How To: Remove AppArmor From Ubuntu

In today’s article, we’re going to learn how to remove AppArmor from Ubuntu. This will work for other distros, like Debian. It’s actually not a very difficult task to remove AppArmor from Ubuntu, but it’s not something you necessarily want to do. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should…

As many of you know, I write many of these articles based on the notes I’ve taken over the years. I’m a little reluctant to write this one, because removing AppArmor is probably not the best of choices.

AppArmor is similar to the various jails and application isolation techniques. It’s a security tool that restricts applications to a constrained set of resources. If the application is then compromised, it only has access to that set of resources and not to the whole system.

In other words, unless you know what you’re doing, you almost certainly don’t want to remove AppArmor from Ubuntu. In fact, if you don’t know what you’re doing then doing this is almost certainly a ‘not-bright’ choice.

If you’re going to remove AppArmor, you should consider replacing it with something else. SELinux is an option that’s similar, though I suppose you could use something like Firejail and be prepared to craft your own application profiles.

Again, removing AppArmor from Ubuntu (or whatever distro you’re using that has it) is probably not a good idea. I include the article because the information is already out there and because some folks may just decide to operate their system without such protections. This is Linux, you have the freedom to make bad choices. This isn’t even the first time I’ve shown you how to make bad choices.

Remove AppArmor From Ubuntu:

Like oh so many of these articles, you’re gonna need an open terminal. Just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open. (I say that a whole lot on this site.)

We should first check to ensure AppArmor exists and is running. To do so, enter the following command:

What you’re looking for is several lines into the output. You’re looking for ‘apparmor module is loaded‘. If you see that, AppArmor both exists and is running. So, the next step in removing AppArmor is to stop the service. You do that with:

In case AppArmor is somehow installed again, we’ll make sure that it won’t start at boot by disabling the service entirely. That seems like a good idea.

Finally, we nuke AppArmor from existence with a purge command:

And that should do it. You probably want to reboot, just to make sure there are no tendrils sticking around – but stopping the service first should mean you don’t need to. Either way, you have now removed AppArmor from your system – assuming you followed the directions.

Closure:

Again, and I can’t stress this enough, don’t do this unless you know what you’re doing and unless you have something to replace AppArmor with. It’s really a bad idea and you’ll gain very little. I wouldn’t even do this with a system air-gapped from the network, unless I had a very good reason to do so.

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Check Disk Speed In The Terminal

In today’s article, we’re going to learn how to check the disk speed in the terminal. When I say ‘disk’ I also mean drives, like SSDs. I could use ‘storage drive’, or perhaps just ‘drive’, but the word ‘disk’ is what I’m going with. So, if you have any questions about other devices – the answer is that it should work just fine if you want to speed test them. 

I should point out that we’ll only be checking disk read speeds. We won’t do any write tests today. We’re just going to see how fast we can read data from the disks we have installed.

There’s a number of ways to check the speed of your disks. You can do so with tools like Gnome Disks or HardInfo, for example. If you’d rather, you can do a full-blown benchmark of your Linux system with GeekBench. This article will explain how to check disk speed in the terminal, because why not? The GUI tools may provide more data, but you don’t always need more data.

The tool we’ll be using for this ‘hdparm’ and it’s available for any major distro out there. In fact, it may be installed by default. So, if you want to get a head start, check to see if you have it installed. If not, go ahead and install it – just like you’d install any other software.

Anyhow, the tool describes itself as:

hdparm – get/set hard disk parameters

Which sums it up nicely. If you check the man page with man hdparm, you’ll see it’s actually pretty complicated. Fortunately, we’ll just be using it to check the disk speed. It can be used to do all sorts of stuff, as you can see from the man page. Perhaps we’ll cover some of that in a future article?

Anyhow, there’s not a whole lot that goes into this. So, let’s jump right in.

Check The Disk Speed In The Terminal:

This article requires an open terminal, like many other articles on this site. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

With the terminal open, you should first identify the disk you’re looking to test. You can list all your attached drives with:

Once you identify the drive you’re looking to check, you’ll almost certainly want to add a /dev/ in front of it – because that’s really where it’s mounted. So, if the disk you want to check is sda1, you’d use /dev/sda1. Even if it says something like /media/<user>/<drive_name>, you’ll still be using /dev/<disk>.

Now, to check the disk speed, you’ll use the following:

That gives you a good example result, including things like buffer and cache. If you want, you can actually check the direct disk speed as well. That just requires the --direct flag. It looks like this:

That’ll give you some results as though you were reading directly from the disk without a buffer involved. It’s an option to check, should you want to. But, you can get a good look at what your disk reads are going to be.

Closure:

That’s actually all there is to it. ‘Snot very difficult. Sure, hdparm is this big complicated application – but you can still use it to check the disk speed in the terminal. You don’t actually have to master all the options of these complicated applications in order to use them. You can still use them, learning more and more options as you use their features as needed.

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Install The Full Version of Vim In Ubuntu

Today, we’re going to show you how to install the full version of Vim in Ubuntu. Along the way, you may learn a few other things, but the process is simple enough. Even a new user can follow this article – I’d assume. I mean, I could follow it. I think…

Though, I’m not sure that a new user would opt for learning Vim. Either way, some of us will learn something from this article, even if it’s just me learning something from writing it. After all, if I read the headline aloud to you, our conversation might realistically start with this:

“But, KGIII, Ubuntu already comes with Vim installed!” You might say. “You don’t need to install it. D’uh!”

To which I’d respond, “You’d think so, and it appears to, but it actually only comes with a limited version of Vim. Watch, I’ll show you! Then we’ll install the full version of Vim.” 

See? It's a small version of Vim.
Check the highlighted line. See? It’s just the small version of Vim. It’s not the full version.

NOTE: We won’t be worrying about a GUI version of Vim. Maybe we can cover that in another article, but you can probably figure that one out on your own.

Now, Vim stands for Vi Improved, with Vi being a really, really old text editor (circa 1976) and Vim is an improvement on it. You’ll see it written as ViM or VIM from time to time, but if you go by the description in the man page, it’s simply “Vim”. Because of that, I’ve decided to spell it that way.

Actually, now that you know the initially installed Vim is just the small version (hint: tiny version), you can probably figure out the rest on your own. I have faith in you, my dear readers. Yes, yes I do… Still, I’ll tell you how, otherwise it’d be a pretty silly article!

Install The Full Version of Vim:

You’re going to want an open terminal for this one. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

With your terminal open, run the following command:

Next, we want to install a full version of Vim. To do that:

There are also some GUI versions of Vim that may be in your default repositories. You can opt to install those, but we’ll not be covering those in this article. This article is just about how to install the full version of Vim.

Hmm… Well, that’s really all there is to it. I suppose you could string the commands together, all nice and fancy like…

Yeah… So, really, that’s all there is to this. However, the important thing is that most folks don’t realize that it’s not the full version of Vim that has been installed by default. It’s just the tiny version, which is lacking in features. If you want, you can verify the currently installed version of Vim with this command:

Assuming you’ve installed the full version of Vim, the output will look similar to:

The output shows that this is the full version of Vim.
Again, check the highlighted line to see the difference. As you see, it’s the full version. Sweet!

Closure:

Well, there you have it. You now know that Ubuntu’s initially installed version of Vim is just the tiny version of Vim. You also now know how to install the full version of Vim in Ubuntu. If you’re a fan of Vim, or would like to start learning Vim, this is probably a good thing to know.

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How To: Add A PPA To Ubuntu

In this article, we’re going to discuss how to add a PPA to Ubuntu. A PPA is a Personal Package Archive, but we’ve come to use them much differently than they were ever intended. So, you might as well learn how to do this. You might as well learn how to add a PPA to Ubuntu.

Yes, we use PPAs in ways never intended. They are meant to be your own personal archive of packages. not a way of disseminating software to the masses. We’ve turned PPAs into a tool to widely distribute software more easily. If you want a piece of software that’s not in the official repositories, you do a quick search, add a PPA, update, and install your software! It’s how we’ve always done things! (Hint: No, it’s not how we’ve always done things.)

This is one of the main reasons Snap apps were created and why they are being pushed. During this time, people could also have used AppImages and Flatpaks, and some of us did.

Me? I’m among the worst of offenders. As it is, I still only use Snaps that came installed by default. I still reach for a PPA (when available) and install things in the ‘traditional’ manner. Well, it’s hardly traditional and it’s generally a bad idea.

In fact. let me sum up why it’s a bad idea with just one sentence…

When you add a PPA, you’re giving the PPA maintainer root-level access to your computer.

All they gotta do is push an update and you’ll have installed it with your next upgrade. No, don’t pretend you’re going to read the source and verify the integrity. You’re going to do it, just like you wanted to …

Add A PPA To Ubuntu:

Alright, let’s paint a simple picture:

There’s some software you want, but you can’t find it in your repositories and the GitHub page doesn’t release packaged binaries. You don’t want to have to deal with building it every time there’s a new version, so you take to the ‘nets in search of a fix.

Your first stop is at Launchpad.net to search for the application. You got lucky and found a PPA. In fact, you found a few of them. In this case, you want to look for the one who has most consistently published upgrades. First, you have to enable Ubuntu’s ‘universe’ PPA, which may already be enabled. If it isn’t, the command to run is:

When you find the proper repository’s name, you can add it with this command:

An example of that could be sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/ppa. You could use that to use the more traditional Firefox. 

No matter… Once you’ve done all this,  you might still need to update your own local software database with this command:

There you have it. You can now add a PPA to Ubuntu. You can now use the software included in the newly added PPA. Modern/current Ubuntu flavors will run the apt update automatically, but older versions will still need to trigger the update manually.

BONUS: You can more easily remove the PPA through the GUI, but you can also do so in the terminal, it’s just the –remove flag, like this;

See? You can now do both. You can add a PPA to Ubuntu or you can remove a PPA from Ubuntu.

Closure:

Ah well… You can now add a PPA to Ubuntu. Removing a PPA is also now something you can do, assuming you didn’t already do so. On top of that, adding PPAs willy-nilly as  you’re essentially giving that PPA’s owner a key to your entire computer.

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