Linux problems, April 2014

At work I use Linux, or to be more precise, Ubuntu 12.04. I’ve had all kinds of problems with it and I thought that it’d be nice to track them by making a list. I’ve included the things that I’d really expect to just work by this point.

Recently solved problems

  • Firefox menus stopped working. When you started the browser, everything would work just fine, but after a while the menus and drop-downs would stop opening. I think it is a known bug in Firefox. It disappeared a while ago, maybe after some software update. Update 2014-04-18: It’s happening again. :(

  • Chrome tabs would black out. Some pages, typically ones with Flash or some other multimedia content, would suddenly urn totally black. Sometimes when you opened the page again in a new tab, it would work, sometimes not. I think it had something to with nVidia drivers. The problem disappeared after upgrading the drivers and rebooting the computer.

  • nvidia-settings crashes when you try to apply settings. It still does, but it turns out that the Save to X Configuration File button actually works and you just need to restart the X server after making changes. No more hand-editing Xorg.conf.

Current problems

  • Whenever I plug in my USB DAC (i.e. soundcard), I need to restart Spotify to hear audio again. It used to work without restarts, but maybe some software update broke it. (The said DAC, NuForce uDAC-2 occasionally overheats, so I unplug it when I leave the office.)

  • Sometimes, like every time I plug in a USB device, the X keyboard layout gets reset. I use xmodmap to set up a custom layout and this undoes all those customizations. My boss points out that instead of using xmodmap, I should create a proper XKB layout. I guess it would help, but I’ve never encountered this problem with xmodmap elsewhere.

Comments or questions? Send me an e-mail.