Tag Archives: ubuntu 14.04

Configure VMWare View Smartcard in Ubuntu

Recently I’ve been required to use a smart card to log into some servers I manage. Configuring my Linux Mint 17.2 machine to pass my smartcard through to those machines via VMWare View has not been straightforward. This guide will walk you through how to get Smartcard redirection to work with VMWare View in Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr, which Linux Mint 17.2 is based off of. Enjoy.


  1. Install the latest version of the VMWare View client (distro versions are often quite out of date) from here
    chmod +x VMware-Horizon-Client-3.5.0-2999900.x64.bundle 
    sudo ./VMware-Horizon-Client-3.5.0-2999900.x64.bundle
  2. Install necessary packages for CommonAccessCard (thanks to this helpful ubuntu writeup)
    sudo apt-get install libpcsclite1 pcscd pcsc-tools
  3. (re)Start the pcscd daemon
    sudo /etc/init.d/pcscd restart
  4. Ensure your smartcard reader is properly identified by running this command:

    If that command is stuck on “Waiting for the first reader…” then you need to install your smartcard drivers. If it sees your smartcard, skip this next step and proceed to step 6.

  5. Install your smartcard driver. This process is different for each card. For the card reader I have (the Identive SCR3500 A Contact Reader), I was able to obtain the drivers after much difficulty from here. The link to the drivers itself are here (alternate link). In my case I was able to untar and run the install script, which worked beautifully.
  6. Install 32 bit compatibility libraries (only applicable for 64 bit installations) thanks to this site for the answer and this one for clarification
    sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install -y libxml2:i386 libssl1.0.0:i386 libXtst6:i386 libudev1:i386 libpcsclite1:i386 libtheora0:i386 libv4l-0:i386 libpulse0:i386
    sudo ln -sf /lib/i386-linux-gnu/libudev.so.1 /lib/i386-linux-gnu/libudev.so.0
    sudo ln -sf /lib/i386-linux-gnu/libssl.so.1.0.0 /lib/i386-linux-gnu/libssl.so.1.0.1
    sudo ln -sf /lib/i386-linux-gnu/libcrypto.so.1.0.0 /lib/i386-linux-gnu/libcrypto.so.1 
    sudo ln -sf /lib/$(arch)-linux-gnu/libudev.so.1 /lib/$(arch)-linux-gnu/libudev.so.0
  7. (re)Start the vmware-USBArbitrator and vmware-view-USBD services
    sudo /etc/init.d/vmware-USBArbitrator start
    sudo /etc/init.d/vmware-view-USBD start

    For some reason after I did all of this the vmware-view binary was nowhere to be found. It was quite strange. I fixed this issue by removing and re-installing the view client:

    sudo ./VMware-Horizon-Client-3.5.0-2999900.x64.bundle -u vmware-horizon-client
    sudo ./VMware-Horizon-Client-3.5.0-2999900.x64.bundle

    After doing this the binary was there as expected.

  8. Create a config file to instruct the view client to redirect your smartcard reader.
    echo 'viewusb.IncludeFamily = "smart-card"' > ~/.vmware/config

    There is no graphical option to pass devices through like there is in the Windows client. I spent more time than I’d like to admit on this step. It turns out the name of the file is important – it has to simply be called “config.” Place this config file in ~/.vmware (it can also be placed in /etc/vmware/config and/or /usr/lib/vmware/config)

  9. Start vmware-view and enjoy your new smartcard capabilities


If it’s not working, make sure that these services are started

  • pcscd
  • vmware-USBArbitrator
  • vmware-view-USBD

One of these services have been known to crash if you attempt to connect while your smartcard is plugged in. The dance to get around this is to unplug your card reader, re-launch the above services, launch vmware-view, connect to your view server, and then only after you’ve logged in, plug in your card reader.


Update 2/25/2016: Here is the script I use to make my chromebook work beautifully for remoting into work:

sudo /etc/init.d/pcscd restart
sudo /etc/init.d/vmware-USBArbitrator restart
sudo /etc/init.d/vmware-view-USBD restart
setres 1600 1024
setres 2560 1700

Fix Owncloud 8.1.1 samba shares not working

It never seems to go smoothly, does it? I just upgraded my version of Owncloud from 8.0.4 to 8.1.1 on my Ubuntu Trusty Tahr 14.04 VM. After the upgrade I noticed that all my samba (SMB) shares were gone. The logs were not very helpful, full of things like these:

Exception: {"Exception":"Icewind\\SMB\\Exception\\InvalidHostException","Message":"","Code":0,"Trace":"#0 \/var\/www\/owncloud\/apps\/files_external\/3rdparty\/icewind\/smb\/src\/Connection.php(37): Icewind\\SMB\\Connection

Additionally errors like this were showing up:

Your web server is not yet set up properly to allow file synchronization because the WebDAV interface seems to be broken.

After much digging I discovered this post which had a suggestion to install libsmbclient-php. In Ubuntu 14.04 it involves this command:

sudo apt-get install php5-libsmbclient

That did the trick! After installing php5-libsmbclient my samba shares worked once more.


Allow non-root users to mount disks

I came across a need today to allow a regular (non-root) user to mount disks in Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr. I usually use sudo but in this case I needed to be able to run photorec as a regular user.

The way to accomplish this is to add the regular user to the disk group. To accomplish this, run this command:

sudo usermod -a -G disk <username>

If you are logged in as that user, you will have to log out and log back in to receive the permissions. Once this is done you should be able to mount disks without using sudo or being root.

Install Cinnamon on a Chromebook with Crouton

I really love using Crouton on my Chromebook Pixel LS 2015. I was sad to see that there is no cinnamon desktop environment target with the latest versions of crouton. Below is what I did to get Cinnamon on my chromebook. Much of what I did was taken from https://gist.github.com/sohjsolwin/5939948

  1. Create a base chroot
  2. Enter your chroot
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install software-properties-common python-software-properties
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tsvetko.tsvetkov/cinnamon
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install cinnamon

Once Cinnamon was installed I needed to know how to start it manually. Thanks to the Arch Linux forums for explaining it. You have to create a .xinitrc file in your home directory within your chroot.

echo "exec cinnamon-session" > ~/.xinitrc

Trying to manually start cinnamon by typing startx didn’t work – I got a blank screen and had to hard reset to get anything to come back. Thanks to github I learned you need to use xinit instead of startx.

Lastly, we need to create a suitable startcinnamon script.

wget https://gist.github.com/sohjsolwin/5934362/raw/f68fc0942798902a0bd48f40c17dc0cd5cf585ea/startcinnamon

Modify the file to remove the startx command with xinit. Also remove everything after xinit. My file is as follows:



Wraps enter-chroot to start a Mint session.
By default, it will log into the primary user on the first chroot found.

Options are directly passed to enter-chroot; run enter-chroot to list them."

exec sh -e "`dirname "$0"`/enter-chroot" "$@" xinit

Make this file executable (chmod +x startcinnamon) and move it to the /usr/local/bin directory of your chromebook (not your chroot.) Now all you need to do is enter

sudo startcinnamon

and your cinnamon desktop should come up!


Update 2016-01-04

These two scripts seem to work a little bit better. Place this one within your chroot under /usr/local/bin/startcinnamon:

#!/bin/sh -e
# Copyright (c) 2015 The crouton Authors. All rights reserved.
# Use of this source code is governed by a BSD-style license that can be
# found in the LICENSE file.

# Launches GNOME; automatically falls back to gnome-panel

exec crouton-noroot gnome-session-wrapper cinnamon

Place this one in /usr/local/bin outside your chroot (on your chromebook itself.)

#!/bin/sh -e
# Copyright (c) 2015 The crouton Authors. All rights reserved.
# Use of this source code is governed by a BSD-style license that can be
# found in the LICENSE file.

set -e



Wraps enter-chroot to start a GNOME session.
By default, it will log into the primary user on the first chroot found.

Options are directly passed to enter-chroot; run enter-chroot to list them."

exec sh -e "`dirname "\`readlink -f "$0"\`"`/enter-chroot" -t cinnamon "$@" "" \
    exec startcinnamon

Install Ubuntu chroot on your Chromebook

I recently got a Chromebook Pixel 2015 LS. It is a very nice device. Chromium OS is great but a power user like myself wants a little more functionality out of this beautiful machine.

Fortunately it’s not too difficult to get an Ubuntu chroot running side by side with chromium. The Google developers have made a script to automate the process.

Below is my experience installing an Ubuntu Trusty chroot on my chromebook 2015 LS.


  • Enter developer mode:
    Press ESC, Refresh, power simultaneously (when the chromebook is on)

    • Every time you power on the chromebook from now on you’ll get a scary screen. Press CTRL-D to bypass it (or wait 30 seconds)
    • If you hit space on this screen instead of CTRL+D it will powerwash (nuke) your data
      A scary screen will pop up saying the OS is missing or damaged. Press CTRL D, then press Enter when the OS verification screen comes up.
  • Wait several minutes for developer mode to be installed. Note it will wipe your device to do this.

Install Crouton

Now that we’re in developer mode we will use a script called crouton to install an Ubuntu chroot (thanks to lifehacker for the guidance.)

  1. Download Crouton:  https://github.com/dnschneid/crouton
  2. Press CTRL ALT T to open terminal
  3. Type ‘shell’ (without quotes) and hit enter
  4. sudo sh ~/Downloads/crouton -r trusty -t touch,extension,unity-desktop,keyboard,cli-extra -e -n unity
    1. Note the arguments are suited to my needs. You will want to read up on the documentation to decide which options you want, i.e. desktop environment
  5. Install this crouton extension to integrate clipboard (in conjuction with the ‘extension’ parameter above)

General points of interest / lessons learned

  • Don’t enter the chroot and type startx. It will hard freeze your chromebook.
  • You don’t need to blow your chroot away if you want a different desktop environment, simply install desired environment on your existing chroot
  • To switch between chroots pres Ctrl + Alt + Shift + F2 or F3 (back or forward arrows on top row, not to be confused with the arrows on the bottom right of the keyboard)

High DPI

High DPI screens are a pain to deal with. Here are my tweaks:

  • Go to System settings / Displays / Scale for menu and title bars. I like 1.75
  • Alternatively you can change your resolution. If you mess up and X won’t start properly, delete ~/.config/monitors.xml (thanks to askubuntu)
  • Use the setres script to enable other resolutions in the display manager
    • setres 1440 960
  • Firefox fix tiny text:
    • go to about:config and modify layout.css.devPixelsPerPx, set to 2

Other tweaks:

  • Make trackpad match Chrome:
    • System settings / mouse and trackpad / Check “Natural Scrolling”
  • Remove lens suggestions:
    • Install unity-tweak-tool, notify-osd, overlay-scrollbar, unity-webapps-service
    • Run unity-tweak-tool and uncheck “search online sources” from the search tab
  • Move docky bar to the left:
    • sudo apt-get install gconf-editor
    • Press Alt+F2, enter: gconf-editor and in this configuration editor, navigate to “apps -> docky-2 -> Docky -> Interface -> DockPreferences -> Dock1″
    • On the right side there are some properties with their corresponding values, including the position of the dock which you can change from “Bottom” to “Top/Left/Right” to move Docky to the upper part of the desktop.
  • Install Mac OSX theme
  • Install elementary OS chroot

Garbled mouse cursor when switching between chroots

Sometimes the mouse cursor would get all weird when switching between my chroots. The fix is to install the latest Intel drivers within your chroot.

sudo apt-get install software-properties-common python-software-properties
sudo add-apt-repository https://download.01.org/gfx/ubuntu/14.04/main
wget --no-check-certificate https://download.01.org/gfx/RPM-GPG-KEY-ilg -O - | sudo apt-key add -
wget --no-check-certificate https://download.01.org/gfx/RPM-GPG-KEY-ilg-2 -O - | sudo apt-key add -
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

That’s it.. for now 🙂


Update 07/27/2015

I discovered that creating chroots was taking a very long time due to the mirror being chosen. I discovered the -m parameter of crouton which allows you to specify a mirror of your choosing. My updated setting is thus:

sudo sh ~/Downloads/crouton -r trusty -t touch,extension,kde-desktop,keyboard,cli-extra -e -n unitykde -m http://mirrors.xmission.com/ubuntu

If you happened to do a CTRL + C to cancel an existing chroot install that was going slowly, you can simply append the -m parameter above along with -u -u to resume with the updated mirror:

sudo sh ~/Downloads/crouton -r trusty -t touch,extension,kde-desktop,keyboard,cli-extra -e -n unitykde -m http://mirrors.xmission.com/ubuntu -u -u

Install ventrilo on Ubuntu 14.04 64bit

Ventrilo is a voice communication server which is popular in the gaming community. It allows teams of people to get together and have voice chats. I recently tried to install vent on a 64bit instance of Ubuntu 14.04. When I tried to execute the server binary, I was greeted with this lovely error message:

bash: ./ventrilo_srv: No such file or directory

It’s a pretty cryptic error message that had me chasing my tail for a while until I came across this post which shed further light on the issue. This error stems from trying to run a 32bit binary on a 64bit system without the proper libraries installed.

A simple

sudo apt-get install lib32z1

Resolved this issue. After those 32bit libraries were installed, vent ran without issue.

Mythweb broken after upgrading to Ubuntu 14.04

I recently upgraded my mythbuntu installation from 12.04 to 14.04. For some reason the distribution upgrade tool failed on me. I had to upgrade manually by updating everything in /etc/apt/sources* to point to trusty instead of precise.

After a reboot I was surprised to find out that everything upgraded beautifully except for one thing – mythweb. When I tried to start Apache I was greeted with this lovely message:

* The apache2 configtest failed.
Output of config test was:
AH00526: Syntax error on line 30 of /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/mythweb.conf:
Illegal option AllowAll
Action 'configtest' failed.
The Apache error log may have more information.

It turns out Ubuntu 14.04 uses a different version of Apache with different syntax, which breaks the configuration. Thanks to this post I found the fix to be relatively easy:

sudo rm /etc/apache2/sites-available/mythweb.conf
sudo dpkg-reconfigure mythweb
sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 start

After that was done, all was well and upgraded.