Quick Picks

What are "Quick Picks"?
I noticed over time, that some of the commands and tasks are always repeating themselves. I usually create a "HowTos" over most of the tasks or projects I do, but sometimes there just very trivial tasks, where a big story about it would be total overkill. So in this document I am gonna start listing all the little pain tasks, that will always keep on coming back and I wish I only have a quick pick to cut and paste them in order to use them without looking them up again.


1. Set your timezone (Debian -  10/10/2015)

Command:  dpkg-reconfigure tzdata

Link:  https://wiki.debian.org/TimeZoneChanges


 2. Reset a User Account so it will not expire again and the user needs to change there password.  (Debian -  10/10/2015)

Command:  chage

root@lostmyname:~# chage -l dave
Last password change                                    : Oct 05, 2015
Password expires                                        : Jan 03, 2016
Password inactive                                       : Jan 13, 2016
Account expires                                         : Dec 31, 2016
Minimum number of days between password change          : 10
Maximum number of days between password change          : 90
Number of days of warning before password expires       : 10

root@lostmyname:~# chage -d0 -E -1 dave

root@lostmyname:~# chage -l dave
Last password change                                    : password must be changed
Password expires                                        : password must be changed
Password inactive                                       : password must be changed
Account expires                                         : never
Minimum number of days between password change          : 10
Maximum number of days between password change          : 90
Number of days of warning before password expires       : 10


3. Converting your DVD movies into .avi files  (Mint 17 - 10/12/2015)


ln -s /dev/sr0 /dev/ dvd   # create a link from your device, so it will be called "/dev/dvd" and points to "/dev/sr0"

mplayer dvd://1 -v -dumpstream -dumpfile dump.vob  #  use the mplayer utility to get all *.vob (Video Object File) into one continuous file.

mencoder -ovc xvid -oac mp3lame  -xvidencopts fixed_quant=4 -lameopts cbr:br=192:aq=1  -aid 128 -vf crop=720:352:0:62,yadif -lameopts vol=3  -o newname.avi dump.vob -nosub   # using memcoder convert your video object file into an .avi file. 

Note:  I used the above to convert en-us DVD's to *.avi, because my european DVD drives complain about the region-code, Meaning the DVD encoding lets you only watch EN-US DVD on US sold DVD drives.  A dumm system if you ask me because everybody wants to be global these days....  Anyway this is a good way to get around it and you can even watch your converted movie on your Android devices.


4. Getting a glance from your system using "glances".  (Debian/CentOS - 23.10.2015)

Install Glances on Debian

by Pierre-Yves Landuré — last modified Feb 07, 2014 08:37

Glances is a local monitoring software that displays various statistics of the system state. This post ease its installation on Debian.

This how-to is tested on:

  • Debian 7.0 Wheezy

  • Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander

This how-to is tested with theses Glances' versions:

  • 1.7.4

Installation from Debian repository

 If Glances is available in your distribution repositories, install it:

if [[ -n "$(command apt-cache pkgnames 'glances')" ]]; then

command apt-get install 'glances'


command echo "Glances is not available in your distribution repositories.

Please proceed with the installation from sources."


Installation from sources

Environment preparation

Install the needed software:

command apt-get install 'python-dev' 'python-jinja2' 'python-psutil'  'python-setuptools' 'hddtemp' 'python-pip' 'lm-sensors'

Detect the hardware sensors available on your system:

command sensors-detect

Note: You can additionnaly install software dependencies not available in Debian repositories:

command pip  install 'batinfo' 'pysensors'   # if you are behind a proxy, you have to let pip know -  use pip --proxy=<proxy>:port 

Software installation

Install the software with pip:

command pip install 'Glances'

Glance is now available on the system:

command glances


Upgrade the software with:

command pip install --upgrade 'Glances'

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