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Topics - Keith

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Ubuntu / Image(not so)Magick [SOLVED]
« on: February 08, 2018, 06:45:41 pm »
I used to use ImageMagick quite a lot for changing image file type but now it fails.  Example output is:

keith@T500:~/Desktop/SRP_paper$ convert figure_A.odt figure_A.pdf
mv: cannot stat '/tmp/magick-6157IzrgszU4QNdt.pdf': No such file or directory
convert: delegate failed `"soffice" --headless --convert-to pdf --outdir `dirname "%i"` "%i" 2> "%Z"; mv "%i.pdf" "%o"' @ error/delegate.c/InvokeDelegate/1310.
convert: unable to open image `/tmp/magick-6157HjVpYQjHjWsc': No such file or directory @ error/blob.c/OpenBlob/2712.
convert: unable to open file `/tmp/magick-6157HjVpYQjHjWsc': No such file or directory @ error/constitute.c/ReadImage/540.
convert: no images defined `figure_A.pdf' @ error/convert.c/ConvertImageCommand/3210.
keith@T500:~/Desktop/SRP_paper$ ls /tmp
config-err-4iNf6I          mozilla_keith0
dropbox-antifreeze-oKTxn3  OSL_PIPE_1000_SingleOfficeIPC_f9becb49e6949950453a99477647d7c
gnome-software-CAQ5DZ      qt-trayicon-FW2296.png
gnome-software-DLEXDZ      systemd-private-e7343bee0bfd45b9bcf23191a5d89a94-colord.service-S3xhgA
gnome-software-VQH4DZ      systemd-private-e7343bee0bfd45b9bcf23191a5d89a94-rtkit-daemon.service-6OiJCh
gnome-software-YLWNDZ      systemd-private-e7343bee0bfd45b9bcf23191a5d89a94-systemd-timesyncd.service-C6BKcD
gnome-software-ZTW3DZ      thunderbird_keith

Another weird thing is that there are two instances of ImageMagick in the Applications menu and in the Software Installer.  When I un-installed (via the software installer), the listings in the applications menu disappeared but there were still two in the s/w installer each with two buttons: Remove and Launch.  Re-installing one of them put two instances back into the applications menu - and it still doesn't work. 

Any ideas? 

I've just heard on Radio 4, no less, about a vulnerability on Intel chips.  This article explains it in detail, although Intel is playing down the likely impact. 

Apparently, the major players (ARM, Microsoft, Linux, et al) have known about this for a while and are about to go public with patches.  The upshot seems to be that the patches will result in a noticeable reduction in speed.  Just as well I have an SSD, then. 

I don't understand the technicalities so I hope some of our expert Forum members will be able to keep us up-to-date, as the situation unfolds, on what it all means for us.  If anything. 

[EDIT] Ought to have been under "News & Events" - sorry.

Hardware Compatibility / Dead Ubuntu desktop - [RESOLVED]
« on: November 21, 2017, 03:21:26 pm »
Earlier this year I had a desktop built up by a local computer emporium for a friend.  In particular I specified an SSD primary drive and HDD secondary (to be used for backups), and I installed Ubuntu 16.04.  It worked very well and my friend was very pleased with the speed. 

Recently she complained that the PC was ailing and then became dead, as in no lights or fan – nothing – so I have just picked up the PC from Oxford and brought it back to Yorkshire.  I guessed a dead power supply so opened up the PC and discovered a batch of wires had come adrift; specifically those that run from the front panel to one end of the motherboard.  They were:
Start button, LED, HDLED, USB – which explained why the start button didn’t operate.  My guess is that my lady friend got someone to “have a look at it”, but I’m too  much of a gentleman to enquire! 
I connected them all up (thankfully they were labelled!) and pressed Go:  Lights on, fans whirring, POST then error:

error no such device: ec20bf64-f0e4-41ac-b17c-c52eed11994e
entering rescue mode …
grub rescue>

...and I couldn’t think of any likely commands except “start”, “quit”, etc., which weren’t recognised, so I checked the EUFI setup from which I extracted this:

UEFI Set up utility
i3-2120 cpu

SATA2_0   Toshiba THNSNF 128GCSS   (SSD)
SATA2_2   -not installed
SATA2_3   ST500DM002 – 1BD142   (HDD I guess)

Boot options
#1   PM:   Toshiba….   (SSD)
#2   SM:   TSST….   (DVD)

Boot BBS Priorities
Boot option 1   PM: SSD
Boot option 2   SM: ST500 (HDD)

I can't see anything obviously wrong, and at least the reference to "grub" is encouraging as it's found the right drive, but the "no such device" is worrying.   The "boot options" and "Boot BBS priorities" don't match, either. 
I would be very grateful for advice on how to find the cause of the problem - and then solve it, of course.
Thank you.

Bugs / Code Select not working?
« on: September 20, 2017, 09:17:51 pm »
The useful Code Select feature isn't working, at least for me, although I've seen one other member mentioning it. 
It's not a problem - just thought I'd mention it.


Ubuntu / CUPS not running - [SOLVED]
« on: September 19, 2017, 07:40:24 pm »
I am running Ubuntu 16.04 on a Thinkpad T500. 
When attempting to print to my HP 7610 it didn't appear on the printer list so I checked System-Settings/Printers but there was nothing listed and the Add button was greyed out.  Clicking on Help/Troubleshooting produced the message:
CUPS Service Stopped The CUPS print spooler does not appear to be running. To correct this, choose System->Administration->Services from the main menu and look for the 'cups' service. 
However, I see no Administration->Services option.

Browsing the web I found several other queries about this problem and tried a couple of the suggested solutions:
keith@T500:~$ sudo /etc/init.d/cups start
[sudo] password for keith:
keith@T500:~$ sudo service cups restart
Failed to restart cups.service: Unit cups.service is masked.

But all to no effect.
I tried visiting http://localhost:631/printers/ but it wasn't available. 

I have made no changes to the system other than the usual updates, and would be very grateful for suggestions. 

Ubuntu / Linux Black Screen of Death?
« on: July 15, 2017, 09:09:59 pm »
Lenovo T500 laptop with 512GB SSD and "Classic View" (Metacity)

Upon booting up my T500 today a "No entry" sign appeared in the top panel along with the usual symbols.  Clicking on this symbol informed me that I have unmet dependencies (mentioning Wine) and that I should use Synaptic to fix broken packages.  Synaptic reported no broken packages. 
As I am not that confident with Synaptic PM I opted to simply uninstall Wine using the Ubuntu Software Manager.  It appeared to hang for 10mins so I foolishly exited the Software Manager and the PC froze. 

Rebooting appeared to start Ubuntu but then the screen went blank/black. After a few seconds a line of text flashed briefly returning to a black screen and this process repeated with one new line being added each time.  After 1/2hr this all stopped revealing the text which appeared to be almost identical, repeated blocks of which the last one is (omitting line numbers):
ata1.00: exception Emask 0x0 SErr 0x0 action 0x0
ata1.00: BMDMA stat 0x25
ata1.00: failed command: READ DMA EXT
ata1.00: cmd 25:00:08:e0:3b:56/00:00:12:00:00/e0 tag 0 dma 4096 in
         res 51/40:08:df:3b:56/40:00:12:00:00/e2 Emask 0x9 (media error)
ata1.00: status: { DRDY ERR }
ata1.00: error: { UNC }
blk_update_request: I/O error, dev sda, sector 307641312

Is this an SSD failure?

I can run Ubuntu from a live USB and access the files using a terminal, so I guess I can back up all recent files (old ones are already backed-up!) and if the SSD is still OK then I can re-install Ubuntu. 

Advice would be very gratefully received!

(Writing this on a spare PC)

Ubuntu / Ubuntu 16.04 - update/upgrade problem
« on: June 15, 2017, 03:32:26 pm »
One of the elderly Linux users that I look after is a very adventurous chap who enjoys doing technical things with his Linux machine despite having even less of a clue than I do.  I can usually fix his cock-ups and look really smart into the bargain, but he has me stumped this time.   He has a Lenovo B50 laptop. 

Because of his abysmal BT service (0 -> 0.7Mb/s) I advised him to update manually when the connection appears reliable.  On this occasion, however, he chose "Update software" rather than "Software updater" from the menu and got into a mess when the connection failed. 

My usual solution (gained from this Forum, thank you) is to run
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

and all is usually well, but what I had was:

harry@B50:~$ sudo apt-get upgrade
[sudo] password for harry:
E: dpkg was interrupted, you must manually run 'sudo dpkg --configure -a' to correct the problem.
harry@B50:~$ sudo dpkg --configure -a
Processing triggers for libc-bin (2.23-0ubuntu7) ...
/sbin/ldconfig.real: /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/ is not a symbolic link

/sbin/ldconfig.real: /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/ is not a symbolic link

dpkg: dependency problems prevent configuration of openssl:
 openssl depends on libssl1.0.0 (>= 1.0.2g); however:
  Package libssl1.0.0:amd64 is not installed.

dpkg: error processing package openssl (--configure):
 dependency problems - leaving unconfigured
Errors were encountered while processing:

I attempted to install  libssl1.0.0:amd64 via Synaptic Package Manager, but it wasn't there to install and a search of the interweb hasn't helped resolve the problem. 
I would be very grateful for any advice that can be implemented via Teamviewer as my mate lives 100 miles away.

I have just upgraded a friend's old 32 bit, 2GB pc to Peppermint 7, after backing up all the data.  In particular I backed up the complete ~/.thunderbird and ~/.mozilla directories. 

I installed Thunderbird on the new Peppermint system and my intention was to rename the new Thunderbird profile (z8f7bic3.default) to something else and copy the backed-up old one (1fwka4ns.default) to the new system. 

I now discover that Thunderbird 52.1.1 has a completely different file structure, but I eventually found that the profile is kept in ~/.cache/thunderbird and I put the old profile in there after renaming the existing default, as above, expecting Thunderbird to pick it up.  But it ignored it and simply regenerated its original one, and it turns out that the *.default profiles are also completely different.

I tried using the new Thunderbird's "Import" feature but it couldn't find anything to import.

Am I completely screwed?  Is there anything I can do?  Even installing an earlier version of Thunderbird?  Another problem is that I have just travelled 100 miles to visit my friend for this upgrade.  Any advice would be appreciated.

I am relieved to discover that although it looked like my friend's old Thunderbird was POP3 it turns out to be IMAP, so all is well!    Better than that; she doesn't bother with Local Folders or Address Books, so I'm in the clear (wiping of brow). 
I feel that this post is not entirely wasted as the new version of Thunderbird may well catch out other unsuspecting users.  The moral of this story is to be careful  when migrating to the new version, although I'm not sure how one might do that.  Perhaps Mozilla have provided a method for doing so, but I haven't found it!

I occasionally try out a distro just for interest and always think how wasteful it is to reserve a whole 32GB USB drive just for one distro.  To try another Linux version I either have to wipe the old one or buy a new USB stick. 

I have read somewhere that it's possible to have several distros on the same "Live USB".  If it's easily possible, how can I do that? 

Your advice would be appreciated.

Bugs / Cannot send personal messages [SOLVED]
« on: March 19, 2017, 09:41:54 pm »
When entering a message, the system does not recognise any recipients' names and issues the message:
"One or more 'To' recipients could not be found."


Ubuntu / Deleted Bluetooth icon from Alacarte menu [SOLVED]
« on: March 19, 2017, 08:35:58 pm »
Ah, me! 

Running Ubuntu 16.04 in classic mode
I wanted to check the name of the software that runs Bluetooth so ran Alacarte (Main Menu), located the Bluetooth menu item and right clicked on it.  This displays two items: "Properties" and "Delete".  Guess which one I clicked on.  Right first time - I deleted it. 

In trying to replace the menu item, I found from the web that the command is "blueman-manager" but the nearest icon I can find is:

which is a grey symbol without the surrounding blue oblong. 
Any ideas where I might find the right one? 

I downloaded a Bluetooth image from the web
Reduced the size to about 2kB (using Pinta Image Editor)
Saved it to /usr/share/icons/gnome/32x32/apps with an appropriate name.

In Alacarte (Main Menu) I navigated to the Bluetooth menu item
Right clicked on it and selected "Properties" (not Delete this time!)
Clicked on the icon square at the left
Navigated to image file and clicked on it.

Voila!  the image appears and the link works.
Note: it appears that all the icons in the Alacarte menus need to be about 1 to 2kB

Ubuntu / Welcome to emergency mode! Secondary HDD problems [SOLVED]
« on: February 09, 2017, 01:35:05 pm »
I bought a specially-built desktop on behalf of an elderly lady friend.  It has a 128GB SSD and a 500GB HDD and the PC was demonstrated with Windows 10 loaded. 
The first thing I did was to install Ubuntu 16.04 and all was fine – after a while.  Then I screwed up, as usual. 

Using Gparted I found that Linux was on the the SSD, as expected, although it is sdb and the HDD is sda.  I thought it would be a good idea to delete the partitions on the HDD and use it solely as a backup medium.  I did this and discovered that there is a lot more to adding a hard drive than meets the eye.  A search on the web revealed two useful websites that described the process and I forged ahead.  It didn't work, of course, probably something to do with mounting the drive after the early commands, so I closed down with the intention of tackling it today. 

Booting up took ages and resulted in the message “Welcome to emergency mode!” followed by a few unhelpful (to me) suggestions.  Hence my call for help. 
The easiest solution might be to re-install Ubuntu, which is no problem at all (unless deleting all the partitions on the HDD has screwed things up), but if there is a more interesting way of solving things, I would be very grateful for advice. 
Intel i3-2120 CPU 3.3GHz
[EDIT] Using a live USB, I used Gparted to create a partition in the deleted space on the HDD and can save files to it, but still can't boot normally into Ubuntu. 

[Not sure if this ought to be in the Ubuntu section.  Let me know if so]

I have recently bought a desktop built to my spec for an elderly lady friend.  It had Windows 10 on it just as a demo and I promised to over-write it with Linux, which I did, with Ubuntu 16.04.  Having an SSD it works like lightening and is a joy to use – except that there is no red at all displayed on the monitor. 

The monitor’s own colour controls are set to max for all colours and it works fine on Linux 12 and 14.  The computer shows the same problem on any monitor that I use, and with a different VGA cable.  When the PC was demonstrated to me at the "factory" on his monitor with Windows, the colours were fine. 

I tried using the xgamma command to alter the colours and discovered that changing the red intensity had no effect at all over the entire range (blue and green work as expected). 
lorene@ox12:~$ xgamma -rgamma 1
-> Red  0.100, Green  1.000, Blue  1.000
<- Red  1.000, Green  1.000, Blue  1.000

So this installation of Ubuntu 16.04 is not outputting red colour info.  I checked the md5sum for the downloaded iso, which was OK.
I am at a loss for an explanation/solution and would be very grateful for advice.

Graphics info from lshw:
             description: VGA compatible controller
             product: 2nd Generation Core Processor Family Integrated Graphics Controller
             vendor: Intel Corporation
PC vendor tells me that this controller is built in to the motherboard and guesses  Intel HD 3000.  He has offered to fit an AMD HD5450 for which he believes Linux drivers are available

Ubuntu 16.04 on another PC with NVIDIA Corporation G86 [GeForce 8500 GT] works OK on the same monitor.

***Just found this link on the latest Intel Graphics Update:  Would this be a good place to start?

This Topic is a renamed one because, as usual, we drifted off-topic. 
The original Topic was about discovering the location of archive files, and the first couple of posts dealt with this satisfactorily - they are shown immediately below.  Read on for the main discussion....

Where is the Archive in Ubuntu?

I downloaded the Ubuntu 16.04 ISO file for a new desktop that I am preparing for a friend.  The download was fine except that it did not go to Downloads as expected (that's where Firefox is set send downloaded files)  but to an Archive.  I know this because hovering the mouse over its entry in Places tell me the path-name.  But I can't find an archive directory anywhere. 

I want to use Unetbootin to create a live USB but can't do so without specifying the path. 

Your assistance would be appreciated.

Ubuntu / gnome-session-flashback on Ubuntu 14.04 [SOLVED]
« on: January 31, 2017, 06:49:32 pm »
I have built a desktop from old bits for a Linux friend ( Ubuntu 14 ) to replace her 0.75GB system which is a trifle slow! 
I have kept my account as Administrator, in which I have installed gnome-session-flashback, and want to install it likewise in the new user's account (which has the dreaded Unity Desktop).   
Not knowing how to do that from my Admin account, I tried temporarily giving the user administrator pivileges but the apt-get command from her account tells me that she is not on the sudoers list - and my password doesn't work, of course.
What the easiest way of installing the gnome flashback desktop on a secondary user's account? 

Your advice would be very welcome.
Thank you.

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