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2019-01-07: YouTube video subscriptions via RSS

You can get notifications about new videos in youtube channels not only by using a youtube account and subscribing to the channel, but also by using any RSS reader. This is useful since the RSS reader usually takes track of the entries you already read (or even deleted) so only see what is actually new.

One way to create a RSS feed is to export all your existing subscriptions directly from your youtube account. Go to your Account => Notifications => Manage subscriptions. You should find a button to export all subscriptions as an OPML file. You can then import that file in your favorite RSS reader (I use Thunderbird for that and works just fine).

You can also add individual channels to your RSS reader by using the following URL:

https://www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?channel_id=CHANNEL-ID

replacing CHANNEL-ID with the actual ID which is a 24 digit code starting with UC. It is sometimes hard to find as you can enter the channel via the user name but you can find it in the HTML source code of the channel.

Of course it is still good to subscribe to your favorite channels in your youtube account to support the creator, but I also find it more convenient to let my RSS client check for updates instead of checking the web page manually. BTW, I don't like the bell notification as I don't want instant notifications whenever someone uploads a video or post some message. I prefer to just check for new content whenever I take the time for it.

2019-01-03: Using Netflix on Linux

Netflix can be used on Linux for quiet some time now since Firefox supports DRM. But some additional requirements must be fulfilled.

First of all, DRM must be enabled in Firefox. Usually Firefox asks to do that once you enter a DRM page, but you can also change the setting in the preferences:

Preferences -> General -> Play DRM-controlled content
Most importantly you have to have the correct video coded installed on your system. It usually comes down to installing the proper ffmpeg/libavcodec version support h.264. In OpenSuse, use the packman repository and change the version of libavcodec to the packman version (H.264_Video_Support).

An easy way to check if your browser supports all the important codecs is to go to https://www.youtube.com/html5 and check if H.264 and MSE & H.264 is available. If so, Netflix should just work.

tags: netflix1

2019-01-02: Updating OpenSuse 42.3 to Leap 15

I recently updated my OpenSuse 42.3 installation to Leap 15 and while the upgrade worked fine and most of the stuff works just fine, there were some smaller issues.

DNS not working

During installation, network was working fine but after restart DNS lookups failed. Turned out that /etc/resolv.conf was not getting updated any longer. The solution was to run
netconfig -f update
once (as root) to fix the file.

USB autosuspend

This is not actually a problem with the OpenSuse update itself but I noticed that USB devices could no longer be charged. In the new kernel USB autosuspend was enabled to reduce power demands which is a good thing for longer battery runtime. A smartphone will be charged as long as it is mounted in the system. But if the device runs in charge mode only, the kernel will suspend the device right after plugging it in so it stops charging. You can disabled the power suspend individually for each USB device by writing "-1" into the autosuspend file in the /sys/ filesystem:
echo -1 >/sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1a.0/usb3/power/autosuspend
(of course adjust the address to the correct address of your device).

You can also disable it completely for all newly connected devices by writing "-1" to the file of the usbcore module:

echo -1 >/sys/module/usbcore/parameters/autosuspend
And you can also add a kernel parameter to disable it on startup:
usbcore.autosuspend=-1
Of course this will reduce battery life time a bit.

Freeze after return from hibernate

I use hibernate (or suspend-to-disk) quite often but I experienced lockups after returning from suspend. It was not happening consistently, but very often after the second or third return from suspend.

It used to work just fine for the kernel from OpenSuse 42.3. My first try to fix it was to use a newer kernel version. So I added a repository as described here. I updated to kernel 4.20 and hibernate works fine again.


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