the itjerk

my adventures with technology

Tag Archives: linux

ubuntu 16.04 xenial xerus

Last week the first point release for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS triggered the update on my 14.04 computer and I went for it. There are several questions that pop up and need an answer for the upgrade to continue, so it’s an attended upgrade. I didn’t pay too much attention to what was upgraded, removed, not supported, etc, I just figured I would figure out whatever I need to.

Drupal 6 didnt work out of the box because 16.04 ships with Php7; but it was easy enough to install Php5.6, with the help of this repository (the guy is an official packager for Debian) so now I again have a local copy of my website.

I also needed to upgrade Logitech Media Server to 7.9, which is a beta version, but once installed, my Slimserver – the thing that got me into linux so many years ago – started working again right away.

I have to admit, that with the LTS releases, there really isn’t much of a point to upgrading, because the base distribution is supported for five years. At that point, it’s time for a new computer and a clean install.

On the web: Xenial Xerus

Ubuntu LTS the only way to go

When I first configured my cloud server, I was under the impression that I would just be trying it out, a test environment. It didn’t occur to me that I’d actually put it in production. Flippantly, I chose 12.10 instead of opting for 12.04 LTS, which is supported through May 2017. Well, 13.04 was already out of service by the time I got my notice that 12.10 was end-of-life, so the upgrade path was 12.10 -> 13.10 -> 14.04 LTS. Good news is that was easy enough to do. Bad news was 13.10 broke Apache’s Auth_MYSQL, which is used with AWSTATS in iRedMail. 

Like a good itjerk, I didn’t panic, went straight from 13.10 to 14.04 LTS, and would worry about the mess from there. Ends up that Auth_MYSQL isn’t supported in Apache 2.4.x, which is what 14.04LTS ships with. So I had to switch to Auth_DBD instead. Zhang at iRedMail was very helpful, and I got everything back up and working. BTW, Denyhosts is no longer supported in 14.04 LTS, that package had to be purged.

Apache2.conf needs this:

DBDriver mysql
DBDParams "host=127.0.0.1 port=3306 dbname=mail user=mail pass=xxxx

While awstats.conf needs:

AuthType Basic
AuthName "Authentication required"
AuthBasicProvider dbd
AuthDBDUserPWQuery "SELECT password FROM mailbox WHERE username=%s"
Require valid-user

Then, do this:
a2enmod auth_dbd
apt-get install libaprutil1-dbd-mysql
service apache restart

Moral of the story: Use LTS. Always. 

how to make raspberry pi

ubuntu edge

It's a tall order to crowdfund a very high-end smartphone, especially when the goal is $32,000,000 – yes, that's 32 million dollars. But why expect anything less than stunning from Ubuntu? The idea is "to provide a low-volume, high-technology platform" device, namely the Ubuntu Edge. It will run (the very latest?) Android OS out of the box, but soon after launch (and through a planned update) the phone will provide the so-called integrated Ubuntu experience, "seamlessly between the two environments" of your desktop and smartphone. Here's Mark Shuttleworth:

The fun begins in mid-2014, but funding must be met by August 22nd 2013. I'm in! Please visit:

On the web:
Ubuntu Edge Indiegogo

Update 08/22/12 – Funding, while achieving $12,814,196, did not reach the intended goal. Next…

raspberry pi

Cheap computing's had a lot of promises for machines under $100. The Raspberry Pi, designed by the British not-for-profit foundation of the same name, is a "single computer on a board" that features an ARM processor and high-quality graphics, all for USD$35.00. It's designed to interest kids in computer programming, science, etc. Engadget has a rather tepid review here.

The unit is the size of a credit card, and has connections for USB, Ethernet, SD card (required for booting), HDMI (audio and video), RCA video and a 3.5mm audio jack. It's ARM, so software needs to be compiled for that processor; both Debian and Fedora have been ported, so yes, it's ostensibly a Linux box. It also has a GPIO connector, which means it can also be programmed to do about anything (robotics, interfacing, etc). The unit is powered by 5v, and most any micro-usb charger will do.

To get the Pi running, you'll need a pre-loaded OS on an SD card, connect (wired or wireless) keyboard and mouse, hook up to video via HDMI or composite, and power it with 5v via micro-usb.

I got into the queue with RS Online (one of two exclusive distributors) to order one on March 1st, and actually placed my order on May 24th. Next update when it's in my hands!

On the web:
Raspberry Pi Official Site
The MagPi Magazine
Wikipedia – Raspberry Pi

ubuntu 12.04 LTS precise pangolin

The latest version of Ununtu Linux operating system was released today. Named "Precise Pangolin" and carrying the number 12.04, it is a LTS (long term support) release that will be supported for the next five years.

Installation was painless after a reboot of the previous 11.10 was needed to get the "Distribution Upgrade" button to show up in Update Manager. Unity is still Unity, and I'm beginning to care less and less about specific applications, themes, HUD, global menus, etc. The work is what is important. Banshee was replaced by Rhythmbox; it also crashed when I attempted to run it, so it was quickly removed. I did get a few "internal errors" when Rhythmbox did its import, but smartly enough, I was informed that they were already reported. There was also a kernel update immediately after the upgrade.

On the web:
Download Ubuntu

linux as as desktop

I first started using Linux to run slimserver for my Squeezebox, though I *attempted* to run versions as early as the 2.3 kernel. Since then, it's come a long way, baby. I switched from Corel Linux to Redhat to Fedora and then Ubuntu. It's become my primary desktop, my test server, and a lot more, all on my third self-assembled computer; Linux reminds me again and again why I love computers and computing.
Geek, I know.

Just some other random thoughts on Natty Narwhal:

1. Unity stinks. As in the previous post and video from Linux Journal, I too fail to see the "better" in the change to it. The Dash is not workable, and the launcher is a waste of non-configurable space. Call me a Gnome guy.

2. I've started to use Workspaces, but it begs for the panel at the top of the screen. Call me a Windows guy.

3. Banshee is one amazing media player. Now if it would only quit without having to kill it.

4. Hard to get used to both the new scroll-bars and windows going full-screen when moving the top title bar. Also, mouse has unclickable dead spots in the middle-left of the screen. It's the little things…

5. Firefox 4.0.1 is your friend, Chromium could be. Opera is still a pain to install on Linux. Why is that?

ubuntu 11.04 natty narwhal


Okay, I've pretty much concluded that Unity sucks in the previous post. After two years, it was time for a clean install of Ubuntu. Of the various benefits, what I find most useful is that it makes me rethink which applications I am using, and why am I using them. We tend to develop a fetish for certain apps, which in and of itself is okay, but ultimately computers are tools, and whatever gets the job done, gets the job done. So with a clean install, I can rethink everything.

Natty Narwhal has of course the controversial choice of Unity desktop as default, but otherwise its shaping up to be what I expect from Ubuntu – a distribution that just works. Few quirks – moving windows by the title bar makes them go full-screen, have to shift-page-up/down in terminal, Firefox still doesn't remember it's window position on the desktop.

Here's my installation notes:

11.04 Natty Narwhal, April 28th 2011, clean install on a new HD

1. Installed from 32bit Desktop DVD. checked mp3 support.

2. change login window options, sudo apt-get install nautilus-open-terminal (restart of x), openssh-server, numlockx, landscape-common, gufw, lame, vorbis-tools

3. mount 2nd hard drive; create /mnt/music/, change permissions, put in /etc/fstab:
/dev/sdb1  /mnt/music     ext3    defaults,relatime        1 2
ln -s /mnt/music /home/one/music (put in banshee prefs)

3a. mount NAS via cifs
sudo apt-get install samba samba-tools system-config-samba smbfs
sudo smbpasswd -a username
sudo nano /etc/samba/smb.conf (add share for whatever to share (old use the old smb.conf)
then mount Network Drive in /etc/fstab:
//XXX.XXX.XX.XX/one /mnt/backup cifs auto,credentials=/root/.smbcredentials,uid=1000,gid=1000,rw 0 0
create .smbcredentials (as root)
cd /root/
echo username= > .smbcredentials
echo password= >> .smbcredentials
chmod 600 and edit smbusername + pwd

4. install apache2, mysqlserver, php5, drupal6. restart. setup websites. untar and copy to /var/www. import, but first  create an empty database. 
mysql> CREATE DATABASE XXXX; then
mysql -u root -p XXXX < XXXX.sql
sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart
Works!

5. add  deb http://debian.slimdevices.com stable main to /etc/apt/sources.list, then sudo apt-get install squeezeboxserver. set library folder and other preferences.

6. AmazonMP3 downloader (what a pain), Opera, Chromium, Filezilla, Nicotine-Plus, Grsync, Pinta, Gimp, Audio Extractor (gstreamer ugly!) (edit rip path with gconf2), VLC, EasyTag, Ubuntu restricted extras!, check gmail

7. scripts and crontab. scripts into /usr/bin then chmod a+x
for cron, need to run as root (sudo crontab -e) then "sudo /etc/init.d/cron restart"

On the web:
http://ubuntuguide.org/wiki/Ubuntu:Natty

i hate unity

Ubuntu Linux 11.04 (aka Natty Narwhal) is here, and I'm in the middle of a clean install to a newish hard drive. More about that later. But in the meantime, I hate Unity. It just sucks (especially Launcher and Dash). Easy enough to fix, just choose "Ubuntu Classic" at the system login screen and it all goes away… for now.

Linux Journal's Shawn Powers sums it up quite eloquently on the clip below:

ubuntu 10.10 on 10/10/10

Couldn't resist the upgrade to Maverick Meerkat, Ubuntu 10.10, today, Sunday October 10th. Everything installed without incident (even though I had to power cycle because my &*& *%$* kvm quit working), and Squeezebox Server, Apache and MySQL, digital audio are all working fine. Nice new look, including to Ubuntu's website as well.

One thing I will have to do is setup the 3rd party repositories for Slimserver, Opera and Sun Virtual box. Google Chrome made the cut however.

On the web:
Ubuntu Desktop Edition