Postings by Karl Auer

Firefox not saving passwords (68.0.1 on Ubuntu)

This isn't strictly Ubuntu, but:

Firefox doesn't seem to want to remember passwords any more! That is,
it doesn't prompt me to save them, and doesn't save them. My Google-fu
has failed me, too.

This happens with a completely fresh profile, and the "Ask to save
passwords" option is definitely checked.

Oddly, some of the other profiles I use have stored passwords that work
just fine.

Anyone have more of a clue than me as to why this might be happening?

Regards, K.

PS: I only store passwords for MFA-secured sites... don't recommend
doing it otherwise.

Bluetooth mic - works in 18.xx+?

This is not a problem as such, just an enquiry about other people's

Can anyone using any version of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS or later AND using a
bluetooth earphones+mic combo confirm whether the microphone does in
fact work? By autoswitching out of A2DP to HSP/HFP mode or by any other

Regards, K.

PS: Please don't waste everybody's time with theories :-) This has been
EXTENSIVELY discussed in numerous forums. Just looking for actual
direct experience of a working setup on 18.xx or later.

Does Nautilus need Samba

Odd question, but can anyone tell me *definitively* (i.e., please don't
answer unless you are absolutely certain):

Does Nautilus require Samba to be installed in order to browse Windows
networks and access shares?

 - NOT talking about mounting SMB file systems with smbfs

 - NOT talking about the command line client.

 - NOT asking whether Samba is installed by default
 - NOT talking about libraries or utilities packages

Regards, K.

sftp - can't figure it out!

I am baffled.

On an sftp server that I am setting up, the following is true:

I have a group "sftp_users".

I have a user "fred" whose primary group is "sftp_users". fred's shell
is /sbin/nologin.fred's home directory is /upload (the user will be
chrooted, see below).

In /etc/sshd_config I have these lines:

Subsystem sftp internal-sftp
Match Group sftp_users
   ChrootDirectory /mnt/efs/sftp/%u
   ForceCommand internal-sftp

Also, password authentication is disabled.

I have a directory /mnt/efs/sftp/fred. In that directory are two
subdirectories .ssh and upload.


An odd one today!

A client has a system that is running a process that shows up in the
process list as "./". There is no file named ""
anywhere on his system. This process is chewing up most of his CPU. If
stopped, it starts again after a few minutes. It starts on boot, too.

I thnk it's malware, and since this system is showing a few other signs
of compromise my immediate recommendation was to rebuild the system
from scratch, and that's what we'll probably do.

But I'm curious - has anyone seen this before?

Really dark drop down lists?

At some point in the past few weeks (? not sure when it happened) the
colour on some drop-down lists has changed to a dark grey on a dark
background - almost impossible to read. It's not ALL drop-downs, just
some. An example would be the save-as formats list in LibreOffice.

- choose "save-as" in any Libre-Office tool
- drop down the formats list
- see the colors

I'm not sure when this happened or what I can do about it - where would
this colour be defined? I assume it's somewhere in the Ambience theme,
but I have no idea where to look...

Using 16.04 on AMD64 fully updated.

Regards, K.

where is gvfs?

Many moons ago, I seem to recall it was possible to make mounted
filesystems - especially SMB (VIFS) file systems - visible to non-GIO
programs by linking to .gvfs. Something like this:

   ln -s ./.gvfs mynetworkdrives

.. after which you could browse through ~/mynetworkdrives to files on
your network drive.

Disable touchpad (was: Re: switch off auto-selection of text (or what ever it is called ..))

I've started a new thread as this seemed to have nothing to do with
autoselection of text.

There is a settings option to turn your touchpad on and off. It seems
to be global. It does not affect a mouse, trackball or touchpoint, just
the touchpad. OR use the same method as given below for a touchpoint,
making the obvious substitutions.

To turn your mouse off, unplug it :-)

To turn off your trackpoint, use xinput list to locate the device, then
to list the properties of it, then to set the enabled property to off. 

Nautilus and SMB1

My Synology NAS allows control of which version of SMB it uses. When I
tell it not to support SMB1, Nautilus stops working, and cannot mount
shares off the NAS.

I've researched the issue, and while I can find heaps of Samba-related
tips, nothing about Nautilus.

I used the Synology web interface to set the server protocol range to
SMB2/SMB2: Nautilus could not mount shares.

The Synology is using Samba under the hood. I edited its smb.conf
directly and set "protocol=SMB2" and rebooted the Synology to make sure
that all connections were closed.

Trying to put a new program into FreeDOS

For the first time ever I am trying to create a bootable USB stick
based on a FreeDOS ISO. But I want an additional program available to
the booted OS.

Unfortunately, neither the unmodified iso, nor the one modified as
described below, work.

I have attempted to do the following:

loop mount the ISO
copy all files to a new directory
copy the new program into a directory with all the others
run genisoimage as below

The result is a stick that boots as far as a boot selection menu, but
whatever is selected, it just goes back to the boot selection menu.

Linux Skype

The new Skype Beta 5 for Linux looks OK, but doesn't work for me. Seems
to connect, but no sound, no video, so it's hard to tell.

And in a move truly worthy of their reputation, Microsoft has chosen to
make the audio and video settings available only when you have *already
started* a call. If the connection does not succeed, you have no chance
to adjust the settings.

Am I missing something, or is this the most braindead idea since the
noise-operated volume control?

Regards, K.


If you use PDFs, this little program is golden.

   sudo apt-get install pdfshuffler

You get a nice GUI interface; you load in a PDF and you can then rotate
pages, re-arrange pages, remove pages, add pages in from other PDFs...

Not so great for scripting. For that you want the pdf* suite of command
line programs especially pdftk, but pdfshuffler is really useful for
those times when you need a quick fix.

Regards, K.

Printing oddity with Canon Pixma MP240 on CUPS server

I have a Canon Pixma MP240, quite an old item, but it prints, scans and
copies fine.

Recently I set it up with on a Raspberry Pi as a networked scanner.
Worked well! Then an unfortunate incident involving a laser printer and
a power surge made it necessary to get a stopgap printer, so I added
CUPS and made the old inkjet into a networked printer. There is a CUPS
driver just for that model, so that was good.

systemd timing

How can I make a systemd service run after all network interfaces are

systemd-sysctl is a one-shot service that runs very early in the
startup sequence; I need it to run again. Ideally every time a network
interface comes up, but a workable solution would be after the network
is up the first time.

Note that I need it to run *again* - i.e., as well as the first time.

I suppose I could set up a new service to do this, but it would be
cleaner if there were a way to tell the existing service to run again.

Regards, K.

[1] /lib/systemd/system/systemd-sysctl.service

delay (or rerun) procps

This is something I'm trying to make happen on a raspberry Pi, but it's
really a systemd problem, so I hope you folk can help.

When systemd.sysctl runs, it runs early - before interfaces are up and
apparently before modules such as IPv6 are loaded. A bunch of IPv6-
related sysctl variables thus don't get set. It does run though -
status says it's been run. If I run it again manually, everything

I want a way to re-run the service late.

Any ideas?

Regards, K.

boot drops to grub prompt, disk error

I have a colleague whose Ubuntu 16.04 PC is dropping to a "grub>"
prompt. If he enters "exit", the grub prompt just returns. If he enters
"exit" a second time, the boot process proceeds normally. He says he
sometimes has to "exit" a third time.

Well, mostly normally - except at no stage does he see the usual grub
boot selection menu. This was a problem because in a separate issue he
had screwed up his password and could not get to the recovery option.


I'm guessing, from evidence found in archived mailing lists, that (mentioned in the email headers in the duplicates) is an
internal domain used by the owner of

I'm also guessing that they are doing something silly with newsgroups
and reflecting this list back to itself.

This email is being copied to that apparent owner in the hope that he
can stop the duplication.

Regards, K.

Re: Another systemd-resolved problem in 17.04

On Wed, 2017-06-21 at 12:18 +0100, Chris Green wrote:
... another message in a thread that has started to deliver duplicates.

I suspect someone hijacked the filesystem thread to start this one.

This message deliberately breaks the thread; it is not a reply to the
thread even though it looks like one. It's an anti-hijack :-)

Regards, K.

font oddity

Sometimes, for reasons that are unclear to me, my display changes

The fonts in some windows become less clean, change their
aspect ratio, become spindlier and less dense. The themes in some
applications regress fifteen years. The window decorations remain the
same, though.

It doesn't affect all windows - for example this message
window looks exactly as it did before, but the parent window
(evolution) is displaying differently.

Network manager and split DNS for a VPN?

Has anyone got split DNS working with a vpnc VPN connection under

All my googling suggests that this is still a basic bug in
NM/Ubuntu16.04, but maybe someone has figured it out.

I could probably get it working the hard way by installing the real
dnsmasq and hardcoding a suitable split in dnsmasq.conf, but that is a
sad and inflexible method. It would be so much nicer if NM would do it.

It looks as if it wants to. The log is full of optimistic statements
about what it will do - but it just doesn't do it!

Regards, K.

search domain and NetworkManager

I've just got a vpnc VPN going with a Palo Alto firewall, and
everything is working very well. Except that I cannot get Network
Manager to add a search domain to resolv.conf when the VPN comes up.

I have added the desired domain to the "Additional Search Domains"
field in the NetworkManager configuration for the VPN, but it seems to
be ignoring it completely.

GPG hanging

I was using seahorse to generate some GPG keys - five of them, each
4096 bits. After about ten hours, I stopped the gpg2 processes, and
seahorse returned a suitable error for each one.

Why did this happen? The entropy pool (driven by rndg) was hovering
around 3000, so I don't think it's a lack of entropy. It's running on a
newish i7, so I doubt it's the processor, and there is no sign of high
CPU load. There were no dialogues around waiting for input, either.

Has anyone else experienced such long delays with gpg2?

Regards, K.

Hopw to position a window on the second monitor?

What is the command-line incantation to position a window on the second

I want to run VLC (or totem) full screen on the monitor at right of my
primary display. This is set up as one wide display (I can drag windows
between them).

I can do it manually - start the program, drag it to the other display,
then full-screen it. But I want to do that in a script.

I don't think $DISPLAY will help me, because as far as X is concerned,
it's all one big display.

sound doesn't work until I login

An apparently simple problem, but I can't seem to figure it out. And
Uncle Google only has "hints and allegations".

I want sound to play when my GUI-free Ubuntu 16.04 system starts.

Automounting USB drives on GUI-free server

I have an application running on a text-mode-only Ubuntu system

As far as I can tell, USB drives only automount inside Unity, i.e.,
when a GUI is running.

screen sharing on Ubuntu?

I have a need to allow a Windows user to share my Ubuntu desktop

vinagre (VNC access) does not support encryption, or at least no method
that RealVNC on Windows understands. I'm not prepared to have the
session unencrypted. Also, when I experimentally, and on my own local
network, allowed an unencrypted session, the result was unusably slow.

xrdp is not quite what I'm after. xrdp allows people to log in, using
RDP, to a server running X and get their own X session. Their session
will run on the server, but be displayed locally, so they don't need a
local X server.

FYI: 15.10 -> 16.04 worked pretty well

I upgraded from 15.10 to 16.04 last night. This is the first time that
I can remember upgrading over an existing install. Before this I have
always done a complete new install of the newer version, then restored
my own stuff from backups.

To my relief it all worked pretty well. My Internet connection is a
piece of wet string, so downloading the upgrade took over five hours;
then it took at least another hour to actually install itself.

At the end of the process, I rebooted, and pretty much everything

Just discovered SQLite!

I've seen the name go past a thousand times but never bothered taking a
look at it. Then a few days ago I got sufficiently annoyed with a text
processing task that was taking minutes to complete, and thought I
would have a quick look. A DB solution felt right, but I didn't want to
have to run a DB server just for this little task.

Wow. What a sweet little program. HIGHLY recommended, and very
scriptable. SQL can be passed in on the command line, or redirected in
from any source. Data can be imported either as SQL commands or as a
CSV file.

renaming ethernet interface not working

Hi there.

I have a link file in /etc/systemd/network called

It contains this:



I have another one in the same directory called, that
contains this:



When I reboot, I get a wireless interface called wlan0, but my ethernet
interface stubbornly refised to change name, remaining at "enp0s31f6".


There is a lot of advice out there about writing udev rules, but
according to the systemd doco, the above method should work.

Wireless on custom live CD not working

On Sat, 2016-04-09 at 03:08 -0700, Tony Baechler wrote:
By replying to a message and changing the subject you "hijack" the