Tag Archives: Linux Mint

Fix no bluetooth devices found in Linux Mint

I had a peculiar issue today where I suddenly lost the ability to see any bluetooth devices on my Linux Mint 18.2 desktop utilizing a Plugable USB Bluetooth adapter.

The fix involved checking kernel messages for anything insightful. In my case this is what led me to the solution:

[ 608.988353] Bluetooth: hci0: BCM: Patch brcm/BCM20702A1-0a5c-21e8.hcd not found
[ 609.156320] Bluetooth: hci0: BCM: chip id 63
[ 609.172330] Bluetooth: hci0: LPP-3389-WIN
[ 609.173313] Bluetooth: hci0: BCM20702A1 (001.002.014) build 1764
[ 609.173347] bluetooth hci0: Direct firmware load for brcm/BCM20702A1-0a5c-21e8.hcd failed with error -2

After some googling I finally came across the solution here. The fix is to download the firmware for your bluetooth adapter and place it in the place the bluetooth kernel module expects it to be in, then to reload the bluetooth kernel module.

sudo mkdir -p /lib/firmware/brcm
sudo wget https://s3.amazonaws.com/plugable/bin/fw-0a5c_21e8.hcd -O /lib/firmware/brcm/BCM20702A1-0a5c-21e8.hcd
sudo rmmod btusb bnep bluetooth btrtl btintel bnep btbcm
sudo modprobe btusb bnep bluetooth btrtl btintel bnep btbcm

That did the trick! You can also reboot your machine instead of removing / re-loading the kernel modules and it will accomplish the same thing.

Mount folder from another system over SSH

I recently had a need to mount a folder over SSH to allow my file manager to browse through the files on a remote system. Two great resources led me to the solution to this problem: sshfs

I first came across this little tutorial on how to install sshfs on my shiny new Linux Mint 18 box:

sudo apt-get install sshfs
sudo mkdir /mnt/droplet #<--replace "droplet" with whatever you prefer
sudo sshfs -o allow_other,defer_permissions root@xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx:/ /mnt/droplet

Pretty slick. If you want to use a keyfile instead of being prompted for a password, you can use the IdentityFile option:

sudo sshfs -o allow_other,defer_permissions,IdentityFile=~/.ssh/id_rsa root@xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx:/ /mnt/droplet

You can have this handled in /etc/fstab for automounting. Thanks to this Arch Linux guide for the info. (The command below requires systemd.)

user@host:/remote/folder /mount/point  fuse.sshfs noauto,x-systemd.automount,_netdev,users,idmap=user,IdentityFile=/home/user/.ssh/id_rsa,allow_other,reconnect 0 0

I tweaked my /etc/fstab file a bit because it complained that allow_other required a configuration change. Since I’m the only user of this box it didn’t matter to me. Here is my configuration:

nicholas@remote:/ /home/desktop/remote fuse.sshfs noauto,x-systemd.automount,_netdev,users,idmap=user,IdentityFile=/home/desktop/.ssh/keyfile,reconnect 0 0

I’m mounting the root folder of my remote machine into a folder named remote on my desktop machine. I generated ssh keyfiles so that no password was required. Now the mount shows up under “Devices” in my file manager and a simple click mounts the folder gets me there. Sweet.


Fix inconsistent mouse cursors in Linux Mint

I love Linux Mint but a frustration of mine is the fact that the mouse cursors are inconsistent. If you change the mouse theme in the themes settings it will change for most windows, but certain windows such as chrome or wine revert to the system default mouse cursor.

I’ve finally found a fix courtesy of Ubuntu Forums. The problem lies with the x-cursor-theme being independent of the theme set in cinnamon. What you have to do is run a command to update the x-cursor-theme.

First, find the name of the mouse cursor you want from a list of your installed themes:

ls /usr/share/icons

Set an environment variable of the theme you want. Specify the folder name of the theme. For example, for DMZ-Black cursor:


Lastly run the command to update your cursor:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface cursor-theme "$CURSOR" && sudo update-alternatives --set x-cursor-theme /usr/share/icons/$CURSOR/cursor.theme

That’s it! You now have consistent mouse cursors. OCD demons satisfied.

Fix No USB devices connected in Virtualbox

Recently on my Linux Mint 13.2 system I was playing with Virtualbox. I wanted to pass through a USB device to a virtualbox VM but despite installing the appropriate extension pack, I was greeted with this lovely message in the USB menu:

No USB devices connected

I discovered here that you need to be a member of the vboxusers group. One quick command solved this:

sudo usermod -a -G vboxusers <username>

Once I did that I logged out and logged back in. Voila! USB passthrough worked.

Fix Xen VGA Passthrough in Linux Mint 17.1

I wrote in my last post about how I upgraded from Linux Mint 16 to 17.1. I thought everything went smoothly, but it turns out one feature did break: VGA passthrough via Xen. For the past year or so I’ve had a Windows 8.1 gaming VM with direct access to my video card. It’s worked out nicely in Linux Mint 16 but broke completely in 17.1.

I followed the advice of powerhouse on the Linux Mint forums on how to get things up and running, but it wasn’t quite enough. After much banging of my head against the wall I read on the Xen mailing list that there was a regression in VGA passthrough functionality with Xen 4.4.1, which is the version of Xen Mint 17.1 uses.

I finally came to a solution to my problem today – upgrade to Xen 4.5. I couldn’t find any pre-built packages for Ubuntu 14.04 (the base of Mint 17.1) so I ended up compiling Xen 4.5 from source. Below is what I did to make it all work.

Fix broken symlink for /usr/lib/xen-default

sudo rm /usr/lib/xen-default
sudo ln -s /usr/lib/xen-4.4/ /usr/lib/xen-default

Update the DomU CFG file

A couple things needed tweaking. Here is my working cfg:

memory = '8192'
name = 'win8.1'
vif = [ 'mac=3a:82:47:2a:51:20,bridge=xenbr0,model=virtio' ]
disk = [ 'phy:/dev/mapper/desktop--xen-Win8.1,xvda,w' ]
device_model_version = 'qemu-xen-traditional'
pci=[ '01:00.0', '01:00.1' , '00:1d.0' ]
on_xend_stop = "shutdown"

For some, that’s all they had to do. For me, I had to do a few more things.

Compile Xen 4.5

This step was thanks to two different sites, this one and this one.

Install necessary packages

sudo apt-get install build-essential bcc bin86 gawk bridge-utils iproute libcurl3 libcurl4-openssl-dev bzip2 module-init-tools transfig tgif texinfo texlive-latex-base texlive-latex-recommended texlive-fonts-extra texlive-fonts-recommended pciutils-dev mercurial libjpeg-dev make gcc libc6-dev-i386 zlib1g-dev python python-dev python-twisted libncurses5-dev patch libvncserver-dev libsdl-dev libpixman-1-dev iasl libbz2-dev e2fslibs-dev git-core uuid-dev ocaml ocaml-findlib libx11-dev bison flex xz-utils libyajl-dev gettext markdown libaio-dev pandoc

Checkout Xen source

git clone git://xenbits.xen.org/xen.git xen-4.5.0
cd xen-4.5.0
git checkout RELEASE-4.5.0

Build from source

./configure --libdir=/usr/lib
 make world -j8

When I tried this the make failed with this error:

/usr/include/linux/errno.h:1:23: fatal error: asm/errno.h: No such file or directory
 #include <asm/errno.h>

The fix (thanks to askubuntu)  was to install linux-libc-dev and make a symlink for it:

sudo apt-get install linux-libc-dev
sudo ln -s /usr/include/asm-generic /usr/include/asm

It then compiled successfully.

Install freshly compiled Xen 4.5

sudo make install
sudo update-rc.d xencommons defaults
sudo update-rc.d xendomains defaults
sudo ldconifg

Set grub to boot from new Xen kernel

sudo update-grub
sudo vim /etc/default/grub

Edit GRUB_DEFAULT to match wherever update-grub put your new Xen kernel (in my case it was the second entry, so my GRUB_DEFAULT=1), then run update-grub again

sudo update-grub


Success at last. Enjoy your VM gaming once more with Xen 4.5.

Upgrade Linux Mint 16 to 17.1

I realized recently that my desktop system is quite out of date. It has worked so well for so long that I didn’t realize for a while that it was end of support. I was running Linux Mint 16 – Petra.

Thanks to this site the upgrade was fairly painless – a few repository updates, upgrade, and reboot. Simple! The steps I took are below

Update all repositories

Use sed in conjunction with find to quickly and easily update all your repository files from saucy to trusty, and from petra to rebecca, making a backup of files modified.

sudo find /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ -type f -exec sed --in-place=.bak 's/saucy/trusty/' {} \;
sudo find /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ -type f -exec sed --in-place=.bak 's/petra/rebecca/' {} \;

Update your system

This took a while. It had to download 1.5GB of data and install it.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo apt-get upgrade


After running the upgrade I had a notice that I had many packages that were installed but no longer required. To remove unnecessary packages after the upgrade:

sudo apt-get autoremove

Install new language settings:

sudo apt-get install mintlocale

Install gvfs-backends (for Thunar)

sudo apt-get install gvfs-backends


Flawless! It worked on the first try. Awesome.

Redshift – a better flux program for Linux

F.lux is a wonderful tool for helping eye strain. People who stare at computer screens all day (like myself) can experience quite a bit of eye strain due to the harsh lights screens emit. One solution is to wear yellow tinted gamer goggles. I chose the cheaper route, installing software to adjust the color temperature of your monitor. Flux does this beautifully.. for Windows, at least.

Linux is a different story. Its GUI is pretty flaky and appears to only work for one screen. Enter Redshift, an updated fork of the Linux port of F.lux, which properly supports dual monitors. Unfortunately, it is harder to configure than F.lux. It is a command line only tool (with a GUI indicator component) and it requires creating a manual configuration file.

On my Linux Mint system (Ubuntu based) I needed to install the following:

sudo apt-get install redshift gtk-redshift

I had a hard time getting day/night changes to work. Redshift allows you to specify several different location options, but none of them appeared to work for me. I then realized that I like the softer colors of redshift all the time so I simply set the same temperature for day or night. It now doesn’t matter what the latitude / longitude is.

I found it odd that the settings for flux and redshift don’t appear to be the same. I tweaked my config a little bit to best closely match my Windows f.lux setup. Below is my config file, placed in ~/.config/redshift.conf.

; Global settings for redshift
; Set the day and night screen temperatures


; Enable/Disable a smooth transition between day and night
; 0 will cause a direct change from day to night screen temperature.
; 1 will gradually increase or decrease the screen temperature

; Set the screen brightness. Default is 1.0
; It is also possible to use different settings for day and night since version 1.8.
; Set the screen gamma (for all colors, or each color channel individually)

; Set the location-provider: 'geoclue', 'gnome-clock', 'manual'
; type 'redshift -l list' to see possible values
; The location provider settings are in a different section.

; Set the adjustment-method: 'randr', 'vidmode'
; type 'redshift -m list' to see all possible values
; 'randr' is the preferred method, 'vidmode' is an older API
; but works in some cases when 'randr' does not.
; The adjustment method settings are in a different section.

; Configuration of the location-provider:
; type 'redshift -l PROVIDER:help' to see the settings
; ex: 'redshift -l manual:help'

; Configuration of the adjustment-method
; type 'redshift -m METHOD:help' to see the settings
; ex: 'redshift -m randr:help'
; In this example, randr is configured to adjust screen 1.
; Note that the numbering starts from 0, so this is actually the second screen.

After saving the config file you can add gtx-flux  gtk-redshift as a startup application to have it automatically load on startup. My eyes feel much more comfortable now.