Lubuntu is a derivative of Ubuntu Linux that uses the (extremely) lightweight LXDE desktop. Lubuntu is great on underpowered machines like an old netbook, and I currently use it as a virtual machine shell to browse Internet sites that may be of questionable content (mostly porn) and pose a risk of infection.
To enable automatic login in Lubuntu, you will need to install LX Session Editor. In terminal, execute the following command:
sudo apt-get install lxsession-edit
Once installed, edit /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf with an inline text editor such as Nano. Edit the file to read as follows:
Reboot an you will be automagically logged in to your desired account!
Having an account automatically log in at boot is a HUGE time saver, and absolutely essential when your computer doesn’t have a keyboard attached! In Ubuntu, this is easily done through the System Preferences menu.
First, click the gear icon in the upper-right corner and select “System Settings…”
Then, in the lower-right, select “User Accounts”
Highlight the account you would like to automatically log into and click the “Unlock” button in the top right corner.
Click the “Automatic Login” switch, so that it says “ON”
Click the “Lock” button, close the window, and you’re finished!
NOTE: Some derivatives of Ubuntu do not have this feature, but the functionality can be added. Choose your derivative from the list for instructions:
Apart from using FTP to transfer files between computers, network file sharing can be a convenient way to access files on remote computers. In Linux, file sharing to other Linux computers is enabled by default. If you want file sharing capabilities with computers not running Linux, however, you will need to use Samba: the open-source protocol that can integrate with Windows domains.
Samba is available in the Ubuntu repositories and can be installed easily from the terminal:
Personally, I’m not a fan of XBMC’s “Kodi” rebranding, and my plugins so far do not work in versions past Gotham. As such, I have needed to stay behind in the development cycle to utilise the tools I have come to know and love. (Much like OSX Mavericks over Yosemite.)
For Windows and OSX, you can easily download and install the proper binary directly from the XBMC archive.
To install previous versions of Kodi in Linux, you simply have to specify the version number when you execute the install command:
sudo apt-get install xbmc=2:[INSERT VERSION NUMBER HERE]* xbmc-bin=2:[INSERT VERSION NUMBER HERE]*
For Kodi versions (beyond 13.2), replace xbmc with kodi for both packages.
For a list of available versions, execute the following:
sudo apt-cache policy xbmc
or sudo apt-cache policy kodi
Kodi (F.K.A. XBMC) is hands-down the final word in the media centre user experience. Before Roku and Apple TV, there was XBMC (the predecessor to Kodi). They’ve been doing it longer and–because it’s open-source–better than anyone else thanks to a bottom-up development infrastructure.
Kodi can handle all your media, in most any format, from any networked location and, thanks to its modular plugin structure, it can be extended to facilitate every home theatre contingency.
Installing Kodi in Windows or OSX is easy; simply download the installer binary package from the website and run.
Kodi in Linux is a little more complicated, requiring a little terminal work to get it started.
First, you have to install the required dependencies:
One of the best remote access tools in Linux is SSH, a protocol that allows remote command-line interfacing with a remote computer. When setting up a system like the VCR, where the screen may not necessarily be readable from across the room or (like many “Internet of Things” applications) may not have a screen at all, remote access to terminal is essential.
Ubuntu 14.04 does not enable SSH by default, but does provide easy access to the OpenSSH service via its software repositories. On the server machine (the one you wish to access remotely), run the following:
sudo apt-get install openssh-server
Once the packages are installed, you can change settings by editing the configuration file located at /etc/ssh/sshd_config in Nano (or other text editor).
Once your configuration settings are saved, restart the service to enable SSH access from your client computer:
Having reliable FTP access to a remote computer running Linux can be especially useful if said computer is to be a media server and connected to a screen ten feet across the room. For the VCR project, and for any Linux project, I recommend using vsftpd for its simplicity and active development.
To install vsftpd, simply type the following command in Terminal:
sudo apt-get install vsftpd
Once installed, you will need to edit the configuration file to authenticate users and enable write access (if you’re going to be using it as such). Use Nano (or whichever text editor you prefer) to edit /etc/vsftpd.conf and change the following values:
Reboot and your FTP server will be running in background, ready for action!
I was working with the VCR today when, after a reboot, all the USB ports went dead. After much consternation (and a little bit of cussing), I was able to determine a solution.
Fortunately, I already had TeamViewer installed, so jacking in remotely was a snap. Without any kind of remote access, this process would be nigh impossible since the entirety of input devices are USB.
Navigate to Control Panel -> Hardware and Sound -> Device Manager (listed under Devices and Printers).
The last item in the tree should be Universal Serial Bus Controllers.
Expand the USB Controller branch to expose the list of USB devices connected to the computer.
Right-click and uninstall each of the listings, thus removing it from the system. One or more of the controller drivers was likely corrupted and removing all of them will ensure a clean installation.
Reboot and allow Windows 7 to recognise and reinstall all the connected USB devices. Everything should work like new again!
More information on this problem as well as other solutions can be found here.
If you’re like me and enjoy delving into a little hackery on your devices to make them “function correctly”, then welcome! I did a little futzing around with my Galaxy S to try and get a particular email notification working, so I thought I may share the process with you all here. First and foremost, you must have enabled root access on your phone, so go check that post out if you haven’t already. As always, no warranty is implied and you might void your warranty following this procedure. Perform at your own risk!
You will need:
Galaxy S phone with root access
Computer with Audacity installed and Bluetooth connectivity Root Explorer application installed
Open the sound file you wish to use with Audacity.
Export the sound as *.ogg (Ogg Vorbis) format.
Rename the new file “22_FILENAME.ogg” where FILENAME is some short name describing the file.
Bluetooth transfer the file to your phone.
Open Root Explorer on your phone.
Navigate to ../sdcard/bluetooth/
Tap-hold the filename to bring up the options menu.
Click “Move” from the dialog.
Navigate to ../system/media/audio/notifications/ and make sure that “Mount R/W” is selected.
Exit Root Explorer and reboot your phone.
Change your sound settings and enjoy!
I’m going to link you to a couple files that I used and, specifically, the email notification that I specifically figured this process out for. Enjoy!
Adventitious Geekery and other distractions created or curated by Matthew "Atari" Eargle