Monday, August 11, 2014

Why did flash player stop working in chromium on Debian?

Adobe flash is evil right? Yet many sites insist on using it (who knows for what evil purpose?!) and it's annoying the heck out of me if they keep throwing warnings about a missing flash player. 

Well, here's a clue: somehow I missed the news that chrome/chromium now uses a google maintained version of flash player which you can install using 
apt-get install pepperflashplugin-nonfree
Nothing to see here really. Carry on :)

Sunday, June 8, 2014

problems encountered while switching to systemd

Computer stopped booting

After the latest dist-upgrade in debian SID my system refused to boot. After seemingly doing nothing for a while my computer would just drop into an emergency root console. In the mean time everything is up and running again, and here's what I had to do to make it boot again:

  • After reading many bug reports and forum entries about NFS mounts in fstab causing a system not to boot, I decided to take a look at my /etc/fstab. In /etc/fstab I had specified (amongst other things) mount points for cdrom, dvd, and up to two usb sticks:
/dev/cdrom /media/cdrom0 udf,iso9660 user,noauto 0 0
/dev/dvdrw1 /media/dvd auto noauto,rw,user,exec 0 0
/dev/sdb1 /media/usbstick auto users,rw
/dev/sdc1 /media/usbstick2 auto users,rw
After commenting out all those lines, the system suddenly booted again. Despite the "missing" entries, KDE still manages to recognize USB sticks and while it might be unrelated, I noticed that now suddenly KDE is able to correctly play audio CDs -- something I had never managed before. The player would start but I never got any sound from it.

CUPS refused to start

Once the system booted again I hit the next problem: I couldn't print anymore since CUPS refused to come up. After searching the net, I saw more people having the same problem. In a lucky guess I looked in /etc/sysctl.conf and saw a line:

net.ipv6.conf.all.disable_ipv6 = 1

I disabled that line and cups worked again! I then added that information to a bug record related to bringing up CUPS on systemd . In the mean time other people have encountered the same issue:

No visual feedback during boot

This was the least of my problems initially, but after a while I missed the coloured OK's during startup.
Turns out /etc/default/grub contained a line


after changing that to


and running update-grub, my beloved colored OK's are back :)


All systemd versus SysVinit wars aside, I haven't seen other issues on my system so far. Keeping fingers crossed :)

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Getting rid of "What's hot and recommended" in your google plus stream

1. go to[]
2. click the explore link on the top of the page
3. click the "what's hot" link in the "Explore google+" blue thingy that appears
4. click the cogwheel in the red "What's hot and recommended" thingy that appears
5. uncheck "show posts in home stream"