How-To: Upgrade to Ubuntu 9.04 and ext4

Getting started

If you’re the kind of person who likes to give software and platforms a test drive early on then I’m sure you’ve been keeping a close eye on Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope and its fresh support for the ext4 file system.

If you’re interested in upgrading to Ubuntu 9.04 then it’s pretty painless and requires one command. Before you get started, please note that the current stage of the Ubuntu 9.04 release is still alpha.

This means that this release is not yet deemed stable and you should not be surprised if you encounter a nasty bug. That being said, I have been using Ubuntu 9.04 for a couple of alpha releases with no major problems and fast updates and fixes on a daily basis.

If you would like to wait until the final version is released then you can mark your calendars for April 23, 2009 and upgrade then. If you’re curious and ready for some exciting changes then please continue reading. 😉

Please take a look at the know issues for the latest release of Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunt Jackalope to make sure you still want to continue with the upgrade. You can find links to release news for each alpha and on up to the final release here.

Upgrade to Ubuntu 9.04

  1. Press Alt+F2 to open the run dialog.
  2. Copy and paste update-manager -d into the dialog and press enter.
  3. When the Update Manager appears, it should prompt you of the availability of an upgrade. Press the upgrade button and follow the few instructions.

After upgrading, you may need to enable hardware drivers for your video card. If you’re using nVidia, then you’ll be happy to see that driver version 180 is now recommended for Jaunty!

You may not notice, but updating your version of Ubuntu does not automatically convert your file system from ext3 to ext4. This is something you will need to manually change with a few commands.

Also note that after converting your file system to ext4, only files created after the conversion will be created in extends mode. This means that files that already exist will still be in ext3 format, but will work flawlessly with the ext4 file system. If you wish to have a complete ext4 file system then you will most likely be required to perform a fresh install of Ubuntu 9.04.

Follow updates from kernel.org on how to convert from ext3 to ext4, or refer to this page in the case that the below information becomes outdated.

Converting ext3 to ext4

To convert an existing ext3 filesystem to use ext4, use the command

$ tune2fs -O extents,uninit_bg,dir_index /dev/DEV

WARNING: Once you run this command, the filesystem will no longer be mountable using the ext3 filesystem!

After running this command, you MUST run fsck:

$ fsck -pf /dev/DEV

NOTE: by doing so, new files will be created in extents format, but this will not convert existing files. However, they can be transparently read by Ext4.

WARNING: It is NOT recommended to resize the inodes using resize2fs, as this is known to corrupt some filesystems.

Conclusion

If you’ve successfully upgraded to Ubuntu 9.04 then it’s time for you to sit back and relax!

You’ll continue to see updates to Ubuntu 9.04 that will update your system all the way up to the stable release of Ubuntu 9.04 by April 23, 2009. You will see fewer and fewer updates after this point with most of the updates being security based.

Enjoy!

Ubuntu 9.10: Karmic Koala

Ubuntu 9.10, as announced earlier today by Mark Shuttleworth, is to be named Karmic Koala.

The full announcement is quoted below, but the interesting parts to me for the Desktop version were the following:

  • Faster boot time than Jaunty Jackalope, which is aiming for 25 seconds for a total boot on a netbook (which is basically an underpowered laptop).
  • A new and shiny boot logo to compliment the release.
  • The login screen will see some interface improvements to make it integrate well with Koala.
  • The default theme for Ubuntu Karmic Koala will finally see some loving updates with the possibility of moving away from the old and boring brown themes that have been used in the past.

That’s a lot of promises for the overall look and feel of Koala, but not much talk about the improvements to the backend. Until Jaunty Jackalope is released, we may just have to wait to find out more of the goodies planned for Karmic Koala.

The Desktop features may also be announced at UDS in Barcelona from the 25th through the 29th of May, however, the announcement only suggests that by attending you will get a preview of the whole new look. This sounds to me like it’s nothing more than inspecting the boot screen, login screen and new theme ideas.

In the meantime, you can keep track of the status and progress in Karmic Koala on the Karmic Release Schedule page.

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce the Karmic Koala, the newest member of our alliterative menagerie.

When you are looking for inspiration beyond the looming Jaunty feature freeze, I hope you’ll think of the Koala, our official mascot for Ubuntu 9.10. And if you’ll bear with me for a minute I’ll set the scene for what we hope to achieve in that time.

Server

A good Koala knows how to see the wood for the trees, even when her head is in the clouds. Ubuntu aims to keep free software at the forefront of cloud computing by embracing the API’s of Amazon EC2, and making it easy for anybody to setup their own cloud using entirely open tools. We’re currently in beta with official Ubuntu base AMI’s for use on Amazon EC2. During the Karmic cycle we want to make it easy to deploy applications into the cloud, with ready-to-run appliances or by quickly assembling a custom image. Ubuntu-vmbuilder makes it easy to create a custom AMI today, but a portfolio of standard image profiles will allow easier collaboration between people doing similar things on EC2. Wouldn’t it be apt for Ubuntu to make the Amazon jungle as easy to navigate as, say, APT?

What if you want to build an EC2-style cloud of your own? Of all the trees in the wood, a Koala’s favourite leaf is Eucalyptus. The Eucalyptus project, from UCSB, enables you to create an EC2-style cloud in your own data center, on your own hardware. It’s no coincidence that Eucalyptus has just been uploaded to universe and will be part of Jaunty – during the Karmic cycle we expect to make those clouds dance, with dynamically growing and shrinking resource allocations depending on your needs. A savvy Koala knows that the best way to conserve energy is to go to sleep, and these days even servers can suspend and resume, so imagine if we could make it possible to build a cloud computing facility that drops its energy use virtually to zero by napping in the midday heat, and waking up when there’s work to be done. No need to drink at the energy fountain when there’s nothing going on. If we get all of this right, our Koala will help take the edge off the bear market.

If that sounds rather open and nebulous, then we’ve hit the sweet spot for cloud computing futurology. Let me invite you to join the server team at UDS in Barcelona, when they’ll be defining the exact set of features to ship in October.

Desktop

First impressions count. We’re eagerly following the development of kernel mode setting, which promises a smooth and flicker-free startup. We’ll consider options like Red Hat’s Plymouth, for graphical boot on all the cards that support it. We made a splash years ago with Usplash, but it’s time to move to something newer and shinier. So the good news is, boot will be beautiful. The bad news is, you won’t have long to appreciate it! It only takes 35 days to make a whole Koala, so we think it should be possible to bring up a stylish desktop much faster. The goal for Jaunty on a netbook is 25 seconds, so let’s see how much faster we can get you all the way to a Koala desktop. We’re also hoping to deliver a new login experience that complements the graphical boot, and works well for small groups as well as very large installations.

For those of you who can relate to Mini Me, or already have a Dell Mini, the Ubuntu Netbook Edition will be updated to include all the latest technology from Moblin, and tuned to work even better on screens that are vertically challenged. With millions of Linux netbooks out there, we have been learning and adapting usability to make the Koala cuddlier than ever. We also want to ensure that the Netbook Remix installs easily and works brilliantly on all the latest netbook hardware, so consider this a call for testing Ubuntu 9.04 if you’re the proud owner of one of these dainty items.

The desktop will have a designer’s fingerprints all over it – we’re now beginning the serious push to a new look. Brown has served us well but the Koala is considering other options. Come to UDS for a preview of the whole new look.

UDS in Barcelona, 25-29 May

As always, the Ubuntu Developer Summit will be jam-packed with ideas, innovations, guests and gurus. It’s a wombat and dingbat-free zone, so if you’re looking for high-intensity developer discussions, beautiful Barcelona will be the place to rest your opposable thumbs in May. It’s where the Ubuntu community, Canonical engineers and partners come together to discuss, debate and design the Karmic Koala. The event is the social and strategic highlight of each release cycle. Jono Bacon, the Ubuntu Community Manager has more details at http://www.jonobacon.org/2009/02/19/announcing-the-karmic-koala-ubuntu-developer-summit/ including sponsorship for heavily-contributing community members.

More details of the Ubuntu Developer Summit can be found at http://wiki.ubuntu.com/UDS.

A newborn Koala spends about six months in the family before it heads off into the wild alone. Sounds about perfect for an Ubuntu release plan! I’m looking forward to seeing many of you in Barcelona, and before that, at a Jaunty release party. Till then, cheers.

Mark

I’m A LinuxTracker.org Give Away Winner!

Lately, I’ve been taking advantage of my school Internet connection speed by using it to share free Linux disk images over BitTorrent over on LinuxTracker.org such as the latest release of Debian 5.0.

As of right now, I have stats on their site of 350.68 GB upload to 5.24 GB download. This gives me a ratio of 66.94 and I think my quick status from leeching to sharing an extreme amount might have helped land me a winning spot in their 4th Anniversary Party Give Away.

According to the message I received and the forum post, it seems that I’ve won a linuxjournal/sticker pack! I think that means that I get a free subscription to Linux Journal along with some sweet Linux stickers, but until I get something in my mail box I won’t have any idea.

Opera 10: Remove ‘Click to activate’ on flash in Linux!

I’ve been working with d.i.z. as he’s found a way to hex edit Opera binaries to disable the “Click to activate” feature that Opera has implemented on flash items. I won’t get into the details of why they implemented this myself, but I’ll just quote from the post that d.i.z. made about this topic.

Some background:
Eolas (E) is a company that patented a certain way of interacting with embedded objects on web pages. This is why in Opera, you sometimes have to click (for example) a flash player to “activate” it before it can actually be controlled. That sucks.

Opera is the only browser that I know of, that currently have this annoying system in place. IE had it, but it reached to a pocket full of money to buy a license from E.

Other (open source) browsers don’t implement this mechanism because E was kind enough to commit not to pursue legal actions against open source browsers that are violating its patent. Why? I guess because it wouldn’t really be able to enforce that anyway. Builds without this future would pop up everywhere in no-time.

Now that you understand a little bit about what is going on and the feature that you can remove, I have to tell you the bad news. So far we’ve only had time to patch Windows builds and most Intel Linux and Linux x86_64 builds.

If you’re looking for the Windows patch files then head on over to d.i.z.’s blog post and grab the download there as I will not be maintaining that one.

If you’re looking for the Linux patches, then you’re at the right spot!

I’ve managed to write three script files that will do everything you want! You will only need to use one of them if you only want to patch your version. The files are as follows:

  1. Patch script
    This script obviously patches your Opera file to remove the “Click to activate” feature. You only need to run this one if you just want to remove that and forget about it. Running it more than once will not affect the file as the hex search will no longer match after being patched, so that is why it will fail if the file has already been patched.

    To use this script, run the following commands in the terminal:

    chmod +x ./click-to-activate-removal-opera-10.sh
    sudo ./click-to-activate-removal-opera-10.sh
  2. Switch between patched Opera and unpatched Opera script
    This file will, as it says, rename your patched file and unpatched file accordingly so that each time you run it you will be able to alternate back and forth between patched and unpatched versions. This will no longer work if you remove your unpatched version which is created and saved originally by the Patch script above.

    To use this script, run the following commands in the terminal:

    chmod +x ./click-to-activate-removal-opera-10-swap-patched-unpatched.sh
    sudo ./click-to-activate-removal-opera-10-swap-patched-unpatched.sh
  3. Patch removal script
    This script is a clean-up tool. If you decide for some reason that you don’t want the patch anymore and want to remove it completely, then run this script. It will delete the patched file, so switching between patched and unpatched will no longer be possible until you reapply the Patch script.

    To use this script, run the following commands in the terminal:

    chmod +x ./click-to-activate-removal-opera-10-unpatcher.sh
    sudo ./click-to-activate-removal-opera-10-unpatcher.sh

Please make sure that you have completely closed Opera before running any of these three scripts.

After using any of the above scripts, you are free to delete the script. You can always grab it again here if you wish, just make sure to bookmark this page!

The example usage commands that I posted are correct for Ubuntu/Debian. I’m not sure how they compare across distributions, but just make sure to make the script executable and then run the script with root privileges.

I’m sure you noticed that the file names are very long. You can feel free to rename them to anything you want to. They run independently of the file name. I just named them very descriptively to help myself keep them sorted and maintainable. 😉

As usual, if you wish to use any of these scripts then you understand that I am not responsible for any damages done to your computer (even if it explodes 😛 ) and you accept the responsibility on yourself to deal with any results, good or bad.

If you experience any problems with these files then please let me know in the comments. Notice that these only work so far for Intel Linux builds and Linux x86_64 (64-bit), so don’t waste your time with other builds unless you want to help extend the scripts!

Also, please notice that currently this Patch script does not work for the Intel Linux builds that were compiled with GCC 2.95, but hopefully it will be supported soon. If you’re using a build other than this that is Intel Linux or Linux x86_64 then please let me know the version you downloaded so I can look into it!

I extend a special thanks to d.i.z. for making this hex edit hack possible and helping me form these scripts in the first place!

Enjoy!

Crash logging Opera with Inspector IIXII for Linux

For those of you interested, I’ve spent a bit of my time trying to make your crashing logging life easier. 😉

After reading a post from csant‘s blog I decided to try to make the process of starting up Inspector a little less annoying by writing a Bourne shell script to automatically parse the PID and execute Inspector with the proper PID parameter for Opera.

After taking what csant had already posted (and is posted in a couple of other places) I just did a little extending that narrowed down the results to the correct one and parsed the second element divided by whitespace, which has to be the PID. It’s a fairly simple script. 😉

To get started crash logging Opera to help make it better all you need to do is download the Inspector program and create a new file named “inspectr.sh”.

Notice that I named it “inspectr” intentionally, as the linux program file is and has always been just “inspectr” so this helps keep confusion between file names down.

In the new shell file that you’ve created, copy and paste the following and save it.

#!/bin/sh

opera=`ps aux | grep opera$ | awk '{print $2}'`
if [ "$opera" != "" ]; then
./inspectr $opera
fi

After saving it, you’ll need to run the following to make it executable.

chmod +x inspectr.sh

Make sure that you saved both of the files together and also followed the instructions for setting up Inspector (really just chmod 755). After that you can just pop open a terminal, navigate to the inspector directory and run the following command to attach Inspector to the current running version of Opera.

./inspectr.sh

That’s about it! Collect those logs and make sure to send them with your bug reports!

UNIX: 1234567890 on Friday Feb. 13, 2009 @ 18:31:30

This coming Friday the 13th (ahhhh, bad luck!!!!) will be a unique day for me and everyone on earth!

This coming Friday the 13th will be the day that makes a milestone mark in the history of UNIX! That milestone has been running since midnight Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) of January 1, 1970, not counting leap seconds.

Basically, if you live if Eastern Standard Time (EST) like I do, then you will see this once in a life time event occur on:

Fri Feb 13 18:31:30 2009

Here is a quick screen shot that illustrates how to find the local time for you as well as the local time for me. 😉

If you want to check the time in your location then enter the following terminal command (compliments of  Gizmodo.com).

perl -e 'print scalar localtime(1234567890),"\n";'

Enjoy the day and maybe down a brew to celebrate the unique timing! Go UNIX!

ext4: The Fourth Extended Filesystem

The ext4 file system is to be the successor to the ext3 journaled file system and will be available as an optional file system in the next release of Ubuntu, Ubuntu 9.04.

The ext4 file system is now, as of December 25, 2008, released as stable and can be used as the dominant file system without fear of data lose…well, to be more clear I mean no more fear than any other “stable” file system. 😛

Ext4 is capable of supporting hard drives up to 1 exabyte in size. To put that in terms you might understand more easily, that’s 1,073,741,824 gigabytes!

Also, new with ext4 is an increased maximum file size! Files can now be created up to an impressive size of 16 tebibytes compared to 2 tebibytes in ext3! That’s 16,384 gigabytes!

Support for the ext4 file system begins with Kernel 2.6.28, so previous versions will be incompatible and unable to mount an ext4 volume.

As computer processors continually increase in speed and performance, it becomes increasingly important that timestamps are accurate and very accurate at that. The ext4 file system will store timestamps for created or modified files down to the nanosecond!

This means that creating files very quickly will result in more unique timestamps, thus increasing the ability to compare new and old files down to the nanosecond! This could be very important in the future for tasks such as synchronization!

If you’re interested in seeing better performance during file system check, reading and writing files then you’ll want to give Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope or Fedora 11 a try when they are released!

If you’re interested in seeing some performance benchmarks, then I’ve already collected a few here for you to take a look at:

Opera Skin: Opera Standard Dust

I just published a new skin for Opera based on the standard or default skin: Opera Standard Dust

The differences are tweaks in color and tone and a few different images to make it fit into the Ubuntu Dust theme.

Click the images below to see a larger version.

That’s all for now, but enjoy!

Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex Released

Ubuntu is releasing the latest version of their Ubuntu operating system today! Go download it now!

Here’s what’s new in Ubuntu 8.10:

  1. GNOME 2.24
  2. X.Org 7.4
  3. Linux kernel 2.6.27
  4. Encrypted private directory
  5. Guest session
  6. Network Manager 0.7
  7. DKMS
  8. Samba 3.2
  9. PAM authentication framework
  10. Totem BBC plugin
  11. Server Virtualization
  12. Notable inclusion in the main repository
  13. Boot degraded raid setting
  14. Service command now supported
  15. OpenLDAP using ”cn=config”
  16. Service-aware Uncomplicated Firewall (ufw)

GNOME 2.24

Ubuntu brings you the newest GNOME 2.24 desktop environment with tons of bug-fixes and new features, some of which include:

  • Nautilus file manager has tab support (by Christian Neumair) and Eject icons for removable drives in Places sidebar (by Stefano Teso, Cosimo Cecchi, Christian Neumair, and others).
  • File Roller archive manager now supports ALZ, RZIP, CAB, TAR.7Z file types also (by Paolo Bacchilega and Changwoo Ryu).

X.Org 7.4

X.Org 7.4, the latest stable version of X.Org, is available in Intrepid. This release brings much better support for hot-pluggable input devices such as tablets, keyboards, and mice. At the same time this will allow the great majority of users to run without a /etc/X11/xorg.conf file. A new failsafe X is introduced, to give better tools for troubleshooting X startup failures.

Two of the older nvidia binary drivers are not available for X.Org 7.4 yet, so users of these drivers will be automatically switched to the corresponding open source drivers.

Linux kernel 2.6.27

Ubuntu 8.10 RC includes Linux kernel 2.6.27, a significant release with better hardware support and numerous bug-fixes.

Encrypted private directory

The ecryptfs-utils package was recently promoted to Ubuntu main, with support for a secret encrypted folder in your Home Folder (by Michael Halcrow, Dustin Kirkland, and Daniel Baumann).

You can help test this new feature by going to Applications → Accessories → Terminal and typing:

  • sudo aptitude install ecryptfs-utils
  • ecryptfs-setup-private

Guest session

The User Switcher panel applet (package fast-user-switch-applet) now provides an extra entry for starting a Guest session (by Martin Pitt). This creates a temporary password-less user account with restricted privileges: the account cannot access any users’ home directories, nor permanently store data. This is sufficiently safe to lend your laptop to someone else for a quick email check.
Network Manager 0.7

Ubuntu 8.10 RC ships Network Manager 0.7 (by Dan Williams and others), which comes with long-expected features, such as:

  • system wide settings (i.e., no need to log in in order to get a connection)
  • management of 3G connections (GSM/CDMA)
  • management of multiple active devices at once
  • management of PPP and PPPOE connections
  • management of devices with static IP configurations
  • route management for devices

More information can be found on the Network Manager wiki.

DKMS

DKMS (by Dell) is included in Ubuntu 8.10, allowing kernel drivers to be automatically rebuilt when new kernels are released. This makes it possible for kernel package updates to be made available immediately without waiting for rebuilds of driver packages, and without third-party driver packages becoming out of date when installing these kernel updates.

Samba 3.2

A lot of new features have been added in Samba 3.2 amongst them:

  • clustered file server support
  • encrypted network transport
  • ipv6 support
  • better integration with the latest version of Microsoft Windows™ clients and servers.

PAM authentication framework

Ubuntu 8.10 RC features a new pam-auth-update tool, which allows simple management of PAM authentication configuration for both desktops and servers (by Steve Langasek). Packages providing PAM modules will be configured automatically, and users can adjust their authentication preferences by running sudo pam-auth-update.

More information can be found in the Ubuntu wiki.

Totem BBC plugin

Ubuntu 8.10 RC features a new plugin for the Totem movie player that fetches free digital content from the BBC. To enable it, start Totem (Applications -> Sound & Video -> Movie Player), enable the plugin (Edit -> Plugins -> BBC content viewer) and select “BBC” from the drop-down labelled “Playlist”.

Thanks to the BBC and Collabora for their work developing this feature.

Server Virtualization

python-vm-builder

This is a complete rewrite of ubuntu-vm-builder featuring a better template system, a plugin architecture allowing support for other distributions, front-ends and additional functionalities such as post install task (–exec, –copy) or first boot (–first-boot, –first-login). It provides a compatibility mode with the previous command-line syntax and adds better reporting.

Python-vm-builder allows you to create a new virtual machine in a few minutes without going through the interactive installation process. It can be very useful for developers, software vendors or system administrators. A tutorial is available at https://help.ubuntu.com/community/JeOSVMBuilder

Ubuntu as a Xen guest

Using Ubuntu as a Xen guest is now a supported option included in the standard server kernel and is a choice when building virtual machines with python-vm-builder.

JeOS is now an option in the server installer

In an effort to simplify our build process and avoid confusion when trying to install JeOS on real hardware, JeOS is no longer provided as a separate ISO. Instead, it is an option that is activated on the server installer by pressing F4 on the first screen and selecting the “Install a minimal virtual machine” option.

Notable inclusion in the main repository

The following packages have been included in the main repository and are now supported options that can be of particular interest for server administrators:

  • Sun’s Java OpenJDK 1.6 – an open source implementation of the Java development kit
  • Apache’s Tomcat 6 – A Java servlet container
  • ClamAV – a virus detection engine that can be coupled to mail servers
  • SpamAssassin – A spam detection engine that can be coupled to mail servers

Boot degraded raid setting

Traditionally, booting an Ubuntu installation with the root filesystem on a degraded RAID drops the system into a busybox prompt in the initramfs. This is the safest choice as it will prevent any further possible harm to data and let administrator pick what to do, but was causing issues with server hosted in remote locations. A system administrator can now statically configure their machines to continue on booting even if a disk is bad in the array by issuing the following command:

echo "BOOT_DEGRADED=true" | sudo tee -a /etc/initramfs-tools/conf.d/mdadm

Additionally, this can be specified on the kernel boot line with the bootdegraded=[true|false] parameter.

Service command now supported

Fedora or Red-Hat administrators will now feel a bit more comfortable using Ubuntu as the service command they had been using to manage daemons is now standard on Ubuntu. In addition to the traditional sudo /etc/init.d/<service> [start|stop|restart] way of managing a process, it is now also possible to use sudo service <service> [start|stop|restart].

In addition, numerous standard services now support the status option so that, e.g., sudo service postfix status will now report if the service is running or not.

OpenLDAP using ”cn=config”

The default installation of the OpenLDAP server now uses the cn=config extension, which allows automatic synchronization between LDAP replicas of configuration changes made.

Service-aware Uncomplicated Firewall (ufw)

Common services now inform ufw of the ports that are recommended for their proper enabling, so the administrator can open them in a single simple command ufw allow <service>.

Multiple Desktop Wallpapers in Ubuntu 8.10

The title of this article, well just the Ubuntu part, is a bit too specific, but I decided to use that to try to grab the Ubuntu communities attention and the fact that I’ll be showing this in Ubuntu. Also, I’m not writing this for anything other than Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex 8.10 at the moment. If you are using anything else and want to try to follow this then please keep that in mind.

This guide actually came about because I recieved an email from a curious reader asking for tips or steps to do this. Since I didn’t have any idea myself, I turned to my trusty friend Google and did quite a bit of searching before I finally came across a solution that was spread over several pages. Now I’ve put it all together here.

The steps to get this working in Ubuntu are surprisingly simple. However, to achieve this effect you must be willing to sacrifice your Desktop icons. 😉

Basically, you obviously still have a background, but the icons will not appear there anymore. To view your desktop and icons you can always still use the Nautilus file browser and just navigate to your Desktop folder. You also lose the right click menu on the desktop, but the only time I ever use that is to change the background. After following these steps you won’t be changing your wallpaper that way anymore, but instead using the CompizConfig Settings Manager.

While Gnome is currently working towards fixing this bug that requires you to disable, they have clearly missed their projected goal of working the fix into Gnome 2.24 (as I’m using 2.24.1 in Ubuntu currently). A fix may still come in an updated 2.24.x build, but only time will tell. Coincidentally, the duplicate bug that it was matched to is marked as “Resolved.”

Please realize that I am in no way responsible for what you decide to do to your own installation after reading the following information. 😉

The basic steps consist of the following:

  1. Make sure that you have “CompizConfig Settings Manager” installed. If you don’t already have it installed then you can install it through the terminal using the following command:
    sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager
  2. Now that you have “CompizConfig Settings Manager” installed. Open it:
    System -> Preferences -> CompizConfig Settings Manager
  3. Now you can either scroll down towards the bottom of the list and find an option labeled “Wallpaper” or just search for it in the filter/search box at the top left. Enable this option and click on the title “Wallpaper” to open the preferences for this plugin.
    Wallpaper = enabled
  4. Now just click “New” and browse for the image files that you want to use (one by one). The order that you have them in the list will correspond to the order they are in the cube or in your Workspace Switcher panel applet.
    Add new images one by one.
  5. Back to your terminal window, launch the “Configuration Editor” by entering the following command and press enter:
    gconf-editor
  6. You’ll notice a tree list on the left. Navigate through the following levels.
    apps -> nautilus -> preferences
  7. After selecting “preferences,” look through the list on the right a little more than half way through until you find an option labeled “show_desktop” and disable it.
    show_desktop = disabled

Now you should be finished with all of the whole setup process. The only thing left to do is to log out and log back in or simply restart X by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Backspace once.

After logging back in, you should notice something like the following (depending on the artwork that you chose).

Hopefully these help, but if I were you I would wait until this feature is implemented correctly. Also, I will update this page when this feature is indeed implemented correctly and isn’t really just a hack anymore.

Upgraded to WordPress 2.6.3, new daily hits record

Sorry for the 1-2 minute down time just now while I was upgrading to WordPress 2.6.3. 😛

I know you missed being able to access the site for that amount of time, but it’s back now. 😀

In other news, kyleabaker.com saw a burst of activity today due to the interest in my post “Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex 8.10 RC” and many Linux fans or curious people searching for Ubuntu 8.10 RC news.

I ended the 24 hour period with a total of 831 hits, beating out the previous daily record of 519 that came about after posting to a Digg article regarding Opera 9.5.

I tweeted the 750 hits mark here. The cycle resets at 8:00 PM so the results from today look like the following:

That last one give the final count and a preview to the searches that brought up kyleabaker.com most often. I’m glad to see so much interest in Ubuntu these days!