Howto: Fix MySQL Server dependency problems on Ubuntu LTS

Have you encountered this error?

An error occurred while setting the password for the MySQL administrative user.
This may have happened because the account already has a password, or because of a
communication problem with the MySQL server.

Or maybe seen this?

Errors were encountered while processing:

Or this?

dpkg: error processing package mysql-server (--configure):
dependency problems - leaving unconfigured

This is a total bastard of a problem. Here’s what worked for me:

sudo apt-get purge mysql-server mysql-client mysql-common mysql-server-5.5
sudo dpkg --purge mysql*
sudo rm -rf /etc/mysql
sudo apt-get install -f
sudo dpkg --configure -a
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo apt-get autoremove
sudo apt-get autoclean
sudo apt-get install mysql-server
sudo reboot

Purge everything that even looks like mysql. Remove the /etc/mysql directory manually, because mysql-common is going to try to hide there. Fix any broken dependencies and reconfigure any broken packages. You may get the same error again when trying to reinstall mysql-server. I threw up my hands and went to bed at that point, woke up this morning deciding to finally learn PostgreSQL, got this error:

E: Could not get lock /var/lib/dpkg/lock - open (11: Resource temporarily unavailable)

and believe it or not, a reboot fixed the problem for me. mysqld started on reboot. I rubbed my eyes, and wrote this post in case it ever bloody well happens again.

Defaults changed for OpenSSH config in Kubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

I rebuilt a box this morning, and when I installed openssh-server, I found a different option set as default in the config file–one that I believe is less secure.

Where previously, the default Authentications section looked like this:

# Authentication:
LoginGraceTime 120
PermitRootLogin yes
StrictModes yes

The default now looks like this:

# Authentication:
LoginGraceTime 120
PermitRootLogin without-password
StrictModes yes

And I have, of course, set the switch to “no”.

I don’t personally allow root logins of any kind on any of my personal servers, and I do like that the default has been made more secure. It’s different, however, and my eyes might have scanned right over this switch if I didn’t have a list of things I change for security reasons each time I build a box. Caveat emptor.

Your private ssh keys do not copy over with a sudo dolphin! You must use bash in Kubuntu.

I’m glad I keep good backups. When backing up your Kubuntu box, do not just drag and drop one home folder from a hard disk to another hard disk.

Your ssh keys will not be copied over, even though you may have opened the Dolphin file manager over with the command

sudo dolphin

To ensure you have admin privileges over the copy procedure.

Instead, you should use a full copy command like this to ensure that you get everything, including files with 0400 permissions and all hidden files and folders (anything with a dot in front of it like this: ‘.ssh’).

sudo cp -R /home /your/backup/location/home

I’d normally cite some links to help you see more about this problem, but I discovered this one the hard way myself.

How to play Amazon Instant Videos on Ubuntu/Kubuntu Raring Ringtail 13.04 with Firefox

We’re all aware that there are issues with Flash and playing streaming videos on Linux. You can’t play AIV on Chrome; you’ll get that annoying “If you’re using the Chrome browser with Linux, you must disable PPAPI to continue using Amazon Instant Video. You can also use a different Web browser, like Firefox. Learn more” message. Just use FF for now to play AIV. At least you’re not using Wine. So, let’s solve your real problem.

Having trouble playing Amazon Instant Videos on Firefox? Have you seen this message?

“Sorry we were unable to stream this video. This is likely because your Flash Player needs to be updated.”

Here’s how to handle this.

sudo add-apt-repository "deb $(lsb_release -sc) partner"

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install flashplugin-installer

sudo apt-get install hal -y

sudo mkdir /etc/hal/fdi/preprobe

sudo mkdir /etc/hal/fdi/

/usr/sbin/hald --daemon=yes --verbose=yes

rm -rf ~/.adobe

Now, go restart Firefox, and you should be good.

With thanks to:


Set up Kubuntu 12.10 and an HP printer for batch scanning in Xsane

This process needs to be much easier, but until then, here’s a script to get you set up. This is an update of an older post here: to make this more intuitive. Instead of having you follow a long list of instructions, I’ve been testing out scripts to get my common tasks done upon my numerous Kubuntu rebuilds. I have to redo a lot of the things that I’ve posted instructions on, so I’m going to start building and posting helper scripts instead. It’s a good habit to be in anyway. I rebuild my Kubuntu box about once every two months because I am constantly breaking things.

As previously mentioned, I have an HP OfficeJet 6500 Wireless All-In-One. I am using the HP OfficeJet 6500 e709n, hpcups 3.12.6 driver; you should choose whatever driver is recommended for you. Cups printing seems to work
better and be less buggy, especially over the network. Please understand that the following script is imperfect and totally tailored to my hardware; you may need to break it apart and run it piecemeal depending on your setup. However, this should help. As usual, the links that helped me are at the bottom. Nota bene: you may need to rerun ‘hp-check –fix’ two or three times to have it complete all the repairs it needs.

sudo apt-get install xsane libsane-extras hplip-gui -y
echo "$name"
sudo usermod -G saned -a $name
sudo usermod -G scanner -a $name
sudo usermod -G lp -a $name
echo hpaio >> /etc/sane.d/dll.conf
hp-check -r
hp-check --fix
sudo reboot

Google Chrome Will Not Start In KDE (Kubuntu 12.10)

Have you had this problem in KDE? I’ve clicked a few times on a Google Chrome shortcut, and after 20-30 seconds of a bouncing Chrome icon, it disappears. The Chrome process never shows up in the System Monitor or in running processes, either.

/ Greetings, Madam. $google-chrome --enable-logging --log-level=0
Fontconfig warning: "/etc/fonts/conf.d/50-user.conf", line 9: reading configurations from ~/.fonts.conf is deprecated.
Fontconfig warning: "/etc/fonts/conf.d/50-user.conf", line 9: reading configurations from ~/.fonts.conf is deprecated.
No bp log location saved, using default.
Browser XEmbed support present: 1
[000:000] Browser toolkit is Gtk2.
[000:000] Using Gtk2 toolkit
[000:069] Starting client channel.
[000:069] Warning( Unreadable or no port file. Could not initiate GoogleTalkPlugin connection
[000:069] Warning( Could not initiate GoogleTalkPlugin connection
[000:069] GoogleTalkPlugin not running. Starting new process...
[000:070] Warning( Failed to get GoogleTalkPlugin path. Trying default.
[000:071] Started GoogleTalkPlugin, path=/opt/google/talkplugin/GoogleTalkPlugin
[000:072] Waiting for GoogleTalkPlugin to start...
ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:957:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) The dmix plugin supports only playback stream
ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:957:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) The dmix plugin supports only playback stream
ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:957:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) The dmix plugin supports only playback stream
ALSA lib pcm_dmix.
c:957:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) The dmix plugin supports only playback stream
[001:104] Attempting to connect to GoogleTalkPlugin...
[001:104] Read port file, port=51719
[001:105] Initiated connection to GoogleTalkPlugin
[001:216] Socket connection established
[001:216] ScheduleOnlineCheck: Online check in 5000ms
[001:305] Got cookie response, socket is authorized
[001:305] AUTHORIZED; socket handshake complete
[006:300] HandleOnlineCheck: Starting check
[006:301] HandleOnlineCheck: OK; current state: 3

This isn’t going to be as much help as you’d hope; this post is more to show you that others have had the same problem and you’re not nuts. I don’t usually do this, but I just rebuilt my Kubuntu box two days ago after mucking about with perms (I also took remote controls apart as a kid) and lost the problem I was having here. I wanted folk to know that there was a problem with this build of Kubuntu and Chrome together. Below, someone notes that they got the
problem solved by using a different rendering system. I’m happy to answer questions about my experience with the issue and help out if I can.

How to fix KDE, LibreOffice, and dark themes in Kubuntu

I need to use a dark theme in KDE because I spend so much time on the computer that my eyes get tired of looking at whiteness all the time. I use a very dark theme to minimize the strain on my eyes. If you use LibreOffice and a theme such as Zvon Black, you may have found that your background is totally black and you cannot read documents. Here is the fix:

  1. Download this icons file called “”
  2. At the command line, run this command, altering to match your username and possibly your file location if you do not have it in /home/username/Downloads.

    sudo mv /usr/share/libreoffice/share/config/ /usr/share/libreoffice/share/config/
    sudo mv /home/username/Downloads/ /usr/share/
  3. Open LibreOffice. Tools –> Options –> View –> Change “Oxygen” [or whatever other theme you’re using] to “Crystal”. Go to Colors after View. Change the background color to white and the font color to black.

I took several sets of instructions from several sources, updated them, and created a simplified howto here.

Thanks to:

Give thanks for open source software developers

They make the world go round.

Open source developers and plugin devs are the people that make small technical businesses possible. They’re the folks who spend their time working hard to make obscure pieces of software that most of us will never see into something that is beautiful and usable. Without the major CMSes, many startups would have no way to get a company up and running rapidly.

Today, I will thank three of them by name.

Joost de Valk and his team make Clicky By Yoast, a spectacular plugin for WordPress that absolutely kills on analytics. He’s a major WordPress core developer as well; I am deeply grateful for his work. His analytics have contributed time and again to how I run my site. Thanks, Joost!

Jonathan Riddell is the lead dev for
Kubuntu, the fork of Ubuntu that uses KDE for a native desktop environment. I owe much of my daily happiness to this person; Kubuntu is easy to use, stupid simple to configure, and requires little to no knowledge of Linux for a n00b, while being configurable enough to entertain someone like me. All I’ve done is write a plasmoid or two; Jonathan, I seriously raise my glass to you. Thank you for your hard work and devotion to this project.

The Sarahs: Sarah Mei and Sarah Allen are the two women who started RailsBridge. OSS is notoriously short of women developers, and these women have not only pushed major Ruby work, they’ve also single [double?] handedly increased the number of women at OSS conferences. Thanks for being inspirational as well as technical, ladies.

go eat some of that tasty Thanksgiving turkey!

AVD Manager in Eclipse on Ubuntu won’t start device due to double slash error

I have a weird error that happens to me every time I rebuild my machine; when I open Eclipse and attempt to start up AVD Manager, I get an error when I hit “start” for the Android 4.1 virtual device. That error contains this line: “android-sdk-linux//tools/” and has to do with not finding the adb tool. That’s rather obvious; there’s a double slash in the path that the AVD Manager is using to try to find the script.

The fix, oddly enough, is due to a lack of the ia32-libs package on a 64-bit Kubuntu build. Install it to include support for your 64-bit system.

sudo apt-get install ia32-libs

Kubuntu 12.10 Released (Tarah does a dance and installs on four different boxes)

I am more excited than usual for the release of Quantal Quetzal.

Holy CRAP. Just got done installing 12.10 on my Lenovo Z570; this is the first time in years that I haven’t had to log back in and reflag the boot partition on every box. That is wonderful. I am in love.

Installation on an Acer Aspire One went swimmingly, as did an overlay of Edubuntu on top of 12.10 (for my nine-year old sister). There’s a whole new interface on netbooks; I wonder if Quantal detects a smaller screen size and goes with a more touch-based appearance?

Installed on my monster home server box, and again, not a single issue with having to reflag the boot partition.

I <3 Kubuntu.