Category Archives: Windows

Merge multiple files into single PDF

I’m sure that we all had the need to send a single PDF file, maybe a signed contract. Yes, those 20 or more pages that you need to return, probably with just two of them filled up and signed.

Some PDF give you the ability to digitally sign them. But in my experience, most of them aren’t so modern.

So, what do I do?

I print ONLY the pages that I need to sign, scan them and here I am, with the need to “rebuild” the PDF, replacing the pages signed.

Example.
You have the file contract.pdf, with 20 pages and you need to sign page 10 and page 20.
The scan has a different resolution (or, even worse, it’s a different format, like jpg).

Here the command to make the magic happen:

convert contract.pdf[0-8] mypage10.jpg contract.pdf[10-18] mypage20.jpg -resize 1240x1753 -extent 1240x1753 -gravity center -units PixelsPerInch -density 150x150 contract_signed.pdf

The bit before -resize is pretty self explanatory. The bit after is a way to have the size of all pages fitting an A4 format, with a good printable resolution.

Of course, to make this happen, you need Linux (or WSL on Windows 10) and imagemagick installed.

Happy PDF’ing 🙂


Sources:
https://stackoverflow.com/questions/23214617/imagemagick-convert-image-to-pdf-with-a4-page-size-and-image-fit-to-page
https://www.shellhacks.com/merge-pdf-files-linux-command-line/

Migrate Linux Subsystem from one PC to another

Are you enjoying your favorite Linux distro running within the Windows 10 Linux Subsystem?

Have you configured all nicely?

What happened if you get a new pc and you’d like to migrate your VM across?

This is what happened to me. And looking around, I found this post that gave me this kinda-dirty way, but did work!

After that, I decided to review the steps, and I’ve added these directories in the exclude’s list, to make clearer the process of export/import:

/dev
/proc
/sys
/run
/tmp
/media
/mnt
/var/cache
/var/run

Of course, if you have important data in these folders and you want to move across too, just update the one-liner below accordingly. 😉

On your OLD PC

  • Open your Linux VM
  • Get inside your Downloads directory (replace <user> with your username): cd /mnt/c/Users/<user>/Dowloads
  • Make sure to be root (sudo su -)
  • Run:
    tar -cvpzf backup.tar.gz --exclude=/backup.tar.gz --exclude=/dev --exclude=/proc --exclude=/sys --exclude=/run --exclude=/tmp --exclude=/media --exclude=/mnt --exclude=/var/cache --exclude=/var/run --one-file-system /
    NOTE: you could achieve the same using the option --exclude-from=file.txt, and having the list of exclusions in this file. I used a one-liner as it’s quicker to copy and paste.
  • Once done, close your Linux VM
  • Verify that you have a new file called backup.tar.bz in Dowloads

On your NEW PC

  • Install from Microsoft Store the same Linux VM (or reinstall in the same way you have done originally on your old pc)
  • Copy across your backup.tar.bz within your new Downloads folder
  • Open the VM that you’ve just installed (minimal setup – this will be completely overwritten, so don’t be bothered too much)
  • Once you’re inside and your backup.tar.bz is in Download, run the following (replace <user> with your username):
    sudo tar -xpzf /mnt/c/Users/<user>/Dowloads/backup.tar.gz -C / --numeric-owner
  • Ignore the errors
  • Close and re-open the VM: DONE! 🙂

Happy migration! 😉