Template:U Hardy/Unsorted


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How to find out what version of Ubuntu you're using

Use this command:

lsb_release -a

How to find out more system information

To find out the kernel version and system architecture (32-bit or 64-bit):

uname -a

Newer Versions of Ubuntu

  • Ubuntu uses a six month release cycle
  • These releases occur in April and October.
  • Lucid Lynx (10.04 LTS), released on April 29, 2010, is the next LTS (Long Term Support) version.
  • See this complete list of older and newer versions.

About Ubuntu and Official Ubuntu Derivatives

Ubuntu 8.04 Guides and Links

Ubuntu Screenshots

Ubuntu 8.04 Screenshots Gallery

Kubuntu Screenshots

Kubuntu 8.04 Screenshots Gallery

Xubuntu Screenshots

Xubuntu 8.04 Screenshots Gallery

Other *buntu guides and help manuals
  • Kubuntuguide -- Kubuntu uses the popular KDE desktop environment
  • Xubuntu -- Xubuntu can run with as little as 256 Mb RAM. It is better for older machines with limited resources.

Useful Knowledge

This section contains information useful in following this guide.

Using the console / terminal / shell

The terms console, terminal, and shell refer to the same thing - a command line interface (CLI). It can be used to control the system instead of the graphical user interface (GUI). Many of the tasks within the guide can be performed using the GUI, but it is simpler for some users to use the command line.

To open the command-line terminal:

Applications --> Accessories --> Terminal

Any command prefixed by 'sudo' is given administrative (or root) access. You will be prompted for your user password.

Using manpages to display command-line options and help

Most programs and commands have a help manual or screen, named "manpages".

A command's function and command-line options can be displayed by typing in the terminal window (i.e. from the command line):

man <command>

For example,

man apt-get

will show the options for the command apt-get.

Dual-Booting Windows and Ubuntu

Rarely, a user may experience problems dual-booting Ubuntu and Windows. In general, a Windows OS should be installed first, because its bootloader is very particular. A Windows installation usually occupies the entire hard drive, so the partition needs to be shrunk, creating free space for the Ubuntu partition. (You should clean up unnecessary files and defragment the drive before resizing.) The Windows partition can be resized from within Windows Vista using the shrink/resize option in the Administrative Tools --> Disk Management tool. If using Windows XP (or other Windows OS), use GParted partition manager to shrink the Windows partition and thereby leave free space on the hard drive for the Ubuntu partition. If done this way, there is no problem installing Ubuntu as the second operating system and it is done automatically from the Ubuntu LiveCD. Allow the Ubuntu LiveCD to install to "largest available free space."

A Windows partition should be at least 20 Gb (recommended 30 Gb), and a Ubuntu partition at least 10 Gb (recommended 20 Gb). Obviously, if you have plenty of disk space, make the partition for whichever will be your favoured operating system larger. For a perspective on other partitioning schemes, see this Psychocats Guide to Partitioning.

Alternatives include:

  • Wubi (Windows-based Ubuntu Installer), an officially supported dual-boot installer that allows Ubuntu to be run mounted in a virtual-disk within the Windows environment (which can cause a slight degradation in performance). Because the installation requires an intact functioning Windows system, it is recommended to install Ubuntu in this manner for short-term evaluation purposes only. A permanent Ubuntu installation should be installed in its own partition, with its own filesystem, and should not rely on Windows.
  • EasyBCD, a free Windows-based program that allows you to dual-boot Windows Vista and Ubuntu (as well as other operating systems) by configuring the Vista bootloader.


first step, get gpgkey.. a result must be "OK"

wget -q http://packages.medibuntu.org/medibuntu-key.gpg -O- | sudo apt-key add -

copy and paste this to your /etc/apt/sources.list

## -------------------
deb http://my.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy main restricted
deb-src http://my.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy main restricted
deb http://my.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy-updates main restricted
deb-src http://my.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy-updates main restricted
deb http://my.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy universe
deb-src http://my.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy universe
deb http://my.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy-updates universe
deb-src http://my.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy-updates universe
deb http://my.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy multiverse
deb-src http://my.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy multiverse
deb http://my.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy-updates multiverse
deb-src http://my.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy-updates multiverse
deb http://my.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy-backports main restricted universe multiverse
deb-src http://my.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy-backports main restricted universe multiverse
deb http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu hardy partner
deb-src http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu hardy partner
deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu hardy-security main restricted
deb-src http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu hardy-security main restricted
deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu hardy-security universe
deb-src http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu hardy-security universe
deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu hardy-security multiverse
deb http://my.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy-proposed restricted main multiverse universe
deb-src http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu hardy-security multiverse
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/ubuntume.team/ubuntu hardy main # Ubuntu Muslim Edition
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/ubuntume.team/ubuntu hardy main # Ubuntu Muslim Edition
deb http://www.linuxmint.com/repository romeo/
deb http://tskariah.000webhost.com/ubuntu ubuntu main
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/kubuntu-members-kde4/ubu...gutsy main
 ## +++ Backports & Proposed (Ubuntu Unstable) +++
deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy-backports main restricted universe multiverse
deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy-proposed main restricted universe multiverse
 ## +++ Source Repositories +++
deb-src http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy main restricted universe multiverse
deb-src http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy-updates main restricted universe multiverse
deb-src http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy-security main restricted universe multiverse
deb-src http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy-backports main restricted universe multiverse
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/kubuntu-members-kde4/ubu...hardy main
deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy main restricted
deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ gutsy main restricted
deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy-updates main restricted
deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy-updates main restricted
deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy universe
deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy universe
deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy-updates universe
deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy-updates universe
 ## Multiverse
deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy multiverse
deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy multiverse
deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy-updates multiverse
deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy-updates multiverse
 ## Backports
deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy-backports main restricted universe multiverse
deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy-backports main restricted universe multiverse
 ## Canonical Partner Repository
deb http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu hardy partner
deb-src http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu hardy partner
deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu hardy-security main restricted
deb-src http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu hardy-security main restricted
deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu hardy-security universe
deb-src http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu hardy-security universe
deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu hardy-security multiverse
deb-src http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu hardy-security multiverse
deb http://packages.medibuntu.org/ gutsy free non-free
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/reacocard-awn/ubuntu gutsy main
 ## +++ Medibuntu +++
deb http://packages.medibuntu.org/ hardy free non-free
deb http://packages.medibuntu.org/ feisty free non-free
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/kubuntu-members-kde4/ubu...hardy main

Keeping the system up-to-date

  • It is important to have the system updated with the latest patches, security fixes and package upgrades from the repositories.
  • Ensure that the correct repositories are enabled:
System --> Administration --> Software Sources
  • Open the command-line terminal:
  Applications --> Accessories --> Terminal
  • Update the repositories:
  sudo apt-get update

(The system will ask for your user password.)

  • Upgrade the packages of the currently installed version:
  sudo apt-get upgrade
  • If you wish to upgrade to the newest version, use:
  sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
Upgrading to a new version should be done with caution. Make sure you are not using a system that requires a specific version of Ubuntu to function. Some applications are not compatible with newer releases and may stop functioning when you do a distribution upgrade. This is especially true if you are using an "appliance" version of Ubuntu. These often should only have a distribution upgrade in co-ordination with a complete appliance upgrade.

Installing packages (programs) and libraries

In Ubuntu there are two ways to install packages into your system.

You can install packages from the command-line Terminal or from the Synaptic Package Manager

How to install a package with Apt (from the command-line terminal)

  • Apt is the Debian Package Manager and is used in Ubuntu as well.
  • Start the command line terminal:
 System --> Accessories --> Terminal 
  • Install a package by typing:
 sudo apt-get install package
  • To install the music player Amarok, for example:
 sudo apt-get install amarok
  • Remove a package:
 sudo apt-get remove package
  • To remove the Exaile music player, for example:
 sudo apt-get remove exaile
  • Apt checks the dependencies of a program automatically it is installed or removed.

How to install a package with Synaptic Package Manager

  • Start Synaptic Package Manager:
System --> Administration --> Synaptic Package Manager
  • Search for a complete or package using the Search Button.
  • Click the box(es) of the package(s) to be installed; it/(they) will be entered into the installation queue.
  • Press "Apply". Synaptic calculates the dependencies and installs the selected package as well as the packages on which it is dependent.

Searching for a package/program

There are several ways to find packages in the repositories.

Find a package in Synaptic

  • Open Synaptic:
System --> Administration --> Synaptic Package Manager
  • Press the Search button.

Select the fastest mirror

Find a package on the Ubuntu website

  • Search the Hardy packages at:

Find a package with Apt

  • Open a command-line terminal:
 Applications --> Accessories --> Terminal
  • Search for a package-name in the cache.
  sudo apt-cache search <package-name>
  • Example:
  sudo apt-cache search music player

Find a package in Aptitude

  • Aptitude is a menu-driven version of apt. It is invoked from the command-line terminal.
Applications --> Accessories --> Terminal
user> aptitude
  • Use the Search option similar to Synaptic Package Manager.

Add a program to the Applications menu

  • Right click on the menu bar to edit the menus.
  • Optionally, from the command-line terminal:
  • To find the location of the application on the hard drive:
  locate <applicationname>

Graphics cards and displays

Installation of ATI and nVidia Graphics drivers

Install restricted drivers

NVidia Driver
  • Determine what kernel you have running:
user@localhost:~$ uname -a
Linux ubuntu804server 2.6.24-17-server #1 SMP Thu May 1 14:28:06 UTC 2008 x86_64 GNU/Linux
  • I have the server kernel, so I need to install the following:
sudo apt-get install linux-restricted-modules-server

You can also install this package from Synaptic Package Manager (which I did.)

  • Go to System > Administration > Restricted Drivers Manager and turn on the driver.
  • Reboot
  • Some users may receive an error screen: "The software source for the packsge nvidia-glx-new is not enabled." This can be overcome by going to System > Administration > Software Sources and ticking all the boxes under the heading "Downloadable from the Internet", click close and then allow Ubuntu to reload the package lists. The NVidia drivers can then be enabled using the method above.
  • You can optionally prevent showing NVidia logo on startup by:
sudo nvidia-xconfig --no-logo

Install latest EnvyNG driver (ATI & nVidia)

  • Ensures you are always running the latest version of the drivers.
  • Read this faq.
  • Install the gtk package:
 sudo apt-get install envyng-gtk

Install drivers from the repository (ATI & nVidia)

  • From Synaptic Package Manager:
 System --> Administration --> Hardware Drivers
  • Choose your Graphics Card and desired options.
  • Reboot.

Open Source rRadeon driver (ATI)

RadeonHD driver (ATI only)

  • For those that own the latest ATi cards (2xxx and 3xxx generations) and can't have appropriate display with the latest ATi drivers (via EnvyNG) or with the repository driver.
  • Make sure that you don't have another ATI driver installed.
  • Also see this location for more info.
  • Search Synaptic Package Manager for the package:

Fix for Video Playback Problem in Compiz-Fusion

Problem: While running Compiz-Fusion in fullscreen, a blue screen appears instead of special effects (3D cube, expo window viewing, video while moving the window).

Solution: Try this fix.

Note: This fix is not a permanent fix. It makes your CPU render the video, not your graphic card. The video will seem pixelated when re-sized at a higher resolution because the CPU is not able to post-process the video (and taxes your system resources). There seems to be no current fix for this video playback issue. This is a driver problem at the X-Server side.

Configuring multiple monitors with a nVidia graphics card

Install the nVidia graphics control panel:

  sudo apt-get install nvidia-settings

And then run the configuration utility:

  gksu nvidia-settings

You should be able to configure all your monitors, set them to seperate resolutions, and change their positioning relative to one another. When you are finished, make sure you click 'Save to X Configuration File'. It is possible that you may have problems with the boundries of monitors; logging off and back on again should resolve this.

Internet Broadband Connection

Broadband wireless connection (GPRS, EDGE, UMTS and HSDPA) are very popular and famous nowaday. Connecting internet directly by usb, pcmcia, wireless broadband router, bluetooth etc is easy now. But how to make it easier?

he220r1 release

he220r1 was made special to huawei E220 usb modem user but also supported any 3G devices included mobile phone. The he220r1 is for ubuntu, kubuntu, edubuntu, and all ubuntu based such as gos, ubuntu CE, ubuntu ME, poseidon, open-geu, mythbuntu, ubuntu-studio, ultimate, fluxbuntu, embun, ubuntulite, fluxbuntu, blankon etc. I think this is good news for ubuntu user because ubuntu is a top 5 hits ranking in distrowatch, got many user and fan and very practically to newbies. Please refer to he220r1 official blogsite at he220r1 The he220r1 will set up ttyUSB0, ttyACM0, ttySHSF0, ttySL0, ttynoz0,ttytts0, ttyircomm0, tty0 and ttyifcomm0 in ubuntu directory. With he220r1, you can connect internet easily by terminal or kppp, gppp, network applet, vodafone-mobile-connect-card-driver-for linux and UMTSMON., Be a first one to download it. Get he220r1 free direct download at:

torrent version: (maybe very slow)

Wireless adapters

A lot of wireless devices should work out of the box. They can be configured using the networking tool System -> Administration -> Network

Atheros cards

  • Refer to current instructions for setting up Atheros wireless cards. The solutions listed below are out-of-date and are presented here for reference only.

Atheros AR5007 wireless on Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron)

Atheros 5007EG on an i386 platform

  • Note: These UbuntuGeek atheros and madwifi instructions are old, out-of-date, and needlessly complex. Use them as a last resort only. They are intended for those who have an Atheros 5007EG chipset and an i386 platform and can’t get it working with current instructions or with the ndiswrapper.

Atheros ar242x

  • Note: these instructions are currently out-of-date. Use them only if you cannot get other solutions to work.
  • The driver for the atheros ar242x wireless adapters seems to come out of the box (installed as a proprietary driver -see System -> Administration -> Hardware Drivers).
  • You may notice however that no wireless device is found by your network tool (System -> Administration -> Network). This Madberry Atheros 242 post might fix your issue (without having to install ndiswrapper for support of windows drivers).

Intel Corporation PRO/Wireless 2915ABG Network

Though this support is pre-built in ubuntu hardy...but on some laptops such as Acer Travelmate C200, the wireless press button doesn't blink and the user has no indication of device as working.A very simple solution is as follows:

Step 1:

       sudo cat > ipw2200.modprobe << "EOF"
       options ipw2200 led=1

Step 2:

       sudo mv ipw2200.modprobe /etc/modprobe.d/

Step 3:

       Run "lsmod |grep ipw2200" to check if ipw2200 module is loaded....Restart System and enjoy!

Broadcom Corporation BCM4311 802.11b/g WLAN

Information for fixing wirless for Broadcom BCM4311 is at this link http://www.ubuntu1501.com/2008/04/ndiswrapper-in-hardy-heron.html Bold text

How to Backup Your Ubuntu Desktop

Pybackpack - A user friendly file backup tool for Ubuntu Linux Desktop

A graphical tool to make file backup simpler. Provides a user-friendly interface which allows you to back up your files easily to an archive, to a CD/DVD or to a remote location using SSH.

Installation guide including screenshots check here

How to install multimedia support on Hardy Heron

Installing Codecs

 sudo apt-get update

To be upgraded. Please check that you have all repositories enabled in System > Administration > Software sources.

Then run this command:

 sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

Now you have most of the codecs needed to play most of the multimedia you may own.

Installing DVD Support

If you want to install codecs in i386 and 64 bit check This

If you want a script to automate this for you, go here.

At the console, type:

  sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

Αnd paste in the end of the file the below:

  ## Medibuntu - Ubuntu 8.04 "hardy" 
  ## Please report any bug on https://bugs.launchpad.net/medibuntu/ 
  deb http://packages.medibuntu.org/ hardy free non-free

save the document and then in the terminal type:

  wget -q http://packages.medibuntu.org/medibuntu-key.gpg -O- | sudo apt-key add -

in order to receive the appropriate key.

Finally, at the terminal, type:

   sudo apt-get update 
   sudo apt-get install libdvdcss2


I used this method and DVD movies wouldn't play previews or allow me to go to the Main Menu. English DVD's would also play French or Spanish language when set to Auto in Language.

I used this forum page to get my DVD working and it works great! Not just for xubuntu.

This has also been completely automated for all versions of Ubuntu here: http://www.hildoersystems.com/index.php/home/62.

I just set up a fresh box, here's what worked well to take care of dvd/cd playback. Run in order


     sudo wget http://www.medibuntu.org/sources.list.d/hardy.list -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list
     sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install medibuntu-keyring && sudo apt-get update
     sudo apt-get install vlc libdvdcss2 ubuntu-restricted-extras w32codecs

Thats it.

To add the better totem-xine player as default totem player

     sudo apt-get install totem-xine
     sudo update-alternatives --config totem

choose 2

edit : the libdvdread3/install-css.sh thing is somewhat outdated, much better to get your libs, codecs and players from medibuntu. In the rare case the current libdvdcss2 doesn't work for your system then that's an option


On Xubuntu, you may experience some glitches with Pulseaudio like no sound at all after upgrading from Gutsy. The reason may be that the Pulseaudio daemon is not started. Take note that the sound server is not started at boot time (to reduce the risk of inter-user audio corruption), but at login time. So, you will have to add an entry to your autostarted applications for Pulseaudio. Here is an example:

:[Desktop Entry]

Installing VLC Media Player

At the console, type:

  sudo apt-get install vlc

To remove,

sudo apt-get --purge autoremove vlc

If you encounter sound problems (due to PulseAudio ), type:

   sudo apt-get install vlc-plugin-pulse

and choose PulseAudio as output in VLC options.

How to make VLC open when you insert a DVD

Some users may run into problems using Totem to play DVDs. Totem is the default program for DVD-playback in Hardy, and there is no obvious way to change it. A lot of tips that worked in previous versions no longer work. The main problem is that VLC does not register itself as a DVD-capable application. These steps will set VLC media player as your default DVD player.

Create a new directory, if it doesn't already exist, for our custom settings. At the console, type:

   mkdir ~/.local/share/applications

Copy the standard VLC settings file. Type:

   cp /usr/share/applications/vlc.desktop ~/.local/share/applications/vlc-dvd.desktop

Edit vlc-dvd.desktop. Type:

   gedit ~/.local/share/applications/vlc-dvd.desktop

Scroll down, and find the line that reads:

   Exec=vlc %U

Replace the above line with one of the following:

1. (all you really need)
   Exec=vlc %f
2. (recommended settings from ubuntuforums for better dvd playback)
   Exec=vlc --vout-filter deinterlace --deinterlace-mode blend --volume 512 %f
3. (recommended settings from ubuntuforums for better dvd playback and automatic full screen playback)
   Exec=vlc --vout-filter deinterlace --deinterlace-mode blend --volume 512 --fullscreen %f

Save the file and close gedit, then open mimeapps.list. At the console, type:

   gedit ~/.local/share/applications/mimeapps.list

In most cases this will be a new (blank) file, and all you will need to do is paste in the following text. If mimeapps.list already exists, scroll down until you find the line that begins with «x-content/video-dvd» under the [Added Associations] heading, and change it to match the following text (or paste in the entire line if you couldn't find it).

   [Added Associations]

Save the file and close gedit. To check that the settings have properly applied, from the Gnome menus go to Places → Home Folder, then from the file manager menus go to Edit → Preferences → Media, and «DVD Video» should be set to «Open VLC media player» (you should be able to choose between Totem/Move Player and VLC)

Installing Amarok (a Music Player)

Whilst Amarok is a KDE/Qt application, it will work fine on Ubuntu, and can be installed by typing:

  sudo apt-get install amarok

Installing Exaile (Amarok-like Music Player)

Exaile is a GTK, Amarok-like Music Player. From the command-line terminal:

  sudo apt-get install exaile

Make sure you have the appropriate multimedia codecs installed.

Installing Pulseaudio Tools

This will install pulseaudio utilities such as individual application volume controls and audio server tools.

Open a Terminal window and type the following:

  sudo apt-get install libasound2-plugins "pulseaudio-*" paman padevchooser paprefs pavucontrol pavumeter libflashsupport

Run Pulseaudio Device Manager from the Applications > Sound and Video menu to access the tools.

Installing XMMS

Note: XMMS is no longer included in the package tree and must be installed from source. See this guide for more instructions.

XMMS depends on a lot of packages; install them by typing the following into a terminal:

sudo apt-get install autotools-dev automake1.9 libtool gettext libasound2-dev libaudiofile-dev \
libgl1-mesa-dev libglib1.2-dev libgtk1.2-dev libesd0-dev libice-dev libmikmod2-dev libogg-dev \
libsm-dev libvorbis-dev libxxf86vm-dev libxml-dev libssl-dev build-essential make

Download the source from the XMMS website:


and unpack the .tar.gz.

From a terminal move to the newly untarred directory and type:

./configure --prefix=/usr

Compile the code:


Then install:

sudo make install

You can remove the untarred directory if you so desire. To make audio output work properly, you may have to change the output audio plugin to ALSA from the OSS driver. This is done by opening xmms and navigating through the Options-Preferences menus.

Installing Real Player 11 and Configuring Mozilla Plugin

The following steps show how to install Real Player 11 and Mozilla Plugin for Firefox 3.0 browsers running on Hardy Heron.

Download Real Player 11 from:


Open a terminal and change to the directory where the file was downloaded. Grant execute permissions and run the setup using the following commands:

  chmod 770 RealPlayer11GOLD.bin
  sudo ./RealPlayer11GOLD.bin

Use the following default installation directory during the installation:


The installer will copy the files and create menu shortcuts. Then run the following commands.

  cd /usr/lib/firefox-addons/plugins
  sudo ln -s /opt/real/RealPlayer/mozilla/nphelix.xpt nphelix.xpt
  sudo ln -s /opt/real/RealPlayer/mozilla/nphelix.so nphelix.so
  sudo mv /usr/lib/totem/gstreamer/libtotem-complex-plugin.so ~/.

Open Firefox and type about:plugins in the address bar. Scroll down and look for the following entry.

  Helix DNA Plugin: RealPlayer G2 Plug-In Compatible
  File name: /opt/real/RealPlayer/mozilla/nphelix.so
  Helix DNA Plugin: RealPlayer G2 Plug-In Compatible version built with gcc 3.4.3 on Feb 25 2008

If found, your Real Plugin is installed properly!

Systems and Network Monitoring

Monitor your network or datacenter with a framework of utilities. Comparable to IBM Tivoli (which can cost thousands of dollars), these solutions are generally available as either community or enterprise editions.

  • Hyperic is an open-source network monitoring framework that can be used in either a datacenter or a cloud environment (it is used for Amazon Cloud). Both a free community version and a subscription enterprise version are available.
  • Groundwork OpenSource offers a community edition that integrates other packages such as Nagios, Nmap, and others. There is a subscription enterprise version as well. It has its roots in a university setting.
  • OpenQRM is the GPL-licensed, free open-source community successor to the very popular network monitoring solution Qlusters. It is available as a Debian/Ubuntu package. See the website for details.
  • Canonical offers the Landscape network management service for $150 per node, with a free trial available.
  • Zenoss is a commercial network monitoring subscription package (about $150/node) with a limited free "core" edition also available.


Nagios is a free open source network monitoring solution. It is available as a package installation in Ubuntu. It is administered from a web interface (http://localhost/nagios) and is expandable using a large number of available plugins. Install:

sudo apt-get install nagios3


Zenoss is a commercial network monitoring subscription package (about $150/node) with a limited free "core" edition also available. To install a version of Zenoss which includes all dependencies, add the repository by typing:

  sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

Αnd paste in the end of the file:

  ## Zenoss - Ubuntu
  ## Please report any bugs at http://dev.zenoss.org/trac
  deb http://dev.zenoss.org/deb main stable

Save the file and exit.

In order to receive the key, type:

  wget -q http://dev.zenoss.org/deb/zenoss-gpg.key -O- | sudo apt-key add -

Then type:

   sudo apt-get update
   sudo apt-get install zenoss-stack

Start zenoss:

   sudo /etc/init.d/zenoss-stack start

Then in your browser, visit http://yourhost:8080, where yourhost is the FQDN of the server on which you installed Zenoss. Zenoss docs are available at http://docs.zenoss.com.

Internet and Web Development

Wiki software

Wiki software allows an organization to have a manual that can be edited by a number of collaborators. Wikipedia is the best known example.


MediaWiki is the free, open source server software that Wikipedia uses. It is scalable to very large uses. It runs on the LAMP server stack (which uses the MySQL database and is available as an installation option with the (K)ubuntu server), or it can be used with a postgreSQL database. Installation instructions are here.


Twiki is an open source wiki engine used by many small to medium size companies internally. It has an active development team with multiple plugins. See the website for installation instructions.


TiddlyWiki is an open source personal wiki. It is ideal for creating a list of things to do, note taking, or as a collaboration tool for a small team. It is a single HTML file that can reside on your computer or can even be uploaded to a web server and be used as a simple website. It is developed using a Firefox browser as an interface. Installation instructions are on the website.

Web Publishing

Drupal (Web content publishing)

Drupal is the leading open-source website creation and content collaboration tools. A modular approach to website building, from simple out-of-the-box websites to complex sites is possible with a short learning curve. Get more info on how to get started. Drupal requires a prior installation of a LAMP server stack.

Drupal is available as a package from Synaptic, or from the command-line terminal:

sudo apt-get install drupal5

Joomla (Web content publishing)

Joomla is a powerful open source website creation and content management tool that allows website creation for use in every arena from the simple to complex corporate environments. Info for beginners is a good place to start.

Scribus (Desktop publishing)

Scribus is an open-source package that provides professional-appearing desktop publishing.

sudo apt-get install scribus

Plone (Content Management System)

Plone is a free, open source (GPL-licensed) multi-platform content management system used by many large organizations around the world. It is available with an integrated installer here.


Kompozer Web Development Editor

Kompozer is a Gecko-based web authoring system that combines web page editing with web file management in a WYSIWYG manner. I supports XML, CSS, and JavaScript in an XUL architecture.

sudo apt-get install kompozer

Quanta Plus (Web IDE)

Quanta Plus is an integrated development environment integrated with the KDE desktop. It allows webpage development, database design, and XML design and scripting, for example, using multiple development tools. The latest stable version is 3.5, however, and integrates with the KDE 3.5 environment (Ubuntu Hardy Heron). You should therefore use Ubuntu Hardy Heron with this product. (There is also a commercial version (Quanta Gold), also oriented towards KDE 3).

sudo apt-get install quanta kompare kxsldbg cervisia

Netbeans IDE

Netbeans is a free open-source integrated development environment used to create applications using Ajax, Ruby, pHp, Groovy, Java, Javascript, C++, and other scripting tools.

sudo apt-get install netbeans

BlueFish Web Development Editor

BlueFish is a GTK-based (Gnome-oriented) editor to write websites, scripts and programming code. It supports perl, Python, pHp, CSS, XML, Java, Javascript, C, SQL, and other formats.

sudo apt-get install bluefish

Remote Desktop

There are various ways to access your Ubuntu desktop remotely, each of the methods has their tradeoffs and has to be chosen according to your needs.

Howto Install and use Xming for Windows

The application Xming can be used to implement a remote desktop for Ubuntu on a Windows machine. The install procedure below describes the use of the XDMP interface of the X server with Xming running on Windows XP.

  • Download the Xming application and Fonts install package from SourceForge.net
  • First Install the Xming application, then its Fonts.
  • Next you have to make sure your Windows Firewall does not block the connection to your Linux machine. Go to the "Exceptions" tab in your Firewall Settings and add the following Port configurations:
Name: Any name
Port number: 16001
TCP -> Sellected
Name: Any name
Port number: 6000
TCP -> Selected
Name: Any name
Port number: 177
UDP -> Selected
  • Go to your Ubuntu machine and enable your remote desktop: (Gnome)
System->Remote Desktop
"Allow other users to view your desktop" -> Selected
"Allow other users to control your desktop" -> Selected

Select your Security setting according to your choice in this tab.

  • To make sure your Linux box does not block your XDMP communications via TCP:

On your Linux box (Gnome) go to System->Administration->Login Window->Security. Make sure the "Deny TCP connections to Xserver" is unselected.

  • Go to your Windows machine to the folder where you installed Xming and click on XLaunch.exe
  • Select any of the options except "Multiple Windows", click on "Next".
  • Select Open session via XDMCP, "Next".
  • Select Connect to host. Type in your Linux machine name or IP address, "Next".
  • Enable Clipboard.
  • Save the configuration & click Finish.

Now you should get a login window from Ubuntu.

Potential Issues

There might be a potential issue that your mouse's wheel does not work properly on your remote desktop. To fix this go to your linux machine and edit the file: /etc/X11/xorg.conf. At Section "InputDevice", Identifier "Configured Mouse" add the following lines: (This is for a normal PS2 two button one scroll wheel mouse)

Option    "Protocol" "IMPS/2"
Option    "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"
Option    "Buttons"   "3"

Waring: Make sure you do this correctly or it will screw up you X Server settings
Between the Option and parameters use a <Tab> character.

  • Restart you Ubuntu machine for the changes to take effect.

Howto: Tweak and maximize your bandwidth in Ubuntu/Linux via sysctl!

Here I will unleash a few hidden settings that should improve your internet speed, and work with all current linux operating systems including Ubuntu:

1. Open a Terminal via Applications->Accessories->Terminal


    sudo gedit /etc/sysctl.conf

Then Paste the Following at the end of the file:

 ## increase TCP max buffer size setable using setsockopt()
net.core.rmem_max = 16777216
net.core.wmem_max = 16777216
 ## increase Linux autotuning TCP buffer limits
 ## min, default, and max number of bytes to use
 ## set max to at least 4MB, or higher if you use very high BDP paths
net.ipv4.tcp_rmem = 4096 87380 16777216
net.ipv4.tcp_wmem = 4096 65536 16777216
 ## don't cache ssthresh from previous connection
net.ipv4.tcp_no_metrics_save = 1
net.ipv4.tcp_moderate_rcvbuf = 1
 ## recommended to increase this for 1000 BT or higher
net.core.netdev_max_backlog = 2500
 ## for 10 GigE, use this, uncomment below
 ## net.core.netdev_max_backlog = 30000
 ## Turn off timestamps if you're on a gigabit or very busy network
 ## Having it off is one less thing the IP stack needs to work on
 ## net.ipv4.tcp_timestamps = 0
 ## disable tcp selective acknowledgements.
net.ipv4.tcp_sack = 0
 ##enable window scaling
net.ipv4.tcp_window_scaling = 1

Save and exit.

Type in terminal

    sudo sysctl -p 

to apply the settings.

You can disable all these settings by removing these lines you added via:

    sudo gedit /etc/sysctl.conf

Install a LAMP server on a Desktop

LAMP stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP. You can install an integrated package that includes all four from the Synaptic Package manager (if you are using a Desktop Edition).

System-->Administration-->Synaptic Package Manager-->
Edit-->Mark Packages by Task-->LAMP server -->Apply

Simple LAMP server Setup

In around 15 minutes, the time it takes to install Ubuntu Server Edition, you can have a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) server up and ready to go. This feature, exclusive to Ubuntu Server Edition, is available at the time of installation.

Check LAMP Server Setup in 15min Very easy setup guide

Install a LAMP server for local web development

This will install Apache2, PHP5, MySql5, and PHPMyAdmin.

Firstly, type the following command at the console:

  apt-get update

This will retrieve new lists of packages.

Next type:

  sudo apt-get install apache2 php5 mysql-server-5.0 phpmyadmin

This will install all the necessary applications. You may be prompted to decide on a MySQL root password (set one if you want), and to configure PHPMyAdmin (select apache2 as the server type). After this is complete, we need to perform some minor configuration to get PHPMyAdmin working. Type:

  sudo gedit /etc/apache2/apache2.conf

Scroll right to the bottom of the file that opens, and add:

  # Enable PHPMyAdmin
  Include /etc/phpmyadmin/apache.conf

Now save, exit, and type:

  sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

Everything should now be configured - go to for webpages, and for database administration. The webroot is located in /var/www/ by default. This is not particularly useful, as we do not have write access to this directory. Fortunately, this is easy to solve, by...

Adding a virtual host to your LAMP server


This allows us to access a different folder as our webroot from a different address in our browser - face it, 'localhost' or is boring.

Start by adding a new host. This is easy to do via System --> Administration --> Network; click on the Hosts tab, select the localhost item from the list and click properties. You may need to click the 'Unlock' button and enter your password first. Underneath the entry 'localhost', on a new line, add your entry of choice; for example, we'll use 'testhost'. Add this, and close all the dialogs.

To confirm that the above worked, you can check the '/etc/hosts' file.

  sudo gedit /etc/hosts

You should see the following line.	testhost

Now we need to edit the Apache configuration file, so type into the console:

  sudo gedit /etc/apache2/httpd.conf

In the resulting file (which may well be empty), add the definition for your host! My username is 'dan', and I want my webpages to be served from a directory named 'www' in my home, so I would add:

  <VirtualHost *>
     ServerName testhost
     DocumentRoot /home/dan/www

where testhost is the name of the new virtual site (it must match the above entry in your conf file).

After this, you need to restart apache so it can load these new configuration file entries.

  sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

I can now add files to /home/dan/www, and access them by visiting http://testhost


Fire up terminal and type the followings:

  cd /etc/apache2/sites-available
  sudo touch your-site-name.conf
  sudo nano your-site-name.conf

Type in your Virtual Host directives, example:

  ServerName myserver
  ServerAdmin me@myserver
  DocumentRoot /home/me/webroot/default
  <Directory /home/me/webroot/default>
     Options -Indexes
     AllowOverride All
     Order Allow,Deny
     Allow From All

Save the new file and type in the followings:

  cd ../sites-enabled
  ln -s /etc/apache2/sites-available/your-site-name.conf ./your-site-name.conf
  cd ../
  sudo nano apache2.conf

Go to the end of the apache2.conf file and add the following line just before the comment listed below:

  # Include the virtual host configurations:
  Include /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/

Save the edited file and type the following:

  sudo nano /etc/hosts

Edit the entry after to match your configuration, example: localhost zozi myserver

Last but not least, save the edited file and restart the daemon by doing this:

  sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

Your new virtual host will be accessible at the address http://myserver/.

Gufw - Simple GUI for ufw (Uncomplicated Firewall)

Gufw is an easy to use GUI for the Ubuntu Linux firewall ufw. Gufw is an easy, intuitive, way to manage your Linux firewall. It supports common tasks such as allowing or blocking pre-configured, common p2p, or individual ports port(s), and many others!

For other info, see this UbuntuGeek Gufw Setup Guide.

Home Automation / Home Theater / Home Security

Complete Systems

Linux MCE (Media Center Edition)

LinuxMCE is an integrated home theater/home security/home automation/telephone PBX/intercom system for your home. It incorporates MythTV, Pluto home automation, Motion security surveillance, Asterisk PBX, VDR video disk recorder, and other home automation/security/theater packages in an integrated platform. It is available in 32 and 64 bit versions. LinuxMCE can run either as a standalone Home Theater PC or can co-ordinate a fully networked home, using the networking capabilities that are intrinsically part of the Kubuntu Linux OS. For more info see the LinuxMCE website.

The most recent version runs on Kubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy). A version for Kubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid) is due out soon. LinuxMCE can be installed at the same time as the Kubuntu OS (on a new PC with an nVidia graphics card), with a single DVD installation. Alternatively, Kubuntu can be installed first and LinuxMCE then installed from a 2 CD installation.

At this time, the automatic installer for Linux MCE uses the KDE desktop (Kubuntu). There are users that have made Linux MCE work with the Gnome desktop (Ubuntu) and other Linux distributions, but it is recommended to stick with the Kubuntu OS, as required by the LinuxMCE automatic installation.

PVR (Personal Video Recorder)


MythTV is a PVR (personal video recorder) for retrieving, recording, and playing broadcast and Internet TV and other multimedia content.

sudo apt-get install mythtv


Mythbuntu is an integrated Ubuntu (Xubuntu) desktop optimised for MythTV usage. In can be used instead of adding MythTV to an Ubuntu desktop.

  • Start Synaptic Package Manager.
System-->Administration-->Synaptic Package Manager
  • Choose to install the Mythbuntu LiveCD package, or a combination of the Mythbuntu frontend, master backend, slave backend, and/or additional roles. See the website for details.
Synaptic Package Manager-->Mark Packages by Task...

Remote control configuration - Lircd

In Mythbuntu Control Centre use the following:

  • Remote: Custom ( or use one from the list if you happen to have it )
  • Driver: [blank] ( most of the time if the right module is loaded )
  • Modules: lirc_dev lirc_i2c lirc_igorplugusb ( in the case of diy custom receiver igorplugusb otherwise use module acordingly)
  • Configuration: myremote.conf
    • use irrecord to generate a .conf file for a custom remote, almost any remote should work

Also use:

dmesg                      # to check that receiver registered corectly in the kernel
sudo mode2 -d /dev/lirc0   # to check that receiver is functioning, try different usb ports if not working
irw /dev/lircd             # to check that lircd receives the correct remote messages

Warning: Make sure ~/.mythtv/lircdrc uses remote = YourRemoteName, same name used in myremote.conf

sudo /etc/init.d/lirc restart   # restart lircd daemon

Restart mythtvfrontend

Home Security

Zoneminder surveillance system

Zoneminder manages surveillance cameras and stores images on the hard disk. Images can be viewed using a (LAMP) server remotely. X10 devices can be triggered using built-in perl scripts. For more info see the Zoneminder website.

apt-get install ffmpeg
Installing the latest Zoneminder version
Using the repository package
  • There is a Zoneminder (version 1.22.3) package for Hardy (that was also the package from Gutsy) in the repositories. You should be able to install the package from Synaptic Package Manager. It is available in 32-bit and 64-bit versions.
Original Feisty installation instructions
  • However, if that does not work, try the original instructions that worked for Feisty:
  • You must have the LAMP server installed. In addition, you may need additional modules if they are not satisfied by the package dependencies:
sudo apt-get install libarchive-tar-perl libarchive-zip-perl libdate-manip-perl libdevice-serialport-perl
sudo apt-get install libjpeg62 libmime-perl libstdc++6 libunwind7 libwww-perl zlib1g
  • Download the .deb package from the package manager's website:


  • Install using the Debian package manager. (No other method seems to work.)
dpkg -i zoneminder_1.22.3-8_i386.deb
  • (Note: If some dependencies are still unsatisfied, make sure you have these packages installed):
sudo apt-get install libc6 libc6.1 libgcc1 libgcc4 libstdc++6
(These should already be installed as part of the LAMP installation):
sudo apt-get install apache2-mpm-prefork libapache2-mod-php5 libmysqlclient15off mysql-client mysql-server php5  php5-mysql
Setup Zoneminder configuration

If your installation is successful, you will now need to set up the configuration files and databases for Zoneminder.

  • Copy the configuration file and restart the Apache2 server.
sudo ln -s /etc/zm/apache.conf /etc/apache2/conf.d/zoneminder.conf
sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 reload
  • View Zoneminder from your web browser:
  • Set up a MySQL database for Zoneminder
  • Note: In Hardy, the next two steps are accomplished during a LAMP server installation or during MySQL installation.
  • If this is the first time you have used MySQL, the default global MySQL superuser root will not have a password. You should set one now. Instructions for setting mySQL initial privileges are here.
In short:
mysql -u root
mysql> UPDATE mysql.user SET Password=PASSWORD('your_new_password') WHERE User='root';
mysql> quit
  • In addition, you can set up an additional global MySQL user (such as mysql_user, for example) by following the instructions here. That way you can reserve root login for emergencies.
In short:
mysql -u root
mysql> CREATE USER 'mysql_user'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'mysql_user_passwd';
mysql> quit
  • Now you must create a MySQL database for use by Zoneminder. This is an administrative MySQL command, so you must use one of your global MySQL users (either root or mysql_user, as created in the example above). You can name your Zoneminder database anything you want, instead of zmdatabase.
mysqladmin -u root -p CREATE zmdatabase
mysqladmin -u mysql_user -p CREATE zmdatabase
  • Create users for the Zoneminder database. As always, I create a root user for emergency use. I use the same password for root as I do elsewhere on my system. Then I also create a user named zm_user (but you could also creat a user named mysql_user, to keep everything consistent). [I use a unique user here because this is a home security system, after all, and I don't want it breached.] These users are specific to this database; they can be the same users as used elsewhere in the system or can be unique users.
TO  'zm_user'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'password';

TO   'root'@'localhost' 
IDENTIFIED BY 'password'; (I used my usual root password here).
mysql> quit
mysqladmin reload
Note: mysql commands (i.e. any entered at the mysql> prompt) must end with a semicolon. If you forget the semicolon, nothing will happen.

Myth Zoneminder

MythZoneminder allows you to view your security cameras through Myth TV, essentially. It is a plugin that interfaces the two packages Zoneminder (which must be working on your system) and Myth TV (which must also be working.) It can be found in Synpatic Package Manager as the mythzoneminder package.

See the installation instructions.

TFTP server Setup in Ubuntu

Advanced TFTP server. Multithreaded TFTP server implementing all options specified in RFCs 1350, 2090, 2347, 2348, 2349 (multicast not implemented yet). The server currently supports being started from inetd(8) only. The server then handles new connections directly by starting new threads and kills itself after 5 minutes of inactivity.

Check aTFTP Server Setup in Ubuntu Very easy setup guide

How to restore GRUB to a partition or MBR with an Ubuntu Live CD

Sometimes, if an Ubuntu installation goes wrong, or a Windows NT bootloader overwrites MBR and doesn't recognise the Linux installation, we have to restore our GRUB bootloader that is, generally, very flexible.

First of all, we burn a Hardy Heron (Ubuntu 8.04) ISO (on a CD(R , RW) or DVD (+R , +RW)) or make sure that we have one already.

Then, we change, in the BIOS, the boot load sequence and we put the CD/DVD option first.

After that, we boot the Live CD, we choose the first option and in a few minutes we have arrived at the Live CD Desktop.

So, we go :

 Applications --> Accessories --> Terminal 

Then, we have to remember which is our Ubuntu installation partition.

In our example, it is the second one (/dev/sda2), formatted as ext3, in the first HDD of a SATA controller. We suppose that it is the second one, since, in case we have Windows that demand to be in the first partition (/dev/sda1), this one is occupied.

Now, you have to be really careful. You have to enter the right partition, instead of sda2 (unless it is the same) In the terminal :

  cd /
  sudo -s -H
  mount -t ext3 /dev/sda2 /mnt
  mount -t proc proc /mnt/proc
  mount -t sysfs sys /mnt/sys
  mount -o bind /dev /mnt/dev
  chroot /mnt  /bin/bash

And now, you are actually "running" Ubuntu within the Hard Drive but through Live CD's terminal.

Now we restore GRUB like that:

1) Restoration to MBR

  grub-install /dev/sda

2) Restoration to partition (example: /dev/sda2)

  grub-install /dev/sda2

In the first case (that is the most usual) you have certainly installed GRUB on MBR after you receive, in the terminal, the message that there are no errors.

After you reboot, you have your favorite bootloader restored.

Alternatively, mount the / and /boot folders you want to boot into and just pass the --root-directory argument into grub-install, there is no need to chroot anymore.

Encrypt home partition with cryptsetup & LUKS

First step is to backup all necessary data, if something goes wrong your data will be lost in the process if it's not backed up. Also note that your home folder needs to be located on a separate partition than your root partition, if not see #How to make partitions.

Second, install necessary software:

  sudo apt-get install cryptsetup

Insert the new module, dm-crypt into the kernel:

  sudo modprobe dm-crypt

Check to see what encryption schemes are available:

  cat /proc/crypto

If only MD5 is listed, try inserting the appropriate modules into the kernel:

  sudo modprobe serpent

Above is an example, this could also be twofish, blowfish or anything other crypto module that you would like to use.

The following commands will assume that your home partition is /dev/sda1, please change it to match your own configuration.

Next step we use cryptsetup to change the partition with the luksFormat option, this command will cause you to lose all data on /dev/sda1.

  sudo cryptsetup luksFormat -c algorithm -y -s size /dev/sda1

Where algorithm is the algorithm that you chose above such as serpent aes, etc.

Size is the key size for encryption, this is generally 128 or 256. Without specifying the algorithm or the size, I believe it defaults to AES 256, more information and additional options can be found by reading the man page. The above step will ask you to choose a password and verify it. Do not forget this password.

We can then use the luksOpen option to open the encrypted drive.

  sudo cryptsetup luksOpen /dev/sda1 home

Home is a nickname which cryptsetup uses to refer to /dev/sda1. It also creates the device /dev/mapper/home, this is what you would actually mount to access the filesystem. If you specify another name other than home, it will create the device /dev/mapper/[name], where [name] is the nickname that cryptsetup will use. This step will ask you for your LUKS passphrase, this is the password you created in the previous step.

Next, we create the actual filesystem on the device. I use reiserfs, but it could just as well be ext3.

  sudo mkreiserfs /dev/mapper/home


  sudo mkfs.ext3 /dev/mapper/home

Next step is to mount your encrypted device and copy your files back to your home directory.

  mkdir new_home
  sudo mount /dev/mapper/home new_home
  cp -r * new_home

Now we have to set up everything so that it's ready to go at boot, we need to tell the system that there are encrypted disks that we want mounted.

  gksudo gedit /etc/crypttab

Enter the following as one line at the end of the file.

  home       /dev/sda1       none       luks,tries=3

remember home can be any name that you want, just remember that this maps to /dev/mapper/[name]. The option tries=3 allows 3 tries before a reboot is required or the disk is not decrypted.

Next enter the device info in fstab that we want to mount on boot.

  gksudo gedit /etc/fstab

Enter the information as one line at the end of the file.

  /dev/mapper/home       /home       reiserfs       defaults       0       0

Remember to substitute /dev/mapper/home with your device /dev/mapper/[name], /home is the mount point, since this is our home directory, reiserfs is the filesystem type, put ext3 if you formatted it as ext3. For now the default options should be good, change this if you need/require something else. Also, now is a good time to remove the old /dev/sda1 device entry so that fstab doesn't try to load it at boot. This can be accomplished by commenting out the /dev/sda1 line or deleting it.

Final step is to make sure that the proper modules are loaded at boot time.

  gksudo gedit /etc/modules

Now add dm-crypt and the crypto module that you used earlier, such as serpent, aes, etc. Each needs to be on its own line.


That should be it, all that's required is a reboot. During the reboot process, the computer will say "Starting early crypto disks" and ask for your passphrase. If the passphrase is accepted, it will unlock the encrypted partition and mount it on your specified mount point.


You can change the way you enter a command in order to be executed by entering an alias.

For example, you may enter in a terminal "update-system" (a command that in face doesn't exists) that replaces "sudo apt-get update". You can do the same thing for other commands.

This is what you do. Our example is going to be the alias of the command

 ls -FCal --color=auto

that shows with colours and many details the contents of a folder.

Open a terminal

  Applications --> Accessories --> Terminal

and enter

  gedit ~/.bashrc

Be carefull now. Don't erase anything there.

Now, go to the end of the document and enter

  alias ll="ls -FCal --color=auto"

As you can see, now with the command


whenever we want, we call, in fact, this one

  ls -FCal --color=auto

You can do the same thing for other commands that need a lot of switches.

Save the document, close the terminal and reopen it. You may now check your new alias.

Tips & Tricks

Autostart a program at bootup

Any program (or script) can be made to Autostart at bootup by creating a symbolic link to that program (or script) in the ~/.config/autostart folder.

For example, to start Firefox at bootup, create a symbolic link:

sudo ln -s /usr/bin/firefox ~/.config/autostart

Automating Tasks

  • Cron is a system daemon that runs tasks in the background according to instructions found in a crontab file. To edit the crontab file for the current user:
crontab -e

Tasks that normally require administrative (sudo) privileges should be added to the root user's crontab:

sudo crontab -e

Add commands using the format specified here (or see the Ubuntu Community Help). The crontab command format can also be found using:

man crontab

Run a script from a menu item

It is possible to place a short script in a menu item / shortcut to answer an interactive query (such as a password query). Here is an example that is used to enter a password during an SSH negotiation. First, install the utility expect:

sudo apt-get install expect

The use a command in the Menu Item / Shortcut similar to:

expect -c 'spawn ssh -l sshuser -L 5900: remoteserver.remotedomain.org -p 22 ; expect assword ; send "sshpassword\n" ; interact'

In this example the password sshpassword is returned when the ssh program requires a password. Expect waits for some text to be displayed in the command-line terminal then returns text in return. The Menu Item must be "Run in terminal", therefore.

Create a symlink from a file to another location

A symbolic link (also known as a symlink) is a method in Linux of referring to a file (or directory) in one location from another location. Usage:

ln -s /path/to/source /path/to/destination

If /path/to/destination requires superuser rights, then use:

sudo ln -s /path/to/source /path/to/destination

This is similar to, but more powerful than, creating Shortcuts, with which former Windows users may be familiar.

Change the splash screen color

Originally a brownish color to match the Ubuntu theme, it does not quite fit with other themes and might want to be changed. Enter the gdm.conf file (sudo gedit /etc/gdm/gdm.conf). About two-thirds of the way down you will see the lines:


Change it to what you like. For all black, use:


Change the default Terminal window size

The default size of the Terminal window is around 80 columns wide and 24 columns high. To alter this, edit the file /usr/share/vte/termcap/xterm. You can use the following command:

 sudo gedit /usr/share/vte/termcap/xterm

Just a few lines from the top will be the line reading:


Change the number right after co# to change the width. Change the number right after li# to change the height.

Change the Samba workgroup

  • The Samba workgroup for use in a Windows network is set to "WORKGROUP" by default. It should be changed to match the workgroup used on your Windows network
  • Edit the Samba configuration file:
sudo gedit /etc/samba/smb.conf
  • Edit the line:
workgroup = WORKGROUP

Change it to the name of your actual workgroup name. For example, my workgroup is MSHOME, so I changed the line to:

workgroup = MSHOME

Save the file.

  • Reboot.

Recognizing Win98 machines

Microsoft networking is extremely quirky. To enable recognition of PCs with Windows 98, edit your Samba configuration file:

sudo nano /etc/samba/smb.conf

Then add the following lines to the file:

client lanman auth = yes
client ntlmv2 auth = no

Fix the shutdown "Network Error" display (restore shutdown splash screen)

Many Ubuntu systems have a minor bug when shutting down. Instead of displaying a splash screen indicating the progress of the shutdown process, the user is dropped out to a console screen flooded with shutdown notices (mostly network error messages). These messages are normal and expected, there is nothing to be concerned about. But it can be a bit unsightly, and it would seem that the Ubuntu team intended to have those messages hidden by the splash screen. The splash screen can be restored without much effort:

  • Go to System → Administration → Login Window, and select the Local tab
  • Select a different theme, then re-select the default theme ("Human"). This just refreshes the setting
  • Click Close, then go back to System → Administration → Login Window, and select the Local tab again
  • You'll notice that the settings are different to what you've just chosen. Restore the setting to their defaults -- Choose Selected only from the Theme drop-down box (instead of "Random from selected"), and re-select the default Ubuntu theme ("Human"). When complete, click Close. The setting will have saved properly this time, and the shutdown splash screen should work as intended.

Change the default runlevel

  • create /etc/inittab
  • add the following line: "id:3:initdefault:", the number represents the chosen runlevel
  • now follow the README in your favourite runlevel folder in /etc/rcX.d/, where X is a number between 1-6
  • now reboot, you are done! :)

Save any streaming Flash video

Most Flash videos download to the /tmp directory while you watch the video, creating a randomly-named video file there (such as Flashuh4G6s). When you close the webpage, this file in the /tmp directory will be erased. After the entire video has downloaded, but before you close the webpage, copy that file (such as Flashuh4G6s) to your home directory (where it will not be erased). Of course, for this to work, you must change your Flash (or Gnash) settings to allow an unlimited buffer. While watching your Flash video, right click to bring up the Flash -> Settings window. Set the Buffer to "Unlimited."

Once you have copied the file, rename it appropriately with the .flv added to the filename. You can then watch it using VLC or Mplayer.

Here is another method that involves making a symbolic link.

How to make partitions

It is very easy to make partitions with Ubuntu .

Open a terminal and type:

  sudo apt-get install gparted

Then navigate to

  System --> Administration --> Partition Editor

Then gParted is going to check for your disks and partitions.

There you can modify your partitions but on those that are NOT on the System.

More info :

1) Usage of gParted (it is distributed as Live CD as well) -->http://howtoforge.com/partitioning_with_gparted

2) How to separate your /home partition in Ubuntu --> http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/separatehome

How to backup a hard drive using dd

dd is a *nix command that enables the copying of files or an entire disk using a single command. Parameters must be precisely specified to avoid risk of accidentally erasing data. See these brief instructions or these instructions for detailed options. An example command to copy Hard drive X to Hard drive Y is:

dd if=/dev/hdx of=/dev/hdy
  • ddrescue is a variation of the dd command that allows working with potentially corrupted datasets, partitions, or hard drives.

How to enable Compiz Fusion in Ubuntu

In Ubuntu Hardy Heron, Compiz Fusion is already installed and is automatically enabled after you have installed your graphics' card drivers.

The only two things you have to do are to install the Compiz Configuration Settings Manager and the tray icon.

Open a terminal and type:

   sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager fusion-icon

and it shall be installed. After that navigate to:

   System --> Preferences --> Advanced Desktop Effects Settings

and there you may enable/disable any plugin you want.

To run Compiz-Fusion Tray Icon, nativate to:

   Applications --> System Tools --> Compiz Fusion Icon

or run in the command line:


and the tray icon shall start.

Add-on Applications


Ultamatix (the descendant of Automatix) is not endorsed by the Ubuntu community nor by this guide, and is known to ruin systems on a regular basis. See this Ultamatix technical review and this operational review. Use it at your own risk.

Ultamatix is designed to work with Ubuntu Ultimate Editon 1.8, Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron) and the unstable branch of Debian Linux. For details see the UbuntuGeek description.


Wine is a Windows Win32 binary compatibility layer for Linux. Latest install instructions are always at: WineHQ.org

Add repository key:

 wget -q http://wine.budgetdedicated.com/apt/387EE263.gpg -O- | sudo apt-key add -

Add repository to apt sources:

 sudo wget http://wine.budgetdedicated.com/apt/sources.list.d/hardy.list -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/winehq.list

Update apt sources:

 sudo apt-get update

Install Wine:

 sudo apt-get install wine

The program menu then appears in Programs under Wine, or double-click a Windows/DOS .exe file.

Unison - file synchronization tool

Unison is a file-synchronization tool for Unix and Windows. It allows two replicas of a collection of files and directories to be stored on different hosts (or different disks on the same host), modified separately, and then brought up to date by propagating the changes in each replica to the other. For details check out this UbuntuGeek blog entry.


PlayOnLinux is a Wine frontend which simplify installation and launch of many Windows programs, particularly games.

wget http://www.playonlinux.com/script_files/PlayOnLinux/3.7/PlayOnLinux_3.7.deb
sudo dpkg -i PlayOnLinux_3.7.deb

DosBox (DOS emulator)

  • DosBox is a DOS emulator that enables older DOS programs (and games) to be run. Install:
sudo apt-get install dosbox
  • Tweak the DosBox settings if necessary. For more info, read the DosBox instructions (man dosbox in a command-line terminal).

Tor, privoxy, and Tor GUI (Vidalia)

Tor is a software project that helps you defend against traffic analysis. This type of network surveillance threatens personal privacy, confidential business activities, and state security. Tor protects you by bouncing your communications around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world. Install:

sudo apt-get install tor privoxy

Additional instructions can be found at this UbuntuGeek guide. pe

How to Sync your emails, files, bookmarks, and any other type of personal information

Conduit is a synchronization solution for GNOME which allows the user to port emails, files, bookmarks, and any other type of personal information for synchronization with another computer, online service, or other electronic device. Conduit also manages the synchronization and conversion of data into other formats. For details see this UbuntuGeek tutorial.

Religious text study

Gnomesword (Bible study program)

GnomeSword allows Bible study.

  • Install the english version of the program:
sudo apt-get install gnomesword sword-language-pack-en sword-text-web
  • If you require other languages type:
sudo apt-cache search bible
  • Take a look at the sword-language-pack's and the sword-text's for additional languages and install as needed.

Gnomesword is found under Applications-->Accessories.

  • Under KDE, use kio-sword instead of Gnomesword:
sudo apt-get install kio-sword

Zekr (Quran research tool)

Zekr is an open platform Quran study tool for simply browsing and researching on the Quran.

  • Make sure that You have enabled universe and multiverse Ubuntu repositories.
  • Install:
sudo apt-get install zekr zekr-quran-translations-en ttf-sil-scheherazade ttf-farsiweb
  • You can add more Quran translations from here.
  • If you like to upgrade to the latest stable version of zekr, which supports Quran Recitation and advanced boolean/regular expression search, follow instructions available Zekr wiki.

RSS Readers Available in Ubuntu Linux

RSS is a family of Web feed formats used to publish frequently updated content such as blog entries, news headlines, and podcasts in a standardized format. An RSS document (which is called a “feed”, “web feed”, or “channel”) contains either a summary of content from an associated web site or the full text. RSS makes it possible for people to keep up with web sites in an automated manner that can be piped into special programs or filtered displays.

If you are looking for RSS Readers Available in Ubuntu check This

How to install Google Gadgets in Ubuntu Hardy

Google Gadgets for Linux provides a platform for running desktop gadgets under Linux. We are compatible with the gadgets written for Google Desktop for Windows as well as the Universal Gadgets on iGoogle.

If you want to install these gadgets into your ubuntu desktop try this installation guide.

Playing N64 with the emulator Mupen64Plus for Linux

Mupen64 was originally a Nintendo 64 emulator for multi-OS. The development was dead, until someone started to check the source again, and thats what Mupen64Plus is about... Really good compatibility with different plugins for video/audio/controllers!!!

Download it from here: Mupen64Plus 1.3 32-Bit Mupen64Plus 1.3 64-Bit


  • Unzip it:

unzip Mupen64Plus-1-3-bin-*.zip

  • Go to the directory:

cd Mupen64Plus-1-3-bin-*/

  • Install:


Now it's installed, you can run it from everywhere typing mupen64plus or just create an icon to it.

Watching Live-TV On Your Ubuntu Desktop With Zattoo

Zattoo has developed a software program that allows you to watch TV on your computer. All you need is a broadband connection and a current operating system (Windows XP or Vista, Mac OS X, or Linux). The service is legal and free of charge.

If you want to install and configure Zattoo in Ubuntu, check out this tutorial.

FFMPEG video / audio conversion

FFMPEG is the swiss-army knife of video and audio format conversion. It succeeds when no other program can. It is free and open source. If it not yet installed on your system as part of another package (it is used by many video/audio editors), then install it:

sudo apt-get install ffmpeg

To convert many different formats, read the FFMPEG documentation.

Example: To convert a saved Flash video (.flv) to an Mpeg-2 format playable on a DVD, convert:

ffmpeg -i samplevideo.flv -target ntsc-dvd samplevideo.mpg

Then use K3b (or Gnomebaker) to write the mpg file to a New DVD Data Project.

  • For PAL use -target pal-dvd. For widescreen, add the parameter -aspect 16:9 (but see these tips). For other conversion tips, see this forum. (Note: Most Flash video has very low resolution, with a screen size of 360x240, for example. You may see a slight diminishment in resolution if you wish to convert it to 720x480, which is the NTSC standard size. You can keep the original resolution by omitting the -target ntsc-dvd parameter.)

WinFF is a free, GPL-licensed open source GUI frontend for FFMPEG. See the website for installation instructions.


Tux Mobil has a list of Linux applications for use with GPS devices, and compatible hardware. Two GPS packages are available from the Ubuntu/Kubuntu respositories:

  • Viking is a free open source package to view GPS data in maps, and to plot co-ordinates. This has been reviewed as the best Linux GPS mapping program.
sudo apt-get install viking
  • GPS Drive is a free navigation software package that displays your position on a zoomable map using your GPS device. It is GTK-based but can be used in Kubuntu. It uses the gpsd daemon that interfaces with a variety of GPS hardware. A .deb package of the current version is also available from the website. Install:
 sudo apt-get install gpsdrive

Audacity (Audio Editor and Recorder)

Audacity is the leading cross-platform free open source (GPL-licensed) audio recorder and editor. It can be used to record, splice, edit, and manipulate sound files similar to tools found in recording studios. Install:

sudo apt-get install audacity


Groupware solutions include shared calendars, group email servers, groups address lists, group projects, and internal messaging. They require (one or more) servers with LAMP or similar server stacks.

Groupware Servers

Groupware servers are meant to operate on a server platform. You must install the server version of Ubuntu/Ubuntu first. Read Servers.


Kolab is the most comprehensive open-source groupware solution available and is distributed as a multi-platform solution. (It integrates easily with both Ubuntu (including Evolution) and KDE/Kubuntu (including Kontact).) It is free and open source with a GPL license (unlike other groupware solutions), yet enterprise support is also available. It is scalable to large organizations and is Outlook (MS-Exchange) and Mozilla compatible. This is a German package, however, and documentation in English is limited, which can make installation challenging. The Kolab website provides its own instructions for installation from source (currently v. 2.2). In brief:

  • Install the compiler and other necessary stuff:
sudo apt-get install build-essential
  • Make a directory for the Kolab installation and make it universally accessible:
sudo cd /
sudo mkdir /kolab
sudo chmod 777 /kolab
  • Optional: If you wish to mount kolab in its own partition, then create a new partition (using Gparted, for example). Figure out the device name of your extra partition:
fdisk -l
It should be something like /dev/sda3.
Mount /dev/sda3 (or whatever your partition is) as /kolab by editing /etc/fstab:
sudo nano /etc/fstab
and adding the line:
/dev/sda3  /kolab  ext3  defaults,rw 0 0
then reboot and make sure there are no errors.
  • Make a directory into which to download kolab:
mkdir /kolabtmp
  • Download all the current Kolab files:
cd /kolabtmp
wget -r -l1 -nd --no-parent http://ftp.gwdg.de/pub/linux/kolab/server/beta/kolab-server-2.2.1-beta-1/ix86-debian4.0
  • Install Kolab (as root using sudo -s):
sudo -s
sh install-kolab.sh 2>&1 | tee kolab-install.log
  • Reboot your system.
  • Stop Kolab services and run the configuration utility:
sudo /kolab/bin/openpkg rc all stop
sudo /kolab/sbin/kolab_bootstrap -b
Obviously, you should know all your details, such as your fully qualified host name, domain details, etc., before doing this step. If you are not familiar with OpenLDAPand LDAP basics, you should learn about it, as Kolab uses the slapd OpenLDAP server daemon.
  • Restart all Kolab services:
sudo /kolab/bin/openpkg rc all start
  • Login to the web administrator interface using "manager" and the password you set at bootstrap configuration:
Kolab Debian package
  • There is an Ubuntu/Kubuntu/Debian package for Kolab (v. 2.1), but no support for it exists. In fact, it is due to be removed from the Debian packages because of this lack of support. The installation instructions are included below for reference, and if you have success installing from the package, please add the steps you took to make it work.
sudo apt-get install kolabd kolab-webadmin

To reconfigure setup after the original installation, stop all web services:

sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 stop
sudo /etc/init.d/kolabd stop
sudo /etc/init.d/kolab-cyrus stop
sudo /etc/init.d/postfix stop
sudo /etc/init.d/saslauthd stop
sudo /etc/init.d/slapd stop

and then start the Kolab bootstrap setup:

sudo kolab_bootstrap -b

and proceed with configuration for your server/domain.

Then restart all the services (e.g. sudo /etc/init.d apache2 start).

Notes: Kolab uses its own server components, and it is best to run Kolab on a dedicated server. However, it is possible to run other servers on the same machine, as long as you choose alternate ports if the server modules conflict.


Citadel is a turn-key fully open source groupware solution (that is also Kolab compliant) with a structure rooted in bulletin-board systems, and is therefore user friendly. Installation instructions are found at the website.


eGroupware is a robust and stable free open source groupware solution (with GPL license) based on the LAMP stack (the default server stack included with Ubuntu Server) and the Postfix mail server (both of which should be installed first). There is a new version recently available, with a new corporate sponsor in Germany and a commercial enterprise version. Compatibility with many clients has been improved. Egroupware provides the easiest installation and quickest setup time of all groupware solutions. Much of the documentation for the current version, unfortunately, is not in English.

sudo apt-get install egroupware

Open-Xchange is a proprietary groupware solution (meant as an MS-Exchange replacement) that has released a "community edition" based on commercial versions. The latest .deb package is for Hardy Heron 8.04. It is compliant with many different types of clients, including Kontact, Outlook, and Palm PDAs. Installation instructions are at the website and are not trivial.


OpenGroupware is a groupware solution based on the postgreSQL database. There is an enterprise version and a limited open source version, and development appears to have been stagnant in 2008. Installation must be from source, as packages are very outdated. See the website for details.


Zarafa is the leading European MS-Exchange replacement/groupware solution. It is proprietary, but a GPL-licensed (except for trademarks) free open-source community edition was released in 2008. Download instructions are available from the website.


Zimbra is a proprietary groupware solution that offers an open source "community edition". Although currently free, the community edition is limited in features and does not have a GPL license. All submitted modifications and contributions become the property of Yahoo.

The latest version is for Hardy Heron 8.04 LTS and can be downloaded as a .tar.gz file from the website.

SugarCRM Server

SugarCRM is a commercial customer relationship management (CRM) platform and groupware server (sales, marketing, support, project management, calendaring) system with a community edition. It supports MySQL and MS SQL databases. For more info see SugarCRM Server Setup.

Groupware Clients

Many groupware solutions have connectors to interface with clients such as Kontact/KMail and Mozilla Thunderbird (or SeaMonkey).

Kontact Personal Information Manager

The Kontact Personal Information Manager, included in Ubuntu by default, interfaces with many groupware servers.

KDE Groupware Wizard

Kubuntu provides a wizard (script) to help clients (such as Kontact/Kmail) connect to a groupware server. Currently supported groupware servers are Kolab, eGroupware, SUSE Linux Openexchange, and Novell Groupwise.

Zimbra Desktop

Zimbra Desktop is a desktop that collaborates with Zimbra servers. See the Zimbra Desktop FAQ. For more info also see Ubuntugeek's Zimbra Desktop Installation Guide for Hardy 8.04.

Oracle Calendar Desktop Client

The Oracle Calendar Desktop Client is proprietary calendaring software for use with Oracle groupware/database systems.

Download Oracle Calendar Desktop Client:

wget http://www.k-state.edu/infotech/calendar/oracle-10-clients/DesktopClients/Linux/cal_linux_1011.tar.gz


tar -xvf cal_linux_1011.tar.gz

Change into the extracted files directory:

cd OracleCalendar_inst/

Prepare the files:

mv cal_linux cal_linux.bak; cat cal_linux.bak | sed "s/export LD_ASSUME_KERNEL/#xport LD_ASSUME_KERNEL/" > cal_linux; rm cal_linux.bak

Change permissions:

chmod +x gui_install.sh cal_linux

Start the GUI installer:

sudo sh gui_install.sh

How to upgrade from Hardy Heron to Intrepid Ibex

See Upgrading Hardy to Intrepid


Linux is largely a community of volunteers and as such represents one of the largest altruistic efforts on earth. This includes companies who decide to contribute their own software into the public domain for free use. The continued success of sharing depends on licenses that keep software free and usable for anyone who wants to use it. However, there must be a method for Linux users and developers to make money, as well. Licensing helps protect each of these efforts. See the Wikipedia Free Software Licensing article and the GNU operating system licensing page for more complete information.

GPL license

The GPLv3 license intends that the software module or package is free to use in any environment, and furthermore, any software that relies on that GPLv3-licensed module must in turn also be completely free. Commercial and proprietary software packages can't use or incorporate GPLv3-licensed modules.

LGPL license

The Lesser GPL license intends that the software module or package is free to use in any environment, including in commercial and proprietary software packages. This allows companies to develop proprietary packages which includes LGPL-licensed modules, from which they can make a profit. The disadvantage is that their products (which benefit from the LGPL-licensed modules) are not required to be in the public domain in turn. (Many companies often later donate their entire package into the public domain, however, after they no longer make a profit from them.)

Proprietary licenses

There is a vast array of proprietary licenses, all different. You never know what your limitations for software are unless you read every word. Most are attempts by lawyers to have an opportunity to create a lawsuit in the future. Some may be called "free" licenses but have many limitations which you will not be aware of until you are in the middle of a lawsuit. No license outside of the GPLv3 license is recommended. Be careful when committing your organization to a mission-critical software package with a proprietary license.


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