Fixing snapd in Hyper-V's pre-built Ubuntu virtual machines

For some time now, Microsoft and Ubuntu have offered pre-built optimized versions of the operating system for Hyper-V that you can quickly create with support for enhanced sessions built right in. It’s so much quicker than manually creating a virtual machine, installing Ubuntu and then installing and configuring things to get better performance, higher display resolutions and clipboard integration with your host machine.

Unfortunately, I’ve noticed that the pre-built images for Ubuntu 18.04.2 and 19.04 have been somewhat broken for at least the last month or two, perhaps longer. When trying to run Software Updates (or manually using sudo apt upgrade in the terminal), things would eventually get stuck due to issues with ‘snapd’ process.

The last time I ran into this issue, I just trashed the virtual machine and just manually did everything myself following Microsoft’s guide. But I had to create a new virtual machine for something today and decided to try using Microsoft’s pre-built Ubuntu 18.04.2 virtual machine and ran into this issue again.

This time, I decided to do a bit more googling and discovered it’s relatively simple to fix.

After quick-creating the virtual machine in Hyper-V, connecting, and logging in to it, open the Terminal application and run these commands:

sudo rm -r /var/cache/snapd/aux

sudo apt purge snapd

sudo apt install snapd

sudo snap install core

Then, after restarting the virtual machine, updating the system through Software Updates or the terminal should now be working perfectly again.

Hopefully, Microsoft and/or Ubuntu fix this issue with the next pre-built images they release, presumably for version 19.10.

California’s Forgotten Confederate History

Kevin Waite, writing in the New Republic:

Earlier this month, the last major Confederate monument in California came down. It was a curious one: a nine-foot granite pillar in an Orange County cemetery, bearing the names of several Southern leaders, including Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee, who never even set foot on the Pacific coast.

Dead Confederates are hard to find in California. Yet the Golden State once contained far more rebel tributes than any other state outside the South itself.

Beginning in the early twentieth century and continuing into the twenty-first, Confederate memorial associations in California established more than a dozen monuments and place-names to the rebellion. They dedicated highways to Jefferson Davis, named schools for Robert E. Lee, and erected large memorials to the common Confederate soldier.

The Confederacy’s post-Civil War spread across the United States is odd and this is an interesting look at how it happened in California.

I’ve been in El Paso, Texas for the past few months and while it is Texas, the city is on the far northwest end and >80% Hispanic so I was not expecting to see so many roads and streets named after Confederate politicians, soldiers or related terminology here.

How Segregation Caused Atlanta's Traffic Jams

Kevin M. Kruse, writing in the New York Times:

Atlanta has some of the worst traffic in the United States. Drivers there average two hours each week mired in gridlock, hung up at countless spots, from the constantly clogged Georgia 400 to a complicated cluster of overpasses at Tom Moreland Interchange, better known as “Spaghetti Junction.” The Downtown Connector — a 12-to-14-lane megahighway that in theory connects the city’s north to its south — regularly has three-mile-long traffic jams that last four hours or more. Commuters might assume they’re stuck there because some city planner made a mistake, but the heavy congestion actually stems from a great success. In Atlanta, as in dozens of cities across America, daily congestion is a direct consequence of a century-long effort to segregate the races.

Atlanta’s a lovely city, but would be so much better if you didn’t have to spend so much time in your car to get anywhere. It’s unsurprising to learn that much of that problem is the result of racism.

Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg on what’s next for Tumblr

The Verge’s Nilay Patel and Julia Alexander interviewed Matt Mullenweg about Automattic’s recent acquisition of Tumblr.

Tumblr was once such a great blogging and social networking platform and I enjoyed using it before its years of stagnation under ownership by Yahoo and then Verizon. I hope they’re successful in reviving it. Maybe I’ll switch this blog back to Tumblr again.

In God’s country

Elizabeth Bruenig, writing in the Washington Post:

White evangelicals’ electoral drift toward Trump added an element of mystery to a story that was already startling. That the thrice-wed, dirty-talking, sex-scandal-plagued businessman actually managed to win the steadfast moral support of America’s values voters, as expressed in routinely high approval ratings, posed an even stranger question: What happened?

It’s easy to say that abortion and simply getting justices on the Supreme Court that might overturn Roe v. Wade is enough for evangelicals to support Trump despite everything else, but Bruenig does a great job examining other reasons.