Posts Tagged ‘GNU/Linux’

Webmin on a server running Ubuntu 10.04 “Lucid Lynx”

August 15, 2010 Leave a comment

If you have an old PC lying around, why not put it to good use as a server?

Download Ubuntu 10.04 Server edition in 64-bit or 32-bit versions depending on how old your server is.  64-bit is recommended if the PC will accept it.

Once downloaded, you use .iso file to burn a CD.  Then boot from the CD to install Ubuntu Server on your machine.

This is an install that does not have the usual graphical user interface which can scare people off but it has its benefits.  You use the power of the machine only for its intended purpose e.g. acting as a file server, a DHCP or a DNS server.

Once it has been installed successfully and the network connection is verified to be working, it is quite feasible to remove the display monitor and to deal with the server across your network from now on.  A key tool in this approach is Webmin.

To install run the following command line

sudo apt-get install webmin

Once that completes, you will be able to install updates, configure the machine, add extra server components, get alerts when things are going awry on the server etc

To harness all this incredible power, point your browser (Firefox, Chrome etc) at …


As an example, once you have installed it, go to the menu on the left hand side, choose “Webmin Configuration” and then the “Upgrade Webmin” icon.

This will upgrade you up to the latest version available from the webmin site.

Then try this to keep track of all software updates that are available for your server…

On the same “Webmin Configuration” Screen, choose “Webmin Modules” icon and then the button to the right of ““.

Select “package-updates” from the list and follow the instruction to install it. (It may be already installed but this shows you how to get other modules should you be interested in adding new functionality to webmin).

It is also necessary to install another package which is not installed by default in order for the list of packages to work as expected.  Run this command line.

sudo apt-get install apt-show-versions

Now, you can have Webmin check for updates every hour and let you know via email if your server has important updates ready to be applied.  This is better than automatically configuring the server to apply updates blindly in case something breaks. You can then choose a suitable occasion to perform the updates when you have time to rectify any issues that may occur.

Click on the System menu on left-hand-side of Webmin screen and choose “Software Package Updates”. In there you can set your schedule for checking updates and where to send the email.

I recommend to check every hour and “Just notify” of available updates.  This screen is fairly self-explanatory.

Webmin has everything you need to remotely control your server and circumvents the need to run a graphical user desktop environment on that machine saving precious processing time particularly on older machines. It also makes the configuration,  monitoring and management of that server easier to perform remotely so it can be hidden away in some dark recess of your home or office.  This is a good thing if the machine is an ugly beast from the last century with a noisy fan and a hideous disfigurement like my server, “quasimodo”.

Inexpensive 802.11n Wifi USB with Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

June 18, 2010 6 comments

UPDATE: it may be possible to get this working with two simple lines. Tested as working under Ubuntu 10.10 “Maverick Meerkat”.

In a terminal window try the following and then reinsert the USB wireless N adapter.

cd /lib/firmware
ln -s RTL8192SE RTL8192SU



I bought this relatively cheap USB wireless N adapter online but it did not work when initially inserted using Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx.

Now I cannot determine the speed as my Wireless Access point is actually on Wireless g (54Mbps) but this is what I did to get it working.

From the CD that came with the adapter, I copied off the file containing the Linux driver and then copied only the firmware to the appropriate location for Ubuntu to be able to utilise it.

(Assuming the CD is visible at /media/WLAN_6.58/)

Open a terminal window (from the Applications menu, Accessories), then type each line as shown below followed by Enter key each time.

mkdir ~/tmpwifidriver

cd ~/tmpwifidriver

cp /media/WLAN_6.58/USB-11N_RTL8191\&8188/Linux/rtl8192su_linux_2.6.0002.0708.2009.tar.gz ~/tmpwifidriver/

tar xvf rtl8192su_linux_2.6.0002.0708.2009.tar.gz

sudo cp -r ./rtl8192su_linux_2.6.0002.0708.2009/firmware/RTL8192SU/ /lib/firmware/

Just delete the temporary folder now to cleanup

rm -rf /home/tony/tmpwifidriver/

Then just insert the wifi USB adapter and click on the icon for Network Manager in the top right of the screen.  You should be able to see any nearby wireless hotspots.

For the record, my wifi adapter looks like this when queried with lsusb

Bus 001 Device 010: ID 0bda:8172 Realtek Semiconductor Corp.

A bargain for only $16!!

Installing Evolution 2.29.3 with mapi plugin under Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic

December 11, 2009 37 comments

UPDATE: 2.29.5 is available.

Just change the version number in the wget lines below in Step 2 and follow the remaining steps as below taking care to update the new version number where appropriate.

You should not need to uninstall anything in advance.

Download, compile and install the following 4 files…





ALERT: This posting relates to an “unstable release” of Evolution.  Although you may improve functionality against an Exchange 2007 server, you may also suffer from degraded performance. Install at your own risk.

These are the steps I followed to install the very latest unstable development version of Gnome Evolution.  It requires you to upgrade a few components over what is included in Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala by default.

1. Run Applications menu-> Accessories-> terminal

2. Get the latest code tarballs by typing the following commands into the terminal window (note that we get two versions of the evolution code as the newest one appears to be missing a required file)

mkdir ~/evolution

cd ~/evolution






3. Get prereqs for building each of the packages by typing the following commands into the terminal window

sudo apt-get install libdb-dev libnspr4-dev libnss3-dev libical-dev libsqlite3-dev

sudo apt-get install bison intltool gnome-core-devel evolution-data-server-dev libcanberra-gtk-dev

sudo apt-get install libgtkhtml3.8-dev network-manager-dev libunique-dev libhal-dev

sudo apt-get install libgtkimageview-dev libpst-dev libnotify-dev

sudo apt-get install libmapi-dev samba4-dev libglib2.0-dev

4. Extract the source code from the tarballs with the following commands

tar xjvf gtkhtml-3.29.3.tar.bz2

tar xjvf evolution-data-server-2.29.3.tar.bz2

tar xjvf evolution-2.29.3.tar.bz2

tar xjvf evolution-

tar xjvf evolution-mapi-0.29.3.tar.bz2

5. Now we should have a folder for each of the components under our ~/evolution folder, so we visit each folder in turn and build and install. Check for the screen for any errors, particularly after each install command, to see if the individual component built ok.  If you experience any errors, leave a comment here so that we can determine if a prerequisite is missing from your environment.

cd ~/evolution/gtkhtml-3.29.3



sudo make install

cd ~/evolution/gtkhtml-3.29.3



sudo make install

cd ~/evolution/evolution-data-server-2.29.3



sudo make install

cd ~/evolution/evolution-2.29.3



sudo make install

cd ~/evolution/evolution-



sudo make install

cd ~/evolution/evolution-mapi-0.29.3



sudo make install

6. If everything built alright, you should now be able to launch Evolution and check in the Help menu -> About to confirm that you are running now.  You should also have improved (but still buggy) calendar functionality if you have an Exchange 2007 email server  As stated at the top of this posting, this is an unstable release of code under very active development at the moment. Only try these steps if you can cope with Evolution not working or working intermittently.

If you are dependent on Evolution to work and it does not currently meet your requirements with the version you have already installed, then try the steps shown here.

Gnome Evolution Updates for Karmic

December 1, 2009 8 comments

The latest unstable release of Gnome Evolution 2.29.3 was released yesterday with an updated 0.29.3 mapi plugin and provides a marked improvement over the current stable release in Ubuntu Karmic 9.10 (i.e. Evolution 2.28.1 and evolution-mapi 0.28.0).

The roadmap for releases of the latest Gnome components is shown here

I have tested the 2.29.3 release for Evolution against the Exchange 2007 server and can report that the Global Address List is fully functional and the email part of Evolution works well with the mapi plugin.  Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the calendar functionality which had a caniption and froze on any attempt to access.

So the good news is, you can use Evolution cleanly to talk to an Exchange 2007 server now as long as you only want to use email.

I will document the steps required for anyone adventurous enough and prepared to deal with what is code under active development.