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Topics - freelancehelp

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Linux Support / Rsync
« on: July 07, 2021, 02:15:13 pm »
Rsync has been successfully run for quite a few years on a Debian system. The home directory has been
regularly transferred to a FAT32 USB drive.

Recently, rsync has been hanging.

Rsync just hangs at a particular small file that it gets to and doesn't move on - no
error message, so it doesn't crash, it just hangs.

The command is of the form :-

rsync -v -a --max-size=4GB --delete /home/users-name/.

where users-name is the name of the user.

Can anyone help to solve this problem, please ?

Linux Support / Rsync
« on: May 27, 2021, 07:45:47 pm »
 Rsync has been regularly used to backup files in the home directory on a Linux desktop to a FAT32 USB stick.

Recently rsync has stalled due to problems with Service Worker and Local Storage files being transferred from
the home directory to the stick.

These files were deleted and rsync then rerun.

Rsync then stalled and produced many error messages of the form :-

rsync: chgrp
<file> failed:
Operation not permitted (1)

where <file> represents a filename.

The rsync command is of the form :-

rsync -v -a  --max-size=4GB --delete <home directory> .
<mount point> .

where <home directory> represents the home directory and <mount point> represents
the mount point.

I realise that FAT32 knows nothing about permissions, etc.,
but the above command has worked successfully on previous occasions.

Why are the above error messages appearing ?

Do they have anything to do with the Service Worker and Local Storage files which had been created on the
USB stick in the previous run of rsync ?

What is the best thing to do to get rsync working okay again ?

N.B. I don't want to change the rsync command in any way.

Would it be okay to delete all the files currently on the stick and then rerun rsync ?

Linux Support / PDF email attachments
« on: April 04, 2021, 02:04:44 pm »
Using a Linux Debian desktop.

Used to be able to open PDF email attachments in Opera and Firefox-esr browsers without downloading them.

Suddenly no longer able to open this type of attachment in Opera or Firefox-esr without downloading the attachments.

Also not able to open PDF files from various websites.

No changes at all have been made to the Debian system or any software on that system.

How can this problem be solved, please ?

It is not an option to download attachments on a regular basis.

Linux Support / mounting USB devices
« on: February 02, 2021, 11:10:13 am »
I have an experience about the auto mounting of USB devices which has been going on for
a long time, but continues to puzzle me.

A Debian desktop is running using an /etc/fstab file in which the mount options for
a couple of USB devices are defined. Both devices use the noauto option.

Both devices are already plugged in when the system is rebooted. It has always been
found after a reboot that both USB devices have become mounted, despite the noauto

I understand that during the reboot process the system issues the 'mount. -a' command,
which mounts filesystems defined in /etc/fstab that are not already mounted, except for
those filesystems that use the noauto option.

So what causes the two USB filesystems to be mounted ?

I know that the system contains the usbmount facility, but I understand that usbmount
automatically mounts filesystems when they are plugged in. Usbmount would not automatically
mount filesystems which are already plugged in.

Can someone please help to solve this problem. Thanks.

Linux Support / USB mount
« on: October 27, 2020, 03:49:08 pm »
If a filesystem in /etc/fstab has a noauto entry, can that filesystem only be mounted manually using the mount command or
is there any chance that it will be automatically mounted by
usbmount ?

The filesystem is used in a USB port.

Linux Support / Opera browser not working
« on: October 01, 2020, 07:06:57 pm »
A version of the Opera browser has been working okay in a Debian Jessie system for about 9 months. Suddenly certain features no longer work :-

(1) Can't open attachments in emails, especially PDF attachments.

(2) Can't use ALT-P to clear cache/cookies

Can anyone explain why this has happened, please.

The version of Opera being used is


Is there an HTML problem now with this version ?

Does the Opera version need to be updated ?

If so, which version is suitable for Debian Jessie ?

Hardware Compatibility / trouble with USB 3 port
« on: July 30, 2020, 10:05:36 am »
I have a problem with a USB 3 port on a desktop running Debian Linux. The problem started when a system backup was attempted to a portable hard drive plugged into the USB 3 port. The backup operation had previously been done many times with no problems.

This time the mount operation failed with a message of the type 'can't find UUID=....'

Various commands such as fdisk -l showed that the kernel was not detecting the drive.

The drive was unplugged, then replug with a dmesg command issued straight after the replug.
The dmesg output seemed to indicate the portable hard drive itself had some problem.

A new portable hard drive was plugged into the port, but the kernel could not see the new drive, although a slowly flashing light on the drive indicated some power was reaching the hard drive.

I thought that perhaps the port was not supplying enough power to the drive, so I then plugged a new USB flash drive into the port. However the kernel would not recognise the flash drive.

Someone subsequently suggested that perhaps the power pins of the port were working but not the data pins.
This could perhaps be due to a problem with the port's USB header or associated cabling or possibly due to damage to
the host controller or associated wiring.

Any thoughts on this, please.

Hardware Compatibility / light slowly flashing on external hard drive
« on: July 18, 2020, 09:18:23 am »
A new WD Elements portable hard drive has been plugged into a USB 3 port on a Linux desktop.

The hard drive does not appear on an fdisk -l
listing. The small light on the drive is slowly flashing.

What is happening ? Why doesn't the drive appear in the fdisk listing ?

Is the system trying to automatically mount the hard drive ?

Is the USB port underpowered ?

I hesitate to unplug the hard drive while the light is flashing in case this corrupts the filesystem
on the hard drive.

Linux Support / Can't mount external hard drive
« on: July 06, 2020, 11:22:08 am »
 An external USB hard drive has been used for a number of years to regularly
archive data on a Linux Debian system. The latest attempt to archive data
gave the following error :-

mount /media/backup
mount : can't find UUID=0688802088800FFB

Why does this error occur and how is it fixed ?


Hardware Compatibility / Debian 10, Ryzen and MSI
« on: June 06, 2020, 04:52:18 pm »
Has anyone successfully used an AMD Ryzen 5 3600 in an MSI B450 TOMAHAWK MAX using the stable
release of Debian 10 as the operating system ??

Hardware Compatibility / Motherboard and Buster
« on: June 03, 2020, 03:42:09 pm »
Various reports have led me to believe that third generation AMD Ryzen CPUs will work okay with the stable release
of Buster, so I am trying to arrange the build of a desktop with the stable release of Buster as the operating system.

I aim to use the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 as the CPU and the MSI X570-A PRO as the motherboard.

However i was recently given the following information by an MSI user about the MSI X570-A PRO :-

"See the following link :- png
As you can see, according to the above link, the BIOS offered by MSI is still Beta, not the final version of

AGESA is usually the final version that ends the cycle for every Ryzen generation so its a reference
approach has been so for 1st and 2nd Ryzen generations) offering stability regardless of using 2000 or
3000 series.

Also the BIOS should be flashed to AGESA end of 2018 by the seller before the computer is bought"

I have further been informed that the X570 board and Ryzen 3000 series came out about the same time as
the stable release of Buster I.e. July 2019

As mentioned at the beginning of this email, various reports have convinced me that the Ryzen 5 3600 CPU
will work okay with the stable release of Buster. But the MSI X570-A PRO motherboard and its BIOS may have
a serious issue with Buster. Indeed the motherboard may fail to boot.

So I am rather concerned about the stability offered by the BIOS on the MSI X570-A PRO motherboard.

Hardware Compatibility / realtek 8111H land contoller
« on: May 26, 2020, 03:52:36 pm »
I am trying to get a desktop built with Debian Buster as the operating system.

I am thinking of using a motherboard which has the Realtek 8111H lan controller.

However I have heard that this controller causes problems with Linux.

Can anyone help, please ?

Linux Support / Debian Buster compatibility
« on: April 27, 2020, 05:57:51 pm »

Can anyone please answer the following questions :-

(1) Will Debian Buster run okay with Intel 9th generation CPUs ?

(2) Will Debian Buster run okay with AMD Ryzen 3 CPUs ?

(3) Will Debian Buster run okay with AMD Ryzen 5 CPUs ?


Linux Support / Linux desktops/workstations
« on: April 12, 2020, 12:16:03 pm »

Does anyone know of any computer supplier in the UK or EU which could configure a desktop/workstation
with 4 x 1 TB hard drives and install Debian Buster as the operating system ?


Linux Support / Upgrading Opera
« on: July 10, 2019, 11:58:28 am »
I am using opera-stable_45.0.2552.888_amd64.deb on a Debian Jessie system to
access my emails from a Microsoft Exchange OWA Light system.

However I am having problems with this version of Opera and
am thinking of upgrading it to the latest version for Linux
(version 62).

Please does anyone know whether Jessie would support this
version. If not, which would be the latest version of Opera
that Jessie supports.

I realise that Jessie is an old stable version of Debian, but
I am not able to upgrade it at the moment.

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