How To

How to Install & Update Zoom (Video Conferencing) on Ubuntu

Zoom provides a desktop Linux client but it’s just a .deb file. You need to install it and its dependencies as well as keep track of updates yourself. To help with the first part, I’ve written blog posts on how to install Zoom for Ubuntu 18.04 as well as Ubuntu 19.04. That didn’t help me keep track of updates and I noticed I was quickly several versions behind. To solve this problem, I wrote a little script called zoom-mgr (Zoom Manager).

How to Update the BIOS on System76's Thelio Desktop

Update: An engineer from System76 chipped in suggesting that this is not a good way to update the BIOS. Their method is still unavailable though. While this may not be the best way to update the BIOS for Thelio computers, this method should still work for GIGABYTE based PCs that don’t support Linux the way System76 does.


I bought a System76 Thelio desktop computer earlier this year (btw, I love it). The BIOS on its Gigabyte motherboard is two releases old. All of the instructions I found on how to update the BIOS involved Windows or formatting and imaging a USB flash drive. It’s 2019, there are easier ways.

Here’s how I updated the UEFI BIOS on my Thelio’s Gigabyte motherboard using only Ubuntu and the Q-Flash.

How to Install Zoom (Video Conferencing) on Ubuntu 19.04

Here’s how to install Zoom, a popular video chat software, on Ubuntu 19.04 “Disco”.

Upgrading the Ubuntu Server Kernel

If you run an Ubuntu-based server (as most of the world does) you should know that keeping the server up-to-date is important for security and stability. Occasionally certain kernel updates will come through that won’t get installed. Instead, you’ll see this message:

The following packages have been kept back: linux-generic linux-headers-generic linux-image-generic

Here’s how to install these updates safely.

Get Emailed When an Ubuntu Server Needs a Reboot

When your Ubuntu server needs to be rebooted, say after a kernel update, the file /var/run/reboot-required is created. You can check for that file to see if a reboot is needed and usually you’ll get a message upon logging into the server saying so. Here’s how you can get an email when a reboot is needed saving you the time of manually checking.

How to Install the CircleCI CLI

CircleCI Docs and the CLI repo both contain install instructions but with lots of other info. Here’s simply how to install the CircleCI CLI:

How to Check If Vim Supports Python

Sometimes you’ll need to know if the installed version of Vim on your system supports Python. This is most common when installing Vim plugins as many have a dependency on Python. Here’s how to check.

Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition Firmware Update Fix

I’m running Ubuntu 18.04 on a Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition, model 9350 (though people have had this issue with 9370 as well). Every couple days Ubuntu Software Center opens up telling me that there is a firmware update. Specifically it says, “Thunderbolt NVM for XPS 9350”.

Clicking the “update” button to the right does nothing. Clicking the “update all” button at the top fails as well. Here’s how I got my firmware update for my XPS 13 to successfully install. Hint, it’s the command-line to the rescue as usual.

Configure Static Networking on an Ubuntu 18.04 Linode Server

Ubuntu 18.04 now uses netplan together with systemd to manage networking. No longer do we edit the /etc/network/interfaces file in order to configure static networking. At the time of this writing (September 10th, 2018), Linode has static networking instructions for Ubuntu 17.10, which is EOL’d, but not Ubuntu 18.04 specifically. More importantly, while the 17.10 instructions do work, it’s not the recommended way according to Ubuntu and most websites I’ve visited around the Internet.

Here’s how I configured my Ubuntu 18.04 server on Linode.

How to Install Zoom (Video Conferencing) on Ubuntu 18.04

Here’s how to install Zoom, a popular video chat software, on Ubuntu 18.04.