Setting a blank desktop background in Gnome

Posted on Wed 29 April 2020 in IT • Tagged with linux, ubuntu, gnome

I've just upgraded to Ubuntu 20.04, and there's no obvious way in the settings to get rid of desktop wallpaper, if all you want is a plain background. There's a quick way at the command-line though:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background picture-uri none
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop …

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Using a Raspberry Pi as a lightweight JetDirect interface

Posted on Thu 23 April 2020 in IT • Tagged with linux, networks, printing

At home I've got a B&W LaserJet 1160, probably from around 2006-ish, that's not networked. I've also got a first-generation Raspberry Pi running Pi-hole. The Pi doesn't have enough RAM to also handle print jobs and prepare them for the printer, but it is able to be a super-simple …


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Writing from Vim straight into the X clipboard

Posted on Mon 05 December 2016 in IT • Tagged with linux

I use Vim almost exclusively for my text editing. Every now and again I need to get the contents of the file into the clipboard so I can paste it into something, like a browser window maybe. Highlighting with a mouse is fine for occasional use, but if you're doing …


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Copying LTSP root image on bootup

Posted on Sat 19 September 2015 in IT • Tagged with linux

LTSP logo

In work we use LTSP to boot up thin clients. Nothing runs locally on these thin clients, they're used for either VNC or rdesktop access. One problem we had was that if the LTSP server was rebooted, the NBD client would lose its connection to the server and never re-establish …


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"zfs replace" on a dying disk

Posted on Tue 03 February 2015 in IT • Tagged with linux, zfs

For the last day I thought the disks in my home server sounded a bit busy. Usually they're so idle they spin down for much of the day, but they were clicking away when they shouldn't be. Later the same day I got delightful logcheck mails saying things like "I …


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RTNETLINK answers: File exists

Posted on Mon 02 February 2015 in IT • Tagged with linux, networks

While setting up a second bridge for virtual machines on an Ubuntu server, I ended up with this error:

# ifup br1

Waiting for br1 to get ready (MAXWAIT is 3 seconds).
RTNETLINK answers: File exists
Failed to bring up br1.

I found lots of different explanations and possibilities described, but …


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