How to Make Your Server Invisible with Knockd

Source: https://www.maketecheasier.com/make-linu…8Make+Tech+Easier%29
Capture Date: 16.09.2018 22:57:40

When you have a server that is publicly accessible, hackers can easily scan your IP address and check for open ports (particularly port 22 that is used for SSH) on your server. One way to hide your server from hackers is knockd. Knockd is a is a port-knock server. It listens to all traffic on an ethernet or other available interfaces, waiting for special sequences of port-hits. Clients such as telnet or Putty initiate port-hits by sending a TCP or packet to a port on the server.

In this article we will look at how we can use knockd to hide services running on a Linux server.

Install Knockd on a Linux Server

Knockd is available in most distro’s repositories. On a Debian/Ubuntu/Ubuntu-based server, you can use the apt-get command to install knockd.

sudo apt-get install knockd

For Fedora, CentOS, or REHL users, you can use the yum command:

Install and Configure Iptables

If you don’t have Iptables installed on your server, install it now.

sudo apt-get install iptables iptables-persistent

The package iptables-persistent takes over the automatic loading of saved iptables.

Next, you need to allow already established connections as well as current sessions through iptables. Use the following command to achieve this task:

iptables -A INPUT -m conntrack --ctstate ESTABLISHED, RELATED -j ACCEPT

Next, you need to block all incoming connections to port 22 SSH.

iptables -A INPUT -p tcp --dport 22 -j REJECT

Now let’s save the firewall rules via the following commands:

netfilter-persistent save netfilter-persistent reload

You can go ahead and check whether you have indeed blocked port 22 by connecting to your server via your computer.

Configure Knockd

Now it is time to configure knockd default settings. It is located at “/etc/knockd.conf.” To do so, change to the knockd configuration file using the following command:

cd /etc sudo leafpad knockd.conf

For illustration purposes, I am using the leafpad editor. On your server you can use nano or Vi.

The screenshot shows the knockd configuration file.

knockd

  • Options: You can find configuration options for Knockd in this field. As you can see in the screenshot above, it uses syslog for logging.
  • OpenSSH: This field is made up of sequence, sequence timeout, command and tcp flags.
  • Sequence: It shows the port sequence that can be used as a pattern by the client to initiate an action.
  • Sequence Timeout: It shows total time allocated to Clients to complete the required port knock sequence.
  • Command: This is the command that will be executed once the knocking sequence by the client matches the pattern in the sequence field.
  • TCP_FLAGS: This is the flag that must be set on the knocks issued by the client. If the flag was incorrect but the knock pattern bcorrect, the action will not be triggered.

Note: The iptables command in the OpenSSH section in Knockd configuration file uses the -A option to append this rule to the end of the INPUT chain. This causes all the remaining connections to drop.

To prevent it, replace it with the following below:

command = /sbin/iptables -I INPUT 1 -s %IP% -p tcp --dport 22 -j ACCEPT

This command ensures that a new rule will be added to the top of the INPUT chain to accept ssh connections.

Enable and Start Knockd Service

Use the following procedure to enable the knockd service in “/etc/default/knock.”

Change value from 0 to 1 as shown in the screenshot.

knockdconf

knockdconf-1

Afterwards, save and close the file “/etc/default/knockd.”

Next, you can start the knockd service by using one of the following commands:

sudo service knockd start

or

sudo systemctl start knockd

Time to Knock-Test Your Linux Server

Now it’s time to test your Linux SSH server. To open port 22 at a specified IP address, use the following on your computer. (You will need to install knockd on your computer, too)

knock -v my-server-ip 7000 8000 9000

You need to replace “my-server-ip” with your server’s IP address.

You can now connect to port 22 SSH by using the following command:

After you have finished with whatever you wanted to do via port 22, you can close it using the following command:

knock -v my-server-ip 9000 8000 7000

Conclusion

With knockd, you are well-assured that your SSH server is secured nad safe from attackers with sophisticated scanners. In addition, you are completely in charge of your SSH server.

How to Play Almost Any Video Game on a Raspberry Pi

Source: https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/play-video-games-raspberry-pi/
Capture Date: 16.09.2018 23:03:12

You’ve got a Raspberry Pi. You’ve probably entertained the idea of using it for retro gaming. But what if we told you that you don’t need to stop there—that you can play a massive selection of games, past and present, using a Raspberry Pi?

You probably don’t believe us, but it’s totally true. Save for a handful of modern console games, you can play almost any video game on a Raspberry Pi. Here’s everything you need to know about it.

6 Ways to Play Video Games on Raspberry Pi

Incredibly, you have six options for gaming on your Raspberry Pi. You’re not limited to Linux titles, or to games intended for x86 systems (like standard PCs). As long as you do it right, a massive library of games can be enjoyed on your Raspberry Pi:

  1. Retro gaming with RetroPie, RecalBox, and Lakka
  2. Play Raspberry Pi-exclusive games
  3. Install classic games directly on Raspberry Pi
  4. Play classic PC games with DOSBox
  5. Play PC games on Raspberry Pi with Exagear and Wine
  6. Stream modern PC games to Raspberry Pi with Parsec

Each of these six options will deliver some great gaming action to your Raspberry Pi. Let’s look at each in turn.

1. Retro Gaming With RetroPie, RecalBox, and Lakka

You probably already know about the possibilities of retro gaming with a Raspberry Pi. It’s one of the little computer’s most popular uses! While individual emulators can be installed on a per-platform basis, it’s a good idea to use one of the retro gaming suites, which include support for all emulators, including MAME for arcade machine emulation.

While these can be installed as full disk images, some are also available as apps to run on Raspbian (or your preferred Raspberry Pi operating system). All in all, there are several retro gaming systems for Raspberry Pi worth checking out.

10 Operating Systems You Can Run With Raspberry Pi 10 Operating Systems You Can Run With Raspberry Pi The hardware of the Raspberry Pi alone is only one side of the story: Today I explore 10 different Operating Systems you can install. Read More

Once installed, you’ll be able to copy your favorite retro gaming ROMs to your Raspberry Pi. In the video above, I demonstrate how to run Dreamcast games on Raspberry Pi 3. Note that as Raspberry Pi computers become more sophisticated, the more platforms are added as emulators.

Be sure to only use ROMs that you own the physical copy of, in order to avoid charges of copyright theft.

2. Play Raspberry Pi-Exclusive Games

Several games that have been designed to run on the Raspberry Pi are also available. You probably already know about Minecraft PE, which comes preinstalled with Raspbian (or even set up a Raspberry Pi as a Minecraft server).

Most games designed to run natively on the Raspberry Pi are written in Python. You can find a great selection of Python games at pygame.org. Meanwhile, you’ll find games that run on the Raspberry Pi via the Add/Remove Software tool.

3. Install Classic Games Directly on Raspberry Pi

An impressive collection of classic games has been re-released as open source over the past few years, enabling them to be ported to other platforms. Often, this means Linux, but typically only with x86 support. Fortunately, it can also mean ARM, which means Raspberry Pi compatibility.

Titles such as Doom, Quake III, and even Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast have all been ported to the Raspberry Pi. All you need to do is download, install, and start playing! Our guide to running Doom on Raspberry Pi will give you a good idea of how simple this is.

How to Run Doom on Your Raspberry Pi Without an Emulator How to Run Doom on Your Raspberry Pi Without an Emulator It’s now possible to run FPS classic Doom on the Raspberry Pi, thanks to Chocolate Doom. We’ll show you everything you need to know. Read More

4. Play Classic PC Games With DOSBox

How to Play Almost Any Video Game on a Raspberry Pi muo gaming dosbox civ

Another option for playing classic games on your Raspberry Pi is with DOSBox. This is an emulator for Microsoft’s MS-DOS operating system, which precedes Windows (but was packaged with Windows 95 and 98). Almost all classic PC games can be installed in DOSBox, and the software can run on Raspberry Pi.

So, you can expect to revisit (or discover!) classics like F117A Stealth Fighter, the original Sim City and Civilization games, and many more. It’s estimated that over 2,000 titles were released for MS-DOS, so you’ll have plenty to keep you entertained!

Note: You’ll find most of these old PC games require keyboard and mouse, not a modern game controller.

5. Play PC Games on Pi With Exagear and Wine

how to play almost any video game on raspberry pi

Incredibly, you can even run some Windows games on a Raspberry Pi thanks to Wine. While the popular Windows application layer software for Linux is not designed to be run on ARM systems, Exagear’s software makes it possible.

The result is an ever-growing collection of Windows PC games that will run on your Raspberry Pi, with a bit of tweaking. Admittedly, these are not recent titles, but given that many older Windows games won’t work in modern versions of the operating system, running them on a Raspberry Pi instead seems like a good alternative.

Need some help? Check our guide to installing Windows software on a Raspberry Pi with Exagear.

How to Install Windows Software on Raspberry Pi Using Wine How to Install Windows Software on Raspberry Pi Using Wine It’s now possible to run Windows software on a Raspberry Pi thanks to the ExaGear desktop environment. Here’s all you need to know to get started. Read More

6. Stream Modern PC Games to Pi With Parsec

Configure streaming in Parsec

Finally, and perhaps most surprisingly, you can stream games from Windows, macOS, and Linux PCs to your Raspberry Pi. While this will require a powerful PC in the background to run the game, this changes everything.

You’ll need a reliable network and a Raspberry Pi 3 or later, but with Parsec set up on the PC and on Raspbian, it’s simple to stream whatever is running on your computer to your Raspberry Pi. We’re not talking retro gaming anymore, either.

The latest titles, as long as they run on your PC, can be streamed to your Pi. This makes the Raspberry Pi an alternative to the Steam Link. Our guide to using Parsec with Raspberry Pi shows you how to make this happen.

How to Stream Any PC Game to TV Using a Raspberry Pi How to Stream Any PC Game to TV Using a Raspberry Pi Don’t limit yourself to streaming only Steam games from PC to TV. With a Raspberry Pi, you can stream ANY game installed on your computer—without worrying about Steam Link! Read More

Raspberry Pi: A Surprisingly Versatile Gaming Device!

Amazing, isn’t it? The Raspberry Pi is an incredibly versatile machine, capable not only of letting you play your favorite retro games, but also current games thanks to streaming technology.

Better still, you can retain your existing retro game emulators at the same time as running Exagear or Parsec. In short, each of the six options listed here can be set up on a single Raspberry Pi 3 or later. Given the price of the Raspberry Pi, this surely makes it the most amazing gaming computer currently available!

All of this makes it the ideal gaming device, perfect for installing in a gaming cabinet!

7 Fantastic RetroPie Game Stations You Can Build This Weekend 7 Fantastic RetroPie Game Stations You Can Build This Weekend Retro gaming is soaring in popularity. These 7 awesome RetroPie game stations can all be built in a weekend with hard work and a Raspberry Pi. Read More

How to Play Classic PC Games on Your Raspberry Pi

Source: https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/play-class…-games-raspberry-pi/
Capture Date: 16.09.2018 23:06:22

An incredible library of games and other software is available to your Raspberry Pi. You probably know that it makes a great base for emulating other platforms, but did you know it could run retro PC software?

Before Windows, there was MS-DOS. This old disk operating system from Microsoft can be emulated on the Raspberry Pi in a couple of different ways. Which method you choose depends on the outcome you’re looking for.

Here’s how to install old PC games on a Raspberry Pi!

Running DOS Software on Raspberry Pi

Civilization on a Raspberry Pi with DOSBox

Microsoft’s first PC-based operating system, MS-DOS was released in 1981 and discontinued in 2000. During this time, over 2000 games were released for what was then a largely office-based computer system.

Furthermore, Windows 95 and 98 could run DOS software. Often you would leave the desktop operating system to run MS-DOS games and applications.

The process is straightforward:

  1. Install DOSBox
  2. Configure DOSBox
  3. Find MS-DOS games
  4. Install MS-DOS games
  5. Enjoy!

For the best results, make sure you’re using a Raspberry Pi 2 or later, with an 8GB or higher SD card. Classic PC games typically need a keyboard and mouse to play, although some controllers and joysticks are supported.

You’ll also need an HDMI cable and display to enjoy the games (instead of a remote VNC or RDP connection, which can kill the magic somewhat).

VNC, SSH and HDMI: Three Options for Viewing Your Raspberry Pi VNC, SSH and HDMI: Three Options for Viewing Your Raspberry Pi The Raspberry Pi is a remarkable little computer, but it can be time consuming to set it up and connect it to your monitor. Read More

Step 1: Install DOSBox on Raspberry Pi

DOSBox on Raspberry Pi

You should already have an operating system installed on your Raspberry Pi before starting. With the Pi powered on, open a terminal, and check for updates:

sudo apt upgrade sudo apt update

Once done, install DOSBox:

sudo apt install dosbox

Step 2: Configure DOSBox on Raspberry Pi

Install DOSBox on Raspberry Pi

Configuring is a bit trickier. You’ll need a directory to run DOSBox and the software from:

mkdir dos

Next, edit the DOSBox configuration file in nano:

sudo nano .dosbox/dosbox-0.74.conf

Next, scroll to the end of the file and add your mount instruction under the [autoexec] heading.

Configure DOSBox to auto-mount a directory.

This will ensure that when DOSBox runs, it uses the dos directory as the C: drive.

mount c ~/dos c:

Save and exit the text editor with Ctrl + X, and hit Y to confirm.

You should now be able to run DOSBox from the Games menu on your Raspberry Pi!

Step 3: Find MS-DOS Games for Raspberry Pi

Where can you find suitable games? Well, thrift stores and eBay are a good place to start. Old games will typically be available on CD-ROM or floppy disk, however, so you’ll need to make sure you have the right type of disk drive connected to your Raspberry Pi.

If this isn’t possible, then you will need to rely on disk images found online. We can’t link you to these as there are copyright considerations. Such ROM files can be found in ZIP format, unpacked, and installed within DOSBox just as they might be on a genuine MS-DOS PC.

To avoid breaching copyright and breaking the law, restrict your use of game ROMs to titles you already own.

You really shouldn’t need to break copyright law to get hold of old games, however, as so many have been made open source. A big selection of such games can be found at the Internet Archive. Here, you’ll find everything from genuine games to cover discs full of shareware titles.

In short, you should be able to find something to play very easily. But what do you do once the games have been downloaded? How can you load them into DOSBox?

Step 4: Install MS-DOS Games on Raspberry Pi

To run DOS games on your Raspberry Pi, you need DOSBox to be aware of the game. The best way to do this is create a new directory for your games within the dos directory:

mkdir dos/games

You can then use the mv (move) command to copy any games from Downloads into this new folder:

mv Downloads/[GAME_TITLE] dos/games/

You’re now ready to start installing and playing games.

Launch DOSBox, and use the command line to navigate into the /games/ directory. Remember, you’re in an environment emulating MS-DOS, so different commands are needed. While cd still changes directory, the contents are listed with dir (you can use dir /p to display the contents list a page at a time). Type help to get more assistance.

Install games in DOSBox

Once you have copied games into the games directory, open a specific directory, then find the install.bat file and run it. Sometimes, this may be named after the game in question. For instance, in this example, I used cm2.bat to begin installation of Championship Manager 97-98.

Wait while the game installs. Once done, you can usually run the game using the shortened form of its title. Often, this is the same as the BAT file, but without the suffix.

For example, to run Championship Manager 2, I simply entered cm2. This will differ from game to game, however, so check the documentation. If all else fails, run the appropriately names EXE file to launch the game.

Copy game ROMs from your PC to Raspberry Pi over FTP

Note that you can also copy games to your Raspberry Pi from your PC. If you have SSH enabled on the Pi, the SFTP function of your preferred FTP software (we like Filezilla) will let you copy game files to the Pi. You should probably save them directly to the /games/ directory to save time.

When you’re done with DOSBox, simply exit the environment with a single command:

exit

Classic PC Games on Raspberry Pi Made Easy!

It can be a little time-consuming to set up a DOS environment on your Raspberry Pi, but once you’re up and running, you have a massive library of games and software at your disposal.

This isn’t the only way to play classic PC games on your Raspberry Pi, however. Some titles have been ported to Linux and altered to run on the Raspberry Pi without emulators.

10+ Classic Games You Can Run on Raspberry Pi Without Emulators 10+ Classic Games You Can Run on Raspberry Pi Without Emulators Want to play some classic games on your Raspberry Pi? These ten titles are available without using emulation. Grab them and you’ll be playing in minutes! Read More

How to Install RetroPie as an App in Raspbian on Raspberry Pi

Source: https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/install-re…ie-app-raspberry-pi/
Capture Date: 08.06.2018 00:27:01

Want to install RetroPie but don’t want to lose your existing Raspbian projects and environment? Not keen on the idea of dual booting? The answer is to install RetroPie as an application in Raspbian. In fact, it’s so simple, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do this way befor

You Don’t Always Need a Dedicated Disk Image

Raspberry Pi users have been sold the idea of having a single function for their computer. This single function is typically the Raspbian distro, which users are encouraged to reinstall for each major project. Not only does this reduce the lifespan of your SD card, it’s unnecessary.

The Raspberry Pi can support booting from USB devices, and it’s even possible to install multiple operating systems on a HDD via BerryBoot.

How to Dual Boot a Raspberry Pi Using BerryBoot How to Dual Boot a Raspberry Pi Using BerryBoot Want to install multiple operating systems on your Raspberry Pi? Dual booting is the answer, and BerryBoot is one of the best tools for that. Read More

In short, things have moved on since the Raspberry Pi first appeared in 2012. Dedicated disk images might be useful for Pi-based retro gaming projects, but if you want more of a versatile experience, Raspbian Stretch is more than adequate. We’ve already looked at how to install Kodi in Raspbian, so let’s find out how to install and configure RetroPie.

What You’ll Need

As ever for a Raspberry Pi project, you’ll need a reliable power supply, a microSD card (at least 8GB, with Raspbian Stretch pre-installed), and a HDMI cable (unless you’re using a touchscreen display).

Manually install RetroPie on a Raspberry Pi

You’ll also need an Ethernet cable connection to your router (or Wi-Fi connectivity), a keyboard and mouse, and a game controller. Whether you keep these connected or not will depend on the type of games you intend to play.

Indeed, if you’re interested in a very particular type of game (such as those released for the Commodore 64), then a keyboard and two-button joystick will be all you need.

Configure Raspbian to Install RetroPie

To get started, boot up your Raspberry Pi, and change the locale options. This can be done in the command line using:

sudo raspi-config

Here, go to Localisation Options > Change Locale and scroll through the menu to select the en_US.UTF-8 UTF-8 option. Select OK to confirm, and wait while the change is made.

Manually install RetroPie on a Raspberry Pi

Then, reboot the Raspberry Pi with:

sudo reboot

You might prefer to use the desktop Raspberry Pi Configuration Tool, available in the Preferences menu. In this case, go to the Localization tab, select Set Locale, and choose the en_US.UTF-8 character set. You’ll be prompted to reboot, so click OK.

With the computer restarted, open a new terminal window and enter the command:

locale

Check that each parameter has the en_US.UTF-8 value assigned.

Install RetroPie on Raspbian

Before you install RetroPie, you’ll need to ensure that git is installed in Raspbian:

sudo apt install git

With this done, you’re ready to install RetroPie:

git clone https://github.com/RetroPie/RetroPie-Setup.git

Manually install RetroPie on a Raspberry Pi

The RetroPie-Setup folder will download, so change directory, and make the retropie_setup.sh script executable:

cd RetroPie-Setup chmod +x retropie_setup.sh

You can now install RetroPie using the setup script:

sudo ./retropie_setup.sh

Wait while this runs. Some additional packages may be installed. Once this is done, the RetroPie-Setup Script menu will appear. Select OK to close the intro screen, then choose 1. Basic install.

Manually install RetroPie on a Raspberry Pi

This installs all packages from the core and main RetroPie projects; select Yes to proceed, and wait as the emulation suite is installed.

This will take a while, and once done, you’ll be returned to the setup menu. Select R Perform Reboot, and select Yes to confirm.

Log In and Configure RetroPie

When the computer restarts, you’ll see the desktop at first; then this will close and display the command line interface. Login with the usual Raspberry Pi credentials. Once you’ve done that, run EmulationStation:

emulationstation

The user interface to RetroPie will load up, and you’ll be prompted to configure your controller. If you prefer to skip this and navigate via your keyboard, you can deal with the controller later.

Next, if you’re using wireless networking, rather than Ethernet, you’ll need to connect to your wireless network. Go to the RetroPie menu, then choose WiFi. Select 1 Connect to WiFi network and select the correct network name. Click OK, then enter the passkey, confirming with OK.

When this is done, wait for the menu to appear again; if successful, it should display the IP address for the wireless connection. Select Exit to close the menu.

Manually install RetroPie on a Raspberry Pi

As things stand, you’re ready to install BIOS files and game ROMs on your Raspberry Pi. But you might need some emulators first. You’ll find these via RetroPie > RetroPie Setup > M Manage packages. Here, select opt Manage optional packages, and find the one that suits the platform you wish to emulate.

Along with recognizable gaming platforms like the Nintendo 64 and Sega Dreamcast, you’ll find old 8-bit systems and even arcade games (always labelled “MAME”). Meanwhile, classic games ported to the Raspberry Pi can be found in the list (such as Doom and Quake), as can the ScummVM program, which enables you to run certain point-and-click graphic adventure games.

10+ Classic Games You Can Run on Raspberry Pi Without Emulators 10+ Classic Games You Can Run on Raspberry Pi Without Emulators Want to play some classic games on your Raspberry Pi? These ten titles are available without using emulation. Grab them and you’ll be playing in minutes! Read More

When you find the emulator(s) you want to add, select them one at a time, using Install from source. This can take a while depending on how many (and which) emulators you have chosen. Click Back when you’re done until you return to the main RetroPie-Setup Script menu, then select R Perform reboot again.

BIOS and Game Files

In order to play games on RetroPie, you need a BIOS file for the emulator concerned, and ROM files for the games you want to play. Due to copyright law, we cannot link to these, but you should find what you need via Google. Note that if you’re using ROM files, you should already own a copy of the physical media.

Manually install RetroPie on a Raspberry Pi

When you have the files (ROM files should be saved to the appropriate emulator folder, BIOS files to the BIOS directory), you’ll be able to run the games in EmulationStation.

Usually, we would instruct you to do this via SSH or FTP from a second computer. However, this isn’t necessary if you can easily drop out of RetroPie and back to the PIXEL desktop in Raspbian. This way, you can use the Chromium browser to find and download your BIOS and ROM files, and save them to your Raspberry Pi.

Exiting RetroPie

To exit RetroPie, click the Start button (which you will have configured earlier) and select Quit > Quit EmulationStation, then when the command line appears, enter:

sudo systemctl start lightdm

This will restart the Pixel desktop on Raspbian, and you can continue using your Raspberry Pi as normal. Perhaps you have a project you’re developing? If not, there are many other great uses for a Raspberry Pi.

Whenever you want to launch RetroPie again, simply use the emulationstation command.

Remember, RetroPie isn’t the only retro gaming option for the Raspberry Pi. Other retro gaming methods for Raspberry Pi exist, although they may not support manual installation like RetroPie does.

Retro Gaming on the Raspberry Pi: Everything You Need to Know Retro Gaming on the Raspberry Pi: Everything You Need to Know The Raspberry Pi has plenty of uses, but perhaps the most fun is playing classic video games. Here’s everything you need to know about retro gaming on your Raspberry Pi. Read More

How to Easily Read a Linux Man Page

Source: https://www.maketecheasier.com/read-linu…8Make+Tech+Easier%29
Capture Date: 07.05.2018 23:47:20

One of the most important skills you can learn as a Linux user is how to use a manual page, or “man page.”

This article will introduce you to those simple documents. You’ll learn how to open man pages and identify the contents inside, which will include special markings such as bold and underlined text alongside indicators such as ellipses (…) and brackets ([ ]).

Man pages are fairly easy to tackle, and your time is valuable, so let’s not waste another minute.

Opening Man Pages

In whichever terminal you have on hand, type

to open a man page. If you want to open the page for xterm, a terminal probably on your system, type man xterm.

Man pages are sorted into sections. Sometimes you will find them listed with their section number, like “tty(4).” The section number here refers to the tty controlling terminal under the “Special files (devices)” section, which is part of the standard sections of man pages listed in the link in this paragraph.

Any time you see a listing like “tty(4),” you can reach that section by typing

man <section number> <page name>

The syntax man 4 tty will reach the page reference here.

Finding a Specific Page

If you ever want to see if a man page exists, try

like whatis xterm.

Suppose you don’t know what page you need, but you know you want to read about terminals. You can search for a keyword by first refreshing your manual page cache with the command

Then search with

The syntax man -k terminal is appropriate in this situation.

You can pipe long output into the text reader less by using

That will make it easier to scroll and search for items.

Man Page Syntax

Speaking of text readers, you will probably find less‘s younger cousin, known as more, on your system. Bring up its man page with

It should look like the following image.

Man page for 'more'Man page for 'more'

The reason more‘s man page works well as an example is because of the syntax shown in its Synopsis section. It reads “more [options] file…”

While that may not look complex, the variations in text style and form are all important to that line.

Bold Text

Any text in bold means that you should type it exactly as shown. When using the more utility, you will need to type the word “more” at the beginning of every command.

Brackets

Text shown in brackets is optional. In more’s case, you can use options like -f to count logical lines or -c to paint lines instead of scrolling them. The beginning of a more command could then look like

or

Since those parameters are optional, you can omit them entirely.

Underlined or Italicized Text

Depending on your terminal’s capabilities, you will likely see underlined and italicized text in certain places. Sometimes such text may also be a different color. In any case, this type of text means you need to replace it with an appropriate argument.

In this example with more, you must replace “file” with a file name. more -c file.txt makes sense here.

Ellipses

An ellipsis shown after any argument — file... – or expression – [options]... – means that argument or expression is repeatable.

What you get with more in file... means that something like

more -f text.txt anothertext.txt

is allowed. In this case more will read “text.txt,” print it to screen, allow you to scroll if necessary, and then take action on “anothertext.txt.”

Or

One other type of indicator you’ll see in man pages is the “|.” This symbol means “or,” and in a man page it shows you that, for instance, two options are not allowed together at once.

The more example used above doesn’t list any parameters as being exclusive, so there isn’t a relevant example to show for that utility. If you read a handful of other man pages, however, you will come across something like -a|-b, and that means you can use only -a or -b in a command.

Sections of a Man Page

You will also see various sections in man pages that repeat time and time again. Typically, you will see “NAME,” “SYNOPSIS,” “DESCRIPTION,” “EXAMPLES,” and “SEE ALSO” sections, all listed in capital letters for clarity. The “OPTIONS” and “COMMANDS” sections will often be present as well.

Most of the sections are self-explanatory in nature. You can typically start from the top of any man page and get a brief overview of its contents with the Name, Synopsis, and Description sections. Afterward, you can peruse its options and examples to get a look at common usage.

Terminals often use the less utility to read man pages, so you should be able to search for any phrase with /.

Conclusion

While man pages might not be fancy, they hold a wealth of information. Now that you’re primed with the basic syntax found in most man pages, you can easily make use of one the next time you’re stuck when using a utility.

Also, don’t forget that man man is your friend and will cover all the details not discussed here.

Make Your Own DIY Chromecast Replacement With Raspberry Pi

Source: https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/raspberry-pi-chromecast/
Capture Date: 03.04.2018 22:43:53

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You probably already know that you can use your Raspberry Pi as a media center. You can even install Kodi on it for managing media offline and online. But what if you’re happier to leave it running Raspbian as the main operating system?

Well, if you have a mobile device you don’t mind using for managing your media, you could use this to cast a video to your TV. Yes: you can use your Raspberry Pi just like a Chromecast. You won’t be able to use the Cast button on Android, but YouTube videos, pictures, audio and images from your smartphone can be streamed to your TV.

Install the Raspicast App

Get started by installing Raspicast on your Android device. This is a free app that connects to your Raspberry Pi and streams data to it. As long as your Pi is connected to the HDMI input on your TV or display, you’ll be able to view the media on your phone. You’ll find Raspicast in the Google Play app store. Unfortunately, there is no reliable iPhone alternative for this.

Download: Raspicast for Android

It’s important to note that both the Android phone and the Raspberry Pi need to be on the same network for this to work. You can’t, for example, stream video from your phone to your TV if you’re sat on the bus. If you’re trying to share a video with someone sat at home, simply message them the link!

Configure Raspbian

With the app installed, turn your attention to the Raspberry Pi. This should be already connected to your TV via HDMI, and powered up. We tested this on a Raspberry Pi 3 running Raspbian Stretch. However, you should find it works with other Raspberry Pi distributions (although some of the commands may differ).

raspberry pi chromecast diy replacement

As you’ll need SSH enabled, here’s a quick primer. You have three options to enable it:

  1. Via raspi-config. You can run this from the command line using sudo raspi-config, then select Interfacing Options > SSH and use the arrow keys to confirm with OK.
  2. Use the Raspberry Pi Configuration tool. From the Raspbian desktop, open Menu > Preferences > Raspberry Pi Configuration. In the Interfaces tab, find SSH and set it to Enabled.
  3. Finally, if you prefer simplicity, you can enable SSH before you boot up your Pi. Insert the microSD card into your computer, browse to the boot partition, and create a new file. This should be called ssh, and have no file extension. Once you replace the SD card and reboot, SSH should be enabled.

The following can be done via a keyboard connected to your Pi, or using SSH. Check our previous guide to connecting to a Raspberry Pi via SSH. Setting Up Your Raspberry Pi For Headless Use With SSH Setting Up Your Raspberry Pi For Headless Use With SSH The Raspberry Pi can accept SSH commands when connected to a local network (either by Ethernet or Wi-Fi), enabling you to easily set it up. The benefits of SSH go beyond upsetting the daily screening… Read More

Now it’s time to run some updates. Start off by opening a terminal window on your Pi and running:

sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get upgrade

These commands will update your Raspberry Pi’s operating system, and find and install any software updates.

Install and Build OpenMax

With the updates installed, we need some prerequisite packages:

sudo apt-get install libjpeg9-dev libpng12-dev

The packages libjpeg9-dev and libpng12-dev are necessary for building programs that can handle JPG and PNG images. This will enable the media to be cast to your Raspberry Pi via the Raspicast app on Android!

Now, install OpenMax. This tool is the best option for casting video, audio and images from an Android device to a TV-connected Raspberry Pi. It’s available via GitHub, and you can install it by “cloning” the data repository to your Pi:

git clone https://github.com/HaarigerHarald/omxiv

This shouldn’t take long.

You’re nearly done; it’s time to build the OpenMax software. Begin by switching to the omxiv directory and using the make command.

raspberry pi chromecast diy replacement

cd omxiv make ilclient make

This will take a while. Once it’s done, you’ll be ready to install:

sudo make install

A few moments later, OpenMax will be installed!

Get Ready to Cast!

Everything you need to cast from your Android device to your Raspberry Pi is now in place. On Android, run the Raspicast app, and in the SSH settings input the Hostname or IP address of your Raspberry Pi. Follow this with your Pi’s username and password, then click OK.

raspberry pi chromecast diy replacement

To cast to your Raspberry Pi, you have two options. The first is to browse for the content within the Raspicast app and hit play. Alternatively, if you want to cast from YouTube, find the video in the app and tap the Share button.

Here, select Cast (Raspicast), and the video should automatically play on your TV! Meanwhile, to send videos, music and photos to your Raspberry Pi display, simply use the main Raspicast screen and select Cast. This will open a screen listing all videos on your Android device.

raspberry pi chromecast diy replacement

On one of the four tabs (along with Music, Albums, and Images), selecting a media file will prompt its immediate playback on your Raspberry Pi.

Need to change the IP address within the app (e.g. to cast to a different Pi)? Open the “three dots” menu and select SSH Settings. Simply input the new IP address and credentials.

More Raspicast Options

Also in the Raspicast menu, you’ll find a check box to Repeat the currently playing file. Further down the list, Audio output can be customized, using HDMI (default), local, both, or alsa. This will prove useful for anyone using an external audio solution with their Pi.

raspberry pi chromecast diy replacement

You should also check the Advanced options screen. Here you’ll find options for managing a queue of files, managing volume (audio volume offset), using HTTP if necessary (HTTPS is the default), specifying custom commands, and more.

Meanwhile, on the main Raspicast screen, use the Files button to navigate and play media stored on your Raspberry Pi!

You Can Also Cast With Kodi!

Now, there is a downside to all of this: you can’t run Raspicast with a Raspberry Pi running OSMC (a popular Kodi distribution). Unfortunate as this is, there is an alternative: the Kore remote control app for Android devices.

Download: Kore, Official Remote for Kodi

Usually, you’ll use this to remote control Kodi, but it’s also capable of casting to a Kodi system, including OSMC. Simply install the app, set it up with the IP address of your Raspberry Pi, and then head to YouTube. As with Raspicast, tap the Share button on the video you want to cast, then select Play on Kodi.

raspberry pi chromecast diy replacement

This will immediately stream the video to your TV via Kodi!

Other Chromecast Alternatives

The Raspberry Pi isn’t the only alternative to a Chromecast. You might already have a solution that you were unaware of, such as a set-top box or smart TV with YouTube compatibility. In this situation, casting videos from the YouTube app to the TV is usually possible as long as the receiver is on the same network.

Of course, other HDMI streaming solutions exist such as Miracast, but as long as you have a device with an official YouTube app (like the Apple TV), you’ll probably be able to cast to it. Three Wireless Display Technologies That You Probably Own But Don’t Use Three Wireless Display Technologies That You Probably Own But Don’t Use Want to relay your smartphone’s or laptop’s display onto a larger screen without wires? No, it’s not science fiction. You can wirelessly output video from computers and smartphones today. Wireless display technologies use WiFi to… Read More

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Getting Started With Scratch on the Raspberry Pi

Source: https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/raspberry-pi-scratch/
Capture Date: 29.03.2018 23:45:35

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The Raspberry Pi is a great way to learn both DIY tech and programming on a budget. They are also great cheap computers for kids, with plenty of great learning resources included to help young minds grasp useful concepts for the future.

There are many great beginner projects out there which use the Pi’s GPIO (general-purpose input/output) pins. It’s great for coding too, since the Raspbian operating system comes with Python built-in. There is even a version of Minecraft for the Pi which can help you learn both beginner electronics and Python!

While this is great for people with some coding experience, what if you wanted to teach someone how to use the Pi’s GPIO pins without having to learn a programming language?

With Scratch, you can.

Today we will use Scratch to turn on an LED attached to our GPIO pins, while learning about some basic animation and programming ideas—all without having to type any code! This tutorial is perfect for getting kids involved with DIY electronics and programmatic thinking from an early age. Both the video and the article are perfect for the home or classroom.

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What You’ll Need

getting started with scratch on raspberry pi

  • 1 x Raspberry Pi with Raspbian installed. A Pi 3 is used today, but any Pi will do
  • 1 x LED
  • 1 x 220 Ohms or higher resistor
  • 1 x breadboard
  • 2 x hookup wires

Setting Up the LED

We want to set up our LED and resistor on the breadboard like this:

getting started with scratch on raspberry pi

Here is a diagram of that same setup. Notice that in this diagram the LED is the other way around, but the circuit is still exactly the same.

getting started with scratch on raspberry pi

We want to set it up so that the hookup wire from GPIO pin 5 connects to the leg of our resistor. The resistor’s other leg attaches to the positive side of our LED. If you are wondering which side that is, look at the top of your LED. One side should be curved, and the other side should be flat. The curved side is positive, and the flat side is negative. Use a piece of hookup wire to connect the negative side of the LED to a GND pin.

Check that your circuit is correct, and boot up your Pi! If you are wondering which pin is which, our beginner’s guide to the Pi can help you. Raspberry Pi: The Unofficial Tutorial Raspberry Pi: The Unofficial Tutorial Whether you’re a current Pi owner who wants to learn more or a potential owner of this credit-card size device, this isn’t a guide you want to miss. Read More

Scratch Basics

To open scratch, click on the Raspberry Pi start menu and navigate to Programming > Scratch 2.0. When scratch opens it will look something like this:

getting started with scratch on raspberry pi

There is a lot going on here, but it’s quite simple to get the hang of. The left side of the screen is where the action happens. Anything we code will play out in this box.

getting started with scratch on raspberry pi

Just below it is the sprite window where you can load images into your program, or paint your own sprites if you are feeling creative!

getting started with scratch on raspberry pi

In the middle panel, you’ll find all of the blocks you can use to make your programs. You’ll also notice two tabs called Costumes and Sounds which you can use to customise your project even more, but today we won’t be using them.

On the right is where you can drag these blocks to make the magic happen!

getting started with scratch on raspberry pi

The right side is currently empty. Let’s do something about that!

GPIO Pins

Before we go any further, we’ll need to add a few blocks to our toolkit to access our GPIO pins and turn on our LED. In the middle panel, click on More Blocks.

getting started with scratch on raspberry pi

Now click Add an Extension and choose Pi GPIO. This will add blocks we can use with our Raspberry Pi pins.

getting started with scratch on raspberry pi

Now that we’ve got all the tools we need, lets make a program!

Light Emitting Cat

Since we already have a cat sprite loaded in, let’s use it. We are going to make a program which makes the cat take a step whenever a button is clicked, and make the LED light up for one second every time. Start by grabbing the move 10 steps block from the Motion tab, and drag it to the empty space on the right. Now click on the More Blocks tab and drag the set GPIO output to to the right and connect it to the bottom of the first block. It should look like this:

getting started with scratch on raspberry pi

You’ll notice that there is a number 5 in my GPIO block, click on the white circle and enter the number of your GPIO pin here. If you set up your LED the same way as was shown above, it will also be number 5. Now if you click on the code block it will glow for a moment. This means it is running, so you should see your cat move, and the LED will turn on. Progress!

Making It More Complicated

Now that we have a basic start, let’s add some more logic to our code. Right now, our light comes on and never goes off again. What we want is for it to wait a moment before going off again. We are going to use a wait block for this.

Under the Control tab, grab a wait 1 secs block and attach it to the bottom of your stack. Now the program knows to wait for a second every time it gets there. To turn the LED off again, grab another set GPIO output to block and drag it to the bottom.

This time we want it to turn the LED off, by setting the GPIO to output low. Click the little drop down arrow next to output high and change it to output low. Don’t forget this block also needs the same GPIO number as the one above it!

It should look like this:

getting started with scratch on raspberry pi

Now when you click the block of code, the cat should move and the LED should turn on for one second before turning off. Right now, this only works when we click our code block. Let’s make a button to do it instead.

Button, Button, I’ve Got the Button!

We need something to click to tell our cat to move. An arrow should do the trick! In the Sprites window on the bottom left, click the button next to New sprite. This will let us choose from a library of sprites that comes with Scratch.

getting started with scratch on raspberry pi

We are using the sprite Arrow1 as it seems appropriate for our program, but you can use whichever sprite you like. You can even draw your own sprites in Scratch, or upload images you have made elsewhere to use. Once you have added your arrow it should appear in the same pane as your cat on the left. Drag the cat to the left side of the screen and your arrow to the top like this:

getting started with scratch on raspberry pi

We need to give our arrow its own set of blocks. Double click on the arrow sprite, you should see that the pane on the right is empty now. We want our cat to run their block of code every time the arrow is clicked.

To do this, grab the when this sprite clicked block from the Events tab. This means that whenever you click on the arrow, its block will start running. Now we need to send a message to our cat whenever that happens. Luckily, Scratch will let us do exactly that.

Receiving You, Loud and Clear!

We will send a message to our cat using the broadcast block. Grab it from the Events tab and slot it under the when this sprite clicked block. This block will send a message to every other sprite in our program. Right now it says message1, but lets add our own message by clicking the drop down arrow next to message1 and selecting new message. Type go into the window that pops up and click ok.

getting started with scratch on raspberry pi

Now double click on the cat again. We need to tell the cat to listen for this broadcast message. Drag the When I receive block to the very top of the stack we have already made, and make sure the drop down menu reads go as well. Now, every time you click the arrow in the left pane it broadcasts go, the cat receives go and moves, and the LED should light up.

getting started with scratch on raspberry pi

Well done! It’s looking good! There is just one final thing we can do to make it even better.

Never-Ending Cat Story

If you’ve clicked your arrow enough times, you’ll probably notice that your cat has gone off the right side of the screen. We could just grab it and drag it back each time, but good programmers are lazy, and they make the code do the work for them. Lets be good programmers and use blocks to make our cat move back by itself.

Drag the cat back to the left side of the screen, and make sure it isn’t touching the edge. Place your mouse pointer over the middle of the cat sprite, and look in the bottom corner of the left pane. There will be an x and a y there followed by two numbers. Write these down, we will need them in a minute.

getting started with scratch on raspberry pi

Every time our cat moves we want to tell it: if you are touching the right side of the screen, go back to the start. We can use blocks to tell it this. Start by grabbing the if then block from the Control tab and drag it under your code blocks. This one looks a bit different, it has a diamond gap at the top, and a gap in the middle. We use these gaps to tell it what to do.

getting started with scratch on raspberry pi

Now go to the Sensing tab, and select touching mouse-pointer? block. You will notice it is a diamond shape, which fits perfectly into the diamond gap in the if then block. If you are having trouble getting it to fit in, drag it to the right side of the if then first, and move it left until you see the diamond shaped gap glow. You’ll also notice it says mouse-pointer which isn’t what we want. Use the drop down menu to select edge instead.

getting started with scratch on raspberry pi

So far, this part of the block is saying If the cat touches the edge do… nothing so far. Let’s change that.

Back to the Beginning

Our if <touching edge> then block has a gap that needs filling. Go to the Motion tab, and select the go to x: y: block, and drag it into the gap in our if <touching edge> then block.

Scratch is quite clever, and will have put the x and y numbers where your cat sprite is positioned already, but check that these numbers match the ones you wrote down earlier. If they don’t, change them by clicking on the white boxes next to x: and y:.

The full code block for your cat should look like this.

getting started with scratch on raspberry pi

This is now a fully functional program! When you click the arrow enough times that your cat hits the other side of the window, he will pop back to the start again.

getting started with scratch on raspberry pi

That’s it, we are finished. Well done!

Now You Can Use Scratch on Raspberry Pi

Today you have created a program which incorporated animation (when the cat moved), DIY electronics (building an LED circuit and controlling it), and some programmer’s logic to make your life a little easier.

All without having to write a single line of code.

If you are a parent or teacher, there are lots of great ways to introduce kids to coding, and plenty of fantastic beginner hardware projects suited for young minds. Anything that makes DIY electronics and computing accessible to children can broaden the way they think and set them up with the fundamentals to learn bigger and better things down the line. 7 Best Coding Apps for Kids to Learn Programming 7 Best Coding Apps for Kids to Learn Programming Coding apps offer ample opportunities to teach children programming. It’s a fun, controlled environment. Rather than send children to a coding boot camp, check out these five coding apps for kids to learn programming. Read More

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How to Set Up and Use Kodi: For Beginners

Source: https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/set-up-use-kodi-beginners/
Capture Date: 17.03.2018 23:57:27

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Do you have a vast library of TV shows, movies, and music saved locally? If so then you probably need an efficient way to manage all your content.

Alternatively, you might be looking for legal ways to access on-demand video and live television. Perhaps you even want to cast the media to different screens around your home.

If these scenarios describe your situation, you have two choices from a software perspective: Plex or Kodi. We have previously explained how to set up and use Plex, but this guide will focus on how to use its great rival, Kodi. Your Guide To Plex – The Awesome Media Center Your Guide To Plex – The Awesome Media Center If you have a lot of locally-saved movies and TV shows, you need to install Plex. And this is the only guide to getting started with Plex you’ll ever need to read. Read More

By reading on, you’ll learn how to install the Kodi software, how to navigate through the initial setup, and how to load repos and add-ons.

What Is Kodi?

Kodi is best described as a home theatre app. It began life back in 2002 as Xbox Media Player, and quickly evolved into the Xbox Media Center (XBMC). It finally transformed into Kodi in 2014. We have a complete guide to setting up and using the final version of XBMC, should you require it. How to Set Up Your XBMC Media Center How to Set Up Your XBMC Media Center XBMC may have evolved into Kodi, but if you have an old version installed this guide will help you set it up and get started. Read More

Arguably, Kodi’s most significant selling point is that it is open-source. Because it’s open-source, a vast community of programmers and developers has built up around the app. If you’re a skilled coder, you can even make changes to the source code yourself.

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The community is responsible for all the good stuff the app offers. Kodi by itself is an entirely underwhelming shell and provides nothing beyond the interface.

Let’s stress that again because Kodi newbies often overlook it: if you don’t have any locally saved media, and you don’t have any interest in learning how to use repos and add-ons, you don’t need Kodi. No media is included in the app. 7 Essential Kodi Tips for New Users 7 Essential Kodi Tips for New Users If you’re just starting out on your Kodi journey and don’t have a clue where to begin, we’re here to help with these essential Kodi tips for newbies. Read More

Lastly, be aware that Kodi’s customizability comes at a cost. It requires a lot of user input to make the app run the way you want it to, and it necessitates more effort to keep everything working as time goes by. If you want a plug-and-play app, Plex might be a better choice.

How to Install Kodi

Kodi is available on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android (mobile and TV), iOS, and Raspberry Pi.

If you’re running the app on a desktop machine or Android, you just need to grab the app from either the website or the associated app store. Windows users can also use the Windows Store version, while Android can download the APK file and sideload the app. Sideloading will make it more difficult to update the app, however, so we recommend using the Play Store method.

installing kodi platforms

If you want to install Kodi on iOS, the situation is a lot more complicated.

Kodi is not available in the Apple App Store. Instead, you need to compile an app using XCode. To get started, you need iOS 10.9 or higher, a copy of Kodi’s DEB file, XCode 7 or higher, an iOS app signer, and an Apple ID.

The process is quite complex and not suitable for beginners. Given its complexity, it is beyond the scope of this guide. But don’t worry, we’ve covered everything in detail in another article on the site. How to Install Kodi for iOS Without Jailbreaking Your iPad or iPhone How to Install Kodi for iOS Without Jailbreaking Your iPad or iPhone Kodi is one of the best ways to access live TV, and you don’t need to jailbreak your device to enjoy free streaming content on your iPhone or iPad. Read More

xcode for installing kodi

It’s also possible to install Kodi on iOS by using Cydia on a jailbroken device, but many users don’t want to risk voiding their warranty. However, if you have an older iOS gadget that you’re willing to take a few risks with, it’s certainly the easier approach.

For the other platforms, just get the installation file and follow the on-screen instructions. You will have Kodi running on your device in minutes.

Download: Kodi

Running Kodi for the First Time

Hopefully, you’re now looking at Kodi’s main interface. But there’s no content there, no setup wizard, and no hint of how to use add-ons and repos.

Don’t worry, we’re going to explain everything, but let’s get some basics out of the way first.

On the left-hand side of your screen, you will see shortcuts for all the different media classes. They are Movies, TV shows, Music, Music videos, TV, Radio, Add-ons, Pictures, Videos, and Weather. If you’re not planning to use all the shortcuts, you can remove some by heading to Settings > Skin settings > Main menu items and sliding the appropriate toggles into the Off position.

running kodi for the first time

Controlling Kodi

As you use Kodi more, you will probably find it’s easier to navigate through the app using your keyboard rather than your mouse.

There are more than 100 different keyboard shortcuts you can use. Some even perform different functions depending what’s on the screen. For example, Page Down will skip to the previous queued video (or previous chapter) if you’re watching a video, but will decrease the rating of a song if you’re listening to audio.

Nonetheless, there are some important keyboard shortcuts that all users should know about. Here are some of the most common:

  • F9 or : Volume Down
  • F10 or +: Volume Up
  • Spacebar or P: Play / Pause
  • X: Stop
  • F: Fast Forward
  • R: Rewind
  • Left arrow: Jump back 30 seconds
  • Right arrow: Jump forward 30 seconds
  • I: Show information about the currently playing video
  • T: Turn subtitles on or off

Note: You can use a keymap editor add-on to change which keys perform which function. Advanced users can also change the shortcuts by editing the userdata file.

Adding Your Media to Kodi

If you’re just starting your Kodi journey, there are probably three forms of media that your keen to add to the app as soon as possible: videos, music, and photos.

We’re going to look at each one individually.

Adding Videos to Kodi

Kodi is a supremely powerful app which skilled users can force to perform all manner of tricks. However, for the vast majority of users, the principal reason for installing the software is to watch videos.

If you want to maximize the enjoyment of watching videos on Kodi, there is an exact process you need to follow.

Prepare Your Video Files

Preparing your video files is crucial because Kodi uses scrappers to search for the appropriate metadata for your videos. Metadata includes artwork, synopses, show/movie descriptions, season numbers, episode numbers, cast lists, directors, and a whole lot more.

This data isn’t essential to being able to watch your videos through Kodi, but it’s the only way to build your library into a vibrant and dynamic list.

So, if you’re naming a TV show, place the files in the following folder structure:

  • /ShowName/Season XX/ (for example, Friends/Season 05)

For single episodes, name each file as sXXeYY, and for multiple episodes, name the file as sXXeYY-eYY. For example, S05E02.

Specials should be put into the following folder structure:

  • /ShowName/Specials/

Movie files can either be saved as standalone files or each saved in their own sub-folder. Use the following structure for the movie file itself:

  • [Movie Name] (Year) (for example, The Hurt Locker (2008))

Therefore, the folder tree should look like either Movies/ The Hurt Locker (2008).mp4 or Movies/The Hurt Locker (2008)/The Hurt Locker (2008).mp4.

If your content is a disorganized mess, you could try using FileBot. It’s a TV show and movie renamer; it’ll scan online databases and do all the hard work on your behalf. However, FileBot does cost $19.99.

Note: You should keep your movie and TV shows in separate folder trees.

Add Your Videos

Now it’s time to add your video files into Kodi.

To begin, select Videos from the menu on the left-hand side of Kodi’s home screen. On the next screen, choose Files. Finally, click on Add videos.

add videos for using kodi

Now you need to add the video source. “Source” is a word you will come across frequently while using Kodi. It can refer to many different things. In this case, it just means you need to select the folder on your hard drive when you have saved your video files.

You can give your source a name. Typically, you should name it Movies, TV Shows, Home Videos, or something else that’s similarly descriptive.

Now you need to tell Kodi what type of videos are in the source folder. It will allow Kodi to scan the correct online database for metadata. It uses TheTVDB for TV-based metadata and TheMovieDB for film information.

add videos for using kodi

On the final screen, you can set some additional options. They include how frequently Kodi will scan the folder for new content and some movie naming conventions. When you’re ready, hit OK and Kodi will start importing your content. If you have hundreds of TV episodes and movies, the process might take a long time.

Repeat the above steps for each type of video content you want to add.

Adding Music to Kodi

Once your video collection is up and running, it’s time to turn your attention to your music library.

Prepare Your Music Files

Like with video files, if you want Kodi to find the metadata relating to your music, you need to prepare your music collection before you can add it.

Kodi uses the open-source MusicBrainz database for music tagging. The database includes more than 1.2 million artists, 1.8 million albums, and 17.5 million songs.

adding music to kodi

Luckily, MusicBrainz provides a free desktop app that can automatically tag all the music on your behalf. You can download it for free on Windows, Mac, and Linux. 4 Fantastic Tools to Manage Your Massive MP3 Collection 4 Fantastic Tools to Manage Your Massive MP3 Collection Music library management can be an entirely frustrating experience, especially if you have years of unorganized music waiting to be sorted and labeled properly. Poor music library management will come back and bite you later… Read More

If MusicBrainz cannot correctly tag your music, you can do it yourself. The file tree of your music needs to follow the Artist > Album > Song structure. For example, Michael Jackson > Thriller > Billie Jean.

Download: MusicBrainz

Add Your Music

Correctly tagging all your music is a painstaking process. But when you’ve finally finished, you’re ready to add your music collection into the Kodi app.

Adding music to your library is a two-part process. Firstly, you need to scan your collection so Kodi can import it. Secondly, you need to scrape your library for additional information. You must finish the first step before you can move on.

To start the scanning process, you need to tell Kodi where your music collection is saved on your hard drive. Go to the Kodi home screen and click on Music in the menu on the left-hand side of the screen. On the next screen, go to Files > Add music. Click on Browse and choose the folder when your music is located.

adding music to kodi

Now give your music collection a name. If you’re going to import multiple collections, choose something recognizable.

On the next screen, Kodi will ask whether you want to add your media source to the library. Click on Yes and the app will start scanning.

Again, if you have an extensive collection, this process could take a while.

Next, it’s time to scrape your collection for additional information. The additional data comes in many forms: it could include artist style, the formation date of a band, the theme of an album, or even the date and location where the artist died.

To scrape more information, start by clicking on Music on the Kodi home screen. On the next screen choose Artists. Right-click on any artist name to pull up the context menu and select Query info for all artists to start the scrape.

The scraping process could take many hours to finish. It will cover about 300 artists per hour. When it’s complete, you should run it for a second time to make sure any “server busy” responses are fixed.

Adding Photos to Kodi

You will be pleased to learn that adding photos and pictures to Kodi requires much less preparation and time than adding music or video files.

To add a folder of photos, select Pictures from the menu on the left-hand side of the Kodi home screen. On the next screen, choose Add pictures.

adding photos to kodi

A new window will pop up. Click on Browse and point to the folder which contains the images you want to add. When you’re ready, click on OK.

Kodi offers a few features to make viewing pictures more enjoyable. They include a slideshow, a randomizer, and zoom.

Using Add-Ons and Repos

The other big part of using Kodi is the vast catalog of repos and add-ons. They enable you to access on-demand services like BBC iPlayer as well as some live TV. You can also find add-ons for non-video content such as weather tickers, context menus, skins, and even mini-programs. How to Watch Live Broadcast TV Using Kodi and NextPVR How to Watch Live Broadcast TV Using Kodi and NextPVR Watch and record broadcast TV, free of charge, using your PC. It’s perfectly legal, and a free Windows program called NextPVR makes the process (relatively) simple. Read More

When you’re installing add-ons and repos, please ensure the content you’re watching is legal in your area. Kodi has developed an unfortunate reputation as being a haven for pirates and copyright thieves over the last few years. Authorities in both North America and Europe are starting to put end users in their crosshairs.

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A repo (or repository) is a library of add-ons. The add-ons themselves are what allow you to access and watch content. You need to add a repo before you can install an add-on.

Kodi offers an official repo, but you can also find many third-party repos from people who create their own add-ons. The Kodi repo is included in the app automatically.

Sadly, given the recent clampdown on Kodi by the authorities, many once-popular repos have disappeared for good. It’s no longer possible to direct you to “must-have” repos because the situation is so fluid. We can, however, explain how to add repos.

Using the Official Kodi Repo

The official Kodi repo contains loads of add-ons, and many users won’t even need to consider using third-party repos. Available add-ons include BBC iPlayer, Pluto TV, Crackle, SoundCloud, Arte TV, Bravo, BT Sport, and the Disney Channel. Most importantly, all of the add-ons in the official repo are entirely legal.

To browse the official repo from within the Kodi app, select Add-ons from the left-hand side of the Kodi home screen. On the next screen, click on Download (again, on the left-hand side of the screen).

download official repo for using kodi

You will now see a list of add-on categories. You can click on any of them to see what’s available. In the image below, you can see the list of video add-ons.

To install an add-on, click on the name of the item in question and choose Install. Once the process is finished, you can launch the add-on from the relevant section of the Kodi home screen.

Installing Third-Party Repos

Before you can install a third-party repo, you will need to do some research online. You cannot simply browse a list of repos from within Kodi.

When you’ve located a repo you want, download its ZIP file onto your hard drive.

Now, head to your Kodi app and navigate to Settings > System > Add-ons. Mark the checkbox next to Unknown Sources.

installing third party repos in kodi

To install the ZIP file, follow the step-by-step instructions below:

  1. Click on Add-ons on the Kodi home screen.
  2. In the top left-hand corner, click on the box icon.
  3. A new screen will pop up. Select Install from ZIP file.
  4. Use the browser window to point Kodi at the ZIP file.
  5. Highlight the ZIP file you want to install and click on OK.

Installing an Add-On From a Third-Party Repo

The add-ons from any third-party repos will be mixed together if you go to Add-ons > Download > . However, it’s possible only to see add-ons from a particular repo. It makes it much easier to find add-ons you want to install.

To see add-ons from a specific repo, go to the Kodi home screen and click on Add-ons. Next, in the top left-hand corner, click on the box icon.

installing addons in kodi

A new list of options will pop up. Click on Install from repo, and finally, click on the name of the repo you want to browse. To install an add-on, click on its name and choose Install.

Troubleshooting Kodi

As with any app, things can occasionally go wrong.

Excessive Buffering

You can’t do much about buffering on live TV you’re streaming, but buffering issues on locally saved media and on-demand video are quite straightforward to cure.

Usually, the cache causes the issue. Specifically, the amount of memory the cache can use. You can change the cache settings by tweaking the Advanced Settings file.

Open the file and paste the following code:

<advancedsettings> <cache> <buffermode>1</buffermode> <memorysize>20971520</memorysize> <readfactor>8 </readfactor> </cache> </advancedsettings>

For a more detailed look at what the above code means, check out our tips for fixing buffering issues on Kodi. How to Fix Kodi Buffering Issues: 3 Simple Tips How to Fix Kodi Buffering Issues: 3 Simple Tips Kodi is prone to buffering issues. But don’t despair; it’s often possible to fix the problems. In this article, we show three tips to fix Kodi buffering. Read More

Black and White Screen When Playing Video on Windows

DirectX is often responsible. Either you don’t have it installed, or you’re running a very old version. Grab the latest copy of the software from the Microsoft website.

Audio Delay Issues on Android

The Android version of Kodi is notorious for audio sync issues. If updating your app does not help, you can adjust the delay manually by going to Audio Options > Audio offset while a video is playing.

Other Solutions

No matter what issue you encounter, there are some tried-and-tested steps you can take that frequently make the problem go away.

Updates: Always make sure both the Kodi app and any add-ons you’re using are running the latest version.

Delete recently installed repos and add-ons: Sometimes the code in add-ons can interfere with other add-ons or the Kodi app itself.

Have You Got Kodi Working?

This guide should be enough to get everyone up and running on the Kodi app. To recap, we’ve covered the essential parts of the app, including the initial setup, adding your videos, music, and photos, and installing add-ons and repos.

Did this guide to setting up Kodi answer all of your initial questions? If you’re still unsure about anything related to getting started with Kodi, please leave us a comment below and we’ll do our best to answer it.

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7 Tips for Using a Raspberry Pi 3 as a Desktop PC with Raspbian

Source: https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/raspberry-…desktop-pc-raspbian/
Capture Date: 11.03.2018 15:33:22

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Did you know your Raspberry Pi can be used as a desktop PC? Perhaps you’ve already tried building a media center and a retro gaming station, and now you want to settle things down. Maybe your own desktop PC is no longer fit for purpose. Use Your Raspberry Pi Like a Desktop PC Use Your Raspberry Pi Like a Desktop PC There are so many amazing things that you can do with a Raspberry Pi, from running your own space program to building a media centre. Although ostensibly intended as a compact computer that can be… Read More

Either way, the Raspberry Pi 3 (the newer the better!) makes an ideal desktop replacement for basic productivity purposes. But are you getting the best performance? We’re guessing you’re not.

So, if you want to use your Raspberry Pi 3 as a desktop PC and enjoy maximum performance, try these seven tips. Some of them might even work for other Raspberry Pi projects…

1. Apply Our Performance Tweaks

Any version of the Raspberry Pi can be used as a desktop PC, but the more recent Raspberry Pi 3 (released in 2016) is more suited than earlier versions. Whichever device you opt for, you’ll need to make sure that you’re getting the most out of it.

raspberry pi

The tips you find in this list will help you. But for hardware tweaks to improve overall system performance, ensure you have things like an adequate power supply, and a good quality SD card. We’ve compiled a list of great tweaks to improve your Raspberry Pi’s performance, so check those out before proceeding.

Once you’ve applied those changes, read on!

2. Use the Chromium Browser

Several browsers are available for the Raspberry Pi. While the Vivaldi browser is a good alternative, for the best productivity on the Raspberry Pi 3 you should opt for Chromium. Fortunately this is pre-installed, and you’ll find it in the Internet menu. 8 Great Browsers You Can Run on Your Raspberry Pi 3 8 Great Browsers You Can Run on Your Raspberry Pi 3 Several browsers are available for the Raspberry Pi, but which is best? Should you stick with Chromium, or try one of the others? Let’s find out! Read More

Chromium Browser

There are several reasons why you should use Chromium, not least because it delivers continuity with your current desktop. Assuming you’re using Chromium on Windows or macOS, you can sign into the browser on the Raspberry Pi and sync your favorites, for example.

More importantly, Chromium offers a degree of stability and performance that the other browsers do not (yet). It’s the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s preferred browser for the Pi 3, and has been included since the release of the PIXEL desktop in September 2016. Chromium should run well with the Raspberry Pi 2 and 3; older devices are better served with the Epiphany browser. Upgrade Raspberry Pi’s Raspbian OS With the PIXEL Desktop Environment Upgrade Raspberry Pi’s Raspbian OS With the PIXEL Desktop Environment Since its release in 2012, the Raspberry Pi’s Raspbian operating system has had a few revisions, but the desktop environment had remained largely the same. Pixel changes that. Read More

3. Google Apps Work in Vivaldi!

You may know that the Vivaldi browser has been released with compatibility for ARM devices, including the Raspberry Pi. Among the features of Vivaldi is support for Google apps and Chrome extensions.

Google Apps in Vivaldi

Remember, the Raspberry Pi 3 uses a 1.2 GHz CPU with just 1 Gb of RAM. You’re not going to get PC-like performance out of it, so use with moderation.

Along with apps, however, Chrome extensions will also (mostly) work in Chromium. This is important for enjoying the same browsing experience as you would on a PC or laptop computer.

4. Keep Browser Tabs to a Minimum

Speaking of extensions, it’s a good idea to employ a “session manager” add-on to ensure superior tab management.

Minimize browser tab use

Your best solution here is to run several tab sessions, along with a bookmarking tool. Keep your tabs focused on the task at hand, and save irrelevant reading for later. It’s basic productivity and time management, but becomes more important when you’re using a lower spec machine as your desktop computer.

Even a Raspberry Pi 3 will struggle with over 10 tabs. For the best results, keep it to around five most of the time.

5. Use LibreOffice for Productivity

Although Google Drive is an option via the Chromium browser, you should rely on LibreOffice for a superior office experience. Raspbian Stretch has the open-source office suite built in; you’ll find it in the desktop menu under Office.

LibreOffice for Productivity

Here, you’ll find LibreOffice Writer for word processing, Calc for spreadsheets, Impress for presentations, Base for database design, and more. It isn’t quite at the level of Microsoft Office, but should be adequate for 95% of users.

If you enjoy using LibreOffice, when the time comes to move away from the Raspberry Pi as a desktop (and return to some of the more interesting uses), you can take the suite with you. LibreOffice is an open source office suite available for Windows and macOS as well as Linux. 20 Awesome Uses for a Raspberry Pi 20 Awesome Uses for a Raspberry Pi With so many cool projects for the Raspberry Pi, it can be hard to decide what to make. In this mega guide, we round up 20 of the very best projects around! Read More

6. Use a Cabled Keyboard and Mouse

The Raspberry Pi 3 has wireless internet and Bluetooth. Despite this, however, it is recommended to rely on a cabled keyboard and mouse for the best performance.

While it is advantageous to run a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse (or integrated pointing device) for flexibility, power-wise it doesn’t always work out. This is especially the case if you haven’t connected the Raspberry Pi to a reliable power supply.

You may already know that Bluetooth Low Energy is designed to use as little power as possible. But with a computer as low spec and low power as the Pi, even a minor drain can result in power issues. Using cabled peripherals is the best answer here.

7. Install Some Extra Software

Although there is a great selection of applications bundled with the Raspberry Pi’s preferred Raspbian Stretch operating system, you might need a few extras. For instance, you might wish to access the command line quickly: Guake is a good option here.

install software for raspberry pi 3 as desktop

Or you might require access to Dropbox. As this isn’t officially supported on Raspbian (or any Raspberry Pi, as there is no ARM version of Dropbox) you’ll need help. The answer is the Dropbox Uploader tool.

These, and several other useful tools, are featured in our look at the best apps to install on your Raspberry Pi. Top 10 Apps You Should Install on Your Raspberry Pi Top 10 Apps You Should Install on Your Raspberry Pi The Raspberry Pi is an awesome little computer, but you might not be making best use of it. If your Rasperberry Pi is running a Linux operating system, you’ll need these apps installed! Read More

Are You Using Your Raspberry Pi as a PC?

If you want to use your Raspberry Pi 3 to replace a desktop computer, start with these seven tips to improve productivity. Here’s a recap:

  • Apply Raspberry Pi performance tweaks
  • Use the Chromium browser
  • Favorite Google apps work with Chromium
  • Only open a few browser tabs
  • Rely on LibreOffice for word processing and spreadsheets
  • Avoid using Bluetooth
  • Install some extra apps

We’d like to hear from you if you’ve used your Raspberry Pi in this way. What did you learn? What changes did you make? Or is a Raspberry Pi your main computer right now? Tell us in the comments!

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The Best Free Games You Can Play on Linux

Source: https://www.maketecheasier.com/open-source-linux-games/
Capture Date: 11.03.2018 15:11:54

“Free” and “Linux” go hand in hand beautifully, like chips and a milkshake, and even though Linux isn’t widely seen as a gaming platform, there is a veritable wealth of free games you can get for it if you look in the right places. That’s in large part thanks to unpaid, open-source developers, who collaborate to bring classics (and new games) all together in Linux.

So in tribute to those tireless devs, we’ve gathered the best free games you can play on Linux right now. Enjoy!

1. Dota 2

best-free-open-source-games-for-linux-dota-2

So this one’s not an open-source offering but free and seismically popular nonetheless. Dota 2 is Valve’s free-to-play MOBA phenomenon, rubbing shoulders with League of Legends as the most popular game of its kind. Fun fact: the original Dota is in fact a mod for the RTS classic Warcraft III.

So what makes Dota 2 special? It’s actually a little deeper than League of Legends in some ways (though I’m sure LoL fans will disagree). You can pick from one of over 100 heroes to take into battle, fighting alongside your team and your army of minions to push those lanes and destroy the other team’s base. Units range from healing support types to charging, head-down attackers. Whatever your play style, there will be one in there to suit you.

Dota 2 has a few interesting features as well, such as the option to eat up your own minions in exchange for gold and numerous ways of kitting out and upgrading your character. Be warned: Dota 2 isn’t for the faint-hearted.

2. Brutal Doom

best-free-open-source-games-linux-brutal-doom

A painstakingly elaborate project for one of the most loved PC games of all time, Brutal Doom is a beefed-up version of ZDoom, the open-source port of Doom, Doom 2, Final Doom and Master Levels. It features extra animations and gore and weapons, as well as redesigned maps, modernized controls and UIs. It’s vicious and immensely satisfying and arguably the best way to play Doom in this day and age.

Those who are nostalgic for N64 should check out Brutal Doom 64, which remasters and bloodies up the open-source port of the N64 version. (Alternatively, there’s also Doom 64: Retribution which focuses on visual improvements while not redesigning much of the original game.)

3. OpenRA (Red Alert, Tiberian Dawn, Dune 2000)

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Command & Conquer set the bar for real-time strategy games, and there are some who argue that it’s never quite been topped. OpenRA is an updated, up-resed and polished version of not just Red Alert but also Tiberian Dawn and Dune 2000, faithfully recreating these classic games with the interface and usability perks that we’d expect from a game made today. All the games are completely free and are without question the best way to play these classics. And yes, of course you can play LAN games with your pals.

4. 0 A.D.

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Despite still being in an Alpha stage after nearly ten years, 0 A.D. is one of the most impressive free games out there. Players take control of one of twelve ancient civilizations and are tasked with its survival and proliferation. In order to do this, you must engage in combat with other civilizations while managing your economy. Featuring a single-player campaign as well as multiplayer, 0 A.D. is perfect for those who are going through Age of Empires II withdrawals.

5. Super TuxKart

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It may have started as a Mario Kart clone, but Super TuxKart has come into its own over the years. This kart racer has a slew of game modes, offering lots of racing replayability. In addition to colorful graphics and well-designed tracks to race on, one of the best things about Super TuxKart is its collection of characters. Mascots from various open-source projects appear in the game. Keep your eyes peeled for the GNU wildebeest, the SUSE gecko and the Mozilla Thunderbird.

6. The Dark Mod

best-free-open-source-linux-games-thedarkmod

Don’t let the name fool you – this isn’t just a mod of an existing game. Instead it is a standalone game born from an attempt to remake the game “Thief” in the Doom 3 engine. In The Dark Mod players control an agile thief who must use a variety of tools and equipment to avoid various threats. The software is bundled with a level editor which allows users to create their own missions. There are currently over one-hundred fan-made missions with various objectives. The Dark Mod has received significant attention from gamers and the press, even being crowned the “#2 best free PC game” by PC Gamer in 2016.

7. Hedgewars

best-free-open-source-linux-games-hedgewars

In this delightfully destructive game, players control hedgehogs who use anything and everything to kill, maim and obliterate each other. The turn-based action takes place on various destructive environments and features a dizzying amount of weapons. The collateral damage of the weapons can alter the landscape, restricting the movement of the hedgehogs. Luckily, the hedgehogs have various tools like ropes and parachutes at their disposal to help them navigate the land and get a clear shot at the enemy. If this sounds to you a lot like another turn-based war game featuring seemingly harmless animals, you wouldn’t be wrong. Hedgewars is heavily influenced by the long-running “Worms” series.

8. Voxelands

best-free-open-source-linux-games-voxelands

Voxelands is a sandbox construction game in the same vein as Minecraft. It places players in a fully-destructible 3D world where they can build pretty much anything they want. Voxelands also boasts role-playing elements, requiring players to defend their structures from the elements and enemies. The game features a large number of tools and over 500 different types of blocks to aid in their construction. Whereas some players can experience some performance issues with heavyweights like Minecraft, Voxelands is feather-light. The game’s website claims that Voxelands can run on a Pentium 1 processor and be played online with a 14.4 KB connection!

9. Xonotic

best-free-open-source-linux-games-xonotic

Xonotic is a fast-paced multiplayer game built on a heavily-modified version of the Quake engine. Xonotic features multiple game modes including staples like capture-the-flag and deathmatch and features a number of futuristic weapons. Gameplay emphasis is on speed and mastering level layout, making Xonotic similar to games like Unreal Tournament and Quake.

10. The Battle for Wesnoth

best-free-open-source-linux-games-battlewesnoth

Fancy fighting elves, trolls, orcs and dragons? The Battle for Wesnoth indulges all your Tolkien-esque impulses in a turn-based strategy game. Players fight for dominance in a high fantasy realm populated with colorful retro sprites. In addition to factoring in the strengths and weaknesses of units, players must also account for weather and types of terrain during their quest, all of which can have an effect on the outcome of a battle. The stable version of the game includes sixteen campaigns; however, there are many unofficial campaigns in the form of user-made add-ons.

11. OpenTTD

best-free-open-source-linux-games-openttd

A remake of 1995’s Transport Tycoon Deluxe, OpenTTD tasks players with managing a major metropolitan transit system. The goal of the game is to build a transportation network utilizing a variety of vehicles such as trains, boats, planes and trucks. In addition, players earn money for successful deliveries. The money can then be used to build a more efficient infrastructure. OpenTTD supports multiplayer games of up to 255 people split between fifteen different transport companies, all in direct competition with one another. The game also supports a large and active user-base, resulting in a wide variety of mods being available.

12. Secret Maryo Chronicles

best-free-open-source-linux-games-secretmaryo

It’s no “secret” as to what classic game Secret Maryo Chronicles gets its inspiration from. Rest assured, this isn’t simply a half-baked rip-off. Secret Maryo Chronicles has been championed by many as a solid platform loaded with challenging puzzles. If you’ve been dying to take a trip down memory lane via a big green pipe, look no further.

13. AstroMenace

best-free-open-source-linux-games-astromenace

It’s a plot that we’ve all heard before: Aliens are invading, and it’s up to you to annihilate them all. With impressive visuals, AstroMenace is an arcade-style shooter that really tests a player’s hand-eye coordination. Players will have to navigate the frontier of space while repelling hordes of enemy spaceships. Enemy units boast unique attacks and serious firepower, requiring players to be on their toes at all times. Weapon and ship upgrades become available throughout the game, and trust us when we say that you’ll need them to succeed in your mission.

What are your favorite free games to play on Linux? Let us know in the comments!

This article was first published in March 2017 and was updated in February 2018.