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Dumbest/Funniest mistakes you have ever made on BSD/Linux/UNIX


ha-ha-ha that reminds me of when our boss was using dos 5 and we ran a small version upgrade (he left the office to go to the bathroom) and when he was out I changed the prompt message to
“I’m Ready to take over your mind human!”
lmao man was he a paranoid screwball
I told him i could fix it and it would take a while so he went out to the lounge to do his paperwork while i corrected it and spent the rest of the afternoon goofing off


This morning I was playing with mozilla’s deepspeech on my ubuntu laptop and got an error message that it could not access my microphone that was already in use by pulseaudio.

I had no idea what pulse audio was so after “dpkg -l | grep -i pulse” showed several installed pulseaudio and libpulse packages, I did the only rational thing to solve my microphone error:

sudo apt-get remove libpulse* pulseaudio*

and of course I did not pay any attention to the dependencies that were also about to be removed.

Fortunately once you nuke your desktop environment, you can still get to /var/log/apt/history.log to discovery what apt-get tried to warn you were going to remove:

Commandline: apt-get remove libpulse* pulseaudio*
Requested-By: clifford (1000)
Remove: speech-dispatcher-espeak-ng:amd64 (0.8.8-1ubuntu1), speech-dispatcher-audio-plugins:amd64 (0.8.8-1ubuntu1), unity-session:amd64 (3.28.1-0ubuntu3), ffmpeg:amd64 (7:3.4.4-0ubuntu0.18.04.1), gnome-control-center:amd64 (1:3.28.2-0ubuntu0.18.04.2), speech-dispatcher:amd64 (0.8.8-1ubuntu1), libgegl-0.3-0:amd64 (0.3.30-1ubuntu1), libespeak1:amd64 (1.48.04+dfsg-5), libpulsedsp:amd64 (1:11.1-1ubuntu7.1), pulseaudio:amd64 (1:11.1-1ubuntu7.1), libqt5multimedia5:amd64 (5.9.5-0ubuntu1), ubuntu-session:amd64 (3.28.1-0ubuntu3), gnome-orca:amd64 (3.28.0-3ubuntu1), ubuntu-desktop:amd64 (1.417), gnome-settings-daemon:amd64 (3.28.1-0ubuntu1.1), indicator-sound:amd64 (12.10.2+18.04.20180420.3-0ubuntu1), gstreamer1.0-plugins-bad:amd64 (1.14.1-1ubuntu1~ubuntu18.04.1), unity:amd64 (7.5.0+18.04.20180413-0ubuntu1), orca:amd64 (3.28.0-3ubuntu1), gdm3:amd64 (3.28.3-0ubuntu18.04.3), libfluidsynth1:amd64 (1.1.9-1), unity-control-center:amd64 (15.04.0+18.04.20180216-0ubuntu1), gstreamer1.0-pulseaudio:amd64 (1.14.1-1ubuntu1~ubuntu18.04.1), unity-greeter:amd64 (18.04.0+18.04.20180314.1-0ubuntu2), libespeak-ng1:amd64 (1.49.2+dfsg-1), gimp:amd64 (2.8.22-1), libpulse0:amd64 (1:11.1-1ubuntu7.1), libpulse-mainloop-glib0:amd64 (1:11.1-1ubuntu7.1), indicator-bluetooth:amd64 (0.0.6+17.10.20170605-0ubuntu3), libpcaudio0:amd64 (1.0-1), libcanberra-pulse:amd64 (0.30-5ubuntu1), libsdl1.2debian:amd64 (1.2.15+dfsg2-0.1), libavdevice57:amd64 (7:3.4.4-0ubuntu0.18.04.1), libsdl2-2.0-0:amd64 (2.0.8+dfsg1-1ubuntu1.18.04.1), gnome-initial-setup:amd64 (3.28.0-2ubuntu6.16.04.4), libasound2-plugins:amd64 (1.1.1-1ubuntu1), remmina-plugin-rdp:amd64 (1.2.0-rcgit.29+dfsg-1ubuntu1), pulseaudio-module-bluetooth:amd64 (1:11.1-1ubuntu7.1), unity-settings-daemon:amd64 (15.04.1+18.04.20180413-0ubuntu1.2), gnome-shell:amd64 (3.28.3-0ubuntu0.18.04.4), unity-tweak-tool:amd64 (0.0.7ubuntu4), pulseaudio-utils:amd64 (1:11.1-1ubuntu7.1), libfreerdp-client2-2:amd64 (2.0.0~git20170725.1.1648deb+dfsg1-7ubuntu0.1), libfreerdp-plugins-standard:amd64 (1.1.0~git20140921.1.440916e+dfsg1-15ubuntu1), mutter:amd64 (3.28.3-2~ubuntu18.04.2)
End-Date: 2019-02-16  07:54:45

And after enough time with sed that it would have been quicker to edit the list by hand:

[email protected]:~$ sudo apt-get install $(tail -n 2 /var/log/apt/history.log) | head -n 1 | sed 's!Remove: !!g' | sed -e 's!:[~+[:alpha:][:digit:] /:().-]*,*!!g')

got me back into a desktop. And now I know gnome depends on pulseaudio, whatever pulseadio happens to be.


Pulseaudio is your sound server, typically you wouldn’t want to remove that, for quirks like those btrfs snapshots come in real handy :wink:


My laptop is bravely rocking ext4. Although /home is on a separate partition that rsyncs nightly to a network share. I am glad apt logs in detail my shameful requests and their consequences.


This was gonna be mine. Also “at least once”. :rofl:


I did the only rational thing

sudo apt-get remove libpulse* pulseaudio*

I see your problem!

You forgot the --purge flag. :sunglasses: