Friday, December 9, 2011

Openvpn With Hide My Ass

A VPN encrypts your internet traffic and lets you establish a secure connection over the non-secure Internet. This is especially useful when connected to insecure networks such as public WiFi hotspots. Once connected to a VPN server your online identity will be masked behind one of the anonymous IP addresses provided by the VPN service provider, which is a handy tool to virtually reside in another country . Also censorship and internet restrictions imposed by your internet service provider or government are bypassed. After examining some VPN providers, I went with Hide My Ass . HMA provides multiple protocols to use including OpenVPN ,PPTP and L2TP .
See this list of protocols : .

Choose openvpn rather than pptp. Openvpn with TCP connects over port 443 and traffic is indistinguishable from normal HTTPS traffic, making it very difficult to block.

In order to get your connection working do the following : ( as root ) :

apt-get install openvpn curl

After going to I choose an one month subscription, created an account and paid.
All VPN plans include a 30 day money back guarantee making your purchase risk free.
After login on their website, you can download their software : .

Move into a folder HMA inside your home directory :
mkdir ~/HMA
mv ~/HMA
cd ~/HMA
  inflating: keys/ca.crt            
  inflating: keys/hmauser.crt       
  inflating: keys/hmauser.key       
  inflating: client.cfg             
  inflating: hma-start              
  inflating: README.txt

Make hma-start executable :
chmod +x hma-start
If you don't use sudo change line 10 in hma-start which reads sudo openvpn client.cfg into su -c "openvpn client.cfg" .
Inside the folder HMA :
./hma-start -l   will give you a list of the available servers.
./hma-start "Country, Name" This command will connect you to the selected server.
e.g. UK, London (LOC1 S1) :
 ./hma-start "UK, London (LOC1 S1)" :
Password : ( enter root's password. )
Thu Dec  8 22:57:22 2011 OpenVPN 2.1.3 x86_64-pc-linux-gnu [SSL] [LZO2] [EPOLL] [PKCS11] [MH] [PF_INET6] [eurephia] built on Oct 22 2010
Enter Auth Username:
  ( enter HMA username )
Enter Auth Password:   ( enter HMA password )
Thu Dec  8 23:00:51 2011 Initialization Sequence Completed

Now you're connected ! Check your ip before and after connecting by just entering the searchterm ip in .
Stop the connection not by closing the terminal, but with Ctrl+C.
More options see : .

If you like to use a GUI :
apt-get install network-manager-gnome network-manager-openvpn-gnome network-manager-pptp-gnome
Setting up network-manager (0.8.1-6+squeeze1) ...
Reloading system message bus config...done.
Disabling interfaces configured with plain DHCP in /etc/network/interfaces so that NetworkManager can take them over
Auto interfaces found: lo eth0
iface to disable = eth0
Disabling interface: eth0 ... done.
Starting network connection manager: NetworkManager.
Setting up network-manager-gnome (0.8.1-2) ...
Reloading system message bus config...done.
Setting up network-manager-openvpn (0.8.1-1) ...
Reloading system message bus config...done.
Setting up network-manager-openvpn-gnome (0.8.1-1) ...
Setting up network-manager-pptp (0.8.1-1) ...
Reloading system message bus config...done.
Setting up network-manager-pptp-gnome (0.8.1-1) ...

Now reboot !
After login you will have the network-manager applet in your gnome-panel .
We will need the HMA server's .ovpn files :
Go to : and download ( at the bottom ) .
Move to your folder HMA inside your home directory and unzip it.
Now click the applet and choose VPN Connections > Configure VPN...
Choose the VPN tab and then Import. Navigate to the HMA folder and choose one of the .ovpn files. ( e.g. Germany.Dusseldorf.ovpn )

Enter your User name and Password and click Apply.
Click the network-manager applet and choose VPN Connections > Germany. Dusseldorf.
A window will pop up :

Enter your HMA password and choose Save password in keyring....
Now you're connected !
Switching servers is very easy and fast and the connection is very stable. Speed was a bit slower than with my own ISP ( UPC, Amsterdam ), depending on the distance of the server.

My own ISP :


Netherlands. Rotterdam


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Free Sample Of The Debian Administrator's Handbook

Thanks to all the donations the first goal of the fundraising campaign has been reached : the English translation of the French best-seller known as Cahier de l'admin Debian, written by two Debian developers—Raphaël Hertzog and Roland Mas will happen. A sample chapter was just released, it deals with the APT family of tools: apt-get, aptitude, synaptic, update-manager, etc.

Go get it here...

Update Dec 2 : see :

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Google: What Do You Love? 
WDYL, short for What Do You Love, is a service from Google which lets you search the web for images, blogs, maps, news, videos and it also shows the popularity of the term you're searching for, and more.

Protecting Data Communication :

Just came across this website I'd like to share with you :

You probably sit behind your PC, connect your machine to the Internet, open your e-mail program, start your instant messenger application, read your messages, reply to them and browse the web... But, have you ever you wondered how much data could be collected on you? This website has the purpose to inform you on the technical and practical aspect of this subject. You will also find tutorials explaining how to protect your personal data transiting on the Internet.

Some additional links worthwhile reading :

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Dropbox For Linux Now Provides Debian Packages

I've been using nautilus-dropbox ( version 0.6.7-3~bpo60+1) from Backports for awhile, but it seems that the website of Dropbox provides Debian packages as well ! Just go to : and download nautilus-dropbox version 0.7.0.

See also :

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

N: Ignoring File *.save In Directory '/etc/apt/sources.list.d/' As It Has An Invalid Filename Extension

Just recently apt-get update started throwing errors which read:

N: Ignoring file '' in directory '/etc/apt/sources.list.d/' as it has an invalid filename extension

N: Ignoring file '' in directory '/etc/apt/sources.list.d/' as it has an invalid filename extension

Looking inside directory  /etc/apt/sources.list.d/  I saw a number of files which ended with .save, which were not there before since my last apt-get update.
Apparently they are some sort of backup files, because the content of file is the same as file foo.list.

Following fix will work and next time you apt-get update these former notices won't be shown :

su -c "echo 'Dir::Ignore-Files-Silently:: \"(.save)$\";' > /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/99ignoresave" 

I recently installed software-properties-gtk and update-notifier, and I suspect one of these packages to generate these files with the .save extension.....

Friday, October 21, 2011

Manage Trash From Command Line

Deleting files with the rm command is rather dangerous because of the difficulty of recovering a mistakingly deleted file.
That's where the Trash Can comes in handy, a temporary location that allows a permanent removal at a latter time.
I'm using Gnome and the location of the Trash is :
It contains two directories : files and info. The files folder contains the files deleted and the info directory consists of meta data for each deleted file.
Showing the Trash Can icon on the Desktop is done by going to :  
Menu > Applications > System Tools > Configuration Editor.
Just check the Key name /apps/nautilus/desktop/trash_icon_visible.  

Trash-cli manages the Trash in command line which is equivalent to Trash functionalities in Nautilus file browser.

There is no package in Squeeze, but you can install package trash-cli ( from Sid without any problem.
I've tested it by issuing the command :
list-trash to list the files in the Trash Can :
It spits out errors :

Traceback (most recent call last): File "/usr/bin/list-trash", line 5, in for trashedfile in TrashDirectory.allTrashedFiles() : File "/usr/lib/pymodules/python2.6/", line 218, in allTrashedFiles for trashedfile in TrashDirectory.getHomeTrashDirectory().trashedFiles() : File "/usr/lib/pymodules/python2.6/", line 127, in trashedFiles ti.parse(open(infoFilename).read()) File "/usr/lib/pymodules/python2.6/", line 300, in parse raise ValueError() ValueError

Seems to be a bug :
So you better go to the next page : and download trash-cli-0.11.3-r315.tar.gz.
Extract it :  
tar xf trash-cli-0.11.3-r315.tar.gz
A directory  trash-cli-0.11.3-r315 is created with a INSTALL.txt with the instruction to install it :
Open up a terminal inside the directory and then as root :
python install 

running install
install_dir /usr/local/lib/python2.6/dist-packages/
Checking .pth file support in /usr/local/lib/python2.6/dist-packages/

Installing trash-list script to /usr/local/bin
Installing restore-trash script to /usr/local/bin
Installing trash-put script to /usr/local/bin
Installing volume-of script to /usr/local/bin
Installing trash-empty script to /usr/local/bin

Finished processing dependencies for trash-cli==0.11.3-r315

To remove file foo in the Trash Can, use  :
trash-put foo
To list all the contents of the Trash Can  :
To restore a trashed file :
0 2011-10-20 23:47:05 /home/eric/Downloads/ruba 3tif.jpg
1 2011-10-20 23:47:25 /home/eric/Downloads/README.txt
2 2011-10-20 23:46:54 /home/eric/Downloads/NCw6L.jpg
What file to restore [0..2]:

To remove all trashed files :
To remove files that have been in the trash more than a given number of days :
trash-empty <days>

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Google Shows Your IP Address

One way to find your IP address is to search for my ip using Google and click the top search result. Now it's no longer necessary to go to the first result because Google answers your questions and shows your IP. You can use: my ip, my ip address, show my ip, what is my ip and other similar queries. Or just the shortest one : ip. Works in , and .

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

AES Text Encryptor Made Easy

If you are concerned about the privacy of a message you like to send, here is an easy way to encrypt it :
Just drag the bookmarklet to the Bookmarks bar of your browser.
I take Gmail as an example : just type your message and hit the Encipher It button. A small window will popup :

Just type in a password and hit enter. The bookmarklet uses AES symmetric encryption and PBKDF2 key generation to keep your email safe. All encoding/decoding is done locally in your browser.
After receiving the email the reader uses the same bookmarklet to decrypt the message : just hit the Encipher It button and type in the same password :

If you don't or can't use the bookmarklet just go to the website : and use the text box to encrypt and decrypt messages.

Make sure the password is sent safely to the recipient !

The Debian Administrator's Handbook

The Debian Administrator's Handbook is the title of the translation of the French best-seller known as Cahier de l'admin Debian. Written by two Debian developers—Raphaël Hertzog and Roland Mas —it's a fantastic resource for all users of a Debian-based distribution. It's first edition in 2004 was completely sold out in barely four months. A second edition followed soon after with the addition of a few sections as suggested by the first readers of the book. Right from the third edition, Roland Mas – who had proofread the book since the beginning – joined Raphaël Hertzog.

Given that traditional editors did not want to take the risk to make this translation, the two Debian developers decided to do the translation themselves and to self-publish the result.

They have two targets :

(1) a first target (15000 EUR) that is really the strict minimum that they need to make the project happen. If they reach this target but not the second one, the book will only be available on a commercial and proprietary basis.

(2)a second target: 25000 EUR in the liberation fund : If this target is reached, the book will be published under 2 free licenses (CC-BY-SA 3.0 and GPL2+).

Read all about it :

Speak it out :

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Access Your Delicious Bookmarks Old Style

Delicious is a social bookmarking service for saving, sharing, and discovering web bookmarks. Started in 2003 and acquired by Yahoo! in 2005, Delicious has built a worldwide community of millions of users. In 2011, Delicious was acquired by the founders of YouTube, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen. Delicious is part of AVOS, a new Internet company based in San Mateo, California. And on September 27, 2011 their new website was launched :

After acquiring the service from Yahoo! in April, we realized that in order to keep innovating over the long term, the eight-year-old site needed to be rebuilt from the ground up. The result is a new homepage, interface and back-end architecture designed to make Delicious easier to use.

Nice said but I think the new interface sucks....and I'm not the only one :

One of my two accounts was completely lost, despite opting in to the new terms.

But luckily there is a way to have access to the old Delicious even if your account seems to be deleted !

What you need to do is to add these lines to your hosts file ( /etc/hosts ) :

and restart your browser....

If you go to you will see the old style Delicious page :

Her I could login with my lost account and export my bookmarks with all the tags and notes ( Settings > Export / Backup Bookmarks ) :

Try it while you still can....

Note : will bring you to the new Delicious webpage....

Some nice alternatives :

Diigo :

Pinboard :

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Create Separate Profiles in Google Chrome, Chromium Browser and Iron.

Iceweasel and firefox come with a profilemanager which can be started with the -P switch :
e.g. for iceweasel :
iceweasel -P
You can always start a new window of Google Chrome, Chromium Browser and Iron in private or incognito mode ( which is a special, different profile : with the keyboard shortcuts Ctrl+Shift+N.

As explained here, the default directory of the profile is located at:
Google Chrome : ~/.config/google-chrome/Default
Chromium and Iron : ~/.config/chromium/Default
To make more permanent profiles we can do it manually. Let's take Google Chrome as an example :
Open up a terminal and type in the following :
/usr/bin/google-chrome --user-data-dir=".config/google-chrome/NewProfile", where NewProfile is just the name of the new profile.
This will start Google Chrome with a new, freshly created profile :

If you want to create a different profile but you want all the settings and extensions from the default one just do the following :
( taking Google Chrome as an example again )
create a folder NewProfile inside ~/.config/google-chrome :
cd ~/.config/google-chrome
mkdir NewProfile

and copy the folder Default and the file First Run into the folder NewProfile :
cp -R Default First\ Run NewProfile

Start Google Chrome with the profile NewProfile ( in a new terminal !! ) :
/usr/bin/google-chrome --user-data-dir=".config/google-chrome/NewProfile"
If you don't start a new terminal you will see errors like :

[5728:5728:9257857614:ERROR:CONSOLE(1)] "Uncaught ReferenceError: setShownSections is not defined", source: (1)
[5728:5728:9263544498:ERROR:CONSOLE(1)] "Uncaught ReferenceError: returnExtensionsData is not defined", source: (1)
[5728:5728:9263632214:ERROR:CONSOLE(1)] "Uncaught ReferenceError: returnExtensionsData is not defined", source: (1)
[5728:5728:9263632536:ERROR:CONSOLE(1)] "Uncaught ReferenceError: returnExtensionsData is not defined", source: (1)

and Google Chrome just starts without the settings and extensions of your default profile : I found out that it just start from a folder Default inside ~/.config/google-chrome/.config/google-chrome ( ! )

Now make appropriate entries in the menu : right click Gnome icon in menu > Edit Menus > choose Internet left pane > + New Item in right pane. You will need package alacarte installed.

Note : In newer versions of Google Chrome, you'll be able to enable profiles by navigating to chrome://flags ( Careful, these experiments may bite ! ) and enabling Multiple Profiles. Restart the browser and click the wrench icon > Preferences > Personal Stuff > Users > Add New User. It will start a new window with a new blank profile.

Links :
(1) Iron browser :
(2) Google Chrome :
(3) List of Chromium Command Line Switches :

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Installing Nvidia Driver From

There are several ways to install the driver for your Nvidia card in Debian.
To find out which videocard you have :
lspci | grep VGA 
In my case : 01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation G92 [GeForce GT 330] (rev a2)
So my card is a GeForce GT 330.
To get the latest driver just go to this page ( choose Option 1 ) : The latest driver at this moment is Version 280.13 Certified Release Date: 2011.08.01.
Just press the Download and Agree & Download button and the file will be saved ( I use 64 bit ). The NVIDIA graphics driver uses a Unified Driver Architecture: the single graphics driver supports all modern NVIDIA GPUs.
A complete list for all the Unix Drivers is on this page :
The NVIDIA graphics driver is bundled in a self-extracting package. You can extract it with :  
sh --extract-only  
Verifying archive integrity... OK Uncompressing NVIDIA Accelerated Graphics Driver for Linux-x86_64 280.13..............................................................................................................................................

A folder NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-280.13 is created containing the uncompressed contents of the .run file. On Linux-x86_64, that file contains both the 64-bit driver binaries as well as 32-bit compatibility driver binaries.
Documentation can be found in :  
NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-280.13/html/index.html and  

To be able to install the driver we need first :  

apt-get install build-essential linux-headers-$(uname -r )

Before attempting to install the NVIDIA driver you should first disable Nouveau. Nouveau ( ) is a display driver for Nvidia GPUs, developed as an open-source project through reverse-engineering of the Nvidia driver. Nouveau performs modesets in the kernel. This can make disabling Nouveau difficult, as the kernel modeset is used to display a framebuffer console, which means that Nouveau will be in use even if X is not running. As long as Nouveau is in use, its kernel module ( nouveau.ko ) cannot be unloaded, which will prevent the Nvidia kernel module from loading. It is therefore important to make sure that Nouveau's kernel modesetting is disabled before installing the Nvidia driver. ( see the README.txt ).

To avoid problems later I start with :
apt-get purge xserver-xorg-video-nouveau
and reboot.
After rebooting do not login and switch to the first virtual (not graphic) terminal by :
login as root, just enter : root and enter root's password.
Stop the X server by : /etc/init.d/gdm3 stop
Navigate to where you downloaded the driver :  
cd /home/$USER/Downloads 
sh NV*.run
The .run file is a self-extracting archive. When executed, it extracts the
contents of the archive and runs the contained nvidia-installer utility,
which provides an interactive interface to walk you through the installation.

nvidia-installer will also install itself to /usr/bin/nvidia-installer,
which may be used at some later time to uninstall drivers, auto-download
updated drivers, etc.

Just hit Tab and Enter to accept the license....

Say Yes to :
Install NVIDIA's 32 - bit compatibility OpenGL libraries ?  if you run amd64.
Say Yes to :
Would you like to run the nvidia-xconfig utility to automatically update your X configuration file so that the NVIDIA X driver will be used when you restart X ? Any pre-existing X configuration file will be backed up.

A logfile can be found here : /var/log/nvidia-installer.log

The nvidia-installer will also write a file nvidia-installer-disable-nouveau.conf ( /etc/modprobe.d/nvidia-installer-disable-nouveau.conf ) containing these lines :
# generated by nvidia-installer
blacklist nouveau
options nouveau modeset=0

Start the X server again :
/etc/init.d/gdm3 start
Login and check that the nvidia driver is running :
glxinfo | grep rendering
direct rendering: Yes

You can access nvidia-settings in the menu : System > Preferences > NVIDIA X Server Settings that allows adjustment of several additional settings.

For the settings to be loaded on login add :
nvidia-settings --load-config-only
to Startup Applications : System > Preferences > Startup Applications
If this doesn't work make sure you have unchecked Include X Display Names in the Config File in NVIDIA X Server Settings at nvidia-settings Configuration.

Notes :

(1) At the installation you can get a warning like :
No precompiled kernel interface was found to match your kernel; would you like the installer to attempt to download a kernel interface for your kernel from the NVIDIA ftp site (
Just answer No and continue.....
the installer complains that the gcc version is different from what was used to compile the kernel...
If you know what you are doing and want to ignore the gcc version check, select "No" to continue installation. Otherwise, select "Yes" to abort installation, set the CC environment variable to the name of the compiler used to compile your kernel, and restart installation.
Answer No, but if it fails you can temporarily set the gcc version (to 4.3 for example) by:

export CC=gcc-4.3
before running the Nvidia installer file.

(2) Any kernel update or xserver-xorg-core update will force you to reinstall the driver.
Just use one of the advanced options of the nvidia-installer ( /usr/bin/nvidia-installer ) :
login as root, just enter : root and enter root's password.
/etc/init.d/gdm3 stop
nvidia-installer --update

If there is a more recent driver available, it will be automatically downloaded and installed.
See also :
To see the advanced options of the nvidia-installer just run in a terminal :
nvidia-installer -A

You can always check the current install status to see if it needs to be re-installed:
as root run :
nvidia-installer --sanity

Press OK :

To install the driver for another kernel without uninstalling the driver for the current kernel just boot into the other kernel and install the driver with :
nvidia-installer -K ( K = --kernel-module-only ) :
Install a kernel module only, and do not uninstall the existing driver. This is intended to be used to install kernel modules for additional kernels (in cases where you might boot between several different kernels). To use this option, you must already have a driver installed, and the version of the installed driver must match the version of this kernel module.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Lost Blinking Cursor In Google Search Page

Just noticed this annoyance this morning. After hitting the Home button in any browser to go to I had to click in the search field to activate it and have a blinking cursor back.....
At first I thought it was related to flash :, but this was not the case.
It seems recently the basic Google search page has been changed. A workaround to the cursor problem was very simple :
Select Options in the upper right corner and then Search settings :

Scroll down to Google Instant and change setting to Do not use Google Instant :

Another workaround can be : bookmark for searching, or set it as your browser home page.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Mintmenu In Debian

If you like to install Linux Mint’s rather slick menu do the following :
Go to this page :
Download the following packages :

Navigate to where you downloaded the packages :
cd ~/Downloads
and then as root :
dpkg -i *.deb

You may see the following :

dpkg: dependency problems prevent configuration of mintmenu:
mintmenu depends on deskbar-applet; however:
Package deskbar-applet is not installed.
dpkg: error processing mintmenu (--install):
dependency problems - leaving unconfigured
Setting up mint-translations (2011.08.06) ...
Setting up mint-common (1.0.5) ...
Errors were encountered while processing:

The package that seems to be missing was deskbar-applet...
apt-get install deskbar-applet

Right-click gnome-panel > Add to Panel...and choose mintMenu ( Advanced Gnome Menu )

You may encounter some problems ( like I did ) :

In this case you are missing python-xdg, so :
apt-get install python-xdg

Next problem was that the Places menu ( except for Computer in my case ) did not work. So when clicking on Home Folder nothing happens......Solution :
apt-get install xdg-utils

Now it works....

Right-clicking the Menu gives access to the following :

To change and edit your Favorites in the Mint Menu you can right-click to remove things you do not want and right-click on any application in the menu and check Show in my favorites.

Friday, August 26, 2011

March Of The Penguin : 20 Years Of Linux

20 Years ago Linus Torvalds announced on a Web bulletin board that he'd begun working on a free computer operating system. In that message, Torvalds described Linux as just a hobby, won't be big and professional.

Now, two decades later - whether you're aware of it or not - Linux is practically everywhere.
It has become an essential part of the computing world, where it quietly powers many of the modern innovations we take for granted. You can't even fly on an airplane ... you can't use Facebook, you can't buy a book from Amazon, without running into Linux.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Debian Sources List Generator

apt-get install <packagename>
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
E: Unable to locate package <packagename>

Easy way to generate a useful sources.list ( /etc/apt/sources.list ) :

Don't forget after making changes :
apt-get update

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Download Songs With Foobnix

Foobnix is a lightweight Python-based music player and organizer described in an earlier post : .
You can grab a package from as I have done before, but some of these packages just don't work. And installing with gdebi did not pull in all the dependencies ( I also had to install python-dbus, gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad and gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly ).
Just found out that there is a package at ( unstable/Sid ).
Download foobnix_2.5.23-0.0_all.deb from : .

Control file of this package contains the following :
Package: foobnix
Version: 2.5.23-0.0
Architecture: all
Maintainer: Christian Marillat
Installed-Size: 3332
Depends: python (>= 2.6), python-support (>= 0.90.0), python-chardet, python-gtk2, python-mutagen, python-simplejson, gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly, gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg, python-gst0.10, python-dbus, python-keybinder, python-notify, gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad
Recommends: ffmpeg, python-setuptools, fuseiso
Section: sound
Priority: extra
Description: Simple and powerful music player for Linux.
All the best features in one player. Written in Python, Foobnix is a small,
fast, customizable, powerful music player with a user-friendly interface.

I used gdebi to install foobnix with all its dependencies.

Searching for songs in the search bar popped up the following window :

Pressing the Open button brought me to a loginpage at Vkontakte.....( ).
Not knowing what to do I went to Preferences > Last FM + VK and pressed the Authorization button : the same window as above came up....

After finding this page : it appears that we need more packages installed :
apt-get install python-jswebkit
will pull in : python-webkit, libwebkit-1.0-2 and libwebkit-1.0-common.

Now the following window appears when searching for songs :

Just press Get Default Login Password and then hit the blue button :

I download the songs to a folder Music in my home directory.
In the left pane in foobnix : Add Folder(s) in tree ( in my case ~/Music ).

Downloaded songs appear in left pane after updating ( rightclick in left pane > Update ) or go to Preferences > Music Library > check Update library on start .

You can download songs as well at Legalsounds for $0.09 per mp3.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Upgrade Libcairo2 For Better Fonts

Squeeze has libcairo2 version 1.8.10-6 : .

For better fonts you need libcairo2 from backports.
Add these two lines to your sources.list :
deb squeeze-backports main
deb squeeze-backports iceweasel-release

Follow the instructions at for adding the archive key to your apt keyring.

Then :
apt-get update
apt-get install -t squeeze-backports libcairo2

Libcairo2 will be upgraded to version 1.10.2-6~bpo60+1 .

apt-cache policy libcairo2
Installed: 1.10.2-6~bpo60+1
Candidate: 1.10.2-6~bpo60+1
Version table:
*** 1.10.2-6~bpo60+1 0
500 squeeze-backports/iceweasel-release amd64 Packages
100 /var/lib/dpkg/status
1.8.10-6 0
990 squeeze/main amd64 Packages

Add these lines to your .fonts.conf :

<!-- lcdnone, lcddefault, lcdlight, lcdlegacy -->
<match target="font">
<edit mode="assign" name="lcdfilter">

You can also download libcairo version 1.10.2-6~bpo60+1 from here :
Just install it with :
dpkg -i <packagename>

See also a former post : .

Friday, July 29, 2011

Root Password Recovery

In Grub menu press e to edit the entry.
Use the arrow keys to go to the line that starts with linux and then press End to go to the end of this line. First add a space followed by init=/bin/bash rw

Press Ctrl-x to boot. The system will boot the kernel and run /bin/bash instead of its standard init. This will allow us gain root privileges without password.

At the prompt type passwd and enter your new root passwd ( twice ). After this type reboot and press Enter.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Disable Extension Compatibility Check Firefox Nightly And Aurora

Firefox can be made to drop this compatibility check. To be able to install an addon which is incompatible, the compatibility check needs to be turned off.
Go to about:config and right-click anywhere and choose New > Boolean. Give the preference the following name :
For Nightly and UX-builds : extensions.checkCompatibility.nightly and set it to false.
For Aurora : extensions.checkCompatibility.7.0a and set it to false.

Older addons can now be installed on this Firefox.
For instance I went to : , the page says : Not available for Firefox 8.0a1. Just right-click the Add to Firefox button and choose Open Link in New Tab.. The addon will now be installed.
Do note if they are not really compatible, Firefox will crash!

Link :

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Firefox Nightly Builds

Following the amazing release of Firefox 4, Mozilla Firefox is moving to a rapid release development cycle to deliver new features, performance enhancements, security updates and stability improvements to users faster.
Firefox 8 (!) recently found its way into the nightly build channel.
I went to : and downloaded firefox-8.0a1.en-US.linux-x86_64.tar.bz2.
Extract it :
tar xf firefox-8.0a1.en-US.linux-x86_64.tar.bz2
This will yield a folder firefox. Open up a terminal inside this folder and start firefox 8 with the following command :
./firefox -P
Profilemanager will open and just create a new profile...
Start firefox 8 with the newly created profile.

To create a shortcut ( I use alacarte : Internet > New Item ) move the above mentioned folder firefox to your home directory , rename it to firefox8 and start firefox 8 with the following command :
/home/username/firefox8/firefox -P "new profile" -no-remote

I was pleasently surprised that the font rendering was excellent, no need to compile it yourself..
( see one of my former posts : ).
Same applies to Aurora : ( 32 and 64 bit ).
See also : ( only 32 bit ).

Edit : Nice feature : automatic updating

Bleeding edge :

Firefox UX-Builds : :
: a project branch where the Firefox front-end and UX teams can play around and share experimental ideas before they're stable enough to land in the usual Nightly channel.

DevTools-Builds : : a sneak preview in the Developer Tools group.
See :

Friday, July 22, 2011

Make Iceweasel Bookmarks Toolbar Auto-hidden

Here is a way to hide your Bookmarks Toolbar until you drag your mouse above it, this will provide you with more space on your screen and a simpler user interface :
Menu > Help > Troubleshooting Information > Profile Directory > Open Containing Folder .
In this folder there is a folder called chrome . Edit the file userChrome.css and add these lines :

/* Auto-hide bookmarks toolbar */
#PersonalToolbar {visibility: collapse !important;}
#navigator-toolbox:hover > #PersonalToolbar {visibility: visible !important;}

Restart iceweasel. In case you don't see your bookmarks on the Bookmarks Toolbar check Bookmarks Toolbar in View > Toolbars.

There is an extension as well :

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Adobe Releases Flash Player 11 Beta

The next Adobe Flash Player release finally re-syncs the 64-bit build with the Flash updates in the mainline code available to 32-bit users. This is the first public beta release of the Adobe Flash Player 11 that offers both 32-bit and 64-bit binaries to Linux users, along with 64-bit binaries for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X users.
Adobe Flash Player 11 Beta drives innovation for amazing, breathtaking digital experiences with brand-new features, including Stage 3D, HD surround sound, H.264/AVC software encoding and 64-bit support.

Download :

The final version of Flash Player 11 will be released before the end of 2011.
For setup see a former post :

When using flashplugin-nonfree just do the following as root :

/usr/sbin/update-flashplugin-nonfree --install

Connecting to||:80... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: 7044701 (6.7M) [application/x-gzip]
Saving to: “./flashplayer11_b1_install_lin_64_071311.tar.gz”

Restart iceweasel and check version at about:plugins

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hide Vertical Scrollbar In Iceweasel

First find userChrome.css : Open Troubleshooting Information page :Menu > Help > Troubleshooting Information. At Profile Directory : Open Containing Folder.
In the folder named chrome add the following to the file userChrome.css ( or create it, if it's not there ) :

notificationbox {
overflow-x: hidden;
browser[type="content-primary"], browser[type="content-targetable"] {
overflow-y: scroll;
margin-right: -15px; /* 12px == width of my scrollbar */

The negative margin-right will shift the page 15 pixels to the right, thereby hiding the scrollbar. It is still there, you can change it from 15 to 12 and see that some of it will show.

Restart iceweasel to see the result....

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Minimal Gnome Installation

To achieve this I opted for a network install from a minimal CD : The network install assumes that you have a connection to the Internet. You can choose between a netinst CD image or a smaller businesscard CD image. The netinst image contains the installer and the base system. The smaller business card image does not contain the base system, but only the installer: even the base packages need to be downloaded from the net.
I grabbed the debian-6.0.1a-amd64-businesscard.iso which is only 49.0MB in size. Just to mention here one of the cool features of the businesscard installer - not found on the netinst.iso and other media - is the option to select for installation any one of Debian's 3 different release versions. See picture below....( Advanced options > Expert install )

Debian CD and DVD images can now be written directly to a USB stick, which is a very easy way to make a bootable USB stick. ( see : ).
Plug the USB stick into your host machine and leave the stick unmounted. Run the dmesg command and note the USB device ID (In my case the last line was : [ 6101.712220] sd 8:0:0:0: [sde] Attached SCSI removable disk )
Make sure to record the correct USB device ID. The following procedure wipes out all data on the USB stick :
# cat debian-6.0.1a-amd64-businesscard.iso > /dev/sdX
# sync

( in my case X = e ).
Make sure your computer starts from usb ( check BIOS ).
First screen will be :
Just press Enter....

A number of screens later you'll reach the next one :

Only install Standard System Utilities.

When it's all done, reboot and you'll be greeted by the next screen :
After boot process login as user and enter your user's password....

Become root with the command su and enter root's password....

To prevent apt from suggesting/installing recommended packages we'll add two lines to /etc/apt/apt.conf :
nano /etc/apt/apt.conf
Add these lines :
APT::Install-Recommends "false";
APT::Install-Suggests "false";

To install a minimal Gnome :
apt-get install gnome-session gnome-themes gnome-terminal xserver-xorg-core gdm3 gnome-control-center alsa-utils

Start your first session :
/etc/init.d/gdm3 start

After your login start a terminal and run alsamixer :
The current version of alsa installs with all channels muted by default. You will need to unmute the channels manually. The label MM below a channel indicates that the channel is muted, and 00 indicates that it is open.
Unmute the Master and PCM channels by scrolling to them with cursor left/right and pressing M . Use the ↑ key to increase the volume and obtain a value of zero dB gain. The gain may be found in the upper left next to the Item: field.
Test sound with the next command :
aplay /usr/share/sounds/alsa/Front_Center.wav

You're done so far....time to add packages you want and need....

Monday, June 6, 2011

Nautilus-dropbox Dropbox Integration For Nautilus

Package was removed from Debian, because of multiple license violations .
A proper package has been built this weekend by Raphaël Hertzog, see :
The package nautilus-dropbox has been uploaded to Debian unstable ( ) and will shortly reach the mirrors.

As an alternative you can download the package from Linux Mint ( the version that has lmde as part of the name ).

More ways to go :

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Add Email Button In Chrome To Send Link Using Gmail

Rightclick the Bookmarks Bar and Add page... If the Bookmarks Bar is not visible press Ctrl + Shift + B
For Name choose e.g. Send Link.
For URL fill in the following :''+encodeURIComponent(document.title)+'&body='+encodeURIComponent(document.location),'addwindow','status=no,toolbar=no,width=575,height=545,resizable=yes')

This will open a Compose window in Gmail using the page title as the subject and link address as the message.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Make Any Web Page Print Friendly

PrintFriendly cleans and formats web pages for perfect print experience. PrintFriendly removes ads, navigation and web page junk, so you save paper and ink when you print. It's free and easy to use.
Features :
Print Preview: Optimizes and displays content for print.
Edit Before Printing: Remove images, text, and print only what you want.
Print or Save as PDF: Print now, or save for later as a PDF.

How to use :
Copy and Paste a URL at or
Add the bookmarklet

List Of About Pages In Google Chrome, Chromium-browser

Chromium-browser and Google Chrome offer a vast amount of information and statistics about the browser through its numerous about:pages.
To show an up-to-date list of these about:pages just type in the URL bar :

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Running Iceweasel-5.0 And Iceweasel-4.0 Together On Squeeze

I'm running iceweasel-4.0 installed from
Related packages are :
iceweasel 4.0.1-1~bpo60+1
xulrunner-5.0 5.0~b2-1~bpo60+1
libmozjs5d 5.0~b2-1~bpo60+1

If you want to try out iceweasel-5.0 and keep iceweasel-4.0 as well do the following :

Add the following line to your sources.list :
deb squeeze-backports iceweasel-5.0
and run as root apt-get update .
We only need to download the deb package to get iceweasel-5.0, we don't install it ( otherwise iceweasel-4.0 will just be upgraded ). As root run :
apt-get install -d -t squeeze-backports iceweasel
This will download package iceweasel_5.0~b2-1~bpo60+1_amd64.deb in my case. You can find it back inside /var/cache/apt/archives .

As root run the following commands :
mkdir /usr/local/iceweasel5
dpkg-deb -x iceweasel_5.0~b2-1~bpo60+1_amd64.deb /usr/local/iceweasel5/
ln -s /usr/lib/xulrunner-5.0 /usr/local/iceweasel5/usr/lib
ln -s /usr/local/iceweasel5/usr/bin/iceweasel /usr/local/bin/iceweasel5

To verify :
which iceweasel5 gives :

Run iceweasel5 -P and create a new profile.

Make a shortcut to run iceweasel-5.0 :
iceweasel5 -P "profilename" -no-remote

Boot Info Script

Boot_info_script is a bash script which searches all hard drives attached to the computer for information related to booting. Its primary use is for troubleshooting booting problems.
Download from : .
Extract the zip file to a directory of your choice.
inflating: CHANGELOG

Or use file-roller in Gnome...

Then as root :
bash ./
boot_info_script version: 0.60 [17 May 2011]

Identifying MBRs...
Computing Partition Table of /dev/sda...
Searching sda1 for information...
Searching sda2 for information...
Searching sda3 for information...

Finished. The results are in the file "RESULTS.txt"
located in "/home/eric/Downloads/".

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Multifox Extension : Sign Into Multiple Same-Service Accounts

Multifox is an extension that allows Firefox to connect to websites using different user names.

Once you have installed the Multifox extension there are three ways to access it :
Menu : File > New Identity Profile
Tabs Context Menu : rightclick any tab > Open in a New Identity Profile
Context Menu for your bookmarks : Bookmarks > rightclick any bookmark > Open in a New Identity Profile

Any of the three will cause a new and separate window to open. Counting starts from 2 : notice a blue square with a number at the end of the Address Bar.
Logins made in windows with different numbers are isolated.
Clicking on any of the blue numbered squares will open a drop-down window with basic information about that particular identity profile.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Kernel 2.6.38 in Squeeze Backports

Backports are recompiled packages from testing (mostly) and unstable (in a few cases only, e.g. security updates) in a stable environment so that they will run without new libraries (whenever it is possible) on a Debian stable distribution.
Add this line :
deb squeeze-backports main to your sources.list and run :
apt-get update
To install kernel 2.6.38 I did ( amd64) :
apt-get -t squeeze-backports install linux-image-2.6.38-bpo.2-amd64
I needed the headers as well, but I got the message : The following packages have unmet dependencies:
linux-headers-2.6.38-bpo.2-amd64: Depends: linux-kbuild-2.6.38

Solution : just download linux-kbuild-2.6.38 from and install it with dpkg -i . Now you can install the kernel-headers as well from squeeze-backports.

Minor Scrolling Issues Iceweasel-4

I've had some minor scrolling issues with iceweasel-4 which mostly did not draw my attention until I came across this page : Scrolling was very choppy.....
Some background : system : Debian squeeze amd64 gnome, nvidia 270.41.19 ( ).
apt-cache policy iceweasel
Installed: 4.0.1-1~bpo60+1
Candidate: 4.0.1-1~bpo60+1

I've tried different gtk-styles, different window-managers, disabled all plugins and extensions, created a new improvement....
Some others things I've noticed : running iceweasel-4 in virtualbox ( minimal gnome installation Sid ) did not have these scrolling issues.....( so is nvidia to be blamed ? ).
Out of curiosity I uninstalled the nvidiadriver and used nouveau : scrolling issues were gone...
( that was an one-time experiment ).

I tried just one more step : Added deb unstable main to sources.list and upgraded libcairo2 from version 1.10.2-1.1~bpo60+1 ( squeeze-backports ) to version 1.10.2-6.1. ( )
Problem was mostly solved, but I still have some trouble on certain pages. An example this page :
Scrolling gets sticky past the middle of the page....

Next tweak I found out ( scrolling issues disappear ) was to start iceweasel with MOZ_ACCELERATED=1 /usr/bin/iceweasel
Or you can go to the about:config page and set layers.acceleration.force-enabled to true.
If you go to Help > Troubleshooting Information you will see at the bottom of the page :
GPU Accelerated Windows 1/1 OpenGL

With certain themes this tweak will make the tab animation choppy, but you can switch it off by going to the about:config page and set browser.tabs.animate to false.

Get a picasa-like scrolling with : Yet Another Smooth Scrolling.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Alternative Linux software -

AlternativeTo is a new approach to finding good software. Based on our users recommendations we list great alternatives to the applications you want to replace.
Whether you're looking for an alternative to expensive commercial software or just trying to get a feel for what's out there, AlternativeTo is a handy service for finding software alternatives.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Download videos from various Flash-based video hosting sites, without having to use the Flash player. Go to :

(as root ) apt-get install libwww-mechanize-perl libxml-simple-perl
dpkg -i get-flash-videos_1.24-1_all.deb

Then, to download a flash video :
get_flash_videos url
See examples :

Who The Bloody Hell Cares About Debian?

Debian is unique in: (1) its independence from money, infrastructure, people power, and similar "features" that companies use to control the progress of free software distributions; (2) its culture of freedom and democracy, which are both at stake with company-driven decisions on the evolution of free software distributions.
If you care about free software, you couldn't care more about Debian. This talk by Stefano Zacchiroli will show you why and how.

To download : wget

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Thumbnails For HTML Files

A few days ago I purged shutter ( and with it gnome-web-photo and xulrunner-1.9.2 ), see a former post about installing it.
That removed the ability to show thumbnails of HTML files, which was not my intention....
Xulrunner-1.9.2 is no longer to be found in experimental for my architecture ( amd64 ) so I grabbed both packages from Ubuntu Lucid.

xulrunner-1.9.2 :
gnome-web-photo :

Install xulrunner-1.9.2 before installing gnome-web-photo with ( as root ) dpkg -i package

Logout and login. If it did not work start gconf-editor and check at desktop/gnome/thumbnailers/text@html if it is enabled.