Category Archives: Desktop Workstation

Installing Mozilla Firefox 3 on Gentoo 2008.0

I cannot hold myself anymore. I want Firefox 3 on my Gentoo machine ASAP. I don’t care about the feature, the risk and the hassle I might be facing installing unstable/testing application in my machine, I just want the new version on my PC! 🙂

Using emerge to search the package

emerge --search mozilla-firefox


* www-client/mozilla-firefox
Latest version available:
Latest version installed:

Fair enough, the stable branch only have version as the latest one. So I enable unstable/testing branch for that particular package by inserting the line below in my /etc/portage/package.keywords

www-client/mozilla-firefox ~x86

Do the search again

emerge --search mozilla-firefox


* www-client/mozilla-firefox
Latest version available: 3.0-r1
Latest version installed:
Size of files: 50,442 kB
Description: Firefox Web Browser
License: || ( MPL-1.1 GPL-2 LGPL-2.1 )

Nice, they have version 3.0-r1 in the repository.

After thinking for a while, I decided to proceed with the installation. Of course I have to enable some other unstable/testing packages in order to meet the dependencies.

I added those lines below in my /etc/portage/package.keywords file

net-libs/xulrunner ~x86
dev-libs/nspr ~x86
dev-libs/nss ~x86

Specifying custom USE parameter in /etc/portage/package.use file

www-client/mozilla-firefox java linguas_en_US -ipv6 

I don’t need IPV6

And start the installation process

emerge -av mozilla-firefox

I answered ‘yes’ when asked and the installation process started. It took almost 20 minutes for the system to compile them. When it finished, I’ve been greeted with the message below.

* Old versions of installed libraries were detected on your system.
* In order to avoid breaking packages that depend on these old libs,
* the libraries are not being removed. You need to run revdep-rebuild
* in order to remove these old dependencies. If you do not have this
* helper program, simply emerge the ‘gentoolkit’ package.
* # revdep-rebuild –library
* # revdep-rebuild –library
* # revdep-rebuild –library

Ok. Some post installation works to do. But I would skip those steps for now. I will do them if I encounter any problem on other applications.

So I restarted my Firefox, went to some normal plugin/extension upgrade process and there I go, Firefox version 3 !

Firefox Version 3

Dynamic email signature for your mail clients

Actually it is not that dynamic. Basically I just want to embed the list of my 3 latest blog postings in all my outgoing mails, just below my signature. So what I meant by dynamic is that the text file which is holding the signature will get updated from time to time via a cron-job and a simple script.

The script will read the RSS/Atom feed from my blog and capture the title & url of three latest postings and pump them into my signature file. I use Python script and the marvelous Universal Feed Parser.

For most of linux system python would already been installed by default. However you might need to install Universal Feed Parser (python-feedparser) in order for the script to work.

In my Gentoo machine
emerge -av dev-python/feedparser

For Fedora Users
yum install python-feedparser

For Ubuntu users
apt-get install python-feedparser

The phyton code (take note that I’m new to python. If you find that the script is not appropriate please do advise me)


import feedparser

#the signature file (output)
filename = '/path/to/your/home/folder/.signature1'

#numbers of items to be displayed
num = 3

#feed address
feedurl = ""

#your signature. Change accordingly
text = """Regards 
Your Name
Your Company

My latest BLOG posts:


d = feedparser.parse(feedurl)
if d.feed.has_key('title') :
	file = open(filename, 'w')
	for i in range (num) :
		text = text + d['entries'][i]['title']+"\n"+d['entries'][i]['link']+"\n\n"

Save the above script in your home folder (eg: /home/yourname/ and test it out.
Once everything is ok, add a cron-job for it to be executed in schedule.

Example (if you are using ‘crontab -e’) command

0,30 * * * * python /home/yourname/ >/dev/null 2>&1

This will execute the script every half and hour.

Sample generated file

My Name
My Company
My Address
My Telephone Number

My latest BLOG posts:

Vuurmuur firewall management interface for Linux Iptables

Food Strainer – Your Wifi reception booster!

Simple port forwarding with Iptables in linux

Now I can simply point my mail client (Evolution, KMail, Claws-Mail or Thunderbird) to use the above file as my signature.

Krusader – the Winscp alternative in linux

This is the follow-up of my previous posting regarding “Winscp in linux (KDE & Gnome)“. I’ve recently used a tool called Krusader ( This is the application that I found to be the closest match to WinSCP since they both are twin-panel file manager A.K.A orthodox file manager. Krusader have most of the features (maybe more) WinSCP had such as SSH/SCP connectivity, folder comparison and synchronization. Furthermore some of the hotkeys are pretty much alike.

From the official website

Krusader is an advanced twin panel (commander style) file manager for KDE and other desktops in the *nix world, similar to Midnight or Total Commander. It provides all the file management features you could possibly want.

Some screen-shots of Krusader

The application interface

Krusader folder synchronization
Folder compare and synchronization

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.


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.



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


Synaptic will download and install those packages


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)


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.




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


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


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

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


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


Windows Scale Effect
Hit F8 or F9


…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

Fill in your preferred username and password then click setting to customize your installation environment.


Then continue with the installation

You will then need to reboot your pc

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.


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 ( 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

    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


    # 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

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


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.


Select Add

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

Some downloading activities will start. Once finished, the new repository will be listed as one of package source.


Click finish and you will be back to the Yast2 Control center main page.
This time select ‘Software Management’

Search for ‘ipw’. You will find 2 packages


Select both packages Click ‘accept‘ to install them

Packages will be downloaded and installed

After the installation process completed, exit the Software Management interface.

In the Yast2 main interface, select ‘Network Devices’ > ‘Network Card’

Since I’m so used to Ifup/Ifdown command, I select ‘traditional method with ifup’ when asked.


Select the wireless adapter and choose ‘edit’

Specify your network ip or leave it as it is if you have DHCP in your network environment.
Click ‘Next’.

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 (

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

For Ubuntu feisty users, unofficial deb packages are available at

Additional info could also be found here

Minimize Evolution mail client into system tray with KDocker

One feature that I personally think Evolution lack of compared to other linux mail clients such as KMail is the ability to dock into systray. I don’t like my task bars to be to crowded with opened applications but I need Evolution to stay open always so that I will be notified for any new incoming mails. Since Evolution don’t have built in function for the above objective, I have to find a third party applications to achieve the intended goal. The solution I seek should cover both Gnome and KDE desktop environment as I use both interchangeably.

I found 3 solutions, Mail Notification (MailNotify), Alltray and KDocker.

After some brief reading, I’ve decided to test out either Alltray or KDocker. Mailnotify seems quite good but I believe both Alltray and KDocker offer more due to their ability to handle any types of applications apart from mail clients.

Unfortunately for Alltray, I cannot find the package installer by using Synaptic (I’m using Ubuntu). I’m not sure whether I have to do some changes to the package repository or the package was indeed unavailable. To save time, I guess I could try KDocker instead for the time being.

Using Synaptic, I manage to find and install kdocker. I select the package and start the installation process.



Ok, the packages has been installed successfully. But the question now is, how can I use it? I cannot find any of the shortcut within my Ubuntu’s Gnome menu.

I launch terminal console, and type ‘kdocker evolution &‘. As expected, the evolution started and within split second being minimized automatically into the systray.


Clicking the icon will make evolution came out from it’s hiding place. Clicking minimize button will make evolution goes back into the system tray. Clicking on close button make evolution exit and we need to type the above command all over again.

So now, I need to find some way so that I don’t have to use terminal console each time I want to launch kdocker-evolution session. One way I found is to edit the evolution mail shortcut and put kdocker at the front of the command line.

So I right-click the evolution shortcut located near to the system menu and select properties


and I add ‘kdocker’ at the front of the command line


From now on, whenever I click on the shortcut evolution will be started along with kdocker and will be minimized to systray instead of the taskbar.

So it’s time to test the above methods on KDE (Kubuntu).

Using ther terminal console with the same command ‘kdocker evolution &‘ produces the same result.


The same process also could be done to Evolution mail shortcut

Right click on the evolution shortcut and select ‘edit item’


Add kdocker at the front of evolution command line.


Close when finish, and select save when asked. Changes will be applied and evolution will now minimized into the system tray.

Continue reading Minimize Evolution mail client into system tray with KDocker

Change default internet browser in KDE

For some reasons I preferred Mozilla Firefox than the default internet browser in KDE which is Konqueror. This is mainly because I’ve just recently moved to a linux machine and I use Firefox exclusively for the past few years during my days with MS Windows. I prefer to stick with the one I familiar with.

The below documentation will guide you on how to change your default internet browser in KDE

For Kubuntu Users

Select System Settings from the menu


Within the System Settings choose Default Applications


In the Default Application window Choose Web Browser

Then select “in the following browser” button and click the browse button


Browse the Known Application and choose you preferred Web Browser. In my case Mozilla Firefox. Finally click OK


Click Apply when finished


For Mandriva 2007 Users

Select System > Configuration > Control Center


In the Control Center choose KDE Components > Component Chooser > Web Browser

Then select “in the following browser” button and click the browse button


Browse the Known Application and choose you preferred Web Browser. In my case Mozilla Firefox. Finally click OK


Click Apply when finished

MsPaint alternatives in linux

I have to admit. Being a technical people with minimum knowledge of image or graphic editing, the mostly used image editor for me is Ms Paint (Microsoft Paint). I rarely use higher featured image editing software such as Adobe Photoshop simply because Ms Paint already fulfill my needs. All I want is a simple tool to do quick hack on images I’m working on such as creating pointing arrows on a desktop snapshots that will be used while authoring howtos for peoples I support.

So when I migrated to a linux desktop, I need MsPaint replacement as soon as possible. Peoples suggested Gimp but I found that Gimp is too complicated for my needs. It’s more suitable to be tagged as a open source replacement for Adobe Photoshop rather than Mspaint.

Luckily the packages that I need are truly existed in the linux world. Presenting KolourPaint and GNU Paint (gpaint).

Both programs acts mostly identical to ms paint especially Kolourpaint. Even though kolourpaint is built for KDE environment but I’ve tested it on Gnome and it works fine. The same goes for Gpaint where you can use it on KDE. To install both softwares, I suggest your all to use your distro’s package management such as Synaptic or apt get for Debian/Ubuntu based, urpmi for Mandriva and yum for Redhat or Fedora users. Search for ‘kolourpaint’ or ‘gpaint’ to find and install the software.

Below are some screenshots for Kolourpaint


And a screenshot of Gnu Paint