HMRC form CT600 on Linux

In 2011, CT600 worked on Linux if you followed some complicated steps to manually import the SSL certificates from Companies House and HMRC websites. In 2012, it broke, with no amount of manual importing resolving the error

SSL Error!!!. Please install the CA Certificate(s) for SSL communication. If certificate resides on local disk, try "acroread -installCertificate [-PEM|-DER] [pathname]" on the command line. If certificate resides on the server, try "acroread -installCertificate 443" on command line.

HMRC helpdesk were clueless, sending me back the forum link I had sent them, and asking me to make sure that I was using Adobe Reader. The good news is that I attempted to use it again yesterday, and it all just worked without any fiddling. I used Adobe Reader 9.5.3 32-bit on Ubuntu 12.10 64-bit. Just follow HMRC’s instuctions on fiddling with Adobe Reader’s security settings, and all should be well.

Also see my post on Adobe Reader on 64-bit Linux.


Installing the Rhythmbox equaliser

In the absence of any instructions being provided, here’s how to install the equalizer plugin referred to here

The goal is to copy the equalizer folder into one of Rhythymbox’s plugin search paths. To find out where your copy of Rhythymbox looks for plugins, run Rhythymbox from the command line like this:

rhythmbox -d 2>&1 | grep "plugin search path"

You should get some output like this:

user@work:/usr/share/rhythmbox/plugins$ rhythmbox -d 2>&1 | grep "plugin search path"
(10:02:33) [0xf93090] [construct_plugins] rb-shell.c:983: plugin search path: /home/user/.local/share/rhythmbox/plugins
(10:02:33) [0xf93090] [construct_plugins] rb-shell.c:991: plugin search path: /usr/lib/rhythmbox/plugins / /usr/share/rhythmbox/plugins

Use the /home location to install just for you, and the /usr/share location (or /usr/local/share location if there is one in your list), to install for all users. For /usr locations, you should in theory put some of the files in /usr/share, and some in /usr/lib, but since no instructions are available as to which files are supposed to go where, I just copy the whole directory into both locations. Assuming you are copying into your home directory:

git clone
cd rhythmbox-plugins
mkdir ~/.local/share/rhythmbox/plugins
sudo cp -r equalizer ~/.local/share/rhythmbox/plugins

Now run Rhythymbox again. Go to Edit > Plugins and you should see Equalizer in the list. You should now be able to enable it. If it fails to enable it, and you are running Ubuntu 12.04 64-bit, then you have hit this issue. Do this to resolve it:

sudo apt-get install gir1.2-gconf-2.0

Once enabled, you will find a new button in the main toolbar:

Adobe Reader on 64-bit Linux

Got a dumb ass interactive PDF that needs Adobe Reader to work (I’m looking at you, HMRC)? There currently is no 64-bit Linux version of Adobe Reader. To run the 32-bit version on Ubuntu:

  1. Download the 32-bit version from Adobe (you’ll have to use the non-packaged .bin version, as the packaged version won’t install)
  2. Install the package ia32-libs
  3. Run it (/opt/Adobe/Reader/bin/acroread)

There’ll be some error messages in the console, but it should mostly work.