Ubuntu Lucid Lynx changes Firefox default search provider to YAHOO!

Rick Spencer rick.spencer at canonical.com 

Tue Jan 26 20:03:01 GMT 2010

All - I am writing to apprise you of two small but important changes coming to Firefox in Lucid. I have asked the desktop team to start preparing these changes to make them available in Lucid as soon as reasonably possible. Probably on the order of weeks.

Change #1
In Lucid, the default home page will respect the search provider settings that you have set in the "Chrome". (The "Chrome" is Mozilla's term for the little search box to the upper right, reachable by control-K, for instance). For Lucid, this will definitely work for switching between Google and Yahoo!, we don't yet know what other providers will be in scope for Lucid. If a user has Google set as their search provider,they will have exactly the experience they do today. If they switch to Yahoo!, the default home page will switch to using a Yahoo! search. If they switch back to Google, the default home page will switch back to using the Google search, exactly like today. Searching from Chrome will continue to work exactly as it does today.

Change #2
Change #2 is changing the default search provider in Firefox to Yahoo! Note that this won't in any way affect the ability of a user to choose and use the search provider of their choice. It's literally 2 easily discoverable clicks to change this setting, a simple matter of switching to that search provider in the chrome by clicking on the icon and choosing the desired provider. Note also that Yahoo! does not share any personally identifiable or usage information. 

I am pursuing this change because Canonical has negotiated a revenue sharing deal with Yahoo! and this revenue will help Canonical to provide developers and resources to continue the open development of Ubuntu and the Ubuntu Platform. This change will help provide these resources aswell as continuing to respect our user's default search across Firefox.

Cheers, Rick

how-to launch applications that need root/admin privileges on Ubuntu when on a remote session

Did you ever find yourself at work with a remote session on your Ubuntu server (or workstation) invoked by ssh -X command and needed to launch users-admin or some similar graphical application that need a sudo (or root) authentication to work? Did you ever got frustrated of not having the possibility to enter or see accepted your password ?

Well, here’s how to resolve this! All you need to do is invoking this command:

sudo ck-launch-session $COMMAND &

For example, when I needed users-admin (to graphically add a new user, modify or delete an old one) giving the aforementioned command, after having inserted my sudo password, I got this window:

ck-lauch-session example

P.S. = if you can help me with a shorter or clearer post title I’ll be grateful (remember english isn’t my native language !!!)

P.S. #2 = sometimes you just DON’T have to put the ‘&‘ at the end of the line so you can insert the administrative password needed for the command (i.e. Synaptic) execution…

how to use users-admin remotely on Ubuntu

Lately I had the necessity to create an account and modify another one on an Ubuntu box at work. I’ve regularly logged on via a ssh -X shell and gave the command

sudo users-admin

resulting in a “blocked” window … I mean one on which I wasn’t able to unlock the command via an administrative password input.

After a little diggin’ on the web I found that the solution is in giving this command:

sudo ck-launch-session users-admin &

which will ask you the administrative password and make the commands on the appearing window


Bio-Linux: Ubuntu and bioinformatics

Today I’d like to spend some words on a particular Open Source project which aims to make know, test and finally use the available tools for molecolar biology, bio-technologies and bio-informatics in general.

This world is overwhelmed by a number of “tools” divided in an ocean of productors, licences, repositories and kind of package (rpm, deb, Z, tar.gz, plain code…).

Enter Bio-Linux.

The Bio-Linux project starts from a branch of UK’s NERC (National Environment Research Council) dealing with biology.

This NEBC proudly has took in hand this shattered cosmo of open source software for bioinformatics under his own “umbrella” and then has gone further … has created a full GNU/Linux distribution, building over the solid core of Ubuntu (on it’s Long Term Support 8.04 release).

Today Bio-Linux 5 is:

  • a LiveCD operating system;
  • a fully functional operating system running on desktop and servers alike;
  • a bioinformatics repository for Ubuntu

and all this is fully supported and given the news on the NEBC and NERC there’s money to guarrantee that for the expectable future.

Personally at work I’ve had chance to appreciate this distro in all the flavours listed above and also as a VMware’s appliance.

If you’ve already running an Ubuntu 8.04 box in this wiki page you’ll find how-to add the biolinux repository to your sources.list. There it’s also stated that there’s some kind of compatibility with Debian and also with the latest 9.04 release, even if for a couple of software there are occasional bugs.

But, on the workplace, expecially when the user has to USE his desktop and not work to make it run, Ubuntu 8.04 (with an updated copy of OpenOffice and a couple of backports) it THE way go, at least for me.

As a personal, final note, I must regret on the strickt control of the repository … I’ve witnessed a similar Biolinux project, focused on the RPM world being abandoned in 2007 supporting ancient distros like Fedora6 and RedHat 9 … I’d prefer a strong team in the Ubuntu (or $distro) community claiming “we will take care of all things bioinformatics, like it’s done for Compitz or other focused projects in the past.

A change of menthality is needed so, when the Public Administration (or a private) invests on an open source technology the RoI must be seen in the product itself (and/or on how it facilitates works or makes you make more money increasing the productivity) and not in a self-owned fancy site claiming “I MADE IT, I AM BIG, GIMME MORE MONEY”.

Don’t you think so?

which version of Ubuntu are you running ?


Ever wondered how to know by command line which version of Ubuntu are you running ?

The answer is simple:

kOoLiNuS@linuxbox:$ cat /etc/lsb-release


Enjoy your Open Source operating system ;-)

P.S. = on any *NIX system you can also use the following command too:

cat /etc/issue

Ubuntu 8.04.3 LTS released

The Ubuntu team is proud to announce the release of Ubuntu 8.04.3 LTS, the 3rd maintenance update to Ubuntu’s 8.04 LTS release. This release includes updated server, desktop, and alternate installation CDs for thei386 and amd64 architectures.

In all, 80 updates have been integrated, and updated installation media has been provided so that fewer updates will need to be downloaded after installation. These include security updates and corrections for other high-impact bugs, with a focus on maintaining stability and compatibility with Ubuntu 8.04 LTS.

— via lists.ubuntu.com

Ubuntu Feisty Beta

Living on the Apple side of the IT can be boring at times to I’ve decided to go out and see what’s new …. Fate wanted that happened just the exact day when Ubuntu pals released their 7.04 beta release, so I’ve pulled out my Transmission bittorrent client and downloaded the {alternate} ISO file.

ubuntu logo

I’ve installed it on 2 machine since then (every time getting an error installing linux-generic kernel) and after having passed by some installation media problem (I’ve used a maybe too used cd-rw disc) the machines are running smoothly … Release quality “beta” guys …

I’ve also enjoyed really, really much the Ubuntu.com new webdesign and again, after the first incarnation I see how a clearly layed out site can help the user experience with the distro … a lesson that Debian, Fedora – even if they’ve abandoned the redhat.com original site – and openSUSE – in a minor way than the previous two have to learn if they want to be strong on the community.