Clean Ubuntu and find large packages

While working on a wireless kiosk using Ubuntu, I had the need to shrink the Ubuntu installation. Part of creating a custom install, using remastersys, is creating a live CD iso image.

I did, of course, remove the unnecessary software and programs like the games and cd burning software (see http://www.staldal.nu/tech/2008/12/08/packages-you-might-want-to-remove-...) and I ran several commands including localpurge and deborphan (see http://strabes.wordpress.com/2006/10/16/clean-up-unnecessary-packages-on... ).

Internet kiosk using Ubuntu part 1

A work order had come through at my work several weeks ago stating that one of our public kiosks was prompting for credit card information via the browser whenever a user attempted to use it. This was supposed to be an "internet only" kiosk, which turned out not to be, but was definitely supposed to be a locked down machine.

Recovering deleted system files and reinstalling packages on Ubuntu

I ran an installation program using sudo that, after asking where the current version was, which was /usr/bin/, completely emptied that directory.

This should be a reminder that, as secure and stable as Linux is, it is still susceptible to user error and bad software.

For those that do not know, /usr/bin/ is a very important directory in which many if not most of the important system programs are stored. This is the equivelant of deleting the System32 directory in Windows.


Using smart monitoring for drives on Ubuntu

SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology) is a technology that implemented by most hard drive manufacturers that records pertinent information about the hard drive, to the hard drive, which aids in the prediction of a failure.

Linux has tools available that harvest that data, perform tests and aide in the prediction of drive failure. Normally, the bios will prompt you if SMART detects a problem with a drive, but you have to reboot in order to get that prompt and many Linux users don't reboot often.

To install the packages under (k)ubuntu, use:

KDE 4.1 on Ubuntu 8.04

After deciding to move back to KDE from Gnome, I also decided to give KDE 4.1 a try. I had attempted to use KDE 4.0 a while back and quickly ran away. It just wasn't ready for prime time.

I'm typing this in the visual goodness of KDE 4.1, although I still don't think it's ready, but it's very, very close.

KDE 4.1 is much better than 4.0 was. 4.0 was missing many configuration options and had strange errors when opening even a command shell (at least on Ubuntu).

KDE and gnome comparison

I'm just keeping track of some of the differences between kde and gnome in this blog. This will change over time. I realize that you can use a kde application in gnome and vice versa. Still...

*Default torrent client in KDE, ktorrent, is much more advanced than the default torrent in Gnome (transmission).

*No main system settings spot in Gnome.

*Amarok cannot organize podcasts by date, but rhythmbox can. Also, Amarok does not delete podcast entries.


Problem in Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy using todisc

After using tovid to create a video, I would normally use todisc to create the DVD file structure, but ever since my installation of Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy, I kept getting this error:

sox soxio: Failed reading `-': unknown file type `raw'

Sox is a utility used to process audio. The default Hardy installation of tovid doesn't install some necessary libraries and dependencies by default. Use the command:

sudo apt-get install libsox-fmt-all

Better web development with Ubuntu 8.04

Ubuntu 8.04 provides many free tools that makes a web developer's job very easy and the tools we use better and moe secure.

First, BlueFish is a very good source editor. It has all the expected features and is very fast. Quanta is a good KDE equivalent, but so far, I believe BlueFish is faster and a bit better.

Second, virtualization is highly supported. Why is this important??

I decided to start over with my home computer. I backed up my home drive, then wiped my system drive and reinstalled. Oops...I forgot to backup mysql.