A meta-post

July 28, 2008 at 9:18 pm | Posted in xubuntu | 18 Comments

Hey guys,

as you may have noticed, updates to this blog are few and far between. Sadly, I’ve found it harder and harder to find Xubuntu-related material to blog about. I imagine it’s because I’ve shifted more towards GNOME and Openbox. That being said, I felt that was no reason to go months without blogging. To make up for it, I’ve decided to start a more general-purpose Linux blog:

http://toodumbforgentoo.wordpress.com/

Unlike this blog, this one won’t be tied to any certain niche. It’ll basically run on the basis of posting whatever I like whenever I like. That being said, I won’t be abandoning this blog altogether. My blog partner Vincent will still be around to make posts, and I’ll probably pop in and blog from time to time.

It’s been a great 2 years with this blog, but now I feel it’s time to move on to something more. :)

The Xubuntu strategy

May 25, 2008 at 5:57 am | Posted in xubuntu | 5 Comments
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A while ago, there was a little disagreement in the Xubuntu developer community. Since it did not look like the dispute was going to be resolved on the developer mailinglist, an online meeting was held led by Canonical‘s Ubuntu Community Manager Jono Bacon.

That meeting led to several decisions, the most important one being that Cody Somerville was appointed as Xubuntu’s project leader and assigned to create a strategy for Xubuntu, so that everybody knows where Xubuntu stands and what its goals are.

Well, Cody set to the task and, after gathering feedback at the Ubuntu Developer Summit, came up with the first draft of what is to be the Xubuntu Strategy Document.

This being a first draft, everybody is invited to send feedback to Cody’s email address cody-somerville@ubuntu.com.

My first impression was that Cody did a great job on this one: Xubuntu has a bright future ahead under his lead :)

How-to: Get Audacity working after a Hardy upgrade

April 28, 2008 at 7:02 am | Posted in tips and tricks, xubuntu | 16 Comments
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Xubuntu 8.04 comes shipped with PulseAudio, a new sound management system. For the most part, your commonly used programs should work with this new program. For some, however, Audacity may quit being able to play and record sound. (For those who don’t know, Audacity is a sound editor; which means not being able to play and record sound renders it pretty useless!)

This how-to is extremely easy and short, but it helps me work with one of my favourite programs. In short: uninstall jackd.

1) Go to Xfce Menu > Accessories > Terminal, and enter in the following:

sudo apt-get remove jackd

Reopen up Audacity. Hopefully, it should start working again as it should. If not, you may have to quit the jackd program. Go back to the terminal and enter the following:

killall jackd

Now Audacity should be working just as it did before. Good luck!

(Credit goes to http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?p=4812244&postcount=5.)

The Heron is out

April 24, 2008 at 4:04 pm | Posted in xubuntu | 1 Comment

Xubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron was released today! You can view the release notes here. While I haven’t upgraded yet, this page shows that Xubuntu has received a lot of the same fixes as Ubuntu. Links to ISOs to download are available, but to save some wear and tear on the servers, it is strongly recommended that you use BitTorrent. My partner blog will tell you how. It’s very exciting indeed! Happy Xubuntuing.

Get Xfce to participate in Google’s 2008 Summer of Code

March 5, 2008 at 8:27 am | Posted in xubuntu | 5 Comments
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Brian J. Tarricone posted the following message to the Xfce mailinglist:

As some of you already know, I’m in the process of applying to Google’s
Summer of Code as a mentoring organisation. Xfce applied in 2006, but
wasn’t accepted. I don’t really know why, but hopefully this year we
can do a bit better. To that end, I’ve created a few pages on our wiki,
and people have been working on them for the past couple weeks:

http://wiki.xfce.org/gsoc-2008-ideas

http://wiki.xfce.org/gsoc-2008-mentors

http://wiki.xfce.org/gsoc-2008-students

Now, we won’t know if we’ve been accepted into the program until March
17th. However, I’d like to generate some interest for our participation
in the program; in particular, I’d like to get some names on that
‘students’ wiki page.

So, if you don’t mind, if you have a blog, or some other means of
publishing to a group of people (via means other than spam, of course),
could you please do a little advertising for us? Just point out that
we’re applying to the program, we’re looking for student participants,
and give a link to our wiki page (the main ‘ideas’ page).

Thanks!

He also posted the following on his blog:

While we haven’t been accepted into the program yet, we (Xfce) are applying to participate in the 2008 Google Summer of Code as a mentoring organisation. Please see our wiki page for more information, and add your name to the students list if you’d like to work on one of the projects. Feel free to add to the project ideas list as well.

If you’d like to act as a mentor, you still have a few more days before I submit the application. Add your name to the mentors list and email me to let me know.

The message is simple: if you’re a student that likes Xfce and would like to earn some money improving it over the summer, be sure to add your name to the list so Google can see there are students willing to participate, hopefully being a reason for approving Xfce.

If you own a personal website, a blog, or happen to know a student passionate about Xfce: spread the word! This is an excellent opportunity to improve upon our favourite desktop environment, so make sure Xfce can grab it!

Presenting Ubuntu Brainstorm

February 28, 2008 at 5:41 pm | Posted in xubuntu | 3 Comments

Ubuntu Brainstorm is a new site that allows you to vote for improvements, features, ideas and fixes for Ubuntu. It is made in order to bridge the communication gap from the developers and users. From the article posted at The Fridge:

An idea on brainstorm can easily be linked to a Launchpad blueprint as well as to a bug or a forum discussion thread. In this way we expect to bridge the locations where ideas are often submitted now, as forum posts or bug reports, with the blueprint format they should be expressed in to be implemented.

Here are the current ideas for Xubuntu: http://brainstorm.ubuntu.com/search?keywords=Xubuntu&ordering=mostvotes

Do you have an idea that you’ve been itching to share with the developers, but didn’t know how? Now’s your chance to post it at the Brainstorm!

Howto: use audio-convert in Thunar

February 18, 2008 at 1:09 pm | Posted in programs, scripts, tips and tricks, xubuntu | 7 Comments
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One of the best scripts for GNOME’s file manager Nautilus is audio-convert. audio-convert is a program that lets you convert mp3s to oggs, wavs, and vice versa. For me, it’s one of the main reasons I use Nautilus. Now, though, I can also use it with Thunar too. Here’s how:

1) If you haven’t already, install audio-convert. To do so, open up a terminal (Xfce Menu > Accessories > Terminal) and run the following:

sudo apt-get install nautilus-script-audio-convert

2) Next, open up the Thunar file manager and go to Edit > Configure custom actions…. Click the Add (plus) sign and put in the following:

a) Under the Basic tab:

Name: audio-convert
Command: /usr/share/nautilus-scripts/ConvertAudioFile %f

b) Under the Appearance Conditions tab:

Put a checkmark next to Audio files. Click Ok and exit out of the actions manager.

Now you can right click any audio file and go to audio-convert. audio-convert will do the work from there. Enjoy!

Fedora Xfce spin

February 13, 2008 at 6:19 pm | Posted in reviews, xubuntu | 6 Comments
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Rahul Sundaram has announced the release of a new Fedora spin with – you guessed it – Xfce!

Hello Friends,

I am pleased to announce the immediate release of a brand new and sparkling, Fedora 8 Xfce Spin. Fedora Xfce Spin is a bootable Fedora Live CD image available for x86 and x86_64 architecture. It can be optionally installed to hard disk or converted into boot USB images and is ideal for Xfce fans and for users running Fedora on relatively low resource systems. As a additional bonus, this release rolls in updates for Fedora 8 released till yesterday (2008/02/12).

Xfce is a lightweight desktop environment available in Fedora. Designed for productivity, it loads and executes applications fast, while conserving system resources. More information at http://xfce.org

Nicu has posted some screenshots, and it looks as if this spin-off is really focusing on being light-weight and minimalistic. Some Xubuntu users might want to give this a try – being based on Fedora might prevent the speed decrease Xubuntu has by being based on Ubuntu.

In any case, seeing another big distribution providing an Xfce version is always good news, so it will be interesting to read some reviews. Have you tried it? If so, how did you like it?

Howto: Fixing GRUB After A Windows Installation and Fixing The GRUB Menu

January 25, 2008 at 7:48 pm | Posted in tips and tricks, xubuntu | 31 Comments
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Windows is not really friendly towards other operating systems – when you installed it while another operating system is already installed, it will replace the bootloader with its own, without including any reference to that other operating system – preventing you from booting it. This is why it is often recommended to install Xubuntu after Windows. Sometimes, however, installed Windows afterwards is unavoidable. Restoring Xubuntu’s bootloader (GRUB) can be a pain.

Luckily, David Mooney comes to the rescue: in a post to the xubuntu-users mailinglist, he explains how to restore GRUB:

If for some odd reason you missed having the Windows operating system and you decided to install it on another partition, you will notice your GRUB is missing afterwords. This usually happens and is a huge headache for those trying to get their GRUB back. Here’s what you need to do to get it back:

Put your bootable Ubuntu/Xubuntu install disk in the CD drive and run it. Instead of installing anything, click on the menu to open the terminal application.

In terminal mode, type the following:

sudo grub
find /boot/grub/stage1
root (x,y)
setup (x)
quit
sudo shutdown "now" -r

The resulting “find” command will display something like (hd0,1). In this example, you would then type root (hd0,1) and then setup (hd0) in the above area. These numbers might be different; that’s why I included the “find” command so that folks who might have their Ubuntu partitions located either in front or behind their Windows installation or on a completely separate internal/external hard drive so that you will get the appropriate/correct setup numbers.

Ok, now you got your GRUB-on, but what about that darn GRUB menu? It’s not displaying what you want it to display? Well, let just see here…

Upon reboot, select “Recovery Mode”, usuaully the second option down on the GRUB menu. This will allow you to boot into the root. Once you’re in the terminal mode, type:

editor /boot/grub/menu.lst

Well, the rest is pretty much self explanatory. There should be enough comments in the menu.lst to direct you to what you can and cannot do to your GRUB menu.lst.

I usually put the Windows option at the top of the menu so that others (none-Linux users) who use my computer can find it easily if they have to do a reboot. Your Windows installation will have a different root than your Ubuntu/Xubuntu, but it’s usually automatically placed by GRUB once it’s set up again (like the above). I also recommend removing the timeout option as this is sometimes annoying. Have fun!

-David :D

P.S.- If you have a question, I’ll be happy to answer to the best of my ability.

Thanks David!

Thunar script: Easily change quality of MP3 files

December 30, 2007 at 7:41 am | Posted in xubuntu | 1 Comment

I for one got tired of having to type lame -b 128 etc, etc. into the terminal each time I wanted to change the quality of an mp3. Sure, there’s http://www.media-convert.com/ , but that lags our internet. So I whipped up this script. It has an installation guide for both Thunar and Nautilus and for me it works great.

Read the guide here: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=653006

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