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 Have The Ping Command Make a Sound

There might be cases where you are testing your network and it would be useful to know if your ping command is working without having to keep an eye on your screen. Imagine being in a server room behind a switch, while your computer is somewhere else in the room: it would be great if you could hear some sound while ping is working, and no sound when ping stops working (so you know when you have disconnected the correct cable).

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Laptop Extremely Slow After Upgrading to Windows 10

This one was a real head-scratcher, it took me a lot of time to find out what was wrong and how to fix it. As usual, the final fix was extremely simple, but as it is unfortunately often the case when it comes to performance issues, this might or might not be the definitive solution for you.

The symptoms were these: an Acer E15 laptop had become extremely slow after upgrading to Windows 10 using the built-in updater provided by Microsoft (it was previously running Windows 8.1 with no particular performance issues, even if the CPU on this series of laptops is definitely not among the best in the market). So at least this was a pretty clear clue that something went wrong with the update itself.

I am talking about really bad performance: up to 10 minutes for a reboot and up to a couple of minutes to launch any application. Even writing something in the search bar took several seconds.

Looking at the Task Manager, I could also see that the disk usage was at 100%. The application using most of the disk was usually Windows Defender, although sometimes some other application would take this spot, so it wasn’t completely consistent.

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View Detailed Network Information Straight From Your Mac Menu Bar

A little trick for you today. Have you ever wanted to take a quick glance to your network information of your Mac without having to go to System Preferences or opening the Terminal? Good news: meet the alt key.

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Add An LCD Screen To A Raspberry Pi Cluster

I have stumbled upon a very interesting article by Alasdair Allan today on how to build a Raspberry Pi cluster. It looks like one of the most clear and thorough ones on the topic, but what I absolutely want to try is adding an LCD screen to the cluster. Look at the final result:


This looks amazing and will definitely be one of my next projects. Make sure to give the original article a read, I’ll be sure to post something about this once I am done with the project.

How To Find Out Which Virtual Machines Have No XenServer Tools Installed

There is a quick way to check which VM’s don’t have XenServer tools installed in XenServer. Just type the following command on your host:

xe vm-list PV-drivers-up-to-date=false

Note that for this command to work, the virtual machines need to be running.

Synology cron Job Not Working? Try Restarting The Service

Yes, Synology’s implementation of cron is not exactly like the one you are probably used to (i.e. using crontab -e to edit the cron file, for example), and it’s very picky with regards to its syntax: if you don’t follow it precisely (using tabs instead of spaces and adding root as the user to run the script with), your cron entries will simply be deleted upon rebooting your Synology machine.

But what if you have followed these rules instead but your cron entry is still not having any effect after saving the file? I have just stumbled upon this problem myself, and it turned out to be something trivial: simply restart the cron service (something you normally don’t have to do on other operating systems).

The command to do this on DSM 5.0 is the following:

synoservicecfg --restart crond

I decided to write this quick post also because the documentation for this is quite confusing. The Synology English wiki page for cron seems out of date, while the German one, besides being more detailed, contains the correct command for restarting cron on DSM 5.0.

Getting Connection Refused Errors In XenServer 6.x? Check Your Network Settings

This is one of those things that, when you see happening, makes you immediately jump to the wrong conclusion and makes you lose time troubleshooting. Today I tried to connect to my XenServer box as I have done countless times in the past, only this time I was greeted by the following error message:

I immediately thought about having entered the wrong password. Instead, this time it was a network issue: I was using the wrong network adapter in this VM that I use to connect to XenServer. Consequently, the VM was getting an IP address in a different subnet than the one XenServer is configured on, and the connection was failing.

So, when you see this error message, it doesn’t necessarily mean that SSH is disabled on the machine or that you are entering the wrong password. Have a look at your network adapter settings first.

Where Are Shared Folders Mounted In Windows VirtualBox Machines?

When you share a folder between your host and your Windows guest in VirtualBox, this folder is found under the \\VBOXSVR network location.

I keep forgetting this and looking for this every time, so I hope this post will make me remember this for good and help somebody out there who might have stumbled on the same thing.

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