3D desktop with Beryl on Ubuntu Feisty

I’ve heard a lot of stories about 3D desktop features implemented and widely used in linux nowdays. Lots and lots of people had already install this cool feature and you can find a lots of videos on the net posted by users to show off their cool desktop.

Since I already had a Ubuntu Feisty Fawn 7.04 installed on my PC at home, I decided to tryout this feature and I chose Beryl for this time as it have more than just 3D desktop cube features available. There are more such as windows transparency, blur effect, scale effect and windows animation.

For a start, I launch Synaptic and make sure that the all repositories are available. I’m aware that my Graphic Card Driver (nVidia GeForce4 Ti 4200 AGP) will require proprietary driver so I enabled the ‘restricted’ repository in the Synaptic package management.

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Then I search for ‘beryl’. From the list, I selected ‘beryl-ubuntu’ package and mark it for installation.
Synaptic will automatically advised me to install a handfull of other packages that will be required for beryl to work. I marked them all. I also selected ‘beryl-manager’ and ’emerald-themes’ package for installation.

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Then I clicked ‘apply’ to proceed with the installation.

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Synaptic will download and install those packages

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Once finished, I exited Synaptic. To enable 3D acceleration for my video card, I have to install a proprietary driver provided by NVidia. So I launch Ubuntu ‘Restricted Driver Manager’ (System > Administration > Restricted Driver Manager)

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Mark the ‘enabled’ checkbox to enable the driver. Confirm the installation when the system prompt for it. The system will automatically install the driver provided that I had already enabled ‘restricted’ repository in my synaptic/apt repository sources previously.

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The installation will require the pc to be restarted. Don’t restart the pc just yet. We need to do some extra process.

Open up terminal and run the command below


sudo cp /usr/share/applications/beryl-manager.desktop /etc/xdg/autostart/beryl-manager.desktop

This will make sure beryl will be launched automatically on each session.

Restart PC. Once the Ubuntu is restarted, a new diamond (emerald) icon will appear on the system tray

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Right click the icon if you want to customize your beryl setting. For this time I just use the default setting.

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So let’s play around. Open up a few windows.

For windows trasparency / blur effect:
Hold ALT key and scroll up/down your mouse

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3D Cubic desktops
Hold ALT+CTRL and hit Left or Right key
Hold ALT+CTRL+Left button of your mouse key and move your mouse

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Windows Scale Effect
Hit F8 or F9

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…Have fun!

Continue reading 3D desktop with Beryl on Ubuntu Feisty

Ubuntu Feisty on Wubi on WinXP Pro

This time I want to tryout Wubi (Windows based installer for Ubuntu). My objective is to install Ubuntu and create a dual boot system on my existing WinXP machine without having to repartition my hard drive. I’m very fond of virtual machine idea (Vmware, Xen & Microsoft Virtual PC) but so far I found out that there are severe performance hit on my pc at home (AMD Athlon XP 1800 & 256 RAM) whenever I use virtual machine and I finally decided to use dual boot instead.

Extracts from the Wubi website

Wubi is an unofficial Ubuntu installer for Windows users that will bring you into the Linux world with a few clicks. Wubi allows you to install and uninstall Ubuntu as any other application. If you heard about Linux and Ubuntu, if you wanted to try them but you were afraid, this is for you.

I will try to install Ubuntu Feisty 7.04. Firstly I grab the Wubi installer.

Optionally, you can download the Alternate ISO (ubuntu-7.04-alternate-i386.iso) first from ubuntu site or any nearest mirror or even using torrent. Put the iso file in the same folder as the EXE installer. The installer will detect for alternate iso and use it for installation, if not it will download the iso first (600MB++) before starting the installation process.

Launching the EXE installer file and you will be presented with the first installation screen
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Fill in your preferred username and password then click setting to customize your installation environment.

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Then continue with the installation
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You will then need to reboot your pc
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During the boot up, a multi-boot option will appear where WinXP listed as the default OS and Ubuntu right after it. Unfortunately in my case once I selected Ubuntu, an error message came out and I cannot boot the Ubuntu at all.

ERROR 17 FILE NOT FOUND

Referring to Ubuntu Forum here and here I managed to overcome the issue.

  • Download contig and use it to defrag the wubi folder (in my case C;\wubi)

    contig -v -s c:\wubi

  • Download the latest grldr file (grldr_ntfs.zip) provided by ‘bean123’ in this thread. Unzip it and copy glrdr file into your c:\ drive replacing the existing one.
  • Move both c:\wubi\boot and c:\wubi\disks to the root directory of the same drive, c:\boot and c:\disks respectively
  • Edit c:\menu.lst changing all references to directory /wubi/boot to only /boot

    title Ubuntu
    find –set-root –ignore-floppies /boot/grub/menu.lst
    configfile /boot/grub/menu.lst

  • The same goes to c:\boot\grub\menu.lst file

    ## ## End Default Options ##

    title Ubuntu, kernel 2.6.20-15-generic
    find –set-root –ignore-floppies /boot/linux
    kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.20-15-generic find=/boot/linux ro quiet splash
    initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.20-15-generic
    boot

    title Ubuntu, kernel 2.6.20-15-generic (recovery mode)
    find –set-root –ignore-floppies /boot/linux
    kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.20-15-generic find=/boot/linux ro single
    initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.20-15-generic

    title Ubuntu, memtest86+
    find –set-root –ignore-floppies /boot/linux
    kernel /boot/memtest86+.bin

    ### END DEBIAN AUTOMAGIC KERNELS LIST

    # This is a divider, added to separate the menu items below from the Debian
    # ones.

    title Ubuntu (Original Kernel)
    find –set-root –ignore-floppies /boot/linux
    kernel /boot/linux find=/boot/linux setup_iso=ubuntu-7.04-alternate-i386.iso quiet splash ro
    initrd /boot/initrd
    boot

Restart the pc and select Ubuntu again, and here goes my Ubuntu Feisty….

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Continue reading Ubuntu Feisty on Wubi on WinXP Pro

Getting Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG working on Opensuse 10.2

I’ve been asked to setup 2 IBM Thinkpad RSeries (Lenovo R60) notebooks. One with Ubunty Edgy and another with OpenSuse 10.2. Installation process running smoothly for Ubuntu where everything functioning as it should be. But for OpenSuse 10.2 I found one problem, the wireless adapter did not work.

ifconfig only list lo adapter along with eth0 which is the physical gigabit ethernet adapter.

result for lspci confirmed that the wireless adapter exist.

Intel Corporation PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Connection (rev 02) 15:00

I then use lsmod | grep 3945 to find out whether or not the driver was installed.

ipw3945 191520 0
ieee80211 34632 1 ipw3945
firmware_class 14080 2 pcmcia,ipw3945

So the driver is there. After done some googling, I found out that additional ‘non OSS’ packages need to be installed in order for the adapter to work.

So I launch Yast2 (Administration Interface) and select Installation Source to add ‘non-oss’ repository.

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Select Add
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I add the address below to make ‘non-oss’ packages available for installation
(you can use any other mirror if you want)

http://download.opensuse.org/distribution/10.2/repo/non-oss/
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Some downloading activities will start. Once finished, the new repository will be listed as one of package source.

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Click finish and you will be back to the Yast2 Control center main page.
This time select ‘Software Management’
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Search for ‘ipw’. You will find 2 packages

ipw3945d
ipw-firmware

Select both packages Click ‘accept‘ to install them
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Packages will be downloaded and installed
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After the installation process completed, exit the Software Management interface.

In the Yast2 main interface, select ‘Network Devices’ > ‘Network Card’
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Since I’m so used to Ifup/Ifdown command, I select ‘traditional method with ifup’ when asked.

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Select the wireless adapter and choose ‘edit’
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Specify your network ip or leave it as it is if you have DHCP in your network environment.
Click ‘Next’.
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After that you will need to specify your local wireless parameters and finishing the process.
Yast will restart your network services.

To make sure your wireless adapter is working, open terminal, then type ‘ifconfig’ and make sure eth1 is now listed.

If not, run command ‘ipw3945d’ to launch the PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Regulatory Daemon. Use ‘ifup eth1’ to turn on the eth1.

Another useful command is ‘iwlist eth1 scan’ to list out available wireless access-point in your network.

Continue reading Getting Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG working on Opensuse 10.2

Gaim instant messenger renamed to Pidgin

I just realized last night that Gaim has been renamed to Pidgin.
Extracts from Pidgin website (http://pidgin.im)

We’ve got a new name, a new look, and a ton of new features, but we’re still the same old instant messaging client you know and love. We’ve changed our name as part of a trademark settlement with AOL, and have finally released our long-awaited version 2.0.0.

The project’s website in sourceforge is also moved to a new url
http://sourceforge.net/projects/pidgin/

For Ubuntu feisty users, unofficial deb packages are available at http://www.getdeb.net/

Additional info could also be found here