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Fixes for annoyances in Slackware

USB scanner and hotplug

When you have a USB scanner attached to your computer when it boots, and the computer uses hotplug to initialize your hardware, you will probably see something similar to the following message:

chown: cannot access `/proc/bus/usb/001/005': No such file or directory
chmod: cannot access `/proc/bus/usb/001/005': No such file or directory

When you plug in your USB scanner after the computer has already booted up, the error does not appear and scanning works for non-root users. It is annoying to have to unplug the scanner before booting in order to be able to scan as a non-root user. Here's a fix.

The problem is due to an error in the /etc/hotplug/usb.rc script, but that can be repaired easily. Look for the following line in /etc/hotplug/usb.rc

devbus=$( ( echo -n 000 ; cat $devlink/../../devnum ) | grep -o ...\$ )

and change that line to

devbus=$( ( echo -n 000`echo $devlink| sed 's/^.*usb\([0-9]\+\)\/.*$/\1/'` ) | grep -o ...\$ )

After this change, either reboot the computer or restart hotplug:

/etc/rc.d/rc.hotplug restart

Now, the correct permissions and ownership are applied to the device file.

Remember to add yourself to the scanner group if you want to use your scanner as a non-root user! You can use the vigr command to add your name to the scanner group, but if you're uncomfortable with directly editing the system files, here is a one-liner to add user 'geek' to group 'scanner' (replace 'geek' with your own account name):

usermod -G $(id -Gn geek | tr ' ' ','),scanner geek

If the group scanner does not exist, simply create it using the command

groupadd scanner

ALSA OSS sequencer not loaded

In Slackware 10.2, the ALSA OSS-compatible sequencer module is not loaded. This results in missing device files /dev/midi and /dev/sequencer.
Edit the file /etc/rc.d/rc.alsa and look for the function

load_alsa_oss_modules() {
  if ! cat /proc/modules | grep -wq snd-pcm-oss ; then
    if ! cat /proc/modules | grep -wq snd_pcm_oss ; then
      echo "Loading OSS compatibility modules for ALSA."
      modprobe snd-pcm-oss
      modprobe snd-mixer-oss

Add the following line after the line modprobe snd-mixer-oss in that function:

      modprobe snd-seq-oss

and restart ALSA.

Using Samba without installing CUPS

In Slackware, CUPS is available as the default printing solution, while the old lprNG remains in the ”/pasture” directory. Some people still prefer the trusted lpr/lpd style of printing and do not install CUPS. However, the Samba package is compiled against the CUPS libraries. Although the necessary CUPS libraries are always installed with the aaa_elflibs package, Samba still periodically complains loudly in the /var/log/messages logfile about the absent CUPS server:

smbd[....]: Unable to connect to CUPS server localhost - Connection refused

The solution (if you don't need a printing facility in Samba) is to disable printing completely. This is what you need to add to the [Global] section of your /etc/samba/smb.conf file:

load printers = no
printing = bsd
printcap name = /dev/null

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