Category Archives: Linux (Ubuntu)

Lenovo Thinkpad X60 with Fedora 10, openSuse 11, Ubuntu 9.04 and Windows XP

I’ve been using Ubuntu dual booted with windows for quite a while now, but due to driver compatibility issues and lack of knowledge used windows for the most part. Since Ubuntu 8.10, I’ve completely switched over to Ubuntu and love it. Mostly because it’s FREE! Windows is still hanging around in case I might need it for some program in the future. I use Thunderbird as my email client and Opera as my web browser. One of my main concerns was sharing the profiles for these programs, but NTFS-3G has made life easier.

After feeling comfortable with Ubuntu, I decided I needed to expand my knowledge by learning to use KDE; different package managers like yum and yast; and the possibility of having multiple Linux Oses on single partitions. After doing some research, I decided I should either go with openSuse or Fedora. Then, I figured: “Why not both?” and leave Ubuntu and Windows intact. I downloaded the Live CD’s for both Oses. The Live CD installation has less programs and tools installed compared to the DVD installation.

I opened Gparted on Ubuntu to make extra partitions for Fedora and openSuse, but I realized I can’t have more than 4 primary partitions without hacking the MBR. I deleted the Linux Swap partition because I already have 2GB of RAM. I resized my Windows and Storage partitions and made one extra partition on which I would install both Fedora and openSuse. I split the partition into 2 logical partitions of about 5GB each.

gparted

Since my Lenovo does not have an optical drive, I had to use an external USB drive and allow the BIOS to boot from it

Popped in the Fedora Live CD and installed Fedora. I selected the first logical partition and set this location as “/” (root) and opted not to use a swap space. When it asks to install GRUB, you can choose not to or to install it at the beginning of the Root partition and not at the beginning of the whole hard drive because Ubuntu has already installed GRUB there and you might not want to write over it. I chose not to install GRUB. It was a painless install. Restarted and booted into Fedora to make sure it worked.

Next, I popped in the openSuse Live CD and installed it to the second logical partition also without swap space. Again, chose not to install GRUB. Install was again pretty simple. Booted into openSuse to make sure it worked.

Now, I had to update my GRUB to include the other Oses. I could have done it manually, but I chose to upgrade my 8.10 Intrepid to 9.04 Jaunty by hitting “Alt+F2” and typing “upgrade-manager -d”, which updated the entries in GRUB automatically.

updatemanager

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Still one more issue: How to install Opera and Thunderbird and share the profiles between Windows, Ubuntu, Fedora and openSuse. This call for a new blog entry.

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How To save documents from Scribd when disabled by user with Ubuntu Intrepid or Jaunty

Some users disable the option to download a document from scribd but the option to print is still available. We can use this to our advantage and save the document by printing the file to PDF.

In Ubuntu, we need to install cups-pdf to create a postscript printer. Check my previous post here for a tutorial.

After installing the PDF printer, go to the document you want to save on scribd.  Select more -> Print

scribd1

Select the PDF printer and hit print. ¬†and wait…...………. this can take upto 10-15 minutes depending on how big the file is.

scribd2

Check the print status. 6 minutes and still printing……

scribd3

When done, the file will be saved in the PDF folder we created and will be called _stdin_.pdf

scribd4

Install/Update Opera 9.64 in Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex/Jaunty Jackalope

In this tutorial I will show you how to install or update to Opera 9.64 in Ubuntu. This guide is for a beginner to the operating system and will work for any version of Ubuntu, including other Debian based linux distributions.

If you are upgrading, first check for an update under help in the browser or you can directly go to the website and download the latest version.

opera update

save the file to the desktop and close the browser.
opera update

double click the .deb file and click install package even if you are upgrading.
opera update

close the installation process and restart your browser
opera update

Gnome Display Manager problems (error setting mtrr) in Ubuntu Intrepid 8.10

Last night I spent a lot of time trying to get my Gnome Display manager to work in Ubuntu Intrepid 8.10. Alot of people are having a hard time with the display after upgrading from Hardy 8.04 to Intrepid 8.10.
Every time I try to shutdown the system, I get an error about “error setting MTRR”. These are the steps I took to fix the issue.

*IMPORTANT*- before doing any troubleshooting with X, I recommend backing up the xorg configuration file.
sudo cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /home/user/Desktop/xorg.conf.old

I tried clearing out the /proc/mtrr and rewriting it by using the following commands:

echo "disable=0" >| /proc/mtrr
echo "disable=1" >| /proc/mtrr
echo "disable=0" >| /proc/mtrr

and inserting

echo "base=0x00000000 size= type=write-back" >| /proc/mtrr

check here for more help.

Still no luck.

Tired and frustrated, I decided to reinstall

sudo apt-get install --reinstall gdm, nautlius, ubuntu-desktop, x-gnome-session, xserver-xorg

I finally did:
sudo update-alternatives --configure x-session-manager
More on update-alternatives here.

Searching on the web, I found this on bugs.launchpad.net

I had this problem exactly as described in the original report, after an upgrade from 8.04 to 8.10.

I eventually tracked it down to a dangling link from /etc/alternatives/x-session-manager. It was pointing to a nonexistent KDE4 startkde script, which presumably used to exist in 8.04. I had never actually used KDE4 seriously, but I must have installed it at some point in the old system and run it before reverting to gnome. I guess that means the old KDE4 start script was equally capable of restoring a gnome session, or something.

Anyway, “sudo update-alternatives –auto x-session-manager” seems to fix it.

(The workaround described in an earlier comment, of explicitly running the GNOME session type, also worked. But I wanted to find a fix that would work for the X client script option as well, because I was also trying to investigate the session script to work out why my session was not being restored properly. Unfortunately, then I ran into bug 249373, “gnome session does not restore the previous session” — which answers that one. I would never have upgraded to 8.10 if I had known about that absolutely amazing regression. But that’s another matter.)

Chris

After all that, I replaced my backup xorg.conf file
sudo cp /home/user/Desktop/xorg.conf.old /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Restarted the system, and now its working fine!

How to connect to wireless network from command line without GUI in Ubuntu

While trying to fix my Gnome Display Manager, apt-get removed several other packages besides gdm when I marked it for removal it. I had no GUI and no internet connection. I needed a way to connect to the internet to sudo apt-get install gdm (install gdm back).

I first had to find out the interface of my wifi card:
lshw -C network
this shows the network interfaces available on your system. Where it says logical name, this is what the interface is. lshw is a tool used to find hardware configuration information. my interface showed wmaster0, but for some reason it actually is wlan0.
I did:
sudo ifconfig wlan0 up to bring up the interface
sudo iwlist wlan0 scan to find my network
sudo iwconfig wlan0 essid "NETGEAR" key (10digitWEP) to connect
sudo dhclient wlan0 to get an assigned IP with DHCP

Didn’t work because I had WPA set up and for that I would need wpa supplicant, so I disabled the WPA on my router and typed:
sudo iwconfig wlan0 essid "NETGEAR" key off
sudo dhclient wlan0

worked!

I was going to write a detailed guide about troubleshooting the wireless from the command line, but then I found this great article by ubuntugeek.

How to fresh install OpenOffice 3.0.1 on Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid, 9.04 Jaunty, Fedora 10 and openSuse 11

Instructions for Ubuntu:

Yesterday I noticed that the menu on my OpenOffice had some weird characters. I finally figured out that some of the system fonts in Ubuntu are not compatible with OO. I managed to change the fonts back by going to System -> Preferences -> Appearance -> Fonts. But it was too late. During the process I upgraded, uninstalled the whole program and reinstalled it back again. For this process, I used synaptic package manager to find everything that said openoffice and marked it for complete removal.

remove OpenOffice

I could have also opened up terminal and typed:
sudo apt-get remove openoffice*.*

Then, I went to openoffice.org and downloaded the .deb file for 3.0.1 (OOo_3.0.1_LinuxIntel_install_en-US_deb.tar.gz) and extracted it to the desktop. Then I typed:
sudo dpkg -i ~/Desktop/OOO300_m15_native_packed-1_en-US.9379/DEBS/*.deb
install_office

dpkg is a tool to install, build, remove and manage Debian GNU/Linux packages. The -i option is used to install a file or in this case, several files. We selected *.deb which means select all the files with a .deb extension and install them. We could have alternatively double clicked each .deb package and installed it separately, but the command line is a much more powerful option.

Next, to install the last package stored in a different folder, I typed:
sudo dpkg -i ~/Desktop/OOO300_m15_native_packed-1_en-US.9379/DEBS/desktop-integration/openoffice.org3.0-debian-menus_3.0-9376_all.deb
install_office2

I believe I could have used the –recursive or -R option and specified the directory, which would have installed all the packages in the folder including all the sub-folders.

That’s all it took.

Instructions for Fedora and openSuse:

Goto openoffice.org and Download the rpm in tar.gz format onto the Desktop

open up terminal, become root and untar the file:
su
(enter password)
tar -xvf /home/black/Desktop/OOo_3.0.1_LinuxIntel_install_wJRE_en-US.tar.gz

oo1
cd into the directory:
cd OOO300_m15_native_packed-1_en-US.9379/
oo2
setup:
./setup
oo3
follow install directions:
oo4

oo5

[digg=http://digg.com/linux_unix/Tutorial_How_to_Install_OpenOffice_on_Ubuntu_Fedora_openSuse]

Yatta !

How To connect to Remote Desktop from Windows to Ubuntu through G1 tether

From my previous post, you already know how to tether your G1 with your computer for internet use. I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks now. It’s been kinda slow with my 9.99 tzones, so I am trying to decide if it would be worth it for me to upgrade to the G1 data plan and use EDGE speeds. I managed to forward the remote desktop on my Ubuntu Linux using NX and it is much faster than VNC. There is one problem if you are using the Tetherbot proxy (check my previous post), you can only use the Internet through a SOCKS v5 proxy, or use the port bouncer.

To use the port bouncer, enter in the server details and the port you are using, for example, I am using FreeNX so I would use port 22.
Start the Tunnel.
Connect the G1 to your PC.
Open the cmd prompt
Type in:
Windows: adb forward tcp:4444 localabstract:Tunnel
Linux/Mac: ./adb forward tcp:4444 localabstract:Tunnel
With the NX client, you would connect to localhost as the server and use port 4444.
[digg=http://digg.com/linux_unix/Remote_Desktop_through_G1_with_Tetherbot]

Now, you should be able to access remote desktop through the G1.

Set Default Applications in Ubuntu

There are two ways:

First is to goto System -> Preferences -> Preferred applications

Second is update-alternatives. So to update the web browser you would type:
sudo update-alternatives --config x-www-browser

Now select the browser you want. This is self explanatory. Make sure you change the default with both methods because for me it wouldn’t work when i just did the update-alternatives method.

How to use Remote Desktop Connection with Ubuntu

To learn the basics and different methods of remote desktop, see my previous article.

The most popular way of remote desktop on Ubuntu is using VNC (RFB) but this is very slow because it works by sending compressed bitmap images of your server to the client.

To set up remote desktop this way, goto system -> prefereces -> remote desktop -> select ‘allow other users to view your desktop’ and ‘allow other users to control your desktop’. If you are behind a firewall or router, you have to open up the corresponding ports.

On the client computer, you can download a viewer like TightVNC or UltraVNC. This tutorial can help you encrypt this information through ssh.

However, I found a great alternative called NX. NX works by starting a new X session when you log in. If you have Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex, you can follow this tutorial.