Posts filed under ‘Linux Mint’

Peppermint Linux OS

I fell over a GNU/Linux distribution called Peppermint today, when I was searching after something Linux Mint 9 LXDE (Me and Joliclound 1.0 didn’t work out that well). I haven’t tried Peppermint yet but when I read on their webpage it seems really interesting:

System Requirements:
* i386 or derivative processor (AMD64 and x86_64 are fine as well)
* 192 MB of RAM
* 4 GB hard drive space (this is an overestimate just for good measure)

Under the Hood:
* Pcmanfm 0.9.7
* Openbox 3.4.11.2
* Xorg 1.7.6
* Lxsession 0.4.3

Peppermint is based on Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx or to be more specific Lubuntu, but it seems like they have used something from Linux Mint as well, and the default desktop environment is LXDE. It’s focusing on cloud computing and wants everything to work out of the box. It comes in two flavours: One and Ice. The only main difference seems to be that One relies on Firefox and Mozilla Prism while Ice uses Chromium as it’s default browser and uses a custom Ice tool to link to cloud applications on the desktop.

Default Installed Applications One: Firefox, Drop-Box, Exaile, Prism, X-Chat and Transmission

Default Installed Applications: Chromium Web Browser, Drop-Box, Xnoise, Ice, X-Chat and Transmission

You can find more information on their webpage: Peppermint Linux

Think I will try it on Vesla (Asus Eee 900) soon, and maybe write you a little review?

A little screenshot from their webpage:

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22/08/2010 at 18:51 1 comment

Finally: Spotify for Linux!

Yes, you read it right! Right now Spotify is working on a version for Linux users, so hopefully we soon don’t have to rely on Wine to run Spotify any more. And hopefully this will fix the Spotify link issues as well as other functionality that we haven’t been able to use until now ^^

Right now the GNU/Linux Spotify version is in a preview version that’s just available for Spotify Premium subscribers as they “haven’t found a reliable way to display ads yet“.  Users should also note “that there are issues regarding decoding of local music on the Linux platform so we haven’t included support for local files in this version“. It also seems like they are focusing on Debian distributions right now(?).

Why has finally Spotify acknowledged us Linux users? I accentually think this is something we should hank the developers of programs like DEspotify for :)

Installation

  1. Go to Software Sources (Ubuntu: System > Administration > Software Sources)
  2. Then select the Third-Party Software tab
  3. Click on the [+ Add] button and add: deb http://repository.spotify.com stable non-free (be sure to reload/update your sources)
  4. Open the Terminal and write:
    gpg --keyserver wwwkeys.de.pgp.net --recv-keys 4E9CFF4E
  5. gpg --export 4E9CFF4E |sudo apt-key add -
  6. sudo apt-get install spotify-client-qt spotify-client-gnome-support
  7. And yey it’s installed!

As I’m not a premium user myself it would be really cool if people could tell if this installation worked for them, and about the look and feel about the preview version of Spotify for Linux :)

Read more: Spotify for Linux

UPDATE: Spotify for Linux is now also available for Spotify Unlimited subscribers.

12/07/2010 at 13:01 2 comments

How to watch encrypted DVDs in Ubuntu?

This is one of the questions people often ask me when they are trying Ubuntu for the first time. For in Ubuntu, unlike in Linux Mint (one reasons why I recommend Linux Mint for those who new to GNU/Linux), watching encrypted DVDs doesn’t work right out of the box. This is because this feature is a part of the package repository Medibuntu (Multimedia, Entertainment & Distractions In Ubuntu) that isn’t included into the Ubuntu distribution for legal reasons (copyright, license, patent, etc).

I’m just going into show you how to install the package that let you play encrypted DVDs and not how to add the Medibuntu repository (but if you want to you cant read about how to do that here: Medibuntu.

The GUI Way

  1. Open Synaptic (System >Administration > Synaptic Package Manager ) or Ubuntu Software Centre if you’re using Ubuntu 10.04 (Applications -> Ubuntu Software Centre)
  2. Search for ubuntu-restricted-extras (Ubuntu users), kubuntu-restricted-extras (Kubuntu users) or xubuntu-restricted-extras (Xubuntu users) and install this package
  3. Then search for the package named libdvdcss2 and install it
  4. You should now be able to watch encrypted DVDs on your system :) If you didn’t find libdvdcss2 try the Terminal Way’s step

The Terminal Way:

  1. Open the Terminal:
    Ubuntu: Applications > Accessories > Terminal
    Kubuntu: KMenu > System > Terminal Program (Konsole)
    Xubuntu: Applications menu -> System -> Terminal
  2. Install Ubuntu Restricted Extras with this command:
    Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras
    Kubuntu: sudo apt-get install kubuntu-restricted-extras
    Xubuntu: sudo apt-get install xubuntu-restricted-extras
  3. Then install try to install libdvdcss2 with the command sudo apt-get install libdvdcss2 if it didn’t work try the command below that’s matching your system (if you don’t know which one, try the one for i386).
    i386:

    1. wget -c http://packages.medibuntu.org/pool/free/libd/libdvdcss/libdvdcss2_1.2.9-2medibuntu4_i386.deb
    2. sudo dpkg -i libdvdcss2_1.2.9-2medibuntu4_i386.deb

    amd64:

    1. wget -c http://packages.medibuntu.org/pool/free/libd/libdvdcss/libdvdcss2_1.2.9-2medibuntu4_amd64.deb
    2. sudo dpkg -i libdvdcss2_1.2.9-2medibuntu4_amd64.deb

    PowerPC:

    1. wget -c http://packages.medibuntu.org/pool/free/libd/libdvdcss/libdvdcss2_1.2.9-2medibuntu2_powerpc.deb
    2. sudo dpkg -i libdvdcss2_1.2.9-2medibuntu2_powerpc.deb
  4. And there! You should now be able to watch encrypted DVDs!

And in case someone is wondering: I recommend using VLC for watching DVDs in Ubuntu (you can find it in Synaptic and Ubuntu Software Centre or you can just install it by using this command: sudo apt-get install vlc).

16/06/2010 at 21:24 4 comments

When Linux Hangs or Completely Freezes

When Windows hangs itself we all know what to do right? Were just reaching for the combination [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Del] (Control Alt Delete). But if you try this in Linux nothing happens (in some distributions, like Ubuntu, you actually get the menu for shutting down your system, but this don’t work when your system hags or freezes).

So what to do?

There is 3 keyboard combinations every Linux user should remember (or write down). But before we begin I want you to understand some of the signs I use: If a symbol is surrounded by [ ] means that it is a button or key on your keyboard. + means that you have to hold the keys down at once. And > means that you have to click the buttons one by one, remember that you have to press each key for 2-3 seconds. Now that you have learned this we can move on to the commands:

Fist you have the combination [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[BackSpace] (backspace is the [←] over [Enter]) that restarts X or GDM (you will be logged out), and you can kind of call it Linux’s Control Alt Delete equivalent. This command gives your programs time to make emergency backups of unsaved files (for example if you writing on a document in Open Office) and it  prevents that you get a file system error during the crash.If you use Ubuntu or a distribution based on Ubuntu you will have to use [Alt]+[PrtSc]+[K] (PrtSc = Print Screen) instead, but you should note that some Ubuntu based distros (like Linux Mint) still use the universal [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[BackSpace]. (Note 14.11.2013: For newer versions of Ubuntu, and some of it’s derivatives, even this combination does not seemto work any more, to get it working again check out the update in the end of the post)

But what to do if this combination doesn’t work? Then you have to use something called Magic SysRq Keys. In short they are keys which allows you to perform various commands regardless of the system’s state, like in this case get the system to recover from a freeze. Note that these keys wont work if your system is in kernel panic. Like I said there are tree combinations that you will have to remember and since we have already learned one, there are two to go:

This command will get your freezed system to restart safely:
Hold [Alt]+[PrtSc] then type [R]>[S]>[E]>[I]>[U]>[B] (press each key for 2-3 seconds). In short the keys mean: unRaw (take control of keyboard back from X), tErminate (send SIGTERM to all processes, allowing them to terminate gracefully), kIll (send SIGKILL to all processes, forcing them to terminate immediately), Sync (flush data to disk), Unmount (remount all filesystems read-only), reBoot (restart).

This command will get your freezed system to shut down in a safe way:
Again hold [Alt]+[PrtSc] then type [R]>[S]>[E]>[I]>[U]>[O] (press each key for 2-3 seconds). These keys mean: unRaw, tErminate, kIll, Sync, Unmount , shutdOwn (does it really need an explanation?).

To learn more about Magic SysRq Keys visit: Wikipedia: Magic SysRq Key.

 


 

Update:

As Andy E points out in his comment; [Alt]+[PrtSc]+[K] does not seem to work in newer versions of Ubuntu and some of it’s derivatives.

To get it working again first type this into the terminal (if you prefer using a dedicated text manager and not the terminal, change nano into your preferred text editor, like for example gedit):
sudo nano /etc/sysctl.d/10-magic-sysrq.conf

You will now see this line of code in the end of the file:
kernel.sysrq = 176

Change this into:
kernel.sysrq = 180

Then save and reboot, and [Alt]+[PrtSc]+[K] will “magically” work again!

04/06/2010 at 14:55 7 comments

How to get hardware information in Linux?

This guide requires use of the Terminal, and can be used on all Linux systems (as far as I know).

The package were going to use is named Hardware Lister (command: lshw).

Most Linux systems and distros comes with this pre-installed as default, but if you should need to install it you just write this in your Terminal:

APT (Debian, Ubuntu…): sudo apt-get install lshw

Yum (Fedora, Red Hat…): sudo yum install lshw

If your system doesn’t use APT or Yum (and doesn’t have lshw pre-installed), you can visit this site for installation instructions: Hardware Lister (lshw).

But as I said most systems comes pre-installed with this package as default, so you doesn’t have to use the commands mentioned over unless this command doesn’t work:

sudo lshw

If you got lot’s of text about your system you have it installed. Yey! But if you get the message bash: lshw: command not found you will have to install it.

This single command gives you all the information you will need about your hardware. But what if you just want some part of this information? No problem, just use these commands:

  • Short summary of all the important information: sudo lshw -short
  • Information about your system (like manufacturer, serial-number, type etc. ) : sudo lshw -class system
  • For memory (RAM, BIOS, firmware etc. ) information type:
    sudo lshw -class memory
  • CPU info: sudo lshw -class cpu
  • Information about your disk(s) sudo lshw -class disk
  • Network information: sudo lshw -class network
  • Disk volum information sudo lshw -class volume
  • Example of how you can combine these commands: sudo lshw -class system -class memory -class cpu

Like you maybe has understood by now, the information in ishw is stored in classes (therefore the -class). So this is just some examples, and if you want the whole list of classes you can visit Hardware Lister’s homepage (or just use sudo lshw and try to memorise the classes by yourself)

But what if you want to store this information in a file, so you dosn’t have to do the lshw information everytime your wondering about some of your hardware info? That’s no problem either :)

  • Store the information as a .txt file: sudo lshw > hardware-info.txt
  • Store it as a HTML file: sudo lshw -html > hardware-info.html
  • And finally as a XML file: sudo lshw -xml > hardware-info.xml

Note that all these commands will save the files in your home folder, and that the commands of course can be combined with the ones mentioned over for you specific needs (but if your not really into using the terminal yet I would stay with the ones I have mentioned here for now).

If your kind of scared of using the Terminal there’s a option for you too: Just go to Synaptic and do a little search for lshw-gtk (gtk-lshw in some distributions) and install it. You can also install it by typing this command in the Terminal sudo apt-get install lshw-gtk (ATP).

02/06/2010 at 20:01 Leave a comment

Update Manager, fresh install or just switch to Linux Mint?

In about one week’s time the new Ubuntu version 10.04 Lucid Lynx will arrive. The big question every Ubuntu user (or maybe not everyone, but a lot of us) is asking themselves if they are going to upgrade with a fresh install or just update by using the Ubuntu Update Manager?

Upgrading with the Update Manager
In Ubuntu, contrary to Windows and Mac OS (X) in Ubuntu, you are able to update your whole OS by just using a update-manager. For you those of you that haven’t seen the Linux light jet, the best example is to imagine that you were able to upgrade your system from Windows Vista to Windows 7 with just one click.

This is probably the most preferred method for those that are using Ubuntu on their netbooks (and the so-called netbooks, out there that actually are just small laptops), that comes without a CD-drive.

The method is, as explained, really easy and you are going to keep all your programs and all your files. You should still take a backup of all your files just in case. On of the problems with this kind of upgrade is that you are not able to test drive it before you installed it, and because of that some users are experiencing problems with drivers etc. The Update Manager upgrade doesn’t give you all the new features (like faster booting time, etc.), but this is getting better for every version.

Fresh Install
A fresh install means that you have to burn yourself a Live CD, request a free CD from Ship It or make yourself a Live USB (read more about this here: Installation/FromUSBStick) with the new Ubuntu version. And you will have to reinstall your whole OS which means that you are going to lose absolutely everything on the preferred hard-drive (unless your going for a dual boot), so a backup of all your files is absolutely necessary (and maybe a list of all your preferred programs?).

The fresh install upgrade is actually my preferred method, not because you are able to test run the whole OS from your Live CD/USB, but because I can be absolutely sure about getting all the new functionalities of the new version. You also get rid of all the crap on your computer that you got because you played a little too much in the Terminal, when you didn’t actually know what you were doing (we have all been there…).

Another ting to note about this particular upgrade is that Ubuntu 10.04 or Luci Lynx is a LTS, which means that it’s a Long Term Support version, and will be supported until April 2013. So if your planing to use this until the new LTS, I will recommend you to do a fresh install, since this is a OS you’re going to live with for a while.

So what is this Linux Mint thingy anyway?
Many of you have probably read something of all the new features in Ubuntu 10.04 that have irritated lot of people; I’m talking about Canonical’s talk about making Yahoo the default search engine, removing GIMP as a preinstalled program, removing Sun Java and of course of the window buttons that have been switched from right to left and in general making Ubuntu more Mac OS X like.

Fortunately Canonical released that everyone was going to change back to Google anyway, so they kept it as the default search engine. They also found out that everyone was going to move the buttons back so they have made it really easy to switch them back without the use of scripts (that started to appear from day one after the windows buttons was moved). The other changes easy to fix without having the knowledge of making scripts yourself. Still all this changes have irritated a lot of users, that thought that Ubuntu was more of a democracy not a dictatorship (just google window+buttons+ubuntu if you’re interested in reading more bout this).

Anyway many Ubuntu user is asking a themselves as new question when Lucid Lynx is about to arrive: Stay with Ubuntu or change to Linux Mint when Isadora (Linux Mint 9) comes out?

Linux Mint is an OS based on Ubuntu, but unlike Ubuntu it comes with integrated media codecs and it also have other differences that make it more user friendly, and it’s going to keep the design of the previous versions. I usually recommend new Linux users to use Linux Mint as it tends to work completely out of the box, unlike it’s bigger sister… It requires few (if any at all) fixes to work and it has a design that looks more like Windows which makes it easier to use for those not really into computers.

I use Linux Mint on my Asus Eee 900, and everything has worked completely out of the box and I could not be more pleased. Still I think I will stay with Ubuntu on my main computer and give Lucid Lynx a chance, but unlike before think I will stay with it for the whole LTS period instead of upgrading when a newer version arrives.

So just to make a little summary: Upgrading through the Update Manager is a easy choice if you have a netbook, a fresh install is preferred if you want all the new functionalities in Ubuntu 10.04 and switching to Linux Mint is a good choice if you can’t stand Canonical any more or if you just want something that works completely out of the box (and doesn’t see the charm in fixing and making your OS look and work completely as you want it too).

But whatever you choose: Remember to backup your files before you start upgrading your system ;)

21/04/2010 at 23:33 Leave a comment


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