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Zoom on Mint / MATE 20201106

UPDATE 2020-11-09

Zoom got back to me promptly. The dialog box they also fixed. In My Humble Opinion this GNU/Linux Zoom Client is one of the finest examples of cross-platform software any company has developed and the customer service has been excellent in response time and punctually correcting software issues. Buy their annual subscription.

My difficulty installing they have provided instructions to correct, which work perfectly, and the installed client performs better as well. In the Linux Mint distro version zoom cannot use a virtual background, even though it can with Windows on the same hardware BUT in the provided “lastest version” it works in Linux almost as well as in windows. I am impressed.

The application “Zoom“ you installed from “Software Manager“, is a Flatpak format and is not published by us (Zoom company) but by a third-party publisher.
To fix this issue, uninstall the “Zoom“ in “Software Manager“, then download the deb package from https://zoom.us/client/latest/zoom_amd64.deb, install using the following commands:

  1. cd ~/Downloads
  2. sudo dpkg -i zoom_amd64.deb
  3. sudo apt-get install -f

The third command will fix the dependency issue.
Please let me know if you have any more questions and I will be happy to help in any way I can.


This post is written November 6, 2020 and applies to Linux Zoom Client 5.4.1 (53350.1027). This is a paid account, so if you are using a “free” account your mileage may vary. If Zoom Support contacts me with more information I will update this post accordingly.
Zoom is a popular conferencing app. A rare but notable trait is that Zoom works in any web browser, or as an installed Client App on Mac, Windows, and Linux. Several Linux versions are available at https://zoom.us/download.

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The windows client works fine from this download page but when I chose the Linux Debian client for my Mint / MATE desktop it was missing two libraries, ibus and linxcb-xtest0. Maybe I should have tried the Ubuntu or Mint flavors, might not be their fault, but choosing Debian, Mint, or Ubuntu generally has worked the same for me as they all hail back to Debian…. The install failed, apt –fix-broken install did not fix it, and no other installs could be performed until I purged zoom with apt purge zoom. It purged nicely.

Zoom is in the Mint repos and installing through the Mint / MATE Software Manager worked flawlessly. So advice #1 is install from the repos with Software Manager.

Second. Most of it works flawlessly but some of the Settings i/f needs adjusting:

  1. The Settings dialog box covers up anything else, requiring me to drag the settings dialog box off the screen to the side to see and use the dialog boxes that it spawns. It also covered my Conky status monitor and task bar which are always on top.
  2. My system dual boots Linux Mint / MATE and Windows 10 from SSD, and I store all large data on separate spinning media. Clicking Change to change the storage location of the Zoom Video Recording provides a dialog box as one would expect, however when one browses to the desired folder the Open button is inactive and cannot be used to select the location. Choosing a specific file name will work, however one would desire a file name for a recording based upon some automatically determined text, such as the date and time the recording started.The edit box containing the path to the location in which to store the recording is not editable.
  3. I could not locate the Zoom configuration text file, if there is one: it was not a dot file in the user home folder, nor was it a hidden folder in the user home folder, nor could I find a trace in /etc, /var/* or /usr/*. The instinct is to merely edit the text config file and fix it but a better approach is to simply use a soft link. Zoom defaults the recording storage location to ~/Documents/Zoom.
    1. Using the GUI or command line
    2. Delete ~/Documents/Zoom
    3. Create a folder where you want the recordings stored
    4. Create a link to that folder (right click / create link with the GUI or ln -s <path-to-new-folder> ~/Documents/Zoom using command line)
    5. Cut and paste the link into ~/Documents (if you are using the GUI)
    6. Rename the link Zoom (if you are using the GUI, note the capital Z)
  4. Shouldn’t need to do this but it is a solution to a problem that should eventually go away.

Post Script: It still doesn’t fix the problem: when you finish a meeting Zoom says it must convert the video and then presents a dialog box to select a storage location, HOWEVER the Open button on the dialog box is always gray so it cannot be clicked, and there is no place to designate a file name for the recording.


Use Local Time when dual boot Linux / Windows

Our lab computers dual boot Microsoft Windows 10 with GNU/Linux Mint / MATE. As a result, when booting to Windows the time is five hours too fast because Windows expects the RTC (real time clock hardware) to be in local time while Linux keeps time in UTC. The fix is easy.

A nice, short article on this was provided by Ji M at http://ubuntuhandbook.org/index.php/2016/05/time-differences-ubuntu-1604-windows-10/

Disable UTC and use Local Time in Ubuntu:

In previous Ubuntu editions, you can edit the config file /etc/default/rcS to disable UTC.

In Ubuntu 16.04, open terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and run the command below instead:

timedatectl set-local-rtc 1 --adjust-system-clock

To check out if your system uses Local time, just run:

timedatectl

Conky in Linux Mint v18

locked-computer-cartoonConky changed between Linux Mint v17.1 and v18. While the transition requires mostly copy/paste new code to the top part of your .conkyrc file and leaving the bottom part as is, certain things no longer work.

For example, reporting the status of certain important background tasks, SSH & Apache2, stopped working because UpStart is no longer a part of Linux Mint v18 so “status ssh” no longer works: “Systemd” is now the thing. Don’t get me started on their choice to muddle the ethernet port names ‘to make them more predictable’. “Eth0” worked really well for me in my one-port only systems.

Back to the topic. Typing “service ssh status” will work as a normal user (you need no longer be root to use it), but the output takes up several lines, which I don’t want: I want a simple “Yes it is running” or “No it is not running”.

$ service ssh status
● ssh.service - OpenBSD Secure Shell server
 Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/ssh.service; disabled; vendor preset: enabled)
 Active: inactive (dead)

Sep 10 20:57:00 pops systemd[1]: Starting OpenBSD Secure Shell server...
Sep 10 20:57:00 pops sshd[28133]: Server listening on 999.999.999.999 port 98765.
Sep 10 20:57:00 pops systemd[1]: Started OpenBSD Secure Shell server.
Sep 10 20:58:13 pops systemd[1]: Stopping OpenBSD Secure Shell server...
Sep 10 20:58:13 pops systemd[1]: Stopped OpenBSD Secure Shell server.
$

Here is how I fixed it.conkyrc-screencut

${color FFAA00}Process Status ${hr 2}$color
 SSH: ${exec service ssh status | sed -n '/Active:/p' | cut -c 11-27}
 Apache: ${exec service apache2 status | sed -n '/Active:/p' | cut -c 11-27}

Available Linux Mint/MATE v18

locked-computer-cartoonLinux Mint with MATE desktop version 18 is now available. This is a long term support release good through 2021.

The team is proud to announce the release of Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” MATE Edition. Linux Mint 18 Sarah MATE Edition Linux Mint 18 is a long term support release which will be supported until 2021. It comes with updated software and brings refinements and many new features to make your desktop even more comfortable   http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=3052

There are some tweaks that can be done to improve on any install and one author’s extensive list and step by step implementation details are here: 10 things to do first in Linux Mint 18 Mate on the Sites.Google.Com  Easy Linux tips project

Congratulations, you have installed a brand new Linux Mint 18 Sarah, with the Mate desktop! What’s best for you to do, first of all?

I’ve made a list of the things to do, which I’ve divided into three categories:
– 10 absolutely essential ones (part 1);
– the recommended ones (not essential, part 2);
– the maybe useful (part 3).


Windows 10 Upgrade Change

locked-computer-cartoonMicrosoft has changed their position on encouraging users of the old Windows 7 and 8 to upgrade to the Windows 10 platform. Windows 10 will effectively be the “last” Windows as there will not be replacements, rather merely updates and upgrades as in Linux.

As such, those who miss this opportunity to upgrade will eventually end up paying money to buy Windows 10 Readmore..