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Topics - chemicalfan

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General Discussion / Bash/sh programming books
« on: February 14, 2014, 09:18:51 am »
Can anyone recommend a book on bash/sh scripting? Preferably once that would also cover the use of GNU utilities within a script, like tee, grep, sed, get the idea.
I've found this website - - which is ok, but I really wanted a book rather than relying on a website. It's also a bit example-heavy, with not a lot of description.

Peppermint / Another shout-out on Distrowatch!
« on: January 20, 2014, 01:01:34 pm »

Right at the bottom of this section, under best overall GNU/Linux distribution! Ok, it's not the first in the list, but good to see it mentioned regardless!

Ubuntu / Using newer kernel than provided
« on: December 20, 2013, 01:16:30 pm »
Reading this - - it seems like there are changes that would benefit both of my machines (Optimus laptop running Mint 14 = Ubuntu 12.04, and AMD desktop running Mint 15 = Ubuntu 13.04).

Rather than grabbing the kernel source from and compiling it myself (bit of a risk that it may not be fully-compatible, and it won't auto-update via APT), I'd rather use a PPA. I found a PPA seemingly hosted by Ubuntu themselves (, which has 3.12 packages for saucy & trusty (13.10 & 14.04), but not for raring or quantal. Is it a good idea to install these packages, or do I run the risk of dependency issues? Also, will APT keep them up-to-date if I install with "wget && dpkg", assuming I can just "apt-get install" once I've added the PPA to sources?

Edit - I'm working on the assumption that they won't backport 3.12 in the future.......

General Help & Advice / *SOLVED* Moving /home to new partition
« on: December 03, 2013, 01:11:30 pm »
On my desktop rig, I'm dual-booting Mint 15 & Windows Vista, with GRUB on the MBR of sda (Mint is on sdb, with a NTFS data partition also on the disc). Vista was first (many years prior), and I installed Mint in the summer to get round a problem with Steam (multiple users just doesn't work on Windows). Anyway, as this was done quickly, I just went with one primary partition for Mint, mounting / only. I'm regretting this now, as Mint 15's support will run out before Mint 17 LTS comes out. So, rather than run unsupported for 5 months, and in the spirit of "do it sooner rather than later", I want to repartition the drive to add another primary partition, so that I can mount /home on it, thus allowing me to re-install without losing the /home partition (and the 20Gb of Steam downloads).

My question, is once I've done the easy part and repartitioned the drive, how do I move /home to the new partition? What is the procedure, other than using a liveCD to move the data then updating fstab?

Peppermint / New release!
« on: November 29, 2013, 05:04:01 pm »
Thought there'd be a mention of this - Distrowatch posted about a new Peppermint release today!

General Help & Advice / Starting bumblebeed on boot/login
« on: November 03, 2013, 05:50:30 pm »
This should be real simple, but I can't figure it out (never got my head around Upstart  ::))

I can start the Bumblebee daemon on my laptop manually by running the following in a terminal:
Code: [Select]
sudo bumblebeed start
(backgrounding doesn't seem to work, but I'm sure that's my syntax error somewhere).

The contents of /etc/init/bumblebeed.conf are:
Code: [Select]
# Upstart job for Bumblebee daemon

description "Bumblebee supporting NVIDIA Optimus cards"
author      "Lekensteyn <>"

# XXX: do we need to stop before / after a graphical DE like kdm?
start on    (desktop-session-start)
stop on     (desktop-shutdown)

# restart in case it crashed for some reason


# When the user installs a nvidia package that is unknown,
# ignore the paths in bumblebee.conf and use detected ones
if ! driver=$(grep -Po '^Driver=\K.*' /etc/bumblebee/bumblebee.conf) \
|| [ -z "$driver" ] || [ "$driver" = "nvidia" ]; then
# find LibraryPath setting of nvidia section
libpath=$(awk -F[=:] '/^\[driver-nvidia\]/{d=1}/^LibraryPath=/{if(d){print $2;exit}}' \
/etc/bumblebee/bumblebee.conf) || true

# pick the first available nvidia installation (not necessary
# the latest, e.g. nvidia-current over nvidia-experimental-310)
pkgname=$(ls -1d /usr/lib/nvidia*/ | cut -d/ -f4 | head -1) || true

# When the default library path does not contain nvidia drivers,
# it is possibly not installed. If no driver is installed (no
# /usr/lib/nvidia-*), assume that the auto-detection will use
# nouveau instead and do not override paths.
if [ ! -e "$libpath/" -a -n "$pkgname" ] && \
modprobe -nq "$pkgname"; then
# assume nvidia driver even if nouveau is already loaded
libopts="$libopts --driver nvidia"
libopts="$libopts --driver-module $pkgname"
libopts="$libopts --ldpath /usr/lib/$pkgname:/usr/lib32/$pkgname"
libopts="$libopts --module-path /usr/lib/$pkgname/xorg,/usr/lib/xorg/modules"

# don't use --daemon as Upstart gets confused by that.
exec '/usr/sbin/bumblebeed' --use-syslog $libopts
end script

Way out of my depth here, but how to I get this daemon to run automatically on boot up or login?

General Discussion / Hi all! (Steam & L4D2)
« on: September 10, 2013, 01:10:24 pm »
Hi all, just wanted to make a first post here, but wanted to make it about something rather than just spamming the board up!

I'm posting about Left 4 Dead 2, and the disappointing performance vs. Windows on my ATI HD4850. I know it's an old card, and isn't supported by AMD anymore, but even through a bodge of the X server allowing the use of the latest legacy driver (via a PPA), the performance is dismal (and was glitchy as hell) - barely better than the open-source radeon driver that comes with X. I can play it on maxed settings on Windows, so it's a shame that I can't in Linux. I'm pretty sure it's down to the crappy drivers rather than Valve, as performance is better on my laptop (Nvidia GT630m). It's a shame that I cannot afford to jump to Nvidia, and it's more of a shame that AMD have dropped support for the card (as in, you can't even use the drivers as the required kernel & X server versions aren't compatible). It's my old rig anyway, something for the missus to game on while I use my laptop :)

This post isn't meant to be negative (oops), as I've been wishing for gaming to come to Linux ever since I started using it (Ubuntu 8.04). Steam coming native to Linux has changed everything, I find that I very rarely boot into Windows now, and actively look for games that are native to Linux in the store (and think twice about buying a game that isn't Linux compatible). The future is very bright now  :D

Anyway, sorry if this is a bit random, hoping this is the kind of forum that tolerates this kind of crap  ;D
I wouldn't claim to be an expert on Linux, but I've got a fair amount of experience (use to run Arch), so will try to help where I can  :)

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