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#1 Re: Other Issues » backdoor targeting deb and rpm via systemd? » 2024-04-01 18:06:38

The avalanche of dependencies that occurs if you accept the "recommended" packages for ssh-server on Debian is truly mind-boggling. The exact list might change depending on your system, but it wanted to pull in an entire GNOME desktop on mine, and I didn't even have X installed! It was all because polkitd recommended a little GUI authentication widget.

#2 Re: Hardware & System Configuration » [SOLVED] Audio device: Intel Corporation Sunrise Point-LP HD Audio (rev 21) » 2024-03-18 01:49:41

Now it seems that there is no such thing as /dev/dsp anymore.

PulseAudio can still emulate it, but virtually nothing uses it anymore. (I think NAS does, but NAS is itself a relic.) Pretty much every piece of Linux software written this millennium uses ALSA, either directly, or through an intermediary such as Pipewire or Jack.

#3 Re: Desktop and Multimedia » [SOLVED] Stupid music player tricks » 2024-03-09 04:23:29

The glitching sounds like it could be buffer underruns. The fact that it's happening on two different programs points to the audio system. There are different ways to adjust your buffer settings depending on which audio system/driver you're using for output; ALSA and PulseAudio both have ways to do it, for example. Unfortunately I haven't had to fiddle with that stuff for decades, so I can't give you any specifics, but at least it's a place to start.

#4 Re: Hardware & System Configuration » [SOLVED] no time service » 2024-03-09 04:04:13

ntpsec is the "default" time daemon that will be installed if you run 'apt install ntp'. There's also the aforementioned chrony, as well as openntpd, which comes from OpenBSD. I just install with ntpsec on my systems since it's the default, and I didn't have a pressing reason to use one of the others. IIRC setup was entirely automatic; I didn't need to edit any init scripts or config files. However, I did run 'dpkg-reconfigure tzdata' to set my correct time zone.

#5 Re: Hardware & System Configuration » apt update tries to delete /lib/init & /lib/lsb » 2024-03-06 21:51:30

I've already run usrmerge. Doesn't the below mean that the original /lib/init is already gone? So apt would have actually been trying to delete /usr/lib/init.

$ realpath /lib/init
$ realpath /lib/init/init-d-script

#6 Hardware & System Configuration » apt update tries to delete /lib/init & /lib/lsb » 2024-03-05 03:35:52

Replies: 3

I just ran an Excalibur upgrade and got these errors:

Preparing to unpack .../sysvinit-utils_3.08-7devuan1_amd64.deb ...
Unpacking sysvinit-utils (3.08-7devuan1) over (3.08-5devuan1) ...
dpkg: warning: unable to delete old directory '/lib/lsb/init-functions.d': Directory not empty
dpkg: warning: unable to delete old directory '/lib/lsb': Directory not empty
Setting up sysvinit-utils (3.08-7devuan1) ...
Preparing to unpack .../2-initscripts_3.08-7devuan1_all.deb ...
Unpacking initscripts (3.08-7devuan1) over (3.08-5devuan1) ...
dpkg: warning: unable to delete old directory '/lib/init': Directory not empty

I checked, and dozens of scripts in /etc/init.d still source the scripts in /lib/init. So it seems odd that an upgrade would try to delete it. Does anyone know what's going on here? Is this usrmerge related?

#7 Re: Off-topic » terminal title parameter » 2024-03-03 23:02:35

Not sure if this helps with your particular situation, but you can change the title of a window with the WM_NAME atom. I edited the previous version of this post because I provided a long example that did this with XSetWindowProperty(), but it turns out there's a dedicated function XFetchame() that does this much more easily. The documentation is here: … E_Property
If you first need to identify the windows that need their name changed, you can use XGetClassHint() to get the unaltered application name. (Terminals will usually update the title with the working directory, etc.)

#8 Re: Installation » installing Devuan Trinity, gpt disk, non-uefi boot error » 2024-02-27 00:38:08

You need to install grub to the disk, not the partition, i.e., 'grub-install /dev/sda' not 'grub-install /dev/sda2'.

There are two versions of grub, grub-efi and grub-pc. The former is for UEFI systems, the latter for BIOS. I don't know how it works if you install Devuan with the automatic installer, but is it possible you got the wrong version?

You can find out whether the system is in UEFI mode by checking the contents of /sys/firmware/efi/efivars/. There should be a large number of files in there if the system is UEFI. If the efivars aren't there, it's not EFI. Some systems allow you to switch between UEFI and legacy BIOS boot in the BIOS setup menu.

Here's the full process for setting up a legacy BIOS boot partition: After creating the partition in gdisk (type EF02) enter the expert menu with the x command. Then issue the a (attributes) command, and select the BIOS partition number. An attribute menu will be printed. Select the 'hide from EFI' and 'legacy BIOS bootable' attributes (should be options 1 & 2.) Do not to format this partition.

#9 Re: Desktop and Multimedia » Firefox-esr Audio through ALSA Alone » 2024-02-26 02:10:13

Weird, I have Devuan and firefox-esr on four different systems now, and all of them work fine with bare ALSA. One thing I've noticed, though, is that the ALSA mixer on a new installation always starts out with deranged settings that give me no sound. Channels are muted, or set to zero, or multiple combinations thereof. On a new system, before I try to use audio, I add my user to the audio group, open alsamixer, max out everything, and make sure all switches are un-muted.

#10 Re: Hardware & System Configuration » wasted $ on multi function keyboard and mouse » 2024-02-26 00:52:17

Sometimes you can actually find a way to make those extra keys and buttons work yourself. I have an Alienware 18 laptop with a bunch of extra keys, and I was able to identify the keycodes with evtest. I then created a custom mapping at /etc/udev/hwdb.d/61-custom-keyboard.hwdb file to remap them to useful things, including keys the Alienware didn't include, such as SysRq. It's pretty easy once you get the keycodes. The hardest part is finding a keyboard definition that works, but you can usually manage by copying the definitions from the system files until you find one that works. It helps to use a lot of wildards. Mine looks something like this:

 KEYBOARD_KEY_92=sysrq       # macro key 1
 KEYBOARD_KEY_93=scrolllock  # macro key 2

Note, however, that the keycode assignments must be indented with exactly one space, just as you see above. A tab, or a different number of spaces will not work! Here's everyone's favorite developer addressing this totally sane requirement. wink

#11 Re: Freedom Hacks » Securing my/our computer systems » 2024-02-09 10:52:42

It's impossible to damage a modern CPU by disabling the fan. They have built-in thermal protection that will immediately throttle or completely shut down the device if a safe operating temperature is exceeded. It's one of the upsides of the spooky "management engine" they put in processors now. I've seen videos where people forget to apply thermal compound, a mistake that would have instantly killed older CPUs, but the only sign was that the system booted and ran extremely slowly. There is no known exploit that can disable this feature; it's beyond the control of the OS or BIOS, for good or ill.

I've never heard of a Linux remote exploit that could corrupt the NVRAM, but I suppose it's possible. However, anyone with sufficient knowledge to deploy such a sophisticated attack would almost certainly be aware that simply disabling the CPU fan would not cause any permanent damage. I would expect them to go after a softer target, like the hard disk.

I have had systems where the NVRAM because inexplicably corrupted, sometimes repeatedly and seemingly at random. In at least one instance, I'm positive it wasn't due to a remote exploit, as the machine had never been connected to the network. A power surge, static discharge, or bad motherboard component could be to blame. Intermittent BIOS faults are the worst, and almost impossible to diagnose. Often it's easier to just replace the motherboard. And I say that as someone who hates giving up!

#12 Re: DIY » Simple Countdown Timer » 2024-02-06 16:16:07

I think the problem is you put a '&' on the command line between setting the variable and executing your script. I tested it myself. I created a minimal test script:

xterm -e "bash -c \"echo $TIME; read\""

Then I ran it like this:

$ TIME=3

and it opened an xterm window and printed the number '3'.
Then I ran it your way, like this:

$ TIME=3 &

And it opened an empty window. I think when you insert a '&' it breaks up the simple command and makes it into two commands, so the variable is no longer set in the environment for the second command. It shouldn't be a problem to take out the '&' because setting a variable is non-blocking.

#13 Re: Installation » all the new kernel disturb some old PC's! » 2024-02-06 12:40:40

In my case, perhaps this is a communication error between the Nvidia driver and DE (Trinity).

Oh, I've had this specific problem as well, and I think you're right. The brightness keys were working on XFCE with the nouveau driver, but stopped when I installed the nvidia driver. I think it's because the nvidia driver moves the brightness controls to a weird location. Most drivers have them under /sys/class/backlight/acpi_video0/, but nvidia puts them under /sys/class/backlight/nv_backlight/. Dedicated utilities such as brightnessctl and xbacklight have no trouble finding them there, but DEs don't seem to be coded as intelligently.

#14 Re: Installation » all the new kernel disturb some old PC's! » 2024-02-06 12:30:35

yes I have 4 rectangle speakers, but some of them must not be working like new.

Is it possible it has a setup like MacBooks, where the extra speakers are "bass speakers" on LFE channels? You could try running a surround speaker test, something like this works on my MacBooks to sound all speakers separately:

speaker-test -Dsurround21:PCH -c 4

If you get an error about the device name being wrong, check the output of `aplay -L`:

$ aplay -L | grep -i surround21

If you actually do have subwoofers, there may be a way to turn them on with regular output. The MacBook has a control called 'Bass Speaker Playback Switch' that, when turned on, routes regular output to all 4 speakers. You could try `amixer controls` and look for something similar. Here's how I would find the control on a MacBook, and then turn it on.

$ amixer controls | grep -i bass
numid=4,iface=MIXER,name='Bass Speaker Playback Switch'
numid=3,iface=MIXER,name='Bass Speaker Playback Volume'
$ amixer cset numid=4 on
numid=4,iface=MIXER,name='Bass Speaker Playback Switch'
  ; type=BOOLEAN,access=rw------,values=2
  : values=on,on

Maybe there's something similar on your laptop.

#15 Re: Installation » all the new kernel disturb some old PC's! » 2024-02-04 13:07:24

I have and use the Wacom tablet, mouse and pen 2d generation (after the one 1. generation I had connected with the Pentium) and it is a lot of years ago no problem at all!

USB tablets should still work, even if very old. Only tablets with a serial interface were deprecated, and only in post-2022 version of X11.

He has two identical NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 650M video cards, driver support has ended, the old ones work, but I couldn’t get the keyboard buttons that control brightness to work.

I've had similar problems on several different laptops. The keyboard backlight keys dodn't work, and evtest doesn't even show them emitting scancodes in the console. I suspect it might have something to do with the brightness_switch_enabled kernel setting, but I've never been able to figure it out. I always end up just binding my own custom hotkeys to scripts that set the backlight via brightnessctl. I find my own key bindings more convenient anyway!

#16 Re: Desktop and Multimedia » StartX doesn't work after a fresh install (segmentation fault 0x20) » 2024-02-02 02:44:51

Would be good if I can replicate the issue; there have been similar Xorg crash reports before and possibly there's a common cause.

Yes, I thought that log looked familiar. This post has an almost identical log, with X crashing out after loading the glamoregl driver. In the earlier thread, the radeon driver was next in the backtrace, but this user has the nouveau driver next. The other user seemed to be having issues with Mesa.

#17 Re: Off-topic » Show your desktop (rebooted) » 2024-01-31 02:32:34

@aluma hey, nice work! That's great memory usage, especially considering you've got some KDE stuff running. I looked up the ps_mem utility you guys are using, and it gave me a chance to try out installing a Python package with pipx. Here's what I get with basically nothing but an xterm window open. Not sure why my Xorg is so memory-hungry. Maybe lots of fonts?

ntpd is a surprise. Maybe I should have installed the OpenBSD ntp daemon instead. dunst is supposed to be a lightweight desktop notification server. I guess it's lightweight compared to GNOME. I have no idea what's going on with exim4, it must be misconfigured. I just installed it because cron said it needed a mail handler for system alerts, and it's supposed to be the "light" version!

Private  +   Shared  =  RAM used       Program

148.0 KiB + 112.5 KiB = 260.5 KiB       seatd
224.0 KiB + 122.5 KiB = 346.5 KiB       sh
176.0 KiB + 184.5 KiB = 360.5 KiB       init
424.0 KiB + 124.5 KiB = 548.5 KiB       cron
388.0 KiB + 221.5 KiB = 609.5 KiB       dbus-launch
  1.0 MiB +  36.5 KiB =   1.0 MiB       ssh-agent
748.0 KiB + 486.5 KiB =   1.2 MiB       su
636.0 KiB + 691.0 KiB =   1.3 MiB       dbus-daemon (2)
  1.2 MiB + 113.5 KiB =   1.3 MiB       udevd
920.0 KiB + 994.0 KiB =   1.9 MiB       getty (6)
  1.9 MiB + 107.5 KiB =   2.0 MiB       dhclient
  2.2 MiB + 133.5 KiB =   2.3 MiB       rsyslogd
  2.0 MiB + 655.5 KiB =   2.6 MiB       sshd
  1.5 MiB +   1.6 MiB =   3.1 MiB       bash (2)
  1.7 MiB +   1.7 MiB =   3.5 MiB       xdm (2)
  3.4 MiB +  97.5 KiB =   3.5 MiB       iwd
  5.8 MiB +   1.1 MiB =   6.9 MiB       xterm
  8.5 MiB +   5.1 MiB =  13.6 MiB       dunst
 15.7 MiB + 140.5 KiB =  15.8 MiB       exim4
 15.8 MiB + 971.5 KiB =  16.8 MiB       ntpd
 14.1 MiB +   6.2 MiB =  20.3 MiB       x-window-manage
 95.0 MiB +   2.0 MiB =  96.9 MiB       Xorg
                        196.0 MiB

Edit: sorry, I didn't know this would post so big. I can remove this if it's too big for the thread, just let me know!

#18 Re: Installation » all the new kernel disturb some old PC's! » 2024-01-31 01:30:27

Today 03:10:53

This is a convertible laptop with a touch screen.
Judging by the Ubuntu forum, one of the most problematic devices. Mainly because of the keyboard and touch screen. This is despite the fact that Ubuntu 10.04 is recommended by Dell.

That's why I talked about drivers; rebuilding the kernel is unlikely to help; usually the standard kernel includes support for all possible hardware.

This is potentially an important point, especially with regard to tablet/touch PCs. For instance, the kernel still supports the Wacom serial tablet interface used in many older tablet PC displays. However, kernel support won't do you much good without X11 support, and the X11 devs removed support for these devices back in January of 2022. Many tablets sold in 2012 and earlier simply will not work with the versions of this driver bundled with the last few Debian/Devuan releases.

#19 Re: Hardware & System Configuration » merged /usr » 2024-01-29 18:51:02

dpkg: warning: This system uses merged-usr-via-aliased-dirs, going behind dpkg's
dpkg: warning: back, breaking its core assumptions. This can cause silent file
dpkg: warning: overwrites and disappearances, and its general tools misbehavior.
dpkg: warning: See <>.

I haven't seen this one before, is this new?  The phrase "going behind [one's] back" implies deception, which really crosses a line.

#20 Re: Off-topic » Show your desktop (rebooted) » 2024-01-29 07:45:09

Not very exciting, I know, but it actually represents a fair amount of work. My task was to resurrect a 2009 Fujitsu Stylistic tablet PC for an artist in the family who wanted a digital sketchpad, but didn't want to drop a bundle on a new tablet. The unusual vertical tray setup is to match the user's current MacBook, which has the dock on the left.

Squeezing every last bit of performance out of this system is important with a 1.4 GHz processor, and JWM helps with that. It's more responsive now, with Devuan, than it was in 2009 with Windows Vista.

For some reason, the onboard volume/brightness buttons just aren't picked up at all by evemu or xev, so I made those little tray buttons you see on the bottom left. I also added scripts to push on-screen notifications, as you can see on the upper right.

It may sound silly, but figuring out the names of all the resources to fully customize the colors of xvkbd took me hours. I actually had to look in the source code for some of them, as they weren't in the app-defaults file!

#21 Re: Hardware & System Configuration » iwd Daemon Not Starting at Boot » 2024-01-28 20:29:25

I kept searching the web for instances of the error message, and eventually I found something helpful:
empty runlevels overide LSB defaults
It turns out that re-installing a script without first removing it can result in this error. So I merely did the following, and it ran without errors, installing the symlinks in the proper locations:

# update-rc.d -f iwd remove
# update-rc.d iwd defaults

The manpage for update-rc.d says that running the `remove' directive while the script is still present in /etc/init.d will result in errors. However, that didn't happen for me. In fact, it was exactly what I needed to do to fix the problem. It removed the symlinks in /etc/rc*.d, which then allowed me to reinstall the script with the default settings.

[Edit to clarify this paragraph] The manpage doesn't mention that running update-rc.d with the `defaults' directive when symlinks are already present in /etc/rc*.d will result in errors. There is a paragraph that says it "does nothing" if files exist at /etc/rc*.d/[SK]??, and I think this information is meant to apply to the `default' action, although the wording isn't really clear. But that's not really what happened either. In my case, installed kill scripts all over the place.

It's all very confusing, but I think I have the proper procedure figured out now.

#22 Re: Installation » Cannot login after daedalus upgrade » 2024-01-27 06:11:09

You may already know this stuff, but just in case: if you need to get to a terminal to do some troubleshooting, you should be able to hit Ctrl-Alt-F1 through F6 to open a virtual console and log in. From there, you can check the X log at /var/log/Xorg.0.log. Look for lines with (EE) near the left, these are errors.

#23 Re: Hardware & System Configuration » iwd Daemon Not Starting at Boot » 2024-01-27 05:31:05

Thanks GlennW, I tried changing the runlevels, but I'm still getting the message about empty runlevels. For some reason update-rc.d is not properly parsing the file. It's so strange! I also had to install a script for nftables, and it worked fine.

I wish I'd looked at the rc directories before changing the iwd script to see if it was installed wrong from the start. That could have been the problem from the beginning.

I've got the orphan-sysvinit-scripts package on all my systems now, that's a good one to have.

Edit - update:

I used `update-rc.d iwd enable [runlevels]` to force the service to start when I wanted it to. It still doesn't explain why the default method fails, but at least it works now, and the service starts at boot!

#24 Re: Hardware & System Configuration » iwd Daemon Not Starting at Boot » 2024-01-27 05:13:08

Sorry to double-post, but this is a semi-separate issue, as I just realized I missed something really obvious. When I updated the script with update-rc.d, it put nothing but kill links in the /etc/rc* directories:

# update-rc.d iwd defaults
insserv: warning: current start runlevel(s) (empty) of script `iwd' overrides LSB defaults (2 3 4 5).
insserv: warning: current stop runlevel(s) (0 1 2 3 4 5 6) of script `iwd' overrides LSB defaults (0 1 6).

I don't understand why it's doing this, as the script has the correct runlevels:

if [ true != "$INIT_D_SCRIPT_SOURCED" ] ; then
    set "$0" "$@"; INIT_D_SCRIPT_SOURCED=true . /lib/init/init-d-script
# Provides:       iwd
# Required-Start: $remote_fs
# Required-Stop:  $remote_fs
# Should-Start:   $network
# Should-Stop:    $network
# Default-Start:  2 3 4 5
# Default-Stop:   0 1 6
# Description:    Wireless service

Can anyone explain why update-rc.d isn't picking up these runlevels? When I update other scripts on the system, it works fine.

#25 Re: Hardware & System Configuration » iwd Daemon Not Starting at Boot » 2024-01-27 04:41:51

Thanks, I believe we may already be using the same script, as the /etc/init.d/iwd script that was installed on my system says it was generated by sys2dv:

# Generated by sysd2v v0.3  --
# kFreeBSD do not accept scripts as interpreters, using #!/bin/sh and sourcing.

I think the sys2dv script would work fine as it is, if it weren't for the known bug with the Atheros hardware, which was apparently fixed for the newer chipset (ath10k) but not my older system (ath9k.) This is a really old system (2008) and I don't think anyone at iwd or the kernel cares about fixing it anymore. I'll have a look at the sysd2v script source and see if I can figure out where I need to introduce the 2-second delay that the systemd unit fix would normally provide.

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