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Topics - mikep

Linux Support / Corrupted file or directory [solved]
April 29, 2018, 10:28:20 PM
Hello folks,

As some of you will know, I have an old XP box which I keep for older software etc, but which isn't connected to the internet anymore.

Recently I've been saving files to an external drive which is encrypted using Truecrypt.

Yesterday, Windows froze whilst accessing that drive, and now freezes every time I re-try, with the message "L is not accessible. The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable".

Xubuntu accesses the drive via Truecrypt with no problem, except that the folder I was using in XP now appears empty. I was thinking of using Gparted to attempt data recovery or create a partition table. However, messing about with partition tables is way above my pay grade and feels like a recipe for disaster..

Any suggestions please?

Linux Support / Can't copy to Android phone [solved]
February 14, 2018, 10:21:13 PM
I'm not sure whether I'm in the right place for this question, or whether the problem lies with my installation of Xubuntu, but here goes.

I'm trying to copy an album ripped from a cd (by Soundjuicer) onto the expansion card in my phone. I've done this before with no problem. Today however, nothing gets copied and I get the message "libmtp error. Could not send object. Do you want to skip it? Then File manager seizes up and either I get the "This window is not responding..." message, or I use xkill. Then I have to reboot to get File manager working again.

Any help much appreciated. Thanks.

Linux Support / Can't change swappiness (Solved)
January 11, 2018, 11:56:17 PM
Just been trying to change swappiness in Xubuntu.

First, I got a message that gedit was not installed, so I followed the recommendation to install it.
That seemed to go ok, but when I tried to edit sysctl.conf the problems started. Despite error messages, sysctl.conf was presented in a different window and I was able to edit and save it, but when I re-run cat /proc/sys/vm/swappiness, the edit has not affected swappiness (ie: it's still set to 60, not 10)

Any ideas please? Thanks in advance.


[email protected]:~$ free -m
              total        used        free      shared  buff/cache   available
Mem:           3950        1834         640          64        1475        1785
Swap:          4092           0        4092
[email protected]:~$ cat proc/sys/vm/swappiness
cat: proc/sys/vm/swappiness: No such file or directory
[email protected]:~$ cat /proc/sys/vm/swappiness
[email protected]:~$ sudo gedit /etc/sysctl.conf
[sudo] password for mike:
sudo: gedit: command not found
[email protected]:~$ gedit /etc/sysctl.conf
The program 'gedit' is currently not installed. You can install it by typing:
sudo apt install gedit
[email protected]:~$ sudo apt install gedit
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following packages were automatically installed and are no longer required:
  linux-headers-4.4.0-101 linux-headers-4.4.0-101-generic
  linux-headers-4.4.0-98 linux-headers-4.4.0-98-generic
  linux-image-4.4.0-101-generic linux-image-4.4.0-98-generic
  linux-image-extra-4.4.0-101-generic linux-image-extra-4.4.0-98-generic
Use 'sudo apt autoremove' to remove them.
The following additional packages will be installed:
  gedit-common gir1.2-gtksource-3.0 gir1.2-peas-1.0 libpeas-1.0-0
  libpeas-1.0-0-python3loader libpeas-common
Suggested packages:
The following NEW packages will be installed
  gedit gedit-common gir1.2-gtksource-3.0 gir1.2-peas-1.0 libpeas-1.0-0
  libpeas-1.0-0-python3loader libpeas-common
0 to upgrade, 7 to newly install, 0 to remove and 55 not to upgrade.
Need to get 632 kB of archives.
After this operation, 5,745 kB of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n] y
Get:1 http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu (http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu) xenial/main amd64 libpeas-common all 1.16.0-1ubuntu2 [13.7 kB]
Get:2 http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu (http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu) xenial/main amd64 libpeas-1.0-0 amd64 1.16.0-1ubuntu2 [47.3 kB]
Get:3 http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu (http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu) xenial/main amd64 gir1.2-gtksource-3.0 amd64 3.18.2-1 [17.1 kB]
Get:4 http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu (http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu) xenial/main amd64 gedit-common all 3.18.3-0ubuntu4 [131 kB]
Get:5 http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu (http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu) xenial/main amd64 gir1.2-peas-1.0 amd64 1.16.0-1ubuntu2 [5,678 B]
Get:6 http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu (http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu) xenial/main amd64 libpeas-1.0-0-python3loader amd64 1.16.0-1ubuntu2 [11.1 kB]
Get:7 http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu (http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu) xenial/main amd64 gedit amd64 3.18.3-0ubuntu4 [406 kB]
Fetched 632 kB in 1s (411 kB/s)
Selecting previously unselected package libpeas-common.
(Reading database ... 261526 files and directories currently installed.)
Preparing to unpack .../libpeas-common_1.16.0-1ubuntu2_all.deb ...
Unpacking libpeas-common (1.16.0-1ubuntu2) ...
Selecting previously unselected package libpeas-1.0-0:amd64.
Preparing to unpack .../libpeas-1.0-0_1.16.0-1ubuntu2_amd64.deb ...
Unpacking libpeas-1.0-0:amd64 (1.16.0-1ubuntu2) ...
Selecting previously unselected package gir1.2-gtksource-3.0:amd64.
Preparing to unpack .../gir1.2-gtksource-3.0_3.18.2-1_amd64.deb ...
Unpacking gir1.2-gtksource-3.0:amd64 (3.18.2-1) ...
Selecting previously unselected package gedit-common.
Preparing to unpack .../gedit-common_3.18.3-0ubuntu4_all.deb ...
Unpacking gedit-common (3.18.3-0ubuntu4) ...
Selecting previously unselected package gir1.2-peas-1.0:amd64.
Preparing to unpack .../gir1.2-peas-1.0_1.16.0-1ubuntu2_amd64.deb ...
Unpacking gir1.2-peas-1.0:amd64 (1.16.0-1ubuntu2) ...
Selecting previously unselected package libpeas-1.0-0-python3loader.
Preparing to unpack .../libpeas-1.0-0-python3loader_1.16.0-1ubuntu2_amd64.deb ...
Unpacking libpeas-1.0-0-python3loader (1.16.0-1ubuntu2) ...
Selecting previously unselected package gedit.
Preparing to unpack .../gedit_3.18.3-0ubuntu4_amd64.deb ...
Unpacking gedit (3.18.3-0ubuntu4) ...
Processing triggers for hicolor-icon-theme (0.15-0ubuntu1) ...
Processing triggers for libc-bin (2.23-0ubuntu9) ...
Processing triggers for man-db (2.7.5-1) ...
Processing triggers for gconf2 (3.2.6-3ubuntu6) ...
Processing triggers for libglib2.0-0:amd64 (2.48.2-0ubuntu1) ...
Processing triggers for gnome-menus (3.13.3-6ubuntu3.1) ...
Processing triggers for desktop-file-utils (0.22-1ubuntu5.1) ...
Processing triggers for mime-support (3.59ubuntu1) ...
Setting up libpeas-common (1.16.0-1ubuntu2) ...
Setting up libpeas-1.0-0:amd64 (1.16.0-1ubuntu2) ...
Setting up gir1.2-gtksource-3.0:amd64 (3.18.2-1) ...
Setting up gedit-common (3.18.3-0ubuntu4) ...
Setting up gir1.2-peas-1.0:amd64 (1.16.0-1ubuntu2) ...
Setting up libpeas-1.0-0-python3loader (1.16.0-1ubuntu2) ...
Setting up gedit (3.18.3-0ubuntu4) ...
update-alternatives: using /usr/bin/gedit to provide /usr/bin/gnome-text-editor (gnome-text-editor) in auto mode
Processing triggers for libc-bin (2.23-0ubuntu9) ...
[email protected]:~$ gedit /etc/sysctl.conf

** (gedit:9882): WARNING **: Couldn't connect to accessibility bus: Failed to connect to socket /tmp/dbus-cX8z5tGIpX: Connection refused
[email protected]:~$ sudo gedit /etc/sysctl.conf

** (gedit:9934): WARNING **: Couldn't connect to accessibility bus: Failed to connect to socket /tmp/dbus-cX8z5tGIpX: Connection refused

(gedit:9934): Gtk-WARNING **: Calling Inhibit failed: GDBus.Error:org.freedesktop.DBus.Error.ServiceUnknown: The name org.gnome.SessionManager was not provided by any .service files

** (gedit:9934): WARNING **: Set document metadata failed: Setting attribute metadata::gedit-spell-enabled not supported

** (gedit:9934): WARNING **: Set document metadata failed: Setting attribute metadata::gedit-encoding not supported

** (gedit:9934): WARNING **: Set document metadata failed: Setting attribute metadata::gedit-position not supported
[email protected]:~$
Linux Support / Triple-boot problem [solved]
November 05, 2017, 10:50:35 PM
We have a box running Xubuntu 16.04, Ubuntu 14.04 and Windows XP as a triple boot.

Xubuntu is backed up via Redo Backup, and XP via Norton Ghost, both to the same external drive.

Yesterday I tried to do a ghost restore to the XP partition and it failed. I now have an un-bootable XP which equates to a wasted 50gb of disc space.

I'm willing to forget XP, but I'd like to tidy up and reclaim the space. However, Linux can no longer mount that partition, suggesting instead that I run 'fdisk /f' in Windows. I can't get into Windows anymore, but even if I could, it occurs to me that I'm in danger of wrecking my access to Ubuntu/Xubuntu.

It seems to me that multi-boot scenarios are fine until one of the operating systems needs reinstalling, then all bets are off. I think I'm going to give them up. Or am I missing something?

Meanwhile, can anyone suggest a way to reclaim the disk space and retain Xubuntu and hopefully also Ubuntu?

Can anyone recommend a fairly recent Linux-friendly motherboard/processor combination please?

Preferably one which doesn't cost the earth, but obviously one which is likely still to be available.


I've just reinstalled Ubuntu and it no longer detects USB sticks or CDs...

Any ideas folks?

Linux Support / Ubuntu getting slow [solved]
May 20, 2017, 10:52:08 PM
My main Ubuntu machine (Ubuntu 16.04, core2 duo + 4GB Ram) is taking almost 2 minutes from pushing the button to a functioning desktop.

I'm sure it used to be a lot quicker and I haven't made any changes lately.

Does Ubuntu gradually slow down like Windows?
Has anyone got any recommendations for another, preferably free, account provider?

We have two fsmail.net accounts going back years, hence a lot of messages/folders to transfer. Transferring them to gmail seems to be fairly straightforward, but I simply don't want to be involved with google and it's quest to know everything about everybody on the planet. I don't even use it's search engine.

So what I need is a new, non-google account into which I can import messages from fsmail, but I can't seem to find one. Yahoo would be ok, except it imports from only a limited number of other providers, excluding fsmail.

It doesn't have to be free. I'm wondering about buying a domain name and using it's email facilities without creating a website. Trouble is, I'd still have the problem of importing a multitude of old messages, contacts etc.
Linux Support / Permissions problems [solved]
April 16, 2017, 06:57:59 PM
I've just uninstalled vn 5.0.36 of Virtualbox, and installed vn 5.1.18. At least I think I have.. However, when I use the 'search your computer' feature in Ubuntu 16.04, it still seems to find the old version, although it says it's installed 'nowhere'.

Confused? Me too, but it gets better, or rather, worse.

Immediately after installing the new version I was able to add a VM from the previous version, start it, use it and suspend it while I went out to the Co-Op (I live life in the fast lane..)

Now I open Virtualbox to find the welcome screen and no existing VMs. What's more, I can't add the same VM again. I get the following message...

Runtime error opening '/home/mike/VirtualBox VMs/XP/XP.vbox' for reading: -38(Access denied.).
/home/vbox/vbox-5.1.18/src/VBox/Main/src-server/MachineImpl.cpp[485] (nsresult Machine::initFromSettings(VirtualBox*, const com::Utf8Str&, const com::Guid*)).

Result Code:
NS_ERROR_FAILURE (0x80004005)
IMachine {b2547866-a0a1-4391-8b86-6952d82efaa0}
IVirtualBox {0169423f-46b4-cde9-91af-1e9d5b6cd945}

I've tried moving the VM to my home folder in case that helped, but Ubuntu tells me I don't own it, so I can't move it.

I'm the only user of this PC and I created the old VM, so how can I not be the owner?

As always, thanks in advance for any/all help..
We have a laptop running Ubuntu 14.04 which routinely accesses the internet via wi-fi.

Today it won't connect, despite the fact that it reports the signal as strong/excellent (and my iPod connects effortlessly from the same room).

I haven't changed anything since yesterday. I've deleted the connection several times, rebooted, shutdown, and tried again. Nothing.

The router is set not to broadcast the SSID.

Any ideas folks, (Mark)?
Linux Support / No sound in 16.04 [Solved]
March 18, 2017, 11:23:22 PM
Finally upgraded from 14.04 to 16.04 and the sound has gone awol.

In settings~sound the only option is Digital Output (S/PDIF).

I can't find any option to use analogue sound.


Update: I plugged the speakers into the rear jack instead of the front one and analogue sound kicked in. The front jack no longer seems to work (it did under 14.04).

Oddly, the right channel doesn't work with the speakers plugged into it directly, but it does with the headphones or with the speakers on an extension cable, as long as I wiggle the plug a bit. That trick just doesn't work with the speakers alone. I suppose it's a physical thing, to do with cables and plugs. Doesn't half annoy me though.

No idea why the front jack has stopped working. Any clues appreciated.
Linux Support / [Solved] Dual-boot and grub
February 07, 2017, 01:20:36 AM
Hello Folks,

One of our boxes is a dual-boot with Windows and Ubuntu. Windows needs reinstalling and the question is, will this confuse Grub and break the dual-boot?

Thanks for any feedback..
Not suggesting that Linux is vandalism.  Just that what I want to do may be...

Long shot. Can anyone give me any pointers on dismantling an old Maxtor Onetouch (external USB drive).

Two screws allow removal of the plate on one end, but there's nothing under it to allow any further access.
Linux Support / wireless printing problem (solved)
December 11, 2016, 09:52:36 PM
Hello folks,

I've been printing wirelessly for some time now (laptop running Ubuntu 14.04LTS, HP Envy 4502).

Since yesterday, nothing. Every job I send to the printer ends up 'held'. Releasing it doesn't help (CUPS 1.7.2). I just get a series of messages that FF has blocked a redirection, and when I finish clicking 'allow' I'm back to 'held'.

I've tried resetting the printer to factory defaults and starting again. I've gone through wireless setup on the printer (apparently successfully), I've tried Wi-Fi protected setup on the printer, which fails consistently. Still no prints. I've even tried banging my head on the desk, but that doesn't work either. Cheaper than drinking though..

Anyone got any ideas please? The original setup went very smoothly, I seem to remember.
Linux Support / A virus in Linux? [solved]
December 04, 2016, 08:23:18 PM
I'm having a problem with Yahoo in Ubuntu 14.04. Basically it's seized up, but the worrying part is that is says "transferring data from s.yimg.com", which appears to be a virus.

Only Yahoo sems to be affected so far, but it's the same story on a laptop and a desktop, both running 14.04.

Any ideas please?
Linux Support / Flash problems revisited (solved)
August 10, 2016, 11:15:05 PM
Hello folks,

I'm using Ubuntu 14.04 and Flash is working fine in Firefox - except on the channel 4 site.

It says I need to install or upgrade Adobe Flash Player.

However, when I run sudo apt-get install flashplugin-installer, I get the following

Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
flashplugin-installer is already the newest version.
0 to upgrade, 0 to newly install, 0 to remove and 43 not to upgrade.

What is WRONG with Flash (or me)?

Thanks for any suggestions..

..I've just bought a pack of socks from a major supermarket chain, with a little penguin motif..

Very tasteful they are too. Drive the ladies mad, I shouldn't wonder.

Hardware Compatibility / Wi-Fi adapters [Solved]
June 05, 2016, 11:59:39 PM
Can anyone recommend a Wi-Fi adapter, either PCI or USB that works with Linux (Ubuntu 14.04 in my case)?


Just had the effing second printer fail in less than two years. It's only on it's second set of inks!

Can anyone recommend a reliable, cheap-ish printer? All it needs to do is print. No bells or whistles. We've had expensive multi-function jobs and cheapies. They've all failed too soon.

Would a laser be more reliable/cost effective?

I'm thinking of buying a cheap printer every time the ink runs out.

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.

Hello folks,
I'm trying to install Ubuntu 14.04 from a CD onto a laptop. The laptop has a single HDD, partitioned as Vista and Data. The Vista partition is half used, with approx 40gb free, so I want to shrink it and install Ubuntu onto the free half as a dual boot.

Problem is, when I select the install option from a live CD session, I can't be sure whether I'll get the option to resize partitions, or whether WUBI will just be installed with Ubuntu inside Vista. I suspect the latter, so I keep abandoning the install.

Should I use Vista to shrink it's own partition and create some free space before starting the Ubuntu install? Would Ubuntu then default to the free space as a true dual-boot?

Thanks for any thoughts..