Installing latest NodeJS on Ubuntu 16.04

Getting the latest NodeJS (14.x) is fairly straightforward for Ubuntu/Debian 16.04

$ sudo apt-get install software-properties-common
$ curl -sL | sudo -E bash -


Mapping HUION H610 Drawing Tablet Buttons

A quick one. I had previously only used my HUION H610 tablet with Windows so I was surprised to find how easy it was to set up and go in Linux.

Plugging it in via USB and the stylus worked out of the box for my Lubuntu 20.04 LTS (kernel 5.4.0) but none of the tablet buttons were working.

Here are the steps I took to fix this:

First check if it’s recognised as a tablet driver:

isaac@pipox7:~$ xsetwacom --list

If there is no output then it needs to be loaded.

List USB devices to get the tablet’s USB ID – mine had a blank name/description (256c:006e)

isaac@pipox7:~$ lsusb
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0003 Linux Foundation 3.0 root hub
Bus 001 Device 006: ID 256c:006e
Bus 001 Device 005: ID 0461:4ec0 Primax Electronics, Ltd
Bus 001 Device 004: ID 046d:c534 Logitech, Inc. Unifying Receiver
Bus 001 Device 003: ID 05e3:0608 Genesys Logic, Inc. Hub
Bus 001 Device 002: ID 0a46:1269 Davicom Semiconductor, Inc. DM9621 USB To Fast Ether
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub

Now to configure the tablet input with wacom drivers I did the following:

isaac@pipox7:~$ sudo nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/52-tablet.conf

# Inside I pasted the following:
Section "InputClass"                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
  Identifier "Huion on wacom"                                                                                                                                                                                                                
  MatchUSBID "256c:006e"                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
  MatchDevicePath "/dev/input/event*"                                                                                                                                                                                                        
  Driver "wacom"                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Reboot and check that it is now recognised in xsetwacom:

isaac@pipox7:~$ xsetwacom --list                                                                                                                                                                                                              
HUION PenTablet Pen stylus              id: 12  type: STYLUS                                                                                                                                                                                 
HUION PenTablet Pad pad                 id: 13  type: PAD 

Finally it’s time to map the buttons. For convenience I followed recommendations to create a bash script that would run on session start to persist the mappings:

xsetwacom --set 'HUION PenTablet Pad pad' Button 1 "key +ctrl +z -z -ctrl"                                                                                                                                                                   
xsetwacom --set 'HUION PenTablet Pad pad' Button 2 "key e"                                                                                                                                                                                   
xsetwacom --set 'HUION PenTablet Pad pad' Button 3 "key b"                                                                                                                                                                                   
xsetwacom --set 'HUION PenTablet Pad pad' Button 8 "key +"                                                                                                                                                                                   
xsetwacom --set 'HUION PenTablet Pad pad' Button 9 "key -"                                                                                                                                                                                   
xsetwacom --set 'HUION PenTablet Pad pad' Button 10 "key ]"                                                                                                                                                                                  
xsetwacom --set 'HUION PenTablet Pad pad' Button 11 "key ["                                                                                                                                                                                  
xsetwacom --set 'HUION PenTablet Pad pad' Button 12 "key p" 

And it is as simple as that. The tablet and stylus are fully functional and can be further customised to suit individuals needs.


Installing linux (Lubuntu 20.04 LTS) onto a Pipo X7 Mini PC (Intel Z3736F)

I had pretty much forgotten about this little device when I recently uncovered it stashed away in one of my drawers. Originally purchased in early 2015 for around $100, it was hooked up to my dumb TV to make it smarter and used as a media center.

Pipo X7 Mini PC

Pipo X7 Specs

  • CPU: Quad Core Intel Atom Z3736F 1.33 GHz (2.16 GHz burst)
  • Graphics: Intel HD 313 MHz (646 MHz burst)
  • RAM: 2G DDR3L 1333Mhz (Single channel)
  • Storage: 32G eMMC (Samsung MBG4GC)
  • Wireless: 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 (Realtek?)
  • IO: 4xUSB 2.0 ports (2 front, 2 back), 1xHDMI out, 1×3.5mm Audio out, 1xTF/micro SD, Fast Ethernet (100/10mbps)
  • OS: Windows 10 x64 (upgraded free from Windows 8.1 Bing)

It was able to get a couple of years of use before being replaced by better 4K capable Android media players (NVIDIA Shield).

Having a lot of free time on my hands (thanks COVID) I was curious to see what else it could be used for, so I booted it up and played around a bit.

It has a genuine Windows 10 license (originally 8.1 Bing that was freely upgraded) which I was able to update to the latest patches with no issues.

With the device updated I started playing around with it by attempting to use it as a normal desktop computer. Very quickly I discovered some major downsides to the aging hardware:

  • Low RAM: with just 2G of memory this device was seriously struggling when running any modern browser. Even just having a single firefox tab open and browsing YouTube was eating up almost 1G of memory. I also noticed there was a 500M page file being constantly utilised. This resulted in a sluggish and stuttery experience when web surfing.
  • Slow Storage: (32G eMMC) though low capacity it is adequate for simple internet browsing and office work. I ran a CrystalDiskMark test and found although the sequential read/write were decent (160M/s & 80M/s) the random R/W were low at 20M/s & 10M/s
  • Weak WiFi: the wireless connection was very flaky and signal strength fluctuated dramatically. I was only able to achieve a maximum of 20mbps and averaged around 10mbps.
  • Video playback: it was able to handle most 1080p video streams, but anything of significant bitrate or more demanding codecs would suffer pauses and frame drops.

I struggled to use the Pipo as a light office desktop, mainly due to the RAM limitation which modern browsers absolutely eat up.

Enter Lubuntu

To try and get more use out of the Pipo I wanted to install linux and after some quick googling I chose the Lubuntu distro for its supposed light-weight features. So I grabbed the latest LTS version (20.04) from and created a bootable USB.

By pressing ESC or Del on startup to get into the Pipo BIOS, I configured it to boot from our USB, and here is where a major hurdle occurred:

I couldn’t get the Pipo X7 to load GRUB and boot from the Live USB. It just simply wasn’t displaying anything and would fallback to either the Windows partition or the default EFI.

After searching around, I discovered that this device and many like it are shipped with 32bit EFI firmware which is not included/supported out of the box with most distros. So I continued digging and found an awesome utility by Linuxium called

Using isorespin I was able to ‘respin’ the Lubuntu ISO to include a 32bit boot loader and support for Intel Atom using the following command:

$ -i lubuntu-20.04-desktop-amd64.iso --atom

After the utility has finished, a linuxium-*.iso is created and ready to be written to our installation medium (USB). Plugging in the USB and booting from it worked straight away with no issues and I quickly went through the installation steps, opting to format the entire eMMC disk.

To my joy and surprise, after installing Lubuntu 20.04 LTS everything is working out of the box. The HDMI sound output which had been an issue previously (from ~2015 forum posts) appears to have been fixed in the more recent distros.

Pipo X7 running Lubuntu 20.04 LTS – note: Disk is including my network shares

The Pipo’s wireless speeds were never very good for me, even though the box itself does feature a wireless antenna it varies greatly between 8-20mbps.

isaac@pipox7:~$ speedtest-cli
Testing download speed................................................................................
Download: 10.24 Mbit/s
Testing upload speed......................................................................................................
Upload: 18.61 Mbit/s

Thankfully the rear fast ethernet jack (100/10) works well and I was able to achieve decent speeds with it plugged in:

isaac@pipox7:~$ speedtest-cli
Testing download speed................................................................................
Download: 85.87 Mbit/s
Testing upload speed......................................................................................................
Upload: 26.91 Mbit/s

Now that the network has been sorted out, I tested the web browser experience and found it to be actually worse than windows 10. The 2G of RAM (around 1.5G available) is taken up by Firefox very quickly with just a couple of tabs open (youtube, reddit etc). Once the memory is filled everything freezes and a force restart is required.

RAM – swap & zramswap

I found that setting up and enabling a swapfile (or partition) helps – I opted for a 2G swapfile, but it is still not ideal.

After looking around I found zramswap which utilises ZRam to create compressed swapfiles in memory. Installing and configuring was simple as follows:

$ isaac@pipox7:~$ sudo apt install zram-tools

I updated the default config to use 70% of RAM as zramswap:

# /etc/default/zramswap
# Specifies the amount of RAM that should be used for zram
# based on a percentage the total amount of available memory

Control and enable/disable zramswap using start/stop/status:

isaac@pipox7:~$ sudo zramswap start

Check to make sure the zramswap service is enabled and running (so it will auto setup on boot):

isaac@pipox7:~$ sudo systemctl status zramswap

Check your swap/zramswap:

isaac@pipox7:~$ cat /proc/swaps
Filename                                Type            Size    Used    Priority
/swapfile                               file            2097148 0       -2
/dev/zram0                              partition       345196  109832  100
/dev/zram1                              partition       345196  111300  100
/dev/zram2                              partition       345196  114776  100
/dev/zram3                              partition       345196  111324  100

isaac@pipox7:~$ sudo swapon --show
/swapfile  file          2G     0B   -2
/dev/zram0 partition 337.1M 107.3M  100
/dev/zram1 partition 337.1M 108.7M  100
/dev/zram2 partition 337.1M 112.1M  100
/dev/zram3 partition 337.1M 108.7M  100

With zramswap configured and enabled, I found the cpu hit was minimal and the web browsing/multitasking experience greatly improved.


Final Pipo X7 desktop set up

An interesting little journey on installing and configuring linux for low powered/resource (ie. RAM) hardware. I hope whoever is reading this gained some insight on installing a 64bit OS onto 32bit EFI. Also setting up swap and zramswap is a crucial step for being able to use modern browsers (Firefox or Chromium) on such low amounts of RAM.

After installing Lubuntu and some tinkering, I am able to do light office work (drafted and published this post with it) and have seen a noticeable improvement in video playback capabilities which I attribute to lower resources of the OS vs Windows 10.

I can also confirm this same process to install linux works for the Ainol Mini PC Z3735F 7000mAh


Azure Storage (Spring Starter) – Error Status Code 400: AccountRequiresHttps

The following error occurred in a recent project that required integration with Azure Blob Storage and an existing Spring Boot application:

Error Status Code 400: AccountRequiresHttps


Apply to your file


vnstat – Error: Unable to read database

Error: Unable to read database "/var/lib/vnstat/eth0": No such file or directory

This error will appear when vnstat is not configured to the correct netwrork interface. You can check what interface your device is using with ifconfig:

$ ifconfig
enp3s0: flags=4163 mtu 1500

And to make sure your vnstat is monitoring your identified network interface you can check for the database files located in: /var/lib/vnstat/

$ ls /var/lib/vnstat
enp3s0 wlp2s0

Now you just need to add it to your vnstat config. You could simply edit the default config file located at /etc/vnstat.conf which would apply globally. However it is recommended to create a local config for your user. Copy the global config into your home directory like so:

$ cp /etc/vnstat.conf ~/.vnstatrc

And update the default database to your selected network interface:

# default interface
Interface "enp3s0"

Save and you should be able to run vnstat and check your bandwidth stats.

$ vnstat -d
enp3s0 / daily

     day         rx      |     tx      |    total    |   avg. rate
 07/08/2019    61.04 MiB |    6.05 MiB |   67.09 MiB |    6.51 kbit/s
 07/09/2019    25.36 MiB |  152.33 MiB |  177.69 MiB |   17.25 kbit/s
 07/10/2019    10.38 MiB |    2.12 MiB |   12.51 MiB |    2.38 kbit/s
 estimated        19 MiB |       3 MiB |      22 MiB |