Sunday, November 29, 2009

Upstart Trickery

A friend asked about how to get Ubuntu Karmic to skip gdm (gnome display manager) startup on bootup. Removing gdm removes too much due to dependencies.

Scenario: Boot Ubuntu Karmic to a console login; login; type "startx" to start the GUI environment, not necessarily Gnome.

Thus far the only way I've found to do this is by editing /etc/init/gdm.conf. Change the line that reads "stop on runlevel [016]" to "stop on runlevel [0126]". Then reboot the system; just restarting gdm didn't work on my tests.

At this point my test system, which is a Virtual Box installation, boots to a console login as expected. When I issue the "startx" command Gnome starts up as expected _but_ the Ubuntu One client asks for access to the keyring and networking is not started. I'm not so concerned about Ubuntu One asking for keyring access as I am about not having networking up. That is rather trivial if one is comfortable booting to a console login.

If anyone knows of a better way I'd love to hear about it.

This forum post may offer another way but it doesn't take into account that Karmic is using grub2 which means there is no longer a /boot/grub/menu.lst file.

Seeking insight...

Friday, November 13, 2009


Remember those things?

I do. I was cleaning out the closet in the bat cave the other week and ran across a cache of floppies. Most were Debian from my days of "dialup desperation". 40 hours to download and install Debian over dialup.

I digress...among those floppies were two with nice Kodak wrappers.

Ah, some pretty cool old pics! I can't believe I sent these through some regular photo processing place! anyway...

That got me thinking about the camera that took those shots. It is gone. The camera that I've used for several years; broken by my own carelessness; the camera that I have now and the wonderful woman that gave it to me.

Back to thinking, some guy replied to my lug's (google lug) mailing list on a thread regarding ImageMajick. I thought this guy is more gui oriented than ImageMajick likes.

Well why not use gthumb? So I took a bunch of shots of old storage media; floppies, see the title of the post. I took 30-40 shots; what the hell it's digital just delete the ones you don't like. Selected seven from my hours of labor (should have been doing laundry).

See now that one needs deleting. Colors are way off, there is no center of interest...

Oh that's the one I used the tools included in gthumb to shift the colors!

Well the reader is now bored and expecting something just amazingly great. Hum, aw, uhm well gthumb doesn't have a way to write on a photo. I had to use gimp to do this.

But I did open the image in gimp from gthumb. Yep, when I was your age we took 15 floppies to boot up.

Ah man I'm supposed to be somewhere else right the last one is, oh me taking a photo of me. I know calm down everyone; sorry I didn't mean to start an internet riot.

That's the amazingly great things gthumb can do. well one it can't. It has this option for creating a "Web Album...". Maybe I'll check that out tomorrow...

I'm not really here...

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The other Lynx

There is another lynx. It hasn't been around as long as the cat; has been around longer than Lucid Lynx. It is a text based web browser named lynx.

I've used it enough to have my mc set to use "lynx like" navigation.

Here's what lynx looks like on Lynx....

Oh gee, about the same it did in '99 :) BTW, I couldn't search from the field where I have "ubuntu" entered; I had to go down a few fields to just above "Google Search".

So there is a screenshot of lynx running on Lucid Lynx ;-)


Friday, November 6, 2009

Koala is out so of course...

I had to upgrade to the Lynx. Oh gee did I spell that right!? Yes I did.

Seriously there was a session today during the Ubuntu Open Week about running Ubuntu+1. Which is to say running the next release of Ubuntu. To me this is like running Debian unstable; sometimes it's stable sometimes it's not. Actually this is the first time I've tried it with Ubuntu.

I did a mix of command line and gui. First the command line part:

sudo cp /etc/apt/sources.list /etc/apt/sources.list.bak

That makes a copy of the current sources list so one can restore it. However if an upgrade goes south it's not all that helpful.

Next is a combination of command line and gui. I have a terminal open so I just type what I want to do. Which is...

sudo gvim /etc/apt/sources.list

That's what *I* want to do. The reader may be more comfortable with another editor; use what you like. I use the gui buttons to find/replace karmic with lucid. Save and exit. Note: a ":x" will save and exit in vim and gvim; one less keystroke than ":wq".

After that save and exit be sure to disable any third party repos. I forgot to do that and it has not caused me any problems yet.

Now make damn sure you want to do this....

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Let that run; I had 256 packages that needed to be upgraded earlier today; I said yes.

Now I'm posting this from a running Lucid Lynx installation. Well yeah it is in Virtual Box but still...

Kinda cool to run it this early. I _do expect it to break as that is the point of a development release.