James Selvakumar’s Blog

August 17, 2009

Subversion and RapidSVN

Subversion is a very popular version control system. Though Subversion provides a very robust command line client, most of us prefer using a nice GUI front end. Windows users are really fortunate to have a powerful tool like TortoiseSVN which without any argument is simply the best front end for Subversion. Unfortunately, TortoiseSVN is available for just the Windows platform. Here I would like to highlight about RapidSVN, a cross-platform GUI front end for Subversion.

Learn more about RapidSVN from SolitaryGeek.

July 28, 2009

Convert video files to mp3 in Ubuntu

Filed under: ubuntu,unix-linux — James @ 4:41 pm
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Learn how to convert video files to mp3 in Ubuntu using FormatFactory from this solitarygeek.com post.

Convert audio files in Ubuntu with SoundConverter

Filed under: ubuntu,unix-linux — James @ 4:40 pm
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Learn how to convert audio files in Ubuntu using SoundConverter from this solitarygeek.com post.

May 4, 2009

gOS on VirtualBox

Filed under: unix-linux,virtualization — James @ 12:44 pm
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gOS or “Good OS” is an operating system based on Ubuntu. What makes gOS special is it’s “mac” like look and feel, out of the box support for google apps like Gmail, Google Docs, Picasa, Youtube etc through a special mozilla application called prism.

gOS also provides skype, wine in the default installation. Since gOS is based on Ubuntu, ubuntu users will feel right at home when using gOS. All these facts prompted me to go after gOS.

I downloaded gOS after a lot of struggle from their website. They call the operating system as gOS gadgets which really confused me. Only after figuring out the size of the iso, I was convinced that I’m downloading the operating system. Also the website seems less informative and not well organized.

Keeping those things aside, let us quickly see how to install gOS as an guest in VirtualBox. Follow these steps to install gOS as a virtual machine in your VirtualBox:

Download the respective “iso” image from the gOS download site.

  • Open VirtualBox, click “New” to add “gOS”as the virtual machine.
  • Choose “Linux” as the operating system and “Ubuntu” as the version.
  • Complete the rest of the virtual machine setup by giving appropriate details.
  • Mount the gOS “iso” image in the CD/DVD ROM section of the new virtual machine you just created.
  • Start the virtual machine and proceed with the installation.
  • Once the installation is complete, boot into your gOS virtual machine.
  • Once you boot into the gOS virtual machine, open the terminal and type “sudo apt-get install gcc make automake autoconf“. This will install the necessary build tools which is needed to install the virtualbox guest additions.
  • Now click “Devices -> Install Guest Additions” to install the guest additions for this virtual machine.
  • Once the guest additions are installed, restart your virtual machine. If the screen resolution of your virtual machine is still small, follow the steps mentioned in this tombuntu post and reboot your virtual machine.
  • You can still go and configure things like “enabling smooth fonts” etc to make your experience with gOS pleasant.

February 4, 2009

Getting NetBeans ready for work on Ubuntu 8.10

Filed under: netbeans,ubuntu,unix-linux — James @ 4:39 pm
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Now that you have upgraded from Windows to Ubuntu (like me :-) ), let’s see how to setup NetBeans quickly on your new Ubuntu machine without wasting much time.

Step 1: Install JDK

Install jdk on your machine using the super easy install option in Ubuntu. Open the terminal and type:

 
sudo apt-get install sun-java6-jdk
 

This will install the latest jdk available in the Ubuntu repository. This is cool because, you need not worry about updating your jdk whenever a new release is available. Your system’s “Update Manager” will take care of the rest.

Once the jdk is downloaded, you will be prompted to agree a license agreement in the terminal. Press “TAB” key to select the “Ok” option and then press “Enter”.

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January 30, 2009

Ubuntu Network File System

Filed under: ubuntu,unix-linux — James @ 4:47 pm
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I recently came across a scenario where I wanted to access the NetBeans projects located in another computer. That was a Ubuntu machine as well so I naturally went for the “Remote Desktop Viewer” (since I’m used to it when I was using Windows) feature available in my Ubuntu and opened NetBeans IDE in the remote machine to work with the projects. That was painfully slow, so I went to the “Terminal Server Client” with the protocol as “VNC”. Not much difference. These options were ok to just connect to a remote machine and perform simple operations. But when you want to work on a set of files for a long period of time inside an IDE, that’s a different story.

I use keyboard shortcuts heavily in NetBeans IDE and whenever I issue a series of commans via the keyboard, the remote desktop connection went havoc and got struck inbetween. I had to periodically disconnect and connect to the remote session again which was really painful.

Here my need is to access a set of files located in another machine. I really don’t want to view the desktop of the remote machine nor need to run some applications from there. So I was looking for other options and came across a really fantastic concept called Network File System or shortly NFS.

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January 29, 2009

Nimbus – A great theme for Ubuntu

Filed under: ubuntu,unix-linux — James @ 2:39 pm
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I recently tried the cool and fresh “nimbus” theme (which is the default theme on OpenSolaris) on my Ubuntu 8.10. It’s really pleasant and relaxing. And run NetBeans with “nimbus” look and feel explicitly set to have a really pleasing effect. And here are some screenshots from my Ubuntu:

You can get the nimbus icons and themes from gnome-look.org. Just download the “icon” and “gtk-engine” debs and run it. (TIP: First install the “icon” deb)

December 13, 2008

Ubuntu 8.10 – A Productive Java Development Environment

I recently started using Ubuntu 8.10 at my workplace as well. Till then, I have been using Ubuntu only at home. For me, Ubuntu@Work was very different from Ubuntu@Home. I mostly surf, blog, listen to music and play some games at home. But Ubuntu@Work was a completely different scenario.

Since I’m new to this linux stuff, it took me some time to configure things like static ip address, host names etc. But once everything was setup, things started moving quickly. I initially had doubt in my minds about the font rendering of NetBeans (or any swing app for that matter) under linux. I even wrote an post showing my frustration with NetBeans font rendering when compared to Eclipse. But with jdk.1.6.10, font rendering is smooth and NetBeans works like a champ! You can see some samples here:

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December 9, 2008

Ubuntu@Work, finally…!

Filed under: ubuntu,unix-linux — James @ 4:18 pm
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I cannot forget this day in my life. I’ve been granted permission by my company to use Ubuntu Linux for my work from today. It was like a dream come true for me. I’ve been using Windows for any serious kind of development work till yesterday. Today I felt extremely happy when I booted into linux at my work place for the first time ever to do development. Hurrah! Ubuntu@Work, finally…!

But it was not a bed of rose for me. I first came across the linux world almost 2 years back, when one of my colleagues passed me a Ubuntu 6.x Live CD. I never bothered about it (to be frank, I was scared to use it :-) ) for quite some time. Then I luckily noticed a information in the Live CD that I can try it without ever installing it on my machine. That sounded great to me. I quickly booted into the Live CD and entered into the wonderful world called linux for the first time ever. It was really a pleasant experience.

Not until the fall of 2007, I had the guts to install Ubuntu in any form. Things started to change when I bought a new Dell notebook. It had plenty of hard disk in it and it was quite new which prompted me to try linux in some kind of installed form. So I quickly searched through the web about setting up a dual boot machine along with the Windows XP that was pre-installed in my new notebook. Though I had initial success  in installing Ubuntu, that did not last long. Some issues like improper screen resolution drove me away from Ubuntu for a while.

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December 7, 2008

Beyond Wubi…

Filed under: ubuntu,unix-linux — James @ 4:27 pm
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In one of my previous posts, I mentioned that I installed Ubuntu 8.10 in my machine via Wubi. Before that, I was playing around with some *nix distros with the help of VirtualBox which ran on Windows XP in my machine. Wubi was very helpful in installing Ubuntu side by side with Windows XP which still is my primary operating system. So if you are new are still a Windows user but pondering to try linux in the safest possible way, Wubi is probably the simplest choice available. If you haven’t already tried it, I encourage you to go for it. You won’t be discouraged.

After playing around with my Ubuntu 8.10 installed inside a virtual harddisk, courtesy Wubi, I felt that I should go for a full installation. Though Wubi gives you a perfectly working Ubuntu system, it should not be compared to a full fledged installation. For example, certain features like “Hibernation” are not available when you install Ubuntu through Wubi. Wubi’s primary objective is to encourage Windows users to try and enjoy Ubuntu. At the end, when you are comfortable with Ubuntu, it’s time for a complete installation. And that’s exactly what I did.

I have attempted for a full installation before but I was always scared whenever I come across the “partition” page. And being a Windows user, I never understood terms like “dev/sda1″, “/home” etc. But after playing around with VirtualBox and Wubi, I felt comfortable enough to go ahead.

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