Installing VMWare Player 15.5 on Ubuntu

Published: 2020-01-19 1 minute read

VMWare Player has a bug during the installation process, where you get through accepting the license agreement but pressing the Finish button doesn't complete the installation - it just does nothing. Several results on Google implied that it was something to do with needing root privileges, but the exact solutions didn't work for me.

When I used sudo vmplayer I experienced the same bug, but after becoming the root user with sudo su and then running vmplayer finally completed the install. I'm not really sure what's going on there. Afterwards I could run VMWare Player as my non-privileged user and it worked fine.

A temporary fix to several audio bugs in Ubuntu

Published: 2018-03-18 1 minute read

There are two bugs affecting my computer that prevent audio from playing:

  1. If I boot my Ubuntu laptop with headphones plugged in, no audio will play while the headphones are plugged in.
  2. Firefox 58 and 59 will not play audio unless another program produced a sound before Firefox was started.

I finally found a combination of hacks that resolves these issues, though this is clearly only for the kind of sociopath that continues to use Linux under such conditions.

Install mpg123: sudo apt install mpg123

Download this 50 ms inaudible mp3 I made: curl https://www.rybarski.com/static/very-quiet-noise.mp3 -o ~/Documents/very-quiet-noise.mp3

Then add this to ~/.profile:

# Plays a sound at boot so Firefox 58+ will be able to play audio.
mpg123 -q  ~/Documents/very-quiet-noise.mp3

# If we booted with headphones plugged in, this will allow audio to work
# The strange invocation is required to suppress an error message on boot
bash -c 'alsactl restore || true' 2>&1 > /dev/null