Windows 10 autostart

Windows 10 autostart

Every time I want to change something with my Windows 10 autostart I find myself pondering where the hell do you do this in Windows 10 again?

Next time I know where to look. Here’s how to do it:

Press “windows” + “r”, enter shell:startup and press return or klick “OK”.

This will open an Explorer window in the right directory where you can place links to programs which should start on login.

The path looks like this, replace USERNAME with your actual user name:

C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

Disable dnfdragora-updater in Fedora

Disable dnfdragora-updater in Fedora

dnfdragora-updater is responsible to look for new package updates to your system. By default it is configured to do so every 180 minutes.

The problem is, it will from time to time begin to eat 100% of a cpu core for nothing and slow down the system. So, what can you do about it?

  1. do kill the process if the problem occures
  2. reconfigure dnfdragora to look less frequently (and hope this will resolve or at least mitigate the problem)
  3. disable dnfdragora-updater completely, do package updates by yourself with dnf

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Fedora 30, Virtualbox and libxcrypt

Fedora 30, Virtualbox and libxcrypt

It is a never ending story. New dist release, new problems with Virtualbox.

What is the current problem with a Fedora 30 guest on a Windows host and Virtualbox 6.0.8? Well, the guest additions won’t work, especially vboxadd.service refuses to start.

After asking my search engine of choice it revealed the libxcrypt to be the culprit. There are some changes mentioned at and it is referenced at


Install the libxcrypt-compat package and the vboxadd.service will start again, problem fixed.

IBM PC Server 310

IBM PC Server 310

This piece of hardware is from 1996. I found it in our old server room parked under a table next to a box with cables and rack equipment.

And then I remembered the time when I sat in front of it, doing sysadmin stuff with Novell Netware 4.2. Oh my, this was a long time ago!

What do you do if you find such a long forgotten treasure? You want to see if it will boot your favorite OS from back then, right? And it booted really fast into a DOS prompt: C:\>

The ver command revealed a Windows 98 installation. After firing win, good old Windows 98 booted into the beloved GUI. I immediately felt 20 years younger 😉

As it turned out, the PC Server was in very good shape, fully functional and booting super fast. Even the CMOS battery was alive. Wow.

Awestruck as I was I shut it down (well, I just hit power-off as in the good old days) and put it back under the table. There it is waiting for someone else cleaning up and wondering if it will boot one more time …

Vagrant cheat sheet

Vagrant cheat sheet

A quick overview of the most useful vagrant commands.

Hint: “ve” means vagrant environment – the virtual machine(s) you run.

vagrant upstart ve
vagrant haltstop ve
vagrant reloadreload Vagrantfile, restart ve
vagrant destroydestroy ve
vagrant statusshow status of ve(s)
vagrant box listshow local baseboxes
vagrant box add --box-version 2019.05.04explicitly install a box from the given location and version
vagrant box updateupdate all baseboxes currently installed
vagrant box update --box prefix/boxnameupdate just the given basebox
vagrant box pruneremove outdated baseboxes
vagrant box prune --name prefix/boxnameremove just the given outdated baseboxes
vagrant box remove prefix/boxnameremove all cached instances of the given basebox
vagrant box remove prefix/boxname --box-version 2019.05.04remove just the given basebox and version
vagrant up --provision veprovision the ve with all provisioners (again)
vagrant up --provision-with ansible veprovision the ve with ansible (again)
vagrant reload --provision vereload Vagrantfile, restart the ve and provision it again
vagrant provision veprovision the running ve without restart
vagrant provision --provision-with-ansible veprovision the running ve with ansible and without restart

How to return to a previous version of a vagrant basebox

  1. remove any vagrant environment based on the basebox you want to remove:
    vagrant destroy
  2. remove the basebox:
    vagrant box remove prefix/basebox --box-version xyz
  3. if you already pruned the previous basebox you have to download it again:
    vagrant box add --box-version xyz
  4. check if it is there:
    vagrant box list
  5. create a new vagrant environment:
    vagrant up
Strange mouse behaviour with Fedora 28 in Virtualbox

Strange mouse behaviour with Fedora 28 in Virtualbox

I use Fedora 28 with XFCE as a virtual machine in Virtualbox 5.2.12, hosted on Windows 10.

In full screen mode this works really well.

But suddenly I had huge problems with my left mouse button. In some windows it worked, in others it didn’t and vice versa. After trying random things, it worked for some time, then stopped again. Or didn’t work at all.

The system was actually unusable any more.

It took some time until I realized this strange behaviour was caused by the latest kernel update to 4.17

As soon as it was clear I just had to use the old 4.16 kernel the next steps where easy.

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Certbot, a Let’s Encrypt Client

Certbot, a Let’s Encrypt Client

I have been using Let’s Encrypt SSL/TLS certificates since they where available in open beta. Because back then there wasn’t any packaged client to obtain your certs I went with the letsencrypt and later certbot Github vanilla install.

That worked very well but is was a little bit cumbersome. The benefit was primarily to be up to date with the latest version and features.

In Mai 2016 the letsencrypt client became “certbot

certbot vanilla install via git

cd /opt
git clone

Obtain a new certificate in webroot mode:

cd /opt/certbot
./certbot-auto certonly -a webroot --webroot-path /var/www/letsencrypt \
-d -d \
--agree-tos --text --non-interactive --email

To renew, run:

# renew not earlier than 30 days before expiry
/opt/certbot/certbot-auto renew

To update certbot and pull in any changes just run git:

cd /opt/cerbot
git pull

Over time, your local clone of certbot clutters with stale branches. That’s not really a problem. But if you want it tidy you might run an occasional git remote prune origin after your pull.

Today certbot is available in all major Linux distributions.
But if you want the latest and greatest it might be necessary to pick a specific repository.

Ubuntu 16.04 with the latest certbot

In Ubuntu Xenial aka 16.04 there is an PPA with up to date versions available. To install, run:

apt-get update
apt-get install software-properties-common
add-apt-repository ppa:certbot/certbot
apt-get update
apt-get install certbot

This package installs a very convenient cronjob which takes care of automatic cert renewal:

# /etc/cron.d/certbot: crontab entries for the certbot package
# Upstream recommends attempting renewal twice a day
# Eventually, this will be an opportunity to validate certificates
# haven't been revoked, etc.  Renewal will only occur if expiration
# is within 30 days.

0 */12 * * * root test -x /usr/bin/certbot -a \! -d /run/systemd/system && perl -e 'sleep int(rand(43200))' && certbot -q renew

This cronjob reliably renews any due certificates. Awesome.

Configure Windows keyboard shortcuts in XFCE

Configure Windows keyboard shortcuts in XFCE

My windows manager of choice for Linux is XFCE.

While working in XFCE I realized that I got so accustomed to the Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts for tiling windows, I wanted to have the same functionality in XFCE.

And it is no problem to make that happen.

Just go to Settings -> Windows Manager -> select the Keyboard tab. Then scroll down to “Tile windows to the …”, mark the entry you want to change and click the “Edit” button. Follow the instructions.

To tile the window to the left enter: <Super(Windows key)> + <left arrow>

Apache IfDefine and startup with sysVinit and systemd

Apache IfDefine and startup with sysVinit and systemd

To define a name for use in directives during Apache startup is an easy way to control the behavior of the webserver depending on your environment specifics.

This way you can have different configurations applied according to the context, facts you have or variables you set. It is possible to distinguish between production and development, detected facts, the hostname or a context string.
And you can have your apache config stored in a git repository which is used on two or more webservers to propagate changes easily between hosts.

These are the two use cases I want to look into:

  • having several web servers (doing the same thing) but with different hardware
  • having a development machine and one or more production machine(s) with a slightly different configuration

How would you do this?

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Create your own Debian mirror with debmirror

Create your own Debian mirror with debmirror

We will walk through these steps to get the local Debian mirror up and running:

  1. make sure you have enough space on your harddrive
  2. install debmirror, configure a cronjob to sync data
  3. make your mirror available to your clients (via apache or nfs)
  4. keep an eye on your cronjob – from time to time your script may have trouble to sync
  5. configure sources.list to use your local mirror

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