Ubuntu Software Center

Listening to the Ubuntu UK podcast one thing really caught my attention 15 minutes into it. They’re talking about the Software Center, which is a new feature in the Karmic release. I’ve tried this myself in the Karmic beta, and it’s a good idea to try to unify what was previously a couple of different programs in order to simplify the user interface and add extra abilities, such as screen shots and user reviews. According to the Canonical guy after version 3 they will start selling “commercial software”, which is confirmed on the Wiki.

It’s unclear what “commercial software” means in this context, other than you’ll pay for it. Usually this means closed source, proprietary software where the source code is not available for independent scrutiny. If Canonical are planning to introduce blatantly proprietary applications into what is (very) arguably the flagship free operating system this will be quite a turnaround for them, and it would leave a doorway clearly wide open to all the worst aspects of software which runs on Windows, such as:

  • Spyware
  • Disableware
  • Adware
  • Licence serial numbers (a real pet hate of mine)
  • Freeware containing an undisclosed malware payload
  • Ransomware
  • Digital Restrictions Management (DRM)
  • EULAs which give the end user no rights whatever
  • Forced software updates
  • Nag screens

In short most of the reasons why I really wanted to get away from using Windows. Also increased use of closed source software inevitably means computer viruses and the abject horror of the “security circus”.

Of course there is already a certain amount of proprietary software within Ubuntu, in the form of drivers and codecs (the “bad” and “ugly” packages), but this had so far been considered a necessary evil and the need for these has been slowly reducing over time.

So we’ll just have to wait and see what happens with the Ubuntu Software Center. In the worst case it could spell the end for the popularity of that particular distro, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be this way. One thing which would be a good addition, facilitating commerce but avoiding the negative aspects of proprietaryness, would be to add some feature to the user interface which allows you to make a donation to your favourite FOSS projects. If donating was very easy and simple I expect that more people would do it, and Canonical could take some percentage to sustain their own operations. A smart way to do it might be to monitor how many times an application is used, and then suggest donations to those projects, or have a generic donation value which is then automatically split up depending upon application usage history.

Ubuntu 9.10 Beta Review

I have wanted to try Linux for a while now. I found an old laptop at our house, so that became the victim of my OS tests. After burning the image to a cd, I booted up the old laptop to see what happened (after putting in the cd). The great thing is how easy it is to use. When I tried Fedora on my current laptop, I ran it off of a USB drive. With that, I had to push the button for setup really fast before the computer started up Vista. With the Ubuntu cd, it automatically started with Ubuntu as the OS. I tried it for a few minutes, and I loved what I saw. I installed it almost right away. I was a bit frustrated however, because when I ran Ubuntu off of the cd, it said there were drivers I could install for my wireless card and video card. On the cd, it required a password, a  password that I didn’t have. After guessing everything from ubuntu to password, I gave up and installed it thinking, I will just make my own password when I install it and then I will be able to get on the internet. But when I installed the operating system, the drivers disappeared. Anyway, back to Ubuntu itself. It comes preloaded with a bunch of freeware (I believe that most of them are open source), plus an app store which had many more programs that could suit just about anyone’s need.

Performance was OK, it was faster than windows xp, but slower than fedora. Fedora may have been faster because it was on my fast laptop, but I don’t care. Fedora seemed more state-of-the-art, and Ubuntu seemed to be geared towards user-friendliness (don’t worry, Fedora is also user-friendly, and ubuntu also has some fresh features). The interface is very nice, although it is the same interface as most other Linux distributions. I wasn’t able to do a lot with ubuntu because I couldn’t get on the internet, which didn’t let me use a lot of the programs or download programs from the app store (the name is misleading, all the programs in the app store are free). It seems that Fedora 11 is doing very well if it can compete with (and beat) Ubuntu’s new release. Since, I couldn’t access the internet, I took the time to test all the games. They are very fun, much better than vista’s, only because they have a wider variety. THe games also have great help sections which help you understand what you are trying to do in the game. Windows games had a tendency to be very complex in their simplicity. All in all, ubuntu is a very nice OS. As with other Linux distros, if the installation/configuration process was simpler and it wasn’t as big of an adjustment (in other words, if a non-nerd can do it) then linux would probably become the Firefox of operating systems (with Firefox, it is one of the most popular browsers, but the silent majority still uses internet explorer).

Summary:

The Good

  • User friendly installation/user friendly in general
  • Nice user interface makes features easy to find
  • App store helps you find the program you are looking for, without having to google it

The Bad

  • Driver support could be better
  • I would have liked to see more new features incorporated
  • Difficult for a non-nerd to switch/adjust (although this applies to Linux in general)

So there is my review of Ubuntu 9.10 Beta! The final version is released on the 29th of this month.

If you have anything to say, comment about it!

Ubuntu 9.10 and MythTV

Updater tool isn’t really consequent about updating my machine, making me check updates again after installing them over and over again.
The overall performance of the machine, bootup times etc are great, but when loading Gnome, it always freezes when gathering my deskbar icons and settings, so there must be something wrong.
FPM2, the password manager I love and use, doesn’t “copy” the passwords anymore, making me have to ‘edit’ the entry, let it display the password, select and Ctrl-Ins it to copy it and use it in another application…
Firefox is version 3.5 by default now, but Astaro pre 7.5 firewall Config GUI’s have an issue with their drag-’n-drop functionality with 3.5, so I needed to get it out and install 3.0 again, which ran quite OK.

Now the best part is: I just received a ‘partial upgrade’ notification, letting me know MythTV has an upgrade waiting to 0.22… Nice!!!

I’ll be testing it with my 0.21 backend, and maaaaaybe, if I feel very lucky and adventurous, I might install it on the backend machine I have running here too…
I’ll keep you posted on my findings and the new things I find in 0.22 that are really worth mentioning!.

Mythtv is still advancing, though it took a while before 0.22 really got usable, it seems, but hey! I’m patient, I know they’re working hard to make it the best Media Center Software solution there is.
Keep up the good work! MythTV rocks!

Installing TOR in Ubuntu Karmic

Instead of adding an Ubuntu repository, add a Debian repo. For Karmic Koala, add the Sid repository and get the key:

sudo sh -c 'echo deb "http://deb.torproject.org/torproject.org sid main" >> /etc/apt/sources.list'
gpg --recv 74A941BA219EC810
gpg --export --armor 74A941BA219EC810 | sudo apt-key add -

Now you’ll be able to successfully installing TOR in Ubuntu Karmic:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install tor tor-geoipdb privoxy

Update: Alternatively, there is also an Launchpad PPA for Tor:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:sevenmachines/tor

How to Installing Apache 2.2.11 with Weblogic 10.3 on 64 bit Ubuntu 9.04

To install Apache 2.2.11 on Ubuntu 9.04 64 bit and make it work with Weblogic 10.3 please follow the below steps. The post walks through the steps that I followed, the problems that I faced and the solutions ( er..hacks) to get them resolved.

Installing Apache

  • Is simple do

sudo apt-get install apache2

If you want to build it from sources then follow these steps.

  • Once you have installed apache2 then the installation happens at the following locations in Ubuntu

Apache config files are in /etc/apache
Apache log files are in /var/log/apache
Apache libs are in /usr/lib/apache
Other files can be in /usr/share/apache, /var/lib/apache
executables in /usr/sbin apache and apache2ctl

  • Now to start apache execute the following

stev@stev-laptop:/usr/sbin$ sudo apache2ctl start

  • Note that the server is started as a root, else you might get the following error

(13)Permission denied: make_sock: could not bind to address 0.0.0.0:80
no listening sockets available, shutting down
Unable to open logs

You should be able to access the default page on http://localhost now and see It Works!

Now, Integrating with Weblogic


  • Download the apache plugins for weblogic 10.3 from the following location

http://download.oracle.com/otn/bea/weblogic/server103/server103_apacheplugins.zip

  • Unzip the contents and select the mod_wl_22.so file from the location

<apache-plugin-unzip-location>linux/x86_64

  • This file needs to be loaded the following location

/usr/lib/apache2/modules

  • to test whether the file is valid or not do ldd

stev@stev-laptop:/usr/lib/apache2/modules$ ldd mod_wl_22.so
linux-vdso.so.1 =>  (0×00007fff02ffe000)
libstdc++.so.5 => /usr/lib/libstdc++.so.5 (0×00007f5cfaaff000)
libm.so.6 => /lib/libm.so.6 (0×00007f5cfa87a000)
libgcc_s.so.1 => /lib/libgcc_s.so.1 (0×00007f5cfa661000)
libc.so.6 => /lib/libc.so.6 (0×00007f5cfa2ef000)
/lib64/ld-linux-x86-64.so.2 (0×00007f5cfafc5000)

  • You might notice that some file like in my case libstdc++.so.5 => was not found!

-bash-3.00$ ldd mod_wl_22.so
libstdc++.so.5 => not found
libm.so.6 => /lib64/tls/libm.so.6 (0×0000002a9572f000)
libgcc_s.so.1 => /lib64/libgcc_s.so.1 (0×0000002a958b5000)
libc.so.6 => /lib64/tls/libc.so.6 (0×0000002a959c3000)
/lib64/ld-linux-x86-64.so.2 (0×000000552aaaa000)

  • Goto the synaptic package manager, search and install this file.
  • Now create a weblogic.load file with the following contents

LoadModule weblogic_module /usr/lib/apache2/modules/mod_wl_22.so

  • and put it at the following location

/etc/apache2/mods-enabled

  • You can also create a weblogic.conf file with the following contents at the same location

<Location /medrec>
SetHandler weblogic-handler
WebLogicHost 127.0.1.1
WebLogicPort 7011
</Location>

This would help in redirecting a request like http://localhost/medrec to the weblogic server running on 127.0.1.1 and at 7011 port with the application name medrec.

  • Restart Apache

stev@stev-laptop:/usr/sbin$ sudo apache2ctl restart

  • Check whether the weblogic_module has been loaded successfully or not

stev@stev-laptop:/usr/sbin$ apache2 -t -D DUMP_MODULES
apache2: Could not reliably determine the server’s fully qualified domain name, using 127.0.1.1 for ServerName
Loaded Modules:
core_module (static)
log_config_module (static)
logio_module (static)
mpm_worker_module (static)
http_module (static)
so_module (static)
alias_module (shared)
auth_basic_module (shared)
authn_file_module (shared)
authz_default_module (shared)
authz_groupfile_module (shared)
authz_host_module (shared)
authz_user_module (shared)
autoindex_module (shared)
cgid_module (shared)
deflate_module (shared)
dir_module (shared)
env_module (shared)
mime_module (shared)
negotiation_module (shared)
setenvif_module (shared)
status_module (shared)
weblogic_module (shared)

  • If you see the weblogic_module loaded fine then you have configured it correctly and can now access the application at

http://localhost/medrec/

  • To test whether the apache2.conf file is correct or not you can use

stev@stev-laptop:/usr/sbin$ apache2 -t
apache2: Could not reliably determine the server’s fully qualified domain name, using 127.0.1.1 for ServerName
Syntax OK

Other Potential Problem(s)

  • You may encounter the problem bad user name ${APACHE_RUN_USER}

this is because the value of ${APACHE_RUN_USER} is not getting picked up. Ideally it should be picked up from /etc/apache2/envvars

which has the following entries

# envvars – default environment variables for apache2ctl

# Since there is no sane way to get the parsed apache2 config in scripts, some
# settings are defined via environment variables and then used in apache2ctl,
# /etc/init.d/apache2, /etc/logrotate.d/apache2, etc.
export APACHE_RUN_USER=www-data
export APACHE_RUN_GROUP=www-data
export APACHE_PID_FILE=/var/run/apache2.pid

However, still in your case if these values are not picked up then goto the /etc/apache2/apache2.conf file and make the following changes

# These need to be set in /etc/apache2/envvars
# User ${APACHE_RUN_USER}
# Group ${APACHE_RUN_GROUP}
User www-data
Group www-data

  • The weblogic.load file is not read for some reason and hence the weblogic_module is not loaded

Make an entry in the httpd.conf file at the following location

/etc/apache2/httpd.conf

and enter the LoadModule and other configuration data in this file

LoadModule weblogic_module /usr/lib/apache2/modules/mod_wl_22.so

<Location /medrec>
SetHandler weblogic-handler
WebLogicHost 127.0.1.1
WebLogicPort 7011
</Location>

There is an entry in the apache2.conf file to include the httpd.conf file, hence the changes of httpd.conf would get loaded

# Include all the user configurations:
Include /etc/apache2/httpd.conf

Author :  Vikas Hazrati

Vikas Hazrati

Fix for Karmic Koala 64 bit Flash Plugin – patshead.com Blog

upgraded my laptop to the 64 bit Ubuntu Karmic Koala beta yesterday. For me, Flash was very broken…

The 32 bit Plugin

Ubuntu defaults to installing the 32 bit Adobe Flash plugin and runs it under nspluginwrapper. When I run the plugin this way it will not accept mouse clicks properly. This seems to be a known issue. The bug reports make it sound like disabling compiz fixes this… I don’t run compiz, I run the Sawfish window manager. I tested Metacity and it works just fine.

The 64 bit Plugin

Next I tried disabling the 32 bit plugin so that it would use the 64 bit plugin that I already had installed in my .mozilla directory. Mouse clicks worked… Unfortunately it was crashing constantly. I couldn’t even load gmail without crashing Firefox.

Is it Firefox’s Fault?

I have both Firefox 3.0 and 3.5 installed. Both were just as crash happy. I was hoping it would be as simple as blaming Firefox 3.5…

Firefox in a Jaunty chroot

I had a 64 bit jaunty chroot environment already sitting on my hard drive. It only took a few commands and a little waiting before I had Firefox and the 64 bit Flash plugin from Adobe installed in the chroot. It ran perfectly.

I compared the output of ldd libflashplayer.so from inside and outside the chroot. One extra library was showing up in the chroot, libresolv.so.2.

How to Fix It

Just install the libadns1 package:

sudo apt-get install libadns1

That fixed it for me. As always, your mileage may vary!

Dropbox In Ubuntu Karmic Koala ~ Web Upd8

Yesterday I made a clean install of Ubuntu Karmic Koala on my PC (btw it’s the first clean install since Gutsy) and since I synchronize my Firefox profile with Dropbox, the first thing I needed to do was to make Dropbox work with Ubuntu Karmic Koala beta (9.10). The Dropbox .deb files or the Ubuntu repository do not wotk in Karmic so I had to compile it (thanks to erikoo for the how-to), but don’t worry, it only takes about 1 minute. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Download the latest Dropbox .tar.gz source files (direct link) and unpack it.

2. Install libnautilus-extension-dev libnotify-dev and python-docutils:

sudo apt-get install libnautilus-extension-dev libnotify-dev python-docutils

3. Go to the folder where you unpacked Dropbox (at step 1) and run the following commands in a terminal:

./configure
make
sudo make install

4. After installing Dropbox, restart Nautilus:

killall nautilus

Then press Alt + F2 and type: nautilus

Now go to Applications > Internet and you should see Dropbox listed there.

Dropbox In Ubuntu Karmic Koala ~ Web Upd8

I made a clean install of Ubuntu Karmic Koala on my PC (btw it’s the first clean install since Gutsy) and since I synchronize my Firefox profile with Dropbox, the first thing I needed to do was to make Dropbox work with Ubuntu Karmic Koala beta (9.10). The Dropbox .deb files or the Ubuntu repository do not wotk in Karmic so I had to compile it (thanks to erikoo for the how-to), but don’t worry, it only takes about 1 minute. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Download the latest Dropbox .tar.gz source files (direct link) and unpack it.

2. Install libnautilus-extension-dev libnotify-dev and python-docutils:

sudo apt-get install libnautilus-extension-dev libnotify-dev python-docutils

3. Go to the folder where you unpacked Dropbox (at step 1) and run the following commands in a terminal:

./configure
make
sudo make install

4. After installing Dropbox, restart Nautilus:

killall nautilus

Then press Alt + F2 and type: nautilus

Now go to Applications > Internet and you should see Dropbox listed there.

OMG! UBUNTU!: Karmic Koala Beta Released

he first and only Beta release of Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala will be available for download later on today – exactly one month before the final release is due on October 29th.

newbeta

Alpha No Hable Ingles

If you’re already running the Alpha of Karmic then there is no need to reinstall using the beta; using the alpha with all updates thus far is pretty much the beta in all but name. You’ll be able to upgrade to some newer packages etc available with the beta through update manager. And it’ll be a small download too!

Beta to Final Release

UbuntuForums moderator 23meg has this helpful advice on beta to final: –

When you install the beta, and just keep upgrading your packages until the final release, you’ll have the final release; you don’t have to reinstall it. But you may want to, in the case that you may be affected by potential unforeseen corner cases that may require a fresh install to fix.

Also

The ‘read before testing’ thread on the Ubuntu Forums is a great starting point for anyone new to development branch testing, arriving at the beta. Check it out @ http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1279128

Download

Download images are available on the link below: –

all variants Can I use ext4 on hardy Ubuntu Forums

Hi… I am currently using LinuxMint 5 (based on the might Hardy Heron) and I have aquired a hdd formatted in ext4 with some data I would like to upload to my computer. I can’t seem to access the drive what so ever.

my sudo fdisk -l for the drive looks like:

Code:
Disk /dev/sdc: 500.1 GB, 500107862016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 60801 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x00019e6a

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdc1               1       60801   488384001   83  Linux

Trying to open the hdd I get:

Code:
Cannot mount volume
The volume 'Videos' uses the ext4 file system which is not supported by your system.

Gparted is being of no help either.

MoBo: AMD AM2 690G / CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ / Mem: 2GB DDR2
Vid: ATI Radeon X1250 / Sound: 6 Channel High Definition Audio
Disp: Dell SE198WFP 19 inch Flat Panel Display
HDD: 250gb internal, 149gb external / OS: Linux Mint 5 Elyssa (Gnome)

Solution:

After using bootable usb key with Jaunty and did the switcharoo is solved the problem.