Let’s Play With Touch And Time

Today’s article is just a fun article where we get the chance to play with touch and time. This article won’t necessarily be something you rely on daily, but it should at least be informative. That and there’s surely a subset of users who use these commands. There’s bound to be! Otherwise, why would they make touch flags for adjusting the time?!?

We’ve used the ‘touch’ command before.

Some Useful Ways To Use The Touch Command In Linux

I’m pretty sure we’ve also used the touch command in at least another article. There are a lot of search results for the word and it’s not important enough to go looking. The key point is that touch is a command you use in the terminal and it describes itself as:

touch – change file timestamps

See, we (and perhaps most other sites) have used the touch command to *make* files, but it’s useful (and intended for) changing file timestamps. Like oh so many commands, there are all sorts of ways to use it and so many folks do things in their own way. The great thing about Linux is that we have so many choices.

This is why I figure I’ll cover touch and time in this article. It’s just a few commands that we’ll be using, so it’s not all that advanced. A beginner probably won’t need to know this sort of information, but it’s information worth sharing.

Playing With Touch And Time:

As we use touch in the terminal, you’re going to need to have an open terminal to play with touch and time. If you don’t know how to open a terminal, press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

With your terminal now open, let’s start by creating a file:

That command will create a file with a created timestamp from the time you ran the command. If you want, you can change the access time, that is the time stored with the file that says when it was last accessed. Run the following command with the -a flag:

That’ll change the ‘foo file’s access time to the time when you ran the command. All well and good? Alright… Let’s remove that file with:

Now, we’re going to create the foo file again, but we’re going to give it a specific timestamp. The format you want is:

Or, something like this:

That will give the file a timestamp from March 3rd at one minute and one second past midnight. Note the period denoting seconds as that’s the only modifier you need for this command.

NOTE: If you use a different time format, that command might be different for you. I don’t think it is, but I’m not set up to test that. If it does matter, please let us know in a comment, thanks!

Finally, let’s say you have a file named ‘bar’ and you want ‘foo’ to have the same timestamp that bar has. You can do that with the touch command. It’s relatively easy to do with the -r flag:

That command will give foo the same timestamp that bar has, should you be inclined to do so. It’s pretty easy to use the touch command to change a timestamp on files, which is why you might not want to rely too much on timestamps. They can be useful, but they are not immutable. 

You can run the command above to delete the foo file when you’re done playing around with the touch command:


There you go, another article. This time, we’ve had an article about using touch and time, which is kinda why the touch command exists in the first place. It’s far more useful than just creating files. Be sure to run man touch (no inappropriate jokes) in the terminal to learn more about the touch command. There are other touch commands that you may find yourself interested in, I’ve just covered a few of them.

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How To: Restart SSH

Today’s article will be a very short and easy article, where we learn how to restart SSH. This involves restarting the SSH service. It may not even require a second section, it’s that easy. No, it probably will, just to keep things uniform. So, to learn how to restart SSH read on!

This one is drawn from my own frustration. I recently have had to deal with this a couple of times and I’m not sure why. I’ll root through the logs to figure it out at some point, but the obvious issue here is that I had issues with SSH stopping. More specifically, the SSH daemon/service stopped running.

In my case, I was able to just use another remote connection to the device. I suppose I could have just walked across the house, but it was easier to just use TeamViewer.

Oddly, I’ve had TeamViewer cause problems before. I even have an article detailing how to restart TeamViewer from the terminal (via SSH, I suppose).

So, rather than rebooting the system, I just connected via an alternative method and restarted SSH. It’s easily done.

Restart SSH:

You’ll first need some way of connecting to the device with the stopped SSH service. In the opening section, I mentioned doing so with TeamViewer. It pays to have a backup method to connect to your servers, so you could use VNC or something else that works for you.

If you physically go to the device, or remotely connect to the device, you’ll need a terminal to work with. So, open a terminal. Depending on how you’re connected, you might have to find the terminal in the menu as not all keyboard shortcuts will be passed to the remote computer.

So, once you have a terminal open on the remote computer, try this command:

If that doesn’t work, try this command:

One of those should work for you. Make note of which one works and you, if you think you’ll be doing it often. You can also ‘stop‘ and ‘start‘ services, easily enough, but just a restart should do the trick.


See? I told you that it’d be quick and easy. I could use a quick and easy article right now, and this subject just happens to be something I’m currently thinking of. So, you get this as an article, an article about how you restart SSH. Simple and easy…

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How To: Install Proprietary Drivers In Ubuntu

Today is going to be a very quick and easy article, where we learn how to install proprietary drivers in Ubuntu – in the terminal, of course. It’s easy enough for a new user, as it’s just a single command. It’s also not all that well known and not documented in the man pages or anything, so I might as well cover it here.

There are all sorts of reasons why you might want to install proprietary drivers in Ubuntu. Some of your hardware may not work at all until you do. Some of your hardware will only have partial functionality until you do install the proprietary drivers.

Of course, if everything is working just fine, you might not even need to worry about the proprietary drivers in Ubuntu. If everything is fine, there’s no reason to worry too much. You know what they say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” 

Of course, a subset of you will say, “If it ain’t broke, tweak it!”

Anyhow, this article only applies to Ubuntu and official Ubuntu flavors. It likely also applies to Ubuntu derivatives. A quick check seems to indicate that Mint is one of those derivatives that support this command. We’ll only cover it from the Ubuntu-specific direction. If it also works for you, that’s a benefit. If it doesn’t work for your distro, the maintainers likely took it out for a reason.

So then, let’s get to work installing proprietary drivers on Ubuntu…

How To Install Proprietary Drivers In Ubuntu:

As mentioned above, we’ll be doing this in the terminal. So, you’re going to need an open terminal for this exercise. You can just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

With the terminal now open, we need to ensure you have the “Restricted” repository enabled. As you already have a terminal open, we might as well do that while in the terminal. So, type the following command:

Now, you need to update your database of software that’s available and we might as well make sure all other software is up to date. You do that with this command:

There you go. You’re now ready to install proprietary drivers in Ubuntu. So, while it’s a single command, it may require some preparation for some users. If you’ve run the above commands, we should be on the same page. So, with that, you just run the following command:

If there are any prompts, just go ahead and press the Y button. Everything should go smoothly and you may need to reboot after installing the proprietary drivers. When you’ve done that, you should be using the newly installed drivers instead of the open-source (or no) drivers. 

That’s all there is to it…


There you have it! You have another article. I know I told you that it was just a single command and then shared more than one command, but it is just one command so long as you’ve got the Restricted repository enabled already (and I think most of us do). Either way, there’s a quick and easy way to install proprietary drivers in Ubuntu, in the terminal even. ‘Snot all that difficult after all!

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 site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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Get Some System Information With Archey

Today’s article will be a fun one, where we figure out how to get some system information with Archey. It’s a mostly unnecessary article and Archey is definitely replicating work done elsewhere, but it’ll be fun!

Well, I think it’ll be fun…

I suppose you can decide that for yourself as you read the article. If you want to get some system information with Archey, read on (and maybe have fun)!

As regular readers might know, I’ve covered a variety of *fetch articles.

How To: Display System Information With screenFetch
Screenfetch vs. Neofetch, You Decide!
Show RAM Information With Ramfetch
Get Some Prettified CPU Information in Your Terminal With ‘CPUFETCH’

In fact, the ‘Screenfetch vs. Neofetch’ article is oddly one of the most searched articles on the site, at least from Google’s traffic.

Anyhow, Archey is like those (but written in Python, if that matters). If I understand correctly, it was Archey4 – a maintained fork of Archey. The original Archey project ceased development and now this project is just called Archey as it is no longer a fork but is the actual project.

I think I’m understanding that properly. If I’m not, hopefully, someone chimes in and lets me know the full story. Often my articles are visited by project leaders, so maybe that’ll happen in this instance and someone will set the story straight.

Either way, it doesn’t matter much – but it does explain why I’m simply referring to the project as ‘Archey’. If you check the man page, you’ll learn that Archey describes itself like:

A simple system information tool written in Python

Got it? Good! Let’s get started getting some system information with Archey!

Let’s Get System Information With Archey:

So, the first thing you’re going to need is a copy of Archey. That’s easily accomplished if you want .deb or .rpm. There are some odds that you’ll find it’s already in your repositories (like Arch or BSD). You can also use “pip” (Python packages from PyPI) to install Archey. There’s even a ‘homebrew’ version for Mac users.

Otherwise, if none of those will work for you, you might find you need the source code to build and install Archey.

This link should take you to the current release:


From there you can install Archey. Due to the huge variety of installation methods, I’m just going to tell you to follow the directions to install Archey. If you can’t get it installed, you can always ask for help and someone will hopefully get you sorted.

Once you have Archy installed, you can start getting system information with Archey. You just run the archey command and it’ll spit out something like this:

Achey displays system information.
I don’t think you’ll need me to explain. The screenshot should be adequate.

As you can see, Archey’s output is fairly normal. It likely reminds you of things we’ve already covered in earlier articles. That’s okay – it should remind you of things like Screenfetch and Neofetch.

Just like some of the other previously covered *fetch applications, you can take a screenshot automatically. After all, the goal of these applications is to give you some information that si easily captured as a screenshot so that you can show it off to your forum buddies.

However, possibly because I have Flameshot installed (which seems to have taken over the ‘screenshot’ command that Archey uses), I am unable to actually verify the screenshot bit. I dutifully took the screenshot with Shutter. But, the -s flag should work for other people. I tried a few times with Archey but got conflicting errors. Someone smarter than I probably have this sorted out.

I’m not going to go uninstalling stuff just to demonstrate it. If it doesn’t work for you, file a bug at the above-linked GitHub site. Also, you have some additional options with Archey. There’s nothing too fancy, but be sure to check the man page (by using man archey) to learn more about the application.


There you have it, you have another article. This article covers how to get system information with Archey. It’s an easy and, likely, familiar task. If you’ve followed along, you’ve learned all sorts of ways to get system information.

Do you really need Archey? No, probably not… I figured I’d cover it because my site shows up in some Archey queries. If people are looking for it, it might as well be here. That’s my line of thinking, at any rate.

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: Find A Site’s Nameservers

Today’s article will be a fun and easy one if you already understand nameservers, as I will be explaining how to find a site’s nameservers. If you don’t understand nameservers, it may be a bit more difficult. But, I’ll do my best to make it approachable. So, to learn how to find a site’s nameservers read on!

Okay, so what are nameservers?

Hmm… Let’s try to explain it in the most simple way possible… 

DNS is like a phone book. You look in the book to see which number (IP address) to connect to. However, just like in the real world (though less common with cell phones) a given telephone number may belong to multiple people.

Nameservers help to organize those DNS records. Using the nameservers is sort of like calling a phone exchange and then entering a party’s extension number to go directly to that person.

Does that make sense? No? Well, that’s the best you’re getting. I suck at analogies unless they’re automotive-related and I can’t come up with one that makes sense. I’m pretty sure the above was how it was first explained to me, or something like that. Ah well…

It should be pointed out that I used ‘dig’ in the previous article. We’ll be using that again. This time, we’ll be using dig to find a site’s nameservers instead of the site’s IP address. We might as well learn about it now, while the dig command is fresh in our memories!

Find A Site’s Nameservers:

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 your terminal now open, the syntax for finding a site’s nameservers is as follows:

Or, if you prefer a shorter output, you have:

Like the previously used dig command, you can actually put the flags at the end (if that’s something you feel like doing). It works just fine like:

If we use this site as an example, the outcome of the latter command should look something like this:

using dig to find a site's nameservers
And there you see them, this site’s nameservers as shown by dig. Pretty easy, huh?

As you can see, nameservers look just like domain names. You’ll also note that those (shouldn’t) don’t change, unlike the site’s IP address. As we’re using a CDN, there are a number of possible IP addresses. The nameservers will be the same no matter what part of the globe you connect from.

Of course, there’s more to the dig command. We’ve just touched on a couple of uses. Check the man page with man dig to find out what other options are available.


Well, there you have another article. Once again, we’ve used dig in this article. I figured we might as well have another dig article while I was thinking about it, and this time we used dig to find a site’s nameservers. Hopefully, this will be useful for you at some point in your Linux journey. As I deal with a bunch of websites, it’s important for me to know my nameservers and to know when they’ve propagated (something for another article).

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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