Saturday, December 14, 2013


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Jumping Jaunty

Installed Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope the day after my exams got over. Still figuring out the differences to previous versions. Here are some things that I noticed.

  • There have been changes in the notifications. But I prefer the previous method of showing system updates via an icon in taskbar rather than update window popping up every 5-10 mins.
  • The system boots up much faster than any other OS on ext4 file system. Recorded 40s in my AMD Sempron 1.8GHz /712MB system
  • There doesn't seem to be much difference in the looks, Gnome keeps it neat as usual.
  • One interesting new application is the computer janitor which is like a customizable apt-cache cleaner.
  • Most of my previous softwares work properly in this version. Had problems with APTonCD, but found a fix: aptoncd_0.1-1_all.deb for Jaunty.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Am I Blind

Sometimes you wonder how you simply don't see the obvious.. I'd wondered how they cook such names for every Ubuntu release. After announcing the name of 9.10 (9.04 not yet released), I got some help seeing how they come up with such names.
here's the list from the fourth release:

4. 6.06 Dapper Drake
5. 6.10 Edgy Eft
6. 7.04 Feisty Fawn
7. 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon
8. 8.04 Hardy Heron
9. 8.10 Intrepid Ibex
10. 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope
11. 9.10 Karmic Koala

See the pattern? The names are in alphabetic order from D to K. The names start with an adjective for the animal which is the second name. The releases in same year have same number and the value after decimal point is the month of release.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Tips of the day

1. Hidden files in linux start with '.'
Example: .Trash is the usual hidden trash folder name. Similarly .themes for the themes and so on.

2. Many files do not have non-administrative user access. You need to be root user to access those files. It might seem easier to sign in as root but not recommended (In ubuntu signing in as root is prevented by default which can be changed.)
So for root access in commands in terminal, type sudo before the command.
In case you have to access a graphical application, type gksudo
Eg. gksudo gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst to edit the menu.lst file

3. Having used Gnome, KDE and Xfce desktop environments in recent past, I got to learn some facts that might be useful while switching among them.
The file manager (program doing the same function as explorer.exe in Windows) in those desktop environments are:
Gnome - nautilus
KDE - dolphin
Xfce - thunar

The basic text editing softwares (corresponding to notepad in Windows) are:
Gnome - gedit
KDE - Kate
Xfce - mousepad

4. Opening the file manager with gksudo might be a good idea to open/edit or cut-copy-paste restricted-access files the graphical way
eg. gksudo nautilus

Monday, January 19, 2009

Backup your installed packages with APTonCD

Gone are the days when you fear to do another clean install of your Linux drive just 'coz you'll lose all the installed software. I've just stumbled upon a software that you'll be looking for once you've broken the system and wanna do a clean install.

First on, some history. Every time I get my hands on Ubuntu CD and install it, I begin a series of tweaking around. This goes on until someday I break the system upto the state of no recovery. Then I give up and don't turn back to linux for some time (maybe even months). Every time I've managed to extend the time for which the system can be rescued (which shows I'm improving on rescuing side :-). But the fact that each time I've to download all those apps that I love haunts me. That lead to the search of some software which could backup all the packages and from which I could retrieve them. The answer to it is APTonCD

APTonCD is a tool with a graphical interface which allows you to create one or more CDs or DVDs (you choose the type of media) with all of the packages you've downloaded via APT-GET or APTITUDE, creating a removable repository that you can use on other computers.
APTonCD will also allow you to automatically create media with all of your .deb packages located in one specific repository, so that you can install them into your computers without the need for an Internet connection.

Just awesome for someone with 1GB data limit for the net. The package in repository (the one available via synaptic) has some bug. It crashes while reading from repositories. A newer version is available at the following link
aptoncd 0.1.98-0ubuntu4 for Intrepid (doesn't work for Jaunty, link to newer working version is aptoncd_0.1-1_all.deb for Jaunty)

PS. I haven't tried reinstalling packages after backing up, but was able to successfully make a CD image containing backup of all my apps. Will update on how well it goes.

Update: The restoration process worked flawlessly. Took me some time to figure out how to make it work directly from the .iso image file. It should be loaded using aptoncd. Then the selected packages would be restored to the cache. So all you have to do is add select the 'add downloaded packages' option from synaptic and add the /var/cache/apt/archives/ folder. (That's where the apt-downloaded packages go before installation). If you burn it to a cd, you can restore the required softwares after adding the cdrom to repositories

For someone who loves keeping the desktop neat, here's mine:

Monday, January 12, 2009

My Desktop

Click to enlarge

Thought I'd upload how my desktop looks like now..

Customisation Details on Ubuntu 8.10 base:
Xfce desktop environment (Xfwm4 compositing window manager)
Gnome applications
Avant window-navigator (that's the dock at the bottom)
Tweaked a lot with themes (not sure how it's mixed up now:-)

All this in AMD Sempron 2800+ processor, no external graphic card, with 768MB of RAM including Integrated Graphics memory.

CPU usage around 50% and memory usage just 384MB with firefox and songbird running.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Installation Blues - 2

Installation from LiveCD is a breeze. In the newer versions of Ubuntu/Kubuntu (other distros are likely to have similar arrangement), there is an installation icon on the desktop. Just click it and off you go. Otherwise, the option to install would come up while booting with the CD inside.

One of the place where you might get caught up is the partition section. If you are installing it fresh onto a hard disk, there is nothing to worry. Just select the hard disk and everything will be done automatically. Select the manual option if you have to do other things like dual-boot or install the OS only onto a part of hard disk. If you are planning to dual boot, better free around 6GB or more disk space and partition it into a separate drive using Partition Magic or some other in Windows itself. I always have half of my 14 GB IDE hard disk (yes they did exist 10 years ago!) free for this purpose. XP goes into the other half.

Back to partitioning, after selecting manual option, you'll get to a window showing the partitioned drives. If you do not see any of the drives not listed, that's probably because you might have mounted some drive before starting installer. Better exit the installer, unmount all drives (right click and select unmount) and start all over again[1]. Once you reach the partition manager section and see that all drives are listed, you can start the partitioning. Delete the partition you intend to install OS onto. Various suggestions have been made about partitioning the drive. The most consistent one is to have a /home partition (1.5GB+), / partition (4GB+) and swap space (the size of your RAM is recommended). So once you have decided how to do the partitioning, go on to the next steps and finish installation. If everything has gone well, you'll see the grub menu after rebooting.

1. Getting stuck before LiveCD even boots properly.
Soln: the problem is likely with the graphics card not being properly supported by default.
Select the safe graphics mode in modes (F4) when the booting from CD menu comes up.

2. Grub not loading after installation.
Soln: This could happen in systems having two or more physical hard disks. The problem is that grub could be matching the hard disks in the wrong way. The workaround I found is to change the Hard Disk priority in BIOS. In my BIOS menu, I just changed the Hard disk order under boot menu and it worked. (went through a lot of trouble trying to find solution for this one..)

[1]: For those who found what I said confusing. This happens only when you are installing after trying out OS directly from LiveCD. If you try to access files on your computer while doing so, those drives would be mounted. The partition manager requires all the drives to be unmounted before partitioning work is done. Hence if you plan to install the OS onto your system, either do not access files that time or unmount all drives.