Friday, 29 April 2011

How to recompile your Ubuntu 11.04 Kernel

This quick how to guide will show you how to recompile your Ubuntu 11.04 ( Kernel using the terminal.

1. Install these packages

sudo apt-get install kernel-wedge kernel-package libncurses5-dev

2. Run this command

sudo apt-get build-dep --no-install-recommends linux-image-$(uname -r)

3. Create your source directory

mkdir ~/src

cd ~/src

4. Download the Kernel source

apt-get source linux-image-$(uname -r)

5. Configure your Kernel

cd linux-2.6.38

make menuconfig

6. Speed up the build


General rule, concurrency level = number of processor cores + 1

7. Clean up temp files from a previous compile attempt (skip if necessary)

make-kpkg clean

8. Compile your Kernel

time fakeroot make-kpkg --initrd --append-to-version=-tweak kernel-image kernel-headers

You can change -tweak to anything you wish

9. Install your Kernel

cd ~/src

sudo dpkg -i linux-image-

sudo dpkg -i linux-headers-

10. Reboot

Ubuntu 11.04 - Removing Mono, intentionally easy?

4/5/2010 Update: Mono Development Canned (Updated: Everyone Laid Off)

There are many people who are unhappy with Canonical Ltd's inclusion of Mono in Ubuntu and furthermore there are many who avoid using/promoting Ubuntu as a result.

Thankfully Ubuntu is not heavily dependent on Mono and removing it is easy, particularly in 11.04.

Removing Mono from Ubuntu 11.04

Remember, you will lose all Mono dependant applications, such as Banshee, Gbrainy, Tomboy Notes. Simply open a terminal and run the following command.

sudo apt-get purge cli-common mono-runtime

The following packages will be REMOVED

banshee* banshee-extension-soundmenu* banshee-extension-ubuntuonemusicstore* cli-common* gbrainy* libappindicator0.1-cil* libart2.0-cil* libgconf2.0-cil* libgdata1.7-cil* libgkeyfile1.0-cil* libglade2.0-cil* libglib2.0-cil* libgmime2.4-cil* libgnome-vfs2.0-cil* libgnome2.24-cil* libgtk-sharp-beans-cil* libgtk2.0-cil* libgudev1.0-cil* liblaunchpad-integration1.0-cil* libmono-addins-gui0.2-cil* libmono-addins0.2-cil* libmono-cairo2.0-cil* libmono-corlib2.0-cil* libmono-i18n-west2.0-cil* libmono-management2.0-cil* libmono-posix2.0-cil* libmono-security2.0-cil* libmono-sharpzip2.84-cil* libmono-system2.0-cil* libmono-zeroconf1.0-cil* libndesk-dbus-glib1.0-cil* libndesk-dbus1.0-cil* libnotify0.4-cil* libtaglib2.0-cil* libubuntuone1.0-cil* mono-2.0-gac* mono-csharp-shell* mono-gac* mono-gmcs* mono-runtime* tomboy*

0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 41 to remove and 0 not upgraded. After this operation, 34.7 MB disk space will be freed.

Do you want to continue [Y/n]?

For a Mono free Ubuntu 11.04 I certainly do.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Fedora 15 Beta and Gnome 3 - Looks nice, lacks functionality

Today I decided to download Fedora 15 Beta LiveCD and see how Gnome 3 is shaping out.

Here is the Desktop, looks like a typical Gnome panel although the date/time is in the middle. Not sure what was wrong with it being in the right corner.

To access programs you can click on the Activities button or press the Windows keyboard button. After a nice and quick transitional effect this will bring up the above screen, the icons on the left are your favorites, or in this case some predefined favorites.

The default Nouveau nvidia driver seems to be working rather well.

Clicking on the Applications tab shows all available programs which you can also view by category as listed on the right.

Once again, it looks very modern and stylish.

Firefox 4, notice the awful font rendering. This is a typical characteristic of Fedora which you can easily solve by using the rpmfusion repository. The GTK window has rounded top corners, a big X button to close the program but where are the minimize and fullscreen buttons?

At least there is some hope via the right-click context menu. But when you minimize a window there is no visual indicator to illustrate a window is minimized. Sounds bonkers?

If you want to access all your minimized windows you have to click on the Activities button.

All my minimized programs. Alternatively you can press alt-tab to cycle through minimized applications without going through the Activities interface but this obviously doesn't show you what programs have been minimized.

Wireless networks in the area, all encrypted. That's a shame...

To restart or shutdown you have to first log out, then choose restart/shutdown at the login screen.

Other Gnome 3 observations

Can't drag icons to the desktop, plugging a USB storage device does not show a desktop icon.

To unmount a USB storage device you have to launch the File Manager and then right click > safely remove.

Right click on the taskbar does nothing.

To switch desktops you have to use the Activities interface.

I think Gnome 3 is very promising. The 3D effects are not over the top, instead they are pleasant and give the system a modern feel. I like the overall appearance but as it is Gnome 3 still needs a bit of work.

Canonical Ltd are making the right decision with Ubuntu 11.04 and Unity. If they made Gnome 3 the default desktop there would be widespread annoyance among the majority of its users who simply want a desktop environment that is fit for purpose.

Unfortunately for Fedora users, the current state of Gnome 3 will more or less remain the same upon the final release of Fedora 15.

The beta release is the last important milestone of Fedora 15. Only critical bug fixes will be pushed as updates leading to the general release of Fedora 15 in May

And if you like your compiz effects, Gnome 3 is a no go.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Debian 6 - How to remove 3.2.1 and install LibreOffice

This guide makes the assumption you are using Gnome in Debian 6. The current latest version of LibreOffice at the time of writing is 3.3.2.

Removing OpenOffice 3.2.1 in Debian 6

Open a Terminal and type

su -c 'apt-get purge gnome-office ttf-opensymbol uno-libs3'

Download and Install LibreOffice 3.3.2

Feel free to download LibreOffice using your browser, I am using the terminal as it is quicker.

64-bit Users

cd Downloads


tar xfv LibO_3.3.2_Linux_x86-64_install-deb_en-US.tar.gz

cd LibO_3.3.2rc2_Linux_x86-64_install-deb_en-US/DEBS

rm *kde-integration*

su -c 'dpkg -i *.deb'

su -c 'dpkg -i desktop-integration/*.deb'

32-bit Users

cd Downloads


tar xfv LibO_3.3.2_Linux_x86_install-deb_en-US.tar.gz

cd LibO_3.3.2rc2_Linux_x86_install-deb_en-US/DEBS

rm *kde-integration*

su -c 'dpkg -i *.deb'

su -c 'dpkg -i desktop-integration/*.deb'

How to remove LibreOffice 3.3.2 from Debian 6?

apt-get purge libreoffice* libobasis*

Enjoy LibreOffice!

Friday, 8 April 2011

Debian 6, sluggish and slow due to Mono

I have been playing around with Debian 6 for the past two weeks and overall quite happy with Debian but have noticed a slight sluggish feel when working with Gnome. (eg compared to Fedora 14)

My Debian 6 install is a default desktop install which had a working internet connection during the installation process. As a result OpenOffice, Java, Mono, extra Gnome themes and icons were all pulled in.

It would be nice if the Debian installer allowed for a more customized 'Desktop' setup.

To cut a long story short, I have no need for Mono and decided to erase it.

apt-get purge cli-common libmono-*

If you are a Ubuntu user reading this, please do not run this command.

Now the interesting thing after performing this action was I noticed my desktop was more snappy and responsive, and more inline with Fedora 14.

Furthermore, I have also experienced the same feel when removing mono from Ubuntu 10.04 LTS.

Mono makes Linux sluggish!

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Fedora 14 is a rock solid distribution

Just over 5 months old, Fedora 14 is still running on my desktop with zero issues and rock solid stability.

In the past few months Ubuntu 10.04/10.10, openSUSE 11.3/11.4 and Debian 6 have failed to deliver the same glitch free and nippy experience.

I doubt Fedora 15 will be the same, mainly due to Gnome 3 but perhaps by the time Fedora 16 is released (and Fedora 14 goes EOL) it may be. Or I could be wrong and Fedora 15 will be another rock.

Kudos to the Fedora Project!