Friday, March 27, 2009

Upcoming Ubuntu Releases

Each time a new version of Ubuntu is released, Canonical chooses a release name that is practically guaranteed to be loved by all. All Ubuntu names consists of 2 parts - the second word consists of some animal and the first is an adjective. Here some names which didn't make the cut (I wonder why).
  • Ambitious Australopithecus
  • Autistic Aardvark
  • Apathetic Amoeba
  • Bitchy Badger
  • Bloated Bastard
  • Buggy Beast
  • Copulating Cthulhu (In tribute to Mark Shuttleworth)
  • Drowning Duck
  • Drugged Dog
  • Emo Emu
  • Epileptic Elephant
  • Fingering Furry
  • Funky Fish
  • Girly Gorilla
  • Hardy Hardon
  • Horny Hedgehog
  • Hungry Hippo
  • Insipid Ibex
  • Jabbering Jabberwock

Here are some names which may make it:
  • Kinky Kangaroo
  • Lazy Lemming (A tribute release to system administrators rolling out Ubuntu)
  • Masturbating Monkey (A special Linus Torvalds Edition tribute release to Ubuntu lusers)
  • Nasty Nematode
  • Nude Nudibranch
  • Outraged Ostrich
  • Offensive Ogre
  • Paraplegic Penguin
  • Phlegmatic Pony
  • Quadriplegic Quail
  • Randy Rhino
  • Rigid Rat
  • Snarky Snail
  • Stupid Swan
  • Touchy Turtle
  • Ugly Urchin
  • Virile Vixen
  • Wobbly Whale
  • Xenophobic Xenoposeidon
  • Yearning Yeti
  • Zany Zebra

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ubuntu Jaunty Hits Beta

As always the ubuntu developers have worked tirelessly to bring us another Beta release which should be stable enough to test for most people here are some of the features you can look at while downloading the iso or doing a release upgrade:

To upgrade from Ubuntu 8.10 on a desktop system, press Alt+F2 and type in "update-manager -d" (without the quotes) into the command box. Update Manager should open up and tell you: New distribution release '9.04' is available. Click Upgrade and follow the on-screen instructions.

To upgrade from Ubuntu 8.10 on a server system: install the update-manager-core package if it is not already installed; edit /etc/update-manager/release-upgrades and set Prompt=normal; launch the upgrade tool with the command sudo do-release-upgrade; and follow the on-screen instructions.

If you choose to download the iso be sure to backup your home directory to another partition and checkout ext4 filesystem for improved performance.

Here are the new features since intrepid:

  • GNOME 2.26 - For a Good review of the gnome changes look here
  • Improved handling of multiple monitors with an updated gnome-display-properties by Federico Mena Quintero.
  • X.Org server 1.6
  • New style for notifications and notification preferences - for an example check out the flash video here
  • Boot performance - A number of improvements to the Ubuntu start-up process bring significantly improved boot performance to Ubuntu 9.04 Beta. Please open bugs if you experience any degradation, and tag them with boot-performance.
  • Ext4 filesystem support - One of my favorite additions, it improves boot performance and overall filesystem performance
  • There is a ton of other bug fixes and misc features added, Its been stable for me since alpha 3.

Get it while it's hot. ISOs and torrents are available at:

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Make An OS From A Movie

You read it right!
MoviX2 puts a tiny Linux system on a disc or thumb drive that boots up and plays almost any video file you burn it with, making a handy tool for demonstrations or less-than-capable computers. Yes, I know—most people can simply use VLC Player, or burn a video to DVD. If you need to play a video on a system without a DVD drive, though, or make it seriously simple for someone to watch ("Put disc in drive. Restart. Done"), MoviX2 fits the bill.
Terminal-savvy Linux and Windows users can hack together an ISO with their video of choice if they'd like, or use one of the graphical options at the project site—Linux users can just grab the latest MoviX2 files. Need more help? Check out the MoviX2 documentation, and you'll find it's not too hard to get a disc imaged and burned with a bundled MPlayer—which means it handles a whole heck of a lot of formats and codecs.
MoviX2 is a free download for Windows and Linux systems only.
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Monday, March 9, 2009

Move /home to it’s own partition

Having the “/home” directory tree on it’s own partition has several advantages, the biggest perhaps being that you can reinstall the OS (or even a different distro of Linux) without losing all your data. You can do this by keeping the /home partition unchanged and reinstalling the OS which goes in the “/” (root) directory, which can be on a seperate partition.

But you, like me, did not know this when you first installed Ubuntu, and have not created a new partition for “/home” when you first installed Ubuntu. Despair not, it is really simple to move “/home” to its own partition.

First, create a partition of sufficient size for your “/home” directory. You may have to use that new hard drive, or adjust/resize the existing partition on your current hard-drive to do this. Let me skip those details.

Next, mount the new partition:
$mkdir /mnt/newhome
$sudo mount -t ext3 /dev/hda5 /mnt/newhome

(You have to change the “hda5″ in the above to the correct partition label for the new partition. Also, the above assumes that the new partition you created is formatted as an ext3 partition. Change the “ext3″ to whatever filesystem the drive is formatted to.)

Now, Copy files over:
Since the “/home” directory will have hardlinks, softlinks, files and nested directories, a regular copy (cp) may not do the job completely. Therefore, we use something we learn from the Debian archiving guide:
$cd /home/
$find . -depth -print0 | cpio –null –sparse -pvd /mnt/newhome/

Make sure everything copied over correctly. You might have to do some tweaking and honing to make sure you get it all right, just in case.

Next, unmount the new partition:
$sudo umount /mnt/newhome

Make way for the new “home”
$sudo mv /home /old_home

Since we moved /home to /old_home, there is no longer a /home directory. So first we should recreate a new /home by:
sudo mkdir /home

Mount the new home:
$sudo mount /dev/hda5 /home

(Again, you have to change “hda5″ to whatever the new partition’s label is.)

Cursorily verify that everything works right.

Now, you have to tell Ubuntu to mount your new home when you boot. Add a line to the “/etc/fstab” file that looks like the following:

/dev/hda5 /home ext3 nodev,nosuid 0 2

(Here, change the partition label “hda5″ to the label of the new partition, and you may have to change “ext3″ to whatever filesystem you chose for your new “home”)

Once all this is done, and everything works fine, you can delete the “/old_home” directory by using:
$sudo rm -r /old_home

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