Tag Archives: Ubuntu

Fixing webcam after Ubuntu 14.04 upgrade

After upgrading to Ubuntu 14.04 (Trusty Tahr), my wife found that her webcam (integrated into a Dell monitor) was no longer available in Skype and other applications. The microphone was available, so the USB connection to the monitor appeared functional. The problem turned out to be that she was not in the video group, which is required in order to access webcams. The following command resolved this:

sudo adduser user video
(replace user with your own username)

After this you will have to log out and back in and then you should have access to your webcam.

I’m not sure if this also applies for a new install, so if anyone can confirm/deny then that would be great.

Installing Drupal 7 in Ubuntu

I had occasion to install Drupal 7 on my own Ubuntu server recently. Many of the guides I found went into some quite unecessary steps, involved liberal use of tasksel, or made a variety of assumptions about your environment. In the end, though, I found this guide, which is short, simple, and just worked.

The only addition I required was to run a2enmod rewrite and to edit /etc/apache2/sites-available/drupal to have AllowOverride All in the entry for the /var/www/drupal/ directory.

Job done in almost no time.

Installing Google Chrome on Ubuntu 11.10

When attempting to install Google Chrome on Oneiric, you may encounter an error such as the following in the Ubuntu Software Centre:

Internal Error
The file “google-chrome-stable_current_i386.deb” could not be opened.

Though depending on which installer you’re using, the filename may be different of course. To work around this you can install it manually by running the following commands:

sudo apt-get install libxss1 libcurl3
sudo dpkg -i google-chrome-stable_current_i386.deb

Again, adjust the filename depending on the installer you have.

Ubuntu 11.10 – Brave or Disappointing?

I find myself hesitant to consider upgrading to the next version of Ubuntu, and no it’s not because of the silly name (Oneiric Ocelot). It’s because I’ve just seen the list of changes and realised that Ubuntu simply isn’t a distribution that will give me what I need anymore. We are being presented with a complete removal of Ubuntu Classic (I called that one without needing to check the roadmap), forcing us into a corner with GNOME 3.2, Unity, and Compiz. As readers may have noticed, I have objections to using two out of those three technologies. I haven’t used the third yet (GNOME 3.2), but based on the screenshots I’ve seen it’s not promising.

This is an interesting moment for me, because it used to be that I’d be all over these upgrades. However, it seems that I’ve come to the age where the only important thing about an OS is that it lets me get things done quickly and without ceremony. Windows doesn’t fit this bill at work and unfortunately it’s becoming apparent that Ubuntu is determined not to as well. The big problem I have is that I’m not comfortable switching to a different distribution. Plus, the other members of the group use Ubuntu, and that opens me up to a whole world of subtle incompatibilities in the things we do. As things go, I’ll probably remain on Natty until forced to make a choice one way or the other. Who knows – maybe I’ll see someone on Oneiric and it’ll inspire me. I’m skeptical, but still hopeful.

But then there’s the silly name…

Traditional scrollbars in Ubuntu Natty

Mike Beach has a post on removing the overlay scrollbars in Ubuntu Natty and getting back the traditional (usable) ones. I approve of this.

The command he provides is: sudo apt-get remove overlay-scrollbar liboverlay-scrollbar-0.1-0.

In Oneiric the command is: sudo apt-get remove overlay-scrollbar liboverlay-scrollbar3-0.2-0 liboverlay-scrollbar-0.2-0 (thanks to WEB UPD8).

LyX spellcheck in Ubuntu Natty

Among other annoying things in the new Ubuntu Natty release, it seems that spellchecking may become disabled in LyX. The fix is rather simple, but annoying to find if you don’t know what you’re looking for. The secret is that LyX relies on external libraries to provide its spellcheck capability, so if they’re not installed correctly or not configured correctly in LyX then it breaks. And it doesn’t tell you why.

The solution after a Natty upgrade (I haven’t checked on a clean install) is:

  • Open up LyX
  • Go to Tools > Preferences > Language Settings > Spellchecker
  • Chances are good that the “Spellchecker executable” option is not set to anything. Change it to your preferred library, which by default should be Enchant.
  • While you’re there, turn on the new “Spellcheck continuously” option. This is the new inline spellchecker.

Job done. Now you can continue using a function that was already working with exactly the same library before the upgrade happened.

Removing the Ubuntu Natty launcher bar

In Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal):

  • Click the far top-left button to bring up the search dialog.
  • Type “login” without the quotes and click on “Login Screen”.
  • Change “Select Ubuntu as default session” to “Select Ubuntu Classic as default session”.
  • Log out and back in.

Congratulation, you have removed the abomination. Prepare for 11.10 where they will no doubt remove Ubuntu Classic as an option.

Looks like I called it correctly. Didn’t have to be psychic for that one.