Archive for June, 2009

This stumped me. Low-budget computer with a fairly decent motherboard that has onboard graphics and I can’t get the most basic compositing on my Ubuntu Hardy? Surely there is a solution that doesn’t cost money? Well, if you need a compositing window manager in order to enable such things as the AWN dock and you can’t enable Visual Effects in Preferences > Appearance, don’t give up hope.

Metacity (Gnome’s default window manager) can do compositing, though it’s turned off by default. Hit alt-f2 and type “gconf-editor” and ENTER to launch the GConf editor. Under Apps > Metacity > General, put a check next to Compositing Manager and close the application.

You should find that you screen rebuilds and you can now activate AWN without having to buy a graphics card.

NOTE: In researching this, I found an alternative compositor or tool named xcompmgr which apparently provides basic compositing support and gcompmgr which is a GUI frontend. If anyone has tried comparing the two options, I would be interested in hearing from you. Metacity vs Xcomp Manager (xcompmgr)


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ASCII art in Ubuntu

888          8 8                       8    8 8                 w
 8  8d8b. .d88 8 .d8b. Yb  dP 8   8    8    8 88b. 8   8 8d8b. w8ww 8   8
 8  8P Y8 8  8 8 8' .8  YbdP  8b d8    8b..d8 8  8 8b d8 8P Y8  8   8b d8
888 8   8 `Y88 8 `Y8P'   YP   `Y8P8    `Y88P' 88P' `Y8P8 8   8  Y8P `Y8P8

There are two ASCII art viewers in the repostory. Aview and Cacaview. Both are CLI programmes, so you have to open a terminal. Exploring the world of ASCII art is very 1999, but the retro-adventure is well worth the time and effort. You’ll also find the venerable Lynx Browser, which is an ASCII browser for paper-thin net browsing, and a whole bunch of tools for generating ASCII images which could do with a brush up.

Try Cacafire a port of AALib’s aafire which displays burning ASCII art flames or the Cacademo. Wish there was an easier method for creating ASCII video. I can’t help thinking that there are lot of places which haven’t been explored in the world of Alphanumerics and ASCII art is about to enjoy a resurgence as a design statement.

If you want to cut to the chase, Jerome Desmoulins website has an online ASCII art generator.

Or even better Sporkforge.com

Install figlet if you want an easy way to create ASCII “figs” on the command line.

sudo apt-get install figlet
figlet <text>

None of the above would be possible without the Ubuntu Forum discussion on the subject

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31 of the 130 Ubuntu HOWTOS from Say Linux

  1. Unzip or Unrar Many Files at Once in Linux
  2. Track MySQL Queries with mysqlsniffer on Ubuntu
  3. Set Gmail as Default Mail Client in Ubuntu
  4. Fix “Password required” Error When Using Unrar in Ubuntu
  5. Add the Trash Can Icon to Your Ubuntu Desktop
  6. Hide Removable Drive Icons from Your Ubuntu Desktop
  7. Assign Custom Shortcut Keys on Ubuntu Linux
  8. Monitor Your Website in Real-Time with Apachetop
  9. Reinstall Ubuntu Grub Bootloader After Windows Wipes it Out
  10. Display Number of Processors on Linux
  11. Delete Files Older Than x Days on Linux
  12. Upgrading Ubuntu From Edgy to Feisty (6.10 to 7.04)
  13. Save 15 Keystrokes – Use Ctrl+Enter to Complete URL
  14. Installing Rainlendar2 on Ubuntu
  15. Install Samba Server on Ubuntu
  16. Share Ubuntu Home Directories using Samba
  17. Create a Samba User on Ubuntu
  18. Set Windows as Default OS when Dual Booting Ubuntu
  19. Change your Network Card MAC Address on Ubuntu
  20. Install MySQL Server 5 on Ubuntu
  21. Install MySQL Server 4.1 on Ubuntu
  22. Install Subversion with Web Access on Ubuntu
  23. Change the GRUB Menu Timeout on Ubuntu
  24. Show the GRUB Menu by Default on Ubuntu
  25. How to Customize Your Ubuntu Kernel
  26. Enable Remote Desktop (VNC) on Kubuntu
  27. Disable the System Beep on Ubuntu Edgy
  28. Disable the Login Sound on Ubuntu
  29. Install TrueCrypt on Ubuntu Edgy
  30. Keyboard Shortcuts for Bash ( Command Shell for Ubuntu, Debian, Suse, Redhat, Linux, etc)
  31. See What Updated Packages Are Available from Ubuntu Command Line

Rest available from Saylinux.com

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Stumbled across Everything Ubuntu quite by accident. The site appears to have been launched within the past two months and features a customised Google search engine as its main feature plus a handy page of very cool apps. Thanks to Everything Ubuntu, I found Digikam and Aptana. Now wouldn’t it be amazing if we had a visual universe of Ubuntu apps to feast our eyes on? A great interface so you can just point and click, before you decide what you want to apt-get from the repos, and install?

Great start to building a truly customised Ubuntu search

Great start to building a truly customised Ubuntu search

We love them, and want more!

We love them, and want more!

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Everybody Loves Eric Raymond - humourless take on Ubuntu Linux?

Everybody Loves Eric Raymond, is an irreverent often bizarre take on Linux. This is the fourth time Mark Shuttleworth has appeared in the cartoon which has all the sensibilities of a television soapie and even less humour.

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This is taken from Slack-Tux, Lazy Penguin, and is a HOWTO  by Chris Olstrom, thanks Chris.

One of the more irritating aspects of running a 64-bit distribution is that there are still a large number of applications that are not compiled as native 64-bit binaries. This leads to dependence on 32-bit libraries, and managing these 32-bit dependencies can be a nightmare. There is no shortage of users who have introduced more problems than they have solved by forcing the installation of 32-bit libraries.

Cappy has released a handy script to detect and install libraries and other dependencies for 32-bit applications on 64-bit Ubuntu GNU/Linux. Handy things it can do include fetching missing libraries either by name, and figuring out which ones are needed when presented with a given binary.

Note: This script makes use of the Debian package management system, and is unlikely to function properly on distributions that are not Debian-based.

Installing getlibs

Installation couldn’t be simpler. Download getlibs, and double-click the .deb package. If you download getlibs via Firefox, you should get an ‘Open with gdebi’ option or something equivalent. To install via commandline, try:

$ wget http://www.boundlesssupremacy.com/Cappy/getlibs/getlibs-all.deb
$ sudo dpkg -i getlibs-all.deb

Installing Libraries with getlibs

Usage is pretty straightforward. If you know the name of the library you need, you can feed it to getlibs, and it should fetch it.

$ sudo getlibs -l libogg.so.0 libSDL-1.2.so.0
Matched library libogg.so.0 to libogg0
Matched library libSDL-1.2.so.0 to libsdl1.2debian-all
Reading package lists… Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information… Done
libogg0 is already the newest version.
The following NEW packages will be installed:
0 upgraded, 1 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 213kB of archives.
After unpacking 20.5kB of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue [Y/n]?

Alternatively, provide getlibs with the location of a given binary, and it should figure out what is missing (if anything) and install it. For example, say the binary for Second Life was located at /opt/32/secondlife/secondlife.bin:

$ sudo getlibs /opt/32/secondlife/secondlife.bin

At which point it should match any libraries that are not currently installed and fetch them, assuming they are available (see above for output example).


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64bit is often poopooed by developers who wish it would simply go away, since it adds another dimension of complexity to the development process. Consequently you are bound to see posts that tell you 64bit support is not available. I found Issue335 at Code.Google.Com

James Duncan writes “I have been enticed to install Gears by the offline support in Gmail, Google Reader and WordPress, but was unable to easily find a current build to install. To save people trawling through the net, I have listed the builds available here.”

“The files are linked as XPI files, so a simple click on the links below should bring up the install dialogue. I will update this post as new versions come out.”

gears-linux-x86_64-opt-05210.xpi (Current as of 18/05/09)
gears-linux-opt-05110.xpi (2/Feb/09)
gears-linux-opt- (27/Jul/08)
gears-linux-opt- (18/Jun/08)
gears-linux-opt- (07/Mar/08)

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