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Ubuntu, Unity and Gnome Shell 12/10/2010

Posted by muyiscoi in News.

Disclaimer: This post will most likely contain lots of “geek speak”. If you do not have prior information on the subject, some background reading might do some good

The World of Desktop Linux is a very fast moving one. That has been one of its major appeals. However, sometimes, it is also its undoing. I started using Linux in 2007 after being introduced to Ubuntu by my brother. I absolutely fell in love after i got Beryl to work on it. No, it was not the swishy and swirly movements that did it for me (though those were nice too). It was the fact that i had an issue with beryl and i could actually fix it myself.I considered myself a ‘guru’ and loved the fact that Linux made me feel that way. Sometime in 2008 when i first saw KDE 4.0. It looked so shiny and beautiful, i began to contemplate moving over from my trusted GNOME 2. After reading a couple of reviews though, i decided to stick to GNOME. (more…)


Install XBMC Media Center on Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx 09/05/2010

Posted by dared in Guides.

XBMC is an award-winning free and open source (GPL) software media player and entertainment hub for digital media. XBMC is available for Linux, OSX, Windows, and the original Xbox.

While XBMC functions very well as a standard media player application for your computer, it has been designed to be the perfect companion for you. Supporting an almost endless range of remote controls, and combined with its beautiful interface and powerful skinning engine, XBMC feels very natural to use from the couch and is the ideal solution for your home theater.

Currently XBMC can be used to play almost all popular audio and video formats around. It was designed for network playback, so you can stream your multimedia from anywhere in the house or directly from the internet using practically any protocol available. Use your media as-is: XBMC can play CDs and DVDs directly from the disk or image file, almost all popular archive formats from your hard drive, and even files inside ZIP and RAR archives. It will even scan all of your media and automatically create a personalized library complete with box covers, descriptions, and fanart. There are playlist and slideshow functions, a weather forecast feature and many audio visualizations. Once installed
Installation of XBMC in Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

To install XBMC in Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx, open terminal and  copy the commands bellow :

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:team-xbmc
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install xbmc

How to restore GRUB2 using an Ubuntu Live CD or Thumb Drive 09/02/2010

Posted by muyiscoi in Guides.
Tags: , , ,

If you are a tinkerer like me, you will no doubt run into some problems with grub at one time or another.
Even though you do not tinker, you might still have a problem with grub especially if dual-boot your system with windows. In that case, the windows boot-loader overwrites GRUB in the Master boot record (MBR) (if you install Ubuntu first) thereby rendering your Linux partition not bootable. It has been a major bottleneck for a lot of Ubuntu users when they can no longer boot into their desktop and most times are forced to reinstall.

It is however, relatively easy to restore GRUB on your computer irrespective of how you lost it in the first place.
The only requirements are that you still have a healthy installation of Ubuntu on your machine and a ready live CD or a USB thumb drive with Ubuntu loaded on it.

I will assume that the readers of this post have some level of knowledge on how to get certain things done on Ubuntu so i will not be too specific in some areas. if anything is unclear, you can ask it in the comments and i will be glad to clarify.

First, you have to boot the live CD. If you are using a thumb drive, also boot from it.
After booting, you have to determine which of your hard-disk partitions is the root (/) partition. You can do this by typing

sudo fdisk -l

in the terminal.
Note: If you only have one partition or you already know the address of your root partition, you can skip this step.


Ubuntu: Backup all your Applications 08/30/2010

Posted by dared in Guides.

Lets say you have set up your *buntu box. Now you want to backup all the installed deb files so that you can restore them quickly and efficiently.

For one thing it would be easier to install everything as you would not have to go online and hunt for them. Further it would be useful where a computer does not have internet connection. In ubuntu “hunting” for programs is a rare occurrence thanks to the fantastic package managing system. However, you may personally have some programs that you have either compiled from source (using checkinstall, so that that a deb package is created and they are added to APT), or downloaded debs from obscure locations. Now each of these debs you will save in a directory so that in the future you do not have to go hunting for them. However, this command I have outlined backs up ALL packages, including the ones in the package manager. So, why would you want that?

Firstly, this is VERY useful if lets say you have setup a very basic installation with all updates, and all non-free video/audio/etc codecs. Further you have installed some basic useful software. Now lets say you want to install the SAME setup on your grandmothers computer, except she does not have internet connection, or at the time you go to set it up she does not have a net connection. Using this script you can have all your debs in one simple location, so you will not have to redownload everything.

Secondly, lets assume you work for a school, or a company, and you need to install the SAME ubuntu installation on 30 computers. Wouldn’t it be easier to simply put all these debs in a central server and issue the dpkg -i *.deb command. This way you don’t have to individually select the packages AND the packages don’t have to download.

Thirdly, (and this is purely personal) I like to be able to have all my installed packages at hand. This command doesn’t take much effort, and for me it only requires 1.4 gb of space, so for a bit of piece of mind I can easily have all my packages on hand.

There is no real reason to do this if you are already doing a full system backup (e.g. an image of your Ubuntu partition using partimage). This is just something I discovered and feel could be beneficial to other users.

These commands will do that for you.

Open a terminal and paste the following into it:

$ sudo apt-get install dpkg-repack fakeroot
$ mkdir ~/dpkg-repack; cd ~/dpkg-repack
$ fakeroot -u dpkg-repack `dpkg --get-selections | grep install | cut -f1`

(the last command will take some time)

Now if you scroll to your home folder, you should find a folder called “dpkg-repack” which should have all the deb files of all your installed packages.


If you want to re-install the packages, navigate to the folder with the packages and input the following command in the terminal:

sudo dpkg -i *.deb

Thanks to abhiroop from The Ubuntu Forums for this beautiful workaround.

Which *buntu to pick? 08/28/2010

Posted by dared in Uncategorized.

Should I use Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, or Edubuntu? Ubuntu Netbook Remix? Ubuntu Server Edition? What’s the difference?
10.04? 9.10? 9.04? 8.04? What is all this?
Desktop CD, Alternate CD, or Server CD?
What’s the difference between the Ubuntu CD and DVD?

Before some people can even begin using Ubuntu, they want to sort out which version to use. This article is towards clearing the air around the subject.

If reading this page confuses you, however, just go with Ubuntu, the latest version (10.04 right now), the Desktop CD. You don’t have to worry about these other options unless you’re really curious.

Should I use Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, or Edubuntu? Ubuntu Netbook Remix? Ubuntu Server Edition? What’s the difference?
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, and Edubuntu are all the same Linux distro using the same base, the same software repositories, and the same release cycle. They just have different artwork, different user interfaces (in most cases), and different default programs installed.

Ubuntu uses a user interface (or desktop environment) called Gnome. Gnome is focused on simplicity and usability. Ubuntu includes a bunch of Gnome-native applications such as Rhythmbox (music player), Evolution (email client and calendar), and Gedit (text editor). You can find the full list of software packages in ubuntu-desktop here.

Kubuntu uses the K Desktop Environment (also known as KDE). KDE is focused on including a lot of point-and-click configuration options immediately available to end users. Kubuntu includes a bunch of KDE-native applications such as AmaroK (music player), K3B (CD burning), and Konqueror (web browser). You can find the full list of software packages in kubuntu-desktop here.

Xubuntu uses the Xfce desktop environment, which is a lighter one than Gnome or KDE. In terms of its design principles, it has a bit of a balance—presenting in some ways more point-and-click configuration options than Gnome but also retaining some of the simplicity of Gnome. Its main appeal is its speed, though, and it’s ideal for systems with 128 to 256 MB of RAM. Both Ubuntu and Kubuntu can run on 256 MB of RAM, but they’re more ideal for 512 MB of RAM or more. Xfce includes Thunar (file manager), Thunderbird (email client), and Mousepad (text editor). You can find a full list of software packages in xubuntu-desktop here.

Edubuntu uses the Gnome desktop environment but has a different set of default applications from Ubuntu. Its focus is on educational tools. It includes GPaint (an easy to use paint program), Atomix (a puzzle game for building molecules out of isolated atoms), and Xaos (a real-time interactive fractal zoomer). You can find a full list of software packages in edubuntu-desktop here.

Ubuntu Netbook Remix uses the Gnome desktop environment but puts a simplified layer on top of it that is designed for the small screens most netbooks have. Some people prefer this layout. Others don’t. If you prefer the regular Ubuntu, it will run just fine on any netbook.

Ubuntu Server Edition is a command-line interface that is designed for people running Linux servers. It is outside the scope of these tutorials.

Mixing and matching *buntus is possible and often encouraged by the community. If you choose Ubuntu, you are not stuck with Ubuntu. If you choose Kubuntu, you are not stuck with Kubuntu. You can use Gnome-native applications in KDE and vice versa. You can use Gnome- and KDE-native applications in Xfce. You can install education-related programs in any desktop environment. You can install kubuntu-desktop on top of Ubuntu and choose which one you want to log into at the login screen. All four versions of Ubuntu (Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, and Edubuntu) share the same software repositories and available applications. You are not locked into using one version just because it is the first version you installed. From now on, I’ll be referring to all or any of the above versions as simply Ubuntu.

10.04? 9.10? 9.04? 8.04? What is all this?

The numbering scheme for releases of Ubuntu sometimes confuses people. It is the year of release followed by the month of release. That’s all. You’ll also sometimes hear these releases referred to by their nicknames, usually involving alliteration, an adjective, and an animal. I’ve put the nicknames in parentheses.

* 10.04: April 2010 (Lucid Lynx) Long-Term Support
* 9.10: October 2009 (Karmic Koala)
* 9.04: April 2009 (Jaunty Jackalope)
* 8.10: October 2008 (Intrepid Ibex) [No longer supported]
* 8.04 LTS: April 2008 (Hardy Heron) Long-Term Support
* 7.10: October 2007 (Gutsy Gibbon) [No longer supported]
* 7.04: April 2007 (Feisty Fawn) [No longer supported]
* 6.10: October 2006 (Edgy Eft) [No longer supported]
* 6.06 LTS: June 2006 (Dapper Drake) [No longer supported]
* 5.10: October 2005 (Breezy Badger) [No longer supported]
* 5.04: April 2005 (Hoary Hedgehog) [No longer supported]
* 4.10: October 2004 (Warty Warthog) [No longer supported]

Please keep in mind that LTSes (Long Term Support releases) are not necessarily stabler than other releases. LTS simply means they gets three years of security updates instead of just eighteen months. I would always recommend the newest release to users who are doing a clean install (as opposed to an upgrade) of Ubuntu. If you’re concerned about stability, you may want to wait a little over a month after the release date for the major bugs to be fixed.

Releases come out around every six months with the latest (for that time) software available and usually some extra features and possibly some new artwork (splash screens/wallpaper).

Desktop CD, Alternate CD, or Server CD?

The default option for type of CD is the Desktop CD. It is a live CD that is also an installation CD. A live CD allows you (provided you have enough memory—I’d recommend at least 256 MB) to run a fully functional Ubuntu operating system without affecting your hard drive or existing Windows or Mac installation. The live CD runs the session off the CD itself and your computer’s RAM. While running the live CD, you can also install Ubuntu to your hard drive (yes, you can browse the web and type up documents while installing Ubuntu)—for the combination of live session and installation, I’d recommend at least 384 MB of RAM. Warning: the Desktop CD cannot be used for upgrading existing Ubuntu installations. It will do only a clean (re)installation of Ubuntu.

If you have a special situation, you may want to use the Alternate CD instead of the Desktop CD. The Alternate CD allows you to install Ubuntu without also running a live session. This is ideal for people with less RAM (128 to 256 MB of RAM). It also allows you to do OEM installations and the installation of only a command-line system. The Alternate CD can also be used for upgrades from older versions to newer versions of Ubuntu—particularly handy for those who have a slower (or no) internet connection, since most upgrades happen with direct downloads from the Ubuntu software repositories instead of from a CD.

The Server CD provides you all the tools you need to set up a server (including LAMP). It does not come with a GUI (graphical user interface), but you can add one later if you feel you really need one (most people recommend against using a GUI on a server). If you accidentally downloaded the Server CD and want a home desktop instead of a server, you can install a home desktop by typing
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop
sudo service gdm start

Get Free Ubuntu CD’s 08/24/2010

Posted by muyiscoi in Get Ubuntu !.
Tags: , , ,

Ubuntu Lucid

We all know about bandwidth is we have issues in this part of the world. This limits us most of the time from downloading the latest and greatest offerings from Ubuntu and Linux in general.
A nice guy over at www.artwales.biz has offered to mail copies of Ubuntu 10.04 DVD’s absolutely free to anyone within Nigeria. This will go a long way to help us get our Ubuntu “fix”.

If you are interested, head over to the post on his blog to find out more, including how to request for your copy.

Please, only request for one if you don’t already have.

Monitor your data usage on Ubuntu easily using NTM 08/18/2010

Posted by muyiscoi in Uncategorized, Useful Software Reviews.
Tags: , , ,

Most of us Nigerians connect to the Internet using USB broadband modems from GSM operators. Those modems only come with drivers and software for Windows and sometimes, Mac but never for Linux and by extension, our beloved Ubuntu. True to the Open Source culture, Network Manager has native support for most USB modems and even the correct configuration most of the time, nullifying the need for specific drivers.

So now, you can get online on Ubuntu using your USB modem. However, something that has been plaguing a lot of Ubuntu users is the ability to monitor their data usage, especially those on limited bandwidth.

Enter Network Traffic Monitor (NTM)

NTM main window (more…)

Some Useful Guides on Ubuntu 01/07/2009

Posted by ubuntunigeria in Guides, Uncategorized.
1 comment so far

if your use kubuntu 8.04 ( Ubuntu with the KDE Desktop) Environments this guide is perfect for your. introduces you to all you need to know to have a perfect desktop.

If your are running Ubuntu 8.04 ( Ubuntu with the Gnome Desktop Environments)

For more Ubuntu guide you can check out the following sites.




Happy Hacking

Freedom Package (Ubuntu + Applications) is Finally Ready 01/07/2009

Posted by ubuntunigeria in News.

Yes i admit that things has been quite here for a while. Not because we have abandon the Ubuntu Nigeria project. yes we have been busy with other aspect of our lives but we are still working on bringing the virtue of free and open source software to Nigerians. My biggest challenge is the lack of internet connections in many Nigerian homes which makes it difficult to use a free OS like Ubuntu to its full potentials. To get round this problem. i made some package cd media which contain most softwares that any one would need to have a reasonable experience on Ubuntu. I used aptoncd. a tool for creating repositories on dvds and cds. i was able to make 4 cd media packaged with the best applications that free software has to offer for everyday use. I decided to base the packages on Ubuntu hardy heron and linux mint 5 because their much more stable compared to current offers and are also LTS which means it would be supported for a longer period.

I have been getting lots of calls asking me to send copies of ubuntu cds to them. although i try to send once in a while. it has become overwhelming and i can longer cope with the numbers. hence am proposing that if you need a copy of the freedom package which include an ubuntu 8.04 (of any favour you indicate -kubuntu -ubuntu -or xubuntu or linux mint) just send 3 empty cds and and one empty dvd with a return address plus a note indicating which flavor of Ubuntu or linux mint would would like. you can send your request to
African University of Science and Technology
P.M.B 681,
Abuja F.C.T,

This way we all share the burden Together open source style

How to setup Starcomms Izap on Ubuntu 12/22/2008

Posted by ubuntunigeria in Connectivity.

Two days from now i should be  in Lagos. and with no Internet plan at home, my best bet is to buy a 3G express card which would allow me to be connected during the festive period. I settled for the starcomms 3G service which is called Izap. and hope to pick up their Merlin X720 3G ExpressCard . I friend of mine confirms that it does work fine on Ubuntu. we were able to get it working on his ubuntu laptop by following this guide. http://www4.sprint.com/pcsbusiness/downloads/Sprint_Mobile_Broadband_Setup_Guide.pdf . you have to be sure to follow every step. for it to work. It a breath of fresh air to see a company openly supporting Linux in this way. even though setting up on Linux is not as easy as it is on windows. At least they released a guide on how to get their product working on Linux. which for me is better than groping in the dark.