Dear lazyweb, I would like to download an arbitrary ISO image (say, a Ubuntu 10.04 Desktop CD)
into a directory of a USB flash drive, and then make that USB flash drive boot
that ISO image. I do not want to
re-partition or re-format the flash drive (this eliminates usb-creator, AFAIU)
extract the contents of the ISO image into the root of the USB drive
(this eliminates unetbootin)
skip the ISO's bootloader and directly boot the kernel+initramfs from
the ISO (eliminates this
recipe, and this
I just want a bootloader on the USB to read the VFAT filesystem, mount the ISO image as a loop device,
then chain-load the bootloader from that ISO. Bonus points for having a menu letting me choose one of
several ISO images. Running a script to edit a text file (say, grub's config)
to get that menu is fine.
Is this even possible? If not, can I at least have two out of three (no
partition/extraction, but skipping intrinsic bootloader is fine)?
You can have as many ISO images as you want, just make sure to add a
menuentry for each. There's no need to run grub-install again after adding
or removing a .iso file. Oh, and if you want to use an ISO file for a
different distribution, you'll have to figure out the correct linux and initrd
Update: Ubuntu 13.04 changed the name of the kernel -- use
(loop)/casper/vmlinuz.efi instead of (loop)/casper/vmlinuz.
I tested it with the following images
This solution skips the CD-ROM's boot menu. I haven't found a better
Modern Linux system have all sorts of fake filesystems cluttering the output
of df and mount: tmpfs, bind mounts, fuse for ~/.gvfs, etc. I have only one
real partition on my laptop, yet mount returns 22 lines of output.
Question: are there any df-like utilities that filter out all the crap and
show only interesting bits? The standard df as well as pydf both
display 8 lines instead of 1. Discus is
worse: it shows 20. GUI utilities like Baobab also suffer from this
confusion, especially bind mounts.
Ironically, Ubuntu's update-motd gets
confused by Ubuntu's private user directories and displays disk stats for
~/Private as if it were a real partition.
Update: The story continues, but solution is not in sight
I upgraded a buildbot slave to Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy) recently and now I'm
getting a strange intermittent failure: sometimes
cp -r /local/dir /nfs/mounted/dir fails
("process killed by signal 1", i.e. SIGHUP).
I wonder if NFS is relevant or incidental to the issue?
Google finds an old
thread from 2005, with a workaround (usepty=False), but I'd like to
understand the problem before applying random fixes.
So far three different build steps doing cp -r have failed during
10 days. I've now changed them all to cp -rv, so I can at least see
if the failure is in the middle of the copy or at the end, if it fails
Update: so far 4 build steps have failed on 6 separate
May 5 02:31: cp -r local-dir1 nfs-mounted-dir1
May 6 02:31: cp -r local-dir1 nfs-mounted-dir1
May 6 04:33: cp -r local-dir2 nfs-mounted-dir2
May 15 02:00: cp -r local-dir3 nfs-mounted-dir3
May 17 04:32: rm -rf nfs-mounted-dir4
May 20 04:31: rm -rf nfs-mounted-dir4
I see no particular correlation between step duration and results, e.g.
the rm -rf step usually takes between 2.2 and 4.6 seconds. The two SIGHUPs
happened after 2.4 seconds.
They all make no output. When I changed the cp steps and added a -v, they
stopped failing, but that could be just a coincidence.
We're having an email conversation with Jean-Paul Calderone ("exarkun")
about the possibility of this being PTY-related, with no clear resolution
Ubuntu people want users to use apport to report bugs. There's a command-line
tool called 'ubuntu-bug' that you can use if you know the name of the package
or at least the name of executable. There's a "Report a problem" menu item
in many, but not all GUI apps.
Here's what you can do if the GUI app in question doesn't have that menu
item, and you don't remember what it's called, and you're the same sort of a
crazy command-line person that I am:
Click on the app's window. Watch that shell command return a line that
_NET_WM_PID(CARDINAL) = 807
$ps 807 # substitute the real number
You'll see the command name, e.g.
PID TTY STAT TIME COMMAND
807 ? S 0:02 /usr/lib/indicator-applet/indicator-applet --oaf-acti
Ubuntu 9.04 is going to be released in around three weeks. As usual I
couldn't wait (and saw that some bugs that were irritating me every day
were fixed in Jaunty), so I upgraded to the current beta.
little hiccough at the beginning, the upgrade was the smoothest Ubuntu
upgrade I've ever had: I spent those two and a half hours browsing the web,
watching screencasts and chatting on IRC, while update-manager worked in the
background. Firefox was mostly very responsive, only stuttering when
update-manager got around to unpacking openoffice.org-common. There were few
debconf or conffile questions (one from sysstat 2 minutes into the upgrade,
then a conffile question after 1 hour and 20 minutes, then two more after 15
minutes, and one more 5 minutes later. And the last one 10 minutes later).
There were no ugly theme changes or failing GNOME applet error messages during
the upgrade. Near the end X-Chat automatically started showing new-style
notifications (beautiful!) and Firefoxes nicely asked to be restarted with a
fold-down notification bar.
Nice. Now, after a reboot things were not so nice: I couldn't login.
After typing in my password and a couple of mode changes I was kicked back
to the GDM prompt. I panicked and started logging into the text consoles
and trying to run startx, quite in vain, since when I just tried gdm again
it worked fine.
The intel video driver feels slower, as promised by the release notes,
but it's acceptable as long as you don't try to rotate the external screen.
Then it's horrible and unusable—a regression since Intrepid. I'll have
to retry with UXA.
Compiz failed to enable a plugin (GNOME Compatibility), so a couple of
key bindings didn't work (Alt+F1 to get the menu, Alt+F2 to get the run dialog,
my custom keybinding to open a terminal) until someone on FreeNode told me
what to enable.
The Flash plugin is now swfdec, and it is unable to cope with Youtube music
videos—the sound is all choppy. I'm wondering if this is swfdec's fault,
pulseaudio's fault (it's common knowledge that all audio problems stem from
pulseaudio, right? ;) or X.org's fault (top shows it's X that's eating 90% CPU
when swfdec is trying to play a video).
A lot of very irritating bugs are gone. I don't need to restart Compiz
after playing with xrandr. X doesn't crash after I play with xrandr.
Two-finger scrolling with the Synaptics touchpad doesn't produce phantom
scroll-down-17-pages events when I take my fingers off the touchpad. The
GNOME panels don't migrate to the external screen when I play with xrandr
(but one of them jumps
from the bottom to the top when I play some more). The new splash
screen has a pretty gradient for its progress bar (but is displayed off-center,
maybe because I added vga=872 to my GRUB kernel options list to avoid ugly
stretching of text consoles). X.org no longer distorts the aspect ratio of
1024x768 when stretching it to fit the 1280x800 screen—now I get sensible
black bars on the sides. The new notification bubbles are
beautiful!. I could stare at them all day. (But the new indicator
Overall I'm happy. A bunch of very irritating bugs were replaced with
a smaller bunch of somewhat less irritating bugs. The intel video slowdown
scares me a bit, though, but the prettiness of the notification bubbles
outweigh everything else. What can I say, I like pretty things—Ooh,
Today I happened to read about lazr.enum in a mailing list.
I went to the PyPI page and
saw raw ReStructuredText
markup instead of a nicely formatted page. Now I know from prior experience
that this happens when the package's description has an error in the markup.
I thought I'd report a bug and provide a patch.
Leap of knowledge: since I know lazr.enum was created by the Launchpad.net
team I could safely assume they were keeping the sources in Launchpad. Therefore
I was pretty sure I could get them with
$bzr branch lp:lazr.enum
so I ran that command and it worked.
Next I looked at setup.py to see how it produces the long_description field.
It was reading the contents of a couple of text files, one of them being
src/lazr/enum/README.txt. I looked at that and saw a
.. toc-tree: directive that does not exists in plain docutils
(it's a Sphinx extension).
I added up a couple of lines to setup.py to strip that out, tested it
(with setup.py --long-description > test.rst; restview test.rst)
committed to my local branch, and created a bug report in Launchpad. Then I
was a bit lost, since I didn't know how to make my fix available. Attach a
patch? Maybe, but I wanted to see if this distributed version control thing is
good for anything else.
I thought that first I'd make that branch public, and then see if there
was a way to link it to the bug report. I ran
$bzr push lp:~mgedmin/lazr.enum/pypi-fix
which took a few seconds to create a new public branch on Launchpad with my
fix in it (it would be nice if I didn't have to explicitly specify my Launchpad
username and the project name—both of which bzr already knows—and
just specify the name of the branch). Then I went back to my bug report and
saw an option to link it to a branch. There was a search field in the popup
that found my "~mgedmin/lazr.enum/pypi-fix" easily enough when I pasted it
into the search box.
After clicking on the branch, I saw a "propose a merge" option. I did that
and Launchpad sent an email to the developers asking them to merge my fix.
I made one mistake, I think: I should've created the bug report
first, and then mentioned the bug number in my commit message (with
bzr commit --fixes=NNN, although here I'm suddenly not sure if the bug
number should be left bare, or prefixed with something like "lp" to indicate it
was a Launchpad bug number?).
Other than that it was a pretty smooth experience. When will I be able to
do that for Ubuntu packages?
I think I'm going to blog about Ubuntu bugs I encounter during my day.
Don't get me wrong—I love Ubuntu and haven't seen a better OS yet. But
it has bugs.
Why blog and not report them to Launchpad? Many reasons:
producing good bug reports is hard work; bugs rarely show up alone, and if I
start filing one, I'll forget details about the others; sometimes it's unclear
whether something is or is not a bug until you've written it down and looked
at it; Launchpad is slow while previewing a blog post on the local machine is
This is one of those long and rambling posts that you can skip without
feeling guilty. ;-)
Things I did today:
I enabled my dual-head screen and had to restart compiz to avoid
After work I tried to switch to single-screen mode again and X promptly
When X restarted it picked a fugly stretched 1024x768 mode that looks
very bad on my 1280x800 widescreen panel—because this was the
only common mode between the internal panel and the external 1280x1024
I used Ctrl+Alt+Backspace after pulling the VGA cable as a quick way
to restart GDM with a saner resolution. I wonder what I'll do in Jaunty
where Ctrl+Alt+Backspace is disabled by default. (BTW I agree with
that decision, having accidentally pressed Ctrl+Alt+Backspace on
several painful occasions.)
I suspended my laptop and put it in my backpack, then went home.
At home I tried to resume. The laptop suspended again immediately after
When I woke it up again, it did not accept my fingerprint (this often
happens, I don't particularly mind—it's difficult to swipe the
I then typed my password, pressed Enter—and then
gnome-screensaver spent an unreasonably long time verifying my password
(this I do mind).
While it was verifying the password suddenly the GNOME panel showed up
on top of the gnome-screensaver, with two new notification bubbles: one
was the usual post-upgrade reboot required, and the other was a typical
post-upgrade informational notice (one about refreshing ALSA
configuration presets—I haven't seen it before). The interesting
thing is that I don't remember running apt-get upgrade today, and
/var/log/dpkg.log confirms I last upgraded things yesterday at
I could not take a screenshot of the bizarreness described in step 3,
but that's reasonable—the desktop was still locked. So I took a
(crappy) picture with my cell phone (and now I'm too lazy to upload
it—but I have proof! proof!).
After 30 seconds or so gnome-screensaver finally timed out, the GNOME
panel disappeared, and I got a new fresh screensaver unlock dialog.
This time it worked.
Just after unlocking the screen I saw a GNOME keyring prompting
for my keyring password to enable Network Manager to get the WPA
passphrase needed to log in.
It's the same as my login password. Shouldn't some PAM magic I
recently read about in Ubuntu mailing lists unlock that keyring for me
automatically on login? Oh, right, I log in using
my fingerprint, not my password. Darn.
Now I feel like I should report item #3 (and #13) as a wishlist, item #6 as
a bug (there's probably one open, with a bunch of duplicates, already), #8 as a
bug (but that would be useless—I've no recipe for replicating that), #9
as a bug (again, how can I replicate?)—or, rather two bugs (why did the
informational notices got delayed by a day?). Maybe three bugs: the untitled
(four bugs!) window with the update information says
Refresh Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA) configuration
New Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA) configuration presets have
been added. Please execute the asoundconf(1) set-default-card macro in a
Terminal now to refresh your user's configuration presets. You may
accomplish this task by executing the following command in a Terminal:
which reads like gibberish to any nontechnical person (and many technical
persons too, I think).
Let's talk more about this notification: the first thought that comes into
the mind of a technical person is: if you know what command I should run in
a terminal, why don't you run it yourself, you stupid machine? The
answer is “because that's not the complete command that you need
You have omitted a necessary parameter. Please see the
output from `asoundconf list`, and use one of those sound
card(s) as the parameter.
Okay, I'll bite
Names of available sound cards:
There's only one card. Why isn't it selected as default
automatically, without forcing me to jump through hoops in a terminal? Think
of the children (or, better, your mother)!
But now I remember that Pulseaudio is supposed to be the default ALSA card.
What will happen if I select Intel here? Will it break Pulseaudio? Oh dear,
I've no idea. I'm afraid to do anything now.
I think I will put on my regular-user-glasses and look at that dialog again:
gibberish gibberish gibberish
Okay, I hit the only button available—close. I'm done here.
Sound appears to continue to work fine without me doing anything.
Why was that dialog necessary? Just get rid of it.
I'm sorry. I did not intend this to become a rant. I wanted to make
a list of reportable bugs that I could review later and file properly (or
have helpful people look up and send me via email—this has happened
before, and I was surprised and grateful).
Last night I thought it would be fun to try to suspend my laptop with the 3G
USB modem still plugged in and connected. This morning when I woke it up I had
Ctrl+Alt+F1 worked to switch to a text console (when I pressed it twice).
The text console wasn't garbled, which was nice. killall gnome-settings-daemon
or gnome-screensaver didn't fix anything. Suspending and resuming again didn't
fix things either (not that there's any reason why it should). When I noticed
that Ctrl+Alt+Backspace didn't work in X, I realized this wasn't an X grab
/var/log/Xorg.0.log has a series of errors like this:
(EE) AT Translated Set 2 keyboard: Device has changed - disabling.
(WW) AT Translated Set 2 keyboard: Release failed (Invalid argument)
Sadly, there are no timestamps. I think this was printed once on resume,
and then once on every VT switch.
xinput still lists "AT Translated Set 2 Keyboard" among its devices.
I remember now -- before suspending I had used sudo showkeys -s
in an xterm (trying to see the scan code of the ThinkVantage button). Could've
mucked up the keyboard mode?
Alt+SysRq+R (raw mode) didn't help, even when followed by more VT switches.
I think I'm gonna restart the X server. Or reboot the whole PC, Ubuntu
notifier is showing its reboot icon again...
Meta: I wrote this post on March 6, and then decided it
wasn't interesting enough to post. And then posted it accidentally on March
Warning: this is going to be a long story with a semi-happy ending.
Skip it unless you enjoy tales of woe and debugging.
So, I open up my laptop, plug in a USB keyboard and mouse, start up Inkscape
and start fooling around. Suddenly I notice strange behaviour:
I cannot select two objects in Inkscape by holding down ctrl or shift and
clicking -- only the last object I clicked on becomes selected.
Menus don't pull down, although the highlighted bar follows my mouse
I cannot type any text into text boxes
Moving the mouse into a screen corner doesn't trigger the Expose-like effect
I cannot drag windows around by grabbing the title-bar
I cannot drag windows around by alt+dragging
Dragging the mouse inside an xterm creates a vertical selection
That last hint seems to indicate that the Ctrl key could be stuck. I
try pressing it and releasing, then the other one, then both Ctrl keys on the
USB keyboard. Surely, if X sees a press and a release event for each Ctrl
it will realize none of them are still down? No such luck. I try to unplug
the USB keyboard and mouse next. No results.
This is not the first time this has happened to me. Previously I found no
exit out of this state other than killing X.org with (great pleasure and)
Ctrl+Alt+Backspace. Surely there must be a better way?
I ssh in and start xev. MotionNotify events have state 0x4, which is
control, I think. By the way, I only see mouse events in xev, keyboard
events don't make it. The keyboard itself is alive at some level, as Caps Lock
turns on its LED, and Ctrl+Alt+F1 gives me a (garbled and unusable) text
console. Holding down Alt or Shift doesn't change the state of events seen
by xev, though.
Did my keyboard map get lost? Is some X client grabbing all the keys?
how do I recover?
I use x2x to connect to the laptop from my desktop. I now can use my
desktop's mouse and keyboard to control the laptop. x2x works by injecting
X events via XTest. I see mouse events x2x injects, but xev again shows
nothing on the keyboard front.
I try to guess which X client might have the keyboard grab (if there is
one). I killall compiz. I'm surprised that gnome-session doesn't restart it
(or spawn a different window manager in its place). I start metacity manually.
The problem is not gone. I kill metacity and start Compiz again.
I have a VNC server running (vino), but I've forgotten its password.
Looks normal. Then I notice this at the end of the xev log:
FocusOut event, serial 40, synthetic NO, window 0x3e00001,
mode NotifyWhileGrabbed, detail NotifyNonlinear
What's "NotifyWhileGrabbed" mean? How do I find the rogue app and kill
it? xrestop shows me 35 X clients, do I just kill them one-by-one until
the problem disappears? Some of those clients are <unknown> and show
I suspend the laptop (which is a very stupid idea when your other
machine's mouse and keyboard are redirected to it via x2x) and resume it,
hoping that gnome-screensaver will somehow overpower the existing application's
lock with its own. Gnome-screensaver is nowhere in sight. At least my x2x
connection becomes alive again and I have my keyboard & mouse back on the
I notice that I can no longer make any kinds of selections in
gnome-terminal. Why? Window focus no longer follows mouse. xev no longer
sees mouse motion events. It sees a couple of MappingNotify events when I plug
in a (different) USB keyboard, though.
I killall gnome-screensaver (which was invisible, remember?) and can now
again see motion events in xev and select windows with the mouse.
And the system becomes ugly (no GNOME theme) but alive. I get a second xev
window from an earlier attempt to type 'xev' in a terminal that was
unable to receive key events.
Of course, since I killed all the actual applications and half of the
necessary support programs my session is now useless, so I'll have to log
out and log back in again. But at least in the future I'll know: when
something like this goes wrong, killall gnome-settings-daemon.
Now I'd like to report a bug (the thought of hurling a brick through
the responsible developer's window never crossed my mind, honest!), but
without a reliable way of reproducing the problem will it be of any use?
I restart gnome-settings-daemon and it promptly invokes xrandr to set up
a dual-head mode that confuses compiz. By "confuses" I mean displays a
rotating cube in the top-left 1280x700 area of my 2560x1024 extended desktop,
filling the rest with whatever was in the video memory last time I had a
I try to start up Firefox on my desktop and put a link to the relevant bug,
but Firefox quietly refuses to start up. Well, 'Segmentation fault' at the end
of ~/.xsession-errors is quiet, isn't it? Thankfully, 'firefox http://someurl'
for some reason works and opens a window. I cannot find the Compiz bug I
remember (could it have been #135418?),
but this looks like a better fit anyway: #317431
might be a duplicate). And here's my gnome-settings-daemon bug:
This is all on Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex).
Some days I just hate Linux. Then I remember that it's worse on other
I recently posted some
data about applications taking up the most RAM on my laptop. That was
after 9 days of uptime, while this is after 12 hours:
PID USER PR NI VIRT RES SHR S %CPU %MEM TIME+ COMMAND
16033 root 20 0 527m 109m 11m S 3 5.5 6:52.82 Xorg
17834 mg 20 0 244m 105m 24m S 6 5.3 3:26.49 firefox
26425 mg 20 0 96872 58m 12m S 0 2.9 0:01.71 evince
16747 mg 20 0 90704 54m 19m S 0 2.8 0:10.70 tomboy
27169 mg 20 0 166m 53m 23m S 0 2.7 0:07.05 banshee-1
27167 mg 20 0 77392 31m 17m S 0 1.6 0:01.16 pidgin
16706 mg 20 0 86508 27m 18m S 0 1.4 0:35.35 gnome-panel
16708 mg 20 0 75196 20m 14m S 0 1.0 0:02.80 nautilus
20092 mg 20 0 61880 19m 11m S 1 1.0 0:07.08 gnome-terminal
16614 mg 20 0 58456 15m 9836 S 0 0.8 0:09.82 gnome-settings-
I don't have GNOME Do any more, and I've only one of the two PDFs open in
Evince. I don't see multiload-applet on the first page of top output, which
seems to indicate a slow leak. Evince has the same two documents. That
concept doesn't quite apply to Banshee or Pidgin, but Pidgin's numbers
are quite striking anyway (from 70 megs VIRT to 1.6 gigs VIRT in 9 days;
thankfully RES only grows 2x during that time).
OS: Ubuntu 8.10, up-to-date with all the updates from -security,
-updates, -proposed-updates and -backports.
Incidentally, I have 12 hours of uptime because my battery died while the
laptops was suspended during my flight back home (either that, or it work up
in the backpack, which is a scary thought). Apparently Ubuntu tried to
hibernate when the battery was very low, which was a nice gesture. This
didn't work out so well when resuming, since the kernels didn't match -- I
had installed a kernel update, but hadn't rebooted. I don't think I
ever used hibernation successfully in Linux.
Firefox started leaking memory quite rapidly lately, possibly after I
upgraded to 3.0.6+nobinonly-0ubuntu0.8.10.1 exactly a week ago. I have to
restart it once a day if I don't want my 2 gigs of RAM to fill up
completely. I hadn't needed to do that before, memory usage stayed pretty
I cannot explain the X.org numbers. pmap doesn't show me RSS numbers, but
150 megs of VIRT are attributed to the heap (an anonymous read-write mapping),
while 256 megs look like the frame buffer ("resource2"). xrestop sees a total
of 21027K of resources (pixmaps etc.) attributed to all the clients. I have a
vague suspicion that this number doesn't include OpenGL textures used by
Compiz, but I'm pretty clueless about those things. compiz --replace reduces
Xorg's RSS down by 9 megabytes and increases VIRT by 5 megabytes. The increase
is mirrored by xrestop, which now shows 25652K in total.
I have twoPDFs open in the
background since I intend to read them within the next couple of days, this
explains the evince data.
I'm not happy about the Banshee memory usage. I wouldn't mind that much if
it didn't insist on minimizing to the system tray.
I'm even less happy about Pidgin. Banshee at least has the excuse that it
is built on top of Mono, which adds a whole new runtime & virtual
machine. And why on Earth does a chat program need 1.6 gigs of
Almost works out of the box on Ubuntu. Will work out of the box in the
forthcoming 9.04 release.
One curious little detail: according to the manual, a blinking green
light means it's trying to find the GSM network (if it's blinking twice every
2.7 seconds) or that it's successfully found a GSM network (if it's blinking
twice every 2.9 seconds). I'd like to have been on the meeting when this was
decided. "I know! Let's make it blink 0.2 seconds faster to indicate it
hasn't found a network yet! Brilliant!"
Update: given its shape and position next to my right-hand
USB ports, it should double as a USB mouse.
On an unrelated note, Sweden is a very nice country.
Does anybody else think it's retarded that volume control keys do not work
if you have a menu open in Ubuntu?
I'm sure people can claim there are good technical reasons for that (the
toolkit has to grab the X server to implement popup menus, and then
gnome-settings-daemon doesn't see the XF86VolumeUp/Down key events or
whatever), but if you take a step back and look at this from the user's
perspective, it makes no sense.
Netspeed is a GNOME
panel applet that shows your current upload/download speed in bytes (or bits)
per second. I love it. Except... you have to manually say which network
device to monitor. If you're switching between wireless and wired, this gets
old really quickly. There's an option, Always monitor a connected
device, but it is buggy and usually
gets stuck monitoring some stupid network interface like wmaster0 or
Today I spent a couple of hours fiddling with netspeed's source code and
Patches attached to the bug report and tested with netspeed-0.14 on Ubuntu
While doing this I created a local Bazaar branch for playing with the source
code. Sadly, Bazaar decided to hurt me again: bzr viz, instead of letting me
look at my commits in a nice GUI window, barfs AttributeError:
'KnitPackRepository' object has no attribute 'get_revision_graph' and
stops. Apparently the latest version of bzr-gtk (trunk from launchpad) is not
compatible with the latest version of bzr (1.6rc2 from the Hardy PPA).
It's becoming a pattern: every couple of months I give Bazaar a try, and I
hit a new bug that prevents me from doing whatever I wanted to do. Why do I
even keep trying?
So, you're lying on a couch, listening to music and reading a book on your
N810. Suddenly a song
you don't like starts playing. Do you
A. Stand up, walk to the PC, click the "Next song" button with your
B. Open Terminal on your N810, ssh into your desktop and run
If you chose option B, you lose:
[Warn 00:43:59.080] DBus support could not be started. Disabling for this session.
[Info 00:43:59.101] Running Banshee 1.0.0
(Nereid:9174): Gtk-WARNING **: Locale not supported by C library.
Using the fallback 'C' locale.
(Nereid:9174): Gtk-WARNING **: cannot open display:
You can't access your D-Bus session from a different login session.
This means, among other things, that I cannot ask gnome-power-manager to
suspend my laptop that I left at work if I'm trying to run
gnome-power-cmd.sh suspend over an SSH session.
Dear lazyweb, what's the fix?
P.S. I apologise for the impertinence of asking dear lazyweb a
question on a blog that has no comments facility, but I somehow cannot bring myself to trust
plugins in today's spam-filled world without an in-depth evaluation for
which I don't have the time and energy. At least there's a mailto link clearly
labeled "send feedback" below each blog
Update: Steve Holden suggested using screen, which works, but only if
I have the foresight to start a screen session on the desktop before I walk
away. I can then reattach to the running screen session with screen
-x and run banshee-1 --next inside.
Ross Burton says that setting DISPLAY=:0 ought to help D-Bus
find the existing session, but only if I have the very latest and greatest
D-Bus (1.2.1), which I don't have. With D-Bus 1.1.20 in Hardy, all I get by
setting $DISPLAY is Banshee opening a second player instance.
Update #2: Lee Harr suggests fishing out the
DBUS_SESSION_BUS_ADDRESS environment variable from ~/.dbus/session-bus/*.
I unexpectedly acquired an Asus EeePC 900 last weekend.
Lovely piece of hardware.
The Xandros distro was okay at first (IceWM brought me fond memories of the year
2000, when I used it). Then
I started longing for Firefox 3 and the aesthetics of GNOME applications.
Finally, when apt-cache search told me there was no SSH server package
available, I gave up and installed Ubuntu
Eee from a SD card. The software selection is incomparable (Asus/Xandros:
870 packages available, according to apt-cache stats. Ubuntu: over
30,000 packages.) Also, yay rotating cube desktop!
Things I like about the Eee:
Small! Lightweight! Beautiful white colour!
Small pixels are pretty! 1024x600 at 8.9" is 133 dpi. Not quite the 225
dpi of a Nokia N810, but nicer than the 100 dpi of my T61W or the 85 dpi of my
19" external LCD.
The keyboard is much better than I expected. I hate those laptops that
squeeze Home/End/PgUp/PgDn in an extra column on the right. Asus didn't.
Web browsing is much more pleasant than on a N810. It's faster for AJAXy
sites such as Google Reader. Also, Firefox 3.
Video watching is much more pleasant than on a N810: no need to convert
Things that are bad:
It gets hot. Either the hardware is not power-efficient, or the software
isn't doing a good job.
Only 2 hours of battery life (plus an extra 40 minute safety warning with
the blinking red battery low light). This is during normal usage (WiFi on,
Compiz, Firefox, no CPU-intensive Flash plugins).
No integrated Bluetooth. Therefore you have to lug a dongle around if
you want to use GPRS/EDGE/3G when there are no WiFi access points around.
I hate dongles.
Doesn't come with Ubuntu preinstalled.
Not all hardware works in Ubuntu:
Even after using the Eee version of Ubuntu I had to manually tweak
config files and compile kernel modules to get volume hot keys working.
No webcam or mic for me, though others report those working.
Touchpad is not configurable and doesn't do wheel emulation on the
right edge, although most other gestures work.
Sound needs a module reload after suspend/resume, which causes an
irritating error dialog from the volume control applet).
Video playback sometimes shows a blank black screen until you move a
window to overlap part of the picture.
When I unplug a Bluetooth USB dongle, a btdelconn process starts
eating 100% CPU time in the kernel and cannot be killed. Did I mention
my hate for dongles?
My workhorse, a 14" Lenovo T61W, now seems huge by comparison:
I'm not going to stop using my N810 (which fits in a pocket, has a much longer
battery life, and is more convenient for e-books or NumptyPhysics). I'll stop
lugging my T61W around instead and start leaving it at work. The EeePC is an
almost-perfect travelling laptop.
The upcoming Asus EeePC
901 is going to fix the lack of internal Bluetooth and the battery life. I
wonder when it will become available in Lithuania. (The 900 is displayed in
almost every electronics shop here. Yay Asus. Boo Nokia for not doing this
with its Internet Tablets.)
Andrew Dalke writes about his painful
attempts to install Ubuntu Feisty on a Thinkpad T23. I've had a T23 and
ran various versions of Ubuntu on it happily. When it works, Ubuntu (and Linux
in general) is great; when it doesn't work, it is painful (but at least I can
fix it, unlike, say, Windows).
One thing, though: the T23 doesn't support USB2. Using an external hard
disk over USB1 is very slow and uncomfortable. Also, I wonder what sort of an
install disk Andrew used. It sounds like a server or alternate install CD --
the regular desktop CD installs X and everything else for you.