Switching languages in Ubuntu Hardy

That was quite a surprise, my usual install procedure did not go smoothly as far as languages. When I did a fresh install, I selected the French language by mistake. I prefer to run my system in English, but meh, no problem, I can change it after.. Well, not so easily.

There was an option when I chose English from the Language Support menu to update all my folder names. Which I said OK to. The folder names were properly updated, except that the former “Bureau” remained, in addition to a new “Desktop” file, and some confusion between the two for the system, even after an overnight reboot.

The only way to get it straight was to choose English from the GDM menu, make it default, and choose a GNOME session.
I played around with symbolic links to no avail.


LP bug report

Palm LifeDrive 4Go and Ubuntu Hardy

This is an update from a previous post on Gutsy.

Sync-ing the Palm LifeDrive requires less work than previously reported, and this is a fresh Ubuntu install on a new computer.
Just run sudo modprobe visor (you can add the visor module at the end of /etc/modules to make it permanent) and run the wisard:

Then choose the following settings for gPilotD sync:

The sync should go when hitting the button on the LifeDrive cradle.

Mounting the drive still does not work..

Edit 090225: The mount bug seems solved with Jaunty. Unfortunately, I cannot confirm. My Palm Lifedrive died a month ago, after 4 years of daily use.

ubuntuforums members Tutorials

K.Mandla (here and there) has been reviewing and collecting tutorials from the ubuntuforums every week. This work is really impressive (both K.Mandla’s and the UF member’s) and is one of the many useful elements a Ubuntu newcomer may find useful.
Please visit the Tutorial of the Week thread, and feel free to suggest UF Tutorials in this thread. Thanks!

Edit /etc/sudoers with gedit in Ubuntu Hardy Heron

I came across a UF thread that p_quarles pointed at us in the Staff area. Thanks p_quarles :).
The classic:

export EDITOR=gedit && sudo visudo

will open /etc/sudoers with visudo, which does not behave like nano any more. I’m not a vi fan, please accept my apologies, Ive said it. I’m a nano fan :)
But I understand some users feel more comfortable with gedit or other GUI text editors.

The way to go now is:

export EDITOR=gedit && sudo -E visudo

where the -E option preserves the user environment variables.


Launchpad Bug Report

Medibuntu: non-free-codecs for hardy

Due to the interest to my previous post on gutsy, here is the procedure to install non-free-codecs on hardy:

  • Add the Medibuntu repositories to your sources.list:
    ## Medibuntu.
    deb http://packages.medibuntu.org/ hardy free non-free
  • Add the key to your keyring, reload the sources.list file and install the package:

    wget -q http://packages.medibuntu.org/medibuntu-key.gpg -O- | sudo apt-key add - && sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install non-free-codecs

You need to add the key if you got to this article searching for the following error:

W: GPG error: http://packages.medibuntu.org hardy Release: The following signatures couldn't be verified because the public key is not available: NO_PUBKEY 2EBC26B60C5A2783

Here is the package description for the *codecs from Medibuntu:

bapoumba@scorpio:~$ sudo aptitude show non-free-codecs
Package: non-free-codecs
New: yes
State: installed
Automatically installed: yes
Version: 1.1
Priority: extra
Section: non-free/metapackages
Maintainer: Medibuntu Packaging Team <admin@lists.medibuntu.org>
Uncompressed Size: 32.8k
Depends: w32codecs
Description: Non-free codecs
 This package depends on the binaries codecs package matching your architecture
 (w32codecs for i386, w64codecs for amd64 and ppc-codecs for powerpc systems). 
 It can be safely removed.


My kids Top 6 Linux games

Edit: please see here for my teenager’s pick :)

We are leaving for a short vacation week, I’ve been begged not to leave my laptops at home. Here are the reasons why:


Once atanks (package atanks) is installed, you launch it from a terminal. The goal is to destroy other tanks before they destroy yours. You can earn “money” when you hit them and win, buy weapons, and get more powerful shields. My kids are not fluent in English, my systems are in English, they found their way around on their own.

Blob Wars: Metal Blob Solid

Install the blobwars package (home page) and there will be an entry in the games menu, such as for the other games below. There was a war in the little Blobs world. You need to save all the Blobs while facing the ugly enemies and Galdov, their leader, using different weapons and ways to kill. You can turn on/off the blood effects, which are not scary. I like the “scroutch” sound the aliens make when they die ^^


Do you remember Tron, the movie? Armagetron is inspired from Tron. Drive a “Light Cycle”, a bike, that creates plasma walls where it goes. The closer you get to a wall, the faster you drive. Do not crash against it and force the enemies to crash by putting walls around them. Bottom line, be fast. They like the game, for short periods of time, it is quite intense, on the keyboard too..


Beware, the music can be obnoxious after a while. It’s a nice music, but it gets to my nerves. In wormux, you choose a number of teams (usually, my kids choose 4 teams), their look (dragons, foxes, bulls, pigs, etc.) and their weapons. Then you command one team and you have to exterminate the other ones. The nice thing is that you cycle through the teams. The winner is the team that has members left when all the other ones are dead.


Powermanga is a “shoot’em up” with manga-style drawing and lots of colors. You drive a space ship and have to destroy asteroids and enemy vessels. At times, the two youngest ones team up to use the keyboard with their little fingers and win. Side note: no music ;)

Frozen Bubble

Frozen Bubble is a classic, you launch balls to a series of other balls, they fall when you hit at least two adjacent balls with the same color. You win when all the balls are gone, before the top wall pushes them down and they hit the launcher. Some levels are easier than others. If you are too slow, the ball gets launched anyway, so hurry!

The descriptions are theirs, with their words and my own comments. All of the games are in the universe Ubuntu repositories. 3 boys, how did you guess?

Hashes (#) in /boot/grub/menu.lst

/boot/grub/menu.lst is used to customize the grub bootloader. Similar to every configuration file, a hash # at the beginning of a line means it is a comment, for humans to read only. The application will ignore it. Well not quite. A special section in /boot/grub/menu.lst defaults the rule: the automagic kernel list.

## lines between the AUTOMAGIC KERNELS LIST markers will be modified
## by the debian update-grub script except for the default options below

##DO NOT UNCOMMENT THEM, Just edit them to your needs

## ## Start Default Options ##
## controls how many kernels should be put into the menu.lst
## only counts the first occurence of a kernel, not the
## alternative kernel options
## e.g. howmany=all
##      howmany=7
# howmany=all
## ## End Default Options ##

2 hashes mean the line is a comment, 1 hash is a default option, no hash is a kernel entry. grub is special, it names drives and uses hashes its own way :)


UF Thread
hermanzone pages

flashplugin-nonfree on Gutsy: a working package in -proposed repositories

Sorry if this has been posted elsewhere, on other blogs or tutorial pages, I have not done my homework, and will not do it for now. Real life sometimes requires more attention than other things.

flashplugin-nonfree has not been working on Gutsy for a while. I noticed when I installed Gutsy on my eldest son’s Christmas computer on December 25. Quite a bummer for a teenager, but he accepted to wait for an official fix rather than using some workaround. He’s been patient, but yesterday, well, that was it, I had to do something.

I had been following the bug report now and then, and a UF thread. A working flashplugin-nonfree version has been uploaded to the -proposed repositories. Here is the procedure that worked on his 32-bits install:

  • Completely purge the previously installed package. On my son’s computer, I used synaptic, as he does his updates/upgrades with update-manager and synaptic. Please use apt-get or aptitude if these are your favorite package managers
  • Edit /etc/apt/sources.list file to add this line:

    # Proposed
    deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ gutsy-proposed main restricted universe multiverse
  • Reload the sources.list (with synaptic, or sudo apt-get update or sudo aptitude update) and install flashplugin-nonfree
  • Restart your browser (tested with firefox and epiphany on YouTube)
aptitude show flashplugin-nonfree
Paquet : flashplugin-nonfree
État: installé
Automatiquement installé: oui
Version :
Priorité : optionnel
Section : contrib/web
Responsable : Ubuntu MOTU Developers <ubuntu-motu@lists.ubuntu.com>
Taille décompressée : 160k
Dépend: debconf | debconf-2.0, wget, libgtk2.0-0, fontconfig, libxt6, libxext6,
         libatk1.0-0, libc6, libcairo2, libexpat1, libfontconfig1, libfreetype6,
         libglib2.0-0, libice6, libpango1.0-0, libpng12-0, libsm6, libx11-6,
         libxau6, libxcursor1, libxdmcp6, libxfixes3, libxi6, libxinerama1,
         libxrandr2, libxrender1, zlib1g
Suggère: firefox, konqueror-nsplugins, x-ttcidfont-conf, msttcorefonts,
          ttf-bitstream-vera | ttf-dejavu, ttf-xfree86-nonfree, xfs (>=
Est en conflit: flashplugin (< 6), xfs (< 1:1.0.1-5), flashplayer-mozilla
Remplace: flashplugin (< 6)
Description : Adobe Flash Player plugin installer
 This package will download the Flash Player from Adobe.  It is a
 Netscape/Mozilla type plugin.  Any browser based on Netscape or Mozilla can use
 the Flash plugin.  This package currently supports the following browsers:
 Mozilla, Mozilla-Firefox, Firefox, Iceweasel, and Iceape.  Also Galeon and
 Epiphany can use the Flash plugin.  Konqueror can also use the Flash plugin if
 konqueror-nsplugins is installed. 
 WARNING: Installing this Ubuntu package causes the Adobe flash plugin to be
 downloaded from www.adobe.com.  The distribution license of the Adobe flash
 plugin is available at www.adobe.com.  Installing this Ubuntu package implies
 that you have accepted the terms of that license. 
 Homepage: http://wiki.ubuntu.com/FlashPlayer9


The -proposed repositories are for TESTS, so please comment them after you are done installing flash.

From the bug report, looks like the package has been built for Feisty, but not for earlier Ubuntu releases (due to issues with flash 7).

Hope this helps :)

Add GNOME applets to the Xfce panel

Hmm, well, yes, I hear you: what for, why do that?
Just because ^^

    1. Install xfce4-xfapplet-plugin from the universe repositories, then add it to the Xfce panel:


    2. Choose a GNOME applet to add:


    3. All done, the GNOME User Switcher is in place :)


Quoting the package description:

Description: Gnome applets plugin for Xfce panel
XfApplet is a plugin for the Xfce 4 panel. The plugin itself has no special functionality, its only purpose is to enable one to use Gnome applets inside the Xfce 4 panel just as they are used inside the Gnome panel.


Xfce Goodies Project