Listen in to ep26 of ! My language tag made it into the beginning of the show this time and it sounds like someone went crazy with that bass slider 🤣

https://www.linux4everyone.com/26-lana-tries-ubuntu

Episode 26: Lana Tries Linux – Ubuntu Edition by Jason EvangelhoJason Evangelho from Linux For Everyone

In this episode, Lana is back to recount her first experience with Ubuntu — and by extension Linux — in 12 years. There is some real talk ahead, with unfiltered opinions from outside the echo chamber. (Oh, and stick around for the bloopers).

Plus, a Discovery of the Week double dose for the gamers in the house.

Most Linux users know some systemd by now. There is systemd stop $someservice and systemd disable $someservice. If you think that’s all one has to know about systemd you’re missing out on a lof of features. That’s not the story for today tho.

Some services tend to come back even when disabled and stopped. Socket services come to mind. This is e.g. the case for rpcbind starting a portmapper service on tcp/111 that can be used for a DDoS reflection attack. There are various ways to deal with this from uninstall to firewalling or to mask this service. Since everbody on Linux gets to pick their own poision I decided to use mask to make sure this can simply no longer start without having to break dependencies by removing it or fiddle with the firewall:

systemctl stop rpcbind.service
systemctl mask rpcbind.service
Created symlink /etc/systemd/system/rpcbind.service → /dev/null.
systemctl daemon-reload

A masked service can not even be restarted manually any more. It’s dead in the water as long as this symlink exists.

Read more on this from Poettering himself:

http://0pointer.de/blog/projects/three-levels-of-off

One of the things about I love most is it’s flexibility. This may astonish some but I am gaming on my Linux system for approximately 15 years by now. Situation for improved a lot lately but it was always possible to keep myself distracted 😉

So one of the games I just love to play is XCOM (UFO series). I don’t think I skipped any part and Terror From The Deep will always have a special place in my heart. Anyway, when XCOM was relaunched and eventually ported to Linux by Feral Interactive in 2014 I thought I couldn’t have been happier. Firaxis Games topped this in 2016 with XCOM2 and Feral Interactive once more got the job for the port.

Sadly with all the expansion sets it takes quite a toll on the required hardware. Huge fan of all sliders on maximum and see how it goes and while my box can mostly keep up I notice that I run out of RAM towards the end of the game fast and my machine starts swapping. I’ve 16GB RAM and this game eats it away like children their candy.

I’ve got additional 4GB of swap installed on slow spinning rust disks (legacy) so I notice the moment it starts swapping like hitting a wall. After another frustrated restart of the game I paused for a moment. I don’t know why this games needs so much RAM and frankly I don’t even care. Maybe I’m spoiled nowadays since stuff tends to “just work”.

So I decided to throw more power at it but RAM is expensive and I usually have enough of it for my daily work (or other games). I did get a decent SSD (Solid State Disk) recently tho so it’s to my rescue:

swapoff -a
fallocate -l 16G /games/swapfile
mkswap /games/swapfile
swapon /games/swapfile

…and that’s it. I stopped my previous slow swap partition(s), created a new swapfile of 16GB size on my SSD, formatted it as swap partition and activated it. Now I tabbed back into my game and enjoyed the rest of the evening. Let it swap. The SSD can keep up with it. Not minding a few more seconds during loading screens 😀 I’m considerung to add the activation sequence to my “gaming mode” script.