Posts Tagged ‘Ubuntu’

Console Junkie: Installing MPD and grooving away to glory!

June 22, 2009

What is MPD?

Quoting from this article:

Music Player Daemon (MPD) allows remote access for playing music (MP3, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, AAC, Mod, and wave files) and managing playlists. MPD is designed for integrating a computer into a stereo system that provides control for music playback over a local network. It is also makes a great desktop music player, especially if you are a console junkie, like frontend options, or restart X often.

In this post, I’ll be explaining how to get MPD up and running on Ubuntu (9.04). If you are working on some other platform, you can simply compile from source wherever applicable. Also, this post is mainly about using mpd as a desktop music player. The configuration part of it is common across distributions. So lets get started!

First, we need to install mpd.

sudo apt-get install mpd

Let us now configure it and get it up and running. You can either directly configure mpd for system-wide usage (/etc/mpd.conf) or you can configure it on a per user basis (~/.mpdconf).

sudo cp /etc/mpd.conf ~/.mpdconf

Before we edit our .mpdconf file, we need to create a few directories.

mkdir -p ~/.mpd/playlists


Ubuntu 9.04 Beta :: Impressions

April 5, 2009
The next Ubuntu release is quite close now. So how is the Jaunty Jackalope shaping up?

Ubuntu: For Desktops, Servers, Netbooks and in the cloud

As far as the features go, this is what has been added since 8.10 —

  • Linux kernel 2.6.28
  • GNOME 2.26
  • X.Org server 1.6
  • New style for notifications and notification preferences
  • Boot performance
  • Ext4 filesystem support
  • And other stuff

A complete list along with download links can be found here.

The most noticeable among these I think is the boot performance. Ubutnu 9.04 still uses ext3 as default root but provides the option to use ext4. I decided to go for ext4. I dont know whether it is ext4 or the boot performance improvements, but startup and shutdown are noticeably faster than 8.10.

The new style for notifications and notification preferences is also a good addition, but it proves to be more of annoyance in certain cases ( pidgin and empathy). Moreover the options for enabling and disabling this aren’t very well maintained. In pidgin you need to disable a plugin to get it to stop — not good for the new user. Basically, this system needs to be polished a bit more.

PPA keys, PPAs, Pidgin Smileys and more..

February 13, 2009
  • PPA keys and PPAs

Its been a long time since I wrote an article. In the mean time it seems that Launchpad decided to add OpenPGP keys to each PPA. Suddenly synaptic is giving me hell lotta errors. Well, to fix the problem just go to each ppa page and add the key in the Software Sources – > Authentication. A short howto can be found here.

  • Pidgin Smileys

Always wanted pidgin to have native smileys for each account?? Well, they have been around for a long time. Funny how I never posted them here. Well its just drag and drop and you will have all the smileys that you always loved. Check here for the tar.

Continuing with pidgin, if you want to add the song tracking feature for your account you can install the music tracker plugin. Go here for all the packages. A PPA for it is also available here.

Linux: utorrent and desktop integration

November 7, 2008
After a bit of work with python I am back to good old bash scripting. Before I begin the actual post a few words about utorrent. This is the only windows based program that I am still to find a substiture for. I know there are lots of good torrent clients there for linux but each one of them has some feature missing ( rtorrent cant queue torrent individually, transmission does not proide advanced options) or problems ( deluge can delete pieces while rechecking) or are resource hogs (azureus because of the java backend) and so I am still using utorrent. As and when rtorrent will get the queing feature implemented I will shift to it. Till then enjoy using utorrent with full desktop integration.
Here I am providing a bash script to provide desktop integration features for utorrent. These include open torrent with utorrent on dbl click, direct open from firefox etc.

Before using the script make sure that all ur drives are recognized by wine and have paths associated with them. It should look something like this picture after you use auto detect through winecfg.

After ensuring this do the following.

$ sudo gedit /usr/bin/utorrent

Paste following in the file and save it.


path=`winepath "$TORRENT_FILE"`
#where 31 is no. of characters in /home/chinmay/.wine/dosdevices/
#change that number accordingly
wine "C:\Program Files\uTorrent\uTorrent.exe" "$final

Change the owner of the file and make it executable.

$sudo chown username /usr/bin/utorrent
$chmod +x /usr/bin/utorrent

Our script is now ready to be used. For it to work with Firefox change the setting in Edit->Preferences->Applications and select this utorrent script for torrent files. Should look something like this when you are done.

Do the same for general desktop integration ie. open with custom application and select the bash script and we are done.

Enjoy using utorrent till rtorrent adds a few more features. Btw, those interested in rtorrent can check Aditya’s and Vedang’s blogs for a guide. Happy downloading. 🙂

Live USBs and GUIs

October 19, 2008
Its beta time on the Ubuntu release schedule again and I am back to making a Live USB of the Intrepid beta. This time however, I decide to take a different approach than the one I usually take — described here. So, how about making Live UBSs in an automated fashion?? Well thats what this post is all about ::
For Ubuntu users there are currently 2 options availabe ::

This is the one I originally intended to use. However when I found the second one I decided against it. However this one is a good tool in its own right. Key features include :

  • Detects available USB sticks (using HAL)
  • Partitions USB stick with 1 partition
  • Sets partition bootable
  • Writes MBR to USB stick
  • Formats partition FAT32
  • Installs bootloader (syslinux) to partition
  • Writes bootloader configuration file
  • Copies necessary files from running Live CD to USB stick
  • Sets language and keyboard of USB Live system to match running Live CD
  • Optionally: Downloads and integrates Adobe Flash Player (extra feature)
  • Optionally: Enables persistent home (Intrepid and later only; currently broken)

However, it is recommended that you use this when you are in the Live environment itself. This kinda makes the idea of this tool feel a bit awkward for me. I mean, I make live usbs to avoid burning CDs. If I have to burn CDs as it is, the whole point is lost. Anyways, Linux always has other options.

This is the tool that I did end up using finally. It provided all the features that the first utility provided ( except the flash player one – however that can be done when u are in persistant mode) plus it gives you persistance and the option of making the live usb through an existing installation or from a live environment.

Plus it directly accepts a CD or an iso image as input. The live usb I created is working quite well so far. Btw, this tool is now officially included in Intrepid.

  • Fedora 10

And against my usual practices I am also mentioning the tool for Fedora. Looks like this is being actively developed as well. It also includes a Windows executable. For more info take a look here.

PS :: Looks like the post count just hit 50 — half century. Time to celebrate 😛