Archive for the ‘Xubuntu’ Category

Amazon MP3 Downloader for Linux

6, August 2011

I’ve just come across a site called textbookstuff that does DRM free audiobooks in MP3 format, these are limited to out of copy write books and poems and they are new so only have a few available at the moment. The difference is the books are read by well known reader but are produced with sound effects and music which make them more like a BBC play. They provide their book through various download options but the prices vary quite widely, the one I looked at downloading cost between £4.99 and £9.99 dependant which option you chose, the cheapest being Amazon which immediately caused me a problem as I wanting to use a Linux solution however the Linux solutions provided by Amazon failed to work due to dependency issues and also no 64bit support. This was solved by a little program called pymazon found here this worked for me in both Ubuntu 11.04 and Linux Mint Debian Edition both running XFCE . To install it from a Terminal just run the following commands;

$ sudo apt-get install python-crypto
$ sudo apt-get install python-qt4
$ wget http://pymazon.googlecode.com/files/Pymazon-0.9.tar.gz
$ tar -xzf Pymazon-0.9.tar.gz
$ cd Pymazon-0.9
$ sudo python setup.py install

and run from a Terminal with;

$ pymazom

Open the [Preferences] options and change the [Save Directory] to one of your choice.

Then buy your audiobook/music on Amazon, during the process it will ask you to download their Linux version of the software unfortunately it does not support 64 bit and even the 32 bit versions have dependencies missing. So just click on the link following the text which says “If you have already installed the Amazon MP3 downloader click here” and continue the purchase. Once complete a download should start of an .amz file e.g AmazonMP3-12345678.amz which you should direct to a folder of your choice. Next open python, select the [Load Files] optin and navigate to your previously stored .amz file and open it, pymazon will then display a list of your purchased tracks and these can then be downloaded using the [Download] button and once downloaded displayed with the [Show Downloads] button.

DeVeDe, iso’s too small from m4v files

23, March 2011

I’m running Maverick Xubuntu on my Desktop Box and finding that if I burn m4v files created in Handbrake of about 1.4Gb using DeVeDe that the resulting iso image is 80Mb yes Meg. When I play them in VLC they are either chopped short or run too fast and short. If I convert them from m4v to avi then DeVeDe creates the correct sized working iso. It’s a solution but who wants to convert files twice when DeVeDe should just do it. All worked ok just a couple of weeks ago [March 2011]. I’ve tried reverting to previous versions of both handbrake and DeVeDe with no luck and am beginning to think it may be an ffmpeg problem. If I run DeVeDe from the command line I get the following output in the Terminal..

mplayer: could not connect to socket
mplayer: No such file or directory
Failed to open LIRC support. You will not be able to use your remote control.
mplayer: could not connect to socket
mplayer: No such file or directory
Failed to open LIRC support. You will not be able to use your remote control.
/usr/lib/devede/devede_other.py:685: GtkWarning: GtkSpinButton: setting an adjustment with non-zero page size is deprecated
tree.add_from_file(filename)
mplayer: could not connect to socket
mplayer: No such file or directory
Failed to open LIRC support. You will not be able to use your remote control.
mplayer: could not connect to socket
mplayer: No such file or directory
Failed to open LIRC support. You will not be able to use your remote control.
Skipping frame!

Skipping frame!

[pages worth of Skipping frame]

Skipping frame!

Skipping frame!

Skipping frame!

Skipping frame!
Launching program: dvdauthor -x /home/bob/Videos/test.xml
elemento: /usr/bin

So apart from a missing mplayer socket problem, a deprecated python reference it’s skipping lots of frames no wonder the results are poor. I think I’ve now solved this after days of testing, the solution seems to be to not convert m4v’s in handbrake using the Framerate option [Same as Source].

Handbrake Video options

Handbrake Video options

So in the Video Tab you need to select an actual frame rate for the conversion. I’ve tested this with two different clips from DVD’s and this has now let DeVeDe create a correctly sized iso image which plays perfectly in VLC. I hope this helps out others with the same problem.

My Server

16, March 2011

Laptop Server
The Server I use is an Aspire Laptop, 5633WLM Core 2 Duo T5500 1.66 GHz with 1Gb of RAM with a missing screen [don’t ask] with a standard install of Xubuntu. I’ve built a rack so that it stands upright so save space and it is linked to my monitor via a KVM switch. It runs an Apache web server, an Apt cache server, backup server to an attached USB Hard Drive, the Folding@Home application, Torrent Server, a bunch of other cron run scripts and the Mediatomb Media Server.

Home Server

Home Server

Apt Server
Apache Server
Folding@Home
Torrent Server

Transmission Remote GUI

15, March 2011

Transmission Remote GUI

Now I have my Transmission daemon up and running which I can access from a web browser [see here ]  I thought I would try out the Transmission Remote GUI as this give me a few more option on a per download basis. First I need to add the package with;

$ sudo apt-get install transgui

Once installed open tools options and add the details of your connection to your remote host

Remote Host: static ip address of Transmission Host

Port: 9091

User name & Password

Now you should be able to see your download queue and manage it from your remote client.

Edit: Just found out you can only sudo apt-get this app from Natty, Maverick and below do not have this in the repos. So visit Transmisson Remote gui Homepage and download the transgui-3.0.1-i386-linux.zip or transgui-3.0.1-x86_64-linux.zip, extract the files to a suitable folder on your system then create a shortcut to the transgui program file.

Move multiple files from command line

15, March 2011

Using find to copy or move multiple files

All the .txt files are located in directories and subdirectories of the ~/tmp folder and I want to copy them to ~/tmp2

To copy them, open a Terminal and use;

$ find ~/tmp -name ‘*.txt’ -exec cp ‘{}’ ~/tmp2 \;

This copies all the files in the original folders and sub folders and saves them to the ~/tmp2 folder.

or to move them,

$ find ~/tmp -name ‘*.txt’ -exec mv ‘{}’ ~/tmp2 \;

this deletes them from the original folders and sub folders and saves them to the ~/tmp2 folder.

Start up Sound

15, March 2011

Start up Sound:

This works on my Xubuntu Natty install. I found a .ogg sound file that I wanted to use as a start up sound so needed an command line ogg player to play it.

$ sudo apt-get install ogg123

Now create a script in /usr/bin as follows [replace mousepad with the text editor of your choice];

$ sudo mousepad /usr/bin/startup

Add the following to the file

#!/bin/sh
#### play sound at startup ####
## reduce volume ##
sleep 5
StartupNotify=false
/usr/bin/amixer -c 0 sset Master,0 60%
## play sound ##
/usr/bin/ogg123 /path_to_my/sartupsound.ogg
## increase volume again ##
/usr/bin/amixer -c 0 sset Master,0 85%

save the script and make it executable with.

$ sudo chmod +x /usr/bin/startup

Now add the script to the system start up, in Xubuntu open [Settings], [Settings Manager], [Session and Startup], [Application Autostart], and then the [Add] button. Add a name of your choice in the Name field, and the same in the Description field, then the path to your script in the Command field i.e /usr/bin/startup in this case the [ok] to finish. You will then get a startup sound next time you log on.

Shutdown Sound

15, March 2011

Shutdown Sound:

This works on my Xubuntu Natty install. I found a .ogg sound file that I wanted to use as a shutdown sound so needed an command line ogg player to play it.

$ sudo apt-get install ogg123

now add a script as follow script to /etc/init.d as follows

In a Terminal, create the file with, [change mousepad to your favourite text editor]

$ sudo mousepad /etc/init.d/K99shutdownsound.sh

copy the following into the script

#!/bin/sh
#### play sound at startup ####
## reduce volume ##
amixer -c 0 sset Master,0 50%
## play sound ##
/usr/bin/ogg123 /path_to my/shutdown.ogg

save the script and make it executable.

$ sudo chmod +x /etc/init.d/K99shutdownsound.sh

now add a shortcut to /etc/rc0.d where shutdown scripts go and to /etc/rc6.d where reboot scripts go

$ sudo ln -s /etc/init.d/K99shutdownsound.sh /etc/rc0.d/K99shutdownsound.sh

$ sudo ln -s /etc/init.d/K99shutdownsound.sh /etc/rc6.d/K99shutdownsound.sh

Now I get a reboot and shutdown sound.

Sony Laptop, Special Function Buttons

15, March 2011

Sony Laptop VGN-NS11J

This laptop has 2 extra keys on the top panel next to the Power Button, AV Mode and Mute

These keys are detected by Natty Xubuntu as;

AV MODE = XF86AudioMedia
Mute = XF86Launch1

These keys can be activated by opening the [Settings], [Keyboard] option, selecting [Application Shortcuts] tab then the [Add] option.

Add amixer set Master toggle to the [command] box of the Mute key then press [ok] and in the next window press the Mute key to activate it.

Add a command of your choice i.e /usr/bin/exaile [this will launch the Exaile media player] to the [command] box of the AV MODE key then press [ok] and in the next window press the AV MODE key to activate it.

Xfce 4.8 comes to Xubuntu Natty

25, January 2011

Xfce 4.8 released, see www.xfce.org

Xfce 4.8 seems to be fully implemented in Xubuntu Natty 11.04 now, I’ve been running Xubuntu since Alpha 1 having decided I don’t want either Unity, it’s fallback Gnome or Gnome shell and am loving it. I’m running it on my laptop as the main o/s doing safe upgrades every few days and [fingers crossed] not had any problems. I think Xubuntu is going to be my new main o/s and am looking forward to Alpha 2 in February when I’ll be testing it on my spare “testing” PC .

Natty Unity

5, January 2011

So I’ve been doing some ISO testing of the Natty Alpha 1 release and have had one or two problems [see previous post iso Testing Natty ] but my main problem with it has been the decision to replace the default Gnome desktop with Unity. Unity is a 3D replacement for the 2D Gnome desktop which Gnome are about to replace anyway with Gnome Shell. Ubuntu seem to have decided Gnome Shell is not the direction they want to go so are replacing the desktop with their own. Unity brings the notebook and desktop versions of Ubuntu together with only minor differences which will be detected and applied during install. The standard approach will therefore be a notebook type display on both desktop and notebook. The main difference will be the loss of the bottom panel, the replacement of the top panel with a more interactive menu and a Mac style icon dock down the left hand side.

When you install the Ubuntu default now you will need a 3D enabled graphics card to run Unity or you will be presented with a pop up message currently;

Information:
Sorry you don’t have 3D support, install it for
your graphic hardware to get Unity or please
reboot and select “Classic session” at startup.

Not a very helpful message in my opinion, basically you can go into [System], [Administration], [Login Screen] and change [Ubuntu desktop Edition] to [Ubuntu Classic Desktop] then log out and back in again to 2D Classic Mode but this is not obvious from the message. The other option would be to add the 3D driver [if your card supports 3D] and log out and back in again for Unity to display, Nvidia owners beware! The message is particularly unhelpful if you are running a Live CD version or USB stick with persistence not enabled because you will not be able to install the driver as a restart will wipe the changes, noobs will be confused.

Personally I don’t like Unity, it’s more Mac like styling, I don’t have 3D effects turned on and don’t want them, the dock on the left is unnecessary clutter but if I wanted one there are plenty of docks available without this being the default. We are told we can use the Classic 2D Gnome desktop if we don’t like Unity but that this will eventually disappear when Gnome Shell arrives and Gnome 2 is depreciated. My thoughts for Gnome Shell are much the same I just don’t want to go there so the hunt starts for an alternative. I’ve already tested Lubuntu with it’s LXDE desktop and although I like the styling it’s still a bit basic. So for now Xubuntu with it’s Xfce desktop is becoming my test o/s. I’m currently running Natty Xubuntu testing and loving it.