How To Create a Static Bridged Network on Ubuntu 14.04, Debian 8, Linux Mint 17.3

If you’re using GNU/Linux, and you want to run virtual machines or lxc containers, you may want to set up bridged networking on your host system. Bridged networking allows your VMs or containers direct access to the host’s network.

Static networking makes it easier to reach your computer remotely by ensuring its IP will always be the same. Your host bridge can have a dynamic (DHCP) address if you only need to reach your VMs or containers, but doing everything static just makes it easier to manage, in my opinion. If there’s a problem where your VMs or containers won’t start, you’ll know the host IP and can connect to it to troubleshoot.

The following guide will help with and was tested on Debian 8, Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty, and Linux Mint 17.3 (which is based on Trusty).


First, install the bridge-utils package:

Next, you want to make sure you know the name of your system’s physical ethernet interface:

The output will show your system’s link interfaces, most likely a loopback “lo” interface, and your hardware interface. Usually this is “eth0” as below, but I’ve seen other names like “p5p7” for example.

Then, you’ll want to edit /etc/network/interfaces — I use nano:

As per above, my hardware interface is “eth0” — if you see lines like the following for your hardware interface, comment them out (here they are already commented out):

Now add the following, but edit the address, network, netmask, broadcast, and gateway, and make sure the line that starts “bridge_ports” ends with your physical interface name (here, mine is eth0):

At this point, I recommend rebooting. You may prefer not to reboot, but I’ve had no luck trying to only restart networking, or do ifdown & ifup on the respective interfaces to switch. This issue affects people on Debian and on Ubuntu, from what I’ve read. Rebooting is just cleaner for me.

Once your system is back up (or if you know a better way that works than rebooting), you can do “ip link show” and “ip -4 a” (the latter will show you interfaces with ipv4 addresses):

You should see the bridge “br0” active, with the IP address you set.


Running your ebook Calibre-server as a service in Windows

Moving back to Windows for various down-sizing reasons, and had to set up the Calibre ebook server on Windows. I wanted it running as a service so it’d even be running without my user profile logged on. Here’s how to do it:

This is easiest with the command-line NSSM. So download that and put the appropriate binary (the 64 bit or 32 bit EXE file) somewhere you can run it from CMD or PowerShell. I just put in in C:\windows\System32.

Then make note of the following:

  • what port do you want the server running on? The default is 8080, but I like to specify a different one.
  • where on your disks is your Calibre library stored? Should be where it saves all the books.
  • optional: where, if you like, should it save a file with the process ID? This is probably unnecessary on windows, but I did it when doing this all on Linux, so I figure, why not? It’s just a tiny extra text file, and it might come in useful someday.

Then you just run the NSSM command as follows:

Fill in your info where appropriate.

Now you can either do .\nssm.exe start Calibre  or go to the Windows Services interface (services.msc) to start the service. When you browse to http://localhost:<PORT>/ you should get your Calibre library.

Subway Art Mystery

So there’s this artwork in the subway (one of the “art for transit” pieces) that has two tombstones, one saying “Emilie Muse, 1-23-06,” and the other, “Sludgy, 4-18-07.” It keeps taunting me, and finally I did the Google.

The “Emilie muse, 1-23-06” tombstone would have been for Emilie Neumann Muse, who, amongst other things, swam the English Channel. This NY Times obit summarizes (and then says more) as follows:

Emilie Neumann Muse, who as a young woman exemplified the crazy, flamboyant competitiveness of the 20’s and 30’s by swimming in treacherous waters, wrestling alligators, jumping out of airplanes and being buried alive, died on Jan. 23 in East Patchogue, N.Y. She was 98.

“Sludgy, 4-18-07” turns out to have been a baby whale that got stuck in the Gowanus Canal a day or two prior to that date and then struck a jetty and passed on.