Better Old Programs

May 14, 2011

Long story short, well more like short story even shorter, I got a new laptop and reinstalled Ubuntu 10.04 on my external hard drive.
Don’t worry I had a separate home partition so most of my important files were saved. However, I still have to get back some programs and libraries that I liked using. So this post is going to document what I did to get them each back. Mainly this is for my own personal use since I know that I will most likely have to solve this problem again at some point in the future.

Mozilla Firefox

Now there is nothing wrong with the version that Ubuntu supplies, that is until a new version of Firefox is released. So all you really need to do is to your repository with the following commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/firefox-stable
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

Amarok 1.4

This is just a personal thing. I’m sure that the new Amarok is a wonderful program, I am just more familiar with the old version. That being said, getting this to work is a little more complicated that ‘fixing’ Firefox.

sudo gedit /etc/apt/source.list

Well you can actually use whatever text editor you want, I just put gedit since it will most likely be what most people (non-linux users) are used to.
Then add the following lines to the file (I added them to the bottom but don’t see why you can’t add them anywhere else)

deb jaunty main
deb-src jaunty main

If you have any other version of Amarok installed you will need to remove it.

sudo apt-get remove amarok* && sudo apt-get autoclean

Now you can install what you want

sudo apt-get install amarok14

Hopefully there were no errors. If you got something about a mysqlclient15 file then go to this site, download the file, then run the last command again.


July 16, 2010

I’m sure that you have heard of Eclise.  If not then all you need to know is that it is a very popular (and for a good reason) IDE mainly for Java.  However, it does also have C/C++ support, but it is mostly used with Java.

As you know, I’m not big on programming in Java.  But I recently purchased a Nexus One phone, and the IEEE SECon got me a little interested in Android application development.  I don’t plan for anything I make to be widely distributed, but rather just for personal use.  In any case, I would still need a place to create my programs.  Sure this can be done with a normal text editor and the command line but why bother with that when Eclipse and the Android SDK make it so simple?

I’m going to talk about getting and installing Eclipse onto you system (which I will assume to be Ubuntu).  Sure you could just run sudo apt-get install eclipse but this way assumes that you are using the OpenJDK version of Java and not Sun’s. So if you are using SunJava, which it seems most people do, then this how-to is for you.

First head over to the Eclipse site and download the IDE. To find the site just use Google and then do some reading and clicking, so there is no need for me to post a link. If you can’t get past this step then you probably shouldn’t be thinking about using Eclipse.

Next we will open the package you have just downloaded and then move it to the /opt directory. To do this just run the following sequence of commands:

tar xzf <filename>
sudo mv eclipse /opt/eclipse
cd /opt
sudo chown -R root:root eclipse
sudo chmod -R +r eclipse
sudo chmod +x `sudo find eclipse -type d`

The chown command changes the owner of a file/directory, if you have been reading this blog then you should be able to figure out what the other commands do.

Next we will add eclipse executable to your path.

sudo touch /usr/bin/eclipse
sudo chmod 755 /usr/bin/eclipse
sudoedit /usr/bin/eclipse

then add this to the file

#export MOZILLA_FIVE_HOME="/usr/lib/mozilla/"
export ECLIPSE_HOME="/opt/eclipse"

$ECLIPSE_HOME/eclipse $*

I’m not all to sure exactly what the touch command does but you can look that up yourself (either online or with man).

Finally, the “most important” part; creating a GNOME-menu icon. This is something that would normally be done when you use the apt-get method.

cd /usr/share/applications
sudo nano eclipse.desktop

And enter the following into the created file;

[Desktop Entry]
Comment=Eclipse IDE

All the stuff entered into the file makes perfect sense, so if you ever wanted to make a menu item for any other program you now know how.

All of these steps can be found at

Terminal Update

May 9, 2010

Well continuing in my recent “bashing Lucid Lynx” trend I have found a problem once again.  I am sure that we are all familiar with the graphical interface for updating our system.  If not then you can find it by going to System > Administration > Update Manager.  Well for some reason for me this program decides to freeze as well, and unlike Firefox it doesn’t ever recover.  Luckily there is a way to apply updates from the terminal (see the terminal is your second best friend, Google is first).  The command you will need is

sudo apt-get upgrade

This will install the newest version of all packages (programs) that are currently on your system. Here is what the man page says

upgrade is used to install the newest versions of all packages
currently installed on the system from the sources enumerated in
/etc/apt/sources.list. Packages currently installed with new
versions available are retrieved and upgraded; under no
circumstances are currently installed packages removed, or packages
not already installed retrieved and installed. New versions of
currently installed packages that cannot be upgraded without
changing the install status of another package will be left at
their current version. An update must be performed first so that
apt-get knows that new versions of packages are available.

So after reading this it would seem that you might have to run either sudo apt-get autoremove or sudo apt-get autoclean.

I am not sure if this will also take care of security updates as well so just to be on the safe side I would assume not.  So I’ll have to find a way to get this done from the terminal as well.  Hope this was helpful to some of you, or at least provided you with a bit of new information.

Broken Login

May 7, 2010

So I’m sure that by now you’ve heard that by default Ubuntu has the root account disabled.  Naturally the first thing you ask when hearing this is, why?  Well once you think about it the answer becomes obvious. Security.  Everyone knows that every Linux system has a root account. So if you want to do “bad things” to it all you need to do is guess the password. Well if there is no password to guess then you are just S.O.L.

Now using logic along these lines you figure that a system is more secure if an “hacker” not only has to break passwords, but also guess the login names.  Well it seems that the Ubuntu developers threw this right out the window when making 10.04 (maybe they did it earlier but definitely not in 8.04).  By default, the login screen has you choose a user from a drop down list, and then you enter the password.  To make things worse, there isn’t an easy way to fix this.  Fortunately you can change this behavior, but you will need to do some work.

To begin with, you need to make an addition to your software repository.  Just  enter the following into the terminal:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gdm2setup/gdm2setup
Then you need to tell your system that you have made changes and they need to be implemented.
sudo apt-get update
Finally you are ready to install the program.
sudo apt-get install python-gdm2setup

To find the program you can go to System>Administration and it will be the new entry (sorry I don’t recall the name). Another cool thing is that you can now also change the background image of the login screen, which was “impossible” before (or so I have read).  Now if only I could find a way to make it so that when you enter your password no dots or anything appear, so as to not let others know how long your password actually is.

Next post I’ll talk about the issues I have with the new appearance. Don’t worry there are some things I actually do like (though not many).

Acrobat Reader

March 25, 2010

Well long (though interesting) story short I had to reinstall Ubuntu (still version 8.04).  I’ll give you th long story soon enough, but first here is something that might be useful.

At first I was fine with using Evince for viewing PDF files but there are just a few things that Acrobat does that I like.  Overall I still prefer Evince since it is much faster at loading and not “bloated” with features that I won’t ever use.  Regardless I still needed to install Acrobat.

Normally you would be able to just run sudo apt-get install acroread, but for some reason acroread is no longer in the Ubuntu list of provided programs.  So I had to do some work on Google.  Sure finding Acrobat was easy but I needed to make sure that it would work on an 64bit OS.  As usual, a pain in the ass.

I won’t go into all that I tried, I’ll just tell you what worked.  First go to this site and choose the appropriate OS (Linux) and the .bin file.  Apparently choosing the x86 version is fine.  Assuming that it was downloaded to your desktop run chmod u+x *.bin, where * is whatever the file is called.  Then finally run sudo ./*.bin.  Make sure to add the sudo or you’ll run into some issues (I’ll let you see what kind).  During the install when asked where to store the file(s) make sure to pick a location that is in your PATH.  I chose /usr/bin but I suppose that any location will work.

Now you can run acroread and be on your way.

More on Facebook and Pidgin

November 12, 2009

Well Facebook has up and gone and changed their way of logging in (or something along those lines). For this reason I was not able to connect to my facebook account through Pidgin. As a result I just didn’t talk to some of my friends for a while. Don’t ask me why they believe that facebook-chat is much better than say AIM and GoogleTalk.
However, thanks to the Ubuntu forums (if you haven’t been here yet and you use Ubuntu, what is wrong with you) and Google I was able to solve the problem. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: “For a beginning Linux, user Google is your BEST FRIEND!”

Well without further delay, here is a solution.  First get close Pidgin, then run sudo apt-get remove pidgin-facebookchat.  This will remove your old version of the package. In addition you will need to remove your libjson-glib-1.0-0 package.  I suggest using the package manager for this (System>>Administration>>Synaptic Package Manager) to do this, only because I don’t remember the exact package name.

Now you all you have to do is download the new packages. The libjson-glib package can be found at from this list of files I selected libjson-glib-1.0-0-dbg_0.7.6-0ubuntu1_amd64.deb, your choice will depend on if you are using a 64bit or 32bit processor.  If you are using 64bit use the file listed above, for you 32bit users choose the ones that ends in i386.deb.  Finally to get the facebookchat plugin go to this site: and download the most recent version.

At this point I assume that everything is saved to your Desktop.  First right click on the libsjon file, and select “Open with GDebi Package Installer”.  If you don’t have GDebi Package Installer, then head over to the package manager and get it, or use apt-get install.  Or you could install it yourself, but I find using this tool to much easier and less time consuming.  Now that you have the correct libjson-glib file installed, repeat the process except to the pidgin-facebookchat file.

Start up Pidgin and re-enter your login information and it is back to “business” as usual.

LaTex…it Just Looks Good

September 4, 2009

Well for those of you that don’t know what LaTex is-and I’m not talking about the “fabric”-I suggest you head over to Google and find out.

I’m not all too sure on how to install Tex from the command line, but if I had to guess I would say it is something like sudo apt-get install texlive.  TexLive is the package that gives you LaTex functionality.   I installed this a while back by System>Administration>Synaptic Package Manager then chose to install TexLive from the menu.

Now that you have all that you need (well enough to get started) just open up Gedit or some other text editor.  Let us call this file FIRST.tex and enter the following and save:


Hey check this out
$$\int_0^\infty\left(\frac{\sin x}{x}\right)^2dx=\frac{\pi}{2}$$

Now to view your creation you just need to “compile” it to a PDF (or a dvi if you would rather do that).  This is done with the command pdflatex FIRST.tex then to view it you just open up a PDF viewer.  If you are using Adobe this can be accomplished with acroread FIRST.pdf .

Your file should look something like:

Hey check this out \displaystyle\int_0^\infty\left(\frac{\sin x}{x}\right)^2dx=\frac{\pi}{2}

Best of luck ‘Tex-ing’.

Facebook + Pidgin

August 16, 2009

Well I was having some issues with Pidgin earlier (still don’t think that they are all gone).  So I reinstalled it (with sudo apt-get install pidgin), since the main site only had the source (for Ubuntu) and I didn’t feel like building from source at the moment.

Well after installing I had to find the pidgin-facebook chat plugin.  This is provided through Google Code (just follow the link).  From here choose the .deb file to download.  Now installation is rather easy, just right click on the file and select “Open with GDebi Package Installer” and if all goes well you now should be able to connect to facebook-chat through Pidgin (after a restart).  If you don’t see this option then you need to get GDebi Package Installer, I don’t know how I got it so I won’t be much help but Google is your friend in this case.

When I tried this method I got a message about missing something called libjson-glib-1.0-0 .  So I went looking for it, only to find that Ubuntu doesn’t provide it for me.  In the end, I had to get this package through Debian (which I hear isn’t all that different from Ubuntu, under the hood at least, follow the previous link to the download page).  After installing this everything else was a breeze.

This really took longer than it should have, but oh well.  I tried other Pidgin like programs in the short time in between reinstalling, but didn’t find one that I thought measured up.

Flash Issues

July 9, 2009

I would like to start off by saying that I am running Ubuntu 8.04 on a 64-bit architecture.  So some of the usual fixes for the 32bit version just don’t work, but I’ll ramble about those later on.

So if you are like most people you use the internet.  And you might visit this YouTube site every now and then. Well Ubuntu (and probably other Linux distributions) doesn’t have native flash support. Thus you will not be able to watch videos and use various other sites.  Luckily there is a rather painless solution, well there are several but I will only outline one.

First open up our good old friend the terminal. Now type sudo apt-get install flashplungin-nonfree. Then enter your password when prompted.  That’s it, more or less. You should now be able to view any flash content that’s out there on the web (well any that doesn’t require you to have version 10).  After doing this I did however experience a small hick up, as I found out later wasn’t all that rare.  Basically flash would stop working after a while. Pages would still load but the flash content would not.  The solution was to delete the file, no idea why but it fixed the problem.  In order to do this you must first find where it is located, which could require some digging around.  Fortunately the terminal comes to our rescue once again (this seems to be a recurring theme). Just enter locate, and it will list all the locations where this file is located, pretty neat. The locate command can also work with regular expressions (regx), but seeing as how I don’t know regx as of yet I won’t talk about it.

At this point I think I should further explain apt-get, seeing as how this is a pretty important package handler. The three  “main” uses of this command are to install packages, remove packages, and update/remove ‘useless’ packages.

  1. Installing packages: sudo apt-get install Pkg. Pretty self explanatory from the command.  It installs the package Pkg to your system. You can list more than one package at a time so sudo apt-get install Pkg1 Pkg2, will install Pkg1 and Pkg2.
  2. Remove packages: sudo apt-get remove Pkg. The same as install except that it removes Pkg.
  3. Update/Remove useless: sudo apt-get update, updates all packages to their most recent version. It is advised that an update is run before this so that apt-get knows what packages to update. Also this command doesn’t remove any packages so your old versions will be left sitting around (but not installed). To remove the clutter run sudo apt-get autoremove.

I just notticed that I have used sudo all over the place but you can mess around and figure out when you do and don’t need to use it.