Ubuntu Upgrade Day: 11.04 – 11.10 ‘Oneiric Ocelot’

Yay! My favorite Linux distro gets a facelift today with Ubuntu 11.04 making way for the newly released version 11.10 ‘Oneiric Ocelot’. From past history lessons, I do tend to stray on the side of caution, so only one of my machines will be getting the upgrade treatment this week and I’ll hold off with the others until any post update issues shake out.

For those who haven’t given Linux a try yet – I’d strongly suggest giving Ubuntu a go – it has a nice interface and can be skinned to look and feel quite similar to some of the other major operating systems you may already be familiar with. Follow this download link and grab the file.

If you just want to kick the tyres and have a quick look, there are some easy to follow instructions on the download page for making a ‘Live CD’ or a bootable USB stick that you can drop into your current machine and check out.

For those already running Ubuntu, upgrading is as easy as following the instructions on this page, or by entering the command:

update-manager -d

from a terminal window (or from a command via <Alt> + <F2> ). At the time of writing, the update files hadn’t made it to the New Zealand servers so you may want to hold off a little, or change your region under the ‘Settings’ option.

Good luck, enjoy (and don’t forget to make a backup of your data files BEFORE you start…)

Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty) + WiFi working on EEE

When Ubuntu 11.04 released, things went backwards for the EEE. If the wireless adapter was enabled, Natty would hang soon after login – it turns out this was due to a kernel issue similar to that experienced in its predecessor.

But, as per many things in the open software world, the community has come up with a solution which I’ve summarised below.

  1. From here, download the latest kernel files which should be named as follows:
    • linux-headers-2.6.39-999_2.6.39-999.[LatestDateTimeStamp]_all.deb
    • linux-headers-2.6.39-999-generic_2.6.39-999. [LatestDateTimeStamp]_i386.deb
    • linux-image-2.6.39-999-generic_2.6.39-999. [LatestDateTimeStamp]_i386.deb
  2. Then, from a terminal window, install them in the SAME order they were downloaded i.e.:
    • sudo dpkg -i linux-headers-2.6.39-999_2.6.39-999.[LatestDateTimeStamp]_all.deb
    • sudo dpkg -i linux-headers-2.6.39-999-generic_2.6.39-999. [LatestDateTimeStamp]_i386.deb
    • sudo dpkg -i linux-image-2.6.39-999-generic_2.6.39-999. [LatestDateTimeStamp]_i386.deb
  3. Restart your EEE (with WiFi enabled) and login.

Good luck! (YMMV)

Skype Beta 2.2.0.25 for Linux – Webcam WORKING!

Skype for LinuxUgh – finally, after much backward and forward (even to the point I dragged out a Windows laptop) I’ve tracked down the issue which was stopping my embedded webcams (which otherwise works in all other applications) from working with the latest beta of Skype for Linux.

The solution is this (thanks Ubuntu Forums):

for 32-bit Linux / Skype

sudo mv /usr/bin/skype /usr/bin/skype.original
sudo echo -e "#!/bin/bash \nLD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/libv4l/v4l1compat.so skype.original" > /usr/bin/skype

for 64-bit  Linux / Skype

sudo mv /usr/bin/skype /usr/bin/skype.original
sudo echo -e "#!/bin/bash \nLD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib32/libv4l/v4l1compat.so skype.original" > /usr/bin/skype

I found the command to build the script didn’t work out for me

$ sudo echo -e "#!/bin/bash \nLD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib32/libv4l/v4l1compat.so skype.original" > /usr/bin/skype
bash: !/bin/bash: event not found

So, I built my own script

sudo nano /usr/bin/skype

and pasted in the lines to build the script

#!/bin/bash
LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib32/libv4l/v4l1compat.so skype.original

Of course, the script needs to be made executable

sudo chmod +x /usr/bin/skype

Then all that remained was to make sure no instances of skype were running, and re-launch skype from the menu.

For me, the video came up once Skype had loaded, from other discussions, some people may need to restart their machines.