora has no issue including it in their software sources. Better still, Fedora is considered a “current” distribution, so the version of Shotwell it has in its software sources is very recent.

To get the app working on your Fedora Linux PC open up a terminal window and use the DNF install command.

sudo dnf install shotwell -y

OpenSUSE

Installing the Shotwell photo management tool on OpenSUSE is as simple as it is on most other distributions, given that it’s one of the most used apps out there. To get it working, launch a terminal and use the Zypper package manager.

sudo zypper install shotwell

Generic Linux via Flatpak

Those that can’t install Shotwell on their Linux OS due to no support will be able to use the program via Flatpak. However, before installing the Flatpak version of Shotwell, it’s required that you set up and enable the Flatpak runtime.

Once you’ve got Flatpak up and running, enter the following commands to get Shotwell working.

flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo

flatpak install flathub org.gnome.Shotwell

Import pictures with Shotwell

Importing your photographs from an external device into Shotwell works quite well and is very user-friendly, compared to a lot of the other competing photograph management systems on the Linux platform.

It starts by opening the application. As it launches for the first time, you’ll see a message appear. This message will ask if you want to add photos (from the ~/Pictures directory) on your Linux PC into the Shotwell library. Allow it to import. Keep in mind that this process could take a bit of time, depending on how extensive your local photo library is.

When the automatic import process is done, you should see an unsorted wall of photographs in Shotwell. You can then go through and organize them by right-clicking on them.

Import pictures from external devices

One great feature that Shotwell has is that it can make adding external photos from devices like digital cameras, SD cards, flash drives, hard drives, and even smartphones very simple and straightforward.

To import your digital photo library from an external device, start by plugging it in over USB. Then, when it’s plugged in, go to the Shotwell application, and you should see your device appear on the side-bar.

Click on your device on the side to instantly view the photos that are on it. Then, click on individual photos you wish to add to your library.

Note: you can easily select multiple pictures to add to Shotwell by holding down Ctrl while clicking on the mouse.

Once you’re satisfied with your selections, right-click to open up the context menu. Then, choose the “import selection” option.

Import all at once

Aside from allowing users to import individually selected photos from external devices into the Shotwell application, users are also able to import all pictures in one go.

To import all existing pictures from an external device, find your external device in the side-bar and right-click on it. Start importing everything to your Shotwell library by clicking on the “Import All” option.

Read How to import photos on Linux with Shotwell by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to install PHP on Linux

PHP is one of the core components of the web. If you plan to host a Linux server that delivers web applications, understanding how to install it is a must. Installing the core PHP run-time files on Linux differs, depending on what you’re using, and it can get confusing. For this reason, we’ve decided to show you exactly how you can quickly install PHP on Linux.

Ubuntu instructions

Ubuntu server is the perfect distribution for those on Linux who haven’t got a clue about how to go about installing PHP or any other web software for that matter.

If you’re in need of the latest PHP and you’re using Ubuntu, there are two ways to go about this. The two methods are pre-installation and post-installation.

Pre-installation

Pre-installation is the best method for getting PHP working, as you don’t need to use the terminal or any of the elaborate packaging tools that Ubuntu has. Instead, you can just set it up during your initial installation process.

To do it, download the latest version of Ubuntu Server and flash it to a USB drive and boot it up. Then, go through the setup process and install the OS to the machine’s hard drive.

During the installation, you’ll soon get to the package selection area of Ubuntu Server. In this area, you’ll see a huge list of software you can load up.

In the list, scroll through and select “LAMP.” Picking the “LAMP” option will give you the latest Apache web server, MySQL, and PHP.

Post-installation

The post-installation PHP setup for Ubuntu is reserved for those that have an existing Ubuntu Server instance but have chosen to skip the “LAMP” option for whatever reason.

Thankfully, Ubuntu Server being the user-friendly OS it is, getting the latest PHP is just about as easy after the fact as it is during the installation wizard.

To get PHP working, login to your server and gain root access with sudo -s. Then, do:

apt install install lamp-server^

Let the Apt package manager run its course. It will take quite a long time as LAMP is installing the latest MySQL, Apache web server, and PHP tools.

When the installer is done, your Ubuntu server will have PHP up and running!

Debian instructions

Are you using Debian Linux as a server and plan to host PHP applications on it? If so, you’ll need to know how to get the PHP packages up and running.

Installing PHP on Debian isn’t as user-friendly as Ubuntu Server, despite their similarities. There’s no meta-package available. Instead, you’ll need to specify every PHP package manually.

To get PHP working on Debian Linux, gain root access with the su command. Then, use the Apt-get installation command.

su -
apt-get install aptitude install php php-mysql

Once the Apt-get command is done, you’ll have access to PHP. For more information about PHP and running a LAMP stack on Debian, refer to the official documentation here.

Fedora instructions

Though Fedora Linux is mainly known for its workstation component, the developers also offer up an excellent, free server OS which includes dozens of tools, such as the latest PHP.

To get the latest PHP packages up and running on Fedora Linux, you’ll need to gain a root shell. Gaining a root shell on Fedora is done with the su command.

su -

Now that you’ve got access to root use the DNF package manager to get the PHP packages installed.

sudo dnf -y install php php-cli php-php-gettext php-mbstring php-mcrypt php-mysqlnd php-pear php-curl php-gd php-xml php-bcmath php-zip

OpenSUSE instructions

OpenSUSE, like many other Linux operating systems that have a server offering distribute the latest PHP packages in their software repositories. If you’re on SUSE and using it as a server, spinning up PHP is easy. Here’s how to do it.

First, gain a root shell using the su command.

su –

Now that the shell has root access, you’ll be able to use the Zypper command and pull down several of the PHP packages.

zypper in php7 php7-mysql apache2-mod_php7

Are you in need of PHP5, rather than PHP 7? Good news! OpenSUSE keeps track of both versions and makes them available in the software sources. To install it, do:

zypper in php5 php5-mysql apache2-mod_php5

CentOS instructions

CentOS is a popular Linux server choice due to its reliability. For this reason, many people go with it when hosting web/PHP applications.

If you’re in need of the latest PHP packages on CentOS and are unsure about how to do it, we can help! To start, launch a terminal window and gain root access with the su command.

su –

Once you’ve got root access in the terminal shell, use the Yum command and load up PHP!

yum install php php-mysql

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

How to play Sega DreamCast games on Linux

The Sega Dreamcast is widely considered one of the worst performing video game consoles of all time, beating out the Sega Saturn and the Atari Jaguar. However, despite its terrible performance in the late 90s, many people loved it and had a lot of fun with the console. If you’re a Linux gamer and have nostalgia for the Sega Dreamcast, don’t waste your time hunting one down one to buy on eBay. Instead, save your money and follow our guide on how you can emulate and play Sega DreamCast games on Linux!

Note: Addictivetips in no way encourages or condones the illegal download or distribution of ROM files for Lxdream. If you want to play Sega Dreamcast games with Lxdream, please use your own ROM files you’ve backed up to your PC, legally.

Install Lxdream

Dreamcast emulation on Linux is less than stellar. Some would say that it’s one of the hardest consoles to get working on Linux, due to the lack of support and good emulator applications out there. Fortunately, there’s an excellent (albeit old) Dreamcast emulator up to the task. It’s called Lxdream, and its last code update was in 2008. Despite its age, users can use it to emulate the Sega Dreamcast on Linux.

Ubuntu/Debian

Lxdream is not a part of the Ubuntu software sources so installing it on Ubuntu Linux isn’t possible with a simple Apt command. Furthermore, the only DEB package available for Ubuntu is a DEB package from 11 years ago that doesn’t work.

Note: this process will also work on Debian. Be sure to change the Apt commands with Apt-get.

Fortunately, the people at RPM Fusion have the Lxdream emulation app available for distributions as new as Fedora 29 and it’ll work (once converted) on Ubuntu.

To install, open up a terminal and use the Apt command to install Alien.

sudo apt install alien

Once Alien is up and running, download the Lxdream package from the RPMFusion package repo with the wget command.

wget http://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/releases/29/Everything/x86_64/os/Packages/l/lxdream-0.9.1-14.fc29.x86_64.rpm -O lxdream-64bit.rpm

Or, if you need 32-bit, do:

wget http://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/releases/29/Everything/i386/os/Packages/l/lxdream-0.9.1-14.fc29.i686.rpm -O lxdream-32bit.rpm

With the RPM done downloading, convert it to a DEB package using Alien.

sudo alien -dvc lxdream-64bit.rpm

Or, for 32-bit:

sudo alien -dvc lxdream-32bit.rpm

Finally, install the app with:

sudo dpkg -i lxdream_0.9.1-15_amd64.deb

Or, to install 32-bit, do

sudo dpkg -i lxdream_*.deb

Arch Linux

Much like Ubuntu and Debian, the only way to get Lxdream to work on Arch Linux is by decompiling an existing Fedora RPM with Alien. Install the app by entering the following commands below.

sudo pacman -S git base-devel

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

cd trizen

makepkg -sri 

trizen -S alien_package_converter --noconfirm

wget http://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/releases/29/Everything/x86_64/os/Packages/l/lxdream-0.9.1-14.fc29.x86_64.rpm -O lxdream-64bit.rpm

alien -tvc lxdream-64bit.rpm 

tar -xzvf lxdream-0.9.1.tgz

sudo rsync -a etc/ /etc

sudo rsync -a usr/ /usr

Fedora

sudo dnf install http://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/releases/29/Everything/x86_64/os/Packages/l/lxdream-0.9.1-14.fc29.x86_64.rpm -y

OpenSUSE

There’s no RPM available in the OpenSUSE repositories for Lxdream. However, the Fedora one should work just fine. Here’s how to get it on SUSE.

wget http://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/releases/29/Everything/x86_64/os/Packages/l/lxdream-0.9.1-14.fc29.x86_64.rpm -O lxdream-64-bit.rpm
sudo zypper install lxdream-64-bit.rpm

Playing games in Lxdream

To play a Dreamcast game in Lxdream, you must first specify a Dreamcast ROM. To do this legally obtain your own Sega Dreamcast ROM files and place them on the computer. Then, launch Lxdream and click on “Settings” then “Path.”

In the “Path” menu, set the Bios ROM as well as the Flash ROM, and click “OK”.

Once Lxdream has the BIOS files configured correctly, you’ll be able to load in a game. To load in a game, click “File,” then select “GD-ROM,” followed by “Open Image file.”

After selecting “Open Image file,” a browser window will appear. Use it to load up the Sega Dreamcast ROM file into Lxdream. Then click the play icon to start the emulation.

Configuring graphics

Lxdream is an older emulator, so there aren’t any advanced graphical settings to speak of. However, it does support multiple modes, such as windowed and full-screen mode.

To switch the emulator between windowed-mode and full-screen mode click “Settings” and then check the box next to “Full-screen.” Alternatively, press Alt+Enter.

Configuring controllers

Need to set up a USB controller for your Dreamcast games? Here’s how to do it.

First, click on “Settings.” Then, select the “Controllers” option in the menu to access the controller configuration area of the Lxdream emulator.

In the controller config area, find “Port A” and set it to “Sega Controller”. Then click “Properties” to access the controller mapping area.

Inside the controller mapping area, use the UI and go through to assign buttons to your controller.

Saving and loading

Creating saves and loading them in Lxdream is quick and easy thanks to hotkeys. While a game is running, press F5 to save. If you’d like to load a save, press F6.

It’s also possible to create and load saves by clicking “File” and selecting the “save” or “load” options in the menu.

Read How to play Sega DreamCast games on Linux by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter