Tried To Boot My Laptop From A Cafe…

Normally I use my laptop as a workstation, with wired Internet and a 1 T
extra disk in the cd-tray.

Today I tried to boot it in a cafe, off-line and without the extra disk. It was not possible. Systemd would just wait indefinitely for some start-up jobs (it was waiting for the missing disk to come on-line among some other things). Fortunately, I had the extra disk with me, so I
attached it and tried again. Still for no use. Systemd now waited for the network interfaces. So I had to actually connect an ethernet cable to a router just to get the crap to boot, and then unplug it and walk back to my table.

How did this happen? How come Debian is now /more/ useless than Windows? It can’t even boot if the hardware configuration is not exactly the way it assumes. WTF!




GPG Error: Http://approx Wheezy/updates Release


I seem to be having trouble getting security updates. Is this a problem with my client system, my Approx server, the Release file on the Debian servers, or something else?


2015-01-31 22:44:57 root@cd2533 ~
# apt-get update Hit http://approx wheezy Release.gpg Get:1 http://approx wheezy/updates Release.gpg [836 B]
Hit http://approx wheezy Release Get:2 http://approx wheezy/updates Release [102 kB]
Err http://approx wheezy/updates Release

Hit http://approx wheezy/main Translation-en Hit http://approx wheezy/main Sources Hit http://approx wheezy/main amd64 Packages Fetched 103 kB in 3s (26.3 kB/s)
Reading package lists… Done W: A error occurred during the signature verification. The repository is not updated and the previous index files will be used. GPG error:
http://approx wheezy/updates Release: The following signatures were invalid: BADSIG 8B48AD6246925553 Debian Archive Automatic Signing Key

W: Failed to fetch http://approx:9999/security/dists/wheezy/updates/Release

W: Some index files failed to download. They have been ignored, or old ones used instead.

2015-01-31 22:48:34 root@cd2533 ~
# cat /etc/apt/sources.list deb http://approx:9999/debian/ wheezy main deb-src http://approx:9999/debian/ wheezy main deb http://approx:9999/security/ wheezy/updates main deb-src http://approx:9999/security/ wheezy/updates main

2015-01-31 22:50:15 root@cd2533 ~
# cat /etc/approx/approx.conf | egrep ‘^[a-z]‘
debian security


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Sound In Jessie

Today, for the first time in many weeks, my computer, running Jessie, started to have sound. It must have something to do with last night install of updates of .deb packages. But there are problems. I have no software control over the volume. Only way to turn done the volume is to turn anti-clockwist the physical knob on the loud speaker box. And, the audio mixer, which has been installed during the many weeks, has developed a new curious symptom: Instead of doing nothing, it now displays a message that GStreamer was unable to find any sound devices. Of course there are working sound devices, its just that Jessie sound software is not yet working. I’d welcome tips on how to make it fully functional faster than just waiting for the full release of Jessie

Note: some of you may remember my asking for help getting my sound to work. I got some help. I got help. I spent hours trying different things and suddenly it started working, but a few hours later, it stopped working again. I don’t understand software sound. I think loading and removing various packages with various conflicting bugs somehow made it work for awhile, and decided to let it lie fallow. I noticed that there are two packages on the Xfce4 desktop that I don’t believe were there the last time I paid attention to computer sound: Ex Falso and Quod Libet. I
have never felt the need for computer mediated music, so that fact that there is broken sound now, rather than no sound might be related to these packages.

Anyway, it would be nice to have fully functional sound. My compute is a HP Pentium desktop several years old, nothing special, but it is the best computer I have ever had, so I expect to be keeping it thru the life of Jessie, and beyond.

For now, I can, with adequate guidance, do testing of the new sound for today. Is there anything of interest to the developers who are working the sound system issues?

The GStreamer message goes on to suggest:
Some sound system specific GStreamer packages may be missing. It may also be a permissions problem.

What is the package set that should be installed in Jessie? Maybe now is a good time to find out. Where should I look?


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Nvidia Geforce 2 Legacy Driver Vs OpenGL/Nouveau Drivers?

Okay, so I just installed the propietary Nvidia drivers for my computer. I have an older Pentium 4 tower (oooh yeah) with a Geforce MX200 in it. Since it’s an older card I have to use the Nvidia 96.43.23 legacy drivers. I followed the instructions here for the install:

After installing the driver it seems like my system has taken a bit of a CPU performance hit. Things just seem a bit laggier, but I’m not entirely sure. Is it possible that the Nvidia legacy driver is slowing down things? I was going to install the Open GL driver for this computer but figured the Nvidia driver would net better results. Is there a good way to test the performance of the driver versus the open driver? Should I purge the Nvidia driver and just go back to the nouveau driver? (btw, is nouveau the same driver as the Open GL driver set?)

I was just trying to improve performance/compatibility with games but it seems that things are slower than they were (Mozilla for example fluctuates from low to high CPU usage much more than it seemed before). Any ideas?

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Not Sure Which Package To Report Problem Under

I think that the problem I have is in the Kernel – but it affects CUPS
1.7.5 – running on Debian GNU/Linux 8 (jessie) 64-bit with all updates installed. If my memory serves me correctly I did some testing around 3 months ago on the same system and had no problem with the same printer – but this may be a red herring although I think the kernel was updated in the meantime.

Basically Point Of Sale printer delays before printing. Sometime 29
seconds, has been several minutes. The CUPS drivers have been reloaded several times and the PPD file re-installed. (Epson TM-U220 on USB)
Network printers appear to work OK

Today kern.log shows:-
Jan 31 10:21:21 MOSQ-POS kernel: [ 910.794419] usblp0: removed Jan 31 10:21:38 MOSQ-POS kernel: [ 927.318209] usblp 1-1:1.0: usblp0:
USB Bidirectional printer dev 2 if 0 alt 0 proto 2 vid 0x04B8 pid 0×0202

Jan 31 10:56:20 MOSQ-POS kernel: [ 3010.446535] usblp0: removed Jan 31 10:56:41 MOSQ-POS kernel: [ 3031.665222] usblp 1-1:1.0: usblp0:
USB Bidirectional printer dev 2 if 0 alt 0 proto 2 vid 0x04B8 pid 0×0202

Jan 31 11:06:46 MOSQ-POS kernel: [ 3636.521992] usblp0: removed Jan 31 11:07:09 MOSQ-POS kernel: [ 3659.035275] usblp 1-1:1.0: usblp0:
USB Bidirectional printer dev 2 if 0 alt 0 proto 2 vid 0x04B8 pid 0×0202

Jan 31 12:24:28 MOSQ-POS kernel: [ 8299.879895] usblp0: removed Jan 31 12:25:05 MOSQ-POS kernel: [ 8336.693772] usblp 1-1:1.0: usblp0:
USB Bidirectional printer dev 2 if 0 alt 0 proto 2 vid 0x04B8 pid 0×0202

Jan 31 12:49:10 MOSQ-POS kernel: [ 9781.723667] usblp0: removed Jan 31 12:49:49 MOSQ-POS kernel: [ 9820.691729] usblp 1-1:1.0: usblp0:
USB Bidirectional printer dev 2 if 0 alt 0 proto 2 vid 0x04B8 pid 0×0202

The usblp0 is removed when the print is initiated and printout only starts again when the printer is found again (I guess that’s what it means)

It appears that many people have reported this issue – or very very similar – with several distributions.

Many thanks

Jim Cobley

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Nullmailer, Cron Email & Email Provider Requiring Appropriate “From” Field


I have setup nullmailer on a debian stable system of mine to forward email to the SMTP server of my account. That account requires that
“From” in the header matches the account email. Cron on my system insists to send email (as e.g. produced by a logcheck cron job) using “From” as derived from the user the executed script runs under
(“logcheck”, in this case) and the provider accordingly refuses the email.

Googling leeds to the conclusion, that while cron on debian (stable) is accepting “MAILTO” in crontab, it doesn’t accept “MAILFROM”, which other distributions (CentOS?) seem to have …

Can anyone propose an elegant way to solve this issue?

Thank you for your consideration,

Sincerely, Joh



Can’t Add Pendrive Stick As Installation Media (was: Network Install)

Brian writes:

Sorry, Brian: it was not to you in particular, but that I felt as I didn’t manage to have the listers understand what I meant. My fault, of course. Thank you indeed for your help, and all the listers.



Upgrade Wheezy->jessie: Network Interface: Eth0 (atl1c) Shows Excessive Power Consumption


even though I do not use the eth0 interface

root@nanette:~# ifconfig eth0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 04:7d:7b:5f:06:cd
RX packets:5943 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:5010 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:2
collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
RX bytes:4359690 (4.1 MiB) TX bytes:695857 (679.5 KiB)

lo Link encap:Local Loopback
inet addr: Mask:
inet6 addr: ::1/128 Scope:Host
RX packets:757 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:757 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:0
RX bytes:147821 (144.3 KiB) TX bytes:147821 (144.3 KiB)

wlan0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 74:e5:0b:d3:d6:b4
inet addr: Bcast: Mask:
inet6 addr: fd00::76e5:bff:fed3:d6b4/64 Scope:Global
inet6 addr: fe80::76e5:bff:fed3:d6b4/64 Scope:Link
RX packets:5050 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:4511 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
RX bytes:2776701 (2.6 MiB) TX bytes:727802 (710.7 KiB)


it uses after the upgrade to jessie an excessive amount of power

The battery reports a discharge rate of 9.75 W
The estimated remaining time is 2 hours, 10 minutes

Summary: 585.9 wakeups/second, 50.0 GPU ops/seconds, 0.0 VFS ops/sec and
22.6% CPU use

Power est. Usage Events/s Category Description
4.91 W 0.0 pkts/s Device Network interface: eth0
2.41 W 73.3% Device Display backlight
998 mW 568.0 rpm Device Laptop fan
693 mW 50.5 ms/s 169.7 Process kwin -session
245 mW 89.1 ms/s 121.9 Process /usr/bin/kmail -session
72.1 mW 32.3 ms/s 36.7 Process /usr/bin/plasma-desktop
46.5 mW 21.7 ms/s 13.3 Process /usr/bin/X :0 vt7 -br -
nolisten tcp -auth /var/run/xauth/A:0-6D3fMb
28.8 mW 5.2 ms/s 110.8 Interrupt PS/2 Touchpad /
Keyboard / Mouse
11.4 mW 5.3 ms/s 3.5 Process kdeinit4: konqueror
9.11 mW 2.2 ms/s 28.2 Interrupt [45] i915
8.08 mW 1.6 ms/s 28.9 Timer hrtimer_wakeup
6.50 mW 3.1 ms/s 1.3 Process /usr/bin/konsole -
session 10e2d5d365000142271111600000019720029_1422711
5.41 mW 0.9 ms/s 21.3 Process [irq/44-iwlwifi]
5.26 mW 1.1 ms/s 18.6 Timer tick_sched_timer
4.85 mW 1.1 ms/s 15.9 Process /usr/sbin/mysqld

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List Non Auto Packages

Is there a way to get the packages the user has installed?

Yeah I know that dpkg –get-selections will get ALL packages

How to filter out the zillions of lib… and only see what was manually installed?

Yeah I remember some answer to this a few months ago. The closest I can get is

aptitude search ‘~M~i’

but it still lists a large number of libs


PDF Forms And Field Issues

I created (LibreOffice) a PDF document with user-entry fields. Sent it to a friend with a Mac to check that it worked. He filled in fields and returned it to me saying it worked fine.

There is a problem in that the fields appear blank (except for the one checkbox). Having now tried a number of PDF ‘viewers’ on the document, I
can report:
Evince (Gnome ‘Document Viewer’) – fields are blank until you click in the field. Click to another field and the first goes blank. xpdf – fields are blank GIMP – fields are blank (not surprised)
Inkscape – fields are blank (not surprising)
LibreOffice with pdfimport – fields are blank

imagemagick – shows fields properly!!!

Evince, GIMP, and xpdf when run from command-line all give
Error: Unknown font in field’s DA string

Any ideas on work-around?