Filed under: Kubuntu,Programming — jon @ 15:21

A quick note for anything trying to get Gears to work with Firefox 3.5 and 64-bit Linux: follow the steps in this post. The post is for gcc 4.3.3, but it worked just fine with my gcc 4.4.1. Beware: the svn checkout step will take many many minutes.

sudo apt-get install build-essential subversion m4
svn checkout http://gears.googlecode.com/svn/trunk gears-trunk
cd gears-trunk
wget http://gkovacs.xvm.mit.edu/google-gears/gears-gcc433.diff
patch -p0 -i gears-gcc433.diff
chmod +x third_party/gecko_1.9/linux/gecko_sdk/bin/xpidl
cd gears
make -s

The installable file will end up in ./bin-dbg/installers/ (that is, something like /home/foo/gears-trunk/gears/bin-dbg/installers), with a name like gears-linux-x86_64-dbg- In Firefox, pick “Open File” from the File menu and browse to that directory; pick the XPI file and you should be good to go. I’ve only tested it with offline gmail, but that seems to work fine.

Filed under: Kubuntu,Programming — jon @ 18:24

Here in the underground bunker we have computers named after fruits:

  • lime
  • lemon
  • mango
  • cherry
  • indigo – not a fruit, but replaced “indulgence”
  • oreo – my wife has convinced me that Oreos are definitely a fruit

All machines run Ubuntu server or Kubuntu, and several dual-boot and/or virtualize XP.

Filed under: Kubuntu — jon @ 18:54

The latest VMware Server will install in Hardy (v8.04), but wouldn’t run for me. A short page on HowtoForge gave me the pointer I needed to get it to run: sudo cp /lib/libgcc_s.so.1 /usr/lib/vmware/lib/libgcc_s.so.1/libgcc_s.so.1.

If you find your control, shift, alt, and caps lock keys suddenly stop working outside the guest OS, run setxkbmap to get them back. The bug report indicates uninstalling VMware Tools from the guest will solve the problem, too, but I haven’t had to take so drastic a step.

Filed under: Kubuntu — jon @ 13:58

Kubuntu logo

In case you missed it, yesterday brought us a new release of Ubuntu, Kubuntu, and family. The version is called “Hardy Heron”, version 8.04. New features of interest are desktop 3D effects (compiz), the ability to use a KDE4 desktop (which I’ve tried from the LiveCD and it’s shiny), and some bug fixes to packages like kpdf.

Filed under: Kubuntu — jon @ 12:03

The kdevelop 3.3 in kubuntu’s edgy’s repository has a nasty tendency to lock up when working in C++ code. Apparently this relates to it using an old and creaky Berkeley DB version. I’ve been using 3.4 on my two development machines for a long while, but thought it might be helpful to folks to post the instructions here on how to get and compile the code. These are based on the requirements and installation instructions on the kdevelop site. (I recommend uninstalling the old kdevelop from Adept before you do this.) This involves a few steps:

  1. save the below scripts (and patch file) to a directory. Make all scripts executable (chmod u+x *.sh).
  2. get the required libraries/packages (sudo kdevelop-get-packages.sh)
  3. get the kdevelop source code and patch files to make it work on edgy (kdevelop-get.sh)
  4. configure the kdevelop build (kdevelop-configure.sh)
  5. build (cd kdevelop-3.4-source; make -s) and install (sudo make install)

Here are the scripts I used. I don’t guarantee them, but they should get you a good start.

Filed under: Kubuntu — jon @ 13:45

After upgrading to Kubuntu Edgy, I couldn’t get vmware server to run. After stumbling upon a thread about it over at the VMware forums, the solution was: uninstall libdbus-1-2 with Adept. It works fine now!

Filed under: Kubuntu — jon @ 11:01

Ubuntu/Kubuntu/Xubuntu has released 6.10 (Edgy Eft). The noticable upgrades from 6.06 are Firefox 2, faster bootup, and a simpler control panel for system settings.

There have been reports on the forums of people having difficulty upgrading from 6.06 (Dapper), but I’ve had no problems here. (I used the CD-ROM to upgrade.) I’m in the middle of some consulting work so can’t upgrade the other machine, but I’ll update this when I complete that install.

Update: the upgrade on my Dell Inspiron 9300 went fine. I got one error during the “apt-get dist-upgrade” step, but running it a second time retrieved the remainder of the packages. Power management is much improved over Dapper.

Filed under: Kubuntu — jon @ 21:16

After Windows annoyed me one day too many, I’ve switched over both my daily computers to Linux. Oreo (our file server) has been on Fedora Core 4 for quite some time, and I’ve run FC 4 and 5 on a second partition off and on. I’ve never really been sold on Linux as a desktop OS, but after trying the Ubuntu live CD, I switched both my work laptop and, later, my home desktop. I chose the Kubuntu distribution of Linux, which is Ubuntu with the KDE desktop manager instead of Gnome.

For my work laptop, Linux is an obvious choice since I develop mostly for embedded Linux and I spend most of my day in Cygwin. That was an easy transition. Having run Kubuntu on both machines for over two weeks now, I’m declaring this experiment a tentative success and posting the results here in case it helps anyone else.

The short summary of my experiences: Ubuntu is an excellent distribution and by far the most user-friendly and supportive of all the distros I’ve tried. Most computer-literate users could install instead of (or side-by-side with) Windows, use, and enjoy, but the few hurdles required to enable some key features make it still unsuitable for those afraid to tinker or hack.


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