Tag Archives: Ubuntu

Installing packages from the web in Ubuntu

Without further ado I shall dive straight in with the warning that whenever you install a piece of software you should trust where you are getting it from. If you’ve chosen to use Ubuntu then presumably you’ve decided you trust the Ubuntu development process, but when you click on a link to download some software from a web site you need to be sure you’re on the correct site and that you trust those that run the site.

OK, with that out the way, I thought that I’d do a quick blog about the ease of installing .deb packages within Ubuntu (clearly I’m in a bit of a blogging mood today – something of a rarity!). I first stumbled across this a while ago when I decided to install the Opera browser alongside my usual Firefox install. I headed off to the Opera website to download the .deb file that I knew, from previous Debian installs, would be there. What I was expecting to do was download it, do a test install run with aptitude -s to check for any missing dependencies and then, after installing any missing items, install Opera – all via the trusty, familiar command line.


16 Oct 2007

nm-applet problems with (X)Ubuntu 7.04

Following on from the fun I’ve been having getting wireless cards working under Ubuntu (or Linux in general for that matter) I found a bit of a glitch in the 7.04 install I’m running on my laptop. So a matter of days before the release of 7.10 I’m beating 7.04 into submission! The story goes a little like this:

After using a pretty standard Ubuntu install with Gnome for a while I decided to switch back to my preferred XFCE desktop. This was fairly straightforward, although the xubuntu-desktop package pulled in a few things I didn’t want, so I used it to populate the new install list (in Synaptic) and then trimmed the packages I didn’t want (mainly the office applications since I prefer to stick with OpenOffice). One thing I noted after making the switch back was that there was no Network Manager applet running, and a quick check of the package details seemed to indicate that it was part of Gnome, so I decided to look elsewhere for an equivalent. I experimented briefly with Wicd, but whilst doing that I found out that, although Network Manager is part of Gnome it is pretty free of Gnome dependencies and is largely independent, so I decided to switch back. Having done that I needed to look for a way of getting the applet running. This seemed simple enough, I just needed to add an entry into the Autostarted applications list as accessed from Applications -> Settings. Having done this all seemed well until, after a few reboots I noticed that I had multiple copies of the nm-applet in the panel – oops!


15 Oct 2007

Apple TAX / Microsoft TAX

Recently on the Ubuntu Users mailing list there has been a thread on the ‘Apple TAX’ which started as somebody posting about purchasing an Intel based Apple without OS X, but has developed on to a discussion that seems to be comparing the inclusion by Apple of OS X with their systems to the inclusion by Dell and other PC manufacturers of Windows with their computers. I started off putting together a reply to one of the posts in that thread, but having typed it out I decided not to add fuel to the flames on that thread but to post a blog entry instead.

I may well be about to upset the applecart here, but personally do not see Apple including an OS with their hardware as a TAX. Part of this may be historical in that their platform started out back in the days when the primary development model was to create both hardware and OS in tandem to create a new platform. I’m thinking here of platforms like the Amiga, Atari ST, Acorn Archimedes and even IBM’s original intent with the IBM PC (I suspect). The majority of it, though, is the fact that I do not see it as in my remit to demand of Apple the removal of their freedom to create a product to the
specification that they choose. I would see that as against that basic principles of freedom on which Ubuntu, Linux and other free software is based. Apple have a product, and they have defined that the market they are targeting it at is that of people that want a package deal of a computer built, installed and ready to use. That is completely up to them.


28 Aug 2007

Wireless Ubuntu – part 2

Well, contrary to expectations that may be put upon the date today I managed to get wireless networking working in Ubuntu at last. Sadly this is on the ‘family’ desktop machine and not my laptop, but it is a start.

As I suspected, the Linksys WMP55AG worked a treat and was automatically detected and, after a bit of a pause while I cursed it not working, my two local networks appeared in the network manager applet and off I went. It correctly identified that I was using WPA and allowed my to put my TKIP passphrase in and off it went. A quick install of Thunderbird and it should be ready to start pursuading my wife to give it a go. It will be interesting to give this installation a real workout as the Windows XP install on the same machine runs like a dead Norwegian blue parrot!

I guess I should give a bit more detail, but for now, since I’m tired, I’ll call it a night. I will add that the card uses the MadWiFi driver which is manged by the restricted-manager utilty – I’ll have to learn more about that now so I can get the nVidia driver working properly.

14 Jul 2007

Wireless Ubuntu

I’m in the process of trying to get wireless working on one (or both) of my aging laptops with Ubuntu 7.04. Having looked at the documentation it seems to be sadly lacking in anything useful in terms of WPA, although this may well be partly due to the sad lack of proper support in Linux for WPA in general (as in you are very restricted in the cards you can use). That said, I’m not having any more luck with WEP either. Not that a working WEP would help much as I really can’t reconfigure the networks I connect to using WEP just to allow Linux access sadly. I suspect the WEP issue may partly be due to the fact that I’m probably only half heartedly working on it as WPA is the real target.

So, where am I with my selection of cards? Somewhere about here:


05 Jul 2007