Stefano’s Stuffs

Ubuntu 9.10 – A Fast Review

I’ve just upgraded to Ubuntu 9.10 from 9.04, by using always the same method (via Administration->Update Manager) as in the past. The process took near 2 hours, with only a continous crash related to the Flash plugin. This new edition has some news, like:

1 – The Ubuntu Software Center:


where you can download applications and at sametime watch what you’ve installed and eventually remove it. Very windows style. Very useless:-) I’m a little tired about “easy things for newbies”…If you’re a linux newbie you want to learn something new, different, open; you don’t need another win style computer!Past years Linux wasn’t user-friendly…Now it’s too much;-)

2 – Ubuntu One: 2gb of webspace for sharing and backup, directly accessible from desktop


3 – A lot of new screensavers/desktop images and themes

4 – A better support about Eucalyptus and private cloud (on server edition)

5- Open Office 3.1

Ubuntu is a must to have BUT before upgrading remember that:

1 – IMHO this edition is a little slower than 9.04, at least on my pc without a fresh install; startup and open applications remember to me the same “slowly feeling” I had when upgraded from 8.04 to 8.10 (is the .10 release always slower than .04???:-))
2 – My old Vmware Player 2.5.2 needed an update to 3.0 in order to work with new kernel (download the .bundle file on Vmware website and install it with sudo sh xxxxxx.bundle). The 3.0 is fantastic and it can create VM too!
3 – The Lotus Notes Client 8.5 doesn’t work with Ubuntu 9.10; a re-install didn’t fix it.

October 30, 2009 Posted by | computer | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Break the 1%

Following this chart, Linux finally breaks the 1% wall regarding the percentage of different OS installed worldwide.
It’s nice but unfortunately it’s still really low!I’m pretty sure that during next years “Cloud OS” and web applications will have a lot of important in home and business environments. I hope in the future that all the OS will become unnecessary;-)  Imagine a sort of “Adobe Air” OS, where applications works at the same on every pc, without be worried about the maintenance and all the other stuffs…Could someone explain to me a thing: with supersolid Linux distros (and Ubuntu 9.04 is one of them!), with Win Xp still alive and strong (it’s like a phoenix after the diffusion of netbook) and a Win Vista absolutely usable, with all the wonderful enhancements of Snow Leopard (have you seen the new way for chinese characters input?!!)and with Google apps that do everything everywhere on every pc…WHO is interested in Win7?:-)

July 21, 2009 Posted by | computer | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


I’m just coming back from Tokyo, with a lot of photos in raw format.The ideal choice for editing them IMHO is Apple Aperture but Linux has some weapons too:

ufraw The Unidentified Flying Raw (UFRaw)

logo Rawstudio

Each of them works very well: Ufraw has a very simple interface where Rawstudio is a little more “pro”, but for example the first software has a very interesting “colour temperature” setting that produce excellent results.

If you use Ubuntu and you cannot see the thumbnails of your raws into a Gnome window install the package “gnome-raw-thumbnailer” for solving the problem in a second.

January 12, 2009 Posted by | computer | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vmware Fusion 2.0

As an old time Vmware user I’m so interesting in everything new from this software: I didn’t know about Vmware Fusion, the desktop solution for osx; I’ve tried it and it’s great (and also cheap, near 80$). Virtualization for desktops is not so useful as for servers, but it’s always a pleasure to open a linux/win virtual machine inside Leopard in the same way of Vmware Server for other operating systems. The graphic of Fusion is really “mac” oriented and the menus are simple and easy to understand.


Create a new virtual machine is really easy and there are a lot of possible tuning (like direct3d compatibility for playing win games using the excellent speed of Vmware Fusion under osx); I had also load some of my old vm machines (created with Infrastructure, with Server, with Workstation, with Easyvmx) and they are fully  compatible with this product.Here’s Puppy Linux 4.01 on Leopard:


November 13, 2008 Posted by | computer | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fast ssh/sftp jail

In the last 48 hours I performed the installation of a large ftp/stp/ssh server; everything works ok except that, for some obscure reasons, I cannot deny to a connected user the access of the directories’ list; I’ve tried PureFtpd, Vsftpd, Proftpd and all the instructions related to chrooting an user by adding commands in the various configuration files…Don’t know why but it didn’t work!!It never happened before…So I think about another solution and…Voilà, ultrafast Ubuntu server with Proftpd and the hi-power of scponly:

1 – Install a Ubuntu server (preferably 8.04 or 8.10, for immediately install ssh server during the first process)

2 – Make a user during installation and leave all other settings by default

3 – Give to your server a static ip (sometimes ifconfig sucks, just in case install webmin and change the network from it using your browser) and do a sudo apt-get update

4 – Let’s do sudo apt-get install scponly

5 – Immediately reconfigure the software for the chroot version with sudo dpkg-reconfigure -plow scponly and answer “YES” to the menu

6 – Go to /usr/share/doc/scponly/setup_chroot and sudo gunzip the .gz file inside the directory

7 – Do sudo chmod + x and launch it with sudo ./

8 – Follow the instructions and add a totally new user (choosing the home and the incoming directory, the only one where the user can write!)

9 – Do sudo apt-get install proftpd and configure it by editing the /etc/proftpd/proftpd.conf (google for the configuration, but it’s sufficient to edit the name of the server, uncomment “DefaultRoot” and few others) and let’s restart it with sudo /etc/init.d/proftpd restart

10 – Log in with some sftp client like Filezilla to the hostname on port 22 with the username and password of the scponly user. Voilà, you see few directories, you cannot go anywhere and the only interesting thing is to up/down to the incoming dir;-)

October 15, 2008 Posted by | computer | , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Internet Kiosk

I looked so much for a nice, light and maybe open-source customizable internet kiosk. It’s a really useful thing in a large trade fair, where thousand of people could use it for free and….Destroy it. I needed something really powerful against all the people that doesn’t know how to use a computers without remove every program, reset machine (even a linux one) and surf ONLY on dangerous activex websites:-)  After trying various distro/software I choose the winner: Webconverger by Kai Hendry. Burn the .iso and voilà: a VERY simple and secure web platform at your feet; it works perfectly on a PIII with 256mb of ram.

September 3, 2008 Posted by | computer | , , , , | Leave a comment

Ultra Fast Japanese Scim for Ubuntu 8.04

After a fresh install of Ubuntu I always forget how to configure SCIM for input japanese in every application: after reading a lot of wiki and how to, removing 4 times scim and all related components, I’ve reached my goal with this ultra-fast passage (I’m pretty sure that not all the modules are useful, but it works for me perfectly in every software, even openoffice and skype) for scim with anthy (hope you have your repositories full updated and configured):

1 – Open a terminal and input:

sudo apt-get install scim-anthy im-switch scim-bridge-agent scim-bridge-client-gtk scim-bridge-client-qt scim-bridge-client-qt4 language-support-ja

This input install every type of scim-bridge, the framework im-switch and even the full japanese language support.

2 – Input:


and remember the result: it’s sufficient to memorize the part after the “LANG” command, mine is “it_IT.UTF-8”

so input:

im-switch -z (your locale) -s scim (in my pc it’s im-switch -z it_IT.UTF-8 -s scim)

so scim knows about your keyboard default.

3 – Reset your X server with CTRL-ALT-BACKSPACE (pay attention, save your session and documents because it’s an instant reset!)

4 – Log in and right click on the scim keyboard icon in the taskbar, choose configuration and watch in global configuration (interface) if the keyboard layout selected is your DEFAULT keyboard layout (mine is italian) and in global configuration (IMEngine) if japanese is installed as input method.

5 – Close the window and try yourself in OpenOffice by activating scim with CTRL-SPACE. Hope it works!

July 29, 2008 Posted by | computer | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Summer is a good season for eating Apples…

I’m celebrating a nice event: after years of turning around, after 20 years spent on dos/win operating systems and 10 on Linux, I’ve decided to deeply use OSX Leopard too!What an event!

This OS is so simple to use (maybe too much…I missed the hard SCIM configuration for input japanese in some distros…;-)) and it’s generally fast. It’s fast to boot, fast to shutdown and fast to open dedicated intel applications.The graphic is good and clear, there are a lot of colours, wonderful icons and nice widgets (but a full customization of Compiz-Fusion is SO superior;-)). The terminal is often useless, but eventually give you the power to manage some hardcore situations.

As an addicted Linux user one of my fears was about the lack of osx freeware software for my work but after some hours I found (near) everything I need without using Vmware software or Bootcamp. Here some examples:

Fugu is a nice ftp-sftp-ssh frontend which also includes a console.A must; I also discovered macports, an intersting way to use open-source X11 or Aqua based software and in the list I saw…Putty!My old friend, please follow me even in the Mac universe:-)



Ooooooh…..Microsoft did it??A native osx remote desktop client for connecting to windows machines??



Simpyburns does the hard job of burning cd/dvd for free. Very light and useful. For audio cd you can obiouvsly use ITunes, that works good even if it’s a little “heavy” software.



Free office application. Neooffice is sincerely not fast as the last Open Office, but it’s full of osx native stuffs since its born and for example I’ve no problem input japanese and other languages in this software. 


More to comes….As graphic editor the right choice coud be Gimp for osx, that works good with after the X11 install as you can read in the help section of the community.

July 25, 2008 Posted by | computer | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My OS panel

I like minimalism (sometime) and after years I’ve reached the right panel for my Ubuntu 8.04 at work…There are all the things I need:-)

From the left:

1 – Firefox 3.0

2 – Gftp (a very useful ftp and especially ssh client)

3 – Putty (remote terminal on the servers I need)

4 – Krdc (remote access on client/servers, very useful for windows ones)

5 – OpenOffice 2.4 Writer

6 – OpenOffice 2.4 Calc

7 – Skype (last version for Linux is good enough)

8 – Gnome terminal, the most useful software:-)

9 – A smile, that means a link to Vmware Player with a 4.7gb (wow!fit on a dvd-r, a dream for a good backup) virtual winxp machine very well configured for everything that need it (for example the Lotus Domino Administrator…)

10 – Gimp or similiar photo/graphic editor

11 – K3b (burn cd/dvd)

12 – Serpentine (burn audio cds better than its brothers)

13 – Power off…

June 10, 2008 Posted by | computer | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment