One of the most treasured features by novice computer users running Windows is the ability to easily roll back their system when trouble arises by using the built-in System Restore GUI. Ubuntu offers the same services to take snapshots of your computer when changes are made and the Back in Time application for Linux is a great tool to achieve the same easy-to-use GUI. The program utilizes existing services including rsync for creating and applying restore snapshots and diff for monitoring system changes. Back in Time allows you to backup all folders and restore any folders with write access in the event of a problem following a system change.
The first thing you’ll need to do is edit your /etc/apt/source.list file; use the following command to open the file in the editor:
sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list
Add this line before saving and exiting the editor:
deb http://le-web.org/repository stable main
Next you’ll need to add the necessary GPG key information. Use this command to retrieve the key:
And then use this command to add the information:
sudo apt-key add le-web.key
Once this is complete you’ll just need to update your source list; use this command:
sudo apt-get update
That’s it for system changes – now onto the installation of Back in Time:
sudo apt-get install backintime-common backintime-gnome
Once the installation completes you can access Back in Time under Applications -> System Tools -> Back in Time. You can now use the GUI to select folders to backup and schedule the backups to suit your timetable
File synching between machines with different operating systems is rarely an easy task but one program has made it much easier. Dropbox allows for file synching between systems but was designed with compatibility with GNOME at the forefront, potentially leaving KDE users in the cold. Follow these steps to get Dropbox setup on your KDE system with minimal hassle:
Download the Dropbox Linux client that suits your machine (either 32-bit or 64-bit)
Extract the contents of the downloaded archive to your home folder for easy access
Create a Dropbox account if you don’t already have one
To install Dropbox simply navigate to the extracted archive contents and run ~/.dropbox-dist/dropboxd to get rolling. The initial run of the program will take you through the configuration wizard to help you choose your options and link your Dropbox account to your machine. Enter your account details to complete the installation.
Being such a useful application, you may want Dropbox to start automagically when you power on your machine. You can achieve this easily by creating a symlink from your home folder to your autostart directory using the command below:
ln -s ~/.dropbox-dist/dropboxd ~/.kde4/Autostart/
Now you can enjoy ease-of-use when synching files from machine to machine, no matter the operating systems!
One of the joys of using Ubuntu is the ability to easily customize even the most obscure features of the operating system and the login screen included with the default GDM theme is no exception. As with most light Linux tweaks, this one is quite straight-forward.
There is a utility included with Ubuntu that allows quick and easy customization of options within the GDM theme titled gdmsetup; you can run this utility directly from the main menu by looking under System -> Admin -> Login Window.
You’ll need to enter your admin password to gain access, then click on the tab labeled “Local” to see theme options. Under the section labelled “Style” you can select one of three main presets: Plain, Themed or Face Browser. Select “Themed” to gain the ability to select any graphic you like from the provided list along with several other default GNOME themes that may suit your fancy – customization is always great but you have to admit that the default GDM theme is a pretty attractive piece!
The Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala Release Candidate has been released and is available for download. In addition to the GNOME version of Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Ubuntu Studio, and Mythbuntu versions have also been released. Anticipation continues to build for next weeks’ release of the Ubuntu 9.10 stable version which will provide significant improvements and updates to the popular Ubuntu Linux desktop.
Here are some Ubuntu 9.10 tutorials published at BeginLinux recently.
The Ubuntu ShipIt Program. If you’re not familiar with it, you’ve probably never typed in “free Ubuntu CD” on Google or any other search engine. ShipIt is the Ubuntu service that gives away free Ubuntu installation CDs in an effort to make sure people have few restrictions obtaining Ubuntu. ShipIt has been a huge success shipping millions of free Ubuntu CDs over the past few years. The CDs are not free for Canonical, the company backing Ubuntu and the ShipIt program. This has caused Ubuntu to deploy some interesting techniques designed to cut the cost or need or the Free Ubuntu installation CDs.
Limiting Free Ubuntu CDs for people who:
-Can upgrade to the new release without a CD
-Can download their own CD for free
Ubuntu users can also:
-Download the CD wallet artwork
-Become an Ubuntu member by contributing to Ubuntu, making them eligible for more CDs
More on this at Jono Bacon’s blog
Requesting a free CD from the Ubuntu ShipIt program will take at least 4-6 weeks. For a more dependable solution order Ubuntu on CD or USB US Priority Mail now. Ubuntu training is available in video and course form.
I’ve posted a short video walk-through of the new Ubuntu 9.10 Software Center. The Software Center will replace Add/Remove applications in the final release of Ubuntu 9.10.
Inside the Ubuntu Software Center users will see Get Free Software and Installed Software options. If Get Free Software is selected users can choose from packages broken down into categories or departments for ease of use. A filter field is also available in the top right corner. After packages are selected details about the package and expandable screenshots for each package is shown. This is in my opinion on of the biggest advantages of the Software Center over Add/Remove applications setup. If Installed Software is selected from the column on the left users will see an alphabetical list of software packages installed. Selecting a package wil result in details, screenshot and a button to remove the package.
After packages have been either added or removed the In Progress selection appears along with Get Free Software and Installed Software options on the left. With In Progress selected on the left users can see the current status of packages whether they are downloading, being installed or removed. I was skeptical of the Software Center at first but it does have some bright spots that, I think, make it worth the change. What do you think? Ubuntu Software Center or Add/Remove Applications.