Category Archives: Linux

All my Linux related posts

Exploring samaba shares in linpus

By default you can not browse samba shares in Linpus being based of XFCE there is no XFCE file browser that support samba, you can still doing it using a hack and fuse smb. ok so everything is done in command line so start with Alt+ F2 then type in xterm to get our command line.
sudo yum install fuse-smb
We then need to add our linpus user “user” to the fuse group
sudo usermod -a -G fuse user
We can check that this command worked with “id user”
Create a new folder in our home directory
mkdir samba
Mount fuse to our new directory you will also need to run this code every time you reboot.
fuse /home/user/samba

cd into the samba folder or open up thunar and navigate to the /home/user/samba folder and there should be your samba network.


Last night we had a another successful Linux Owners Group In Newcastle meeting

I gave a talk on the OLPC XO and sugar. Main point is that sugar is now available on Ubuntu/Debian/Fedora after my talk William talked to the group about bidding for the open source developers conference (OSDC) to take place in Newcastle.

Sugar on Toshiba and XO
Sugar on Toshiba and XO

Useful links:

Stuff on OSDC

I did struggle at the end of the meeting to explain to a linux newbie that he doesn’t really want to install a program from source… as he told me linux isn’t as easy as they say it is… I also no nothing about Mandrivia. We also discussed the inner circle and that too many of the LCA talks are repeats!

Random Ubuntu Support Calls

Ok it’s been an odd morning.

This morning i got a phone call on my home line from some old man wanting help with his ubuntu install, well more to the point is that he wanted to format ubuntu and start again.  After asking a couple of questions about what he wanted,  I told to format the drive and do a fix MBR in windows is probably abit more complex than he wants, and since he was dual booting that he should just continue to launch windows instead.

His orginal problem was he couldn’t get on the internet at the time, It didn’t click at the time when he said he was with optus that the reason he couldn’t get on the net is the weird way that optus modems are setup.

After talking to him for a while i finally got around to asking how he got my number because it was becoming more clear i didn’t know the guy.

Apparently he found my ubuntu wiki page and assume I could help him looked up my phone number in the address book since my last name isn’t very common my home (parents house) is the only listed number.

So this was the first time i’ve been rung by a 85 year old man wanting to know how to fix ubuntu. It was an odd experiance.

If how it all ended, was well I got over the slightly weird feeling told him to keep ubuntu there, since he mentioned he lived in Toronto (NSW) we exchanged email address and I sent him the link to Westlakes Linux Learners

Anyone else recieved random phone calls asking for linux help ???

Acer Aspire One

Christmas was very good to Gabz, he scored Wii controllers, remote control helicopters and of course what this post is about, a new netbook, namely a Acer Aspire One, Linpus 512 Mb Ram 8 Gb SSD.

Impressive Parts

  • Size, Weight and Keyboard.
    It’s small like you would expect but the keyboard is easier to type on that the XO olpc which is the only other netbook sort of thing I’ve gotten to play with. It’s really light weight and the battery is giving me 2.5 hours.
  • Boot time – Linpus got one thing right 14 second boot time from cold boot it also does hibernate but that isn’t really any slower than a cold boot.
  • 3G Modem support. If your 3G modem is made by Huawei (Optus, Vodafone or 3 ) then your in luck once you download the software from the acer site the Huawei modems work great. They even use the same software as you would under windows so you can still send those SMS messages. only extra step is making a new profile for your modem.

    Mobile Partner
    Mobile Partner
  • If the 8 Gb SSD Isn’t enough for you, you can expand with a SD Card they even merge the 2 drives together to appear as a single drive.
  • Also the webcam is builtin, the Mic is placed well and once you download Skype from the acer website it works great.
  • If you brought the extra USB DVD-RW like I was given you be pleased to know that under Linux you have DVD playback out of the box. Also the DVD-RW DL powers just from the USB port so no extra cables needed.

Unimpressive Parts

  • LINPUS ! – For starters it’s based on Red Hat (Fedora) being a Debian guy I find this to be a negative.
    Limited Range of Software, Acer isn’t supporting much they have an Acer game installed which is trial ware. Not really impressed that the full range of linux software isn’t easily available on this distro.
  • Security ok when you start linpus for the first time, you set the root password. Ok fair enough but there is no User password. Which is ok by it self. But guess what the user has no password but has Full SUDO rights ?! So if you ever want to change the root password on any linpus Acer try “sudo passwd”

    Root Password changing
    Root Password changing

Basically I’m very happy with this Netbook, and most of my problems will be solved in the coming weeks when I get Ubuntu on to this netbook. Though I would love a way to decrease the Ubuntu boot to the 15 second range.

Shutdown Icon on desktop (Gnome)

Ok after several thousand Google searches. credit to this post for having what i wanted

I finally found what i needed. the command to bring up the shutdown options in gnome.

I wanted to do what alot of other people have wanted to do is put a big arse shutdown button on the desktop for those computer users which can’t find the little one hidding in the right of your screen.

plenty of misleading post about a short cut to “sudo shutdown -h” but that’s not what I wanted.

gnome-session-save –kill

Is the magical code you need to make it work.

how to make the shortcut that’s easy right click on the desktop “Create Launcher..” click.

Name: shutdown Command: gnome-session-save –kill Comment: anything you like.

And you can click on the icon and try and find a new one.

Then you are done a nice shutdown button for all your blind users.

Installing Kubuntu 8.04, KDE4, and Firefox 3

Kubuntu 7.10 was coming up with errors such as ‘unknown URL system:/’ and my KDE4 broke, I found links that told me it was a dolphin problem and was fixed in a version of dolphin that didn’t exist in my repos so I decided it was time for a fresh install (gnome worked fine to access files though).

I decided on Kubuntu 8.04 Beta 1 with KDE4, my first problem was because I have an nvidia graphics card (8600) splash screens usually fail to appear and so did the disk check and ‘press enter to reboot screen’ before and after I installed 8.04, but after installing and updating I found the “Hardware Drivers Manager” which had the latest version of nvidia drivers; they were just one click away. Sadly my Dvico TV tuner card doesn’t work out of the box, but when 8.04 becomes stable I’ll reinstall that.

After installing nvidia drivers and restarting my splash screen came back! Sadly only in 640×480 so I changed the splash screen res to 1440×900 by:
sudo vim /etc/usplash.conf
sudo update-initramfs -u

I also changed the splash so it showed details of loading by changing
sudo vim /boot/grub/menu.lst
delete ‘quiet’ from the kernel line of the kernel you are running right down the bottom of the file then you will get all the messages under the loading bar of “filesystem OK”, etc.

I also installed Firefox 3. It looks horrible out of the box, BUT there is a package called gtk-qt-engine-kde4 which will put KDE4 themes on GTK. After the package is installed you go into system settings-> appearance -> GTK Styles and Fonts. I still don’t like the look of it, so I ended up installing Firefox 2.0 to get back to something that looked decent.

And my last problem that I have found so far is they took IRC out of Kopete!!! (bug 201732) So annoying… I may have to start using pidgin.
Oh and Adobe Reader doesn’t seem to appear for 64bit Linux, kpdf it will have to be.

Another random note 2.4 opens nearly instantaneously

WordPress upgrade spam and planet

Yesterday i finally decided to upgrade my wordpress not to the brand new 2.5 because i used the lazy “Fantastico” way of installing wordpress i just pressed the upgrade button to update me to 2.3.3.

This leads to the 2nd part of why you upgrade wordpress SPAM…

WordPress is a target there a millions of wordpress blogs out there and the are 1000 of spam bots exploiting them, Since my blog isn’t the most popular it hasn’t really been a problem, i’ve dealt with spam by hand.

So in the past couple of weeks wordpress spam has gotten loose on me. On the planet site i admin. David M Williams Managed to attract not comment spam but RSS feed injection spam, because the planet syndicates the RSS feeds suddenly half way through his post we have links and casinos advertisement. So quickly check it was only his blog affected sent an email off to david.. he wasn’t real impressed. and I delete the cached file of his blog once he’d done some cleaning up of spam to remove the spam from the planet site.

So while wordpress maybe be a great blogging tool you really do need to keep it up to date like this week has shown me. I’ve noticed David upgrade his site also to 2.3.3 so hopefully we will remain spam free for awhile. I might wait to see if there are any security loopholes in 2.5 before i do that upgrade through.

Edit: since i upgraded wordpress i went looking for a new theme.. that supported tags.. etc. what do you think of my kde 4 style wordpress theme ?