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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Ubuntu one indicator

To check the status of ubuntuone (connected, etc) do:
u1sdtool -s 
It will print something like:
State: QUEUE_MANAGER
    connection: With User With Network
    description: processing queues
    is_connected: True
    is_error: False
    is_online: True
    queues: IDLE
To check the current transfers (upload/download) do:
u1sdtool --current-transfers
It will print something like:
Current uploads:
  path: /home/marcos/Ubuntu One/Imagens/Flames/legendary-trap (cópia).jpg
    deflated size: 49724
    bytes written: 0
Current downloads: 0

GUI

Install the ubuntuone-indicator indicator that will provide some info on the tray area.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:rye/ubuntuone-extras

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install ubuntuone-indicator
 
In a terminal, start the indicator with: 
 
ubuntuone-indicator 
 


 
To read more about this subject look here.

Friday, July 29, 2011

HOWTO build your own open source Dropbox clone

I found a very interesting blog about dropbox like syncing on linux computers. Alas it is stil in earlyu development phase, it's worth while folowing. At least I do.

Read more about it here.

Check linux for rootkits

Rootkit malware is also possible on Linux and OSX. Those of us in UNIX-land (and yes, Mac people, that includes you) don’t often have to deal with malware. There is room for debate about the exact reasons for that, but few would argue that Linux, BSD and OSX get hit as hard or as often as Windows. This does not, however, make us immune to malware. We all download software online, and even those who stick with only their software provider’s packages can still be afflicted by bugs or security holes which may allow nasty people or software inside. As the old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Today we’d like to show you some ways that you can scan your system to make sure there are no nasty rootkits lurking in the shadows.

The Quick and Dirty Personal Scan

A common technique used by some malware authors is to replace a normal system binary with one that takes additional or alternative actions. Many of them try to protect themselves by making their corrupted versions immutable in an attempt to make the infection harder to remove. Fortunately, this leaves traces behind that can be picked up by normal system tools.
Use the lsattr command to display the attributes of your system’s binary files in locations such as /bin, /sbin, and /usr/bin, as shown here.
lsattr /usr/bin
Normal, non-suspicious output should look something like this.
rootkits-lsattr
You may need root privileges to scan some places like /sbin. If the output contains other attributes like s, i, or a, that could possibly be a sign that something is
 wrong, and you may wish to try a deeper scan as shown below.

To read about CHKrootkit and rootkit hunter
Read further on this website

sudo chkrootkit > mylogfile.txt

sudo rkhunter -c

Yes, so to help clean these up, as root you'll need to remove those s, i, or a attributes with:
root-shell#  chattr -sia /usr/bin/whatever
Once those attributes have been removed (note, read about the attributes first and make sure the other tools warn you!  /usr/bin/X11/ for example may intentionally have these set), you can once again manipulate those files to edit, delete, or whatever.

So then you have incorrect/compromised binaries?  On a Debian system you can get older packages to manually download (wget http://...) and install (dpkg -i ___.deb) from http://snapshot.debian.org/

 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Change default Theme for new users

The default Ubuntu theme for new users in Ubuntu is the Ambance theme. I don't like it and want something completely different. That's easily done this way:

Place the gnome config files into a folder called /etc/skel, any new user you create will have those files in there home folder.

thought I'd add the folder you want to put in /etc/skel is .gconf
And you should make your installed theme available in /usr/share/themes and icon theme in /usr/share/icons.

This should work.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

An easy way for an dedicated Grub 1.99 partition

When GRUB 2 is in its own dedicated partition it is 'operating system independant', so we can add or remove one or two operating systems without the inconvenience of losing the boot of the remaining operating systems.
Those of us who are multi-booting with more that two operating systems in their computer like to be able to set their own user friendly names for their operating systems.
It's okay to edit the grub.cfg directly when GRUB 2 isn't part of an operating system, making it easier to do what we like with GRUB and have fun with it and learn more GRUB commands and tricks.
  1. Choose an existing partition or create a new one and format it with a file system, you will need at least about 60 MiB of space in the partition for grub 2 files, but a little more room than that might be advisable.
  2. Format the partition with a file system and optionally give the file system a FILE SYSTEM LABEL.
  3. Mount the partition by clicking on its icon in the 'Places' menu.
  4. Run a grub-install command similar to the one shown below, 
    sudo grub-install --root-directory=/media/grub2 /dev/sda
Where: '/media/grub2' is the mount point for the file system I want to have GRUB files created in
Where:  I want to make a new /boot/grub directory and fill it with GRUB files.
Where: '/dev/sda' is the hard disk in which I want to write the stage1 code to MBR in

That command creates a new /boot and /boot/grub/ directory if one doesn't already exist, and creates or refreshes GRUB files in /boot/grub, all except for grub.cfg.
If you don't make a grub.cfg then  there will be no GRUB Menu and your computer will boot to a GRUB Command Line Interface,  see GRUB2 How To Boot From CLI Mode

If you want a GRUB Menu you need to make a grub.cfg file and copy it to /boot/grub.
You can make your own grub.cfg file and customize it in any way you like.
The proper way to do it would be to use the grub-mkconfig command, and alter the file path to make it point to the 'Dedicated'  /boot/grub/'. See How to Update the GRUB Menu .
Another way would be to make your own grub.cfg, if you need an example to help you get started, look here, grub.cfg - Grub Wiki.
Or, copy and paste this one, grub.cfg, to a blank text file, name it grub.cfg, edit it to your needs and paste it in your Dedicated /boot/grub.
Later, you can also make and add other files such as background images.

I had trouble getting my 'Dedicated GRUB 2' to display any background image at first.
I was getting 'error: No video mode activated', after trying the background_image command in CLI Mode.
I needed make a fonts folder in my 'Dedicated GRUB 2 Partition and copy the fonts from /usr/share/grub/unicode.pff and /usr/share/grub/ascii.pff into it. Then I had to correct the fonts path in my grub.cfg header area,
### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/00_header ###
set default=0
set timeout=5
set root=(hd0,2)
if font (hd0,2)/fonts/unicode.pff ; then
  set gfxmode=640x480
  insmod gfxterm
  insmod vbe
  terminal gfxterm
fi
### END /etc/grub.d/00_header ###

After that I was able to display my splashimage in my 'Dedicated GRUB 2 Partition'.

After this it´s neccesairy to install grub in the partition of your linux OS. Use this method for doing that (where sda5 should be replaced with the device name of your /boot partition:


sudo grub-install /dev/sda5
Where: /dev/sda5 is the disk you wish to install GRUB to, (boot.img to first hard disk MBR), otherwise use '/dev/sdb' for second hard disk or '/dev/sdc' for third hard disk.

Normally, most people will want to install GRUB to MBR in the first hard disk if Ubuntu is installed in a so-called 'internal' disk inside a computer. By an 'internal' disk I mean a disk that is more or less 'permanently' connected to the motherboard by IDE ribbon cables or SATA cables.
If your computer has more than one hard disk and you're not sure which hard disk's MBR you want to install GRUB2 to, it might be best to install GRUB to all of your disks, just to make sure.

If you have Ubuntu installed in a so-called 'removable' disk, such as a USB 'external' drive, or any disk that you intend to remove from the computer, you should probably install GRUB to the MBR of the same disk you have Ubuntu installed in only, meaning your USB external drive.

If you want to install GRUB2 to the boot sector of a partition for some strange reason, you may use something like /dev/sda1 or /dev/sda2 for writing GRUB's boot.img to a partition boot sector. The practice of installing GRUB2 to partition boot sectors is not encouraged. It reduces GRUB's reliability and it could be dangerous to other operating systems if users use the grub-install command carelessly or ill-informed and write GRUB to the wrong boot sector.

You need to have the operating system booted first, before you can use the command.
If the operating system you're trying to fix won't boot you need to chroot into it from another operating system such as a Live CD operating system before you can run grub-install. In that situation it might be easier to use grub-setup instead, please refer to How To Re-install GRUB from Live CD - with grub-setup.

The grub-install command doesn't run grub-mkconfig (or update-grub), so the user still needs to run one of those commands if a new grub.cfg is wanted. See grub -mkconfig  - make a new grub.cfg file.


Examples of the grub.cfg file in the dedicated grub partition:

#
# DO NOT EDIT THIS FILE
#
# It is automatically generated by grub-mkconfig using templates
# from /etc/grub.d and settings from /etc/default/grub
#

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/00_header ###
if [ -s $prefix/grubenv ]; then
  set have_grubenv=true
  load_env
fi
set default="0"
if [ "${prev_saved_entry}" ]; then
  set saved_entry="${prev_saved_entry}"
  save_env saved_entry
  set prev_saved_entry=
  save_env prev_saved_entry
  set boot_once=true
fi

function savedefault {
  if [ -z "${boot_once}" ]; then
    saved_entry="${chosen}"
    save_env saved_entry
  fi
}

function recordfail {
  set recordfail=1
  if [ -n "${have_grubenv}" ]; then if [ -z "${boot_once}" ]; then save_env recordfail; fi; fi
}

function load_video {
  insmod vbe
  insmod vga
}

insmod part_msdos
insmod ext2
set root='(hd0,msdos5)'
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set e25d5b4e-d3df-47ec-be92-2f79d417d9f2
if loadfont /usr/share/grub/unicode.pf2 ; then
  set gfxmode=640x480
  load_video
  insmod gfxterm
fi
terminal_output gfxterm
insmod part_msdos
insmod ext2
set root='(hd0,msdos5)'
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set e25d5b4e-d3df-47ec-be92-2f79d417d9f2
set locale_dir=($root)/boot/grub/locale
set lang=nl
insmod gettext
if [ "${recordfail}" = 1 ]; then
  set timeout=-1
else
  set timeout=10
fi
### END /etc/grub.d/00_header ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/05_debian_theme ###
insmod ext2
set root=(hd0,7)
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set 8385-8482
insmod tga
if background_image /boot/grub/background/earthrise-tux-windows.tga ; then
  set color_normal=white/black
  set color_highlight=white/light-gray
else
  set menu_color_normal=white/black
  set menu_color_highlight=white/light-gray
fi
### END /etc/grub.d/05_debian_theme ###


### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/10_linux ###

menuentry "Linux Mint configfile" {
    configfile (hd0,9)/boot/grub/grub.cfg
}
menuentry "Linux Ubuntu configfile" {
    configfile (hd0,5)/boot/grub/grub.cfg
}


### END /etc/grub.d/10_linux ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/20_linux_xen ###
### END /etc/grub.d/20_linux_xen ###


### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/30_os-prober ###
### END /etc/grub.d/30_os-prober ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/40_custom ###
# This file provides an easy way to add custom menu entries.  Simply type the
# menu entries you want to add after this comment.  Be careful not to change
# the 'exec tail' line above.

menuentry "Microsoft Windows XP Professional NL(on /dev/sda1)" {
    insmod part_msdos
    insmod ntfs
    set root='(hd0,msdos1)'
    search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set 067a6eea242a2681
    drivemap -s (hd0) ${root}
    chainloader +1
}
### END /etc/grub.d/40_custom ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/20_memtest86+ ###
menuentry "Memory test (memtest86+)" {
    insmod part_msdos
    insmod ext2
    set root='(hd0,msdos5)'
    search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set e25d5b4e-d3df-47ec-be92-2f79d417d9f2
    linux16    /boot/memtest86+.bin
}
menuentry "Memory test (memtest86+, serial console 115200)" {
    insmod part_msdos
    insmod ext2
    set root='(hd0,msdos5)'
    search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set e25d5b4e-d3df-47ec-be92-2f79d417d9f2
    linux16    /boot/memtest86+.bin console=ttyS0,115200n8
}
### END /etc/grub.d/20_memtest86+ ###
 


Example of the grub.cfg file on the OS partition:

#
# DO NOT EDIT THIS FILE
#
# It is automatically generated by grub-mkconfig using templates
# from /etc/grub.d and settings from /etc/default/grub
#

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/00_header ###
if [ -s $prefix/grubenv ]; then
  set have_grubenv=true
  load_env
fi
set default="0"
if [ "${prev_saved_entry}" ]; then
  set saved_entry="${prev_saved_entry}"
  save_env saved_entry
  set prev_saved_entry=
  save_env prev_saved_entry
  set boot_once=true
fi

function savedefault {
  if [ -z "${boot_once}" ]; then
    saved_entry="${chosen}"
    save_env saved_entry
  fi
}

function recordfail {
  set recordfail=1
  if [ -n "${have_grubenv}" ]; then if [ -z "${boot_once}" ]; then save_env recordfail; fi; fi
}

function load_video {
  insmod vbe
  insmod vga
  insmod video_bochs
  insmod video_cirrus
}

insmod part_msdos
insmod ext2
set root='(/dev/sda,msdos5)'
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root e25d5b4e-d3df-47ec-be92-2f79d417d9f2
if loadfont /usr/share/grub/unicode.pf2 ; then
  set gfxmode=auto
  load_video
  insmod gfxterm
fi
terminal_output gfxterm
insmod part_msdos
insmod ext2
set root='(/dev/sda,msdos5)'
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root e25d5b4e-d3df-47ec-be92-2f79d417d9f2
set locale_dir=($root)/boot/grub/locale
set lang=nl_NL
insmod gettext
if [ "${recordfail}" = 1 ]; then
  set timeout=-1
else
  set timeout=10
fi
### END /etc/grub.d/00_header ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/05_debian_theme ###
set menu_color_normal=white/black
set menu_color_highlight=black/light-gray
if background_color 44,0,30; then
  clear
fi
### END /etc/grub.d/05_debian_theme ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/10_linux ###
if [ ${recordfail} != 1 ]; then
  if [ -e ${prefix}/gfxblacklist.txt ]; then
    if hwmatch ${prefix}/gfxblacklist.txt 3; then
      if [ ${match} = 0 ]; then
        set linux_gfx_mode=keep
      else
        set linux_gfx_mode=text
      fi
    else
      set linux_gfx_mode=text
    fi
  else
    set linux_gfx_mode=keep
  fi
else
  set linux_gfx_mode=text
fi
export linux_gfx_mode
if [ "$linux_gfx_mode" != "text" ]; then load_video; fi
menuentry 'Ubuntu, met Linux 2.6.38-10-generic' --class ubuntu --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
    recordfail
    set gfxpayload=$linux_gfx_mode
    insmod part_msdos
    insmod ext2
    set root='(/dev/sda,msdos5)'
    search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root e25d5b4e-d3df-47ec-be92-2f79d417d9f2
    linux    /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.38-10-generic root=UUID=e25d5b4e-d3df-47ec-be92-2f79d417d9f2 ro   quiet splash vt.handoff=7
    initrd    /boot/initrd.img-2.6.38-10-generic
}
menuentry 'Ubuntu, met Linux 2.6.38-10-generic (herstelmodus)' --class ubuntu --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
    recordfail
    set gfxpayload=$linux_gfx_mode
    insmod part_msdos
    insmod ext2
    set root='(/dev/sda,msdos5)'
    search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root e25d5b4e-d3df-47ec-be92-2f79d417d9f2
    echo    'Loading Linux 2.6.38-10-generic ...'
    linux    /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.38-10-generic root=UUID=e25d5b4e-d3df-47ec-be92-2f79d417d9f2 ro single
    echo    'Loading initial ramdisk ...'
    initrd    /boot/initrd.img-2.6.38-10-generic
}
submenu "Previous Linux versions" {
menuentry 'Ubuntu, met Linux 2.6.35-30-generic' --class ubuntu --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
    recordfail
    set gfxpayload=$linux_gfx_mode
    insmod part_msdos
    insmod ext2
    set root='(/dev/sda,msdos5)'
    search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root e25d5b4e-d3df-47ec-be92-2f79d417d9f2
    linux    /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.35-30-generic root=UUID=e25d5b4e-d3df-47ec-be92-2f79d417d9f2 ro   quiet splash vt.handoff=7
    initrd    /boot/initrd.img-2.6.35-30-generic
}
menuentry 'Ubuntu, met Linux 2.6.35-30-generic (herstelmodus)' --class ubuntu --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
    recordfail
    set gfxpayload=$linux_gfx_mode
    insmod part_msdos
    insmod ext2
    set root='(/dev/sda,msdos5)'
    search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root e25d5b4e-d3df-47ec-be92-2f79d417d9f2
    echo    'Loading Linux 2.6.35-30-generic ...'
    linux    /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.35-30-generic root=UUID=e25d5b4e-d3df-47ec-be92-2f79d417d9f2 ro single
    echo    'Loading initial ramdisk ...'
    initrd    /boot/initrd.img-2.6.35-30-generic
}
}
### END /etc/grub.d/10_linux ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/20_memtest86+ ###
menuentry "Memory test (memtest86+)" {
    insmod part_msdos
    insmod ext2
    set root='(/dev/sda,msdos5)'
    search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root e25d5b4e-d3df-47ec-be92-2f79d417d9f2
    linux16    /boot/memtest86+.bin
}
menuentry "Memory test (memtest86+, serial console 115200)" {
    insmod part_msdos
    insmod ext2
    set root='(/dev/sda,msdos5)'
    search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root e25d5b4e-d3df-47ec-be92-2f79d417d9f2
    linux16    /boot/memtest86+.bin console=ttyS0,115200n8
}
### END /etc/grub.d/20_memtest86+ ###

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Firefox language packs

To read the most recent manual for installing the proper language pack in Mozilla Firefox read this website:

http://kb.mozillazine.org/Language_packs

Friday, July 22, 2011

Fortuna Alpha 6

Want to try a gameplay in ancient Greece on Win, Mac and Linux?
The developers behind highly anticipated open source RTS game 0 A.D. have announced another update, Alpha 6 “Fortuna” which brings with it a bunch of bug fixes, new textures, map overhauls, sounds, new unit stances, and even a flight mode as a proof of concept for the versatility engine.
Wildfire Games says of the release:
Wildfire Games, an international group of volunteer game developers, proudly announces the release of “0 A.D. Alpha 6 Fortuna”, the sixth alpha version of 0 A.D., a free, open-source game of ancient warfare.
We have added hundreds of terrain textures and dozens of sounds, redrawn and added Hellenic units and buildings, implemented unit stances and put in some WW2 fighter planes just to show that the game engine can support flight.

What’s new?

Top features:
  • New unit stances, including Violent, Aggressive, Defensive, Stand Ground, and Avoid
  • 250 new terrain textures
  • 43 new sound effects.
Art:
  • New Greek houses
  • New Greek siege tower
  • Updated shield patterns for Greek hoplites
  • Art released for all of the remaining Champion units
  • Thracian Mercenary unit
  • New movement animations for giraffes and lions.
New maps:
  • Cycladic Archipelago III, a huge Greek islands map
  • Southern Greece real-world map
  • Updated Belgian Bog
  • Cantabrian Highlands random map now uses the Temperate biome terrain set
  • Gambia River map, using the new Tropic biome terrain set
  • Mediterranean Coves.
Programming:
  • Delay in carrying out unit instructions eliminated
  • Units less likely to get stuck
  • Various improvements to the text input boxes in the game
  • Unit selection limit matches population cap (200 units).
The Atlas scenario editor:
  • Player settings editing panel: Set teams, colors, default AI behavior, starting resources etc
  • Entity filter: Enter part of the name of an object/objects you want to add to your map to filter them out from among the rest.
Just for fun:
  • Flight demo: A brand new P-51 Mustang can fly around the map, and attack targets on the ground and in the air.

Download and install

0 A.D. of course cross platform, and they’ve provided download instructions for all three Operating Systems. They’ve even got neat shiny buttons, too.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Install Adobe flashplayer 11 beta in Ubuntu

First download Adobe Flash Player 11 Beta from labs.adobe.com

Extract archive in you home folder.

Open terminal and type:


For Firefox:
mkdir ~/.mozilla/plugins/ 
cp ~/libflashplayer.so ~/.mozilla/plugins
Done!
To remove it and switch to stable version:
rm ~/.mozilla/plugins/libflashplayer.so

Chrome:
sudo mv /opt/google/chrome/libgcflashplayer.so /opt/google/chrome/libgcflashplayer.so-backup  
sudo cp ~/libflashplayer.so /opt/google/chrome/libgcflashplayer.so
To remove it and switch to stable version:
sudo mv /opt/google/chrome/libgcflashplayer.so-backup /opt/google/chrome/libgcflashplayer.so

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Make your own ChromeOS netbook

Lifehacker wrote this nice tutorial:

Google recently released their own line of Chrome OS-clad netbooks, but with only a few choices and a somewhat high price tag, you might be more comfortable running Chrome OS on your own machine. Here's how to install it on your current laptop or netbook.
We've spent some serious time with Chrome OS, and found it to be a remarkably good productivity tool for the right user. It's super quick to boot up, moves fast, and is relatively pain-free since it is, in effect, just a browser. This also makes it perfect for netbooks, since they're low on power. Whether you want to install Chrome OS on your own netbook or you just want to try it out before you buy yourself a Chromebook, you'll need to do a little work to get it up and running.
You can't get the official Chrome OS build from the web; Google only sells it on its Chromebooks. You can, however, download its slightly less polished open-source counterpart, Chromium OS. In this guide we'll be using Hexxeh's "Vanilla" builds of Chromium OS, which are similar to the official version of Chrome OS, but take a bit more work to set up. We'll also show you how to get Chromium OS installed on a live USB stick for testing, as well as how to install it (or dual-boot it) on your own netbook for regular use.

What You'll Need

  • A compatible machine. Chromium OS, sadly, doesn't run well on every machine out there. On some machines, it runs very slow, and may have other issues with things like the trackpad, webcam, or Wi-Fi. It's worth trying on your machine anyway (after all, hardware compatibility is constantly improving, and you can test it on a live USB drive before committing), but just know that it might not work amazingly well. (For example, it definitely does not work on Macs in my experience.) Here's a list of netbooks on which Chromium OS has been tested, and which ones work well (or have worked well at one point in time).
  • A 4GB USB stick. Sadly, you can't burn Chromium OS to a CD; the only way to test it out natively or install it is to use a USB thumb drive. If your computer doesn't support booting from a flash drive, you can boot from the Plop Boot Manager Live CD and then boot to the USB stick from there.
  • Hexxeh's Vanilla Chromium OS build. This is the image we'll burn to our USB drive. You can either grab a direct download or a torrent from the home page. These are often stable, but are nightly builds, meaning each day a new build comes out with new quirks, bugs, or fixes. See more about finding a stable build below.
  • A working Linux live CD or installation. You'll only need this if you want to dual boot your netbook with Chromium OS, so you can partition your drives and install a bootloader (since Chromium OS does not have an actual installer built in that does these things). If you don't have one, just grab an Ubuntu live CD; it should work fine. You may need to use Unetbootin to put it on a flash drive if your netbook doesn't have a CD drive.

Preparation: Download Your Chromium OS Image

How To Turn Your Netbook Into a Chromebook with Chromium OSUnfortunately, the big downside of turning your netbook into an "unofficial" Chromebook is that you only have "unofficial" Chrome OS builds to work with. Hexxeh's builds are by far the most popular, but they all have their quirks. You basically have two choices: Flow and Vanilla. Flow is Hexxeh's custom build with automatic updating and more hardware support, but it hasn't been updated in over a year, and has some pretty annoying SSL issues that make accessing things like Gmail a pain. Vanilla is a nightly build almost straight from Google, but as a nightly build, stability can vary quite a bit from build to build, and with almost one a day out there, you have a lot to choose from.
How To Turn Your Netbook Into a Chromebook with Chromium OSI recommend going with the vanilla builds. Generally, you can find a pretty stable one that works with your hardware, but it takes some trial and error (unfortunately). You can do a bit of Googling using your particular netbook model, but you might have to try a few builds before you find one that works. Some might be slow or buggy, and some might not work with your hardware. I ended up having to go back to a mid-May build because Google later removed support for my Wi-Fi card.
So head to Hexxeh's Chromium OS page and start with the Vanilla builds. Download one and run through the following steps. It might take a few tries to find one that's stable and compatible, but once you do, you can just stick with that build for awhile.

Step One: Create Your Bootable Flash Drive

The first thing we'll need to do is get Chromium OS onto a flash drive so we can test it out. This is actually a pretty simple process. First, format your USB drive as FAT32 to clear any of the data off it (in Windows, this is as easy as right-clicking on the drive in My Computer and hitting "Format"). Next, download your Chromium OS build of choice, and unzip the image file to your desktop.
How To Turn Your Netbook Into a Chromebook with Chromium OSYou'll need a small program to write the Flow image onto your flash drive. Windows users should download a copy of Windows Image Writer, while Linux users can run sudo apt-get install usb-imagewriter in a terminal to get the USB-ImageWriter program. Start up the respective program, pick the IMG file on your desktop as the source, and then hit Write. When it's done, you'll have a bootable USB drive from which you can launch Chromium OS.

Step Two: Boot Into Chromium OS

To boot from your USB drive, stick it in your machine and start it up. If you've started from a USB drive before, you're good to go, but if not, you may need to change a few BIOS settings. Hold down the Delete key when your computer boots up (or whatever key your computer tells you to press to enter setup), and find the setting for "Boot Priority". Make sure the "USB Drive" choice is above "Hard Disk", then reboot your machine. You should see the Chromium OS startup screen fairly shortly.
Before it boots you into Chrome, you'll need to pick a wireless network and enter your Google credentials. If everything's working as it should and your Wi-Fi card is supported by that build, you'll boot right into Chrome and immediately see all your settings, bookmarks, and extensions synced right down to your netbook. That's it! You can start trying out Chrome OS right away, and see all that it has to offer.
If you ran into a roadblock at this step (the most common being Wi-Fi not working), go back and try another build. See if you can find anything on the web about your particular Wi-Fi card and when it might have been supported. From the information I could find, it seems like Wi-Fi support was a bit more ubiquitous before May 21, so try a build from before then and see if it works instead.

Step Three: Install Chromium OS

If you find you like Chrome OS, or you want to try it out for longer without inserting the thumb drive every time, you can install it to your system. You have two choices: Install Chromium OS as the only operating system, or dual-boot it with something else. Installing it on its own is very easy, but means you erase whatever else you had on your netbook at the time. Dual booting is more time-consuming, but assures that you still have your previous Windows or Linux installation to fall back on when Chromium OS isn't enough (or if you decide you don't like it).
Installing Chromium OS as the main operating system is easy. Boot into Chromium OS from the thumb drive and hit Ctrl+Alt+T to open up the command line. From there, just type install and hit Enter. If you're asked for a password, type in facepunch and hit enter. It'll take a few minutes to install, after which you can remove the thumb drive and boot into Chromium OS just by turning on your machine (you'll notice it boots insanely fast, too). That's it! You now have your own custom Chromebook. If you want to dual boot, however, follow the instructions below.

Alternative Step Three: Dual Boot Chromium OS with Another Operating System

Chances are, you don't want to give up your existing netbook distribution of choice just yet. In that case, you'll need to do quite a bit more work. For what it's worth, unless you absolutely need Windows on your netbook, this method isn't really worth the trouble—it'll be a lot easier on you to just use the Live USB stick until you decide to install Chrome OS as your netbook's main OS. If you need to dual boot, though, here's how to go about setting it up.

Step 3.1: Partition Your Hard Drive

Make sure all your data is backed up, then grab that Linux live CD or thumb drive we mentioned earlier and boot into it. Alternatively, if you have a form of Linux already on your netbook, you can just boot into that. Once you're booted in, insert your Chromium OS thumb drive as well.
First, you'll need to partition your hard drive. You'll need two partitions for Chromium OS: a "C-ROOT" partition, which holds the root OS, and a "C-STATE" partition, which holds your settings and other data. Open up Gparted from System > Administration on your Ubuntu Live CD, and select your thumb drive from the source menu in the upper-left hand corner. Note the sizes of the C-ROOT and C-STATE partitions on your thumb drive. You'll also want to note the partition reference for each, which will be something like /dev/sdb2.
How To Turn Your Netbook Into a Chromebook with Chromium OSNow, select your netbook's main hard drive from the drop-down. Click on your main partition, which should have a healthy amount of empty space, and go to Partition > Resize/Move. Shrink it down so you have at least 3 GB of empty space, and hit the Resize/Move button. Then, click on your new "unallocated" free space and go to Partition > New. You'll want to basically mirror the partitions on your thumb drive. So, if your thumb drive's C-ROOT partition is 858 MB, then you'll want to make an 858 MB partition here. Under file system, choose ext2. Then, click on the rest of your unallocated space and create another new partition, this time just filling up the rest of the space. Choose ext3 for this partition's file system. When you're done, your partition map should look something like the image above (you'll notice one of the partitions is almost too small to see, because it's only 800 MB. That's normal). Hit the Apply button in the toolbar to complete the process.
When you're done, note the partition references of your two new partitions. Remember, this will look something like /dev/sda3.

Step 3.2: Copy the Chromium Files

Now, open up a Terminal window. We're going to copy the partitions from your thumb drive onto your hard drive, effectively installing Chromium OS next to whatever operating system you currently have. In the Terminal, type:
sudo dd if=/dev/C-STATE_USB_PARTITION of=/dev/MACHINE_SMALL_PARTITION bs=4096
sudo dd if=/dev/C-ROOT_USB_PARTITION of=/dev/MACHINE_LARGE_PARTITION bs=4096
Where C-STATE_USB_PARTITION is the partition reference for your thumb drive's C-STATE partition, MACHINE_SMALL_PARTITION is the corresponding partition on your netbook's drive, and so on. So, for example, my commands looked like this:
sudo dd if=/dev/sdb1 of=/dev/sda3 bs=4096
sudo dd if=/dev/sdb2 of=/dev/sda4 bs=4096
See the multiboot guide on Hexxeh's Wiki for more information on setting this up.

Step 3.3: Update or Install the GRUB Bootloader

Lastly, you'll need to make sure you can boot into Chromium OS. From Ubuntu, open up a Terminal window. If you're dual booting with Windows, run the following commands:
sudo grub
> root (hd0,0)
> setup (hd0)
> exit
Then run
sudo update-grub2
When you boot up next, you should get the option to boot into either Windows or Chrome OS.
If you're running Linux as your other operating system, you already have GRUB installed. Open a Terminal window and run grub-install -v to see what version. If you're running GRUB legacy (prior to version 1.99), you just need to boot into Linux (these commands assume Ubuntu) and run:
sudo update-grub
However, if you're running GRUB2 (1.99 or later), you'll need to add Chrome OS' entry manually. Type gksudo gedit /etc/grub.d/40_custom to edit your GRUB configuration file. Add the following line to the end of the file if you have Intel graphics:
menuentry "ChromiumOS" {
insmod ext2
set root=(hd0,x)
linux /boot/vmlinuz root=LABEL=C-ROOT rw noresume noswap i915.modeset=1 loglevel=1 quiet
initrd /boot/initrd.img
}
If you have Nvidia graphics, add this instead:
menuentry "Chrome OS NVIDIA" {
root=(hd0,x)
linux /boot/vmlinuz console=tty2 init=/sbin/init boot=local rootwait root=LABEL=C-ROOT rw noresume noswap i915.modeset=1 loglevel=1 apci=force single
initrd /boot/initrd.img
}
When you reboot, you should get the option to boot into Chrome OS.
Note that I have not tested all of these methods. These are taken from the MultiBoot Guide on Hexxeh's Wiki. Everyone's GRUB setup is going to be a little different, so you might have to do a bit of research on your own to get it all working. Like I said before, the dual-booting option is quite a bit of work, and unless you need Windows on your netbook, you're better off just sticking with the flash drive until you know you want Chrome OS, then installing it on its own.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

VirtualBox vdi files moving


How to move VirtualBOX .vdi files! The original article is found here: HowtoGeek


Properly moving VirtualBOX
Need to move a virtual machine, only to find that copying and pasting doesn’t work?  Perhaps you just want to know what to backup?  Take a look at this quick guide on the process to get a better understanding of VirtualBox
First things first: be sure that your virtual machine is shut down and powered off.  Next, make sure you get rid of any snapshots you have.  There isn’t a fool-proof and safe way to do this without getting rid of them, unfortunately.  Select your virtual machine and click on the “Snapshots” tab.
delete snapshots
Select your snapshot and click the delete button.  Be prepared to wait a while as VirtualBox merges differences with your machine’s current state.  The machine’s state won’t actually change, though, so don’t worry.  Now that the prep stuff is out of the way, we can start the moving process.
Once that’s done, go to File > Virtual Media Manager.  You’ll see a list of media that you’ve used or have attached to your machines.
release media
Select which virtual machine you want to move, then click on the “Release” icon above.  In my case, I’ll be moving W7.vdi from my home directory to another hard drive.
Once you have it released, close VirtualBox go to its default settings directory, /home/user/.VirtualBox/
virtualbox_dir
You can copy your .vdi file from inside the HardDisks directory if you want to just back it up, or you can move it.  Be patient, as this can take a while depending on your configuration.
Meanwhile, let’s edit the VirtualBox.xml file to our liking.  This is the step most people don’t really know much about, but it’s pretty vital in making sure things work smoothly.  Open it up in gedit.
gedit xml
Scroll down a bit and you’ll get to the parts we need to edit.
If you’re changing the location of your virtual machines, find the xml tags for “MachineEntry” and change the source path.  If you’re changing the location of your virtual disk images, find the xml tags for “HardDisk” and change the location there.  As you can see, each machine is tied to a disk image by its UUID, which should not be changed.  If you’re moving virtual machines to a new computer, be sure to copy these this file over and replace the previous configuration file.
In my particular case, I just wanted to move the disk image to a more spacious drive, so I left the other things intact.
gedit vbox version  
If you’re changing hosts between Windows and Linux, be sure to change the version declaration at the top of the file to say “windows” instead of “linux” as well.
Once you’ve moved the .vdi file, fire up VirtualBox and go to File > Virtual Media Manager.
vbox Media Manager
Click on the old .vdi file and click remove.  Now, click “Add,” navigate to its new location, and click “Open.”  Click “OK.”
Now that the new .vdi is added to VirtualBox’s list, we have to attach it to your virtual machine.  At the main screen select it, go to “Settings,” and click on the “Storage” panel.
add hd
Under the appropriate IDE controller, click the “Add Attachment” button.  You’ll see a hard disk get added automatically, but it probably won’t be the correct one.
Click it and on right side, under “Hard Disk,” choose the correct .vdi file.  Click “OK.”
change vdi
If you followed all the steps and you edited the VirtualBox.xml correctly you should be able to start up the machine without any problems!  There are a few hairy areas, so if things aren’t working, be sure you’re using the correct paths and you’ve edited only the relevant areas of VirtualBox.xml.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Install Thunderbird 5 in Ubuntu

In case you are not aware, Thunderbird 5 is now released and is available for download. This latest release contains many bugs fixed and comes with extra features like new addons manager, tab dragging and reordering and enhanced account manager. For Ubuntu users, you can either download the tar file, unzip it and run the executable file or use a PPA and install it via the Ubuntu Software Center. The latter method is preferable as it allows you to receive regular update and is able to better integrate with the system.

Installation

To install Thunderbird 5 via PPA, open a terminal and type the following:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/thunderbird-stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install thunderbird
Done. Go to “Applications -> Internet -> Thunderbird” to run the application.

Integrate Thunderbird to the Messaging menu

For the Thunderbird to appear in the Messaging menu, all you have to do is to install the “Ubuntu Unity Messaging Menu” extension.
In Thunderbird, go to “Tools -> Add-ons“. Search for “Messaging Menu”. Install the first extension that appears in the screen.
thunderbird-messagin-menu-ext
Restart Thunderbird after the installation. The Thunderbird entry should appear in the messaging menu now.
thunderbird-messagin-menu

Replacing Evolution

If you are using the calendar feature in Evolution and you want to migrate to Thunderbird, you might be disappointed to find that Thunderbird does not come with a Calendar feature by default. You can, however, install the several extensions to implement the calendar feature.
Lightning is the most popular (and most comprehensive) Calendar extension for Thunderbird. It is almost a “must-install” for every Thunderbird user.
Alternatively, if you are a Google Calendar user, you can also install the Google Calendar Tab extension that loads your Google Calendar in a new tab.
If you are using IMAP to check your email accounts, there is no need to do any email migration from Evolution. However, for those using the POP protocol, follow the instructions here to migrate all your settings from Evolution.
Lastly, enjoy your Thunderbird.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Alternatives for Dropbox

Dropbox may be the most popular service for syncing files and storing them online, but that doesn't mean it's the best. Some of us are currently considering Dropbox alternatives due to recent security or privacy concerns, while others just want to see what else is available. Here's how Dropbox stacks up against four other major online syncing services: Windows Live Mesh, SpiderOak, SugarSync, and Wuala.
We've mentioned Dropbox a lot because of how useful seamless file sync is, but most of our favorite Dropbox tricks would work with any of the tools highlighted in this post. Some services give you more space, others more flexibility, and others more security. Below, we'll walk you through each of our favorites.

What These Services All Do

These five services offer free online space for storing/backing up your files, sharing them with others, and keeping them in sync across multiple computers and/or mobile devices. They all work with Macs and PCs, and in some cases Linux and many mobile platforms as well.
If you're in a hurry, here's a quick comparison chart of the five services by platform, storage space, and pricing for additional space.
If you're a Linux user, your choices from the above five services are limited to Dropbox, SpiderOak, and Wuala. If your phone runs Window Mobile or Symbian, SugarSync will likely be your service of choice.
There's also much more to consider when choosing an online storage provider than just storage capacity and price per gigabyte.

Unique Features

There are advantages and disadvantages of all of these services. Here are some of the unique features each offers:
Dropbox vs. the Alternatives: Which Online Syncing Service Is Right for You?Dropbox: Besides its ease of use and great performance, especially when syncing over a local network, Dropbox has the best third-party integration so you get access to a ton of tools like SideCLOUDload, Dropbox Screen Grabber, Dropbox Linker, and a whole lot more. Syncing email clients (Outlook or Thunderbird) across multiple computers works with Dropbox but not other syncing solutions because of its unique syncing technology. Plus, there are a great many ways to gain more storage space in Dropbox.
Dropbox vs. the Alternatives: Which Online Syncing Service Is Right for You?Live Mesh: Microsoft's file syncing tool works really well in the background (so well, you probably won't even notice it). You can use Live Mesh just for local syncing and/or 5GB of SkyDrive's online storage space (out of SkyDrive's 25GB max). As you might expect, Live Mesh has some unique benefits for Windows users: you can remote control your Live Sync connected Windows computer (similar to Remote Desktop Connection) and sync Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer program settings. SkyDrive is also where Office Web Apps online documents are stored, so you get that integration as well.
Dropbox vs. the Alternatives: Which Online Syncing Service Is Right for You?SpiderOak: Besides its really strong "zero knowledge" security features (see below), SpiderOak is very versatile: it can sync not only your desktop or mobile device but your external drive or network volume as well—so you can use it to keep your desktop, laptop, and USB thumb drive in sync, for example. SpiderOak offers a lot of information about your backups, uploads, and syncs, so you always feel in control of your data. Refer a friend and you get an additional 1GB more free space (up to 50GB max for the free referral space).
Dropbox vs. the Alternatives: Which Online Syncing Service Is Right for You?SugarSync: SugarSync does what Dropbox does, but lacks the LAN sync and strong API support. It makes up for that in more features for media streaming, mobile syncing (including auto syncing photos and folders from Android devices), and folders selection and permissions/passwords settings. SugarSync's web interface has a bit more functionality than Dropbox, with its separation of photos from files and also a very useful direct editing feature where you can edit files from within the webapp. You get a generous 5GB free to start with and can earn 500MB more space for each referral.
Dropbox vs. the Alternatives: Which Online Syncing Service Is Right for You?Wuala: From Swiss storage manufacturer LaCie, Wuala, like SpiderOak, offers locally encrypted data backup and syncing. Although the 1GB of free storage space is on the low end to start with, Wuala has a unique way to earn additional storage: you can buy more space or exchange unused storage on your computer (e.g., empty space on an external drive) for more storage on Wuala.

Ease of Use

Drag n' Drop to one folder. When it comes to simplicity, Dropbox wins hands down. You have a Dropbox folder, drag files into it, and magically the files appear in identically named folders on your other computers. Sharing files for collaboration on Dropbox is also just as easy: from the website, go to the sharing tab, select the folder/files and enter the email addresses of people you want to share the files or folders with.
Like Dropbox, but with multiple folders support. SugarSync has similar functionality, with its Magic Briefcase folder, but because you can sync multiple folders on more than one computer, managing your synced folders and shares can get more confusing.
Easy visual clues. Both Dropbox and SugarSync have handy tray icons and integrate well with Mac and Windows. There's a visual clue over folders to show whether they've been uploaded or not, and you'll be notified if you get near or go over your file storage limit.
Traditional file management interfaces. SpiderOak and Wuala have folder management user interfaces that aren't really difficult to understand or navigate, but they do require just a bit more thought and planning than simply dumping everything in a catchall folder. Live Mesh asks you to select each folder you wish to sync individually. By allowing you to select which folders to backup/sync, however, you get more control (a good tradeoff between simplicity and power. We've previously posted a workaround using a symlink and a small Windows app for syncing files and folders outside of the dropbox folder, if you prefer more control over Dropbox's simple "one folder" access).
Dropbox vs. the Alternatives: Which Online Syncing Service Is Right for You?Backup separate from syncing. Of the five services, SpiderOak's interface/system may be the most awkward and confusing to set up. With the other services, you select the folders you want to backup/sync and the app starts to make that happen. With SpiderOak, you first have to choose your folders/files to back up and wait for those files to be uploaded. Then, in another screen, you have to choose the folders you wish to sync between devices. This might be good in corner cases where you want to backup files to the cloud but not sync them to another computer, and it also eliminates some overhead by separating the backup and sync function. From a user standpoint, however, it may feel like an unnecessary step. Wuala also separates the backup and syncing function (though you don't have to first backup in order to sync), so clearly these two services are designed for people who may want more options than just syncing.

Security & Privacy Policies

SpiderOak and Wuala both shine in the security department, because, unlike Dropbox, your data encryption key is only saved on your computer. SpiderOak has a well-publicized "no password storage" policy stating your data and even filenames are inaccessible to the company.
Dropbox's reputation, on the other hand, has dramatically dropped recently due to recent security mishaps, awkward terms of service changes, and the fact that employees can, after all, access your unencrypted data. While we don't think there's a major security concern here we do recommend you encrypt any sensitive data stored within Dropbox (or any online storage service, for that matter).
The other service providers haven't come into as close scrutiny as Dropbox. Here's what these service have to say about their security practices:
  • SpiderOak: "SpiderOak never stores or knows a user's password or the plaintext encryption keys which means not even SpiderOak employees can access the data. Our zero-knowledge privacy approach means we can never betray the trust of our users" SpiderOak also recently added 2-factor authentication.
  • SugarSync: "We use industry best practices to ensure that your data is safe and secure. Your files are transferred securely using TLS (Transport Layer Security) and are stored in the cloud in an encrypted format using 128-bit AES-the same level of protection used for online financial transactions."
  • Live Mesh: This Technet post says that files stored on Microsoft servers are protected by access controls but are not encrypted.
  • Wuala: "All files are directly encrypted on your desktop. Your password never leaves your computer. Not even we as the provider can access your files or your password. Wuala employs proven encryption technology (AES, RSA and SHA) to secure your data."
In short, SpiderOak and Wuala definitely have the most assuring security policies/practices, but you still want to take matters into your own hands and encrypt any and all sensitive data stored online.

Performance

Both Dropbox and Live Mesh performed best in my tests because they both synced directly over my local network, without having to go through the online servers first, as these syncing services typically do. Dropbox's LAN sync and Live Mesh's local sync are unique and very useful time-saving features if you use these services to keep computers on your home network in sync. You can also use them, of course, for syncing computers and devices that aren't on the same network.
Otherwise, the services all performed relatively the same, with barely any noticeable difference when saving new files or deleting them. I found SpiderOak just a bit faster but more resource-intensive in the initial folder upload than Wuala, while SugarSync took up more system resources than the others in the background.

Sharing

All of the services make sharing files with others very easy. Just right-click or select the files/folders and enter the email addresses of your recipients.
With Wuala and SpiderOak, you create groups or "share rooms" (SpiderOak's comes with its own RSS feed) to distribute to more people at a time, so it feels more of a collaborative environment.
In addition to this folder sharing for collaboration or to give others access to your files, all of the services also let you create public links to your files so you can post a link on Facebook to a document, for example. SugarSync has direct posting to Facebook Photos.
One major downside to Dropbox is that files shared with you by others count towards your allotted Dropbox space, and, like most of the services, you also don't have any control over the permissions of the folder. For sharing and syncing a read-only folder, SugarSync may be your best bet because you can specify folders to be read-only and password protected. Depending on your settings, you may also be able to control editing of files in shared files for groups with Wuala.

Conclusion

As we've mentioned before, you can use multiple online cloud storage services to make the most of the available free space. For your work documents, for example, you might select SpiderOak or Wuala; for streaming music on your mobile phone, SugarSync; to backup files from one computer to another over your local network, Live Mesh; and for everyday files, Dropbox.
If that's too much overhead, however, the decision for which online syncing service is right for you will depend on your priorities: simplicity and third-party support (Dropbox), security (SpiderOak/Wuala), Windows advantages(Live Mesh), or most features and platforms support (SugarSync).