Category Archives: Applications

Notes from Possible cifs-utils Bug

Here follow my testing notes concerning a problem which has arisen in the way file shares are being accessed from various Ubuntu client machines.  I am listing behaviors for both the “Connect to Server” function (via Nautilus) and those involving the mount command (especially via the fstab file).

Files and folders used to be accessible and they now are not.  These notes will help determine the exact cutoff point for the failures, though sussing out those points could be exacerbated if there are multiple causes for the errors.

The test scenario is as follows.  There is an Ubuntu server (which happens to be running 10.04 though this is not critical at present).  This Ubuntu server has multiple shares.  Various files and folders within these shares contain (at least) two known effected characters:  the colon (:) and the question mark (?).

When those locations are mounted by mount (whether via fstab or no) using a 12.04 client machine the files and the folders which contain either (or both) of those characters in their respective paths are accessible as would be expected for any such file share.

(It is of interest to note that for this particular Samba configuration, the server is not using “mangled names” (mangled names = no).  Enabling mangled names would eliminate the characters in question and thus make testing irrelevant.)

Below you will find testing results for Nautilus and mount (for each character tested) as well as version information for cifs-utils (used by mount).

(I have tested Nautilus to help eliminate server issues as a concern, but as you will see there appears to be an issue with Nautilus as well.  For my purposes, I am testing with an eye toward fixing the problem with mount and fstab.  Perhaps after I have managed that I will look again at the Nautilus problem.)

Finally, I am not a developer.  I will be doing all the testing I am able and I will file the appropriate bug reports.  I would also work with developers to perform any testing as might prove useful.

From /etc/fstab:

//server/share    /media/share        cifs    guest,iocharset=utf8 0 0

Ubuntu 12.04

  • Connect to Server (Nautilus)
    • ? folders and files function as expected
    • : folders show “- -“, throw error when opened; files play
  • mount fstab
    • ? folders and files function as expected
    • : folders and files function as expected
  • apt-cache policy cifs-utils:
    • Installed: 2:5.1-1ubuntu2
      Candidate: 2:5.1-1ubuntu2
      Version table: 2:5.1-1ubuntu2 0
      2:5.1-1ubuntu1 0

Ubuntu 14.04.5

  • Connect to Server (Nautilus)
    • ? folders and files function as expected
    • : folders show “- -“, throw error when opened; files play
  • mount fstab
    • ? folders show “0 items”, throw error when opened; files error
    • : folders show “0 items”, throw error when opened; files error
  • apt-cache policy cifs-utils:
    • Installed: 2:6.0-1ubuntu2
      Candidate: 2:6.0-1ubuntu2
      Version table: 2:6.0-1ubuntu2

Ubuntu 14.10

** 14.10 is out of service and thus I cannot download cifs-utils.

  • Connect to Server (Nautilus)
    • ? folders and files function as expected
    • : folders show “- -“, throw error when opened; files play
  • mount fstab
    • ?
    • :
  • apt-cache policy cifs-utils:
    • Installed:
      Version table:

Ubuntu 15.04

  • Connect to Server (Nautilus)
    • ? folders and files function as expected
    • : folders show “- -“, throw error when opened; files play
  • mount fstab
    • ? folders show “0 items”, open but empty; files play
    • : folders show “0 items”, open but empty; files play
  • apt-cache policy cifs-utils:
    • Installed: 2:6.0-1ubuntu2
      Candidate: 2:6.0-1ubuntu2
      Version table: 2:6.0-1ubuntu2 0

Ubuntu 15.10

  • Connect to Server (Nautilus)
    • ? folders and files function as expected
    • : folders show “- -“, throw error when opened; files play
  • mount fstab
    • ? folders show “0 items”, throw error when opened; files error
    • : folders show “0 items”, throw error when opened; files error
  • apt-cache policy cifs-utils:
    • Installed: 2:6.4-1ubuntu1
      Candidate: 2:6.4-1ubuntu1
      Version table: 2:6.4-1ubuntu1 0

Ubuntu 16.04.1

  • Connect to Server (Nautilus)
    • ? folders and files function as expected
    • : folders show “- -“, throw error when opened; files play
  • mount fstab
    • ? folders show “0 items”, throw error when opened; files error
    • : folders show “0 items”, throw error when opened; files error
  • apt-cache policy cifs-utils:
    • Installed: 2:6.4-1ubuntu1
      Candidate: 2:6.4-1ubuntu1
      Version table: 2:6.4-1ubuntu1 500

Ubuntu 16.10

  • Connect to Server (Nautilus)
    • ? folders function as expected; files do not show at all
    • : folders show “- -“, throw error when opened; files error
  • mount fstab
    • ? folders show “0 items”, throw error when opened; files error
    • : folders show “0 items”, empty folder icon when opened; files error
  • apt-cache policy cifs-utils:
    • Installed: 2:6.5-2ubuntu1
      Candidate: 2:6.5-2ubuntu1
      Version table: 2:6.5-2ubuntu1 500

And that is that.  We shall see where this takes me.  Thanks for reading.


Import into Automatic Pool in VMware Horizon

Importantly there are two kinds of pools in Horizon: automatic and manual.  Automatic pools are pointed to a specific template and spawn new machines based on that template, and manual pools will accept the importation of, really, any viable virtual machine.

But what if you find that you need to move a machine from one location into an automatic pool.  There is no intended functionality for doing this.  However, we are humans and we are clever.

I will lay out for you the procedures I used.  We have a domain and our machines are all domain joined.  You may want to make adjustments for your specific situation, but the essentials here should guide you nicely.

Before you begin, let your user know that there machine will be unavailable for half an hour to an hour and that you will want them to test access once you have made the changes.

  1. Remove the entitlement for that user from the machine and the pool.
  2. Remove the machine from the domain and shut it down.
  3. Delete the machine object from Active Directory.
  4. Use the Clone to Template function in vSphere to clone the machine to a safe template location.
  5. (You may at this point delete the original VM.)
  6. In Horizon, point the destination pool at your newly cloned template.
  7. Add a new machine to the automatic pool from the template you just cloned.
  8. Point the destination pool back to its preferred template.
  9. (You may at this point delete the cloned intermediary template.)
  10. Power on the newly added virtual machine and add back to the domain.
  11. (Move it to the correct OU in AD.)
  12. Entitle the user for the destination pool and newly cloned machine.

It’s a bit of a hassle but it has worked dozens of times for me.

Have fun!


Clementine DB Error (crashes)

I was having some trouble starting Clementine this morning.  This came after I initiated a reboot.  Reboots and further attempts to start Clementine all ended in Clementine crashing.  Something was seriously misaligned.

I started it from the command line (by typing clementine and hitting Enter).  This also resulted in a crash but did give some interesting output in the Terminal.  Near the end I found this information in an error:

CREATE TABLE directories (  path TEXT NOT NULL,  subdirs INTEGER NOT NULL)

A quick search found this article which did have a viable solution.  It is a rather heavy-handed solution and I do not recommend it unless nothing else works.

Instead I modified that solution into one which didn’t delete all of my playlists and configuration changes for Clementine.  First I simply moved the entire Clementine configuration folder (similar to their deletion except I still have the files):

mv ~/.config/Clementine ~/.config/Clementine_old

Starting Clementine in the usual manner now worked.  So the theory was sound.  Now I wanted to see if I could get my database back.  I closed Clementine and ran this command:

mv ~/.config/Clemetine_old/clementine.db ~/.config/Clementine/clementine.db

When I launched Clementine again I had my database back (including all of my playlists).  Next I wanted to see if I could keep my old configuration file so I again closed Clementine and ran this command:

mv ~/.config/Clementine_old/Clementine.conf ~/.config/Clementine_old/Clementine.conf

This also worked.  So it would appear that it was perhaps not file corruption (as the article linked above suggests) but rather something more subtle and complex.  Regardless, at this point I was satisfied with the success of my fix, but my scientific curiosity was wondering about the other files.  Altogether there were six files in the Clementine configuration folder:


(The clementine.db-journal file may not be present on all systems.)

I have no idea what those other four files do (well, except the jamendo.db folder which is presumably the database if one uses Jamendo through Clementine), but I tried moving each one back into the main folder one at a time (restarting Clementine between each one).  None of them had any effect.  This further supports the thought that it was a problem with file corruption.

I’m still not clear what caused the issue, but this is as far as I am willing to investigate at this time.  Hope this helps you.


Skype Lacks Win10 Love

Building out new Win10 machines on our network, specifically a master of masters in VMware’s esxi.  Probably this can happen in a bare-metal Win10 installation as well.  I haven’t tested it much beyond what you find here.

I tried installing Skype from the Web.  I suppose there are those who will whine I’m supposed to install it from the Windows Store (or however they have branded their store in Windows 10).  Regardless, since I want to ensure I am getting the full version (and not some stripped down Metro-we-don’t-call-it-that-anymore-and-besides-we-don’t-use-it-but-we-do version) I downloaded and installed from the usual executable.

I tried this and it failed.  I found myself caught in an installer loop.

So exciting to get started…
Fuck Skype Click to Call. Seriously, who does this?
Oh, yes. Just what the doctor ordered. Not!
The Moment of Truth
This looks like the same installer?
Yeah, every time…
Since I have not yet installed using the regular installer successfully, I cannot say whether this is by design.  Which is to say, perhaps Microsoft is attempting to force users to use the installer found in their store.  If this is the case, they are doing a lousy job of communicating this fact.  Regardless I was able to get an installer that worked.

Go get this one instead:

That will work.


How the Application Experience Service Fux Firefox

I have been having this problem on a VM pool replica master.  Don’t worry about what that means if you are not familiar with machine pools (VMware); it’s not important.  The important part is that I was not able to save certain files I was downloading with Firefox to the Desktop.

The download process would proceed as expected up until the end of the download.  Then when Firefox would merge the two files of the download into the single file which was the actual downloaded file, it would fail.  Every time.

I tried running Firefox in its safe mode (no extensions).  Nada.

I tried using Revo Uninstaller to utterly remove all traces of Firefox (as IE, Chrome, and Opera did not have this issue) from the machine.  After rebooting and re-installing Firefox the problem persisted.

Eventually I found an obscure mention of a service called Application Experience.  If that service is disabled, this sort of thing can happen.  I checked my personal VM and found that this service was set to Manual.

So I changed that replica master to Manual and rebooted it.

No problem saving the 64 bit Java installer downloaded through Firefox to the Desktop.

It’s an odd connection.  Hope this helps you too.


YUMI and Clonezilla (and possibly others)

We use Clonezilla periodically.  I really like to use YUMI for creating a versatile thumbdrive capable of booting into several operating environments and various utilities (Clonezilla among them).

Recently I ran into troubles with my thumbdrive but only in relation to Clonezilla.  I do not know what caused the misalignment, but I was able to sort out the matter and I am placing a record of that here.

In short, I was getting a host of errors worded similar to this:

failed to load com32 file

It looks like a change was made at some point in the way syslinux functions, but I didn’t dig too deeply into that.  I have a friend who is using the same basic set up and his Clonezilla was working.  I checked his drive out and compared it to mine to see what I could see.

I didn’t see anything worth commenting but I did notice that these four files were in the root of the multiboot directory:


These were also located in the syslinux folder in each of my Clonezilla folders (I have 32 and 64 bit versions installed).  I simply hid those files (in each Clonezilla’s syslinux folder) and it fixed the Clonezilla boot process.


Hope that helps someone.


File Sizes in Ubuntu

So you may find that you would like to sort out some file size information.  Of course you can access any directory (or file) and look at its properties using the file browser (Nautilus), but you may want to dig deeper or you may want to get a broader picture.

First, from the command line you can just list out the directory contents thus:

ls -alh /path/to/directory

This will give you file sizes and the number of items in each directory in human-readable numbers (MB or GB as it were).  You might also like to see how large directories are, and you can do that like so:

du -hcs /path/to/directory

If you are not so interested in the terminal, there are a couple of good GUI applications for sizing matters.  There is Disk Usage Analyzer (baobab from the terminal) and Graphical Disk Map (gdmap from the terminal).  Both are small and both are in the repositories and can be installed easily:

sudo apt-get install gdmap

sudo apt-get install baobab

Finally, to get an overview of all disk usage, I like the terminal command df:

df -h

This will list your partitions and their usage.  These ought to cover just about any size question you might care to have answered.



Opera 32 on Ubuntu bookmarks page rendering issue

(This has subsequently been solved by an update to Opera.)

Having upgraded to the latest version of Opera (stable) on Ubuntu 14.04, I have encountered a seemingly insurmountable issue with rending the page for the bookmarks.  Possibly related to this, the bookmarks pop-up menu appears blank.

The menu is interesting because though it appears to be empty white space, you can click items in the menu if you can guess at their invisible locations.  Very much unusable but interesting nonetheless.

The bookmarks page (Show All Bookmarks) however is utterly useless.  It is true that one could make guess about locations of invisible items on the page, since the page is very much larger than the pop-up menu such guesses seem profoundly unlikely.

The bookmarks page itself… well, have a look.

Opera Bookmarks Rending  Issue
Opera Bookmarks Rending Issue

The echo is live on this top row (the echo repeats down the page but I only included the top here).  You can see that on the left I have clicked into the address bar, and the echoes have also highlighted the contents of their address bars.

Not sure what can be done at this point.  I am opening a thread over at the Opera forums.  I’ll keep you posted.


Looks like this is only an issue with the xorg (open source) driver.  If you are able to switch to a current proprietary driver you may be in good shape.

Change Video Driver
Change Video Driver

As you can see I am now using the most current NVIDIA proprietary driver and no longer using the driver.

It’s also broken in other OS’s so there you have it.

Opera Forums

Hope this helps.


No Fucking with Sophos

We run Sophos on all of our machines at work.  I recently built a Windows 10 machine for one of our developers.  He ran into a problem, however, when he tried to debug the application he was writing.

Sophos was falsely blocking his application with the following error message:

File “C:\Users\[username]\Documents\Visual Studio 2015\Projects\KillerFuckingApp\KillerFuckingApp\obj\x86\Debug\intermediatexaml\KillerFuckingApp.exe” belongs to virus/spyware ‘Mal/DotNet-C’.

Ostensibly a false positive I went to discuss the matter.  It didn’t seem likely that his code shared any code with the known exploit so for shits and giggles I asked him to rename the application anything else to see if Sophos was merely objecting to the name.

Sure enough, once he removed “fucking” from the title, Sophos let things be.

At least Visual Studio wasn’t censoring our fucking developer.

Thanks, Sophos; but, you know, fuck off.


Invisible Titles in Evernote on Ubuntu 14.04 with Wine

I recently updated my version of Evernote on Ubuntu and noticed that the titles of the notes were now invisible in the title field of the reading pane.  This made it very difficult to type or especially to change a note title.  Even copying and pasting was a challenge since I couldn’t tell if I had any or all of the title selected.

I was eventually able to find a solution here.

Essentially there is a dll in Wine that was in need of some wrangling.  A dll or Dynamic Link Library is a Windows thing.  You probably don’t want to know much about them except to say they are sometimes required for applications to function as expected or perform certain tasks.

With one line of code in your terminal (don’t fear the terminal, ok?) you can fix this problem:

winetricks -q riched20

That’s it.  Run that command and when you again open Evernote you should be able to see the titles.  I mean, if it worked for me why wouldn’t it work for you?  Go for it!

What does it do?  It installs the dll (riched20.dll) into the Wine directories.  I guess Evernote needs that dll to display the titles in the title field in the reading pane.  (The -q just means don’t ask me any questions.)