Solution: KDE 5 Plasma – Massive Fonts after upgrade

After running a full system upgrade on Arch Linux, all of my desktop environments save MATE were using a massive font size. This made all the windows balloon up as if I were running with 640×800. Part of the upgrade must have damaged/corrupted/replaced a global font config file (if any such thing exists).

The solution to get back to the normal font DPI (96 for me). Is to load System Settings > Font (at the top) and then “Force Fonts DPI: <value>”. In my case, 96. Doing this and then re-logging solved the problem.





VirtualBox – ‘VERR_CFGM_NODE_EXISTS’ Solution – After Export and Import – OVF 2.0

A new node couldn’t be inserted because one with the same name exists. (VERR_CFGM_NODE_EXISTS).

Found an understated bug online with exporting and importing Virtual Machines in VirtualBox, using the OVF 2.0 format.

Even though the error code has ‘NS’ in the title, which to me implies NameServer and therefore suggested a networking fault, the issue is actually in the USB Controller for the Virtual Machine.

Somehow the XML config file gets scrambled and VirtualBox cannot properly implement USB. This can be fixed by changing the USB implementation to another USB version, e.g USB2.0 to USB3.0. Then booting up the box works as VirtualBox has re-written the USB XML config file.




Answer to Chromium’s “Unable to Load Font File!” Error in Video

I found that when using Chromium to play Video it would occasionally display the titled error message inside the video viewbox of pages like YouTube and Vimeo. The video won’t play at all. Turns out this is caused by the system not having enough memory left (had too much going on). Kill some applications to retrieve ~100MB of RAM and reload the page. Then everything works fine.

Some bike photos from an afternoon ride…

Squeaking palm-rest on T410/T420/T430? Easy fix.

I’ve had annoying palm-rest squeaking on all the Thinkpads I’ve owned, usually when I rest my hands on the rests to begin typing. The creaking would continue as I increased and decreased pressure on the palm-rest whilst typing.

I only recently took my T430 apart to figure out how to stop the creaking. For me, the noise was coming from the right-hand palm-rest, directly next to the fingerprint sensor and above where the smartcard reader blanking piece sits.

There are two solutions. The first works if the creaking comes from the top palm-rest rubbing where it meets the lower half of the laptop’s body. Continue reading

OwnCloud – Upload failed. Could not find uploaded file.

The precise error Owncloud would give at the top of the screen when I tried to upload a file was: Upload failed. Could not find uploaded file.
I spent ages trying to fix this with nothing online to help (which is why I’m writing this now for other’s, in case others are as ignorant as I am).
Go into /etc/php/php.ini and ensure that upload_tmp_dir is set to a directory included in the open_basedir path further up the file. The open_basedir set of directories is a list of base directories all PHP code can interact with. If your upload directory is not in there, any uploaded files are sent in the ether and then lost – with Owncloud complaining that it ‘can’t find them’. Owncloud can’t see the directory if it’s not one of those included in open_basedir.

Gnome Startup Crash when coming from KDE

Had some problems with Gnome failing to start and crashing with the weird sad face image and ‘Oh no, something has gone wrong’ error. If you check the error journal with ‘journalctl | grep gnome’ you may see some errors relating to PolKit. This can be checked against specifically with ‘journalctl | grep polkit’. If PolKit is throwing errors, installing polkit-gnome again. This seemed to repair paths, dependencies or whatever and after this Gnome booted successfully.

Fix for no emoticons on Motorola Moto G 2014

The new Moto G has an issue where emoticons do not show in any application correctly – where they should be is a blank space. This ‘bug’ has been shipped with the phone, but it is a misconfiguration left in by the developer and is easy to fix.

Go into the stock messaging app (not hangouts) and enter the settings. Find the ‘Character Encoding’ setting and change it from ‘7 bit’ to ‘automatic’.

This configuration seems to be a system-wide settings, and all applications will now display emoticons successfully.