Fixing initrd to Regain Ubuntu Encrypted Root Prompt on Boot

Recently, I upgraded my Ubuntu 12.04 server, which uses an encrypted root directory (with LVM and LUKS). Unfortunately, somewhere along the way the upgrade broke the boot process - next time I booted, it hung for 5 seconds, then timed out and dropped to a BusyBox prompt. I quickly found a workaround which allowed me to manually intervene and continue the boot each time: cryptsetup luksOpen /dev/sda5 root exit Of course, however, I didn’t want to intervene on every boot, especially since this is normally a headless server.

Windows 7 64-bit on VMWare on Ubuntu Hangs on Boot-up

I recently tried to install Windows 7 64-bit on VMWare Workstation 7.1.3 on top of Ubuntu 10.04 as a host. I found that it behaved quite unreliably once the VMWare tools were installed into the guest OS - in particular, it regularly hung on boot-up. However, once I saw this error message, which clued me into the problem: ![]({{ site.blog_root }}/images/Selection_001_vmware.png) I discovered that the solution was to disable 3D graphics acceleration - in the VM’s settings, untick Display / Accelerate 3D Graphics.

Turning off Resume from Hibernation in Ubuntu 10.04

I use dm-crypt on all my machines now, including laptops, to provide full-disk encryption. I also use it to encrypt swap partitions with a randomly-generated key. All of these are features that Ubuntu 10.04 provides out-of-the-box, at least when you use the alternate CD to install. I also recently installed µswsusp on one of my laptops, a userspace hibernation facility. I didn’t really connect the dots until one day I left the laptop running, coming back to find it hibernated.

Huawei K4505 with Ubuntu 10.04

I just acquired a new Vodafone Mobile Broadband modem to replace an aging ExpressCard version I had that wasn’t working too well. It came in the form of a Vodafone-branded Huawei K4505 USB stick. It didn’t work completely out-of-the-box with Ubuntu 10.04, at first appearing unrecognisable. After some hunting, I discovered that these sticks initially present themselves as USB Mass Storage to allow you to install the Windows drivers. You have to give a few magic incantations on Linux to make them switch into modem mode:

Disabling Synaptics Touchpad with Ubuntu 10.04

I recently installed Ubuntu 10.04 on my Thinkpad T61 and set about disabling the touchpad, which I always find irritating. There seemed to be lots of guides to this, including this one, but none of them seemed to work for me. Eventually I figured some fairly simple steps which did work: Install two packages if they aren’t already installed (gpointing-device-settings is the more modern version of gsynaptics and will uninstall it if it’s installed):

Logitech Presenter R800 with USB HID in Windows XP SP3

I recently acquired a Logitech Presenter R800. It’s a beautiful device - not particularly cheap, but very slick and easy-to-use. Unfortunately, Windows XP (Service Pack 3) on my system refused to recognise it - the device was listed as USB Receiver in Windows Device Manager, but Windows kept claiming it couldn’t find the driver. It is presented to the system as a standard USB HID device, so there is no Logitech-specific driver: it uses the standard Windows HID Driver.

Fullscreen Video Flicker on T61 Thinkpad

Until recently, I was having problems with fullscreen video in Windows on my new T61 Thinkpad, which uses an NVidia Quadro NVS 140M display adapter. Video would regularly flicker when fullscreen was enabled in a variety of players, including Windows Media Player and various embedded Flash players, and had to be taken out of fullscreen and put back - sometimes as many as 10 times - before the image was stable.