Emerge clone for Debian-based distributions like Ubuntu, or: Compile your own, dude!

There is a nice overview about apt-build, the package I’m talking about here. So I will not say much. Only so far as what to do to try it out. On my system gnomes system manager is fairly slow. So I gave it a try:

  1. install the bundle:
    sudo aptitude --reinstall install apt-build
  2. configure your processor (dpkg-configure asks you about it)
  3. add deb-src to sources.list if you haven’t already
  4. run it on gnome-system-manager:
    sudo apt-build install gnome-system-manager

And there you have it. You might want to copy the list of packages that apt-build installs via apt-get build-dep so you can mark them as auto installed using aptitude when done:

sudo aptitude markauto list_of_packages_you_copied_before

or, even easier, use apt-builds –remove-builddep option.

It really does make a difference!

If you’re really keen or you happen to have an older system just wasting away try this:

sudo apt-build world

and see what happens 馃槈

Ubuntu: Howto setup mp3 preview on Mouse-Over

Straight from Ubuntuguide.org:

You can also get Mouse over preview to work by installing:

sudo apt-get install mpg321
sudo apt-get install mpg123-esd
sudo apt-get install vorbis-tools
sudo apt-get install esound
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

with this system Skype still functions.

Three easy steps to Install Ubuntu Fresh but still have all your Favourite Packages Installed

Also, there is a very interesting article at Linux Owns showing three steps to get all your favourite packages (back) fast. I added a fourth step actually saving your package list for later use. Deriving it straight from there (without testing, since unfortunatelly my last machine has been hardyed just a couple of hours ago):

  1. integrate medibuntu sources.list
    sudo wget http://www.medibuntu.org/sources.list.d/gutsy.list -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list
  2. add server key
    wget -q http://packages.medibuntu.org/medibuntu-key.gpg -O- | sudo apt-key add - && sudo apt-get update
  3. write a text file listing all package names you wish installed separated with spaces — you should be able to instead put every package name in one line with trailing \\ (double back-slash) but as I said: I haven’t tested it, yet! Name it, say, most_important_debs.
  4. sudo aptitude --assume-yes install < most_important_debs
    You might want to approve the package list before install. In that case omit --assume-yes</li>
    Let me know it someone used it (hopefully with success).
    <strong>Update</strong> 2008/05/15: It does help to read and think before you speak (or write for that matter). I got it completely wring. The linked article is about packages from <a href="https://launchpad.net/medibuntu/">Medi</a><a href="https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Medibuntu">buntu</a> only. OK then, if it's like this I just alter 1, 2, <span style="text-decoration:line-through;">4</span> and 3 -&gt; 1 馃檪
    	<li>build a list of your (most important, enduser) packages</li>
    	<li>update-manager -d, i.e. dist-upgrade your system</li>
    	<li>employ aptitude to read in your file (to be exact it's bash that redirect from the file...)</li>
    Of course, this method still does not solve the problem of saving your personal settings but still get all the system settings from the new distro release. But this shouldn't be that hard for release maintainers since they (potentially) know which package version had what config files delivered or generated. From there it should be easy to determine if a system config file has been changed be the user -&gt; show diff. Or do I overlook something once again?
    <strong>Update</strong> 2008/05/15: Even better looks aptitude-run-state-bundle:
    aptitude-create-state-bundle produces a compressed archive storing the files that are required to replicate the current
    package archive state.聽 The following files and directories are included in the bundle:
    路聽聽聽聽聽 $HOME/.aptitude
    路聽聽聽聽聽 /var/lib/aptitude
    路聽聽聽聽聽 /var/lib/apt
    路聽聽聽聽聽 /var/cache/apt/*.bin
    路聽聽聽聽聽 /etc/apt
    路聽聽聽聽聽 /var/lib/dpkg/status
    The output of this program can be used as an argument to aptitude-run-state-bundle(1).</blockquote>
    Update 2008/05/15: A good starting point would be either
    dpkg -l | grep ^i | editor

    or if you don’t use aptitude this also shows (only currently) installed packages

    dpkg -l | grep ^i | editor

    One needs to remove non-package-name strings, though. As I haven’t come around to learn sed (line editing) I cannot show how to deploy sed to do it. Anyone?

Ubuntu Cheat Sheet from FOSS for Hardy Heron

There is a neat cheat sheet out in PDF format from FOSS covering, among many others, the new Ubuntu Uncomplicated Firewall ufw, special packages, of course apt-family package management, services a.k.a init scripts and daemons, …

It’s released under CC-BY-SA 3.0. By the way, did you know

Type the phrase 鈥淩EISUB鈥 while
holding down Alt and SysRq (PrintScrn) with
about 1 second between each letter. Your system
will reboot.

Ubuntu Hardy Heron Dist-Upgrade via Command Line

You can do Dist-Upgrades not only with the GUI update-manager but also via do-release-update. The tool tells me what awaits me (I have 6000 kB/s):

66 packages are going to be removed. 193 new packages are going to be
installed. 1269 packages are going to be upgraded.

You have to download a total of 1005M. This download will take about
23 minutes with your connection.

Fetching and installing the upgrade can take several hours. Once the
download has finished, the process cannot be cancelled.

So, let’s see.

Btw do-release-update by itself notices if you are connected via ssh and asks if you want to proceed. If you do you’ll get a second sshd on Port 9904. Using screen it shouldn’t be a problem for me but very nice of the tool to ask 馃檪

Traffic Shaping Linux (restrict Bandwidth)

Allthough I haven’t found some shiny GUI somewhat like Netlimiter there is Wonder shaper (and shaper and trickle and squid for http and …) where a single command line sets your over-all bandwidth for network interface X. And, isn’t that all you really need?:

sudo wondershaper ethX downlink(kbit/s) uplink(kbit/s)

This is, from the perspective of the host doing the shaping. For example to set download to 10000kb (750*8 = 6000 DSL but don’t limit intranet connections on 1Mb Ethernet) but limit upload to, say, 35kB (~280kb) — e.g. if you have a server running on the same connection you do your daily internetting, you do:

sudo wondershaper eth0 10000 280


Opera, Flash and Ubuntu (Feisty Fawn, Gutsy Gibbon and Hardy Heron also)

Note 08/01/08: There have been issues after the original plugin has been updated. See Ubuntu Forum, Bug description (workaround or fixed deb for firefox only which is version 9.0.115!) or comments below for more. Components have been removed that also opera needs! Yet another example why closed source is bad… Hence you might want to give gnash a go, i.e. open source flash. The new Flash version is meant to work with opera version > 9.50 Beta, though (see bottom note). Anyway, here it goes for Flash version \leq

Note 2008/04/19: Before you get all frustrated about Flash and Opera you might enjoy operas’ ads.

Here we go

To install Adobe Flash Player after you installed Opera in Ubuntu, I found the best way is to, once again, use the debian way:

sudo aptitude install flashplugin-nonfree

After the install routine is done you need to add the path to plugins options in opera. Alternatively you could link there. To find where the new binaries are located do:

dpkg -S flashplugin-nonfree
app-install-data: /usr/share/app-install/desktop/flashplugin-nonfree.desktop
flashplugin-nonfree: /usr/lib/flashplugin-nonfree
flashplugin-nonfree: /var/cache/flashplugin-nonfree
flashplugin-nonfree: /usr/share/lintian/overrides/flashplugin-nonfree
flashplugin-nonfree: /usr/share/doc/flashplugin-nonfree
flashplugin-nonfree: /usr/share/doc/flashplugin-nonfree/changelog.gz
flashplugin-nonfree: /usr/share/doc/flashplugin-nonfree/copyright

Update 2008/04/16: The correct “list flag” for dpkg would be -L instead of -S:

dpkg -L flashplugin-nonfree | grep -i 'lib'


Alternatively you could link the lib’s binary to Opera’s plugin directory:

sudo ln /usr/lib/flashplugin-nonfree/libflashplayer.so /usr/lib/opera/plugins/

Some say you may need to restart opera in order for plugins to actually work. Fortunally, for me it work right away. In opera’s address field type opera:plugins to see what opera knows about flash.Update: See this blog on bleeding edge info on plugin’s development status if interested.


Update: This works for 7.04, a.k.a. Feisty Fawn, and 7.10, a.k.a. Gutsy Gibbon.

Update 2008/04/16: On a side note: There is the option reinstall for aptitude if one wants to make sure the newest files are all in the right places.

Update 2008/04/19:I stumbled upon the close to be release of Opera 9.5 which is currently in beta state (and has even more great features once again before Firefox has them 馃槈 ). Supposingly the Debian package should get flash working. I tried the i386 version for Gutsy and it did work for me.

Update 2008/06/28: Here are some command line parameters you can start Opera with. Especially useful would be -debugplugin. To use it you have to open a terminal to see the additional information:

opera -debugplugin [Enter/Return Key]

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