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Topics - Keith

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General Discussion / Changes to the Forum pages
« on: June 18, 2021, 04:18:04 pm »
Following a plea by one Forum Member, The Management has increased the font size.  What do you think?  Too big now or just right?  In particular, the post editing box has a larger font than the remainder of the site.  Is that useful? 

We want to make the Forum accessible to everyone but without putting people off. 
Please do let us have your views - after all it's your Forum. 


General Discussion / MOVED: yum install --nogpgcheck and friends
« on: May 16, 2021, 08:39:24 am »
This topic has been moved to the more appropriate "Linux Support" board.

Your posts
Most of the people who reply to your questions will not be professional computer experts, but just Linux users with more experience than you.  They will have other calls on their time (like a job or family) so please be patient if answers don’t appear immediately. 

Remember that there is no such thing as a “daft” question on this Forum.  All contributors have gone through the same learning curve as you have embarked upon, so don’t be reluctant to ask a question, no matter how simple it seems. 

Provide essential information in your post
Readers of your post are not clairvoyant and will have no idea of your system setup, so please always include enough information for them to place your questions in context.  For example;  the make/model of your computer; the operating system/version; and your printer/device also if that’s the subject of your post. 

Key combinations
You will often be asked to type or paste “key combinations” as part of an instruction.  It means that you press one key whilst already holding down one or more other keys.  If you have used office software to create documents you are already familiar with the process.  For example: Ctrl+c and Ctrl+v for cutting and pasting.  And you select text by clicking-and-dragging your cursor over the text to be highlighted for copying. 

It’s the same process in the Terminal (see the next paragraph) except that for historical reasons (you can ask if you’re interested) the key combinations are Ctrl+Shift+c and Ctrl+Shift+v for copy and paste, respectively. 

The Terminal
Almost all the advice you receive will involve entering commands into your computer using the “Terminal”.  This is simply an application which is just a blank, black window into which you type or paste instructions that you are given. 

You invoke the Terminal by either:
1. searching the menu for “Terminal” or, more simply…
2. entering Ctrl+Alt+t on the keyboard.

Initially, the only text on the terminal screen will be your user prompt.  Here’s mine:
[email protected]:~$
Before the “@” is my computer user-name and “T500” is the name I’ve given my computer. 
The “~” means you are set at your Home Directory and the “$” just marks the end of the prompt.  The user prompt will change to reflect which directory you are in at any time. 

Entering commands
Most of the commands that you will be asked to enter into the Terminal will be provided in a reply-post in the “code” box.  In copying the command it is safest to highlight it by clicking on [Select] just above the code box, then copying it using Ctrl+c

The computer has no idea when you have finished entering your instruction until you tell it by pressing the “Enter” key.  Many new users are not aware of this. 

Most of the commands that you encounter at first will appear almost magical in their brevity.  Don’t worry about that – all will become clear with practice, and by you asking for explanations.  Beware, though, that the Linux Command Line is addictive! 

Forum Rules / Forum Rules
« on: May 08, 2021, 03:32:13 pm »
The Forum Rules are mostly about respect for others and not abusing the function of the Forum. So:

1. Bad language – even of an apparently mild  nature – is deprecated.  If you want to emphasise a point, the English language is certainly adequate to the task in simple, accurate terms and without the use of mi**ing letters.

2. Discourtesy towards others – not just Forum members – is deprecated also. 

3. Personal rants about anything will be actively discouraged. 

4. Controversial issues  such as race, religion, politics, etc. should be avoided. 

5. Derogatory comments  Whilst comparisons between operating systems, hardware etc. can be useful, derogatory comments about specific ones are unnecessary and simply annoy their users.  Another form of discourtesy. 

6. Deliberate advertising  Any form of advertising is not allowed.  This does not mean that one cannot comment about the pros & cons of something in the General Discussion Board, but keep it objective.

7. Accuracy and completeness in one's posts is not just helpful, it saves a responder wasting a lot of time misinterpreting the problem/question.  Always provide as much information as you can about the system you are having trouble with or want to discuss. 
Always use the "Preview" button to see the final version of your post before publishing it, just to check you've expressed yourself appropriately. 

8. Personal Messaging is for just that: private communication between Members.  It is not a fast route to personal Linux advice from the staff. 

These Rules are not fixed and may change from time to time. 

General Discussion / MOVED: systemd >> Unit Files
« on: December 28, 2020, 09:39:36 pm »
This topic has been moved to "General Help & Advice".


Linux Support / How to stop Kate text editor saving backups?
« on: December 09, 2020, 10:42:29 am »
I became fed up with the newer versions of the gedit text editor which, like many other applications, appears to be moving towards "mouse-only" commands.  I find it inconvenient to keep moving between keyboard and mouse just to do something that I used to be able to do with a few keystrokes while my hands are already on the keyboard.

So I moved to the Kate editor.  It's very good and is very configurable.  However;  I discovered recently that it saves a backup in XDP format of every file-save action.  Apparently this is a format that allows easy conversion between XML and PDF formats.  Not that I would ever want to do that.  And these files just keep mounting up. 

I found this link: that explains how to stop Kate from doing this, as follows:
Settings > Configure Kate > Editor Component > Open/Save > Advanced
Uncheck the box next to local files under "Backup on Save"

but when I navigated to that Kate settings page, the box was already un-ticked.

Does anyone have any experience of overcoming this feature?


{Ubuntu 18.04 on Lenovo Thinkpad T500.   Kate Version 20.04.0}

This topic has been moved to Genera Help & Advice as that seems a more appropriate place.

General Discussion / MOVED: Wobbly and exploding windows!!!!
« on: August 10, 2020, 02:46:26 pm »
This topic has been moved to "General Help & Advice" as it seems more appropriate there.

Linux Support / Identifying an Asus board
« on: July 12, 2020, 08:37:59 pm »
An elderly friend has an old Asus that I gave her ages ago.  It's a P6 P5G41 E with the PN5-E mother-board.  Can anyone tell me if it's 32 or 64 bit?  I have the manual but, bizarrely, it doesn't tell me! 
As she lives 120 miles away I don't want to pick it up for repair if it's only 32-bit - I'll give her another. 


General Discussion / Covid-19, contact tracing and privacy
« on: June 26, 2020, 08:20:54 am »
I came across a couple of web pages that are relevant to our lock-down status and might be of interest to Forum readers.
The privacy issues of contact-tracing applications may account for the poor take-up of mobile 'phone "apps", and with good reason. Here are the links:

By the way:  ProtonMail offers free and very secure mail and VPN services, and their customer care is first class even for non-paying users.  [I have no commercial interest in ProtonMail]


This topic has been moved to General Help & Advice as it seems more appropriate there.

Linux Support / Sendmail problems
« on: February 12, 2020, 06:23:16 pm »
Lenovo Thinkpad T500 - Ubuntu 16.04

Since my email provider has updated its security arrangements it can’t accept my emails sent from  the command line with a sender name that is not my registered username – e.g. an alias.  This ought not be a problem as I have set up my /etc/ssmtp/ssmtp.conf file with my registered base address that ought to be used by sendmail:

root=[email protected]

AuthUser=[email protected]

But when I use sendmail, it removes my surname from the “From” address and my mail provider rejects the email as the From name is incorrect:

[email protected]:~/.bin$ sendmail -v keith_su[email protected]  < mail_message
[<-] 220 mailfront20.runbox ESMTP Exim 4.90_1 Ubuntu Wed, 12 Feb 2020 18:55:02 +0100
[->] EHLO T500
[<-] 250 HELP
[<-] 334 VXNlcm5hbWU6
[->] a2VpdGhfc3RhbW1lcnNAcnVuYm94LmNvbQ==
[<-] 334 UGFzc3dvcmQ6
[<-] 235 Authentication succeeded
[->] MAIL FROM:<[email protected]>
[<-] 250 OK
[->] RCPT TO:<[email protected]>
[<-] 250 Accepted
[->] DATA
[<-] 354 Enter message, ending with "." on a line by itself
[->] Received: by T500 (sSMTP sendmail emulation); Wed, 12 Feb 2020 17:55:01 +0000
[->] From: "keith" <[email protected]>
[->] Date: Wed, 12 Feb 2020 17:55:01 +0000
[->] Text for message
[->] .
[<-] 550 Invalid From address. Please see
sendmail: 550 Invalid From address. Please see https://help.mailco/identities/
[email protected]:~/.bin$

In principle I could add the name "[email protected]" to my account as an alias and that would work, but someone has already claimed that so I can't use it.
My mail provider has been unable to help me and I would be grateful for advice. 

Linux Support / mpack & sendmail problems
« on: January 05, 2020, 03:48:44 pm »
I wrote a script ages ago that sends me an email automatically when some function is satisfied.  It has worked well but failed recently, with a message appended suggesting that I visit my mail provider’s website that explains the problem.
Although my application uses mpack, I show below an example using sendmail to demonstrate the problem.  I’ve changed my email address and mail provider for security, but keeping the same formats. 

Terminal command

[email protected]:~$ echo "Subject: sendmail test" | sendmail -v [email protected]
[<-] 220 mailfront20.emailco ESMTP Exim 4.90_1 Ubuntu Wed, 01 Jan 2020 17:06:01 +0100
[->] EHLO T500
[<-] 250 HELP
[<-] 334 VXNlcm5hbWU6
[->] a2VpdGhfc3RhbW1lcnNAcnVuYm94LmNvbQ==
[<-] 334 UGFzc3dvcmQ6
[<-] 235 Authentication succeeded
[->] MAIL FROM:<[email protected]>
[<-] 250 OK
[->] RCPT TO:<[email protected]>
[<-] 250 Accepted
[->] DATA
[<-] 354 Enter message, ending with "." on a line by itself
[->] Received: by T500 (sSMTP sendmail emulation); Wed, 01 Jan 2020 16:06:01 +0000
[->] From: "keith" <[email protected]>
[->] Date: Wed, 01 Jan 2020 16:06:01 +0000
[->] Subject: sendmail test
[->] .
[<-] 550 Invalid From address. Please see
sendmail: 550 Invalid From address. Please see
[email protected]:~$

You will see at the end the complaint that the From address is wrong and is rejected by my mail company following their updated security measures.  The correct address is shown on the “RCPT TO:” line but in the active line where the correct address needs to be the address has been shortened:  “MAIL FROM: <[email protected]>”.   And perhaps the other "From" line needs to be correct as well.

My email provider now requires that the from address is not an alias and the sSMTP.conf file (shown below) shows my base address correctly (as it always was).  I have even tried changing the Thunderbird default address back to the base address.  So I can’t understand why it has been changed in two places in sendmail.   

Contents of  etc/ssmtp/ssmtp.conf

# Config file for sSMTP sendmail
# The person who gets all mail for userids < 1000
# Make this empty to disable rewriting.
[email protected]

# The place where the mail goes. The actual machine name is required no
# MX records are consulted. Commonly mailhosts are named

[email protected]
AuthPass={my password}

# Where will the mail seem to come from?

# The full hostname

# Are users allowed to set their own From: address?
# YES - Allow the user to specify their own From: address
# NO - Use the system generated From: address

I would be very grateful for any advice.


Linux Support / 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:

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!

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