Gimp Tutorials

Gimp LogoFor all those Photoshoppers who think that there is no other tool that can work for them, please take a look at Gimp. This is the Open Source alternative to the costly image manipulation tools. It has all the features of Photoshop and is being used by many people for their artwork. It is also developed at a very rapid pace. The next stable version is going to be 2.4.
Newbies to Gimp may be at first confused with the interface. It takes some time to get used to it. There are numerous website which carry tutorials for learning Gimp. Here is a collection of all those links. This site contains links to many tutorials for learning Gimp. Take a look at it and try to learn to use the Open Source alternative to Photoshop.

Linux Command line tutorial

Here is a comprehensive tutorial which teaches the new linux user – who has always used GUI tools to do his stuff. It starts with a nice example which can make a complex C++ program to find out how much space each user uses into a simple one line bash command. Just go and learn shell programming which can really improve productivity.

Firefox 1.5 in Ubuntu Breezy

Ubuntu Breezy 5.10 users search for installing Firefox 1.5 on their boxes. So, I thought of writing a tutorial. I am writing this using the information in the Ubuntu Wiki. There are a few points to note before installing Firefox 1.5.

  • Don’t remove the Ubuntu version of Firefox, otherwise, you will break a few packages
  • You will no longer get automatic updates through repositories, but the auto-updater built in firefox is enough
  • The Totem video plugin doesn’t work. I don’t use this particular plugin. Anyway you can install the package mozilla-mplayer.
  • You need package libstdc++5 installed.
    sudo apt-get install libstdc++5
  • There is a bug in Firefox which causes an error dialog to be displayed, each time FF starts up saying Firefox could not install this item because of a failure in Chrome Registration. Do this for a work around:
    sudo mkdir -p /opt/firefox/extensions/
    sudo touch /opt/firefox/extensions/


  • I would suggest you backup your bookmarks and settings by
    cd ~/.mozilla/firefox/*.default
    mkdir ~/Desktop/ffsettingscp bookmarks.html cert8.db cookies.txt formhistory.dat 
    key3.db signons.txt history.dat  mimeTypes.rdf ~/Desktop/ffsettings
  • Download firefox-1.5.tar.gz and change to the directory you downloaded.
  • Extract it to /opt/firefox
    sudo tar -C /opt -xvzf firefox-1.5.tar.gz
  • Link to your plugins and remove totem-mozilla as it doesn’t work with FF 1.5
    cd /opt/firefox/plugins/sudo ln -s /usr/lib/mozilla-firefox/plugins/*
    sudo rm libtotem_mozilla.*
  • Change to your home directory and rename your old profile(just as backup)
    cd ~mv .mozilla .mozilla.ubuntu
  • To ensure it is used as the default version, modify the symbolic link in /usr/bin
    sudo dpkg-divert --divert /usr/bin/firefox.ubuntu --rename /usr/bin/firefoxsudo
    ln -s /opt/firefox/firefox /usr/bin/firefox

    The dpkg-divert command will move the original system-wide /usr/bin/firefox to a new name. The ln command will place a symbolic link to the newly installed firefox in /usr/bin.

  • Try the new firefox by typing firefox
  • Restore your old data
    cd ~/Desktop/ffsettingsmv * ~/.mozilla/firefox/*.default
  • Restore your search plugins
    sudo cp -i --reply=no /usr/lib/mozilla-firefox/searchplugins/* /opt/firefox/searchplugins/
    sudo cp -i --reply=no ~/.mozilla/firefox/*.default/search/* /opt/firefox/searchplugins/
  • To ensure that other programs use the 1.5 version and not the older 1.0.7 version, goto Preferences>Preferred Applications in the System Menu. Under the Web Browser tab, choose custom and enter firefox %s

I hope this tutorial would really help many in installing Firefox and thereby enabling them to view the web in a totally different view. If anyone got any problem in installing Firefox or has got a better way, please discuss here.

Technorati Tags: , ubuntu, ubuntu linux, , linux

Try Ruby in your browser

Most of you might have heard about the new object oriented language that is creating waves. It is said that Ruby is relatively easy to learn and program. So, why don’t you try ruby first, without installing it. Try Ruby on your browser now. There is also a 15 minute short online tutorial to try out.
ruby, object+oriented+language, ruby+on+rails

Regular Expressions

Regular expressions play a major part of any programmer or a computer science student. I had Theory of Computation last semester and I still have no idea what I learnt or was supposed to learn. But there was one topic that I loved. It was regular expressions. Here is a nice tutorial which shows beginners what is regular expressions and shows the real power of it. It has easy to understand examples which highlights the matched text according to the pattern.

Shell Prompt – An Overview

Now I have decided to write articles which will help the new linux user to do things the pro-way i.e. using the shell.
There are many different shells available with the GNU/Linux system.
Sh – The old UNIX shell
Bash – Bourne Again Shell – rewrite of the sh shell
csh – C Shell – similar to C funtions
and so on.

Most GNU/Linux systems come with the default Bash shell and it can be recognised by a $ prompt or a # prompt.
The $ prompt indicates that you are logged in as an ordinary user.
The # prompt indicates that you are logged in as a root user. This is most powerful user, so just be careful with it.
You can log in to the root user at anytime by using the su command.
I think this gives a basic overview of the shell. I have decided to start writing a series which will teach a new command everyday.

Tech Tags: linux terminal

Package Management

Applications for GNU/Linux are available in various formats like source(.tar.gz), deb, rpm. In my opinion Debian’s package management is far superior than others as it automatically checks for dependancy packages and installs them too(there is yum forRedHat, but I don’t use RedHat).
You can install/update/remove packages using synaptic package manager. Open synaptic from System>Administration>Synaptic Package Manager.
You can find the interface easy to use. Just select your package at the upper-right corner and click the tick box. Synaptic automatically installs the dependency packages too if required.
So you may be asking from where does synaptic install the software. There are various repositories on the net that is used by synaptic to install or update the system. Usually we use the command line tools to install them, but synaptic gives a easy to use interface.
You can view the repositories or add new ones by going to the Settings>Repositories menu and a list of repositories are shown. Click settings and tick the Show Disabled software sources.
You can now see checkboxes next to the repositories.
Enable the Universe repository. You can also enable the Multiverse and the Universe Security updates repository. Save the changes.
You need to update the packages to obtain the list of packages in the repository.
After this, you can install the packages.

You can also add new Repositories. For eg
deb warty universe
Here the various fields are
deb – neaning it is a binary – URi(Uniform Resource Identifier) which is the location of the repository
warty – the release name
universe – section name. There can be several sections seperated by a space.

Hope you have got a nice overview of the package management in Ubuntu.

Tech Tags: ubuntu linux synaptic

Ubuntu Linux Installation Guide

After reading the live CD article, I think you must be interested in Linux. Live CDs are useful to try out linux, but as it runs from the CD, it isn’t as fast as a installed version. Also you can’t save any files to your harddisk.
So you think it is time to switch over to installed version of your favourite GNU/Linux. Here is a guide to do how…

I am going to write this guide with Ubuntu 5.10 (breezy) in mind and so you need to download the CD or order for free.

First stage

  • Put the CD in your CDROM drive and boot off it (change your BIOS configuration)
  • After the installer starts, press enter to start.
  • Choose your language, country and keyboard layout. The installer detects some hardware.
  • Now configure your network, if you are on one.

Partitioning the harddisk
This is the most important step and be careful as you can lose your data. Please take a backup of important data.
You have got two choices here

  • Automatically partition an entire disk – will erase the harddisk and install only Ubuntu.
  • Manually partition the disk. Resize your disk so that you get atleast 4GB for your root (/) partition and 256MB for your swap.
  • After finishing with the partition, save it and the installer formats your disk.
  • Then the base system is configured and then the packages are copied to the disk

Installing the boot loader
The bootloader is used to boot into many different operating systems by means of a menu. The installer automatically detects your OS and installs the GRUB loader.
After this, remove your disk and reboot.

Second stage

  • After rebooting, you need to configure your timezone.
  • Enter your full name, username and password. There is no root account in Ubuntu and there is a nice explanation for it.
  • If you have not setup your network, then you can setup your PPP to have a dial-up account for internet.
  • All the set of packages required for a basic desktop installation will be setup.
  • Now you can login to the system with your username/password.

I have written this guide using the Installation guide from the Ubuntu wiki. Hope it was useful for newbies. You can also try this book Beginning Ubuntu Linux by Keir Thomas to know more about Ubuntu Linux.
If at all you encounter any problems, please feel free to post here. Also tell me how good I am at writing such articles?