2010-01-10 23:39

When Ubuntu starts, the USplash screen hides you the Linux boot and commands. If you’re a geek spirit, you’ll prefer those “cabalistic writings”. Here is how to disable USplash without removing the usplash and usplash-theme-ubuntu packages (because package ubuntu-desktop depends on them).


Disable USplash, then rebuild initramfs:

sudo vi /usr/share/initramfs-tools/conf-hooks.d/usplash
sudo update-initramfs -u


See also:

2010-01-10 23:39 · Tags: , ,
2010-01-10 22:45

XSplash is new in Ubuntu Karmic. If you don’t like this ugly screen like me, here is how to disable it.


The dpkg -l | grep xsplash command tells you that two package are responsible for this horrible screen: xsplash and ubuntu-xsplash-artwork. To remove them, you also have to remove the ubuntu-desktop package. That is not recommended if you don’t want to miss something in the next Ubuntu upgrade.

Here it is:

sudo rm /etc/dbus-1/system.d/xsplash.conf
sudo touch /etc/dbus-1/system.d/xsplash.conf

We remove the file and create an empty one. Why ? Because if we just delete the file it will be created back again during the next update. If you create an empty file in place, the next update will ask you what to do with the file.

Et voila, restart and enjoy the “visual peace”.


See also:

2010-01-10 22:45 · Tags: , ,
2010-01-03 21:28

Here is how to configure easily your Thinkpad fingerprint reader under Ubuntu Karmic, using ThinkFinger.

Install the thinkfinger-tools (for acquiring/verifying) and libpam-thinkfinger (for PAM integration):

sudo aptitude install thinkfinger-tools libpam-thinkfinger

Then you can test acquisition/verification. As a user, issue the commands:

tf-tool --acquire
# swipe 3 times your finger
tf-tool --verify
# swipe your finger, then another finger...

Note: tf-tools should work without being root if the user belongs to the plugdev group.

Then plug the reader to PAM as explained in /usr/share/doc/libpam-thinkfinger/README.Debian:

sudo /usr/lib/pam-thinkfinger/pam-thinkfinger-enable

Now restart your system and try swiping your finger in place of typing the password. A “Password or swipe finger:” prompt displays to authenticate you at GDM login and when you type “sudo”.


  • Test several programs in the Administration menu. “swipe finger” is not always showed but should work though.
  • To my knowing, it doesn’t work when locking screen (gnome-screensaver).

References :

2010-01-03 21:28 · Tags: , , , ,
2009-12-10 20:36

Under Ubuntu, the keyring is automatically locked by default while hibernating. When starting Ubuntu after hibernation, it prompts you for the keyring password.

To disable this lock:

  1. Go in Applications > System Tools > Configuration Editor
  2. Uncheck /apps/gnome-power-manager/lock/gnome_keyring_hibernate

Note: you can also launch the config editor with the gconf-editor command.


  • A “lock” search in the configuration editor.
2009-12-10 20:36 · Tags: , , , ,
2009-12-10 00:23

When you have enabled automatic login under Gnome/Ubuntu, the window asking your password to unlock the keyring at startup is very annoying ! Network-manager needs it to be able to use the Wifi keys.

If your keyring password is the same as your login password, the keyring is unlocked automatically when you type in your password to log in. This is not possible with autologin.

A solution is to put an empty keyring password. This is bad for security of all your passwords.

The best solution would be to store the wifi keys in the default keyring, and to store all the other passwords in another keyring. Maybe I didn’t check correctly, but from what I seen most applications only use the default keyring.

Average solution: put a “foo” password to the default keyring, unlocked at Gnome startup by a script. This is better than an empty password.

Here is my solution:

We change the default keyring password:

  1. Go in Applications > Accessories > Passwords and encryption keys (don’t loose 2 hours like me looking for it in System > Preferences, where it should be)
  2. Right click on the default keyring > Change password

We then create the python script with the following code:

vi ~/.lordiam.py
import gnomekeyring
gnomekeyring.unlock_sync(None, 'mypassword');

We prevent other user from reading the file:

chmod 700 ~/.lordiam.py

We test it. Expect 0 as return code (the warning is normal):

echo $?

Now, we add the script at startup in System > Preferences > Startup Applications:

Command: /home/USER/.lordiam.py

Finally, we reboot the PC to test the whole thing.


  • The fact that the script is called before network-manager start is a chance. I didn’t found how to put a priority on it in the Gnome startup programs.
  • What is the ‘login’ keyring for ? From what I understand, it is for storing passwords which will be forgotten at session end.
  • For the script, we choose a common name, less remarkable than unlock_keyring.py. We also put the script as hidden file. It is better than nothing.


  • apt-get source libpam-gnome-keyring
  • apt-get source python-gnomekeyring
2009-12-10 00:23 · Tags: , , ,
2009-12-02 21:53

Userspace Software Suspend is an alternative to the default hibernation method in the Linux kernel. It adds several interesting features like compression, encryption… Compression allows for hibernation with a smaller Swap partition. It also decreases the wake up time of your system!

Here is how to install USwSusp on Ubuntu Karmic. Should also work with a recent Debian.

Install the uswsusp package:

aptitude install uswsusp

You can now hibernate with the s2disk command as root.

To hibernate from Ubuntu menu or by key shortcut, then change the following line in the /etc/pm/config.d/00sleep_module file:


And test your hibernation!!


2009-12-02 21:53 · Tags: , , ,