Saturday, June 30, 2012

Google Earth 7 installation in Ubuntu 12.04

Google Earth is a free application from Google used for educational purpose by almost all internet users. I too normally install this application after a fresh os install. This is the best bet in terms of exact locational information we need. Well it is very easy to install this application in Ubuntu 12.04 too.
Google provides a pre-compiled .deb package to make it easier. You can find the package in the below mentioned link.

You can download a 32 or 64 bit packages according to your need and then go for the installation of the lsb-core package which you can find in your Ubuntu Software Center. In my laptop it is already installed as shown in below screenshot.

We can also install the package from the command line with the help of below mentioned command.
$ sudo apt-get install lsb-core
After the installation is complete you can now double-click on the downloaded .deb package to install it using Ubuntu Software Center which takes some time.
After it has completed you can find the application in Applications > Internet or through the dash if you are using unity desktop. But I have cinnamon desktop installed which has Menu > Internet from where you can launch Google Earth application.

That's it and the application is ready to use.

Enable or Disable Guest Account Logon in Ubuntu 12.04

Providing user access & giving user permissions have been the only most important security threat. Everyone is aware of  the threat of leaving a passwordless computer in a public place or home. Normally everyone provides passwords to their accounts on a public pc or a pc at workplace and also at their homes.
Almost all operating systems provide a guest account other than the user defined account. This guest account is a passwordless account with limited rights like guest user cannot view other users' home folders, cannot even make changes to system files and files belonging to other users. Same is applicable to Ubuntu 12.04. Ubuntu also has a guest account by default which has no password, but it is not activated by default. We can activate & deactivate it as per our convenience.
In fact it is very easy to do so.

Open your terminal and type the below mentioned command
$ sudo gedit /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf

You'll see an output similar to the below mentioned screenshot

Here we just have to append a single line as mentioned below

Now restart your computer. You must have surely noticed that after restarting your machine still the guest account is not activated.
Well, just open the same file /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf again in gedit as done before and remove the line “allow-guest=false” that was added in the first step.
Now reboot the machine and you'll be able to see the guest account activated.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Decreasing boot time in Ubuntu 12.04

Disabling items on start up obviously reduces the boot time of your machine irrespective of the type of the operating system (Windows or Linux) you are using. Same is applicable for Ubuntu 12.04. But due to some unknown reason Ubuntu 12.04 has really missed something in the startup applications program because if we open the 'Startup Applications' program we can see nothing in the list. Ubuntu 12.04 doesn't show any program in the list of 'Startup Applications' which is not possible.

Hence to make the list visible we have to run the below mentioned small command.
$ sudo sed -i 's/NoDisplay=true/NoDisplay=false/g' /etc/xdg/autostart/*.desktop

This command will immediately make the necessary changes and you can now open the 'Startup Applications' program to see all the programs that start after you boot Ubuntu which in turn tend to slow down your booting process.

As you can see my machine was quite busy starting all sorts of applications while booting. I have tried disabling some of which i don't need. This has surely reduced the startup time.

Note- While disabling the applications one must be very careful because while doing so one can also tend to disable some system related necessary startup applications that may ruin or corrupt your operating system.

I would like to suggest some applications that should NOT be disabled are as follows -
AT-SPI D-Bus, Certificate and Key Storage, Disk Notifications, Files, GNOME Settings Daemon, GPG Password Agent, GSettings Data Conversion, Mount Helper, Network, Onboard, PolicyKit, PulseAudio, Screensaver, Secret Storage Service, SSH Key Agent, User folders update, and Zeitgeist Datahub.