Missing fonts after moving /usr/share

Posted by daniel on 12 April, 2015
Category Linux

My Ubuntu installation was accusing low space at /usr. It was a 15GB partition and nevertheless it had about 600MB free.

As I had overestimated the size of /var, I decided to reduce it (using gparted) and create another partition for /usr/share, which would give me about 6GB of free space at /usr.

Everything worked as a charm. I went about my normal day and, after a few hours of normal work, I moved to a different task. I am teaching a class and had not uploaded the slides for the students. So, I opened the presentation on Impress (Libre-Office's "Powerpoint") and most of the text was gone. I still had pictures, the titles were there, but the actual content was gone.

I pulled back some backups, nothing. Then, after a cup of coffee to clear my mind, I realized that it could be related to the changes I had done in my file system. Trying to understand better what happened, I looked at the slides again. I noticed that the missing text were using specific fonts. For example, I used courier for code snippets, and in the one single case I forgot, the code was there. Now, guess where the fonts are stored? yes: /usr/share/fonts. Everything started to make sense.

So, after poking around, I found that there is a cache of fonts and I concluded that moving /usr/shareto another partition, I messed with the cache. So, I rebuilt it and.. voi-la! It works.

If you come across a similar problem, the command to rebuild that cache is as follows:

sudo fc-cache -f -v


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Ubuntu: Fixing NO_PUBKEY error from apt-get

Posted by daniel on 11 January, 2015
Category General

This error is likely to appear when you added an extra repository to your sources (e.g., ppa.launchpad.net). In my case, it was due to Gnome3.

After running apt-get update, I received the following error message:

W: GPG error: http://ppa.launchpad.net trusty Release: The following signature couldn't be verified because the publix key is not available: NO_PUBKEY ≪SIGNATURE≫

Where ≪SIGNATURE≫ was the source signature and consisted of a hexadecimal representation of a large number.

The reason for that error is that I had added the repository, but not its public key. My system couldn't verify it was dealing with the right repository and not a fake one.

To fix it, we have to get the key from some source that we trust. In my case, I got it from Ubuntu. (I am using their system, so I kind of trust them anyway.)

The command to add the key is as follows:

sudo apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys ≪SIGNATURE≫
sudo apt-get update

The last command I used just to confirm everything was right. ;)

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Last night, I attended to a really interesting talk, given by one of the most recognizable alumni of the University of Calgary: James Gosling, a.k.a., the "Father of Java". He talked about his more recent work, and the talk even included robots in the ocean being attacked by huge sharks. He also showed to be a really approachable person, welcoming any questions he received... And it was a lot, in particular after the talk.

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Microsoft: Meet the company

Posted by daniel on 26 September, 2012
Category General

Quick note: Tonight (or last night), at the university, we had a little talk from Microsoft. The idea was "inviting" students to apply for a job at that company. The highlight that I have to share: at the beginning of the presentation, the Powerpoint froze. They had to call the task manager. The talk was delayed by about 10 minutes. The presenters were visibly embarrassed. Everyone was laughing. And I thought these problems in presentations were pure legend. hehehe

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Trying Mageia

Posted by daniel on 27 July, 2012
Category Linux

For the first time in a long time, I decided to go out of my "comfort zone". I would try a distro that wasn't based on Ubuntu or even Debian. I needed to change my installation anyway, from 32 to 64 bits, so I used it as an excuse for my adventure.

I decided to try Mageia, a distro which is derived from Mandriva (from the company created by the fusion between the French Mandrake and the Brazilian Conectiva), just like Fedora derived from RedHat.

Unfortunately, my experience was not really pleasing. The DVD installation didn't work. When I booted my computer, the graphical driver wouldn't work. I ended up successfully installing from the Live CD. But, with my lack of familiarity with the environment (e.g., "Where is the "apt-get" equivalent?"), I found the system quite unstable.

I even tried Enlightenment (E17)... Honestly, it was pretty but not really good. I found E17 to be too slow and with too much animation. I think that a more efficient configuration tool that allows fine-tuning might make E17 a more interesting alternative.

As Sheldon said once: "There is a reason for why it's called 'comfort zone'". So, at least for now, I am going back "home". This afternoon/night, I'd be reinstalling Linux Mint 13, (now the 64 bit variation) running LXDE. When time permits, I might do another adventure in another "foreign distro".

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Solution for the ".bashrc vs ssh command" problem

Posted by daniel on 25 June, 2012
Category Linux

Some Linux users (including myself) have been unsuccessfully trying to execute a command via SSH, for example:

ssh user@host mycommand

The problem seems to be that "mycommand" is in a directory that is not in the PATH. However, when they connect normally, they can see the directory in the PATH environment variable.

It seems that most of these users (again, including myself) update the PATH variable in the .bashrc file and, apparently, the .bashrc file is not executed when connected "non-interactively" via ssh.

After looking for a good while, many people suggested to check if the .bashrc was called by .profile or .bash_profile or something like that. Well... that did not solve my problem.

What, in fact, happened was that .bashrc was being called (or "sourced") by SSH, but the guys from the distro decided to add the following lines in it:

# If not running interactively, don't do anything
[ -z "$PS1" ] && return

Basically, the test above only allows the execution of the rest of .bashrc if it is an interactive shell, thus it does not work for my needs. Why is it there? I have no idea... anyway... I just commented the test and it worked perfectly.

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