Microwave Biscuit

LAMP Installation On Ubuntu

Posted in Linux, ubuntu by microwavebiscuit on March 31, 2007

Via: LAMP Installation On Ubuntu · supriyadisw dot net

I have previously mentioned that something is wrong with my whole “LAMP” setup on this machine. I often have trouble with some PHP/MySQL stuff and I’m sure that it’s my own fault but it’s pretty annoying. For instance, tonight I downloaded a copy of WordPress to install locally as a test bed. When I went to install I got a message “your php installation is missing MySQL” or something like that. Oddly enough, PHPMySQL Admin works just fine. I also ran into trouble trying to get Torrentflux to work. So, this evening’s big project was to remedy the situation.

Due to various installs and such I found I had both PHP4 and PHP5 installed. I also have some remnants of Apache along side of Apache2. The only clean part of my installation was MySQL. However, in efforts to completely right this ship I uninstalled EVERYTHING. I did a complete removal of anything labeled with PHP, Apache, and MySQL. Then I went into my /etc/ directory as root (careful here – easy to break stuff) and cleaned up any remnants I could find of all products. Then I rebooted to ensure I hadn’t broken my system (I hadn’t). Now I had a roughly clean environment to work with. I then followed the tutorial listed in the link above. It’s a very basic tutorial but by following it I was able to get the required packages for a Lamp environment installed. After that, I installed WordPress locally and it worked just fine. I’m going to try and minimize the amount of extra libraries that I install relating to PHP and/or Apache in order to keep things in good shape.

Apache Mod_UserDir

Posted in Linux, ubuntu by microwavebiscuit on March 31, 2007

I don’t actually host any web sites from my PC but I often do web development on it. As such I run Apache on this machine. I read about Mod_UserDir in Linux Format Magazine (best Linux mag out there) and thought I’d give it a shot. Why? Well, when installing Apache, the root web directory is /var/www which is owned by root. When I need to put new files there I have to either do it via sudo and cp or do sudo nautilus, etc to get permission to write to that directory. Then, if I want to modify a file there (index.html for instance) I have to remember to launch BlueFish, Kate, etc as root in order to have write access to the folder. This isn’t the biggest pain ever and I could probably grant extra permissions to the folder or pursue some other avenue. However, using mod_UserDir allows me a little easier time of it. Here’s how to do it:

1. Go to /etc/apache2/sites-available/ and type sudo gedit default.
2. Once the default file opens, add a new line: UserDir public_html which I put directly under the ServerAdmin line. You can also add extra lines to only allow certain users in there – search google for mod_UserDir for info.
3. Restart apache (sudo apache2ctl –restart) and now you have the ability to create your own user dir.
4. Go to your home directory and create a folder called public_html and put anything you like in it.
5. Browse to http://localhost/~yourname/ and you will see your stuff.

The nice feature here is that because it is in your own home directory you have full read/write access to all of the files. Being that I’m not actually publishing anything to the web I don’t mind the ~ operator in there and it makes local web development a lot easier.


Posted in Linux, ubuntu by microwavebiscuit on March 31, 2007

Via: Command Line Warriors » Blog Archive » GNU/Win32

Interesting article on using Free/Open Source software for Windows. My wife’s PC runs Windows as Linux is a little too “techy” for her despite my efforts to show her various cool things. I’ve had her load up a few Live CD’s to give it a shot but as a non-computer person, Windows is what she uses. In any case, she has taken a fairly no-microsoft approach to her Windows PC and uses OpenOffice, FireFox, Thunderbird, and ClamAV amongst other Free/Open Source software.

On a slightly different topic, I did setup my kid’s computer with Edubuntu and they love it.


Posted in Linux, ubuntu by microwavebiscuit on March 30, 2007

Found at: WeatherSpect

This is another very fun albeit semi-useless download. It creates an animated weather report in a console window with all manner of beasts and flora showing up. So far I’ve seen a rocket, a segway (I think), cars, chickens, etc. When it’s raining (which is is now) the clouds overhead drop raindrops. There is a whole lot of fun to be had here. You do need 2 Perl modules installed (info at the site) in order to run it. I’ve got it running in a yakuake terminal window so now when I drop down my yakuake window I get the weather.

Screen shot here – click for full screen gloriousness:


Those nautilus scripts

Posted in Linux, ubuntu by microwavebiscuit on March 30, 2007

Wow, they are cool. Here’s a photo collage of the files in /usr/share/pixmaps/faces just as an example:


Click the image to bigify (note it’s about 1.5mb).

This was done by selecting the files and from the new scripts choosing “crear mosiaco polaroids”. I’m exploring the other scripts too.

Choose the right distro

Posted in Linux, ubuntu by microwavebiscuit on March 30, 2007

Via: Choose the right distro « Ubuntu Fan
Via: http://www.zegeniestudios.net/ldc/

There is a linux distribution test that you can take to figure out which will be best for you. Interesting concept. After going through the “test” my results said, Debian, Kubuntu, and Ubuntu were best suited for me. I guess that shouldn’t be a surprise! Another possible choice was Ark Linux which I have never used so I may see if I can download it and mess around some. The test results were certainly skewed by selecting KDE as my preferred desktop. I’d like to retake the test with all of the same answers except selecting Gnome or don’t care for the desktop to see what other distros show up.

Some really cool nautilus scripts

Posted in Linux, ubuntu by microwavebiscuit on March 30, 2007

Via: La Web de javielinux

There is a collection of incredibly cool looking nautilus scripts at this site. Unfortunately the site isn’t in English so it takes a little guessing as to what some of them do. I’m going to mess with some of them and see what I can get to work. The “Polaroid” image script looks really cool.

USB Knoppix 5.1.0 – Part 2

Posted in Linux, ubuntu by microwavebiscuit on March 28, 2007

Last night I downloaded both of the files required to run USB Knoppix 5.1.0 and today I had a chance to install it and play. After following the tutorial on PenDriveLinux here: http://www.pendrivelinux.com/2007/01/01/usb-knoppix-510 which is really only 5 steps I had it working as advertised. I ran a quick format utility and then copied over the files from a zip archive. Then ran makeboot.exe per the instructions. Rebooted and went into my BIOS setup to change the boot order. After I did that, I inserted my pen drive and it booted right up into Knoppix. I have to do a little more playing around in it to figure out which disks are which (there are quite a few desktop shortcuts to drives some of which appear to be the same physical drive) so that I can create a persistent home directory on the memory stick that I can use over and over again.

Overall, it was super easy and it’s very cool to now have a complete linux distribution available to me off of my pen drive.

Shame on me…

Posted in Linux, ubuntu by microwavebiscuit on March 28, 2007

I have read several posts over the last few weeks about one of the new features in Feisty which is “command not found”. According to various sources if you type a command at the command prompt that isn’t found it will offer suggestions on it. For example, at a terminal I type: tilda (quake style terminal emulator). If I didn’t have it installed, normally you’d get a message saying “command not found” and that would be the end of it. However, in Feisty if I type the same thing the result is:

The program 'tilda' is currently not installed. You can install it by typing:
sudo apt-get install tilda
Make sure you have the 'universe' component enabled
bash: tilda: command not found

Very cool, however I thought it wasn’t working as advertised. You see, I typed in my first name at the command prompt: paul. I got this as a result:

The program 'paul' is currently not installed. You can install it by typing:
sudo apt-get install paul
Make sure you have the 'universe' component enabled
bash: paul: command not found

So I figured that it was just going to give me that same answer no matter what I typed and that it wasn’t really considering what packages could be installed. However, a quick look at Synaptic and sure enough there is a package named paul. Here is the package description for paul:

Yet another image viewer (displays PNG, TIFF, GIF, JPG, etc.)
paul = _P_rogram zur _A_uswertung und _U_mwandlung von _L_aserbildern
(for non German speakers: Program to evaluate and convert laser images).
Especially designed to work with gray scaled image sequences but may be
useful for any images. Using of imlib gives great flexibility of
file formats and is fast.
Features: move images until they match; cut images precisely;
create clickable HTML maps; 2D-FFT; operations onto single image or
set of images

So, shame on me for thinking this new feature was bogus. Turns out it really does know what packages are in the repository and what can be installed. If you type in something that is completely unavailable you get a plain “bash: command: command not found” with no offer to install.

Nice Fix in Feisty

Posted in Linux, ubuntu by microwavebiscuit on March 28, 2007

For a while in my Feisty testing machine my logs were getting filled up with messages similar to the following:

Mar 27 10:26:20 ubuntu-dev kernel: [59357.199812] ata2.00: exception Emask 0x0 SAct 0x0 SErr 0x0 action 0x0
Mar 27 10:26:20 ubuntu-dev kernel: [59357.199816] ata2.00: (BMDMA stat 0x26)
Mar 27 10:26:20 ubuntu-dev kernel: [59357.199820] ata2.00: cmd a0/01:00:00:00:00/00:00:00:00:00/a0 tag 0 cdb 0x4a data 8 in
Mar 27 10:26:20 ubuntu-dev kernel: [59357.199822] res 51/50:03:00:00:00/00:00:00:00:00/a0 Emask 0x20 (host bus error)
Mar 27 10:26:21 ubuntu-dev kernel: [59357.511214] ata2.00: configured for UDMA/33
Mar 27 10:26:21 ubuntu-dev kernel: [59357.511237] ata2: EH complete

This was happening just about every 30 seconds. I did a little research on it by searching Google and nothing really struck me as an answer. Yesterday there were a bunch of packages that got updated and I’m no longer getting these messages in my logs. Good job developers!