Archive for the 'Karmic Koala' Category

Ubuntu Tweak 0.6 is Now Available for Precise and Other Ubuntu Versions

Ubuntu Tweak version 0.6 is now available for Precise, although it is not in the standard PPA yet. There are two PPAs that are available: Ubuntu Tweak Testing Source and Tualatrix’s Next PPA.

Tualatrix’s Next PPA covers only Precise and Oneiric. It is the cutting edge, first testing PPA. Here are the commands to include it:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tualatrix/next
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-tweak

The Ubuntu Tweak Testing Source PPA (again for version 0.6) is available for Karmic, Lucid, Maverick, Natty, Oneiric and Precise. To include it, here are the commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-tweak-testing/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-tweak

Since I wrote this post, Ubuntu Tweak 0.6 stable has been released (only for Oneiric at this time):

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tualatrix/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-tweak

(For Oneiric users) If you prefer to stay with the most stable version, you may wish to remove the testing PPA(s) so you only get the updates to the stable release.

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Ubuntu Sources List Generator Now Handles Natty

The Ubuntu Sources List Generator now handles Natty Narwhal (Ubuntu 11.04) as well as Hardy, Karmic, Lucid and Maverick. The way to use the sources.list generator is to select your country (Americans, please note – United States is in the U section (of course)). Then you select your version, for instance Natty. Then you check the Ubuntu repositories you require, and lastly, you select third party repositories.

There are a good many repositories already available for Natty. Among them are the Medibuntu, Ubuntu Tweak and Google repositories. Of course, more will be added.

Please note that for third party repositories, the result text lists how to store the gpg key for each repository.

Ailurus 10.05 Has Been Released

Ailurus 10.05 was released on May 28 (yesterday). The latest version brings with it new features:

adding some popular software (always welcome!),

enhancing the system cleanup function (you can now clean up residual configuration files and the Nautilus thumbnail cache),

adding some GNOME settings,

showing details of CPU level 1 cache and level 2 cache, and

adding a computer doctor function, so you can detect system problems and repair them.

Ailurus cannot install programs that are not open-source, without adding an extension. The command is:

wget ‘’ -O ~/.config/ailurus/

If you have not already done so, Ailurus can be obtained with the following commands if you are using Karmic or Lucid:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ailurus/ppa
sudo aptitude update
sudo aptitude install ailurus

Instructions for earlier versions are included at Tags: , , , ,

Ubuntu Tweak 0.5.1 Has Been Released

Ubuntu Tweak 0.5.1 was released earlier this month. It now supports Lucid Lynx (Ubuntu 10.04).

If you are using Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid or 9.10 Karmic, you can easily install Ubuntu Tweak 0.5.1 by firing up the terminal (Applications > Accessories > Terminal) and adding these lines:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:/tualatrix/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-tweak

The Applications Center has a syncing function, as does the Source Center. This means you can click the Sync button to update either list manually.

Applications Center:

The Source Center once again detects dependencies and conflicts of source, letting you know, for instance, that another PPA repository will need to be enabled.

I intended to write about the latest update to Ubuntu Tweak before now, but the Lucid Alpha temporarily hosed my computer system. This is one problem with alphas. While the developers are testing out their latest and greatest changes, one small error can keep you from being able to input anything via keyboard or mouse. 😉

As always, Ubuntu Tweak can be downloaded from


Ailurus is a helpful add-on to Ubuntu, giving hints of the day and information on hardware, along with third-party repositories and applications that are not available in the official Ubuntu repositories – and many more options. It is a good bit different from Ubuntu Tweak. This has led me to have both of them on my computer.

When Ailurus first loads, it brings with it a tip of the day window (which can be disabled). The tips range from simple commands that can easily be typed in the terminal and do not need a whole lot of explanation, to those that require more knowledge of the command line. There is something there for everyone.

Some options that Ailurus includes are:

to install or remove applications that are not in the official repository;
to enable or disable some third-party repositories (some that are not included by Ubuntu Tweak);
to display information about BIOS, motherboard, CPU and battery;
to show or hide Computer, Home folder, Trash and Network icons on desktop;
to configure GNOME auto-start applications.

The easiest way to install Ailurus is from the PPA repository. You just need to open a terminal window (Applications > Accessories > Terminal). Then type in the following:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ailurus
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ailurus

If you are using a version of Ubuntu that does not have the command add-apt-repository, you can still install Ailurus. Type the following command into your terminal:

sudo apt-key adv –recv-keys –keyserver 9A6FE242

Then go to System > Administration > Software Sources > Other Software, click on Add and type in

deb hardy main

deb-src hardy main

(of course, you can replace hardy with intrepid, jaunty or karmic – whichever one you use.)

Side note – I have come to appreciate Lucid because of the ease of the command add-apt-repository (which works for PPA repositories, those at It pulls in the necessary signature keys as well as adding the correct repository for your version – all of this automatically.Technorati Tags: , , , , , , ,

Ubuntu Sources List Generator – Now Including Lucid

The Ubuntu Sources List Generator is an excellent source of third-party repositories. It supplies a sources.list that you can use to update or replace your own /etc/apt/sources.list, or use through System > Administration > Software Sources.

The home page, before any selections have been made, looks like this.

You select your country and your distribution – even Lucid, which is on its second alpha! Then, along with the standard Ubuntu repositories, it gives a large number of choices of third-party repositories that you can select. I was very pleased to see that, in the case of Lucid, Medibuntu, Ailurus, and the Google repositories were available, among others.

Here is a sample sources.list generated by this site.

As you may know, I initially ran into a great deal of trouble trying to upgrade to Lucid Lynx. Karmic has a bug in it that would not allow me to do a standard Alt + F2, update-manager -d number. I finally got around this by typing sudo update-manager -d in the box after clicking on “run in terminal.” If you are having trouble with Karmic, Lucid may be more to your liking. Because it is an LTS (Long Term Support) release, a great deal of work is going into getting all the bugs out. (Not as many new things get into an LTS because of this.)

LTS means the release is supported for 5 years on servers and 3 years on desktops, rather than 18 months.Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Lucid Lynx Alpha 2 Has Been Released

Ubuntu Lucid Lynx Alpha 2 was released on January 14. I am late in reporting this because I wanted to install it and give it an independent review. I ran into a problem: Instead of installing Lucid normally, my install disk caused a kernel panic.

I found out very quickly that Launchpad, Ubuntu’s bug reporting and testing site, does not support reporting a bug if you do not know the exact package that has broken and the bug occurs while you are installing. Thankfully, update-manager -d, which is the normal way to upgrade from an existing Ubuntu installation, isn’t working either. This meant I could use the command ubuntu-bug updte-manager to get the proper file information collected and sent to Launchpad. Once I got that done, I also mentioned the other bug.

The old system, where you could report a bug without having to go to all of these information-collecting steps, was better IMHO. That way, you could just go to the Ubuntu Bugs section of and file a bug manually. I know that this did not always give the developers every piece of information they wanted, but the problem as it now stands is that whole classes of bugs are difficult if not impossible to report at all.

Back to Lucid Lynx Alpha 2: As the website says, get it while it’s hot! ISOs and torrents are available at: (Ubuntu Desktop and Server) (Ubuntu Server for UEC and EC2) (Ubuntu ARM) (Kubuntu Desktop and Netbook Remix) (Xubuntu) (Edubuntu) (Mythbuntu)

May your testing be enjoyable! Lucid Lynx is going to be an LTS (long-term support) release. This means everything will have to work on it. I had a feeling that Karmic included so much new stuff that it wasn’t possible for the developers and testers to take care of everything. I am looking forward to the Lucid Lynx final release.

Another Way to Do Address Labels

Last year close to Christmas, I wrote a post about how to do address labels from scratch, with no form to help out. This year, I have found out that there is an extension that makes life much easier.

The first thing you will need to do, if you haven’t already, is to run the command:

sudo apt-get install

in order to get all of the pieces needed by base, the database software. Family Address Book is actually a database already set up, with instructions for use and a handy program for inputting new records. Here is the menu you get when you first click on the downloaded file:

I heartily recommend reading the instructions before you continue. The program is powerful, giving you three different ways to run your labels as well as other options for adding and looking at records. (My only negative comment is that I could not figure out how to delete or change a record without going into the Information Table. However, once you’re there, it isn’t so hard to figure out.)

Here is the form to add a new person or family. As you can see, the database stores birthdays, anniversaries and telephone numbers as well as addresses. This makes it more powerful than a simple address label program would be.

One other thing I recommend – that I didn’t do last year – is to save your database on an external medium. I have an external hard drive where my family address book odb file is now safely sitting. That way, I won’t accidentally delete it when I reinstall Ubuntu. (Reinstalls happen when you are testing an alpha. Lucid Lynx is in alpha already.)Technorati Tags: , ,

How to Deal with Bugs in Karmic

I should be ashamed of myself. 😉 Bugs in Karmic Koala? Say it ain’t so! But my x-windows haven’t allowed me to switch between them properly. I have been suffering (mildly) from glitches. Nothing bad enough to force me to resort to the tried and true ALT + F2 + SysRq. Just some annoying things that people who are new to Ubuntu shouldn’t have to go through.

I would like to tell you about some of the tactics I have made use of so far. One is to see if the tab key will work. If the cursor seems unresponsive, tabbing around in a window may get you to where you need to go.

Another thing to try – which didn’t occur to me until now – is to check the Karmic-proposed box under System > Administration > Software Sources > Updates. This has helped me a great deal, even though it hasn’t fixed everything yet. What it does is to allow you to update your computer with software that is still being tested – sort of like a beta release of the individual parts. If you are suffering from a bug, your bug fix may simply not have been moved into the main repositories yet.

Then you can go into System > Administration > Synaptic Package Manager. click on reload, then on Mark All Upgrades, then on Apply.

I’m so used to calling up the terminal via Applications > Accessories > Terminal and typing in

sudo apt-get update; sudo apt-get upgrade -y

to update my computer, I needed to review how to do it in Synaptic! ;)Technorati Tags: , , ,

Karmic Koala Has Been Launched

Karmic Koala – Ubuntu 9.10 – was formally released on October 29, on schedule. If you have been waiting until the final release, it is here!

Be forewarned – it is still too soon after the release date for the servers to behave normally. I found, for instance, that downloading the ISO file, burning it to disk, and installing from scratch was easier than attempting to do a simple update-manager. I switched to a local mirror after receiving major “unable to reach network” messages while using the US main mirror. Even with that, the servers seem to be unreachable. Launch week is a madhouse!

One thing that I found that is new with Karmic is the command add-apt-repository. For instance, if you want to include the beautiful Bisigi artwork that I wrote about some time ago, you would just need to issue these commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:bisigi
sudo apt-get install zgegblog-themes

and you have wallpaper and themes galore to choose from. This works on properly formatted PPA repositories. (Unfortunately, when I tried it on the Ubuntu Tweak repository, it did not work. I hope this is something TualatriX can fix.)

The add-apt-repository command even adds the repository key so Ubuntu knows the files are authenticated. This takes away ninety percent of the pain of adding a PPA repository – you just need to know its name.


August 2020

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