Friday, November 9, 2018

Disabling the touch pad on HP chromebook butterfly running lubuntu

I  despise track pads.
I use a wireless USB mouse instead so....

1. Determine track pad device id as follows from command line...

    $ xinput list
⎡ Virtual core pointer                    id=2 [master pointer  (3)]
⎜   ↳ Virtual core XTEST pointer              id=4 [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ Logitech K520                            id=9 [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ Logitech M325                            id=10 [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ Logitech M310/M310t                      id=11 [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ Cypress APA Trackpad (cyapa)            id=15 [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎣ Virtual core keyboard                    id=3 [master keyboard (2)]
    ↳ Virtual core XTEST keyboard              id=5 [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Power Button                            id=6 [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Video Bus                                id=7 [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Power Button                            id=8 [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ HP Truevision HD: HP Truevision          id=12 [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ AT Translated Set 2 keyboard            id=13 [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Logitech K520                            id=14 [slave

Note the (id 15) Cypress APA Trackpad and
also note my (id 10) add on logitech m325 USB wireless mouse.

Now use a suitable text editor (like vi) to create some bash scripts as follows:
2. ~/bin/trackpaddown


     xinput set-prop 15 "Device Enabled" 0

3. ~/bin/trackpadup



   xinput set-prop 15 "Device Enabled" 1

4. chmod 755 /bin/trackpad*

5. From command prompt issue trackpaddown to disable the on board trackpad or trackpadup to reenable the builtin trackpad device.

6. To automate this at lubuntu startup...

7. Create this directory and file...

    mkdir /home/login/scripts


    touch /home/login/scripts/



    don't forget this...

    chmod 755 /home/login/scripts/

    Note that "login" in the paths above (item 7) are to be specific to your login !

update:  (12/3/2018) I've noticed more weird focus jumping in chrome and I just checked with:

xinput --list --short

and discovered an additional still active
 "Cypress APA Trackpad (cyapa)             id=13 [slave  pointer  (2)]"
 line in the output so I went back and revised the trackpaddown script to read thusly...


xinput set-prop 15 "Device Enabled" 0
xinput set-prop 13 "Device Enabled" 0

Now the focus jumping issues are gone.... finally. Hooray!

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Checking you DNS servers for ubuntu

At command prompt...

1. determine your network interface name...

    lshw -C network

    find interfacename in that output

2. get the list of DNS servers to use in order...

    nmcli device show [interfacename] | grep IP4.DNS


If anything weird shows up use a whois service on the web to find who is providing DNS lookup...

    nslookup [ipaddress]

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Artificial Intelligence is alive and well at google...

I don't know if this is gmail or chrome's fault but here goes....

in engrish...

And in Malay apparently...

Sunday, September 2, 2018

lubuntu stuff to install etc

This works as of 9/2/2018 for the new LTS 18.04 lubuntu release.....

Install the following four packages via apt-get for #1 the other three can be installed in synaptic once it is installed.

1. synaptic

2. alacarte (menu editing the easy way)

3. cairo dock (so you look like a human instead of a caveman working from the command line all the time).

4. shutter (screen shots)

5. Go to preferences->Default applications for LXSession
     Click on  "Autostart" button.
     Type in "/usr/bin/cairo-dock -o" next to the "+Add" button.
     Click the "+Add" button.
     Type in "/usr/bin/shutter" next to the "+Add" button.
     Click the "+Add" button.
     Close the "LXSession configuration" window.

6. add a session shutdown option to the menu using "alacarte" see above. I added this to "accessories" sub-menu.

Hint: find the power button logo icon (as shown above) here:

6. Now you can add the same shortcut to cairo-dock by simply dragging from menu and dropping where you wish in dock. This can fail but it will create a dummy empty launcher in the dock that can be modified as follows:
Pay particular attention to the final three text fields they should contain as follows:
Launcher's name:                    "Logout"
Image's name or path:             "/usr/share/icons/Lubuntu/panel/24/system-shutdown-panel-restart.svg"
Command to launch on click: "/usr/bin/lxsession-logout"

7. Remove abiword it sucks.

8. Remove gnumeric it sucks.

9. If you need gksu functionality.....

When you run a GUI program with pkexec you should pass some environment variables to the program. Here is the command (all in one line):
If you intend to use pkexec regularly, then it is useful to add the following alias in your ~/.bashrc:

Of course the usual caveats for running gui software as root apply.... as in not recommended.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Final tweaks to run cairo dock as main UI on lxde (lubuntu)

  1. Install cairo-dock via apt-get or synaptic if you've got it installed.

  2. I want my clock fixed in the lower right hand corner in digital format configured to my own liking. Notice I keep it locked to avoid inadvertantly fouling up the setting. Here are the important size and position settings to allow minimal intrusion into usable screen space...

  3. Once I had cairo configured and working to my satisfaction I needed a way to get the standard LXDE menu panel to not "get in the way" even though it still needs to be accessible on the rare occasions when cairo goes "tharn" (google it). Next steps show how to accomplish this...

  4. Go into LXDE panel and remove everything except the menu button. Do this by right clicking on any undefined space in lxde menu panel, then select "add and remove panel items". Remember... don't remove the menu button itself!

  5. Go into the LXDE panel and reconfigure the "panel settings" as shown in the screen shot below. Do this by right clicking on any undefined space in the lxde menu panel, then select "panel settings".

  • I find left center convenient so that the scroll thumb gutter is not likely to activate this hidden panel by accident. Note the height width and icon size I use. These are important to minimize the size of the panel while still providing some blank space to make later adjustments to the settings. Your mileage may vary if you want it larger or smaller depending on personal preference or tastes.

  • Here is a screen shot of where my lxde menu panel hides now until those rare occasions when I need to restart a cairo-dock session that has flaked out for reasons unknown.

  • One final note: For reasons known only to the lxde developers, I can't get back into the Add/Remove lxde panel items from the menu item now. This seems to be a function of making the panel only large enough to show the menu and a portion of an unused panel box. Never fear, you can still access the add/remove panel items functionality by entering via the "panel settings" menu selection and then clicking on the tab for "panel applets".

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

This was bound to happen...

And then just like that ... took an update and blam... End of support notification from my "friends" at google.  I guess that means it is time to reflash my rom and install a real linux system on this still perfectly usable piece of hardware even though google apparently thinks I should just throw it in a landfill somewhere.

Here is a closeup of what corporate greed looks like...

Yes, don't mind if I do upgrade... to real linux that is.

PS: The deed is done! Thanks to this very helpful website and a short afternoon of work reflashing a new ROM and installing lubuntu 16.04 LTS...

I even went UEFI boot and that was relatively painless too!

I will probably look into donating to mrchromebox when I get a bit more time.

The cure:

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


Okay after thrashing about for the best part of a day on my lubuntu server.... I finally discovered the magic incantation to autostart vino service on a logged in desktop on it...

  • You must place a fully qualified path to a startup script in the following file:


  • My content line for this was:
If it will run in a gui terminal, or a text terminal for that matter, it will run and start and keep going here.