Tag Archives: Ubuntu

[HOWTO] Install Firefox 4 in Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx and 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

Firefox 4 has been released recently and it is not available via update manager in Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx and 10.10 Maverick Meerkat. The Ubuntu Mozilla Daily Build PPA provides it but it always the latest daily build and not the stable version.

For stable version, you can use Firefox Stable PPA. To install the PPA in Lucid or Maverick, just launch Synaptic (System>Administration>Synaptic Package Manager) and then go to Settings>Repositories>Other Software. Now click Add and paste in the following:

ppa:mozillateam/firefox-stable

Close the Repositories window and then click reload. When it is done, search for firefox-4.0-gnome-support and mark it for installation. It should mark other required packages. Apply and wait for installation to finish.

Ubuntu to become a rolling release distro

UPDATE: Rick Spencer, Ubuntu Desktop Development Team Lead, wrote in his blog:

Ubuntu is not changing to a rolling release. We are confident that our customers, partners, and the FLOSS ecosystem are well served by our current release cadence. What the article was probably referring to was the possibility of making it easier for developers to use cutting edge versions of certain software packages on Ubuntu.This is a wide-ranging project that we will continue to pursue through our normal planning processes.

The Register, OMG Ubuntu, Webupd8, Ostatic and a few other sites that feature articles about Ubuntu have recently posted articles regarding Ubuntu becoming a rolling release distro. However, it has not been officially announced, there has been quite a buzz.

Ubuntu has started as a release-cycle-based distro, in that a new version is rolled out every 6 months (and not daily). However, for a desktop based distro, it is not unrealistic to think the possibilities of a rolling release type distro considering the fact that it has been difficult to get the latest and greatest software in old Ubuntu installations. Currently, that either has to be done manually or via PPAs or it is not even possible in some cases due to dependency hell. Linux Mint has taken a step recently to explore this possibilities by launching Linux Mint Debian Edition, which is a rolling release type distro based on Debian testing.

When I used Ubuntu, I used to try and get the latest software by using daily builds or alpha/beta releases with a lot of PPAs, which made it almost like a rolling release – updated but unstable linux installation with a lot of manual work involved, just for maintaining the OS and of course the need to download latest versions of applications daily. This is what I have to do with Debian anyways, so I recently moved to Debian testing to see how it works.

Making Ubuntu a completely rolling release based distribution would make it either unstable or it will have to give up on latest software anyways and only let tested and stable software for upgrades. Both of these will mean that Ubuntu will either be unsuitable for Enterprise use or stale for Desktop use.

One option will be to start an unstable branch for Ubuntu which will be a rolling release and will contain the latest and greatest software and another testing branch, also a rolling one, which will have software which has been passed from unstable but still might have issues and a different branch for Enterprise use. Enterprises will also need that their software will not be changed on updates. So, they will need fixed release cycles for Enterprise Editions anyways. So, Canonical could decide to release Ubuntu stable versions every few years or so. Debian does this in a similar way. They could of course choose different names for the branches; something like Ubuntu Current, Ubuntu Standard and Ubuntu Enterprise version X (codename Y). They could also use animal names for the same, as they currently do.

However, I think there are better ways to do things so that the users are given a choice. That can be done by releasing standard editions at longer intervals. The base system shall be released every few years (like they release LTS) and it will have a standard softwares suitable for Enterprise use.  Ubuntu-base could consist of linux kernel, drivers and other base packages which will not get upgrades but only critical fixes. All other softwares will have their own PPA like repositories, which can either be maintained by Canonical or by software developers themselves. When a newer version upgrade is available for a software, users can be prompted to either stay with the current version or upgrade to the newer version. If a user chooses to stay with the current version, the users repositories for the software remains the same and the user will continue getting minor updates and bug fixes for the same unless the support ends. If a user chooses to upgrade, the repository for that particular software is changed and the older software is replaced with the newer one (with a choice to either remove the older version or to keep it). If the user wants development version of the package, the user may manually choose to upgrade to development version. Also, the user must be able to downgrade to the previous version without any problems.

This approach will fulfill the users needs. On a Enterprise front, the administrator may choose not to upgrade to the latest version, for stability and consistency. However, a casual home user may want to explore the latest version and may install it. A developer or a geek may choose to install development version too.

There might however be problems with this approach too. The problem is when it comes to libraries. If an application depends on one version of a library and the other depends on another version of the same, they may not co-exist. However, a workaround is to name the libraries with version names. That way, multiple versions of the same library can be installed. If this is allowed, multiple version of the same application can be installed too.

All of this is already possible with apt, so it can be done if they wish to. However, it will require a complete overhaul, it could be worth it.

[SOLVED] Falling back to the standard locale (“C”).

In Ubuntu 8.04 Server, I was getting these messages every now and then:

perl: warning: Setting locale failed.
perl: warning: Please check that your locale settings:
	LANGUAGE = (unset),
	LC_ALL = (unset),
	LANG = "en_US.utf8"
    are supported and installed on your system.
perl: warning: Falling back to the standard locale ("C").
locale: Cannot set LC_CTYPE to default locale: No such file or directory
locale: Cannot set LC_MESSAGES to default locale: No such file or directory
locale: Cannot set LC_ALL to default locale: No such file or directory

To solve this, I just had to install language pack:

apt-get install language-pack-en-base

If this does not solve the problem, you may as well try:

dpkg-reconfigure locales

Hope this helps.

[HOWTO] Configure remote connection to MySQL database server

I recently got a Ubuntu 8.04 Dedicated Server and wanted to move the database of one of my websites from my web host to the Dedicated Server while keeping the website in the web host. To do so, you must make sure you can connect to remote databases from your web host to the Dedicated Server (or VPS).

First, I exported the database from my web server into a .sql.gz file. You can choose .sql too. Then, I created a database (lets call it newdb) in the remote server using phpmyadmin (if you don’t have phpmyadmin, you can install it in your dedicated server) and imported the database.

Now we move on to the remote privilege part. Login to your Dedicated Server via ssh. We will need to edit my.cnf (the MySQL configuration file) to make the mysql server bind to the IP of the Dedicated Server, not localhost or 127.0.0.1. We do that by typing in:

nano /etc/mysql/my.cnf

I use nano as my text editor, you may use vi or whatever text editor you want. Also, my.cnf is in /etc/mysql/my.cnf, yours might be /etc/my.cnf.
Now, scroll down until your find

[mysqld]

Just a few lines below, you will find a line containing:

bind-address            = 

That line may be commented (with a # in the beginning) or may have localhost or 127.0.0.1 as bind-address. We do not want that. We want the IP of our dedicated server. Lets say it is 67.67.67.67, so the new line should look like:

bind-address            =  67.67.67.67

Save the file. If using nano, just press Ctrl+O and Enter. Press Ctrl+X to exit. If using vi, press Esc and type :w to save and :q to quit.
Restart the mysql server by using the following command.

/etc/init.d/mysql restart

Now, fire up mysql:

mysql -u username -p

Enter password when asked. The username must be of an administrative user.
Now, lets switch to the database we created earlier with phpmyadmin:

use newdb

That should say:

Database changed

Now, we create a new user and allow it to connect to the database:

grant CREATE,INSERT,DELETE,UPDATE,SELECT on newdb.* to newuser@66.66.66.66;

where 66.66.66.66 is the IP of the web host. It can be found by pinging your domain. For example, if you have domain mydomain.com, you can simply do a:

ping mydomain.com

and find out the IP in terminal. It should give you something lie:

PING mydomain.com (66.66.66.66) 56(84) bytes of data.

Now, we set password for the user newuser. We do that by typing in:

set password for newuser@66.66.66.66 = password('mypassword');

Finally, we cleanup and exit mysql:

flush privileges;
exit;

Now, we are done. You can configure the website in the web host to connect to the database at your remote Dedicated Server with the following configuration (whatever applies to you):
database=newdb
username=newuser
host=67.67.67.67

References:
http://www.debian-administration.org/article/Adding_new_users_to_MySQL_Databases
http://www.debianhelp.co.uk/remotemysql.htm

[SOLVED] Media Playing issues in Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

I am using Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat 64bit Alpha 1 and I have been facing problem playing AVI and FLV files. I used to get the the following error “No suitable decoder module: VLC does not support the audio or video format “XVID”. VLC Unfortunately there is no way for you to fix this.”
in VLC when I tried to play some AVI files. Also, in terminal, it said:
“main decoder error: no suitable decoder module for fourcc `XVID’.
VLC probably does not support this sound or video format.”
Also, FLV files failed to play without any error. Totem said:
“No packages with requested plugins found. The requested plugins are: XVID MPEG-4 decoder/H.264 decoder”.

The problem was with libavcodec and libavutil. It can be fixed by removing all of libavutilxx (libavutil50, libavutil49, libavutil-extra-49, libavutil-extra-50) and reinstalling only what is required. This may also remove other packages (vlc for example, if you have it installed that is), so watch out but don’t install them immediately. Exit Synaptic. Now, if you want to fix totem, just open media with it. It should ask you for codecs, install them. Totem should start working. Install vlc later.

Hope this helps.

[HOWTO] Take care of PPAs after Distro upgrade to Development version

I recently upgraded to Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Alpha 64bit and as expected, the PPAs that I use have been disabled. When I enable them, I get 404 errors for most because they have not set up PPA for Maverick yet. But I need the packages, I need the updates to those packages.

To get them, all I need to do is edit them in Repositories > Other software. Here I just change maverick to lucid and then I can use and update those packages. If I later find that the maintainers have already set one up for Maverick, I can simply change lucid to maverick.

If you want to add a PPA that does not have a Maverick release, lets say deluge-team ppa which does not have packages for Maverick at the time of writing this, you can simply add ppa:deluge-team/ppa and then edit it to change maverick to lucid. That should do it.

This is not a recommended procedure but it works and has always worked for me.

Upgrade to Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat from 10.04 Lucid Lynx

Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Alpha has been available for download a few days back and I have decided to upgrade from Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx 64bit to 10.10. I’m sure there are no notable changes in the first alpha, but it is great to have it installed as changes are seen easy and I can help in development by reporting bugs and trying to fix some issues on my own.

To upgrade, I had to launch Synaptic and navigate to Settings>Repositories>Updates>Release Upgrade>Show new distribution releases>Normal Releases and then close the dialog and then update the package list. Run

update-manager -d

from the run dialog (Alt+F2) and in that box it says “New Upgrade release ‘10.10’ is available”, click on Upgrade and there we go.

[SOLVED] Adobe FlashPlugin Problem in Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx 64bit

[ad#ad-1]I had posted about flash plugin controls not working in Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala 64 bit here. I had moved to Ubuntu 32 bit for quite sometime and recently made a move back to Ubuntu 64 bit. I found the same problem with flash plugin controls in Ubuntu 64 bit. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. I haven’t found any specific patterns to when it does and when it doesn’t. If someone has, please do share.

In my previous post regarding the issue, I had suggested the installation of Adobe flash player 64 bit version from Adobe Labs website. The solution worked fine for me and it seems for most of the others, but the plugin was experimental and when someone needed to update, it was not available via repositories. It has been provided in a launchpad ppa repository currently which can be added by adding ppa:sevenmachines/ppa to Repositories in Synaptic, but it seems it is not updated as of now and the latest version available in the ppa is 10.0.45.2 while Adobe has already released version 10.1rc4. But since the latest version is not recognized by youtube, I think we should stay with the version in the repository.

Simply open up synaptic and navigate to Settings>Repositories>Other Software and click on Add. In the apt-line, enter ppa:sevenmachines/flash and close it. Then Click on the Reload button. Now, search for flashplugin64-installer, mark it for installation and click on apply.

When done, restart firefox and flash should run fine.

Please share your flash player 10 experience in Linux.

[VIEW] Ubuntu 10.04 Title Bar Buttons stay on the Left with changed order

[ad#ad-1] Here is a comment from Mark Shuttleworth on the bug
[Master] Window Control buttons: position/order/alignment :

Thank you to everybody who has participated in this discussion.

The final decision on window controls for 10.04 LTS is as follows:

– the window controls will remain on the left, however
– the order will change to be (from left) close, minimize, maximise

The decision is based on the view that putting the close button in the corner will be most familiar to many users, even if the particular choice of corner is not.

For the avoidance of doubt, this is not a comment dependent on the date 🙂

Our intent is to encourage innovation, discussion, and design with the right of the window title bar. We have some ideas, and others are already springing up in the community. We welcome participation on the Ayatana list, where those can play out. This will be a fruitful topic for the design track at UDS in Brussels in May.

This bug is now marked wontfix. Please focus ongoing participation on the opportunities for innovation that this opens up. The decision as to the window controls location and order itself is now final, and as they say in the old newspapers, no further correspondence will be entered into.

My Opinion
I think the idea of moving the buttons (maximize, minimize, close) to the left side was not a good idea in the first place. It contradicts with the default layout of GNOME DE (and hence almost all other distributions using GNOME) and does not provide any value (as of now). Also, doing this starting from an LTS release was not a good idea at all. It is not difficult to adapt to the changes (I already have adapted to the latest mac like changes) for someone who uses Ubuntu as the only OS, but since Ubuntu is widely used in PCs, alongside Windows, it will be difficult for a user to use Windows and Ubuntu. It is easy to have another layout (just by switching to a different theme or following my older post), but still it is not a good out of the box experience.
The other thing that concerns me here is that Shuttleworth said “Ubuntu is not democracy” and trying to turn into next Steve Jobs. Ubuntu is by far, the most popular Linux distribution, but with steps like this, it could turn around very easily.

What do you think?

[HOWTO] Install GIMP 2.7 (with Single Window Mode) on Ubuntu Lucid Lynx

[ad#ad-1]GIMP 2.7.1 added Single Window Mode and GIMP 2.7.x can now be installed via PPA. It is available here for Jaunty, Karmic and Lucid. I have Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx installed and I installed GIMP 2.7.3 unstable. Here is how you can do it, but if you use it for production, you might want to wait for final stable release.

GIMP 2.7 in Ubuntu
GIMP 2.7 in Ubuntu

Launch Synaptic Package Manager and click Settings>Repositories>Other Software and then Add

ppa:matthaeus123/mrw-gimp-svn

. Reload the software list and mark for upgrades. That will install GIMP 2.7 and you can enable the Single Window Mode by navigating to Window>Single Window Mode.