Sunday, July 10, 2011

Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhall in VirtualBox

It is time for me again to upgrade my Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhall) as a guest machine. I know I know I should use Linux in my host machine but my main work is basically using Windows so no escaping for me to  use this OS if I want to keep relevant in the workplace.

Nothing is really earth shattering with the new release except for the much debated Unity. Other than that  same old same old in the Linux land.

Below is my VirtualBox guest configuration:
General Name: ubu1104 OS Type: Ubuntu System Base Memory: 1024 MB Processor(s): 1 Boot Order: CD/DVD-ROM, Hard Disk VT-x/AMD-V: Enabled Nested Paging: Enabled Display Video Memory: 64 MB 3D Acceleration: Enabled 2D Video Acceleration: Disabled Remote Desktop Server: Disabled Storage IDE Controller IDE Secondary Master (CD/DVD): Empty SATA Controller SATA Port 0: ubu1104.vdi (Normal, 80.00 GB) Audio Host Driver: Windows DirectSound Controller: ICH AC97 Network Adapter 1: Intel PRO/1000 MT Desktop (Bridged adapter, Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller) Serial Ports Disabled USB Device Filters: 0 (0 active) Shared Folders None

The configuration is slightly different from my Maveric Meerkat configuration. I have increased video memory to 64 MB from 12MB so that  I will be able to play with Unity otherwise you will be stuck with the classic user interface.

Anyway, without too much ado I present Ubuntu 11.04 running in VirtualBox.

I don't have major concerns with Unity after all that's how FOSS/Linux works.... choice. But the icons from dash is too big for me. It would be nice if I can select a profile and say that I am using a laptop or PC and the icons should be sized appropriately.

I do have major  concern with the stability of using Ubuntu as a Virtualbox guest. I  observed that if I save state a Ubuntu guest and power it back up from saved state that it is barely usable. I always have to  start Ubuntu guest from a warm start... I am looking forward to understanding why it is behaving this way. Is it because of Unity or because of the updated version of VirtualBox? Let the journey begin...

Have fun with Linux!


Google Chrome v12 not working in openSUSE 11.4

Just installed Google Chrome v12 in openSUSE 11.4, everything seems great. But when I tried to run it nothing happens.

I fired up konsole and this shows up

timus@opensuse114:~/Downloads> google-chrome
/usr/bin/google-chrome: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
Looks like we have missing dependencies. Searching repo, like:
zypper search libpng

shows the following...
S | Name                  | Summary                                                      | Type  
  | libpng12-0            | Library for the Portable Network Graphics Format (PNG)       | package
  | libpng12-compat-devel | Development Tools for applications which will use the Libpng | package
  | libpng12-devel        | Development Tools for applications which will use the Libpng | package
i | libpng14-14           | Library for the Portable Network Graphics Format (PNG)       | package
  | libpng14-compat-devel | Development Tools for applications which will use the Libpng | package
  | libpng14-devel        | Development Tools for applications which will use the Libpng | package

The following command fixes it.
sudo zypper install libpng12-0

Just out of curiosity, i did:

opensuse114:/home/timus/Downloads # rpm -qR google-chrome-stable
rpmlib(VersionedDependencies) <= 3.0.3-1
lsb >= 3.2 
rpmlib(PayloadFilesHavePrefix) <= 4.0-1
rpmlib(CompressedFileNames) <= 3.0.4-1
rpmlib(PayloadIsBzip2) <= 3.0.5-1

So there you go, the rpm file that comes from Google is missing libpng12-0 dependency. I would really hope that this gets fixed in upcoming releases.


Linux Mint 10 screen capture tour

Linux Mint 10 (Julia) was released Nov 12, 2010 which feels like eons ago in Linux land. But hey I wanna play around with it before I jump to Linux Mint 11.

Overall feel is good, installation was uneventful. The interface is pretty clean and well structured. This is what I like best with Mint. Anyway, this is old news but would like to keep a log of how the installation screen looks like. Below are the screen captures.

Of course Linux distribution comes with thousands of utilities but I think the following are worth to mention:
Linux kernel: 2.6.35
GNOME: 2.32.0
X org: 1.9.0


Saturday, July 09, 2011

Tidy up xml file from the command line

Tools to clean up xml files abound in  the internet. But if you have a need to do batch processing of a bunch of files or just the plan joy of doing it from the command line then you can use xmllint. If you are using openSUSE, Ubuntu or Linux Mint 10 (and many other Linux distro) then this is come pre-installed. xmllint is flexible and have way more features than shown below but this should give you a taste of the tools usefulness. So to tidy up an xml file do:

xmllint –format ugly.xml –output pretty.xml


Friday, July 08, 2011

openSUSE 11.4 KDE installation screen capture tour

I just got the time to play around openSUSE 11.4 which was released last March 10, 2011. From the outside, nothing much changed between 11.3 and 11.4 especially in the installation department (seems like they are exactly the same except for the new artwork/background). Why change if it is working?

Without too much ado... here comes the screen grabs.

Additional information:
kernel: 2.6.37
KDE: 4.6.00 (4.6.0) "release 6"
X org: 1.9.3

Have fun!!!


Thursday, July 07, 2011

Update OpenSUSE 11.4 with good looking fonts

Font smoothing and subpixel rendering is not configured/enabled by default in OpenSUSE 11.4. It seems like there are patents (see link) around subpixel rendering that prevents FOSS distros from enabling this be default.

For smallish installation (home use or experimentation) this might not be too much of a deal but of course who really knows that the patent owner will do to enforce it. So if you are not comfortable doing this, please stop.

First, need to download subpixel package by muzlocker. This can be done in a console.

sudo zypper addrepo subpixel sudo zypper ref sudo zypper dup

Next, create .Xdefaults, from a console do:

cd ~ touch .Xdefaults kwrite .Xdefaults

Then copy the following:

Xft.autohint: 0
Xft.lcdfilter: lcddefault
Xft.hintstyle: hintslight
Xft.hinting: 1
Xft.antialias: 1
Xft.dpi: 96
Xft.rgba: rgb 

Next up, create .fonts.conf file, can be created in console, like:
cd ~ touch .fonts.conf kwrite .fonts.conf

Then copy/paste the following:


To ensure that changes take effect, logout then log back in. If not working, reboot.


subpixel packages by MuZlockER

OpenSUSE, font smoothing, subpixel rendering


Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Debian Squeeze minimal text based install - screenshot tour

Debian provides you with a lot of options in terms of how you setup/install your system. You can do it via GUI, through live CDs and of course the proven text based install.

With Debian Squeeze out, it is time for me to install the latest that the Debian community has to offer. I find that the installation is very straightforward so I will just post screen captures where the user would need to interact with the installation for bare bones configuration. So here we go....

Figure 1. Installer Boot Menu

Figure 2. Language selection

Figure 3. Set your location, this is for time zone

Figure 4. Keyboard map to use

Figure 5. Set machine hostname

Figure 6. Set domain name. For internal/home use, pick whatever you like

Figure 7. Set root (administrator) password

Figure 8. Verify root password

Figure 9. Create user, this would be what you will be using most of the time

Figure 10. Username for the new account

Figure 11. Password for the new account

Figure 12. Verify password for new account

Figure 13. Set your correct time zone

Figure 14. Select partition method

Figure 15. Confirm partition layout

Figure 16. Partition scheme

Figure 17. Partition overview

Figure 18. Commit partition to disk

Figure 19. Select Debian mirror, pick closest to your location (this should be good for most of the cases)

Figure 20. Select the mirror server

Figure 21. Setup HTTP proxy server (for internal/home use normally blank should work) otherwise ask your network administrator

Figure 22. Participate in survey, Yes please.

Figure 23. Since this is bare bones install, select nothing

Figure 24. For virtual guest machines, Yes should be safe. If this is on bare metal, please check if you have existing OS and configure as appropriate

Figure 25. Installation complete

That was easy. 

Additional info:
Linux kernel: 2.6.32-5-686