Thursday, 22 September 2016

Linux user? Do not go for "Signature PC" [updated]

Update: Lenovo has confirmed through a press release that it has no intention of not allowing people to run Linux on their systems. It's actually the RAID SSDs for which there isn't a driver in open source world.

We still want you read our advice.

In all these years of Evolution, Linux now delivers a pleasant experience to even an average non-techy person. People who have tried / used Linux for once always make their way back to it even after using Microsoft Operating Systems. Dual booting a Windows PC with any Linux Distribution is a common practice for almost all Linux users for the purpose of enjoying the power of Linux and using Windows for software / games that are particular to Windows. Some have managed to switch completely to Linux, some just dual boot it. 

But, here is a caution for you, if you buy a (crap, of course) piece of hardware like Lenovo Yoga 900 ISK2 UltraBook, you may never be able to install a Linux Distribution in it. Microsoft explains these Signature PCs as a significant better experience PCs, meeting the Windows hardware certifications, better in keyboard quality and touchpad etc. But this all comes at a cost. 

In a Reddit post, a Lenovo Yoga buyer complains of not being able to install Ubuntu on his system. When he asked to Lenovo about it, the reply he got was : 

This system has a signature edition of Windows 10 Home installed. It is locked per our agreement with Microsoft. 

This is ridiculous! If I am paying a huge sum for a hardware running whatever the OS out of the box for which I already paid and I should have the freedom of running any software/OS/app on it. 

Microsoft has already used the Secure Boot feature in it's surface laptops and while other than Windows 10 versions allowed to disable Secure Boot, some of the manufacturers like Lenovo (to some of their product like Ultrabook) has locked the BIOS and do not allow you disable the secure boot. There are some alternative methods that worked but they are just too techy and something going wrong is highly likely crashing your system altogether. 

Advice : Do not buy anything (literally anything) that says "Signature PC" if you love Linux. 

Also, we believe that a developer is free to make his work open source / paid and it's his choice! But putting limitations on a hardware such that you can only use the OS that it is shipped with is totally unacceptable. 

Read more about it at FossBytes.

Let us know your views in the comment section!

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

How to change screen resolution in Linux Mint 18

I had installed Linux Mint 18 KDE edition in a virtual box and the first thing that I wanted to change was it's resolution. It had the default 800 x 600 display resolution and for a high specification laptop, it looked lame. So, I adjusted it.

To change screen resolution in Linux Mint 18, click on the Mint Menu and select System Settings. Under the Hardware tab, click on Display and Monitor. Now, you can find the Resolution setting under Display Configuration. Choose the best one for your system from the drop down menu. I chose 1360 x 768 and it looked pretty. Lets look it in a step by step guide. 

Click on the Mint Menu and select System Settings. You can see it in the below screenshot. 

System Settings dialogue box will appear. In the last row under Hardware, there is an option of Display and Monitor. This is where you will change screen resolution in Mint 18.

Manage and configure monitor and display here. Change the resolution as per your monitor. I would suggest you to keep it on an average. Anything too low will make everything bigger, icons, fonts and apps. In contrast, if you go for a very higher resolution, you might not able to see and read things without any effort. You can try it several times before you find the perfect one for your system.

Once done, you will find a pretty looking desktop in front of you. Though, I have installed Mint earlier too and it will pick up the native screen resolution on it's own, this time it didn't. So I had to do it manually. This is also useful when you are addicted to one particular resolution and no matter what Mint offer you just want to switch back to that screen resolution. Happens to me!

Here's what my desktop looks like once I changed the screen resolution. 

Let us know in the comments if you have any doubts. 

Saturday, 17 September 2016

How to Install Jenkins in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

Well, I have been using Jenkins for sometimes so tried setting up in my system running Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. The installation process for Jenkins in Ubuntu 16.04 is easy and do not requires much of skills. Let's see how we can install Jenkins in Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus. 

Before you install Jenkins, I would suggest you to install Java 8 in Ubuntu 16.04.

For those who are not aware what Jenkins is, it is a Continuous Integration and Software Delivery Tool by which you can build and test your software projects continuously. It is open source and has a large community support. It's used as a build tool for most of the continuous development projects and is one of the best tools for it. 

The easiest way to Install Jenkins in any OS is by downloading Jenkins war file from here and running the command java -jar jenkins.war to run it. But in this article for Installing Jenkins in Ubuntu 16.04, we will see the graphical way to install and configure it. I am installing Jenkins 2.7.4.

The first step is to download and install Jenkins. Open Terminal by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T and type in the following commands:

wget -q -O - | sudo apt-key add - 

sudo sh -c 'echo deb binary/ > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/jenkins.list' 

sudo apt-get update 

sudo apt-get install jenkins

This will download and install Jenkins. Along with that, this will also open Jenkins as a daemon process on start up. A new user is created "jenkins" to manage things up. 

Once you are finished up, open a browser and type in localhost:8080 in the URL. Jenkins is hosted on port 8080 by default. We can configure that later. On the Getting started screen, it will ask for a password. 

This password can be extracted from the Jenkins log file which can be found at /var/log/jenkins/jenkins.log

Once you are logged in, Customize Jenkins option will appear. You can ask Jenkins to install the suggested Plug ins , or you can select them manually according to your need. 

Once the plugins are downloaded and install, you are all set to use the Jenkins in Ubuntu 16.04. But before that, the Set Up will ask you to create first admin user. Fill in the details that you can use as an Admin to use and Manage Jenkins instance. 

Once done, you are presented with the Jenkins homescreen, something like this. 

If you want to make further changes, click on "Manage Jenkins" in the sidebar, then click on Manage Jenkins again and you will see all the configuration options. The first thing I did was changing the Jenkins URL to something like localhost:8080/jenkins. There are other various customization and configuration things which you can explore and set things up.

This is the easiest way to install Jenkins in Ubuntu 16.04 . I will soon be covering other aspects related to Jenkins. Thanks for reading by!

You can read more about Jenkins at

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Linux Mint 18 KDE Edition released

Linux Mint had finally rolled out the KDE Edition based on Ubuntu 16.04. It was in beta stage earlier and the final roll out is available to download from September 09. The Linux Mint KDE Edition is based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and will receive updated for 5 years. 

Linux Mint 18 Sarah KDE edition
Credit : Linux Mint Blog

In an official announcement, Clement Lefebvre announced for Sarah KDE edition. The new roll out features KDE Plasma 5.6 Desktop Environment and various improvements to update manager. There are various System Improvements and many new artworks in the form of wallpapers are there to soothe your eyes. It is based on Linux Kernel 4.4.

Minimum System Requirements for Linux Mint 18 KDE Edition includes 2 GB RAM, 10 GB of storage (20 GB recommended), and 1024x768 resolution screen. 

How to upgrade to Linux Mint Sarah KDE Edition

If you are looking for a clean install, download the ISO from here, and burn it to a disc. If you are already running the BETA version, click on refresh button in Update Manager and apply any pending level 1 update.

Note : You cannot upgrade from Linux Mint 17.3 KDE since it uses Plasma 5, so you will need to opt for a clean install in that case. 

I will be trying it in a day or two and write about it more. Thanks for reading by. 

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

How to Install Mate Desktop Environment in Ubuntu 16.04

MATE Desktop Environment is a fork of GNOME 2 and is a result of the dislike of some of the GNOME users when the community came up with a new user interface in GNOME 3. An Argentina user forked GNOME 2.0 and started the MATE project. The project is under rigorous development and fixes, and the latest version released was MATE 1.14 in April this year. 

Now when you use Ubuntu, there is an equal chance that you hate it's default Unity Desktop Environment. The reason includes but is not limited to the interface and the heavy resource usage. So, we came up with an article where you can install MATE Desktop Environment in Ubuntu 16.04. 

In this article, we will see how we can install MATE Desktop Environment in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS.

Open Terminal and type in the following command: This will install the minimal MATE desktop. 

sudo apt-get install mate-desktop-environment-core

This will download a 157mb file and install the base package required for a minimal MATE desktop.

Now, to install the complete MATE desktop, type in the following command: 

sudo apt-get install mate-desktop-environment

If you wish to download the Complete MATE that includes a few extra tweeks, you can install it through the below command.

sudo apt-get install mate-desktop-environment-extras

To login to MATE desktop environment, restart your system and choose the DE to start. 

Although, the Ubuntu users have got familiar with the Unity Desktop environment, and to some aspects it does provide a complete new and good feel, but some are just addicted to the old desktop environments. And that's where the beauty of Linux is. The freedom of choice to user whatever suits you on top of whatever. 

Monday, 12 September 2016

How to Install Java 8 in Ubuntu 16.04

This article is particularly tested for Java 8 on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS running in a Virtual Box. 

How to install Java 8 in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

If you are trying to install Oracle Java 1.8 in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Xenial Xerus but failing, here's a short and tested tutorial to download and install it. We are installing JDK by using third party PPA from webupd8 team. 

Before installation Java in your Ubuntu system, you can check if you already have it by typing java -version. If you get an output like this, then you can proceed with the below steps. 

$ java -version

The program 'java' can be found in the following packages:
 * default-jre
 * gcj-4.9-jre-headless
 * gcj-5-jre-headless
 * openjdk-8-jre-headless
 * gcj-4.8-jre-headless
 * openjdk-9-jre-headless
Try: sudo apt install <selected package>

The first step is to download and add webupd8 java repository. Open terminal and type the following command,

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:webupd8team/java

ambarish@ambarish:~$ sudo apt-add-repository ppa:webupd8team/java
[sudo] password for ambarish: 
... [skipping in between outputs]
gpg:               imported: 1  (RSA: 1)

sudo apt-get update

ambarish@ambarish:~$ sudo apt-get update
Hit:1 xenial InRelease
Hit:2 xenial InRelease   
... [skipping in between outputs]
Fetched 120 kB in 2s (46.6 kB/s)                   
Reading package lists... Done

The second step is to install Java 8. 

This will download the Oracle JDK installer from Oracle website and invoke the installation process for you. 

sudo apt-get install oracle-java8-installer

ambarish@ambarish:~$ sudo apt-get install oracle-java8-installer
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
... [skipping in between outputs]
Oracle JDK 8 installed
Oracle JRE 8 browser plugin installed
Setting up gsfonts-x11 (0.24) ...

Once the download completes, you will have the set up in front of you. Just follow the instructions, accept to terms and conditions and finish. 

This will successfully install Java 8 in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. Once you are done with the installation, you can validate it by typing the following command in terminal :

java -version

This will show output like this.

ambarish@ambarish:~$ java -version
java version "1.8.0_101"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.8.0_101-b13)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 25.101-b13, mixed mode)

Tags : How to install Java 8 in Ubuntu 16.04

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

How to Install Skype in Ubuntu 16.04

Skype is one day to day software for me that helps me to be contact with my family and friends through video calls. Though there are many alternatives these days, Skype is still my first preference when I need to see someone. In this article, we will see how to install Skype in Ubuntu 16.04. Skype is not available officially in Ubuntu Software Center so you won't be able to install it from there if you have installed Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Xenial Xerus. However, Microsoft has made available Skype for Linux and all you need is Linux version 4.3. Let's see how can we install Skype in Ubuntu 16.04.

System Requirements 

These are the basic system requirements to install Skype in Linux Ubuntu 16.04.

  • 1 GHz processer
  • 256mb RAM
  • 100mb free space
  • Video card driver with Xv support
  • Microphone and a video camera.

There is no official release for Ubuntu 16.04. In fact the last Ubuntu version it supported was 12.04. It's available via partner repositories and you will need to enable it before you can install Skype. 

How to Enable Partner Repository

Open Software & Updates and under Other Software tab, check Canonical partners, for installing the software packaged by Canonical for their partners. 

Installing Skype in Ubuntu 16.04

Once done, open terminal and type in the following command to install Skype in Ubuntu 16.04.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install skype

It will ask for packages to be downloaded, select yes and continue. The procedure will download and install Skype in your system.

Once you are done, you can launch Ubuntu from the Dash Search. You can pin it to the software launcher. In case you don't like the default launcher in left pane, here's  how to move Unity launcher to bottom in Ubuntu 16.04.

This is by far the easiest method to install Ubuntu. There are other ways too, by downloading through third party PPAs, downloading and compiling things on own. 

Let us know in the comments, how you installed Skype in Ubuntu 16.04.

Read : How to Install Ubuntu Restricted Extras in 16.04

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Canonical patches Kernel Vulnerabilities for Ubuntu 16.04

The news is about a week old (well, almost), but just to warn you; If you are running on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Xenial Xerus ans still not updated your Linux Kernel, you should do so immediately. On Aug 29, Canonical rolled out a Kernel patch for Ubuntu and it's derivatives that included 8 fixes. The USN-3070-1: Linux kernel vulnerabilities patch includes several security issue fixes for the kernel. 

The kernel fixes includes: 

CVE-2016-1237 : Missing permission check when settings ACLs in nfsd, can be exploited by a local user to gain access to any file by setting an ACL.

CVE-201605244 : Information leak in the RDS implementation used by the local attacker to obtain sensitive information from kernel memory.

CVE-2016-5400 : The airspy USB device in kernel do not handle certain error conditions, can be used for Denial of Service attacks by someone with a physical access. 

CVE-2016-5696 : A flaw in TCP implementation of handling acknowledgements, can be used to cause Denial of Service or injecting content in TCP stream.

CVE-2016-5728 : Race condition in MIC VOP driver in Linux, can be used to obtain potentially sensitive information from memory. On PowerPC platforms, Kernel mishandled transaction memory state on exec(), can be used to execute arbitrary code. 

CVE-2016-5829 : Heap based buffer overflow existence in kernel, can result in Denial of Service attacks, or execute arbitrary code.

CVE-201606197 : OverlayFS implementation in kernel do not verify dentry state before proceeding with unlink and rename operations, resulting in DoS attacks. 

How to upgrade your Linux System

You need to update your system by following the below steps. 

For Desktops:

Chances are that your Ubuntu system has already notified about the security update. Or alternatively, open Update Manager and review and select the pending updates. Once selected, click on Install Updates button to upgrade to the latest version. You won't need to restart your system after the upgrades. 

For Servers: 

Login to the server, and type in the following commands to update your system. 

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

The strength of Linux lies in the patching of known vulnerabilities as soon as they are discovered, and you should always keep your system up-to-date. Thanks for reading by.

Monday, 5 September 2016

6 Things to do after Installing Ubuntu 16.04

If you have upgraded yourself to Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus, these 6 things to do after installing Ubuntu will get you a smoother experience with the most used Linux distribution. Ubuntu has eased out the Linux experience with a nice UI along the command line strength (Linux Mint, too). But for a newbie user who has just migrated from Windows still has some tasks left to set things up properly. These are not mandatory things otherwise they would have come with the installation itself but are highly suggested in order to leverage the complete experience of Ubuntu 16.04.

Let's see the 6 things to do after installing Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus.

1. Install Ubuntu Restricted Extras.

The Ubuntu Restricted Extras contains the media codecs and fonts for Ubuntu. Chances are that you already have installed it while Installing Ubuntu 16.04 but if you missed it, you need to install it download media codecs in order to play media files. The package contains MP3 and other audio codecs to play various codec software, adobe flash plugin, LAME - software to create compressed audio files and software to install the Microsoft web fonts. Downloading and installing Ubuntu Restricted Extras is a one step process. Open terminal (Press Ctrl + Alt + T), and type in the following command to install Restricted Extras in Ubuntu. 

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

You can read more about Ubuntu Restricted Extras here

2. Install Linux graphics driver.

To install graphics driver, navigate to Unity Dash > Software & updates > Additional Drivers. 

It will list the available proprietary drivers available to download. Install them.

3. Update your system.

While installing Ubuntu, you are asked if you want to download updates too along with the installation. Even if you select yes, there are still some left which you will need to update as soon as you login to your system for the first time. 

Type in the following command in terminal to update.

sudo apt-get update 

and press Enter. 

Additionally, open Ubuntu Dash and open Software Update Launcher. It will check for updates and ask you to download and install now. Just follow the instructions there. 

4. Installing all the necessary software

The next step is to install all the necessary software for your Ubuntu System. Type in the following command in Terminal,

sudo apt-get install synaptic vlc gimp gimp-data gimp-plugin-registry gimp-data-extras y-ppa-manager bleachbit openjdk-7-jre oracle-java8-installer flashplugin-installer unace unrar zip unzip p7zip-full p7zip-rar sharutils rar uudeview mpack arj cabextract file-roller libxine1-ffmpeg mencoder flac faac faad sox ffmpeg2theora libmpeg2-4 uudeview libmpeg3-1 mpeg3-utils mpegdemux liba52-dev mpeg2dec vorbis-tools id3v2 mpg321 mpg123 libflac++6 totem-mozilla icedax lame libmad0 libjpeg-progs libdvdcss2 libdvdread4 libdvdnav4 libswscale-extra-2 ubuntu-restricted-extras ubuntu-wallpapers*

and this will install the many of the day to dya softwares like synaptic package manager, vlc media player, photo editor, cleaning utility, java emulator, java installer, flash plugin, unrar, unzip, wallpapers and others. [thanks to]

5. Enable partner repositories

These repositories are third party licensed repositories and do not come under GPL license. You need to enable the partner repositories in order to download and install softwares like Flash and Skype. 

To enable partner repositories, go to Ubuntu Dash > Software & Updates > Other softwares, and check all the boxes there. 

6. Install Unity Tweak Tool 

There is a Unity Tweak Tool that will allow you to configure, tweak and mess around with Unity desktop. It's a setting manager for Unity desktop, providing user with a fast, simple and easy to use interface to access many useful and little known features. To install Unity tweak tool, open terminal and type in the following command:

sudo apt install unity-tweak-tool

Or, you can download it from the software center and install it. 

These 6 things to do after installing Ubuntu 16.04 will improve your Ubuntu experience by many folds. I hope you follow them after each Ubuntu Installations. 

How to install Ubuntu restricted extras in 16.04 LTS

Ubuntu restricted extras contains most of the commonly used media codecs and fonts for Ubuntu and it is advised to install Ubuntu Restricted Extras as the first thing after installing Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus. Its a software package for Ubuntu that installs essential software which are not the part of Ubuntu Installations by default due to legal / copyright issue. Ubuntu is an Open Source OS and the packages under Ubuntu Restricted Extras are proprietary software, hence you are asked for it's installation. 

If you are a new user and installed Ubuntu 16.04, most certainly you will not find audio playing, or a message on any website to install Adobe flash plugin.

The steps to install ubuntu-restricted-extras in 16.04 an easy process and we will see how you can do it. 

Through Command Line

You can install Ubuntu Restricted Extras through terminal by typing in the following command :

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

This will download and install all the packages. 

The installation steps will appear and it will ask you to accept EULA for Microsoft Software. Click on OK.

It will again ask for the same for TrueType core fonts for the Web EULA. Select OK and the installation will finish. 

At last a message will pop up, "All done - no errors" and you have successfully installed Ubuntu Restricted Extras in Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus.

If you face any issue, tell us in the comments.