September 22nd, 2018


Interesting Links for 22-09-2018

All the times EU has said 'no' to Theresa May's Chequers Brexit trade plan
(tags: uk europe )
The South African mountains older than continents
(tags: southafrica prehistory earth mountains )
If you are surprised by anything that happened at Salzburg then you have not been paying attention.
(tags: Europe UK doom )
Murdered man's body found after tree 'unusual for the area' grew from seed in his stomach
(tags: murder turkey greece trees viaSwampers )
"How I Tried to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" - recreating terrible romantic-comedy behaviour for fun and journalism
(tags: funny relationships movies viaSwampers )
"England and Brexit have made a mug of Scots like me who voted 'no' to independence"
(tags: independence Scotland uk europe )
Children as young as 10 denied UK citizenship for failing ‘good character’ test
(tags: children immigration UK OhForFucksSake )
Windrush generation members to be refused UK citizenship, government announces
(tags: uk immigration OhForFucksSake )
Being alone in deep space is uncomfortable, even in a computer game
(tags: games space emotion )
Ukip proposes creation of Muslim-only prisons
(tags: UKIP racism Islam OhForFucksSake prison )
Co-founder of Ukrainian feminist protest group found dead in Paris flat
(tags: Ukraine feminism death )
Delaying the antichrist through good parenting
(tags: parenting apocalypse )
Jumping bear is the best bear
(tags: bears video cute )
Study: Heavy Metal Music Is Inclusive And Governed By Rules Of Etiquette
(tags: music HeavyMetal )
The EU had the summit dinner at the same spot the Von Trapps sing "so long, farewell, Auf wiederschen, adieu" in The Sound of Music.
(tags: funny movie Europe uk )
"Sajid Javid... laid out a series of pro-business measures needed to keep the economy afloat... these included suspending environmental regulations, workers’ rights and auto-enrolment in workplace pensions."
(tags: Europe UK doom )
Salzburg: How misreading has brought Brexit to brink (fascinating and in-depth)
(tags: uk Europe diplomacy )

Original post on Dreamwidth - there are comment count unavailable comments there.

Upgrading Linux, a study in pain

I've got a small PC sitting on a shelf. It's my Plex server, and it runs Ubuntu 16.

Or, at least, it used to. About two weeks ago it offered me an upgrade to Ubuntu 18. Which seemed to happily churn away. And everything worked fine.

No, of course it didn't work fine. The Plex server refused to show any of the files from the network hard drive (NAS). And when I tried to connect to it with VNC that didn't work either.

Which meant that I had to physically connect a mouse, keyboard, and monitor to it. Something I hadn't done in a couple of years, since I originally set it up. (And that box only has a VGA connector, so I had to go buy a new VGA cable, as I'd thrown out 20 years of cables last year.)

When I could finally see the screen I discovered that the built in VNC client didn't work. And every time you tried to open the Control Panel's "Remote Desktop" panel it crashed instantly. I eventually found a bug report from January this year. Which doesn't fill me with confidence that it will ever be fixed.

Which means that every time I want to update the box I'll need to drag a mouse, keyboard, and monitor through. Great.

Next up - why is Plex not connecting to my mounted drives? Step 1 - look at the "fstab" file, which contains all of the magical incantations for hooking up a network drive to the PC*. Oh, no, the method I'd been using for that in the past (gksu) has been deprecated. So I can't run an editor as root to view a system file. Googling for a few minutes finds an answer to that. Yay.

I finally look at the fstab file, thinking it might have been overwritten by the upgrade. But no, everything looks exactly the same as it always did. So I run "mount -a", which should attach to all of the drives mentioned in the file. Everything works.

Great, I think, must have been a temporary glitch. I'll do a reboot to check. It doesn't work. So I go looking through log files. Eventually find an entry hidden in the boot logs which tells me to run a command-line which tells me it can't find the NAS. Which is odd - it can't find it at boot, but it can find it if I run the same process later on?

Turns out that connecting to my NAS by name, which has been working fine for the past two years, is now not working. Could be that it's loading the server name resolution software after it attempts to mount the drives. Wouldn't surprise me that it does something so stupid. Not after the way I've just wasted a couple of hours**.

As it happens, I'm assigning a static IP to the NAS anyway, so I update the fstab to point to it via IP address rather than server name. Everything works. I'm not sure I care why it works. I am ever more sure that Linux is not ready for the average user***.

*No, there's no nice UI to walk you through the process. Why do you ask?
**It has just occurred to me that this might have been reset by the upgrade. But the mouse, keyboard, and monitor are all back in the other room. So I'm not touching that until VNC is working again.
*** If your answer to "How do you add a link to your networked files, using the most networked file-sharing protocol in the world", is this then, no, you're not ready.

Original post on Dreamwidth - there are comment count unavailable comments there.