Window Manager missing after Upgrading Ubuntu

When I upgraded Ubuntu from 14.04 (Trusty Tahr) to 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn), the computer booted up fine after the restart. But after logging in, the Window Manager didn’t start up!

TL;DR … To fix this, delete the ~/.config/dconf/user file (or rename it), and then restart the computer.

When I logged in, the desktop was there with all the icons on it, but the top menu bar, and the side-bar were missing. When I opened up a window by clicking on a folder icon in the desktop, it would open, but it would be missing the title bar. So, basically seemed like the Window Manager was missing. After deleting the above mentioned file and restarting, it was all good again!

Apache Web Server – Require all granted

Just upgraded my web server to the current version of ubuntu and got caught out by a change in apache httpd. (Note to self: RTF-release-notes next time.)

It resulted with a 403 / Forbidden error, with the browser showing You don’t have permission to access / on this server, and a client denied by server configuration entry in the log.

The issue was the addition of mod_authz. It needs a new entry in the Directory section of your web site config:

Require all granted

It is equivalent to the old allow from all. Check the Apache mod_authz_core page for more details.

Luckyily this time it was a fairly easy fix, and mod_authz seems to have some fairly interesting features to explore. In any case, if your web sites stop working after an upgrade in your ubuntu server, this is probably the issue.

Setting up a subversion server

This article shows how to set up a subversion server that will allow local and remote access.

In this article we’ll set up a subversion server that will allow remote access. We will use Ubuntu, but the process isn’t that different if you are using a different distro.

First of all install the subversion package. In ubuntu thats:

sudo apt-get install subversion

Create a directory where you will store the subversion repositories. (we use /var/repos in this example.) Then, add a user for the svn (we’ll use the username svn), and give it ownership of the repos directory.
Continue reading “Setting up a subversion server”

FIX: Firefox 3.6 not starting in Ubuntu 10.04 Alpha (Lucid Lynx)

I got Firefox 3.6 in a Lucid alpha update on 27 January. The problem is that it wouldn’t start. I tried it with a new profile, which made it work. So I ran firefox with the -safe-mode argument and disabled all add-ons. Then in firefox, I tried each add-on to figure out which one’s weren’t working, and left them disabled.

To do this, open up a console and run the following:

firefox -safe-mode

You’ll see the following dialog box:

Select the first checkbox (Disable all add-ons), and press the Make Changes and Restart button.

When Firefox starts up, go into the Tools->Add-ons menu. And try enabling each add-on and restarting firefox. If it starts, then the add-on is working. If it isn’t, run firefox in safe-mode and disable the last add-on you enabled.

In my case, Adblock Plus, Better Gmail 2, Better GReader, Firebug, FoxyProxy, Ghostery, HttpFox, NoScript, Nuke Anything Enhanced, and User Agent Switcher were working. DownThemAll, Greasemonkey, and Stylish were not.

Screenshot showing the add-ons I had to disable

click image to enlarge.

Thunderbird 3.0 is officially available!

thunderbird logo

Mozilla have released the new major version of Thunderbird. It has huge improvements in the interface. First of all, the inboxes of all your mail accounts are grouped together and they’ve been moved to the top. You can also view a collated list of emails from all your accounts by clicking on the top level Inbox.

Gmail users will love this version of Thunderbird. Setting up a new Gmail account is as simple as entering your username and password. You can see all your tagged emails in separate folders too.

The POP3/IMAP account setup process has also been totally simplified where it asks you to enter just the email address and password, then tries determine the server information from that. Even when it can’t autodetect the server, it populates most of the information in the manual setup window.

The main user interface is now tabbed like firefox. opening an email now shows it in a new tab instead of a new window. Search results are also displayed in a new tab.

The search feature is one of the most improved features in Thunderbird 3.0. The search results look similar to a web search with the title and summary of each email matching your search. Additionally it also allows you filter the search results based on a number of criteria, all without having to rerun the search.

And last but not least, being a sister-product to firefox, it has a huge number of add-ons.

All in all it’s a great email client. Its available for Linux, Windows and Mac. Get it at Mozilla Messaging.

How to disable kvm and kvm_intel to allow VirtualBox to run

If you are getting the VirtualBox can’t operate in VMX root mode error dialog shown below …

… it is because you have the kvm and kvm_intel kernel modules enabled. You will need to unload them using the following commands:

sudo modprobe -r kvm_intel
sudo modprobe -r kvm

You should now be able to start your Virtual Machine.

If you want a permanent solution, you need to disable full virtualisation for qemu/kvm using the Boot-up manager. You can do so by following these steps.

1. Install the Boot-up Manager:

You can do this via the Software Center, where you can find it in the System Tools section:

screen shot of software-center

Alternatively, you can install it by typing the following in a console:

sudo apt-get install bum

2. Start the Boot-up manager from the System > Administration menu.

3. Untick Full virtualization on i386 and amd64 hardware and click Apply.

Screen shot of the Boot-up Manager

Note: VirtualBox will still run under full virtualisation provided your system supports it.

GNU/Linux making inroads into the desktop

Dell have been offering Ubuntu as an option for many of their PCs for a while, Asus have EeePC, and Lenovo offer various distributions of linux. Now HP have joined the ranks by supplying SuSE on their enterprise desktop systems

While many distributions of GNU/Linux have been more than suitable for most users, there have been quite a few obstacles preventing it from getting into their desktops. One of the main reasons behind this is that Windows comes preinstalled with almost all new PCs, and most people including those that are moderately tech savvy are afraid of installing GNU/Linux or even any OS on their computer. Continue reading “GNU/Linux making inroads into the desktop”

Pinging Windows/SMB computers using their Netbios name

You can easily set up a linux computer to contact/ping windows computers using their netbios name (computer name set up in windows). This will show you how.

In a small windows network you can contact (i.e. ping etc.) one windows computer from another using their name even if there isn’t a DNS server in the network. However, from a computer running linux, you would need to know the ip address of the computer you want to contact. The “computer name” the windows computers use in this instance are their netbios names which other computers discover using WINS resolution. Linux computers are usually not set up to use this.

The most common solution is to just add just add the PCs to your hosts file. But that would become tiresome if you have more than a couple of computers, and would not work at all if your computers use dynamic IPs.
Continue reading “Pinging Windows/SMB computers using their Netbios name”

Installing Ubuntu (Linux) on HP dv2899ea Artist Edition

The installation was simple, very similar to a Windows installation with no questions that should appear difficult to anyone who’s used a computer before. In under 30 minutes I had a workable system running Ubuntu, and that included Open Office and a working network/internet connection including WIFI!

After playing around with Vista for a couple of days on my new HP dv2899ea Artist Edition Notebook, I had decided it had to go. For starters it had a restore partition that had taken up 12GB and for some reason the actual supposedly fresh installation took up at least twice as much. But I made a set of system recovery discs on just in case if for some reason I decide to install it again. That took about a year and a half to create! (OK, may be it was a little closer to a couple of hours.) Continue reading “Installing Ubuntu (Linux) on HP dv2899ea Artist Edition”