Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Installation of Ubuntu 7.04, Feisty Fawn (10 easy steps to success)

Just found a good site with tips for installing Ubuntu 7.04:

Essential Ubuntu

Also, check out this site for compatibility tests:

Linspire Compatibility Tests

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Installed KDE on Debian

Decided to try to install KDE. Debian comes with Gnome as default.

Used "Synaptic Package Manager" and chose "KDE-desktop environment". Ran through the list of included programs, and deselected some applications. When I pressed "Apply" I was prompted for a install CD. I only had the first install CD-iso.

Then I remembered what we used to do in earlier versions of Ubuntu - edit the "sources.list". This list specifies which repositories the system shall fetch its packages from. It is located in /etc/apt. In order to edit this system file, I needed root privileges. As I have discussed earlier, I have installed the "sudo" command that I am used to use under Ubuntu.

sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

enabled me to edit the list.

It read:

deb cdrom:[Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 r0 _Etch_ - Official i386 CD Binary-1 20070407-11:55]/ etch contrib main

deb etch main
deb-src etch main

deb etch/updates main contrib
deb-src etch/updates main contrib

I commented out the CD-rom and saved the file, modified file reading:

# deb cdrom:[Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 r0 _Etch_ - Official i386 CD Binary-1 20070407-11:55]/ etch contrib main

deb etch main
deb-src etch main

deb etch/updates main contrib
deb-src etch/updates main contrib

Then, I pressed "Apply" again, and then the install started downloading files from the net without prompting me for the CD.

After the install was completed, I logged out of Gnome, and chose KDE... and it worked!

Installing Debian

I decided to give Debian a try. I have heard so much about it, and since I have been using the Debian-based Ubuntu for a while, I wanted to check it out.

Debian has just been released in ver 4.0. Debian is released on 21 CDs, but with a broadband Interweb connection, you will only need the first.

After preparing a system in Virtualbox, and preparing the partitions, I was ready for the install. Debian uses an installer like the older versions of Ubuntu. It is quite easy to use (except for the formating issues described earlier). In addition to the first install CD, some packages where fetched from the net.

Booting and starting my new system, was very much like Ubuntu (not surprising). The Gnome desktop is default for Debian, and it looked more or less like Ubuntu (but was not brown).

I decided to check if my system was up to date, using the " sudo aptitude update" command. To my surprise, that didn't work. In fact I got a lot of error messages.

After searching on the Interweb, I discovered that the "sudo" command isn't activated or installed by default in Debian. Also, Debian uses root-account (disabled in Ubuntu) and user-accounts. In order to get sudo-to work I needed to switch to root:

su -

And then install sudo:

aptitude install sudo

Then I needed to give my user privileges to run "sudo". Running visudo as root, I edited the line reading

root ALL=(ALL) ALL

and substituded "root" with my username

adder1972 ALL=(ALL) ALL

After quiting the terminal and restarting it (since I don't know how to log out as root yet ....), I was now able to run "sudo" as my regular user (+ password, of course)

To test that everything worked, I typed

whoami (answer: adder1972)


sudo whoami (answer: root)

A short note on Virtualbox and formating

I have had some problems when installing Linux on new virtual machines in Virtualbox. The installation always seems to fail when it is preparing the partitions on the virtual hard drive.

When installing Ubuntu, I eventually solved this by using Gparted from the LiveCD and preparing the partitions before I ran the install.

I have recently installed Debian on another virtual machine, and encountered the same problem there. Since Debian does not come with a LiveCD, I first prepared the partitions with the Ubuntu LiveCD, and then installed Debian on the now formated virtual hard drive.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Upgrade to 7.04 Feisty Fawn

I was very excited about the release of Feisty today.

Thanks to help from the community, I used the commands:

sudo aptitude update
sudo aptitude upgrade
sudo aptitude dist-upgrade

Easy, easy, easy :-)

To check which version of Ubuntu I run, I just look in "lsb-release" in /etc:


Sunday, April 15, 2007

Installed Kubuntu

Added KDE today, so now I have Kubuntu as well.

Pretty easy to install after searching on Google.

Just used the command:

sudo aptitude install kubuntu-desktop

After it had downloaded, I logged out, and logged in to Kubuntu. It will be interesting to check out.

BTW, all my menues are now a mix of Gnome and KDE-applications. I found this easy to clean up (in Ubuntu) via the control-panel.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Created launchers ...

I created a launcher for my "mount disk 2" - command described previously.

Right clicked the Desktop - Create launcher. Chose "Application in terminal", and just inserted the command line "sudo mount /dev/hdb1 /home/adder1972/xdisk" (described previously).

I then pulled the launcher icon to the top panel. Now I have a handy icon to click when I want to mount my second disk in my Home-folder.

When I was at it, I also made two more "command line" launchers, "Update" executing "sudo aptitude update" and "Upgrade" executing "sudo aptitude upgrade".

Monting a second disk

Well, I have heard many great things about the Unix-file system and its flexibility. In order to learn more about the file system, and eventually transforming my home network to be Linux-based, I thought I would try to mount a second disk as a folder in my Home-folder.

I was also thinking that I could use this to mount e.g my external USB-harddrive with all my pictures directly in my Home-folder.

I ran in to some problems along the way. I will try to explain them and their solution.

Problem 1 was to mount the disk. In fact the disk was already mounted by the system and showed up in the "places" bar in the file browser. However, I wanted to mount it myself, so I unmounted it (right click, unmount).

Finally, a chance to test the much feared command line... Opening a terminal-window, I used the command:

sudo mount /dev/hdb1 /home/adder1972/xdisk

This mounted the second disk (with one partition; hdb1) to a folder called "xdisk" in my Home-folder. I had cheated and made the target folder in the file browser (I know I can make it command line as well, of course).

Problem 2 was related to user rights. I couldn't write to my drive/folder now called "xdisk". Command line:

ls -l

showed me the user rights, owner, group, etc. I found that the folder was owned by "root", so I needed to change the rights of the folder.

I used command line:

sudo chmod 775 xdisk

BTW, all command line commands are explained thoroughly in the terminal. You can just write:

man chmod

for instance, to check how to use the "chmod" command. However, I find it difficult to use. The "man"-pages are also available on the Interweb.

Anyway, the new user rights did the trick for me, and my extra disk was now mounted as as a folder under "Home".

Add to panel..

I found that you can add several items to your top menu bar/panel by right clicking on it and choosing "Add to panel". You can also add programs/launchers that also are found in e.g. your Applications or Systems pull down menus.

Btw, you can also drag and drop items directly to the panel, and it will stick.

Great podcasts

Just a short note on some great podcast. Check out Linux Reality.
The podcasts are great and informative. And the forums are also a great resource.

Also check out Fresh Ubuntu. Harlem has many great tips and also a great site called Tipshack.

(That's many "great"s in one posting!)

Ubuntu Feisty Fawn Beta


So I started with Ubuntu Feisty Fawn Beta.

I loaded it in VirtualBox. I put up a virtual harddrive of about 6GB and another of about 1GB. The plan was to use the first to install Ubuntu and also make a swap-partition, and the second to practice mounting.

I booted up the ISO-image (which I downloaded from of the LiveCD. It worked smoothly.

In VirtualBox, I noted, that my wireless connection on my laptop, was detected as a wired network seen from the virtual machine side (that makes sense, and also saved me any potential trouble with the wireless config).

During install, I formated the virtual harddrive, even though I made the drive as a "ext3" when setting up the virtual machine (in fact, I think the install didn't work if I didn't format it again during install).

When the install was finished, I dismounted the ISO-image (in VirtualBox), and rebooted the system.

I updated the system clicking on the "update-icon".

That was it.

I am currently not at home, so I have to run Linux on a virtual machine.

I found It is such a great program and it is really easy to use.

It gives me the opportunity to try different things, and if it fails, well, I can return to a backed-up system.

It is also great to for trying different distros.