Posts Tagged 'Ubuntu'

Schedule your torrents in Ubuntu

Schedule your torrents in Ubuntu

This blog post is intended to help BSNL broadband users using the 500c Plan. It has become really tiresome for me to wake up every day at 2 in the morning to start my downloads. Setting up cron is a bit of a pain in the @$$ – especially for beginners. Some torrent clients like Ktorrent has built in options to schedule torrent. But my favorite torrent client is Deluge and it doesnot have such an option. I thought of a really simple way to schedule torrents. You will be able to do this if you know basic maths.

Say, the time is 12:05 when you go to sleep. Run sleep 2h && your torrent client. The client will start at 2:05. Now if you sleep at 11:40 run

sleep 2h && sleep 20m && deluge

it will run at 2:00.

Enjoy your sleep!!

Install Firefox 3.5 in Jaunty

Install Firefox 3.5 in Jaunty

FirefoxThe new version of Firefox, Firefox 3.5 was released this week. There is no update available for Firefox in the official ubuntu repos. But there is a package firefox-3.5 in the repo. But instead of replacing the old firefox with the new one, it installs the new version alongside it. The new browser is named Shiretoko(which is the codename for Firefox 3.5). This blog post aims to help users install firefox 3.5 from the tar file downloaded from Offical Mozilla website.

The very first thing I would like to do is to put an end to a very common superstition. The tar file you download doesnot contain the source code of firefox and thereby there is absolutely no need to compile it. The archive merely consists of the executbles needed for the browser. So extract the archive and then double click on the file named firefox to run it. Yeah! it is that simple. Now to find a good place to keep the untarred folder(I don’t like it cluttering my home folder). So keep it in the /opt folder.
Now remove the firefox link from your /usr/bin folder. For this run
$sudo rm /usr/bin/firefox
(Don’t worry. This is not going to uninstall firefox 3.0)

Now create a link to your new firefox executable. Run
$sudo ln -s /path/to/firefox/exe /usr/bin/firefox
i.e. in this case,sudo
$ln -s /opt/frefox/firefox /usr/bin/firefox
Run firefox, set it as your default browser. Enjoy!!

Now here is a small review of the new browser

Firefox 3.5 comes with no new feature that amazes an end user(The support for HTML5 is not something that wow!s an average computer user.). But there are a lot of usability improvements and stuff. Pages load faster. Firefox developers have included the one feature that all it’s competeters presently boast of : The so-called “Porn-Mode” (Private browsing and neat history management). There is an option “Forget about this site” in history. LOL!! It is now possible to recover recently closed tabs and windows. Google chrome fans are going to like the fact that they could simply drag the tabs between windows. There is also a new text recovery feature. Firefox remembers filled forms if it accidently crashes.
I am still not able to load the site (Bsnl accounts management).
Anywas, I am a fan of firefox. This release is bound to attract more people towards it.

How do you microblog ?

Microblogging has been the latest trend among the Internet users. I learned about twitter from an article in some tech magazine. I wasn’t really planning to use it when I joined. Now it has become a habit rather than a hobby. For those who have not yet entered this world, microblogging is rather like the status message in your IM client. As twitter puts it, “Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?”. You can see the updates of people whom you follow and vice versa.

Then I came to know about identica from the tweets of @anivar which seemed to come “from identica”. “ is a microblogging service brought to you by Control Yourself, Inc.. It runs the Laconica microblogging software, version 0.7.3, available under the GNU Affero General Public License.” You can integrate your twitter account with your identica account so that your tweets also come “from identica”.

Posting from the web will get tiresome after a while. So most people will go for a microblogging client. A simple google search will show you plenty of options. Every microblogger develops his own style of blogging. Here is what I do:

Now that all my twitter posts are done from identica, I have to post to only one account. Identica allows you to send and receive posts through Jabber/Gtalk. Simply give your gtalk address in the identica settings page ( and identica will appear as a friend in your Gtalk. To post a notice, send a message. This way you get updates from your friends as offline messages(Mind you, this can get annoying after a while.) This has got a problem. You don’t get updates of your friends who use only twitter and not identica. Being a hardcore ubuntu user, I use pidgin for my Gtalk(thereby identica), Yahoo and IRC. So using another client like twitux was not a comfortable choice. So I needed a plugin that made pidgin a twitter client. As usual, google gave me the answer. I found such a plugin – Twitgin. This plugin allowed me to listen to the updates of my friends. Now pidgin is my answer to Yahoo, Gtalk, IRC, Identica and Twitter.

But these days I use a faster way to post to identica: gnome-do. Here is a screenshot:

Identica gnome do

Follow me on twitter : @aswins

Follow me on identica : @aswins

Please share your microblogging habits as comments to this post.

Suffering from the cluttered-gnome-panel syndrome??

Are you suffering from a cluttered gnome panel because you have the habit of experimenting?? Well, I am!! Here is a screenshot of my panel:

ScreenshotThese are what flood my panel: The standard gnome menu, My application launchers(Firefox,Pidgin,Deluge,Bluetooth file sharing,Synaptic,Terminal), Music Control Applet, Eyes, Netspeed Applet, Tomboy, Force Quit, Notification Area (Banshee,Bluetooth Applet,Receive Files Via Bluetooth,Pidgin,Tracker,Gnome-Do,Power Manager,Network Manager,SCIM), Volume Control, Brightness Applet, Clock , a separator and the Fast User Switch Applet.

I just got my Ubuntu CD…

I just got the free Ubuntu CD shipped by Canonical! Thanks to the Canonical team for the help. I will make sure I will “Pass it on!”.




To request free CDs goto

Taming the jackalope…


Ubuntu 9.04,

Jaunty Jackalope

I have been waiting to reorganize my hard disk for a month. Release of jaunty was of course, the best time for this. I can’t still believe I broke my wrist on the day of the release… Now I have to install Ubuntu ‘Single-handedly’ in my laptop(Lenovo Y410) 🙂

The torrent was well seeded. The CD image was downloaded within a litte over an hour. I couln’t find a blank CD, so I created a bootable USB drive using the USB startup disk creator in Ubuntu 8.10.

The live usb-stick booted without any trouble. The installation was a breeze with a few welcome changes to the installer. The time zone selecion method has changed. Also the partitioner. This time I obeyed the tech-gurus and gave a seperate partition for /home. Of course all the partitions were ext4 (the default was ext3, but I couldn’t wait to try it out). A cup of coffee and the installation was done. Now to try out the the long awaited release…

I was greeted by cool new usplash and GDM themes… and the boot time…wow! less than 20 secs…


But oh! no compiz! I tried to enable that and failed. A bit of googling told me my graphic card was blacklisted or something. So i created a file ~/.config/compiz/compiz-manager with content “SKIP_CHECKS=yes” and then ran compiz –replace. Presto! My desktop was all flashy again!!

Next thing I indented to do was to customize my firefox and pidgin. I had earlier taken backups of .mozilla and .purple folders from my home folder in intrepid. I simply copied this to my home folder. I could not believe my eyes when I started firefox. Everything was there like before.. my bookmarks, addons, saved passwords, everything. Pidgin was restored too. I had to install the plugins again. But all configuration was restored.

I installed deluge instead of the default torrent client Transmission. I could continue the unfinished downloads without difficulty. Cheese was needed to take pictures using the webcam. For those who like small games, install frozen bubble. It is one of my favorites.


The new notification system is awesome. Brasero is now the default CD creator. The indicator applet is good. But I got tired of it after some time and removed it. The tracker search and deskbar applet are missing. I installed tracker and indexed my home folder.

I installed all multimedia plugins along with vlc. My whole music collection is now OGG. But I knew I would need these codecs for later. Vlc really disappointed me. It opened all the videos in two seperate windows and there were no controls in full screen mode. I couldn’t find a way to change this. May be I’ll have to wait for an update.

I was actually going to check whether gcc worked when I found out that vim was absent. There was vi.. but still..
It was a good thing that I read A byte of vim by Swaroop C.H. Or else I wouldn’t know navigation could be done using h,j,k,l because vi didn’t support the arrow keys. gcc worked fine. I installed vim with the plugins and wrote the .vimrc configuration file.

Ubuntu developers have disabled Ctrl+Alt+Backspace Combination for restarting X.  Problem was solved by running sudo apt-get install dontzap && sudo dontzap –disable.

The computer Janitor is a welcome addition. But here is something funny.


I dont think any end-user will cleanup  after this message.
I use replacements for certain default applications now. Like vlc instead of totem, banshee instead of Rythmbox, Deluge instead of transmission etc.

I have been using this for over a week now. I will have to say this is yet another fantastic distro from the free world!!

I got a new destop look…..

As many people have pointed out, i am mad about good looking destops themes even though it costs me a large amount of RAM. By themes I mean a good looking desktop which is usable and appealing. It’s really a good thing i switched to ubuntu. I can now have my own desktop style.(That’s not the only reason though. It is the best OS i have ever seen).

See my screenshots.

You need to have some themes. You can select the ones which u like. the icon theme i used is Blood drops.You can download some good themes from here.

I deleted the top panel. Increased the bottom panel width to 40 and added some applets to the panel.

The arrows you see in the left edge of the screen are also panels. Just right click on any panel and click add new panel. Uncheck expand.  Check the show hide buttons. I ncrease the panel width to about 70. Drag the panel to position(Drag by clicking the middle button).

Resize the icons as you wish(Just right click and there is the option). The firefox icon in the desktop is not a part of the wall paper. It is an icon!!!

My Rants :

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