Author Archives: Mohammed Kashif

About Mohammed Kashif

A final engineering student, Kashif who enjoys programming and tweak open source technologies to fully understand their potential. He also loves to play strategic games and watch sci-fi movies in his free time.

Evernote alternatives for Ubuntu

Evernote

Evernote is an open-source software suite, consisting of various applications designed for note taking and archiving. It provides a wide array of features like sorting notes into folders, tagging, editing, giving comments, searching, etc. coupled with some really great web services. Now this kind of applications would be of really great help for Ubuntu users. So in this post, we will help you to find the best Evernote alternatives available on Ubuntu. Continue reading

Create Multiboot USB in Ubuntu

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In the previous posts we basically covered how to create a bootable USB disk in Ubuntu using various tools available on the internet. Now That bootable disk can only be used to boot up a particular OS or simply install one. In this post, we are going to install multiple Operating systems over the USB drive, allowing us to create multiple bootable partitions on a single USB drive. The number of Operating systems will of course, depend on the size of your USB disk.

Now lets begin with our guide to create a multiboot USB in Ubuntu.

 Installing MultiSystem

Open the terminal and type the following command:

sudo apt-add-repository ‘deb http://liveusb.info/multisystem/depot all main’
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install multisystem

Enter the password when prompted to  and press Enter.

Using  MultiSystem 

Open the dash menu and type MultiSystem.

dash

The following screen appears.

first screen

Now insert the USB disk is inserted into your computer. Select the USB drive from the list displayed, after pressing the refresh button.

press refresh

select USB

When you will select the drive, press the confirm button.

The following screen will appear prompting you for GRUB installation on your disk.

Confirmation box

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Press OK and the following interface will appear:

interface

Now select the ISO or image files from your computer and start the process to create multiboot USB in Ubuntu. You can select as many ISO’s as you want, depending upon the size of your USB disk.

select ISO

 

after select ISO

 

after one iso

 

after 2 iso

Once the process is complete, the multiboot USB key is ready for use . Reboot the system and make sure that the first boot device is set as USB in your BIOS. Select the OS you wish to use from the multiboot USB drive.

You can also:

  • Change the GRUB settings
  • Perform VirtualBox installations
  • Format USB key
  • Update GRUB.

Navigate to the Menus or boot tab to view the list of additional items.

menu tab

 

boot tab

Upgrade Ubuntu 14.04 to 14.10 Utopic Unicorn

utopic unicorn

Ubuntu 14.10, code named Utopic Unicorn, was released recently on 23rd October, 2014 for download from Canonical. According to the developer’s website, this release provide more security for desktop users and more flexibility and scalability in terms of server and cloud applications. All the applications that came bundled with Ubuntu have been updated to provide more stable and faster access to users. It also supports 3.16 kernel, which offers better support for Power8 and ARM 64 architectures along with graphics support for Nvidia and AMD graphics, along with Intel’s Haswell, Broadwell and other upcoming processors. Some of the newly added features include:

  • Ability to watch Netflix with Chrome.
  • New IPP Everywhere support.
  • Includes Ubuntu Developer Tools Centre.
  • Includes Cloud Foundry and other big data solutions.
  • More stability and support for 64 bit architecture based processors.
  • Contains latest release of Docker and offers user-level container support.

Overall, these features are more focused on developers. However the level of stability has been increased drastically as compared to previous versions.

Now before we begin to upgrade Ubuntu 14.04 to 14.10 Utopic Unicorn, you must realize that you will not be able to downgrade back to 14.04. Thus, you might have to install a fresh copy of Ubuntu 14.04 instead. Also you will be forced to upgrade Ubuntu 15.04. once the versions comes out in the market for download.

Now lets begin with upgrading our Ubuntu 14.04 to Ubuntu 14.10

Step 1 : Search and open software and Updates

dash

 

software and updates

Step 2 : Click on the updates tab. Now set the value for the option “Notify me of a new Ubuntu version” to “For any new version”. 

change the notify option

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notify option

Once you set the options, the following screen might appear. Wait for a while till the process completes successfully.

update cache

Step 3 : Search and open “Software Updater”

Once it opens, it will check and prompt you for the availability of a newer version.  Click on Upgrade and follow the instructions.

software updater

upgrade notifiy

For more information, you can visit their official site:

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UtopicUnicorn/ReleaseNotes

Install Android apps on Ubuntu

 

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In recent years, Android has become a household name, gaining huge popularity primarily because of the huge range of applications available on it’s market. Coupled with the recent advancements, giving it the ability to run virtually on any device via simple tweaks and modifications, Android is here to stay for a long time. Recently, Google released a list of applications which could be simply installed and executed on Chrome OS. This was a major breakthrough, since running Android apps on a desktop computer will lead to unlimited possibilities.

Now here is the part where Ubuntu comes into the picture. Recently, a developer has figured out a way to install Android apps on Ubuntu using Chrome. You will require to convert the android apps into “Chromified” apks so that they can be used by the chrome script.

NOTE: This is not an official release by Google, and is quite an unstable and buggy process. So proceed at your own risk.

So lets begin with our guide to install Android apps on Ubuntu

Step 1: Install Google Chrome version 37 or higher 

You can do this via the Ubuntu market.

If you wish to install the unstable version, run the following command in the terminal.

sudo apt-get install google-chrome-unstable

Step 2: Download and extract ARChon v1.1 

Click on the following links based on version you currently have:

Click here to download ARChon v1.1 for 32 bit Chrome

Click here to download ARChon v1.1 for 64 bit Chrome 

Once downloaded extract the contents and move them to your ~/Home directory.

Step 3: Install the ARChon extension on your Chrome browser.

Open the Chrome browser and click the customize icon right next to the address bar

Customize icon.

Now Select Tools -> Extensions .

check developer mode

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Check the “Enable developer mode” option near the top.

Load unpacked extension

Now click on “Load unpacked extension” and select the folder you placed into your ~/Home directory.

Step 4: Convert an android app into Chromified APK

Type the following command based on your Ubuntu version (32 bit or 64 bit)

Ubuntu 32 bit

sudo apt-get install npm nodejs nodejs-legacy

sudo npm install -g chromeos-apk

Ubuntu 64 bit

sudo apt-get install lib32stdc++6
sudo apt-get install npm nodejs nodejs-legacy

sudo npm install -g chromeos-apk

Now download an APK of an app  of your choice ( All APKs may not work as it is an unstable extension). Place the APK of the  app in the ~/Home folder.

Now type the following command in the terminal replacing the APK name in the command.

chromeos-apk replaceme.apk –archon

run command

Step 5: Run the app

Return to the extensions page of Chrome and click on “Load unpacked extension” and select the folder of the Chromified APK just created.

Now proceed as instructed to install the app. Bear in mind that not all applications are supported as of now as this is not an official release by Google or Chromium.

Once installed successfully open the Chrome App Launcher to launch the app.

Flipboard on Chrome Ubuntu

Basic Networking Commands in Ubuntu

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Networking is an integral part of computer system nowadays. With the advent of high speed and cheap internet, one cannot stay disconnected for much long. If you have been using Windows, you might have noticed that most of the networking part is done automatically by the system itself. Linux, however is a totally different story. Considering the fact that the Linux system is pretty complex, various commands are available at it’s disposal, to make use of the various secure features provided by the system. Here’s some of the basic commands that can be used for various tasks ranging from troubleshooting to establishing a secure connection.

ping

This is the most basic networking command available. It basically sends and ICMP request packet to the host or destination computer, and if the host is functioning properly you will get the response ICMP packet back.

ping [address]

This [address] can be replaced by:

  • IP address of the host.
  • DNS name of the host.
  • IP address of default gateway.
  • Loopback address , i.e. 127.0.0.1
  • IP address of DNS server.

ping success

traceroute

As the name suggests, it is basically a network diagnostic tool which provides information about the various hosts that packet travels while moving from the source to the destination computer. Each node/host will be displayed along with the various information of the host like, response time, etc. It also uses ICMP packets like ping command.

traceroute [address]

traceroute command

host

This command can be used to map names to an IP address. IT provides the IP address of the domain name given as parameter.

host [domain name]

host command

 

nslookup

It can be thought of as the reverse of host command. Thus, it will basically look up the OP addresses associated with a domain name and provide other related information about it.

nslookup [IP address]

nslookup

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whois 

This command allows to look for information in the internet database for proper hostnames. Useful for tracing IP address to a host name and vice-versa.

whois [ IP address ]

In case the command is not installed in Ubuntu, use the following command.

sudo apt-get install whois

whois

netstat 

This command offers you a simple way to retrieve information of your network connections, like incoming and outgoing connections, which programs are making connections, amount of data being transmitted etc.

netstat

netstat

dig

Domain Information Groper, is the program is to find DNS information like reverse lookups, query  NS records, bulk DNS query, etc .

dig [domain name]

dig

ifconfig

This command allows you to check and configure your network cards for assigning IP address, DNS address and Gateway addresses.

Using the plain ifconfig command provides information like details of all existing configured network cards and interfaces.

ifconfig

[Image Source : http://www.apestandoarockandroll.com/]

Customize Unity Desktop in Ubuntu

unity logo

Unity is a part of The Ayatana Project to improve the user experience with Ubuntu. It is basically a graphical shell for GNOME desktop environment developed by Canonical Ltd. for its Ubuntu operating system. Unlike the previous desktop environments like GNOME, KDE , etc. , Unity is not a collection of applications but is designed to use existing programs.

Now let us Customize Unity Desktop in Ubuntu:

Grouping apps with Launch Folders

If you have many applications taking up the space in Unity side launcher, you can group them together by making use of Launch Folders application. This application allows you to group web apps, links, shell script, etc. in folders which can then be directly integrated in Unity launcher.

Open the Terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T and type the following commands :

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:asukhovatkin/unity-launcher-folders sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install unity-launcher-folders

install laucnh folder

Enter the password when prompted to and continue. You can also view this video from the developers to understand it’s features and functioning in a more better way.

Add Shutdown , Restart and other power options to Dash

Sometimes it may happen due to various technical reasons that you may not be able to use the session icon to log out, shutdown, etc. In such a case you can create shortcuts for the same in the Ubuntu’s unity dash.

Open the Terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T and type the following commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:atareao/atareao sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install power-commands

add power options Now open the dash to see the icons.


Resize the Unity Launcher

If you work on smaller screen, you might require to decrease the size of the icons to use up the space more effectively. Alternatively, you can also enlarge the launcher for large or multiple screens. Click the System Settings icon.

system settings Then select Appearance icon. appearance Select the “Look” tab. look tab Drag the marker on the bottom right corner of the screen and you can see the changes taking effect immediately.

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Note: The default size of launcher is 48, in case you wish to revert back.

default size

previously

changed size

Hide Unity Launcher

You can use this cool trick if you rarely use the side launcher, or if it is taking up too much space.

Click the System Settings icon.system settings Then select Appearance icon.

appearance

Select the “Behavior” tab.

Hidden Launcher Turn ON the ON/OFF switch. Now under reveal location , you can select “Left Side” if you wish to move the mouse to left side to reveal the launcher, or select the “Top left corner” if you wish to reveal it in the top left corner. You can also adjust the reveal sensitivity if you like.

Unity tweak tool

You can also make various customization on Unity by installing this application. Open the terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T and type the following command:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:freyja-dev/unity-tweak-tool-daily sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install unity-tweak-tool

Once installed you can easily make various changes to the Unity Launcher.

unity tweak tool dash

unity tweak tool open

How to install Ubuntu

ubuntu-14.04

People generally have the misconception that Linux based Operating systems are all Command Line based and are extremely hard to operate. Now ten years ago this was true. But now, times have changed considerably. Ubuntu, a Linux based Operating System developed by Cannonical Limited, has revolutionized the things in the OS market for Linux. It has an extremely rich User Interface and one of the largest market for applications, which makes it ideal replacement for Windows, considering the fact that it offers all the security and other unique features of Linux, along with the ease and comfort of a user friendly UI. This tutorial will help you to install Ubuntu easily on your system.

Now before we begin, with the installation of Ubuntu, you would require the following things:

  • Pen drive with at least 2GB space.
  • Around 15 GB empty hard disk space
  • Ubuntu ISO file.

Then you should prepare your pen drive to make it bootable. See this post for more information:
How to make Bootable Ubuntu USB Flash Drive?

Now insert your bootable pen drive, and reboot your computer. Once your system restarts, you need to press F12  to enter boot menu.

Note: To enter the boot menu, you might need to check your laptop vendor’s site, as it may differ for different vendors.

Once you enter the menu, select USB Drive.

The following screen will appear.

First-menu

Click on install Ubuntu.

Then you will be given two choice :

  • Erase and install Ubuntu:Remove all other Operating Systems and install Ubuntu
  • Something Else : Install Ubuntu along side other Operating systems.

Click on “Something Else”.

custome installation

Now, select the disk you want to partition, and click on the “+” (plus) sign.

select disk

Now you need to make 2 partitions. For more detailed explanation on Linux file systems, click here.

Next, select the appropriate file system according to your choice, say ext4 and set the size of partition according to your choice.

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select file system

Then select the mount point as “/”, which actually means “root” in Linux terminology, then click OK.

select mount point

Next, you need to set up swap space. Again click on the “+” (plus) sign and then select the file system type as “swap” area and click OK. It is generally advised to keep swap area as double your RAM size.

swap memory

Then click on “Install Now”.

partition complete

Then select your time zone and click “Continue”.

select time zone

Next select your keyboard layout and continue.

select keyboard layout

Now set your username, password and other fields as required.

fill up the fileds

Then your installation will begin.

installation started

Wait for some time, and Ubuntu will be installed on your system properly.

Check out this post to know about Top priority things after installing Ubuntu.

Get the best out of Dropbox in Ubuntu

Dropbox-LogoDropbox is basically a file hosting service that offers cloud storage facilities to users, which includes file synchronization, personal cloud and many more. It also allows user to synchronize specific folders on different computers, which appear to be same once synchronized by Dropbox, and it’s contents can be accessed anywhere through mobile and web applications. Over the years, Dropbox has expanded it’s functionality using various add-ons and mashups with other services such as Gmail, BitTorrent, etc. So here’s how you can use the full potential of Dropbox in Ubuntu.

Installing Dropbox

Open the terminal using Ctrl +Alt + T and type the following command in the order given:

sudo apt-key adv –keyserver pgp.mit.edu –recv-keys 5044912E
sudo add-apt-repository “deb http://linux.dropbox.com/ubuntu $(lsb_release -sc) main”
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install nautilus-dropbox

install dropbox_1

Install Dropbox_2

Install Dropbox_3

Now go to bash icon and type Dropbox and click on the icon that appears

bash

Now you will be asked to sign in to your Dropbox account

setiing up dropbox

enter username pwd

Next you will be asked to select the settings. Click on advanced settings for more options.

setup type

Now select the folder you wish to sync and type of synchronization you wish to happen.

advanced setting

You can then view the dropbox icon in the system tray above for more options.

dropbox tray

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Share and sync any folder in Dropbox

Dropbox  also offers you the facility to sync any folder that you want by simply right clicking and selecting it for sync. This is achieved through an app called “Dropbox Share”.

To install this app, open the terminal and type the following commands

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install dropbox-share

Once installed you can use it to share anyone folder/file directly by simply right clicking on it, instead of copying it one-by-one to the Dropbox folder.

dropbox-share

dropbox share notification

Dropbox Command Line interface.

For those of you are more comfortable using the command line interface, you can use the following commands to install the command line interface of Dropbox.

Make a bin directory:

mkdir -p ~/bin

Download the interface

wget -O ~/bin/dropbox.py “https://www.dropbox.com/download?dl=packages/dropbox.py”

Now set permissions to execute

chmod +x ~/bin/dropbox.py

Help Menu

~/bin/dropbox.py help

cli help

Hope this tutorial helps you in getting the most out of your Dropbox.

If you wish to synchronize you Google Drive Account, you can click here