How to Change Console Fonts In Ubuntu for 4K Screen

Recently I bought HP Spectre x360 Convertible that has a fantastic crisp 4K screen. Using CTRL+F1 (upto F6 usually) one can access console. With 4K screens now becoming available the default font size becomes really minute and one would need to increase it somehow. gnome-terminal provides shortcut SHIFT+CTRL and plus key (+) to increase font size when needed, or profiles which can be changed. But with console something more is necessary. Font used in the console is monospaced and is not the same as the tt or otf fonts used for document and browsers. In addition, there is also a limited selection fonts and sizes to choose from. So here is how to do that. Go to a console and login. Following command has to be run as root or using sudo.

sudo dpkg-reconfigure console-setup

Leave the first two screen settings as is. On third one you will see list of Font styles as Fixed, Terminus (and its variations), VGA and few others. Fixed is the default one and at least for me its biggest font size was still small for me. So I used VGA. Terminus looks fantastic but as the warning says it is not good for programming because of the way some of characters are represented. So select VGA and move to next screen. Select the biggest font and press enter. Within few seconds change will take effect. Try other font styles and sizes to suit your need.

HP Spectre x360 convertible and Linux

For a while I was mulling to buy an ultrabook. 13.3″ screen, less than 3 LB and powerful. Came across HP Spectre x360 convertible that supports upto Core i7 8th gen, 16GB RAM, upto a terabye SSD, Beautiful UHD Touch Screen, Pen support, FingerPrint Scanner and best of all tablet like features where one can fold the laptop full 360 degrees.

Next step was to find if it can run Linux. Certainly it can but requires non-free drivers like for Intel wifi. So I tried live-cd of Ubuntu 18.04. And viola all worked. So first I went back to windows, migrated windows installation to create a disk partition for Linux. Finally installed Ubuntu. The Spectre boots so fast that for first time I thought it was only waking up from Standby but it was full boot and felt like instant ON. Another great thing is the battery life. So far I am able to get more than full day worth of work done on single charge. Keyboard is great. Only things that do not work on Ubuntu yet are the Fingerprint scanner and HP IR Camera. But those are the things I can live without for now. Intel Wifi is so fast that now I finally have a wifi device at home that can give me 100MBps download as advertised by Optimum (my ISP).

It even came with a folio/soft cover to secure my device from scratches when traveling. That was one unpublished feature (or maybe I missed it). But that was a pleasant surprise.

Now comes to the cost. I loaded the system to max except for the SSD. So I got Core i7 8th Gen, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, UHD Touch Screen and HP Tilt Pen. Original cost about USD 1550. With discounts etc price dropped to 1333.33 (including Tax etc). So I went to Raise.com and found few gift cards that were already selling for cheap. Saved another USD 50. Shipping was after about a week of order. During that time price dropped for the same device by USD 30. So I called HP for a pricematch and they obliged. So I ended up paying USD 1300 only. And later on because I used Ebates and they have 10% off cashback I got another 125$ back (price before tax). You cannot go wrong with that. I selected for the regular shipping but Fedex ended up delivering in 2 days after it was shipped. So there you have it. You can have the cake and eat it too :-).

I will go on adding my posts here for the experience with Linux and tweaks I had to do perform in order to use the hardware to its full scope.

How to find number of CPUs on unix system

Newer processors are multi-core and could have hyper-threading enabled. So there are time when user may need to know how many cores (virtual) processors are available and how many Physical (real) processors are installed. CPU information can be retrieved via /usr/sbin/psrinfo on SunOS while it is available in /proc/cpuinfo on Linux. /proc/cpuinfo on Linux contains information about each available core. Following command combinations can be used to retrieve the number of CPUs.

OS Physical Processors Cores available
SunOS /usr/sbin/psrinfo -p /usr/sbin/psrinfo | wc -l
Linux grep “^physical id” /proc/cpuinfo | awk ‘{print $NF}’ | sort -u | wc -l grep processor /proc/cpuinfo | wc -l
IRIX hinv | grep -i processor | head -n1 | cut -d’ ‘ -f1

Update: Thanks Matias for tip on IRIX.

Hardware : Dell GX620 SFF HTPC Bootup problem due to burned up capactiors

I added a PCI Express Video card to my Dell GX620 Small Form Factor desktop system and connected it to my Television. One small thing that I completely missed out was the amount of heat that gets generated in such a small confined spot with no outlet for that hot air. And one day it refused to boot up. It will not go to POST. The power LED will come Green, fan on the processor will come on and then switch off. After 3-4 retries it will boot up and display “A Thermal Event has occurred“. But I did not pay attention to that. Silly me. After couple of days it started to take about 20 tries. That’s when I started to search around.

There were so many posts but no real answers. But there was a common lead badmouthing Dell and other PC manufacturers that for saving cost they have used cheap capacitors that burn up.  In my case that was certainly not true. The system had best that market has to offer (Rubycon capacitors) but it was me who managed to burn them off. I got the final on it when I stumbled upon BadCaps.net. A very good website with information on what exactly was going on. So I opened up the system, took out the hard-disk and right under it on the mother board were four capacitors (2200 µF, 6.3V, 10mm) that were popped. The heat from Video card fried the poor chaps as they were too close.

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