The Usual Suspect — II

CentOS 7.6 is a buggy release.

The 5.2.23-127493 GA ISO released December 21 resolved the mouse related issues.

At least for one session. The next time I started the virtual machine the same mouse issues appeared. The new 6.0 GA ISO did not resolve the problem.

Booting with the previous kernel posed no such breakage.

Following the bread crumb trail, until a patch is released, apparently the temporary work-around is login, logout, login, and the mouse issues disappear.


I successfully tested a proposed patched kernel.

VirtualBox often breaks when there is a kernel update in CentOS. Yes, there is market competition between the Red Hat and Oracle folks and likely stiff feelings toward one another. I appreciate the Red Hat folks want to push their precious KVM and virt-manager tools rather than support VirtualBox. Yet this kind of breakage is unprofessional and inexcusable.

Also on the bug list:

  • Fonts lost hinting.
  • The MATE Appearance->Fonts dialog shows Arial Kavovika or Arial Standaard rather than Arial or Arial Regular.
  • Failed to unmount Kernel Configuration File System error.

The font hinting issue seem to affect True Type fonts only. A solution seems to be:

    FREETYPE_PROPERTIES="truetype:interpreter-version=35 cff:no-stem-darkening=1 autofitter:warping=1"

There is nothing in the release notes about the freetype update. Traditionally the Red Hat policy is not updating packages in order to support “long term stability.” This kind of change upsets that stability. Even the Ubuntu folks have not updated the freetype package in their 16.04 LTS release. Seeing as CentOS (and Red Hat) primarily is a server distro, I struggle to see why that package had to be updated.

The MATE Control Center Fonts dialog nuisance is caused by an updated fontconfig package. Before updating fontconfig:

    fc-list | grep arial.ttf
    /usr/share/fonts/msttcore/arial.ttf: Arial:style=Regular,Normal....
    /usr/share/fonts/webcore/arial.ttf: Arial:style=Regular,Normal....

After updating fontconfig:

    fc-list | grep arial.ttf
    /usr/share/fonts/msttcore/arial.ttf: Arial:style=Standaard,Regular
    /usr/share/fonts/webcore/arial.ttf: Arial:style=Κavovika,Regular

The change in language order seems to imply a locale issue. Yet locale is unchanged:


Flushing all known caches does not help.

I traced the Failed to unmount Kernel Configuration File System error to not having NetworkManager installed. No, really.

On a system using a static IP address, such as, um, you know, servers — there is no need for NetworkManager (NM). Yet the Red Hat folks seem belligerent about forcing people to use NM. This is one of the notable travesties about Red Hat development — forcing package dependencies that should never exist.

I was not going to install NM. The logs showed the following entry as the culprit:

    Failed at step CGROUP spawning /bin/umount: No such file or directory
    Process /bin/umount could not be executed

Of course, /bin/umount does exist with perms root:root 2755.

This error message does not cause any stalls and seems to be a nuisance only. Nonetheless I would like to see a clean shutdown/reboot. That is not too much too ask.

I added the following to /etc/rc.d/rc.local:

umount /sys/kernel/configfs

This removes the error message because the file system no longer is mounted. I have no idea how that might affect the system, but probably no problem. The kernel CONFIG_CONFIGFS_FS option is set to yes, meaning the option is built-in. The same kernel option is not set in Ubuntu and there is no sys/kernel/config directory at all.

There is a way to disable built-in kernel modules. In this case, use the following kernel boot parameter:


Then mask the unit file:

systemctl mask sys-kernel-config.mount

The only rule on the playground is the biggest kid makes the rules. This seems to happen when people become part of a multi-billion corporation. That open source software is used is an illusion. People still want vendor lock-in and live in their self-created ivory towers. We don’t care. We don’t have to. We're Red Hat.

Posted: Category: Usability Tagged: CentOS

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