Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty - Disable Update Notifier

Previous versions of Ubuntu notified with a simple panel icon about new available updates.
With Ubuntu Jaunty this behaviour changed, and the update manager window is opened automatically.
In my opinion, this is very annoying, I prefer the panel icon advisor where I can launch the update manager whenever I want.

So I searched and found the corresponding setting in the systems Configuration Editor.

From the GUI

Open Gnome's Configuration Editor from Applications-->System Tools (maybe you'll have to install it first).
Enter the key /apps/update-notifier and uncheck the auto-launch flag as shown in the screenshot.

From a terminal

gconftool -s --type bool /apps/update-notifier/auto_launch false

Post note: After writing this post I found a thread from the Ubuntu forum discussing this problem.

Windows Vista

Finally, I had the opportunity to play around with Windows Vista Home Edition, which doesn't seem to have to much exit. And after struggling around, with an original (a friend convinced me to repair his broken PC), these are my conclusions:
  1. To start, let me explain what happened: A Worm entered his system and damaged something in the part of the system which handles the user accounts. It was impossible to enter the system, because when entering the session screen, it already shut down.
    So much about all these protection mechanism they included into Vista: A simple Worm can damage your system badly.
  2. The repair option, well, it wasn't an option, because it didn't work. It wasn't able to restore any of the three restore points it had created.
    Therefore, I had to do a fresh install.
  3. After having reinstalled Vista from scratch, well, at least a good surprise is the fact that you don't have to assist during the whole installation process. Previous versions asks you all the time about details, in Vista they ask you all near to the end.
    Well, I still prefer the Ubuntu way, ask everything you need at the beginning, then let the installation go on and when you come back, you already have an operative system in your PC.
  4. Okay graphics are nice, but no fancy 3D effects like with Compiz.
  5. Advise about 75 updates, ... it took more than 3 hours to download and install all of them, with several reboots.
    Come on, with Ubuntu it takes not even 2 hours to download and install more than 1000 updates when updating from Intrepid to Jaunty, with one reboot.
  6. Vista also fries your hard-disk, nothing changed from previous versions, your hard-disk is clicking a lot and operating all the time.
  7. IE rebooted the whole system when trying to download software from Softonic.
    That IE crashes, okay, but why do you reset the whole system?????
  8. I was not able to delete the previous Vista system, backed up in Windows.old folder. I had to start the PC with Ubuntu's LiveCD to be able to delete the whole folder.
After installing the necessary drivers and the Avast AntiVirus, I quickly shut off Windows Vista, packaged my friends PC and I'll never again use that operating system.
No software is perfect, but one you pay for, sorry Microsoft, I expect much more.

I'll stick to XP if I need to, and use Ubuntu for most of my tasks.

Tweak your Ubuntu startup - the graphical way

There exists two handy GUI applications that you can install from the applications menu:
Search for StartUp-Manager and BootUp-Manager and install the one which is interesting for you.

StartUp Manager

configures some settings for grub and splash screens (colors of grub screen, if messages will be shown during booting, ...).

BootUp Manager

is a graphical tool to allow easy configuration of init services in user and system runlevels, as far as changing Start/Stop services priority.
See also this post about this tool.

Install instructions from shell

sudo aptitude install startupmanager bum
or click these links: Install Startup Manager, install BootUp Manager.

File-Roller: Support of non-default archive types

File-roller is a graphical archive manager and ships with the default Ubuntu installation.

File-roller doesn't perform archive operations by itself, but relies on standard tools for this.
Unfortunately, by default it supports only a few formats, like .tar, gzip, bzip2 etc. Other less common formats you can find on the web, like 7z, ace, lzh, just to mention some, aren't supported by your default Ubuntu installation.

You could wait, each time you find an unsupported format, to search and find the corresponding package you need and install it, or ...

From Synaptic

Open the synaptic package manager, search for file-roller, right click the package, Mark Suggested for Installation, and select the ones you need (or want).

Install instructions from terminal

sudo aptitude install arj binutils cpio lha lzop ncompress p7zip-full rpm rzip sharutils unace unalz unrar zoo

Problems with Lightning on Ubuntu Jaunty

After putting on my fresh Ubuntu Jaunty installation, my favourite Email client Thunderbird, the Lightning extension (version 0.9), didn't worked at all.
I tried everything, reinstalling Thunderbird several times, disabling all other extensions, nothing.
Lightning painted some icons, but that was everything.
Some incompatibility. I installed SunBird 0.9, and it works fine. Earlier Lightning versions seemed to work also, so what is the matter?


Finally, I found the solution in some forum, you need to have libstdc++ version 5 on your system (Jaunty comes with version 6 by default). And it has to be there, when Lightning extension 0.9 is installed, so if you already have it in your Thunderbird setup, uninstall it first, then put libstc++5 on your system, and reinstall the Lightning extension.
sudo aptitude install libstdc++5
# or if you don't want to install more stuff:
ln -s /usr/lib/libstdc++.so.6 /usr/lib/libstdc++.so.5

Install new fonts in your system

Specimen Font Previewer
In a previous post, we learned how to convert Open Type fonts into True Type ones.
Now we'll learn how to store them in your system, so all text and graphics applications will find and use them.
Normally, you'll not un-/install fonts continuously on your system, so you would prefer (like me) a simple way, without the need to install additional software (like kfontview on KUbuntu, or the ones you can find for Windows).

On Ubuntu

All fonts can be stored in two locations:
  1. In ~/.fonts
    Only you will see fonts copied here. You can copy fonts here with nautilus or from the shell:
    mkdir -p ~/.fonts         # make sure folder exists
    cp *.tff ~/.fonts # or whatever's the name of the fonts you want to copy
    fc-cache -f -v ~/.fonts # reload the font cache to make new fonts visible

  2. In /usr/share/fonts/truetype
    All users will see fonts copied here. You can copy fonts here with nautilus or from the shell:
    mkdir -p /usr/share/fonts/truetype/myfonts    # create a sub-folder to be organized
    cp *.tff /usr/share/fonts/truetype/myfonts # or whatever's the name of the fonts you want to copy
    fc-cache -f -v # reload the global font cache to make new fonts visible

No extra software is needed. But even so, we'll mention a useful tool that doesn't come in your default Ubuntu installation: Specimen Font Previewer, a simple tool to view and compare fonts installed on your system.
You can install it from the Applications menu or from the shell:
sudo aptitude install gnome-specimen

Note: In a previous post, I explained how to install certain Microsoft fonts on your Ubuntu system.

On Windows

Fonts are installed in only one location: %WINDIR%\Fonts
Just open this location with the explorer and copy any font files here. They'll be immediately available for all users.

Convert Open Type fonts to True Type

FontForge, a multi-platform font editor, allows you to create and modify postscript, truetype and opentype fonts. You can save fonts in many different outline formats, and generate bitmaps.
We'll use it here to convert one format to another.

Convert Open Type to True Type with FontForge

On Ubuntu systems, we can create a conversion script, that does the conversion automatically. Paste the following in your favourite shell
sudo -v
# Make sure with have fontforge installed on our system
sudo aptitude install fontforge
echo '#!/usr/bin/fontforge
# Quick and dirty hack: converts a font to truetype (.ttf)
Print("Opening "+$1);
Print("Saving "+$1:r+".ttf");
Quit(0);' > otf2ttf.sh
chmod a+x otf2ttf.sh

## The following lines are examples of the usage:
# Convert MyFont from Open Type to True Type in the same location:
# ./otf2ttf.sh MyFont.otf
# Convert all Open Type fonts of the current folder:
# for font in $(ls *.otf); do ./otf2ttf.sh $font; done
# Convert all Open Type fonts even in subfolders:
# find . -name *.otf -exec ./otf2ttf.sh {} \;
Note: I found the original script in this blog, but mine has slightly changes to be called directly.

FontForge can also be used on Windows systems, but I have no instructions for doing the conversion automatically, so you'll have to load the font and then store it again in the TrueType format.

In the next post we'll see how to install True Type fonts in our Ubuntu system.