Saturday, March 29, 2008

Pidgin : Google Talk / MSN error : SSL support unavailable

So you've installed Pidgin but are unable to connect using Google Talk or MSN and get the error message, "SSL support unavailable". Ya me too, major bummer. After a few hours of Googling the following solution is what I've come up with.

If you're compiling from source you'll probably see this in your ./configure output :
checking for Mozilla nspr4 libraries... no
checking for Mozilla nss3 includes... no
checking for Mozilla nss libraries... no
SSL Library/Libraries......... : None. MSN, Novell Groupwise and Google Talk will not work without GnuTLS or NSS. OpenSSL is NOT usable!
Problem : SSL support is not installed, a previous version of Pidgin/Gaim is still installed or some other error has occured.

What worked for me (on Debian Etch) :
  1. #>apt-get install libnss3-dev
    [This also installed libnspr4-dev and libnss3-dev]

  2. #>./configure --enable-nss

Here is my new ./configure output :
checking for NSS... yes
SSL Library/Libraries......... : Mozilla NSS
3. make && make install

4. Success ! When I first loaded Pidgin MSN gave me yet another SSL error message but by simply disabling / re-enabling it everything worked fine ! I am now able to connect to both MSN and Google Talk.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

IceWM : Change the number of workspaces / virtual desktops

By IceWM default loads four virtual desktops ( aka Workspaces). If you want to adjust this setting open your ~/.icewm/preferences file and look for this line :

WorkspaceNames=" 1 ", " 2 ", " 3 ", " 4 "

Adjust that according to your needs then restart IceWM for the changes to take effect.

Monday, March 03, 2008

SMF : Can't install packages

Recently I fired up Fantastico and installed Simple Machine Forums (SMF) version 1.1.4. Right away I tried to install a few packages but no matter what package I tried it never worked.

Symptoms : When trying to install a SMF package it fails with no error message, no error in the server error log and leaves me with a blank screen. All the appropriate directories/files are set to writable and are "owned" by my user.

After a few hours of Goolging I discover the solution. Thanks to the tips from Sarge over at the official SMF forums I'm now able to install packages !

Here is what I did to resolve my "SMF can't install packages" issue :

1. Log into cPanel (etc) and open phpMyAdmin

2. Select the relevant SMF database (mine was _smf1)

3. Select "smf_settings" on the left hand side

4. Select the SQL tab in the right section @ the top

5. Paste this search command then click Go : SELECT * FROM smf_settings WHERE variable = 'package_path'

6. If your settings looks like the image below and just says "public_html" then this is your problem.

7. Click the little pencil icon to edit the package_path value

8. Enter the real path, it's usually something like /home/username/public_html however your situation may be different. If you don't know your path click here.

9. Change the value then click go.

You should now be able to install packages.

After I fixed my entry it looked like the following

Don't know your absolute path ?

Do the following :

1. Open a text editor and put the code <? phpinfo() ?>
2. Save as phpinfo.php
3. Upload to your web site
4. Open
5. Search for the line "DOCUMENT_ROOT"

This line should show you the path / absolute path / document root (whatever you prefer to call it). This is the value that should be in the DB key instead of just "public_html".