Μηνιαία αρχεία: Ιανουάριος 2018


Did you know that if you touch your uvula, you can taste every food you’ve eaten for the past 12 hours?

Did you know that if you touch your uvula, you can taste every food you’ve eaten for the past 12 hours?

Original image of mouth from: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/81/Tonsils_diagram.jpg

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How we accidentally fixed the black screen issue of OBS studio on Fedora 27 x64 1

As mentioned in a previous post, we installed OBS studio on our machine in order to make some desktop recordings.
What that post did not mention are two issues that we had:

  1. when recording using the Screen Capture (XSHM) source, the recording would only show a black screen and it would actually record the mouse only!
  2. when trying to record a LibreOffice application like Calc through the Window Capture (XComposite) source, Calc would not show in the properties dialog under the Window dropdown menu

The way we fixed these issues is not something that is always guaranteed to work but it is worth a try!
Initially we thought it would be a good idea to install the NVidia driver since we had a GeForce GTX 660M on the machine.
We hoped that the OBS studio black screen issue was a driver issue so we decided to follow the RPM Fusion guide on installing NVidia drivers.

We installed the NVidia driver, added the CUDA support and updated the system using these two commands:

dnf install xorg-x11-drv-nvidia akmod-nvidia xorg-x11-drv-nvidia-cuda;
dnf update -y;

and then we did a full reboot of the machine.

After the machine booted and the graphical interface came up, we noticed that the machine was too slow and there was 100% CPU utilization for over 15 minutes.
After some very efficient Google-Fu, we realised that this was some bug that we were not willing to deal with and so we had to remove the newly installed NVidia driver.
Again following the RPM Fusion guide, we executed the following command to remove the driver from our system:

dnf remove xorg-x11-drv-nvidia\*

Please note that we DID NOT execute the last step of the guide on how to Recover from NVIDIA installer.
As it is mentioned in the guide: the NVidia binary driver installer overwrites some configuration and libraries.
Since having a clean state did not work for us, we decided to give a go of this hybrid setup that we had.
Following another full restart we were able to see that OBS Studio was working as expected and it the black screen issue was no more!!
Also, we could choose LibreOffice from the Window dropdown and we could record that as well!

As implied, this guide is a hack, it could work for you as well or not.
Our opinion is that, it is worth to give it a go!
As a synopsis, what we did was to install the NVidia driver and uninstall it, the libraries that got overwritten by this process fixed the black screen issue of OBS studio.

Bonus: to find the model of your graphics card, execute the following

lspci |grep -E "VGA|3D";

In our machine we got the following output: 01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation GK107M [GeForce GTX 660M] (rev a1)


Fedora install JDK (OpenJDK) 2

As we were setting up a machine that would be used for software development, we came to the need of installing a Java Development Kit (JDK).
There are two popular choices on the web between the OpenJDK and the Oracle JDK, we decided to go with the OpenJDK option which is a free and open source implementation of the Java Platform and it is part of the official Fedora repositories.

To install the OpenJDK along with all the needed libraries for development we used the following command:

sudo dnf install java-1.8.0-openjdk java-1.8.0-openjdk-devel;

On our GNU/Linux Fedora the installation folder of the JDK was /usr/lib/jvm/java-1.8.0-openjdk.

 


Fedora 27: Install OBS Studio

In order to record a few desktop sessions on our Fedora GNU/Linux machine, we decided to use the OBS Studio as it appeared to be a very powerful tool.
Unfortunately, this software does not ship with the official repositories so we had to install it from the  rpmfusion.org repository using the following commands.

#Enable access to both the free and the nonfree repository
#free repository: for Open Source Software (as defined by the Fedora Licensing Guidelines) which the Fedora project cannot ship due to other reasons
#nonfree repository: for redistributable software that is not Open Source Software (as defined by the Fedora Licensing Guidelines); this includes software with publicly available source-code that has "no commercial use"-like restrictions 
sudo dnf install https://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm https://download1.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm;

#Perform the installation
sudo dnf install obs-studio;

Background:

RPM Fusion provides software that the Fedora Project or Red Hat don’t want to ship. That software is provided as precompiled RPMs.

Codecs in Fedora

By default Fedora does not ship with several codecs whose license is not free.
So we had to install a few packages manually and be able to playback or process sever multimedia formats.

Specifically we installed the following plugins and libraries for GStreamer (needed for the Totem Movie Player):

  1. gstreamer1-libav: This package provides libav-based GStreamer plug-ins.
    Libav is a free software project, forked from FFmpeg in 2011, that produces libraries and programs for handling multimedia data.
  2. gstreamer1-plugins-good: GStreamer Good Plugins is a collection of well-supported plugins of good quality and under the LGPL license.
  3. gstreamer-ffmpeg: This package provides FFmpeg-based GStreamer plug-ins.

GStreamer is a streaming media framework, based on graphs of filters which operate on media data. Applications using this library can do anything from real-time sound processing to playing videos, and just about anything else media-related. Its plugin-based architecture means that new data types or processing capabilities can be added simply by installing new plugins.

The command to install these packages was:

sudo dnf install gstreamer1-plugins-good gstreamer-ffmpeg gstreamer1-libav;

Additional h264 – h.264 Codec – Optional

Following, we decided to install the OpenH264 codec implementation and its extensions for Firefox and gstreamer.

Cisco provides an OpenH264 codec (as a source and a binary), which is their of implementation H.264 codec, and they cover all licensing fees for all parties using their binary. This codec allows you to use H.264 in WebRTC with gstreamer and Firefox. It does not enable generic H.264 playback, only WebRTC.

The code source is available at https://github.com/cisco/openh264 under a BSD license. The binary is released under this agreement from Cisco: http://www.openh264.org/BINARY_LICENSE.txt

Upstream Firefox versions download and install the OpenH264 plugin by default automatically. Due to it’s binary nature, Fedora disables this automatic download.

From: https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/OpenH264

To install the codec we performed the three following steps:

sudo dnf config-manager --set-enabled fedora-cisco-openh264;

sudo dnf upgrade;

sudo dnf install gstreamer1-plugin-openh264 mozilla-openh264;

# Afterwards you need open Firefox, go to menu -> Add-ons -> Plugins and enable OpenH264 plugin.

Bonus: Black Screen Issue

If you are having issues with the OBS Studio black screen bug, have a look at this post, it may be able to help you.


Qubes OS: Connect to Wi-Fi or Ethernet or another network

A couple of days ago we decided to give Qubes OS a go and see what it could do for a regular user. The installation was easy as it uses the same installer as Fedora, so we just created a live USB and formatted a laptop that had built in Wi-Fi.

To our surprise, we could not figure out how to change the network settings and activate an internet connection! Going to the NetworkManager (nm), even with root, would show us all fields as disabled when trying to create any new connection!

Some time passed before we realized that the NetworkManager of XFCE4 was not the way to go. After inspecting the Virtual Machines on the Qubes VM Manager, we saw that the sys-net VM was the only one that had in its hardware settings to access the Ethernet and Wi-Fi modules. So we got the hint, we needed to modify sys-net in order to connect the entire OS with its VMs to the network.

To modify the settings of the sys-net VM we needed access to the Settings Application, which was not available in the application menu. So the first thing we did, was to use the sys-net: Add more shortcuts... option under the group ServiceVM: sys-net to enable the Settings application shortcut.

In the [Dom0] Settings: sys-net window, we went to the Applications tab, on the left list we scrolled down to find the Settings option.

After selecting the Settings option, we clicked on the > button to move the Settings option to the right list.

Then we clicked on the OK button to apply the changes.

Going back to the application menu and the group ServiceVM: sys-net we could see the new option for sys-net: Settings.

Clicking on the sys-net: Settings showed us the usual settings manager for Gnome.

From there on, our job was easy, we just clicked on the Network option that gave us the window to modify all network settings. Then we selected the Wi-Fi network that we wanted to connect to, which worked without a hitch!

Finally, we had to test if the configuration was working as expected. From the application menu, under the group Domain: personal, we selected the option personal: Firefox to start the Firefox application on the personal VM.

Once Firefox started we could see that internet connection was active and everything was working as expected!


Fedora Configure Hardware Acceleration for the Android Emulator

While setting up Android Studio on a Fedora 27 x64, we got the following message from the Android Studio Setup Wizard:

We have detected that your system can run the Android emulator in an accelerated performance mode.
Linux-based systems support virtual machine acceleration through the KVM (Kernel-mode Virtual Machine) software package.

Search for install instructions for your particular Linux configuration (Android KVM Linux Installation) that KVM is enabled for faster Android emulator performance.

After going through the website mentioned in the message we noticed that there were no instructions for Fedora so we decided to write our own.

Below are the steps we followed to enable hardware acceleration for the Android emulator.

Step 1: Verify that your CPU has virtualization extensions.

Execute the following in a terminal:

egrep '^flags.*(vmx|svm)' /proc/cpuinfo;

if you get ANY output then it would mean that your CPU supports either VMX or SVM which is good.
If it does not print anything then the emulator will fall back to software virtualization, which is extremely slow.

Step 2: Install the virtualization packages

sudo dnf group install --with-optional virtualization;

Step 3: Start the service

sudo systemctl start libvirtd;

Step 4: Automatically start the service on boot:

sudo systemctl enable libvirtd;

Step 5: Verify that the kvm kernel modules were loaded

lsmod | grep kvm

If the above command does not print kvm_intel or kvm_amd, it would mean that KVM is not properly configured.


Compiling openbts-umts on Ubuntu 15.04

Below are the steps we followed to compile OpenBTS-UMTS on Ubuntu 15.04.
There could be a chance that we installed a couple of extra system packages while troubleshooting the installation but it works and we did not include some heavy system service as well so it should be OK.

sudo apt-get install build-essential libuhd autoconf libtool libdevel libzmq-dev libzmq libzmq-dev libzmq-dev libosip2-dev libortp-dev libusb-dev libusb-1.0 libtool-bin libsqlite3-dev libboost-dev libreadline-dev;
git clone https://github.com/RangeNetworks/OpenBTS-UMTS;
cd OpenBTS-UMTS/;
git submodule init;
git submodule update;
#First we need to setup ASN1C compiler
tar -xf asn1c-0.9.23.tar.gz;
cd vlm-asn1c-0959ffb/;
./configure;
make;
make check;
sudo make install;
cd ..;
#Finally, we can proceed with compiling openbts-umts
./autogen.sh;
./configure;
make;
sudo make install;


Perform diff on two folders

To perform a recursive diff on all the files of two folders we just need to add the -r (or --recursive) parameter that recursively compares any subdirectories found.

To avoid needless messages from the tool, we can also use the -q (or --brief) parameter that reports only when files differ.

Example of performing diff on two folders recursively while preventing needless messages.

diff -rq aFolder someOtherFolder;


Count how many submissions per score

Recently, we had access to a database that contained the scores of a programming competitions system.
The database contained several contests, each contest contained several challenges and any competitor could make multiple submissions.
We wanted to extract a couple of charts showing

  • how many submissions we had per score and
  • how many submissions we had per score while filtering out the best submission (max score) per contestant per challenge per contest

The following code will return the number of submissions per score per challenge per contest.

SELECT contest_id, challenge_id, TRUNCATE(score, 1), COUNT(*)
FROM submissions
GROUP BY contest_id, challenge_id, TRUNCATE(score, 1)
ORDER BY contest_id, challenge_id, TRUNCATE(score, 1);

The next one will return the number of submissions per score per challenge per contest while filtering out the best submission (max score) per contestant per challenge per contest:

SELECT contest_id, challenge_id, TRUNCATE(max_score, 1), COUNT(*)
FROM
(
  SELECT contest_id, challenge_id, competitor_id, MAX(score) AS max_score
  FROM submissions
  GROUP BY contest_id, challenge_id, competitor_id
) AS max_scores
GROUP BY contest_id, challenge_id, TRUNCATE(max_score, 1)
ORDER BY contest_id, challenge_id, TRUNCATE(max_score, 1);