Qubes OS is incredible, here’s some tips and quick hacks for it

I can’t stop thinking about Qubes OS. I really feel like it’s the most interesting innovation in OS distributions in 20 years. In fact that’s what I tell everyone who will listen when I talk about it.

Explaining Computers did a very nice intro to the operating system, which is where I heard about it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWDvS_Mp6gc.

I just wanted to compile some tips and tricks I have encountered so far with Qubes:

Hardware Support (Ryzen 3000 series)

Qubes OS is very finicky about hardware at least as of V4. Specifically on my AsRock A300 mini system with Ryzen 3rd-gen CPU, I had a real bear of a time just getting the OS to install. My solution was to install …

What’s up with nano?

As expected, the recent state of events where nano transitioned maintainership to Benno Schulenberg, and the project left GNU, has a lot of people speculating about what happened, and more disappointingly, making some pretty nasty assertions about motivations.  I want to try and give a brief update on them to hopefully calm things down.

  • I was mandating copyright assignment from Benno.  False.  What happened: In an effort to transition maintainership to Benno, as he was clearly far more capable and available than I have been for some time, I tried to get him added to the GNU maintainers list to peacefuly transition the project to him.  A private thread ensued between myself, GNU, and Benno, and what came out

A/UX 2K14 Notes

Since AUX Penelope has been shut down, I’m going to jot down some details about where you can get A/UX software and commands you need to get going with your shiny old A/UX system.


  • At this point you want a full 68040 Mac like the Quadra 650, 700, 800, or 9xx, they can still be had on eBay relatively easily.  If you want to use a luggable you’re stuck with an SE/30 which is B&W.  Get yourself a decent amount of RAM and a supported CD-ROM.
  • KB/Mouse: Any ADB KB & mouse you can find should work like a champ.  Im toying with picking up the GeeThree PS/2->ADB adapter so I can eliminate the old physical mouse as my

On text editor bigotry

I have to say that as a Free Software developer, one thing I find very disappointing is people being needlessly hostile to a project of mine, and using incorrect reasoning to substantiate it. Nine traits of the veteran Unix admin is one of those gems.

Let me first say that I actually like vi[m] quite a bit. I’d even agree with people who say you can’t be a true Unix admin without knowing vi. Note I said knowing, not using for every task. On any Unix machine made before the turn of the century, you’re going to want to know vi to get around. Emacs I never got around to using; many of my coworkers swear by it. It looks …

When Non-Free is “Free Enough”

[This is a repost of an article I wrote in 2001 on the University of Washington PINE license.  Restored here for posterity.]

When Non-Free is “Free Enough”
by Chris Allegretta

The University of Washington’s Pine mailer. A popular piece
of software, indeed, as is its editor component, Pico. So much so that most people turn a blind eye to its license: a license, I feel, that is as bad as anything that has ever come out of Redmond.

Virtually every major GNU/Linux distribution ships binaries of Pine and Pico with the notable exception of Debian. After all these programs are veritable mainstays of the Unix world. Ironically, according to the legal terms of the program, Debian may be the …

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