Screenfetch vs. Neofetch, You Decide!

Should you use screenFetch or Neofetch? That’s up to you to decide. This article will share some info about both of them. This should be a pretty short article.

I also confess that there’s not much of a “vs.” here. The screenFetch app hasn’t been updated in a long time and Neofetch is the clear winner for most folks. But, well, it seems like people have forgotten that screenfetch exists and that it existed well before neofetch was conceived. That’s why I’ve picked ‘History’ as one of the categories.

See, the thing is, screenfetch (I’m tired of capitalizing the F, and the N, just to be right!) still exists and still works just fine. In some cases, you might get the wrong information from it, especially with newer distros, so why use it? Well, you use it because it shouldn’t be forgotten – and ’cause it still works most of the time.

So, you decide… Screenfetch or neofetch? Or maybe both?

Screenfetch:

The screenfetch application was was created to gather system information so that it could be presented in a screenshot format. In fact, their GitHub page clearly states the purpose as:

Fetches system/theme information in terminal for Linux desktop screenshots.

Though it’s old, it’ll almost certainly be available in your default repositories. Just because it’s old doesn’t mean it isn’t still useful! (Perhaps I’m having some sort of crisis, ’cause I too am old and part of the purpose of this site is to be useful!)

Assuming you’re using a distro with apt, it’s a mere install command away:

Then, well, you use it. You could just run it with ‘screenfetch’, but you can also actually use the -s switch and create a screenshot of your full screen, making it easy to take and share a picture of your desktop to show others in forums and social media sites.

This is an edited down screenshot, ’cause the rest of my desktop isn’t all that interesting right now.

screenfetch
See? Screenfetch in action. I like the ASCII art better, actually. That’s a matter of taste.

As you can see, that was with the -s switch. It happily generates a screenshot of the entire screen, but I edited it down to just the terminal. There’s nothing interesting on my screen right now. Just a bunch of open windows, largely with text in them.

Screenfetch still works, and I like the ASCII art better. I suppose I could probably customize neofetch to make it do the same thing, but I’m way too lazy for that. Either way, it works – and it works just fine. It still does the task it was designed to do, even without any recent updates.

Neofetch:

Neofetch is newer and probably better in every single way. (Though I do have some issues with it on some systems, as it won’t create its own screenshot! That’s a ‘me’ thing, I suspect.) It’s also familiar to many people, and indeed has been mentioned on this site multiple times.

It gets regular updates and has a ton of options. It’s also able to be highly customized. In pretty much every single way, it’s the superior solution. It’s described by the authors like so:

The overall purpose of Neofetch is to be used in screen-shots of your system. Neofetch shows the information other people want to see. There are other tools available for proper system statistic/diagnostics.

It’s a much newer application. Screenfetch last had a release in 2019, while neofetch had a release just last August (at the time of writing). It should be noted that there have been some commits at the screenfetch repository, but they’ve not yet been released. The project isn’t dead. It just isn’t as active as neofetch.

Again, it’s easy to install. It’s in the default repositories for most any distro out there, at least the major ones. There are some distros that include it by default, including Lubuntu! Again, assuming you’re using a distro with the apt package manager, it’s installed just like screenfetch:

And, like screenfetch, you can just run it as ‘neofetch’. However, check the man page for it and you’ll see there are a ton of other options. It’s seriously highly configurable. It looks like this:

neofetch in action
This looks a lot like screenfetch, doesn’t it? The art is different. The output is also different!

For whatever reason, on that system the neofetch doesn’t seem to want to take a screenshot. I’m probably missing scrot or something like that. I’m too lazy to figure it out, but it’ll likely work just fine on your system. It’s a great way to gather a bunch of presentable information about your system, with the end goal being to show it to other people.

So, is neofetch the one for you? Is it really any better?

Screenfetch or Neofetch:

Sure, there hasn’t been a screenfetch release in a long time – but there’s sure to be one eventually. There’s activity in the repository at GitHub. That’s usually an indicator that there’s still more to come. I wouldn’t count it out and it’s pretty much feature complete.

Neofetch? Well, it’s much newer and has more consistent releases lately. It’s also highly configurable. You’ll be able to customize it all you want. You’re encouraged to edit ~/.config/neofetch/config all you want, making neofetch your own. It’s also a mature application, with a large install base and likely also feature complete.

Either one works. They do spit out different information. If you examine both screenshots above, you’ll see the data output is different. Not gonna lie, I ain’t gotta clue why they’re different. The areas where they’re different are trivial and I’ve made no effort to find out which is correct. 

What? It’s a blog. I have finite time for these things, you know! 😊

You can decide between screenfetch or neofetch – or you can use both. They’re both very similar and neither should be used for anything all that serious. They spit out some system information in a form that’s convenient for screenshots so that you can show off your system to your forum friends.

Closure:

Here’s another article in the books. It’s not really about a ‘vs’ anything, but the title seemed appropriate. It’s a good time to expose some of the newer Linux users to the venerable screenfetch tool, as choice is always a good thing.

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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How To: Disable Sleep And Hibernation on Ubuntu Server

For some reason, Ubuntu Server comes with ‘power management’ enabled. This is an article that tells you how to disable sleep and hibernation in Ubuntu Server. It’ll work just fine for non-server installs, but this is aimed specifically at the Ubuntu Server release.

I recently was working on my own router. For this, I used Ubuntu Server as the base operating system. For some reason, it was shutting itself down after periods of inactivity. This isn’t acceptable behavior for a device that’s meant to be running all the time.

I checked in my logs and I found entries like this one:

Apr 3 12:18:27 server systemd[1]: Reached target Sleep.

That was entirely unacceptable. I do not know why power management was installed, nor do I know why it was active by default. I merely know that it was and that I couldn’t have that behavior with a server, a device meant to be always powered on.

So, I did what anyone would do in my shoes. I disabled sleep and hibernation entirely. It’s quick and easy – and effective! I’ll show you how!

Disable Sleep/Hiberation:

Like most articles, you’re gonna need a terminal. If it’s actually a server, you’re likely already able to connect with SSH. So, add the step of connecting to the server if you’re doing this remotely. If not, just proceed.

Once you have your terminal open, you’re to kill everything that has to do with suspend, sleep, or hybrid-sleep. It’s actually pretty easy. Start by opening said terminal, by pressing CTRL + ALT + T and then enter the following commands:

First, you mask ‘sleep.target‘:

Then mask ‘suspend.target‘:

And mask ‘hibernate.target‘:

Finally, mask ‘hybrid-sleep.target‘:

Later, should you change your mind, you can unmask them and that’ll enable them again. Just change ‘mask’ to ‘unmask’ and run the commands again. See? Pretty easy!

If you want, you can verify the efficacy. Simply use the following:

(You can change ‘sleep.target’ to one of the above services and check them individually.) 

Closure:

That’s it! I told you that it’d be pretty easy. It’s not only easy, it’s easy to undo this should you change your mind. Again, I do not know why power management is enabled by default in a server release. Nobody asked me! So, that’s how you disable sleep and hibernation with Ubuntu. (It’ll surely work with other distros.)

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, you can donate, write an article, vote for articles you like, share this article on social media, buy cheap hosting, register to help, etc… Nobody ever reads the last paragraph anyhow. Still, you can help if you want!

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‘vnStat’ A Tool For Monitoring Your Bandwidth Usage

‘vnStat’ is a wonderful tool for monitoring your bandwidth usage. This article will show you how to use vnStat effectively. For bonus points, we’ll also look at ‘vnstati’ so you can make pretty graphs to visualize your bandwidth usage. This article shouldn’t take too long!

vnStat‘ stands for ‘view network statistics’ and has been around for like 18 years at the time of this writing. It’s so common that it has its own Wikipedia page. Of course you know that already, you can see the handy link I already provided!

Anyhow, ‘vnStat’ is a tool that runs in the terminal, a console tool as it helpfully describes itself:

vnstat – a console-based network traffic monitor

It’s a pretty great tool that generates some neat information and displays it in the terminal. It looks a little something like this:

vnStat in action!
See? I’ve stopped taking screenshots with a semi-transparent terminal! I’m pretty much a pro!

That image should save me a whole bunch of time! I trust that my readers are smart enough to figure out the gist of it with just a handy screenshot. For those not fluent in the ways of vnStat, ‘rx’ means received and ‘tx’ means sent. The rest should be pretty easy to figure out.

Install vnStat:

In order to get vnStat, you have to actually have to install it. It’s available in the default repositories in the popular distros (and even the BSD family). If it isn’t, you can always build it from source. But, you can probably install it much like you’d install anything else. For example, in a distro that uses apt you’d install it with:

(We might just as well install vnstati at the same time. Also, adjust that command for your own package management system.)

You can next go ahead and enable the service and start it next. That will be:

Once it is installed, you should set up database(s) for vnStat. This is done with:

Where you have “<device_name>” you replace it with the name of your internet adapter. For example, lots of Ethernet adapters are ‘eth0’. You can find the name of your adapter(s) by using either ‘ifconfig -a’ or ‘ip addr’. You can repeat this with all the names of the internet adapters you use, if you do in fact use more than one.

Then you can verify your vnStat installation with:

Assuming that spits out a version number you should be good to go.

Using vnStat (& vnstati):

So, by now you should have vnStat installed, and its sister app vnstati should also be installed. Let’s examine how you use them.

First, you can just call the application in the terminal. There’s nothing complicated about it and it may be your choice if you have more than one network interface. To do so, it’s just:

You can also be more specific, getting the data for just a single device:

Where ‘eth0’ is, change it to the name of your device. So, for a wireless device, it may look something like:

There are a ton of other options, so be sure to check the man page. Those are the options that I use most often, so those are the only ones we’ll be concentrating on.

Now, you can also use vnstati to make a nifty graphic that will show you your bandwidth usage. It looks a little something like this:

vnstati in action
That’s the graphical outcome I prefer.

That’s the output of this command:

As you can guess, you can change the output path to anything you want (and have permissions for). I prefer that particular graphic, but there are a ton of options and you can gather all sorts of information. For example, there’s also this to show the hourly rate from the past 24 hours:

vnstati in action
This is an hourly output, which may be of value if you have limited bandwidth.

That is the output from this command:

And, again, you can modify the outputted .png to place it where you want. There are a whole lot more options and this article isn’t going to cover them all. That’s not the kind of article I write. There are tons more options in the man page, if you want to explore them.

Find what works for you and run with it. You should be able to find a format you like that has the information you’re looking for. I’m just introducing you, you decide how you use it.

Closure:

And there’s another article in the books! This one explains vnStat and vnstati. Both are pretty great tools that go well together, and they help you monitor your bandwidth usage. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to scroll down and leave a message.

Thanks for reading! If you want to contribute, you can donate, you can write an article, you can register to help, you can buy inexpensive hosting, you can rate the articles, you can scroll down to sign up for the newsletter, or you can share this site on social media. If you can think of anything else to help, jump right in and start doing it!

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Get Some Prettified CPU Information in Your Terminal With ‘CPUFETCH’

This brief article will help you get ‘cpufetch‘ installed and running. cpufetch is like neofetch, except it’s for your CPU. It’s probably not the greatest information-gathering tool, but it is kind of neat and worth playing with for a little while.

Basically, it’s like neofetch but for your CPU. All-in-all, it’s not the most useful tool. What it is, is interesting – or at least I think so. I saw it on a Reddit post a few days ago and decided to play around with it. I liked it well enough to write this article. 

When I check the cpufetch man page, cpufetch describes itself as this:

Simple yet fancy CPU architecture fetching tool

That seems to be an accurate description and that’s good enough for me! You’re not going to be doing a whole lot with it, but it is fun to play with. It simply outputs CPU data formatted to look a lot like neofetch and that’s all it does. In fact, it outputs data that looks like this:

cpufetch in action
And, yeah, that’s all it does. Neat, huh? No? Well, I think it’s neat! Sheesh!

So, yeah, that’s all it does. As you can see, I used the -s switch with retro to change the styling. You probably won’t be too interested in anything beyond that, which is fine. After all, this article is really about just having fun.

Using cpufetch:

Well, first you’re gonna need cpufetch if you want to use it. So, you should probably do that first! There’s a chance that it’s already packaged for you, and you can check that at this link. If there’s a package for you, go ahead and install it like you normally would. Otherwise, you’re going to need to build it.

Building it isn’t too hard and I had no issues doing so a couple of times on different systems. The directions are right there on the GitHub page, but I’ll recreate them here:

You can, of course, copy the built ‘cpufetch’ file anywhere you want. You can use the following command to make it so that you can use the program from anywhere you want.

Having crammed it into /usr/bin means it’s accessible even when you’re in a different directory. You can just run ‘cpufetch’ and it’ll work.

Speaking of which, that’s all you need to do to run it. You just use:

However, you can go one step further and install it. This isn’t listed on the GitHub page, but you can actually install it to have a man page entry for it and the likes. To do that, instead of moving the cpufetch binary like above, you just tell make to install it. It looks like this:

With that command, it’ll be fully installed and run just like any other application that runs in the terminal. And, as mentioned, it even adds the man page so you can use that. That’s probably a better option than just stopping at the ‘make’ directions from GitHub.

The way the output is formatted takes up quite a bit of space, so it’s prettier if you make your terminal large enough to fit the formatted output. You can also check the man page to learn the few other options. From the few other options, I’ve decided that I prefer the retro style. To do that, it’s simply:

I found the formatting much nicer with the retro logo applied. You do you and decide which one you like best as you play with your new toy. It’s merely a matter of taste.

Closure:

And that’s it for today. You’re probably not going to need cpufetch in your day-to-day operations. In fact, there are better tools than cpufetch – and they’ll give you far more information about your CPU. In this case, I don’t think that matters. It’s just a fun way to see some of the information about your CPU in the terminal. It’s perfectly okay to just have fun!

As always, thanks for reading! Thanks for the feedback! The traffic has slowed down, which is fine by me. If you’re interested in helping, you can donate, write an article, buy cheap hosting, register to help, scroll down and vote or sign up for the newsletter down there, or you can leave feedback in the comments! Any/all of those are truly appreciated and either help keep me motivated, show me what you like, or help the site stay up and running. Until next time…

EDIT:

I found an ancient AMD box to try it on, just so I could generate the AMD graphics. It took a bit to remember I had that old computer, but it looks like this:

cpufetch with an old AMD CPU
You can click on these to make them larger and easier to read.
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How To: Find Your IP Address Through Your Terminal

The answer to the question, “What is my IP address?” can have different answers. In practice, you likely have more than one IP address. This article will explain how and will tell you how to use your terminal to find your IP address(es).

What is an IP address?

An IP address is a numerical designation given to computers on a network. This number is used to identify the computer. You can also identify a computer by their hostname, but the hostname is resolving to an IP address. Computers that are connected to a network will have an IP address.

There are two types of IP addresses to be curious about these days. There’s IPv4 and IPv6. IPv4 predates IPv6 and is still in use, but has run out of numbers. IPv6 solves that by enabling a whole lot more combinations. IPv6 has a potential of 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 addresses – which is a whole lot of ’em, especially when compared to IPv4’s paltry ~4.3 billion addresses.

IPv4 addresses have technically already been exhausted, and have been since early 2011. The addresses still exist, but they’re all assigned to various entities. The IPv6 roll-out has been slow. Odds are good that you’re using IPv4 right now, in fact I know you are – as this site has an IPv4 address. Still, your router is likely handing out IPv4 addresses and your ISP is likely still using IPv4 addresses.

Additionally, in most cases, you would be concerned with two IP addresses. You’re likely connected to a router/modem that’s connected to the internet. As such, you will have a private IP address and you’ll have a public IP address. The first is (usually) assigned to your computer by your router and the second is assigned to your router by your ISP. This article will explain a little about each and how to find both of them.

Find Your Private IP Address:

Your private IP address will be in a reserved section of the IP address space. It will probably be handed down by DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol), but many routers will both let you pick your IP address (from the reserved space) or will just assign the same IP address to the same device based on the MAC address (Media Access Control). 

The reasons you’d want to know it are your own, but it’s handy if you want to connect to a specific computer. As I know my laptop is 192.168.1.5, I can just SSH into it using that address. I know my media server is a different address, and I can connect to it with the IP address as well.

There are a number of ways to find your private IP address. I’ll share two of them that are quick and easy. For this, you’re going to want to open your terminal, which you can do by pressing CTRL + ALT + T and it should open right up.

First try:

You can also try:

In both cases, you look for ‘inet’ AND your device. You’re not looking for ‘loopback’, as that will likely list your IP address as 127.0.0.1 – which isn’t the address you’re after for reasons beyond the scope of this article.

You’re looking for your device, maybe named ‘eth0’ or ‘wlo1’ or similar, and then you’re looking for ‘inet’. Your IP address is the next four sets of digits (or alphanumeric combinations in the case of IPv6). For example:

example IP address
I’m not so sure the underlining matters.

One or both of those methods should work for you with any major distribution. There are surely many other ways to find your IP address, so feel free to leave a comment indicating how you do it.

Find Your Public IP Address:

The next kind of address is your public IP address. This is the IP address your ISP assigns you. If you wanted to connect to your computer over the world-wide-web, you’d be able to do so (with obvious caveats and proper configuration) with your public IP address.

It’s also the address I see (unless you’re using a VPN) in my server logs when you visit my site. That’s perfectly normal – as my site needs to know where to send the return packets. If my site didn’t know an address to send data to, it simply wouldn’t work.

You can think of this as the IP address assigned to the public side of your router, and your router then passes that information along via the private IP address that originated the request. This lets you have multiple devices using the same public IP address. (Read about NAT here.)

My understanding is that some ISPs are NATing public IPv4 addresses so that multiple routers can actually have the same IP address (not necessarily a good thing). However, that too goes beyond the scope of this article and isn’t want this site is actually about.

Anyhow, there are numerous public servers out there that you can ‘cURL‘ and those will give you your public IP address right there in the terminal. Just like above, you can open your terminal by using your keyboard and pressing CTRL + ALT + T. Once open, you can try:

Or you can try:

It should look a little something like this:

my public IP address
Yes, that’s my public IP address. No, I don’t care.

There are numerous other sites that’ll spit out the same info. The top-most example was recently handed over to Cloudflare, just so folks are aware.

Closure:

And, there you have it. You now know how to find your public IP address and how to find your private IP address from within the terminal. There are also many dozens of websites that will tell you your public IP address, but we might as well stick to the terminal for this one. Why not? You can do a lot in the terminal.

Once again, thanks for reading. Your comments and feedback help make the site better. As always, you can donate, write an article, sign up for the newsletter below, register, and vote to let me know which articles you prefer. If you sign up for the newsletter, you’ll get notifications when new articles are published. No spam, I promise!

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