Audio Static In Linux Mint No More

I’ve posted a couple of times that I have had audio static issues in my Linux Mint 14 install. I completely forgot to post that it was fixed thanks to the Linux Mint community over on Google Plus.

Here’s is what was posted there:

Hmm… being intermittent like it is, and not being external, it could be a timing problem. You could try editing /etc/pulse/default.pa, search for the line:
‘load-module module-udev-detect’
and edit it to:
‘load-module module-udev-detect tsched=0’
If there’s any options past “detect” then just comment the line out (so you can restore it if needed) and add the new setting below it.

You’ll have to reboot to be sure the new setting takes effect. If it’s a timer/scheduling problem that should take care of it, if the problem’s with Pulse to begin with.

Audio Static in Google Chrome in Linux Mint

An update on the last post: That fix was only temporary. After a month or so the static came back. I lived with it for a few weeks and decided to switch to Chromium again to see if the Google Hangout plugin was finally working and it is working in Chromium now. However, oddly enough, I have the occasional weird audio issue in Chromium too as heard in this video:

What is odd, as you will notice at about :20 in the video, is that the audio issue goes away. In Google Chrome, it does not go away. It is intermittent in Chromium.

This audio issue doesn’t seem to be an issue in Firefox. Which sucks since I don’t use Firefox; I prefer Google Chrome and/or Chromium.

I’m still searching for a fix.

Linux Mint 14 Cinnamon Adobe Flash Audio Static Issue

This is the first time I have ever experienced this issue using Google Chrome browser. When viewing any type of Flash videos I would hear static in the audio. I realize that there is a Google Chrome alternative within Linux Mint called Chromium, and I have been using it for the past couple of years. However since Google changed to Hangouts and created a Chrome extension that I use all the time I found that it doesn’t work in Chromium so I use Google Chrome exclusively now. Oddly enough, this Flash audio static doesn’t exist in Chromium.

I found a fix on the Google Chrome forum here. Basically, within Google Chrome, in the URL area go to chrome://plugins/. Once there look for the Adobe Flash plugin. You will need to select the Details option to see every detail of the plugin. Disable everything within the plugin except for /usr/lib/flashplugin-installer/libflashplayer.so. For me I only had to disable /opt/google/chrome/PepperFlash/libpepflashplayer.so.

Linux Mint 14 Cinnamon on Dell XPS

After two years of using Linux Mint 12 Cinnamon 64-bit on my Dell XPS desktop I finally decided to wipe LM 12 and install a newer version. With the release of Linux Mint 15 I was hearing widespread good news about this version so I decided I was finally going to upgrade. It is worth mentioning, though, that in the two years I was running LM 12 on my desktop that I never had any issues; it was all very stable except for the couple of times I made the mistake of attempting an Nvidia driver update. My plan for the upgrade was to install Linux Mint 15 on my Dell Vostro laptop first to see how things would go. Well, if you read my previous post you know that I had a real headache. With that catastrophe behind me I still decided I would attempt an install of LM 15 on my XPS desktop just so that I could get to Cinnamon 1.8. I booted up into the LM 15 Live USB thumb drive on my XPS and immediately ran into some performance issues, my mouse completely froze and I had no response from the keyboard. Essentially, my computer froze. I didn’t give up just yet. I so happen to have a spare Dell XPS desktop lying around; my nephew had also used the same XPS machine but had recently shelved it since we had built him a new, powerful gaming machine. I powered it up with the same LM 15 Live USB thumb drive and experienced the exact same issue. Still I didn’t give up. Just for the heck of it I decided to burn a DVD of LM 15. Same thing happened. It was then that I determined that my system just couldn’t handle Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon for whatever reason. It was then that I decided that it looked as if LM 14 would have to be installed on my desktop also.

I proceeded to install Linux Mint 14 Cinnamon 64-bit without any hassle and even found a means to upgrade Cinnamon to 1.8 thereafter by simply selecting the check for Backported packages from the Software Sources.

SoftSource

I re-installed most of my usual applications including, of course, Conky. I have found that Conky, for me, has become a necessity. With a theme I had used in the past called Next Gen I decided to customize the Next Gen theme some more based on a Tron wallpaper I had found. Because there were so many lines in the wallpaper I couldn’t see the metrics within Conky so I decided to create some transparent rectangles to insert into the Conky theme for the metrics to lay on top of for visibility. And this is what I came up with:

ConkyDesktop

So far these past few days have been great with the new install of Linux Mint 14 Cinnamon 64-bit. It’s been running smooth and I am very happy. Of course, I will be much happier when I can afford to build a more powerful machine like we did for my nephew.

Cisco AnyConnect in Linux Mint 12 64bit

I had posted before how I used VPNc at my last company. I have since moved on to a different company where they use Cisco AnyConnect as the VPN client. For the past few months I have been using AnyConnect for Windows not really thinking I could get the client for Linux. Out of the blue this evening I decided to search for an alternative I could use and I found this post, which was very helpful. To break it down, this is how it is done.

From the terminal type:

sudo apt-get install openconnect network-manager-openconnect

Once installed, go into Network Connections and add a new VPN connection:

Network Connections_005

From there you enter the information provided by your IT department. In most cases you will only need to enter information in the VPN tab, specifically the IP address, or host name, in the Gateway field:

Editing VPN connection 1_002

Editing VPN connection 1_001

Once that is configured you should have a VPN selection in your network icon in the panel, select it to connect to VPN. Red meaning disconnected, green for connected.

Desktop_003

To establish a connection a window will open for the VPN connection displaying the IP (or host name) of the VPN gateway. Select the connect button indicated in the red circle in the picture below.

Connect to VPN 'VPN connection 1'_004

Once a successful connection is established a prompt for you to accept the certificate will open (should only prompt once). Once you accept you should then be prompted to enter your username and password. Provided you entered the correct credentials, you will then be connected.

Aside from having to figure out the correct means of entering the gateway information my company provided to me the configuration was surprisingly simple.

Nvidia’s Older Driver on Linux Mint running Cinnamon

Thanks to those participating in Google+, I was able to find a way to revert back to a previous working Nvidia driver (see previous post of issues with the Nvidia driver update). I found this post on Google+ and the outcome made me very happy. I simply downloaded Nvidia driver version 295.33 from Nvidia’s site, booted into recovery mode, logged into ‘su’ and ran the following command from the directory the driver resided in:

sh ./NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-295.33.run

And now I am able to boot into Cinnamon again, which makes me super happy. I’ve been working in Mate for over a week and have really missed working in Cinnamon. All is well, now.

Nvidia’s Newest Driver Update on Linux Mint running Cinnamon

Last Wednesday, the 11th, Nvidia sent a driver update to my machine and since then I’ve been forced to run Mate instead of my preference for Cinnamon. However, I didn’t notice a problem until the following day after I had rebooted. After the reboot and logging into to Cinnamon I first noticed that it was taking an unusual amount of time to load the Cinnamon environment. When it finally loaded is when the headache started. Moving the mouse just a little bit caused the whole desktop to freeze, and it didn’t end there. It would freeze for about 2 minutes and then allow me to work again for about 5 seconds and freeze again for 2 minutes, rinse and repeat. Just so I could get out of the environment in a decent time I had to Ctrl-Alt-F1 to get to a terminal so I could send a shutdown command. It was then that I tested the other environments and found that I did’t have any issues with Gnome, Gnome Classic, and Mate. I then started browsing the Linux Mint Forums searching for recent updates to Cinnamon thinking Cinnamon was the issue but at the same time having that minor itch in the back of my head that I had remembered only updating Nvidia. I found this thread here and found that others were having issues with Cinnamon too, again, thinking Cinnamon was the issue. I started using Mate as my working environment until I found the cause and could get a fix.

Finally, someone posted in the thread yesterday an article that finds the Nvidia driver the culprit after all. Here is the article from Phoronix. If you read the article you’ll notice it list a few cards that are affected, mine is one of them; I have the GeForce 8800GTX. Now I have to wait, while using Mate when I would rather be using Cinnamon, until Nvidia fixes the driver issue.