Back to gnome (Unbuntu 8.04)

Gnome vs KDE

I decided to go back to Ubuntu at home. I was having a tough time deciding which version of Ubuntu I wanted to use when I realized I can just use Ubuntu at home and Kubuntu at work. I had originally installed Ubuntu with Windows and have done quite a bit of work on Ubuntu experimenting and installing from source, so I felt like I needed a clean system.



One of the many things I love about Linux, and Ubuntu in particular is the ability to install pretty much everything you need from the package repositories, including all the development tools you could ever need.

With other operating systems, you have to purchase or download the software, then install it. Updates are made easy as the updater checks for updates for all software installed via the repositories, vs other operating systems who only update their own. Do you ever need to go outside the repositories? I rarely do (maybe once or twice out of hundreds of installs).

Create DVDs with Linux

Creating DVDs using mostly any playable file (.avi, .mpg, etc.) is very easy in Linux and, in my opinion, is easiest using the command line.

First, you'll need to install the tovid suite of tools. Tovid contains everything you need to convert a video to DVD format and to burn that video.

Linux tip: List packages installed on your ubuntu system

If you're interested in installing KDE4 on Kubuntu to try it out like their website suggests, don't. It sucks right now.

So when you remove the package they tell you to install, it doesn't remove all of the KDE4 packages. So you'll have two versions of konqueror along with other applications. Don't get me wrong, I love KDE and Linux, it just seems like KDE4 isn't mature enough yet.

BOINC, Linux and World Community Grid

BOINC is an open source program based at the Space Sciences Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley. BOINC is a software platform for Linux for volunteer computing and desktop Grid computing.

Securing Linux: process limits

This tip was found at http://aymanh.com/tips-to-secure-linux-workstation.

An old school attack on Linux systems is called a fork bomb. There is demonstration code at the fore-mentioned website, but essentially, it is a command that will spawn an unending number of processes, eventually killing the system.

Automatix for Ubuntu

Automatix is an automated installation program that offers many installations that are either unavailable in Ubuntu (for legal reasons or otherwise), or difficult. Automatix includes many installs such as Acrobat reader, Wine, Crossover, which allows the installation of Windows programs like Office and PhotoShop, pesky proprietary codecs, libcss2 for decrypting DVDs and much more. These are all installed using a GUI.

Secure ftp using Ubuntu

I recently wanted to setup an automated backup system for a company I purchase hosting through (who promptly shut off full backups), and wanted to do so using FTP to my home computer.

The first thing I did was setup vsftpd. This is an FTP daemon that provides the ftp service. After installing the daemon and creating the system account with /bin/false as a shell, I edited /etc/vsftpd.conf. I didn't run it on a non-standard port, although you can for greater security. I did NOT enable anonymous access and neither should anyone else not requiring them.

Switching desktops

I switched my desktop back to gnome (think Ubuntu not Kubutnu), mostly because of AWN which is a cool menu with nice applets that extend the functionality (I have a system monitor, a weather applet, desktop switcher, file stacker, etc) (many examples can be seen on YouTube. AWN is still in heavy development so a few of the applets don't work and there are some minor bugs, but very cool.

Copy DVD in Kubuntu (Ubuntu)

I have been struggling with copying a DVD in Linux. I like to copy the ones I purchase in case they get damaged.

In any case, copying a dvd in kubuntu (or ubuntu) requires the installation of libdvdcss2, which isn't easily found.

I finally found the answer here:


Using the following lines, the library is installed and K3b (and other applications) can read an encrypted DVD.

sudo apt-get install libdvdread3 debhelper fakeroot


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