Saturday, April 28, 2007

Free Ubuntu Magazine

"Full Circle is an e-magazine run by the Ubuntu community that covers the world of Ubuntu, open source, and technology.
Full Circle is community written and community run, so please consider contributing an article to the magazine."

The #0 edition of the magazine is available for download here.

This issue contains history of Ubuntu releases ( Warty Warthog, Hoary Hedgehog, Breezy Badger, Dapper Drake, Edgy Eft ) and Ubuntu Feisty Fawn’s new features.

The highlighted features of the current release 'Feisty Fawn' are Migration assistant, Easy codec/restricted drivers installation, Desktop effects, Easier connections to wireless networks and support for the new Intel Mac.

The next release is to be called "Gutsy Gibbon", which will include default graphical desktop effects, unattended installation, and Linspire's Click'N'Run options (GUI-based means of installing free and proprietary software.Commercial proprietary software is also available at discount rates).

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Nautilus script to set an image as desktop background



Download nautilus-script archive
The location of nautilus scripts is ~/.gnome2/nautilus-scripts

#!/bin/bash
cwd=`echo "$NAUTILUS_SCRIPT_SELECTED_URIS"|grep -oE '[/][^//].+'|sed 's/%20/ /g'`
gconftool-2 -t "str" --set /desktop/gnome/background/picture_filename "$cwd"



Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Top Ten Linux Distributions

The following link will give an unbiased attempt to list the most widely-used distributions available today, complete with brief overviews of their history, purpose, pros and cons, available editions, and possible alternatives. The page should serve as a good starting point to those computer users looking to switch to an open source operating system or trying to find their ideal distribution.

http://distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=major

For new users I recommend (In order)

  1. Ubuntu ( The most popular GNU/Linux Distribution )
  2. Freespire
  3. PCLinuxOS
  4. KNOPPIX ( Best Live CD )
  5. openSUSE
  6. CentOS ( for RedHat fans )


Summary of the article:

Ubuntu

  • Pros: Fixed release cycle and support period; novice-friendly; wealth of documentation, both official and user-contributed
  • Cons: Some of Ubuntu's own software (e.g. Launchpad, Rosetta) are proprietary; lacks compatibility with Debian
  • Software package management: Advanced Package Tool (APT) using DEB packages
  • Available editions: Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Edubuntu and Xubuntu for 32-bit (i386) and 64-bit (x86_64) processors; Ubuntu Server edition also for SPARC processors
openSUSE
  • Pros: Fixed release cycle and support period; novice-friendly; wealth of documentation, both official and user-contributed
  • Cons: Some of Ubuntu's own software (e.g. Launchpad, Rosetta) are proprietary; lacks compatibility with Debian
  • Software package management: Advanced Package Tool (APT) using DEB packages
  • Available editions: Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Edubuntu and Xubuntu for 32-bit (i386) and 64-bit (x86_64) processors; Ubuntu Server edition also for SPARC processors
fedora
  • Pros: Highly innovative; large number of supported packages; strict adherence to the Free Software philosophy
  • Cons: Less community-oriented than other major distributions; its priorities tend to lean towards enterprise features, rather than desktop usability
  • Software package management: YUM graphical and command line utility using RPM packages
  • Available editions: Fedora for 32-bit (i386), 64-bit (x86_64) and PowerPC (ppc) processors; Red Hat Enterprise Linux for i386, IA64, PowerPC, s390x and x86_64 architectures; also live CD and live DVD editions
  • Suggested Fedora-based alternatives: BLAG Linux And GNU (desktop, free software), Berry Linux (live CD), Yellow Dog Linux (Apple's PowerPC-based systems)
  • Suggested Red Hat-based alternatives: CentOS, Scientific Linux, StartCom Enterprise Linux, Lineox
Debian
  • Pros: Very stable; remarkable quality control; includes over 20,000 software packages; supports more processor architectures than any other Linux distribution
  • Cons: Conservative - due to its support for many processor architectures, newest technologies are not always included; slow release cycle (one stable release every 1 - 3 years); discussions on developer mailing lists and blogs can be uncultured at times
  • Software package management: Advanced Package Tool (APT) using DEB packages
  • Available editions: Installation CD/DVD and live CD images for 11 processor architectures, including all 32-bit and 64-bit processors from Intel, AMD, Power and others
  • Suggested Debian-based alternatives: Ubuntu, Damn Small Linux, KNOPPIX, sidux, Dreamlinux, Elive, Xandros, 64 Studio
Mandriva

  • Pros: Beginner-friendly, especially the commercial editions; excellent central configuration utility; very good out-of-the-box support for dozens of languages; installable live CD
  • Cons: The company's customer service has developed bad reputation over the years; complex, confusing web site infrastructure; dropping popularity due to its commercial nature and unpopular corporate decisions in the past
  • Software package management: URPMI with Rpmdrake (a graphical front-end for URPMI) using RPM packages. "SMART" available as an alternative method
  • Available editions: Freely downloadable Mandriva Free and One editions for 32-bit (i386) and 64-bit (x86_64) processors; commercial Mandriva Discovery, PowerPack and PowerPack Plus editions for 32-bit (i386) and 64-bit (x86_64); also high-end "Corporate" solutions for desktops, servers and firewalls, all with long-term support options
PCLinuxOS
  • Pros: Out-of-the-box support for graphics drivers, browser plugins and media codecs; fast boot times; up-to-date software
  • Cons: No 64-bit edition offered; no out-of-the-box support for non-English languages; lacks release planning
  • Software package management: Advanced Package Tool (APT) using RPM packages
  • Available editions: MiniMe, Junior and BigDaddy editions for 32-bit (i586) processor architectures
MEPIS
  • Pros: Beginner-friendly; excellent hardware auto-detection and support; intuitive, installable live CD
  • Cons: Software in its repositories not always up-to-date, lacks development roadmap
  • Software package management: Advanced Package Tool (APT) using DEB packages
  • Available editions: SimplyMEPIS for 32-bit (i386) and 64-bit (x86_64) processors
KNOPPIX
  • Pros: Unparalleled hardware auto-detection and auto-configuration; portable operating system that can be used for rescue, demonstration and testing tasks; provides a hard-disk installation script
  • Cons: Recent releases somewhat buggy; lack of polish and unification of menus across the different desktop environments; slow when run from DVD
  • Software package management: Advanced Package Tool (APT) using DEB packages
  • Available editions: Live CD and Live DVD editions for 32-bit (i386) processors
  • Suggested Debian/KNOPPIX-based alternatives: Damn Small Linux, sidux, Xandros Desktop, Elive, Dreamlinux, Parsix GNU/Linux, grml
Slackware
  • Pros: Highly stable, clean and bug-free, strong adherence to UNIX principles.
  • Cons: Limited number of officially supported applications; conservative in terms of base package selection; complex upgrade procedure; no official 64-bit edition
  • Software package management: "pkgtools" using TGZ (TAR.GZ) packages
  • Available editions: Installation CDs and DVD for 32-bit (i486) processors
gentoo
  • Pros: Excellent software management infrastructure, unparalleled customisation and tweaking options, superb online documentation
  • Cons: Occasional instability and risk of breakdown, the project suffers from lack of directions and frequent infighting between its developers
  • Software package management: "Portage" using source (SRC) packages
  • Available editions: Minimal installation CD and live CD (with GNOME) for Alpha, AMD64, HPPA, IA64, MIPS, PPC, SPARC and x86 processors; also "stages" for manual installation from command line
  • Suggested Gentoo-based alternatives: SabayonLinux (desktop live CD/DVD), VLOS (desktop), Ututo (desktop, free software only)
  • Other source-based distributions: Lunar Linux, Source Mage GNU/Linux, Sorcerer, Linux From Scratch

Friday, April 20, 2007

Overwhelming Demand For Ubuntu Linux 7.04 "Feisty Fawn"

The latest version of Ubuntu Linux, which has just been released, has been downloaded so heavily that requests have backed up on Canonical's download site and its 160 mirrors. Ubuntu now includes Sun Microsystems' Java Platform, Standard Edition (JDK 6) along with a Java database system, the GlassFish Enterprise Edition 5 implementation, and the development environment NetBeans version 5.5.
read more of this story

pidgin view buddies by email

In pidgin (formerly gaim), there is no way by default an option to view the contacts by email.
How To do just that:

  1. quit pidgin
  2. browse to ~/.purple
  3. delete blist.xml
  4. restart pidgin and enable/connect to all accounts
  5. quit pidgin again
  6. cd ~/.purple
  7. run script here
  8. redirect standard output to a file X, delete blist.xml and rename the file X to blist.xml
  9. restart pidgin.




import sgmllib
import sys

class parser(sgmllib.SGMLParser):
def __init__(self, verbose=0):
sgmllib.SGMLParser.__init__(self, verbose)
self.thedata = ''

self.insideelement = 0
self.insidename = 0

def start_blist(self, attributes):
self.insideelement = 1
text = ""
for attr, value in attributes:
text = text + " %s='%s'" % (attr,value)
sys.stdout.write("<%s%s>" % ("blist", text))

def end_blist(self):
self.insideelement = 0
sys.stdout.write("</blist>")

def start_name(self, attributes):
self.insidename = 1
text = ""

for attr, value in attributes:
text = text + " %s='%s'" % (attr,value)
sys.stdout.write("<%s%s>" % ("name", text))

def end_name(self):
self.insidename = 0
sys.stdout.write("</name>")
sys.stdout.write("\n\t\t\t\t\t<alias>"+self.thedata+"</alias>")

def unknown_starttag(self, tag, attributes):
text = ""

for attr, value in attributes:
text = text + " %s='%s'" % (attr, value)
sys.stdout.write("<%s%s>" % (tag, text))

def unknown_endtag(self,tag):
sys.stdout.write("</%s>" % tag)

def handle_data(self, data):
if self.insideelement == 1:
if self.insidename == 1:
self.thedata = data
sys.stdout.write("%s" % data)

def returndata(self):
return self.thedata


sys.stdout.write("<?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8' ?>")
pars = parser()
fileobj = open('blist.xml')
strdata = fileobj.read()
fileobj.close()
pars.feed(strdata)



Thursday, April 19, 2007

xmodmap file

vishah@ubuntu:~$ pwd
/home/vishah
vishah@ubuntu:~$ cat .xmodmap
pointer = 1 8 3 4 5 6 7 2 9
remove Lock = Caps_Lock
keysym Caps_Lock = Escape
keysym Escape = Caps_Lock
add Lock = Caps_Lock

vishah@ubuntu:~$
I use this to swap Escape and CapsLock keys; easier than moving way up to reach Esc while using vim.Also it substitutes middle click button == 2 to a button on the side of the mouse == 8.

firing up 'xev' in a terminal first to see keysyms and keycodes for various keys.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Colour Choices : Contrast vs Readability

Yellow text on a blue background is supposed to be the easiest on the eyes.Also green on black and mild gray on black for those who prefer darker colors on their terminals. Read a study done on this here.

bill recommends ubuntu