Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala and ies4linux – Installation

Installing ies4linux on Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala by just running “./ies4linux” might show some warnings such as:

IEs4Linux 2 is developed to be used with recent Wine versions (0.9.x). It seems that you are using an old version. It’s recommended that you update your wine to the latest version (Go to: winehq.com).

In my case it showed the above text, which seems to be a warning, and run the UI but then got stuck and didn’t complete anything.

To overcome this issue simply run the installation without the GTK based UI in a terminal window:

./ies4linux –no-gui

That’s it. Works like a charm.

“Unable to retrieve MSN Address Book” on Pidgin on Ubuntu / Debian?

Today I got the following error on Pidgin (I’m running version 2.5.2 on Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex) while it tried to connect to MSN:

“Unable to retrieve MSN Address Book”

After searching a bit I found this post by Gijs Nelissen which said to use a different MSN plugin for Pidgin called msn-pecan.

I’ll reiterate the instructions for those with Ubuntu / Debian:

  1. Close Pidgin (make sure the process is really down)
  2. Run “apt-get install msn-pecan”
  3. Start pidgin
  4. Change your MSN account type from MSN to WLM
  5. Reconnect

I don’t know if this error affects other libpurple based multi-headed IMs (such as Adium) (UPDATE: It appears this IS a libpurple issue – so Adium IS affected), however, the msn-pecan project has a Windows binary release as well as source release (if you care/need/want to compile it for Mac OS X or other Linux distributions).

Ubuntu 8.10, Dell D630, fan issues and screen repaints issues

On the day of Ubunut 8.10 I’ve upgraded my work laptop (Dell D630) to Ubuntu 8.10. I’ve previously ran my home desktop on the release candidates and saw that all is well so I didn’t expect any specific issues with the upgrade.

After finishing the upgrade successfully I’ve encountered 2 problems.

The first was with the computer fan. It was workin on and off in full steam in 4 seconds cycles. Really annoying. A quick search in the Ubuntu forums led to this post saying I should upgrade to the latest BIOS version (A13 – at least at the time of writing this post).

Upgrading to the latest BIOS stopped the fan from cycling to full speed and full stop but it was still running a bit too much even when the computer was rather idle.

There was another post in the forums that suggested to go back to the older Nvidia drivers (version 173) instead of using the version which ships with Ubuntu 8.10 (177).

That managed to solve the fan issues for now as well as fix some strange repaint problems I was seeing when working with TwinView and extending my screen to another external monitor.

Thought it might help others who face these problems.

Failed to run /usr/sbin/synaptic Unable to copy the user’s Xauthorisation file

If you get the following error while running Synaptic:

Failed to run /usr/sbin/synaptic
Unable to copy the user’s Xauthorisation file.

Make sure to that you have enough space in your /tmp directory.

To check if that is indeed the problem run the following command in your terminal:

df -h

This command will show you each mounted volumes you may have including the one mounted to /tmp.

/tmp usually contains temporary data for applications while they run. It sometimes may reach a point where it 100% full (might have happened to me while I upgraded to Hardy Heron 8.04).

To clear /tmp run the following commands (BE CAREFUL NOT TO RUN rm -rf ON ANYWHERE OTHER THAN /tmp):

cd /tmp

pwd # just to make sure you are really in /tmp

rm -rf *

Solution (sort of): Mic problems with Skype on Dell D630 and Ubuntu 7.10 (gutsy gibbon)

If you are using Skype on Ubuntu 7.10 (Gusty Gibbon) on a Dell D630 and have the “famous” internal microphone problems due to the HD-Intel chipset, I’ve found a simple solution, sort of. Plantronics .Audio 470

I recently bought a Plantronics .Audio 470 headset at Best Buy for $50. Its a nice headset with good sound quality and a good mic that is also fold-able for good portability.

That headset also comes with a USB adapter which allows you to basically get a USB based sound card so you can use that headset with machines without a sound card (or a problematic sound card/chipset…).

It seems that Ubuntu works well with that adapter. Ubuntu recognizes it as another sound device, as if you have another sound card attached. I attached it, run Skype and configured Skype to use that newly found sound device for incoming and outgoing voice chats and it just worked.

I managed to call people, they heard me well and everything was fine.

The only downside was that it works only in mono, for some reason, so I only heard sound on the left side (when its hooked to another Linux machine that doesn’t have a mic problem or a Windows or Mac machines the headset is working in stereo UPDATE: It seems that there were two devices, one was stereo and one was mono. When I switched to the second one I started hearing in stereo :-) ). It’s still better than nothing and if you have a headset with only one left speaker you won’t even notice it ;-)

Feisty Fawn – Works as advertised

Whenever a new version of Ubuntu comes out I download the CD, run it in LiveCD mode and see if my Laptop (Thinkpad T43) works with everything included (video card – ATI, sound, Wireless card the Intel a/b/g wireless thingy) and succeeds in connecting to my home wireless network (using WPA2 encryption).

Previous versions usually missed either in the wireless card or the WPA (or it was really cumbersome to configure WPA).

I tested Feisty Fawn (7.04) and surprise, surprise, it works as advertised.

Everything was correctly configured and recognized including the cool new wireless applet for Gnome which found my network and even figured that its WPA.

Good work Ubuntu team! You are on the right path!

Being the geek that I am, I always find myself trying to figure out whether I should install a Linux distribution that simply works (up until Feisty Fawn there wasn’t really something that did that without further tweaks) or should I go 100% geek/developer and run Gentoo.

After all, if I’m going to tweak thing, at least give me 100% control over what I am doing…

I guess that from now on I’ll really have a dilemma…

Could not run/locate “i386-pc-linux-gnu-gcc”

I have Gentoo Linux on my home machine and after I’ve upgraded GCC (and subsequently the whole toolchain) I wanted to compile a perl related library – crypt-rsa.

When I tried to emerge it, it failed with the following error:

Could not run/locate “i386-pc-linux-gnu-gcc”

After searching around I found this thread on the Gentoo forums which had some instructions how to handle this issue, but it didn’t help much.

In one of the posts on that thread they said to re-emerge the offending package (if you find it). I figured, since I’m trying to compile something related to Perl, perhaps Perl is the problem.

I re-emerged it and, surprise surprise, it worked so I thought I’d share it with the world.