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A few months ago, I moved to Linux Mint 14 “nadia”, which is based on Ubuntu 12.10 “quantal quetzal”. I sometimes see this error after running a commmand with sudo:

This happens because the root user has started a gvfsd daemon, which mounts a virtual filesystem on that directory. The root user should never run GNOME, so it should never need gvfsd. But something in Ubuntu 12.10 starts one sometimes.

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I recently upgraded to Linux Mint 14 “nadia”, which is based on Ubuntu 12.10. I use dnsmasq as a local DHCP server and DNS resolver for virtual machines. Installing dnsmasq on Linux Mint 14 broke host DNS resolution. The issue is easily reproducible: stop dnsmasq, DNS stops working. Start dnsmasq, and it works again.

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Last night my 4-year-old daughter Pascale and I assembled a PC for the kids to use. I reused gozer, my former HTPC, along with a monitor given to me by my friend Soren, and a keyboard and mouse purchased for tiny hands. I installed Qimo 2.0, a children-focused Linux distribution based on Xubuntu 10.04 “Lucid Lynx”.

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Run an Ubuntu system long enough, and you’ll eventually have a large number of kernels installed. These don’t cause any harm, but they do take up disk space and appear in the GRUB menu at boot. So every now and again, I take a moment and purge the old kernels.

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My team manages a number of user workstations running Ubuntu 12.04 “Precise Pangolin”. We install a standard APT configuration which automatically upgrades these PCs as soon as packages are available, without prompting and without a GUI. Therefore we also need to disable the update-notifier so it doesn’t display these packages to the user.

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I recently upgraded my home server from Ubuntu 10.10 maverick to 12.04 precise. I ran “do-release-upgrade” three times, upgrading through natty and oneiric. The process was very smooth, but I found a few bugs with BackupPC. If you are using BackupPC 3.2.1 on precise, or plan to upgrade soon, I suggest you read the following.

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Time marches on, and so do all those little changes in Linux distribution releases. Most of my really popular blog posts are how-to guides on complicated-but-useful procedures for the technical Linux user. Those users are the same ones who may read the date in the URL and say “Ewww, this was written three years ago, it must be totally outdated now!” I’ve decided to update the most popular posts to bring them up to date. This post is “Using host networking and NAT with VirtualBox“, version 2.0.

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I’ve just upgraded to Ubuntu 12.04 LTS “Precise Pangolin” on a number of devices. It’s been smooth so far, and I’ll write up the issues I’ve found soon. In the mean time, I’ve added a few packages to the precise repository.

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I’ve added several packages to the repository recently. I still use maverick, the last release before Unity became the default. I intend to move to Unity with precise, but until then I’ve been backporting things to maverick.

Highlights:

  1. maverick: fceux 2.1.5, backported from precise
  2. maverick: get-iplayer 2.8.0, taken directly from precise
  3. lucid: logcheck 1.3.14, backported from precise to correct a problem with wildcard globs in the lucid release

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HTPC, Take Two

It’s been almost two years since I assembled gozer, my first HTPC. Over the Christmas holiday I replaced gozer with zuul, a Zotac ZBOX HD-ID11.

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