Send to Mail Recipient in Thunar always gives me this error.


I’m sure I have Googled for a solution this many times before but never found one.  Today I did.  It’s simply that exo depends on perl-uri to complete this action.  It’s even an optdepend in Arch:

 Optional Deps : perl-uri: for mail-compose helper script

See, so

 pacman -S perl-uri

fixes it with no further effort.

Arch Linux has had some major changes recently and this has made updating a neglected installation a bit tricky.

However, I managed a flawless update on a system that hasn’t been touched since May.

Before you do anything, go to the Arch Linux news page and read everything since your last update. If a package needs manual intervention make sure you add it to –ignore list when the time comes.

Firstly, you want to get setup for the new /lib symlink. There is a guide here – however, you will need to ignore some other packages as well. The main goal here is to stop pacman from breaking:

pacman -Ud
pacman -Syu --ignore glibc,curl,libarchive,bash,gpgme,filesystem,fontconfig

So, we’ve installed Allan’s special glibc version and we’ve updated the whole system while ignoring all of pacman’s dependencies. I also ignored filesystem and fontconfig as they need intervention. You will almost definitely be asked to upgrade pacman first and foremost. Do that when offered.

Next I updated the filesystem package:

pacman -S filesystem --force

Then I updated all of pacman’s deps:

pacman -S glibc curl libarchive bash gpgme

Lastly, I fixed the conflicts for the fontconfig package and did another system update.

find /etc/fonts/conf.d -type l -exec rm {} ;
pacman -Su

Word of caution – once your system is up to date and make sure you update the initramfs, just in case.

mkinitcpio -p linux

You will also have to upgrade to systemd compatible settings. Next post is about how I handled that.

Last night I was trying to install mysql on my Arch Linux netbook. Now, this would not be note worthy but for the fact it was going badly. The post-install of the pkg .install script is supposed to do basic set-up so you’re ready to go out of the box. However, it failed with a disk full error.

Hmmm. The netbook has at least a 300Gb disk, would an Arch install really fill that? So, I ran

df -k

And, yes, it showed 0 free space.

Weird. But pacman checks for free space when it installs a package, so when I installed mysql the packaged files miraculously fitted in and used up the remaining space? That seems unlikely.

I uninstalled and reinstalled the package several times (it was late) and when I kept getting the same error. Not exactly the most efficient troubleshooting (it was late). My main instinct was to jump on the forums for help and to tacitly “blame the devs”. Instead I decided to call it a night (it was late).

So, this morning I thought “what can I do to quickly free up some space and check remaining space again?”

pacman -Sc
df -h

…ok, so my disk was full!

du /var

Not much

du /usr

Again, just a few gigs. Paranoia sets in.

du /

Whole thing is less than 5 gigs.

By this point I am suspecting it is something to do with my LVM setup and I head off to work with the intention of investigating on the train.

A small amount of reading and one command later


I can see that, for a reason I can’t rememeber, I made my root volume 5G. Maybe I didn’t understand what I was doing when I set up or maybe it seemed like enough at the time.

At least I know how to resize it now too!

Since I’ve missed 5 years of Linux advances I figured it would be better to get caught up before I started installing Arch on my Netbook.

I decided the best way to do this was just update my Arch desktop and fix whatever broke. Turns out it wasn’t all that much.

Muting with unexpected results

Sound died on my Arch desktop sometime ago. Since I have an onboard and separate SB card I thought maybe it was a driver conflict. I spent several evenings, already exhausted from work, tinkering with various things but after much googling and reading of the Arch Wiki ALSA page I was still clueless. Then, I cracked it.

This breakthough was achieved through poise, precision and audacity. Basically, I sat down one night and said “Right, I’m fixing the sound tonight.” Starting from scratch I opened the Arch Wiki ALSA page and read it from top to bottom, word for word, no skimming.

I very quickly spotted this:

Some cards need to have digital output muted/turned off in order to hear analog sound.
For the Soundblaster Audigy LS mute the IEC958 channel.

Weird. My previous investigations had reminded me of the make and model of my card and I’d also read about what all the various channels are for. It’s worth noting that at one point I was paranoid I had my speakers plugged into the wrong jack so I check all that out too.

Anyway, this sounded promising. I launched alsamixer, previously in which I had diligently unmuted ALL my channels, and looked for what might be a digital channel. There was one called PDIF. I tabbed over to it and pressed “m”.


I am not an elephant

I use mpd to play music. I like the simple interface and lack of super bloat. I like Sonata as a front end. I installed Rhythmbox recently and the dep list gave me the 🙁

Once sound was working again I tried to use mpd to play some songs. Nada.

This time, though, having learned from my previous mistake I went straight to the wiki and read carefully.

The stock Arch mpd.conf had been heavily modified since I set it up so I migrated my settings to the new file format while following the wiki. I quickly realised that at some point in the past I’d deleted the ALSA output section in favour of an http streaming section. Genius. I later realised I’d done this remotely via SSH from work to get some Firefox extension working or something. I have a very visual memory, which explains why I had no recollection of ever having touched it at home.

Last but certainly not least

This pissed me off. This is typical developers sticking to “rules” when it seems to suit them even if it contravenes reasonable expectation or logic.

I won’t tell the whole story but basically I wanted to mount partitions in Thunar. Permission to do this is controlled by udisks (I think) and managed thorough policykit now. Arch ships with great polkit defaults that most people won’t need to change.

However, the rule that allows any user to mount a partition requires the user to give a password. You may know that for polkit to ask you for that password you need something called a User Authentication Agent. There are two main ones: polkit-gnome and polkit-qt.

Obviously, the basic installs of gnome and kde depend on these packages respectively. Not so with XFCE! Oh, no, no! Even though it means that Arch’s perfectly sane polkit defaults are impossible to implement without it, the dependencies for Arch’s XFCE packages do not include a User Authentication Agent.

What’s worse is that you have an Arch Dev on the forums basically telling people they’re retarded whenever they can’t get this to work and smugly telling them to install polkit-gnome.

The Policykit package should depend on a User Authentication Agent. That’s a simple fact. However, because there is a choice of two and Arch would never be partisan, it depends on none.

There’s not even an .install script to warn you. Instead polkit-gnome is an optional dependency for Thunar…

I don’t spend loads of money on myself. I’m the sort of person that hates to spend money on something I later regret.

This worked out well recently when it allowed us to buy a house. Not out right. Just most of the deposit.

So, since it’s been a pretty full on six months I treated myself to an Asus eeePC 1015PX.

My main reasoning behind this was I spend about an hour on a train a day and a Netbook seemed a good way to maybe do something productive.

Needless to say I wiped Windows 7 off of it and installed Arch Linux.

At the moment it is set up just a basic XFCE desktop environment but I hope to switch to something like Awesome for true portability. Touchpads and trains don’t get on.

I’ve basically spent the last few weeks trying to get to grips with power management and drivers. Riveting, eh?

I’ve loved it.

I picked up a Dell Optiplex SX280 from eBay last week with the intention of setting it up as a dedicated Linux box. Previously I have always worked with dual boots but I decided it was time to have the best of both worlds full-time.

The install went pretty well although it’s been a while since I did anything in Linux. I came a bit of a cropper trying to partition the hard disk. The auto partition scheme was great and worked fine but didn’t make a separate /var and /tmp, which I wanted. So, I resorted to doing it manually but was baffled by cfdisk and working with extended/logical partitions and the fact I couldn’t choose the FS I wanted. Naturally, I shortly discovered that cfdisk doesn’t make filesystems and that comes later in the install.

After that it all went pretty flawlessly. I have used Arch Linux a lot before so the set-up was pretty simple once the OS was actually installed.

Now to set up the services.