Workstation Live 9.6

Online journal by Srinwantu Dey

Archive for the ‘Linux / Ubuntu’ Category

Linux Howtos 1 – Playing Audio & Video

Posted by Rangeen Basu Roy Chowdhury on May 18, 2009

I have heard a lot of people, who have just installed GNU/Linux on their systems and are new to Linux, say stuffs like, “This can do nothing, Linux is not so good”. What they actually mean is, “I don’t know how to configure it to do the stuffs I want” . Everybody faces this problem in the very beginning of their association with Linux. This series of post will somewhat try to make their start with Linux less bumpy. This post is Fedora specific but some of the steps can be applied to other distros as well. This series will contain three posts. This post will be about audio and video. The next will contain network and file sharing related setups and the last will be about fine tuning your system according to your necessity.

How to play audio and video on Linux

Since most of the audio and video normally used are proprietary, the codecs are not packaged with the Linux distributions. So to play audio and video formats like mp3, wma, avi, xvid, wmv, their codecs need to be installed. The ffmpeg codec pack is the largest and most versatile open source codec pack. A lot of players and tools used on Linux systems are based on this codec pack. These include popular ones like mplayer, gnome-mplayer etc. VLC media player also comes with its own set of codec packs. So installing mplayer-gui and VLC is necessary and sufficient to play almost any kind of audio and video on Linux. The following packages are sufficient for playing proprietary audio and video formats on your Linux box (distro independent):
xine* (this means all packages whose name start with xine)

Additionally you can also install packages like

kmplayer (For KDE)
gnome-mplayer (For GNOME)

How to install these on Fedora

Now comes the installation part. To install any non propritory packages in Fedora first step is to set up the rpmfusion repository. Go to . Download the two repository packages namely rpmfusion-free and rpmfusion-nonfree for your respective Fedora version.Install these two packages by using the command in terminal. These commands must be issued as root. So first thing to be done is log in as root by issuing
[sherry@brc ~]$ su –
[root@brc ~]# rpm -ivh <path to the rpmfusion free repository rpm>
[root@brc ~]# rpm -ivh <path to the rpmfusion nonfree repository rpm>

Now you are ready to install any software that you want.

Easiest way to install these on Fedora is to use yum which is a package management tool. Issue the following commands as root:

[root@brc ~]# yum install mplayer-gui vlc ffmpeg xine*


[root@brc ~]# yum install gnome-mplayer kmplayer xmms

This will get all your videos and songs playing. This procedure is Fedora speciefic. For other distros try doing a google search like “install codecs on <distro name> “.

P.S: VLC and mplayer might have problem playing some videos if you do not disable the SELinux or atleast make it permissive. For that go to System->dministration->SELinux Management. There make the default to disable or permissive.

Two excellent sites to get help on Fedora related stuffs:

Written By:
Rangeen Basu Roy Chowdhury
Fedora Ambassador


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Add Fedora in the boot menu after installing Ubuntu 9.04

Posted by srinwantudey on May 17, 2009

This is a very common problem among the Ubuntu users who earlier have installed Fedora in their machine, doesn’t find any boot menu option to enter into Fedora system after a fresh Ubuntu installation. You just need to do some basic changes in your configuration.
First you need to know the partition where the Fedora has been installed. To get this, open up your terminal and give command blkid there. You will get something like this:

neo@neo-laptop:~$ blkid
/dev/sda1: UUID=”547C6BE77C6BC27A” LABEL=”Lenovo Systems” TYPE=”ntfs”
/dev/sda3: LABEL=”/boot” UUID=”783a0035-4782-4382-9782-2ad4f8ed982f” SEC_TYPE=”ext2″ TYPE=”ext3″
/dev/sda4: UUID=”HwL4aL-8Lh3-MjAP-1k7Q-Yfv8-OLi1-1GStKZ” TYPE=”lvm2pv”
/dev/sda5: UUID=”0029482318BE6784″ LABEL=”Entertainments” TYPE=”ntfs”
/dev/sda6: UUID=”4AE13D6C2CD672AE” LABEL=”Work Station” TYPE=”ntfs”
/dev/sda7: UUID=”69525F9016496DF1″ LABEL=”Library” TYPE=”ntfs”
/dev/sda8: UUID=”5AF141BB26E901EB” LABEL=”Reserve” TYPE=”ntfs”
/dev/sda9: UUID=”ca774c9d-9bcb-475a-beae-8edd6aeaa30c” TYPE=”ext3″
/dev/sda10: TYPE=”swap” UUID=”95e3d02f-5984-42c8-9213-6a6174c47ff4″

To get the list of all the logical volumes type lvdisplay in the terminal. If the command doesn’t work, install it by the commandapt-get install lvm2 as root. You possibly will get an output like the following:

root@neo-laptop:/home/neo# lvdisplay
— Logical volume —
LV Name                /dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00
VG Name                VolGroup00
LV UUID                ddIofW-qXCy-c1XY-4Z01-Eamp-dY8a-B4kwi0
LV Write Access        read/write
LV Status              NOT available
LV Size                15.56 GB
Current LE             498
Segments               1
Allocation             inherit
Read ahead sectors     auto

— Logical volume —
LV Name                /dev/VolGroup00/LogVol01
VG Name                VolGroup00
LV UUID                CHbTHv-9xiJ-3KkV-QMXh-WGs9-CROT-rDiVZv
LV Write Access        read/write
LV Status              NOT available
LV Size                3.72 GB
Current LE             119
Segments               1
Allocation             inherit

Now you need to open the menu.lst files which controls the boot options. you can find that in /boot/grub location. Give command gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst as root to edit the menu.lst. You will find output like the following:

# menu.lst – See: grub(8), info grub, update-grub(8)
#            grub-install(8), grub-floppy(8),
#            grub-md5-crypt, /usr/share/doc/grub
#            and /usr/share/doc/grub-doc/.
## default num
# Set the default entry to the entry number NUM. Numbering starts from 0, and
# the entry number 0 is the default if the command is not used.
# You can specify ‘saved’ instead of a number. In this case, the default entry
# is the entry saved with the command ‘savedefault’.
# WARNING: If you are using dmraid do not use ‘savedefault’ or your
# array will desync and will not let you boot your system.
default         0
## timeout sec
# Set a timeout, in SEC seconds, before automatically booting the default entry
# (normally the first entry defined).
timeout         10
## hiddenmenu
# Hides the menu by default (press ESC to see the menu)
# Pretty colours
#color cyan/blue white/blue
## password [‘–md5’] passwd
# If used in the first section of a menu file, disable all interactive editing
# control (menu entry editor and command-line)  and entries protected by the
# command ‘lock’
# e.g. password topsecret
#      password –md5 $1$gLhU0/$aW78kHK1QfV3P2b2znUoe/
# password topsecret
# examples
# title         Windows 95/98/NT/2000
# root          (hd0,0)
# makeactive
# chainloader   +1
# title         Linux
# root          (hd0,1)
# kernel        /vmlinuz root=/dev/hda2 ro
# Put static boot stanzas before and/or after 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 ##
## default kernel options
## default kernel options for automagic boot options
## If you want special options for specific kernels use kopt_x_y_z
## where x.y.z is kernel version. Minor versions can be omitted.
## e.g. kopt=root=/dev/hda1 ro
##      kopt_2_6_8=root=/dev/hdc1 ro
##      kopt_2_6_8_2_686=root=/dev/hdc2 ro
# kopt=root=UUID=ca774c9d-9bcb-475a-beae-8edd6aeaa30c ro
## default grub root device
## e.g. groot=(hd0,0)
# groot=ca774c9d-9bcb-475a-beae-8edd6aeaa30c
## should update-grub create alternative automagic boot options
## e.g. alternative=true
##      alternative=false
# alternative=true
## should update-grub lock alternative automagic boot options
## e.g. lockalternative=true
##      lockalternative=false
# lockalternative=false
## additional options to use with the default boot option, but not with the
## alternatives
## e.g. defoptions=vga=791 resume=/dev/hda5
# defoptions=quiet splash
## should update-grub lock old automagic boot options
## e.g. lockold=false
##      lockold=true
# lockold=false
## Xen hypervisor options to use with the default Xen boot option
# xenhopt=
## Xen Linux kernel options to use with the default Xen boot option
# xenkopt=console=tty0
## altoption boot targets option
## multiple altoptions lines are allowed
## e.g. altoptions=(extra menu suffix) extra boot options
##      altoptions=(recovery) single
# altoptions=(recovery mode) single
## 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
## specify if running in Xen domU or have grub detect automatically
## update-grub will ignore non-xen kernels when running in domU and vice versa
## e.g. indomU=detect
##      indomU=true
##      indomU=false
# indomU=detect
## should update-grub create memtest86 boot option
## e.g. memtest86=true
##      memtest86=false
# memtest86=true
## should update-grub adjust the value of the default booted system
## can be true or false
# updatedefaultentry=false
## should update-grub add savedefault to the default options
## can be true or false
# savedefault=false
## ## End Default Options ##
title           Ubuntu 9.04, kernel 2.6.28-11-generic
uuid            ca774c9d-9bcb-475a-beae-8edd6aeaa30c
kernel          /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.28-11-generic root=UUID=ca774c9d-9bcb-475a-beae-8edd6aeaa30c ro quiet splash
initrd          /boot/initrd.img-2.6.28-11-generic
##title         Ubuntu 9.04, kernel 2.6.28-11-generic (recovery mode)
##uuid          ca774c9d-9bcb-475a-beae-8edd6aeaa30c
##kernel                /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.28-11-generic ##root=UUID=ca774c9d-9bcb-475a-beae-8edd6aeaa30c ro  single
##initrd                /boot/initrd.img-2.6.28-11-generic
##title         Ubuntu 9.04, kernel 2.6.27-7-generic
##uuid          ca774c9d-9bcb-475a-beae-8edd6aeaa30c
##kernel                /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.27-7-generic ##root=UUID=ca774c9d-9bcb-475a-beae-8edd6aeaa30c ro quiet splash
##initrd                /boot/initrd.img-2.6.27-7-generic
##title         Ubuntu 9.04, kernel 2.6.27-7-generic (recovery mode)
##uuid          ca774c9d-9bcb-475a-beae-8edd6aeaa30c
##kernel                /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.27-7-generic ##root=UUID=ca774c9d-9bcb-475a-beae-8edd6aeaa30c ro  single
##initrd                /boot/initrd.img-2.6.27-7-generic
##title         Ubuntu 9.04, memtest86+
##uuid          ca774c9d-9bcb-475a-beae-8edd6aeaa30c
##kernel                /boot/memtest86+.bin

# This is a divider, added to separate the menu items below from the Debian
# ones.
#title          Other operating systems:
# This entry automatically added by the Debian installer for a non-linux OS
# on /dev/sda1
#title          Microsoft Windows XP Professional
#root           (hd0,0)
#chainloader    +1

Now add following lines after the line ### END DEBIAN AUTOMAGIC KERNELS LIST in the menu.lst.

title     Fedora
root (hd0,2)
kernel /vmlinuz- ro root=/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00 rhgb quiet vga=792
initrd /initrd-

You can find my updated menu.lst here:
You may need to change the kernel version and initrd image ( according to your Fedora version. Hope this will fix the issue.

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My very 1st encounter with GIMP 2.6

Posted by srinwantudey on April 18, 2009


It’s been a long time since I published the last entry. Some very personal reason is behind that. So many articles are pending at my desk, I need to hurry now!

Well, during this, I have stepped into the world of open source image manipulation! I was pretty scared of the Adobe Photoshop  kinda things & always feel jealous of the experts.  Well, I too need to pull off the things. I started playing with GIMP on my brand new Lenovo G430 Ubuntu Box. It was a one night stand, and I feel quite good. I am pretty comfortable with the things which I never dare to touch before. I am using GIMP 2.6. GIMP stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program. In short, it is a freely distributable program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. But in depth, it is capable of much more. Experts say, it will force Adobe PS to chase it. No comments from a novice regarding this, but my first encounter is extremely comfortable, I must say.

I need to dip deep inside into it to take in the full essence. I will regularly update new features of GIMP as I would explore imore. Let the artwork unleash, let the creativity flourish ………

Below are the two artworks which are the products of my first night foreplay with GIMP (!) includes very basic tricks.  But it makes me extremely proud. Please don’t assume anything, and don’t criticize much (but you MUST criticize but please do not through a chuckle). A comment or two will definitely boost my confidence up and some suggestions from experts are strongly recommended! I hope I will improve from my very greenhorn status very soon!Daraar

Drogba Ubuntu Force

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Setting up BSNL Broadband with Ubuntu

Posted by srinwantudey on April 1, 2009

Hi to all,

One of my pal (Aritra Mukherjee!) yesterday asked me how to set up BSNL broadband connection in the desktop edition of Ubuntu. This post is completely dedicated to him and for those who are still searching for this tip! To learn linux it’s not enough to install a distribution you must have access to the web to browse the online manuals. Any way, please have a look at the video below which depicts the basic of setting up Broadband connection. and please let me know if any problem persists. Any new suggestions are warmly welcome!



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My experience with Ubuntu!

Posted by srinwantudey on April 1, 2009


Welcome to all of you in open source world. This article is for those, who have never touched linux or unix. Proud to announce that, I am the fresh most member of open source world, still can’t resist the temptation to write an article on my experience. I must say, those who have little bit of experience in linux, please do not look over here. You are going to find some boring and commonplace facts here. But, I am sharing my experience for those, who still have some rigid conception over linux that, it is totally a command based service with a very poor GUI or it’s consumes greater RAM and very slow and blah blah blah! I had some misconception also. But now, the things have gone all changed within a week. I have installed a fresh distribution of Ubuntu 8.10 (desktop edition) in my latest notebook and Umm! Please have a look on the screen cast and I guarantee, you will be amazed to view such a nice and eye-candy desktop environment.

I advice you to experience the pleasure of Ubuntu (GNOME edition) atleast once (not the KUBUNTU or XUBUNTU) to get refreshed from old and clerical window’s atmosphere. For the free distribution of Ubuntu Desktop Edition, please feel free to ask me.

I will be appreciate some comments on my first scrren cast, More to come, please keep visit this space!


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