Archive for March, 2009

The Jaunty Jackalope Beta

Ubuntu 9.04, Jaunty Jackalope, was released in beta form on schedule, today, March 26. Here is a list of sites from which to download the beta. I myself am downloading a torrent file, further down the page. If you wish to update your computer via update-manager, you need to issue the command update-manager -d, either from the terminal or after typing Alt + F2.

I have blogged before on things that are new about Jaunty, so I won’t go through the whole list again. The beta should be stable enough to test, if you’ve been holding off because of the dreaded word alpha. 😀

Happy testing!

New Artwork for Jaunty

Jaunty Jackalope Alpha 6 has gained two new wallpapers and three new themes. The wallpapers are automatically added to your wallpaper selection once you update. The themes can be added by Alt + F2, then
sudo apt-get install gnome-themes-ubuntu.

The first two screenshots are with the new Ubuntu wallpaper. Here is the new Dust theme:

Here is the new NewWave theme:

The third screenshot shows the Simple wallpaper with the Dust Sand theme.

If I weren’t such a fan of blue, I would give the Dust Sand theme a great deal of consideration. If I find must-have wallpaper that goes with it, who knows?

What To Do If Your System Is Frozen

This topic came to my mind two days ago when I switched back to Jaunty Jackalope. I had dutifully typed in update-manager -d and gone through the steps to get Jaunty, complete with the Nvidia graphics driver 180 (which has replaced 177) up and running. Bingo! My system froze. I could move the cursor, but nothing was responding to the clicks. What to do?

As a well-versed geekette, I knew that hitting the power button should be the last resort. (If the system is writing to disk when the power button is pushed, the files will be messed up.) Thankfully, I had memorized the following sequence: REISUB. As in, holding down ALT + SysRq (Print Screen) and then typing REISUB.

What this sequence does is to allow you safely to reboot your system. I even found a definition of each letter in the sequence:

R Switch the keyboard from raw mode to XLATE mode (let the commands get through)
E Send the SIGTERM signal to all processes except init (terminate things nicely if possible)
I Send the SIGKILL signal to all processes except init (OK, processes must DIE now)
S Sync all mounted filesystems (make sure they’re not messed up)
U Remount all mounted filesystems in read-only mode
B Immediately reboot the system, without unmounting partitions or syncing.

(If you just want to shut down the computer, incidentally, the sequence is REISUO.)

I found, while trying to get enough information to submit a bug report to, that my computer was not as dead in the water as I first feared. I still had the same problems after I rebooted, but I found that making use of the underscored letters on the commands at the top or bottom of applications would let me do far more than reboot.

For instance, in Firefox, there is a row starting File Edit View etc. The first letter of each is underscored, to let you know that ALT + that letter will run that command (here, pulling down a menu). Given that Firefox was one of the places where my computer had frozen, being able to get to the part of the menu that would let me CTL + Q (quit) was very much appreciated.

Happy Ubuntuing!

P.S. In my last post, I wrote that you would need the human icon set in order to benefit from Notify OSD’s beautiful, clean notification system. That was the information I had at the time. I use another set that is paired with the Clearlooks theme, and I have had no trouble.


Jaunty Jackalope uses a new notification server,Notify OSD, to present notification bubbles. Notify OSD takes the place of notification-daemon.

These notification bubbles will float on top of all other windows, on the right top corner of the monitor screen. Notify OSD allows click-through; hovering over a bubble makes it transparent and you can click anything underneath. This means you won’t accidentally click on something inside the bubble, or have to close it before you work on anything underneath it.

Because Notify OSD bubbles cannot be clicked on or contain buttons that can be clicked on, Notify OSD presents any notification that would need such an action as an alert box instead of a bubble.

With Notify OSD, because the bubbles cannot be closed manually, every bubble closes by itself after a timeout. The timeout is based on the length of the text in the bubble.

Right now, to be sure of using the notification icons, you need to use the Human icon-theme. Hopefully, symlinks or updated icons for other icon thmes will soon be installed.


Gjig – Gnome jig – is a useful gui command that lets you access apt, apt-cache, dpkg and more. It is a front-end that allows cleaning up of old files, removing, purging, upgrading and so on. In order to install it, you need to type in at the terminal,

sudo aptitude install wajig

as wajig is the command line body of the software. Gjig is included when you do this install.

Now, to run the command, you type Alt F2 again, and enter the line

gksudo gjig

gksudo instead of regular sudo because the command is for a GUI. The results look like this:

As you can see, this gives you access to many commands you can run without having to remember all the syntax.

Have a great weekend!

Update (June 23, 2013):  The last Ubuntu man page for gjig is in Lucid Lynx.  Wajig still exists, but I have not been able to find a GUI.


March 2009
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