Blog Comments

  1. oldcpu's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by hugox4
    As it turns out, I am not Wolfgang. We have more than one Wolfgang on this forum, who are more knowledgeable than I wrt GNU/Linux, so I may not be the person who can answer your questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by hugox4
    What did you use for remote connection, ssh?
    I command ssh remotely using a terminal. I don't use a GUI for setting it up. Instead, on my PC here in Europe, I open two konsole sessions and type in one:
    ssh -t -L 5900:localhost:5900 'x11vnc -localhost -nolookup -nopw -display :0'
    where is the mapped ip address of my mother's pc, and 'mother' is her user name (these are arbitrary names chosen for illustrative purposes and not her real name). My mother's router is setup to constantly map her IP address to "" (again, that is chosen for illustrative purposes and is not her real router IP address mapped name).

    My mother's PC router is setup to route all port 22 traffic to her PC's port 22. Hence after sending the above I obtain a request for a password. I then enter the password for user 'mother' on my mother's PC.

    I have the ssh daemon running on my mother's PC, and I have port 22 open on her PC (ie ssh service in her firewall).

    The above command starts x11vnc on my mother's PC, and sends the output back to my PC here in Europe, encrypted, over the ssh port.

    Then in the second terminal on my PC here in Europe I type:
    vncviewer encodings "tight copyrect hextile" localhost:0
    That will then display my mother's PC desktop (in North America) here on my PC in Europe.
  2. hugox4's Avatar
    Dear Wolfgang!

    What did you use for remote connection, ssh?

  3. oldcpu's Avatar
    I have physical access to my mother's PC (with me now visiting her in North America), and my approach was to keep her old openSUSE-13.1, and to also install a new hard drive with two openSUSE-13.2 installs on that hard drive.

    I indirectly described my approach here in this separate blog entry
    Updated 31-Aug-2015 at 08:30 by oldcpu
  4. oldcpu's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by brunomcl
    Did the filesystem developed subsequent errors?
    Everything worked great, until 3 days ago (~7-July) , when a very similar problem occurred. The recovery of my sister and myself was pretty much identical. This time there was far far less directory structure damage, and I did not have to spend any time recovering directories from "Lost and Found".

    Quote Originally Posted by brunomcl
    Or perhaps there was a power outage right before (or forced shutdown)?
    There was a power outage, but it was a week before and not right before. I can't tell if there were forced shutdowns. I asked my mother how she shuts down the computer , and she does shut it down via the shutdown menu , but also get the impression she switches off the power (via a power bar) immediately after the GUI disappears, which is too soon if that is what she does. But she claims she waits until it is fully shut down, so I will need to wait and watch her shutdown a few times. She is 89-years old now, so I can't complain wrt her computer knowledge. She pretty much amazes everyone in the retirement complex where she lives.

    Quote Originally Posted by brunomcl
    My first guess would be a failing HDD, with a speedy substitution in order.
    This is my fear - a failing HDD. But it will be approximately 2 months before I make the long > 7000 km voyage to see my mother, and have physical access to her computer.
  5. brunomcl's Avatar
    Hi Oldcpu,

    Very nice writeup, thanks.

    Did the filesystem developed subsequent errors?

    Or perhaps there was a power outage right before (or forced shutdown)?

    My first guess would be a failing HDD, with a speedy substitution in order.

    Or the HDD still works after all these months?

    Just curious, thanks again.
  6. oldcpu's Avatar
    Its almost 3-years later, and my wife and I are still using the Edimax 3G-6218N router. Nominally at home, we use it to provide a wireless signal to our patio in the summer time.

    Our separate primary home router has a wireless signal that is not strong enough to use when we are on the patio. But we have a room inside, next to the patio, where there is a wired ethernet connection to our home router. So we plug the Edimax into that wired location, and switch it on to give our patio a wireless signal. That works well, and when not in use we switch off the Edimax (for added security against any drive by hackers).

    We still find, even in today's wireless age, that this very small portable router is very useful in a number of hotels and B&Bs. We often will encounter a hotel that has both a wired and wireless connection to the room, but they limit the # of family wireless connections to a couple of connections. In our case, when travelling we have:
    • 2 x smart phones
    • 2 x tablets
    • 2 x notebooks/ultrabooks

    for a total of 6 devices, which often exceeds the hotel nominal limit. But if they have a wired connection, we simply plug in the Edimax router and we can over come that device limitation.

    Plus often the hotel wireless is very weak - almost too weak to use. But if they have a wired connection, then by plugging in the Edimax router into the hotel provided wired connection we can retransmit a good wireless signal for our own private use.

    Some bed-and-breakfasts (BnBs) have a wired connection and no wireless for guests (or only a weak wireless) so the router also comes in handy for that.

    One area where we do NOT use the Edimax (although it can be used for this) is when on the road in a restaurant or park, and we want a quick wireless access point for our Tablet. In that case if we have a Telephone company 3G account, then with the Android device that has the 3G, we create a Hotspot for our tablet. Android (and I am told iPhones) work great for creating a hotspot. Of course we could put a simm card in each of internet devices for 3G , but with multiple devices capable of using the Intenet, paying for a 3G account for each device starts to become rather expensive.
    Updated 26-Apr-2015 at 04:21 by oldcpu
  7. oldcpu's Avatar
    The Function key brightness functionality works on this Toshiba Z930 with openSUSE-13.2.

    Adjusting the brightness has never been a function I paid much attention to wrt my Toshiba Z930 Ultrabook, as in the places where I use the Ultrabook the default brightness has been fine. I use a KDE desktop.

    Still a post on our forum (#20) where a user needed to add a configuration file to get the brightness to work properly made me curious.

    So I tried the FN (function) F6 and FN-F7 combination on my Toshiba without the configuration file the user noted, and while I received a screen window feedback that the setting was applied, the brightness actually did not change.

    Screen feedback

    So I added the noted " /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-intel.conf " file the user noted (file repeated below)
    Section "Device"
            Identifier  "card0"
            Driver      "intel"
            Option      "Backlight"  "intel_backlight"
            BusID       "PCI:0:2:0"
    and restarted X (via a simple reboot) and now I get both the screen window feedback AND the brightness changes where pressing Fn/F6 combination decreases the brightness and the Fn/F7 combination increases the brightness.
    Updated 26-Apr-2015 at 02:51 by oldcpu
  8. oldcpu's Avatar
    I installed openSUSE-13.2 on this Toshiba Ultrabook, this time using Grub2 and with Secure Boot was enabled. I installed from a USB-3.0 memory stick using the 64-bit DVD install ISO (written to the USB stick using Imagewriter). I used a USB-3.0 port on the Ultrabook, so the installation was incredibly quick.

    It was also very smooth. The only change I did to the install (prior to the writing starting) was to go into the advanced partitioning and change the format of / to use EXT4. I kept my previous EXT4 /home.

    I've now tested wired, wireless, sound, graphics, webcam ... and installed a number of different custom applications. It was very fast and smooth, and thus far for this Toshiba Z930 ultrabook, I think 13.2 is the best openSUSE version for it.

    Here is the "inxi -F" output:
    oldcpu@linux-0w6l:~> inxi -F
    System:    Host: Kernel: 3.16.6-2-desktop x86_64 (64 bit) Desktop: KDE 4.14.2 
               Distro: openSUSE 13.2 (Harlequin) 
    Machine:   System: TOSHIBA (portable) product: Satellite Z930 v: PT23LC-01300D
               Mobo: TOSHIBA model: Satellite Z930 v: Version A0 Bios: TOSHIBA v: Version 6.80 date: 06/25/2013
    CPU:       Dual core Intel Core i7-3667U (-HT-MCP-) cache: 4096 KB 
               Clock Speeds: 1: 2375 MHz 2: 819 MHz 3: 800 MHz 4: 802 MHz
    Graphics:  Card: Intel 3rd Gen Core processor Graphics Controller
               Display Server: X.Org 1.16.1 drivers: intel (unloaded: fbdev,vesa) Resolution: 1366x768@60.20hz
               GLX Renderer: Mesa DRI Intel Ivybridge Mobile GLX Version: 3.0 Mesa 10.3.0
    Audio:     Card Intel 7 Series/C210 Series Family High Definition Audio Controller driver: snd_hda_intel 
               Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k3.16.6-2-desktop
    Network:   Card-1: Intel 82579V Gigabit Network Connection driver: e1000e
               IF: enp0s25 state: down mac: e8:e0:b7:73:c3:68
               Card-2: Intel Centrino Wireless-N 2230 driver: iwlwifi
               IF: wlp2s0 state: up mac: 84:a6:c8:ad:ba:4c
    Drives:    HDD Total Size: 256.1GB (53.5% used) ID-1: /dev/sda model: TOSHIBA_THNSNF25 size: 256.1GB
    Partition: ID-1: / size: 25G used: 6.9G (30%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda8 
               ID-2: /home size: 126G used: 115G (92%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda9 
               ID-3: swap-1 size: 6.71GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/sda5 
    Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 64.0C mobo: N/A 
               Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A 
    Info:      Processes: 213 Uptime: 2:23 Memory: 791.2/5872.9MB Client: Shell (bash) inxi: 2.1.95-4
  9. oldcpu's Avatar
    openSUSE-13.2 gimagereader - Once again, Malcolmlewis was also kind enough to package gImageReader for openSUSE-13.2.


    For information, to setup gImageReader to read/OCR German and French in opnSUSE-13.2, I modified the guide above since a number of the packages are either no longer required or not included.

    First - to add Malcomlewis' repository (the below commands need to be sent with root permissions) :
    zypper ar malcolm
    Then to install the necessary applications :
    zypper in aspell-de aspell-en aspell-fr ispell-french ispell-german aspell-spell
    zypper in tesseract tesseract-traineddata-german tesseract-traineddata-american tesseract-traineddata-french python-gimagereader python-imaging
    I obtained the error 'python-imaging' not found in package names. Trying capabilities. So it reads one no longer requires python-imaging.

    ... and finally to remove the repository :
    zypper rr malcolm
    Again, this can be launched with the command "gimagewriter".

    Many thanks again to Malcomlewis for packaging gimagereader.
    Updated 08-Apr-2016 at 11:26 by oldcpu
  10. oldcpu's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by oldcpu
    I previous put on 'hold' my GNU/Linux efforts with this Foscam FI9831W, until I applied a firmware upgrade. I wanted to have that in place so as to obtain the latest security update, as I am concerned these IP cameras are relatively susceptible to hacking.
    It turns out there is another Foscam update to new firmware 2.x.1.116. Reference: I missed this update, as it is not yet on the German Foscam site, although it is on the Foscam Asia site.

    I plan to apply this firmware prior to any further GNU/Linux updates on this blog entry wrt using the IP camera with GNU/Linux. In particular I want to the the improved security updates in place.

    New Firmware 2.x.1.116

    1)Improve the security of CGI and RTSP.
    2)Optimize the Main Stream and Sub Stream function;
    3)Add new configuration option "Enhanced the night vision definition under Video Settings;
    4)Add new feature that modify IP address without rebooting the camera;
    5)Optimize the display effect of OSD;
    6)Add Variable bitrate function on the Main stream video setting;
    7) Fix the problem that certificate of the plug-in is expired.
    Edit: On the US foscam Forum I read of some users who are unhappy with this firmware update:

    And I have also read there is an "optional" firmware patch for 2.x-1-116 users:

    This is an optional patch for firmware version 2.x.1.116 only. That you don't need to install unless you are encountering one of the three issues listed below and/or you wish to fortify your HTTPS access to your camera, which is using firmware version 2.x.1.116.

    This is an offical patch for H.264 based IP Cameras currently being sold that are on firmware versions 2.x.1.116 produced by Foscam as an interim fix between firmware releases.

    This patch fixes the following issues:

    1. If you use HTTPS access methods to access your cameras. Disables SSL 3.0 when using HTTPS access methods to the camera using the Standard Camera Interface to mitigate the Poodle vulnerability.

    More details about the Poodle vulnerability here: ... clnk&gl=us

    2. Fixes the issue where the Pan/Tilt controls are not being shown in the Standard Camera Interface.

    3. Fixes the issue where the Playback tab is not being shown in the Standard Camera Interface.

    Given the above, I think I will wait before updating.
    Updated 07-Nov-2014 at 03:34 by oldcpu (latest information on the firmware patch)
  11. oldcpu's Avatar
    I previous put on 'hold' my GNU/Linux efforts with this Foscam FI9831W, until I applied a firmware upgrade. I wanted to have that in place so as to obtain the latest security update, as I am concerned these IP cameras are relatively susceptible to hacking.

    My Foscam fi9831W came with firmeware Per the FOSCAM instructions I performed the following upgrade sequence:

    • Start configuration: System Firmware, Application Firmware-, Plugin-version-; then to
    • System Firmware, Application Firmware-, Plugin-version-; then to
    • System Firmware, Application Firmware-, Plugin-version-; then to
    • System Firmware, Application Firmware-, Plugin-version-; then to
    • System Firmware, Application Firmware-2.x.1.10, Plugin-version-

    = = = =

    First Firmware update:

    System firmware version:
    App firmware version:

    New features:
    1) Support ONVIF;
    2) Support uploading snapshots to FTP server in scheduled time;
    3) Support uploading scheduled recordings onto FTP server (without audio);
    4) Support scheduled record feature to SD card;
    5) Support pumping frame for schedule record to SD card;
    6) Prompt you change the default login user name and password to improve the security;
    7) Add the sound beep at the end of computer;
    8) Support setting cruise time;
    9) Support play all recordings function;
    10) Indicate password security level when changing/setting the camera login password;
    11) Support IE11;
    12) Support SD card management on web UI.

    1) Extend the Max alarm recording time to 5 min;

    = = = = =

    Second Firmware update:

    System firmware version:
    App firmware version:

    New features:
    1) Support hidden SSID;
    2) Support privacy area on snapshots;
    3) Support to revise the video settings for sub stream;
    4) Support do scheduled record on substream;
    3) Support turnning on/off the IR LEDs in scheduled time;
    4) Support to customize the cruise loops;
    5) Support configuring dwell time at each presets when cruising.

    1) Enhance the security when using CGI to do snapshot;
    2) Enhance the SD card storage feature;
    3) Enhance the ONVIF feature;
    4) Fixs the no beep sound on PC when alarm triggered if accessing via IE8 on Windows XP;
    5) Fixs the bug snapshot not complete when resolution set to 960P;
    6) More friendly Web UI.

    = = = = =

    Third Firmware update:

    System firmware version:
    App firmware version:

    1) Protect all the characters involved in the code decryption, username, password;
    2) Fixed the bug that visitor and operator can brower to Settings interface if not install the plug in.

    = = = = =

    Fourth (and final) Firmware update:

    System firmware version:
    App firmware version: 2.x.1.10

    1) Enhance the security of Foscam DDNS;
    2) Introduce .exe plugin which only need to be installed once and will work for 3 web browsers (for Windows user);
    3) Add patch installation function;
    4) Add setup wizard function;
    5) Add the download button of latest firmware;
    6) Support upload alarm recordings to FTP server (without audio);
    7) Add prerecord for cameras without SD card;
    8) Improve the RTSP feature;
    9) Enahnce the ONVIF;
    10) Ehance the over-write feature on SD card;
    11) Improve the wifi driver.

    = = = = =

    They don't say what the Foscam DDNS security patch may be, but I believe it important.

    With these updates in place, possibly next weekend I'll try again to check the GNU/Linux compatibility.
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  13. oldcpu's Avatar
    Pan and Tilt control from within GNU/Linux (success)

    More on using GNU/Linux for a PAN/TILT with the FI9831W. On the Foscam Web site Forum page, user " TheUberOverLord " has packaged a number of HTML applications for FOSCAM cameras. That user also offers a commercial support, where one can pay him to help on setup one's generic browser (operating system independant) to work with a Foscam Camera for PAN and TILT.

    He also provides free packages for a browser. He provides guidance here, where I initially found that a bit over-whelming due to the many examples and varied links he had on that forum page.

    But ultimately, using his "free" pages (without having to contact him for support), the bottom line is one can download the HTML page from here and save it locally (do NOT click on it to run ... it needs to be edited) :

    And then one goes in and edits the file:
    • IP Address or DDNS and Port
    • Valid User Id For Camera
    • Valid Password for above

    After that is done, one can click on that locally, and one is presented in one's default browser with a page with PAN/ZOOM controls and an image (640 resolution) from their camera that works with the Camera controls (and while coded for the FI9821W, it appears to work with my FI9831W).

    The file can then be edited to have a higher resolution. ... etc ... For example 1280x920 resolution worked with my FI9831W, albeit the image (and controls) were a bit larger than my desktop computer display could show all at once, and I had to scroll up/down to access the PAN/TILT controls.

    I successfully tested this with openSUSE-13.1 (on my home LAN) with both Firefox browser and Google Chrome browser.

    I do note thou, that it will send a username and password "in the clear" (unencrypted) over the internet, so its likely not safe to use from outside of one's internal home LAN.

    Many thanks to Foscam user "TheUberOverLord" for making this freely available.
    Updated 31-Aug-2014 at 01:39 by oldcpu
  14. oldcpu's Avatar
    Android Setup

    I have a couple of Android devices at home. One is an old low-performance Asus Transformer TF-101 tablet (which has the very latest Android version on it due to superb 3rd party hacker community support) and a relatively high-performance Chinese dual-sim octa-core smartphone (Zopo ZP-980+) .

    IP-Cam Viewer – lack of success

    At first I installed an Android app called "IP-Cam-Viewer". In that I entered the Camera's IP-address on my home LAN, entered the camera's port (by default port '88') , and entered the newly created camera's username and password. That initially worked ok, and I could see the camera's video output, and control the cameras pan and tilt with my Android device !

    I then setup port forwarding on my home router to port forward from a high port number on the router (say 63000) to the camera's appropriate port (which is port '88' by default). But I failed in accessing the camera from the Internet using that setup.

    Not only did I have that problem, but then the internal LAN access to the camera stopped working. I double checked the router/application settings and they were correct, which made me think of 2 possibilities:
    (1) application did not work
    (2) camera was broken.
    Turning camera on/off did not help. I still could not access the camera remotely.

    Hence I decided to see if it was an application problem (possibly bad configuration information now stored on my Android device associated with the IP-Camera application).

    So I tried another Android application and that worked.

    IP-Cam-View-Basic - success !!

    I installed the android IP-camera application called ”IP-Cam-View-Basic” and it immediately worked both on my home LAN, and also with my external IP address settings.

    With this application, using my Smartphone from anywhere, I can control the IP-Camera's pan and tilt, and see the camera's video. It uses a lot of bandwidth, so its nominally best NOT to use with 3G, but rather use only when one's Android device has wireless Internet access. If one were to use 3G, the video that is being streamed could use up most of one's monthly bandwidth which is not desirable.

    Here are a couple of images from the IP-Cam-View-Basic webpage, which illustrates the sort of menu that one will see on their Android phone :

    and if one clicks on the "PTZ Preset" control one obtains something like:

    (the above will vary dependent on the resolution of one's Android phone display).

    I also setup the IP-Camera with motion detection at specific times of the day (when no one is nominally home) and an email alarm to indicate when there is motion detected by the camera. Hence if I receive such a notification in my email, I could then use 3G to observe the intruder.

    OpenSUSE GNU/Linux

    Thus far, until this point, my openSUSE use, had been limited to running winXP in a Virtual Session and I did not want to be restricted to only doing that for desktop PC access to the IP-Camera.

    Video in GNU/Linux Browser

    First, it is possible to access the camera's setup by typing in a GNU/Linux browser the Camera's IP and port. Ie Say for example, the camera's IP is:, and the Camera's port for the controls is port '88'. Then one would type: and that gives access to the camera's login” under GNU/Linux. Entering username/password gives one entry to the Camera's setup.

    Note the plugin link on that page does NOT work with GNU/Linux. And since there is no-plugin for GNU/Linux, one does NOT see the camera's video streamed, nor does one have access to the camera's pan/tilt controls.

    But I noted this page on the Foscam support forum, which provided this line for use with one's browser (such as firefox). What I did was copy the text in the code below into a text file that I called “myfoxcam.html” and when clicking on that file, it will display the camera's video in the browser:
     <img src="" onload='setTimeout(function() {src = src.substring(0, (src.lastIndexOf("t=")+2))+(new Date()).getTime()}, 1000)' onerror='setTimeout(function() {src = src.substring(0, (src.lastIndexOf("t=")+2))+(new Date()).getTime()}, 5000)' alt='' />
    Where if you look closely at that code, you will see “” and also see “username” and “userpassword” where one should instead place their Camera's internal IP address, their Camera's 'username' and their Camera's 'userpassword' .

    So I could now display the camera's video within a GNU/Linux (openSUSE-13.1) Firefox browser.

    Note this is streaming from the camera using the h264 encoding, hence I suspect ffmpeg and some other Packman applications I have installed make this display possible, and without those likely this would not work. I can not say which specific Packman apps were needed, as I already have many Packman packaged multimedia apps installed for h264.

    Video via RTSP:

    Further to this, I noted if I copied the following text into a browser I could have the option to display the browser's video with my VLC player:
    where again, one should instead place their Camera's internal IP address, their Camera's 'username' and their Camera's 'userpassword' .

    VLC standalone

    I also noted if I launch 'vlc' player, go to Media → Stream → Network and enter the same 'rtsp' line as above, I can also stream the IP-Camera's video direct to vlc. With that, the video was displayed with my vlc viewer.


    What I have failed to do thus far, is control PAN/TILT and ZOOM from a regular GNU/Linux distribution. I read of a success story here, where a GNU/Linux user with a Foscam FI9831W was able to control pan/tilt with GNU/Linux , but I have not been able to replicate their pan/tilt control success with openSUSE-13.1. Fortunately the pan-tilt DOES work with my mobile phone and my Tablet (running Android 'GNU/Linux' variant), which is the main method in which I plan to use to control the cameras pan/tilt.
    Updated 27-Oct-2014 at 23:15 by oldcpu
  15. richwaters's Avatar
    Did you have to do anything special to run the updates? I keep getting messages to restart, for example. Other updates seemed to be downloading in the background, but were reporting 0 kb/s on the download speed.
  16. akilliphone's Avatar
    I shall look forward to hearing from you and wish to thank you again for your courtesy.

    Best regards
  17. johnoshock's Avatar
    I disabled pulseaudio in Yast and Skype works fine... In fact all audio apps are working fine for me under 13.1 - Rosegarden, VLC, Mplayer, web browsers with plugins, I even use 2 soundcards.... and ALSA directly
    I think pulseaudio is the problem. Who needs it when everything works fine without it?
  18. tech9iner's Avatar
    THANKS as always for your reviews hero!

  19. oldcpu's Avatar
    Some tuning that I did to this 64-bit openSUSE-13.1 liveUSB stick included:

    • switch on the firewall (it was OFF by default)
    • change the root password from < enter > to my own password for user 'root'
    • change the password for the user 'linux' to my own password for user 'linux'
    • add a new user oldcpu with my own password
    • block ssh access for root user
  20. oldcpu's Avatar
    FreeDOS also works with an openSUSE-13.1 install on a traditional BIOS/MBR partitioning system with legacy grub.

    I installed FreeDOS on an older PC this weekend, where that PC had an openSUSE-13.1 install, and thus confirming that compatibility. I put FreeDOS into /dev/sda1 (500 MB FAT32 partition) on that PC.
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