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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair

Regular blog here, 'microblog' there

Many of my traditional blog post live on this site, but a great majority of my social-style posts can be found on my much-busier microbloging site at updates.passthejoe.net. It's busier because my BlogPoster "microblogging" script generates short, Twitter-style posts from the Linux or Windows (or anywhere you can run Ruby with too many Gems) command line, uploads them to the web server and send them out on my Twitter and Mastodon feeds.

I used to post to this blog via scripts and Unix/Linux utilities (curl and Unison) that helped me mirror the files locally and on the server. Since this site recently moved hosts, none of that is set up. I'm just using SFTP and SSH to write posts and manage the site.

Disqus comments are not live just yet because I'm not sure about what I'm going to do for the domain on this site. I'll probably restore the old domain at first just to have some continuity, but for now I like using the "free" domain from this site's new host, NearlyFreeSpeech.net.

Wed, 07 Oct 2015

Debian Jessie fails passes Citrix ICA test, which just like Fedora passes easily

Update on Nov. 18, 2015: I finally did succeed in getting Citrix ICA installed and running on Debian Jessie.

I can't find the exact web page I used for help, but the "core" of my successful method was adding the i386 architecture, updating my sources and then installing Citrix from the .deb package:

# dpkg --add-architecture i386
# apt-get update
# apt-get upgrade
# dpkg -i icaclient(bunch of other stuff).deb

So I now have Citrix ICA working in Debian. I use it through Chromium, so I don't have to go through any machinations to get CACerts into Firefox/Iceweasel.

Now that I have Citrix working on Debian, the stable Jessie release is a viable alternative for me. But since I've grown very accustomed to having the much-newer packages of Fedora (and I'm not as willing to run Debian Sid), I am looking at Xubuntu, staying with Fedora, or the Korora spin of Fedora.

The original post:

I've been having networking issues on the Fedora 22 installation I've been using and upgrading since it started out with Fedora 18 in early 2012.

None of my attempts at fixes seem to bring the network (principally the wired network, whether I'm using it or not) back after suspend/resume, though I have a quick-and-dirty script that I can run from my application panel when I need it.

So that means it's time to audition new distros. I love Debian, and I tend to end up with it when my hardware starts to age. And yes, a 3 1/2-year-old laptop is aging as these things go.

So I'm auditioning distros. I continue to like Xubuntu, and reinstalling Fedora is always an option, especially since the networking problem is not present in the live environment.

But I wanted to try Debian Jessie. I'd love to be running Debian Stable.

Of course the rap on "stable" distros isn't that they don't have bugs. What they have is stability, so if a package has a bug that isn't a known security vulnerability, there is a very, very good chance that the bug will never be fixed, and the only recourse is to run a newer package from outside the distro.

The Debian Live project's current images aren't working for me at all, so I opted to install Debian's Xfce image on a test hard drive in my HP Pavilion g6-2210us laptop.

In contrast to how things were going 2+ years ago when I first got this hardware, today with Fedora, Debian and Ubuntu, pretty much everything works out of the box -- graphics, networking and suspend/resume are all perfect with no tweaking.

Xfce is my preferred desktop environment for my particular version of "production," and Debian's Xfce system immediately looked and worked great. Speed-wise, it seemed exactly the same as Fedora 22. I've come to like the improvements of Xfce 4.12 (which Fedora 22 and Xubuntu 15.04 both have) over 4.10 (which Debian Jessie uses). I could live without them, but I'd rather not.

So in this test environment, I'm installing all the software I use and trying to do all the things I do.

I ran into a roadblock with the Citrix ICA client, which I need for my main news-production app Saxotech.

I forgot how hard it was to successfully install Citrix ICA in 64-bit Debian. I wasn't able to do it. I also forgot how relatively easy it is to install Citrix ICA and get it running in Fedora compared to both Debian and Xubuntu/Ubuntu.

Of course much of the problem stems from the lousy packaging done by Citrix. Their .deb packages should "just work." They don't.

I fiddled with things for awhile, looked up some Rube Goldberg-ian workarounds and then gave up.

I love Debian. I'd miss Xfce 4.10, but I would be OK.

However, I need Citrix ICA, and the ease with which I got it working (and keep it working) in Fedora means that on this production laptop I'm going to stick with Fedora.

So if I can't resolve the suspend/resume networking issue, I'll either reinstall Fedora on this system (likely), or use Fedora derivative Korora's Xfce system, which takes much design inspiration from Xubuntu.

It's time for me to reinstall anyway. I've been running this Fedora system for so long and have so much installed on it that I need a "clean" start. This time I won't install GNOME (and have a GDM that I can't get rid of) and LXDE (which I also can't get rid of without breaking Xfce). I'll keep it simple. And hopefully it'll work.

I'm dual-booting with Windows 8 (not 8.1, which I can't seem to get installed with whatever Fedora did to my HP system's horrible EFI setup), and my aim is to get a new, huge hard drive and dedicate the entire thing to fully encrypted Linux.

Why no SSD? I need the storage. I'd rather have a 1 TB spinning hard drive than a 256 GB SSD. The spinning drive will cost a lot less, and until I can find a 640 GB or bigger SSD at a price I can afford (that would be ), it's old-fashioned drives for me.