Saturday, 30 January 2010

TIP: Viewing Olympus Raw Format picture (.orf)

I have an Olympus e-500 and haven't decided if I prefer RAW over TIFF yet but just wanted to say that you can view Olympus Raw Format picture (.orf) if you have dcraw package installed.

Install it via Synaptic Package Manager.

GIMP - Install the gimp-dcraw plugin via Synaptic Package Manager allows you to edit the image in GIMP.

RAW gives the same quality as TIFF but, in a smaller file size. The lack of viewers and editor for RAW needs considering.

Friday, 22 January 2010

GNU *nix utilities for Win32

I was pointed to this site of ported *nix utilities to Win32.

Includes the wget utility that I mentioned in my last post. I know I'm cross posting in my own forum but I always want to show off all tghe good *nix stuff that is finding its way to those M$ OSes.

The following program versions are covered:


Saturday, 9 January 2010

Hosting Multiple Domains with Virtual Accounts

Here's a good link.

Mastering wget

wget is a useful command line (bash) Unix program for downloading files or batches of files, including entire websites.

I schedule downloads of large files at night, where my ISP does not count it against my broadband usage.

Switch between Gnome And KDE Desktops In...

Switch Between Gnome And KDE Desktops In Ubuntu Or Kubuntu

How to Fix Windows XP ntfs.sys Errors

A great article to fix "Stop 0x24", "NTFS_FILE_SYSTEM" or other ntfs.sys errors using the Knoppix Live CD/DVD.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Change Your Forgotten Windows Password with the Linux

Change Your Forgotten Windows Password with the Linux System Rescue CD

Author has tested this technique on both XP, Vista and Windows 7 with good results.

The Linux System Rescue CD is the one I mention and link to in my 'TIP: Anti-virus, Rootkits, Partitioning and Data Recovery' posting.


If your a techie like me, that fixes computers for friends and family, you may often get given a M$ Windows PC where the owner has forgotten the Administrator or particular user's password.

You could just change the password with the utility above or, use something like Ophcrack This utility will crack passwords for Windows under XP, 2000, 98, and 95 users.

It is also educational to show your family and friends just how insecure there user password is, allowing you to encourage them to choose a stronger one![/url]

'How fast? It can crack the password "Fgpyyih804423" in 160 seconds. Most people would consider that password fairly secure. The Microsoft password strength checker rates it "strong". The Geekwisdom password strength meter rates it "mediocre".', says Jeff Atwood ( ).

Plenty of tutorials on installing and using Ophcrack so use a search engine to find one to your preference. I may write one here myself soon.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Xastir in (K)ubuntu 9.04

I installed the binary of Xastir from the Kubuntu repositories but found that when adding map images, they wouldn't display. A bit of browsing on the Xastir list archives found that there were problems with the dependant libraries used.

So, I removed the binary and followed the HowTo documentation at to compile the libraries and Xastir. Thanks to Kevin KB9MQU for the HowTo. Went pretty well but, if you don't have a lot of RAM then close all other applications before trying to compile.

Hmm, maps of the UK are a bit patchy but try these at

Don't forget to change the permissions of the files.
In Xastir copy the folder or files into the maps folder in /usr/local/share/xastir/maps or /usr/share/xastir/maps depending on the version of Linux.

In bash type, as root:
cd /usr/share/xastir/maps
find . -type d -exec chmod 755 {} \;
find . -type f -exec chmod 644 {} \;
find . -user g0twn -exec chown -R root:root {} \;

Change my user g0twn in the above, to the user used to download the image files.

Refresh the maps in Xastir using Map, Configure, Index: Reindex ALL Maps! Note that only the small scale maps can be used with Xastir.

Using UIView maps with XASTIR
See ZL3AME's blog at

Saturday, 2 January 2010

TIP: Anti-virus, Rootkits, Partitioning and Data Recovery

Revision: 18th April 2010

These notes are a work in progress and outline linux tools that I use to check and clean hard drives with MS Windows OS installed. My childrens PC's run Windows XP and Vista and friends also ask me to clean their riddled hard drives too. I used to boot into MS Windows XP and then run purchased tools. Now that I run Kubuntu all the time, I just hot-plug their hard drives into either a SATA docking station or for EIDE, a EIDE/SATA adapter.

Whilst I mention how to install the following packages from the bash prompt, it is far better to install them via Synaptic Package. Then, it is far easier to update them.

If you are running a file server, interface frequently with Windows drives, or use virtualization, you will want a virus checker for your Windows files.

ClamAV is the open source virus tool for Linux. To install ClamAV with a KDE frontend:

sudo apt-get install klamav

Far better to install via Synaptic Package though as you can select clamtk (this is for clamav user interface) at the same time. clamtk allows you to run ClamAV from the GUI (desktop) but also once installed, you can right-click on any file in your file manager and then select, 'Open with...', 'Virus Scanner'.

Rootkit checkers
Rootkits are malicious trojan-like programs to allow an intruder to become a root user and therefore have complete administrative control over the system. There aren't many rootkits in the wild for Linux. Still, this is a growing security problem (especially in other operating systems) and it is a matter of time before more rootkits appear in Linux. Checking for rootkits isn't always successful from a system that is already infected. Your rootkit checker should therefore be run from another system, or a USB pendrive with a Ubuntu LiveCD installation. See the rootkit checker manuals for instructions how to do this. If you are infected with a rootkit, you must backup all your files and re-install your system. (Thank goodness this is easy with Ubuntu, unlike with other operating systems).

Chkrootkit checks locally for signs of a rootkit.

sudo apt-get install chkrootkit

sudo chkrootkit

Data Recovery
SystemRescueCd - is a Linux system rescue disk available as a bootable CD-ROM or USB stick for administrating or repairing your system and data after a crash.

SystemRescueCd - Articles about usage
Become A System Rescue Guru With Linux, Part 1

Become A System Rescue Guru With Linux, Part 2

Partition and Image Your Hard Drive with the System Rescue CD

GParted - (included in SystemRescueCd above) I prefer to install the latest version of this on my system. It is a hard drive partition editor for creating, reorganizing, and deleting disk partitions.

TestDisk - is a powerful OpenSource (free) data recovery software for Linux, MS Win and Mac O.S.
It was primarily designed to help recover lost partitions and/or make non-booting disks bootable again when these symptoms are caused by faulty software, certain types of viruses or human error (such as accidentally deleting a Partition Table). Partition table recovery using TestDisk is really easy.

PhotoRec - is a powerful OpenSource (free) data recovery software for Linux, MS Win and Mac O.S.

Designed to recover lost files including video, documents and archives from hard disks, CD-ROMs, and lost pictures (thus the Photo Recovery name) from digital camera memory. PhotoRec ignores the file system and goes after the underlying data, so it will still work even if your media's file system has been severely damaged or reformatted.

Categories: How-To, Linux, OS
Tags: Ubuntu, Kubuntu, administration, commands, maintenance, disk, anti-virus, rootkits, partitioning, data recovery.

TIP: Useful Firefox Plug-ins

Here are some Firefox plug-ins I use and recommend.

Below, I give the commands to install plugins from the bash but, it is far better to install them via Firefox itself because Firefox will prompt you when updates become available.

From Firefox

Tools -> Add-ons -> Get Add-ons -> Browse All Add-ons
(This method will also ensure that automatic updates are installed by Firefox.)

Adblock plug-in (block ads in a web page)
Adblock Plus blocks ads that appear in web pages. You can subscribe to a free filter service, and can add ads to block with a single click.
sudo apt-get install mozilla-firefox-adblock

Noscript plug-in (controls scripts) The Noscript plugin is considered one of the most important security measures for browsing the Internet. Most viruses and trojans gain access to computers from the Internet through scripts. This plugin allows you to choose which scripts to allow and blocks the rest.
sudo apt-get install mozilla-noscript

Java Runtime Environment (JRE) for Firefox plug-in
This package also installs the Java Runtime Environment. (JRE is also installed when OpenOffice or ubuntu-restricted-extras is installed.)
sudo apt-get install sun-java6-jre sun-java6-plugin

Note: You must accept the license to use this product.
Adobe Acrobat Reader for Firefox Plug-in

This plugin is available from the Medibuntu repository. It allows you to view Adobe Acrobat files within the Firefox browser.
sudo apt-get install acroread mozilla-acroread acroread-plugins acroread-fonts

Adobe Flash Player for Firefox Plug-in
To install the official Adobe Flash plugin (Flash 10) for Firefox:
sudo apt-get install adobe-flashplugin

TIP: Restricted Extras

The Ubuntu Restricted Extras will install Adobe Flash Player, Java Runtime Environment (JRE) (sun-java-jre) with Firefox plug-ins (icedtea), a set of Microsoft Fonts (msttcorefonts), multimedia codecs (w32codecs or w64codecs), mp3-compatible encoding (lame), FFMpeg, extra Gstreamer codecs, the package for DVD decoding, the unrar archiver, odbc, and cabextract. It also installs multiple "stripped" codecs and avutils (libavcodec-unstripped-52 and libavutil-unstripped-49).

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

Note: Installation only works completely and properly when done from the command-line Terminal. The entire package will not usually install completely from within a Package Manager.

TIP: How to free space on hard drive

To view the amount of used and free space on your hard drive:

Disk usage in bytes

more human readable form, usage in Gbytes and Mbytes.
df -h

KDiskFree (kdf)
KDiskFree displays the available file devices (hard drive partitions, floppy and CD drives, etc.) along with information on their capacity, free space, type and mount point. It also allows you to mount and unmount drives and view them in a file manager.

How to free space on hard drive
I was going to upgrade from Kubuntu Jaunty Jackalope (9.04) to Karmic Koala (9.10) but the installer was failing due to not enough free space in root (/). A bit of browsing and I threw together the following tips.

Empty Trash - You should regularly keep your trash can empty. Via the desktop os easy or, via bash:
rm -rf ~/.Trash/*

To delete all but the last 7 days of files from Trash:
$find ~/.Trash -type f -atime +7 -exec rm {} \;

Downloaded packages - Downloaded .debs packages that have been downloaded get put in /var/cache/apt/archive, you can remove everything from this directory, except "lock" and "partial" safely.
sudo rm /var/cache/apt/archives/*.deb

or, you could go to Synaptic and in Settings->Preferences->Files click the 'Delete Cached Packages Files' button.

Note:- There is an option in Synaptic
(Settings->Preferences->Files) to just not keep .deb files after using them for installation.

Removing unused package files - When you install a package APT retrieves the needed files. In time the local repository can grow and occupy a lot of disk space. Fortunately, APT provides tools for managing its local repository: apt-get's clean and autoclean methods.

apt-get clean removes everything except lock files.

apt-get autoclean removes only package files that can no longer be downloaded.
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo apt-get clean
sudo apt-get autoclean

File Manager (Nautilus, Dolphin, etc.) - The file manager stores thumbnails (small images) of image, pdf and other files. You could clear out your ~/.thumbnails to free a bit of space.
rm -rf ~/.thumbnails/normal/*
rm -rf ~/.thumbnails/large/*

A great way to clean up lots of old thumbnails that you have not looked at in 7 days:
$find ~/.thumbnails -type f -atime +7 -exec rm {} \;

Categories: How-To, Linux, OS
Tags: Ubuntu, Kubuntu, administration, commands, maintenance, disk space.

Friday, 1 January 2010

TIP: Screenshot grabbing

How to make a screenshot of your desktop or an application

In Windows, to take a screenshot you simply press the "prtscn" key and you're good to go. What about Linux? Is taking screenshots as easy?

Gnome has what is probably the easiest method of taking screenshots. You simply press the "prtscn" key and a window will pop up.

In KDE if you press the "prtscn" key, nothing happens. I'll give instructions on how to program the Print Screen (prtscrn) button below.

KDE comes with a handy program called ksnapshot that lets you with ease grab a screenshot of your desktop or a single window.

Press ALT-F2 and enter "ksnapshot" in the space provided.

Program the Print Screen (prtscrn) button in KDE
In KDE4 on my Kubuntu 9.10 the prtscrn button did not work. Here's how to program it to open ksnapshot.

Go to the System Settings, Input Actions, right-click in the left pane and select "New Global Shortcut > Command/URL". Give the new entry a name: "KSnapshot", a comment "Print screen key to open ksnapshot" and an action: "ksnapshot". In the trigger pane, click on the button and press "PrintScreen" on the keyboard to assign the key. Click "Apply".

If you cannot find Input Actions utility as mentioned above, then launch KRunner by pressing Alt+F2 and type 'Input Actions' to find it and then click upon the icon.

To grab an image of the screen or a program in Gimp:
File -> Acquire -> Screen shot

GIMP - The GNU Image Manipulation Program, for X Windows systems.

Categories: How-To, Linux, OS
Tags: kde, KScreenshot, Kubuntu, Linux, print, screen, screenshot, shortcut