Tag Archives: Ubuntu

Jaunty on my new Toshiba Satellite !!!

I bought a new Toshiba Satellite L310 Notebook last week. It is my first laptop and I’m happy that I bought it with my own money (from my salary). Weeks before I took the Tosh, I had been looking for a good laptop which would be a nice pickup taking into account the price, configuration and style. I was planning to take a Dell Inspiron 14 or Dell Inspiron 15 before I had changed my mind to the HP Pavilion Series. But the HP Pavilion laptops I liked were not there in the retail shops and Amazon (Actually there was, but they wouldn’t ship to India). After some time surfing the web, my eyes stuck into a review of Asus EeePC at Register. It is  a netbook (meant for common tasks such as browsing, e-mail etc.) with a mind-blowing battery backup of 9Hrs (but the absence of optical drive is a compromise). For the next few weeks there was not even a single other notebook in my mind. But when I reached home from Chennai, one of my cousin, who is working in a Computer Peripherals Marketing Company told me about the Tosh. He said that one is the best one they’re having now at their showroom. After explaining the configurations of the Tosh, I began to think that taking a netbook only is a waste and made up my mind to take a Tosh instead.

Next day I visited the retail shop and purchased a Toshiba Satellite L310-D4012 (I still donno why the model is not showing in the official Tosh website). Its not that bad in looks, infact I liked the lappie on first sight itself. The only think I didnt’t like about Tosh is that its colour is not black, its metallic silver. Here is my Tosh’s spec

  • Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T6400, 2.0 GHz Speed
  • 2 MB L2 Cache, 800 Mhz FSB
  • Intel 965GM Express Chipset
  • 2-GB DDR2 667 SDRAM expandable to maximum 4-GB
  • 250-GB, 5400 rpm Serial-ATA Hard Disk Drive with Shock Absorber
  • DVD SuperMulti Double Layer Optical Drive (DVD-RW/RAM)
  • 14.1-inch (35.8 cm) WXGA 200NIT Hi-bright Clear Superview TFT Widescreen Display (HBCSV), 1280 x 800 pixels screen resolution
  • Integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator GMA X3100 Graphics Chipset with 358 MB Shared Video Memory
  • Integrated 56-kbps V.90 Fax/Modem
  • Integrated Bluetooth v2.1
  • Integrated 10/100 Ethernet LAN
  • Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG network connection 802.11 a/b/g
  • Integrated 1.3 MP Webcam
  • Fingerprint Reader
  • Glossy Mercury Silver Chasis – IMR Finish
  • Integrated Microphone
  • Toshiba Spill resistant 101 keys Keyboard
  • SRS Surround Sound Sound, Herman/Kardon Speakers
  • 2 USB v2.0 Ports
  • 1 e-Sata Port
  • S-Video TV Out
  • IEEE 1394 Port
  • Express Card/54
  • 6-in-1 Bridge Media Slot (supports SD Media, Memory Stick Memory Stick Pro, Multimedia Card, XD-Picture Card)
  • IEEE 1394 port
  • 6-Cell Li-ion Battery, 3.7 hours backup
  • Dimension: 334 x 242 x 37.5 mm
  • Weight : 2.62 kgs (with battery) / 2.35 Kgs (w/o battery)

Now you would be thinking about the price Huh? It might be 45K or 40K. But tell you the truth. I got this machine for just 33500/-, the best deal as they said and for sure it is.

Then the only problem infront of me was the Tosh’s Linux support. I installed the latest Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope to my new Tosh and I got really excited to see the Tosh working just fine under Linux. Here I will tell you about the hardwares I tested.

Resolution : Native (Out of the box)

Wireless : Working (Out of the box)

Camera : Working (Out of the box)

Audio : Working (Out of the box)

Fingerprint scanner : Works with AES1610 driver in libfprint eventhough lsusb shows AES1600.

Bluetooth : Will work if enabled (Fn + F8 will not enable BT, but you need to enable it from Windows)

Functional Keys : Working except bluetooth’s Fn + F8

ACPI functions : Partially working as toshiba_acpi module doesn’t support Phoenix BIOS. But function like suspend, hibernate, brightness adjustents etc. will work.

Note: Some of the ACPI functions are not working because of the Phoenix BIOS. I think a BIOS update will resolve the issue of not having an option to turn on the bluetooth in BIOS Settings. I searched the web for ACPI configuration, but even the omnibook modules didn’t work for me.

Some Tricks : If you feel you’re having low volume on Jaunty, try this. Add the following line to /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf

options snd-hda-intel position_fix=1 model=3stack

After a restart, you’ll feel some changes. Also look here for resolving your sound problems.



Filed under Hardware, Linux, Personal, Review, Ubuntu

Building DVD Images Of Ubuntu Repositories

Many of the user’s/first time tester’s of Linux (Ubuntu) are having difficulties in installing a softwares that are not pre-shipped with the distribution CDs. Most of the home user’s don’t have an unlimited bandwidth broadband connection to download all those softwares through Synaptic or other package managers. This is a HOWTO for the unlimited bandwidth internet users who can help those who are not having an Internet connection, by downloading the complete Ubuntu repositories and make DVD images of the repositories. You can distribute them to others so that they can use the DVDs as a repository and they don’t have to depend Internet to install softwares. This method is taken from Howtoforge.

Ubuntu doesn’t offer DVDs ready to download with its main, universe, multiverse and/or restricted repositories. With the contents of this howto you can do it yourself.

Having the Ubuntu or Debian repositories on DVD can be useful for those users who don’t have access to the Internet where they have their Ubuntu installed but have access somewhere else to download the repository and build and burn the DVDs.

Building a local mirror

We have to install debmirror:

sudo apt-get install debmirror

Now we get the Ubuntu repositories in a local directory. In the example below we get main, universe and multiverse sections of the repository in the i386 architecture.

debmirror --nosource -m --passive --host=archive.ubuntulinux.org --root=ubuntu/ --method=ftp --progress --dist=dapper --section=main,multiverse,universe --arch=i386 ubuntu/ --ignore-release-gpg

You could change the options below as you prefer:

  • –host – the URL of the repository.
  • –dist – the distro of your OS (dapper, edgy, sarge, … ).
  • –section – the section you want to mirror locally.
  • –arch – the architecture of your box.

Separating the archive into DVD-sized directories

The repositories we got are too big (about 30Gb) to burn them to a DVD so we have to separate them into volumes.

The tool debpartial will do it for us.

sudo apt-get install debpartial

We make the directory where the volumes will reside.

mkdir ubuntu-dvd

and we make it to construct the package descriptors to every volume.

debpartial --nosource --dirprefix=ubuntu --section=main,universe,multiverse --dist=dapper --size=DVD ubuntu/ ubuntu-dvd/

Now we have to put the packages into the directories debpartial has just created. The script debcopy which also comes with the debpartial package will do it. The script needs ruby.

sudo apt-get install ruby

If everything is ok…

ruby debcopy ubuntu/ ubuntu-dvd/ubuntu0
ruby debcopy ubuntu/ ubuntu-dvd/ubuntu1
ruby debcopy ubuntu/ ubuntu-dvd/ubuntu2

Where ubuntu/ is the directory with the complete repository created with debmirror and ubuntu-dvd/* are the directories ready to host the new DVD-ready repository.
If we want to make soft links from the complete repository instead of copying the packages we can call debcopy with the option -l:

ruby debcopy -l ubuntu/ ubuntu-dvd/ubuntu0
ruby debcopy -l ubuntu/ ubuntu-dvd/ubuntu1
ruby debcopy -l ubuntu/ ubuntu-dvd/ubuntu2

Now every directory (ubuntu0, ubuntu1 and ubuntu2) fits on one DVD.

Making iso images

To get the directories ubuntu0, ubuntu1, ubuntu2 into an iso image ready to burn we can use mkisofs:

mkisofs -f -J -r -o ubuntu-dvd-0.iso ubuntu-dvd/ubuntu0
mkisofs -f -J -r -o ubuntu-dvd-1.iso ubuntu-dvd/ubuntu1
mkisofs -f -J -r -o ubuntu-dvd-2.iso ubuntu-dvd/ubuntu2

Now you can burn the iso images or mount them. Add them to the /etc/apt/source.list with the command:

sudo apt-cdrom add

Now we can verify the new repositories…

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

… and, if I explain in the right way, you should have your box upgraded.

About the script ‘debcopy’

I heard about someone who can not find the script debcopy, above described.
In that case, download it from here


Filed under Articles, Linux, Tips, Ubuntu

Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex

Ubuntu has released its latest non-LTS version Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex this month. Seems to have a lot of additional features in this version than in Hardy Heron. I haven’t had a hand on the latest version yet. Waiting for the CD arrival from ShipIt.
You can find a nice review of Ubuntu Intrepid from here

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Filed under Linux, Ubuntu

Speed Up your Linux

  • Prelinking

1. Activate Ubuntu universe sources. This can be done in Synaptic, or by editing the /etc/apt/sources.list file.
2. Use apt-get or synaptic to install prelink.
3. Now run:

sudo gedit /etc/default/prelink

4. Near the top of the file find PRELINKING=unknown and change unknown to yes.
5. Now you should start your first prelink, don’t worry it will be faster the next time, MUCH faster. Only the changes since your last prelink will be processed. To start the first prelink, run:

sudo /etc/cron.daily/prelink
  • Disabling Unwanted Services

Look Here to find unwanted services

  • Avahi

You just have to edit /etc/defaults/avahi and set that =1 to =0. If all goes well, it won’t run next boot.

  • Concurrency

If you’re using a dualcore machine, use concurrency mechanism. Edit /etc/init.d/rc and change CONCURRENCY=None to CONCURRENCY=shell

  • Boot Profiling

(1) At the bootup menu (GRUB), select your default kernel. You may need to press ESC to see this menu.

(2) Press e for edit.

(3) Choose the first line (it should start with “kernel”). Press e again.

(4) Move to the end of the line, then add the word profile. Press enter.

(5) Press b to boot.

(6) Let the system boot to the login screen, and wait for all disk activity to stop. Remember, during this one bootup, you’ve told Ubuntu to keep track of all disk activity going on, in order to build that list. Don’t be surprised if it’s significantly slower than your ordinary bootups — that’s why it’s not activated by default, remember?

(7) Reboot your system, and enjoy the results.

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Filed under Configuration, Linux, Tips, Ubuntu

Video Editors for Linux

A few days ago one of my friend Abhilash asked me if he can use any Video Editors under Linux so that he can put an alternate sound track instead of that comes with the actual video. As I haven’t done anything like video editing under my Linux box, I began a search over the internet. The results were amazing. I was using the Avidemux for some video encoding purposes, but was unaware that I could do the job he asked; using the Avidemux itself. But there are several other video editors for Linux they are.


Avidemux is a free video editor designed for simple cutting, filtering and encoding tasks. It supports many file types, including AVI, DVD compatible MPEG files, MP4 and ASF, using a variety of codecs. Tasks can be automated using projects, job queue and powerful scripting capabilities. Avidemux is available for Linux, BSD, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows under the GNU GPL license. The program was written from scratch by Mean, but code from other people and projects has been used as well.


Heroine Virtual Ltd. presents an advanced compositing and editing system for native Linux at no cost to users. Cinelerra does primarily 3 main things: capturing, compositing, and editing audio and video with sample level accuracy. It’s a seemless integration of audio, video, and still photos rarely experienced on a web server. Cinelerra is the most advanced non-linear video editor and compositor for Linux. It is developed by Adam Williams (formerly known as Jack Crossfire) at Heroine Virtual Ltd.. To know more see the official Cinelerra home page and the SourceForge project page.


LiVES mixes realtime video performance and non-linear editing in one application. It will let you start editing and making video right away, without having to worry about formats, frame sizes, or framerates. It is a very flexible tool which can be used by both VJ’s and video editors – mix and switch clips from the keyboard, trim and edit your clips, and bring them together using the multitrack timeline. You can even record your performance in real time, and then edit it further or render it straight away as a new clip !

NOTE: You can install them via Synaptic Package manager.


Filed under Applications, Linux, Multimedia, Ubuntu

Workaround for gnome-appearance-properties using 100% CPU even after exiting

I’m using Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron and whenever I change the wallpaper or theme using the Right Click -> Change Desktop background, the CPU usage goes upto 100% in the System Monitor. Even after exiting the ‘Appearance Preferences’ the process ‘gnome-appearance-properties’ persists in the memory consuming the CPU. You’ve to manually kill the process to make the CPU load to normal.

After searching the bug in launchpad, I found that the issue is not fixed yet. But there is a workaround for solving the problem. You’ve to delete the .gtkrc-2.0 configuration file in your home directory. After doing this logout and login. The issue is fixed now. The CPU load becomes normal.

rm -r ~/.gtkrc-2.0

For more information about the Bug [Visit Lauchpad]

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Filed under Bug Fix, Ubuntu

ഒരു ഉബുണ്ടു ഗിയര് : ഹോംമേഡ്

വെറുതേ കളയുന്ന പാഴ് വസ്തുക്കളില് നിന്ന് പോലും നമുക്ക് രസകരമായ ചില സാധനങ്ങള് ഉണ്ടാക്കാം. അതുപോലെ എന്റെ വീട്ടില് എന്റെ അമ്മ പിസ്ത തൊണ്ട് കൊണ്ട് ഉണ്ടാക്കിയ ഒരു അലങ്കാര വസ്തുവിന്റെ ചിത്രമാണു് താഴെ കൊടുത്തിരിക്കുന്നത്. എങ്ങനെ ഉണ്ട് ? നല്ലതല്ലേ ? ഐഡിയ എന്റേതു തന്നെയാണു. ഇപ്പോള് വീട്ടില് വരുന്ന എല്ലാവരും ഇതു കണ്ട് ഉബുണ്ടു എന്താണെന്ന് ചോദിക്കും. പിന്നെ എന്റെ ക്ലാസ്സ് തുടങ്ങുകയായി. അവസാനം അവര് ഉബുണ്ടു കൊണ്ടു പോയി ഇന്സ്ടാള് ചെയ്യുന്നു. ഇതുവരെ നാട്ടില് 15 ല് കൂടുതല് വീടുകളില് ലിനക്സ് ഉപയോഗിക്കുന്നു. അതില് പലതും ഇന്സ്ടാല് ചെയ്തത് ഞാന് തന്നെയാണു. കണ്ടില്ലെ ലിനക്സിന്റെ ഒരു പ്രചാരം. പിന്നെ അവര് അതില് ഏറ്റവും ഇഷ്ടപ്പെടുന്നത് വൈറസ് കയറാത്തതും പിന്നെ സ്പീഡും ആണു്.

ubuntu gear


Filed under Artwork, Ubuntu