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Topics - Rich J

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Internet Connectivity / 2nd Router not connecting SOLVED
« on: February 27, 2018, 03:41:41 pm »
Hi All - I am now the proud owner of 2 VM Superhubs (lucky me!! LOL) and need some set-up advice please.

I've just had an upgrade to a TV6 box from Virgin media (replacing an ageing TiVo) and have re-arranged my home network accordingly. 

My Superhub 2 (which was connected to my desktop computer in the office via ethernet) has been moved to the lounge adjacent to the TV6 box and connected to it via ethernet.  I have VM co-ax cabling to both locations - this was done when the original TiVo was fitted.  My desktop is now wifi connected to SH2 via a dongle.  All is ok with my TV and other devices around the house for connectivity as the new position gives better wifi coverage.  However, though the desktop has connected wirelessly, the signal in the office is around 50-60% strength and gives intermittent problems with speed and refusing to connect through - mostly timeout issues, I think.

I still have my original Superhub (SH1) (for some reason it was never returned to VM) so  I would like to connect it to my desktop via ethernet if possible and just use it for the desktop - ie: switch off SH1 wireless broadcasting. 

I connected SH1 up to the desktop (running Mint 18.3, btw) and the network manager found it ok but I can't connect through to the internet.  Nor can I access the SH1 config to change anything there.  Any ideas what I might try please?  (I'm actually wondering if VM somehow disable old equipment but can't find anything regarding that on the 'net).  If I can get SH1 working, I'd prefer to have it connected to the TV6 and return SH2 to the office - SH1 has the cables connected in the back (SH2 in the end) and it would sit better behind the TV.   ;)

If my proposal is a non-starter, I could just put SH2 back in the office and have the TV6 connect wirelessly to it but I'm not sure how that would work, given the signal strength.

Thanks in advance


EDIT:  I have now managed to load the config page (hadn't realised there is a different address for it when in modem mode - doh!!) and returned the settings to default.  However, it still won't connect to the internet when on ethernet.

General Discussion / Home Security and Linux
« on: February 07, 2018, 11:09:57 am »
Hi All!  There has been a spate of daytime and night-time break-ins lately around our way and my other half is getting a bit twitchy (as am I, TBH!). 

I'm considering installing some sort of basic CCTV system (maybe 3 cameras) which I would like to monitor via an old laptop I have, currently running Mint 17 XFCE.  Not sure yet whether to go for wired or wireless, but wireless would be easier.  Do any of you run a home security system with Linux?  Is there a need for any sort of specialised software and have you any particular recommendations as to brands etc?

Thanks in advance


General Help & Advice / Meltdown and Spectre (SOLVED)
« on: January 23, 2018, 11:55:45 am »
Hi Mark - maybe this should be in the Security section (feel free to move it) but I didn't want it missed by the general reader.

I got on to Mint about my kernel panic woes after installing Mint 18.3 updated kernels (neither will boot) and the best they could come up with is this -

"Well, your options are limited. You might wait for the (hopefully) redeeming update in the 4.4 series.

Or, and that's what I would do: perform a clean installation of Mint 17.3 Xfce and downgrade its kernel to the latest of the 3.13 series (currently: 3.13.0-139). And buy a new machine when Mint 17.x reaches EOL in May, 2019.

The whole bloody Meltdown/Spectre mess is probably too dangerous for continuing without a patched kernel...."

Not exactly the answer I was hoping for.............. >:(

So a downgrade followed by a new purchase?  Rather spoils the notion of running Linux on older hardware, don't you think?  And aren't the latest chips affected also, so no way would I invest in a new machine until that point was cleared up?

What, in your opinion are the risks of running a "vulnerable" set up until a patch is available?


General Help & Advice / Fresh install Mint 18.3
« on: January 12, 2018, 10:18:33 am »
Hi Mark and a belated Happy New year to you and all forumites!

I'm now good to go for a fresh install of Mint 18.3 64bit on my larger drive (150GiB) - currently with M17 installed.  My smaller (40GiB) drive has M18 on it which, if all goes well, I'll later change to a data only disk.  Given the boot issues that I've had with this machine in the past, I'll need to manually partition the drive. 

What is the best layout for partitioning please, given I'd like to create a separate home partition as well as boot, / and swap?

Currently, M17 has a small 1st partition (boot) of 500MiB where the boot files reside.  Strangely, M18 (on sdb) also has exactly the same partitioning arrangement, but the boot files aren't in the boot partition!  So, given that Mint does not delete old kernels automatically -

1,  would it be advantageous to make the 1st (boot) partition a bit larger than 500MiB to accommodate the increasing number of kernels?
2,  is it possible to force the boot files to actually land in that 1st partition?

Any advice would be good!


General Help & Advice / Re: Kernel panic (SOLVED)
« on: December 08, 2017, 08:50:32 pm »
Hi All

Mint 18.2 refuses to boot after a general update (via Update Manager).  After a similar issue a while ago I stopped adding new kernels but this time I recall a 'Linux Headers for development' being included and wonder if this has caused the problem?  The boot hangs with  ....Kernel panic - not syncing: unable to mount root fs on unknown-block (0,0).

I've tried other (older) kernels from the 'Advanced' list in Grub but get the same result.

Mint 17 works ok (it's on a separate drive) and this is where I'm typing this post from.  From 17, doing a 'sudo update-grub' has no effect.

From 17's menu (Computer) I can see all my data etc in M18 so it's all there, I just can't boot to it.

Any help greatly appreciated!


PS:  It was all working fine up to last evening which is when I did the update before closing down for the night, so it must be something in there that's caused the issue.  There's been no messing about inside the box or moving of the computer - just the software update.

General Help & Advice / Mdm and Lightdm (SOLVED)
« on: October 31, 2017, 10:04:44 am »
Hi All
In my efforts to configure Mint 18.2 I've managed to break my display manager........... :-[

I changed from mdm to lightdm using a 'how to' from the official Mint site and all seemed to go well until it came to reboot.  The boot now just hangs at the splash screen.  I can see a screen full of output (by hitting 'enter') and that reports an error 'failure to start light display manager'.  It then runs on for a few more lines then halts, waiting for 'another process'.  Unfortunately, the 'how to' said to remove mdm as part of the changeover so there's no way to switch back to it.

 I have the Mint 18.1 install disk (original install was 18.1 - upgraded to 18.2 via Update Manager) and also Mint 17.3 installed on a separate Hdd (sda) - M18 is on Hdd sdb.

Is it possible to re-install mdm on to M18 from either of these mediums?  I could just reinstall M18 afresh but have made a lot of changes that I would prefer to keep if possible.

Thanks in advance


General Help & Advice / Speed up Boot
« on: October 28, 2017, 04:51:13 pm »
Hi All
I'm currently running Mint 18.2 Sonya Mate on a separate 40GB hdd and I'm trying to speed up the boot process. 

At first it booted to the desktop at around 2m 30secs but after removing some startup items (and enabling auto login etc), I've got it down to 1m 25secs.  Using the systemd-analyze critical-chain utility, I see that it takes 25secs to begin booting from the hdd (dev sdb5-device).  Is there a way to get this time decreased safely?

Further info below -

The time after the unit is active or started is printed after the "@" character.
The time the unit takes to start is printed after the "+" character. @36.210s
?? @36.210s
  ?? @36.205s
    ??getty@tty1.service @36.204s
      ??rc-local.service @35.659s +19ms
        ?? @35.623s
          ?? @35.620s
            ??NetworkManager.service @32.168s +3.450s
              ??dbus.service @31.788s
                ?? @31.771s
                  ?? @31.771s
                    ??cups.path @31.771s
                      ?? @31.729s
                        ??systemd-update-utmp.service @31.397s +329ms
                          ??systemd-tmpfiles-setup.service @31.295s +47ms
                            ?? @31.291s
                              ??run-cgmanager-fs.mount @32.185s
                                ?? @9.147s
                                  ??systemd-remount-fs.service @9.086s +58ms
                                    ??system.slice @4.141s

$ systemd-analyze blame
         24.325s dev-sdb5.device
          6.771s ufw.service
          3.929s preload.service
          3.450s NetworkManager.service
          2.797s keyboard-setup.service
          2.604s thermald.service
          2.367s systemd-tmpfiles-setup-dev.service
          2.083s iio-sensor-proxy.service
          1.749s systemd-udevd.service
          1.610s dev-hugepages.mount
          1.583s systemd-journald.service
          1.575s systemd-modules-load.service
          1.530s dev-mqueue.mount
          1.529s sys-kernel-debug.mount
          1.507s upower.service
          1.389s udisks2.service
          1.229s networking.service
          1.226s grub-common.service
          1.222s systemd-fsck@dev-disk-by\x2duuid-e5fdbb08\x2d9250\x2d489a\x2d9e
          1.117s loadcpufreq.service
          1.005s irqbalance.service
           904ms rsyslog.service
           888ms console-setup.service

Plot.svg shows the kernel loads in @ 7secs and systemd in @ a further 5secs so the delay seems to be in finding the boot files.

Any tips/info would be great!

TIA Rich

General Help & Advice / Upgrading to 64bit Mint
« on: August 02, 2017, 04:01:40 pm »
Hi All.  I've decided to have a go at upgrading my machine from 32bit to 64 bit (currently Mint 17 32bit, going to Mint 18 64bit). 

I currently have installed a 160Gb HDD with Mint 17 on it and a 40Gb slave HDD that is blank (i.e. unallocated space).  In preparation, I've downloaded the Mint 18 iso and burned it to disk.  This boots ok and works as expected so I expect the install to be the same.

My plan is to install Mint 18 on the 40Gb HDD, move everything over to it from the 160Gb HDD then, if all goes well, wipe the 160Gb HDD and do a fresh install of Mint 18 on that.  (The current data only takes up a fraction of the available space on the 160Gb HDD so I hope will not be an issue moving it to a smaller drive).  If all goes well I'll move everything back again.

Q  Is this method feasible or appropriate?  (My fear is losing the data and messing up the settings of 2 users (self and wife - and I really don't want to risk the wrath of Khan!!)  Or would it be better/easier to create a partition and move the data only over?  If I could preserve the settings also it would save a lot of work.

Q  Can the whole drive be cloned/copied and moved over?  I think there is scope to shrink the partition on the 160Gb drive to make it 'appear' smaller than 40Gb but I daren't try that without help!!

I'm not fussed about Mint 18 either - it's just the latest incarnation - if a straight change to Mint 17 64bit is better then that would be ok too.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts/advice/opinions etc ;)


Printers and Scanners / Samsung Easy Printer Manager
« on: December 17, 2016, 05:11:26 pm »
Back again!

Samsung have the aforementioned available for Windows and MAC but not for Linux.  I've downloaded the .zip file (for MAC) in the hope there maybe a way to get it (or the Windows version) to work in Linux?  What do you think?

It's a useful utility as you can do cartridge and page count re-sets with the info in it - a real bone of contention with Samsung printers as they seem to produce error messages long before the life of the component (or the toner) has run out!

Thanks in advance,


Printers and Scanners / Samsung C410 Laser Printer Cleaning (Solved)
« on: December 12, 2016, 05:01:05 pm »
Hi All!  This is a (sort of) follow up to my last, aborted, post!

My Samsung printer has suddenly decided to play up - it's now producing multi-colour vertical streaks on the printed page.  I've researched the net and found many 'reasons why' videos and have given the printer as thorough a clean (inside and out) as I can - including emptying the waste tank - without (yet) dismantling any internal components .  I refilled all the toners about 3 months ago and it has run fine since, so I'm reasonably sure they aren't the issue.

After cleaning the printer and to test it, I've run a blank page document through it and there's no streaking.  I've then run a simple b&w text document through and it streaks in colour and lastly run a multi-colour document through and again, it streaks.  It seems that when the printer is asked (by the computer) to actually print something, it is dragging in unwanted toner from somewhere. 

I conclude that it is either a) there is residual toner powder within the machine that needs removing, or b) the printer software is somehow corrupted and is asking for colour when none is required?

My suspicion is b) because if I print an info page directly from the printer's control buttons it prints out fine with no streaking......!  Weird?  I'd prefer to run through any software options first before stripping the printer so any advice from your good selves would be welcome!

So - how do I remove, then reinstall all of the CUPS software and print manager software on my machine? 

Then - Samsung have an 'Easy Printer Manager' available (but not in Linux - no surprise) but they do a MAC version.  I've downloaded it's zip file as standby and wonder if there's away to run it on my machine (Linux Mint 17)?  This would be very useful as you can do printer component re-sets with it which aren't available otherwise.

Thanks in advance and a very merry Christmas to one and all!


Printers and Scanners / Printer not found (Abandoned)
« on: December 08, 2016, 08:07:03 pm »
Ignore this - I'm an idiot!!!

General Discussion / Streaming Apps
« on: May 17, 2016, 09:04:44 am »
Hi All

I'm beginning to dip my toe into the streaming world........ ::)  and am looking for advice! 

A pal has recommended an app, MOBDRO, designed for Android phones, but unfortunately my phone won't run it as it's too early a version to support it.  Is there a way to install Android apps on a Linux box?  My old laptop (Mint 17.1) is currently connected to my tv and runs ok with iPlayer, YouTube etc. so would be an ideal platform for MOBDRO.

Any ideas?



General Help & Advice / USB not booting SOLVED
« on: March 08, 2016, 10:51:38 am »
Hi All - I downloaded Mint 17 Xfce and wrote it to 2 different USB sticks using Mint's own USB image writer.   The downloaded MD5 sum is correct.

Attempting to boot from the stick into a Compaq mini netbook initially brings up the Mint start screen but when 'Start Mint' is selected I get failed, with error - ....probe failed.... and then nothing. (ditto other options in the list - nothing will boot it)

Back at my main pc, when I look in 'Computer', the sticks are seen. lsusb in Terminal also lists them. In GParted, I get this - Invalid partition table - recursive partition on /dev/sdg but when I click on 'ignore' the stick(s) are listed but are shown as unallocated space.  I formatted both sticks first in Fat32 then again in Ext 4 before writing to them and Image Writer reported they were successfully written each time.

In the past, all sticks have shown up on the desktop automatically, but not now.  Clicking on the icon in 'Computer' brings the message - 'Unable to mount location' 'Can't mount file' thus I can't check the MD5 to see if they have written correctly.  Have I missed something?  I've successfully installed several distros in the past using the same methods but something has gone awry this time.

Doing this on main pc, Mint 17 Cinnamon.

Thanks in advance, as always


General Discussion / Firefox 42 problem (SOLVED)
« on: November 30, 2015, 12:31:03 pm »
Hi All - I hope someone can help with this......!

In previous versions of Firefox, if I needed to access my 'preferences', I simply clicked on Edit>Preferences and a tabbed box appeared which gave access to all the relevant settings etc.  Now, a browser page appears and shows the 'General' page only, but no buttons are active upon it, so no information can be accessed or changed.   ???

Typing 'about:preferences#Security' in the address bar brings up that page, but again, no active buttons........ ::)

In previous versions, typing in a new page address bar 'about:config', then 'pref', in the search field brought up the string 'browser.preferences.inContent' showing (user set>boolean>false).  Double-clicking on this string changed the value to 'true' and upon restarting Firefox the old preferences box was restored.  This no longer happens in v42 and a web search says the feature is no longer supported.

Is there a way of  getting this feature back?  Even if it means reverting to an old FF version?

Alternatively, if the new 'style' is what we must put up with (crap, IMHO, as it makes things more difficult!) then how do I get the buttons on said pages to work?

This is a real bummer for me as I have a lot of different passwords for different sites and it is nigh-on impossible to keep track of them all!  Having access to my preferences is an easy way to check on the password for a site I haven't visited for a while and this new 'feature' well and truly puts the mockers on that!  >:(

Thanks, as always


Edit:  Mint 17 Cinnamon, if it helps?

General Help & Advice / Debian Jessie boots to black screen(Abandoned)
« on: October 15, 2015, 10:40:09 pm »

Not being one to give up with the Compaq Mini, I've installed Debian Jessie on it to try it out.

I believe the install went ok as I didn't get any error messages, however -  I wonder if I slipped up when setting some of the parameters?  On boot, I get to the Grub screen ok, Debian GNU/Linux is selected and the boot process begins.  After a few seconds the screen goes blank and sits there, no cursor flashing or any sign of life, though the computer hasn't shut down.  Ctrl/Alt/Del will re-boot it but it just repeats the cycle.

I remember that I had this issue before when installing Peppermint 4 and you gave me instructions on how to modify the Grub file?  I booted it with my Puppy usb stick and mounted the Debian drive (sda1). I found the file '/etc/default/grub', modified it to "quiet splash nomodeset" and saved it.  I tried to update grub but the terminal in Puppy only works in Puppy - if you see what I mean?

Is this the right way to go or am I way off base?  And is it possible to update Grub on one drive with a terminal on another?

Thanks in advance


Mark, I've copied your reply to here in the hope others will be able to follow it:-


OK, the following instructions are for a single boot ONLY.

Turn ON your PC, and as soon as your BIOS POST screen disappears, press the SHIFT key and hold it, until you are presented with the GRUB menu .. SIMILAR to this:
(you won't have long to hit the shift key, and the timing can be a little awkward, so it may even be easier to hit AND HOLD the Shift key DURING the BIOS POST .. ie. immediately after turning on your PC)

Select the 'default' kernel (usually the top one), and rather than pressing enter, press E to edit.

You will be presented with a screen SIMILAR to this:

Press DOWN ARROW until you get to the line that starts with:

linux /boot

and press the END key to position the cursor at the end of the that line... it *usually* ends with “quiet splash”.

Now you can enter additional kernel boot options... so add nomodeset as in the above screenshot .. so it now reads:

quiet splash nomodeset

(doesn't matter if it moves down a line, as long as there is a space between splash and nomdeset)

Now hit Ctrl+X to boot.

If the PC boots properly, make the edits to /etc/boot/grub that you mentioned in your last response and then run:
Code: [Select]
sudo update-grub


My Grub screen looks nothing like your images and there's no line starting linux/boot......  Grub is version 2.02~beta a2-22

page starts   
setparams  'Debian GNU/Linux'
insmod gzio
  etc etc

then a whole lot of stuff that bears no relation to anything I've seen before.  I'm happy to type it out if you need it but it might take a while...

It says near the bottom 'Minimum Emacs-like screen editing is supported'

Sorry again for the cock-up!


Edit:  I'm not really doing very well here...... :-[ :-[  I hadn't seen there's more of the page lower down - I'll change the settings and report back.

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