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How To Setup And Configure PhpStorm on Ubuntu

PhpStorm is my favorite PHP IDE. It is a commercial Java application from Jetbrains. It compines performance with a feature rich interface and it has an excellent Git integration. Very good documentation and support.

I have tried many other (excellent) IDE (Integrated Development Environment) for web development from time to time. HTML, CSS and JavaScript as front-end and mainly PHP for back-end (secondarily Perl, Python). I also want to write Bash scripts with the same tool.

Some of them are:

I don't use IDEs which provides "visual" tools. I prefer to write code.

I use Git as VCS (version control system). My code is hosted on Github (and Bitbucket).

I use Github Issues to track tasks and bugs.


How To Setup And Configure Google Chrome on Ubuntu 16.04

Google Chrome was released in late 2008 for Microsoft Windows. The first thing everyone said about the new browser was that it was very fast. Google released the majority of source code (not all components) as the Chromium open-source project, so the Open Source version of Chrome is Chromiun browser.

About two years later (in mid-2010) Google released the first stable version for Linux. Since then I am a Chrome user (on my Linux Desktop and later on my Android mobile devices). Because Chrome is fast, offers a great Javascript engine and all Google services I use (Gmail, Google Drive and more) are supported better with Chrome.

One of the best features of Chrome (actually, only for web developers) is Chrome Developer Tools (web authoring and debugging tool).

Google Chrome has very regular updates. See version history here. Today Google Chrome has a 63% worldwide usage share of web browsers as a desktop browser. Source: StatCounter Global Stats - Browser Market Share


How To Setup And Configure Mozilla Firefox on Ubuntu 16.04

I cannot imagine my computer or mobile device withour Mozilla Firefox. It sounds strange, but Firefox is not my default browser. I am a Chrome user. Because Chrome is fast, offers a great Javascript engine and all Google services I use (Gmail, Google Drive and more) are supported better with Chrome. Additionally, Chrome has its own built-in Flash plugin, which updated with each Chrome update.

However, everytime I need to check a web page as a web developer, I use Firefox. Because Firefox is the most reliable browser and the most compatible with W3C standards. Additionally, Java plugin will run in Firefox, but it is not supported in Chrome anymore.

Mozilla Firefox is installed by default on Ubuntu 16.04 Here is how I configured my Firefox:

  • menu → Preferences
  • menu → Add-ons

How To Setup Java on Ubuntu 16.04

Java is a general-purpose computer programming language which is used from many software applications or websites.

Java is available from the Open Source project OpenJDK and freely available from Oracle.

Some Java applications require Oracle Java. This is my case. Here I describe the available solutions.


How To Setup Samba on Ubuntu Workstation

If you want to be connected with your workstation either from command line or your File Manager (e.g. from another computer in your LAN, Linux, Windows or Mac), install Samba.

According to Official Samba Guide:

Samba is software that can be run on a platform other than Microsoft Windows, for example, UNIX, Linux, IBM System 390, OpenVMS, and other operating systems. Samba uses the TCP/IP protocol that is installed on the host server. When correctly configured, it allows that host to interact with a Microsoft Windows client or server as if it is a Windows file and print server.

Please, note that this guide concerns Local Networds and NOT public servers. For advanced configuration, read carefully the Official Samba How-To.


Manage Your Passwords With KeePass in Linux And Android

KeePassX password manager is the first application I open after my Linux workstation bootup and the last I close before shutdown. It is strongly recommended to install and use a password manager:

  • To create (really strong) passwords. Strong password is not necessary the password which contains many special characters, but the password which contains REALLY RANDOM characters. The only way to achieve it, is to use a password manager with a password generator.
  • To store your passwords securely
  • Never Reuse Passwords! Most of us have accounts in many online services and tend to use the same password. This is a big mistake and can be avoided by using a password manager.

My personal choice is:

  1. KeePassX on Linux desktop
  2. KeePass2Android on Android devices
  3. Sync them all with Dropbox

Tweak SSD Drive in Ubuntu 16.04 Workstation

An SSD (Solid State Drive) will really speed up your computer. It will significantly reduce the boot time and increase the response of most software applications.

Every write action to a SSD will result in the undesirable phenomenon known as write amplification. This may shorten the life of the SSD.

Ubuntu 16.04 seems to be ready for SSD drives. Here are some steps you should take to extend the life of your SSD drive. The keypoint is to reduce write actions.

  1. add noatime to fstab
  2. run fstrim periodically (default on Ubuntu)
  3. reduce the use of swap (optionally in systems with enough RAM)
  4. avoid hibernation ("disabled" on Ubuntu)

How to Use APC UPS with Two or More Computers - Master Slave Setup

In a previous post it was described how to setup and monitor a UPS dedicated to your Ubuntu workstation computer (STANDALONE mode).

There is also another post about the use of apcupsd, an Open Source solution to monitor your APC UPS, which is connected to your Ubuntu workstation computer (STANDALONE mode).

In some cases you want your UPS to protect more than one computer (MASTER-SLAVE mode). apcupsd is a great solution in case of APC UPS. In my case, I use an APC UPS ("APC Back UPS BR1500GI RS 1500VA (LI)") which is physically connected via USB with an Ubuntu file and backup server (host name atlas, IP 192.168.1.52 - the MASTER computer). But I also want my UPS to protect my Ubuntu workstation (host name athena, IP 192.168.1.51 - the SLAVE computer).


Setup APC UPS on Ubuntu Workstation using apcupsd

If you have a UPS dedicated to your Ubuntu workstation, Ubuntu "Power Management" can meet your requirements. See details in this post.

If you have an APC UPS, another option is to use apcupsd, which is a more advanced tool to manage your APC UPS.


Manage UPS Using Power Management on Ubuntu 16.04

UPS means Uninterruptible Power Supply. The UPS is a device which has a rechargeable battery provides electrical power for a few minutes after the outage, depending on its specifications. However, UPS is not a power generator and its mission is NOT to continue the operation of the computer for all the duration of the blackout.

Power Management module on Ubuntu 16.04 is a flexible tool to manage your computer UPS. If you have a UPS dedicated to your workstation, Ubuntu "Power Management" is all you need.

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