disable chromium update dialog on raspbian buster

I don’t know how it crept in, but there’s a bug in the current Chromium that keeps popping up a dialog complaining it can’t update Chromium. The only problem is that Chromium isn’t updated like regular Chrome, it can only be updated when there’s a package update via apt. And there are no updates. There’s a bug for this (see https://github.com/RPi-Distro/repo/issues/165), but if you’d like to shut up the annoyance now, then there is a work-around (I think).

In the file system under /etc/chromium-browser/customizations, open a new file named 01-disable-update-check:

cd /etc/chromium-browser/customizations
sudo vi 01-disable-update-check

Then type in the following single line of text:

CHROMIUM_FLAGS="${CHROMIUM_FLAGS} --check-for-update-interval=31536000"

Save the file and restart Chromium. The interval value 31536000 is the number of seconds in 365 days, or one year. Why that number was chosen I can’t say. Nor can I say if the value really works, because restarting the browser always makes the nag dialog as well as the icon go away for a time on next startup. But we shall see…

raspberry pi 4 status report for 10 april 2020 – running pretty good these days

If there’s one thing I’ve been critical of with regards to the Raspberry Pi 4, it’s been the fact it runs hotter than any prior Raspberry Pi. I run my Pi 4s in a Flirc case (https://flirc.tv/more/raspberry-pi-4-case) in order to keep them as cool as possible during operation. Yet as good as the Flirc case is, the Pi 4 with the Raspbian initial release still easily hit the mid-50°Cs (or hotter) with just regular usage. Recently I’ve noticed that the Pi 4, with the latest version of Buster (including all patches) and the firmware, is running a good 10°C cooler, around the mid-40°C or cooler. When I now put my hand on the case it’s barely warm, not the hot little brick when I first put the Raspberry Pi 4 in the case.

In addition to running cooler, Raspbian Buster appears to be using a lot less memory resources than before, such as when having many open tabs in Chromium. More often than not I could see on htop where swap was being hit with a regular load of Chromium, multiple open tabs on the Terminal with multiple editing sessions, and regular builds with any of Go, C++, Rust, Python 3 or Julia running. I’ve now had the Pi 4 up for five days with continuous use and I haven’t hit swap yet.

And speaking of Julia, I installed version 1.4.0 and then installed all the supporting packages I normally need. One of those packages is Winston, and it has problems. Winston under Julia 1.4.0 is dependent on more packages than ever these days, so much so that any Julia script I’ve written won’t run because not all the current Winston dependencies are met. As a consequence I’ve dropped back to running the prior release, Julia 1.3.1. My scripts still run, and for the time being I’m not updating any of its packages.