Tag Archives: linux

vim – Goodbye to :set paste

I’ve been using vim as my editor of choice ever since I started learning Linux, and something that has been bothering me for a while is how vim handles pasting.

Say I want to paste a large bit of code into a terminal running vim. Before I do this I have to type:

When everything is pasted, I turn it off with:


The command :set paste prevents vim from auto-indenting the code I’ve just pasted.

Luckily, as it most often goes, there is a solution. Why I haven’t bothered to actually find the answer till recently is a whole other matter.

As it turns out, my terminal of choice (which currently is rxvt-unicode) supports something called bracketed paste mode.

In short, when bracketed paste mode is set, pasted text is bracketed with control sequences so that the program can differentiate between pasted text and typed-in text.

Let’s stay that I copied the text:

from another program. When I paste it into my terminal, if it supports bracketed paste mode, it actually sends the text:

Now the thing is to let vim know how to watch out for these control sequences, and tell it what to do. Paste the following code into your .vimrc:

And that should reduce your use of :set paste quite a bit!

SimpleHTTPServer with SSL

I’ve often used Python’s SimpleHTTPServer to simply share a directory with someone over a network, it being either local or the Internet. In case you don’t know how it works, it’s simple. To start a HTTP server, at your current location, type:

and the result:

It listens on all IPv4 interfaces, and binds to the port you specify, which in my case is 8080. The person on the other side will then be able to access the files in the directory from the outside by going to http://server1.example.com:8080, provided that your machine has the hostname server1.example.com, and that you have the port 8080 forwarded to the IP of server1.

But what if you want to provide a secure connection, say over SSL? SimpleHTTPServer has no built in way of doing this.

But behold ssl, Python’s built in SSL-module!

To create a secure connection for your SimpleHTTPServer, first create a self signed certificate by running the following command (if you don’t have a proper SSL-certificate, that is):

Now create a script named shttps.py that contains the following code:

The only thing that needs further explanation is the variable bind_to_address. Fill this in with the text localhost if you want it to only listen to Leave it blank to have it listen to all IPv4 interfaces (

Now that the certificate and key is all in place, and the script has been created, make it executable with:

Go to the folder you’d like to share the contents of, and run the script:

The result when you visit https://server1.example.com:8080?Because there is no third party verification it’s listed as insecure, but it should do the trick well enough for sharing files with others.

If you however do want a free SSL certificate for a more permanent setup, I suggest LetsEncrypt! Check out https://letsencrypt.org/getting-started/ for more information.

VMware, i3 and multiple monitors

For a while now I’ve been trying to set up VMware to work with multiple monitors, in a Linux guest. With some windowmanagers it works out of the box without any issue, such as with Unity. I never figured out how to do it with xmonad, and recently I switched to i3 just to try something new. The damn “Cycle multiple monitors” button didn’t work here either. When I tried it, a message popped up saying:

The virtual machine must have up-to-date VMware Tools installed and running.

..which it had!

However, I found a solution! Place the following line in your i3 configuration file, whether it be ~/.i3/config or ~/.config/i3/config:

..and that’s it! Reload your i3 configuration, and now you should be able to press the “Cycle multiple monitors” button and have dual monitors in your VMware guest!

Split a file into a number of equal parts

As an example, we have a file named primary_data_file.txt that contains 616 lines of data. We want to split this into 4 files, with the equal amount of lines in each.

The following command should do the trick:

The option -da generates the suffixes of length 1, as well as using numeric suffixes instead of alphabetical.

The results after running the command are the following files:

Test if a port on a remote system is reachable

With telnet:

With bash:

Replace tcp with udp, depending on what you want.

With netcat:

If the port is open, you will get an output of 0. If it’s closed, it’s a 1.