ubuntu one

July 31, 2009

I guess many people were asking for something akin to Windows Skydrive. Ubuntu recently rolled out ubuntu one, an OS integrated online storage space.

And the first impression – its annoyingly simple to use. Once you are through with the two-click installation, you are left with just a “Congratulations” message.

First thing any linux user does is, right click the taskbar applet to check for Preferences. Well? Sorry folks, nothing to tweak around with. Disappointing 😦

Next thing, you click on the taskbar icon and it opens up an Ubuntu One folder on your home drive. With some relief, you then proceed to examine the folder for some sort of Nautilus extension to synchronize the drive. Nothing!

With mounting suspecion, you copy some files into it. Bloody hell!  Ubuntu One kicks into action staring synchronizing your drive.

Good  stuff: It optimizes on the bandwidth idle times to ulpoad the content in a very transparent way (means, over a slow connection you will not feel much of a drop in your surfing speed)

Bad stuff: It keeps spinning my hard drive like crazy. I hope they read blocks into memory, work off that and leave my hard drive alone! And we need a Preferences menu, to specify the location of the synchronized drive and tweak around with bandwidth shaping.

Verdict: The product is in its beta. If you are one Jaunty or Karmic (God bless you), what are you waiting for? And oh, the free version gives you 2 GB.

Update: What I thought to be heavy harddisk read was a bug in the 2.6.28 kernel around cpu fan speed control, causing the temperature to rise.


Jaunty Jackalope

July 27, 2009

Of late, there isn’t much going on at ubuntuforums. For a second there, I thought Ubuntu was losing steam. But then it occured to me how mature the OS have become from the ‘warty’ days. Not many creases to be ironed-out.

If you haven’t tried Jaunty Jackalope yet, give it a shot! The boot time is damn impressive!


Installing Cisco VPN on Ubuntu

August 14, 2008

Cisco VPN client most often requires to be compiled for the linux header you are running. And with the subtle changes in the header versions, its likely that you would run into this error while installing the vpn client:

/usr/src/vpnclient/GenDefs.h:113: error: conflicting types for ‘uintptr_t’
include/linux/types.h:40: error: previous declaration of ‘uintptr_t’ was here

In case you didnt notice this error while installing, you will surely notice this error when you try to start the VPN daemon:

‘/lib/modules/2.6.24-19-generic/CiscoVPN/cisco_ipsec.ko’: -1 Invalid module format

Like HHGG says, dont panic. The VPN client should be patched with the delta from http://projects.tuxx-home.at/ciscovpn/patches that corresponds to your linux header. Patch your vpnclient as mentioned below and you are good to install!

cd vpnclientfolder
wget http://projects.tuxx-home.at/ciscovpn/patches/vpnclient-linux-2.6.24-final.diff
patch < ./vpnclient-linux-2.6.24-final.diff

Its not that theres a dearth of information on the web on this topic, I still end up wasting time everytime I install vpn. So here I go underlining whats been already said.


Ubuntu: Printing with a mouse right-click

August 12, 2008

Few days back, I came across this nice idea on ubuntu forums. If you want to print a file, why do have to open it and then print? What if you wanted to print multiple files?

Its the small things like these that reminds you the usefulness of scripting. So how do I do it?

cupsdoprint -P PrinterName file1 file2 file3

cupsdoprint is a command line tool to print via CUPS.

So we have our little script around CUPS to print. How do we add it to the mouse context menu? As simple as creating an executable script and dropping into the nautilus script folder. Nautilus passes the context information to the script as variables.

The script file would look like this:

#!/bin/bsh

files=$NAUTILUS_SCRIPT_SELECTED_FILE_PATHS

cupsdoprint -P MyPrinter $files

exit 0

Name the script “Print”, make it an executable and drop it to your ~/.gnome2/nautilus-scripts folder and happy printing!