Zhixian's Tech Blog


Adventures in Kali Linux (Xfce)

Filed under: computing — Tags: , , , — Zhixian @ 09:06:08 am

I recently have the inclination to try using Kali Linux as my development Linux OS of choice. This blog post is not so much as instructional blog post, but rather my journal on what I did after I installed Kali Linux. Some might question why use Kali Linux, well…its something to try. Its a learning experience in some ways. Anyways, here goes.

  1. Setup bluetooth

By default, it seems that Kali Linux does not have any bluetooth managers installed. So I chose to install blueman a fairly popular bluetooth manager. Commands that I used:

apt search blueman
apt-get install blueman
service bluetooth status
service bluetooth start
service bluetooth status

The service bluetooth status statements are just to check that bluetooth is working after I started the service.

  1. Create a normal user with sudo rights

I suddenly remember that I was logged on to the root account that has super-powers! So I hurriedly create a normal user account with sudo rights instead:

useradd -m zhixian
passwd zhixian
usermod -a -G sudo zhixian
chsh -s /bin/bash zhixian

  1. Install Chrome

To install Chrome, I went to the Chrome website and download the respective DEB file and install it by running:

apt-get install ./google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb

Then I remember, I should probably stop using the root account. Since I already have my user account setup. So I logged out to proceed with the rest of my Kali Linux installation. Actually, at this point I was feeling sleepy, so I put the system to Hibernate and went for a nap… 🙂

…(an hour later)

Only to wake up to find out that Kali Linux did not hibernate my laptop properly! Arghhh!
More specifically, it manages to save the session state and all but it did not power off the laptop. And what’s worse is that it seems to be doing some weird operation that kept my laptop heatup. Not sure what went wrong. Still haven’t gotten this fixed. Suspend and shutdown works well though. So I guess I will just have to live without hibernation for now.

  1. Enable blueman as a service

After I restarted Kali, I realise my bluetooth is not running on startup. So I ran:

sudo systemctl enable bluetooth

After leaving my Kali Linux alone for a week. I came back to it.
And found that I cannot surf Internet on it as the date-time on the machine is not accurate. As it turns out, NTP is not installed by default (so no automatic date-time synchronization). So I installed a NTP service and set it to start on startup.

sudo apt-get install ntp
sudo systemctl restart ntp
sudo systemctl enable ntp

Then I decide that I might want to use Gimp for image editing:

sudo apt-get install gimp

I toy around the idea of install Darktable as well but decide to hold off installing stuff that I’m not using immediately. Hence, all the drawing software like Inkscape, Dia, Krita are not installed as well (for now).

I then thought of checking if I have the common git UI tools, gitk and git-gui.
Nope, gitk does not exists. So:

sudo apt-get install gitk

Then I test git-gui.  Cool! Its installed now.
But I note that the command-line to activate it is slightly different compared to other platforms. On other platforms, the command to invoke git-gui is unsurprisingly “git-gui”.
But oddly on Linux, the command is “git gui” (without the dash”.
So to be consistent, I add an alias for this in my “.bash_aliases” file.

Some of you might be wondering, “Urgh! Why are you using gitk and git-gui? Surely there are better tools around? Heard of this product Sourcetree? Or maybe Kraken?”
LOL! True! I know these tools exists. I used to think the way too.

However, as I get more familiar with these 2 tools, I find that they meet my most of needs. True, other tools have additional helpful functions. But I think if you are using git right, you won’t be needing those “helpful” functions. Another reason to get familiar with gitk and git-gui is that they are not only free but are also widely available across platforms. It exists by default in the Windows / Mac OS distributions of git (I think). Which means you do not need to re-learn tools.

As a aside, tools are great! But sometimes, I do feel overwhelmed with learning all the different tools out there. Especially if they do not really contribute to me being more productive.

Let’s see. What else do I need to install. Oh! I might want to type Chinese occasionally. So I installed fcitx and google-pinyin keyboard:

sudo apt-get install fcitx
sudo apt-get install fcitx-googlepinyin

Then I decide I want to re-look at using Thunderbird. So:

sudo apt-get install thunderbird

Not sure, if I want to use a dedicate mail client (Thunderbird), so hold off the decision for now.

Then I went to install engrampa, a UI frontend for manage archives like zip files because there isn’t one installed by default. Initially, I wanted to install xarchiver as I read somewhere that xarchiver is the de factor file archiver manager for Xfce. But after trying it out, I find that engrampa provides a better user experience. So:

sudo apt-get install engrampa

Then I recall that I want to install telegram as well. Unfortunately, there’s no convenient apt package. Instead, I’ve to download the binaries off their website. Installation is simply unzipping the archive and placing the contents in a convenient location and adding shortcuts for easy access.

Now what’s left seems to be installing my various software development stuff.


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