Category Archives: Tips and Tricks

ubuntu-logo

how to uninstall ubuntu 11.04/10.10/10.04

Uninstall Ubuntu ? Huh! Are you kidding? not of course, in this post you are going to learn – about uninstalling or removing ubuntu completely from your computer (Desktop , Laptop, Notebook or whatever); although it’s a different fact that when you will enjoy any flavor of Linux based operating system such as Ubuntu 10.04(Lucid Lynx), 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) or 11.04(Natty Narwhal, the latest stable version), it won’t be easy for you to move back to the proprietary OS such as Windows or Mac.

Ubuntu is the most popular GNU/Linux based desktop operating system probably due to the ease of use. For example, if we look back around 10 years ago, the Linux based distributions were limited to ‘tech-geeks’, but Ubuntu or other Linux distro such as Linux Mint, PCLinuxOS etc has made the Linux popular among common desktop users.

ubuntu-logo

The simple reason is – easy to use GUI (common people don’t like command line or terminal) e.g Gnome, KDE, XFCE etc, free substitute of proprietary software, security etc but there are still some major problems with Ubuntu, which may be the reason that you want to uninstall it. Some of the obvious reason is – poor graphics performance (which indirectly implies that ‘gaming is not fun on Ubuntu’) and other hardware compatibility problems, instability (Frequent release cycle of Ubuntu, twice in a year – makes it almost unusable for production environment) as compared to any other OS such as Windows 7 or Mac OS X. If you don’t have much experience in Ubuntu and uninstalling it in hurry, then it may be better that you better try for few more days and understand the problem instead of just quiting it. As a Linux distro, Ubuntu deserves little more time and effort to use it effectively, as compared to other OS.

Anyway, if you really want to uninstall Ubuntu for any reason then it’s OK. It’s very simple, just create a backup of all your important data and proceed to the next step.

Important! : You are strongly recommended to create a backup of all your important data before going for the installation procedure.

Uninstall/Remove Ubuntu 11.04/10.10/10.04 Safely

Case #1 : Uninstalling/Removing Ubuntu from Single Boot

If you have only one operating system i.e Ubuntu is installed on your computer , then it’s very simple because after removing ubuntu you will surely want to install another, you just need to follow this simple steps –

step 1 : If you want to install windows after removing Ubuntu, then simply create the bootable disk or USB that you will use for installing Windows 7 or vista (or XP).

step 2 : I assume you have already copied (otherwise login to Ubuntu and backup your data) all the data safely to another device or online back up such as Dropbox. Next, restart the computer and boot it from the Windows installation disc.

step 3 : Now format the ubuntu partition (if you had installed ubuntu on a particular partition) or the harddisk and install windows, follow on screen instructions..and you are Done! That’s All.

Case #2 : Uninstalling Ubuntu from Dual Boot (with Windows 7)

You might be using Ubuntu as a dual boot along with Windows 7. Now, the the next step depends on how you had installed Ubuntu along with Windows 7. The most simple technique is to install Ubuntu using Wubi Installer, which installs Ubuntu on Windows as a program. If that’s the case, then you can uninstall Ubuntu just like any other program from Windows 7 or Vista. It’s quite simple.

On the other hand you might have installed Ubuntu on the other partition in dual boot mode. So now, if you delete or format the ubuntu partition then the windows boot-loader will no longer be available because when you installed Ubuntu it has replaced it with GRUB. So you won’t be able to boot into your Windows OS after deleting or formatting the Ubuntu partition.

step 1 : Insert the Windows 7/vista/xp DVD and restart your computer.

step 2 : Go to recovery windows/console and execute the following command(s) :

bootrec.exe /fixmbr
bootrec.exe /fixboot

to overwrite the MBR (Master Boot Record).

step 3 : Now, remove the installation disc, restart the computer and format ubuntu partition (ext3/4 file system) to a windows file system such as NTFS or FAT.

step 4 : That’s All. You are Done!

network-applet-ubuntu

how to setup OpenDNS on ubuntu 11.04/10.10/10.04

What is OpenDNS ?
OpenDNS is a DNS (Domain Name Resolution, it’s basically a naming system which maps human friendly domain name (e.g sudobits.com) to I.P (Internet Protocol) address e.g 173.193.206.153 ). Each time ( if it’s not cached ) when you visit a website, your browser sends a DNS lookup query to the DNS server, most probably to your ISP DNS but you can configure your computer to use some other DNS servers such as OpenDNS for name resolution purposes, if you want. So in the end of this post you will learn how to use OpenDNS on your Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) or 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) or 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) or any other Linux based operating systems such as Linux Mint, Fedora, Debian etc (Procedure is almost same).

A typical ISP (Internet Service Provider) DNS server works well in general but there are few extra advantages with OpenDNS, some of the important features are –

  • Open DNS is very fast (may not be true for non US users e.g if an Indian users will use OpenDNS instead of the BSNL DNS server, then it will be slow because BSNL DNS servers usually takes 400ms to resolve an I.P address while OpenDNS would take more than 1000ms due to high latency)
  • It protects you from the phishing attacks
  • Content filtering features are also available which can be used to block unwanted sites
  • it’s free for personal use

Setup OpenDNS on Ubuntu 11.04/10.10/10.04 in few simple steps

#1 : Right Click on Network icon -> Edit Connections.

network-applet-ubuntu

#2 : Then click on Add button to add a network or exist the existing one (Auto eth0) but it’s better to give configure a new one so that you can use both DNS depending on the need.

Network connections : open DNS

#3 : Next, click on IPv4 settings and select “Automatic (DHCP) Address only” (DHCP ( Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) servers are used to allocate I.P address(usually Dynamic I.P Address) to the users) in Method. You can check the box if you want to connect automatically when your computer starts, better leave it uncheck. Give it a human friendly name e.g ‘OpenDNS’.

setup-open-dns-in-ubuntu

In ‘DNS servers’ field put these I.P Addresses :

208.67.222.222,208.67.220.220

Finally click on Apply button to complete the OpenDNS configuration process.

#4 : Now, left click on the network icon (Top Right of the panel) and select the network (as created in above steps) by clicking on the name of the connection and wait for few seconds. That’s all.. now you are ready to enjoy the surfing with OpenDNS.

Chrome 14 released

Best Browser for Ubuntu 11.04

Ubuntu 11.04 (code named as Natty Narwhal) is the latest version (Released few months ago) from the Canonical. This post is aimed to choose the best browser among the current web browsers available for Ubuntu 11.04. Ubuntu users typically use – Firefox (It’s installed by default on all versions of Ubuntu), Google Chrome, Opera, Chromium (almost similar to Chrome) for their common tasks such as – surfing, web Apps, web development etc.

So I’m going to help you in finding the best web browser for you (of course on Ubuntu platform it may vary on other Operating systems such as Windows or Mac OS X), based on your tasks and the way use it. The one simple truth is that – what is best for you? depends on a lot of other factors rather than few generic factors (that we will discuss here) so you can only decide the actual best stuffs for you and it’s not only with the browser but anything in your Life.

Best Web Browser for Surfing : Google Chrome

Google Chrome (Latest stable version is Chrome 12 ) is the best web browser but why ? Ok.. here are some points which makes Chrome a great web browser for internet surfers.

Chrome - The best Browser for Ubuntu

Why Google Chrome is Best for web surfing ?

  1. Chrome is the fastest web browser on Ubuntu.
  2. You can enjoy heavy surfing with a bunch of tab/windows open simultaneously (If you will do the same thing in other browser such as Firefox – then you will be pissed off).
  3. Chrome is the most stable browser on Ubuntu.
  4. It’s secure, in fact security has been the first preference in Google Chrome.
  5. It has a lot of useful and innovative features e.g Sync will store all your bookmarks in Google Cloud, you can access (go to Google Docs) and synchronize (just enter the Google Account login details) bookmarks, Themes, Password, Extensions, Apps etc. anywhere from this planet (I mean Earth, got it?).
  6. It supports modern web (web 2.0) standards and technology (such as HTML 5, CSS 3, OpenGL … ), so we can enjoy the next generation features and sites easily with Chrome.

Get Google Chrome for Ubuntu

Download Latest version of Google Chrome

Best Web Browser for Web Development : Mozilla Firefox

Firefox comes by default on Linux based distributions such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Fedora etc and Firefox is a very popular web browser but it has having hard time on Linux platform. Firefox rocks on Windows but if we compare the same version on Ubuntu, you might say that – it’s horrible. Despite of providing poor performance on GNU/Linux, Firefox is very extensible. A lot of exclusive plugins available for Firefox users makes it very popular among web developers. The latest version Firefox 5 is available now for Ubuntu 10.10/11.04 users.

automatic-shutdown-ubuntu

automatic shutdown in ubuntu

You shouldn’t waste a lot of system resources by keeping the computer in ‘on mode’ even though you aren’t using it ( Save Energy! ), should you? ( I hope your answer will be NO, ‘ for the sake of Humanity ‘ ). In some cases Auto shutdown command may help you a lot because it will automatically shutdown your computer at specific time (and of course you can use that command to shutdown your computer immediately from the terminal) and you can cancel the command in the mid time (I mean – before the scheduled time) if you want.

I often use this command, later I thought it might help you in saving a lot of valuable computing resources and energy. Since it is some kind of command – so if you think that ‘I may have to mess with Terminal or Linux shell’ then you need to relax! it’s one of the most simple command and you can learn it in few seconds. It doesn’t matter whether you are using Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) or 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) or 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) or any other Linux based systems such as Linux Mint.

automatic-shutdown-ubuntu

Auto Shutdown Command in Ubuntu 11.04/10.10/10.04

Open Terminal(CTRL+ALT+T). To shutdown the computer at specific Time use (You may have to authenticate yourself by entering your ubuntu login password)  –

sudo shutdown -h HH:MM

e.g

sudo shudown -h 1:30

or if you want to shutdown now then just enter zero in place of time

sudo shutdown -h 0

The above method is used when you want to specify absolute time. On the other hand you can also specify relative value of time i.e 3 hours from now, using the following command –

sudo shutdown -h +3:00

That’s All..If you have any problem, then mention it in the comment.

easypeasy-netbook-distro

best Linux distribution for netbook

Linux based distributions are now becoming more popular (among the common computer users) , user friendly and easily compatible with newer or older hardware configurations. For Servers Linux based distributions (such as Red Hat, Cent OS, SUSE…) has been the best choice from years but now, desktop users are also migrating to Linux based distro (obviously from Windows or Mac). Now it’s the time to select the best distribution for desktop computing.

This post will guide you in selecting the best Linux distribution for your netbook (computer), depending on your work (for which you primarily use the netbook), experience (how much experience you have, with linux distributions) and your netbook’s hardware configuration. All of the distributions, recommended here are free and licensed under GPL or other similar open source license.

How to choose The Best Linux Distro for your Netbook ?

In the past few years, number of Linux based distros has augmented – almost exponentially, that’s why hundreds of Linux distributions are available now! (despite of the fact that – only few of them are popular e.g Ubuntu, RedHat, CentOS, Linux Mint, Fedora etc); some of them are dedicated for special tasks or special users. So, one of the most simple way of choosing – ‘best linux distro’ would be – First select few of them and try one by one, finally select the one which you liked most.

For Beginners

If you are a beginner user; I mean if you don’t have any experience (or very little experience that is hard to count, for example ,you have used a Linux based distro for removing viruses from your Windows Computer, using a Live CD or bootable USB) with Linux based operating systems, then I would recommend using Ubuntu (Ubuntu had already released some dedicated distro for small screen devices such as Netbook or Laptop computer, but after Ubuntu 11.04, both desktop and laptop versions has merged together due to reason that ‘unity has become the default desktop in the latest version’) or Debian based Linux distribution. You can try EasyPeasy which is supposed to be the dedicated linux distribution (and probably the best option! although I personally suggest Ubuntu!) for netbook computers. So you have two good option  – either use EasyPeasy or Ubuntu 11.04.

#1 EasyPeasy : Dedicated Linux distribution for Netbook users

easypeasy-netbook-distro

EasyPeasy (formerly known as Ubuntu Eee) is a Linux based operating system , specifically developed for Netbook computer. EasyPeasy is very simple to use and very similar to Ubuntu, actually it is based on Ubuntu and Debian. It is free and available as an open source software. The latest version 1.6 was released (around an year ago). A lot of Ubuntu derivatives are also available each one with specific package or component e.g KUbuntu (Ubuntu with KDE as default Desktop), MythUbuntu, XUbuntu (XFCE Desktop edition of Ubuntu, specifically recommended for hardwares with low RAM or graphics capabilities), Ubuntu Studio etc.

Important features of EasyPeasy includes –

  • it’s simple and easy to use!
  • Some proprietary codecs (Audio and video) and plugins are installed by default
  • uses well known proprietary Apps instead of open source alternative
  • provides special netbook features such as Automatic File Synchronization
  • consumes less power

How to install EasyPeasy

>> Download EasyPeasy 1.6 ISO File.

>> Now, Download the installer (I assume, currently you are using Windows) and run it to make a bootable pendrive of easypeasy.

>> That’s all.. now reboot the computer and install easypeasy..as you install Ubuntu 11.04 from USB.

#2 Ubuntu 11.04 : One of the best Linux distro for netbook

ubuntu-11-04-for-netbook

Ubuntu is the most popular (around 50% of share in Linux desktop uses) open source (and free) Linux distribution among Desktop users. Ubuntu is based on Debian (GNU/Linux Operating System). Ubuntu 11.04 is the latest version (released few months ago) which uses unity as default desktop (earlier version uses Gnome desktop).

Features of Ubuntu 11.04 as Glance

  • Focuses on simplicity and ease of use
  • Compatible with most of the modern (and old) hardwares
  • Great online community and supports available free!
  • A number of free Applications are available
  • Great look with a lot of features
  • Customization is pretty easy

How to install Ubuntu 11.04 on your Netbook

Follow this tutorial on – installing Ubuntu 11.04 on Netbook – using USB Drive , step by step, installation will be complete within 30 minutes.

Other Linux distros that you may want to try on netbook

A number of Linux distros are available these days and sometimes it’s really very difficult choose one out of them, in that case you can easily filter out the best one using some constraints or properties or the nature of job performed on the computer. For example, if kids are the primary user of the netbook, then you may go for Qimo or PuppyLinux; The Netbook is going to be used in school by a student or teacher, then Educational version of Ubuntu i.e Edubuntu will be the perfect choice. You can also Try Edubuntu live from your browser before Downloading/installing it on your computer.

#3 Fedora : For Advanced Users

Fedora is one of the most popular Linux based operating system that is available free as an open source software. Fedora is based on RPM (A package Management System). Fedora has released its latest version (a month ago) – Fedora 15 (Lovelock) with Gnome shell 3.0.

Fedora 15 with Gnome 3.0

Some Imprtant Features of Fedora

  • focuses on stability (Fedora is a rock solid Linux distro) and usability
  • enhanced security policies and features
  • latest features are available due to short life cycle
  • well supported by most hardwares (specifically by PowerPC (RISC based computer))
  • Free Online support and discussions are available

#4 PuppyLinux : Lightweight and Fast OS for your Netbook

PuppyLinux is a lightweight – free and open source Linux based OS which can be run from RAM itself i.e you can remove the boot medium (after the successful boot). PuppyLinux has suitable applications, so it may be well suitable for your netbook (depending on your need and type of work). You can boot it from a SD card or live USB (or CD) or harddrive etc. Since it’s very fast and virus free (it’s based on Linux), often used in removing viruses from Windows. it uses JVM (Joe’s Window Manager) as default desktop. Puppy 5 is the latest stable version released last year. I think puppy is one of the cool (probably the best) option for a netbook user.

puppylinux-screenshot

Remarkable features of PuppyLinux

  • Lightweight (around 100MB) and fast
  • easy to use
  • contains common useful Apps
  • run from RAM

Download Latest Version of PuppyLinux

(Update 1 : One more distribution has been added)

(Update 2 : post formatted correctly)

Linux Mint

Linux Mint is a Debian based GNU/Linux, very similar to Ubuntu but it has better hardware compatibility specially when it comes to Laptops or Notebook/Netbook. So you may like to give it a try if not satisfied with the above ones.

Linux Mint

Download Linux Mint