Wrong keyboard layout in lightdm for (k)ubuntu

I’ve had this annoying thing about my keyboard layout being US for my login window in Kubuntu 12.10. This happened after I got a new wireless keyboard with this unifying usb thing at work. I recently upgraded to 13.04 and the error followed, so I dug up the workaround / fix at .
My fix was adding this to /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf

display-setup-script=setxkbmap no

Kubuntu update manager has been complaining about failed package download / update

If you, like me, got that really annoying message from update manager regarding failed download of additional data ( usually flashplugin-installer in my case) every time you login, I just found the answer at ubuntu forums .

root@saturn:/var/lib/update-notifier/user.d# pwd
root@saturn:/var/lib/update-notifier/user.d# ls -l | grep failed
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 24155 Dec 17 10:33 data-downloads-failed
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 27963 Feb 15 08:16 data-downloads-failed-permanently
root@saturn:/var/lib/update-notifier/user.d# rm data-downloads-failed*

ssh keys in kde4 wrote some code to have kdewallet supply your ssh keys when ssh-agent requires them. Great code, my problem was that it’s been a while since I used kde and f.example qmake wasn’t something I’m used to. So here’s how I did it in OpenSuse 12.1 .

download askpass.C and from

# zypper install libqt4-devel
# zypper install libkde4-devel
# qmake
# make
$ cp askpass /path/to/home/.local/bin/

The rest is well explained by

Opensuse 12.1 gave me ‘wrong’ AltGr+4 character

In opensuse 12.1 having English (GB) as language and with norwegian keyboard I got the € character when pressing AltGr + 4 in txt console … In kde 4 my keyboard gave me a $ which is the character I’m used to get when typing that combination of keys.
In OpenSuse look in /etc/sysconfig/keyboard, in my case I changed the line KEYTABLE=”” to KEYTABLE=”” and I got my AltGr + 4 back to ‘normal’ .

umask in Ubuntu Oneiric

joar@jupiter:~$ umask

I wonder why they’ve changed umask from 0022 to 0002 in Ubuntu 11.10 .
Look like yet an other ‘make linux userfriendly’ apporach
Personally I’m not a fan of files being group writeable when i create them:

joar@jupiter:~$ tail -1 .bashrc 
umask 0022
joar@jupiter:~$ bash
joar@jupiter:~$ umask

Evolution 3, google calendar sync prob.

In ubuntu 11.10 I had problems adding my google calendar .
In gconf-editor, I found the evolution entry in apps/evolution
there is a key called “source” in addressbook and calendar also, and they differ. the calendar had no “google” source. I simply copied it from the addressbook part (double click on sources under addressbook, select the one with name=”Google”, press edit, copy it’s content) and added a new entry to the source key under calendar (same procedure, but press add when editing the key).

Got that from

Getting rid of ubuntu violet colors

I dist-upgrade’ed my Ubuntu at my laptop, and I’m again annoyed by the colors. I just can’t get used to the violet colors in debconf . Changing desktop background and colors, lightdm (yeah, they’ve replaced gdm with lightdm in 11.10) or splash (plymouth) themes is not a problem, and there are tons of howto’s out there. I’ve come to routinely replacing all of these things after installing or upgrading Ubuntu. Ubuntu now even has setup violet colors in debconf (!) . At the very least I want it back to Debian default blue .
This task turned out to be rather challenging (and quite stupid to spend time on figuring out) .
I guess my main problem was I didn’t really know which program(s) that was in effect when debconf was running. At first I didn’t even know ‘debconf’ had anything to do with those violet colors .
Long story short: it’s debconf, and some dependency involving libnewt . Thanks to the open source world, when I finally got my google phrase right, the solution was just one click away and I got insight right into the mail between developers that talked about moving away from default Debian blue colors. Have a look at and you’ll see that it’s all about a symlink in /etc/newt.
Before: violet background

root@juno:/etc/newt# pwd
root@juno:/etc/newt# ls -l
total 8
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root  30 2011-10-05 22:00 palette -> /etc/alternatives/newt-palette
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 309 2011-03-22 14:32 palette.original
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 336 2011-03-22 14:32 palette.ubuntu
root@juno:/etc/newt# rm palette
root@juno:/etc/newt# ln -s palette.original palette
root@juno:/etc/newt# ls -l
total 8
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root  16 2011-10-05 22:00 palette -> palette.original
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 309 2011-03-22 14:32 palette.original
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 336 2011-03-22 14:32 palette.ubuntu

And we’re back at the blue background with debconf.

Totem Movie Player and buffer

I’m a keen listener to . Totem seem to default to a 2 seconds buffer which for me sometimes is too small. I like to increase the buffer to prevent annoying glitches now and then. This post show how to do this with gconftool via cli . Personally I like to do this via Gnome configuration editor (Applications -> System tools -> configuration editor), go to apps -> totem and set the ‘network-buffer-threshold’ (it’s set in seconds) ,