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!

Fixing the Ubuntu bind9 named process 99% cpu usage issue

If you find the named process on your Ubuntu/Linux based server taking up a high amount of (e.g. 99%) CPU time, then check if the /var/cache/bind directory has the correct permissions.

If you run ll -d /var/cache/bind and find that only the root user has write permissions to the directory, i.e. it looks like the following:

drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4.0K Apr 14 15:29 /var/cache/bind

Switch to the root user and change the group to bind, and give it write permissions, by running the following:

chown root:bind /var/cache/bind
chmod g+w /var/cache/bind

Then you will just need to restart bind9 by running the following:

service bind9 restart

Now it should be behaving better.

Shut down your windows PC remotely from Linux

Just a little Windows remote admin nugget …

If you have File/Printer sharing enabled in a windows PC, you can shut it down or restart it from a Linux PC on the network using the following:


You’ll need the samba-common package for the net command, and the user being supplied will need admin privileges.

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”

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”

Linux with better User Experience than Mac?

Infoworldhas coverage of Ubuntu Linux Founder Mark Shuttleworth speaking Open Source Convention (OSCON), asking the audience Can we go right past Apple in the user experience we deliver

Infoworld has coverage of Ubuntu Linux Founder Mark Shuttleworth speaking Open Source Convention (OSCON), asking the audience Can we go right past Apple in the user experience we deliver, adding Certainly on the desktop experience we need to shoot beyond the Mac, but I think it’s equally relevant [in] the mobile space.
Continue reading “Linux with better User Experience than Mac?”

Desktop Applications for GNU/Linux – Part 4: Project Management

screenshot of a project managment toolThere are a fair few project management tools available for Linux that differ in simplicity of use as well as the features they include. Most of them would be suitable for smaller projects, but there are a couple that would be as suitable for complex large scale projects as the commercial solutions such as Microsoft Project.
Continue reading “Desktop Applications for GNU/Linux – Part 4: Project Management”

Common Application Installer Interface for Linux Desktops

Does the lack of a common interface for applications to register themselves with the OS/Desktop Environment hinder the development of custom and user-friendly installers?

Reading this blog post about the OS as a platform I recalled a gripe I often have when installing software on Linux… the lack of a common interface for applications to register themselves with the OS/Desktop Environment. By that I mean, there is no facility for an application installer to say: Continue reading “Common Application Installer Interface for Linux Desktops”