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Archive for the ‘Linux’ Category

A TortoiseSVN replacement for Ubuntu

Posted by Shane O'Sullivan on October 4, 2007

I work on a number of open source projects, and many of them use the Subversion version control system to manage their code.  Before my switch from Windows XP to Ubuntu Linux (which I am still ecstatically happy with btw), I became a big fan of TortoiseSVN, an extremely useful Subversion client that integrates itself directly into Windows Explorer.

TortoiseSVN is simple to use, very intuitive, and does everything I need from it.  You simply right click on a folder you want to store your checked out files in, give it the URL of the Subversion server, and it checks out the code, updates it, checks it back in (if you have permission), performs file diffs ….. basically everything you need to do is integrated right in with your file browser.

So, I miss this in Ubuntu, as TortoiseSVN is Windows only.  However, I recently found a replacement, which integrates nicely with Nautilus, the Ubuntu file browser.  While it is not as slick as TortoiseSVN, it works in a very similar way.  You right click on a folder, and have a selection of SVN operations you can perform.

See for details.

Nautilus Subversion Menu

Nautilus Subversion Dialog

One thing that is missing from this is the display of icons in the file browser (Nautilus) to inform you of the state of a file – checked out, modified, not added to source control etc.  Another person has developed a solution to this, which unfortunately I have not, yet, been able to get working, but perhaps you will have more luck.

See for details on this.
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Posted in Linux, Nautilus, open source, Subversion, Technical, TortoiseSVN, Ubuntu | 8 Comments »

Ubuntu on Thinkpad X41 – Working With Amarok

Posted by Shane O'Sullivan on May 11, 2007

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This is one of a number of posts detailing how to install Ubuntu 6.10 (codename Edgy) on a Thinkpad X41. This post focuses on using the amazing music player Amarok. Rather than me going into the many reasons why no other music player even comes close, have a look at it’s website, or read here.


Installing couldn’t be easier. Although Amarok is techically a KDE application, and I’ve installed Gnome on my Thinkpad, it will run perfectly fine.

  1. Click Applications->Add/Remove
  2. Choose Amarok from the list on the right and click OK

Working with Sony Ericsson w810i Walkman:

I own a Sony Ericsson w810i Walkman phone which I’d like to use with Amarok. However, it doesn’t directly support this device, so some slight configuration has to take place.

  1. Open Amarok by clicking Applications->Sound & Video->Amarok. If the application doesn’t show up then it has minimised itself, and you should see a grey/blue circular icon in your taskbar. Click this and the window will show up.
  2. Connect your phone to the computer via the bundled USB cable. It should auto-mount to the two folders /media/disk (the one we’re interested in), and /media/PHONE.
  3. In Amarok, click Settings->Configure Amarok
  4. Click Media Devices at the bottom left of the configuration window.
  5. Click the Add Device button.
  6. From the drop down list, choose Generic Audio Player.
  7. In the middle text box enter the name for your device, e.g. “My Walkman”.
  8. In the bottom text box, enter the mount point for your device, /media/disk
  9. Click OK. The new device should now be listed. Now it must be configured.
  10. Click the configuration button to the left of the Remove button for your new device.
  11. Into the Song Location textbox in the bottom section put the following:
    /music/%artist/%album/%track %title.%filetype
  12. Click OK, then OK again to return to the main application.
  13. Now (and from now on) simply click the Devices button on the bottom left of the window, then the Connect button at the top left. You can then drag and drop songs into the device and transfer them by clicking the Transfer button.
  14. Enjoy the free, open source media player that puts Apple and Microsoft to shame!

Sharing Music with iTunes over a network

If you have two computers, one running iTunes and the other, more enlightened one, running Amarok, it’s possible to share music between them, which should save you the trouble of duplication space-hogging mp3 files.

  1. In iTunes, click Edit->Preferences
  2. Click on the Sharing tab.
  3. Check the two checkboxes.
  4.  In Amarok, click Settings->Configure Amarok
  5. Click Media Devices.
  6. Click Add Device.
  7. From the drodown box, choose Music Sharing and give the device a name, e.g. “Shared Music”. Click OK,then OK again to return to the main application.
  8. Click Devices at the bottom left of the window.  At the top left of the window you should see a dropdown bo – choose “Shared Music” (or whatever you called it) and you should see all shared libraries on your network.

Posted in Amarok, Linux, mp3, open source, Sony Ericsson, Technical, Ubuntu | 8 Comments »

Ubuntu on Thinkpad X41 – Upgrading to Feisty Fawn (7.04)

Posted by Shane O'Sullivan on April 30, 2007

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This is one of a number of posts detailing how to install Ubuntu 6.10 (codename Edgy) on a Thinkpad X41. This post focuses on upgrading from Ubuntu Edgy Eft (version 6.10) to Ubuntu Feisty Fawn (version 7.04).

Upgrading from 6.10 to 7.04 is a relatively straightforward operation, however there are a few issues I’ve found so I’ll start with those before you decide whether or not to upgrade.

  1. Ubuntu seems to be running more slowly than before. Applications take longer to start up, with the desktop freezing while they’re loading in some instances. I can’t remember seeing this happen before. Other people have reported the same issue.
  2. The Beryl desktop manager seems to have some issues with the new release. Sometimes when a new application is loaded it doesn’t initialise properly when Beryl is enabled. E.g. an xterm window will load but you can’t type in it, or when I load QuickSynergy I can see the contents of the application window but can’t click on them. In each case, logging out then in again solves the problem, but I’d rather find a proper fix for it, obviously enough.
  3. The update failed the first time I attempted it. I got the following error:
    Could not install ‘/var/cache/cpt/archives/fuse-utils_2.6.3-lubuntu2_i386.deb’
    This package is used to map to the Windows NTFS partition on my hard drive, and this failure caused the upgrade process to fail. However, trying the same upgrade a few days later, the problem seems to have been resolved.
  4. Another problem with accessing NTFS partition is that it seems to have problems allowing me to rename files using the File Browser. It’s not a permission issue, I can rename them just fine using the Terminal (I have the ntfs-3g package installed which gives me read/write access to NTFS partitions).
  5. The Desktop Effects option (aka the Compiz window manager, admittedly it’s labelled as a beta product) seems pretty flaky, displaying many of the same issues that Beryl seems to have with this Ubuntu release. This suggests to me that the 3D graphics drivers for my Thinkpad may be faulty, and it is something I’ll look in to.
  6. Java seems to have gone back from version 1.5 to version 1.4.2. Some applications require Java 1.5 or later, and refuse to execute without it.

Long story short, I’m less happy with Ubuntu now than when I was back on Edgy, and there’s nothing in the new release that makes me glad I upgraded. By far the worst issue is the length of time it takes to start a new application. Pain in the ass. So, if you still want to upgrade, read on!

Update May 3rd 2007: Problems 1, 2 and 4 seem to have gone away after installing the latest updates with Update Manager, so I am now very happy with my new install of Ubuntu

Performing the Upgrade

  1. Click System->Administration->Update Manager
  2. There should be a notice on the top of the window telling you that a new release is available. Click on this button.
  3. Follow the simple steps, essentially just clicking OK at each prompt.
  4. The upgrade seems to uninstall the ntfs-3g package, which allows you to mount a Windows NTFS hard drive partition in read/write mode. Apparently it’s a known problem. To reinstall this:
    1. Click System->Administration->Synaptic Package Manager
    2. Scroll down to ntfs-3g, right click on the check box and choose Mark for Installation
    3. Click the Apply button then close the window.
    4. To mount your NTFS partition (if you’ve already set it up to be mounted at boot time, if not see here), open a terminal window by clicking Applications->Accessories->Terminal
    5. Type sudo mount -a and hit Enter. This remounts all mount points listed in your /etc/fstab file.
  5. To upgrade to Java 1.6.0 from the system default of 1.4.2, do the following (source link):
    1. Open a terminal and type:
      sudo apt-get install sun-java6-jdk sun-java6-plugin
      sudo update-java-alternatives -s java-6-sun
    2. Type: java -version and you should be told that you are using version 1.6.0.

As I mentioned, there are still some issues that I have with the upgraded version, and as (… if…) I solve them, I’ll update this post with extra information.

Posted in Feisty Fawn, Linux, open source, Technical, Thinkpad, Ubuntu | 4 Comments »

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