Thursday, 12 December 2013

Fix FontConfig Warning in LMDE

I found another bug in Mint Debian relating to how fonts are setup.

Originally I found the issue while playing about in imagemajick which would produce an error like this.

"Fontconfig warning: "/etc/fonts/conf.d/53-monospace-lcd-filter.conf", line 10: Having multiple values in isn't supported and may not work as expected"

You can reproduce that error using this command;

fc-match sans

So, I opened up the file referenced in the error and found it was an XML file.

In the element test name="family" there were two fonts configured, in my case these were "DejaVu Sans Mono" and "Bitstream Vera Sans Mono".

Now, considering that the error was complaining about not liking having two values present, I decided to remove one. I removed the second one.

After doing that things behaved in much more polite way;

fc-match sans
DejaVuSans.ttf: "DejaVu Sans" "Book"

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Problems connecting to libvirtd (KVM) on remote hosts

I ran into this annoying bug trying to connect using SSH (key auth) to libvirtd (running on CentOS6) from a LMDE host.

The error I received was unhelpful.

Unable to connect to libvirt.

Cannot recv data: Value too large for defined data type

Verify that the 'libvirtd' daemon is running
on the remote host.

I was pretty sure that the problem was not with the server running libvirtd because it had been working the day before and was unchanged since then. On the other hand my LMDE install was completely fresh.

To cut the chase I don't know what the fix is (it seems to be a bug).

If you read to the end of that bug thread it seems you can work around the problem by using the hostname instead of its FQDN.

For this to work of course you need to be able to resolve the target IP address using just the hostname. Since I was on the same domain as the libvirt server this was simply a matter of defining the domain in /etc/resolv.conf on the client.


If that is not a practical solution (because your client and server on different domains) I reckon you could probably configure the server hostname as an individual entry in your /etc/hosts file too, although I have not tried that. Let me know in the comments if that works for you!

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Set the Number of Workspaces in Cinnamon

After adding the "Workspaces" applet onto a Cinnamon taskbar you find it only has two workspaces configured by default

The trouble is, you want four.

gsettings set org.cinnamon number-workspaces 4

You will need to log out and in again for that chnage to take place.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Multiple Hassles Installing LMDE

I had a hell of a time installing Linux Mint Debian Edition on a particular PC.

The PC was running Ubuntu 13.04 fine. It is just a generic Asus Mobo with AMD Quad Core CPU and a Geforce550Ti graphics card. Nothing special in there at all.

So I grabbed the LMDE  CD that I used to install the PC I am currently using to type this blog entry, stuck it in the CD tray and booted the PC up.

It simply stopped booting at some point and just sat there.

I rebooted and this time chose "compatibility mode" on the grub boot menu.

Among other things, compatibility mode does not hide all the stuff starting up so you can see what is happening as the system boots up.

My system got as far as "udev starting version 175" and then just stopped. Eventually I decided that it was not going to go any further.

So thinking that my CD may have gotten scratched, I grabbed a USB key and used dd to create a usb key from the original iso I had downloaded.

Once that was done I plugged the key in and repeated the above process with the exact same results.

Hmmm. Now I resort to google and discover that this has apparently never happened to anyone else. OK.

Back in the day, one of the first things we used to do when troubleshooting stuff like this is to remove all peripheral hardware. In my case this was pretty much just the graphics card so I pulled that out.

Boot the PC up again and what do you know I got to the Mint desktop!

So, problem 1 is resolved.

Next, I click the installer and repartition my /dev/sda which is where I will be installing LMDE.

While playing about in gparted I received a warning that /dev/sdc had some problem. I ignored that because /dev/sdc is just the USB key that I was installing from.

So, the install process went smoothly, all the files copied over fine and we eventually got to the stage "localizing packages".

While the install is progressing I had been mucking about on this PC and glancing over at the progress of the installation occasionally.

At some port I noticed that this "localizing packages" was taking a mighty long time. I waited a bit longer until I decided that no, it was not progressing. I consulted top and sure enough there was no noticable activity showing at all.

I rebooted and tried again with the same result.

Then I remembered the partition warning from earlier and tried again, this time going back to the original CD.

This time everything went well. The installer finished and suggested that I reboot which I did only to get an error message from grub;

error file boot/grub/i386/pc/normal.mod not found

Goddamn it. Is this PC cursed?

So, first thing to do obviously is just to try re-installing grub.

Once again I boot the live CD, this time I go to a command prompt as root.

First, mount the drive

mkdir /root/tmp
mount /dev/sda1 /root/tmp

Then install grub

grub-install /dev/sda --root-directory=/root/tmp

Reboot and finally see the blessed desktop in all its Cinnamon glory.

To recap:

To fix the udev error, remove your nvidia graphics card

To fix "localizing packages" use a CD rather than a USB key

To fix grub error, re-install grub