HowTo Linux Ubuntu

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 systems (replace * with the kernel version you’ve downloaded):


For 32 bit systems (replace * with the kernel version you’ve downloaded):


Once you have the files, install them in the following order using these commands (of course, replacing the version number for the ones you’ve downloaded):
sudo dpkg -U linux-headers-3.1.4-030104_3.1.4-030104.201111281851_all.deb
sudo dpkg -U linux-headers-3.1.4-030104-generic_3.1.4-030104.201111281851_amd64.deb
sudo dpkg -U linux-image-3.1.4-030104-generic_3.1.4-030104.201111281851_amd64.deb

Once that’s done, reboot. Once you’re back use the following command to check that the kernel you’re using is the one you’ve just downloaded and installed!

uname -r
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Setting Up Surround Sound in Linux

It’s been a while since I bothered, the reason being it’s always seemed like an un-worthwhile struggle to get it working but either things changed or I was doing something to overcomplicate the process but it’s actually pretty simple to get surround sound up and running on your Linux machine. Now, I’m not going to go in to how to install the drivers for your specific sound card, because there are so many and I don’t have them all and most times on most popular distributions (Debian, Ubuntu, Mint, Fedora, OpenSuse etc) you’re going to notice that the sound card is actually already supported. What I will be doing is showing you how easy it was to get my 5.1’s set up (and the same will be said for 7.1’s).

Step 1:

First off you’re going to want to edit the pulseaudio configuration file to add the number of speakers you’re using, it’s default is set to 2.

sudo gedit /etc/pulse/daemon.conf

Near the bottom of the file, there will be a line which looks like this:

;default-sample-channels = 2

The semi-colon is a comment, so this line isn’t actually doing anything unless you remove that. I would suggest leaving that line alone and adding a new line at the bottom:

default-sample-channels = 6

If you’re using 5.1’s the number of channels will be 6, 7.1’s will be 8 and I think you get where I’m going with this? So in this example, I’m using 5.1’s.

Now save and close that file. You’ll need to reboot your system now too, so that these changes will take effect.

Step 2:

So you’re back? Good..

Now you’re going to want to open up the Sound Preferences, usually you can do this by clicking on the little sound icon in your panel, or System > Preference > Sounds from the menu.

From here, you’ll want to click on the Hardware tab. Near the bottom it’ll say Profile: with a drop down box next to it. Here you can select the type of set up you have, as you can see in the screenshot I have an “Analogue Surround 5.1 Output”, yours might be different and that’s cool and if you don’t know feel free to try a few out. Next to that drop down box is a button which says “Test Speakers”, this didn’t work for me so I have to use an online test but give it a try as it might work!

That’s it, you should be done!

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Linux Media Players And Flash Not Stopping The Screensaver

It’s a pretty common problem, one which could be solved by pretty much the following sentence: ‘[Insert Linux Distro], [Insert Media Player] not stopping screen saver when playing videos.’ And, yeah, it’s very annoying. Something that should have been fixed thousands of releases ago, just like most common Linux problems. Luckily though there is a fix, it’s easy and it’s awesome.

Introducing: Caffeine, “An application to temporarily prevent the activation of both the screen saver and the “sleep” powersaving mode.” –

Essentially what this program does is look for processes running on your machine (you can do this too, just run ‘ps -A’ in a terminal emulator to see a list of everything), so you set process names which the program should look out for, for example ‘vlc’ and when there is a process with this name Caffeine disables the screensaver, when the process stops the screensaver is re-enabled. It even comes with a little tray icon which allows you to manual enable or disable the screensaver/power management with a single click.

Installation (Ubuntu):
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:caffeine-developers/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install caffeine

You’ll be able to see if caffeine is running by the tray icon the first time you use it (this can be disabled in the settings).

Caffeine Running (Screensaver / Power Management Enabled)
Caffeine Running (Right Click Settings)
Caffeine Running (Screensaver / Power Management Disabled)
Adding Processes:

To add a process which will disable the screensaver from being activated, for example VLC so we can watch a movie without constantly having to wiggle the mouse:

First, run VLC (or whatever other media player you wish and just replace VLC for that for the other few steps)

Next, right click on the Caffeine tray icon and select “Preference”.

Click the “Add” button.

List of processes already disabling the screensaver, note Totem is added here.

You should be greeted by a list of the running processes, select the name of the media player (this case, vlc) if it isn’t there check under the “Recent Processes” tab or alternatively just write the command you would use to run this program from the command line.

Adding VLC to processes to disable the screensaver.

Finally click the “Add” button and close the preferences window, that pesky screensaver should no longer be bothering you!

Stopping Flash from enabling the screensaver:

Okay, this is actually really easy, if you’re using Chromium or Google Chrome or Firefox, you’ll just want to add the processes ‘npviewer.bin’ to list, you can use the above instructions to do so.

Fedora HowTo Posts

Fedora 15 Post Installation Guide

Install RPM Fusion

su -c 'yum localinstall --nogpgcheck'

Enable unsupported video and audio codecs

Get enhanced audio and video support in applications that rely on GStreamer:

sudo yum install gstreamer-plugins-ugly gstreamer-plugins-bad gstreamer-ffmpeg

Get enhanced audio and video support in applications that rely on xine backend:

sudo yum install xine-lib-extras-freeworld

Install Chromium Browser

Make a file called “fedora-chromium-stable.repo” in /etc/yum.repos.d/ and open:

sudo gedit /etc/yum.repos.d/fedora-chromium-stable.repo

Paste in the following, save and exit:

# Place this file in your /etc/yum.repos.d/ directory

name=Builds of the "stable" tag of the Chromium Web Browser

name=Builds of the "stable" tag of the Chromium Web Browser - Source

Install Flash

Download the YUM for Linux version from the adobe site –

Run the following in the folder you downloaded the file to:

su -c 'rpm -ivh adobe-release-i386-1.0-1.noarch.rpm'

Import the GPG key:

su -c 'rpm --import /etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-adobe-linux'

In 32bit run:

su -c 'yum install nspluginwrapper alsa-plugins-pulseaudio flash-plugin'

on 64bit run:

su -c 'yum install nspluginwrapper.{x86_64,i686} alsa-plugins-pulseaudio.i686 --disablerepo=adobe-linux-i386'
su -c 'yum install flash-plugin'

If you’re using Firefox, that should be all done but if you’re using Chromium you’ll need to open Firefox and play a video then close it and run the following:


sudo ln -s /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/ /usr/lib/chromium-browser/plugins/


sudo ln -s /usr/lib64/mozilla/plugins-wrapped/ /usr/lib64/chromium-browser/plugins/

Close and re-open Chromium and head to YouTube to check that it’s working.

Install Dropbox

Download and install the correct rpm for 32 or 64 bit from the Dropbox website –

Follow this guide to remove the YUM errors you may encounter once the package is installed – .

Install VLC

sudo yum install vlc
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How To: Disable SELinux in Fedora

WARNING: by continuing following this guide you are putting your machine at risk by disabling the secuity features within SELinux, I strongly advise if you do not know what you are doing, stop and read up on the implications this action will have before continuing. Some information is avaible in the Fedora Wiki here .

Open up this file:

sudo gedit /etc/selinux/config

Change the line that looks like this:


To this:


Save and reboot and it should be working, although again be warned this has disabled the security mechanism on your system. To re-enable this, simply do the same however change from permissive to enforcing and again reboot your machine.

HowTo Linux Posts

How To Fix: Error: Cannot retrieve repository metadata (repomd.xml) for repository: Dropbox. Please verify its path and try again

After installing dropbox from the RPM package availble on the site on a new Fedora 15 install, I was unable to use yum without coming across this error:

$ update
Loaded plugins: langpacks, presto, refresh-packagekit [Errno 14] HTTP Error 404 - Not Found :
Trying other mirror. [Errno 14] HTTP Error 404 - Not Found :
Trying other mirror.
Error: Cannot retrieve repository metadata (repomd.xml) for repository: Dropbox. Please verify its path and try again

For some unknown reason dropbox repos dont seem to work past 13 so you’ll need to change the dropbox.repo file from detecting the current release to 13 like so:

Open the dropbox.repo file:

sudo gedit /etc/yum.repos.d/dropbox.repo 

Change the baseurl from $relesever to 13 like so:


name=Dropbox Repository


name=Dropbox Repository

Save and close and everything should be working, try using sudo yum update to check and the error should have gone away. If not give a reboot a try.

Arch Linux HowTo Posts

wicd Error During ArchBang Update

error: failed to commit transaction (conflicting files)
wicd: /usr/lib/python2.7/site-packages/wicd/__init__.pyo exists in filesystem
wicd: /usr/lib/python2.7/site-packages/wicd/backend.pyo exists in filesystem
wicd: /usr/lib/python2.7/site-packages/wicd/configmanager.pyo exists in filesystem
wicd: /usr/lib/python2.7/site-packages/wicd/dbusmanager.pyo exists in filesystem
wicd: /usr/lib/python2.7/site-packages/wicd/logfile.pyo exists in filesystem
wicd: /usr/lib/python2.7/site-packages/wicd/misc.pyo exists in filesystem
wicd: /usr/lib/python2.7/site-packages/wicd/networking.pyo exists in filesystem
wicd: /usr/lib/python2.7/site-packages/wicd/wnettools.pyo exists in filesystem
wicd: /usr/lib/python2.7/site-packages/wicd/wpath.pyo exists in filesystem
Errors occurred, no packages were upgraded.

Remove wicd:

sudo pacman -R wicd

Re-update the system:

sudo pacman -Syu

Re-install wicd (and wicd-gtk gui if you want that too)

sudo pacman -Sy wicd wicd-gtk
HowTo Linux Posts Ubuntu

OpenShot, libmp3lame and Ubuntu

If you’re getting the following error while trying export a video under several different codecs in OpenShot including AVI, MOV and MPEG using (mpeg2, mpeg4 or h.264) chances are this might help you with that error.

The following formats/codecs are missing from your system:


You will not be able to use the selected export profile. You will need to install the missing formats/codecs or choose a different export profile.

This is a simple fix:

  • Open up Synaptic Package Manager
  • Search “libavformat”,
    • If the current package installed is “libavformat52”┬áselect “libavformat-extra-52” (alternativly “libavformat-unstripped-52” should also work).
    • Else the package might be “libavformat53” so simply change to “libavformat-extra-53”, basically it might end in different numbers, it should work the same.
  • Hit Apply and approve the changes.
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HowTo: Remove Every Other Line in Text Files – Linux

Let’s say you’ve got a text file, of any size, big or small, and you want to remove every other line of that file, well here are a few commands in Linux that allow you to do this.

Example, you want to get from this:


To this:


The sed way:

 sed -n "p;N;" file.txt > newfile.txt

The awk way:

 awk 'NR%2 != 0' file.txt > newfile.txt

Here you can actually specify N lines, replace 2 in the above command and you’ll be able to take out every N’th number. As an example, here’s the above replaced with a 3 on the file:


Easy as pie, right?

Arch Linux HowTo Linux Posts

Failed to build Planner-0.14.4 in Arch Linux

When trying to install Gnome Planner ( ) in Arch Linux, I came across this error:


/usr/bin/pygobject-codegen-2.0: line 11: /usr/bin/python2: No such file or directory
make[2]: *** [planner.c] Error 127
make[2]: Leaving directory `/home/alex/Desktop/planner-0.14.4/python'
make[1]: *** [all-recursive] Error 1
make[1]: Leaving directory `/home/alex/Desktop/planner-0.14.4'
make: *** [all] Error 2

To fix this, I made a symbolic link from /usr/bin/python2.7 to /usr/bin/python2, this should work with other similar errors involving missing python2 file.

sudo ln -s /usr/bin/python2.7 /usr/bin/python2

Once you have made the made the symbolic link continue to make and install the program as usual.