Tag Archives: Linux

FreeOrion for Fedora


FreeOrion is a turn-based space empire and galactic conquest (4X) computer game. But more importantly, it works on Linux! The good news is, I’ve already done all the heavy lifting for you and compiled the game in easy to install RPMs. In fact, there is absolutely no development knowledge or compilation requirements at all! The RPM files I’ve put together will specifically allow anyone (running Fedora) to go right ahead and enjoy the game!

FreeOrion Screenshot

FreeOrion Screenshot

The Goods

FreeOrion Ship Parts
You’ll need to have Fedora 23 or higher for this game to work due to the library requirements FreeOrion requires.

I packaged the whole thing up in RPMs to make your life easy. You can acquire the RPMs directly from my repository using dnf. But if you prefer, here is the direct link to the repository files:

Package Distro Description
freeorion fc23 / fc24 The core game files. This RPM must be installed in conjunction with freeorion-data.
freeorion-data fc23 / fc24 This RPM provides all of the data files used by FreeOrion

For those interested in building this themselves, you can access the source RPM here.

A setup could be as simple as the following if you’re hooked up to my repositories already:

# Install FreeOrion
# make sure you're connected to http://nuxref.com/repo
dnf install freeorion

Getting Started

FreeOrion - Fleet Move
After you’ve installed the RPMs, you’ll be able to launch FreeOrion from within the desktop search. You can also launch it from the command line by simply typing freeorion. You’ll be able to choose to create a new game from here and create your very first galaxy!

You can also launch the application up with some parameters that can tweak your experience:

/usr/bin/freeorion is the main application you’ll run. If you type it on the command line with the –help (-h) switch, you’ll get an incredible list of customization you can perform. For example:

# --show-fps 1     : Display frames per second while you play
# --fullscreen 1    : Start game in fullscreen mode
# --log-level WARN : The default logging mode is DEBUG which can add for
#                    quite a bit of extra overhead. setting this variable
#                    to WARN can speed things up a little.
freeorion --show-fps 1 --fullscreen 1 --log-level WARN

There are 2 directories you’ll want to know about:

Directory Description
~/.config/freeorion The directory all of your local configuration gets written to when the game is running.
~/.local/share/freeorion The directory that the system will write some variable data to (such as your saved games).

How Do I Play

This guide here is probably a good start. But in a nutshell, the first thing the game will do for you is generate you a galaxy filled with planets and stars. You will take turns with A.I. and/or other players (if doing Multiplayer) making choices. You might colonize a planet, gather resources, or maybe just move to another planet. You’ll encounter enemies that you’ll need to fend off too. The game can seem overwhelming and complicated at first. But in a few turns, you’ll pick up things you can do and only get better over time.


Note: All of the images seen in this blog were taken from the Libre Game Wiki and FreeOrion Wiki. All of the images used had no licenses associated with them whatsoever except the screenshot which is subjected to the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA) v3.0.


Preparing the RPMs was the only tricky and original part of this blog. The rest of the information is available everywhere.

If you like what you see and wish to copy and paste this HOWTO, please reference back to this blog post at the very least. It’s really all I ask.

Host Your Own WordPress Site


A while back I decided to host my blog on my own servers and cut the cord with WordPress.com. There were no hard feelings really; I just didn’t like the limited options for plugin choices I had. I didn’t like all the extra features they forced me to use that made my blog (response time) slower.

The standalone version of WordPress is much more scaled down and fits my requirements better. The standalone version also allows me to pick and choose from a sea of amazing plugins at my disposal.


You’ll need to have full (Linux) shell access to the server you’re intending to host this from. I set up my hosting using a CentOS 6.x machine; therefore the instructions I identify here are for that. That said, the instructions won’t stray too far off (requiring a tweak here an there) from those people who choose to use other Linux distributions.

You’ll want to first install a few packages:

# You'll basically need PHP, MySQL 
# As root (or a user with sudoer's permission) type the following:
sudo yum -y install php-fpm php-mbstring php-mcrypt \
             php-mysql nginx mysql mysql-server gawk \

Optional FTP Support

FTP support is really nice to have with a WordPress setup! You can use it to automate the installation of plugins through the admin page. This is great for situations where you’re setting up a WordPress account for someone who isn’t too teksavvy. It also allows grants your users enough access to install plugins through WordPress’s administration interface.

I strongly suggest you read my blog entry on Configuring and Installing VSFTPD on CentOS 6 if you’re interested in going this route.

It’s important to note that WordPress functions just fine without an FTP(S) server too!

Step 1 of 8: Prepare our Environment.

To make life really easy (so you can cut and paste this right to your command line without any effort at all), lets create some environment variables.

Please note that this step MUST be ran before any of the other steps are. If you’re returning to this blog entry to resume from a step you left off at, be sure to apply these environment variables again!

Please note that you must be root or have sudoer’s permission to be able to perform any of these tasks successfully on your server.

# Our WordPress user

# The FQD you will be serving your data from.  If you
# don't have your own domain, then set this to an
# underscore '_' (without the quotes '')

# Some Database Information
# - what are we going to call our database name?
# - it's easier to just use the WordPress user account here
#   but if you want to change it to something else; here is
#   where you can do it:
# - we will want to create a confusing password that others
#   can't guess. I don't recommend you use what i've identified
#   here because anyone else who knows you read my blog will
#   guess this first.  But here is where you should set your
#   database password you intend to use.

# If you plan on creating an FTP Account; you'll want to
# populate these variables too. This account does not have
# to be the same as the $WPUSER account. In fact making it
# different (even just slightly) would be a good idea!
# Below i just add '-ftp' to the end of the already
# determined user above.  Feel free to change this.
# Set an FTP password; It would be a good idea to not use
# the one identified below as it's merely display only.
# some special character don't work with VSFTPD (like '!')
# if you plan on using it .

# The following is only used for our SSL Key Generation
SITE_NAME="Life as a Lannister"

Step 2 of 8: Create our User Account

You’ll want to create an isolated environment for our client (or you) to work within. By securing an environment; in the event anything is ever compromised, destruction will be limited to what we allow our client access to.

# First create a system directory to host our project.
sudo mkdir -p /opt/$WPUSER/html/static

# Create a dummy, favicon.ico file for now. If you feel
# ambitious, Google this if you're not sure what it's for
# so you can place your own custom one here
touch /opt/$WPUSER/html/static/favicon.ico

# Create System User
sudo useradd nuxref -M --system \
   --comment "$WPUSER WordPress Account" \
   --home /opt/$WPUSER \
   --shell /sbin/nologin

# Secure our new directory we created
chmod 711 /opt/$WPUSER

If you’ve followed my blog on Securing and Protecting Your CentOS 6 System then you might have wisely chosen to set up disk quotas. If not; then you can skip over to the next step.

# Detect the device using our home directory
DEV=$(df -l -P /opt/$WPUSER | awk 'END{print $1}')
# Restrict Users Disk Quota to 600MB
sudo setquota -u $WPUSER 180000 600000 0 0 $DEV

Step 3 of 8: Generate SSL Keys

We need to generate some Secure Socket Layer (SSL) keys so that we can provide a secure connection for logins. Otherwise our passwords we choose to work with the site could be exposed.

To make things simple, you can use my genssl tool first discussed in an earlier blog I wrote here. available for download from my github page and then just do the following:

# Generate a self signed key:
genssl -s $WPURL
# Install it:
sudo install -m 0400 $WPURL.key /etc/pki/tls/private/$WPUSER.key
sudo install -m 0444 $WPURL.crt /etc/pki/tls/certs/$WPUSER.crt

Or you can simply do the following:

# The following will generate SSL Keys (if you don't have any already)
sudo openssl req -nodes -new -x509 -days 730 -sha256 -newkey rsa:2048 
   -keyout /etc/pki/tls/private/$WPUSER.key 
   -out /etc/pki/tls/certs/$WPUSER.crt 
# Permissions; protect our Private Key
chmod 400 /etc/pki/tls/private/$WPUSER.key
# Permissions; protect our Public Key
chmod 444 /etc/pki/tls/certs/$WPUSER.crt

Step 4 of 8: Install our WordPress Bundle

Now we need to Download and install WordPress into our environment.

# WordPress Configuration
# Acquire latest version from here https://wordpress.org/download/
# (At the time it was 4.4.2)
wget --no-check-certificate https://wordpress.org/latest.tar.gz -O wordpress.$(date +'%Y.%m.%d').tgz

# Extract our downloaded copy
sudo tar xvfz wordpress.$(date +'%Y.%m.%d').tgz \
    -C /opt/$WPUSER/html --strip 1

# Apply some more permissions
sudo find /opt/$WPUSER/html -type d -exec chmod 755 {} \;
sudo find /opt/$WPUSER/html -type f -exec chmod 664 {} \;
sudo find /opt/$WPUSER/html -exec chown $WPUSER.apache {} \;

# Grant write permissions to a few tools our plugin installers
# will need access to later on:
find /opt/$WPUSER/html/wp-content/ -type d -exec chmod 775 {} \;
sudo chmod 660 /opt/$WPUSER/html/wp-config.php

Step 5 of 8: Configure and Prepare our Database

Now we need to configure our MySQL (or MariaDB) database. First make sure it is running:

# The below command will start the database if it isn't
# already running:
sudo service mysqld status &>/dev/null || \
   sudo service mysqld start

# Next make sure you're system is configured to start
# the database each and every time your server turns on
sudo chkconfig --level 345 mysqld on

Now we need to prepare our database that WordPress can use.

# SQL Initialization
( cat << _EOF
) | sudo mysql

Step 6 of 8: Configure our Web Hosting Service

Okay now we need to host our website. Effectively linking the database we just prepared with the WordPress software we just installed. We do this as follows using NginX:

# By default (assuming a CentOS installation), we can
# plug into our configuration by writing our data in
# /etc/nginx/conf.d/
# So lets do just that:
cat << _EOF > /etc/nginx/conf.d/wordpress_$WPUSER.conf
# $WPUSER WordPress Web Hosting
server {
    # Support Web Traffic at port 80
    listen       80;
    server_name  $WPURL;
    root   /opt/$WPUSER/html;

    # Our log files
    access_log  /var/log/$WPUSER/$WPUSER.access.log  main;
    error_log  /var/log/$WPUSER/$WPUSER.error.log;

    # Our main handler
    location / {
        root   /opt/$WPUSER/html;
        index  index.html index.htm index.php;
        # Support Permalink changes
        try_files \$uri \$uri/ /index.php?q=\$request_uri;

    # Anyone logging into our site should do it securely
    location /wp-admin/ {
       # Always redirect to secure site
       rewrite ^/(.*) https://$host/\$1 permanent;
    location /wp-login/ {
       # Always redirect to secure site
       rewrite ^/(.*) https://\$host/\$1 permanent;

    error_page  404              /404.html;
    location = /404.html {
        root   /usr/share/nginx/html;

    # redirect server error pages to the static page /50x.html
    error_page   500 502 503 504  /50x.html;
    location = /50x.html {
        root   /usr/share/nginx/html;

    # Support the favicon (for those wanting to use it)
    location = /favicon.ico {
        root   /opt/$WPUSER/html/static;

    # pass the PHP scripts to FastCGI server listening on
    location ~ \.php\$ {
        fastcgi_index  index.php;
        fastcgi_param  SCRIPT_FILENAME  \$document_root\$fastcgi_script_name;
        include        fastcgi_params;

    # Deny access to the wp-config file
    location ~ /wp-config\.php {
        deny  all;

server {
    # We should listen on a secure URL too so that we can
    # hide our admin login credentials from prying eyes
    listen       443;
    server_name  $WPURL;
    root   /opt/$WPUSER/html;

   ssl on;
   ssl_certificate /etc/pki/tls/certs/$WPUSER.crt;
   ssl_certificate_key /etc/pki/tls/private/$WPUSER.key;
   ssl_session_timeout  5m;

   # Secure our site by only allowing the TLS protocol
   ssl_protocols TLSv1 TLSv1.1 TLSv1.2;
   ssl_prefer_server_ciphers on;
   ssl_session_cache  builtin:1000  shared:SSL:10m;

   access_log  /var/log/nginx/$WPUSER.access.log  main;
   error_log  /var/log/nginx/$WPUSER.error.log;

   location / {
      root   /opt/$WPUSER/html;
      index  index.html index.htm index.php;
      # Support Permalink changes
      try_files \$uri \$uri/ /index.php?q=\$request_uri;

   error_page  404              /404.html;
   location = /404.html {
      root   /usr/share/nginx/html;

   # redirect server error pages to the static page /50x.html
   error_page   500 502 503 504  /50x.html;
   location = /50x.html {
       root   /usr/share/nginx/html;

   # Handle favicon
   location = /favicon.ico {
       root   /opt/$WPUSER/html/static;

   # pass the PHP scripts to FastCGI server listening on
   location ~ \.php\$ {
      fastcgi_index  index.php;
      fastcgi_param  SCRIPT_FILENAME  \$document_root\$fastcgi_script_name;
      include        fastcgi_params;

   # Deny access to the wp-config file
   location ~ /wp-config\.php {
      deny  all;

Now restart our web services

# Ensure our web browser and php handler will start
# even if our server is restarted
chkconfig --levels 345 php-fpm on
chkconfig --levels 345 nginx on

# The following just makes sure we reload and take
# on our new configuration.  If we're not running
# then we start the services up
service php-fpm status &>/dev/null && \
   service php-fpm restart || \
   service php-fpm start

service nginx status &>/dev/null && \
   service nginx restart || \
   service nginx start

Step 7 of 8: Optionally Setup an FTP Account

Most people can skip this step; it again presumes you’ve followed my other blog on Configuring and Installing VSFTPD on CentOS 6. If you have not gone here or have set up FTP your own way, you can also skip this step and move on with Configuring WordPress.

# Create a WordPress Plugins FTP Account
echo $WPFTPUSER >> /etc/vsftpd/users.passwd
echo $WPFTPPASS >> /etc/vsftpd/users.passwd
# Protect Password
chmod 600 /etc/vsftpd/users.passwd
chown root.root /etc/vsftpd/users.passwd
# Now convert content into a db structure
db_load -T -t hash -f /etc/vsftpd/users.passwd /etc/vsftpd/virtual.users.db
chmod 600 /etc/vsftpd/virtual.users.db
chown root.root /etc/vsftpd/virtual.users.db
cat << _EOF > /etc/vsftpd/virtual.users/$WPFTPUSER
# -------------------------------------------------------------------------
# User
# -------------------------------------------------------------------------
# -------------------------------------------------------------------------
# Permissions
# -------------------------------------------------------------------------
# write_enabled is required if the user is to make use of any of the
# anon_* commands below
# give the user the ability to make directories
# give the user the ability delete and overwrite files
# give the user the ability upload new files
# Give the user permission to do a simple directory listings
# Give the user permission to download files
# if the user has can upload or make new directories, then this will be
# the umask applied to them
# delete failed uploads (speaks for itself)
sudo chmod 600 /etc/vsftpd/virtual.users/$WPFTPUSER
sudo chown root.root /etc/vsftpd/virtual.users/$WPFTPUSER

# Ensure our FTP Server will restart if our server
# is ever restarted:
sudo chkconfig --level 345 vsftpd on
# Update Service (to read in new configuration)
sudo service vsftpd status &>/dev/null && \
    service vsftpd restart || \
    service vsftpd start

Step 8 of 8: Configure WordPress

If you successfully pulled off all of the earlier steps, then you shouldn’t have any trouble from this point forward. The hard part is done with!

Wordpress Database SetupWordpress InstallationYou now need to open up your browser and access your new WordPress website to continue with the setup. Simply visit your website by browsing to http://your.wordpress.url/ (whatever you set this up as).

First you’ll be immediately presented with webpage that needs some information about the database we set up back in Step 5 (an environment variables defined in Step 1.

After you press the [Submit] button, you’ll then be asked to define some basic information about the blog you intend to set up. You can change all this later, so don’t worry. The important fields here are the administrator user and password you create.

You’re done now and ready to use WordPress

Great WordPress Plugins

The following plugins are worthy of a mention:


Please note that this information took me several days to put together and test thoroughly. I may not blog often; but I want to re-assure the stability and testing I put into everything I intend share.

If you like what you see and wish to copy and paste this HOWTO, please reference back to this blog post at the very least. It’s really all I ask.

SABnzbd Installation for CentOS 7.x


SABnzbd is a versatile tool written in Python specifically designed to take an NZB-File as input and then retrieve all of the content defined inside of it for you automatically. Recently there have been new improvements with SABnzbd in the past few releases. So I thought I’d share a working out of the box solution using RPMs. In addition to this, I’ve packaged up my notification script I wrote which can further enhance this great product.

SABnzbd and Usenet

First off; lets summarize Usenet for those who don’t use it or aren’t already familiar with it. In the simplest terms: Usenet is a great big fucking mess; a total disaster. It’s basically a location where literally anyone with access to it can post/upload all they want at their free will anonymously. Don’t get me wrong; this is cool too because it’s basically one very large hard drive without anyone telling you what you can and can’t place onto it. Seriously though, just consider for a second what your computer would look like if you allowed absolutely anyone who has access to the internet to upload content freely and without rules to it. You’d probably run out of hard disk space quickly; and you’ll be left with a lot of content everywhere. Well; that’s exactly what Usenet is (greatly simplified); it’s one large centralized location filled with petabytes of data. The thing with Usenet though is… it isn’t, and won’t be running out of disk space anytime soon.

The good news is, (thankfully) people sift through the heaps of information constantly being posted (onto Usenet) using automated tools regularly. These tools that do the sifting are generally known as Indexers. I talk more about this in another blog I wrote here a while back. But basically whenever an Indexer finds some useful data, it records the location as to where it was found. Indexers record this information in a special file call an NZB-File. NZB-Files are effectively treasure maps containing the coordinates on Usenet to which a specific piece of data can be located at.

NZB-Files are like Treasure Maps

NZB-Files are like Treasure Maps

It should be known that if you’re planning on posting/uploading stuff to Usenet yourself (for backup purposes or what have you), most (good) software will generate you an NZB-File afterwards allowing you to retrieve your data back again later on.

Now lets throw SABnzbd into the picture because it specifically is designed to retrieve content based on an NZB-File it’s provided. The process looks a little like this:

SABnzbd Download Process

SABnzbd Download Process

  1. Acquire NZB-File: Presumably you already have it because you’re just trying to retrieve data you posted in the past. But alternatively, the NZB-File could have also been acquired from and Indexer too.
  2. Give SABnzbd Access to NZB-File: You simply hand off your treasure map to the application who’s actually going to go out there and get the content for you.

    This is truly the bread and butter of SABnzbd. The next set of steps identified below are all fully automated (and done behind the scenes) for you. They require nothing from you, but it’s worth explaining it for those who are interested.

  3. SABnzbd Establishes a Connection to Usenet: The catch with SABnzbd is it’s merely a vessel for fetching the data. You need to have provided it access to Usenet to which it will fetch this data from. Thus SABnzbd must (obviously) connect to a Usenet provider in order to retrieve data from Usenet itself. This step is put in place to make sure you’ve got yourself an account with a provider!
  4. SABnzbd Downloads Content: Segment by segment, each portion of your data is downloaded and re-assembled. There are lots of additional things that go on too such as making sure the data isn’t damaged and attempting to correct it (all automatic) if it is.
  5. SABnzbd Saves Data:If all goes well; and in most circumstances it will. You will have all of the content successfully retrieved at this point!

SABnzbd has tons of automation built into it; I’m really just focusing on the basics here to get you going.

I Want To Try It

Of course you do! So here’s the thing; if you’ve already connected to my repository here, you can get it by simply typing the following:

# Download and install SABnzbd plus the Notification Addon
# on CentOS 7.x using the nuxref repositories located
# here: http://nuxref.com/repo/
yum install -y --enablerepo=nuxref \
               --enablerepo=nuxref-shared \
               sabnzbd sabnzbd-script-notify

You can also just visit the location I host these packages directly (via my repository) here and download the RPMs for yourself:

Note: I provided the source rpms optionally; they are not required unless you want to build this for yourself from scratch.

SABnzbd Environment

It’s worth giving you a quick rundown of how the RPM installs itself upon your computer: First off, it creates a general user/group called sabnzbd. By default this is the user/group it will run as. To grant a user access to all of the content retrieved by SABnzbd, you can just add yourself to the sabnzbd group:

# as root; we can add ourselves to the sabnzbd group
usermod -a -G sabnzbd myuserid

# Note: if this user is logged in, they will have to log out and log
#       back in to have these new security credentials noticed. 

You can start it up with the command:

# as root; start up SABnzbd:
systemctl start sabnzbd.service

You’ll be able to access the web page through your browser by punching in http://localhost:9080.

You can set it up to survive reboots with the following command:

# as root; start up SABnzbd when the machine is first
# powered on:
systemctl enable sabnzbd.service
  • All of your log files will show up in /var/log/sabnzbd/sabnzbd.log
  • All of configuration will get written to /etc/sabnzbd/sabnzbd.conf
  • All of the variable data (file processing, etc) will be located in /var/lib/sabnzbd/*. In fact this is a very important directory because unless you configure things differently, all downloaded content will appear in /var/lib/sabnzbd/complete.

Firewall Configuration

The package will provide you the files needed to set up the firewall and make SABnzbd available to you from other stations by simply doing the following:

# as root; start up SABnzbd when the machine is first
# powered on (assuming your network is set up to the `home` zone
firewall-cmd --zone=home --add-service sabnzbd --permanent

# Now reload your firewall to take on the new change:
firewall-cmd --reload

SABnzbd Notifications

SABnzbd can keep you posted on what it’s doing by sending you emails when a download completes (or fails). It can send you an notification on Pushbullet, and a few others too.

If you want to use the Notify script I wrote, you’re already almost set up and ready to go because it’s in the sabnzbd-script-notify rpm you already installed.

To enable it, you simply need to need to access the Notifications tab from within the SABnzbd Configuration section.

SABnzbd Notification Setup

SABnzbd Notification Setup

  1. Select the Enable notification script checkbox
  2. Select the Notify.py script from the dropdown list next to the Script category
  3. Next to the Parameter category, you must specify the URL(s) identifying which service(s) you want to notify.

    Depending on what you want plan on alerting, the URL(s) you specify in the Parameter field will vary. You can get a better understanding of the URL options supported here.


This blog took me a very long time to put together and test! The repository hosting alone accommodates all my blog entries up to this date. If you like what you see and wish to copy and paste this HOWTO, please reference back to this blog post at the very least. It’s really all I ask.

Special thanks to Safihre for reaching out to me and allowing me to contribute to their product with the notification add-on.