Monday, April 27, 2009

The Evolution plugin for Mail Notification doesn't work/exist (LP#355209)

In mail-notification 5.4 in Ubuntu Jaunty (9.04), the following files are installed to /usr/lib/evolution/2.24/plugins/ instead of /usr/lib/evolution/2.26/plugins/:

    A simple workaround:
  1. Copy or link the files to the correct directory:
    sudo ln -s /usr/lib/evolution/2.24/plugins/org-jylefort-mail-notification.eplug /usr/lib/evolution/2.26/plugins/
    sudo ln -s /usr/lib/evolution/2.24/plugins/ /usr/lib/evolution/2.26/plugins/
  2. Restart evolution and go to Edit -> Plugins -> Jean-Yves Lefort's Mail Notification. Check the box.
  3. Right-click on the Mail-Notification icon -> Properties. Add your evolution e-mailbox.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Upgrading from Xubuntu 8.04 to 9.04

It's finally time to reinstall to dist-upgrade, which I haven't done in a year.
Burning the 9.04 CD: Instead of installing Brasero or another burner, I used the command wodim dev=$PATH-TO-DEVICE driveropts=burnfree -v -data $PATH-TO-ISO, so in my case wodim dev=/dev/scd0 driveropts=burnfree -v -data /home/me/Ubuntu\ Images/xubuntu-9.04-desktop-i386.iso. Very easy and fast that way.

Using the 9.04 LiveCD installer: Very simple. One hiccup when automatic partitioning failed. I chose to reuse my existing partition *without* formatting it first, and (COOL!) my /home directory was untouched. All my preferences and saved fies were still if they had been migrated. Networking and sound worked immediately from the default installation.

Enabling Medibuntu and debtorrent: Medibuntu is for non-free packages like skype. Debtorrent is a method of using torrents instead of mirrors to download. Both require changes to the /etc/apt/sources.list file. debtorrent instructions

sudo cp /etc/apt/sources.list /etc/apt/sources.list~   # Backup the sources.list file
sudo mousepad /etc/apt/sources.list &                  # Open the sources.list file in an editing window

  ## In sources.list, append the following two lines at the bottom, then save (don't close it)
  ## Medibuntu
  deb debtorrent://localhost:9988/ jaunty free non-free

sudo apt-get update
sudo sudo apt-get install medibuntu-keyring debtorrent apt-transport debtorrent

  ## In sources.list, substitute each occurrence of the string 'deb http://' prefix with 'deb debtorrent://localhost:9988/'
  ## Save and close the sources.list file.

sudo apt-get update

Bringing back my favorite apps: Using this table, it's pretty easy to figure out what to install and remove. Downloading all this stuff took about 40 minutes.

The droid fonts are nice, but not special.
SubjectPackages I RemovedPackages I AddedInstall Notes
Evolution needed a couple restarts to start working properly
Download-at-first-need for audio also works well.
Remote desktopvinagreopenssh-server
xtightvncviewer required manual config: sudo update-alternatives --set vncviewer /usr/bin/xtightvncviewer
blues-gnome gets rid of bluetooth-applet
pmount mounts usb drives as user instead of root

Several launcher icons were missing - the launchers were still in the right place and fully functional, but the application (like bluefish) was gone. After reinstallation, most images came back automatically. A couple needed to be reassociated with the image by right-clicking on 'properties'.

Two important shortcuts were missing.
  • The Home folder icon on the desktop was gone - fixed by right clicking on the desktop, then Desktop Settings -> Icons.
  • The shortcut to my imadison script was missing from /bin. Easy to replace with sudo cp -l /bin/imadison

The crontab was gone and had to be recreated.

The mail-notification icon couldn't find evolution (Bug 355209). The bug report has the simple workaround.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Using rmadison and apt-cache

rmadison is part of the devscripts package. It's a fantastic little tool that tells you which version of a package is in which release of Ubuntu or Debian. It's also the quickest way to see if a package is in one of them at all - very handy to check package requests on Launchpad and in Brainstorm.

apt-cache is part of the default Ubuntu install. It's very handy to find the right package name, dependencies, and other clues when tracking down the correct package for Launchpad or Brainstorm.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Using debtorrent to contribute to the community

Debtorrent is a way to download packages using a torrent instead of a mirror. It's also a way to contribute to the community by reducing the need for mirrors.
Installing debtorrent: (instructions)
  1. Install from the command line ( sudo apt-get install debtorrent apt-transport-debtorrent ), or synaptic.
  2. Edit the lines in /etc/apt/sources.list to take advantage of debtorrent
    deb etch main contrib non-free                              #OLD
    deb debtorrent://localhost:9988/ etch main contrib non-free         #NEW
    # Do not modify deb-src lines
  3. Reload the package list with sudo apt-get update
Using debtorrent: Debtorrent runs in the background automatically. You don't need to start it or stop it. To check on what it's doing, use the web interface at http://localhost:9988/

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

One IM application to rule them all...

I use Pidgin, the default IM client on Xubuntu 8.04. But I also use the Department of Defense's AKOIM. And my laptop doesn't have a built-in webcam or microphone, so family uses Skype's IM. I really don't want three IM's open (one tying up a browser window and java!), so here's how I consolidated them into just Pidgin.

AKO Instant Messenger uses a standard xmpp protocol, so Pidgin can talk to it. All your contacts migrate like magic! If you have AKO/DKO access, get the details here. If you don't have AKO/DKO access, then safely ignore this paragraph.

Skype uses a proprietary protocol, so it's integration is limited. The skype4pidgin plugin (.deb package) shares Skype contacts and IM with Pidgin...but Skype must still be running alongside Pidgin to work...though many fewer windows must be open. After installation, BOTH Skype and Pidgin must be restarted. I had to edit the Skype options manually to turn off chat notifications - otherwise both apps whine when a new message arrives.