apt-get: “the following packages have been kept back” « The Ubuntu Incident

apt-get: “the following packages have been kept back” « The Ubuntu Incident

I’m more or less posting this link for my own benefit. Occasionally I get errors about untrusted packages or “The following packages have been kept back” when I try to update. This blog post explains how to fix that (although in my case, it was a combination of two separate posts that fixed my issue).

If you’re getting the untrusted sources message when using the Ubuntu Update Manager, then open a Terminal, and try this

sudo apt-get update

This should give you an error message about repositories with no public key (NOPUBKEY). You’ll want to use the next command, replacing the ‘XXXXXX’ with the key value after the NOPUBKEY message

sudo apt-key adv –recv-key –keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com XXXXXXX

So, in my personal case it was something like:
sudo apt-key adv –recv-key –keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com 4B82DCA0798F627E

After you’ve received the key, you’ll want to try the sudo apt-get update a second time, and then try

sudo apt-get upgrade

If you still get the message about programs being kept back, then use this command:

sudo apt-get install

and it should upgrade the program(s).

Have a great day:)
Patrick.

My Annoyances in Ubuntu and Evolution

I recently installed Ubuntu 11.10 64-bit and Fedora 16 64-bit on my e-machines W3400 desktop (Yes, I know, why on an e-machines). There are a few minor issues that I have with the experience so far (at least in Ubuntu). Some are in Ubuntu itself, while others are in the Evolution email application. My hope is that someone from Canonical, Gnome, or the communities sees this. And that they will do something to fix these issues, or at least give me some guidance on why they are there. So here we go. Also it should be noted that I’ll probably be editing this post a lot, as I find other things. Ubuntu: 1. When installing a 64-bit version, there should be a check box to automatically install the 32-bit libraries. I shouldn’t have to google how to do it (ia32libs), nor should I have to rely on an application (Skype, for example) to do it for me. I realize that it’s just one application that you have to install. But, the average user won’t know this. They may (or may not) be able to find the information easily enough. And some of the information is outdated. All that would be required is a check box that says something like: Install 32-bit compatibilityThis will allow you to run 32-bit applications on your system. Required if the application maintainer hasn’t created a 64-bit version. or something similar. 2. WTF is the ‘white-list’ for in the indicator panel? Things that need to be there (read as Skype, amsn, pidgin) aren’t seen. I tried setting it to “‘all'” in dconf-editor, but it wouldn’t take. Setting it to ‘all’ in gsettings works (at least as far as what dconf-editor shows) but they still aren’t visible. I ended up having to add the cinnamon desktop manager to finally see my icons. And it didn’t work in XFCE/Xubuntu desktop either. Either set the white-list to ‘all’ by default, make it easier to configure this, or generate a list of applications that most likely need to be in the indicator panel–and when they are installed, add them to the white-list automatically. For reference, this is the “Systray” or “Notification Area” (XFCE). This would also make it easier for certain applications like HPlip to “find” the Systray and open properly. Evolution: 1. If I Choose “Mark As Read” from the folder menu, I have the option to never see the confirmation dialog again. However, if I right click on a folder name, I get the dialog box EVERY time. Either put the option in that box as well, or honor the choice made from the other box automatically. I mean it’s the same application, and the same option. If it were an application suite (like Office or LibreOffice) or an Operating System, you would expect “communication” between the pieces. So why not here? 2. One minor annoyance of mine is in the Preferences. The option to Sync mail locally with Remote folders (this isn’t the exact wording) is nice. But I think that it should be renamed to “automatically sync mail for offline viewing”–since that’s what it does. I thought that it was a way to keep my gmail account synced up without having to set it to automatically check for new messages… Nope. Well, technically it might work for that. 3. Something that I would like to see is an auto configure for mail accounts. For example, if my email address ends in @gmail.com, when I click “Next”, it should automatically set the imap server information (or pop). Granted, you would need to add a check box or radio button on the first page with either IMAP, IMAP+, or POP as options. But, it would be nice to save some time in configuring my accounts. I also realize that they would have to maintain a list of the more popular email providers (and their setup information). And that they would have to update this information whenever one of the providers (Google) decides to change their configuration settings. But, it would make life easier for the end user, and possibly encourage more people to use Evolution. I think that’s enough for now. As I mentioned earlier, I’ll have more in time. Have a great day everyone:) Patrick.

My "errata" for the Complete Guide to Ubuntu on PC Pro

This is my first post (pre-series) on the Complete Guide to Ubuntu. I’m doing this one immediately after the original announcement, because I wanted to put out my errata for their article (or my caveats, if you will).

I’ll take it item by item in the order that I found them (including in the comments section on each sub-article).

1. In the case of Apple’s products, they make it almost necessary to use iTunes to update the product. And they don’t provide a version for Linux. So, you may find it difficult to use Apple products with Ubuntu. However it’s not impossible.

Your options in this situation are install iTunes through Wine, install a Virtual Machine with Windows and install iTunes in that, or check out this article on the Ubuntu Documentation site (and it’s referenced articles for newer products).

2. In the how to install Ubuntu article, they discuss 32-bit vs. 64-bit versions. One minor point that they fail to mention is that if your CPU is a 32-bit processor (most older computers up to about 2008 or so), then you only have one option. Also, you’ll possibly see three options for iso files “x86” (32-bit), “amd64” (most Intel and AMD 64-bit processors), and “ia64” (Itanium processors only). So, unless you’re using an Intel Itanium processor, you want the amd64 or x86 version.

3. Printers…. Some manufacturers have drivers for Linux (HP is one), and some printers can be used with CUPS and GhostPrint (foomatic). However there are printers which absolutely will not work with Linux (can we say “Lexmark”?). In those cases, if it’s a network printer, you should still be able to use them. However if they’re connected to your Windows computer (or you don’t have access to a Windows Computer), your options are limited.

In my case, I do one of two things with my Lexmark printer. I either save the item that I need to print to a network location (or a folder that is accessible by my Windows computer) and print it directly from my Windows PC, or I fire up a virtual machine with Windows running, and print it from there. I am planning to upgrade though to either a network printer, or one that’s compatible with Linux.

4. If your data is on a network, you can use Samba (which is installed automatically) to access it from your Ubuntu computers. You can even set your computer to automatically mount the folders when you boot up. I’ll show you how to do this in a future article.

5. Under the Update Ubuntu section, they warn that it can take a long time and cripple your system. I personally haven’t experienced this– even when running on a laptop purchased in 2007 or a homebuilt computer from 2003.

And in my experience, the only time I’ve had a large number of updates was the first update after the installation. Other than that, most of the updates were fairly quick (even on a 1.5 Mbit DSL connection). This would be true with Windows as well though.

6. In the Installing Software article, he touches on the Command Line. It’s not as scary as people think. There are five or six main commands that you’d need, if you were installing/updating from a repository using the command line. These are:

sudo apt-add-repository repositoryname This is how you add a repository to your list.
sudo apt-cache search package-or-keyword This searches for the package, so you know what to install. You don’t need to use sudo, but I prefer to.
sudo apt-get update Updates all of your repositories with the latest package information.
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade Applies any upgrades that are available to your packages.
sudo apt-get install packagename Installs the package(s) that you specify.

And one main command if you’re installing from a .deb file dpkg -i filename.deb

6. This goes in both the installing applications and the filesystem articles. If you’re installing from a .bin or .tar file (and possibly a .deb file), you can install it for yourself only by not using sudo. However, if it is something that is installed for “All Users”, you must use sudo to install it. This is because without sudo, it can’t be installed in directories that are accessible by other users.

Finally, it should be noted that Folders (Windows) and directories are synonymous. They are essentially the same thing, but it’s semantics which drive what term you’ll use. Linux advocates and support prefer directories, while Windows users/support will most likely refer to folders.

Have a great day:)
Patrick.

A Complete Guide to Ubuntu

This series of posts will be based on the articles at PC Pro’s site. They offer a complete guide to Ubuntu, which is pretty good (although there are a couple of things that I would have stated differently). The series will start within the next week or so (no later than April 1), which should allow me enough time to do some research about what others are writing.

For now, you can read the original series of articles at http://www.pcpro.co.uk/features/366052/ubuntu-a-complete-guide

Have a great day:)
Patrick.

Ubuntu changes direction on two fronts– What it means to users.

The big news in the past few weeks (within the Ubuntu Linux world) has been their decision to use LibreOffice instead of OpenOffice, and allowing Qt applications into the default installation of Ubuntu. But, what does this mean for you, the users?

Actually, it doesn’t mean much. LibreOffice is a fork of OpenOffice. The main difference between the two is LibreOffice *may* have more support for Microsoft Office formats (.docx .xlsx. etc) than OpenOffice (because Novell was working with Microsoft on “interoperability” within the two suites). Otherwise it’s the same applications. The difference, in reality, is that Oracle controls OpenOffice, and the Document Foundation controls LibreOffice (it’s semantics, because of Oracle’s attitudes towards Google and Open Source in general recently).

What people are overlooking is this minor thing. If you don’t want LibreOffice installed on your computer (because of Novell’s ties to Microsoft), then simply uninstall it and replace it with OpenOffice. It’s not like you’re forced to use the application. You have a choice.

Every operating system makes some applications as their defaults–and they have users who don’t like the choices. Look at Windows 7. They removed Outlook Express/Windows Mail, in favor of Windows Live Mail Desktop. Most of their testers screamed about it, but they did it anyhow. It happens. Life goes on. You either find something else, work out a way to get the application you want installed, or use what they give you.

As for the inclusion of Qt apps in the default installation, it doesn’t really mean anything to users. What it means is that you may see different “default” applications in the next version. It also means that if you find a “Kubuntu” application that you like, it *may* work more seemlessly with Ubuntu than it does now.

Qt is only an issue if you’re a developer. About the extent of the effect on users is this: In the past, you would have to practically install the Kubuntu desktop in order to use some apps that were Qt-based. Now, depending on how the app is built, it may just install. The converse is true (meaning some Gnome/Ubuntu apps may work in Kubuntu, without having to install the entire GTK+ framework).

I’ve been using LibreOffice for a while now. While I’m pro-Open Source, and becoming less and less Pro-Microsoft, I like (and need) the interoperability with Office formats. Why? Because I’m a realist, and I know that at least in the US, Office is the main suite being used. So, EVERYONE has to bend to it (at least until people convince Office users to try something else).

Plus, my college requires papers to be in doc or docx formats.

Hope this sheds some light on a few changes, and hopefully it encourages people to try out Ubuntu, LibreOffice, and other applications (You can use LibreOffice on Windows and Mac as well).

Have a great day:)
Patrick.

Why Banshee May NOT Put Ubuntu, Canonical At Risk!

This post is a reply to the post located here. The author discusses how the use of Mono and C# will prove to be the downfall of Linux (and specifically Canonical and Ubuntu), because Microsoft will attack it with patents. Like most of the FUD stories now, they bring up the fact that Novell is selling 882 patents (that we still don’t know specifics about) to a Microsoft/Oracle/Apple consortium.

Now I will agree with the author that the patent deal MAY be a bad thing. And that using technologies where you have limited control over them is a bad idea. But there are some things that the author overlooks (or chooses not to mention because it doesn’t play well into any FUD campaigns).

Things like:

1. Novell (and Attachmate through their purchase) are producers of Open Source software. They aren’t going to do anything to cut their own throats. Now it can be argued that they will have licenses to the patents. But, if everyone else gets sued, no one will buy their products either–license or not.

2. Canonical is not blind. They have to be researching everything. So, if they even think there’s a hint of a potential patent issue, it’s in their best interests as a company to avoid the issue. If they’re using Banshee, it’s because they don’t feel it’s an issue.

3. If a patent issue comes up, then Canonical will switch their default music player (or whatever application) to an open system. Simple enough. They can even put out an update which will make this retroactive to previous versions.

When the update is pushed out, they can make it something the end user can choose to do or not. (Along with this, they’ll have to issue a warning which essentially states that there are patent issues with Banshee (or whatever application) and the end-user is on their own if they continue to use it).

If there’s such a concern about the use of Mono, then the author (and other dissenters) would do more good by pushing the applications’ developers to use a more open technology–NOT by slamming companies or distributions for their choices.

Or even better, FORK the application into a technology that isn’t encumbered by potential patent issues. That’s the beauty of Open Source. If you don’t like it, you can either change it, or find someone who will.

As for the Novell patents, UNTIL we know what patents are being sold, and UNTIL we know what effects they will have, we shouldn’t judge or worry. After all, when we find out what patents are being sold, the developers will have time to work around them.

So, until we know for sure what impacts are coming, we shouldn’t spread FUD of our own. After all, that just puts us at the same level as the companies who are using FUD to benefit themselves.

Have a great day:)
Patrick.

Linux Day 6 finished

Well I accomplished most of what I wanted to do yesterday.  I watched television (and recorded some things), played movies in XBMC and tweaked it a little to add a function that they are strangely missing (the Eject button), and migrated more things to gmail.  I believe that I only have four or five e-mails to go, and I’m all set (and a couple of those are "I really don’t care" ones).

For starters, how to fix the lack of an eject button.  In my case, I did the dirty method (of altering the Favorites button).  What you need to do is find the directory (or folder on Windows) for the skin that you are using (in my case it’s Confluence 720p), then edit the Home.xml file.  The quick and dirty method is to change the action from whatever to XBMC.EjectTray() and alter the description to match.  I removed the texture controls tags, so it shows a blank box (but you can probably find a texture control that shows the Eject button).

It’s strange that they don’t include this in at least the Windows/Linux/Mac versions (I’m not sure if it’s supported on the X-Box at all or not).  Especially since if you try clicking "Play" without a DVD, it brings up the option to Play or Eject (open/close) the tray.  So for any XBMC developers who may check this blog, PLEASE include an Eject DVD button on the DVD controls window. (I believe it’s the "PlayerControls.xml file that would be the best place for an eject button, but I’m not sure).

I also discovered that for some odd reason my online learning labs don’t work properly in Chrome on Linux.  Oddly enough it’s not all of them–only one.  I think it has to do with the fact that I was tagged as a Presenter in his lab, where in my Live chats, I’m a participant.  But, it means that I have to try firefox, or switch to Windows, in order to view the lab correctly.  The tech support people at the college aren’t familiar enough with Chrome on Linux, to be able to help out with it.  In fact they said that it doesn’t work very well at all.  So, I guess when I’m doing my course work, it will have to be in Firefox.

Anyhow, tonight’s the last night…  I’ll most likely stay in Linux until I wake up tomorrow (to make up for the hours that I spent in Windows this week).  And maybe I’ll stay in Linux afterwards.  I just need to get a few things ironed out, and it’s off to the races. I know Windows Home Server will be glad to see me boot into Windows again.  It would be nice if someone would figure out a way to back up your Linux systems to WHS as well (it wouldn’t be able to happen through Windows though).  Of course that would require Microsoft to release the API for the connector software–and we know THAT will probably never happen.

Have a great day:)
Patrick.