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  • The other day, I setup a small script to send file on an FTP. That was a long time since I had done anything like that and was not really thrilled, but I'm working for a client.

    The FTP worked pretty well. The upload was going for a while. According to wput, if the connection is lost, it automatically retries and continues the transfer. It got stuck 3 times on me. For hours. No retry. Zilch.

    Now, I updated my files on my end and then started the transfer again. Had to wait forever, although that is not the direct fault of wput, when it gets stuck mid-way, it's bad.

  • Setup

    When writing a CRON job script that you want to install under /etc/cron.*/job-name you must remember to apply the following steps:

    1. Write the script and test it as root

    2. Make sure to give it execution permission, usually 755

    3. The ownership is expected to be root:root

    4. The filename cannot include a period or the file it completely ignored

    5. The script MUST start with #!/bin/sh or an equivalent (i.e. #!/bin/bash works too.)

    6. Use full paths for most everything1

    • 1. Remember that the cron environment is minimal, you generally will have PATH defined and not much

  • In cmake, you have a cool feature which allows you to create a file.

    First you use a WRITE, then you use the APPEND to add more lines to the file.

    That file may be a shell script, though. In that case, you run in a problem whenever you want to write a variable which uses the curly brackets (as in ${TEST}), because cmake sees those as its own variables.

    There is an example of script that we use in our Snap! development.

    file( WRITE  ${lint_script} "#!${BASH}\n"                                                            )
    file( APPEND ${lint_script} "if test \${3##*.} = ...
  • I got a bad one today with Debian which took me an extra hour (at least) to find out.

    It can happen to you and that's why I'm writing this page:

    X11 starts and quits right away without any error — I had some errors about the system not being able to load some modules, I removed them by fixing my XFree86 configuration file. Really, there was no errors.

    Ha! But there was ONE error. 

  • Today I finally resolved a problem I had for a while on one of my computers.

    When logging in using the normal lightdm X11 login screen, directly on the computer, I would get an error and absolutely no menu, no icons, no keyboard functionality, no unity, no nautilus... The only thing I had working was the background which gave me access to the settings, but nothing else. More or less, nothing useful.

    I just had an idea and then I found a comment form a user on a forum who said that he just deleted his .config and .compiz directories and rebooted. After that it worked for him. It worked for me ...

  • Note: This bug is fixed in Ubuntu 16.04

    Working on a website I have to convert invoices to PDF so end users have the ability to print and share the invoices from the website.

    In order to do that, I generate an HTML page with the invoice which also gets displayed in the website, and then convert that HTML to PDF with xhtml2pdf. I use that tool instead of whtmltopdf because it does not require X11 to work. The other tool is said to require Qt and X11 and we do not want those things on our backend servers.

    So... I upgraded to 14.04 and the tool stopped working with an ugly error:

     ...
  • I started the stock SeaMonkey browser by mistake as my Unity icons disappeared (i.e. seamonkey as is on my command line started /usr/bin/seamonkey which is not the correct version!) This had several bad side effects. For of all, it destroyed my bookmarks (argh!) and then it decided to install the 64bit Flash plugin. That did not work well since the version I like is a 32bit version.

    Once I had the correct version started again, each time it was trying to open a Flash animation, it would be "stuck" for a few minutes, until I tried to open a page with a movie in a Flash shell. That ...

  • Just got told that one of my servers was running WebDAV. I used that before so I thought it was turned on. Checking at the server, I could not find anything about DAV that was turned on in my server...

    So, how could they detect WebDAV and not me??

    The fact is that by default Drupal doesn't check the HTTP query method. It should! In fact, Drupal happily answers all methods with an HTML page. So I did not have WebDAV, just a flaky CMS.

    How can you test methods that your server supports?

    Knowing your IP address and port, use telnet like this:

    telnet IP port (i.e. telnet 1.2.3.4 80)

    ...

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