Category Archives: Open Source Software

Help MySQL at helpmysql.org

MySQL fans from around the world have joined forces to save the project from going into the hands of database giant Oracle, which has set out to buy Sun Microsystems. Sun Microsystems is the current owner of MySQL, the open source database which is extremely famous all over the world as a database server for websites.

sun_oracle

Most of the web servers in this world are running on a LAMP server in which, M represents MySQL with L, A and P for Linux, Apache and PHP respectively. MySQL enthusiasts fear that once Oracle acquires Sun Microsystems, the MySQL project will be left at the mercy of Oracle which might as well decide to shut the project down. Speculations are, after the acquisition, Oracle will level out all competition against its primary product and will also increase costs and licensing fees. This will make the small scale businesses pay badly.

The fear has led to MySQL fans creating a campaign and a website to host their cause at helpmysql.org.

Some interesting facts at this post of the blog of the MySQL creator Michael “Monty” Widenius, are:

  • Oracle has offered to buy MySQL twice before.
  • Oracle faces losses amounting to $1 billion USD per year because of MySQL.
  • Rumors are that the recent Sun layoff were hijacked by Oracle, many of the fred were from MySQL group.
  • Oracle’s last acquisition of Open Source software, InnoDB resulted in slow-down of development.
  • One major demand of the helpmysql campaign is that MySQL be released under Apache Software License now and forever.
  • According to a poll, there is only a 0.7% of people who trust Oracle on MySQL.

With these fishy things going on, we should really go ahead and support the MySQL community. You can visit the website and offer any help you can.

Linux Mint Wallpaper Challenge

Linux Mint has organized a Wallpaper Challenge through its podcast, episode 28 at mintcast.org. The prizes on offer are an IBM R51 for the first prize and IBM R40 for the second prize. Both the laptops will come with Linux Mint pre-installed.

The competition is vote based, so the entries with the higher votes will determine the winners. You are required to create an original wallpaper.  Accepted file formats are jpg, bmp and png. The wallpaper you create can have elements borrowed from other images or wallpapers. In such a case, you need to make sure the license on the image allows republishing. Also, provide a link to the original content along with your submission. The images should be in wide-screen 2560×1600 or full-screen 1600×1200 resolution.

All entries are to be submitted before 1st February 2010 and to [email protected] The results will be out after the second week of February. For the first fifteen days of February, a poll will be put up to decide on the winner.

You can also post the wallpapers on wallpaper sharing sites like gnome-look and desktopnexus. The wallpaper should obviously be free of any nudity, controversial or violent content. Good luck to those participating.

For more info, visit this post at Mint forum.

Three best Linux Technologies of this Decade

Linux has been around for really long time now, but the way Linux advanced in the last few years has been remarkable. Over the last decade, Linux has reached a stage that it can successfully challenge Windows in terms of  ease of use and features. But there are a number of other technologies which have emerged parallel to Linux.

linux_future

Some of them have added new dimensions to the way people think, act and behave with computers, the Internet and Linux at large.

The most defining Linux related technologies, which have emerged this decade are:

Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing has become the next buzzword for quite some years, both bygone and the ones to come.   From cloud based storage to providing software as a service(SaaS), Cloud Computing is really picking up on Desktop based computing. Linux has a major role to play in Cloud Computing as we already have a good number of Cloud based operating systems and certain cloud based services supported in Linux. gOS, Google Chrome OS and Ubuntu One are a few popular ones.

Netbook Based OS

Netbook based OS has become a big industry. Every major netbook manufacturer is going for Linux and we have the very popular and the best netbook OS Jolicloud followed by the Ubuntu Netbook Remix and the Google Chrome OS. Netbook based OSes are being used by major laptop manufacturers from Dell to Acer. This marks a big win for Linux and makes Linux the undoubted Netbook OS champion.

Cellphones

Linux on cellphones is fast becoming popular and is being adopted by major manufacturers line Nokia and HTC. We have the revolutionary Nokia N900 running Maemo and the HTC Hero running Google Android. Both are Linux for smartphones and are highly customizable and developer friendly.

We hope to see more of these technologies in future. These two years of 2008 and 2009 have brought remarkable development for Linux and we hope to be nearing a better and a wider users base.

May the source be with you.

Chinese Pirates Hacked Ubuntu to Look Like Windows XP

Infamous Chinese software pirates were not much happy with just copying Windows XP, so they moved their interests to hacking Ubuntu to look like Windows XP. With a Windows XP look-alike we do not mean just a theme or a shell replacement, going by what we experienced, Ylmf OS is a pixel-perfect copycat of Windows XP, but based on Ubuntu Linux.

Ylmf OS
Ylmf OS

Ylmf OS is the closest Windows XP look, that Linux can ever get to. The link that we have provided, to the homepage of Ylmf OS, is converted from Chinese to English. This OS is based on Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala. Most of the Chinese fonts are integrated into Ylmf, so an English language user cannot expect to use it right away.

If you want to download and install Ylmf OS, you can download it from here.

Some of the Screenshots

(Yes even we were surprised !) :

Ylmf OS
Ylmf OS
Ylmf OS
Ylmf OS
Ylmf OS
Ylmf OS
Ylmf OS
Ylmf OS

Techie-Buzz Verdict:

As we have already stated, Ylmf OS is the closest look Linux can get, of Windows XP.   Ylmf OS also integrates the latest and stable OpenOffice 3.1, for complete portability with MS Office. It also integrates classic Windows theme, so that users can feel more close to Windows user interface. It also integrates stable version on Wine emulator. It has SMplayer for media playback. For internet browsing, it has latest version of Firefox. aMule, Filezilla and Pidgin are also integrated. If we put all of these features together, it is a complete and stable Linux distro that is perfect for use, even for a Windows user. We looked at Ylmf OS from two viewpoints: 1. As a Linux distro: Perfect, as it is based on stable architecture of Ubuntu Linux, plus it provides users with Windows XP look and feel. 2. As pirated/ripped Windows XP: As far as we know, Microsoft cannot sue the developers of Ylmf OS, as it is completely based on Ubuntu Linux, which itself promotes modifications and copying. But, if the developers have ported/hacked some code from Windows XP, to bring such a close look to Linux, they are in trouble. Earlier as reported in Clonedinchina, a developer had landed in jail for 3.5 years for Tomato Garden Windows XP, a pirated version of Windows XP. We at Techie-Buzz, never promote Piracy.

Techie-Buzz Rating:4/5

Achievements of Open-Source Products in 2009

Open Source
Open Source

From the launch of Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala, to the continued improvements in Firefox, open source products achieved a lot in 2009. While established products like OpenOffice continued to flourish, we saw the emergence of new and promising contenders like Chrome OS. Here is a highlight on what open source community, as a whole achieved this year:

Drupal

Drupal
Drupal

The Drupal content management system runs Whitehouse.gov and dozens of other high-profile Web sites. Acquia, a startup in charge of commercializing Drupal, has received more than $18 million in venture capital to date, which is testimony the success of Drupal.

Ubuntu

Ubuntu
Ubuntu

In October, Canonical released Ubuntu 9.10, code-named “Karmic Koala,” which enables companies to build their own cloud computing environments on their own servers and hardware. As it has done with desktop and server Linux, Canonical aims to take a pioneering role in cloud computing, and this release is the first step in that direction.

Git

Git
Git

Git, a distributed version control system created by Linus Torvalds to manage the Linux kernel, has very quickly entered the mainstream since its creation less than 3 years ago. The documentation that comes with Git describes it as “a fast, scalable, distributed revision control system with an unusually rich command set”.

SUSE Studio

SUSE Studio
SUSE Studio

Novell launched Suse Studio in July as part of its Suse Appliance Program. So far, Linux users and developers are impressed with what Suse Studio brings to them, in terms of simplicity and functionality.

Chrome OS

Chrome OS
Chrome OS

Unveiled in July, Chrome OS, an open-source system that initially will be targeted at netbooks, is Google’s bid to offer a fast, lightweight and secure way to find information online. Google released Chrome OS to open source in November and revealed its intention to partner with as-yet-unknown hardware vendors to bring Chrome OS-powered netbooks to market in time for next year’s holiday season.

OpenOffice

Open Office
Open Office

In October, OpenOffice.org proudly declared that more than 100 million visitors had clicked on the Web site’s ‘Download OpenOffice.org’ button since version 3.0 of the software was released in October 2008. OpenOffice is being adopted by more and more users because of its increased interoperability with Microsoft Office.

Firefox

Firefox
Firefox

Mozilla’s Firefox Web browser passed the one billion download. No need to talk about its speed and performance, which always continues to be better.

Browser Linux: if you thought Google Chrome was good

Google Chrome OS is a cloud based OS, giving us access to the most of Google  features and much more, all of it accessible over the Internet. From the Wi-Fi hack for Chrome OS, which needs us to copy the Wi-Fi driver from Ubuntu to Chrome, we can say that Chrome OS is an Ubuntu derivative.

Now, just in case you thought Chrome OS was good, you can try out this new Linux distro called BrowserLinux. It will give you a different outlook and Chrome OS some competition. It has a browser based interface and also lets you use your desktop storage optionally. This combines best features of Google Chrome and Puppy Linux.

To start with, Browser Linux is just 78 MB in size and has been built on Puppy Linux. It includes:

  • Firefox 3.5.5 as the web browser
  • Alsaplayer for music
  • Flash 10 for flash support
  • Asus Eee as the default wireless firmware driver for Asus EeePC.

If you are not satisfied with the default fonts provided with the distro, there is an installer shell-script allowing you to install Microsoft Webcore Fonts. The scripts can be found at the path

/root/my-applications/Install_Microsoft_Webcore_Fonts.sh

You can try out this new Linux distribution which is currently in version 355, from Firefox 3.5.5.

The download for BrowserLinux can be found at the homepage here.

Techie Buzz Verdict

BrowserLinux is a relatively new distro and has good features but not a good developer community as of yet. We expect it to take over overtake Google Chrome OS and provide us with a better cloud based OS. The possibilities with this new distro are prospective and we hope to see it do well in future. The UI is much better than Chrome OS and the provision of using the desktop really comes in handy.

Techie-Buzz Rating:  3/5 (Good)

XMBC media center updates to 9.11 Camelot

XMBC is a cross-platform, open source media center for Windows, Mac, Linux, Apple TV and related platforms. The developer team of this application has released XMBC 9.11, introducing a whole new look and feel.

Noteworthy changes include a revamped user interface via the new default skin Confluence, DirectX support by default for the Windows platform, a complete reorganization of the settings menus, automatic video information extraction, and smoother video playback and codecs have been updated for more reliable playback.

XMBC Camelot
XMBC Camelot
XMBC interface
XMBC interface
XMBC
XMBC
XMBC
XMBC

You can read the complete changelog on their blog, but some of the highlights include:

  • Better support for multi-monitor setups.
  • High Definition, Surround Sound, and Subtitle Flagging and Filtering in Video Library
  • Performance improvements to SQLite (database) queries
  • Ability to scrape and scan TV Shows into the video library by air-date via TheTVDB.com

If you are an XMBC user, this update is a must have. You can also browse and download many more themes for XMBC, from here .

You can download XMBC media center from here.

SUSE Studio: Build a Custom Linux OS from Scratch [How To]

Even if you do not have much knowledge about Linux, you can very easily build a custom Linux distro, which you can boot from a USB stick or CD/DVD, run inside a virtual machine program or install on your computer.

SUSE Studio is a simple and fast appliance builder, which provides you an easy to use, web-based user interface which runs inside your web browser. It lets you build your own custom Linux distro based on OpenSUSE. The best feature SUSE Studio is “Testdrive”, using which you can boot, configure and test your custom Linux distro in a web browser, without downloading.

SUSE Studio
SUSE Studio

SUSE Studio is free to use. It is currently in beta phase, and to use this service you will need an invitation and an account. You can request an invite through the login page of SUSE studio. Once you get your invite, you can sign into SUSE Studio with your Google or Yahoo account, or any OpenID provider. Read more about OpenID here.

SUSE Studio
SUSE Studio

SUSE Studio calls each bootable system you create, an “appliance”. Once you are logged in, goto your “Home” screen and click on “Create new appliance”. You can select your “base template” as either KDE or Gnome, or if you are good enough to build your own desktop and login manager through command line, you can choose command line-only option.

In the next step, you can choose your favorite software applications to be added to the custom distro. For example, if you want to add Firefox, search for it in the search bar, and then click “+add” to load it into your system, with dependencies and any other packages needed.

SUSE Studio
SUSE Studio

Once you have added all your software applications, you can tweak the eye candy of your distro, and determine how your system will boot up.   Also, in the General sub-section, you can change your username to other than “Tux”, and other password than standard “linux”. In the personalize section, you can add your own logo and background to your custom Linux distro. “Overlay files” and “Scripts” settings can mostly be skipped, unless you are a power user of Linux.

SUSE build
SUSE build

In the build section, you can specify the format in which you would like to download the custom distro, whether an ISO for CD/DVD burning, a disk image for USB, or a ready-made virtual machine file for VirtualBox or VMWare. If you do not have the time or patience to burn a CD/DVD or install a new virtual machine, SUSE Studio lets you run your custom-built appliances on their own virtualization servers, for up to one hour, for free. Hit the “testdrive” link on one of your builds, and wait for it to boot up.

Techie-Buzz Verdict:

We were fairly impressed with the performance of the virtual machine we created entirely online, running on servers on a different continent and controlled entirely through a browser. We have shown here just a glance of what you can do with SUSE studio. The possibilities are endless and are limited only to your imagination.

Techie-Buzz Rating: 4/5

X Server 1.8 Snapshot 2 Release

The final release of X Server 1.8 is just three months away and is scheduled to release on the 31st of March, 2010. The date of March 31st, 2010 will also mark a significant day of the release of Gnome 3.0 Gnome 2.30.

X Server 1.8 has released its second snapshot version for those who want to try out this new X.Org server in development. With the release of the second snapshot, we already have a broken X Server ABI for input, video and some extensions, which needs to be fixed. The ABI (application binary interface) will need a driver update for compatibility with NVIDIA and ATI/AMD binaries.

The snapshot two release has over 150 fixes and corrections to the last snapshot release. X.Org will feature a major improvement with the removal of HAL, which is an API, currently used to identify hardware devices.

These new features and developments will make the period of  March-April 2010 very crucial for Linux, especially for Ubuntu.

The release notes for the development release can be seen here.

Ubuntu Studio: The Perfect Distro for All Your Multimedia Needs

Ubuntu Studio
Ubuntu Studio

Ubuntu Studio is a multimedia flavor of Ubuntu. This distro is aimed at audio, video and graphic enthusiasts as well as professionals.

As the official website says:

We provide a suite of the best open-source applications available for multimedia creation. Completely free to use, modify and redistribute. Your only limitation is your imagination.

It is an officially recognized derivative of the Ubuntu Linux distribution, which is geared towards intensive multimedia production. The real-time kernel which was introduced first time in Ubuntu 8.04 was modified for audio, video and graphics work. The new distribution based on this modified kernel became known as Ubuntu Studio.

Ubuntu Studio includes custom artwork and a blue-on-black theme, as opposed to Ubuntu’s default brown and orange theme. There is no Live CD version of Ubuntu Studio, and consequently, no graphic installer. Ubuntu Studio 9.10 (Karmic) DVD image is 1.28 GB in size, which can be downloaded from the official website. Ubuntu Studio can also be installed on a pre-existing Ubuntu installation by installing the “ubuntustudio-desktop” package from apt (advanced packaging tool).

Various packages included in Ubuntu Studio are:

Audio :

Ardour: a hard disk recorder and digital audio workstation application.

Audacity: a digital audio editor.

Creox: A real-time guitar effects program.

Hydrogen: An advanced drum machine.

Jack audio connection kit: a sound server deamon.

Video:

PiTiVi: a video editing program.

Stopmotion: a movie creator.

VLC media player: a free media player.

Graphics:

Agave: a color scheme generator.

Blender: a 3D animation program.

Enblend: an image composition program.

Fontforger: a font editor program.

Inkscape: a vector graphics editor.

Techie Buzz Verdict:

The most amazing thing about every distribution of Ubuntu, is the incredible choice of programs which are geared towards activities that we perform in our daily lives. There is an Ubuntu distro for nearly every type of user, and for all kinds of machines he works on. This one is specially crafted and optimized for hobbyists and professionals, who can use the best   open source software available, to achieve the maximum in their applications. All the applications are free, plus when you report a bug, it gets fixed, and when you request an extra feature, it gets implemented. Now all the musical bands, singers, studio editors and photographers can also enjoy the freedom of a free and open source Operating system.

Techie Buzz Rating: 4.5/5

Add Extra Swap Space To Your Linux Box with a USB drive [Linux Hacks]

You must have heard about a feature called “Readyboost” in Windows Vista and Windows 7, which lets you add a flash drive or USB thumb drive as an extra drive for disk cache. By using this feature system performance is significantly increased, as the newly added flash drive increases the virtual memory of your computer.

In a similar way, you can use a USB flash drive to add extra swap space to your Linux OS. Increasing the swap space means increasing the system performance. Christer Edwards has written a shell script, which allows you to add a USB drive as an extra swap space in Linux. You can download the shell script file from here : http://bit.ly/6V87XK

The steps required to use the extra space on the USB drive as swap space are :

  1. Insert USB disk and allow KDE/Gnome to auto-mount the device.
  2. Open a Terminal and run ./swapboost.sh -n to create a new swap addition.
  3. After executing these steps the swap space would have been increased, by the amount of free space on the USB drive. You can check the available swap space for your Linux OS with swapon -s .

When you no longer want to use the USB drive as an extra swap space, you can do the following:

  1. In the Terminal, run ./swapboost.sh -d to delete added swap and safely unmount your USB disk.
  2. Your swap should now have been reduced by the amount of space previously added. swapon -s will now show only your default swap space.

Note: This script is still in alpha stage, so use it on your own risk.

Sabayon Linux CoreCD 5.1 Release

Sabayon Linux CodeCD 5.1 has been released and is available for download at the mirror site. Sabayon is a highly customizable Linux with a regular release of a CoreCD. The CoreCD has minimal features and can be used to create a distro with many additional features and extra software packages.

sabayon

As earlier, with the release of Sabayon Linux CoreCD version 4.2, this time as well, the CoreCD is a text based release and has no X-Server or Gnome or KDE, basically no desktop environment. So you need to be an advanced user to use Sabayon. The Live CD also supports basic networking capabilities.

The Sabayon CoreCD release is specifically made for advanced users who can tweak the distro to include new packages through the Entropy package manager and create a custom distro. This distro can be tailored to a specific purpose  and can be further shared with other users.

The bootable image file is only around 300 MB in size and can be downloaded and used on a CD as well a thumb drive. For information on how to use the Live CD on a thumb drive, see this page.

For a visual tour of the installation, see this page.

The download can be found here.

Run Live Linux CD In Windows [How To]

The best feature of most of the Linux distributions is that, they let users to try the whole operating system and all applications without installing them locally on the computer. Linux distribution CDs that provide this feature are called Live CD.

To boot a Linux distribution from a Live CD, you have to insert it into the CD drive and reboot your machine.

But usually there is no possibility to save configuration data and files that you work with, when you boot from a Live CD.

For this reson, we will show you how you can run Live Linux CDs inside Windows. MobaLiveCD is a freeware application for Windows Operating systems, that emulates the Linux Live CD inside Windows using Qemu. It offers a quick way of testing a Live CD without having to boot the computer. It takes only two clicks to start a Live CD inside Windows with MobaLiveCD. This freeware requires a Live CD in ISO format on the computer. Here is a list of all Linux Live CD’s.

MobaliveCD interface
MobaliveCD interface

You can download MobaliveCD from here.

The disadvantage with this kind of emulation is that a Linux Live CD cannot be   used inside Windows to determine hardware compatibility. Also emulation of a Live CD inside Windows is slower than booting from a Live CD.

Canonical: Mark Shuttleworth decides to step down from CEO

Mark Shuttleworth has decided to step down from the position of CEO of Canonical sometime in near future. The post came out on 17th December at his personal blog, which says:

Jane Silber, who has been COO at Canonical virtually from the beginning, will take on the job of CEO.

The post can be seen at this page. In the same blog post, he also said:

As a former VP at General Dynamics, Jane has more experience of large customers and large organisational leadership, which I see as essential for Canonical over the next five years. We are being welcomed as a partner and supplier to ever-larger businesses, and I want to make sure we are a robust answer to their needs.

Though, this does not mean Mark Shuttleworth will be leaving the company. He will simply take over a job at Canonical which interests him more. Shuttleworth has always been interested in design and partnerships. A lot of positive response on this can also be seen in the post comments.

Mark, who has been the man behind Ubuntu and Canonical, will be formally stepping down sometime in March next year. The job of the CEO was restraining Shuttleworth from engaging in these. But now that he has decided to take some time off formal responsibilities, we hope to see an even better Ubuntu and Canonical products.

What’s New In Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx Alpha 1?

ubuntu

A few days ago, our in-house Linux expert Chinmoy, reported the release of Ubuntu 10.04’s first Alpha. True to it’s predefined schedule cycle, the Lucid Lynx – as this version of the most popular Linux distribution is called – will be releasing in April 2010.

Even though the alpha is not recommended for general public because it’s still under early stages of development, the OMG Ubuntu blog stayed true to its spirit of interest in the operating system, downloaded it the system and ran down a complete what’s-in-and-what’s-not report of the release.

As per their report, the new Ubuntu will come with a decreased number of games, cutting short the number to just 5. The Update Installer gets a new button that when clicked, will update the Updater itself, so that a broken Update installer shall not cause problems for other installations. Amongst other things, the Software Center has earned itself breadcrumbs for smoother navigation and a new application called Byubo comes pre-installed. Although not revolutionary changes, the updates are worth checking out, as it is said, small steps makes up the complete run’.

Check out the complete list of changes on OMG Ubuntu!