Augustina's Technological Blog

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Archive for the ‘Applications’ Category

Installing Flex On Ubuntu

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Install Eclipse

Do not install Eclipse from the Ubuntu repositories.  Navigate to and select Europa on the left-hand menu.  Download the Eclipse for Java download. Extract the .tar.gz file and move it to the /usr/lib/ directory. Create a symbolic link in /usr/bin to launch Eclipse.   “sudo ln -s /usr/lib/eclipse eclipse”  Also you can add a menu item under Programming to your applications menu.  Launch Eclipse to make sure the installation went smoothly.

Configure Sun Java

Follow this HOWTO:
Or follow the instructions to use your JDK of choice here –

Install Flex
Once you’ve configured Eclipse, install the Flex plugin for Linux –
Download the bin file and from the command line, chmod+x to make it executable.  Run it from the command line by cd’ing to the directory where it’s downloaded and run it by prefacing the downloaded bin file with ./ .  Example: sudo ./flexbuilder_linux_install_a4_081408.bin

Be sure to run this install script with root privileges because the installation will need to access folders that will require it.  During the installation you’ll be prompted for 2 different directories, one for the Flex install and another for the Eclipse root folder.  I chose the /opt directory for Flex installation.  On Ubuntu, if you installed Eclipse via apt the Eclipse root folder will be at  /usr/lib/eclipse .  Do not use the defaults the installation script is prompting.

Create a Project

Launch Eclipse and select File > New > Other…

A dialog should pop up with a list of wizards.  Expand the folder for Flex Builder and select your project type.

Note that I was unable to get this working with Eclipse 3.4 .  If you have a version of Eclipse installed from the Ubuntu repositories I highly recommend you completely remove it and use the packages provided by

Written by missaugustina

March 11, 2009 at 7:43 pm

Vmware Workstation on Ubuntu Feisty 7.04

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Installing VMWare workstation was somewhat painless on Ubuntu.  I only had access to an RPM package, so I had to download Alien in order to convert it to .deb.

I searched for “alien” in Synaptic and installed it through there.  Once I’d done that, I opened up my terminal, went to the location where I’d saved the RPM, and typed “sudo alien –scripts vmware….rpm” (insert the filename where the ….’s are, the suffix is .rpm).

Once I had my .deb package, I double clicked it to launch the package installer.  Everything installed properly.  Next I opened up a terminal window and typed “vmware” since I didn’t see it in the menu.  I was prompted to run a configuration Perl script.  At this point, depending on what you want to do with VMWare you might want to download the PDF manual:

After running through that (I just used the defaults for most things), I found VMWare in the Applications menu under “System Tools”.  VMWare was unable to start because it couldn’t find the EULA.  I dug around and found a link to a .gz file that must not have gotten decompressed properly.  I uncompressed it, and ran VMWare again, this time successfully.

VMWare requires you to have a copy of whatever OS it is you want to install, in my case I was installing the OEM version of Windows XP that came with my machine.  I selected to create a new Virtual Machine, Windows XP Professional, 8 gig.  I inserted my installation CD and clicked to “run” my Virtual Machine.  At this point I was prompted to enter my VMWare serial number.  I did, and the Virtual Machine started reading the CD.

The UI is very helpful and intuitive.  I didn’t have to consult the manual for anything.

Written by missaugustina

August 20, 2008 at 5:44 pm

NXServer for Remote Desktop Access

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I had set up NX Server awhile ago for remote desktop access to my Linux machine and recently had to re-set it up again, so I thought I’d document what I did so that I don’t forget ;D

NXServer is an alternative to VNC.  It’s faster and served over a secure channel, which is important if you need to manage machines without a VPN.  Generally it’s easier to use VNC, but I thought it would be fun to play around with a different system.

It’s important to know that you need a GUI, preferably Gnome in order to do this.  Otherwise you might as well SSH.  Speaking of SSH you’ll need to install openSSH if you don’t have it already.  You can do that by going to your terminal and typing the following:
<code>sudo apt-get install ssh</code>

once you have that installed, you’re ready to get NXServer, et al..

NX Server is made by NoMachine.  You’ll need to go to their <a href=”″>Linux downloads page</a> to get a copy.  Select “NX Free Edition for Linux DEB – i386 ” to get .deb packages that can be automagically launched from Firefox.  You’ll need to download the Client and install it, then the Node, then Server.

Once you have installed those, you’ll need to set up a user for your connection.  I recommend using whatever user you already log in with.  If you need to create an additional user specifically for remote access, use the “useradd” command to do it within Ubuntu first.  In the terminal type the following:
<code>/usr/NX/bin/nxserver –useradd yourusernamehere</code>

You’ll need to install nxclient on any machine you want to be able to connect to your Linux machine.  There are both Mac and Windows versions available (Mac requires X11).  Also if you want more than 2 concurrent connections you’ll need to buy a license.

Written by missaugustina

August 28, 2007 at 5:56 pm

Posted in Applications, Server, Ubuntu

Firefox and Proprietary Codecs

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Yes you *can* play embedded proprietary codecs in Linux, thanks to Mplayer!

First, get the plug-ins!

1) Install Mplayer.
In Ubuntu, make sure you have extra repositories enabled. Open synaptic and type “mplayer”. Install the media player and the Mozilla plug-in.

2) Disable Totem’s plugins
I found a great HOWTO: HOWTO: Replace Totem as Mozilla Plugin.

Go to the terminal and type “cd /usr/lib/mozilla-firefox/plugins”.

In the HOWTO they suggest deleting or renaming the old Codecs. I created a directory called “totem-old” and moved all the totem plugins to that directory, just in case something was in there that I needed later.

Type “sudo mkdir totem-old” then type “sudo mv libtotem*.* totem-old”. You’ll get an error message but it will move the files.

Now make sure you quit all instances of Firefox (or whatever Firefox derivative you might be using). Reopen Firefox and visit a page that streams Quicktime – like and see if you can play movies! It should load Mplayer rather than totem.

Written by missaugustina

March 30, 2007 at 6:05 pm

Setting Up Ubuntu Server

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The Ubuntu LAMP Server installation is pretty straightforward and there are a lot of HOWTO’s on the web that walk you through how to do it. What you do after that however is pretty dated in most of the resources I had found. I struggled to find up to date information that pertained to 6.10 Edgy and have logged it here for reference.

Update Repositories
After installing the LAMP server, you’ll want to update your sources.list file.

sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

Uncomment the extra repositories.

Update apt:

sudo apt-get update

While you’re in apt, be sure to install build-essential and ssh:

sudo apt-get install package-you-want-to-install

Static IP Address
By default your server will be set up to acquire an IP address via DHCP. If your server needs a static IP, you’ll need to configure it as follows:

sudo nano /etc/network/interfaces

Type the following into the file, replace eth0 with your Network Card’s interface if it’s not eth0 (type “ifconfig” in the bash shell if you’re uncertain). Be sure to comment out anything you see in your config that’s different rather than deleting it, just in case something stops working. Alternatively you can create a backup of the interfaces file by typing “sudo cp interfaces interfaces.bak”

auto eth0
iface eth0 inet static
network ipfirstfour.ipsecondfour.0.0
broadcast ipfirstfour.ipsecondfour.ipthirdfour.255


iface eth0 static

finally, restart network services.

sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart

Resolving your Host Name
If you assigned a host name to your machine it might not show up in the DNS servers right away. you can check that your DNS servers are correctly entered by opening the resolv.conf file:
sudo nano /etc/resolv.conf

check that it says something like this:
nameserver 123.456.789.1

If you are doing this on an internal network, you may have to send a request to the IT department to update their DNS entry for your server.

If you want to change your host name you’ll need to edit the file /etc/hostname and change the name of the system:

sudo nano /etc/hostname

Edit the file with your desired host name and Ctl-X to write out the changes and exit.

Then run

/etc/init.d/ start

to make the change active, or restart your system.

Webmin is an awesome tool for remote server administration. I don’t have a desktop environment installed on my servers and now I don’t need a keyboard or mouse either. To install webmin you’ll need to go to and get the url of their latest distribution. The online HOWTO’s I read were all very out of date with regards to acquiring this or else I was just typing the wrong package to install in apt. Once you have the url you can download the .deb package! You can access the Webmin website from you bash shell by installing Lynx via apt. Lynx is an old school text based web browser.

wget http://url.of.webmin/install/.deb

Install it using dpkg

sudo dpkg --install webmin

If you get errors during the install about missing libraries, get them in apt

sudo apt-get -f install

You can log in by going to to access the Webmin interface. If your domain name is resolving (try “nslookup yourdomainname”) then you can replace the IP address with your domain name.

You’ll need to set up a root user in mySQL before you do anything else, even access it from Webmin.

mysqladmin -u root password yournewpasswordhere

After you do that you’ll get the bash prompt again. Now set your super user.

mysqladmin -h yourmachinename -u root password anotherpasswordhere

You’ll get a prompt…


Type in the “root” password you set in the first command.

Restart mySQL…

sudo /etc/init.d/mysql restart

And that’s all she wrote…! Feel free to correct me if I’ve made any mistakes.. I’m just recording what i did in order to set it up on my machine…

Written by missaugustina

March 13, 2007 at 6:07 pm

Posted in Applications, Server, Ubuntu

Amarok Out with your Socks Out!

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I mostly play music at work while I’m working. I just set up music playing on my home machine this weekend.

I took some CD’s to work to see how Ubuntu would handle ripping and to see how the sound apps would handle playback. I also had uploaded a few MP3’s for the purpose of downloading them when I got to work. when I inserted the first CD, Sound juicer popped up. Go to Edit->Preferences to set the format and the location where you want the files ripped to, as well as how they will be titled when they are saved. While I prefer FLAC and OGG, I was curious about MP3 support. I didn’t see those options listed and did a little research. When I downloaded my MP3’s and tried to play them in Rhythmbox, I got an error that said I needed GStream libraries in order to playback MP3’s.

I set my Synaptic package manager to include all available packages for the broadest search, and I explicitly searched for the GStream libraries and installed them. The options were available in Sound Juicer, but I still chose OGG as my extract format. Rhythmbox is *ok* but I noticed that sometimes it showed the wrong track when I had the player minimized. Also the random playback leaves a lot to be desired – it kept replaying the same songs and not playing others. However the interface is really simple which makes it super easy to figure out.

On the other end of the spectrum is Amarok After a few days of using Rhythmbox, I just really wanted something “cooler” (I’m a total Mac user at heart despite my defection several years ago). I installed Amarok using the Add/Remove programs. When I tried to play an MP3 in Amarok I got an error that it needed to install gstream libraries (I thought this was weird since I’d just installed them, but maybe it’s using some special KDE ones?). I clicked OK when it said it was done and continued to get the same error. In the background, the package manager had launched and was updating my system with the stuff I needed. I waited until it was done before re-launching Amarok.

Amarok’s interface is pretty intense with a lot of options. Winamp users will appreciate it. It manages your collection and album art, it also provides uplink to You can even skin it, just like Winamp. There are so many features buried in it that I’m still discovering (since I only *just* installed it).

Installing Amarok at home was even simpler. I’d used Automatix2 to install all my codecs, and I guess it got everything, because Amarok was able to play MP3’s right after I installed it.

I ripped several CD’s in OGG format and Amarok imported them with the correct album art. Additionally, Amarok had no problem playing some MP3’s I’d downloaded from (Epitonic is an awesome resource for more obscure music MP3’s, especially indie artists.. I’ve been downloading from them for years).

Despite Amarok’s awesomeness, there was one caveat Gnome users should be aware of. After installing Amarok at home, I couldn’t run Neverwinter Nights. I kept getting this weird MCOP error because it was trying to access KDE sound drivers (I use Gnome). Amarok runs the KDE libraries even if you’ve installed it in Gnome. I had the hardest time with this problem because it happens to a lot of applications and the way to fix varies by Linux distribution and by application it is affecting. First I tried specifying the SDL_AUTODRIVER=esd in my nwn startup script. That worked but led to sound degradation. Other drivers gave me no sound (like alsa). Finally on the ubuntu forums I found a tidbit about changing the libraries referenced to use Ubuntu’s SDL libraries instead of the ones in the Bioware Linux distro. That TOTALLY worked. see my post about installing Neverwinter Nights (I updated it with this info).

You can see what I’m listening to at and also if you’re on there, feel free to add me and join the Amarok group if you use Amarok!

Written by missaugustina

March 11, 2007 at 6:08 pm

Beryl is Beautiful

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Installing Beryl wasn’t too painful and it actually brought to light a minor ubuntu bug. Running Beryl has been awesome and anyone who is used to Mac OS X Aqua will really enjoy having some eye candy on their Ubuntu install.

For Beryl installation instructions, since I have an Nvidia card, I followed this set of instructions:

I will NOT be installing this on my work computer mainly because my graphics card won’t support it. (Edit: I installed it and it works fine, see below for details) running Beryl on my Nvidia 7300 has been great, and I’ve had no issues with lag or resource problems. I can’t say the same for the Intel card, and to be frank the only thing I’d need beryl for at work is to show off to my Mac loving coworkers tee hee. I can always get a laptop with a fancy Nvidia card in it, RIGHT?

Who should install Beryl?
– You should be comfortable configuring things on Ubuntu. It most likely will not work right away and will take a few extra steps to get going. If you’ve never edited a .conf file or effectively used the forums, try doing something simpler first like setting up Filesharing.
– You should have the hardware to support it — see the Beryl documentation for more info on that.

Important things to know for running Beryl:
– Backup any files you have to configure.
– Ctl-Alt-Backspace will restart Gnome. Use it if things get crazy (note that you will lose any unsaved changes to any open documents).
– Ctl-Alt-F2 will take you to a terminal screen (you’ll need to log in again).
Type ps -aux | more to see all running processes, hit the space bar to see the rest of the list.
(this can help you troubleshoot)
– To restart Gnome from “Ctl-Alt-F2” type sudo /etc/init.d/gdm restart.
If your system seems to be hanging DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING, just let it sit for awhile. You’ll be booted into the Gnome log in screen once it’s fully restarted.
– Ctl-Alt-F7 will get you back into the gnome screen
– Ctl-Alt and click on the body of a window to move it without clicking the title bar (in case Emerald failed to start and you don’t have a titlebar to click)

After running the install, you will need to edit your Xconfig file. Type “sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf” to edit the conf file for the x windows server. When it opens in Gedit, check at the very bottom to make sure it looks like this:

Section "Extensions"
Option "Composite" "Enable"

If it says “Disable” you’ll need to change it to “Enable”. If that’s the only change you are making, you really don’t need to backup the file. You can edit it in the Ctl-Alt-F2 screen by using the command pico or nano in place of gedit.

FINALLY, do NOT use Ubuntu’s Sessions user interface to add beryl-desktop as a startup session!!!

After I’d gone through the install following all the instructions, when I logged in, nothing happened! No Beryl 😦 I also started getting an error. $HOME/.dmrc could not be written, permissions should be 644 and owned by user. I thought this might also be affecting the beryl-manager startup. This started happening after I installed beryl and opened the Sessions configuration panel to add “beryl-manager” as a start up session. Apparently there is a bug in the configuration panel that fails to set “RelaxPermissions” so when the system re-loads it sets it to 0, which is the most restrictive. The way to fix it is to add the following line to /etc/gdm/gdm.conf in section security: “RelaxPermissions=1” .

Secondly, you’ll need to manually add the beryl-manager to autostart. Create a new file from your home directory by typing the following into a terminal line: sudo gedit .config/autostart/beryl-manager.desktop

A blank text document will pop open in gedit, paste this code into it (change version to whatever version your beryl desktop manager displays):

[Desktop Entry]
Version= 0.1.9999.2

For some reason with my install, Beryl won’t start automatically. I actually have to open a terminal and type “beryl”. I might have to create another autostart for that as well.

When beryl-desktop is running you’ll see a red gemstone in the upper right corner of your panel. Right click on it to access the menu. You’ll need to select a theme in Emerald. If your titlebars disappear, try re-selecting a theme in emerald. Also sometimes right after emerald starts, the windows need to refresh, you won’t see the buttons on the upper right corners of your windows. You can do this by switching virtual desktops or by switching to another view of your desktop cube (Ctl-Alt-Right Arrow).

Now Beryl should be working, configure to your heart’s content. The fact that so many extra steps have to be taken to get it up and running is an indicator that it’s still pretty beta… BUT it works great and I haven’t had any beryl-related system crashes. It really makes using my OS more fun!

Peep some Beryl videos to get some ideas on how to configure your stuff!


I installed Beryl on my work computer, which is a P4 with an Intel integrated 945 GMA. 3D is not supported, those animations don’t render well. Everything else works great, although some of the more intense animations cause a little lag when opening an application window (like when I launch the terminal). If my processor was a bit faster, I would probably be ok. the reason why this is important is because a lot of inexpensive laptops are only available with the integrated graphics card.. and the price jumps up significantly if you want Nvidia. So for most effects, the integrated card is sufficient, especially if you are able to get a faster processor and beef up the ram.

Written by missaugustina

March 10, 2007 at 6:09 pm