Perusal, Synthesis, Bliss

June 21, 2016: installation of Kubuntu 16.04 LTS on LDLC computer Saturne SG4-I3-8-S9H7

This installation report has to be compared with my installation report of Kubuntu 15.04 on the same machine.


The same method as for 15.04 has been used. First, I have put the Kubuntu iso on a USB key:
$ dd if=kubuntu-16.04-desktop-amd64.iso of=/dev/sdc
(and not /dev/sdc1 otherwise the USB key is not bootable). Once the live KDE session is run, the same trick as in 15.04 installation is used: open Dolphin, decrypt the encrypted volumes, mount the partitions to check that everything is OK, unmount them, run the graphical Kubuntu installer (called “Ubiquity”, it is run by double-clicking on the corresponding desktop icon). The encrypted volumes appear correctly in the installer, in a way similar to what was in Kubuntu 14.04. Note that /dev/sda has to be chosen for “Device for boot loader installation”, not the default choice “/dev/dm-0”, otherwise the boot loader fails to install and the installer crashed.
At reboot a busybox session appears: /etc/crypttab has to be taken into account, as explained in previous installation accounts (13.04, 14.04, 15.04). The problem is that “update-initramfs” is not available in busybox, and neither “apt” to install the “cryptsetup” and “lvm2” packages to unlock encrypted volumes (and be able to write on them). As in previous installations, the workaround is to use Lubuntu, the only Ubuntu-like distribution that offers the “alternate installer” allowing to rescue broken systems. I have used the 64 bits alternate versions of Lubuntu. Contrary to what happens for 14.04 installation, “rescue/enable=true” was already mentioned at boot when choosing “rescue a broken system” in Lubuntu startup menu. Then I followed exactly the same procedure as in the 14.04 installation. After a reboot, everything works perfectly.


There is now a script named ’hdparm’ in the directory /lib/systemd/system-sleep, contrary to in 15.04. At installation time, I have:
$ sudo smartctl -a /dev/sdb|grep -i load_cy
225 Load_Cycle_Count        0x0032   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       7280
It seems that this script does the job: after one day the cycle count has not changed. So contrary to 15.04 nothing to do here.


The script usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/ no more exists. Instead we have to do (see here):
$ sudo dpkg-reconfigure libdvd-pkg
This allows to use kmplayer immediately to read a DVD, but in my case to use VLC instead a reboot was necessary.

Baloo search engine

It is activated by default. Compared to Kubuntu 15.04, the folder ~/.local/share/baloo/file/ no more exists. Instead we have:
$ du ~/.local/share/baloo/
20K /home/jscordia/.local/share/baloo/calendars
6.3M /home/jscordia/.local/share/baloo/emailContacts
264K /home/jscordia/.local/share/baloo/contacts
177M /home/jscordia/.local/share/baloo/email
20K /home/jscordia/.local/share/baloo/notes
2.4G /home/jscordia/.local/share/baloo/
So it seems that indexing has restarted from the beginning, with a new structure. It is easy to start the file indexer: go to “System Settings”->”Search”->”File Search”, and check or uncheck the “Enable File Search” tickbox.
One more night after, we have:
$ du ~/.local/share/baloo/
20K     /home/jscordia/.local/share/baloo/calendars
6.3M    /home/jscordia/.local/share/baloo/emailContacts
264K    /home/jscordia/.local/share/baloo/contacts
177M    /home/jscordia/.local/share/baloo/email
20K     /home/jscordia/.local/share/baloo/notes
3.5G    /home/jscordia/.local/share/baloo/
One week later:
$ du ~/.local/share/baloo/
20K     /home/jscordia/.local/share/baloo/calendars
6.3M    /home/jscordia/.local/share/baloo/emailContacts
264K    /home/jscordia/.local/share/baloo/contacts
177M    /home/jscordia/.local/share/baloo/email
20K     /home/jscordia/.local/share/baloo/notes
3.5G    /home/jscordia/.local/share/baloo/
So no size change, but Baloo still slows down my machine a lot by using the hard disk extensively. So I have unchecked the “Enable File Search” tickbox. However, to stop the indexing immediately, it is necessary to kill Baloo immediately: it is the process called “baloo_file_extr”.


The situation is the same as in 15.04: Konsole is able to display special characters (as the ’unicode’ utility does), but input from ~/.XCompose file does not work.

colorgcc no more needed

Indeed gcc now uses colors to display errors. So I have set in ~/.bashrc:
export CC="gcc -Wall -pedantic"
Instead of
export CC="colorgcc -Wall -pedantic"


Ok after installation of the usual repository (see previous Linux installation).


After the installation of some packages:
$ wajig list-installed|grep vim
I still obtain an error at vim start:
Error: Required vim compiled with +python
Press ENTER or type command to continue
Indeed, following the instruction given here, i.e. typing
:echo has(’python’)
in vim, we get “0” as answer. Indeed, we have now
:echo has(’python3’)
equal to 1. This is confirmed by typing “vim –version” in a terminal. The error comes from various plugins in the ~/.vim directory:
$ grep -ri "Required vim compiled" ~/.vim/*
/home/jscordia/.vim/bundle/vim-pandoc/autoload/pandoc_bib.vim  :        echo "Error: Required vim compiled with +python"
/home/jscordia/.vim/bundle/vim-pandoc/autoload/pandoc_exec.vim :        echo "Error: Required vim compiled with +python"
/home/jscordia/.vim/bundle/vim-pandoc/autoload/pandoc.vim      :        echo "Error: Required vim compiled with +python"
/home/jscordia/.vim/bundle/vim-pandoc/autoload/pandoc_misc.vim :        echo "Error: Required vim compiled with +python"
/home/jscordia/.vim/plugin/pythoncomplete.vim  :    echo "Error: Required vim compiled with +python"
For instance, we have in /home/jscordia/.vim/plugin/pythoncomplete.vim (the first file to raise an error):
if !has(’python’)
    echo "Error: Required vim compiled with +python"
but we have also these lines in the file /usr/share/vim/vim74/autoload/pythoncomplete.vim, installed by package vim-runtime, and almost identical (except for one line not related to Python version). The first idea is to replace “has(’python’)” by “has(’python3’)”, but it results in downpour of errors. The solution I have found is simply to remove the file /home/jscordia/.vim/plugin/pythoncomplete.vim. And after that editing a Python file does not result in errors, though I have the following line in ~/.vimrc:
autocmd FileType python set omnifunc=pythoncomplete#Complete


Now it uses colors and displays progress bars. At some stage when installing packages, after a CTRL+C during an installation, I got an error : “/var/cache/debconf/config.dat is locked by another process”. The solution has been to use the ’fuser’ utility to know which PID used this file:
$ sudo fuser -v /var/cache/debconf/config.dat
and then to kill this process. I did not know ’fuser’. For instance, it gives the PID of a running Python script having opened a file without having closed it yet.

Ksnapshot is now Spectacle

To reassign the “Print Screen” key to Spectacle, replace “ksnapshot” by “spectacle” in System Settings -> Shortcuts -> Custom Shortcuts -> Preset Actions -> PrintScreen -> Action.

Multifunction printer Canon i-sensys MF-4330d

The scanner works out of the box in the Skanlite application. The printer works in the same way as in 15.04: in particular I have the same problem of black pages when printing some PDF or DJVU documents: see item of May 1, 2014.