How to speed up Ubuntu 18

Illustration: Bionic Beaver is slow
Illustration: Bionic Beaver is slow

TL;DR: A list of tweaks and settings that can improve your Ubuntu 18x’s speed A LOT.

Reading time: around 40 minutes, so if you don’t have that much time on your hand, you can go read something else.

If you’re one of the people who have noticed a significant change in booting speed, shutdown speed, and generally, operating speed of your computer after upgrading or installing Ubuntu 18.x, then read on, this article is for you.

I have an older model Lenovo T410 (4×2.4Ghz i5, 4GB RAM), that was working absolutely flawlessly with Ubuntu before the 18.04 version, and even with flavors of Ubuntu like Linux Mint Cinnamon based on Ubuntu 17, but after 18x came along, things started moving slower and slower.

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How to regenerate icon cache on linux ?

A GTK configuration screen complaining about a missing icon cache file on Peppermint Linux
A GTK configuration screen complaining about a missing icon cache file on Peppermint Linux

If you see some widget or configuration dialog in Linux,  complaining about the fact that your icon cache files are missing, here’s how you can easily fix it.

Using the manual method, or folder-by-folder method that is displayed in the small tooltip on the image, is cumbersome, and if you have a lot of icons that have missing cache files, it can take up a lot of time and would force you to do a lot of unnecessary typing.

*see update at the end*

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How to parse HTML files with apache / php7

TL;DR version: here’s how to parse HTML files with PHP hypertext preprocessor on apache 2.4x webserver, and PHP7 on linux

In PHP 7, the newest and ever more popular version of the PHP scripting language, the only files that are parsed by default are the ones that have .php, .phtml, or .php3/php4/php5 extensions. I don’t know who might still be using .php3, .php4 (never seen anyone use this one), or .php5 file extensions, but I’m sure many of you still usually use HTML files, and want to insert some PHP code into it.

Obviously, even though a lot of discussion is against the practice of parsing HTML files with PHP, you might still need this option. Regardless of whether you are a beginner or a pro in the art of website creation, scripting, web programming and alike, you still need to be able to parse files with the HTML or HTM extension, as PHP files, because integrating some PHP code into HTML and viceversa, it’s the easieast way to quickly test out something in a browser. So set aside the “best practices” pride for now, and just accept it as a fact that a lot of people still need this option 🙂

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Quick apache .htaccess rules writer in PHP

Sometimes it’s good to have a quick .htaccess rules writer for your server / host, to block a larger number of IP addresses from accessing stuff on your site, like spambots, or people (bored kids ?) who try to hack into your site or blog. If you use any kind of statistics plugin on your wordpress blog, or any other stats on other platforms, you can most likely see the IP addresses and the paths these visitors have taken, trying to access your site in an unauthorised way, like trying to exploit a revolution slider vulnerability to show your config.php, or some other plugin.

So here’s the quickest way to deal with these IP addresses, presuming you are on a linux box with PHP installed, or on any computer with PHP available in command line (php5-cli package on debian/ubuntu/mint/fedora/q4os , basically, on most modern linux systems, and xampp or wampp package on windows based machines).

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Trick to use against idiots who try to hack your site

TL:DR version: some examples of how some lifewaster hacker-wannabes try to gain unauthorised access to sites and blogs and how you can simply and effectively block them

Obviously, some people have too much time on their hands, and don’t appreciate life enough in order to do something useful with theirs, so they spend hours and days trying to hack into other people’s servers, websites, and webapps. How do I know this ? Well, this year only, I’ve found and filtered out over 300 IP addresses and user agents, behavioral patterns and 404s (not found messages) in the logs of THIS SITE ALONE (I manage several sites and blogs, both for myself and coworkers and some companies, all on different servers), that have all indicated that some idiots spend hours a day trying to hack into wordpress, joomla, and other CMS (content-management system) based sites.

Some of the IP addresses clearly indicate that they do have some serious resources at their disposal, like hacking attacks coming from datashack.net, a company or hosting service with several thousands of IP addresses, or ovh.net, again, with several hundreds of IPs at their disposal. Some of the log entries (see some examples below) clearly indicate that they either have no clue how a webserver actually operates, or they base their attacks on outdated information from 10 years ago, when hacking into a server was possible simply by knowing what components the CMS has and looking for ones that can be exploited via SQL injections or concurrent command executions.

Obviously, almost all major CMS engines are constantly being improved, and security flaws are consistently being patched by all well-known platforms, however, it looks like some of these life-wasters and hacker wannabes haven’t found out about that and try EVERY DAY the same tactict, the same M.O (modus operandi), on THE SAME SITE, in some cases from the same IP address. Now if that is not a good example of insanity, I don’t know what is 🙂

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How to fix the Gimp floating toolbars bug in KDE/TDE trinity

The TDE Desktop environment is an extraordinary piece of software that allows one to keep working with the computer as KDE used to look and feel like before the switch or “upgrade” to KDE 3 and before that, and as the project’s maintainers themselves state, with ” … a primary goal of retaining the function and form of traditional desktop computers.” In other words, TDE development saved a lot of people who didn’t like the direction in which KDE headed from that point forward, from a lot of frustration, and allowed them to work as they were used to.

Some things, however, are not as good as they should be, mainly because the project is still

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