Archive for the ‘Install’ Category

Ubuntu: network manager and vpnc

I have another issue in Ubuntu that has been driving me batty: updated DNS servers. When I set up a vpn connection using Network Manager, I can connect to the vpn tunnel, but the DNS settings are not updated. This means that pretty much nothing can be done. I don’t go around remembering IP addresses anymore. That’s so twentieth century quaint!

After searching on Google for a solution to this for a while. What this seems to be is an interaction between resolve-conf and Network Manager. Network Manager isn’t updating the DNS because of resolv-conf. Resolve-conf isn’t updating the DNS for the vpn connection. So the solution?

apt-get remove resolvconf

Ayup, that’ll get the job done. Network Manager will still automatically update /etc/resolv.conf. No manual connection will be needed. And Network Manager will correctly set up nameserver settings for VPN connections.

Amazing that this was such a simple solution for such a vexing issue.

Linux on Desktop: Cool Desktop Applications(Part 2) : 25 Small and Simple Games for your Linux/Ubuntu Desktop

I tend to be a little cynical about list articles. Most are just trolling for links to try to drive ad clicks. And I am pretty certain that this article at Linux on Desktop is doing just that. However, the list given is actually pretty cool. There’s a lot of games in the list that I hadn’t heard of before. I can’t wait to give them a spin, especially Open Invaders (I was a huge Space Invaders fan back in the day) and Abe’s Amazing Adventure.

really cool games and emulators thatyou can install on your Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon Desktop (Am giving installation instruction to Ubuntu since it is one the most popular Desktop distribution right now but if you want to install these games in other distribution you can do so with little modification to the installation command/instructions ). Most of the games discussed in the article are simple and small so they should run flawlessly on computers with pretty modest configuration .

Linux on Desktop: Cool Desktop Applications(Part 2) : 25 Small and Simple Games for your Linux/Ubuntu Desktop

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Linux Mint

I finally found some time to play with a few different Linux distros. I had mentioned here that I tried Sabayon Linux, which looks absolutely beautiful, and was kinda fun. But Gentoo is so far out of my comfort zone that I decided Sabayon wasn’t worth the time that it would take to re-learn things.

I’m not a Red Hat/Fedora, so I didn’t even consider any distro derived from it. That left me with Debian-based distros. I’ve been using Xubuntu for a long, long time, so I figured I would try something with Gnome as the main desktop. I was listening to LUGRadio, and they had an interview with the Linux Mint guy, so I figured I would try that out.

Linux Mint is actually very cool. There are mostly subtle differences from Ubuntu (codecs installed by default, compiz active, different/nice theme). But a couple of the huge ones are the Mint Menu (modified version of the Slab) and Mint’s control panel. The Menu is very cool. I normally launch apps either from a terminal or via ALT+F2, but I’ve found myself using Mint’s Menu pretty frequently.

Mint’s control panel is pretty handy, too. It’s well laid out, and seems to give more options than the standard Gnome control center. But I am not a standard Gnome user, so that could be totally wrong.

Mint also comes with some pretty good default applications. OpenOffice is the office app, of course. Firefox is the web browser. Interestingly, Thunderbird is the email client. As much as I want to like Thunderbird, it just isn’t flexible enough for me. So I switched back to my standard mix of mutt (remote) and kmail (local). Mint uses Amarok as its music player (a most awesome choice, and an obviously sign that Mint is not Gnome app specific), Totem for video playback, Pidgin for IM. And it is packaged with a few really good games (OpenArena, Singularity, a Worms Armegeddon clone, and more).

The first thing I did was to test-drive the standard Mint install. And Linux Mint makes a surprisingly good desktop OS. For someone who just wants to sit at their computer, surf the web, watch videos on YouTube, send and receive email, play games and use a word processor, Linux Mint is perfect. And it has a good amount of eye candy, with compiz-fusion turned on.

Of course, I am not the type who uses an out-of-the-box Linux install. So I did an aptitude safe-upgrade to make sure I had the latest version of Mint. (Mint includes a custom application named Mint Update, but I’m an aptitude kinda guy.) Then I installed my “can’t live without” suite of applications:

  • openssh-server
  • gnu screen
  • links2
  • mutt
  • slrn
  • slrn-face
  • centerim
  • kontact
  • liferea
  • logjam
  • (And a couple of others which I use all of the time but cannot remember now.)

I was able to take a shortcut by copying over config files and my bin directory from my Ubuntu install, so I was able to test as soon as the apps installed. And I have to say, I was extremely impressed!

Linux Mint actually performed better than Ubuntu (gutsy) on the same machine. This is almost definitely because of cruft on my Ubuntu install, though. I’ve gone through a couple of major upgrades on my Ubuntu install without trying to weed out applications that I no longer use. I had a couple of different XFCE installations, and numerous other applications that I compiled myself. And I had done a surprisingly poor job of separating apps that I compiled from distro-provided stuff (I really need to remember the –prefix=/usr/local switch for configure).

But no matter, the fact is that Linux Mint is extremely fast on my machine. I notice that in day-to-day work, and I especially notice it in 3d accelerated games (e.g. OpenArena). I really didn’t expect this kind of performance gain! I am quite happy about it.

There were a couple of downsides to Mint. The first was difficulties with my soundcard (Soundblaster Live! 5.1 Gamer). The card was detected, but the mixer settings were all wacked out. It was trivial to use alsamixer to correct this, but a n00b would’ve been lost. I don’t like the choice of Thunderbird for the default email client, though I would prefer that over Evolution.

Those are mere quibbles, however. I am actually quite happy and very impressed with Linux Mint. Enough so that I moved Mint over to be my main OS.

Profile picI am a 40-ish uber-geek, Daoist and family man. Blessed to have one incredible wife and three wonderful kiddos. Dao has been kind to me.

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