Linux for human beings

This is a post that should have been written few days back, On April 29th Ubuntu 10.04 – (Lucid Lynx) was released, and I was counting days till it did but couldn’t try it out because of the release work I was doing in my machine. Last weekend (even the work wasn’t quite over) my anxiousness couldn’t rest. I installed the new beast keeping my /home safe. To tell you the truth, the installation process was hardly “linux like”. There were no screens showing any commands executing, nor view of the terminal. What you see is a breath taking slide show (very much windows like, but much sweeter) trying to show off the beauty 😉 and market itself.

Ubuntu - 10.04 (Lucid Lynx)

Well I know many of you already have tried Lucid, and there is nothing new for me to mention, hence I thought of writing few words about Ubuntu’s slogan “Linux For Human Beings”. My history as a Linux user is not that ancient, even though I have used it side by side with a  Windows OS, I’ve never gone total Linux, There were reasons behind. {1} I was afraid it will all break down in the middle of something. {2} It looked like a dark cave with alot of never ending tunnels {3} It was hard for me to troubleshoot on my own (I was a novice). But thanks to Sandaruwan and the never ending virus problems, performance degradation with time in windows, I jumped in to the deep-end. Ever since am a happy man 😉

Before Ubuntu, I have tried Debian and Suse, but with Ubuntu I felt quite safe. There were number of reasons, among them, Canonical released frequent updates and bug fixes (mainly fixes related to hardware drivers). Ubuntu’s is doing major release twice a year with a considerable amount of improvements, and nevertheless its Virus free, ultra fast and very stable for a software development environment.

Being those my reasons, I believe Linux is the answer for many 3rd world countries, to obtain a high IT literacy rate. When Microsoft and other proprietary software vendors are investing in millions and billions to put a full-stop to software piracy (Which as a software engineer I encourage), and when personal computers are sold with these proprietary software pre installed (Ofcause not for free) with prices automatically goes sky high, resulting a normal user to look at a computer as if it is a Jet plane ;).

But for some (many) reason free and open source software is hidden to the normal user world. Of-cause there are few myths associated, One popular myth is that Open source and free software doesn’t come up to the standard of proprietary software, If we forget for an instance that I work for a 100% open source company 😉 , and look at Apache software foundation, where there are plenty of great products (Apache HTTP server, Tomcat, Maven, Synapse et al.), but normally the argument is “A normal user doesn’t care about the server space. What does free software offer for them ?, to listen to music, edit some photos, check email and browse internet” ? And as far as I see this is where Ubuntu places itself. I believe this is why it displays a pretty screen while its being installed and I think so far Ubuntu had done a great Job, and it is ready with a strong and shiny armour, to battle with any proprietary operating system and make it’s mark.

So if you are a normal user reading this article, try new Ubuntu, and when you are buying your next personal computer, ask you computer supplier to give the machine with Ubuntu. I promises you, you will save a hell a lot of money, and it will set you free. 🙂

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Lesson learnt the hard way

Terminator was running in four segments, top left was a maven build, top right was a svn update, in one of other two an apt-get was running and I was playing on the smaller one left in bottom right. My notebook was running on battery power and I forgot to plug it in to AC, before the box got hibernate. Once I reboot it with AC power my X-Server was gone !! I couldn’t see the log-in screen and it just left me with the console in full screen.

I am not a linux guru, but i tried few commands, “startx / dkpg -reconfigure / nvidia-config / etc”. I had to run to our sys admin since he is considered the guru :D. with few commands at flash speed he got the x-server running again. but it was all broken here and there. couldn’t hear sound, installed apps were not working and above all when I reboot, I had to type “startx” each time to see the display (Which was a pain and made me itchy :P). Chamith’s idea was even if he could get the x-server running in normal mode, some errors that am getting wont be able to fix. so the best option to make all smooth is to re install the OS and he said “No probs ne machan (sinhala way of saying dude / bro 😉 ), ur home is in a different partition right ? so its a matter of ten minutes to restore the root in the other partition.” – OH CRAP NOOO my /home was also in the same partition and I only had one single big partition. 😦

SO yeah I had no other option left, I had to back up 20GB of my /home dir and re-install ubuntu 9.04. (Coping 20GB from here and there is a crappy and a messy job) I was struggling with the fix till today morning and finally got everything smooth again.

SO the lesson from all of this is. keep your /home mounted in a different partition. I learnt the lesson, the hard way.

Accessrunner-based USB ADSL modems – Get it to work on Ubuntu Dapper/Edgy

This is one wide area that no clear online article is available as a help document. I my self had a huge problem in searching and making my modem to work with Edgy. When you google for the Conexant AccessRunner driver you get the driver file as sources from the sourceforge,
http://accessrunner.sourceforge.net/index.shtml
where you have to add those files to the kernel source tree and recompile the kernel creating a great deal of work. But yet luckily the new kernels (after 2.6.10) have this driver inbuilt (Ubuntu Dapper/edgy) so you don’t have to mess up recompiling the kernel.

Any how you have to manually add the firmware, otherwise the modem will not work. (The LEDs wont Blink) for this you have to do few things, things I gathered from many online forums/blogs and help guides.

you have to extract the CnxEtU.sys file from the CD which you got from the vendor of your modem, and have to place it in /lib/firmware directory to make the firmware working. The step by step guide as follows.

for this purpose since we do not have the extract command, we have to download the package that Nicholas Wheeler created. from http://revu.tauware.de/details.py?upid=2426 there are several files but what you have to take is cxacrufw_1.2.orig.tar.gz and cxacrufw_1.2-1.diff .

After downloading these two files unzip the .gz and copy the .diff file in to that folder, and being inside that folder through the terminal patch it using
patch < cxacrufw_1.2-1.diff

then type make and make install. now you mush be havening a command called cxacru-fw. now your ready to extract the firmware.

insert the CD you got from the modem vendor and using the terminal type the following commands.

cp /media/cdrom/driver/ADSL/Wan/CnxEtU.sys ~/

(the above path can be different according to your settings so adjust the folder path)

then

cxacru-fw ~/CnxEtU.sys ~/cxacru-fw.bin
sudo cp ~/cxacru-fw.bin /lib/firmware

Make sure that the firmware is installed as /lib/firmware/cxacru-fw.bin or else the LED wont light up.

restart your computer and thats it you must be seeing the modem is working fine with the LED lighten up. anyhow though you have attached the modem to the computer and if your ISP is providing you a PPPoE protocol you will still have problems connecting your modem to Internet

there are few sites I saw some details which i think will be useful so just visit till I post a topic on HOW TO configure PPPoE

http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/DSL-HOWTO/configure.html#BRIDGEVSPPP

and if any one who knows on PPPoE please leave a comment….

AiGLX and Beryl On Ubuntu Edgy

Haah !!! after few days of playing on Ubuntu I decided to write some thing on things what I did to make my Gnome desktop more eye catching… I have heard of XGL working on Gnome providing a surprising effects !!! But also I have heard and seen that XGL effects works in much slower motion in most of Intel on board graphic cards (intel i915), so due to this fact I was searching for alternatives and found AiGLX which comes bundled with Ubuntu Edgy… I decided to try this hence many Online articles have recommended AiGLX + Beryl combination works well in intell chipset.

What I did was simple configured the AiGLX as shown in the wiki and installed beryl !!! And yes As it says It works well…. but small suggestion when you make a session and load that in the start-up the ubuntu start-up gets much slower !!! So my idea is to place a small shell script to load the beryl manager and beryl and make it run in the start-up.. this will make the system faster than defining a separate session. my friend sandaruwan have described of this method in a detail manner.

for the Intel i915 chipset users now have AiGLX+beryl to have the same experience where you will get by adding XGL !!!! As the last word for the post I would like to say…Now my Ubuntu OS is incomparable with the Windows in anyway of its appearance.

A wise choice ….

As i have said in my last post.. few days ago I shifted most of my work to Linux (Ubuntu Edgy Eft) I had many reasons to do this,

1. I was sick choosing good anti virus programs/add ware removers/spy ware detectors for my win XP OS coz there were plenty of viruses/add wares/spy wares making the whole system slowing down.

2. I needed some change in how things look and feel.

3. for the sake of adding some thing to the open source movement.

Any how I had my reasons… but what I am writing here is to justify that my decision was not disappointing at all.. There are many Linux Vs Windows comparisons on the net. some have proved that windows has a better UI and linux does not well thats not true to me… in the case of Ubuntu (6.10) it comes with GNOME 2.14 and for me its awesome !!! any how u have a choice between GNOME and KDE …. and yet thats also customizable !!! so what else a user need..

Any how there is a some kind of a lack in 3rd party software still for Linux but yet the number of choices getting more and more day by day. most of the popular Java IDEs have their own Linux distributions and this is same for C/C++ (Anjuta/KDeveloper).. yet only problem is for .NET even though MONO had made .NET development possible in Linux platform there are no good workforce Gathering IDEs Such as Visual Studio .NET any how I must say apart form .NET for any other development Linux brings a whole new meaning and a good experience.

Talking about IMs as in the long RUN Gaim Imitated many Internet messengers partially at least. and now for MSN in Linux you can use aMSN as an alternative. the newest version is bug fixed and working fine.

Any how all that was about what I found out in last few days sooo am still discovering… meaning I will make a separate entry in my blogg for Linux…..

Cheers !!!!

“Sounds” For Ubuntu in Acer Aspire 5602WLMI

This is one annoying issue I Suffered until today, My Friend Sandaruwan advised me to upgrade my Old Ubuntu OS (Ubuntu 6.06) to the New 6.10 version to get out of my sound problem !!! This was some special case in my Acer Laptop.

with some linux flavors the sound drivers did not work hand to hand !!! so I never heard any sound when working in Linux. This was kind of annoying and disappointing for a new Linux User like me !!! anyways I found the solution The new Ubuntu 6.10 is compatible with the Acer On board sound card !!! So any one Suffering from the same prob You only have to simply Upgrade Ur Ubuntu OS .