Category: Troubleshooting

Fixing CDRecord

I’ve been trying to back up my computer, and I have a virtual machine that is rather large.  I am using a Samsung Blu-Ray burner, and I am having trouble.  Brasero just bombed out at the beginning of the burn.  So, I went back to K3b.  That did the trick mostly, but I ran into issues at the end of every disk.  So, I found a nice article on Ubuntu Forums.

Here are my notes on implementing the fix…

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Can’t Close GMail Tasks Window

I just helped a friend with a “GMail” problem.  He couldn’t close the “tasks” window.  I found that it might be a somewhat common problem — I found a Google Groups post regarding the problem (Google Groups: Help! Can’t close Tasks).

Here’s what it looks like with the task Window open where you can’t see the close button:

GMail Zoomed with Tasks Open

The issue is that the resolution is too small to display the title bar of the tasks.  Therefore, you can’t click the close button.

I read that in some cases it was the screen resolution.  In my case, it was because the window was zoomed in.  That is a feature of the browser rather than GMail itself.  In this case, I am using the Google Chrome browser.  In the view menu, you’ll see the options.

Zoom Options in Google Chrome

The “Zoom In” will make things larger so that you can read things better.  It might distort the page a little, which is what it is doing here.  The “Zoom Out” option shrinks it back so that you can see more on the page.  The “Actual Size” resets things back to normal.

I believe most of the different browsers support this feature.  You will find the option in different places, but I think they use the same keyboard shortcuts.  If you hold the Ctrl key down, the plus ( + ) makes things bigger, and minus ( – ) shrinks it back.  Holding the Ctrl key and pressing zero ( 0 ) resets things back to normal.

So, in this case, hitting Ctrl + 0 fixes it so we can see the close button:

GMail fixed

Here are some of the other browsers’ documentation for zooming:

Time to Clean Up: Out of Space for New Kernels

This past update, I started getting a new error.  My /boot mount was full.  The problem was that I had 6 or 7 previous kernels still in the mount taking up space.

Boot Mount Full Message

I was able to fix it with a command written by Linerd.  He did a very nice job explaining it, so I would recommend that you follow through and read his post.

To make a long story short, I first ran the trial command:


dpkg -l linux-* | awk ‘/^ii/{ print $2}’ | grep -v -e `uname -r | cut -f1,2 -d"-"` | grep -e [0-9] | xargs sudo apt-get –dry-run remove


Then, I ran the full command (without the –dry-run):


dpkg -l linux-* | awk ‘/^ii/{ print $2}’ | grep -v -e `uname -r | cut -f1,2 -d"-"` | grep -e [0-9] | xargs sudo apt-get -y purge


Now, I am good to go!  Thanks Linerd.


Fixing Super Tux Kart

Super Tux Kart is a fun game that my son and I have gotten into.  It has recently improved quite a lot, and we have enjoyed playing it.

But, just recently, I found that it crashes a lot.  It’s not predicable, it will either freeze the X display or it will just close in the middle of a race.

So, I decided to do a quick Google search to see if there was a solution out.  I can’t find the article now, but something suggested that maybe it was a bug that was already fixed.  I found I had version 0.7, and version 0.8 was available.

On the download page, it suggested a repository.  So, I installed this repository:

[sourcecode]sudo add-apt-repository[/sourcecode]

To get it to install, I ran the regular apt-get update…

[sourcecode]sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade[/sourcecode]

After that, I had the 0.8 version.  In addition, the crashes seem to have gone away, so far.

Troubleshooting: Firewall Blocked Printing in Fedora 15

I had trouble printing from my laptop to the printer on my Ubuntu server. It took me a bit to figure it out, but I finally figured out that it was the Firewall.

When I looked in the Printer properties, I saw the message:

Stopped – /usr/lib/cups/backend/ipp failed

To troubleshoot, I ran “system-config-printer” on my server (I ran it through ssh so I didn’t have to walk into the other room). Then, I unchecked “enabled” on the printer so I didn’t waste any paper.

Then, I tried to print from gedit. It wouldn’t work at first.

Next, I opened “Firewall Configuration”. You can launch it from the command line with “system-config-firewall”. On the toolbar, click “Disable” and “Apply”. Then, I tried to print again. For me, I was able to print with no problem.

If that is the same for you, try checking these two options:

  • Network Printing Client
  • Network Printing Server

Printing Services in Firewall Configuration

For me, these two options were already checked. I had removed and re-added the printer, and somewhere along the way it asked if I wanted to open the printing ports in the firewall. That’s what made me check the firewall in the first place. Well, I found a post that suggested that it configures the firewall but doesn’t apply the changes. Sure enough, when I re-enabled the firewall and hit apply, I was able to print from gedit!


LogMeIn Hamachi on Fedora 15

The time has come to get my LogMeIn VPN working again. The learning curve was not near as steep as this time (I didn’t loose any hair!), but I did still have a few issues.

First, I downloaded the RPM from Logmein’s website: logmein-hamachi-

When I went to use the VPN, I got this message:
Hamachi does not seem to be running.
Run ‘/etc/init.d/logmein-hamachi start’ to start daemon.

That seemed like an easy fix, but it wouldn’t start. I got this error message when I tried to start the service:
/etc/init.d/logmein-hamachi: line 28: /lib/lsb/init-functions: No such file or directory

To fix it, I found a bug reference that suggested I should install a package like redhat-lsb-4.0-6.fc15. You should be able to do it with this command:
su -c "yum install redhat-lsb"

After installing that, the VPN service started fine:
su -c "/etc/init.d/logmein-hamachi start"
Starting LogMeIn Hamachi VPN tunneling engine logmein-hamac[ OK ]

One thing I did notice is that the service doesn’t automatically start like it did when I was using it on Ubuntu. I don’t know why, but this is actually what I want anyway. I can just start the service when I want to use it with:

su -c "/etc/init.d/logmein-hamachi start"

Rant: Switching from Ubuntu to Fedora

Ok, I’ve had it with Ubuntu.  Well, for now at least.  I would like to eventually switch back and forth to get the greatest exposure.  But, for now, goodbye Ubuntu (11.04)!  Hello, Fedora 15.

It all started with Java problems.  I have a little time tracker tool that I use to track my billable time at work.  It is pretty ugly, but for me, it is critical — I use it to bill my time.  Tuesday, I started noticing the program crashing with X errors.  To attempt a fix, I tried to upgrade my video driver (Intel) to the latest version.  I tried several PPA repositories, but none of them seemed to work for me.  Finally, I ended up at the EMGD site.  I am still not sure if that driver was compatible with my laptop, but I was desparate and frustrated!  Somehow I got part of the packages installed, and I didn’t get the main EMGD installed.  I ran the “sudo emgd-xorg-conf” command, and that is where I lost it.  My X wouldn’t start; dhclient wouldn’t even connect my eth0.  That was the last straw.

Another issue probably lead up to this problem.  A week prior, I had attempted to copy a Tape to CD by running an audio cable from my tape player to my microphone jack on my computer.  I used Audacity to record.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t record anything via the microphone jack.  No matter what I tried, it only recorded from the built-in microphone.  I tried again to upgrade Pulse Audio with another PPA, but that didn’t help.

So, here’s what I have learned from Fedora in the first few hours:

  • I know now why I have stuck with Ubuntu for so long!  Ubuntu is just so much easier to get up and running quickly.  Command-line is avaliable, but not required.
  • Broadcom Wireless: In Ubuntu 11.04, I just enabled the STA driver in “Additional Drivers”.  I don’t think I have even had to connect the laptop to the wired connection to download it.  In Fedora, I had to install two repositories (easily done from the browser).  Then, I ran a yum command from the terminal to install the driver.  Finally, I had to reboot.  Fedora’s instructions were very easily to follow, but comparing the two, Ubuntu wins hands down.
  • Libre Office: Where is it,  Fedora?  The first thing I do, is create a document and track all the changes I make to the installation so I can do it again on the next release.  To my surprise, Fedora didn’t have Libre Office (or, any Document tool for that matter) installed by default.  Furthermore, when I went to Add/Remove Software, there were tons of packages.  I didn’t see a Meta package that would install a default set of packages.  There was an Office package collection, but it said it was already installed.  I ended up installing the package collection from the command line, and that did the trick.
  • Is RPM/Yum Slow?  I haven’t done any comparisons or anything like that, but for some reason, the packages seem to install much slower in Fedora than Ubuntu.  It may just be because I am ready to get working on my new install, but even individual package installs seem to take a while.
  • Gnome 3.0 versus Unity: it will take some time to form a good opinion.  I am glad for the chance to compare.

Hopefully, you will hear from me more as I get to installing and configuring more.  Stay tuned…

Updating PulseAudio to Nightly Build

Warning — This did not work, and I ended up going to Fedora instead!  So, don’t try this at home!

I just tried to record a tape by hooking the headphone jack of my stereo to the microphone jack on my laptop. I used Audacity to try to record the tape, and it would have worked if it wasn’t for a bug with Ubuntu/PulseAudio. My laptop would only record from the built-in microphone. It acted as if the external mic jack wasn’t even there. I tried to adjust settings in the audio settings and the alsa mixer. Nothing seemed to fix it.

So, I decided to try to update Pulse. This is risky, but hey, it wouldn’t work anyway. Why not make things worse!

First, I checked my current version.

skp@pecan:~$ pulseaudio –version
pulseaudio 0.9.22-24-g67d18

Then, I tried to install the “PulseAudio daily builds” PPA. Here’s the command:

skp@pecan:~$ sudo add-repository ppa:ubuntu-audio-dev/pulse-testing
[sudo] password for skp:
sudo: add-repository: command not found
skp@pecan:~$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-audio-dev/pulse-testing
Executing: gpg –ignore-time-conflict –no-options –no-default-keyring –secret-keyring /etc/apt/secring.gpg –trustdb-name /etc/apt/trustdb.gpg –keyring /etc/apt/trusted.gpg –primary-keyring /etc/apt/trusted.gpg –keyserver hkp:// –recv 4E9F485BF943EF0EABA10B5BD225991A72B194E5
gpg: requesting key 72B194E5 from hkp server
gpg: key 72B194E5: public key "Launchpad Ubuntu Audio Dev team PPA" imported
gpg: Total number processed: 1
gpg: imported: 1 (RSA: 1)

Next, I opened update manager:

skp@pecan:~$ sudo update-manager
[sudo] password for skp:

Now, I realized too late, that I hadn’t done an update yet, but I found I had a few pending updates that I didn’t know about. So, I installed those first before worrying about the pulse updates.

Then, I clicked the “Check” button and I saw all of the pulseaudio updates. So, I installed once again.

Now, the pulseaudio version is very weird!

skp@pecan:~$ pulseaudio –version
pulseaudio 0.98-201107121852

Update: I just tried my mic out in Fedora 15. Audacity records correctly from the external mic when it is plugged in and the built-in mic when the external is not. Many other things in Fedora don’t work, but sound works well!

Gizmod for Volume on Mythbuntu

Our remote control has been working fine with my Mythbuntu setup for a while now, but there are a few things I would like to work better. Volume is one of those thing. Lirc controls the volume differently between Hulu Desktop and the built-in video player. It is a little annoying.

So, after a little Googling, this thread sparked my interest in Gizmod.


To install it on my system, I followed the Ubuntu directions. That calls for installing via the repositories:

sudo apt-get install gizmod

Next, I had to address the UDev / Security. First, that means creating an “input” group:

[sourcecode]sudo groupadd -f input
sudo gpasswd -a username input[/sourcecode]

Then, I added the following lines to /etc/udev/rules.d/99-input.rules:

KERNEL=="event*", NAME="input/%k", MODE:="660", GROUP="input"
KERNEL=="js*", NAME="input/%k", MODE:="664", GROUP="input"

Then, to make the changes take effect, I ran:

sudo service udev restart

Here’s the problem. When I tried to start gizmod, I got this error:

GizmoDaemon v3.4 -=- (c) 2007, Tim Burrell <>=———=
Unable to Initialize Gizmod :: User Script dir [/usr/etc/gizmod/modules.d] does NOT exist or permissions are wrong!
GizmoDaemon Shut Down.


I found a bug report that seemed to suggest that maybe recompiling from the source might fix the problem. So, here is what I did.

So, I downloaded the latest version from the Download Page. Then, here’s the command to unzip:

tar -xjvf gizmod-3.5.tar.bz2

cd gizmod-3.5/

Installing dependencies

The easiest way to make sure that you have all the dependencies is with apt-get. Otherwise, you need to check the documentation and manually go through the list installing all the programs.

sudo apt-get build-dep gizmod

Then, continuing on, I followed the instructions and ran CMake.

mkdir build && cd build


The make command failed with this error:

skp@gabriel:~/Downloads/gizmod-3.5/build$ make
[ 29%] Built target H
[ 31%] Building CXX object libGizmod/CMakeFiles/Gizmod.dir/CPUUsage.o
/home/skp/Downloads/gizmod-3.5/libGizmod/CPUUsage.cpp: In constructor ‘Gizmod::CPUUsageInfo::CPUUsageInfo()’:
/home/skp/Downloads/gizmod-3.5/libGizmod/CPUUsage.cpp:83: error: ‘memset’ was not declared in this scope
make[2]: *** [libGizmod/CMakeFiles/Gizmod.dir/CPUUsage.o] Error 1
make[1]: *** [libGizmod/CMakeFiles/Gizmod.dir/all] Error 2
make: *** [all] Error 2

I found a fix online. The fix was to add #Include <cstring>:

Then, it worked. Everything compiled with no problem.

Lastly, I finished the compile/install with:

sudo make install

Now, I haven’t used it very much. I think I need to do some configuring and hacking to get it to do what I want it to. Currently, it doesn’t seem to do well with Hulu Desktop.