firefox tweaks

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

In previous versions Firefox stored this information in the worst possible format - Mork. Format extremely complicated, barely machine readable that gave the users no possibility to parse the data (for a lot of laugh check out the specification on the Wikipedia page). This was finally replaced in the new Firefox by SQLite - self contained, small footprint database.

Having database store your browsing data has one drawback, you have to optimize the database from time to time to get rid of old, deleted data, re-index the columns etc. Otherwise you keep all the junk data mixed in with your real data.

In SQLite is the statement to do this called VACUUM;.

$ for f in ~/.mozilla/firefox/*/*.sqlite; do sqlite3 $f 'VACUUM;'; done

In my case the above command in terminal effectively cut the size of urlclassifier3.sqlite and places.sqlite to half. Thus saving 20 MB in my memory and Firefox's speed improvement was very noticeable. So have fun with the vacuum cleaner

2) - open firefox
- In the adress bar type in "about:config"
- In the filter bar type in "ipv6"
- Double click "network.dns.disableIPv6" so that the value turns to TRUE
- Restart firefox
This will speed up firefox

or you can try a memory optimisation technique


LINUX Firewalls:

LINUX Security Scanners:

LINUX Security:


LINUX and Virus:

LINUX scripts and files

Here are some scripts from the courses. Study carefully scripts before run them.

Bash Shell:

Korn Shell:


Linux ISO Images

While there are too many Linux distributions for us to include them all, here are some of the most popular Linux distros, along with their download pages.

CentOS - The Community Enterprise Operating System

CentOS is a distribution based on source RPMs from Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), and strives to be 100% binary compatible with RHEL.

Our writeup

CentOS download mirrors

Damn Small Linux

Damn Small Linux is a live CD distribution that fits on a business card CD and is light enough to run on a 486 computer with as little as 16MB of RAM.

Our writeup

Damn Small Linux mirrors, BitTorrent


The Debian distribution and Debian Project are governed by a social contract that requires that OSes produced by Debian will be 100% "free," as determined by the Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG).

Our writeup

Debian download page


Fedora, formerly known as Fedora Core, is a Linux distribution sponsored primarily by Red Hat, with significant community participation. The Fedora Linux distro produced by the Fedora Project was based on the original Red Hat Linux distribution and is made up entirely of free and open source software.

Our writeup

Fedora mirrors, BitTorrent
Note that the Fedora Project produces several "spins," including live CDs, DVDs containing the full set of Fedora packages, and boot ISOs for Internet installations of Fedora. See the installation guide to figure out which version of Fedora is right for you.


Freespire is the community-oriented version of Linspire.

Our writeup

Freespire download, BitTorrent


Gentoo is a source-based distribution, meaning all of its programs can be compiled from source code rather than installed as binary packages. That makes it highly configurable. Because the operating system and all of its applications can be compiled for the specific machine architecture it's installed on, Gentoo can perform extremely well. Gentoo is available for at least eight 32- and 64-bit hardware platforms. The distribution is more complicated to install than many others, but an active user community can help those who wish to tackle it.

Gentoo uses a package system called Portage that resembles FreeBSD's Ports. It lets you quickly install more than 10,000 pre-built applications.

Our writeup

Gentoo download page


Knoppix is one of the most popular live CD Linux distros.

Our writeup

Knoppix mirror network, BitTorrent, eMule


Linspire is an Ubuntu-based distribution whose chief distiguishing feature is the ease of installing new software with its Click-N-Run (CNR) installation utility. While Linspire costs $50, its sibling Freespire is free.

Our writeup

Linspire purchase page

Linux Mint

Linux Mint is an Ubuntu-based distribution that comes in two main CD versions. The Light Edition avoids non-free patented software. The Full Edition includes proprietary plugins and codecs. Both use the GNOME desktop environment by default. You can also download a KDE Community Edition DVD or miniKDE Community Edition CD, or an XFCE Community Edition CD.

Download page

Mandriva Linux

Mandriva Linux, formerly known as MandrakeLinux, is an RPM-based distro that was originally designed to be binary compatible with Red Hat Linux. Mandriva produces versions of its Linux distribution for consumer desktops, corporate servers, and for high performance clusters. Some, but not all, versions of Mandriva are free to download.

Our writeup

Mandriva download page


The openSUSE project is sponsored by Novell to create a base for the SUSE Linux distribution it sells and supports. The openSUSE distribution is worked on by Novell employees and community members, and is suitable for desktop and server use.

You can find openSUSE downloads at, but it may be a little confusing. The project offers multiple ISOs for CD installation, DVD installation, and network installation. You can also find BitTorrents for the various downloads, and a live DVD. If you're not quite sure what you need, visit the download guide, which explains the release table, and what development versions may be available and how stable they're likely to be.


PCLinuxOS is a popular Linux distribution distributed as a live CD that can be installed to your hard drive. Originally based on Mandriva, PCLinuxOS is now a solid distro in its own right that uses APT and Synaptic to manage packages, and some of the original Mandriva administration tools.

Our writeup

PCLinuxOS download mirrors, BitTorrent

Puppy Linux

Puppy Linux was written from scratch with two goals in mind: speed and ease of use. At boot time the entire system loads into RAM and runs from there, which significantly boosts the system's overall speed, and lets you run Puppy on a diskless workstation or thin client. It downloads in only 90MB, and can run as a live CD. It also comes with a remastering script for creating derivative distros, which other developers have used to build Puppy-based distros (called puplets), including NOP, GrafPup, and EduPup.

Our writeup

Puppy Linux download page

Sabayon Linux

Sabayon Linux is based on Gentoo and supports both i386 and AMD64/EMT64 architectures. It comes in a 4.7GB live DVD release, a Professional version based on the stable branch of Portage, and a 700MB CD Mini version. While Sabayon contains proprietary drivers, free software fans can disable them at boot time.

Our writeup

Sabayon download page


Slackware Linux is the world's oldest surviving Linux distribution.

Our writeup

Slackware download page, BitTorrent trackers


Ubuntu is a popular community-developed Linux distribution for laptops and desktop machines, and is also gaining popularity on servers. Ubuntu is based on Debian GNU/Linux, and also serves as the foundation for several other Linux distributions in its own right.

Our writeup

Ubuntu download form, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, and Edubuntu.


Saturday, February 21, 2009

1. AMQP (Advanced Message Queueing Protocol) Infrastructure

This is perhaps one of the biggest package that has been implemented to Fedora 10. You must be wondering about AMQP right? AMQP is a technology that makes it easy to build scalable,high-performance enterprise application. Its primary aim is to create an open standard for messaging in order to create open and interoperable messaging. Though the application is not visible to you and as an user you can always question why is it so important, I have some use cases for you who will benefit from AMQP enormously!

  • Reliably deliver value bearing messages (fire and forget; you can absolutely trust AMQP to get the message to its destination once receipt is acknowledged by the transport)
  • Rapidly deliver status events to a large community (publish sub-event notification)
  • File transfer (secure, can be resumed, firewall friendly, and dependable)

I hope now you know about the efficiency of AMQP.

2. Better Printing

Printing and configuring the print set up has always been a problem with open desktops. And Fedora 10 has improved upon just that.

  • The configuration tool window is simpler. Double-clicking on a printer opens a properties dialog.
  • The list of printers are updated dynamically while the configuration tool is working.
  • You can see an individual printer's job by right clicking and then selecting View Print Queue. Again, you can see all the queued up jobs from all the printers by right clicking on any free space in the folder where you have printers' icons.
  • A diagnose button is there as a troubleshooter if at all your printer gets into trouble.
  • Job monitoring tool is also there to display an authentication dialog so that the job can proceed.

So you see there are a lot of subtle facilities that Fedora 10 offers to make your printing experience better.

3. Better and Faster Startup

Fedora 10 developers have intended to make this operating system look shiny and glittery right from when it starts so to do this they are getting rid of RHGB and writing a new program, Plymouth, that starts earlier (even before / is mounted!) and gets pretty graphics. But Systems without driver supports also have a text mode fallback as an alternative.

That might make you a little suspicious about the speed of shutting down and starting up. But don't worry, Fedora 10 has improved and fast start up now. And they say 30 seconds is all it will take. So happy?

4. Better Remote Support

Fedora becomes easier to use in media-center scenarios where a remote control may come handy. With better LIRC support that helps it easy to connect to remote controls, infra red remote controls will be just fine to work with media applications.

5. Improved PulseAudio

The PulseAudio sound server has been rewritten to use timer-based audio scheduling. With this one Fedora 10 comes at par with Apple and Windows Vista. The main benefits that you are gonna get from this is,

  • Less wakeups, reduced power consumption
  • Dynamic latency adaption with flexible options.
  • Less dependent on audio hardware
  • Minimized chance of drop outs

6. First Aid Kit

Well the name may seem funny but it is an automated recovery tool that brings together common recovery processes and applies them to a system. It is more of a plug-in that focuses on focusing on maintaining user data integrity and lets you revert the faulty changes. So that makes it easier for users to rescue their systems in case of problems. You can either choose Fix whatever is wrong with my system which works as a comprehensive chkdsk or you can select specific process.

7. Kernel Modes Sharing for Graphics

The title itself may disinterest you. But believe me it is not. In words of Fedora

Currently, most graphics modes are initialized during the X server startup. Kernel Modesetting moves this process from the X server's DDX drivers to the kernel, and it enables several new features including:

  • Improved Graphical Boot
  • Faster fast user switching
  • Seamless X server switching
  • Graphical panic messages

So basically fast user switching will be faster and smoother, making Fedora more pleasant for non-technical and casual users. Memory management will be better over all.

8. Remote Virtual Settings

It is another very important feature of Fedora 10. Its more than what meets the eye. This feature enables creating virtual machines on properly configured remote hosts. In other words, users will no longer need to log into individual machines to provision VMs. The system of adding remote connections to virtual manager will be fully automated through polling for connections on the local network.

9. Security Audit

A new security audit system and intrusion detection system will be there. sectool is a security tool that can be used both as a security audit as well as a part of an intrusion detection system. Advanced users can also see the documentation and logs of those test and can use as scripts to repair holes. This is something we will need from Fedora 10 and we hope that it is efficient.

10. Virtual Storage

If you remember, libvirt was introduced by Fedora 8 and became a hit. Here you will no longer eed to directly login to a server providing virtualization capabilities. All common management tasks can be completed remotely using virt-manager. The test plan includes creating a new guest OS and associate it with some storage. It is fabulous, no?

Goodies for Developers

I had promised at the start that there will be goodies too for developers in this article. Here are three most important features of Fedora 10 which are bound to attract you .

1. Appliance Tools

Tools for building virtual appliances have also been a focus for Fedora 10. This consists of an ACT (Appliance Creation Tool) and and the AOS (The Appliance Operating System). Let me quote Fedora here once again

ACT (Appliance Creation Tool)

  • Enables you to build a fedora based appliance.
  • Enables you to build a pre-installed multi partitioned disk! that is great!

AOS (The Appliance Operating System)

  • Provides a template for developers who want to build a fedora based appliance.
  • Provides a customized OS. I mean, you can start from the least resources (the minimum of what an OS needs, remember Just Enough from ubuntu?) and add whatever you want. This is really flexible from Fedora.
  • It also allows developers to kick the tires of the AOS without having to build it from scratch.

2. NetBeans IDE

Are you a developer? Then I don't really need to give a formal introduction to the topic here. Fedora 10 users Netbeans for two ways basically.

  • Easy and rapid way to organize environment for development of systems that can be based on modern technologies and popular programming languages.
  • a way for development of applications based on the NetBeans Platform. All the tools required for development of the Rich Client Swing Applications are included in the IDE.

3. Eclipse 3.4

Eclipse is said to be one of the most influential work-areas in Linux distributions. So this time developers have kept that in mind and tried to make Eclipse is fast as possible for compiling Java code in the future. As well, a new feature called Plug-in Spy has been added which is a useful tool for plug-in developers to determine what plug-in supplies a selection class. I hope Eclipse 3.4 is as advanced as it is proposed.

ubuntu jaunty-features

New Features in Jaunty

These features are showcased for your attention. Please test them and report any bugs you find on Launchpad:

Updated Packages

As with every new release, packages--applications and software of all kinds--are being updated at a rapid pace. For a list of all packages being accepted for 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope, please subscribe to Jaunty-changes:

X.Org server 1.6

The latest X.Org server, version 1.6, is available in Jaunty. In the short term, this will again cause increased instability for some users while the video drivers catch up.

Linux kernel 2.6.28

Alpha 2 includes the 2.6.28-3.4 kernel based on 2.6.28-rc8.

Download Alpha 2

Get it while it's hot. ISOs and torrents are available at: (Ubuntu)
(Kubuntu) (Xubuntu)

Install GIMP

OK. Version 2.6 of GIMP has been released. So here is how to install it on Linux.

openSUSE 11.0

If you want to install GIMP 2.6 on openSUSE 11.0, click the link below:

GIMP 2.6 for openSUSE 11.0


If you want to install GIMP 2.6 on Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid, you can add this line to sources.list:

deb intrepid main

Then run:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gimp

If you want to install GIMP 2.6 on Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy, you can download all .deb packages of GIMP from getdeb website. Then install in the following order:

sudo dpkg -i libbabl*.deb
sudo dpkg -i libgegl*.deb
sudo dpkg -i libgimp*.deb
sudo dpkg -i gimp*.deb
sudo dpkg -i gimp-python*.deb
sudo dpkg -i gimp-data*.deb — Install or update to GIMP 2.5 from SVN on Ubuntu 8.04

I’ve been wanting to try out GIMP 2.5 for quite some time now, and plenty of other folks are certainly looking forward to the new interface, among other things. In my somewhat limited observations of the GIMP development team, I’ve found that the volunteers who manage the project are what some would call “anal retentive.”

Put the shoe on the other food, and I might be totally off the mark here, but this is the common thread I see:
There are not enough people working on the GIMP. It must not be very sexy to toil away at code forging for the GIMP project, meanwhile Compiz-Fusion, WINE, Ubuntu developers are in the limelight every day with new features and lots of community interaction.

GIMP on the other hand, with limited resources hears the crowd of folks basically asking for a free $600 Photoshop clone. That’s not what the GIMP wants or needs. If you want Photoshop, go buy the damn thing!

One guy even went so far as to fork GIMP by creating GIMPshop which added the main window workspace design that Photoshop uses. People liked it, I used it for awhile myself. Having such a huge carrot hanging in front of their heads is no easy task. And if one of these developers went postal one of these end users asked the same fsckin question the last guy did, I wouldn’t be very surprised.

That said, it looks like fantastic progress is being made on GIMP 2.5, and the interface is fantastic to be putting it mildly. OHHHH it’s so good. Adobe was right, this is the way to do things, much more intuitive as well. Too bad it’s taken over a decade of development to realize this fact.

So what I did was write a bash script to update or install GIMP from SVN, and compile it so that your original 2.4 installed will NOT be touched and can be launched normally using the command “gimp” or “gimp-2.4″

That said, I’ve tested this on two machines. My nearly new install of 8.04 with few extra programs installed. I started the project manually, but then found quite a bit more to just get it all working at once. Trust me folks… if you install 2.5 and you aren’t satisfied, I’ll give you double your money back. That’s a promise.

The only thing I’ve noticed so far is some “weirdness” occurring when trying to run both versions at the same time.

Updates, patches, suggestions to this script are more than welcome. I’ll say that my code not formally licensed, but don’t claim you wrote this or strip the authors section out of the header. I inevitably find you and DMCA you to hell and back if you do, just like those silly CoreAVC guys. PR Stunt for the win!

# — Installs or updates The GIMP from SVN
# Usage: [install | update]
# Original instructions by
# Updated instructions by Thai at
# Script by Wayne Richardson at
# Takes about 20 minutes on an Intel Core2Quad Q6600 on a fresh install.
# Be patient!
# This uses Wajig, which can easily install reccomended/suggested packages.
# Most recent version is at:
# Variable(s):
# makeops -- the number of cores your system has, generally -j(cores+1)

if [ $# -ne 1 ]
echo “Specify an command line option: install or update.”
exit 1

if [ "$1" = "install" ]
echo Installing Gimp from SVN in 5 seconds, CTRL+C to abort.
sleep 5
sudo mkdir /opt/gimpsvn
sudo mkdir /opt/gimpsvn/lib
sudo mkdir /opt/gimpsvn/lib/pkgconfig
#sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install wajig -y
sudo apt-get build-dep gimp -y
sudo wajig installrs gimp -y
sudo apt-get install libavcodec-dev libavcodec1d libavformat1d -y
sudo apt-get install libavformat-dev graphviz graphviz-cairo graphviz-dev -y
sudo apt-get install libfaad-dev libfaac-dev ruby-gnome2 gtk-doc-tools -y
sudo apt-get install subversion automake1.9 asciidoc flex checkinstall -y
export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/opt/gimpsvn/lib
export PKG_CONFIG_PATH=/opt/gimpsvn/lib/pkgconfig
for i in babl gegl gimp; do svn co$i/trunk/ \
$i; cd $i; ./ --prefix=/opt/gimpsvn && make $makeops && sudo \
checkinstall; cd ..; done
echo “”
echo “Completed install from SVN into the following location:”
echo “/opt/gimpsvn/bin/gimp-2.5″
exit 1

if [ "$1" = "update" ]
echo Updating Gimp from SVN in 5 seconds, CTRL+C to abort.
sleep 5
export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/opt/gimpsvn/lib
export PKG_CONFIG_PATH=/opt/gimpsvn/lib/pkgconfig
svn co gimp
for i in babl gegl gimp; do svn co$i/trunk/ \
$i; cd $i; make $makeops && sudo checkinstall; cd ..; done
echo “”
echo “Completed update from SVN into the following location:”
echo “/opt/gimpsvn/bin/gimp-2.5″
exit 1

echo “Specify an command line option: install or update.”
exit 1

VMware server console keyboard problem in Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex

Few days ago I have upgraded my Ubuntu to latest 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) and found that keyboard just doesn’t work in VMware Server Console. The problem was that I couldn’t use keyboard under guest operating system including Windows, Linux etc. After few hours of research I found simple solution which works for me:

$ setxkbmap
$ echo "xkeymap.nokeycodeMap = true" >> ~/.vmware/config

After this restart vmware-server-console and see if it helps. If not you can see other solutions of the same problem at this site:

I hope it helps!

P.S. Here are vmware-server-console’s libs I use:

artemn@artemn-laptop:~$ ls -la /usr/lib/vmware-server-console/lib
total 172
drwxr-xr-x 40 root root 4096 2008-12-24 12:56 .
drwxr-xr-x 11 root root 4096 2008-12-24 12:56 ..
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2008-12-24 12:56
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2008-12-24 12:56
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2008-12-24 12:56
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2008-12-24 12:56
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2008-12-24 12:56
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2008-12-24 12:56
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2008-12-24 12:56
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2008-12-24 12:56
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2008-12-24 12:56
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2008-12-24 12:56
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2008-12-24 12:56
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2008-12-24 12:56
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2008-12-24 12:56
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2008-12-24 12:56
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2008-12-24 12:56
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2008-12-24 12:56
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2008-12-24 12:56
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2008-12-24 12:56
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2008-12-24 12:56
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2008-12-24 12:56
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2008-12-24 12:56
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2008-12-24 12:56
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2008-12-24 12:56
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2008-12-24 12:56
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2008-12-24 12:56
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2008-12-24 12:56
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2008-12-24 12:56
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2008-12-24 12:56
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2008-12-24 12:56
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2008-12-24 12:56
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2008-12-24 12:56
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2008-12-24 12:56
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2008-12-24 12:56
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2008-12-24 12:56
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2008-12-24 12:56
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2008-12-24 12:56
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2008-12-24 12:56
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2008-12-24 12:56
-r-xr-xr-x 1 root root 10173 2008-12-24 12:56

Happy hacking

happy linux holidays!

HHowto: Install the Latest wine in Ubuntu Intrepid!

Previously I made this howto for Ubuntu Hardy, here is an updated post for Intrepid
Here is a quick way to add the winehq repository so you dont need to wait for the ubuntu community to add the latest wine.
Open up a terminal Applications->Accessories->Terminal
Now copy/paste these commands:
Adding the gpg apt key:
wget -q -O- | sudo apt-key add -
Lets add the Repository via wget:
sudo wget -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/winehq.list
Now lets update our apt sources and install the latest wine!
sudo apt-get update ; sudo apt-get install wine
Ok now you will always have the latest development wine package installed!

Howto: Upgrade to Jaunty Jackalope

aunty Jackalope is currently in the Alpha 2 phase as of this post, you can follow the development release schedule here

To upgrade simply Press ALT-F2, and type in update-manager -d

A message will appear informing you of the availability of the new release.

Click upgrade.

Just a note, since this is alpha it isn't suggested to run on Production machines. Run it only if you care about bleeding edge software and don't care about system crashes and your confident your data is backed up safely.

I personally use a separate /home partition so I don't loose my valuable data, you can use the site search on this site to find information on that as well :)

Expand full post here...

ubuntu 8.10

Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex

Installation & Upgrade

I have Ubuntu installed on two computers. On the first, there is a fresh installation and the second has an upgrade of previous version.

Upgrading has always been connected with a certain risk of failure. I have often encountered the situation where a system did not start after attempting an upgrade. It was exactly the opposite this time. The newest Ubuntu loaded even few seconds faster the previous one.
The minor flaw is that one needs to download almost 1Gb of packages which takes a lot of time.

The installation routine of Ubuntu 8.10 looks almost the same as of the previous version. The only innovation is a refreshed and colourful partition manager. The new appearance of it should make this highly liked by newbies, as it makes partitioning far more pleasant.


New apps

There are no new applications in Ubuntu 8.10. As indicated earlier, improving the already available applications and services was the main goal. So, as far as improvements in the apps are concerned, there are dozens of them.

One of interesting changes is new versin of NetworkManager which includes the long awaited support of 3G networks. Nautilius is now equipped with tabs support, just like internet browsers such as Firefox. Furthermore the newer versions of popular apps such as GIMP or can be found in the system (although 3.0 didn’t make it into Ubuntu 8.10).


Guest account

Introduction of a guest account in Ubuntu is in my opinion a perfect decision. It highly influences the safety level or the system. Almost everyone has at least once made his computer available to his family or friends. Any user who is logged in at the moment has the access to all the users personal data, including browser history. Very often, in the case when the browser remembers the passwords and cookies, logging on the internet services’ accounts is possible, including mail accounts.

The guest account helps to prevent the risk, and limit the functionality of the system to the minimum for temporary users. The restrictions are really strong as the guest has almost no rights. What is interesting, the guest account is not able to save any files on the hard drive permanently, as the guest account is tempory, and is fully erased after logging out.

Encryption of home directory

Another interesting function which positively influences the safety of the system is the encryption of the home directory. Only the specific user gains access to this folder. It is a long awaited function. One does not need to install TrueCrypt any more, however the inbuilt ciphering functions will not satisfy all the privacy freaks :)

New theme

Although many users will not see any difference in the default appearance of the system, huge progress was done on this field. A darker theme has been simultaneously developed with the default one. It is installed with the system and can be set in the appearance menu. The darker theme should positively influence not only the aesthetic qualities, but should also reduce eye strain by not having to look at bright surfaces.


Convenient details

The Ubuntu (or GNOME?) teams are still touching up the interface of the system. A new function will be available after installation of Ubuntu 8.10 called: “change system status”. This sounds weird but all it does is changing the status in several messengers at once, thanks to the redesigned switch off menu.


In my opinion, the decision to focus on the evolution and bug fixes instead of stuffing too many (often unstable) packages into this release of Ubuntu, is a correct one. After over two weeks of using Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex I can state it is a carefully prepared and stable system. It is difficult to find any bugs in it, which is a novelty, as far as previous versions are concerned. Thanks to a new kernel, Intrepid is able to manage majority of hardware, which demolishes another argument (myth) of Linux opponents and makes Ubuntu a perfect system for computer novices.

Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope

With the April 23 release date getting ever closer, I decided to test Alpha 4 of Ubuntu 9.04 — code-named Jaunty Jackalope – to get a feel for the forthcoming operating system.

Canonical’s promise to deliver “the absolute latest and greatest software the Open Source Community has to offer” with just a six month development cycle has seen them take some bold risks with previous releases.

One controversial example involves Ubuntu 8.04, a supposed ‘Long Term Support’ release that shipped with a beta version of Firefox 3.

Still Aggressive

A look at Jaunty’s feature list shows the Ubuntu developers are not going conservative on us just yet.

The latest 1.6 version of the X.Org server, Ubuntu’s fundamental graphics subsystem will be included. When this was added to Jaunty during the development phase, hardware vendors were yet to release compatible graphics card drivers. A driver from NVIDIA was added only a fortnight ago and a driver for ATI graphics cards is still not available, leaving ATI users unable to use desktop effects. On my test installation with the new NVIDIA graphics drivers enabled, the system hung after login so there is still a way to go before they are ready for release.

Jaunty will include Linux kernel 2.6.28, the latest stable kernel allowing Ubuntu to run on more recent hardware than before. This is the first kernel with full support for the new EXT4 filesystem, a faster and more reliable version of the EXT3 filesystem that Ubuntu uses as its default. EXT3 will still be used as the default filesystem until version 9.10 is released in October but Jaunty’s installer will now allow you to select EXT4, or if you are going to upgrade to Jaunty from a previous Ubuntu version you can easily convert your existing EXT3 filesystem to EXT4 with just a few simple commands to benefit from the increased performance.

Built for Speed

The first thing that struck me after booting into Jaunty was its speed. This fresh installation of Jaunty Alpha 4 booted in just 23 seconds, that is more than twice as fast as Intrepid and remember - this is still an alpha version, so expect the final release to be quicker still.

The only other thing that indicated something had changed was that all the font sizes were too big. A search through the Ubuntu site showed this was in fact due to a new “feature” called Font Size Optimization. This feature is supposed to read the capabilities of your monitor and then set the font dot-per-inch setting to what your monitor reports. Of course, if your monitor reports the wrong dpi like mine did, you end up with huge fonts and a claustrophobic desktop.

What was wrong with leaving this setting at the default 96 dpi? The average user is not going to be able to successfully find the setting that changes this back and therefore will just assume that Ubuntu looks ugly because the fonts are too large.

One other feature touted for Jaunty (and championed by Canonical chief Mark Shuttleworth on his personal blog) is better management of notifications.

However, far from Shuttleworth’s elegant mockup all I could see was a preference option that lets you specify where notifications appear on screen and an option to hide notifications when I connect to my wireless network, looks like we won’t see any major changes to notifications until a future release.

As long as the issues with the graphics drivers are ironed out, I believe Jaunty Jackalope will become another must-have upgrade and if you are smart and install using EXT4, you will see some very real performance increases for very little effort. Just hope your monitor was designed properly or you will be left with an ugly desktop.

Gnome -Do

A powerful, speedy, and sexy remote control for your GNOME Desktop.

Oh, and it’s powerful, speedy, and sexy on other GNU/Linux desktop environments, too!

GNOME Do allows you to quickly search for many items present in your GNOME desktop environment (applications, Evolution contacts, Firefox bookmarks, files, artists and albums in Rhythmbox, Pidgin buddies) and perform commonly used actions on those objects (Run, Open, Email, Chat, Play, etc.).

GNOME Do uses the keybinding Super-space to activate. This can be changed in Configuration Editor.

* Main website:

* Documentation: (please add to this!)

* Mailing list:

* IRC: #gnome-do on* Video tutorial:

* You can find installation instructions at

* Launchpad:

List of best Linux blogs

UbuntuHQ Great site where you find a good collection of Ubuntu news, and posts, from other blogs.
ubuntublog Good Ubuntu blog, with lots of good Ubuntu stuff, sadly it stopped in September this year
PolishLinux This is a great Linux

site, it has really good stuff, and great content
LinuxHelp Good site with great stuff, frequently updated.
UbuntuEssentials Frequently updated Ubuntu Site
Ubuntu-Unleashed Another good site with great stuff about Ubuntu Linux
HowToGeek Great How to site, not only for Linux but its Linux section is great!.
LinuxScrew good site which is coming real popular these days, with great articles.
Fsckin Frequently updated Linux site, great tutorials, and good posts about games for Linux.
ArsGeek Not only a Linux site, but with a great Linux section.
Ubuntu Geek All about Ubuntu, from a real Geek
BashCuresCancer Site devoted to command Line, unfortunately not too frequently updated
Phorolinux Really good tutorials about Linux. For Linux games, how tos, forums, etc. about Video Cards, and Games. Madpenguin, News, forums, about Linux
Ars Technica Open Ended section:
GNOME Footnotes:
Phoronix: (lots of good Linux stories) Debuntu Tweako ubuntu Ubuntux Ubuntu Gamers Arena Fresh ubuntu mark shuttleworth's blog only ubuntu ubuntu os ubuntu demon ubuntu learner xubuntu blog the ubuntu feed simply ubuntu ubuntu living all about ubuntu ubuntu heaven ubuntu fan id ubuntu blogs ubuntology the daily ubuntu ubuntu fs ralph's ubuntu linux blog ubufied planet gnome [same as planet kde] planet kde [links to TONS of other blogs] happy penguin linux gaming nuxified linux reality podcasts tux online magazine linux by examples fscking with linux linux watch linux tavern linux wins oreilly network linux tracker lwn tuxme pimp your linux [geeky blog w/ linux category] os dir mandriva blog kernel trap [linux kernel news] linux security news *buntu blog [3 major buntus] boycottnovell linux questions talk about linux linux on desktop ubuntu/myth tv linux blog K.Mandla’s linux blog ubuntu rocks free software blog the tux project savvy geek a linux blog linux poison blog

HowTo use .htaccess file for Apache authentication

1. Create the directory you want to password protect (example: nikesh)

2. Create a file /var/www/html/nikesh/.htaccess in that director that looks something like this:

AuthName “Add your login message here.”
AuthType Basic
AuthUserFile /etc/apache/.htpasswd
AuthGroupFile /dev/null
require user name-of-user

In this case the “name-of-user” is the login name you wish to use for accessing the web site.

3. In apache configuration file, change the AllowOverride to AuthConfig for the directory that you wan to protect with password.

AllowOverride AuthConfig

3. Create the password file /etc/apache/.htpasswd using the program htpasswd:

# htpasswd -c .htpasswd name-of-user

Read Man page: htpasswd

Opensource load balancing Software

Linux Virtual Server
The Linux Virtual Server Project is a project to cluster many real servers together into a highly available, high-performance virtual server. The LVS load balancer handles connections from clients and passes them on the the real servers (so-called Layer 4 switching) and can virtualize almost any TCP or UDP service, like HTTP, HTTPS, NNTP, FTP, DNS, ssh, POP3, IMAP4, SMTP, etc. It is fully transparent to the client accessing the virtual service.

BalanceNG is a modern software IP load balancing solution. It is small, fast, and easy to use and setup. It offers session persistence, different distribution methods (Round Robin, Random, Weighted Random, Least Session, Least Bandwidth, Hash, Agent, and Randomized Agent) and a customizable UDP health check agent in source code. It supports VRRP to set up high availability configurations on multiple nodes. It supports SNMP, integrating the BALANCENG-MIB with Net-SNMPD. It implements a very fast in-memory IP-to-location database, allowing powerful location-based server load-balancing.

HAproxy is a high-performance and highly-robust TCP and HTTP load balancer which provides cookie-based persistence, content-based switching, advanced traffic regulation with surge protection, automatic failover, run-time regex-based header control, Web-based reporting, advanced logging to help trouble-shooting buggy applications and/or networks, and a few other features. Its own event-driven state machine achieves 20,000 hits per second and surpasses GigaEthernet on modern hardware, even with tens of thousands of simultaneous connections.

Pen is a load balancer for "simple" TCP-based protocols such as HTTP or SMTP. It allows several servers to appear as one to the outside. It automatically detects servers that are down and distributes clients among the available servers. This gives high availability and scalable performance.

Crossroads Load Balancer
Crossroads is a daemon running in user space, and features extensive configurability, polling of back ends using wake up calls, status reporting, many algorithms to select the 'right' back end for a request (and user-defined algorithms for very special cases), and much more. Crossroads is service-independent: it is usable for any TCP service, such as HTTP(S), SSH, SMTP, and database connections. In the case of HTTP balancing, Crossroads can provide session stickiness for back end processes that need sessions, but aren't session-aware of other back ends. Crossroads can be run as a stand-alone daemon or via inetd.

Balance is a simple but powerful generic TCP proxy with round-robin load balancing and failover mechanisms. Its behavior can be controlled at runtime using a simple command line syntax. Balance supports IPv6 on the listening side, which makes it a very useful tool for IPv6 migration of IPv4 only services and servers.

Distributor load balancer
Distributor is a software TCP load balancer. Like other load balancers, it accepts connections and distributes them to an array of back end servers. It is compatible with any standard TCP protocol (HTTP, LDAP, IMAP, etc.) and is also IPv6 compatible. It has many unique and advanced features and a high-performance architecture.

Pure Load Balancer
Pure Load Balancer is a high-performance software load balancer for the HTTP and SMTP protocols. It uses an asynchronous non-forking/non-blocking model, and provides fail-over abilities. When a backend server goes down, it automatically removes it from the server pool, and tries to bring it back to life later. Pure Load Balancer has full IPv6 support and works on OpenBSD, NetBSD, FreeBSD and Linux.

Load Balancer Project
The Load Balancer Project is a tool that allows you to balance requests using clusters of servers. The goal is to achieve high availability load balancing with a simple configuration for the load balancer and the network topology. It leaves the servers untouched so the configuration only resides on the load balancer, and it allows you to manage any type of service via a plugin model design and a transparent proxy feature.

mod_athena is an Apache-based application load balancer for large systems. It allows the HTTP server to act as a load balancer either internally to Apache's own mod_proxy (for reverse proxying), or externally to machines querying it. Arbitrary statistics are sent to the engine via a simple GET plus query-string interface, from which it will then make decisions based on chosen algorithms.

Udpbalancer is a reverse proxy that sorts UDP requests from your clients to your servers. It may operate in round-robin, volume balance, and load balance modes.

MultiLoad is a load balancer that redirects HTTP requests to pre-defined servers/locations. It gives the provider a way to balance the traffic and hides the real download location. It allows you to manage different version of each download. It is also a load balancing server extension. You can distribute files on some servers so that a downloaded file can be loaded form different servers. These servers can have different priorities to control the active traffic.

Top OpenSorce Groupware

eGroupWare (

eGroupWare is many things. It is a very flexible pluggable framework capable of hosting applications like a group calendar, AddressBook, Email, accounting ledger, inventory, and whatever else your can think of. These applications can share a common user store, and a flexible Access Control List (ACL) system to control access and information sharing. At it's core there is the phpgwapi, an API written for php, that provides some very useful functions and tools for developers, including the user store, which has several back ends, database abstraction, and a flexible templating system. Applications are then written using the phpgwapi and phpgw framework to provide web based tools to users.

phpGroupWare (

phpGroupWare - formerly known as webdistro - is a multi-user groupware suite written in PHP.

It provides about 50 web-based applications, as there are the Calendar, Addressbook, an advanced Projects manager, Todo List, Notes, Email, Newsgroup- and Headlines Reader, a Filemanager and many more Applications. The calendar supports repeating events and includes alarm functions. The email system supports inline graphics and file attachments.

The system as a whole supports user preferences, themes, user permissions, multi-language support and unser groups. It includes modules to setup and administrate the working environment. The groupware suite is based on an advanced Application Programming Interface (API).

PHProjekt (

PHProjekt is a modular application for the coordination of group activities and to share informations and document via the web. Components of PHProjekt: Group calendar, project management, time card system, file management, contact manager, mail client and many other modules.

Group-Office (

It offers a very wide variety of features that matter. Features you don't need won't be installed. Group-Office stands out when it comes to user friendliness combined with powerfully features. It was developed with the following goals in mind:

The World Wide Wait bugs us all every day and the critical business applications that Group-Office provides can't be hindered by being slow. Group-Office is specifically designed to perform tasks as quickly as possible.

The Graphical User Interface is designed in a way that everybody intuitively finds the functions they are looking for. Group-Office strives to be as simple as possible without losing functionality.

As an ever-changing software product, upgrades should be as painless as possible. This means that good code design is critical. Group-Office is designed in a modular way that makes upgrades easy and painless.

Group-Office is designed to be usable for 1 to thousands of users.

WebCollab (

A collaborative web-based system for projects and project management; WebCollab is easy to use, and encourages users to work together. The software is functionally elegant and secure without being cumbersome for users, or graphically intensive.

The software is ideally suited to tracking multiple projects and innumerable small tasks across an organisation of any size. If you have reminder notes stuck all over your desk, then you need WebCollab!

* Easy to read and intuitive screen layouts. Most users can use WebCollab without training.
* Individual users are assigned rights and permissions. Users can also be put into groups with controlled rights and permissions.
* Projects and tasks progress and approaching deadlines are graphically highlighted.
* Changes are personally highlighted for other users to see.
* Changes and new items can be emailed to affected users.

And the software is based on mature code base:

* WebCollab is fast and stable
* Secure - particular attention has been paid to security. No security scares to date.
* Robust and scalable. Several years of daily production use.


OBM is a groupware, email, LDAP, Windows PDC, CRM, and project management application. It is mainly used as an Exchange or Notes/Domino groupware and mail server replacement, as an LDAP directory, as a Windows PDC, as a contact and customer database, as a project management tool, or as any combination of these functions. It provides groupware (calendars, contacts, and tasks) connectors for Outlook, Thunderbird/Lightning, and PDAs. It supports internationalization and themes. It is highly scalable, and is used by sites from five to many thousands of users.

Teamwork (

Teamwork is a Web-based groupware for project management. It supplies groupware, issue tracking, cost control, and document and project management features with fine-grained security in a friendly interface. Agile methodologies such SCRUM are supported. Teamwork is easy to integrate with your IT infrastructure. Supports multiple databases (via hibernate), browsers, and languages.

TWiki (

TWiki is a flexible, powerful, and simple Web based collaboration platform. It is suitable for dynamic intranets and knowledge bases, and for sharing and managing documents and collaborative projects. It resembles a normal Web site, but every page can be changed from a browser. It features automatic link generation, full text search, group authorization, Web forms, reporting, change notification, file attachments, revision control of pages and attachments, a modular templating system with skins, hierarchical navigation based on the topic parenting feature, and more. Plugins can be used to enhance the program and build groupware applications.

Horde Groupware (

Horde Groupware is an enterprise ready browser-based collaboration suite. Users can manage and share calendars, contacts, tasks, and notes with the standards compliant components from the Horde Project. Horde Groupware bundles the separately available applications Kronolith, Turba, Nag, and Mnemo. It can be extended with any of the released Horde applications or the Horde modules that are still in development, like a file manager, a bookmark manager, a forum, or a wiki.

LDAP Client Authentication

  1. This file "/etc/ldap.conf" is the 1st file that has to be modified as this is the file that tells the system which ldap server to authenticate too.

    base dc=yourdomain,dc=com
    uri ldap://
    ldap_version 3
    rootbinddn cn=Manager,dc=yourdomain,dc=com
    scope sub
    timelimit 5
    bind_timelimit 5
    nss_reconnect_tries 2
    pam_login_attribute uid
    pam_member_attribute gid
    pam_password md5
    pam_password exop
    nss_base_passwd ou=People,dc=yourdomain,dc=com
    nss_base_shadow ou=People,dc=yourdomain,dc=com

  2. Now we have to add the passwd in this file "/etc/ldap.secret" so that we can authenticate to the ldap server

  3. Now we have to modify this file "/etc/nsswitch.conf"

    passwd:         files ldap
    group: files ldap
    hosts: dns ldap
    services: ldap [NOTFOUND=return] files
    networks: ldap [NOTFOUND=return] files
    protocols: ldap [NOTFOUND=return] files
    rpc: ldap [NOTFOUND=return] files
    ethers: ldap [NOTFOUND=return] files
    netmasks: files
    bootparams: files
    publickey: files
    automount: files
    sendmailvars: files
    netgroup: ldap [NOTFOUND=return] files

  4. Now it is time to modify the files in /etc/pam.d/ directory.
    First file to be modified is "/etc/pam.d/login"

    account sufficient
    password sufficient
    session sufficient
    auth            requisite
    auth requisite
    auth sufficient
    auth required use_first_pass
    auth required onerr=succeed file=/var/log/faillog
    account required
    account required
    account required
    account sufficient
    password sufficient
    session required skel=/etc/skel/ umask=0022
    session required
    session required
    session required
    session required
    session optional dir=/var/spool/mail standard
    session sufficient
    session optional

  5. Now we modify "/etc/pam.d/shadow"

    auth sufficient
    account sufficient
    password sufficient
    session sufficient
    auth            sufficient
    auth required
    auth sufficient use_first_pass
    account required
    account sufficient
    session required
    session sufficient
    password sufficient
    password required

  6. Now we modify "/etc/pam.d/passwd"

    password sufficient
    password        sufficient
    password required shadow nullok

  7. Now we modify "/etc/pam.d/su"

    auth sufficient
    account sufficient
    session sufficient
    auth            sufficient
    auth sufficient
    auth required use_first_pass
    account sufficient
    account required
    session sufficient
    session required

  8. Now we modify "/etc/pam.d/sudo"

    auth sufficient
    auth            sufficient
    auth required use_first_pass
    auth required

  9. In this file "/etc/pam.d/sshd" you have to add 3 entries, one for auth, one for account, and one for session.
    auth sufficient
    account sufficient
    password required

    auth            required
    auth sufficient
    auth required
    auth required use_first_pass
    account sufficient
    account required
    account required
    password required
    password required
    session required skel=/etc/skel/ umask=0022
    session required
    session sufficient
    session required