Tag Archives: Linux

Download Songbird 1.8.0 For Linux

Songbird 1.8.0 has been released under the codename “Orbital” for Mac OS X and Windows. The new release has a number of improvements in terms of performance and some new features, like support for USB storage device class. The number of supported devices have also been increased.

Songbird is no longer officially supported in Linux. But, through community effort, Songbird 1.8.0 is also available for Linux; without any support, of course.

To use Songbird 1.8.0, open the terminal and download the version.

For 32-bit:

wget http://download.songbirdnest.com/installer/linux/i686/Songbird_1.8.0-1800_linux-i686.tar.gz

For 64-bit:

wget http://download.songbirdnest.com/installer/linux/x86_64/Songbird_1.8.0-1800_linux-x86_64.tar.gz

Then, extract the tarball.

For 32-bit:

tar -xzf Songbird_1.8.0-1800_linux-i686.tar.gz

For 64-bit:

tar -xzf Songbird_1.8.0-1800_linux-x86_64.tar.gz

Make the file executable.

cd Songbird
chmod u+x singbird

Then, open your file browser, go inside the Songbird folder and double-click on a file named “songbird” to launch Songbird.

Or, you can just do this from the command line:

./songbird

Installing Google Voice And Video Chat in openSUSE

Earlier, Google rolled out an update which added Linux support for Google Talk’s Voice and Video chat. Unfortunately, the update has been packaged only a debian deb file. Fortunately, Jigish Gohil, more popularly known as “CyberOrg” in the openSUSE community has a solution.

The debian package is a archive consisting of the required libraries and a cron job, Jigish has extracted the files and rolled it into a tarball. To install, just download the tarball and extract it to the root folder. To do so, open the Terminal.

Switch to the root user:

su root

Next, use tar to extract and move the files

tar jxvf /path/to/downloaded/file/google-talkplugin.tar.bz2 -C /

Replace /path/to/downloaded/file with the location at which you downloaded the file. Restart your browsers, and you should be ready to start talking!

Update:

Google now provides an RPM package, just head over to the Download page and select the required file.

Ancient Kernel Hole in Linux fixed after Two Months of reporting

An ancient kernel hole in Linux, which has been present from 2003, was recently closed after constant nagging and bug reports. The problem was with the X server using a huge stack that has a good chance of running into an adjacent heap memory.

The same vulnerability was cited earlier and was brought to the notice of the Linux security team a number of times but they turned a deaf ear to it each time. Only recently, they have taken this seriously and Torvalds has finally fixed this bug. However, the bugfix itself requires a further fix and the complete change will appear in the next stable update of the Linux kernel. As for those running a development version, it is available for download  here.

Torvalds has implemented a guard between the stack and the heap so that the stack does not overrun the heap memory in any case. However, people everywhere are frowning upon the time of two months this problem took to be fixed, after the first citation and the first formal reporting. Linux has been held in high esteem for its security and this matter has earned Linux some bad name already.

Keith Packard, an X.org hacker was also working on a fix for this but his code was rejected by Torvalds as it violated some internal VM rules. The vulnerability was of an extremely serious nature.  As Rutkowska puts it,

While it isn’t a direct remote exploit, it only takes one vulnerable X client (web browser, PDF viewer, etc.) to turn it into something that is remotely exploitable.

(Source)

Google Brings Voice And Video Chat to Linux

After a long, long time – Google finally has introduced Voice & Video chat for Linux. Now while trying to start a Voice or Video chat, instead of showing “This system is not supported” – you get redirected to Google’s Chat download page.

Clicking on the “Install button” will  prompt you to download the Debian package file.

Google Video Chat package download

Once saved, just double click on the file to launch the package manager, and click  on install to Install the plugin.

Google Talk Video Chat Plugin

Once installed, just restart your browser and you’re all set to start video chatting in Linux!

The bad news that currently, only debs are packaged, which means RPM based distro users will have to wait a little bit longer.

Linux will get Native ZFS Support from September this Year

ZFS is an excellent file system when we consider integrity. The first non-commercial availability of ZFS came with OpenSolaris and then, it was made available on some Linux distributions with FUSE technology. However, ZFS has not been natively available on Linux because it is released under the CDDL license while Linux is under the GNU GPL license. For going hand in hand, it would have to clear these licensing issues.

Up until now, it was possible to use ZFS only in user-space with compromised performance using FUSE technology. This method was reported to have an adverse effect on the lifetime of the hard disk in some circumstances. Very recently, there has been a drive to port ZFS to Linux and there are many companies working on this.

KQ Infotech is one such company, which is working on a fully functional port of ZFS on Linux that will be independent of FUSE. It is expected to run in the kernel and support more options than current implementations. The better news is that, they are close to reaching this goal and there is a good chance of seeing a Linux release with native ZFS.

This development will fire up a new area of development for application developers and we will probably see a Linux implementation of the extremely popular Time Machine of MAC OS-X that is based on DTrace. In short, the ZFS file system and its snapshot feature makes implementing DTrace easier in Linux.

(Source)

Apparently, Steam on Linux was just a Rumor, Says Valve Marketing VP

A few months ago, Phoronix posted an article saying that Valve is working on a  Steam version for Linux. This got the Linux community excited and people speculated about the development of state of the art games on the Linux platform too. However, this joy did not last long as Valve has now put an end to the rumor. Valve confirmed that there is no Steam for Linux being developed and has not mentioned of any future developments on this either.

Steam is a complete platform of flagship game technologies and Valve values its ownership of Steam. It has released two big hits Counter Strike and Half Life based on the same Valve engine. The engine is extremely customizable and powers the award winning game Portal.

However, Doug Lombardi, the Marketing VP of Valve has confirmed to gameindustry.biz that they are not working on any Linux version of steam.

Now, Linux users who were too excited about this will not get to play any Counter Strike or Half Life on their Linux powered rigs. On the other hand, Valve has planned to release Steam for Mac as it can generate good revenues.  However, when Phoronix reported this earlier; they posted  some evidence that cannot be ignored totally.

Did they start building for Linux and left it midway? Are those traces of changes made in some files? Clearly, something is cooking at Valve and it smells good. Just that, Mr. Lombardi is not ready to spill the beans about it yet.

(Source)

Highly Critical Vulnerability In The Linux Kernel Fixed

Today a very dangerous bug privilege escalation bug in the Linux kernel has been fixed. The bug allows an underprivileged process to run with the root privilege from any application with a GUI.

It affected the x86_32 and x86_64 platforms and was reported to the X.org security team, who then referred it to the team handling the kernel.

The vulnerability was discovered by Rafal Wojtczuk of Invisible Things Lab. This is how Joanna Rutkowska, the founder of Invisible Things Lab, describes it:

The attack allows a (unpriviliged) user process that has access to the X server (so, any GUI application) to unconditionally escalate to root (but again, it doesn’t take advantage of any bug in the X server!). In other words: any GUI application (think e.g. sandboxed PDF viewer), if compromised (e.g. via malicious PDF document) can bypass all the Linux fancy security mechanisms, and escalate to root, and compromise the whole system. The attack allows even to escape from the SELinux’s “sandbox -X” jail.

All the Linux kernel since 2.6 are vulnerable according to Rutkowska. Linux kernel 2.6.0 was introduced in December 2003. So, this means that the vulnerability has been around for almost seven years.

Linus Torvalds has already released a patch to fix this and it has been pushed upstream recently into stable kernel.

[via: Softpedia]

uTorrent promises to appear on Linux Soon

Transmission, QBittorent and Deluge are the only working torrent clients for Linux with a proper GUI. They have been developed extremely slowly and have failed to become a hot choice for users. Most people end up using Transmission because there is not much of a choice.

utorrentHowever, this is about to change soon. uTorrent developers have announced on their Windows forum that they will release a version for Linux soon that will provide many extra features over Transmission.

However, many users still prefer Transmission and are skeptic about uTorrent as clearly seen in the comments received on this post at  OMG!UBUNTU. However, some uTorrent enthusiasts are already using it on Wine.

Now, uTorrent is the cleanest client on Windows. It has no adware or crapware with it and comes in a small size amounting in a few hundred KBs. Transmission on Linux is the highly acclaimed and lightweight client. They both are close competitors and the developers at uTorrent are well aware of this. Thus, it is expected of them to create an impressive client. No release date has been mentioned yet in any of the discussions.

(Source)

BrowserLinux Now Offers Chrome Browser

chrome-ico In December of last year, we told you about BrowserLinux, a very small operating system that has one basic purpose, providing a web browser. The older versions contained only Firefox, but now you can get versions which use Firefox or Google Chrome. That’s good news for those of us who prefer Google’s web browser. At this point you might be wondering why you’d want to use BrowserLinux. Below are a few details that might convince you to give it a try.

browser-linux-chrome

Size matters

How would you like to run an entire operating system from a 128mb flash card or USB thumb drive? With BrowserLinux, it’s quite easy to do. It’s offered as a Live CD (ISO file) download and is less that 80mb in size. You could burn the ISO file to a CD, but SD cards and USB sticks are so easy to carry around. Here’s an easy way to create a bootable flash or USB drive.

Your PC is unchanged

Since BrowserLinux was designed to run only as a Live CD (or bootable flash/USB), you don’t have to worry that your PC will get messed up. No matter what OS is already installed, BrowserLinux won’t make any changes to it.

Infection Free

The bad guys don’t seem to care about Linux. While Windows operating systems get infected by the thousands every day, it’s very unlikely you’ll find a website or email attachment that can infect your BrowserLinux system.  If something weird happens, you can simply shut down without saving by killing the power. Any problems you had during your surfing won’t be there the next time you reboot. That makes it almost bullet-proof and an ideal system to take with you on the road.

Public Library or Internet Cafe

This might also be a good OS for Public Libraries or Internet Cafes to use. All they’d have to do it take out the hard drive, slip in a Live CD and set the BIOS to boot from CD. No changes could ever be made to the PCs that are set up that way. With so many cool web applications and online office suites available, who needs the hassle of installing, constantly updating, and paying for buggy software like MS Office. Finally, BrowserLinux will run fine on older PCs. That makes a computer running from this Live CD, the ultimate low cost, maintenance free system.

Simplicity

The developer of BrowserLinux says:

If you want an operating system for editing movies, writing letters or printing spreadsheets: don’t use Browserlinux. Browserlinux is for browsing the web.

The most difficult task to getting this OS on the web is connecting to a Wifi network. However, even that’s no big deal. All you have to do is hit the Menu button, choose Network, then choose Wireless. It will scan the area for Wifi hotspots you can connect to.

Download

http://www.browserlinux.com/

Highly Recommended

If you have your own tips on using Linux or it’s problems, be sure to comment below or email me.


Shutter Version 0.86.3 adds support for Ubuntu One

Linux has few good screenshot apps and Shutter is one of them. It allows us to capture screenshots of the whole screen, a particular application, a region or any menu. Apart from that, it can also apply some effects and draw shapes on the captured image to create illustrations. The best thing about Shutter is that it allows complete control with GUI without any scary command line controls.

shutter-ubuntu-one

Shutter version 0.86.3 has brought a new feature. From now on, we can synchronize the captured screenshots on our Ubuntu One cloud storage.

Ubuntu One is a storage application and service operated by Canonical Ltd. and currently in public beta. The service enables users to store and sync files in a Canonical Managed Cloud.

The latest feature of publishing at Ubuntu One cloud works only for Ubuntu 10.04 or later. The support can be added by running:

sudo apt-get install libnet-dbus-glib-perl

from the terminal.

Other changes in the recent version of Shutter, include a new icon set and some  bug-fixes. Romario, at the release announcement page, has answered some comments. From there, it is evident that the next imminent feature is the ability to capture screenshots of scrolling windows and to capture a screen area repeatedly with a predefined delay. This can make Shutter an excellent tool for creating step-by-step tutorials.

(Shutter about Page)
(Via : Unixmen)
(Image via: http://zibergela.bitarlan.net)