Linux Ubuntu

After over a year of using openSuse 10.0 to run and following the advice from my friend Frank I decided to try out Ubuntu 6.10.


One might ask why change your system? Here are my motivations:

Why Ubuntu?

Why using a graphical desktop to run web server?

Search documentation

Problems & Solutions

I can't log on as root?

That's the first oddity I came across on Ubuntu. In fact the root account is locked by default on Ubuntu and they use sudo to perform administrator tasks.

How to enable root account?

If like me you are having to do some serious setup in your machine you most certainly want to enable the root account to avoid typing sudo and your user password too often. Just do sudo passwd root and choose a password. To disable the root account again just do sudo passwd -l root. See my source.

How to install mc (midnight commander)?

mc is not listed in the standard package cache. After a short struggle trying to get that working using the command line I decided to use the UI and Synaptic Package Manager. I just followed some instructions from on how to load the universe package repository using Synaptic. I find the whole thing very impressive next to openSuse 10.0 package management.

How to change your machine hostname?

See the solution there

How to setup your AVM WLAN!Fritz USB stick

First download the Windows drivers and unzip them by running the Windows executable using wine. Then setup Ndiswrapper, it will allow you to use Windows drivers. The .inf file you want to use is fwlan.inf. Once the drivers are installed do iwlist wlan0 scanning to get your wireless network ESSID. Then do something like sudo iwconfig wlan0 essid "MyWirelessNetworkName" key s:myasciipassword mode Auto. I can't get that to work. It sees my WLAN but just can't get an IP from it!

How to configure my desktop?

Right click your menu icon on panel and select Edit Menus, go to System tools and show the Configuration editor. Launch it go to /apps/nautilus/desktop and select your options. You can also read that.

How to modify kernel boot up argument?

Edit /boot/grub/menu.lst.

How to execute a GNOME application as root?

Edit the Launcher properties and add the gksudo to the Command.

How to debug your mouse?

To find out your mouse buttons and wheel mapping got to a terminal window and type xev.

How to setup your Logitech MX1000 mouse

Section "InputDevice"
Driver       "mouse"
Identifier   "Configured Mouse"
Option       "ButtonNumber" "12"
Option       "Buttons" "12"
Option       "Device" "/dev/input/mice"
Option       "Name" "PS2++ Logitech MX Mouse"
Option       "Protocol" "explorerps/2"
Option       "Vendor" "Sysp"
Option       "ZAxisMapping"    "11 12"
Option       "Resolution"      "800"
! Set up the MX1000 mouse buttons%BR%
pointer = 1 2 3 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 4 5

See post on Ubuntu forum.

How to make your mouse work with KVM

After a KVM switch and back the mouse can behave erratically or buttons and wheel might not be working anymore. Here is how to fix that:
#Load psmouse module

#Make my mouse work with KVM
options psmouse proto=imps

Can't get mouse wheel to work on KDE?!? xev gets the events though so I wonder what that could be. Maybe it would just work with default mouse settings on KDE?

How to install setup a web site?

How to install mod-perl?

How to setup SSL?

So it goes like that:

a2enmod ssl
openssl genrsa -out server.key 1024
openssl req -new -key server.key -out server.csr
openssl x509 -req -days 365 -in server.csr -signkey server.key -out server.crt
cp server.crt /etc/ssl/certs
cp server.key /etc/ssl/private

Edit /etc/apache2/ports.conf and add:

Listen 443

Edit your site virtual host configuration and add:

SSLEngine on
SSLOptions +FakeBasicAuth +ExportCertData +CompatEnvVars +StrictRequire
SSLCertificateFile /etc/ssl/certs/server.crt
SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/ssl/private/server.key

For more security using a password do

openssl genrsa -des3 -out server.key 1024
instead of
openssl genrsa -out server.key 1024

How to generate your certificate

How to install TWiki?

The following perl module would not compile when installed using CPAN but they are provided as Debian packages by Ubuntu:

How to install ddclient?

How to install Subversion?

How to install websvn?

Install and configure the websvn package. Make sure to copy /var/www/websvn to the document root of the virtual host running websvn. /etc/apache2/conf.d/websvn loads /etc/websvn/apache.conf. Maybe you want to delete /etc/apache2/conf.d/websvn and include /etc/websvn/apache.conf from your virtual host configuration. If needed add some authentication management directive to /etc/websvn/apache.conf.

How to install KDE

Follow those instructions or just do:

aptitude update
aptitude install kubuntu-desktop

How to install a mail server

I had such a hard time trying to figure out how to setup Exim4. It was so easy in the end. Here are the packages I used:


I used exim4-daemon-heavy over exim4-daemon-light because I needed SASL authentication to connect to my ISP SMTP server. Use Synaptic to run the configuration on the exim4-config package or just do it from the command line using dpkg-reconfigure exim4-config. All I wanted was to send e-mails from that machine only so I did the following configuration:

  1. Split configuration into small files? No
  2. Choose mail sent by smarthost; no local mail
  3. System mail name :
  4. IP-addresses to listen on for incoming SMTP connections :
  5. Other destinations for which mail is accepted :
  6. Visible domain name for local users :
  7. Machine handling outgoing mail for this host (smarthost) : (use your ISP SMTP server)
  8. Keep number of DNS-queries minimal (Dial-on-Demand)? No

Typically your Mail Transfer Agent (postfix/exim4) needs to authenticate with your service provider's SMTP server using SASL. To do that you need to provide your credentials for your service provider email account. It should be the same set of login/password pair you are using to logon on your ISP web mail service.

For Exim4 put your ISP SMTP server's credentials in /etc/exim4/passwd.client. It should follow that format:

Launch eximon and try sending a mail using sendmail perl script for instance. You should see the SMTP server response in eximon. Alternatively you can check the logs in /var/log/exim4 to see if your mail was sent successfully.

How to install Teamspeak

Add the following package repository and look for the teamspeak-server package.

deb unstable main contrib non-free

How to fix permission issues with apache logs

Alter the log file permissions in /etc/logrotate.d/apache2.
Read that Ubuntu Forums article.

How to install Subversion extension for Nautilus

Short reminder: Nautilus is the GNOME file explorer and GNOME is the Apple like Desktop for Linux and default Ubuntu Desktop.

You need to install the package nautilus-script-collection-svn. Once install it needs to be enabled in Nautilus. Just run the following commands:

sudo apt-get install nautilus-script-collection-svn
nautilus-script-manager enable Subversion

See my source in French.
See what looks like the nautilus-script-collection-svn home page.

How change your networks settings

Login as root then edit your settings be doing:

nano /etc/network/interfaces

Once you changed your settings you can restart your networking by running:

/etc/init.d/networking restart