Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Set up a Linux hosting server easily with Turnkey Linux

I discovered Turnkey Linux after it was recommended to me by a colleague from University. After looking at the website, I was immediately impressed, this seemed like a perfect way for someone to easily and quickly set up a Linux hosting server without having to learn all of the commands needed to set it up using the command line. The packages are designed to minimise configuration needed by the user, making them perfect for novices or anyone who wants a time saving simple but powerful solution.

All Turnkey appliances have the Ubuntu 10.04.1, which is supported until April 2015, however in 12.10 this is being changed to Debian Squeeze (6.0.4), this is due to demand from it’s users. Turnkey appliances can be run on physical computers, VPS and in the cloud and all include Webmin, a very useful web management interface for Unix. Webmin allows users to run their server from any web browser, features include adding new users, changing DNS settings, sharing files and configuring the server amongst many others opitions. Turnkey Linux also has a number of different formats available, including the popular Amazon web service and virtual machine images that are pre installed and ready to use straight from download, or iso images are also available that will install anywhere. The service also boasts automated backup and restore on every package and it is auto updated daily with the latest security patches and bug fixes.

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PS3 Media Server 1.60 Supports Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

The PS3 Media Server development team announced a few hours ago, July 18th, the immediate availability for download of the PS3 Media Server 1.60.0 application, bringing assorted bug fixes and general improvements.

The most important feature of PS3 Media Server 1.60.0 is that it is now distributable as .deb installers for the Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin) operating system, supporting both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures.

PS3 Media Server 1.60 also adds support for TX3G (MPEG-4 Timed Text) subtitles, PGS (Blu-ray) subtitles, and VobSub (DVD) subtitles in MP4 container, as well as support for WebM videos downloaded from YouTube.

Moreover, it provides better handling of embedded ASS/SSA subtitles styling, new Sony SMP-N100 renderer, and FFmpeg video player is now enable for all platforms.

Last but not least, the Catalan and Simplified Chinese translations have been updated, and the CBRVideoBitrate value has been optimized for Panasonic TVs.

 Download PS3 Media Server 1.60.0

Firefox 14 Officially Lands in Ubuntu

With today's updates, Canonical upgraded the default web browser and default email client in all its supported Ubuntu operating systems to Mozilla Firefox 14.0.1 and Mozilla Thunderbird 14.0, respectively.

The Firefox 14 web browser was officially released yesterday, July 17th, bringing Awesome Bar URL auto-complete functionality, HTTPS support for Google searches, plugins can be loaded only on click, improved site identity manager to prevent spoofing on SSL connections with favicons, Pointer Lock API, new API to prevent your monitor from sleeping, and text-transform & improved font-variant CSS for Turkic and Greek languages.

On the other hand, Mozilla Thunderbird 14.0 brings only one feature: support for the Ubuntu One cloud storage implemented in the Filelink feature.

All Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, Ubuntu 11.10, Ubuntu 11.04, and Ubuntu 10.04 LTS users can update their Firefox web browser and Thunderbird email client to version 14.0 right now, by using the Update Manager software.

Other Linux users can download Mozilla Firefox 14.0.1, as well as Mozilla Thunderbird 14.0 binary and source packages right now from Softpedia. Also, don't forget to visit our always up-to-date Firefox Extensions section and Thunderbird Extensions section for the latest add-ons!

PC-BSD 9.0-RC3

Kris Moore today announced the first beta build of PC-BSD 9.1, a user friendly desktop operating system based on FreeBSD: "The BETA1 images for the upcoming PC-BSD 9.1 is now available for i386 and amd64 architectures! This beta provides both users and developers a means to test out new features in the upcoming PC-BSD 9.1 release. This snapshot may contain buggy code and features, so users are encouraged to run it only on non-critical systems. Highlights for the upcoming 9.1-release: FreeBSD 9.1; KDE 4.8.4; new system installer greatly simplified for desktop and server installs; new 'PC-BSD Server' installation option - includes command-line utilities like pbi-manager, warden, metapkgmanager and more...." Refer the (updated) release announcement for full information, including ways to upgrade online to this beta. Download the DVD images: PCBSD9.1-BETA1-x86-DVD.iso (3,341MB, SHA256), PCBSD9.1-BETA1-x64-DVD.iso (3,441MB, SHA256).

4 Ways to Recover From a Crashed or Frozen X Server on Linux

The X server on Linux provides your graphical desktop. If it crashes, you’ll lose all unsaved work in graphical programs, but you can recover from the crash and restart the X server without restarting your computer.
X server crashes can be caused by bugs with graphics drivers – the proprietary AMD or NVIDIA graphics drivers, for example – hardware problems, or other software bugs.


The Ctrl+Alt+Backspace keyboard shortcut traditionally restarted the X server on Linux. However, after complaints – particularly from new Linux users that accidentally hit this key combination and lost all their work — this shortcut was disabled by default. To enable it on Ubuntu, Fedora, or any other distribution using a GNOME-based desktop, you can use the Keyboard Layout utility.
Click the Options button and enable the Control + Alt + Backspace check box under Key sequence to kill the X server.
After it’s enabled, you can press Ctrl+Alt+Backspace to immediately restart your X server. However, this shortcut is implemented by the X server and may not work if X hangs in some ways.

Switch Virtual Consoles

You can use the Ctrl+Alt+F1 keyboard shortcut (and other F-key keyboard shortcuts) to switch to a different virtual console from your X server. (Ctrl+Alt+F7 usually takes you back to X – the exact F key depends on your Linux distribution.)
Once you have, you can log into the virtual console and run the appropriate command to restart your X server. The command you’ll need depends on the display manager you’re using. On Ubuntu, which uses the LightDM display manager, you’d use the following command:
sudo service lightdm restart

SSH Into Computer

If you can’t kill the X server locally, you can kill it over the network. Assuming you have an SSH server set up and running on your Linux system, you can log in from another computer and run the appropriate command to restart the X server. Just sign in via SSH to access a remote console and use the appropriate command to restart your display manager – on Ubuntu, it’s the sudo service lightdm restart command above.

Use the Magic SysRq Key

We’ve covered using the magic SysRq key in the past – the SysRq is is generally the same as the Print Screen key. Assuming you want to kill the X server locally – not over the network – your system may not be responding to key presses, including the Ctrl+Alt+F1 keyboard shortcut. This can occur because the X server has taken control of the keyboard. To take control away from the X server, use the following key combination:
After you have, you can try pressing Ctrl+Alt+F1 to access a virtual console. You can also use the Alt+SysRq+k combination, which kills all programs on your current virtual console, including your X server.
If you want to restart your computer, you can also use the magic SysRq key to cleanly restart your system – see our full post on the magic SysRq key for more information.

Ubuntu on Air Is Now Live

José Antonio Rey proudly announced a few hours ago, July 17th, that the Ubuntu on Air! project is now live.

Ubuntu on Air is an idea discussed by some Ubuntu developers and contributors at the Ubuntu Developer Summit for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin), during the IRC Workshops sessions, which consists on a series of broadcasts via Google+ Hangouts.

"Last UDS, we were in the IRC Workshops sessions, when a huge idea came out. We all know the developer announcements for the releases as Fridge posts, and classroom sessions as IRC-based."

"But we wanted something else, something where people could actively interact with our instructors, or with our developers. That’s why, we decided to launch Ubuntu on Air!" José Antonio Rey said earlier today on his blog.

Ubuntu on Air! is a new project designed to help Ubuntu users easily interact with Ubuntu instructors, leaders, developers, etc. in real time.

The best part of Ubuntu on Air is that the sessions will also be streamed live via a dedicated YouTube channel.

Ubuntu users will be able to ask questions related to the Ubuntu operating system, but they will also be informed about releases, and classes for the Classroom project.

"We’ve set up an IRC channel for you to participate, and we’ve got a dedicated YouTube channel, so you can replay past sessions."

"We’ve even got a bot to do some hard work on IRC! We’ll be using it to give some developer news, as well as Classroom sessions" José Antonio Rey explained in the blog announcement.

The first session of Ubuntu on Air will take place next Thursday, July 26th, at 18 UTC, and it will host Benjamin Kerensa with the Developer News, and Brian Murray explaining how important are bugs in creating a successful Ubuntu release.

Users will be able to chat in the #ubuntu-on-air channel on

Alpine Linux 2.4.5 Available for Download

The Alpine Team announced on July 17th that Alpine Linux 2.4.5, a community-developed operating system designed for x86 Routers, Firewalls, VPNs, VoIP and servers, is available for download.

Alpine Linux 2.4.5
is just a bug fix release, which means there are only a few bugs that have been fixed and a handful of updated packages.

The most important fixes presented in this latest version of Alpine Linux are for MSS clamping in kernel for proper path MTU discovery, creating apkovl archives with large number of files, and for including empty dirs in apkovl archives.

Among other addressed problems, a few applications have been updated: apk-tools 2.3.2, squark 0.4.4, bacula 5.2.10, and squid

The complete changelog for Alpine Linux 2.4.5 can be found here.

Download Alpine Linux 2.4.5

Eidete – A Screencasting Application that really works on Ubuntu 12.04

In Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin) LTS, there are few great applications available for screencasting – such as RecordMyDesktop, Kazam and built in tool (starts/resumes with Ctrl+Alt+Shift+r) in Gnome shell desktop (although it doesn’t record voice) but none of them worked well in Ubuntu 12.04 (with Unity).
Kazam was irritating like hell – when I completed the recording it crashed and I couldn’t save anything (although it was working fine for smaller duration (couple of minutes)), besides that – it was consuming a lot of RAM (so there may be some sort of ‘memory leak’). RecordMyDesktop was also behaving very strange, User Interface is very confusing and it also crashes a lot (resource consumption was also very high, my pc became unresponsive for a while).

Eidete : Screencast Recording Software for Ubuntu

Finally, I tried Eidete – it worked like charm. I’ve recorded more than 6 videos(till now) and there was no problem at all. So if you guys had any problem recording screencasts with Ubuntu, then I recommended you to try Eidete.
Eidete is a simple application, it has all the basic features such as audio/video options, recording area selection, display mouse behavior and clicks, timer countdown, pause/resume etc. Finally, it saves the screencast into web friendly format (.webm).
Recording is very easy, after hitting the record button, the recording process starts within 5 seconds (timer). Finally, if you want to finish then click on Eidete Launcher, and click Finish(then you will get a new window for saving the recorded file).

How to Install Eidete in Ubuntu 12.04

Since, it’s not there in official package repository so you need to add the PPA for Eidete. Open a terminal and execute -
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:shnatsel/eidete-daily
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install eidete
Recommended Link(s) : 
Eidete on Launchpad

OpenSUSE 12.2 first release review

Though I use Ubuntu/Debian allied distros for my daily use, but one distro which intrigues me, is OpenSUSE. It has very stable distros and 8 months release cycle with on average each release supported for 18 months (for releases from 2011 onwards). Like Ubuntu excels in Gnome and Unity, OpenSUSE has excellent KDE version. In fact, if you are a KDE fan, I won't recommend you Kubuntu but rather request you to try out OpenSUSE KDE. I bet you'll really like it!
For 12.2 release, I downloaded both the Gnome and KDE versions. For virtualbox, I downloaded the 660 MB 32-bit versions. You can get the 64-bit versions here: Gnome, KDE.
Live-booting is almost similar for both Gnome & KDE. You are greeted with a Welcome screen and then the Linux kernel is booted. Live-booting is fast and effortless.

Rest here

SystemRescueCd 2.8.1

SystemRescueCd 2.8.1, a Gentoo-based live CD with specialist utilities for data rescue and disk management tasks, has been released. From the changelog: "Updated standard kernels to Long-Term-Supported linux-3.2.23 (rescuecd + rescue64); updated alternative kernels to latest stable: linux-3.4.5 (altker32 + altker64); updated X.Org graphical environment and drivers to xorg-server-1.12.3; updated Grub2 bootloader to 2.00 (grub-0.97-r12 is also provided); updated Super-Grub2-Disk to version 2.00-beta1 (based on GRUB-2.00); updated lvm2 to 2.02.93, e2fsprogs to 1.42.4; updated GParted to 0.13.0, partclone to 0.2.49; removed Ranish floppy disk image; added spacefm-0.7.8 file manager." Download: systemrescuecd-x86-2.8.1.iso (381MB, MD5).

Android-X86 4.0.4 (ICS) RC2 Released With ARM Translator, More [Android For Netbooks Or Laptops]

Android-x86 4.0.4 RC2, based on Android Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.4 has been released today with a few exciting changes, like an ARM translator that lets you run some ARM applications on Android-X86.

Changes in Android X86 4.0.4 RC2 (since Android-x86 4.0 RC1):
  • Kernel 3.0.36 with more drivers and bug fixes.
  • Enable Dalvik JIT compiler support which should make apps faster
  • Support some 3G modem.
  • Ready to run arm translator. (You still need to install Intel’s libraries manually)
  • Physical keyboard layout selection.
  • Support two cameras.
  • Fake SD card is replaced by internal storage support.

Since the latest Android-X86 uses an ARM translator, not all ARM applications will work, for instance, Google Chrome won't work. Angry Birds (as well as Amazing Alex) on the other hand, worked in my test using a custom Android-X86 build in VirtualBox, though it was kind of slow (probably because of VirtualBox):

android-x86 4.0.4 RC2 angry birds

I'm sure there are readers who are wondering if Netflix works with this new Android-X86 release, but unfortunately I can't answer to this question because Netflix doesn't work in my country so if you try Netflix with Android-X86 4.0.4 RC2, let us know if it works in the comments!

Here is a video and a few more Android-X86 4.0.4 RC2 screenshots:

(direct video link)

android-x86 4.0.4 RC2

android-x86 4.0.4 RC2

android-x86 4.0.4 RC2

android-x86 4.0.4 RC2

Get ARM translator to work in Android-X86 4.0.4 RC2

To get the Intel ARM translator working in the latest Android-x86 4.0.4 RC2, you need to download 3 libraries from Buildroid and copy them into the system folder (so make sure you select to install the /system directory as read-write while installing Android-X86!):

  • Download and copy it to /system/lib/
  • Download and copy it to /system/lib/
  • Download the arm libs, extract the downloaded archive and copy the files to /system/lib/arm/

Download for VirtualBox

The official Android-X86 builds do not have Ethernet support, so you won't have an Internet connection while running Android-X86 in VirtualBox. You can, however, use a custom Android-X86 4.0.4 RC2 build that adds Ethernet support: DOWNLOAD (thanks to Ron M for this build!). 

This build has the ARM translator libraries build-in. This is a debug build so a red frame is displayed sometimes - the only way to avoid this is to compile Android-X86 from source and apply the Ethernet patch yourself (or search for a different Android-X86 4.0.4 RC2 ISO with Ethernet patch).

Important: if the mouse isn't working, select from the VirtualBox menu: Machine > Disable Mouse Integration.

Download Android-x86

Android-x86 4.0 has been tested / it should work on AMD Brazos (MSI 110W), Asus EeePC or some Asus laptops/tablets and Tegav2 / Viewpad 10. These are the officially supported devices, but Android-x86 should work on others too. An old list of supported devices / hardware can be found HERE.

An Introduction-Overview of Unity in Ubuntu 12.04 for Beginners [Video]

Are you or someone you know new to the Unity UI in Ubuntu? Perhaps you or the person you know prefer video demonstrations rather than reading about or looking at images for learning. This video by Alan Pope serves as an excellent informal guide to using Unity in Ubuntu 12.04 for those who have not used the new UI before.

Amnesia: The Dark Descent Review

Amnesia: The Dark Descent is not your average game. It’s not made for children and it’s not made for elderly people. It’s a game made to do one thing: scare the players down to their core. You might think we are ready for it, after all these years of gaming, but nothing will prepare us for this experience.

Frictional Games have made a name for themselves with the Penumbra series – Penumbra: Overture, Penumbra: Black Plague, and Penumbra: Requiem. They have perfected over time a type of horror game that has no real competitor.

Sure enough, we have played a lot of horror games by now, and the sensitivity of the gamers around the globe has been diminished to a point where it's actually hard to scare people, unless you are using really graphical images and disgusting, violent scenes. Even then, it is no longer a scare, it’s more disgust than anything else.

The Penumbra series tried to change the way we think about horror games and it managed to peak an interest when they were published. Frictional Games wanted you to be scared, but not because of the game, and because of your imagination.

One fact is certain, developers have long lost the ability to scare us, but we can still scare ourselves. Some of us gamers are in our thirties and we are not supposed to be afraid of the dark, but alone in a forest, in a moonless night, or in a creaking basement, our imagination goes array. We can think of the worst and most unimaginable stuff, and this is the making of a real terror.


Frictional Games provide a single .sh file for Amnesia: The Dark Descent. We have installed the game in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS without any problems. Just open a terminal and enter the following commands, one by one (the name of the file might vary if it's updated):

sudo chmod a+x

Follow the instructions of the installer and there shouldn't be any problems.


The player awakes in a castle (the Brennenburg Castle to be later revealed) and has little recollection of who he is, with the exception of his name, and what he's doing there. I would be revealing too much about the game if I explain more than this.

I can only tell you that you must go deeper into the castle and defeat a great enemy that dwells there. He has his malformed servants patrolling the halls, and they will kill you.

The one great thing about Amnesia: The Dark Descent is the fact that there are no weapons for the player. You can only hide or put temporary obstacles in front of the enemies, but you won’t be able to do much else. You must always remember the rooms behind you and know the places that can be used for hiding.

The mechanics of the game is really helpful for this type of gameplay. Players can control the elements from the world with the mouse, such as doors, tables, and so on. When you open a door you don’t just press a key to do it, you have to pull or push with the mouse. This is very helpful when you want to check out a room or if you want to peek from inside a wardrobe.

Amnesia: The Dark Descent also features an interesting gameplay twist that I’ve only seen once before in Cthulhu: Dark Corner of the Earth. Just like in that game, the player mustn't expose the character he’s controlling to too many atrocities, as he will lose his mind.

In Cthulhu: Dark Corner of the Earth, the developers went even a step further making the main character to eventually commit suicide in various ways, usually depending on what he was holding at the time (knife, gun, etc).

The only way to keep the character sane is by exposing him to light. Unfortunately, the light also makes him a lot more visible, and the sources of light are quite scarce, so you will have to balance the exposure to light really carefully.

The Bad

The game is about tension, so I can understand that some of the interludes between action scenes need to vary, but sometimes you can go a long way without anything happening, especially at the beginning.

The story also has a really slow development and has to be put together by the player. I’m not saying that a narrative voice was needed, as it would have totally disturbed the atmosphere, but I would have loved some more books in the game, or other clues to what is actually happening.

The Good

I don’t know if it’s the scariest game I’ve ever played. I’m more mature now and I’m harder to influence, but you should watch some of the YouTube videos about people playing. They are hilarious and they actually represent what most people feel about it.

The fact that people record themselves while being scared is the best ad a game could possibly want, and it's a testament of its quality.

The developers also recommend playing the game Amnesia: The Dark Descent with the lights off and using a headset. This is the first time I heard a developer saying this, although this is how gamers recommend horror games for friends.


I find it hard to imagine what they can do after Amnesia: The Dark Descent. They’ve used every trick in the book: doors squeaking, heavy breathing, unforgettable monsters, and light manipulation. I’m officially impressed and I have to say no one should miss this game if they want to know how a game should scare you, in order to make you like it, if that makes any sense.

Download Amnesia: The Dark Descent

Install Skype From PPA On Ubuntu 12.04/Linux Mint 13

A new update for the Skype application has been made available recently by Microsoft for Linux users. The update is in fact a hotfix that addresses some known issues to make Skype more stable and secure. Here are some of the issues resolved in this latest version:

Fixing Skype client crashing during a Skype IM session
Adding support for saving files on FAT32 hard drives
Marking all conversations viewed crashed 

You can find here release notes for Skype In this tutorial, we will see how to install Skype on Ubuntu 12.10/12.04/11.10/11.04 or Linux Mint 13 (Maya) via PPA. For other distros, you can get the appropriate package from the download page here.

Skype Installation

Let's first uninstall the old version of Skype with these commands:

sudo apt-get purge skype skype-bin

sudo apt-get autoremove

Install now Skype with these commands (i386 & amd64 systems):

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:upubuntu-com/chat
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install skype

That's it!

Ubuntu 12.10 Allows Users to Sort Time Zones

With yesterday's updates, Canonical made some changes to the upcoming Ubuntu 12.10 (Quantal Quetzal) operating system, regarding the Date and Time Indicator.

After revamping the Session menu Indicator last week, the Ubuntu developers added sorting support to the multiple time zones function in the Date and Time Indicator of the upcoming Ubuntu 12.10 operating system.

Therefore, users who have added multiple time zones can now easily sort them by name or by time, accessing the "Time & Date Settings -> Clock tab -> Choose Locations" dialog.

Moreover, it appears that a new function has been added to the Date and Time Indicator, called Time in auto-detected location.If checked, it will automatically insert the current location of the Ubuntu machine.

However, considering that Ubuntu 12.10 is in Alpha development stage, everything is subject to change. We will keep you informed about future changes.

Two New Kernel Vulnerabilities Affect Ubuntu 8.04 LTS

Canonical announced on July 16th, in a security notice, that a new kernel upgrade for its Ubuntu 8.04 LTS (Hardy Heron) operating system is available, fixing two vulnerabilities found by various developers in the kernel packages.

These are the two vulnerabilities found in the Linux kernel packages by various developers: CVE-2012-1601 and CVE-2012-2744.

You can click on each one to see how it affects your system, or go here for in-depth descriptions, as it affects other Linux operating systems as well.

The security flaws can be fixed if you upgrade your system(s) to the linux-image-2.6.24-32 (2.6.24-32.104) package.

Don't forget to reboot your computer after the upgrade!

ATTENTION: Due to an unavoidable ABI change, the kernel packages have a new version number, which will force you to reinstall and recompile all third-party kernel modules you might have installed. Moreover, if you use the linux-restricted-modules package, you have to update it as well to get modules that work with the new Linux kernel version.