Monthly Archives: September 2014

How to run Windows on Ubuntu

vitual box logoMany a times we come across a point, when we have to run certain windows application to get some job done. Although numerous alternatives and applications are available in Ubuntu, but still there are some areas where Ubuntu is way behind Windows. We might even simply want to install Windows just because there are other users who are uncomfortable with the Linux environment, and installing Windows separately would lead to various security leaks.

These types of tasks where we wish install or  rather simulate one system over the another requires Virtualization. This breakthrough was originally was a result of IBM investing a lot of time and money during the 1970s so as to develop time sharing systems, which allowed shared usage of computer resources among a large group of users so as to increase overall efficiency. This significantly reduced the cost of computing to a great extent. It is in fact the ideal way to improve resource utilization, and at the same time simplify data center management.

Oracle has developed a software to accomplish this task of virtualization easily- Virtual Box. It is installed on an existing host operating system as an application, this host application allows additional Guest operating System to be loaded and run, each with its own virtual environment.

Also See: Install Gnome Desktop Environment in Ubuntu 14.04

Now lets begin with this tutorial how we can install Windows on Ubuntu!

Install Virtual Box on Ubuntu

Open the terminal by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T and type the following command

sudo sh -c “echo ‘deb http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian ‘$(lsb_release -cs)’ contrib non-free’ > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/virtualbox.list” && wget -q http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian/oracle_vbox.asc -O- | sudo apt-key add – && sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install virtualbox-4.3 dkms

Enter the password when prompted to and continue with the installation. This might take some time based on your internet connection.

install virtual box

Configure Virtual Box

Open virtual box by typing ” virtual box” in the dash

open virtual box

Once opened the following screen will appear.

virtual box

Now click on the “New” button on the upper left corner of the screen.

new dialog box

Enter the name you wish to give to your new machine and select the appropriate operating system.Then click on next.

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Assign RAM to your virtual system, it is recommended to keep it to 512 MB.

assign RAM

You will then be prompted to create a virtual hard drive. If you wish you can select “Do not add a virtual hard drive” and change the settings later.

You will then finally be prompted to create a virtual machine.

create machine

Click on continue and your virtual machine will be ready.

Also See: Customize GRUB2 in Ubuntu

Install the Operating System

Click on “Settings” and the following window will appear.

setting dialog box

Now select “Storage” and click on the add icon below and click on “Add CD/DVD device”

new storage device

Now click on “Choose Disk” and select the ISO for Windows OS.


choose diskselect ISO file

Next Click on OK and you will be back to the previous screen. Now click on “Start” to start installing Windows on your virtual machine.

virtual machine running

Proceed as per the normal installation steps.

Best custom ROMs for Android

Best Custom Roms for Android

A custom ROM is basically a full fledged operating system which uses same kernel used by the vendor in propriety operating system which is in this case are Google and Android but there are differences like in user interface and outer functionality as core remains the same. Custom ROMs are generally  free of all the 3rd party apps installed by the vendor and results in much better battery life and fluid performance of the device. Installing a custom ROM requires a device with unlocked bootloader and root access performing which may void device’s warranty and fully wipe the phone, So a backup must be made before installing a custom ROM which can be performed with the help of Nandroid backup. Custom ROMs results in frequent updates and fast bug fixes as developer is not bind by any policies as in case of proprietor vendor. Some of the most popular Custom ROMs  for Android are listed below:

CyanogenMod

CyanogenMod 11

Probably the most popular custom ROM out there with support of almost all the major android devices. It is the oldest player in the market of custom ROMs. It also provides a custom installer which will install CyanogenMod on your phone. It was featured on Google Play store for some days before Google took it down. There are nightly, snapshot and stable builds available for each device out of which nightly is first build of the OS and snapshot is nearly bugfree version of the ROM and stable being the final build. The latest build is CM11 based on stock android kitKat 4.4 which is still in nightly phase and almost all the devices are supported by nightly builds. It is also turning itself into a standalone OS as a rival to Android.

Download CyanogenMod from here

Paranoid Android

Paranoid Android

Paranoid Android provides almost all the similar features and customizations as CyanogenMod. Thjs is the forst ROM to be based on Jellybean 4.2.2 and provides some unique UI customizations like setting the DPI according to the application, changing color scheme in the settings panel, different interfaces for tablet, phablet and phone and multi-window feature which is still in beta phase.

Download Paranoid Android from here

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AOKP

aokp_wallpaper-preview

AOKP is acronym for Android Open Kang Project. It is a very simple ROM and all the tweaks are present in ROM control menu. Most of the Motorola, HTC and Samsung devices are supported by this ROM. It is not as stable as CyanogenMod but is much fast and fluid in usage. Features like customizable LED, custom toggles, vibration patterns and Ribbon makes this ROM different from others.

Download AOKP from here

SlimROMs

SlimRomsSlim ROMs as the name suggest is a slimmer version of stock Android and features a minimalistic design but that doesn’t compromises with the functionality that this ROM offers and is available for almost all the popular devices by different carriers. SlimROMs are updated weekly hence users can expect frequent updates, bug fixes and healthy improvements.

Download SlimROM from here

Liquid Smooth

Liquid-Smooth

Liqud Smooth is a very fast, fluid and stable custom package loaded with features like SlimPie, Hardware key rebinding, Custom Carrier label and Liquid Dungeon and many more. Liquid Smooth backup app is also available on Google Play Store and can be downloaded from here.

Download Liquid Smooth from here

Customize GRUB2 in Ubuntu

Grub_logo2

GNU GRUB is a bootloader, capable of loading various operating systems when the system starts up. GRUB stands for GRand Unified Bootloader. It is the successor to LILO (LInux LOader), the original bootloader for Linux-based proprietary Operating Systems. GRUB has the following advantages over LILO:

  • GRUB support unlimited no of boot selections, while LILO supports only 16.
  • Unlike LILO, GRUB supports booting over a network.
  • LILO does not have an interactive command interface like GRUB.

Well, before we begin with this tutorial lets understand how GRUB actually works.

When you switch on a computer, the first thing that occurs is a POST, commonly known as Power On Self Test. This basically checks the computer for various devices that are connected to the computer and subsequently the BIOS comes into further action. The BIOS then transfers the control to the boot device, which can be any BIOS-recognized device.

The first sector stored on a hard disk is called Master Boot Record (MBR), which is usually 512 bytes long and contains a very small piece of code called primary boot loader and partition table describing the various partitions on the disk.

The MBR then loads the active partition and loads it into the memory and passes the control to it.

GRUB works in 3 stages

Stage 1: It is located in the MBR and mainly points to the second stage, however it normally loads up the Stage 1.5.

Stage 1.5: It contains the file system drivers, which allows it to load Stage 2 directly from any known location.

Stage 2: Loads the configuration file that contains all of the user interface and options that are displayed on the screen.

The advantage of this Stage architecture is that it allows GRUB to be large enough to allow for fairly more complex and configurable options as compared to other bootloaders.

Now that you have a fairly reasonable idea of how GRUB works, lets tweak it according to our needs and customize GRUB2 in Ubuntu.

The Basics

GRUB2 stores it’s main configuration in the /boot/grub/grub.cfg file. However, we need not edit it in any way, as we will see that it automatically gets updated. The user’s settings are stored in /etc/default/grub file. We will be editing this file to change the GRUB’s settings. Other scripts are located in /etc/grub.d/ directory.

Editing the file

First we need to install the gksu program, if not already installed. Open the terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T, and type  the following command

sudo apt-get install gksu

Enter the password and press “y” or “Y” when prompted to.

install gksu

Open the configuration file by installing the following command:

gksu gedit /etc/default/grub

editing the config file

Enter the password when prompted to and the configuration file will open up in the editor.

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config-file-opened

Choosing a background image:

By default GRUB uses a monochrome look. You can add a line in then like

GRUB_BACKGROUND=”/home/user/Pictures/Your_image.png”

to specify the image file to be used by GRUB in the background.

For e.g.

GRUB_BACKGROUND=”/usr/share/images/grub/Lake_mapourika_NZ.tga”

update background in config file

There is however a number of restrictions on the file type and format, so you can download splash images by typing the following command in the terminal

sudo apt-get install grub2-splashimages

Once installed, the images are located in the /usr/share/images/grub folder.

spalsh images

Change the Default OS

You can change the default OS, by modifying the GRUB_DEFAULT= line.Use GRUB_DEFAULT=0 uses the first entry as default, change it 1 to use the second entry as the default OS, change it to 2 for second entry and so forth.

If you want to be more specific, you can type the label, for e.g.

GRUB_DEFAULT=”Windows 7 (loader)”

Change the GRUB timeout

You can change the GRUB timeout by changing the GRUB_TIMEOUT=10 line and enter the time in seconds. For e.g.

GRUB_TIMEOUT=5

Update the changes

Type the following command to update your changes.

sudo update-grub

update changes

Restart your computer to see the changes take effect !!

5 Linux Penetration Testing Distros

linux-penetration-testingPenetration test is basically an attack or way to spoil weaknesses and vulnerabilities in a computer system. Penetration testing is done with the intention to gain access to a system, change its attributes and properties and to find security flaws. It is a fully legal way to determine the security status of an IT Infrastructure as a single loophole is enough to bring whole infrastructure down. Penetration testing is used to check status of OS security services, applications, configuration settings and end-user security services like anti-viruses. Some of the Linux distributions are developed for the sole purpose of penetration testing and are equipped with most advanced tools used for this purpose. Continue reading

3 Best iPad Browser App Alternatives for Safari

3 Best iPad Browser App Alternatives for SafariWhen you bring home your brand new iPad, you have the Safari web browser at your disposal, by default. Although the Safari dies offer a unique browsing experience, you may still wish for options. First up, as of now, there is no way in which you can set up another iPad browser app as the default option. However, you can avail of the superior features of 3rd party browser applications which prove to be superior as compared to Safari. 3 Best iPad Browser App Alternatives for Safari, Let’s look at each of them.

Google Chrome

The Chrome is indeed excellent for iOS devices. It offers standard features like bookmarks and tabbed browsing. However, what make it special are its unique features. For instance, when you are on Chrome, you can swipe from left and right for switching between your opened tabs. This is truly convenient. You can also request for the desktop site of a specific page so that you can get the full page and the mobile version. And the desktop version is often loaded with the complete set of features you may not find in the mobile version. Overall, it is an excellent alternative for Safari.

Google Chrome for ipad

Download Chrome Browser for iPad

Dolphin

Dolphin is another excellent browser option for the iPad, iPod Touch and the iPad Mini, which offers standard features like find on page and tabbed browsing. However, there is a lot more to it than this. First, when you swipe left, the open tabs are promptly revealed. And, when you swipe right, you have the bookmarks before you. This is not only convenient, but a truly intuitive feature. You can also tap on the “dolphin” and use gesture shortcuts. Dolphin also allows you broadcast the website you are viewing to other available devices on the same Wi-Fi network. This comes in especially handy if you are in a meeting and wish to share a webpage with everyone in one go. Dolphin is easily one of the most innovative iPad browser app options available today.

dolphin-browser-for-ipad

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Download Dolphin Browser for iPad

Opera Mini

And finally there is the Opera which provides for its own set of enigmatic features apart from standard options. You have bookmarks for speed dial and a share option that has been built in for sharing across social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Email, My Opera and so on. You also have an option called “saved pages”. Another feature that makes Opera a unique choice is that capacity to track down data usage. For instance, if you are nervous about using up all your data when away from Wi-Fi, you opera browser provides information on data usage, for keeping you on track.

opera mini web browser for ipad

Download Opera Mini for iPad

Depending upon your preferences, you can choose your browser options for the best experiences!

How to Integrate Google Drive in Ubuntu

drive-featured

In this tutorial we will be making use of a small command-line program call “drive” that is written in Google’s “Go” programming language, by member of the Google Drive’s platform team to integrate Google Drive in Ubuntu.

First you need to understand how it works. It basically works similar to GitHub, i.e. you have to use “push” command to update files to your drive and “pull” command for retrieving any file from you drive. The developers who implemented this program, cited various reasons that background syncing is that beneficial as it seems, one simple reason being that it simply uses the bandwidth unnecessarily, even when the files are still up-to date, which is a little cumbersome if you have a slow-internet connection.

This however, might simply be the closest thing we have as of now, for integrating Google Drive on Ubuntu.

Installing  Go Compiler

To use the command-line program we first need to install a compiler for Google’s Go Programming Language. Open the terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T and type the following Command :

sudo apt-get install golang git mercurial

Enter password

Press “Y” or “y” when prompted to

Press Y when asked to

Also See: How to run exe files on Ubuntu

Installing Google Drive

After installing the Go compiler, type the following command to download and install Drive.

go get github.com/rakyll/drive

Now once the drive is installed you can use the following command to view the attributes for drive program

drive help

drive-help

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Setting up the Google Drive

To initialize the Google Drive for your account on your computer , type the following command

drive init <directory>

e.g.

drive init /home/kashif/kashif_drive

authenticate_user

You will be asked to authenticate your account.

ask-permission

Using the drive

You can use “drive push” command to push a file to the remote server.For e.g.

drive push xyz.txt

push-command

pushes the file “xyz.txt” stored at your current directory into our drive.

Also See: How to make Bootable Ubuntu USB Flash Drive?

Alternatively , you can use “drive pull” command to retrieve files from you Google Drive account. For e.g. “drive pull xyz.txt” , downloads the file “xyz.txt” stored in your drive into your current directory. If you wish to download a file stored in a particular folder you can use “drive pull text/xyz.txt”, this downloads a file named “xyz.txt” from the folder name “text” stored on your Drive, into your current directory.

Thus, you have to manually make sync your files, as per your requirement.

Which Android is Better, Rooted Or Non-Rooted?

android_rooted

This is a question many of you will be having in your minds when you came across the concept of rooting your android devices. But then the next thought that must have had struck you is, which is better, the stock, non-rooted device or the rooted one? We hope you have not lost any of your sleep due to this issue, so make matters simple, we have brought to you a simple explanation of what rooting is and what is the difference in the rooted and non-rooted devices. Also some pros and cons are also provided for you to make life a bit simple for you while deciding.

What is Rooting?

Your Android devices come from an OEM or a service provider with certain features packed in it. But under the lieu of certain features and security, many functions are kept locked and hence customization options are pretty limited to only the UI and not the entire minute details of the phone. So when you root the device, you get the complete control of the device in your hand and hence you can then customize each and everything; from the phones’ start screen to the launcher, etc.

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Why Root Devices?

Rooting the devices does not cause the phone to react differently. It still functions the exact same way a phone has to react. But the difference being, the customizations. For a basic user who uses the phone for his communication purposes, the phone either rooted or not makes absolutely no difference. But for a proper geek who loves playing with technology, they can gain root access to the phone and do whatever they want. Want rooting provides the most basic and pure Android experience without any additional overlays which means you also get the latest android updates before all others when you have a rooted phone. (You do have to acquire the ROM and install it manually, there is no OTA updates for rooted devices).

Rooted or Non Rooted

The difference in the rooted and non-rooted device is only so much, that the developer and customization options on offer on a rooted device are just overwhelming. So much so that for example, if you take a Moto G, it has the Moto theme and the Moto Animation during start up. With root access you can make that go away, change the entire theme of the phone from the basic core and also you can even put a video/animation of you playing with a dog at startup. But that takes loads of patience to learn and do it without actually screwing up. Secondly, when you buy the phone from any seller, the manufacturing company is responsible for any malfunctioning on the phone as they vouch for it and its content. But rooting the phone means bidding adieu to your warranties and schemes for that matter. (Though you can always restore the backup if you have taken one before rooting and get your phone repaired under warranty; fail-safe alert!)

Pros of Rooted:

  1. Huge amount of customization.
  2. Loads of apps availability from third party app stores.
  3. Custom ROMs.
  4. Latest Android updates.
  5. Satisfaction of the Geeky mind.

Cons of Rooted:

  1. Loss of warranty.
  2. High chances of bricking your phone.
  3. Takes loads of time to learn to root and play with it.
  4. Security risk.
  5. Time consuming process.

Conclusion:

So unless you are a serious geek who knows how to root the phone properly, only then go for it and try not to brick it. For all others, your phone is better non-rooted as it generally makes no big difference and your WhatsApp and candy crush works just as well on any of the phones.

Top Android Music Streaming Apps

With increasing size of applications, media and games limited storage problem is a major concern for an Android user so there are many apps in the play store which allows user to stream music directly from the internet without saving it in physical storage. The key player behind these applications is cloud technology. In this technology all the songs/music is stored in a centralized server of the developer and while streaming user access those songs directly from their server. Many of these applications are Android clients of the developer’s desktop website while some of them are stand alone apps.

List of most popular Android music streaming apps on play store.

1. SoundCloud

Probably the best music streaming application in play store presently and have over 50000000 downloads. This app is developed by the company of the same name established in Berlin, Germany. It allows the users to follow the trending feed and explore trending music. Users can also save their favorite playlists and  songs and it also provides the feature of recording the audio and share it on Facebook and Google+, Search for different tracks, artists, albums, Genre based track search and play pause and forward from lock screen.

Download SoundCloud from here

Screenshot Soundcloud app

 

2. Saavn

It is best app for bollywood music. It does provides access to English music but its collection is not so rich as of SoundCloud. It is India’s very first app in this category and has seen about 10000000 downloads from play store. It also offers a pro version of app in which users can access music offline i.e. the music can be stored in cache. Users can play any song on demand, Allows to create and save playlists. Saavn Radio allows user to choose endless music for any mood.

Download Saavn from here

Saavn music app screenshot

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3. Gaana

It is also a mainstream Bollywood and Hindi song application published by Times Internet Ltd. and has a repository of about 3 million hindia and english songs. It also allows user to create their own playlists and access other playlists created by experts and seve them in  “My Zone”. It provides music in regional languages such as Tamil, Telugu, Bhojpuri etc. Non stop radio access is also provided by Gaana and 5 Radio Mirchi stations.

Download Gaana from here

Gaana app

 

4. Hungama

This app provides Bollywood music in different bit rate which user can choose depending upon the speed of internet connection. This app also has a repository of over 2 million songs and its music library has a large number of genres including Pop, rock, Bollywood, devotional and regional etc. It provides lyrics of each song listed on the app. It also allows to share songs and videos on social media and flawless radio service.

Download Hungama from here

Hungama music app