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#1 Re: Off-topic » I'm Back » 2023-12-16 16:30:02

boughtonp wrote:

For clarity, when you say "works just fine", you mean you have successfully streamed audio and video though the browser, yes?

Audio and video playback works. I haven't tried using a microphone yet.

Edit: No, my microphone doesn't work. Not a big deal for me, but I could see than being a deal breaker for many.

#2 Re: Off-topic » I'm Back » 2023-12-16 16:02:32

I went ahead and installed Daedalus on an old laptop, and I've discovered a few interesting things.

First off, I removed pulseaudio with the following:

apt purge pulseaudio
apt --purge autoremove

Firefox works just fine with pure alsa, no apulse required. If anyone is having issues with firefox and alsa, make sure you purge pulseaudio. I assume if you only remove, rather than purge, then some configuration files get left behind that mess with firefox.

Second, I encountered the issue in this thread:
For now booting into 6.1.0-10 is working just fine. I have no idea how to configure Grub to boot a different kernel by default. Lilo was so much simpler... I suppose I could remove 6.1.0-15 and block it from installing.

Third, the lock screen behaves very strangely when I close the lid. The previous contents of the screen are visible, but I cannot interact with them. If I enter my password the screen unlocks successfully. It does this with both the default configuration, and when I alter /usr/bin/xflock4 to use slimlock instead of xscreensaver. Selecting Lock Screen from the menu behaves as expected.

Disabling xscreensaver entirely seems to occasionally leave the system in an unrecoverable state, where I just have a blank screen, and am unable to switch to a TTY. I haven't figured out which conditions produce this result yet. I intend to put void back on this laptop, so I'm not going to bother to fix it.

#3 Off-topic » I'm Back » 2023-12-13 11:26:44

Replies: 10

Hello everyone. It's good to see the forum is still active. My last login was in October of 2020, so it's been a few years.

I'm currently upgrading a number of systems to Daedalus, initially installed as Ascii and then upgraded to Beowulf, and thought I might as well share my observations. This isn't a request for support, I'm just rambling, so I figured Off Topic would be a reasonable spot to post this.

So far I've completed the upgrade process on my home server, and I've encountered a few quirks:
  1. Fdisk was autoremoved
  2. The Lynx web browser was pulled in as a recommended package by CUPS
  3. The Lilo package is no longer in the repos starting with Chimaera, much to my chagrin

I'm left scratching my head here, trying to imagine why the Debian maintainers decided that fdisk was unimportant enough that it could be removed, and yet a web browser was pulled in on a headless system. This seems absurd to me.

I can understand why Lilo was removed. Through my experimentation with Void Linux, I've discovered that Lilo fails to build with device mapper support. It seems something changed in a recent version of libdevmapper. Lilo works fine on Void with a basic installation without LVM or LUKS. The good news is, at least on my server, the Lilo package from Beowulf continues to function on Daedalus, so for now I've just left it alone.

Overall the upgrade went smoother than I expected. Impressive, considering this install has been upgraded across 4 major versions now.

My desktop is next, and I foresee a few potential stumbling blocks:
  1. My desktop uses LUKS and LVM, so I have no idea how Lilo will behave
  2. I'm seeing a number of threads on the forum here claiming that Firefox-ESR isn't functioning correctly with ALSA-only audio setups
  3. The new bright blue theme looks incredibly harsh on the eyes

I'm not sure why Firefox wouldn't work with ALSA. Looking at the src package, it's being built with the ALSA option.

Changing the theme in XFCE is easy enough, and it looks like the Cinnabar package is still available. I've never changed the theme in SLIM, so I have no idea how difficult it is.

As a little side note, I'm glad I checked. I was automatically logged out while typing this, and would have lost the post otherwise. Not so great... A reminder to type out long posts in a text file first.

#4 Re: Documentation » Multiple Sound Cards » 2020-03-08 14:33:28

This. Setting alsa settings through ~/.asoundrc is better than messing with modprobe if you aren't using pulseaudio. To summarize the archwiki,

Run aplay -l

aplay -l
**** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices ****
card 0: Device0ID [Device 0 Name], device 0: Multichannel [Multichannel]
  Subdevices: 0/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 1: Device1ID [Device 1 Name], device 0: Multichannel [Multichannel]
  Subdevices: 0/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0

Find your desired device, we will pick Device 0
Create ~/.asoundrc with the contents

pcm.!default {
    type hw
    card Device0ID

ctl.!default {
    type hw
    card Device0ID

I can put together a more advanced guide if you want to set different input and output devices.

Regarding firefox not recognizing .asoundrc, I cannot reproduce the issue, but my .asoundrc is closer to

pcm.!default {
    type plug
    slave {
        pcm "hw.Device0ID"

ctl.!default {
    type hw
    card Device0ID

Edit: I actually do remember firefox causing me trouble now that I think about it. Here's a previous post I made. It seems like firefox expects a plug device as default.

#5 Re: Installation » (beowulf) no ALSA available? » 2020-03-08 14:06:10

I'm not sure why cmus isn't working for you. I'm running ascii, originally jessie, and here are all the alsa packages I have installed

dpkg -l | grep alsa
ii  alsa-base                              1.0.27+1                           all          dummy package to ease purging of obsolete conffiles
ii  alsa-utils                             1.1.3-1                            amd64        Utilities for configuring and using ALSA
ii  gstreamer1.0-alsa:amd64                1.10.4-1+deb9u1                    amd64        GStreamer plugin for ALSA
ii  libalsaplayer0:amd64                   0.99.81-2                          amd64        alsaplayer plugin library
ii  volumeicon-alsa                        0.4.6-2.2+b1                       amd64        systray volume icon for alsa

Note alsa-base is just a dummy package to transition from jessie.

My relevant cmus settings, taken from ~/.config/cmus/autosave

set mixer.alsa.device=default
set output_plugin=alsa

#6 Re: Desktop and Multimedia » ascii/firefox youtube has no sound » 2020-03-08 13:43:13

Removing pulseaudio should be as simple as

apt-get purge pulseaudio

Note that if you remove pulseaudio you MUST purge it. Otherwise configuration files are left behind that break alsa.

Pulseaudios default settings are fine for most users. I honestly wouldn't worry about it unless it gives you problems.

With my desktop hardware, a 44.1 khz sampling rate gives me noise issues. All my audio needs to be re-sampled to 48 khz. With pulseaudio the latency is too high, and the re-sample quality could be better. When I tried bringing down the latency and increasing the re-sample quality the resource usage increased significantly. Alsa doesn't give me those issues, and I find the configuration files significantly easier to understand and modify.

My ancient laptop also performs better without pulseaudio, and I suspect others with older devices would benefit from a pure alsa setup as well.

#7 Re: Desktop and Multimedia » Alternative browser for Devuan/Debian - Brave » 2019-12-13 08:06:36

freemedia2018 wrote:

32 bit ( . . . ) works on both older 32 bit hardware and ( . . . ) 64 bit x86 hardware.

I don't see much point in running a 32bit os on 64bit hardware. Then again, most people will never hit the limitations of a 32bit os. Either way, it's worth keeping around simply for hardware support. My old systems still have life in them.

also the idea of using a browser from github is a bit creepy, i consider everything on github controlled by microsoft.

So far I haven't seen any reports of source code tampering, but it's worth keeping an eye out. My bigger concern is that Ungoogled Chromium is a small project with a massive never ending goal. Support is limited, and could disappear at any time. The lack of a website and official binaries could also be a turnoff for some.

#8 Re: Desktop and Multimedia » Alternative browser for Devuan/Debian - Brave » 2019-12-13 07:17:22

The Brave website states it is fully open source.

We use all-open source, and we welcome help in auditing our source

Brave really feels like it's trying to be the "Privacy Web Browser" for those who don't really know what that means, with a thick layer of gimmicks on top. The whole thing comes off almost as exploitative.

I've not tried Ungoogled Chromium yet, but I do use Iridium Unfortunately, Iridium seems to be dead. The last release was in July, and the last github commit was on November 7. Ungoogled Chromium seems like a solid replacement.

#9 Re: Desktop and Multimedia » Beowulf XFCE Display Manager » 2019-11-05 11:59:15

How about if I phrase this as a simple, concise question?

Why is XFCE pulling in both Slim and LightDM in Beowulf? This seems messy and unnecessary.

#10 Desktop and Multimedia » Beowulf XFCE Display Manager » 2019-10-31 06:21:31

Replies: 2

On my Beowulf XFCE+Slim+Consolekit installation, a recent update to xfce4-session pulled in elogind and lightdm through

Recommends: <logind>
Recommends: light-locker

Meanwhile, task-xfce-desktop pulls in slim and consolekit through

Depends: slim
Recommends: libpolkit-backend-consolekit-1-0

I assume the addition of light-locker is to make up for the removal of a dependency on xscreensaver. A cleaner way to do this would be to use slimlock. Unfortunately, as packaged, xfce doesn't use slimlock. To fix this, the file


which is part of xfce4-session, can be changed from

for lock_cmd in \
    "xscreensaver-command -lock" \
    "light-locker-command --lock" \
    "gnome-screensaver-command --lock" \
    "mate-screensaver-command --lock"
    $lock_cmd >/dev/null 2>&1 && exit


for lock_cmd in \
    "slimlock" \
    "xscreensaver-command -lock" \
    "light-locker-command --lock" \
    "gnome-screensaver-command --lock" \
    "mate-screensaver-command --lock"
    $lock_cmd >/dev/null 2>&1 && exit

#11 Re: Hardware & System Configuration » PulseAudio? Seriously!? » 2019-08-16 06:35:44

Pulseaudio can safely be removed from the default install with

apt-get purge pulseaudio

Note that you need to purge, not just remove. Pulseaudio leaves behind some config files that mess with a pure alsa settup, which cause audio devices to mute and unmute incorrectly.

#12 Re: Off-topic » Linux distros are getting there... » 2019-08-16 06:27:09

macondo wrote:

chrommium-widevine is in the repos.

Excellent, that answered my question perfectly. Thanks.

#13 Re: Off-topic » Music » 2019-07-31 08:23:44

I still have my first guitar. I remember doing extra chores around the house and saved my allowance for over a year. I still have it, and my second guitar, and my eighth... Unfortunately, the number of guitars you own has nothing to do with how well you can play, lol.

Soundgarden - Spoonman

Soundgarden - Outshined

#14 Re: Off-topic » Linux distros are getting there... » 2019-07-31 08:04:00

I'm curious. Did you have to manually enable DRM content, or does Void build Firefox/Chromium with that enabled by default?

If it's enabled by default, this means that your browser automatically downloaded and installed the closed source, proprietary Widevine DRM plugin onto your PC without asking.

The less likely scenario is that Netflix switched to an open source format for streaming.

#15 Re: Off-topic » Life after Firefox » 2019-07-31 07:42:43

Ron wrote:

I looked that up and I see that there are 24 versions of it. Which version did you try?

I've tried both 3.0.4 and 3.0.6. Neither work, but 3.0.4 allows me to access the configuration page, rather than giving me an error message.

Ron wrote:

Or, try changing to Gecko compatibility. That's the setting I use.

I think you misunderstood. I'm not talking about the User Agent Mode setting. If you look in the addons page, most extensions should have a blue dot next to their name with a popup saying "This add-on directly targets Pale Moon". Some may have an orange dot saying "This add-on targets Mozilla Firefox and runs in compatibility mode". It seems like there is a significant enough difference between Pale Moon and Firefox 52 that it is necessary to develop addons slightly differently.

#16 Re: Installation » vbox for 3.0 ? » 2019-07-31 07:16:58

Virtualbox was removed from Debian Buster in April … m-testing/
virtualbox: might not be suitable for stable releases due to lack of cooperation from upstream on security support for older releases

#17 Other Issues » Beowulf update adding Ceres repos to sources » 2019-07-22 23:33:13

Replies: 2

I've verified this on a couple different installations. The lines

# Devuan repositories
deb ceres main
deb-src ceres main

are being appended to /etc/apt/sources.list

I suspect it has something to do with the task packages that have recently been updated. Here is my sources.list before the lines were added


# deb cdrom:[devuan_ascii_2.0.0_amd64_netinst]/ ascii main contrib non-free

#deb cdrom:[devuan_ascii_2.0.0_amd64_netinst]/ ascii main contrib non-free

deb beowulf main contrib
# deb-src beowulf main contrib

deb beowulf-security main contrib
# deb-src beowulf-security main contrib

deb beowulf-updates main contrib
# deb-src beowulf-updates main contrib

It happens on both a minimal install and a full XFCE install.

#18 Re: Off-topic » Life after Firefox » 2019-07-22 22:50:50

I've been using Pale Moon for a couple months now, both in Devuan and Windows (gasp).

The Windows version gave me too many problems. Websites were broken that weren't on the linux version. I don't know if this was user error, or if there was a problem with the build, but it was easier to just move back to Firefox.

The linux version has been usable, but I still had a couple problems.
While watching full screen video, the browser failed to prevent my screen from going idle. I remember having this problem with Firefox 52 as well.
The "Don't load tabs until selected" option doesn't seem to do anything. New tabs always autoload.
Youtube loads an older version of the site, which I actually prefer. Simpler to use, less resource usage, and looks nicer.

I've encountered one addon that I can't seem to get working. I downloaded Redirector from the Classic Add-ons Archive, and it just gives me an error "Redirector does not work in Private Mode", even when I'm just using a regular window. This could be because it's built for Firefox and is running in Firefox compatibility mode.

#19 Re: Off-topic » What other distro are you using (besides devuan)? » 2019-07-22 22:16:32

I've experimented a few other distros recently.
I really like Void, and I'm tempted to switch my laptop over.
PCLinuxOS was interesting, but not my thing.
I've tried MX Linux, because it's frequently suggested as another non-systemd debian, but as far as I can tell systemd is running?
From the BSDs, OpenBSD is my favourite.

As for actual hardware installs, currently it's all Devuan.

#21 Re: Off-topic » Life after Firefox » 2019-05-11 22:45:46

My main browser has been Iridium for quite a while now. As beate pointed out, the Debian package is actually built on Ubuntu, and depends on a newer version of libfontconfig1 than is available in Stretch/ASCII. I rebuilt it against the ASCII version, and I also had to change some sandbox settings.

I've been experimenting with Pale Moon. Previously, I've had trouble with sites not loading correctly, but this time it seems like everything works. It looks like the main addons I use are available, or have good alternatives. There is a Debian repository available. Be aware that Pale Moon does not support WebRTC, which Jitsi requires.

Basilisk Browser looks interesting. Like Pale Moon, it's based on the Goanna engine, and it supports "Legacy" addons. Unlike Pale Moon, it uses the newer Australis interface (Firefox 29 to 56), and supports WebRTC. I haven't actually tried it yet though.

One thing to note about the Debian build of Firefox. While it does currently support ALSA, it does not like the asym plugin. To get around this, a plug device should be set as default, and it should call the asym device. Here's an example .asoundrc

pcm.!default {
    type plug
    slave {
        pcm "AsymDevice"

pcm.AsymDevice {
    type asym
    playback.pcm "OutputDevice"
    capture.pcm "InputDevice"

Apulse also requires a plug device as default.

#22 Re: Installation » Hello bcm43142 » 2019-05-09 16:03:39

Edit: My apologies, after reviewing the supported devices list, you were correct in looking at wl … ed_devices

I'll leave the original post up in case it helps someone else.

You shouldn't need the wl package. To get my b43 device working, I installed


You should only need one of the firmware packages. I just installed both because I didn't know which one was correct, and I didn't want to take the time to find out.

#24 Re: Other Issues » VLC has no codecs » 2019-05-05 21:07:33

I'm not a lawyer, so take this with the appropriate amount of salt.

libdvdcss2 is opensource GPL software designed to bypass the encryption on DVDs.

The reason why it can't be included by default in Debian/Devuan is because of US copyright law. As I understand, it is illegal in the US to distribute software designed to bypass copyright protection. VLC can produce and distribute libdvdcss2 because they are based in France, where copyright law is less restrictive. Notice how the package downloads the source code from VLCs servers and builds it locally.

This has nothing to do with "beta quality software" or "the Linux community". Windows, and other proprietary operating systems, can play DVDs out of the box because they are able and willing to pay licensing fees for proprietary codecs. They don't need to jump through hoops to enable users to view content they legally purchased. If anything, the problem is with DVDs themselves.

If you want a Linux Distribution that can include codecs, try Linux Mint. It's based in Ireland, which also has less restrictive copyright law. Mint is also more likely to "just work" without putting in the effort, which seems to be what you're looking for. Just be prepared to get frustrated when it becomes a massive pain to do any significant customization, and expect systemd to give you grief.

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