06 August 2018

The new su PATH behavior

The su command that's now being packaged with Debian sid has significant change in behavior. In the past, when you did an:
$ su
the PATH would get set to root's PATH. Now, it remains the user's path:
$ su
Password:
# echo $PATH
/home/mithat/bin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/bin:/bin:/usr/local/games:/usr/games:/snap/bin
This means you won't pick up /usr/sbin where a lot of commands you'd typically use with root privileges live.

The fix to this is that you now have to append a dash to the command:
$ su -
Password:
# echo $PATH
/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin:/snap/bin
I don't know whether this impacts gksu or if sudo and/or gksudo are affected. gksu is affected as well, but with gksu there doesn't appear to be a way to get back to the old behavior.

12 January 2018

Fixing Skype for Linux scaling

After a long hiatus from (actually a deliberate avoidance of) Skype, I need to install it again -- at least temporarily. And the latest version of Skype for Linux is appears to be an Electron app, which means its scaling on my non-standard 118 dpi screen is seriously wonky.

The typical fix for this with Chrome/Chromium and Electron apps is to pass the --force-device-scale-factor option to the executable. Applying this option to Skype works as well, but you need to dig a bit to find where to add it. I ended up modifying /usr/bin/skypeforlinux so the last line reads:

nnohup "$SKYPE_PATH" --force-device-scale-factor --executed-from="$(pwd)" --pid=$$ "$@" > "$SKYPE_LOGS/skype-startup.log" 2>&1 &