Postings by Kevin O'Gorman

Ubuntu on Windows (setup and apps)

I enabled Ubuntu on Windows 10 some time ago and have been using it a
little. I'm still setting things up, and have found a few oddities.

I found a great guide to setting the console to look like normal Ubuntu:
<a href="" title=""></a>

That's fine, but I actually am used to the Xubuntu flavor, which is
different, and I set my terminal background to something yellowish because
I find dark backgrounds make it hard to read stuff -- no mater which of my
several monitors I try.

Turning off automount

I do a lot of stuff with drives from other systems, mostly from an outfit I
volunteer with.

Restoring backups and effect on GRUB

I'm working on backup scripts, and want to make sure I understand the
consequences of what I'm doing. In particular, I have still not decided
how I'm going to back up my / partition: tar/dar or dd,
and I'm wondering what effect there is on GRUB if a partition is moved,
resized, or restored from a tar/dar archive, because I'm thinking some of
the above operations would change where the kernel is.

Cloning an EXT4 partition

I want to use partition clones as part of my backup strategy, or at least
experiment with them. I've been happy with ntfsclone for windows
partitions, and just noticed that there appear to be utilities for doing
the same with other partition type, like vfat and ext4.

Unfortunately, my first experience with partclone.ext4 (part of the
partclone package) was not good. It persists in giving me errors with
messages that don't make sense: File too big when there's plenty of space,
for starters.

Anyone have experience with this package, or any replacement?

++ kevin

Backing up a damaged SSD

I've got a laptop with a damaged main drive. It's a 2TB NVME SSD, and gets
an error on a dd copy of the main Ubuntu partition, and about 200 errors on
a ntfsclone --rescue of my Windows partition.

Of course, I'm getting it replaced -- it's even under warranty from the
company that makes the laptop. But I'd like to have the best backup
possible. I like the ntfsclone --rescue option. I wonder if the dd
--ignore-failed-read works the same way -- skip a single sector, on both
the input and the output or whether is skips a whole block of the size I
told it to use.

Launchpad OOPS

I tried to report a problem with the archive manager by using
"ubuntu-bug file-roller"
and got an error reported on the web page. Has anyone else been seeing

Error text:

Sorry, something just went wrong in Launchpad.

We’ve recorded what happened, and we’ll fix it as soon as possible.
Apologies for the inconvenience.

(Error ID: OOPS-deb9c95631178e961b5dc69ae931cf89)

How to install new Ubuntu without a CD

I have an old laptop that I keep running because it helps me with some
voluteer work I do. I want to install Ubuntu on it, but the way I'm used
to involved burning a CD or DVD, and its media reader no longer functions.
Is there a way to do this? It already has a somewhat old Ubuntu partition,
and I could use it, but the update process to make it current would be
laborious. I'd much rather have a fresh install.

SOLVED: Problems with LTS upgrade -- to see if this is common

I'm not certain, and I'm unwilling to spend the day or so it would take to
verify, but it seems my difficulties had nothing to do with the general
upgrade process, but with my handling of GRUB itself. I may have had up to
3 different versions of GRUB involved: some early version, the 16.04
version and the 18.04 version. I never did a grub-install when I was
having the problems.

The problems went away when I did a grub-insall in front of every
update-grub (there were three points at which I did this).

Problems with LTS upgrade -- to see if this is common

I've got a small hoard of Ubuntu and Xubuntu machines in my garage doing
hobby stuff. One's a monster Xeon with 32 threads, 256GB RAM, RAID for all
but the boot partition and a fair amount of specialization. So I want to
be careful about the upgrade. Good thing I was, because it didn't go well.

So first thing I did was to boot a live DVD and copy the boot partition to
unallocated space on the same drive. There's plenty of room because the
real data is on the RAID volumes.

Warning from upgrages

For some time now, my upgrades have contained a warning that I do not
understand. It appears at the very end of the install process:

W: Possible missing firmware /lib/firmware/ast_dp501_fw.bin for module ast

Can somebody tell me what this means, and what I should investigate or
should do about it?

Firefox on 16.04 crashes over and over and over

I'm getting multiple crashes daily on two different instances ("profiles")
in Firefox, and on multiple machines, and have been for a month or so. It
asks me for information to send with the crash report, which I did at
first, but I've given up.

About the only thing even slightly special about my useage is that I have
multiple tabs, and sometimes multiple windows. The crashes come most often
when I'm not even using the computer, but come back to find a crash dialog
on the screen.

Anyone else having this?

Anyone care to suggest other browsers?

++ kevin

What did I just ruin?

I may have outsmarted myself.

I was about to upgrade packages and I wanted to capture the plethora of
messages I expected
this to produce, so I did it under script(1). It captured all right, but
I'm a bit worried by a thing it
captured a few times...

For instance, at the end of fetching packages....

Looking for ratings of all-in-one printers for Linux (Ubuntu in particular)

I know there are probably multiple places where such ratings can be found.
Not knowing which are reliable, I'm sort of asking for ratings of the
ratings, I guess. Mostly, though, I want ratings of recent models, from a
Linux/Debian/Ubuntu perspective as opposed to the usual Windows slant. I'm
presuming the few machines that I dual-boot will be able to work with
whatever printer I have.

So, where to look?

++ kevin

How to do a bulk download of password-protected data?

I've had to do this manually many times. If it weren't for the
password-protection, it would be easy with wget or rsync. As it is, I have
to log in to whatever site contains the data with my web browser, then
click on each and every one of what is sometimes over one hundred different

I understand that wget has some capability of sending cookies, and that
that's how password-related credentials are presented, but I do not know
how to set it up. Are there any howto's youtubes, or the like about this?

++ kevin

How does MySQL really start?

It was suggested here that the script /etc/init.d/mysql is used in starting
MySQL but I have
been unable to confirm that by injecting code into it.

How to start and stop mysql?

I need to start and stop mysql, and I've only figured out how to stop it.
I need to start it (not rebooting) so that I can temporarily use different
options. In my case, I need --skip-grant-tables.

How to coordinate the clock when dual-booting with Windows

I've installed Ubuntu into a Windows laptop. I missed the place where I
was supposed to tell the install that the clock will be kept in local time,
so switching between Linux and Windows is a pain.

Is there a way to fix this short of going back and doing it again?

Name resolution with unqualified names

First an admission: I have only a general understanding of IP and name

My issue has to do with my local subnet, so let me describe it:
1. there's a fairly new LinkSys AC1900 MU-MIMO gigabity router connected to
my cable modem. Most of the things attached to it have reserved IP numbers
in the 10.x.x.x range.

2. Since I have more than 4 wired connections, I have 2 TP-LINK TP-SG105E
switches, one in my garage (where my 4 desktop computers live), one in my
office where there are also a printer, 2 laptops and some other stuff.


Can I avoid apt?

I see that apt-get has been replaced by apt, sort of.

I don't like apt. I'm in the habit of doing my updates under the script(1)
command and that banner that apt puts at the bottom of the screen makes the
files unreadable.

Is there a way to disable it? Possibly by lying to apt about my terminal's

++ kevin

Ubuntu server holding back on me

I've just started using Ubuntu Server on a couple of extra machines.

Machine check exception, but what kind?

I've been having trouble with two of my personal computers. One is from
System76 and their great support staff suggested I load package mcelog to
monitor for machine check exceptions (MCE). Sounded good to me, so I did
it on all my Ubuntu machines (I have 4 if you count laptops).

Lo and behold, one of the other machines glitched last night. Not the
System76 one, but a home-brew I built myself (with a little help from my
friends). It's got a medium-fast Core i-7 on an ASUS board.

What is "Disks" really

I'm a newb on Ubuntu proper (I mostly use Xubuntu), but have recently
acquired a machine from
System76, and the warranty only works if I keep it under Ubuntu. So I do.

Working on a current problem, they have me running the program Disks from
the 16.04.2 distro on a USB stick. That is I enter "Disks" on the Dash,
and get a pretty neat diagnostic tool.

Thing is, I can't figure out what program I'm actually running. I'd like
to access it, or get it, on my Xubuntu systems.

Help, my RAID won't start

I've been fooling with this for a while. Some things are fixed, but the
darned thing still isn't right.

I've been following advice from a combination of sources, because nothing
I've found is complete, but that makes it harder to be sure I'm on the
right track.

So here it is: a core i-7, 32GB RAM, 6 internal hard drives, 4 of which are
4 TB. Three of those four are for my RAID, which I want to set up as

Block size for large filesystems

I've been using gparted for creating and managing filesystems for so long I
didn't really think about it too much. But now that I'm fooling around
with RAID, I've bumped into soemthing I maybe should have been paying
attention to all along.

It's the block size. Gparted does not seem to have an option to set the
block size when it formats a new partition. It just used 512B blocks. I'm
seeing recommendations for 4 KB blocks on large filesystems, and most of
mine are 32GB, and I have two that are 7TB and 11TB RAID arrays

Does anybody know how much of a difference this makes?

Trouble building a RAID 4 array with mdadm

I'm on Xubuntu 16.04.2 LTS, using mdadm. I've already built a RAID-1 array
and had some success with it.

Question about a mismatch between documentation and how mdadm currently works.

I'm fooling around with RAID on Linux for the first time. Lots to learn.
I have one issue that
keeps coming up with creating RAID arrays with mdadm.

The documentation I have all says to create arrays with something like
mdadm --create /dev/md0 (and some more stuff)
and what follows really does indicate they expect the array to appear as
/dev/md0. What
happens when I try it is that the array is created as /dev/md127.

Help, my disk array has one dead member

I need a quick bit of advice.

I have a stripe array under mdadm, and one of the disks is dead or dying.
Nevertheless, there's a bunch of stuff that is NOT gone, and I'd like to
capture all I can before I even power this thing off.
I'm missing some inodes, as well as some file and directory blocks.

It's all hobby stuff, and it's all rebuildable, but I'd like to capture all
the clues I can.

I'm looking for a way to copy the whole directory structure, just omitting
any file or directory that reports an error in the process.

Bash cannot fork? How odd.

I have run into a very peculiar thing. I was monitoring processes on a
Xeon I recently bought, and overnight the monitoring stopped working. It
was just a Bash script in a loop, running once per minute, and after a
while it stopped functioning normally.

REISUB -- now what?

I've got a big machine running Ubuntu that's I'd prefer kept running all
the time. I don't always get what I want, of course...

Today, for the second time in about three weeks, it completely froze.
Fortunately, I kept a printed copy of
<a href="" title=""></a> in a
folder with assorted HOWTO-type articles, and was able to restart it that

Odd need: to track down NUL bytes

I've never run into this before, despite running Unix or Linux in my home
continuously since about 1986. I had a system freeze-up on Jan 31 from
unknown causes. The system affected is run as a computing server for a
hobby project of mine. I thought all was well, and that I was able to
salvage the partial outputs of the jobs that were running. I was wrong.

I now discover that some files that were under construction at that time
are corrupted with extensive NUL bytes. These are usually text files. I
want to find all such files and "cleanse" them to recover what information
I can.