Xubuntu Bluetooth – blueman – automatic device connection (audio+headset)

bluemanThis had me flummoxed for a while, if I wanted my HTC ONE-X or Jabra Clipper to connect to the PC, I always had to go into devices and then select audio sink before it would connect, this is having previously paired and trusted the devices.

A foray into /etc/bluetooth/ showed all the .conf files for bluetooth, including audio.conf.

In there is a setting for auto-connection. All you have to do is remove the comment from the last line of the coda, save out then restart bluetooth, and your devices should automagically connect next time you try


This is going to be of great help when using bluetooth headphones on our htpc, and also with my carpc for either connecting the phone to the car, or for other bluetooth uses (yet to be discovered but keyboard or remote possibilities)

Xubuntu 12.04 Put an Image in your Greeter

This how to get an image/avatar of your choosing in your login greeter panel:

  1. Put your small .face image in your /home/username (if it’s not already)
  2. Edit the file /usr/share/lightdm-gtk-greeter/greeter.ui (with root permissions) and modify the line:


Logout and see the effect 🙂

XP – Missing User Profile

A rare fix for a problem on XP suffered by my father following a twofold issue of full C:/ drive and a powercut! When he restarted the PC it appeared that he had lost everything, and just booted up to a new plain and empty profile.

So first off I cleared out some cruft using C-cleaner and got 1GB of space back, then moved a load of installation files to some redundant space on the PC and got back another 500mb.

Then to restore his profile I headed into: My Computer (right click) > Properties > Advanced tab > User Settings. This brings up a dialog listing the user profiles available on the PC. I identified his original profile which had been labelled back up and the new profile that had been created when he restarted. Tried to delete this new profile but couldn’t. So into Control Panel > Users and created a new user with Admin rights. Logged out, logged into the new user and went to user profiles and deleted the new profile for his main system. Logged out and logged back into the main user and thankfully his profile returned. Then deleted the newly created user account.

All done 🙂

Run programs without sudo ?

Wouldn’t normally do this, or recommend it, but for occasional and considered use this is a useful tip.You need to run a program normally requiring sudo, but as a normal user. The usual way of fixing this is to put a line in /etc/sudoers, but you still need to type sudo.The problem I had was with a custom iso I have been putting together. because my WM was openbox I was using a bash script with zenity to provide reboot and shutdown. This was all set up fine, but on installing the distro from the live cd, the installation needed to add a line to the bottom of /etc/sudoers, thereby negating my previously entered line.A long trawl through google provided an answer on ubuntuforums, which was to change the set uid bit for the shutdown command, so that all users could run shutdown with needing sudo. As you can see, doing this to a more important command would create security holes, but in this instance there is not much a hacker can do with shutdown, other than shutdown…AFAIK !!So here is the command I used:

sudo chmod a+s /sbin/shutdown

which gives the following permission:

 645 -rwsr-sr-x  1 root root    46864 2011-01-22 01:58 shutdown

I edited out the sudo shutdown in my script and replaced it with /sbin/shutdown and all is well.

There is another way to do this, perhaps best done inside a bash script:

This works well in most cases.

Run Once Only Bash Scripts

I am constantly amazed by what can be achieved with a simple bash script or two. I had a situation where I needed a script to run only once, and to not get any errors spat out at me from the cli. I needed a second script to call the run once script to go into rc.local, a file I didn’t want to mess with, so the call in rc.local would just be a quick file check after the first run. for me, the clever bit is that the scriptI have to do the work can “move” (rename) itself once it has done its business, thereby ensuring it is not called upon again, but is still there if needed.

Continue reading

Prevent Screen Blanking on Xubuntu CLI / Slim / Openbox Install on Asus EB1012 nettop

Normally I am able to take care of screen blanking through the gui powersaving options in Xubuntu, however my command line install followed by installing openbox and using slim as a login manager presented me with real problems. teh screen would blank and half kill the x server, leaving a reboot as the only option. I found some xset options which I put into a script and added this to autostart.sh, which seemed to take care of X issues, but the terminal blanking was still going on. Using setterm I was able to stop terminal blanking but had to find a place to put it on startup. This turned out to be in /etc/profile (for all users). So now writing this post from my non blanking setup 🙂

Continue reading

Call of Duty / Black Ops / Modern Warfare Disconnecting from Xbox Live on Start Up

Off beat post this.

My sons Xbox started misbehaving the other day, and refused to run the Call of Duty games connected to XBox Live. The games would start up Ok, but then disconnect from XBox Live – not good. Googled a lot but not much out there (a lot about it disconnecting during games but not on start up.)

General advice was to clear the system cache, or wait at the dashboard for a while, open ports on the router, reset the console, recover gamertag, but these didn’t work. Other games like Team Fortress would play OK, though.

Finally I tracked down the solution, which was to set a FIXED IP Address for the XBox on the router. It had been working fine previously on DHCP, but suddenly stopped working. The fixed IP address resolved all the issues on all the games.

I am an utter cult 🙂

Xubuntu User “Face” or Avatar on GDM login screen

There doesn’t appear to be a way within settings to add a user image to the gdm user login screen, but this can be resolved in a simple way:

Get your image or avatar, make sure its a sensible size e.g. 96×96 pixels.

Copy it to your home directory

Rename it .face

Logout and then see your new avatar on the login in screen.

The same icon also shows up when you go into Users and Groups.

Simples 🙂