Tag Archives: Ubuntu

How To Setup Network File Sharing In Ubuntu Linux

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:

sudo apt-get install samba
sudo apt-get install system-config-samba
sudo apt-get install gvfs-bin
sudo apt-get install gvfs-backends

Reboot your system and you can configure your file sharing settings by executing the following command in terminal:

sudo system-config-samba

You will now be able to assign shared folders as well as users and permissions.

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How To Install Previous Versions of Kodi (XBMC) in Ubuntu Linux

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

For more information, consult the Kodi wiki.

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How To Install Kodi In Ubuntu Linux

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:

sudo apt-get install python-software-properties pkg-config
sudo apt-get install software-properties-common

Then, add the Kodi repository to your software sources and update:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:team-xbmc/ppa
sudo apt-get update

Finally, install Kodi:

sudo apt-get install kodi

For more information, consult the Kodi wiki.

If you need to install an older version of Kodi/XBMC, check this article.

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How To Enable SSH In Ubuntu Linux

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:

sudo /etc/init.d/ssh restart

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How To Setup An FTP Server In Ubuntu Linux

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:

local_enable=YES

write_enable=YES

Reboot and your FTP server will be running in background, ready for action!

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Finally Upgraded to Ubuntu Karmic Koala: First Thoughts

Well, it’s been a rather busy semester–three term projects, murder boards, and an FAA checkride (I’m now an instrument-rated helicopter pilot)–and I’ve finally found time during the break here to check out Ubuntu 9.10, lovingly referred to as Karmic Koala.  So far, I’m rather impressed; it’s a major step up from Jaunty Jackalope, and a veritable quantum leap from when I began using Feisty Fawn.  So, all alliteration and Scott Bakula references aside (I have yet to check out Men of a Certain Age on TNT, but I’ve been enjoying Enterprise and QL reruns in my little spare time), here are some of my first thoughts on the new OS.

Ubuntu Software Center:

This is the first big change touted by Canonical, and I’m terribly unimpressed so far.  USC, it seems, is the Ubuntu solution to the application stores pushed by Apple, et al. to provide a location for “one-stop shopping” for all the end users’ software needs.  While the interface is clean and streamlined, it’s terribly lacking in functionality.  Preinstalled software has no option to remove while, instead, only offering to upgrade or link to the publisher’s website.  This has just led me to more terminal use, having to repeatedly type “apt-get remove” or “apt-get purge” even more than previous versions.

While I’m not a fan of the lack of functionality provided by the USC, if the previous “Add/Remove” dialog were simply updated with the new look, I’d be a little more satisfied.  To reiterate, it’s pretty–slick, clean, and streamlined–but severely lacking in functionality I’m accustomed to.

Empathy IM Client:

Call me old-fashioned, but I really like Pidgin.  I like the interface.  I like the support available.  Mostly, I like knowing how to customize Pidgin how I like it without undue hassle.  Empathy is a clean interface, and, in terms of functionality, identical to Pidgin.

OpenOffice.org 3.1:

I’ve not really been able to play with OOo much yet as I haven’t had a need for it, but it looks cleaner than 3.0.  The program opens and runs faster, but that’s about all I’ve been able to tell so far.

Ubuntu One:

Again, I haven’t had a need to check this out yet, but I’m excited about the prospect of automatic synchronization with the Cloud.  I’ll explore this a little bit and get back to you.  My biggest concern is not being able to access documents from my BlackBerry, but I’m going to make sure that it works before getting too involved.

Overall, I’m very impressed with 9.10.  Graphics issues from Jaunty have been resolved.  I was amazed at the boot times and responsiveness I was able to get in GNOME, even when I started running several graphics-intensive applications simultaneously.  With a little tweaking, Karmic is sure to become my favourite distro yet!

The Best Gnome Music Player

All right, after days of searching and playing and installing and uninstalling and other keystroke-intensive activities, I have finally found what I feel to be the best music player for the Gnome desktop under Jaunty: Listen.

I’ve used Rhythmbox ever since I started with Ubuntu, so I was more then familiar with its offering. It’s stable and has a good user interface, but it really lacked the power that I was looking for in an audio player. Essentially, I want something that has excellent organization capabilities, seamless Last.fm support, and an attractive visual element. It has to feel like what I want in a player. Banshee 1.0 was another major contender, and I was impressed by the addition of a video player, but apalled at the lack of organization for video files. Amarok was out of the question as I have never been a fan of it or having to load KDE dependencies in the background. I heard good reviews for Exaile being lightweight, and the working AWN plugin was a boon, but I could not stand the interface–too similar to Amarok. I want to see album art, not file folders.

Finally, I found Listen, and I was impressed. Version 0.5 is in the default Ubuntu repositories, and it has a lot of promising features: dynamic playlist creation, Last.fm and Wikipedia support, lyrics, and your basic streaming radio support all in a very slick interface. All these features easily make it the best Gnome music player, in my opinion. My main problem with Listen was that it tended to be very unstable and would crash if you just looked at it the wrong way. Enter Listen 0.6.2–it fixes the bugs that made 0.5 unstable and even adds a few new goodies: AWN support (shows the album art and time remaining in the dock), an equalizer, DAAP support, and the Jamiendo music store. Unfortunately, v0.6.2 is not in the default repositories, so you’ll have to add them manually. Detailed instructions on how to do this can be found on the PPA page here.

Happy listening!

OpenOffice.org2GoogleDocs

There’s been a lot of buzz about this extension for OpenOffice.org that will allow you to sync your documents with Google Docs. I ran across it looking for a solution to my (apparently not unique) problem of automating a system of backing-up documents to Google Docs. Ubuntu users will have to uninstall their out-of-the-box version of OOo and reinstall via terminal before this will work. The setup is actually pretty simple:

1. From the Ubuntu main menu, select Add/Remove Programs.

2. Search for “openoffice”, and uncheck all the installed components. OpenOffice.org Drawing may give you a required package error, but this is no problem. Uninstall the other components, then go back to uninstall Drawing.

3. From the terminal: sudo apt-get install openoffice.org

4. Download the extension here.

5. From the OOo main menu, select -> (Alt-T-E for those who like keyboard shortcuts.)

6. Click “Add…”, select the downloaded file (“gdocs[version number].odx” or something to that effect), and “Open”. The extension will then install. Click “Close” when complete and restart OOo.

You should notice a new floating toolbar with 5 icons. The first two (from the left) are specific to Google Docs (upload and download respectively). The latter are for Zoho and WebDAV, which I don’t use (at least at this point). Click either of the GDox buttons and you will be prompted for your username and password. The rest is fairly self-explanitory.

The only gripe I have with this extension is the lack of true document synchronization. When uploaded, multiple copies of the same document will exist on the Google server until you manually delete them. This is currently under revision and should be fixed when the update is released.

Picasa 3 for Linux

It’s still got a few bugs to work out (like automatically recognizing media in Gnome), but I’m quite happy with Picasa for Linux. Even better news is that v3 runs natively in Ubuntu even under a 64-bit architecture–no emulation or Wine required!

http://picasa.google.com/linux/download.html#picasa30