Tag Archives: Ubuntu

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!


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!

Tagged , , , , ,

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.


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.


Tagged , , , , , ,

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

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

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.


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!


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!

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

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!

Tagged , , , , , ,

Installation of proprietary NVIDIA drivers on Ubuntu 14.04.1

I recently built a brand new PC – which was awesome – with an i5-4690k, 8GB RAM, and a EVGA GeForce GTX 750 Ti GPU.

Now, for basic work, the open source Nouveau drivers work just fine. However, this system was made to be a high performance video editing & graphics rig – so I wanted to have the best performance possible; and NVIDIA’s proprietary drivers provide the best performance.

Normally, one could simply open up the Additional Drivers tab in Software & Updates, but my system, strangely, said there were no drivers available:

Screenshot from 2014-12-16 17:50:06

This was very strange, as I knew that there should be something listed there.

So, I took to Stack Exchange. The Stack Exchange network, in this case specifically Ask Ubuntu, is an amazing tool and has helped me countless times. I was talking with a couple of more advanced Ubuntu users (if you’re on Ask Ubuntu – Seth & Mateo) and we managed to find a solution – though it was rather hacky to say the least.

Tricks, Traps, and Hackery

When I say the solution was hacky, it’s not hacky in the form that I was piecing together drivers and compiling my own kernel – it’s that it was hacky because of the amount of steps it took to complete what should have been relatively simple.

First off, I tried running updates. That should be the first thing you do when debugging an issue, unless of course there is a known issue with an update that’s even worse. Then you might want to skip the update. That didn’t help any, still nothing was shown.

Next up, I looked around at other solutions to the same problem. As I soon found out, this is actually a fairly common bug in 14.04, with the NVIDIA drivers not showing up. Most of the solutions involved enabling the Xorg-Edgers PPA – something I wasn’t totally comfortable with, since the Xorg-Edgers PPA is a bit bleeding edge and I didn’t want to mess with the black screen bugs it has been known to cause.

So, I went on and decided just to go with the drivers straight from NVIDIA. Granted, they aren’t as community tested as the ones from Ubuntu, but they’d do the trick. So, I downloaded the newest stable .run file from NVIDIA for my GPU (you can access it here, if you need to – I believe this is the page with the newest drivers.)

Once the driver installer had downloaded I tried to run it from a terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T), but got this:

Screenshot from 2014-12-21 13:36:18

Obviously, I had to run the command when an X server wasn’t running. Pretty simple stuff – just pull up a TTY, kill lightdm, and you’re golden! Right? Wrong.

For whatever reason, there was/is a bug with the Nouveau drivers I had that meant I couldn’t access a TTY (nothing displayed), unless I booted with the GRUB flag nomodeset. Again, big deal. Just add the flag and reboot. Well, it’s not that simple. Turns out that when I added nomodeset I did get the TTYs…but my GUI was all messed up. So, I removed the GRUB flag nomodeset and rebooted. No TTYs but a working GUI. I guess it was choose your own poison day at Canonical.

This is where the awesome guys on Ask Ubuntu come in. I popped on over there and we started working together to figure it out.

The first solution that was suggested was running the command sudo init 1 command, which was supposed to take me into single user mode with just a command line – nothing else. However, for reasons unbeknownst to me and the other users trying to help me, I was simply being shown the Ubuntu boot splash and nothing else. Yet another issue.

So, that theory went out the window.

Now, you’re probably wondering – why didn’t you just boot with the nomodeset GRUB flag, install the drivers, and the remove the nomodeset flag? Honestly, I don’t know why I didn’t do that. After trying a few other things with init I booted with that flag, killed lightdm via sudo killall lightdm, and ran the installer. There was actually a warning that came up saying that a script had failed – but I ignored that (one of the other users said they’d had the same thing & just ignored it – no problems).

I removed the nomodeset flag, rebooted, and had a working desktop with decent FPS. Actually, quite awesome FPS – especially compared to my old laptop. Just to give you an idea of the performance increase it gave me – remember that I had said I wasn’t getting more than 20 FPS in Minecraft? Well, a picture is worth a thousand words:


That’s with the render distance set to 14 and the graphics cranked all the way up. I had just barely loaded up the world and so was having lots of chunk updates. Once the world had fully loaded I could get well over 150 FPS stable on render distance 25 & everything fancy.

Now, I know that Minecraft isn’t exactly the crown gem of gaming prowess – far from it actually – but it’s what I had. I don’t game much, so my library is very limited and I don’t have any intensive games.

But yeah, that’s my experience/process with/that I took installing NVIDIA graphic drivers on Ubuntu 14.04.1. Not sure if it’ll help anyone much, but it’s what I had to do and I figured I’d blog about it!

Now, this didn’t actually fix the bug with the Additional Drivers not showing up correctly – I actually had another issue occur later on with Unity not loading correctly (I think I must have rebooted at an…inopportune time) and the solution for that (which I’m also going to be writing about) actually fixed it.

Make sure to comment below with any experiences you’ve had with graphic drivers and tell me what you thought about the post!

Tagged , , , , , ,

Ubuntu Tech Snippet #10 – Remove Extra Music Players from the Ubuntu Sound Menu

Tired of pesky music players swarming your sound menu? Sick of all those silly video players making your sound menu take up half your desktop? Well, wait no longer. This Ubuntu Tech Snippet is going to show you how to, in über-l33t fashion, remove the programs that you don’t want hijacking that menu.


The Ubuntu Sound Menu is a stupendous idea. Don’t get me wrong – I love this feature and think it should be standard everywhere. It just makes so much sense and make listening to music so much easier, all without the need to keep the music player open.

But there is one key issue, and that’s the fact that basically any music or video player that even sneezes at playing audio can technically plop itself down in this menu. Obviously, if you’re like me and like testing out new software, you are going to end up with a lot of programs filling up the menu, making the menu more of hastle than usual:

ubuntu sound menu - messy

Ubuntu Sound Menu – Look at all those media players…

Solution 1:

Fixing this is a pretty simple solution – uninstall those pesky buggers. Just uninstall the software that’s giving you trouble and you’re good to go – they’ll be removed automatically. Now, this isn’t that great of a solution – read on for the real solution.

Solution 2:

This solution is just a bit harder, involving modifying dconf settings. However, with the help of our trusty tool, dconf-editor, we can fix it! Now, Ubuntu should come with dconf-editor pre-installed – if it is, skip this next step. However, if it isn’t, you can just run the following commands in terminal:

sudo apt-get update 
sudo apt-get install dconf-editor

Once it’s installed go ahead and start it. It’ll look similar to this, though not exactly the same, since I have the Numix GTK3 theme installed:

dconf Editor

dconf Editor

Once it’s open, expand com, then canonical, then indicator, then click on sound. The image below highlights each one:

All the steps, highlighted and numbered. See, it's not that bad!

All the steps, highlighted and numbered. See, it’s not that bad!

Once you’ve got the sound option selected go ahead and double-click on the text next to the label interested-media-players:


interested-media-players is currently selected

You may have to scroll to the right a bit to see all of the media players that have plunked themselves into your Sound Menu’s digital lap.

You’ll want to locate all of the players you want to keep and not select those. Or, vice-versa, find all the players you don’t want to keep and select just those. Removing the select the entire entry, so select from the first single quote to the comma following the menu item you want to remove.
Don’t remove any of the square brackets anywhere or any of the single quotes and commas on the media players you want to keep.
In my case, I want to get rid of the Rythmbox and Clementine media players, so I’m going to select those and cut (Ctrl + X) them:
And there you go! This will take place immediately after you remove the entries and click outside of the text box, no reboot required!
However, there is a caveat. This only removes them so long as you don’t launch those programs ever again, which is extremely unlikely.

Solution for the caveat:

This is pretty simple, again, and it explains why you should have cut the text instead of just flat out deleting it. You’ll need to blacklist the programs, and hey! Guess what! Canonical thought this out and included another entry, just for that!

blacklisted-media-players option - Yay Canonical!

blacklisted-media-players option – Yay Canonical!

Double-click on the text box next to blacklisted-media-players and go to the end of the text entry box and enter a comma (,). Then, just paste in the media players you cut from interested-media-players:

Paste in what you cut previously and you're good to go!

Paste in what you cut previously and you’re good to go!

Again, click outside the text box and the changes will be made automatically. You won’t see any change to the menu at that point, but those players listed won’t ever be allowed to put themselves into the Sound Menu again!

The result of this menu slimming:

Much better - I may even be removing more later

Much better – I may even be removing more later


Not everyone is going to use this, but when I read about it (originally on OMG! Ubuntu!) it was a fix for something that had been bugging me for a while and I figured I’d do a write-up while I fixed it myself!

Leave a comment down below telling me what you thought of this post and/or about any things that have been bugging you about Ubuntu/Unity that you’d like me to post about!

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Ubuntu 14.10 has been Released!

That’s right everyone, it’s that time of year again. When the internet is humming and servers are busy serving downloads, a new Ubuntu version is released. And this time… Unicorns!

Yup, the curiously named Utopic Unicorn release, 14.10, is live on the Ubuntu servers and upgrade notices should be sent out to everyone who is set to get them. If you’re curious about how to upgrade, I’ll be doing another post later, explaining how to do it and what to do after upgrading/installing Ubuntu 14.10. You can read it here (post coming soon!)

What’s New?

This release is a bit, well, underwhelming. It’s more of an update, stability, security release, with no major changes to user experience or included software. Kinda sad for a release occurring over the same week as Ubuntu’s 10th birthday.

And this may not be bad, as it, hopefully, means that Ubuntu 15.04 Versatile Vervet will have plenty of features and new stuff!

Obviously, the usual changes occurred; new community backgrounds – though no new default one and the change of the release number and code name through-out the system.

But, beyond that, there isn’t much. For the developers a very useful addition is the inclusion of the Ubuntu Developers Center. This is very useful, as it simplifies the process of installing the Android SDK and all the dependencies and addons and whatnot, with a single command.

There are a few major software release upgrades, namely the upgrades for the default software to:

  • LibreOffice
  • Firefox 33
  • Thunderbird 33
  • Nautilus 3.10
  • Evince 3.14
  • Rhythmbox 3.0.3
  • Unity 7.3.1

Also, the Linux kernel has been updated to Linux Kernel 3.16, which offers support for the latest Intel CPUs (Haswell and the upcoming Broadwell architectures, better support for NVIDIA and AMD graphics, and improved audio via the Radeon H.264 video decoder.

Consensus time

All in all, Ubuntu 14.10, in my opinion, is a solid OS that could probably serve as an LTS release. For users worried about stability, 14.10 would be a fine, although the nine month support cycle may be a hastle that users might not want.

There are very few major changes, and, if for no other reason, upgrade because of the wallpapers. This set is probably my favorite yet.

Upgrade anyone?

You can simply upgrade via Update Manager, though you may have to enable upgrade notifications for non-LTS releases. Here’s how you can do that:

Open the Unity dash by pressing the Super button (Windows button for all you non-l33t Ubuntu users). You can also click on it, just so long as you can open the Unity dash.

Once open, search for Software & Updates and select the first option that comes up. This is what it looks like on my system, with the Numix Circle icon set – it will probably look different on your system unless you have the same icon set:


Once the application opens up, click on the Updates tab:

Software & Updates_093

As you can see, on my system the option Notify me of a new Ubuntu version is set to For any new version. If you want to receive a notification when a non-LTS version is released you need to make sure that you have it set the same as I do, For any new version.

Simple Version:

  • Search for and open Software & Updates
  • Click on the Updates tab
  • Find option with the label Notify me of a new Ubuntu version
  • Change the selection in the drop-down menu from For long-term support versions to For any new version

Fresh Install

Of course, you can download the ISO file for Ubuntu 14.10. There are all the usual options available on the Ubuntu site. Here are the links to the Ubuntu 14.10 Desktop (64 bit) Torrent and Ubuntu 14.10 Desktop (32 bit) Torrent

Comment down below with what you think of the Utopic Unicorn and whether or not you’ve upgraded yet, plan to upgrade, or are just going to jump from the current LTS release (14.04 Trusty Tahr) to another future release or the next LTS release (16.04).

Tagged , , , , , ,

Happy 10th b-day, Ubuntu!

The date is October 20th, 2014. A brand new Operating System, bound for greatness, was released. That Operating System, was none other than the infamous Ubuntu 4.10 Warty Warthog. That’s right folks, Ubuntu has just turned ten! Here, have an internet-awesome, slightly goofy, birthday cake Ubuntu! (It’s in Canonical-correct colors too!)

ubuntu birthday cake

Now, I haven’t been using it for that long, joining the OS master-race in early 2011 with the Ubuntu 11.04 release. However, I have been with the OS for nearly a third of its life-span. I stuck with Windows XP as my main OS for another year or so after doing my first installation, simply because I was used to it and hadn’t yet realized the true awesomeness of Ubuntu.

I slowly began using Ubuntu more and more, especially as Windows XP got slower and slower, until around the 12.04 release I began using Ubuntu as my main OS, only booting into Windows for the occasional application that didn’t run right under WINE. And now, it’s the only OS I use; haven’t stepped foot at all in the territories of XP for several months now.

The Beginnings

Ubuntu began somewhere around six months prior to the initial release, somewhat of a short time period you might say, and it didn’t start under the name Ubuntu. The group started out called the Super Secret Debian Startup, a far cry from today’s Canonical-backed Ubuntu. The group was a bunch of people Mark Shuttleworth hand-picked and invited from the Debian mailing list.

Once the list was selected Mark Shuttleworth began sending out emails to the various chosen recipients. Some of the recipients of his invitations to join the project received a joke email, imitating the style of the Nigerian scam emails. Supposedly, it’s still included in Canonical’s “Welcome” presentation.

He also had a legitimate email, which went something like this:

I’m putting a team of Debian developers together to work full time on a derivative distribution of Debian. The idea is to provide a high-quality regular release based on Debian unstable, ensuring that all patches are given back to Debian, and ensuring that the install disk of our distribution consists entirely of Free software.

Martin and I spoke at length about the project and he seemed to like the idea very much. I’m sure he’d be happy to let you know his thoughts directly.

If you’re interested I’d like to give you a call to discuss it further with you. I’m based in the UK so we’re roughly in the same timezone, just let me know when and what number to reach you on.

Quote from James Scott Remnant’s Blog

Initially, the group talked via a secret channel on IRC, #weirdos on Freenode; the topic of the channel was “my boss is a cosmonaut”. Slowly and surely the group began rounding out, with more and more names from the Debian community joining.

The Name

The project, as I mentioned above, started out called the Super Secret Debian Startup. However, this name wasn’t actually chosen by Mark or any of the group – it came about by the fact that it was obvious a group of a bunch of Debian people were forming a new group that nobody outside of the group knew anything about.

ubuntu 4.10 warty warthog team

Ubuntu 4.10 Warty Warthog Team

The official name of the group that remains to this day, Ubuntu, was decided upon during the first official company meeting. The original release codename, Warty Warthog, came from a quote by Mark Shuttleworth

“We’ll get it out in just six months, so it’ll be a bit of a warty warthog.”

The name of the IRC channel was changed to #warthogs. Even if it appears like the current naming scheme of Adjective Animal was decided upon way back then, it was kind of a mistake. One of the team made fun of the naming scheme, suggesting the next release should be called Bendy Badger; and Mark Shuttleworth liked it and thus the naming scheme was born that has stuck to this day.

The first meeting laid out the groundworks for the project, setting up the basics of Ubuntu and also Launchpad (known at the time as Soyuz.) The next event in the project’s history was DebConf in Brazil in that same year, and it’s kind of a big one, as it was at DebConf that the project was officially announced and the developers introduced.

The process by which the initial set of packages was decided upon was far from Orthodox, comprising of the team looking at the software installed on Matt Zimmerman’s laptop and deciding from that list. From there, the team slowly began putting together what is the most commonly used Linux distribution.

Ubuntu Installation CDs

The very idea of having an all-in-one, one-pass installer was revolutionary in and of itself. When combined with the option of getting free installation disks shipped to your door, Linux installation became far easier and more accessible to the general public.

Finally released on October 20th, 2004,  Ubuntu 4.10 Warty Warthog was just the beginning of an incredible project that continues to this day. From the SSDS to Canonical-backed Ubuntu, from the first ever Late To Ship release to the Unity desktop, the trip has been an incredible one and it’s only going to get better.

Here’s to Ubuntu, and its future. Happy Birthday, Ubuntu!

Source: Happy 10th Birthday, Ubuntu – NetSplit
Tagged , , , ,

Ubuntu 14.10 Wallpaper Contest Winners Announced!

A little while ago I did a post on my Top 20 Favorite Ubuntu 14.10 Wallpaper Contest Entries. Well, the time has rolled around to where that contest has been closed, and judged, and the winners announced!

While the list of my favorites doesn’t match up image-for-image with the final results, several of my choices have been chosen. Ubuntu 14.10 has a great set of 12 wallpapers from the community. Congratulations to all of the winners! Some of the wallpapers shown below are connected directly to the Flickr page for that photo (the ones that made it that we featured) but most of them aren’t, they’re just thumbnails. There’s a link at the bottom to download all of these in both .zip and .deb files.

Without further ado, here the 12 winners are!

  • xgu472hf2 by lariliikala


  • Music by Tomáš Kijas

    Music...by tomasino.cz

  • Redes de hilo (Rocky Hills) by Juan Pablo Lauriente

    Redes de hilo

  • Sunny Autumn by Joel Heaps

    Sunny Autumn by Joel Heaps

    Sunny Autumn by Joel Heaps

  • Warm Grasses by dcsearle.t21

    Warm grasses by dcsearle.t21

    Warm grasses by dcsearle.t21

  • Night Seascape by Davor Dopar’s

    Night Seascape by Davor Dopar

    Night Seascape by Davor Dopar

  • Mascot Wallpaper

    Utopic Unicorn  by Bedis ElAchäche

    Utopic Unicorn by Bedis ElAchäche

  • Empty Space by Glenn Rayat

    Empty Space by Glenn Rayat

    Empty Space by Glenn Rayat

  • Kronach Leuchtet by Brian Fox

    Kronach leuchtet 2014 by Brian Fox

    Kronach leuchtet 2014 by Brian Fox

  • Golden Leaves by Mauro Campanelli

    Golden leaves by Mauro Campanelli

    Golden leaves by Mauro Campanelli

  • Sand & horses by M. Siewert

    Horses on sand dunes by Matthias Siewert

    Sand & Horses by Matthias Siewert

  • Life Nomadic by Sal’

    salcantayperu by Life Nomadic

    salcantayperu by Life Nomadic

    These are great wallpapers, the Ubuntu community has done an outstanding job this time around. These will come installed with Ubuntu 14.10, but for those who don’t want to wait, here are the links to the .deb installer and .zip file.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Ubuntu 14.10 Wallpapers Contest – Top 20 Favorites

As many of you may know, Ubuntu has a Photography/Artwork contest for the Wallpapers for each new release. 14.10 is the next version released to the Ubuntu world, known as Utopic Unicorn, and the wallpaper contest has just come to a completion. Here are 20 of my Favorites.

If you like any of the below photographs, you can click on the image and it will take you to the Flickr page for that image where you can download full-size copies. Also, make sure to comment down below with which ones you liked and if there any others you have seen elsewhere (DeviantArt or the like!)

#20 – Dots by Small Town Vagabond


#19 – Breakwater by Small Town Vagabond


#18 – IMG_5207 by Laurent Resman


#17 – köln by Diego Lavail


#16 – xgu472hf2 by lariliikala


#15 – Obili – klas by Tomáš Kijas

Obili - klas by tomasino.cz

#14 – The Wheel by Jussi Lind

The Wheel

#13 – Mohn by sigi sagi


#12 – Raindrops by Ian Nelson-Santopietro


#11 – IMG_1053 by Ramsey Harrison


#10 – Wheat, Tree and Sky by Antoine-T

14770019239_cd81696220_oThis photograph’s Flickr short-link wasn’t loading the image correctly, so if you want to download it you can download it from my blog, full-size, by clicking on the image. Alternatively, you can click here to go to the Flickr page.

#9 – Ubuntu_14_10_UtopicUnicorn by Edgar Fraustro


#8 – Inline by Mike Reed


#7 – Reminiscent Rain by Freddie Peña

Reminiscent Rain

#6 – Papillombre (Wallpaper version) by Guewen Baconnier

Papillombre (Wallpaper version)


#4 – Bamboo Mat by life*love

bamboo mat

#3 – Redes de hilo – Juan Pablo Lauriente

Redes de hilo

The following tied for first, I simply couldn’t decide which was better…

#1/2 – Music by Tomáš Kijas

Music...by tomasino.cz

#1/2 – Negative Surface Energy by naggobot

Negative Surface Energy 2560x1600

Hey, you forgot me!

Oh yeah, here are two extra backgrounds. They are a bit more abstract, but still very interesting and worthy!

Low Poly Experiment by Fin Moorhouse

Low Poly Experiment

uu-140813_petite_variante by Pierre Cante



I had a really hard time picking out just 20, especially seeing as there’s over 200 photographs submitted in the Vanilla Ubuntu submissions on Flickr alone. This doesn’t factor in any backgrounds from the Ubuntu GNOME 14.10 contest or from other sources. Hope you guys liked these! Happy Utopic Unicorniness!

Just to be clear, I have no rights to any of these images, i did not capture or create any of them nor do i attempt to take any credit for doing so. All credit goes to the listed artist/photographer on the linked-to flickr page.
Tagged , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: