3D/GPU-related display problems with Atom editor on Xubuntu 16.04 VM

Was having a problem with Atom editor on a new Ubuntu/Xubuntu 16.04 virtual machine. Launching Atom using the --disable-gpu option seems to fix the problem:

$ atom --disable-gpu

Via discuss.atom.io.

Next, need to figure out how to modify the application launch item in the Whisker Menu so that it executes that command instead of the vanilla $ atom command.


CUPS and network printing on Linux

CUPS and network printing on Ubuntu GNOME 16.04, to be specific. CUPS is an open-source printing system for Mac OS, Linux and UNIX which I don’t know much about yet but appears to be pretty widely used judging by my limited googling.

Via Ask Ubuntu, a CUPS web dashboard can be accessed via the URL http://localhost:631/

Continue reading “CUPS and network printing on Linux”

Resetting a Brother HL-5250DN printer to factory default settings

I have an old Brother HL-5250DN black and white laser printer that I found via Craigslist. I want to set up the printer as a network printer on my home network — the first step is to factory reset the printer so that I can regain access to the admin control panel!

Continue reading “Resetting a Brother HL-5250DN printer to factory default settings”

Linux pagers: less is more

When you are on the Linux command line and you want to view the contents of a file, you can use the less program. less is a newer pager program that replaces the older pager program, more. Hence the joke: less is more.

less is new and improved, so in almost all cases it will be preferred over more (maybe there will sometimes be compatibility issues with very old programs, or shell scripts, in which case more will be used).

Continue reading “Linux pagers: less is more”

Playing DVDs on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

DVDs did not play out of the box on my Ubuntu Desktop 16.04 LTS machine. I was able to fix this by doing the following.

First, entered the command:

$ sudo apt install libdvd-pkg

After the package and dependencies finished downloading and installing, it launched a short guided prompt sequence. I answered yes to all prompts — the only one really worth paying attention to was a choice to have the thing automatically update itself. It sounded like it has to build itself from source every time or something, so I guess it is a little non-standard in this regard. The prompts then told me to run the following command, which I did:

$ sudo dpkg-reconfigure libdvd-pkg

This popped up another little pseudo-graphical terminal prompt screen which, if I recall correctly, just asked me if I wanted to install the thing, which I answered in the affirmative.

After I completed these steps, all was well and I can now play the two DVDs I have tested without any problems.

I discovered this fix via a page on the Ubuntu wiki, RestrictedFormats/PlayingDVDs. According to the wiki, the actual software package that does the work is called libdvdcss2, and the libdvd-pkg package is a convenience package that makes the install easier.

Non-breaking hyphens in Microsoft Word

I’ve encountered a weird little use case for non-breaking hyphens in Microsoft Word, and I have found the way to do it at this blog entry at Allen Wyatt’s Word Tips: Ctrl+Shift+- (or Ctrl+_).


The non-breaking hyphen is used to keep a hyphenated phrase together across a line break. So, for example, the phrase “non-breaking” when occurring at the end of a line would not do this:


Curated lists on Github

There are a large number of list repositories on Github spanning dozens of subjects. There is a sort of in-joke in the naming convention: they are for the most part named “awesome-{topic}” e.g. awesome-sysadmin. Someone (bayandin) on Github totally beat me to this, but here’s a partial list (unfortunately in no particular order at this time):

tools of the trade
vim and tmux
android (JStumpp)
big data
swift (Wolg)
data science
machine learning
front-end development
public datasets
web performance optimization
computer vision
mac OS
working remotely
C (not github)
MaterialDesign (google UI visual design philosophy)
UI motion library animations
interview questions
bioinformatics, machine learning, data science, related languages
application security
natural language processing (NLP)
swift education
nodejs (vndmtrx)
internet of things (IoT)
information security (infosec)

Installing Visual Studio Code on Ubuntu 16.04 using dpkg

Yesterday I posted a note about manually installing the Atom editor on Ubuntu 16.04 using dpkg. A friend recommended that I try out Visual Studio Code for Python development, and I was pleased to discover that it is available in a .deb package for install on Linux. I used the same command to install the VS Code .deb:

foo@manchoo:~/Downloads$ sudo dpkg -i code_1.4.0-1470329130_amd64.deb 
[sudo] password for foo: 
Selecting previously unselected package code.
(Reading database ... 303742 files and directories currently installed.)
Preparing to unpack code_1.4.0-1470329130_amd64.deb ...
Unpacking code (1.4.0-1470329130) ...
Setting up code (1.4.0-1470329130) ...
Processing triggers for gnome-menus (3.13.3-6ubuntu3) ...
Processing triggers for desktop-file-utils (0.22-1ubuntu5) ...
Processing triggers for bamfdaemon (0.5.3~bzr0+16.04.20160415-0ubuntu1) ...
Rebuilding /usr/share/applications/bamf-2.index...
Processing triggers for mime-support (3.59ubuntu1) ...


Using dpkg to install a local .deb file

The Atom editor is not available via the Ubuntu software repository (i.e. via the apt tool), so it has to be installed by downloading the .deb file (e.g. atom-amd64.deb) and then manually installing. I have had some trouble with the Ubuntu GUI software manager, Ubuntu Software (I am running Ubuntu 16.04) so I prefer the command line when possible.

In order to “manually” install the .deb file I referred to this superuser.com entry, which worked perfectly. My terminal session, from the directory containing the .deb file:

foomanchoo@foomanchoopc:~$ sudo dpkg -i atom-amd64.deb
Selecting previously unselected package atom.
(Reading database ... 299299 files and directories currently installed.)
Preparing to unpack atom-amd64.deb ...
Unpacking atom (1.9.8) ...
Setting up atom (1.9.8) ...
Processing triggers for gnome-menus (3.13.3-6ubuntu3) ...
Processing triggers for desktop-file-utils (0.22-1ubuntu5) ...
Processing triggers for bamfdaemon (0.5.3~bzr0+16.04.20160415-0ubuntu1) ...
Rebuilding /usr/share/applications/bamf-2.index...
Processing triggers for mime-support (3.59ubuntu1) ...

And that’s it. No dependencies, it just installed. See also this unix.stackexchange entry.