How To Generate Two Factor Authentication Codes On Linux With Authenticator

Two-factor authentication is nice, but it’s irritating having to deal with random text messages every time you try to log in. If you’re looking for a better way to use 2FA, consider trying out Authenticator. It’s an application that users can set up to get two factor authentication codes on Linux.

Note: To install this software, you’ll need to be able to use Flatpak.

Flatpak Installation

The easiest way to install Authenticator on Linux is to use the Flatpak version, as it doesn’t require any configuration aside from installing the Flatpak runtime. If your Linux distribution supports Flatpak technology, you can easily install the Authenticator app.

Before continuing, be sure you already have Flatpak working on your Linux PC. Head over to our tutorial and follow the instructions to learn how to do this if you are unsure. When Flatpak is working correctly, you’ll be able to install Authenticator via the terminal.

sudo flatpak install flathub com.github.bilelmoussaoui.Authenticator

Need to uninstall Authenticator from Flatpak? Try:

sudo flatpak remove com.github.bilemoussaoui.Authenticator

Source Installation

Clearly installing this application via Flatpak is the best choice, as users will deal with the least amount of hassle. However, for as great as the Flatpak runtime is, not every Linux distribution actively supports it. If you’re running a version of Linux that doesn’t, you’ll need to build this software from source.

To build from source, open up a terminal and install the following dependencies. Keep in mind that these dependencies may differ, depending on your operating system. For best results, search your package manager for the items on the list below:

  • Gtk 3.16+
  • meson 0.38+
  • ninja
  • python3-pip
    • python-pip (Arch)
  • pyotp
  • Pillow
  • pyzbar
    • libzbar-dev (Ubuntu)
    • zbar (Arch)
  • libsecret
  • zbar
  • git

After installing all required dependency files, Authenticator is ready to build. First, use the Git tool to clone the latest version of the Authenticator source code from Github.

git clone https://github.com/bilelmoussaoui/Authenticator

Next, use the CD command to move from the Home folder into the newly cloned Authenticator folder.

cd Authenticator

Inside of the Authenticator folder, use Python Pip to install important Packages.

sudo pip install pyotp pyzbar Pillow meson ninja

Using Meson, start the building process:

meson builddir

Finish up the building process with Ninja.

sudo ninja -C builddir install

Run Authenticator with:

authenticator

Set Up Authenticator

Using Authenticator is done on a per-site basis. There’s no way to set the app up to work with every site. Instead, you’ll have to dig into the security settings of every account and get it working with two-factor-authentication. In this example, we’ll go over how to configure the Authenticator app to work with Amazon.

The instructions outlined with this app are very straightforward and can be duplicated with pretty much every website that is supported by the app.

To get started, open up Authenticator, click the search icon and search for “Amazon”. After opening Amazon in the Authenticator app, open up a web browser and log into your Amazon.com account.

On the Amazon website, hover over “Account & Lists”, then select the “Your Account” option in the drop-down menu.

In the “Your Account” area, look for “Login & security” and click on it.

The “Login & security” area of Amazon.com houses everything related to logging in, email info and etc. Find the option that says “Advanced Security Settings”, and click on it.

On the next page, Amazon will brief you on what 2FA login can do for your account, how it works and etc. Be sure to read over it carefully. When ready, click the “get started” button to move onto the activation page.

Amazon.com’s 2FA settings allow the user to get secret codes from a text sent to a mobile device. Alternatively, users can set up an authentication app. Ignore the phone settings, look for Authenticator App and check the box next to it to enable this feature for your account.

Enabling 2FA within your Amazon account will generate a scannable QR code. At this point, go back to Authenticator, ensure you have Amazon open in it, and click the QR icon in the top-right corner to activate scanning mode.

With scanning mode enabled in Authenticator, go back to the Amazon 2FA page and use your mouse to draw a square around the QR code.

Note: if scanning the QR code doesn’t work in Authenticator, select the “can’t scan QR code” option, and paste the text code it gives you into Authenticator instead.

If Authenticator successfully reads the QR image, it’ll generate a code. Enter the code into the “verify” box.

From now on when you log into Amazon (or any site linked to Authenticator), follow this process:

  1. Go to the website and enter username/password.
  2. Open Authenticator, search for the correct site and copy the generated code.
  3. Paste the code into the web page to log in.

Read How To Generate Two Factor Authentication Codes On Linux With Authenticator by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How To Enable Live Patching On Ubuntu 18.04

Updating Linux is a lot easier than updating other operating systems. Instead of staring at a rotating blue loading screen on Windows, Linux users need only enter a few commands, watch some packages install, and go on about their day. However, not all aspects of updating on Linux are without hassle. When it comes to updating the Linux kernel, updates can be a real pain, as they force the user to stop what they’re doing and restart the PC to finish the update. In an effort to decrease annoying restarts, Canonical has added live patching on Ubuntu 18.04.

It’s a new feature that lets users install Linux kernel updates on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS without rebooting. If this sounds like an awesome feature, follow this guide and learn how to enable it on your Ubuntu PC.

Live Patching On Ubuntu 18.04

Installing updates on Ubuntu without restarting isn’t a new feature. On Ubuntu server, this has been a thing for a while. As of Ubuntu 18.04, Canonical has brought this great feature to the desktop. With it, users can install Linux kernel updates without the need to completely restart their PC.

If you hate rebooting your Ubuntu PC and would prefer it stays suspended and accessible at a moments notice, this feature could be very useful. Live Patching isn’t available to users right away, as Ubuntu 18.04 doesn’t enable it by default. Fortunately, it’s very easy to enable.

There are two ways to enable this feature. If you’ve just installed Ubuntu 18.04 for the first time, read the “Welcome” dialog that outlines all of the new features of the release. Click on the “Next” button, and read everything it has to say. On this welcome screen, you’ll see something outlining “Live Patching”. Follow the instructions on the page to enable it.

Live Path Settings

It’s best to turn on this feature upon first installing 18.04 because it’s right in the welcome screen. If you can’t access the welcome screen anymore, you’ll need to turn it on by navigating through the Ubuntu settings. Using traditional Ubuntu with Gnome? Press the Win button on your keyboard and search for “Software & Updates.”

Click the “sign in” button to sign into Canonical. Go through the process of creating an Ubuntu Single Sign-On account, and log into it. Once created, go back to the update settings and check the box next to “Use Canonical Live Patch to increase security between restarts”.

Using Live Patches

Live Patching is a free feature for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS users, though it comes with some conditions. When you sign into the Ubuntu Single Sign-On service, the website generates a unique token that marks your Linux PC. You’ll be able to sign in and access live Patches for free on three separate Ubuntu PC’s. After the third one, it will no longer be free, so be careful how many times you use this feature.

Using the Live Patching feature doesn’t require any special operations. Instead, it works pretty much as expected: as part of normal updating procedure. Updating with the Live Patches feature can be done both with the Ubuntu graphical update utility, and the apt update/upgrade commands in the terminal.

To use, launch the update manager, allow it to check for updates and then install the updates. For updates that normally require a reboot (kernel upgrades and fixes), you’ll no longer need to restart. Obviously, not every update installed via the Ubuntu update manager can promise no reboots 100% of the time, as that’s the nature of computers. Things happen, and you may still run into the occasional update that requires a restart. However, with this feature, it’ll happen a lot less.

Turn Off Live Patching

The Live Patching feature is pretty cool, but not everyone will find it useful. If you don’t want it, it’s best to turn it off. To turn it off, open up “Software & Updates”. Inside the “Software & Updates” window, uncheck the box next to Use Canonical Live Patch to increase security between restarts”.

De-selecting the Live Patch feature should instantly disable it.

Uninstalling Old Kernels

Updating on Ubuntu, even with the Live Patching feature doesn’t mitigate the dozens of Linux kernels that build up over time. On Debian-based Linux distributions, updating the Linux kernel doesn’t automatically uninstall the old one. To get the most out of the new Live Patch feature, it’s a good idea to fully uninstall old kernels when you switch to the new one.

Note: never uninstall a kernel you are currently running or bad things will happen!

Usually, uninstalling old kernels on Ubuntu is a painless process. First, ensure all software is up to date and you’re using the newest version of Ubuntu’s kernel. Next, run the following command to tell the system to get rid of the old kernels.

sudo apt autoremove

Autoremove works well for getting rid of old versions of the Linux kernel, as the system will be able to tell if a kernel isn’t in use and thus is “no longer needed”.

Read How To Enable Live Patching On Ubuntu 18.04 by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

The 6 Best Pidgin Chat Plugins For Linux Users

Linux users know that if they want to use a serious IM client, the only choice is Pidgin. It has dozens of features and as a result has become the go-to app for most, even today. One of the strongest features of Pidgin is that it supports plugins. With the plugin aspect of Pidgin IM, users can quickly add (or remove) features they like and improve the overall program experience in their own way. If you’re new to using Pidgin on Linux and interested in plugins, you may not know where to start. That’s why in this article, we’re going to go over the best Pidgin chat plugins that Linux users should check out.

1. Pidgin Theme Editor

Let’s be honest, the default look of Pidgin IM — especially on Linux, looks very dated and could use an updated look. Luckily, thanks to the Theme Control plugin, this is possible.

With this addition to Pidgin, you’ll be able to easily customize the font, text theme, text colors and a lot of other aspects to Pidgin on Linux. To get this plugin, right-click the Pidgin IM icon in your system tray, select “Plugins”, look for “Pidgin Theme Editor” in the list and click the box to enable it.

Once enabled, go back to the Pidgin menu, right click on it and select the option “Pidgin Theme Editor” to open the editor tool.

2. Session Save

Pidgin is a very stable app, and it doesn’t crash much. However, when it does crash, you’ll find out that everything you had open beforehand is gone.

If you find it annoying having to re-open various IRC connections and individual buddy chat windows, consider installing the Session Save plugin for Pidgin. With Session Save enabled, any time you exit Pidgin (in whatever way), chat windows will be restored as if it never closed.

It’s an older plugin but still works quite well on the Linux platform. Learn about how to install it for Linux at the official website here.

3. Send Screenshot

One use for instant messaging with friends is offering tech support. If you’ve converted a friend or two over to Linux, you’ve nominated yourself to be responsible for all of their technical questions. Often times you’re going to need to send (or receive) screenshots of the Linux desktop so that you can be of more help.

Even on Linux, with wonderful screenshot tools, things could be easier. That’s where the Send Screenshot plugin comes in. It’s an older Pidgin add-on that makes it easy to take and send a screenshot without leaving the IM window.

4. Rocket Chat

Rocket Chat is one of the best open source replacements for the Slack generation. It’s completely self-hosted and works a lot like it too. With this Pidgin plugin, users can easily access Rocket Chat friends directly in their buddy list, interact in channels, and etc.

While it might not make much sense to add Rocket Chat to pidgin, as it has a stellar Linux application with great support, it’s still an excellent choice for Rocket Chat users who don’t want to deal with multiple chat applications and want to use Pidgin to keep everything in place.

The Rocket Chat plugin for Pidgin is in alpha stages, so there may be bugs at times. To learn more about it, head over to the official page.

5. Purple Hangouts

Despite Google’s work on many other messaging apps, Hangouts still remains their most used message app. On Linux, anyone can access the protocol by installing Hangouts for Chrome, though not everyone on Linux is a fan of Google Chrome, as it is not open source.

Purple Hangouts takes the entire proprietary Hangouts protocol and makes it useable in Pidgin. Users will be able to interact with Hangout friends, send/receive images and other features users are used to, plus a few extras provided by Pidgin.

Google Hangouts is used by more than just Google fans. Often times, it’s put to use in place of Slack. If you seriously dislike installing Chrome but need to have access to this messaging service, this plugin may be of interest to you.

6. Psychic Mode

The Psychic Mode plugin for Pidgin allows any user the unique ability to predict messages a friend is about to send before anything is sent.

While we can’t say this plugin is useful for every user of Pidgin, but if your buddy has typing notifications turned off, it’s a nice little addition that ensures you don’t miss any new messages. Psychic Mode comes built into Pidgin, though it is turned off. To enable this plugin, right-click on the Pidgin icon in the system tray, select Plugins, and look for “Psychic Mode” in the list.

Read The 6 Best Pidgin Chat Plugins For Linux Users by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to Install Terminus On Linux

Terminal emulators on Linux that use Electron aren’t a new thing. There’s Hyper Terminal and others. Though it might seem silly to make a terminal emulator with web technology, it actually isn’t. Using this technology allows developers to deliver the same, powerful terminal application across multiple platforms without a lot of heavy lifting. One of the best implementations for terminal applications on Linux that make heavy use out Electron is Terminus, a terminal emulator similar to Hyper but with more of a “getting things done” focus. If you’re interested in trying out Terminus on Linux, follow the instructions below to get going. Please note that you need to be running Ubuntu, Debian, Arch Linux, Fedora or OpenSUSE to install with a binary package.

Ubuntu/Debian

Installing Terminus on Ubuntu and Debian follows more or less the same process. This is because, though they are different operating systems, they share a common set of tools and packaging system. To start the installation, head over to the official download page for Terminus, and grab the latest Deb package.

Officially, the Terminus terminal developers don’t have any PPAs or Debian software repositories to speak of, so keep in mind that with each Terminus update, you’ll need to go to the release page and repeat the installation process outlined here.

After downloading the Debian package, open up the Linux file manager, click on “Downloads” and double-click on the Terminus DEB package. Clicking on the Debian package will automatically open up either Ubuntu Software Center on Ubuntu or the Gdebi package installation tool on Debian.

Click on the “Install” button to start the installation process, enter your password and wait for Terminus to install. Alternatively, open up a terminal and follow the instructions below to install via command-line.

cd ~/Downloads

sudo dpkg -i terminus_*_amd64.deb

sudo apt install -f

Arch Linux

Installing the Terminus terminal application on Arch Linux starts out by syncing the latest version of the Git tool with Pacman.

sudo pacman -S git

Now that Git is synced, use it to run a git clone, and download the latest snapshot of the Terminus AUR package to your Linux PC.

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

Using the CD command, move the terminal from the Home directory to the newly cloned terminus folder on your Arch computer.

cd terminus

At this point, it’s safe to start the package building process. Keep in mind that during this process, you may need to address dependency issues, as makepkg may not automatically fetch and install all needed libraries. If you see an error, followed by a message that a something isn’t found, go to the official Terminus AUR page, scroll down to find “dependencies” and install the missing one.

Build and install Terminus with:

makepkg -si

Fedora/OpenSUSE

Much like Debian and Ubuntu, Fedora and OpenSUSE have a native, installable package ready to go for Terminus. To install this package, first, head over to the Terminus download page. Look for “RPM”, and download the latest release.

After downloading the latest release, open up the Linux file manager, click on “Downloads” and double-click on the Terminus RPM file. Selecting the RPM should automatically open up Gnome Software, KDE Discover or another RPM installation program.

Click “Install”, enter your password and start the installation process. Alternatively, install Terminus via the command line:

cd ~/Downloads

Fedora

sudo dnf install terminus-*-alpha.47.rpm

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install terminus-*-alpha.47.rpm

Please note that because Terminus doesn’t have a software repository, you’ll need to repeat this process to install updates.

Source Instructions

For those looking to use Terminus but unable to find a Linux binary file for their operating system, there is another way: the source code. To install, you’ll first need to download the latest release for Terminus. Head over to the release page, look for “terminus-1.0.0-alpha.47.tar.gz”, or something similar.

To be clear, this isn’t the raw program files in an unusable state. They are compiled, but we’ll refer to it as “source code”, as it’s not turned into a native package for installation. To get the full, code to compile, look at the bottom of the page.

Now that the latest Terminus tarball is downloaded, open up a terminal window and use the Tar command to fully extract the contents.

cd ~/Downloads

tar -xvzf terminus-*-alpha.47.tar.gz

mv terminus-1.0.0-alpha.47 ~/terminus

cd ~/terminus

The Terminus application is fully extracted from the Tar archive, renamed and moved to /home/username/. At this point, you’ll be able to create a Desktop shortcut. Create a new shortcut file with touch, then open the file with Nano.

touch ~/Desktop/terminus.desktop

sudo chmod +x ~/Desktop/terminus.desktop

sudo nano ~/Desktop/terminus.desktop

Paste the following code into the Terminus shortcut file:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Terminus
Comment=A terminal for a modern age
Exec="/home/username/terminus/terminus"
Terminal=false
Type=Application
Icon=/home/username/terminus/terminus-icon.png
Categories=Utilities;

Save the file with Ctrl + O, and exit Nano using Ctrl + X.

Next, use the wget tool to download an icon for Terminus to use:

cd ~/terminus

wget http://icons.iconarchive.com/icons/papirus-team/papirus-apps/512/terminus-icon.png

To launch the program, go to the desktop and click on the Terminus shortcut.

Read How to Install Terminus On Linux by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How To Install mSigna On Linux

Installing the mSigna wallet on Linux requires building. Compiling this software works on nearly any Linux distribution. To get started with this process, you’ll first need to satisfy the dependencies it has. Unfortunately, the mSigna website is very vague and doesn’t offer up any distro-specific packages that users must install.

To get this program to build, you’ll need the Qt5 libraries, ODB, OpenSSL, the Boost C++ libraries, SQLite, git, and qrencode. For more information about how to find the dependencies for your Linux distribution, head over to the official documentation page here.

Install mSigna

After all of the dependencies are installed on your Linux operating system, open up a terminal window and use the git tool to download the latest source code.

Note: mSigna may still build even if you don’t install the dependencies on your Linux PC. Check ~/mSigna/deps for the included dependency files. The builder may use those instead.

git clone https://github.com/ciphrex/mSIGNA

Building mSigna dependencies

Earlier we used Git to download all of the mSigna source code files quickly. Going this route is useful, as it removes annoying steps like extracting archive files, etc. At this point, you’ll need to move the terminal from the home folder it opens at to the newly cloned mSigna source files. To do that, use the CD command.

cd mSIGNA

Inside the mSigna folder, there is a “docs” sub-folder. In this folder, a detailed description for setting up a Linux build environment is outlined. It involves downloading, building and installing important files. Keep in mind that these files don’t take away from the “deps” folder. If you’ve installed these libraries via your Linux distribution’s package manager, feel free to skip this process.

In a terminal, run these commands one after the other. Soon after mSigna should have all the dependency files it needs to build correctly.

cd ~/
mkdir odb

cd odb

First, install Libcutl:

wget http://www.codesynthesis.com/download/libcutl/1.8/libcutl-1.8.0.tar.bz2
tar -xjvf libcutl-1.8.0.tar.bz2
cd libcutl-1.8.0
./configure
make
sudo make install
sudo ldconfig
cd ..

Next, the ODB compiler.

sudo apt-get install gcc-4.8-plugin-dev
wget http://www.codesynthesis.com/download/odb/2.3/odb-2.3.0.tar.bz2
tar -xjvf odb-2.3.0.tar.bz2
cd odb-2.3.0
./configure
make
sudo make install
cd ..

After the ODB Compiler, build and install the ODB Common Runtime:

wget http://www.codesynthesis.com/download/odb/2.3/libodb-2.3.0.tar.bz2
tar -xjvf libodb-2.3.0.tar.bz2
mkdir libodb-linux-build
cd libodb-linux-build 
../libodb-2.3.0/configure
make
sudo make install
cd ..

Finish up the ODB dependencies by installing the ODB Database Runtime Library.

wget http://www.codesynthesis.com/download/odb/2.3/libodb-sqlite-2.3.0.tar.bz2
tar -xjvf libodb-sqlite-2.3.0.tar.bz2
mkdir libodb-sqlite-linux-build
cd libodb-sqlite-linux-build
../libodb-sqlite-2.3.0/configure
make
sudo make install
cd

Build the Qrencode library. Unlike the other dependencies, Qrencode is included with the source code, in “deps.”

cd mSIGNA/deps/qrencode-3.4.3
./configure --without-tools
make
sudo make install
cd ..

Lastly, install the Coin-related files mSigna needs:

sh ~/mSIGNA/deps/CoinDB/install-all.sh
sh ~/mSIGNA/deps/CoinCore/install-all.sh
sh ~/mSIGNA/deps/CoinQ/install-all.sh

After all of the dependencies are built, compile the mSigna wallet.

./build-all.sh linux

Using mSigna

Setting up your mSigna wallet starts out by creating a new vault. Click on “File,” and select the option that says “New Vault.” Give your new vault a nickname, and save it.

Note: if you’re not running Bitcoin-qt in the background alongside mSigna, you’ll need to connect to a node manually. Look at the mSigna documentation to learn more.

Next, find the accounts menu and click the option that says “Account Wizard.” Start up the wizard and give your account a name.

After naming the account, set the account policy. For most users, 1 of 1 should suffice. Only change policy options if you know what you’re doing.

When the setup finishes, click “Export Account” to create a new backup. This backup will save everything related to your wallet, so be sure to save it in a safe place.

Sending Payments

mSigna will take some time to sync with the latest version of the Bitcoin blockchain. When this process completes, it’ll be safe to use. Click “Accounts” and select the “Send” button.

Note: look for the “Keychains” menu and select “Unlock keychain.” Unlocking your keychain is critical to sending BTC transactions.

In the pop-up menu for mSigna, write in the exact amount (in BTC) you’d like to send. If everything looks good and you’re ready to send the payment, click the “Save Unsigned” button.

The payment isn’t ready to send yet. You’ll first need to sign it. Look at the transaction (under Transactions) and select it. Click on the transaction, and select the “Add signature” to sign the transaction.

When you’ve met the requirement for your wallet’s security policy, the “Send” button will appear, and you’ll be able to send the payment.

Receiving Payments

To receive a payment to your mSigna BTC wallet, select your account and click the “Recieve” button in the toolbar. Label the new payment, and write in the required amount.

Wait a little bit, and mSigna will generate a new QR code address for payment. Give the address to the person paying to get the payment.

When a payment is successful, mSigna will instantly credit BTC to your account.

Read How To Install mSigna On Linux by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter