Friday 8 July 2016

Flashing taskbar on Raspberry Pi?

Recently I encountered an issue with the Raspberry Pi where the taskbar kept flashing on and off, perhaps once every second or so.

After much digging around on 'tinterweb', I found that the solution was to remove the following entry for alsa in the following file:


Removed the entry:

Plugin {
Config {

Saved the file, rebooted the Pi (I don't think the reboot is essential though) and all now works perfectly! Hope this helps you.


I recently encountered a very similar issue on my rather ancient original Raspberry Pi (512Mb mem/single core) and the above recommendations failed to work. In the end, I had to edit the /boot/config.txt file and add the following entry:


Tuesday 5 July 2016

Raspberry Pi - Wheezy image - no systemd

I just hate systemd and will not have it on any of my Linux systems. Raspbian, the OS installed on my Raspberry Pi systems, is now set to default and install systemd on the Jessie version so my preference is for Wheezy which uses init instead, innit?

Locating the image file is getting harder as time goes by, so I've stuck a copy of the image file on my web server. You can download the zipped up image file from here: WHEEZY

Bye bye systemd.

Friday 1 July 2016

Sunday 1 May 2016

Lync client for Linux, called Wync

I have to use the Microsoft Lync client at work on a work-supplied laptop, but when I'm working from home I tend to use my own Linux server to connect up and of course, that excludes me from using Lync.

I did some fishing around on the internet and was delighted to discover that there was a Linux client available to download from - this link still works but there is no trace of the Wync client. Recently, I've had the need to use Wync under Linux but it didn't seem to be available anywhere. I tried general Google searches and also searched with the aptitude tool from the shell i.e. sudo aptitude search wync and came up with nothing.

I then hit on the idea of using the Wayback Machine (Internet Archive) and to my delight, I was able to download the 64-bit .deb file - this is now hosted on my server and you can download it from the following link:

Wync - Lync for Linux (64-bit deb file)

Tuesday 19 April 2016

KODI on OpenElec / Raspberry Pi - unable to view TV shows via sftp

I encountered an issue recently where my main server that is the repository of all my TV recordings had been rebuilt. It was only after a bit of standard troubleshooting that I managed to figure out that the reason for being unable to connect was because the SSH key had changed.

When connecting from the Pi to the main server, I was hit with this error:

OpenELEC:~ # ssh -oPort=44 -l john
Someone could be eavesdropping on you right now (man-in-the-middle attack)!
It is also possible that a host key has just been changed.
The fingerprint for the ED25519 key sent by the remote host is
Please contact your system administrator.
Add correct host key in /storage/.ssh/known_hosts to get rid of this message.
Offending ED25519 key in /storage/.ssh/known_hosts:1
ED25519 host key for []:44 has changed and you have requested strict checking.
Host key verification failed.

I edited the requisite file in /storage/.ssh/known_hosts and removed the offending key on line 1, using my trusty vi editor.

I attempted to connect again:

OpenELEC:~ # ssh -oPort=44 -l john
The authenticity of host '[]:44 ([]:44)' can't be established.
ECDSA key fingerprint is SHA256:long_spangly_key
Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)? yes
Warning: Permanently added '[]:44' (ECDSA) to the list of known hosts.
john@'s password:
Welcome to Linux Mint 17.1 Rebecca (GNU/Linux 3.13.0-37-generic x86_64)

Welcome to Linux Mint
 * Documentation:
No mail.
Last login: Sat Apr 16 20:26:46 2016 from


I am now able to successfully browse all of my TV programs using ssh/sftp.

(NOTE -  key value in the above example has been obfuscated - long_spangly_key)

Thursday 14 April 2016

Webmin - themes

Webmin now has a new theme called 'Authentic'. It looks really good, is pleasant on the eye so what is there not to like about this?


In a word, slow.

it's slower than a pig in treacle. I really like the look of this theme but the response times from my server when trying to perform simple actions via Webmin are simply too slow to be acceptable.

I've switched now to one of my 'old' favourites which was designed by Swell Technologies. You should be able to find it on the tinterweb as a .wbt file but if you have any trouble, I've uploaded it to my server - it's around 3Mb in size.

Tuesday 9 February 2016

Autologin function on Linux Mint

I was recently unable to get to my desktop remotely after a reboot of Linux Mint.
If you have remote access via ssh (Secure Shell) on PuTTy or KiTTy, then you can edit a file, make the necessary changes listed below and then go for the reboot option:

File that needs to be changed is etc/mdm/mdm.conf

Check the contents of the file first:

less /etc/mdm/mdm.conf | grep -v \# | grep .

Change the file using the 'vi' editor preferably.

vi /etc/mdm/mdm.conf and change the lines marked for AutomaticLoginEnable as true, and AutomaticLogin to the user that you want to set as auto-login. I've set mine to user-id John because that's me.

less /etc/mdm/mdm.conf | grep -v \# | grep .

Save the file and reboot. You should now have access to the GUI.