ERROR: Failed to build gem native extension.

While attempting to install a package from gem, I encountered this issue:

sudo gem install dashing Building native extensions. This could take a while… ERROR: Error installing dashing: ERROR: Failed to build gem native extension. /usr/bin/ruby1.9.1 extconf.rb /usr/lib/ruby/1.9.1/rubygems/custom_require.rb:36:in `require’: cannot load such file — mkmf (LoadError) from /usr/lib/ruby/1.9.1/rubygems/custom_require.rb:36:in `require’ from extconf.rb:2:in `’ Gem files […]

VirtualBox (4.26) USB Issue: “unable to enumerate USB device on port n”

After a couple of hours trying to get a USB device (USB-to-Serial FTDI) working in VirtualBox with OSX host and Ubuntu 12.10 guest and receiving an error message similar to the follow:

usb 6-3: new full speed USB device number 24 using ohci_hcd usb 6-3: device not accepting address 24, error -110 hub 6-0:1.0: […]

what(): Serial Port failed to open: open: Permission denied

what(): Serial Port failed to open: open: Permission denied

Trying to get access to your serial port without the need for running whatever program as sudo or root? You’re probably not in the dialout group, if that’s the case, here’s the fix:

First, check you aren’t in the group:

groups alex

This will list […]

Team Fortress 2 Segmentation Fault – Steam for Linux

After getting invited to join the Steam Beta for Linux, (after weeks of using the bypass) I decided to get playing some TF2. After the long install and download I booted it up. The Value splash screen with the tap-guy loads and the menu begins to load, but once it has finished, the game […]

Setting up a static external IP address on a Raspberry Pi (For Free!)

If you’re planning on setting up your raspberry pi as a server or a project that’ll want you to access it from a static external IP address, here’s a really simple and quick way to get that up and running for free.

First off, this guide uses the free service from no-ip (, so […]

mlbviewer 2012 Installation guide for Ubuntu (MLB.TV on Linux)

Download mlbviewer:

Go and grab the latest version from the sourceforge page below:

Unrar: tar -zxvf mlbviewer2012.tar.gz

It doesn’t require any installation but you will need a few extras and the easiest way to install them is shown below:

Download PyXML:

PyXML is an XML processing tool for python which this project […]

10 Command Line Tricks I Wish I’d Always Known

One thing that Linux Guru’s and Terminal Wizards often argue is that it’s way quicker to use the command line to do anything in Linux than it is through menus and what not. While the jury is still out on this, there are a lot of things they know which do help put the […]

Toggle Touchpad With Keyboard Shortcut in Ubuntu

Install Jupiter

Instructions for Ubuntu 11.10, 11.04, 10.10, 10.04:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/jupiter sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install jupiter

Jupiter comes with a useful script to disable and re-enable the touchpad/track pad, it can be ran using the following command:

sudo /usr/lib/jupiter/scripts/touchpad

Now all you’ll need to do is add this command to a […]

Heat Management in Linux

When you first switch from Windows or OSX to Linux, one of the things you’ll probably first notice (especially if you’re using a laptop) is that it can run considerably hotter than the alternatives. There are a few things you can do to remedy this, however. The following software packages help you keep track […]

Updating The Kernel in Ubuntu

Download the latest from here:

The folders correspond to kernel versions and should also include the ubuntu version, for example I chose to update 11.10 (oneiric) from “3.0.0-14-generic” to “3.1.4”, this was in a directory called “v3.1.4-oneiric/“.

You’ll need 3 files (replace * with the kernel version you’ve downloaded):


For 64 bit […]