Things To Fix / Tweak After Installing Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

Everybody posts about applications to install after upgrading to Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala. That’s interesting, and some applications in those posts are quite useful. But those are just lists of applications like any other “Top 10 Ubuntu applications” list.

I’m not saying they are not interesting, I’ll even post some links to such posts from other blogs (look at the bottom of the post) I really liked, but to get there, you must firstly fix everything that’s not working for you, tweak some things and so on.

1. You basically can’t do anything without an Internet connection. While it might work right out of the box for some, I always had trouble making it work after an upgrade to the latest Ubuntu version. That’s mainly because the Network Manager is very buggy. To get the Internet connection working (either if you have a static or dynamic IP (DHCP)), see this post: How To Manually Set Up Your Wired Internet Connection in K / Ubuntu without Network-Manager

2. While tweaking, Ubuntu might freeze. Hitting the reset button it’s not the best way to get it up and running again. The Ctrl + Alt + Backspace behavior has been changed and it no longer restarts the X-server. To fix this for Ubuntu Karmic Koala, go to System -> Preferences -> Keyboard settings, then to the Layouts tab and under Keyboard settings, click the “Key sequence to kill the X server” option to expand it, then check “Control + Alt + Backspace” to set it.

3. If you installed (not upgraded) Ubuntu Karmic Koala, there should be lots of updates available. The Update Manager behavior has been changed ever since Ubuntu Jaunty Jackalope:

Ubuntu 9.04 introduces a change to the handling of package updates, launching update-manager directly instead of displaying a notification icon in the GNOME panel. Users will still be notified of security updates on a daily basis, but for updates that are not security-related, users will only be prompted once a week.

To fix the Update Manager behavior, open a terminal and paste this:

gconftool -s --type bool /apps/update-notifier/auto_launch false

4. The log-in sound in Ubuntu in general is quite disturbing and it doesn’t turn off, even if you disable sounds. But you can disable it using the following command:

sudo -u gdm gconftool-2 --set /desktop/gnome/sound/event_sounds --type bool false

5. Gnome 2.28 comes with no icons in menus and buttons, so this is also the case for Karmic Koala. To enable these icons, run the following two commands in a terminal:

gconftool-2 --set /desktop/gnome/interface/buttons_have_icons --type bool true
gconftool-2 --set /desktop/gnome/interface/menus_have_icons --type bool true

Then go to System -> Preferences -> Appearance and under the Interface tab, check the “Show icons in menus” box.

6. If you need to tweak some settings regarding you graphics card / display, you will notice that xorg.conf does not exist anymore. Also, saving the changes made through Nvidia Settings fails to create an xorg.conf file / modify it. To fix this, open Nvidia Settings, then delete xorg.conf if you already created it. Then click “Save to xorg.conf” and manually enter the path to /etc/X11/xorg.conf – this will create a new xorg.conf file and Nvidia Settings will be able to save any changes you make.

7. If you are experiencing a popping sound (like me) every once in a while and have and Intel sound card, then this might fix it. Press Alt + F2 and paste this:

gksu gedit /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf 

And comment (add a “#” in front of it) the last line called “options snd-hda-intel power_save=10”. Basically, this is how the line should look after editing it:

#options snd-hda-intel power_save=10

8. If you use Firefox (3.5), you will most probably be experiencing some really bad scrolling issues. At least, that’s the case for me. First of all, you should try Swiftfox which is an optimized Firefox build. If that doesn’t fix it (it didn’t for me), try Firefox 3.6 (currently beta). The scrolling works perfect and it’s much faster. To install Firefox 3.6 beta in Ubuntu Karmic Koala:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-mozilla-daily
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install firefox-3.6

Don’t worry, all your extensions will still work with Firefox 3.6, here’s what to do: Open Firefox and type about:config in the address bar. Then click the button promising to be careful. Right-click anywhere on the screen, choose: New -> Bolean and name this bolean:


Press OK. Then set it to false and press OK again. Now right-click again anywhere choose New -> Boolean and make the name of this one:


and set the value of that one to false.

9. This isn’t something annoying for most people (or crucial for that matter): Make the Super Key bring down the applications menu. The Super Key behavior was changed in Ubuntu Karmic Koala and now it must be used in combination with another key. This is not bad, but for people how got used to using the Super Key to bring down the Applications menu, it can be quite annoying. To change it, there is only one way of doing it. Open a terminal and paste this:

gconftool-2 --set /apps/metacity/global_keybindings/panel_main_menu --type string "Super_L"

More info about this.

10. In Ubuntu Karmic Koala, the notify-osd notifications allow a lot of space for the volume control/brightness semi-notifications; this is rather jarring when the volume/brightness isn’t being adjusted, unlike in Jaunty where application notifications default to above the volume/brightness. Basically, if a notification other than the volume control/brightness is being displayed, it won’t show up in the top right corner of the screen, but a lot lower, which for some might look like a bug and / or out of place. To fix it, download the .deb packages for notify-osd from this PPA (or add the PPA). Direct download:

notify-osd_0.9.24-0ubuntu2~gilir1_i386.deb – 32 bit
notify-osd_0.9.24-0ubuntu2~gilir1_amd64.deb – 64 bit

Thanks to Ryan (via mahboy) for this last tip.

This post isn’t finished and the fixes aren’t something big. But little things like this make a huge difference for some Ubuntu enthusiasts like me (or us). I’m still discovering Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala and will update this post with some other fixes. Unfortunately, I cannot post how to fix the sound, WiFi and such, because most of those issues are specific to each computer hardware. But the Ubuntu Forums users will most likely provide fixes for these issues.

Read ext3/ext4 Partition from Windows 7

If you use Windows 7 and want to dual-boot Ubuntu (or another Linux-based operating system), you’ll want to be able to read Ubuntu files from Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2.

The latest Ubuntu Karmic Koala 9.10 uses ext4 filesystem by default, and previous versions use ext3 and ext2 filesystems. There are several good options to read and write ext2 filesystems from Windows systems, but ext3 or ext4 support is an entirely different scenario.

Image via Flickr

I tried three different software to read my ext4 partition: Ext2fsd, Ext2IFS, and DiskInternal Linux Reader. Ext2IFS fails to mount my ext4 partition due to unknown feature bit AND because my partition has inode size of 256 (Ext2IFS only supports inode size 128). DiskInternal Linux Reader apparently tries to scan my harddisk forever.

With Ext2fsd, I’ve successfully accessed my ext4 filesystem from Windows 7. Here I’ll show you the steps to make it happen:

  1. When creating the ext4 filesystem, make sure to add “-O ^extent” which means disabling the “extent” feature bit. I’m not sure if the following steps will work if your ext4 filesystem still has “extent” feature enabled. ext2 and ext3 partitions should be fine.
  2. Download ext2fsd here.
  3. Right-click the downloaded file and click Properties. Set the compatibility mode to “Windows Vista Service Pack 2″ and check “Run as administrator”.
  4. Run the ext2fsd installer. During install, I recommend you uncheck the “enable write access” feature to safeguard against losing data in your Linux partitions.
  5. Restart Windows 7.
  6. Run the Ext2 Volume Manager from Start Menu.

Now you should be able to mount your Linux ext2/ext3/ext4 partitions from Windows 7 and read the files without any trouble.

These steps should also work on Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, and Windows XP, only that you will not need to enable compatibility mode (step 3).

Ubuntu 9.10 with ext4. How to dual boot with Windows 7

So I was perfectly able to dual boot either Intrepid or Jaunty with Windows (Vista or 7).

I am trying to install Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) in one of my partitions using ext4 file system and dual boot it with Windows. No luck so far!

The process, as I was used to,:

1. Install Windows
2. Install Ubuntu (install grub)
3. Boot up with Ubuntu
4. Edit menu.lst and add an entry for Windows
5. Enjoy it.

This time, with Karmic, it will not install GRUB. I don’t know what the problem is.

I understand that Karmic comes with GRUB 2.0. Is this the problem?

For your information, I am using the x64 alternate install disc since I am using a SATA RAID0 drive for my OS’s.

Any help will be appreciated.

try this

just use a dang rescuecd….or knoppix or whatever live cd and install grub nonbeta by doing this

once in the live cd open up a terminal then put:

#this will return where the grub beta is setup at...
find /boot/grub/stage1
root (hd0,X)
#then put in for X whatever the number it returns where grub is setup

setup (hd0)


then reboot and you should be good…

if you wana keep grub 2 beta then do this for windows

just use chainloader so…

title Windows whatever
chainloader +1

what the rootnoverify command does is because windows partitions (ntfs) cannot be seen/accessed by grub thus you use that command to leap of faith boot that partition without verifying that anything is there..this should work…

i would say don’t use beta grub2 until it is stable so do the first setup then edit menu.lst with the second part then you are good…

if there is anyother issues with setting up grub with windows partition just use man grub and it should give you some references to go off of….or look it up with grub commands and help with menu.lst but if you were using grub 1 you won’t need to do anything usually with grub in ubuntu it loads everything automagically r


x2 4600+ @2.6ghz

x2 6400+ @ 3.5ghz

When you say “I wrote a program that crashed Windows”, people just stare at you blankly and say “Hey, I got those with the system, *for free*”
-Linus Torvalds
“How should I know if it works? That’s what beta testers are for. I only coded it.”
-Linus Torvalds

Be warned that typing \fBkillall \fIname\fP may not have the desired effect on non-Linux systems, especially when done by a privileged user.
-killall man page

Top things to do after installing Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala | Linux

So you’ve just installed Ubuntu 9.10, the cute and cuddly Karmic Koala, but now you’re confronted with a most pertinent question, “What do i do now?” Ubuntu is a very complete and full-featured Linux distribution, but no operating system can come with everything you want. There’s much more fun to be had in what comes after installing the OS on your machine: now you get to set it up with all the best software it didn’t already come with! This list of the top things to do immediately after installing your newly acquired copy of Ubuntu doubles as a general list of great software to try out and use, complete with links to any special instructions on how to set them up, Terminal commands for those who prefer a command-line interface (CLI), and when available, personal package archives (PPA), repositories to keep the applications at their newest version, not just the security updates provided for you by default. Repositories can be added easily by clicking the “Add…” button in the “Other Software” tab of Software Sources and entering the provided APT Line. Feel free to pick and choose; enjoy!

Basic Stuff

Download Mirror & Updates

After every major Ubuntu release (beta, release candidate, and especially the final), the official servers will be unbearably sluggish. To select an alternative server, just launch Software Sources (System ⟶ Administration ⟶ Software Sources) and click the drop-down menu next to “Download from:” and select “Other…” at which point the Choose a Download Server window should pop up. If you know of a fast local server you may select it from the list, or you can try clicking the “Select Best Server” button to launch a tool that will test all the servers for the fastest connection and choose the best result.

Optionally, jump to the “Updates” tab. If you’ll always be running the newest version of Ubuntu and are using third-party repos, which we will be, then leaving the defaults should be fine. “Unsupported Updates (karmic-backports)” gives you, as the name implies, unsupported versions of future packages which are still in development which you probably don’t need or even want except in certain situations like having a newer-model Apple machine that requires bleeding edge updates. Packages may contain new features, introduce new interfaces, and not be sufficiently tested for inclusion in the ‘proposed’ repository. “Pre-released Updates (karmic-proposed)” is just the testing area for updates, recommended only to those interested in helping to test updates and provide feedback. Check that Ubuntu is scheduled to automatically find availably updates daily and to download all updates in the background to save yourself some time when it comes time to install them.

Before you go, head over to the “Statistics” tab and check it if it isn’t already. This anonymously sends the list of software you have installed and how often you use them to help collect statistics on which apps are the most popular.

When you click close, you will likely be prompted to reload the list of available software. Click reload. If you’re prompted with available updates when it finished reloading, follow the instructions to install them. If not, you can always manually check for and install updates via Update Manager (System ⟶ Administration ⟶ Update Manager). You should always keep your computer up-to-date.

Folder and Printer Sharing

If you want to be able to share files, folders, and printers with Windows machines, you’ll need the samba package. You can set this up graphically by right clicking on any folder and selecting “Properties” and going straight to the “Share” tab. Check off “Share this folder” and you should be prompted to install the Windows networks sharing service. After that’s installed, you’ll need to restart and you can click “Create Share” to be able to view the folder and it’s contents from other machines through the network.

Like any package, you may also install samba via Synaptic Package Manager (System ⟶ Administration ⟶ Synaptic Package Manager) or command-line (Applications ⟶ Accessories ⟶ Terminal).

Click here to install or use the following command:

sudo apt-get install samba

Time Synchronization

Ubuntu can keep your computer’s time accurate by syncing up with atomic clocks through tiers of servers while factoring out communication delays, and adjusting the time in a way that does not upset all the other processes that are running. The protocol for this is called Network Time Protocol (NTP). To set up NTP time synchronization graphically, launch Time & Date, also available through (System ⟶ Administration ⟶ Time & Date). Click the keys to unlock settings. Now, you can select your time zone, and configure it to “Keep synchronized with Internet servers”, at which point it will prompt you to Install NTP support. After that, click “Select Servers” and check off the server closest to you.

Click here to install or use the following command:

sudo apt-get install ntp

Restricted Essentials

DVD Playback

Most commercial DVDs are encrypted with Content Scrambling System (CSS), which attempts to restrict the software that can play a DVD. You’ll need to install libdvdcss if you want to play them. You can do so by first installing the libdvdread4 package via Synaptic Package Manager or Terminal.

Click here to install or use the following command:

sudo apt-get install libdvdread4

Then, within a Terminal window, enter:

sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/

Restricted Extras

The ubuntu-restricted-extras package includes a bunch of things Ubuntu isn’t legally allowed to ship with, namely unrar for unarchiving .rar files, Microsoft TrueType core fonts, Sun Java Runtime Environment (JRE), restricted codecs, and finally Adobe Flash Player. Like the rest of the packages and applications in this list unless noted otherwise, it’s available in the new Ubuntu Software Center (Applications ⟶ Ubuntu Software Center).

Click here to install or use the following command:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

I also recommend you at least give a fair chance to Gnash, an open source flash player on the list of high priority Free software projects. To install, you’ll first have to make sure you don’t have Adobe’s flash player installed via Synaptic or Terminal.


sudo apt-get purge flashplugin-installer nspluginwrapper

Finally, you can install the Gnash plugin via Synaptic of Terminal.

APT Line: ppa:gnash/ppa
Click here to install or use the following command:

sudo apt-get install mozilla-plugin-gnash

Eye Candy


The upcoming version 3.0 of the GNOME desktop environment which i can’t describe concisely other than that it is a new interface for interacting with your desktop. Some people think it looks pretty slick, but i won’t weigh in on the issue. If you’d like to try it, there is a version in the Ubuntu repos, but you’ll probably want something more up to date. You can build it yourself without too much difficulty, but hopefully there will be a PPA available soon.

Click here to install or use the following command:

sudo apt-get install gnome-shell

Advanced Desktop Effects Settings

If you want a Custom option in Visual Effects settings in Appearance (System ⟶ Preferences ⟶ Appearance) for some fancier features to play around with and show off, you’ll need Simple CompizConfig Settings Manager, or if you’re feeling more ambitious, Advanced Desktop Effects Settings.

APT Line: ppa:compiz/ppa
Click here to install or use the following command:

sudo apt-get install simple-ccsm

Replace “simple-ccsm” with “compizconfig-settings-manager” for the Advanced Desktop Effects Settings Manager.

Basic Compositing

Some of you may not need or want such superfluous visual effects; perhaps you lack the hardware or restricted drivers for accelerated graphics necessary for Compiz; maybe you just don’t want to use something that isn’t standards compliant, but still want basic compositing which some applications depend on. In that case, Metacity, the default window manager for GNOME, works great! You can enable it graphically, or with a simple command, but make sure to disable Compiz effects in Appearance.

For GUI lovers, hit Alt+F2 to open the Run Applicatoin dialog and enter gconf-editor to launch the GNOME Configuration Editor. In the left-hand sidebar, navigate to Apps ⟶ metacity ⟶ general and back in the main box check off compositing_manager, and Metacity will immediately start compositing, a much smoother transition than to Compiz. If you’re a CLI guy (relax ladies, i did it for the rhyme), you can run a quick command in Terminal.

Command: gconftool-2 -s ‘/apps/metacity/general/compositing_manager’ –type bool true

Extra Themes

There aren’t a whole lot of themes that come with Ubuntu, so if you crave more, there are several packages containing additional themes. Hopefully many of these packages can be merged in the future and have a more refined selection. They all must be installed via Synaptic or the terminal but only the themes from the Bisigi Project provided by the zgegblob-themes package requires the PPA. You can download individual themes from various websites like GNOME-Look.

APT Line: ppa:bisigi/ppa
Click here to install or use the following command:
sudo apt-get install arc-colors community-themes gdm-themes gnome-backgrounds gnome-colors gnome-themes gnome-themes-extras gnome-themes-more metacity-themes shiki-colors zgegblog-themes

Electric Sheep Screensaver

Fractal frames can look pretty sweet. Electric Sheep does a number of cool things with them. Primarily, it displays them as a screensaver, but on top of that and arguably just as cool, it downloads new popular ones through a distributed computing network so that the “gene pool” of animations, or “sheep” as they’re called, is constantly evolving. You can download a starter pack from and just extract them into ~/.electricsheep

Click here to install or use the following command:

sudo apt-get install electricsheep

Desktop Functionality

Application Launcher

For a beautiful application launcher, complete with plugins and a dock, you can try GNOME + Do.

APT Line: ppa:do-core/ppa
Click here to install or use the following command:

sudo apt-get install gnome-do

Universal Applets

After the death of Screenlets and gDesklets, a new widget framework called Universal Applets is being developed with the goal of producing applets that can be dynamically “plugged” into any application. While GNOME Do is definitely superior at the moment, Universal Applets is a promising concept for the future. It’s only available in a third party repository since it isn’t yet included in the Ubuntu repos and as such isn’t listed in the Software Center. It hasn’t even been packaged for karmic, but the Jaunty packages, though bug-ridden, work for me.

APT line: deb ./
Click here to install or use the following command:

sudo apt-get install universal-applets

Clipboard Manager

There is an annoying bug from 2004 in which copy/paste doesn’t work if the source is closed before the paste. Parcellite is a clipboard manager that works around that problem along with providing some other useful features.

Click here to install or use the following command:

sudo apt-get install parcellite

Audio/Video Creation & Editing

Video Editing

PiTiVi is an intuitive and featureful movie editor that was actually designed with the user interface in mind instead of just slopping on one feature after another. It is able to import and export video files in any format supported by the powerful GStreamer framework.

APT Line: ppa:gstreamer-developers/ppa
Click here to install or use the following command:

sudo apt-get install pitivi

Video Screen Capture

If you want to make screencasts to show off your awesome desktop, Instanbul is a great desktop recording tool which, unlike gtk-recordMyDesktop, uses GStreamer. You can install it through Synaptic or Terminal.

Click here to install or use the following command:

sudo apt-get install istanbul

Audio Recording & Editing

Jokosher is a simple yet powerful non-linear, multi-track audio editor. The interface, which was designed from the ground up, provides an integrated environment to create and record music, podcasts and more.

Click here to install or use the following command:

sudo apt-get install jokosher


If you have a webcam, you need Cheese. It’s a Photobooth-inspired application for taking pictures and videos from a webcam also based on the GStreamer back-end.

Click here to install or use the following command:

sudo apt-get install cheese

Multimedia Playback

Media Center

Moovida, formerly Elisa, is a beautiful media center which is perfect for setting up a Home Theater PC (HTPC) or TVPC like the Neuros Link and it uses the GStreamer multimedia framework to support playing almost any kind of file.

APT Line: ppa:moovida-packagers/ppa
Click here to install or use the following command:

sudo apt-get install moovida

Video Feeds

Miro, previously known as Democracy Player, is an Internet television application developed by a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization called the Participatory Culture Foundation whose mission is to “enable and support independent, non-corporate creativity and political engagement.”

APT Line: deb karmic/
Click here to install or use the following command:

sudo apt-get install miro

Media Player

I don’t feel strongly about this, but for those of you who are unsatisfied by Rythmbox, the default music manager for Ubuntu, you may want to try Banshee. It’s a media player and library for music and videos which has a number of cool features.

APT Line: ppa:banshee-team/ppa
Click here to install or use the following command:

sudo apt-get install banshee

Web Browsing

Google Chrome

Mozilla Firefox 3.5 brings some major improvements like HTML 5 support, but we all hate how bloated it is. If you want something faster and more standards-compliant, WebKit browsers are the way to go. Webkit is the layout engine that Epiphany and Google Chrome use to render pages faster than Gecko which is used by Firefox. Chromium is only available through the a PPA and must be installed through Synaptic or Terminal.

APT Line: ppa:chromium-daily/ppa
Click here to install or use the following command:

sudo apt-get install chromium-browser


If you prefer something that integrates more with GNOME, and is in fact the default web browser for it, try Epiphany. You may also add the Epiphany and WebKit PPAs to keep them up-to-date.

APT Line: ppa:webkit-team/epiphany
APT Line: ppa:webkit-team/ppa
Click here to install or use the following command:

sudo apt-get install epiphany-browser


Flash Cards

Digital flash cards are even more effective because they can accurately use spaced repetition to help you more efficiently retain information. There are actually two great programs i recommend you try and choose for yourself, Mnemosyne and Anki.

Click here to install or use the following command:

sudo apt-get install mnemosyne anki

Brainwave Entrainment

You read that correctly. You can synchronize your brainwaves to that of an external stimulus like sound, light, and even electromagnetic radiation in order to easily induce brain states like sleep for example. Think of it as assisted meditation which is effective at treating conditions like ADD, insomnia, and much more. Gnaural is brainwave entrainment software which generates binaural beats. It is no longer in the repositories and it doesn’t have a PPA, but 32-bit users can download and install the .deb from the website while 64-bit users like myself are forced to compile.

Brain Training

If you like puzzles, logic, and brain teasers, you’ll enjoy keeping your mind in shape with gbrainy.

Click here to install or use the following command:

sudo apt-get install gbrainy



What good are games when you’re stuck with the same versions for 6 months? PlayDeb is a repository of games which provides you with the latest and greatest that are either not at their newest version in the Ubuntu repos, or not included at all! Installing games is extremely convenient by searching through the website and installing games with just a click. You can add it to your sources automatically by installing the playdeb package, or manually.

APT Line: deb karmic-getdeb games

wget -O- | sudo apt-key add -

Yo Frankie!

This is a beautiful and important Free game that is, Free software and Free content which was created to show off what can be produced using Free software. It was made using Blender, mentioned above, as part of the Blender Institute’s first Open Game Project, and based off of the film, Big Buck Bunny, which was the foundation’s second Open Movie Project. Sadly, it isn’t included in the Ubuntu repos, but you can get it with PlayDeb.

Click here to install or use the following command:

sudo apt-get install yofrankie


For those of you who prefer fast-paced first-person shooters, Nexuiz is a very decent Free game every Linux gamer should try at least once. GameStop even held a Nexuiz “PC gaming challenge” in which interactive kiosks were set up in 10 different stores in 8 US cities and users were given 2 minutes to earn the high score for a $100 gift card by doing the most damage possible to their AI opponents.

Click here to install or use the following command:

sudo apt-get install nexuiz

Donating CPU Power

Distributed Computing

You can volunteer to participate in grid computing to donate your computer’s spare CPU power to charitable projects like protein folding. Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC) is a great way to use your computer to give.

Click here to install or use the following command:

sudo apt-get install boinc-manager

Images and Publishing

Photo Management

Although Ubuntu does come with F-Spot, it does leave many users unsatisfied. If you find yourself among them, you may want to try a young competitor named Solang, which gained popularity during the mono wars (hopefully mostly over?) as being a mono-free alternative.

Click here to install or use the following command:

sudo apt-get install solang

Vector Graphics

Inkscape is a vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Xara X. It’s an excellent tool for publishing materials in the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format.

APT Line: ppa:inkscape.testers/ppa
Click here to install or use the following command:

sudo apt-get install inkscape

3D Graphics

Not exclusive to still imagery, Blender is an amazing 3D imagery creation suite that has already been used to create films as part of the Open Movie Project.

Click here to install or use the following command:

sudo apt-get install blender

Desktop Publishing

Scribus is a desktop publishing (DTP) application designed for flexible layout and typesetting and the ability to prepare files for professional quality image setting equipment like writing small newspapers, brochures, newsletters, posters and books.

APT Line: ppa:scribus/ppa
Click here to install or use the following command:

sudo apt-get install scribus


Secured P2P

Gnunet framework for decentralized, secure, peer-to-peer networking for anonymous, censorship-resistant file-sharing. You may have heard of Freenet, but you probably haven’t seen how they compare.

APT Line: ppa:teamgnunet/ppa
Click here to install or use the following command:

sudo apt-get install gnunet-gtk

Direct Connect

A great way to share files for students in college networks is using direct connect; sadly, there is no DC client designed for GNOME, nor is there an available port of Shakespeer from Mac, so it seems like the best option is DC++

Click here to install or use the following command:

sudo apt-get install linuxdcpp


Although it isn’t free, Usenet downloads are crazy-fast and files show up there first. Possibly even more noteworthy, however, is that for whatever reason it remains unregulated by pirate hunters. Read this guide for more info, but install LottaNZB for your client instead— they’re working to replace HellaNZB with SABnzbd for their back-end.

APT Line: ppa:lottanzb/ppa
Click here to install or use the following command:

sudo apt-get install lottanzb
Although Miro can already handle torrent files, you probably want a dedicated BitTorrent client, and although Transmission can do the job, you might want something a little more comprehensive. I’m sure you’ll find that Deluge is a feature complete yet lightweight application.
APT Line: ppa:deluge-team/ppa
Click here to install or use the following command:
sudo apt-get install deluge

Time Managment

Alarm Clock

If you keep your computer on at all times and want to toss out your boring alarm clock, or even if not, Alarm Clock provides a lot of nifty scheduling and alert options.

Click here to install or use the following command:

sudo apt-get install alarm-clock

Time Tracking

The Hamster Time Tracker applet helps you track and analyze how much time you spend on different tasks and activities with a graphical overview to make you feel bad for all that time you waste. It can only be installed through Synaptic or Terminal.

Click here to install or use the following command:

sudo apt-get install hamster-applet


Empathy Instant Messenger

Horray! Empathy is now included with Ubuntu, but if you want the latest version with additional features like geolocation and audio/video chat for MSN, you’ll need to add the Telepathy PPA to your software sources.

APT Line: ppa:telepathy/ppa


Gwibber is a cute little microblogging client for those of you who frequently use sites like Twitter,, Jaiku, Facebook, Digg, and more.

APT Line: ppa:gwibber-team/ppa
Click here to install or use the following command:

sudo apt-get install gwibber

Security & Privacy

On-The-Fly Encryption

Many people use TrueCrypt believing that it’s FOSS, but although the source code is available, it’s development is kept secret and it isn’t considered Free Software by the FSF nor Open Source by the OSI. ScramDisk for Linux (SD4L) is a great OTFE alternative that also supports TrueCrypt containers. Unfortunately, it is not yet included in the default repos, and there isn’t a PPA either, but you can download a .deb to install from their website.

VPN Access

If you’d like to make sure all of your internet traffic is encrypted and anonymous, you can pass it through a proxy by using a Virtual Private Network service like IPREDator. We can’t kill the music and movie industries if they can make money just by suing all of us!

Click here to install or use the following command:

sudo apt-get install network-manager-pptp

Onion Routing

If you don’t wan’t to pay $5 a month for a VPN like IPREDator but still want to be able to use the web anonymously, you can try The Onion Router, more commonly referred to as TOR, but it is significantly slower and requires additional setup. Although it was in the Ubuntu repos, the version in there was dangerously out-of-date it’s just been removed, so you need to use their repository.

APT Line: deb karmic main
Click here to install or use the following command:

sudo apt-get install tor tor-geoipdb


If you feel the need to have a firewall, Firewall configuration is a graphical front-end for Uncomplicated firewall (ufw).

Click here to install or use the following command:

sudo apt-get install gufw


You generally don’t need antivirus with Linux, but if you’d like to play it safe, you can install the ClamTK Virus Scanner, a graphical front-end to ClamAV.

Click here to install or use the following command:

sudo apt-get install clamtk

System Utilities

LiveUSB Creator

Optical storage disks like CD’s are inconvenient and get scratched up, so why put your installer on a USB instead? UNetbootin allows you to do just that, using any Linux or BSD distribution.

Click here to install or use the following command:

sudo apt-get install unetbootin


I don’t have any strong feelings as to which backup utility you should use, but i have learned the hard way that you should always have a backup. Back In Time should do everything you need.

Click here to install or use the following command:

sudo apt-get install backintime-gnome

Partition Editor

You can partition you other storage drives, your external hard drive, you USB drive, your iPod, and basically any other writable storage drive you can plug into your computer using the GNOME Partition Editor. It does the trick on Ubuntu installation disks, and it can sure do the trick elsewhere.

Click here to install or use the following command:

sudo apt-get install gparted

Virtual Machine

If you want to be a good user and get testing on the next version of Ubuntu, that’s 10.04 LTS, the Lucid Lynx, but you want to do it safely, get VirtualBox. There’s version that is fully open source (vboxgtk), but you’ll likely want the proprietary features too. It’s installable via Synaptic or Terminal.

APT Line: deb karmic non-free
Click here to install or use the following command:

sudo apt-get install virtualbox-3.0

64-bit Specific

Flash Player

The 32-bit flash player runs terribly on 64-bit systems, and if you don’t want to use Gnash, Adobe has released the only 64-bit version of Flash Player 10 for Linux! It currently isn’t in the repositories because it’s still in alpha, but it’s so much more stable than even the final 32-bit version. To install it, download the .tar.gz file at the bottom of this page:

Next, extract the file to your home folder; then just enter this into a terminal window:

sudo cp /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/

Windows Media Audio 9

I’ve looked and looked, and without the Fluendo GStreamer plugin there is no way for 64-bit Ubuntu to play WMA 9 files, and video files that use it will have no sound. You can purchase a copy from the Canonical Store, or download it illegally from The Pirate Bay:

Explore, Customize, Personalize!

Now it’s time to play around with all the new apps you have and make your desktop, well, yours. You can try experimenting with a cool panel-less desktop; you can experiment with all your new apps; you can try different themes and modify them in Appearance; you can set your preferred applications and explore all your system preferences. My desktop background comes is by David Revoy of Durian, now called Sintel, the Blender Foundation’s latest Open Movie Project.

Original Post :

How to Create a Ubuntu 9.10 Live USB from CD

Create a Ubuntu 9.10 Live USB Persistent Flash Drive from the running Live CD:  In the following tutorial, we explain how we installed Ubuntu 9.10 to a Flash Drive from the running Live CD. This Ubuntu USB Flash Drive creation process is accomplished using the built in USB Disk Creator (produced by the Ubuntu team). Upon completion, the persistence feature is utilized (via a casper-rw loopback block file) for saving changes on the fly and then restoring those changes on subsequent boots. Ubuntu is a Linux distribution created by Canonical Ltd

Speed Note: We did find that Ubuntu 9.10 boots super fast compared to Ubuntu 9.04 Live USB Flash Drive we created using the same process.

Ubuntu 9.10 Desktop Screenshot

Desktop of Ubuntu 9.10

Distribution Home Page: Ubuntu

Minimum Flash Drive Capacity: 1GB ( but use a 2GB or larger)

Persistent Feature: Yes

Ubuntu 9.10 USB Flash Drive creation via CD essentials

  • Working CD Drive and an Ubuntu 9.10 CD
  • 1GB or larger USB flash drive

Install Ubuntu to a Flash Drive via USB Creator:

  1. Download the Ubuntu 9.10 torrent, then proceed to download the ISO using your favorite torrent client and finally, burn the ISO to a CD
  2. Restart your computer, booting from the Live CD
  3. Insert a 1GB or larger USB flash drive
  4. Navigate to System > Administration > USB Startup Disk Creator: Launch the Ubuntu USB Startup Disk Creator
  5. Next, (1) Select the USB disk to use, (2) Select the option Stored in reserved extra space and adjust the slider to set capacity to use, (3) Click the Make Startup Disk button: Proceed to make your Ubuntu 9.10 USB Startup Disk
  6. A progress bar will indicate the progress of your USB Ubuntu installation:
    USB Ubuntu Installation progress
  7. Once the installation is complete, remove the CD, restart your computer and set your boot menu or BIOS to boot from the USB device

You should now be booting from your Startup Disk created USB Ubuntu 9.10 Flash Drive, automatically saving changes as you go to the casper-rw loop file.

Ubuntu Karmic Koala NBR on Asus EEE 901

The release of Ubuntu Karmic Koala is finally here.

Yesterday I downloaded both the desktop x86 & Netbook Remix ISO’s from the NZ mirror (all up took 10min – sweet bandwidth!) and pretty quickly burnt out the NBR CD and installed it onto the work Asus eee 901. 900mhz Celeron, 1GB ram, 4gb SSD + 16GB SSD.

Karmic works like a treat – everything ‘Just Worked’ – wireless supported (that worked in Linux Mint 7 & Ubuntu NBR 9.04 also), the web camera worked (didn’t in 9.04, but did in Mint with some fiddling), the netbook frontend’s icons work nicely this time as under 9.04 I had to do a kernel hack to get the acceleration out of the video card.

Very nice, very simple install with perfect results.

Well done Ubuntu!

My next attempt with Karmic will be when Mythbuntu release their next version based on 9.10 – can’t wait!

Codega 7 Full Version for Ubuntu, opensuse, mandriva free download

Codega like Wine is a specially designed software to runa many popular windows applications in Linux environment. Codega is the professional software for this purpose. It has support free updates and many benefits.

Codega 7 is the current version of Codega. To install on your system just follow these steps.

1) Go to and sign up for the free trial (you don’t have to pay just sign up or it won’t work).
2) Once signed up install the RPM/DEB/TGZ for your system.
3) Start up Cedega and let it update to the latest UI. Installing the engine will fail cause you haven’t paid
4) Install the Spore Trial
5) Copy the winex-7 folder to: ~/.cedega/.winex_ver
6) Profit

Download Codega 7 Fullversion

this file is include:

  • cedega-000133-1.i386.rpm658.52 KB
  • cedega-000133.tgz639.99 KB
  • cedega-mandriva-000133-1.i386.rpm658.56 KB
  • cedega-suse-000133-1.i386.rpm658.55 KB
  • WineX

DockbarX Available for Ubuntu Karmic

DockbarX, a taskbar with grouping and group manipulation with some “experimental” features compared to Docbark – great for replacing a Gnome panel, is now available for Ubuntu Karmic Koala. To install it, simply run the following commands in a terminal:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:dockbar-main
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install dockbarx 

Here is a video with DockbarX in action:

Please note that you don’t need to use Compiz to be able to run DockbarX. You can just use Metacity Compositing Manager.

Enable Horizontal Scrolling and Disable Touchpad in Karmic Koala

Karmic Koala makes it very easy to customize touchpad and therefore makes it more useful. Now you can disable touchpad while typing to avoid your cursor jumping all over the place and/or enable horizontal scrolling with just few clicks. Believe me I’ve tried to disable my touchpad while typing in Jaunty and it involves editing files that’s hard to pronounce. So lucky for all of us, it’s far easier now, no editing (and magic spell) required.

  • go to System -> Preferences -> Mouse
  • then go to touchpad tab,
  • here you can find option to enable horizontal scroll, disable touchpad among other options.

That’s it. It’s more and more human in every release 🙂

10 Useful Things To Do After Installing Ubuntu 9.10


You’ve installed Ubuntu 9.10, now what? Here are my top 10 tips for getting a fresh install feeling your own…

1. Install Codecs, flash, Microsoft Fonts and DVD playback stuff

Ubuntu cannot – for legal reasons– ship with a lot of popular media codecs, plug-ins and other useful bits and bobs. If they wanted to, they’d have to pay and thus so would you.

The snappily titled ‘Ubuntu-Restricted-Extras’ package gives you all of this – Adobe Flash for watching YouTube videos, Microsoft Core Fonts for viewing some sites properly, Java, MP3/M4A/ACC/ETC playback, .RAR extraction, pretty much most video codec’s one would likely need (.avi, .divx, .wmv, etc) and a ton more besides.

Installing all of this stuff is literally a click or so away: –

  • Open Ubuntu Software Centre
  • Search for ‘Ubuntu Restricted Extras’
  • Click install

If you don’t mind being using the terminal then simply enter: –

  • sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

Or for ultimate laziness just click the apt link below to be prompted to install: –

DVD Menu Navigation

To fully enable DVD Menu support you’ll have to get your hands dirty by opening a terminal and typing: –

  • sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/

…but that’s pretty much it!


2. Install your Graphics Card Drivers

Enabling your graphics card is really quite easy in Ubuntu. If you want to use the latest supported driver simply open up the Appearance menu and turn compiz on. This will prompt you to install any driver for your device that isn’t already installed.

3. Enable Compiz Desktop Effects

Everyone loves a bit of eye-candy and it can safely be said that Compiz Fusion (or whatever it’s calling itself these days) is the world leader is superfluous-come-useful desktop bling. For sure.


Whether you want the “Desktop Cube”, an OS X like Exposé or just some simple window animations enabling Compiz is quite easy! It already comes pre-installed so you just need to turn it on!

Open the Appearance window

  • System > Preferences > Appearance
  • Select ‘Desktop Effects’ Tab
  • Check either ‘Normal’ Or ‘Extra’

If you don’t have your graphics card drivers installed Ubuntu will, at this point, search for available ones and install them.

Tweaking Compiz

If the default “options” don’t give you all what you want, you can tweak every aspect of Compiz to your liking.

Want to draw fire on the screen? Want to set Exposé to a ‘hot corner’? All of this and about a million further options/effects can be sorted through the Compiz Config Manager.

  • Open Ubuntu Software Centre
  • Search for compiz-config
  • Install

You can now tweak/enable/go mad with Compiz settings via: –

  • System > Preferences > Compiz Config

If you only want to use the “main” options such as the cube, wobbly windows and window animations you may prefer only install the aptly named “Simple Compiz Config Manager”.

It’s a cinch to use.

  • Open Software Centre
  • Search for Simple Compiz
  • Install

4. Get More Themes!

Open up the appearance menu by going to:

  • System > Preferences > Appearance

Here you will find a selection of themes to choose from – including the gorgeous dust theme.

For a wider selection of well designed themes install the community themes package. This will give you some gorgeous new ones

View aaaassseeefsfer52345345Install Community Themes

5. Get GNOME Do

GNOME Do is somewhat hard to explain unless you’ve tried it – but it’s best described as an intelligent and instantaneous launcher; you hit a shortcut key, type a few letters of what you’re looking for and et voila! It finds it instantly and you’re on your merry way.


It has a raft of great plugins that further expand it’s useful-ness, too. You can find files and folder, search the web, post to twitter, send grand-ma an E-Mail… In fact if you can think of it there is more than likely is a plug-in for it!


The most popular ‘mode’ for Gnome Do is the ‘Dock’ interface. You enable it via the preference menu of GNOME Do. It works in the same was as Do only in a Dock-like interface.

It also comes with some very very neat docklets – such as Weather, Trash, Battery & a GMail notifer.


6. Ubuntu Tweak (It makes your life easier!)

“Ubuntu Tweak is an application designed to config Ubuntu easier for everyone.” yells the official spiel on the official website and it couldn’t be truer!


It adds a ton of extra repositories to your system (such as the Chromium Browser, Banshee Development version, Gwibber daily, etc), it gives you –safe- cleaning options (unlike Computer Janitor which can literally hose your system), allow you to set preferred applications for each individual file type, quickly and easily enable some awesome nautilus scripts and even lets you change the ‘ubuntu logo’ in the panel menu!  And this is only a brief over-view…


  • Select the correct .deb file for your system (i386 = 32bit, amd64 = 64bit (inc. intel 64bit)
  • Double click it
  • Install

Download Ubuntu-Tweak

Once you’ve installed it head straight to the Application section and enable some PPA’s and install some awesome applications!

Check out: –

7. Change The Panel Clock Appearance

The default clock set up is, quite frankly, lame. You can turn it into something of beauty with a few basic tweaks.

Run gconf-editor

  • (ALT+F2 > gconf-editor)

Open up

  • apps> panel> applets> clock_screen*> prefs

* this may be called something else; open up any applet until you see the correct ‘values’ in the right-hand screen.

  • Double click on the format value and change it to ‘custom’

Then paste one of the ‘styles’ below into the custom_format field.

Humanity Style

This clock style matches the humanity panel set-up nicely.


  • <sup><span rise=”3000″ font_desc=”Droid Sans 7.5″ color=”#878787″ weight=”normal”>%a %d %b</span></sup>%n<sub><span font_desc=”Droid Sans 7.5″ color=”#878787″ weight=”bold”>%I:%M %p</span></sub>

Time Style


This one is great for netbooks.

  • <span size=”smaller” color=”#c8c8c8″>% a% d% b </ span> <b>% H:% M </ b>

8. Install a Twitter Client

Gwibber is the preferred choice of Twitter client for Ubuntu. Supporting a ton of social network and services from twitter, facebook to flickr, flyakite and Digg.


You can easily keep up-to-date with your social network services – reply, tweet, message, post etc. It even integrates with the messaging applet on the main gnome panel, too!

You can install Gwibber by clicking on the apt-link below: –

For a choice of other Twitter clients check out my review of 6 top twitter apps.

9. Empathy Vs Pidgin Vs Everyone

If the default messaging application ‘Empathy’ doesn’t do it for you, there are lots of other choices.

The previous default IM client ‘Pidgin’ is still a very worthy choice and although it can’t support webcam over MSN like Empathy it does come with an awesome plug-in framework allowing you to add to functionality and features  to Pidgin.

You can add Facebook chat, now playing status updates, twitter, extra smilies, interface tweaks and more.

Install Pidgin

Why not check out my top 5 plug-ins’ for Pidgin.


Emesene 1.5 is a solid choice for MSN users. Not only does it resemble MSN looks-wise, it is feature full! It supports, among the “usual” features you’d find,: –

  • Webcam Sending/Receiving
  • Nudges
  • Winks
  • Now Playing
  • Facebook Integration (via the facebook plugin)
  • Themes

Install Emesene

10. Enjoy using it!

Forget about finding new apps or tweaking some part of Karmic for an hour or so and just use Ubuntu like anyone else would.

Browse the net, chat on Pidgin, type up that letter in OOo and listen to something awesome in Rhythmbox and enjoy the awesomeness of Ubuntu 9.10.

(That was cheesy, wasn’t it?)