MonthMarch 2018

How To Connect Via SSH Using a Specified Cipher

When you use SSH, you normally just want to connect securely to a host, and you don’t really care about what cipher to use. In other cases, however, you might want to use a specific cipher, perhaps for compliance reasons, or perhaps because you are paranoid and want to make sure that you are connecting using your favorite cipher. Both are perfectly good reasons :P

SSH allows you to use a specific cipher when you connect to a host. First of all, you need to see what ciphers are available on your operating system. This is the command to list them:

ssh -Q cipher

At this point, you can connect to a host via SSH specifying one of these ciphers in the following way:

ssh user@host -c cipher

So, if you want to connect using AES256, you would type this:

ssh user@host -c aes256-cbc

How To Update Your NVIDIA Drivers Without Using GeForce Experience

I like to keep my systems as clean from clutter as possible, and I also like to keep my drivers updated, especially on a gaming rig. However, I find software like NVIDIA’s own GeForce experience unnecessary and overblown if all you are interested in is simply keeping your graphics card’s drivers up-to-date. In addition to this, apparently now you need an account even if you want to simply keep your drivers updated, which is something that I find absurd.

Therefore, it looks like you have two options if you want to update your GPU’s drivers:

  • Either you accept this and use the massive GeForce Experience software;
  • Or you just let Windows take care of installing and updating the drivers for you.

The second option is the lightest and easiest one, but unfortunately Windows doesn’t always include the latest version of the drivers for your peripherals, so if you want to keep your GPU always up-to-date, that’s not the best solution.

Luckily, there is an alternative solution that allows you to always use the latest NVIDIA drivers even without using GeForce experience. Let’s see how to do it.

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How To Customize The Linux Kernel

The post title begs the question: Why should you customize the Linux kernel? There are three main reasons why you might want to do this:

  • Performance: by removing unnecessary features and by tuning the kernel to work on your particular machine, you could make your machine more performant;
  • Patching: rather than waiting for an official updated of the kernel, you can apply any patches you are interested in anytime;
  • Additional features: not everything is compiled into the kernel by default, mostly to keep it as lean as possible. If there is something you really use, however, you can add it to your kernel so the features are built in.

Perhaps surprisingly, building your own Linux kernel is far from a complicated thing. You just need a lot of patience as the build process can last quite a bit. Having said this, let’s take a look at how you can customize your Linux kernel.

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