Linux Ubuntu


Tranquil PC Limited BAREBONE SERVER.

Forget the Wind Nettop, this is the baby for me.  £360 including vat and delivery, the Tranquil PC barebones server provides you with 2G ram, 64 bit ready Intel Atom 330 (2×1.6GHz) Dual Core, 4 slots for Raid and 1 slot plain hot swap caddy, 1Gb lan, SiliconImage SiI3124 hardware raid, ~23dBA and only 29Watts power usage with a single drive.

Add Ubuntu server and it’s the perfect home NAS / web server / what ever you like.

I’m seriously considering this, along with a purchase of 2x 1Tb drives, to get me started. I’m happy to go with raid1 on those for now and add a couple more as I need more storage.

See the link above for more info….


BBC iPlayer – Labs get Linux suport for iplayer downloads

The wonderful BBC have finally managed to bundle together a version of iplayer that allows you to download your TV for up to 30 days.  It’s still DRMed, using adobe flash and adobe air to give you the iplay application outside your browser.

Follow the link below, to the labs and click the button to enable the labs features.  Go to you favourite show, and click download.  You will be prompted to install Air etc, which takes a couple of minutes, but after that the download starts and the world is your mollusc.

BBC iPlayer – Labs.

Linux Ubuntu

Guts to go Gutsy

I was having problems with something in Feisty, which was obviously fixed in Gutsy because I can’t remember what the problem was after the hour so of the upgrade had passed. And it all worked from then on… Well there must have been some reason I decided to do it, and I am sure something was not working… anyway as there’s only a couple of days left before Gutsy is released, I figured I might be pretty stable by now so minimal risk.

I wasn’t disappointed.  A couple of third party bits needed re-installing, specifically vmware and nero, but apart from that it all went well. XGL and compiz still worked (however the original Feisty compiz-config needed removing and re-installing) and you even get a nice little message telling you not to run the XGL session as it will just work in the gnome one.

The new Screen and Graphics section doesn’t look to exciting to windows users, but it’s a god send when trying to use your laptop for presentations, at last an easy way to handle multiple monitors and resolutions.

More to come as I find stuff worthy of my attention, but to the Ubuntu team, bloody well done, it was such a smooth upgrade….


Ubuntu – USB Drives – Optimising for quick removal (nearly)

As default USB drives in Ubuntu are optimised for performance, i.e. when data is written to the drive it is cached.  When you unmount or eject the drive, you usually get a notification to wait whilst data is written to the drive.

After searching a bit on the net I found that you can add a couple of options to the device, sync and dirsync that cause the data to by written synchronusly rather than caching it.  I have been running with this option enabled and it seems to work.

When I now eject the drive (NOTE: You still need to unmount / eject else you get a warning!) it ejects straight away without the please wait whilst the OS clears the  cache.

To set the option install gconf-editor if it is not installed via sudo apt-get install gconf-editor or synaptic package manager.

run gconf-editor from a terminal or choose Applications > System Tools > Configuration Editor.

Navigate to System > Storage > default_options

I added the option to the vfat section, which covers most usb flash drivers because they are Fat16 or FAt32.

I have not tried it with the ntfs etc, as I still want ubuto to cache writes to my ntfs partitions.

In the right had side, double click the mount_options item to bring up the editor

Click add, and enter
choose Ok.

Click add, and enter
choose Ok.

The options are now added. Click Ok to close the key editor, and close gconf-editor.

You should now be cooking on gas…


Installing Ruby and rails on Ubuntu Feisty

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Found these instructions at

Blogging to ensure I have a copy, credits go to janmartin.

Lets start with a fresh Ubuntu Feisty Fawn 7.04 installation:

  • sudo apt-get install build-essential
  • sudo apt-get install sun-java6-jdk
  • sudo update-java-alternatives –list
  • sudo apt-get install ruby irb ri rake rdoc ruby1.8-dev rubygems
  • sudo apt-get install libmysql-ruby mysql-server
  • sudo gem update –system
  • sudo gem install rails –include-dependencies

Some tests:

  • ruby –version
  • rails –version
  • mysql –version
  • gem list

END of command line installation

Aptana + Rails (Linux).
Extract it into ~/aptana

Follow these instructions:
# Open up Aptana, and Navigate to the Help > Software Updates > Find and Install menu.
# Select “Search for new features to install”, click “Finish”
# Select “Ruby on Rails Development Environment”, click “Finish”
# Select the Ruby on Rails Development Environment feature.
# Continue through the dialog boxes until complete.

Follow these instructions:

Menu -> Window -> Preferences

Rails -> Configuration
Rails path: /usr/bin/rails
Rake path: /usr/bin/rake

Installed interpreters:

RDoc path:/usr/bin/rdoc
Ri path: /usr/bin/ri


Linux Ubuntu

Java Window blank or not rendering correctly when running under XGL/Compiz

I’m running Ubuntu with an XGL session and Compiz, and tried installing ArgoUML a java based cross platform UML designer. However when the application was run, the main window did not render correctly, it was blank with no menus or content.

A friend informed me of the solution, which affects Netbeans IDE as well, so the following:

sudo gedit /etc/environment

Add the following line


save and close.

You may need to restart the session or reboot to pick up the environment setting change.

Linux Ubuntu

Linux how to change the file extensions for multiple files in a directory

Where source is old extension and dest is new extension, in terminal type:

for x in *.source; do mv “$x” “${x%.source}.dest”; done

Linux Ubuntu

Installing a nice black vista style theme from Ubuntu Studio

Instructions on how to install the default UbuntuStudio theme in other Ubuntu distros.

Linux Ubuntu

great resource for ubuntu software

All the free software as you can eat ;0)

Linux Ubuntu

Compiz Fusion

Installing Compiz Fusion instructions