Eric Zhiqiang Ma

Eric is interested in building high-performance and scalable distributed systems and related technologies. The views or opinions expressed here are solely Eric's own and do not necessarily represent those of any third parties.

Essential Gnome Shell Extensions for Gnome 3 Users

Gnome Shell has a clean design. But many users want to get more from the desktop environment. Gnome 3’s extension system can help users customize the Gnome Shell’s look greatly. In this post, we summarize 6 extensions we considered essential to make Gnome Shell great. AlternateTab ∞ Make Alt-Tab “classic” instead of grouping windows by […]

Additional Repositories for CentOS Linux

CentOS is a super solid Linux distro. However, its default repository’s packages are limited compared to Fedora. Even Fedora needs some additional repositories to have software packages for daily usage, such as MPlayer, ffmpeg. Fortunately, some community maintained repositories provides these software. In this post, we introduce theses additional common repositories and how to install […]

How to Change Linux Account Password Through SSH: A Beginners’ Tutorial

People are sometimes given access to Linux/Unix and asked to change their initial passwords. But for beginners, changing a Linux/Unix password is not an easy task, especially when there is only SSH log on allowed to the Linux/Unix server. This post introduces how to change password of user USER on host HOST remotely using SSH. […]

How to Force Linux to Unmount a Filesystem Reporting “device is busy”

Linux may report “device is busy” when we try to umount a filesystem. This behavior is reasonable as it can help us avoid data loss by disallowing unmouting a filesystem when it is being used. But for situations when we are sure there is something wrong happened or we care not data lost such as […]

How to Automatically Move Junk Emails to The Junk Folder in Thunderbird

Junk Emails, or Email spams, are annoying and they cost time to deal with. While they are something we need to cope with, we can use tools to help us. Thunderbird has an adaptive junk filter that can learn from user’s actions to identify junk messages. I find that Thunderbird default settings are not fully […]

Three Methods of Executing Commands on Many Nodes in Parallel via SSH on Linux

It is common to execute commands on many nodes/hosts via SSH for managing a cluster of Linux servers. On Linux, there are many choices for this task. Generally, to run commands on many nodes, there are two modes: serial mode and parallel mode. In serial mode, the command is executed on the node one by […]

How to Add Google to Firefox in Linux Mint as Default Search Engine

In Firefox on Linux Mint, Google is not in the default list of search engines. Linux Mint has its criteria for adding search engines while Google seems not in those suggested by Linux Mint because “Amongst commercial search engines, only the ones which share with Linux Mint the revenue Linux Mint users generate for them […]

Tutorial Video for “PHP Function for Fetching RSS Feed and Outputting Feed Items as HTML”

After the post A PHP Function for Fetching RSS Feed and Outputing Feed Items as HTML was originally published, there are some updates such as adding a simple RSS feed caching mechanism and supporting scanning content parts of the feed items for images. Recently, Webucator makes a great tutorial video on introducing the RSS to […]

How to Configure the Latest Version of Flash on Firefox for Linux: by the Fresh Player Plugin

As you may know, Adobe stopped supporting the NPAPI version of Flash on Linux and the latest NPAPI version of Flash player at version 11.2 released back in 2012 will only receive security fixes. Even the security fixes to the 11.2 version of the Flash Plugin your Firefox is using will end on May 4, […]

How to Keep Linux SSH Session Alive from Disconnecting – Server and Client Side Fixes

SSH is a very common tool for Linux/Unix platforms. One annoying problem when using SSH is that the connection may get disconnected if the SSH connection is idle for some time under common configurations. Users may run an infinite loop like while true; do uptime; sleep 30; done when there is no work to be […]