Tag Archives: software

Ubuntu Tech Snippet #13 – Get your public IP in terminal

Sometimes when you’re working on a project or are SSHed into a remote server, you need to find out the public IP of the device, without using a GUI web-browser.

I had to do this while working on setting up a script on my server, and came across this neat little command that will grab your public IP and print it nicely out for you to use!

All you have to do is run echo $(curl -s https://api.ipify.org) and you’re good to go!

Output from echo $(curl -c https://api.ipify.org)

Output from echo $(curl -c https://api.ipify.org)

You can also do this programatically. In python you can run this code to get the result as a JSON object:

import requests
session = requests.Session()
ret = session.get('https://api.ipify.org',
                   params={"format":"json"})
print ("Public IP Address:",ret.json()['ip'])

You’ll need to install the Python Requests module. This can be done either via pip. Just run sudo pip install requests. You can technically install it using easy_install, but please, please don’t. Just use pip.

And that’s it!

Thanks for reading! If you have any tips of your own, leave them as a comment down below and I’ll be sure to take a look at them!

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Fixing GPG ERROR NO_PUBKEY on Ubuntu 14.04

I recently was working on installing pipelight-plugin so I could get the Unity3D plugin working on my Ubuntu desktop. Getting that working is another subject, but part way through the installation process I ran into an issue.

Part of what I had to do to install the Pipelight plugin was add a PPA; ppa:pipelight/stable to be exact. Normally, this would be totally fine. After I ran sudo add-apt-repository ppa:pipelight/stable, I ran the usual sudo apt-get update so I would have up to date software lists.

However, at the end of the output from the apt-get update command I noticed that there were a whole bunch of

GPG ERROR NO_PUBKEY : WARNING: The following packages cannot be authenticated!

errors!

This had been happening previously, but it was only the Virtualbox PPA, so I figured that their GPG public key had expired or been removed for whatever reason, and so didn’t give it any more thought. But now there were at least 5, if not 10 of these errors, including for various PPAs that I was fairly certain wouldn’t let their key expire.

Again, I continued working, thinking it strange, but not dangerous. However, then I started seeing

WARNING: The following packages cannot be authenticated!

when I was attempting to install new software or update via apt-get upgrade.

Now I knew something was up. So, I started researching via our ever-present and usually quite useful overlord, Google. While I did come across several Ask Ubuntu answers, it finally took a combination of four different answers (here, here, here, and here) and a Launchpad bug report to come up with the solution.

Basically, there is/was a bug in apt-get where it will return GPG ERROR NO_PUBKEY : WARNING: The following packages cannot be authenticated! for PPAs, even when the key is present on your system.

This leads to the WARNING: The following packages cannot be authenticated! error. From what I have seen, it doesn’t actually cause any issues initially, but it’s still good to resolve issues like these if possible.

So, I tried just running sudo apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys x x x x x replacing the x with the public key number for the various “missing” keys, as recommended by this Q/A.

However, I still got the NO_PUBKEY error, along with a bunch of new ones that all said gpg: keyblock resource '/etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/X.gpg.gpg': resource limit (replacing X with the various GPG files.)

So, I tried the solution suggested here, running sudo apt-key update followed by sudo apt-get update.

Again, I received the NO_PUBKEY error. So, I moved on to the final Q/A I found. The answer pointed me to Launchpad Bug #1263540, which had two solutions.

The first was to run this series of commands:

  1. sudo apt-get clean
  2. sudo mv /var/lib/apt/lists /var/apt/lists.old
  3. mkdir -p /var/lib/apt/lists/partial
  4. sudo apt-get update

However, this returned the same error. Again.

So, I scrolled down a bit further, and found this comment. This solution is what ultimately resolved the issue for me.

I went into /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/ and manually deleted a few of the .gpg files for PPAs I had removed/didn’t use anymore and voilà! running apt-get update worked and apt-get upgrade no longer complained of un-authenticated packages.

As for what was causing this, it turns out that GnuPG has a limit of 40 keys GPG keys. Beyond that, it won’t accept any more.

Because apt-get/add-apt-repository don’t remove old and unused PGP/GPG keys, I had met the 40 key limit. When I removed the few un-used keys it brought the count under 40 and the issue was resolved.

Although there was a fix released for this in October of 2014, it has, for whatever reason, not been back-ported to Ubuntu 14.04, thus causing the issue I was having. According to this Debian bug report the package that contains the fix (libapt-pkg4.12) has not yet been back-ported to 14.04 as of June 2015, so anyone who runs into this issue is going to have to use this workaround in the meantime.

TL;DR: If this happens, then go into /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/ as root and delete any .gpg files for PPAs you have disabled. Then, run sudo apt-get update and everything should work again!

Thanks for reading, let me know if you run into any issues down in the comments section and I’ll if I can help!

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Ubuntu Tech Snippet #12 – Fix the NVIDIA screen flicker bug in Ubuntu

NVIDIA. Oh how we love to hate thee.

NVIDIA and its proprietary graphics drivers have long been a bane of users on Ubuntu. If you needed performance, then you had to use the proprietary drivers, as Nouveau just couldn’t keep up. However, the NVIDIA drivers can be fickle to install and keep up to date, and often cause graphical issues like black screens or, as this post talks about, screen flickering.

This bug has been around since Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron, and is still present in Ubuntu 14.04.1 – this bug refuses to die. This issue cropped up for me and some other users after a recent kernel upgrade.

There have been numerous attempts to fix it, including going so far as to patch Compiz to attempt to fix this. However, I’m going to be showing you a far simpler method.


Solution:

I originally found this solution over on the Ubuntu forums, you can read that post here and the bug (started way back in September of 2008) on Launchpad.

To fix this you’re going to need the CompizConfig Settings Manager software. If you don’t already have it installed, press Ctrl+Alt+T to open a Terminal:

Screenshot from 2015-01-31 10:34:36

Once that terminal is open, enter sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager and hit enter. You’ll probably need to enter your password, but once you do it will install. Don’t close the terminal.

Once installed, go ahead and enter sudo ccsm. This will launch CompizConfig Settings Manager. It will show you a warning about the program being very powerful, probably say something along the lines of “With Great Power comes Great Responsibility”. Just click okay:

Screenshot from 2015-01-31 10:35:40

Once it comes up, search for workarounds and select the only option that comes up:

CompizConfig Settings Manager_001

Then, scroll down and select the Force full screen redraws (buffer swap) on repaint option:

CompizConfig Settings Manager_002

Once you’ve done that, you can close Settings Manager, and you’re done! This should have helped if not resolved the screen flicker issue for you!

Obviously, this isn’t an actual solution or bug fix, but it’s a workaround that does its job – stops the dreadful NVIDIA redraw bug from doing it’s horrible deed.

 

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How to install Ubuntu MATE Remix on a PowerPC Computer

PowerPC (actually an acronym for Performance Optimization With Enhanced RISC – Performance Computing) is an old CPU architecture that isn’t really used much any more.

Originally created in 1991 by Apple, IBM, and Motorola, the PowerPC architecture was originally created for personal computers and was/is best known for powering Apple computers from 1994 to 2006, before Apple transitioned entirely to using Intel processors.

I could go into more detail about the whole history of PowerPC CPUs and their uses, but that’s not what this post is about.


Mac OS? Nah, let’s go full-Linux

I originally recieved the mid-2005 iBook G4 from a relative as a Christmas present, Christmas 2013. The person who sent it actually hadn’t used it in a long time and had forgotten their password – so I was left with a bootable – but unusable iBook. Oh noes!

Luckily, I had read a post by Lifehacker from their “Evil Week” regarding breaking into Macs. Please note, this is not something I condone, unless you are breaking into your own Mac. Please hack responsibly.

So, I was able to get in, add a new user (my own) and continue using the iBook. Now, as you can probably tell from many of the posts on here, I’m a huge Linux/Ubuntu fan. As such, I wanted to install Lubuntu on the iBook – both because I prefer Linux, and because I wanted better performance. So I tried to dual-boot Lubuntu and OS X Tiger (what was on it when I got it.)

That didn’t go well.

I managed to accidentally erase the OS X partition, and then without realizing I had done so, completely overwrote it with Lubuntu. Hooray me.It really wasn’t that big of a deal, because I, like I said, prefer Linux/Ubuntu over any other OS out there.

So, to cut a long story short, I used Lubuntu 12.04 LTS for a long time, then tried upgrading to Lubuntu 14.04 LTS – and managed to break the system. It still booted and everything, and I could log in and use it, but the GUI, icons, and background were all messed up.

I then built my desktop, and had no need for the iBook any more – so away into storage it went. That is, until I read this post on OMG! Ubuntu! about someone porting the Ubuntu 14.04 MATE Remix to PowerPC. I knew that I had to try this out.


Initial Research

To start this whole project off I, obviously, read that post on OMG! Ubuntu! that I linked to above. I then downloaded the ISO from the G+ post linked on the OMG! Ubuntu! post.

Now, this is where the fun stuff starts happening. I knew that the iBook G4 that I had didn’t support USB booting by default – but I had read a while back that you could work your way through OpenFirmware and “hack” a USB boot.

So, I went a-searching on the internets, and came across this post from 2010 on Ben Collins’ blog describing exactly what I wanted to accomplish – booting an iBook G4 from USB.

In order to gain access to Open Firmware (which is what I would have to do to boot from USB) I had to press Command+Option+O+F and hold that while the iBook booted – until the Open Firmware screen came up.

Now, I originally ran into some trouble with the USB stick/LiveUSB-creator-software I was using in that it wasn’t actually installing the bootloader (a known bug in Startup Disk Creator.)

Screenshot from 2015-01-17 21:11:57

I ran the boot ud:,\\:tbxi command in Open Firmware, and was spat back

can't OPEN: ud:,\\:tbxi
Can't open device or file
  ok

Uh oh. Something’s not right here  – it should have booted.

The blog post by Ben Collins listed another method, so I tried that. Same thing – no USB boot and an error message. Strange stuff.

Anyways, I figured that it had to do with the bootloader error I was getting from Startup Disk Creator, and decided to try putting the ISO onto the USB stick via unetbootin. Flashed the ISO to the USB stick, booted the iBook into Open Firmware, and got the same error:

can't OPEN: ud:,\\:tbxi
Can't open device or file
  ok

Now, I’m not sure if this is a bug in both the Startup Disk Creator and Unetbootin software on Ubuntu 14.04 – but I do certainly find it strange that they both failed.

So, I turned to the ever-potent, ever-renowned, Disk Destroyer. That’s right – I used dd. (Crosses self and mouths 20 Hail Linus’).

It really wasn’t that bad, I was just extremely careful about what I was reading/writing to/from. I ran a simple sudo dd if=./ISO-FILE.ISO of=/dev/sdg command (dd is a very powerful tool – be extremely careful when using it. Double, triple, even quadruple check what you’re reading/writing to/from.) Your USB device will probably be different from mine (mine being /dev/sdg) – make dang sure you know what device you’re writing to.

This flashed the ISO to the USB stick, and I pulled up Open Firmware again. Again, same error.

However, since this was the last idea I had to get this working, I was determined to get it working. I read through all the comments on the Ben Collins blog post, trying all the solutions – nothing worked.

I was giving it one last go and decided to switch USB ports on the iBook. Up until now, I had been plugging the USB stick into the port closest to me – so I switched it to the other USB port, closest to the screen – and it booted! I got a yaboot prompt and was able to boot the iBook – albeit with a lot of graphical issues.


The Installation

There’s a common issue with running Ubuntu (and it’s offspring) on many old PPC Apple laptops – the ATI Rage 128 Graphics.

This chip causes many issues, from graphical corruption, to general slowness, to entire failure to show anything at all on the screen! Fortunately, the fix is relatively simple from yaboot (Yaboot being the Linux bootloader on PowerPC systems.)

Normally, when you get to the Yaboot prompt you would just hit enter and it would, by default, boot the LiveUSB. However, to fix the graphics issue enter live video=offb:off video=radeonfb:off video=1024x768-32 radeon.agpmode=-1 and press Enter. This disables the radeonfb framebuffer, sets the video parameter 1024x768-32 (resolution?), and finally forces PCI mode (a work-around necessary for 3D acceleration.)

If this doesn’t resolve the graphics issue try reading the page on the wiki – PowerPCKnownIssues. Even if this solution works for you, I suggest you at least skim that page – it will help you with a plethora of issues.

While you’re booting, you may notice an error message regarding Firmware file"b43/ucode5.fw" not found:

Sorry about the potato quality - This was taken after dark and the light wasn't the best

Sorry about the potato quality – This was taken after dark and the light wasn’t the best

This is simply the airport card complaining about not having the firmware – not something that is going to cause any problems with the installation.

Go ahead and continue on with the installation, the system should continue booting just fine.

Note! When booting other versions of Ubuntu (vanilla, Lubuntu, etc.) you may run into this error and have it actually halt the boot. If this happens, change the yaboot parameters to include b43.blacklist=yes as part of the yaboot command. The full solution to this issue is beyond the scope of this post, but feel free to comment and I’ll try to help!

When presented with the Preparing to install Ubuntu screen, you’ll notice that the Download updates while installing option is greyed out. That’s fine, it’s something you can really only fix after you install.

mate-installer2

Once you’ve got the system booted from USB & running without crazy graphic weirdness there is pretty much nothing left. Once I had booted from the USB stick & set the yaboot flags I was able to install just fine – no more hackery required.

Just set up your system the way you want it as prompted, and let the installer run! Once installed, reboot. I was able to just reboot, and it pulled right up.


Fixing the WiFi

When you reboot you should see the yaboot prompt and then be able to boot. Just let the system boot, you shouldn’t have to interact with the system until you get to the login screen.

Log in, and when possible, pull up a terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T).

Now, you’re going to need an Ethernet connection for this next step. You can technically download everything you’d need on another Ubuntu/Debian machine – but it would be more pain than it’s worth.

Just connect the iBook to your router/network hub for a quick sudo apt-get update and then sudo apt-get install b43-firmware-installer.

This will download and install all of the necessary drivers for the Airport Extreme WiFi card in the iBook G4. Once the drivers are downloaded & installed, you can reboot again, and you should be able to use your WiFi!


Conclusion

Once you finish installing the drivers you can continue on setting up your system as you wish.

The instructions I wrote here are my personal experiences with the iBook G4. The issues and solutions may vary between devices.

Now, keep in mind that although Ubuntu MATE is not a Beta piece of software, PowerPC support still is. There is an Ubuntu Forums thread regarding installing Ubuntu MATE Remix on PowerPC which is pretty active and should help you with any issues that may arise.

I have noticed a few bugs – the most major being that when I suspend the laptop by closing the lid and resume – I’ve lost WiFi capabilities and the ability to run sudo! This, and the Mesa issuing false colors in games cropped up in Pinta (as noted here) bug are ones that I’m working on figuring out a solution/work-around to. If I do find (a) solution(s), I’ll post about it here.

Hope you found this post useful! Please feel free to leave a comment down below with your experience & any questions/solutions you may have!

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Fixing the infamous wallpaper and mouse Ubuntu 14.04 bug

I recently blogged about the trial and tribulations of installing the NVIDIA graphics drivers on my Ubuntu 14.04 system. And, although I had much better performance, my ventures into the underground world of drivers and bugs was far from over.

I had been happily using my deskop with my newly installed NVIDIA drivers – no problems whatsoever. I shut down after a while because I was done with what I was doing and left my PC.

I came back a while later, started up the system, logged in, and it just sat there. I waited about 5 minutes and was becoming really worried, because this computer definitely should not take more the 20 seconds tops to log in. All that was showing up was the wallpaper and the mouse – no Unity menus or anything. I rebooted several times, same thing – wallpaper and mouse, but no GUI.

By this time I was freaking out. The last I thing I wanted to deal with was having to reinstall and lose all the time and effort I had spent getting this system where I wanted it. I booted up the LiveUSB stick I always have with me and started looking at solutions online – all of which required terminal access – something I didn’t have.

I tried everything from installing GRUB Repair to the LiveUSB and using that to add the nomodeset flag to GRUB, to using chroot to attempt to run commands off the LiveUSB to affect my system – neither of which worked.

By that point I actually had to go somewhere, so I had to shutdown the computer and leave it be for ~30 minutes. After I came back I started up the computer and, for whatever strange reason, now had access to the TTYs. I had no clue why waiting half an hour changed something – but it did.

This was quite calming because I knew that once I had access to a TTY I could fix basically anything. I started trying out solutions again. I looked at tons of different posts on various sites, namely Ask Ubuntu, but also the Ubuntu Forums and Launchpad.

I ended up coming across this question, here, and worked my way through those solutions.

I tried resetting the desktop as per the first, second, and sixth fixes listed – none of those work.

I then the third solution, purging and reinstalling ubuntu-desktop, compizconfig-settings-manager, upstart, and unity. I did this via sudo apt-get install --reinstall ubuntu-desktop unity compizconfig-settings-manager upstart – but nothing happened.

I then tried the fifth fix, clearing Unity, and that brought some improvement. I rebooted after running those commands and I had desktop icons back! Yay!

However, it still wasn’t totally fixed, and the only solution left was the fourth one.

I had held off on the fourth fix, because the Xorg-edgers PPA is a bleeding edge repository and so it can be dangerous to system stability. I was trying to fix a problem, not make it worse. However, after working through all of the other solutions, and having no results, I was left with the only choice of adding the repository.

So, I added the repository, ran sudo apt-get update and then ran sudo apt-get install nvidia-340. I rebooted, and had a working system. Because of the fact that I had removed all the configuration files previously, I had lost my background and icons that I had pinned to the dash, but that wasn’t an issue.

I removed the Xorg-Edgers PPA via sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:xorg-edgers/ppa -y, just to make sure that I didn’t have any updates in the future to break my PC. Hopefully, this is the last of driver derping I’ll have to do for a while.

Make sure to leave a comment saying what you thought of this post, and tell any experiences you’ve had with drivers and NVIDIA with Ubuntu!

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Ubuntu Tech Snippet #11 – Speed up your Ubuntu installation with Preload

One of the great time & space conundrums is the need for speed. Everyone wants things, especially their computers, to be fast. And while Ubuntu can be much lighter on system resources than Windows or OS X, any extra speed is awesome and probably accepted by most people.

And so, I present to you Preload. Preload is, according to the manpage (man preload):

“an adaptive readahead daemon that prefetches files mapped by applications from the disk to reduce application startup time.”

Basically, this means that it keeps files loaded that are accessed by applications you commonly use, thus speeding up application startup time.

Note, if you’ve got a smaller amount of RAM (4GB or less) this may not be the best idea for you, as it stores all of the data in RAM – which may lead to slower overall system responsiveness.

However, if you’ve got more than 4GB of RAM or want to try it regardless, here’s the steps:

Tech Tip:

  1. Open Terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T)
  2. Enter sudo apt-get install preload
  3. Hit Enter.
  4. There is no step four

Yeah, it’s that simple.

Of course, if you really want to tweak it, there is a config file stored at /etc/preload.conf.

Conclusion:

What’s this good for? Well, it depends on what you do.

If you’re a developer, video editor, music maker, basically any content creator and are constantly launching a few key programs, then Preload is great. It speeds up launch times for those apps you use all the time and may only launch for a few minutes or seconds at a time.

If you’re just using your system for general work, like writing papers, checking stocks, or balancing a spreadsheet, this may not be as useful and may in fact harm performance, as you’re using up RAM to save a few seconds off the launch of an application that you’re going to leave open for quite a while.

This should work on basically any supported desktop and server Ubuntu release (at the time of writing, this is Desktop: Ubuntu 12.04.5, Ubuntu 14.04, and Ubuntu 14.10 and Server: 10.04.4)

Leave a comment down below telling me what you thought of this article, tell me something you want me to write about, and feel free to share any tech tips of your own!

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Epiphany – A speedy, highly-improved web-browser for the Raspberry Pi

As many of you Raspberry Pi nuts out there may know, the Raspberry Pi has been…lacking in the Web Browser department. If you want features, you had to use Midori, which, although a great browser, was very resource heavy and was not optimized at all. On the other hand, if you wanted speed, you went with NetSurf, but had to give up features. It was an annoying situation to say the least. Yes, you could muck about in config files, tweaking to get performance, but that’s pain for little gain.

Meet Epiphany

Epiphany is the new, improved, optimized, web browser for the Raspberry Pi, developed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation in coordination with Collabora. It is based off GNOME Web, which was previously known as Epiphany.

The first Beta was originally announced back in December of 2013, and it created some hullabaloo in the Raspberry Pi community. In the 8 months since then, the web browser has garnered an impressive set of features, becoming comparable to many full-fledged desktop browsers.

  • First and foremost, hardware-accelerated video decoding and hardware-accelerated video scaling has been added via gst-omx, making Youtube and other video sites useable. During the first beta of Web/Epiphany they were able to get 640×360 videos at 0.5fps, now 25fps 1280×720 videos play smoothly.
  • Next up, Epiphany features Javascript JIT fixes for ARMv6.
  • HTML5 support has been greatly increased.
  • Rendering is much improved, especially in regards to graphics, as new, ARMv6-optimized, blitting functions have been added.
  • Page interactivity and scrolling have been improved (more interactivity while the page is still loading and faster scrolling,) with the addition of progressive tiled rendering.

A full list is available on Marco Barisione’s blog; Marco Barisione being a developer at Collabora, and a member of the team that worked on Epiphany.

In future releases of Raspbian and NOOBS Epiphany will replace the venerable old version of Midori that currently ships with Raspbian Wheezy, but you can also install it to your current installation. Unlike the beta releases, you shouldn’t have to worry about it messing with your installation. However, it is still the first official release, so back up your installation prior to installing Epiphany, just as a safeguard.

The software is already in the Raspbian repositories, no need to muck about with compiling software, just fire up Terminal and enter:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo apt-get install epiphany-browser

I hope to try this out soon! Let me know down in the comments section what you’ve been using for your web-browsing on the Pi and what you think of Epiphany on Pi!

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I previously did a Tech Snippet on how to give Firefox native notifications, which you can read here, if you already haven’t. This post is similar to that in that it will show you how to set up native notifications on another application. However, this time it doesn’t require an addon/workaround, it’s a default (albeit un-enabled) setting, on everyone’s favorite open-source media player, VLC.

vlc media player with native notifications

VLC Media Player with Native Notifications – Just started playing a song

VLC is a great piece of software and has the reputation for playing just about anything you throw at it. It has a slew of features, half of which most users don’t even know exist, like screen-recording, audio/video conversion, play YouTube videos, subscribe to Podcasts, play Internet radio, apply effects – both Audio and Video, and even, for your geeky side, play videos in ASCII characters.

Enable Native notifications for VLC on Ubuntu

It’s really pretty simple, it only takes six steps to get this working. Maybe not as simple as installing an addon for Firefox, but still pretty easy. You won’t have to download anything or mess with hidden configuration files, just enter the domain of super-(not)-secret-settings.

First off with VLC open, click on the Tools menu and the select the Preferences menu item.

vlc settings

VLC Settings – Set to All

The preferences window will open, you should look to the bottom-left-hand corner for the Show settings radio buttons. They are labelled Simple and All and you need to change/make sure that it is set to All.

Now, there are a lot of settings you can change. So, instead of playing setting-sweep, we’ll just search for notify. That’ll bring up a much smaller list of results, of which you want to select the Control interfaces option. Then, check the LibNotify Notification Plugin checkbox.

vlc settings - control interfaces

VLC Settings – Control interfaces – Select LibNotify Notification Plugin

And that’s it!


You may notice that my pop up in the first screenshot has just the VLC logo (don’t let the Numix Circle icon through you off,) while the album art shows in the window. I think this may be because VLC isn’t minimized. It does appear if VLC is minimized.

Also, I’ve noticed that the notification will update if new information is found about the current song, and if you skip through several songs in a row the notification will show all of those notifications (changing every few seconds) until they are fully updated. This can be a bit annoying, though if you don’t skip through songs quickly you’ll be fine.

Ubuntu Tech Snippet #6 – Add native notifications for VLC

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Install Pepper Flash in Ubuntu 14.04

If you are one of the many Chromium users on Ubuntu you may have noticed that you were having issues with flash content. This is because Google retired the Netscape Plugin API (commonly known as NPAPI) earlier this year from the Chromium code base, and plan to do the same for the Windows and Mac versions as well.

There are a lot of reasons why this is happening, OMG! Ubuntu! has a post regarding why. While inconvenient, this is a necessary and long overdue change.

However necessary, there is a drawback, as there often is with this sort of thing. The version of Adobe Flash available in the software center no longer works with Chromium.


Enter Pepper Flash, a modern, updated version of Adobe Flash maintained and distributed by Google. However, this ‘Pepper Plugin’ is only distributed as part of its Chrome browser, which a branded version of Chromium with extra bells and whistles added.

But, there is good news. You can install Pepper Flash for Chromium with just a single package from the Software Center.


How to install Pepper Flash

Although technically only released on Chrome, because of the fact the Chrome is based off Chromium you can still install Pepper Flash in Chromium, albeit with a slightly complicated process. Well, complicated for the developer of the package, but simple for the user that is.

Although the actual installation process is a little complicated, the installer has to download Chrome, extract the Pepper Flash plugin, then install it into Chromium, all you have to do to get Chromium back in Flash-y order is install the pepperflashplugin-nonfree package. You can either install the software via the Ubuntu Software Center or via the command line with the commands

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install pepperflashplugin-nonfree

Once it installs you can close and reopen Chromium and it should have its Flashyness restored.


Um…Houston we have an issue

Some people are finding that they have to tell Chromium about the plugin after installation, instead of it happening automatically. While not ideal, you can’t usually expect perfect performance from workarounds 24/7, as they are just that, workarounds. To fix this issue, just run

sudo update-pepperflashplugin-nonfree

If this doesn’t fix it you may to manually configure it. You have to have Chromium completely closed and then you have to run the following command in terminal to edit the correct file (you can replace gedit with whichever text editor you prefer):

sudo gedit /etc/chromium-browser/default

and then add the following line to the end of the file:

. /usr/lib/pepflashplugin-installer/pepflashplayer.sh

Make sure you save, it’s easy to forget, and then close the file. Reopen Chromium and …

(Video taken from OMG! Ubuntu! Post)

Note, neither Pepper Flash nor Adobe Flash work with the Ubuntu Web Browser used for Unity Web Apps in 14.04, sadly.
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Ubuntu Desktop Next (featuring Unity 8) 14.10 ISO available for download

A while ago it was decided by the Ubuntu community that there was going to be a separate Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn ISO featuring Unity 8 running on the next gen Mir display server, including the new core apps.

The goal is to ramp up the quality of the unity8 desktop, without destabilizing our current environmenent. For that we are going to keep an unity7 image and add a new one for unity8 on the desktop, that new iso should become the default one by 16.04.

Unity 8 is the next generation of Unity, following the current Unity 7 release (which 14.04 shipped with,) and will be only on the new testing Ubuntu Desktop Next ISO. It is obviously a work of progress, and is not meant for a production machine. The daily build ISO was first placed up for downloading on June 10th from Ubuntu.com.

This is not stable software, and should not be considered for a production machine, as it has many features missing and plenty of bugs to be worked out. It still currently uses Xorg (the current, 30 year old, display server, and needed for the LightDM greeter and Ubiquity) and the list of packages that the ISO uses is marked as a work in progress, meaning the default software will most likely end up changing quite often.

Just glancing at the Building an unity8 desktop image launchpad blueprint there are plenty of things still in the works:

  • [seb128] define a list of packages to include on the iso: INPROGRESS
  • [mterry] Make unity8-greeter usable on Desktop: TODO
  • look at feature gaps in the greeter and things we need to implement: TODO
  • talk to QA team about ISO testing (live image/installer): TODO
  • set up testing for the new image: TODO
  • define the tests to run on the image: TODO
  • get the test results added to the dashboard: TODO
  • [xnox] get the installer working at least in only-ubiquity (installer only) mode, installing from the live session is a wishlist item for this cycle: TODO
  • look at pre-installing clicks on the ISO: TODO
  • [seb128] write a wikpage about the iso/how to test/where to report issues/known issues/etc: TODO

If you’re really interested in this project and would like more details, check out the Unity8 Desktop Preview Image UDS Session (Google Hangout video chat between server developers.)

I linked to the download before, but just in case you missed it, here is the a link to the download page for the Ubuntu Desktop Next 14.10 ISO.

(the username is ubuntu-desktop-next, and the password is blank, meaning you simply press the enter key)


I have not tried out the ISO yet, but I hope to soon. I will add a new post with what I have seen if I get around to testing it out.
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