[SOLVED] Alt+F2 (Run Application dialog) stopped working

UPDATE: I figured the problem was due to messed up compiz settings. Disabling and enabling compiz (Right Click on Desktop>Change Desktop Background>Visual Effects None and then again to Normal or Extra) fixed it.
The older post follows.

I am using Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat 32bit. After a few updates and package changes, the run application dialog mysteriously stopped working. I had to do a little compiz workaround to make it work. To start, install Openbox for the tool “gnome-panel-control “. Use Software Center or Synaptic Package Manager or just the command line:

sudo apt-get install openbox

Once it is installed, run dialog can be brought up by running:

gnome-panel-control --run-dialog

Now, lets associate this with Alt+F2 with the help of Compiz Config Settings Manager(CCSM). To do so, CCSM must be installed:

 sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

Then, just open it: System>Preferences>CompizConfig Settings Manager. Then enable “Commands” plugin and in the plugin prefernces, under “Command” tab, enter the following in any Command Line X (where X =0, 1, 2 …) as shown below:

gnome-panel-control --run-dialog

Now, goto the “Keybindings” tab and then in the respective “Run Command X”, click the “Disabled” button and “Enable” it. Then, click “Grab Key Combination” button and press Alt+F2. Close it and now Alt+F2 should work normally.

Hope this helps.

Fixing Slow, Choppy and Laggy Maverick Meerkat (Ubuntu 10.10)

A lot of Ubuntu 10.10 users have been complaining about Maverick being too slow, typing becoming laggy and video performance being choppy.   Here are few things you can try to make it fast again. These have been collected from the user experience discussed in this post in Ubuntu forums.

Update your kernel to latest Mainline kernel

Ubuntu Maverick Meerkat uses version 2.6.35 of Linux Kernel. A lot of users have solved their problems by upgrading to version 2.6.36. You can do so by downloading the deb files and installing them from the Ubuntu Kernel Mainline PPA: http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/ Open the latest version that is available (rc8 is the latest in the time of writing this, however only 64bit is available, if you have 32-bit, use rc7) and download the following files:

If you have 32bit, choose the ones that contain i386 instead of amd64 in the name.
Install them one by one in the same order as listed above and reboot.

Note that if that does not help and if you want to switch back to 2.6.35 kernel again, you can always remove 2.6.36 kernel from Synaptic Package Manager (Alt+F2>gksu synaptic). Also note that you will not get updates to 2.6.36 even if newer versions are out, so you should update manually later if you find newer versions of 2.6.36 kernels.

Clean install

If upgrading the kernel doesn’t help you, you may want to clean install in case you have upgraded from previous versions. That may not help most of you, but still might. If you have installed 64-bit version, you may even want to switch to 32bit version as many users have reported to have no problems with 32bit version. If you install 32-bit version and have 4GB or more RAM, you should install linux-generic-pae kernel from Synaptic Package Manager so that your system can make use of all of your RAM. Some users have also mentioned going to LinuxMint has solved their problems. Or if all elese fails, go back to Lucid (10.04) and wait for Natty Narwhal (11.04) to be released.

Hope this helps.

Unity shell to be the default user interface for Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal

Mark Shuttleworth, at the Ubuntu Developer Summit held on October 25th 2010, has announced that the next version of Ubuntu i.e. Natty Narwhal, which is scheduled to be released in April 2011, will feature Unity Shell as the default interface. The Unity Shell was introduced in Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Netbook Edition.

Additionally, since Mutter has been disappointing, they have decided to change the Window manager to Compiz in Unity interface for Natty. Shuttleworth also emphasized on commitment to use Zeitgeist, which was declared earlier to be a part of Gnome 3 but later rejected.

Shuttleworth said that this change is the most significant change ever for Ubuntu. With control button moved to the left and several small modifications to the default Gnome interface, Ubuntu seemed to part away from the default Gnome interface. This change will help it even more. However, Shuttleworth has emphasized that Ubuntu is still committed to Gnome and these changes will encourage innovation and benefit the Gnome ecosystem.

Since Gnome Shell is still not ready for prime time and Gnome 3 is not coming anytime soon, this change may be refreshing for many Ubuntu users. But Ubuntu can also lose users that are committed to Gnome in the long run. Also, since people resist change, they may want to change the look and feel back to the original Gnome and continue to use Ubuntu. However, many users may move to other distros which use Gnome as is and are contributing in the development of Gnome Shell instead.

Personally, I think this change was required. The Gnome 2.x interface is too old and many users already use docks like Avant Window Navigator or Docky and remove the bottom panel anyways. If Gnome 3 would have made it by now, there would be not much reasons to choose Unity over Gnome 3. However, that is not the case and Unity will provide a visual and usability refresh for those who were bored with similar look and feel. Also, the Compiz Project, which is one of the wonderful things that have happened to Desktop Linux will continue living with the endorsement of Ubuntu.

There will be disappointed people who will speak against the change. But we have always opposed change and will continue to do so. Computerizing your workplace, upgrading from Windows 9x to NT or moving from Windows to Linux, all of these are/were not easy but once it is done, it feels way better. As a Linux user, I am all for positive changes, diversity and innovation.

[SOLVED] Disable Note of the Day Add-in Permanently in Gnote

I have been using gnote for quite some time now instead of Tomboy notes in my Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat. Gnote currently does not disable add-ins permanently. However someone may find the Note of the Day add-in useful, it annoys me and I tried to disable it in Preferences>Add-ins, even in the latest stable version 7.2. However, that did not work. So, to disable it, I decided to move the plugin file where gnote would not load from.

To do that, you can use the following commands. It should work for any version that you have.

sudo mkdir "/usr/lib/gnote/addins/`gnote --version 2>&1| cut -d\  -f2`/disabled"
sudo mv "/usr/lib/gnote/addins/`gnote --version 2>&1| cut -d\  -f2`/libnoteoftheday.so" "/usr/lib/gnote/addins/`gnote --version 2>&1| cut -d\  -f2`/disabled/" 
killall gnote

When you start it again, the note of the day should be gone.

If you want to re-enable it again, just use the command:

sudo mv "/usr/lib/gnote/addins/`gnote --version 2>&1| cut -d\  -f2`/disabled/libnoteoftheday.so" "/usr/lib/gnote/addins/`gnote --version 2>&1| cut -d\  -f2`/" 
killall gnote

When you launch it again, the plugin should be enabled again.

Hope this helps.

[SOLVED] Installation/Upgrades extremely slow in BTRFS partition

UPDATE: I installed a modified version of dpkg which makes it pretty much faster. Brian Rogers posted the patched dpkg ppa in the bug page.
The patched dpkg can be installed by executing the following commands:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:brian-rogers/btrfs
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Older Post follows for historical reasons:
I am using Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Beta and was experiencing extremely slow installation/upgrades. I was using Maverick Alpha 2 which I replaced with Alpha 3 with clean install and changed the root partition to BTRFS. Copying was normal but for some reason, package installation and upgrades took ages.

Later, it was also declared that BTRFS was not making into Maverick final and we would have to wait till the release of Ubuntu 11.04, Natty Narwhal. I read in a bug report that a patch had been issued but this has not made into the latest 2.6.35-22. Hopefully, this will be included when the final version of Maverick comes out.

Meanwhile, I decided to upgrade to 2.6.36 kernel from Kernel Mainline PPA. The latest version as of today is 2.6.36-020636rc5 (2.6.36-rc5). I downloaded the following files and installed them in the same order:

If you have a 64-bit installation, you should download the following instead:

I rebooted and tried installing some packages. The bug still remains. It is definitely not fast as I’d expect it to be. It is still very slow compared to previous experiences with ext3/ext4. I will wait for the new version of 2.6.36 to appear on Kernel Mainline PPA.

[SOLVED] “Package dependencies cannot be resolved” while installing qgis-plugin-grass

I was trying to install GRASS Plugin for Quantum GIS (qgis-plugin-grass) in my Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat while I got the following error in Ubuntu Software Center:

Package dependencies cannot be resolved
This error could be caused by required additional software packages which are missing or not installable. Furthermore there could be a conflict between software packages which are not allowed to be installed at the same time.

I then launched Synaptic Package Manager (from System>Administration menu) and tried to install qgis-plugin grass and got the following error message:

Depends: libgdal1-1.6.0-grass but it is not going to be installed

I then tried to install libgdal1-1.6.0-grass which gave me the following error:

Depends: grass640-6 but it is not installable

I looked for grass640-6 package but it was not available. However, a package named grass was available which was at version number 6.0.4-rc6 was available. I decided to make a new dummy transitional package (which the developers should have done). To do so, I just created a directory grass640 with another directory DEBIAN and created a file control inside it:

mkdir -p grass640/DEBIAN
touch grass640/DEBIAN/control

Then, I opened up control file that I just created in gedit:

gedit grass640/DEBIAN/control

and wrote the following content and saved it:

Package: grass640-6
Source: grass
Architecture: all
Maintainer: khattam@khattam.info
Installed-Size: 0
Depends: grass
Priority: extra
Homepage: http://www.khattam.info
Description: transitional dummy package for grass
 transitional dummy package to pull in grass

Then, I built the debain file:

dpkg-deb -b grass640/ ./

As a result, I got a file named grass640-6_0.6.4.0-6_all.deb in my current directory. If you don’t want to create it, you can use mine from here. Then I just installed it by double clicking on it. After that, I could install qgis-plugin-grass without problems.

Hope this helps.

[HOWTO] Update vuze (azureus) to latest version 4.5 in Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

I installed Vuze bit-torrent client and it seems really awesome. It has been written in Java but it is pretty fast and awesome. It has search and many helpful plugins. It has various types of options and configurations and it will sure take me some time to figure out. I installed it from Synaptic Package Manager and got the version (Ubuntu Software Center will do the same). I went to the website and saw that was available already. I downloaded the linux installer (Vuze_Installer.tar.bz2) and unpacked it. I got a directory named “vuze” which contained the files. Then, I just launched terminal and changed the directory to “vuze”, the one that I just extracted.
Then, I just had to copy the files to where they belong. Remember, you must have the version from the package manager installed. Then, I just backed up the original vuze files and then copied the new files over.

sudo mv /usr/share/java/Azureus2.jar /usr/share/java/Azureus2.jar.bak
sudo cp Azureus2.jar /usr/share/java/Azureus2.jar
sudo mv /usr/share/java/swt.jar /usr/share/java/swt.jar.bak
sudo cp swt.jar /usr/share/java/swt.new.jar
sudo ln -s /usr/share/java/swt.new.jar /usr/share/java/swt.jar

Now, restart vuze to check if everything works well. If it does, great, congratulations. Check the version and check if it was successfully updated.

However, if it does not run well or does not run at all, you can always get back the original installation. One way to do that is “Mark for Reinstallation” from Synaptic Package Manager (or remove and install again from Ubuntu Software Center), the other way is to undo whatever you have done via the command, which is pretty easy to figure out.

Hope this helps.


Running this commands in the terminal will stop these messages:

gpg --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv 61E091672E206FF0
gpg --export --armor 61E091672E206FF0 | sudo apt-key add -


[SOLVED] SYSLINUX – Unknown keyword in configuration file

UPDATE: See the comments below for additional help regarding the issue.

I created a bootable USB pen drive with Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Alpha Daily Build on it using Startup Disk Creator (usb-creator-gtk) in Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx. This gave the following message during startup:

SYSLINUX 3.63 Debian-2008-07-15 EBIOS Copyright (c) 1994-2008 H. Peter Anvin
Unknown keyword in configuration file

It seemed the version of syslinux in Lucid has a bug. I removed syslinux via Synaptic (which also removes usb-creator-gtk and usb-creator-common) and downloaded the deb files for the latest version of syslinux and syslinux-common from here and installed them. Then I installed usb-creator-gtk and then built the Live USB again. Then, it booted fine without problems.

[HOWTO] Update older Ubuntu iso images with zsync to get the latest version

If you have downloaded an older daily build iso and want to update the iso with new daily build, you can use the zsync utility to get the latest version of daily build without having to download the whole of the new iso.
Install zsync:

sudo apt-get install zsync

and then change the directory to where you have the older version of Ubuntu iso. For example, if you had downloaded maverick-desktop-i386.iso, go to the same download location and find the file maverick-desktop-i386.iso.zsync, right click on it and copy link location. Now, in terminal, type the following to get the latest iso:

zsync http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/daily-live/current/maverick-desktop-i386.iso.zsync

Make sure you run it from the same directory where your old iso resides.
When done, you will have the latest iso and a file maverick-desktop-i386.iso.zs-old which is the older version.

This can also be used to download less if the last download was partial and old. In fact, even if you have lucid iso, you can rename it and use zsync. It saves some bandwidth and time.