I had been noticing that some blog sites were not behaving quite as they should.  So I wondered if I had AdBlock turned on and maybe that was causing the problem.

I checked (with the rekonq browser), with:

Options icon –> Tools –> AdBlock

And, sure enough, it was turned on.  So I turned off AdBlock.

The first page that I visited after that was at Ed Brayton’s blog at FreeThoughtBlogs.

The page was difficult to read, because there was an advertisement in a very wide left margin.  There was a “close” button on that ad.  I clicked the “close” button.  Immediately, a full page ad showed up.

I did the obvious thing.  I turned AdBlock back on.

Nvidia notes

If you are using the Nvidia drivers and installed them “the repo way”, then note that they were recently updated.

My box with Nvidia graphics uses the 304 driver.  Previously it had been using 304.123.  With the update, it is now using 304.125.

I have not noticed any difference.  If I install Tumbleweed on that box, I would have to install “the hard way” and the newer version of the driver is more likely to be compatible with newer kernels.

If you installed from the Nvidia repo, then your updates will not update your driver without interaction.  That’s because the new driver version in the repos shows as having a different vendor, and software updates won’t automatically switch vendor.

Here’s what I did:

Read More…

Opensuse linux for education 13.2 — a review

The 13.2 release of the education variant of opensuse was announced a few days ago:

It is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions.  The Wiki gives a download site for the live image.  That’s a DVD image, though small enough to also fit on a 4G USB flash drive.

First use

I downloaded the 64-bit image, and wrote it to a 4G flash drive.  Then I booted that on my laptop, as a live system.  It ran quite well.  On first boot, it created an additional partition for persistent storage.  There wasn’t a lot of free space on the 4G flash drive, so it is a smallish partition.  But it was enough for me to save the WiFi settings, so that it will automatically connect on the next boot.

The live system ran smoothly.  So I decided to install.


My install was on a different computer.  I booted the live USB, then clicked on the “live installer” icon on the KDE desktop.

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Notes on MATE and infinite caja

In an earlier post, I noted a problem of infinitely looping caja, when MATE is installed alongside other desktops.  If MATE is installed as the only desktop, this problem does not occur.

A workaround has been provided in the bug report.  It requires editing the file “.gtkrc-2.0″ in the home directory.  That file contains an “include” line that reads in settings for the KDE oxygen theme.  That’s apparently what causes the problem.  Simply commenting out that line fixes the problem, and the MATE desktop now loads without that looping.

I’m not at all sure how that will affect KDE.  Presumably those settings are for gtk applications (such as firefox) that are run under KDE.

For the moment, I have two versions of that file.  I switch to the MATE compatible version if I am about to start MATE.  Otherwise I use the standard version.  I mainly use KDE, so I won’t be switching very often.

Tumbleweed is rolling along

It has been more than a month since the new structure of  opensuse Tumbleweed was announced (see my earlier post), and we have seen it in practice for a month.

Since then, it has been rolling along.  It rolls a bit more jerkily than the previous Tumbleweed.  But this one is a true rolling release.  It is now at the 20141201 snapshot (and that’s a date, in case that wasn’t obvious).

The old Tumbleweed was steadily being updated.  The new Tumbleweed sometimes goes for a week or so without any updates, and then a large bunch.  But that’s the nature of software testing and updating.  The jerkiness is because updates are held back until they have passed a bunch of tests.  And occasionally, one stubborn component holds back all of the updates.

At present, I am still using opensuse 13.2.  But I also update my separate Tumbleweed install.  At some time, I may switch to using Tumbleweed on my main desktop.

Thus far, I have not run into any problems on my Tumbleweed system.  All seems to be going well.

More on MATE and opensuse 13.2

In my previous post, I described how to install MATE.  I have since run into two problems.  One of these is minor, and has to do with WiFi.  The other is a serious problem that occurs in some circumstances.

The (minor) WiFi problem

I had indicated that, after switching to NetworkManager, there was a WiFi applet in the panel.  But I had not made much use of that applet, other than to check whether connected.

I later tried to edit the connection settings for one of my connections.  And that failed, because a “polkit” agent was not running.

This was easy enough to work around.  I simply started “/usr/lib/polkit-gnome-authentication-agent-1″ and I was then able to edit connections.

Read More…

Installing opensuse 13.2 MATE

Now that MATE is part of the opensuse software, I decided to try it out.

I began by booting the DVD installer image (on a USB).  This was the 64-bit edition for opensuse 13.2.  I already knew that MATE was not directly installable from the DVD image.  So I was prepared for that.

Starting the install

The install began in the usual manner.  I first had to agree to the license.  Next there was a screen to configure my wifi card.  Then there was a screen to add online repos during the install.  It might have been easier to do that, since MATE is in the online repos.  But I decided to stick with an offline install anyway.

Next came the partitioning, the user account setup and the timezone setup.

Selecting a desktop

Somewhere along the line, there was a screen where I could choose a desktop environment.  The choices were “KDE”, “Gnome” or “other”.  As expected, MATE was not offered.  So I chose “other”.  The next screen gave me a choice of “XFCE”, “minimal X” or “minimal server”.  I went with minimal X.

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Using “gparted” from the opensuse live rescue system

I have successfully used “gparted” from the opensuse 13.2 live rescue image (if you can call that success).  But I did run into some initial problems, which I will describe below.

Quick summary

Here’s a quick summary.  If you want to use “gparted” on the live rescue system, then I recommend the following steps:

  1. logout, returning you to a login prompt (a “lightdm” prompt);
  2. login again, but select “Icewm” as the desktop to which you will login;
  3. open a terminal session in “icewm” by clicking the terminal icon near the bottom left;
  4. use the “su” command to become root (no password is needed);
  5. run “gparted” at the root command line.

Problems encountered

Using from the “icewm” desktop works fine.  But I first tried to use with the default XFCE desktop, and that ran into problems.

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Acronis to the rescue

As reported in my previous post, I ran into a few problems when using “gparted” to move Windows partitions.  Everything mostly worked after some Windows boot recovery, except that I would have to setup Windows boot manager again if I wanted it to boot my opensuse system.

Before using “gparted” I had made a backup of the Windows partitions using the Acronis True Image software.  The backup was made with the 2014 version of Acronis.  So I decided to try restoring Windows 7 from that Acronis backup.

I booted the Acronis recovery CD, and pointed it to the image it had made on an external drive.  I had encrypted that backup, so I gave Acronis the encryption key.  Then I proceeded to recover the three Windows partitions.

The partitions, all NTFS, were the main Windows partition, the recovery partition, and a data partition that I share with linux for exchanging files between the two operating systems.

The recovery went well.  Windows 7 booted without any problem after the recovery.  A “chkdsk /F” on the main Windows partition showed no problems following the recovery.  I then copied the opensuse boot sector to the Windows file.  And the Windows boot manager successfully booted opensuse with that.

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Murphy’s law

You have probably heard of Murphy’s law:  Whatever can go wrong will go wrong.

Yesterday was a Murphy day.

I wanted to install opensuse 13.2 on my laptop.  However, I also wanted to do some repartitioning.  I had been using a 100M “/boot” partition at the beginning of the hard drive, but that was smallish with the multi-version kernel support that has been part of opensuse since 13.2.

My plan was to shift partitions to the right, so that I could enlarge “/boot” to 500M.

The partitions where I had opensuse were not a problem.  The Windows partitions were the problem.

My plan was to boot the live rescue image from opensuse 13.2, and use the “gparted” that is on that disk.  I ran into problems with that, too.  But I discovered those problems, and a workaround, a few days earlier, so they were not part of my Murphy day.  I’ll post about that separately. Read More…


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