18.04: systems starts Grub without Login Screen

Since 16.04 update 3 Ubuntu has a problem with the Grub installer (because of the PinguyBuilder and the Ubiquity installer) so that the PC starts with the GRUB text interface without starting the graphical login screen. The cause for this is a faulty installation of the grub loader, the solution is either a repair of the grub installation or a new system installation. You could repair grub with the Boot repair disk . This problem has been solved in tuxtrans_1804_b.iso by using SystemBack, another ISO-Builder with an alternative installer.

18.04: How to update to 18.04 when you have an encrypted home directory

Ubuntu and tuxtrans 18.04 do not offer any longer the possibility to encrypt your home directory during the installation. This means that if you had encrypted your home folder in 16.04 and want to install 18.04 without changing your home folder this procedure won't work any more since 18.04 cannot access the encrypted home directory, so you are forced to delete and reinstall your home directory under 18.04. Consequently you must backup all your files and data before installing tuxtrans 18.04.

If you installed 18.04 according to the procedure described in update from 14.04 without backing up your home directory and you cannot acces your encrypted home folder any more, you may boot your PC from a USB with any version of tuxtrans or ubuntu 16.04, install 16.04 with the same user and password of your encrypted home directory, activate the old feature "encrypt your home folder" and you have a working installation where you may acces your home folder again for the purpose of backing up files and data. Afterwards reinstall 18.04 and your data.

16.04: How should I update from 14.04?

If you want to update your tuxtrans installation from 14.04 to the new 16.04 you can convert your old 14.04 legacy installation into a UEFI installation by following the Converting_Ubuntu_into_UEFI_mode procedure before installing, or you may install the new 16.04 from scratch in UEFI mode:

16.04: Where is my mouse pointer?

In tuxtrans 16.04 the mouse cursor disappears after a screen lock, suspend or hibernation. This problem is known to Ubuntu developers, see these bug reports: release notes, Mouse pointer disappear after suspend in Xubuntu 16.04, and others.

"As a workaround, I've found that switching between virtual consoles (Ctrl-Alt-F1 then Ctrl-Alt-F7) brings the pointer back."

This inconvenience seems to have been dealt with in the last update.

What system architecture am I working with, 32 or 64 bit?

To see which version of your operating system you are working with check your pc: in Windows under "Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> System Information", in Linux open a terminal and type "lscpu".

What version of Ubuntu am I working with?

To see which version of Ubuntu you are using, open a terminal and type "lsb_release -a".

What hardware components does my pc have?

To see which hardware components, especially network, wifi and graphics adapters are present in your system, open a terminal and type "lspci"; do a search on the Internet for these specific components together with Ubuntu to see whether it is supported. Some newer network and wifi adapters may be supported only by a newer kernel than the one provided by the LTS version, so you may need to update the kernel file "linux-generic-...", or get the LTS enablement stack for your release.

What hardware should I buy?

Many pc systems are supported by tuxtrans, though some hardware producers still insist on specific features optimized for commercial OSs. To check whether a certain brand is suited for tuxtrans or Ubuntu, please consult the Hardware Support pages at Ubuntu Wiki, the Linux Hardware Guide, or the Hardware List at linux.org. Good advice is looking for desktop systems or notebooks shipping with a Linux distro preinstalled, or alternatively for systems without any preinstalled operating system: usually, these hardware systems have no problems supporting Linux, Ubuntu and tuxtrans. Thus, you also avoid paying the surplus for a commercial OS.

How can I configure a user that logins automatically?

An auto-login is not very secure, but could make sense in some cases. XFCE uses the login manager lightdm which is different from the Gnome or the KDE login managers. To change its parameters you have to edit the file /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf; to do this open the Tux Commander with root rights: ALT F2 and "gksudo tuxcmd", go to the directory /etc/lightdm/, choose the file lightdm.conf, press F4 and add the line "autologin-user=yourusername" where yourusername is the user that should login automatically. Save the file and you are done.

How can I suppress user names at login?

This can be useful on notebook computers to enhance security. It involves changing parameters of the login manager lightdm: to do this open the Tux Commander with root rights: ALT F2 and "gksudo tuxcmd", go to the directory /etc/lightdm/, choose the file lightdm.conf, press F4 and add the lines "greeter-hide-users=true" and "allow-guest=false".

Network problems

First of all please check these very clear instructions "How to fix your Internet connection in Ubuntu Linux" on pcworld.com.

Your computer connects and the network symbol is online but no server is found: the proplem is the configuration file resolvconf: so open a terminal (windows key + T) and run

sudo apt-get remove resolveconf

and then

sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart

if you still have network problems open the input field ALT F2 and start the geany editor with administrative rights with "gksu geany", type your password and open the file


it should contain only these two lines:

auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

delete all other lines

also open and check the file /etc/NetworkManager/NetworkManager.conf, it should read



this last line should have =true instead of =false

How to write Japanese in tuxtrans

Basically, two things have to be taken care of: keyboard switcher and input method. Please follow these steps:

  1. Install the Japanese language, fonts and input method Anthy under "Applications / Settings / Language Support following these instructions just up to the point where it says logout as the procedure differs on tuxtrans/XFCE after that.
  2. under Applications / Settings / Language Support set up the "Keyboard input method system" to IBus, you may have to close and reopen the Language Support dialogue
  3. then, to make the input method plugin appear in the panel, verify if you have a file ".bashrc" in your user directory ~ (=home/"username"): if it exists append the following lines, if not create the file with the following three lines:

    export GTK_IM_MODULE=ibus
    export XMODIFIERS=@im=ibus
    export QT_IM_MODULE=ibus

    Alternatively, you may copy this file .bashrc to your user directory.
  4. set up the keyboard switcher under Applications / Settings / Keyboard in the "Layout" tab to include Japanese. You may have to delete one of the existing keyboard layouts since this plugin only allows up to four layouts.
  5. logout and login again
  6. In the panel you will find a small icon for the input method switcher (small keyboard with a globe), right click on it and choose "Preferences", under the second tab "Input method" activate "Customize active input methods", go to "Select an input method" below and select the Japanese Input Method Anthy ("show all input methods"), add it with the respective button on the right side. Below you should see now two different input methods with Japanese-Anthy being one of them. Selecting and clicking on the Preferences button on the right side of the dialogue Japanese-Anthy method brings up the settings dialogue for a very detailed setup of Japanese input, e.g. choosing between Hiragana or Katakana.
  7. having done this, you are now able to call up your preferred input method by simply clicking on the panel symbol and choosing it. Alternatively, you may use the keyboard shortcut CTRL-Space as defined in the input method settings. Pay attention to the changing symbol of the plugin when you select another input method.
  8. do not forget to adapt LibreOffice to Asian typing under Tools / Options / Language Settings / Languages and activate Asian Language support with Japanese, as shown in LO help, Ubuntu-Forum tip

Being myself completely ignorant of Japanese I can only verify if japanese input is working but not test Japanese writing. Please let me know if you have further tips or if you encounter any difficulties.

What to do when message "System program problem detected" appears

When at start-up or at regular intervals appears the message "System program problem detected", you may delete the contents of the /var/crash/ directory, to do this, open a terminal with [Win] + T and enter the following command: $ sudo rm /var/crash/*

You may also turn off the apport system messages completely by changing the default value in /etc/default/apport. Open the Tux Commander with root rights: ALT F2 and "gksudo tuxcmd", go to the directory /etc/default/ and open the file apport with F4. The file would contain something like this:

# set this to 0 to disable apport, or to 1 to enable it
# you can temporarily override this with
# sudo service apport start force_start=1

Just set the value of enabled to 0, and this will disable apport. Save the file and close it. From the next boot onwards, there should be no error messages ever.

What to do when new languages do not install properly?

It may happen that you are not able to add or install new languages in the "Settings / Language Support" dialogue, they do install when activated in the add language list, but they do not show up in the available languages list where you would put your default UI language on top of the list afterwards; also, you are not able to change to your newly installed language in the top panel of the login screen.

The solution is to reinstall the package "locales", either in the Synaptic Package Manager (search for locales and reinstall the package) or in a terminal (Windows key + T) by typing
sudo apt-get install locales --reinstall
and the language selector should work properly again.

Unfortunatly, the cause for this misbehavior is unknown, at least to me.

How to encrypt an USB stick or a partition?

You need two packages which in the 16.04 tuxtrans versions are included by default:
cryptsetup and gnome-disk-utility Please install:
sudo apt-get install cryptsetup and sudo apt-get install gnome-disk-utility.

Disk Utility should be under:
Settings -> Hardware -> Disk utility.

The following is cited from: askubuntu:

Back up everything and be sure to format the correct drive!

Creating a new encrypted partition:

Start the Disk Utility:

  • Make sure you identify the proper drive in the left hand panel.
  • If needed, create empty space on the disk by resizing/deleting partitions.
  • In the Volumes graphic overview, click the appropriate empty block.
  • Click Create partition to create the partition to be encrypted.
  • Check Encrypt underlying device.

They will then prompt you for a password. Chose a decent password - your encryption will only be as strong as your password. It is probably also safer not to store the password, choose the option Forget password immediately.

Encrypting an existing partition

  • Make a backup of your data on the partition, then unmount it.
  • In the Disk Utility, select the partition to encrypt (This process will destroy all data on the partition!)
  • Click the gear icon under the partition and choose Format.
  • Select the type Encrypted, compatible with Linux systems (LUKS + Ext4)
  • Enter a partition name and passphrase

For higher security, if you have have any existing data in this partition, select the erase option. You can overwrite existing data with zeroes, but this could take several hours depending on the disk.

Click Format.

Using your encrypted partition

Once your partition is formatted, it will be encrypted. In fact, you have two partitions, a container partition and the encrypted partition. Disk Utility will show them above each other when the volume is unlocked. From the Disk Utility, you can lock and unlock the volume by selecting the partition with the little lock and clicking Lock Volume or Unlock Volume.

Make sure that you leave it closed/locked before unmounting the system, otherwise you will get an error. Also, with two partitions, you will have to unmount both before being able to safely remove the drive.