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Messages - Keith

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Linux Support / Re: peppermint won't boot
« on: July 28, 2021, 02:33:30 pm »
I feel one should always keep backup copies of everything as catastrophes do occur - as you've discovered. 
To make things easier I have written a script to copy all my files (using rsync), and I do so on a monthly basis. 

If you can backup all your files/passwords then installing the latest version of Peppermint might be the simplest way to go, although if you are willing to do that then you lose nothing by trying fsck first. If you do attempt a fresh installation and the installation fails then that might indicate a disc problem has been causing your difficulties. 


Linux Support / Re: peppermint won't boot
« on: July 28, 2021, 11:54:30 am »
On my Ubuntu system, sda2 is an extended (swap) partition and I am guessing that you need fsck -y /dev/sda.

As you have got to the terminal screen I suggest that you back up everything before using fsk.  Are you happy with using the copy -a command? 

{Again, I emphasise that I am no expert on fsk.  Caveat emptor!}

Linux Support / Re: peppermint won't boot
« on: July 28, 2021, 11:23:17 am »
Hi Don.

I hesitate to advise on fsck as I am no expert on Linux, and others who have commented recently to similar posts will, I am sure, offer advice. 

In the meantime you might like to look at
The section "Run fsck on Linux Root Partition" (scroll just over half way down) looks promising if you can still select recovery mode. 


Hardware Compatibility / Re: Fast OS for an Old Laptop
« on: July 27, 2021, 01:25:07 pm »
Good news indeed.  If your computer remains stable please mark the title of your first post on this topic as [SOLVED] in order to guide others with similar problems. 


Linux Support / Re: Frequent crashing of 18.04
« on: July 27, 2021, 01:08:30 pm »
The "l" is a lower-case "L" and is the "long" option that displays lots of info about each file on a separate line. 

I am not very familiar with Mint, but you should find in your menus some way of choosing the right keyboard layout. 


Hardware Compatibility / Re: Fast OS for an Old Laptop
« on: July 27, 2021, 12:58:53 pm »
In my limited experience, trying to "tweak" an OS to make improvements (such as speed) often involves loss of some other feature.  I was rarely able to "un-tweak" and it looks like you have fallen victim to the downside. 

I looked through Rich's link and found nothing relating to BusyBox, so wonder if you clicked on a link on that page (?).  When I searched for Busybox ( I found something that was way beyond my understanding - perhaps the Mad Penguin can advise you. 

If I were in your situation, though, I would bite the bullet and simply install an appropriate OS such as David's suggestion of Antix (I've tried it on a Live USB and it looks good). 
Sorry I can't offer any help.


Hardware Compatibility / Re: HP Envy 5030 'not printing' problem.
« on: July 26, 2021, 04:32:38 pm »
Thanks for the link, MP, which I found very useful - and very apposite as my HP 7612 A3 printer has just died after a couple of years.  Probably my fault as I was tempted to use "compatible" cartridges. 
When searching for another printer for a friend (found HP 8015 which is fine) I discovered that there is a minimum print rate for ink-jets; typically 250 pages per month, and that for a domestic printer.  Neither I nor any of my friends would achieve that and I've found several reports of such printers just "saying NO" and resting on their laurels. 

I've been put off laser printers in the past by:
1. the price of printer
2. price of toner
3. reports that they are suitable only for heavy use by businesses
4. the long warm-up time before printing
but perhaps things have changed.

Looking at the published pence/page ( inkjets come out slightly cheaper:
Xerox 6515/DNI laser printer - Original 106R034 High Capacity 4 Colour Toner Cartridge Multipack :   2.8p/page  (£426)
HP 8015 inkjet printer - Original 912XL High Capacity 4 Colour Ink Cartridge Multipack (3YP34AE) :  2p/page   (£80)

So at first glance inkjet looks the most convenient for the average user in terms of capital costs. 
But do laser printers have a minimum page/month?  I haven't found any numbers. 

What did I buy for myself in the end?  As my big A3 printing job hasn't materialised yet I chose to buy a refurbished HP Officejet Pro 8024 for £35 (and HP high-capacity cartridges for £80).  Bargain.


Hardware Compatibility / Re: Fast OS for an Old Laptop
« on: July 24, 2021, 11:33:13 am »
Hi Matt.

With 32-bit, 1.6GHz & 1GB RAM you are going to struggle a bit, but there are still Linux OSs that will be suitable.  I haven't tried them myself but searching on DuckDuckGo for "linux for very small 32 bit computers" comes up with many lightweight versions for you to try.

I'm sure other Members will chip in with their experiences.


Linux Support / Re: why dont linux make a search engine
« on: July 22, 2021, 09:34:12 am »
Thanks for the correction, Mike. 


Linux Support / Re: Keyboard and mouse problems
« on: July 22, 2021, 09:31:48 am »
A friend once had a problem with wired contacts dropping off the motherboard when she mistreated her desktop.  Might be worth checking, although USB cables are generally very tight. 


Linux Support / Re: Keyboard and mouse problems
« on: July 21, 2021, 10:11:59 pm »
Why r e i s u o?
This article explains it well:

Upgrading to Xubuntu 20.04 might not help an existing s/w fault, so no surprises if the freeze is still happening.  Have you considered a complete re-install? 


Linux Support / Re: Rsync
« on: July 21, 2021, 01:14:00 pm »
With regard to suspect device;  I found this useful web page for checking the block integrity of USB sticks:

A test with a very old 1GB USB stick gave this:
[email protected]:~$ umount /dev/sdb1
[email protected]:~$ sudo badblocks -nvs /dev/sdb1
Checking for bad blocks in non-destructive read-write mode
From block 0 to 1004527
Checking for bad blocks (non-destructive read-write test)
Testing with random pattern: done                                                 
Pass completed, 0 bad blocks found. (0/0/0 errors)
[email protected]:~$

During the test, which took 1hr, progress is reported continuously:  %done, minutes, error numbers.


Hardware Compatibility / Re: Wifi adaptor not adapting
« on: July 21, 2021, 10:56:58 am »
Re my post #3:  I failed to find a computer that I could use to try Peppermint 10 - they were all duff.
Do try Emegra's suggestion.


Linux Support / Re: why dont linux make a search engine
« on: July 21, 2021, 10:54:25 am »
Hi Diggsy.

Firefox is a "web browser" rather than  search engine.  It goes to wherever you have set it to go (in the address bar), and at start-up, your default destination is - guess what? - Google, which is a search engine.  It is true that Firefox does use "back-office" software provided by Google, but I've not seen reports of it being misused, and Mozilla is positive about personal privacy - see

The best search engine that I have found is DuckDuckGo about which Wikipedia says "DuckDuckGo (also abbreviated as DDG) is an internet search engine that emphasizes protecting searchers' privacy and avoiding the filter bubble of personalized search results.[3] DuckDuckGo distinguishes itself from other search engines by not profiling its users and by showing all users the same search results for a given search term.[5] " See
You can set DDG as your default search engine by following the instructions here:

You can improve your privacy by installing the "Privacy Badger" Firefox Add-On.  Click on the Application menu (top right of search bar) and select "Add-ons & themes";  search for "Privacy Badger"; and click on it to install. 

You ask "Why can't Linux create a search engine where there is no collection of data or sites visited, no cookies or adverts".  You forget that Linux is not a company; it is an operating system developed and maintained by volunteers in their spare time - they are not obliged to provide other software - and it's all provided for free.  You might like to as yourself how it's funded.  And good search engines exist already, as I've shown above. 


Linux Support / Re: ubuntu 16.04 on disc
« on: July 21, 2021, 10:10:33 am »
If this Ubuntu 20.04 disc is one that you have bought, it ought to work as a "live disc" and boot straight into Ubuntu 20 for you to try or install (as you have set the boot order).  As it doesn't, and you are getting lots of error messages, then it looks like you have a hardware problem and I am not sure how I can advise you further - perhaps someone else will offer suggestions.

As for downloading Ubuntu:  what one downloads will not work as a "live disc" - it is an ISO file that is downloaded to your Downloads directory and has to be unpacked onto a DVD using appropriate software. 

You mention having lots of Ubuntu 16 computers.  I strongly recommend that you persevere with an up-to-date version of Linux - (Ubuntu 20, Peppermint 10, Mint 20, etc.) - as very old versions may be susceptible to bugs. 

I like your idea of distributing Linux computers and I do much the same, but always with the latest versions.  I'm pleased to hear that schools are training in Linux command language - this is very encouraging.


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