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28. June 2016

flashplugin-installer cannot download files using unattended-upgrades on Ubuntu

Filed under: Linux — Tags: , , , , , , — Christopher Kramer @ 10:29

Using unattended-upgrades on Ubuntu  16.04 (and previous versions) set up to install updates on shutdown, flashplugin-installer always failed when downloading the new version. The reason probably is that on shutdown, the Internet connection is not available anymore. Up to now, I always updated flashplugin-installer manually. But today, I found a nice and simple solution:

Just get rid of the installer! In the Cononical partner repository, there is a package that directly contains the flash plugin. First, make sure you include the partner repository in your /etc/apt/sources.list, e.g. for xenial:

deb xenial partner
deb-src xenial partner

Then, update, get rid of the flashplugin-installer, and install the adobe-flashplugin instead:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get remove flashplugin-installer
sudo apt-get install adobe-flashplugin

Hope this helps someone who also has problems with unattended upgrades and falshplugin-installer.


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17. June 2016

Multimedia Keys “stuck” after Ubuntu 16.04 upgrade

Filed under: Linux — Tags: , , , , , , , — Christopher Kramer @ 21:19

After upgrading Ubuntu Gnome to 16.04, the multimedia keys / extra keys (like play/pause, volume up/down, mute, calculator, forward, backward, etc.) of my old Cherry G86-21050 DEAAAA keyboard showed a strange behavior: Whenever one of the buttons was pressed, its effect was repeated over and over, just as if the button was stuck. So pressing pause would play and pause the song over and over, pressing calculator would open hundreds of calculator windows. Pressing another special keys stopped the previous effect from repeating, but repeated the effect of the last special key over and over. The normal keys (letter, numbers etc.) were not affected.

As the effect appeared after the upgrade for all special keys, I was sure it was a software problem and not a hardware problem.

Digging around with evtest (no, it is not a good idea to run evtest –grab on your keyboard in a tty :D), I found out that the key events are not repeated multiple times, but the keys are not released.

Annoyed, I tried another keyboard (Logitech Elite Keyboard) for comparison. The special keys of that one worked well.

Finally, I accidentally plugged the “faulty” Cherry Keyboard in the USB port that I had the working Logitech in between and voila: The Cherry’s special keys worked again.

So lesson learned: Have you tried plugging it out and in again? Is the first question you should ask (yourself) whenever some USB device behaves strangely.

19. May 2016

Ubuntu Gnome: Upgrading to 16.04 Xenial Xerus fails: ubuntu-gnome-desktop (gdm, gnome-session, adwaita-icon-theme and adwaita-icon-theme-full)

Filed under: Linux — Tags: , , , , , , , — Christopher Kramer @ 13:26

Today I upgraded my Ubuntu Gnome 15.10 to 16.04 Xenial Xerus. I was surprised to find in the details that it removes gdm. I started the update and it went normal until it said ubuntu-gnome-desktop was broken due to unresolved dependencies. The GUI upgrade process that I had used closed and I was left with a system upgraded by half. But it was still running, so I started a terminal and started aptitude. It suggested to install various packages to resolve dependencies, especially gdm3, gnome-shell, gnome-shell-extensions and gnome-session. It also proposed to remove unused packages, which were not removed as the upgrade process had stopped half way. I followed aptitudes suggestions, but it left two packages not upgraded: adwaita-icon-theme and gnome-session.

And this took me quite a while to solve. There are two packages: adwaita-icon-theme and adwaita-icon-theme-full. The first one contains a subset of icons, whereas the second one contains all icons. The ubuntu-gnome-desktop requires the adwaita-icon-theme-full package, which in turn requires the adwaita-icon-theme package. The adwaita-icon-theme had an upgrade from version 3.18.0-2ubuntu3 to 3.18.0-2ubuntu3.1. The adwaita-icon-theme-full package requires that it is exactly the same version as adwaita-icon-theme, but the only version that apt found was 3.18.0-2ubuntu3.

Then I found out that adwaita-icon-theme-full is in the universe repository, whereas adwaita-icon-theme is in main. In my sources.list, I had the following:

deb xenial-proposed main restricted
deb xenial-proposed main restricted

Therefore, the new version of adwaita-icon-theme was found in the main repository. But universe (and multiverse) repositories were missing  the proposed level, and this was the reason why the new version of adwaita-icon-theme-full was not found by apt. So the solution was simple: Just changing the above lines in sources.list like this, adding universe and multiverse repositories:

deb xenial-proposed main restricted universe multiverse
deb xenial-proposed main restricted universe multiverse

Then it updated the remaining packages normally using:

aptitude update
aptitude safe-upgrade

So lesson learned is:
If you add the proposed level in your sources.list, make sure you add it for all repositories you use, e.g. including universe and multiverse, not only main.

Hope this helps somebody who runs into the same issue.

14. July 2015

Ubuntu Gnome 15.04: Hide Hidden files in Nautilus

Filed under: Linux — Tags: , , , — Christopher Kramer @ 15:14

To hide hidden files and folders in Nautilus in Ubuntu Gnome 15.05, type this in a terminal:

gsettings set org.gtk.Settings.FileChooser show-hidden false

If you want to see hidden files from time to time, press CTRL + H in a nautilus window.

Ubuntu Gnome: Sort folders first in Nautilus

Filed under: Linux — Tags: , , , — Christopher Kramer @ 14:56

If you prefer to have the folders at the beginning in Nautilus, just type this command in a terminal:

gsettings set org.gnome.nautilus.preferences sort-directories-first true

Works in Ubuntu Gnome 15.04

Ubuntu Gnome: Find file starting with the letter you type in Nautilus

Filed under: Linux — Tags: , , , — Christopher Kramer @ 14:49

New nautilus versions start searching for what you start typing inside a folder. If you instead prefer to jump to the files starting with what you type, just like Windows Explorer behaves, type this in a terminal:

gsettings set org.gnome.nautilus.preferences enable-interactive-search true

Works on Ubuntu Gnome 15.04

5. June 2015

Ubuntu gnome: minimize buttons missing after upgrade to vivid

Filed under: Linux — Tags: , , , , , , , — Christopher Kramer @ 15:22

After upgrading an Ubuntu Gnome installation from 14.10 utopic to 15.04 vivid, the minimize and maximize buttons at the windows were missing.

This is how I got them back:



Then go to

org → gnome → desktop → wm → preferences

And change the value for “button-layout” from




And close the window. That’s it 🙂

29. October 2014

RabbitVCS on Ubuntu GNOME 14.04 Trusty Tahr

Filed under: Linux — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — Christopher Kramer @ 11:38

I installed RabbtVCS on Ubuntu GNOME 14.04 Trusty Tahr from the Ubuntu repositories (rabbitvcs-nautilus) and it did not integrate into Nautilus. It also seemed to cause other strange effects (mouse wheel not working any more, …?).

Installing the latest version from the RabbitVCS PPA fixed all this:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:rabbitvcs/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install rabbitvcs-nautilus3

Hope this saves somebody half an hour figuring out how to solve this 😉

21. March 2013

Linux: ACPI disabled, won’t shut down, /sys/class/rtc/rtc0/wakealarm vanished

Filed under: Linux — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , — Christopher Kramer @ 00:16

MythTV server won’t shut down automatically any longer

Today my mythTV based media homeserver suddenly would not automatically shutdown any longer after a kernel update.

Logs by mythbackend (/var/log/mythtv/mythbackend ) that triggers the shutdown  looked like this:

localhost mythbackend[1674]: I Scheduler scheduler.cpp:2729 (CheckShutdownServer) CheckShutdownServer returned - OK to shutdown
localhost mythbackend[1674]: N Scheduler scheduler.cpp:2814 (ShutdownServer) Running the command to set the next scheduled wakeup time [...]
localhost mythbackend[1674]: E Scheduler scheduler.cpp:2820 (ShutdownServer) SetWakeuptimeCommand failed, shutdown aborted

Problem: /sys/class/rtc/rtc0/wakealarm vanished after kernel update

So I ran the SetWakeupTime command myself and go this problem:

/sys/class/rtc/rtc0/wakealarm: No such file or directory

And in fact the file was missing.

System won’t power off any longer

I tried to shut down the pc completely (manually) and start it again. But it wouldn’t power off, it just freezed with the shutdown bar on the screen. Pressing the power button once (only short, not holding it) made the PC power off.

So this looked like some big ACPI problem.

ACPI disabled

After some more search, I found this in the syslog (/var/log/syslog):

localhost kernel: [    0.000000] ACPI: no DMI BIOS year, acpi=force is required to enable ACPI
localhost kernel: [    0.000000] ACPI: Disabling ACPI support

So no ACPI support explains why wakealarm and shutdown is broken.

I am wondering why this happens suddenly after a kernel update (I have not changed my BIOS or something and ACPI was perfectly working before).

Solution: force ACPI

Forcing ACPI solved the problem.

If you use grub2, this is how to do it:

Open /etc/default/grub (e.g. “sudo nano /etc/default/grub”) and update this line:


Into this:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash acpi=force"

Save the file and update the grub configuration:

sudo update-grub

Then restart and you’ll be done.

sudo shutdown -r now

I hope this could help somebody.

9. September 2012

Zimbra: Creating a new self-signed SSL certificate

Filed under: Linux,Server Administration — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — Christopher Kramer @ 10:04

I recently had to recreate the SSL certificate of a Zimbra server and surprisingly it was not as easy as the documentation looked like, so I’d like to document how it is done and make comments on some difficulties that might come up.

So this is how it is done (on a Ubuntu Server running Zimbra Network edition 6.0.16 GA):

  1. SSH into the server, login as root
  2. Switch to the zimbra-user using
    su - zimbra
  3. Then run the following commands:
     sudo /opt/zimbra/bin/zmcertmgr createca -new
     sudo /opt/zimbra/bin/zmcertmgr deployca
     sudo /opt/zimbra/bin/zmcertmgr deploycrt self
  4. Restart Zimbra. To do so, as user zimbra, issue these commands (no sudo here):
    /opt/zimbra/bin/zmcontrol stop
    /opt/zimbra/bin/zmcontrol start

So the difficulties I had and some remarks:

  • sudo kept asking me for a password when I typed in
    sudo zmcertmgr createca -new

    Seems I am not the only one with this problem. The zmcertmgr command is white-listed in /etc/sudoers so you should normally not be asked for a password. Run the following command to edit /etc/sudoers (do not edit it in any other way!)


    So make sure in this file the following line is included:

    %zimbra ALL=NOPASSWD:/opt/zimbra/bin/zmcertmgr

    The % at the beginning seems to belong there. Note that the zimbra wiki has typo (zmvertmgr) in this line.
    But although I had this line in there, sudo kept asking me for the password. So what finally worked was invoking zmcertmgr with the complete path (as done above).
    Update: It seems I had a typo in here myself. Make sure it is “zmcertmgr”  and not “zmzertmgr” 😉
    Thanks to the comment by erolha!

  • In the Zimbra Release notes, the last command for updating the certificate is
    sudo zmcertmgr deploycrt self -new

    I got this error:

    Can't deploy cert for -new.  Unknown service.

    Without -new (and the complete path), it went through well.

  • No zimbra documentation I found mentions that a restart of zimbra is required, but without a restart, the old certificate was still used when opening the webmailer or the admin interface via https.


I hope I could help some of you that run into one of these problems.

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