Category Archives: linux

samba, stop being so selfish!

So not long ago I noticed that some of my samba shares weren’t working properly. By that, I mean, I could access the main share, but some of the subdirectories were giving me an “access denied” error when trying to traverse them. It was one of those things where it was just an annoyance that I didn’t have time to research and fix so I was just working around it in different ways.

A little digging into my shares I narrowed down the issue to only subdirectories that I had Symlinked to other directories not within the original folder. The link was fine, the Linux permissions were fine, as were the the settings in my smb.conf. Regardless, I still couldn’t access the symlinked subdirectories.

Off to google. The second link pointed to an ubuntu forums post where others were having the same issue. One of which had traced it back to a security news post on samba’s website. Apparently the default setting:

wide links = yes

is too much of a security risk and has now been changed to “no” unless you set it manually in the smb.conf. So to get my shares working properly again, I added the above as well as:

follow symlinks = yes

unix extensions = no

A “sudo service samba restart” and all is as it should be. Yay google! 🙂

Canonical backtracks its decision

No, unfortunately, not that decision. The decision to use Yahoo has the default search engine in Mozilla Firefox in Ubuntu 10.04 has been changed back to Google. Granted, I could care less what default search engine is used in Firefox. It’s a setting that can be changed in a very easy and user friendly manner. I’ve also stopped using MemoryLeakFox in favor of a slightly less memory hog, Google Chrome. What gets me is the comment made by Rick Spencer in regard to the decision:

In this case, choosing Google will be familiar to everybody upgrading from 9.10 to 10.04

Last I checked, familiarity was not a valid or adequate reason for  basing decisions on. If familiarity has now become a good enough reason, then I know some other bugs that could use another once-over.

Songbird halts major support for linux

update: Songbird has now been forked and will keep supporting linux! The new project is now Nightingale.

As many of you know we’re hard at work on NOFX and the release is looking really good – lots of cool improvements, including video playback. Some of you have noticed that the Linux version has fallen behind, leading to some heated, but healthy debate internally about how to prioritize the development hopper.

After careful consideration, we’ve come to the painful conclusion that we should discontinue support for the Linux version of Songbird. Some of you may wonder how a company with deep roots in Open Source could drop Linux and we want you to know it isn’t without heartache.
 We have a small engineering team here at Songbird, and, more than ever, must stay very focused on a narrow set of priorities. Trying to deliver a raft of new features around all media types, and across a growing list of devices, we had to make some tough choices.

Article continued…

Songbird was usually my answer for people when they asked about iTunes on Ubuntu(linux). Good thing we have the Ubuntu One Music Store now. Maybe this was part of the reason they gave up on linux. Who knows. Such a shame when decent projects just up and throw the towel in.

Well, that settles it…

It’s official, Canonical (Ubuntu) has stopped caring about what its community actually wants and instead will go with the bad decision by it’s design team. Enough has been said about this issue so I’m not going bring up the reasons why this is a bad decision again. There are plenty of blogs, forum posts, polls, the bug report and even a website dedicated to it.

Now my dilemma is deciding if I want to continue advocating Ubuntu as a good alternate solution to Windows users.

Earth Hour

From :

• Earth Hour is World Wildlife Fund’s global initiative where individuals, schools, organizations, businesses and governments turn off their lights for one hour to cast a vote in favor of action on climate change. By voting with their light switches, Earth Hour participants send a powerful, visual message demanding action on climate change.

• Earth Hour is the largest climate event in history. In 2009, more than 4,000 cities in 87 countries went dark. Here in the United States, and estimated 80 million Americans participated, along with 318 cities and 8 US states.

• Participants in this movement are encouraged invite friends and family to take action, and incorporate ideas and solutions for combating climate change into their daily lives.

So EathHour is tomorrow, March 27th at 8:30pm your local time. I participated in this last year by turning off all the lights in my house as well as all possible computers and electronics. It’s also a good time to just “unplug” for at least an hour.

Feel free to leave comments on how or if you’ll be participating as well.

The Gnome war on features continues…

We’re back with another fun-filled episode of “How long till Gnome has a single button as it’s only feature?”. On today’s episode, Gnome has removed the ability to toggle between the text-based location bar and breadcrumbs with the touch of a button. This has always been a handy feature in nautilus for quickly navigating to hidden directories( .local ), to Windows (SMB) shares, FTP or SSH shares while toggling back the “better” looking breadcrumbs with only the click of a button. Not anymore folks! Remember, buttons are the devil!

UPDATE: The original bug in launchpad can be found here and the corresponding bugzilla bug for gnome here. And here is David Siegel’s post about the bright idea to remove yet more features including this one.

P.S. Yes, I know you can use CTRL+L or / or use the menu’s to bring up half the functionality of the button. The average user (who yes, does/did use this) shouldn’t have to learn hundreds of magic combo key’s to navigate their computer. Nor should they have to use the command line.

My first bug fix

Continuing on from my last post.

  • step #4 fix the problem. So it turns out that the way in which the icons were being displayed wasn’t exactly incorrect. We were just letting the “gtk-menu-images” overwrite us and not show the menu icons for the application. The solution is in gtk_image_menu_item_set_always_show_image (). This forces the display of the icons we specify. Thanks goes out to Glatzor and his comment to my original post about this issue. Thanks also goes out to kklimonda from #ubuntu-app-devel on FreeNode for helping me figure out the right syntax and areas to add this item. There was some grepping and reading involved on my part. I had the right file and was close to the right area, just didn’t have it 100% on my own.
  • step #5 submit fix to launchpad. Thanks goes out to doctormo for helping with this one. I had already used Ground Control to pull down a branch of my own to work on. Now it was just a matter of cleaning up the added files from compiling and committing my changes. After that you upload the changes to launchpad and propose the changes to be merged into the main trunk. I also linked my branch to the existing bug to keep things in order. Now I just wait for the maintainer to hopefully merge my changes and for them to make it into the next build of gSTM in some future version of ubuntu.
  • step #6 Now what I’d like to do is take my changes and the changes made in trunk that aren’t in the version of gSTM in the Ubuntu repositories, compile them all together, package them and submit them to my own PPA until they all make it into the main repositories. It’s going to be a bit pick and choose or at least involve some more bug fixing since one of the branches made a change that broke the notification icon.  I might revert these changes in my PPA build since I don’t care for the intended new icon anyway.

Daily Accomplishments:

  • fixed my first ubuntu bug!

Trying my hand at developing & bug fixing

WARNING: I am NOT a developer

with menu icons

One of the first applications I like to install on a fresh build of ubuntu is called gSTM or “Gnome SSH Tunnel Manager”. This allows me to setup and enable multiple ssh tunnels to/from different places with the click of a button. It provides a nice notification area icon which I can click and see at a glance all the tunnels I have preconfigured. In this same dialog box it shows the connection status of each tunnel indicated by a red(off) green(on) or yellow(?) icon to the left on the tunnel name.

Since Ubuntu 9.10, these status indicator icons are broken by default and need to be turned on by enabling “show menu icons” in the interfaces tab in the appearance preferences. Now with Ubuntu 10.04, this option has been removed from the preferences completely breaking the icons with little to no recourse(yes we can use gconf, I shouldn’t have to!).

Upon discussing (read: complaining) this problem with some of the Gnome community, I have been told that the use of these menu icons in this manner is incorrect and show be done by other means.

I plan to figure out the correct way to show these icons and resume functionality to this application and try to document my journey on here.

  • Step #1 Try to contact original developer: – fail. The contact the developer link on sourceforge gave me a bounceback email.
  • Step #3 Download the source code. – I originally downloaded the tarball from sourceforge. The problem with this is, there’s no debian directory and other magic bits to allow for easy packaging for debian/ubuntu which I would like to do in the end. I then downloaded the source in ubuntu using “sudo apt-get source gstm” which downloads all the source files to /usr/src/gstm1.2 including the packaging bits. And then I remembered about this whole Opportunistic developers thing and more specifically Ground Control by Martin Owens. I already had this installed so I just searched for “gstm” and downloaded the project and what I THINK is the correct branch to work from (gstm 1.2).

I’ve briefly looked at the icons it uses (green.xpm red.xpm yellow.xpm) and grepped for mentions of them in the code. So far i’ve come up with main.c and fniface.c.

Tonight I might try my hand at using one of the other applications mentioned in Jono’s Opportunistic Developer post called Quickly to see if I can import this project and see how it interacts with this developer environment.

continue on to part 2


I was going to write up a post complaining about the new version of Ubuntu moving the close, maximize and minimize buttons from the right-hand corner to the left along with instructions for changing it back but Daviey has already done that for me.

I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again; They can set whatever they want as default. Just give the average end user an EASY and intuitive way to change it to their liking.

gconf-editor is not average user friendly and this type of this is most certainly something the average user is going to want to change back. No matter how much the design team wants everyone to “just get used to it”. I’m getting real tired of designers telling me how I should use my computer.

Other than this major problem, I think the new theme and colors look great. I never disliked the orange and brown theme, but a lot of people did. This should make the OS more appealing to a larger audience.

Boston LinuxFest

Yeah, got your attention didn’t I? Unfortunately, The banner I threw together in a few minutes and the event doesn’t actually exist. But this has been a dream of mine for many years. It was basically the reason why I joined the Ubuntu community to begin with. I love installfests, conferences, and events where we bring together many organizations to promote a single idea. I have read many blogs about different LinuxFests like Ohio Linuxfest, LinuxFest Northwest, Texas Linux Fest and SouthEast LinuxFest. Everyone who has been to these have said they’ve been a lot of fun and informative.

Now for Boston. We have so may companies and organizations in and around Boston that could make this happen. The Ubuntu Massachusetts Local Community Group has already had some pretty decent Installfests and release parties. These have turned out pretty successful with the very limited amount of marketing and advertising. The Boston Linux and Unix Users group has periodic installfests and events. There has also been mention of college linux user groups scattered all over the state.

We need to bring all these resources together to make one of the best LinuxFests around. If anyone from Massachusetts (or surrounding states) would like to help out or knows of resources to bring this together, please let me know(lots of contact info for me on the right-hand side of my blog). I certainly don’t have the required time or resources to put this all together by myself, but I would like to put into it everything I can provide.