Category Archives: KDE

partition failed to mount

I am not really sure what I did wrong, but today my root and home partitions failed to mount on my netbook.

  • I left it within 10″ of a fan all night, but it started this morning just fine.  I am inclined to rule this out.
  • I have been using ext4 as my filesystem.  I know it is technically not “production ready”, but it has been working fine anyway.  Maybe this is a or the source?
  • I almost never suspend any of my computers, but this netbook has been doing very well with that.  The issue arose when I returned from a suspend and was forced to reboot because sound did not come back.
  • When the machine suspended, it was wireless, running on battery and playing music through Amarok.  I’m not sure if that has anything to do with it, but I thought I would note that.
  • Netbooks don’t necessary ship with the best components.  Maybe the HDD isn’t all that great?
  • After the reboot, Kubuntu went straight into busybox after the HDD clicked for a little bit.
  • Upon a full reinstall, there was no HDD clicking, so I am not sure whether to chalk that noise up to a corrupt partition or a bad HDD.

I think I will try to reproduce this error on a VM, but I also wonder if it might be a hardware issue.  I find it incredibly suspicious that this problem happened on a resume from suspect when the machine suspended while Amarok was playing.  It is the only time a resume has been a problem.

Script for Upgrading to KDE 4.3.1

I have had to run this more than twice.  I thought also keeping this up here as an easy way to find it again would be good.  This assumes starting from Kubuntu 9.04.


sudo apt-get install kde-icons-oxygen kdebase-runtime-data-common kdebase-workspace-libs4+5 kdelibs-bin kdelibs5 kdelibs5-data kdepimlibs-data ksysguardd libakonadiprivate1 libeet1 libkdecorations4 libkexiv2-7 libkipi6 libkonq5-templates libkwineffects1 libokularcore1 libplasma3 libqedje0 libqt4-assistant libqt4-core libqt4-dbus libqt4-designer libqt4-help libqt4-network libqt4-opengl libqt4-qt3support libqt4-script libqt4-sql libqt4-sql-mysql libqt4-sql-sqlite libqt4-svg libqt4-test libqt4-webkit libqt4-xml libqt4-xmlpatterns libqtcore4 libqtgui4 libqzion0 libsoprano4 policykit-kde python-qt4-dbus qt4-qtconfig soprano-daemon system-config-printer-kde

sudo apt-get install akregator amarok amarok-common ark dolphin dragonplayer gwenview kaddressbook kamera kate kde-printer-applet kde-window-manager kde-zeroconf kdebase-bin kdebase-data kdebase-plasma kdebase-runtime kdebase-runtime-bin-kde4 kdebase-runtime-data kdebase-workspace-bin kdebase-workspace-data kdegraphics-strigi-plugins kdemultimedia-kio-plugins kdepasswd kdepim-kresources kdepim-strigi-plugins kdepim-wizards kdepimlibs5 kdeplasma-addons kdm kfind khelpcenter4 klipper kmag kmail kmix kmousetool knotes konqueror konqueror-nsplugins konsole kontact kopete korganizer krdc krfb ksnapshot ksysguard ksystemlog ktimetracker kuser kwalletmanager libkcddb4 libkdepim4 libkleo4 libkonq5 libkpgp4 libksieve4 libmimelib4 okular okular-extra-backends plasma-widget-network-manager python-kde4 python-qt4 python-sip4 systemsettings kdeartwork-emoticons python-kde4-dbg python-qt4-dbg konq-plugins kdebase akonadi-server


Script for Installing My Favorite Packages

I have done a number of installs and wanted to make a script that would install my favorite things.  I finally got around to it and plan to keep this post updated as things are added or removed.  This assumes a basic Kubuntu install as a starting point.


sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install firefox yakuake lame msttcorefonts sun-java6-bin sun-java6-doc sun-java6-fonts sun-java6-jdk sun-java6-jre sun-java6-plugin flashplugin-nonfree cheese


I am pretty sure I have missed something.  But that’s a start.

Initial Netbook Impressions

In newegg’s infamous delivery speed, I received my AOD250 today.  My first impressions are quite good.

  • solid seating of power plug
  • tolerable keyboard –touchtyping is relatively easy (I just typed a few pages in a story I am working on, and my typing suffered very little)
  • nice display
  • Kubuntu 9.04 installed beautifully with no more hitches than normal — better than my old HP laptop
  • quiet
  • pretty
  • touchpad buttons are not as hard to press as some reviews claimed — but I like the resistance
  • wireless networking worked instantly (under Kubuntu, that is)
  • bluetooth is toggled by a hardware button … very nice (and KDE 4.3 nicely picks up on that and displays the BT system tray icon when BT is enabled)
  • Comes with1GB of RAM — and I’m not sure why people are instantly upgrading to 2GB as this works nicely for me.  However, it is only $30 …

I have a few instant nits though:

  • “End” is Fn+PgDn, “Home” is Fn+PgUp — I use these two keys a lot; these two things are becoming the top annoyance (but not enough to say not to buy one of these)
  • USB ports don’t seem to hold things squarely, but I seldom use them
  • hardware switch to shutoff touchpad would be nice — Fn+F7 toggles the touchpad; not as convenient as a hardware switch, but tolerably serves the purpose (updated 2009-09-06)
  • wired networking isn’t working right now (see this post)
  • the glossy screen is tolerable, but I can imagine it being intolerable if I were backlit or sitting outdoors (hmm…)
  • the touchpad can be a little fussy about the “touch click” — but it appears to err on the side of less sensitivity; I would prefer it erring in that direction

Overall, the install of Kubuntu was easy, and this is working exactly as I expected. In my first few hours of owning it, I liked it!  As if it isn’t already apparent, I plan to keep updating this post.  I will ultimately post a review on Newegg.

Linux DVD Mounting

And sometimes it is the little things that make me batty. I haven’t been able to play back DVDs on my main computer for awhile now because… there was no “dvd” or “dvd#” directory under “/media”.

After “cd /media; sudo mkdir dvd0” suddenly DVDs that wouldn’t load now do.

Yes, this is where I say “Arg!” and shake my fist.

Bonded Networking

Sometimes things are exactly as easy as they appear to be, and sometimes moreso.

I just followed this guide and now have bonded networking.  In theory, this means I have a 200Mbps connection to my network now.

Since I don’t like it when others point to a webpage and say that all they did was what was written, I’ll be more specific.

  1. I did nothing to my switch/router
  2. I installed ifenslave per the directions
  3. I took down my ethernet connections per the directions
  4. I copyed my /etc/network/interfaces file to a backup
  5. I edited the /etc/network/interfaces file to have the bond0 connection in it  (Ha!  This font makes that look like Bond-O — as in the car-body repair goop; it should be bond[zero])
  6. I brought the bond0 interface up
  7. hooray!

I think it took me longer to type this than to actually do it.

Update:  There was one catch.  My /etc/resolv.conf file ended up blank this morning (i.e., after rebooting).  I find this  a little odd, but I was easily able to fix it by adding the entries back into it.  I now have that backed up so I don’t have to reference my router for that information.

M4A Music Files, Linux, and Amarok

By choice, these files have some issues under Ubuntu.  There is “something” about the origins of M4A that disagree with the Ubuntu (and Debian) mission statement/s.  So, some manual steps need to be taken to get proper playback.

If I remember correctly, Amarok 1.4.9 did not play M4A files at all.  This appears to have been fixed under 1.4.10.  That is nice.  However, the tags are not read correctly, nor can they be updated — that is not so nice.  So, to get Amarok to read these tags, some manual compilation is necessary.

It is actually not as hard as it sounds once all of the necessary information is aggregated from “umpteen” different sources.  I’m strongly tempted to simply put together a shell script to do this.  I wouldn’t be able to verify it on all systems, but with adequate embedded comments, the ambitious person would be enabled to coerce it to work on their system, assuming it needed coercion.

(1)  Downloading the sources from the Amarok site and using the command-line is essential.

(2) The commands end up being quite easy.   It assumes (a) the source has been downloaded, (b) the source has been extracted (tar xvfj amarok-1.4.10.tar.bz2) into a directory, and (c) you are in said directory.

$ sudo apt-get build-dep amarok
$ sudo apt-get install libmp4v2-dev libfaad-dev libavcodec1d libavutil1d libfaac0 libgsm1 liblame0 libpostproc1d libxine1-ffmpeg libxvidcore4 libfaad0 libmp4v2-0 libmpeg4ip-0 libmpeg4ip-dev
$ ./configure --enable-mysql --enable-postgresql --with-libmtp --with-libgpod --with-mp4v2
===  Amarok - PLUGINS  ========================================================
= The following extra functionality will NOT be included:
=   - NMM-engine
=   - Helix-engine
=   - yauap-engine
=   - Rio Karma Support
= The following extra functionality will be included:
=   + xine-engine
=   + libvisual Support
=   + MySql Support
=   + Postgresql Support
=   + Konqueror Sidebar
=   + MusicBrainz Support
=   + MP4/AAC Tag Write Support
=   + iPod Support
=   + iRiver iFP Support
=   + Creative Nomad Jukebox Support
=   + MTP Device Support
=   + DAAP Music Sharing Support
Good - your configure finished. Start make now
$ make
$ sudo make install

Note these lines, the presence of the “+” is very important:

=   + MP4/AAC Tag Write Support
=   + iPod Support

No plus, no functionality.

This worked under Kubuntu 8.10.1 using KDE 3.5.10.  This does not work under Kubuntu 9.04 using KDE 4.2.2.  I am going to wait for Amarok 2.2 to come out and see what improvements have happened.  My compelling reason to do this at this point would be to get my “smart playlists” back along with better M4A support.  Amarock 2 has M4A support (though buggy in 2.1.x) playlists and dynamic playlists, but they seem to have not understood the value of smart playlists and how the way they worked in KDE 3.5.x / Amarok 1.4.x was good.  I understand “radical new version, radical new features”, but I consider the absence of these a deal-breaker at this point.

I hope to update this post later when I get a successful compile of Amarok 1.4.10 under Kubuntu 9.04.