Monday, 24 November 2014

Yubico U2F Key Not Working in Ubuntu ? Here is a fix...

Much has been made of 2 stage authentication for Google and many other services, and while they work great on common OS such as Windows and MacOS, you do need to do a little bit of donkey work to get a successful resolve on Linux. In this case, Ubuntu 14.04

So if you have had issues with U2F usage specifically the Yubico U2K Key on Ubuntu then a quick save is here !

I would highly recommend using Chrome and not Firefox for a start, as there is a handy extension you will need from the Chrome store here.

Restart your Chrome browser to enable the plug in.

Then you will need to create a file called 70-u2f.rules in the path etc/udev/rulesd open a terminal and enter.

sudo nano /etc/udev/rules.d/70-u2f.rules

and then add this EXACTLY as it is into the editor - get the text from GitHub

Save the file and now restart your Ubuntu server or desktop. 

Then proceed with your Google 2-step authentication. 

Enjoy !*

* again as all things on the internet, use are your own risk !

Monday, 10 November 2014

Timeshift 1.6.2 for Ubuntu - Time Machine style backup for Linux

TimeShift, Linux system restore application, now is at v1.6.2 The new release supports cloning your Ubuntu to another device.
TimeShift is an open source application for Linux (read Ubuntu, as thats the only place I have tested it) that provides functionality similar to the System Restore feature in Windows or the Time Machine.
The utility takes snapshots of the system using "rsync" and hard-links. These snapshots can be restored at a later date to undo all changes that were made to the system after the snapshot was taken.
TimeShift Clone Option
The latest Timeshift v1.6.2 was released recently with below new features:
  • A “Clone” button to clone your current system to another device. You can clone your Ubuntu install to a portable device and boot on another machine.
  • Improved First Snapshot Size Estimation
  • Backups can now be saved on LUKS-encrypted partitions.
  • The terminal output was cleaned up. Only important messages will be displayed
Install Timeshift in Ubuntu:
Press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open the terminal, or click your terminal icon on your desktop. When it opens, paste the commands below and run one by one to add the PPA and install Timeshift packages:
To install TimeShift:
sudo apt-add-repository -y ppa:teejee2008/ppa

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install timeshift
Once properly installed, start it from Unity Dash, and you can receive future updates by running regular updates via Software Updater.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Rioch "THETA" 360 Camera, pricey but fun.

We had a chance to play with the new Rioch 360 Camera at Engadget Expand this weekend, and we felt it was the stand out device of the show.

Granted there were some good indie projects which Ill post about last on this weekend, but the Rioch really was the best product of mass market appeal that we enjoyed.

RICOH THETA, iPhone 6 and Test image from Grand Central Station
Its about the size of a Sony Blogger or a Kodak One handheld camera from a few years back, and the same weight too. It pairs with your phone over WiFi, although the demo unit didn't seem to want to play with my Sony Z3 Compact handset - there was "too much WiFi" in the room according to the demo supervisor. Not sure I have heard of too much Wifi before but there you have it.

There are two "unspecified" resolution fish-eye style cameras on the front and rear with a single button on the front. Storage is expandable but I wasn't told by how much and with what despite my questions.

Anyway it comes in a few funky colors, and can be yours for around $300 which in my opinion is bloody expensive for a device I think is made for less than $20. Would make a great present for a technology loving loved one, or for general curiosity if you have money to burn.

I'm sure its allot of fun saying that, the pictures taken for a demo showed a fair amount of noise in the corners of the picture, so I doubt this is for anything serious, although a waterproof version might be fun for scuba diving. Or making your own street-views for sport.

Head over to RIOCH's website for the silly named device, here.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Post Ubuntu 14.10 upgrade steps you might need to take (Plus other tips)

I was kinda forced to upgrade to 14.10, in part curiosity and the other part others asking me how to fix common upgrade issues; especially when running on obscure laptops and different hardware configs.

In this case, I used my trusty Acer E1 from 2012 to upgrade from LTS 14.04, so what did I need to do to fix my post upgrade blues, and a few other tips if you are new to Ubuntu..

Screen Brightness Controls No Longer Works

Firstly the screen brightness always seems to fail on many upgrades so here is what you can do to fix it.

Edit GRUB:
sudo nano /etc/default/grub
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash acpi_osi=Linux acpi_backlight=vendor"
sudo update-grub
Controls are working.

USB Network Drivers (EW-7811Un)
Step 1: Install the new driver
Go to the download folder and open the terminal for the folder “RTL8192CU_8188CUS_8188CE-VAU_linux_v3.1.2590.20110922″.  
Then run:
sudo bash                                                                                                             

(note 1: it will ask for your user’s password – as will any command which is using the sudo = super user do prefix)

(note 2: in order to paste in the terminal, use ctrl+shift+v instead of just ctrl+v as is in the GUI and other editors)

Step 2: blacklist the old driver
Next, we want to 
edit /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf  
Getting there using the GUI wouldn’t work, because ubuntu wouldn’t let us save the changes we will make. Instead, just open the terminal and type:
sudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf
Go to the end of the file and add the line:
blacklist rtl8192cu
Step 3: remove and re-insert the network USB (and reboot)
Once done – I was finally able to see and connect to my home Internet network.

Compiz Settings Manager / Minimize on Click
Minimize on click has landed in Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic/14.04 Trusty and it is disabled by default. 
You can enable it from Compiz settings manager. To install CCSM enter following command in Terminal:
sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager                                                               

Go to Dash and Search "CCSM" > Then go to Unity plugin > Tick 'Minimize Single Window Applications' feature

Disable Overlay Scrollbars
Personally I cant stand the overlay for scroll bars that's used in Ubuntu, so to switch to good old regular scrollbars use command.
gsettings set com.canonical.desktop.interface scrollbar-mode normal                            

gsettings reset com.canonical.desktop.interface scrollbar-mode                                            

Show User Name on Panel
By default current logged-in username doesn't show on panel, so you can enable it easily.
To switch it on
gsettings set com.canonical.indicator.session show-real-name-on-panel true                       
Change the true to false to turn it back off again.

(I'll add other tips along the way)

Ubuntu Tweak now 14.04 Compatible
The PPA for Ubuntu Tweak is ready, you can update Ubuntu Tweak from terminal:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tualatrix/ppa
sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-tweak

Global Menu Changes
The Global Menu can be optionally switched in favour of Local Integrated Menus (LIM) - aka - more traditional window based menus.
The reason for this additional ability is ostensibly due to the increasing prevalence of high-resolution displays and as such the perceived mouse-travel from application to the global-menu would be relatively large.
To toggle the global menu off or on can be achieved via the appearance control-panel applet:


The above can be achieved using the terminal command:
gsettings set com.canonical.Unity integrated-menus true
Integrated menus can be disabled (i.e. switch global menu back on)
gsettings set com.canonical.Unity integrated-menus false

Grive (Google Drive Plug-in)
  • Add the Grive Tools PPA to your software sources and install Grive Tools. Open a terminal window and enter:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:thefanclub/grive-tools
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install grive-tools
  • Search Ubuntu Dash for Grive Setup and start the application.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions 
Do not install the indicator until the first sync has completed.

  • Auto Sync only detects changes in your local Google Drive files and folders.  
  • Symbolic links are not supported
  • Downloading Google Documents is not yet possible.
  • Very long file-names can cause sync problems. 

Install Oracle Java on Ubuntu

sudo apt-get purge openjdk*
Now you can install Java 7 by adding the following repository:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/java
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install oracle-java7-installer

Backup Your Repo PPA List

What you can do is to backup your home directory and save a list of all packages that you have installed. To save the list of installed software use following command:
sudo dpkg --get-selections > package_list
This will create a file with a list of all pakcages/softwares that are installed on this system. You will need to backup this file to somewhere safe.
Then when you reinstall ubuntu on your machine you can use the following command to install all these software
sudo dpkg --set-selections < packages_list
This command WILL NOT install anything. It will just mark the packages for install. To install them, run the following command:
sudo apt-get -u dselect-upgrade
This will take time to complete as your system will download and install all the packages. After this command is complete replace your current home directory with the one you backedup previously.

Brightness Controls in Unity Bar
You can set your screen brightness by using the indicator menu or the scroll wheel of your mouse over the indicator icon. Also it supports to control screen brightness with custom keyboard shortcuts.
To install the indicator, hit Ctrl+Alt+T to open terminal, copy and paste following commands and run one by one (Supports for Ubuntu 13.04 Raring, 12.10 Quantal, 12.04 Precise, 11.10 Oneiric):
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:indicator-brightness/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install indicator-brightness