Matthew Ames

Theme update

Matthew Ames - 2016-05-25 - 12:35 pm

I have recently been working on updating the theme on this site so that it feels comfortable for me to use, as I’m the one most likely to dive in and re-read the articles I’ve put in. In doing so, I have managed to strip out Twitter Bootstrap entirely, and put in my own CSS as I’ve needed it. It’s certainly not a complete framework, like Bootstrap, but it serves my needs, and I’m sure it’ll be updated over time.

Further to the visual changes, I’ve also added Disqus commenting. This is for three reasons:

  1. You don’t need a log in for my site or wordess, meaning anyone can comment,
  2. It’s decentralised, meaning that if Disqus notice a spam attack, they will deal with it, rather than me, and
  3. Because I couldn’t be bothered to write the php, html and css for comments, when Disqus fits well already.

The site has been confirmed as working on the latest versions of Firefox and Chrome. I haven’t tried anything else, but I may give Edge a go later.


Sticking with Fedora

Matthew Ames - 2016-05-20 - 10:17 am

I’ve decided that, when I start my new job, I absolutely will be sticking with Fedora. While Ubuntu 16.04 has brought with it PHP 7.0, I was amazed to find that it didn’t have the latest version of docker-compose, meaning that it needed to be installed via python-pip, rather than just from the repos. I find this to have been a very silly oversight, and just happens to be one of many oversights that seem to plague the distro. I’m not going to bash Ubuntu, because it’s really rather wonderful, but I’m at the point now where I can say that it’s no longer for me.

Fedora is has certainly become my de facto when it comes to Linux. Sure, it may sometimes slip when it comes to releases, but it does a great job of keeping on top of new technologies (except PHP 7.0, for some reason). Gnome always stays up to date, as does Firefox, though I’m using the Dev edition these days for e10s support.

Gnome Boxes is also considerably better within Fedora, which is my favourite tool for virtualisation. Virtural Machine Manger is nice and all, but it’s depth of options makes it take so much longer to boot in to a VM. Boxes has support for quick installs of CentOS, so I can bash out a VM in next to no time.

Finally, one of the cool features for wanting to play around Ubuntu was LXD, but really, it’s just LXC with a different interface, but it just isn’t as portable as Docker, which is what I’m really starting to love using in my day to day.


Ubuntu vs Fedora

Matthew Ames - 2016-05-06 - 10:48 am

For about the last year I have been using Fedora on my computers, but since the release of Ubuntu 16.04, I thought I’d give that a go. While they both work extremely well, there are cons to both, and so I cannot reconcile which I would like to install when I start my next job and get a brand new laptop. Here are the cons I have so far, and I hope that writing them down will help me.

Ubuntu Fedora
Not an RPM based distro (CentOS is default at new job) Fewer packages
Does not track Gnome upstream Often slow at updating packages (Firefox, openssl)
Gnome Boxes doesn’t work so well No LXD
Requires Unity Tweak Tool to be of any use Requires Fedy to be of any use
Often fails to fix issues in applications NIH Unpredictable release cycle
Overrides Online Accounts tool Documentation nowhere near as good as Ubuntu
Starting to feel stale, stuck with Unity 7. Proprietary driver support lacking
Even LTS desktop can be buggy
Heavy system requirements

Part of me thinks that I might use Fedora on my desktop, but Ubuntu on my server (where updates are critical). Ubuntu 16.04 already ships with php 7, but Fedora is very far behind the curve here, and it’s that which often frustrates me. Maybe there is no simple answer, and I should just install Fedora and rely on Docker and VMs for anything I need which isn’t in the repos.


Installing Apache/PHP7.0-FPM in Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus

Matthew Ames - 2016-04-04 - 1:41 pm

With recent versions of Apache, it has become a lot easier to use PHP-FPM, and with Ubuntu 16.04 being packaged with PHP 7 when it is released later this month, I thought it was worth a quick how to use all these technologies together.

Firstly, you will need to install the required applications, which this one simple command:

sudo apt install apache2 php

That’s not too different to how you would have installed it in previous versions of Ubuntu, and it will default to Php 7.

Now that they’re installed, there is a small amount of configuration needed. Run these simple commands in this order:

sudo a2dismod mpm_prefork php7.0
sudo a2enmod mpm_event proxy_fcgi
sudo a2enconf php7.0-fpm
sudo systemctl restart apache2

Now that should be everything complete.


Matthew and Ilona on Food Unwrapped tonight

Matthew Ames - 2016-04-01 - 12:00 pm

Tune in tonight, and you will see Ilona and myself on Channel 4’s Food Unwrapped tonight. We had a great fun filming that day, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how it came out. Follow the link below for more information about the show.