Install Spotify on Crunchbang 11

Installing Spotify
Next up was to install Spotify, and as I thought, there would be a hiccup due to a missing dependency. When this happens, a simple “apt-get -f install”” usually fixes it, but it turns out I needed an extra file from squeeze as Crunchbang 11 is based on Wheezy the new Debian Stable and Spotify Linux is old.

First I needed to download libssl0.9.8 from HERE and install it:

cd downloads
sudo dpkg -i libssl0.9.8_0.9.8o-4squeeze14_i386.deb

Then I had to add the Spotify Linux repo to my sources list:

sudo vim /etc/apt/sources.list

And add these lines:

deb stable non-free

Next I imported the gpg key:

sudo apt-key adv –keyserver –recv-keys 94558F59

Now I just needed to update and install Spotify

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install spotify-client


Wireless-Only installs with Debian, Crunchbang and Kali Linux – Missing Non-Free Firmware

Wireless Network
I changed my entire network over to wireless and my router is now fixed to the wall, 25 meters away from my office, in my lounge. The wireless from my office reaches ok, and means we have a stronger signal from the lounge where we have our XBMC media center and everybody connects with their smart phones.

Wireless PCI/USB cards and Non-Free Drivers
Due to the fact that some manufacturers won’t release the source code for their drivers (Thank you Broadcom and Ralink!!) we still have a bit of a hard time, even though Linux geniuses have reverse engineered and hacked practically all of them for us so we can load wireless modules from the kernel.

Politics and Freedom
Some distros willingly provide non-free drivers right from the get-go, others are more conservative and stick to Stallmanesque non-free restrictions. Debian does this…. still…. in 2013.

Debian Live Builder
I’ve built my own Debian based distros, and like other distros which are built with this system, mainly Crunchbang and just recently Kali Linux (The New “Debian-Based” Backtrack).

Live Yes – Install No
I recently got a bit of a surprise with some Live installs, as I found that when running both Crunchbang and Kali live, my Ralink wireless USB firmware was loaded and allowed me to connect to the internet, but when I went for the install, at the network configuration step, I was told that the firmware was missing!!

When this stage happens:
1. Take a picture of the screen on the Debian Installer which tells you which files you need from /lib/firmware. In my case “rt2870.bin” and “rtl8168e-3.fw”.

2. Insert a blank USB Pendrive
3. Reboot the Live CD to get to the Live Session
4. Copy the two needed files from /lib/firmware on the Live CD to the Pendrive
5. Reboot and run the installer

The Debian Live installer will detect the firmware on the Pendrive, load it, and allow you to choose your wireless ESSID and WPA key, and continue the install.

There’s no time like now for the old adage “You learn something new every day”.

May all you fellow wireless-only users, now be able to install any Debian-based distro without being put off by this minor freenoyance.

How to fix Plymouth on Ubuntu 12.10 with Ati and Nvidia proprietary drivers

I was going to do this manually, but after a bit of Googling I came across a script which does the job nicely. I downloaded it, had a look at the code, and once satisfied, ran it. I now have plymouth at boot.

The code courtesy of d0rkye and kyleabaker:

chmod +x fixplymouth

Original article found here:

Thanks webupdate, d0rkeye and kyleabaker.

Ubuntu 12.10 on AMD64 missing microcode boot error

No Plymouth and Module Load Error:

I don’t get the fancy Plymouth screen at boot, and I get this annoying message;
“failed to load file amd-ucode/microcode_amd.bin”

AMD 64bit Quadcore CPU Microcode Module:

So, first to get this error fixed, then Plymouth later. As i’m using a 64bit AMD Quadcore CPU, I guessed it was a module either failing to load or a non-existent module, and a bit of Googling proved me right.

In the comments Mathias pointed out that you can install the needed module from the Ubuntu repos, whereas below I provide a step by step manual install. To install it automatically:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install amd64-microcode

I downloaded and installed the microcode manually from AMD:

First download and add the AMD public key to your keyring and verify the signature:

To import the key (when downloaded from use
gpg –import

To download the public key from keyserver use
gpg –keyserver –recv-keys 9F94BC90

The key fingerprint is
0719 2E77 C9C5 79D6 D122 6AC3 6257 68B9 9F94 BC90

To verify the integrity of the GPG key fingerprint use
gpg –fingerprint

To verify the integrity of the container file package use
gpg –verify amd-ucode-latest.tar.asc amd-ucode-latest.tar

Now let’s download this module and get it installed, locked and loaded:
1. Create a directory for the module:

sudo mkdir /lib/firmware/amd-ucode

2. Go here and accept the conditions to download the tar file:

3. Extract it.

cd Downloads
tar xf amd-ucode-latest.tar
cd amd-ucode-2012-09-10

4. Copy the microcode over to the firmware directory:

cp microcode_amd.bin   /lib/firmware/amd-ucode
cp microcode_amd_fam15h.bin    /lib/firmware/amd-ucode

5. Now remove any old modules, and reload your new microcode module:
sudo modprobe -r microcode
sudo modprobe microcode
That’s it, now reboot and you should be blessed with an error-free boot

Ubuntu 12.10 – Install Nvidia GeForce 8400 GS Driver

Ubuntu Nvidia borkage
I see a load of people over on the Ubuntu forums getting their daily borkage fix trying to install the “nvidia-current” driver so they can get that much desired full 3D acceleration out of their cards.

Debian and Nvidia over the years
As a Debian user who suffered for years with Nvidia, enough to change to Ati, I know all about Nvidia borkage.

Ati to Nvidia
Anyway, long story short, needed the 1Gb Ati card for my Debian media center, so ended up having to use a 256Mb Nvidia GeForce 8400 GS on the office box, which due to boredom just got Ubuntu 12.10 installed on it.

Necessities for installing anything
Couple of things here that are regulars for us Debian users, which the Ubuntu crowd rarely post about. Mesa-Utils, and (the essential) Module-Assistant, as it gets your headers, build-essential and all manner of “compile-ready” bits n bobs.

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install module-assistant mesa-utils

Module Assistant
Module assistant will run off and fetch everything you need to compile and load any kernel module, from graphics card drivers to wireless firmware. This usually includes build-essential and your kernel-headers amongst other things. So just tell it to prepare your system with a simple:

sudo m-a prepare

Installing the proprietary Nvidia kernel module/driver

sudo apt-get install nvidia-current

Now just reboot and fire up glxgears (from the mesa-utils package) in the terminal and watch those pretty cogs show you how fast your 3D accelerated Nvidia card is.


Enable Spell Check in Vim text editor

I use Vim for all system file editing,and also for writing scripts. Sometimes i’m logged into my server and as there is no desktop there are no gui apps, I use Vim to send out a quick tweet to twitter via Twitvim. I also compose Mutt emails with Vim, so therefore having a spell check is pretty handy.

To enable Spellcheck in Vim, you need to edit your Vim config file:
vim .vimrc

And add these lines with your language to it:

syn spell toplevel
set spell spelllang=en_us

Using multiple Languages:
As I use both English and Spanish, I created two copies of my .vimrc file and called them vispellen and vispelles (ENglish and ESpanish) and then wrote two little Bash script so I can type “ven” or “ves” in the Terminal to interchange the different config files.
ven script:

# This copies vispellen with English spell check to .vimrc
cp vispellen .vimrc

ves script:

# This copies vispelles with Spanish spell check to .vimrc
cp vispelles .vimrc

Very basic I know, but it works.

Vim Spellcheck command basics:

]s  move to the next mispelled word
[s   move to the previous mispelled word
zg   add a word to the dictionary
zug   undo the addition of a word to the dictionary
z=   view spelling suggestions for a mispelled word

More information:
Just type :help spell in Vim.

How to install the Ati proprietary driver on Debian, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Mint

I usually install my Ati drivers like this on Debian 64bit, and have just found out today that it’s the same for Kubuntu 64bit as well

1. Download Ati driver:

2. Get all needed files and headers

sudo apt-get install module-assistant

sudo m-a prepare

3. Remove (completely) fglrx drivers (If you have them installed):
sudo apt-get remove –purge fglrx

4. Reboot

5. Go to console

Ctrl + Alt + F1

6. Login as Root and kill X

/etc/init.d/kdm stop

7. Unzip and run the Ati driver installer


*NOTE* You can also run the installer from desktop terminal as well, but I always do graphic driver installs from the console with no X.

 8. Configure X as root

X -configure
cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf

9. Reboot

Thar she blows !!!!!