Category: Ubuntu

Amazon Prime Fix Again

We have enjoyed watching many of the Amazon Prime videos in the past.  Unfortunately, on the last few machines that I have rebuilt, they wouldn’t play.  It just said to upgrade the Flash Player.  The usual tricks didn’t work.

Update: I found a different but easier solution for Ubuntu 13.10. See this post.

Thanks to Ask Ubuntu and Aaron, I found the solution.  In summary, here are the commands that got the job done:

sudo apt-get install hal
sudo mkdir /etc/hal/fdi/preprobe
sudo mkdir /etc/hal/fdi/information
/usr/sbin/hald --daemon=yes --verbose=yes
rm -rf ~/.adobe

Here are the steps…

Read More

Ubuntu 13.04 and the Fight for the Mouse

The mouse is something that should just work.  Is it a bad sign when your mouse won’t work at all?  You can see my problems with UNetbootIn on my previous post.

Even after I got it installed correctly, I still had trouble with all of my mouse input types.  I still haven’t figured out how to get the Touchpad features working (like multi-touch) or the USB to reliably work.  If you have any ideas, please comment.


The touchpad works as far as normal mouse features.  The pointer moves and the right and left clicks work.  The problem is that it isn’t recognized as a touchpad.  Therefore, the scrolling and multi-touch features work.  In the mouse settings, you’ll notice that all of the touchpad features are gone.

Mouse & Touchpad Settings

I tried a couple of quick searches, and I didn’t find anything new.  So, I just followed the same instructions that I used on 12.10.  I used this download link.  Then, I extracted and installed with…

sudo tar -xf ~/Downloads/psmouse-alps-dst-0.4.tar -C /usr/src/
sudo bash /usr/src/psmouse-alps-dst-0.4/

Unfortunately, the build failed with this message in the middle of it:

cleaning build area....
make KERNELRELEASE=3.8.0-22-generic -C /lib/modules/3.8.0-22-generic/build M=/var/lib/dkms/psmouse/alps-dst-0.4/build/src psmouse.ko....(bad exit status: 2)
Traceback (most recent call last):
 File "/usr/share/apport/package-hooks/", line 22, in <module>
 import apport
ImportError: No module named apport
Error! Bad return status for module build on kernel: 3.8.0-22-generic (x86_64)
Consult /var/lib/dkms/psmouse/alps-dst-0.4/build/make.log for more information.
Build failed

I tried installing the linux-source package.  That didn’t fix the error at all, so I tried installing the python-apport package.  That one fixed one of the errors, but it still didn’t completely compile.

Next, I found the driver on Git Hub: psmouse-alps.  I downloaded the zip file from the front page, and I extracted it to the /usr/src directory:

sudo unzip -d /usr/src/
cd /usr/src/psmouse-alps-master/
sudo dkms add .
sudo modprobe -r psmouse
sudo dkms build -m psmouse -v custom-1.2 --all
sudo dkms autoinstall --force
sudo modprobe psmouse

I got closer, but the autoinstall wouldn’t work.  It couldn’t find the directory.  So, I took the install script from the other directory and updated it to this:

KERN=$(uname -r)
echo "MAIN: Driver source files by Dave Turvene. Install script by garyF."
echo "MAIN: Install script updated by Stephen Phillips."
echo "MAIN: Removing previous versions of psmouse-alps-dst..."
sudo dkms remove psmouse/$DLKM --all
echo "MAIN: Building current driver from source files..."
sudo dkms build psmouse/$DLKM
if [[ $? == 0 ]]; then
echo "MAIN: Installing the driver"
sudo dkms install psmouse/$DLKM
sudo rmmod -v psmouse
sudo modprobe -v psmouse
echo "MAIN: Done installing. Go to System Settings > Mouse and Touchpad to configure :-)"
printf "Build failed\n"
cat /var/lib/dkms/psmouse/$DLKM/build/make.log

I found this error message:

/usr/src/linux-headers-3.8.0-22-generic/arch/x86/Makefile:103: CONFIG_X86_X32 enabled but no binutils support

Update: I finally fixed it.

Bluetooth Mouse

My first attempt didn’t work on my bluetooth mouse.  My second attempt ended up working with no problem.

I went to the bluetooth icon by the clock and clicked Bluetooth settings.  I made sure that it was on.  I don’t think that the visible was necessary, but I turned it on just in case.  Then, I hit the bluetooth button on the bottom of my mouse.  The power light flash green and red to show it was broadcasting.

On the settings dialog, I hit the plus sign to add a device.

Adding a Bluetooth Device

The first time I tried, it wouldn’t find any devices.  I gave up.  Several updates and reboots later, I tried again, and this time, my mouse was in the list:

Bluetooth Device List

I selected the device and clicked Continue.  It was that simple:

Bluetooth Mouse Setup

USB Mouse

In previous versions, my USB mouse had stopped working.  I did some research and found a few bugs, but I never found a solution.  This time it worked at first, but after a minute or two, it just stopped working.  It seems to be hit or miss for some reason.

Here’s the dmesg output:

[12571.959955] usb 3-3: new full-speed USB device number 2 using xhci_hcd
[12571.978603] usb 3-3: New USB device found, idVendor=046d, idProduct=c52f
[12571.978610] usb 3-3: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=0
[12571.978614] usb 3-3: Product: USB Receiver
[12571.978617] usb 3-3: Manufacturer: Logitech
[12572.024103] input: Logitech USB Receiver as /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:14.0/usb3/3-3/3-3:1.0/input/input14
[12572.024384] hid-generic 0003:046D:C52F.0002: input,hidraw1: USB HID v1.11 Mouse [Logitech USB Receiver] on usb-0000:00:14.0-3/input0
[12572.026241] input: Logitech USB Receiver as /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:14.0/usb3/3-3/3-3:1.1/input/input15
[12572.026434] hid-generic 0003:046D:C52F.0003: input,hiddev0,hidraw2: USB HID v1.11 Device [Logitech USB Receiver] on usb-0000:00:14.0-3/input1
[12572.026479] usbcore: registered new interface driver usbhid
[12572.026483] usbhid: USB HID core driver

I’ll have to research this more later.

Ubuntu 13.04 A Ruckus with Ringtail

This past weekend, I finally got the time to go through installing Ubuntu 13.04 (Raring Ringtail).  Here’s to documenting it…


I have been trying to rebuild my laptop with each new version of Ubuntu.  This is proving a little more challenging, but this is my first post.  This is as much of a story as my other posts, and if you have any suggestions please comment.

Preparing the Installation Media

The troubles started at the outset for me.  The default tool for putting an iso on a USB drive had been crashing, so I have dropped back to UNetbootIn.  I had mentioned that on several posts, and this one is no different.

It worked fine at first, but after I went through the install, my wireless wasn’t recognized.  Then, I found that my USB ports weren’t working; at least, I couldn’t mount a USB key or external drive.  Also, my touchpad wouldn’t work.

I did a little searching around, and I found Husain’s Chronicle.  He mentioned that the problem seems to be common with everyone who used UNetbootIn.  It seems very strange to me because the problem happens not when you boot off the USB but after booting to an installation made by the USB drive.  Still, I went to my other computer that happened to be running Linux Mint, and I used the “USB Image Writer” program:

USB Writer

The only thing that I noticed different was the boot loader was different.  The install went exactly the same, but when I booted, I had no trouble with the touchpad, the wireless, or the USB drives.


I tried the option to remove the Ubuntu 12.10 partitions and reinstall, but that didn’t work for me.  I have special preferences on where I want my partitions.  Yes, I have to be difficult.

I have a solid state drive (apparently /dev/sdb) that I want to use as my root.  My thought is that I want all of the binaries and the swap partition on the faster solid state drive.  Then, I have a 1TB drive (/dev/sda) that I want to use for my home folder where I will place all of my files, pictures, virtual machines, etc.

I set the large partition to format and to mount on the /home folder:

Selecting Home Partition

Next, I removed all of the partitions on my SSD drive and created an 8G swap partition at the end:

Creating the Swap Partition

Finally, I created my root partition with the rest of the space:

Adding the Root Partition

Encrypting the Drive

This time I decided to encrypt my home folder to add a little security.  This is my first try at this, so I’ll have to see how things work.  So far, it doesn’t seem like any complication for the security that it adds.

Encrypting the Home Folder

On the first boot, it prompted me to save my key.

Encryption key message

So, I ran ecryptfs-unwrap-passphrase.  Note that it says, but I missed it the first time: when it asks for the “Passphrase”, it is asking for the password that you associate with your user account, the one when you login to your computer.

Cleaning Up the Launchers

One of the first issues that I notice is that the launcher on the left is full of icons that I don’t necessarily use all of the time.  So, I removed most of them to make room for running applications:

Unlocking Launchers

Adding Google Software

Google offers a software repository.  Rather than just trying to install chrome by downloading the deb, I installed the repository with:

wget -q -O - | sudo apt-key add -
sudo sh -c 'echo "deb stable main" >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/google.list'
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install google-chrome-beta

I had expected chrome to show up in the Ubuntu Software Center, but it never did.  It worked fine to install from the command-line though.


Shutter is one of the first things that I install so that I can document and blog my install.  It is an easy install from the Software Center:

Shutter in the Software Center

For configuration, I don’t like the way the program sticks the screenshots in the Pictures folder.  To me, that is for photos rather than screenshots.  So, I create my own screenshots folder:

Creating the Screenshots folder

Then, under Edit > Preferences, I set it to use the new folder:

Shutter folder setting

On previous versions, I had to tweak the settings to get it to show by the clock.  This install, I didn’t have to do anything, and it shows up!

Shutter by the clock

Since I am always taking screenshots of things, I set it to start automatically.  I checked the first two options on the “Behavior” tab:

Shutter on Startup options

Restoring Backups

I copied off all of my important content off to an external USB drive.  I installed grsync to make copying easier.  Then, I copied the following directories back:

  • ~/Documents: This is where I put all my document files
  • ~/Pictures: I have Shotwell pointed at this directory, so it contains all the pictures from my cell phone and digital camera
  • ~/MIS: I keep my work files in a different directory
  • ~/app: This has all of my programming stuff (“application development”)
  • ~/VirtualBox VMs: These are the virtual computers
  • ~/.config/google-chrome: The settings for Chrome (extensions, bookmarks, etc)
  • ~/.gnome2/keyrings: My saved passwords
  • ~/.Skype: Skype history
  • ~/.remmina: The settings for my remote connections
  • ~/.ssh: The keys for my remote ssh connectinos
  • ~.local/share/shotwell: The settings and thumbnails for my photos (moved from ~/.shotwell, see Ask Ubuntu)
  • ~/.sword: The downloaded Bible files for Xiphos (and the underlying Sword library)
  • ~/.VirtualBox: The settings for my virtual machines
  • ~/.filezilla: The settings for my FTP connections
  • ~/.sqldeveloper: The connection settings for SQL developer
  • /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections and /etc/NetworkManager/VPN: this saves all of my wireless connections and VPN connections

Other Utilities

I like to use the “Main Menu” program, or alacarte to update the list of applications for the Applications Dash.

Main Menu program

Bumblebee for the Discrete Video Card

WebUpd8 has a great article for installing Bumblebee.  I decided to try the Bumblebee Configurator GUI.  Notice that the program name changed from gtk to gui — bumblebee-config-gui.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:alessandrofac93/bumblebee-config-gtk-dev
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install bumblebee-config-gui

Issue … I started it with “sudo bumblebee-config”.  All I got was this output:

Traceback (most recent call last):
 File "/usr/bin/bumblebee-config", line 17, in <module>
 wnd = BumblebeeMainWindow()
 File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/bumblebee_config/", line 53, in __init__
 if self.aptHelper.checkBumblebeeInstalled():
 File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/bumblebee_config/", line 112, in checkBumblebeeInstalled
 if cache['bumblebee'].isInstalled:
 File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/apt/", line 204, in __getitem__
 raise KeyError('The cache has no package named %r' % key)
KeyError: "The cache has no package named 'bumblebee'"

There is a bug opened for this issue.  Just as a guess, I tried to add the repositories:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-x-swat/x-updates
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:bumblebee/stable

sudo apt-get update

After that, it worked fine:

Bumblebee Configurator

I found that I needed to click on the “Configure Bumblebee” button first to choose the Nvidia driver:

Configuring the Driver for Bumblebee

I clicked the “Install Bumblebee” button, and it started installing…

Installing Bumblebee

When I ran check status, I got this message:

Bumblebeed status:
[ 7161.740177] [INFO]Configured driver: nvidia
[ 7161.742547] [INFO]Switching method 'bbswitch' is available and will be used.
[ 7161.744668] [ERROR]Module 'nvidia-current' is not found.

Everything still seemed to work fine, though.  The nvidia-current package was actually installed.  I don’t know why it reports that “not found” message.


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.