Fixing Sound in Ubuntu

Wednesday, April 21st, 2021

Fixing Sound in Ubuntu

If your sound quits working randomly after installing updates via the apt system (via sudo apt-get update && apt-get upgrade) or via the Software & Updates graphical program, it's possible that some of the drivers have not been installed with the latest kernel updates.

To fix this, try running the below command:

sudo apt install linux-modules-extra-$(uname -r)

Reboot.  Your sound should hopefully work again!

If the above command doesn't work (older versions of Ubuntu do not have this package), please see the generic information here:

https://itsfoss.com/how-to-fix-no-sound-through-hdmi-in-external-monitor-in-ubuntu/

Intel Original Compute Stick – Keep WiFi from Breaking – Block Kernel Updates and Chestersmill-Settings Updates – Get Latest Software from Ubuntu Advantage

Wednesday, April 21st, 2021

Intel Original Compute Stick – Keep WiFi from Breaking – Block Kernel Updates and Chestersmill-Settings Updates

If you have the original Intel Compute Stick (STCK1A8LFC [1GB of RAM] or STCK1A32WFC [2GB of RAM] models from 2015), you'll need to prevent a few software packages from updating so that these updates won't break your WiFi!  I've never been able to get the WiFi to work with these Intel Compute Sticks running a kernel newer than version 3.16 on any version of Ubuntu.  I've also never been able to get the WiFi to work on anything but Ubuntu 14.04, so you might be stuck having to run this older version of Ubuntu.  Also, updates to the chestersmill-settings package can break your WiFi.  To prevent both scenarios from breaking your WiFi, simply prevent the below packages from being updated.

Preventing packages from being updated can be accomplished using hold statuses in the apt system as explained on AskUbuntu:

https://askubuntu.com/questions/18654/how-to-prevent-updating-of-a-specific-package

Basically, you'll need to run the below commands to prevent WiFi from breaking due to buggy kernel and chestersmill-settings package updates:

sudo apt-mark hold chestersmill-settings
sudo apt-mark hold linux-image-$(uname -r)
sudo apt-mark hold linux-image-generic
sudo apt-mark hold linux-generic

You can now safely update software packages without worrying about your WiFi being broken by kernel and chestersmill-settings package updates!

Get Latest Software from Ubuntu Advantage for Ubuntu 14.04

Ubuntu 14.04 is also still supported via the Extended Security Maintenance (ESM) Ubuntu Advantage program (https://ubuntu.com/advantage).  

To get updated software and packages until April of 2022, you'll need to get an Ubuntu Advantage key.  Get your key using your UbuntuOne account on this page:  https://ubuntu.com/advantage

Now, install the Ubuntu advantage client by using the commands below:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ua-client/stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-advantage-tools

Set your key using the command below (using your key rather than YOUR_KEY_HERE):

sudo ua attach YOUR_KEY_HERE

Now update and install the upgraded packages available via Ubuntu Advantage:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

Installing the Newest Version of Python 2.7.x on Older Versions of Ubuntu (like 14.04 and 16.04)

Thursday, May 9th, 2019

Installing the Newest Version of Python 2.7.x on Older Ubuntu Systems

If you need to upgrade to the newest version of Python 2.7.x, and you're running an older distribution (like Ubuntu 14.04), use the following commands to get and compile the latest version from source (works on Ubuntu 17.04 and older – tested on Ubuntu 14.04):

sudo apt-get install build-essential checkinstall
sudo apt-get install libreadline-gplv2-dev libncursesw5-dev libssl-dev libsqlite3-dev tk-dev libgdbm-dev libc6-dev libbz2-dev
version=2.7.18
cd ~/Downloads/
wget https://www.python.org/ftp/python/$version/Python-$version.tgz
tar -xvf Python-$version.tgz
cd Python-$version
./configure --with-ensurepip=install
make
sudo make install

Install requests and hashlib:

sudo rm /usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/chardet*.egg-info
sudo rm -r /usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/chardet
sudo rm /usr/lib/python2.7/lib-dynload/_hashlib.x86_64-linux-gnu.so
sudo rm /usr/lib/python2.7/lib-dynload/_hashlib.i386-linux-gnu.so
sudo pip install requests
sudo easy_install hashlib

You may need to create a symlink for chardet after installing it directly from pip:

ln -sf /usr/local/lib/python2.7/site-packages/chardet /usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/chardet

If you get the error of "ImportError: cannot import name _remove_dead_weakref" when running a pam python based authentication script after installing the new version of python, try this fix:

sudo cp /usr/local/lib/python2.7/weakref.py /usr/local/lib/python2.7/weakref_old.py
sudo cp /usr/lib/python2.7/weakref.py /usr/local/lib/python2.7/weakref.py

Getting Let's Encrypt Certbot to Work:

Now, you'll need to delete the EFF directory from the /opt directory to avoid old configuration issues that were used for your older version of python.  Once you cleanup this directory, you'll run certbot again so it can reconfigure itself. 

sudo rm -r /opt/eff.org/
sudo certbot

Old Way

jonathonf is now a very greedy person and has made his repositories private, so this method no longer works as of 12/20/2019.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jonathonf/python-2.7
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install python2.7

Then, you'll need to cleanup a few leftover system packages manually before installing the newest version of python-pip.  If you don't do this, you'll run into problems installing some new packages using pip.

sudo rm /usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/chardet*.egg-info
sudo rm -r /usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/chardet
sudo rm /usr/lib/python2.7/lib-dynload/_hashlib.x86_64-linux-gnu.so
sudo rm /usr/lib/python2.7/lib-dynload/_hashlib.i386-linux-gnu.so

Now, you can download and install the newest version of python-pip:

curl https://bootstrap.pypa.io/get-pip.py -o get-pip.py
sudo python get-pip.py

Getting Let's Encrypt Certbot to Work:

First, you'll need to install a few packages that Certbot (the Let's Encrypt client) uses:

sudo pip install requests
sudo pip install hmac

Now, you'll need to delete the EFF directory from the /opt directory to avoid old configuration issues that were used for your older version of python.  Once you cleanup this directory, you'll run certbot again so it can reconfigure itself. 

sudo rm -r /opt/eff.org/
sudo certbot

You're done.

Full list of commands (for quickly doing all of the above):

sudo -i
add-apt-repository ppa:jonathonf/python-2.7
apt-get update
apt-get install python2.7
rm /usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/chardet*.egg-info
rm -r /usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/chardet
rm /usr/lib/python2.7/lib-dynload/_hashlib.x86_64-linux-gnu.so
rm /usr/lib/python2.7/lib-dynload/_hashlib.i386-linux-gnu.so
mkdir -p /root/Downloads
cd /root/Downloads
curl https://bootstrap.pypa.io/get-pip.py -o get-pip.py
python get-pip.py
pip install requests
pip install hmac
rm -r /opt/eff.org/
certbot

Change the Default Editor to nano in Linux

Saturday, April 27th, 2019

Use nano as the Default Editor

If you hate vi like I do, you can configure Linux to always default to using the nano editor.

Simply add the following to the bottom of the /etc/bashrc file:

export EDITOR="nano"

Save the file.  nano is now the default editor.  When you use

sudo crontab -e

The nano editor will now be used by default.

Full Ubuntu Startup Applications Location List

Saturday, December 8th, 2018

Location of Ubuntu Startup Application Scripts

All Versions of Ubuntu

In all versions of Ubuntu, startup scripts can be configured and run from the following locations:

/etc/init/*.conf – some init scripts
/etc/rc.local – a file that is run by root on system boot (bash scritps and other commands can go in here)
~/.config/autostart – user specific GUI programs that are run once the X11 environment is started
/etc/xdg/autostart – Global GUI programs that are run once the X11 environment is started
@reboot cronjob – cronjob scripts that are executed when the system boots

Ubuntu 16.04 and Later

systemd init scripts in /etc/systemd/system/*.service files
systemd init scripts in /lib/systemd/system/*.service files

Get the Source Code and Modify an Ubuntu Package

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

Modifiying the Source of a Package and Creating a New Deb Binary

In order to download the source code of an existing package, first install the prerequisites:

sudo apt-get install build-essential debhelper

To get the source code of a package, run the following command:

apt-get source {name_of_package_interested_in}

Make changes to the source using an editor like geany or via terminal through nano.  Edit the changelog file and add a record of your changes to build a new revision number.  After you have made the changes, run the following commands to build the package which should include your changes.

dpkg-source --commit
dpkg-buildpackage -b

The updated package has been built.  To install the package, simply use the below commands:

sudo dpkg --install {name_of_new_deb_file}

To remove the software:

sudo dpkg -r {name_of_package [NOT NAME OF DEB FILE]}

Now you can release it!

Ubuntu Grub Fails to Install on RAID Array

Friday, February 6th, 2015

Ubuntu Grub RAID Issues

Grub Fails To Install on RAID Array

If grub fails to install on your RAID array in any version of Ubuntu, do NOT disable your BIOS RAID! The correct solution is at this blog entry. I'll summarize it below.

At the stage of the install where it is attempting to install GRUB it will detect as

/dev/mapper

This is incomplete! That's why the GRUB install fails.

You need the actual name of the RAID array to install to. So during that step, press ctrl+alt+F2 to drop to a busybox terminal, then enter

ls -l /dev/mapper

Pick out the name of your array from the list shown, then press ctrl+alt+F1 to switch back to the install (you can switch back and forth as much as you like with no problems) and enter it in the field as

/dev/mapper/{your array name}  

Then GRUB installs perfectly and you're ready to go, with a proper BIOS RAID array intact.

System Won't Boot After Grub Failed to Install

If your system will no longer boot because you skipped installing or updating grub, you need to download an Ubuntu version that does support RAID, boot from the LIVE CD, drop to a terminal, and then run:

ls -l /dev/mapper
sudo grub-install /dev/mapper/{ARRAY_NAME_HERE}

Setting Up RAID Array During Ubuntu Install

If you are configuring a BIOS RAID array for the first time on Ubuntu, you should create a 1MB boot partition.  Its partition type is "boot".  If you do this, grub will always try to install there and will succeed every time without failing when upgrading or reinstalling grub.

Turn on IPv4 Easy Bash Way

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

Turn on IPv4 Forwarding by running this script:

cd ~/Downloads
wget -N "http://dinofly.com/files/linux/ipv4_forward.tar.gz"
tar -zxvf ipv4_forward.tar.gz
sudo bash forwarding.sh

It should work on all versions of Linux but has been tested and works perfectly on Ubuntu.

Debian & Ubuntu :: Suppress Installation Package Prompts Completely or Preconfigure Prompt Answers

Saturday, September 14th, 2013

Suppress Installation Package Prompts Completely or Preconfigure Installation Question Answers

Automating the installation of software via bash scripting on Linux can be difficult.  However, in debian and its related distributions such as Ubuntu, you can simplify the installation of packages by using a few tools.  One of these tools is called debconf-utils.  If installation packages such as MySQL or PHPMyAdmin ask configuration questions, you can provide a default set of answers without being prompted.  This is excellent for testing scripts or automating installation for users who may not know how to appropriately answer these questions.

Basically, with debconf-utils you can pre-answer these questions so that no prompts show up!

To install, run this command:

sudo apt-get install debconf-utils

To get a list of questions an installer might ask, first install the package on a test machine where you're writing the script normally.  For example, let's install phpmyadmin:

sudo apt-get install phpmyadmin

Now, to retrieve a set of questions phpmyadmin may ask, you can run this command:

sudo debconf-get-selections | grep phpmyadmin

In your bash script, you can now pre-answer certain questions by including your preconfigured answer commands before installing the package.  For example, when phpmyadmin installs, it asks for the MySQL root user password.  You can skip this prompt and define what the MySQL root password should be by using this command in your script:

echo 'phpmyadmin phpmyadmin/mysql/admin-pass password 1234' | debconf-set-selections

password defines the type and 1234 sets the password to 1234.
You can also suppress questions entirely by using the following command in front of your install command:

DEBIAN_FRONTEND=noninteractive sudo apt-get install phpmyadmin

Default configuration will be used during the installation of the phpmyadmin package, which means it may not work after being installed because some configuration options should be answered.  So, use both combinations for various packages to fit your needs!

How to Make MATE Look Like Windows XP using the Luna Theme

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

Make MATE or GNOME2 Look Like Windows XP Using the Luna Theme

If you want your Linux installation to look like the original theme used in Windows XP, you can do that! This guide will walk you through the process of easily making any MATE or GNOME2 Desktop Environment look like the Windows XP GUI. The Luna Theme can be downloaded here and installed using our simple installation script. If you already have MATE installed or are already running GNOME2, skip to the Luna Theme install instructions.

Install MATE on Ubuntu:

Run the below commands for your matching Ubuntu version in a terminal to install MATE.  To find out which version of Ubuntu you're running, use this command:

lsb_release -a

For Ubuntu 12.04:

sudo add-apt-repository "deb http://packages.mate-desktop.org/repo/ubuntu precise main"
sudo apt-get update 
sudo apt-get --yes --quiet --allow-unauthenticated install mate-archive-keyring 
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install -y mate-desktop-environment

For Ubuntu 14.04:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ubuntu-mate-dev/ppa
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ubuntu-mate-dev/trusty-mate
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install -y mate-desktop-environment-extras

For Ubuntu 16.04:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-mate-dev/xenial-mate
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install -y mate-desktop-environment

For Other Distributions (Distros):

http://wiki.mate-desktop.org/download

Installing the Luna Theme:

Our version of the Luna theme has been converted and ported over to GTK3, so it should work with all newer flavors of Linux running MATE while still working on older Linux installs running GNOME2.To install the Luna Theme which will make Linux look like Windows XP, run the following commands. The theme files will be downloaded and saved in your Downloads directory.

cd ~/Downloads
wget -O linux_xp_luna_theme_install.tar.gz http://dinofly.com/files/linux_xp_luna_theme_install.tar.gz
mkdir Luna
tar -zxvf linux_xp_luna_theme_install.tar.gz -C Luna
cd Luna
sudo rm -rf /usr/share/themes/Luna
rm -rf ~/.themes/Luna
sudo bash install.sh

Next, Right Click on the Desktop, and choose "Change Desktop Background".  Click on the "Themes" tab.  Select "Luna".  Click on the "Background" tab.  If you want the default XP wallpaper set as your background, click on the "Add" button.   Select your "Pictures" folder.  Select "luna_background.jpg".  Click "Open".  Click on "Close" to change it. 

Now, MATE or GNOME2 looks like XP!  Enjoy!  This theme was copied from Ylmf OS 3.0.