High Sierra and coreutils

Since MacOS High Sierra has been out for a long time this is probably old news to the tiny minority using coreutils. When you upgrade you might find that “df” and other commands don’t work properly.

Every time I opened a terminal after upgrading I saw errors saying commands had been aborted. When I ran “df” it would abort immediately.

I thought the upgrade had damaged my filesystem, especially since it introduced APFS. I ran “First Aid” in Disk Utility several times, both live and in recovery.

It then occurred to me to try the MacOS df in /bin/. It worked!

Coreutils is the package that includes lots of command line tools like “df”. I installed it using brew so the following fixed the problem:

brew reinstall coreutils

I noticed it put everything in /usr/local where my original commands were in /opt/ so changing the PATH in my .zshrc was necessary too. Everything was back to normal again! 🙂

EDIT: Some other commands were messed up. “find” had changed, but then I realised it probably isn’t in coreutils and I was using the MacOS version. This page led me to the right package names and the following command line:

brew reinstall coreutils findutils gnu-tar gnu-sed gawk gnutls gnu-indent gnu-getopt --with-default-names

The “–with-default-names” parameter restores the original filenames, removing the “g” prefix. Everything outside of the coreutils went in /usr/local/bin/ which I made sure was added to the path too.

Ubuntu 11.10: Be wary of Compiz Config Settings Manager (ccsm)

Have you recently installed Ubunty 11.10 and are you marvelling at the Unity Desktop? Not many are. Marvelling at the desktop that is, but it’s growing on me. I said that last time too so we’ll see how it goes.

Anyway, the point of this little rant is to tell you to avoid or be very careful with CCSM, or “Compiz Config Settings Manager” as it’s known to it’s enemies. This little app allows you to edit practically everything related to Compiz settings. Literally everything!

Unfortunately it can also lead to a world of pain. After fiddling around with it I went into the preferences and clicked on the “Plugins” link at which time my desktop froze and I couldn’t even CTRL-ALT to a different session. Forced reboot was the other of the day.

When I finally got back in my external monitor wasn’t detected and I was left with a 1024×768 display. I spent a few hours trying to figure out what the hell had gone wrong. I deleted .config/monitors.xml and tried editing it but nothing worked. Eventually I rebooted a few times and suddenly my monitor was recognised again!

Then it was on to the workspace switcher. It didn’t work the way it used to. I hesitantly fired up ccsm and dug into the settings in Viewport switcher, then in Rotate Cube, then Desktop Wall. It was then I discovered I couldn’t deselect “Desktop Cube”. ccsm would segfault every time. Switching workspaces using the cube was painful as my hardware just isn’t up to the task. Open windows would flicker slightly after I rotated the workspace. Eventually I discovered that I could take drastic action to restore normality. First I had to login as a different user and then go into my home directory and then move some configuration directories out of the way.

mkdir bak
mv .gconf .gconfd .gnome .gnome2 bak/

After logging in again I fired up ccsm and Desktop Cube was disabled! I usually switch between workspaces using CTRL 1-4 and I was able to configure Viewport Switcher to do just that with a minimal sliding animation.

After looking in the bak directory it appears that Compiz stores it’s configuration data in various compiz directories in .gconf/apps/. I suspect it’s enough to remove them rather than all the Gnome configuration files.

I like Ubuntu 11.10 so far, I’m getting used to Unity but the top menu bar feels to me like it’s crowding out the screen. The lack of Unity themes included is troubling too as there are only 4 (2 of which are for visually impaired users by the looks of things). I’ll have to go look for some more.

Donncha's Tuesday Links

  • Senator David Norris reveals who his first crush was. Warning! graphic images! 🙂 Yes, people do get paid to write such guff, and we lap it up!
  • European Consumer Centre Dublin launched Howard, a cute wide eyed owl who will help you shop online this year. Simply enter the url of the site you’ll be shopping at and they will present the following:
    1. When the website was registered/updated.
    2. The results of an Archive.org search.
    3. Official Company Register information about the company.
    4. The results of a Google search.
    5. If the website is a member of an e-commerce trustmark scheme.
    6. Trustmarks to look for in the country in question.
    7. The general limitation period in the country in question.
    8. The general cancellation period in the country in question.
    9. Examples of price comparison sites to look for in the country in question.
    10. Contact information to your national European Consumer Centre.

    I entered 7dayshop.com because of my previous experience with them but the only negative result was the lack of a Trustmark certificate. I’m glad the first link of the Google search points at my 7dayshop.com post. 🙂

  • Fellow Automatticer Alex Shiels talking at WordCamp Melbourne.
  • Want to see inside a datacenter? CIX Open Day on the 29th! Unfortunately I don’t think I’ll make it.
  • A really simple way of generating a thumbnail of your site. Finally, a use for Snap!
  • FSF release GNU Affero GPL to address using GPLed software on public servers. The GPL requires code to be distributed if the software is made public, but there’s a loophole. Code running on a web server is more like a service. The code stays on the server and therefore code does not have to be made public. GNU Affero GPL rectifies that problem. However, if WordPress was licensed under such a license anyone who uses it would have to release any modifications they make. Read the post for more details about why the loophole still exists in GPL 3.
  • <@J^raxis> Some people have some weird fetishes. Which is fine. Then they take photos of them, which is not.