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Topics - Keith

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Ubuntu / Using "mpack" to send files [SOLVED]
« on: July 25, 2019, 08:52:44 pm »
I use mpack on my T500 laptop, after a lot of initial difficulty, and now want to use it on an ASUSTeK P6-P5G41E running Ubuntu 18.04 in gnome-flashback.

The command format is mpack -s "<subject line>"  -a <file path>  <email address>   which works fine on my T500 but on the Asus the error message is "execv: No such file or directory"  although the specified file-path is valid. 

Any ideas would be welcome.
[EDIT]  It turns out that the Mail Transfer Agent "sendmail" was not installed by default.  Installing it removes the error message but the email is still not sent.
[EDIT2] Remembered that I need to set up a ssmtp.conf file in /etc/ssmtp so copied the file from my T500 and edited it for the owner of the Asus.  Still no joy.
[EDIT 3] It turns out that SSMTP was not installed despite Thunderbird working well.  Installing it makes mpack work OK. 

Install sendmail
Install SSMTP
Create a file /etc/ssmtp/ssmtp.conf
  See the second link below.

Useful links:

Ubuntu / Ubuntu 18: Lost icons in top right of Classic View [SOLVED]
« on: July 23, 2019, 07:00:33 pm »
ASUSTeK P6-P5G41E running Ubuntu 18.04 in gnome-flashback

I thought I was removing just one icon from the top right panel but they all disappeared! 
I've done this before (sorry!) but can't remember how to recover them, and my web search wasn't helpful.

I would be grateful for advice.

[EDIT] Tried dconf reset -f /org/gnome/gnome-panel/ without success.

[EDIT 2] Tried:
sudo apt-get update
killall gnome-panel
sudo apt-get install --reinstall gnome-panel gnome-applets
sudo apt-get -f install

...after this, ALL the top panels disappeared but a reboot restored them.  Success!

Internet Connectivity / No wireless with Mint 18 [SOLVED!]
« on: July 23, 2019, 09:13:21 am »
I have installed Mint 18 on a friend’s Dell Inspiron 1501 laptop.  Unfortunately, the built-in wifi doesn’t work with this installation although a USB wifi dongle works well (so I know that the network is set up correctly) as does Ethernet. 

Wifi enabled in BIOS and the network info entered. 
Keyboard Fn F2 to toggle wifi has no effect.
Here is some output that might help diagnosis:

harry@dell1501 ~ $ rfkill list all
harry@dell1501 ~ $ iwconfig
lo        no wireless extensions.
eth0      no wireless extensions.
harry@dell1501 ~ $ lspci -vnn -d 14e4:
05:00.0 Network controller [0280]: Broadcom Corporation BCM4311 802.11b/g WLAN [14e4:4311] (rev 01)
   Subsystem: Dell Wireless 1390 WLAN Mini-Card [1028:0007]
   Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 18
   Memory at c0200000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]
   Capabilities: <access denied>
   Kernel driver in use: b43-pci-bridge
   Kernel modules: ssb, wl

08:00.0 Ethernet controller [0200]: Broadcom Corporation BCM4401-B0 100Base-TX [14e4:170c] (rev 02)
   Subsystem: Dell BCM4401-B0 100Base-TX [1028:01f5]
   Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 64, IRQ 21
   Memory at c0300000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=8K]
   Capabilities: <access denied>
   Kernel driver in use: b44
   Kernel modules: b44

harry@dell1501 ~ $ inxi -Fxn
System:    Host: dell1501 Kernel: 4.4.0-145-generic i686 (32 bit gcc: 5.4.0)
           Desktop: Cinnamon 3.0.7 (Gtk 3.18.9-1ubuntu3.3) Distro: Linux Mint 18 Sarah
Machine:   System: Dell product: Inspiron 1501
           Mobo: Dell model: 0UW744 Bios: Dell v: 2.3.0 date: 03/15/2006
CPU:       Dual core AMD Turion 64 X2 Mobile TL-50 (-MCP-) cache: 512 KB
           flags: (lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3 svm) bmips: 3192
           clock speeds: max: 1600 MHz 1: 800 MHz 2: 800 MHz
Graphics:  Card: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD/ATI] RS482M [Mobility Radeon Xpress 200] bus-ID: 01:05.0
           Display Server: X.Org 1.18.3 drivers: ati,radeon (unloaded: fbdev,vesa) Resolution: 1280x800@60.96hz
           GLX Renderer: Gallium 0.4 on ATI RS480 GLX Version: 2.1 Mesa 11.2.0 Direct Rendering: Yes
Audio:     Card Advanced Micro Devices [AMD/ATI] SBx00 Azalia (Intel HDA) driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 00:14.2
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k4.4.0-145-generic
Network:   Card-1: Broadcom and subsidiaries BCM4311 802.11b/g WLAN driver: b43-pci-bridge bus-ID: 05:00.0
           IF: N/A state: N/A mac: N/A
           Card-2: Broadcom and subsidiaries BCM4401-B0 100Base-TX driver: b44 v: 2.0 bus-ID: 08:00.0
           IF: eth0 state: up speed: 100 Mbps duplex: full mac: 00:19:b9:5d:ec:8c
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 80.0GB (9.0% used) ID-1: /dev/sda model: Hitachi_HTS54168 size: 80.0GB
Partition: ID-1: / size: 73G used: 5.9G (9%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda1
           ID-2: swap-1 size: 0.94GB used: 0.15GB (16%) fs: swap dev: /dev/sda5
RAID:      No RAID devices: /proc/mdstat, md_mod kernel module present
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 52.0C mobo: N/A
           Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A
Info:      Processes: 161 Uptime: 3:09 Memory: 354.1/870.2MB Init: systemd runlevel: 5 Gcc sys: 5.4.0
           Client: Shell (bash 4.3.481) inxi: 2.2.35

I’ve installed  b43-fwcutter and firmware-b43-installer
I am guessing that the installer installs the b43-fwcutter but I don’t know how to use it.
I did find an example of the use of b43-fwcutter:    b43-fwcutter -w /lib/firmware wl_apsta.o
but I’m not confident about just copying this as it might not be appropriate for this machine. 
Can anyone advise me on the the best way forward?

Thank you

Hardware Compatibility / usb wireless adapter for Ubuntu18.04
« on: July 11, 2019, 10:36:46 pm »
I am preparing an ASUSTeK P6-P5G41E desktop running Ubuntu 18.04 to give to a friend.  Having fitted a 256GB SSD (thanks, Mark) it's working much faster I want now to find a suitable USB wireless dongle for it. 
I bought one from Amazon that mentioned Linux suitability but Ubuntu 18 ignored it.  So I tried to install the accompanying drivers from the CD but the PC refused to extract the files, telling me that I didn't have sufficient privileges!  So I sent it back. 
I have a very old Belkin 802.11g adapter so tried that and it connected immediately - which makes it a valuable item that I want to keep! 

Bizarrely, I can actually still buy the Belkin 802.11g from Amazon, which I might do, but a more modern one that works out of the box would be better. 
I see lots of questions on the forums about getting dongles to work with Ubuntu 18 and would be grateful for advice from anyone on a device that will work on U18 without having to install anything. 


Ubuntu / Network manager icon missing in Ubuntu 18.04
« on: July 11, 2019, 01:24:16 pm »
ASUSTeK P6-P5G41E running Ubuntu 18.04

This machine doesn’t have a wireless card so before donating it I bought a USB wireless adapter (Bonest USB 3.0 ) as it mentioned Linux in the blurb.  I ignored the installation disk and plugged it in with no response from the system, which surprised me.  Indeed, the network manager told me that no dongle was detected.
Next I tried installing the Linux software from the disk but the extract command resulted in a message that I didn’t have sufficient privileges to do the extraction.  So I abandoned that to return the dongle to Amazon. 
At this point I noticed that the wireless manager icon had disappeared from the tray at top right.  Hmm!  I plugged in a very old, spare USB wireless adapter which connected me immediately, but still no icon. 
Looking on-line for possible solutions, I tried the following with no success:

keith@asus:~$ sudo service network-manager stop
keith@asus:~$ sudo rm /var/lib/NetworkManager/NetworkManager.state
keith@asus:~$ sudo service network-manager start

keith@asus:~$ killall unity-panel-service
unity-panel-service: no process found

keith@asus:~$ sudo apt-get install indicator-applet-complete
   Reading package lists... Done
   Building dependency tree       
   Reading state information... Done
   indicator-applet-complete is already the newest version (12.10.2+17.10.20170425-   0ubuntu1).
   indicator-applet-complete set to manually installed.
   0 to upgrade, 0 to newly install, 0 to remove and 0 not to upgrade.

keith@asus:~$ sudo apt-get install --reinstall network-manager network-manager-gnome

Not having the icon is no real problem as I can always get to the network manager via the menus but it’s a nuisance if I am giving the machine to a friend and I would be grateful for advice.

General Help & Advice / Formatting an SSD for system use
« on: July 08, 2019, 03:45:33 pm »
I bought a very cheap Asus with Mint on it and when visiting my local PC emporium I got the chap to swap the HDD for a 256GB SSD.  He checked out the system with windows (he’s a Windows only man).  Months later I get back to the Asus for the first time and it won’t let me boot a Live USB (despite changing the boot priority) and demanded that I register Windows. 

I extracted the device to a carrier and plugged it into a USB port on my Lenovo T500 laptop.  The response was:
Unable to mount 255 GB Volume
Error mounting /dev/sdb2 at /media/keith/FA24921C2491DC47: Command-line `mount -t "ntfs" -o "uhelper=udisks2,nodev,nosuid,uid=1000,gid=1000" "/dev/sdb2" "/media/keith/FA24921C2491DC47"' exited with non-zero exit status 14: Windows is hibernated, refused to mount.
Failed to mount '/dev/sdb2': Operation not permitted
The NTFS partition is in an unsafe state. Please resume and shutdown
Windows fully (no hibernation or fast restarting), or mount the volume
read-only with the 'ro' mount option.

Not understanding all this and impetuous as ever I decided to reformat it, not thinking that I would need a boot sector, etc.  So I now have a single Ext4 partition on it.  Plugging it back into the ASUS I tried to boot from an Ubuntu 18 live USB but the system just hung with a black screen. 

I’ve looked on line for how to partition the SSD but the instructions imply some knowledge that I don’t have. 
I’ve been very foolish but would be grateful for help in formatting it correctly (in a carrier USB’d to my Laptop) so that I can return it to the ASUS and Install Ubuntu 18. 

[Laptop:  Lenovo T500 64 bit and Ubuntu 16.04]

Programming / Using the "du" command with a file-list [SOLVED]
« on: March 27, 2019, 09:11:31 pm »
As part of a backup script I want to find the total GB of a list of files to be backed up to see if the supplied USB stick is big enough.
The ideal command is du, for example:
keith@dt05:~$ du -sch Documents Desktop Pictures
2.4G   Documents
73M   Desktop
1.9G   Pictures
4.4G   total

Better still, du has an option to read the file list from a file:
but the listed file/directory names must be NUL-terminated, and this is where I have become stuck.

A web search indicates "\0" as a null character but adding printf "\0" after a name when creating the file-list does  not work, and I've tried many other variations offered on the web. 
I would be grateful if anyone can suggest a way of listing files/directories in a file so that du will read it.

Hardware Compatibility / USBs and DVDs not working [ABANDONED]
« on: March 12, 2019, 01:08:12 pm »
I have an old desktop with an ASUS A7N8X motherboard to be renovated for a friend. 
It has XP loaded and is unbelievably slow.  At first I thought the slowness might be partly due to the age of the motherboard but the spec doesn't look too bad - although I might change the board for something better if she can afford it. 

The immediate problem is that I can't run a Linux Live USB or DVD as neither the DVD drives nor the USB sockets respond to any device.  I've tried setting the boot preferences to anything that seemed reasonable but it always boots into XP although the boot process indicates that it is booting from (for example) the DVD. 

I've checked the leads from the USBs and DVDs to the motherboard and all are placed securely in the right positions. 
The PS2 keyboard works but I don't have a PS2 mouse - I can use my USB mouse if I can get the Live USB/DVD working. 

Any advice for getting a Live USB/DVD working would be very welcome.
Thank you.

General Help & Advice / Intrepreting CPU info
« on: March 06, 2019, 12:47:14 pm »
Before renovating an old PC for a friend (and asking advice on that), I would be grateful for explanations about CPU speed info.  For example, here are the data for my laptop:

keith@T500:~$ sudo lshw -c cpu
[sudo] password for keith:
       description: CPU
       product: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU     P8400  @ 2.26GHz
       vendor: Intel Corp.
       physical id: 6
       bus info: cpu@0
       version: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU     P8400  @ 2.26GHz
       slot: None
       size: 1600MHz
       capacity: 2267MHz

       width: 64 bits
       clock: 266MHz
       capabilities: fpu fpu_exception wp vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe syscall nx x86-64 constant_tsc arch_perfmon pebs bts nopl aperfmperf pni dtes64 monitor ds_cpl vmx smx est tm2 ssse3 cx16 xtpr pdcm sse4_1 xsave lahf_lm kaiser tpr_shadow vnmi flexpriority dtherm ida cpufreq


What is the significance of "CPU" speed, "size" speed, "capacity" speed (I'm guessing max = cpu speed) and "clock speed"? 

Thank you

Ubuntu / Multiple entriesin $PATH
« on: December 08, 2018, 08:36:20 pm »
Ubuntu 16.04 on Lenovo Thinkpad T500

My original $PATH was:

where I have separated the entries for clarity.

I modified my .profile file as follows to include two more directories in $PATH:
# set PATH so it includes user's private bin directories

but $PATH now looks like this:

Can anyone tell me why my personal paths are present twice in the $PATH variable?
It's not a problem in practice, but really annoying that I can't find the reason for it!

General Help & Advice / The "du" command and file-list [SOLVED]
« on: December 01, 2018, 04:17:16 pm »
I use the "du" command quite a lot - it's very useful.  Better still:  one can read from a file a list of files/directories for which one wants a size summary. 
The Man pages offer the option:
              summarize  disk usage of the NUL-terminated file names specified in file F

I tried creating a simple list containing one file or directory per line but this doesn't work. 
I guess the clue is in the "NUL-terminated file names specified in file" requirement but I can't discover from Google just what a NUL-terminated file name is. 
Can anyone advise me, please?

Found a solution!
     du -sh `cat <file-name-path>`
Hope this helps others, although it would still be nice to understand the proper "du" option. 

Ubuntu / Ubuntu 18.04 not working on live USB [SOLVED]
« on: November 08, 2018, 03:56:59 pm »
Lenovo Thinkpad T500 64-bit laptop running Ubuntu 16.04

Thought I'd have a look at Ubuntu 18.04 before upgrading.  I usually delay upgrading to allow the bugs to be ironed out.  Here's the process:
  • I downloaded the ISO file OK (ubuntu-18.04.1-desktop-amd64.iso) and the md5sum value agreed with the published value. 
  • Next I used the excellent UnetBootin to create a live USB, and this process seemed to go OK with no reported errors. 
  • Rebooted the PC with the USB in then selected "Try Ubuntu without installing". 
Several attempts to boot into the live USB failed with errors:
[  8.770062] tpm tpm0 error (6) occurred attempting to read a pcr value
[  8.864554] tpm tpm0 error (6) occurred attempting to read a pcr value

So I recreated the live USB and tried again. 
The same errors occurred but after a couple of attempts Ubuntu 18 fired up. 
I can connect to my network, and the terminal and FireFox work but nothings else - the little wheel rotates for a while then disappears. 
The exit button results in the usual Ubuntu blinking dots then the original Selection screen (Try Ubuntu, etc) plus a few more errors, but doesn't exit, so I crashed out. 


I am guessing that as the MD5SUM is correct, then the ISO is fine, and I've never had any trouble with UnetBootin. 
I'm not desperate as I have two PCs running 16.04 but it would be nice to check out the much vaunted 18.04 and would welcome suggestions.
Thank you. 

General Help & Advice / Removing paths from the PATH environment variable
« on: September 09, 2018, 09:29:11 pm »
Lenovo Thinkpad T500 running Ubuntu 16.04

Many years ago I managed to add two local directories to the PATH variable and I’ve just noticed that these directories are present twice, at the beginning.  Here is $PATH listed to make it easier to read:



The local directories are not set in .bashrc or /etc/profile so I must have defined the PATH variable directly, in a rather permanent fashion. 
I think it would be safest to remove these local paths (and duplicates) and redefine them in .bashrc using “export PATH=/home/keith/.bin:$PATH” for example.  But how can I remove the offending paths safely from the existing, permanent PATH variable? 

General Help & Advice / Font disaster
« on: September 02, 2018, 07:41:19 pm »
Lenovo Thinkpad T500 running Ubuntu 16.04 and LibreOffice

As the summer recedes my thoughts return to a bookbinding project that I started some time ago.  Upon opening the text file in LibreOffice I discovered that the font had changed from a copperplate, cursive script (I don't remember the name) to my default DejaVu Sans. 

No problem, I thought:  just highlight all the text and select the right font in the drop-down box.   But disaster!  The font isn't listed.  Worse than that:  the fonts that are present appear to be largely of a foreign nature or large blocks of similar fonts. 

During my respite from the job, LibreOffice has been updated with the loss of very many useful fonts.  A search of the interweb suggested installing “Ubuntu-restricted-extras” which I have done and find MS-core-fonts are now installed in /usr/share/fonts/truetype and appear in LibreOffice.  Sadly these don’t include anything like a copperplate font. 

Further research hasn’t revealed a suitable source of the required font (the nearest I've found is ~£100 for a whole font family) and I would be very grateful for advice on installing the original font set of the previous version of LibreOffice, or pointing me in the direction of a suitable font. 

Thank you.

Peppermint / Problems creating a new user on Peppermint 3
« on: July 22, 2018, 12:21:42 pm »
I have a Dell Latitude D505 that I want to give to a friend.  It's running Peppermint 3 very well and here's the uname  info:
Linux D505 3.2.0-126-generic #169-Ubuntu SMP Fri Mar 31 14:16:01 UTC 2017 i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux

I kept my account as administrator and added my friend as a "custom user"; both with "enter password on login" status. 
When I rebooted, the machine went straight to my account without asking for my password.  Just to check that the new account was present I did ls -l home/olwen which showed no files but no error.  Trying ls -al home/olwen showed that the account was there (a few hidden files) but nothing else, although I was expecting the usual Desktop, Documents, etc.  Hmmm!

I would be grateful for advice.

(p.s.  Why haven't tried the latest Peppermint?  We tried and failed:

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