Smoothwall Firewall project

Thursday 30 July 2009

Latest build of Chromium on Linux is the most stable yet

This release is now starting to do a decent job with flash, but not perfect yet. In honesty the only application that I have managed to get it to fail on is Google Analytics, which is somewhat amusing, but I'm sure there are others.

However the improvements in the options dialogue are very much moving towards the beta release, and they are almost now finished, except the nss certificates and the langauages selections.

The overall speed is still there, and that doesn't appear to have changed much during the development cycle so far. I have also noticed that the v8 java script engine has been moved into it's own library file, and is a separate part of the installation , and update. If you select the developer/task manager however, it still announces a silly number of CPU's, but at least all the processes are correctly displayed, and you can end a misbehaving tab.

It's still not there for prime time yet, but it is still on course for an autumn beta without a doubt.

It will be very interesting to see which, if any of the main Linux distro's start to include this in their default install or package libraries as it will be a differentiator against the me-to with firefox. That is of course apart from their own Google OS ;-).

Wednesday 29 July 2009

Cloud based features in the Netgear 1100 NAS server

It is becoming obvious to everyone in IT that you can't ignore the cloud any more as it is appearing everywhere, especially in new appliances that are starting to offer additional features that allow you to backup to the cloud.

This rack mounted NAS box , uses Linux, and offers all the normal features you would expect, like NFS,CIFS,AFP etc. It also however adds in an additional feature, and that is an option to sign up with Netgear to backup you data to the cloud. Now I know about all the security issues that surround this debate with secure transfer and storage and who has control of the data once it is stored, but for many small/medium sized companies, this really does take away a lot of the pain of making sure your data is backed up and stored safely.

As a user of Dropbox already for backing up certain data, I can definitely see a use for this service, even if you don't want to put all of the companies most vital data into the cloud just yet.Is it any more risky than asking someone to do backups onto tape, and then safely store those offsite? How many people in a small/medium company regularly check the tapes or test the backups? I would suspect a small percentage, so not only does that take up a lot of time, it does not guarantee success. While sending your data to a professional company that specialises in data backup and restore would offer a decent alternative. The costs are also compelling when put up against the cost of tapes and off-site storage. The cost of fast,reliable tape units are expensive and the tapes to go in them are also not give-away.

Well I embraced the cloud years ago, and I have not had any ill affects as yet, but I watch server hard disks fail on a daily basis, and they really hurt customers. The watch word here is just be careful on the services you select, check exactly what you are getting and look at the small print. Always make a point about checking the security in transfer and storage and who has access to the data once it's in the cloud. As with all things in this area, it will eventually come down to your level of risk acceptance.

Saturday 25 July 2009

Mozilla Labs Weave project is really taking shape

What is it? A bolt on to firefox to store your bookmarks and other browser data in the cloud.

I have used a few of these cloud based bookmark systems in the past, with varying degrees of success, and I have just started testing the Mozilla labs Weave system and it is working very well indeed. I have it talking on three separate systems, including one virtual image and they are syncing perfectly. It means I no longer have to have a different set of bookmarks on different machines, which is not very cloud freindly. The performance is the best I have experienced, and it really happens in the background without you noticing. You can select what parts of your locally stored data you wish to send in to the cloud with a bolt onto the Firefox (3.5 is required) options/preferences window. I like the fact you can encrypt locally and then send the data.

It would be great and extremely useful if it opens its doors eventually to other browsers like Chromium and Opera, and hopefully this will happen. As they are all open source the opportunities are more obvious that with a closed source product like IE.

I think we will start to see a lot more tools and utilities like this moving forward as the cloud becomes the storage system of choice for your information. The data you send to the Mozilla servers is whatever you choose from the list of options, and it is encrypted with a passphrase only you know, so there can't be any data mining without you knowing it. Security is always key in the cloud and can not be ignored, so I think this system works well.

I would definitely recommend giving it a go.

Friday 24 July 2009

Redhat puts next Enterprise version into beta

Redhat announced several months ago about it's new virtualization strategy, and all the new tools that it would offer over the next 18 months. Well one of those building blocks has gone into beta, and I expect it to get shipped - version 5.4 - around the Redhat summit in Chicago at the beginning of September.

The main features I was looking for were enhancements in all the virtualization components, and I haven't been disappointed, all of the building blocks have had major upgrades, plus the inclusion of KVM, which currently appears only in the x86_64 version. Things like virt-manager which normally only get a minor point bump, have seen a big change from 5.3 to 6.1

The kernel has been bumped up to 2.6.18-155 kernel, and all the other major components have had the usual patches and updates. As with all these point releases, you are not going to see much difference on the cover, it's what has been happening underneath on this one that is important.

If you use Redhat for your virtualization host platform, then this latest release will definitely be of interest to you. I will post back once I have run it up on real hardware to test the KVM, as the i386 version just offers the Xen improvements.

Installing Karmic Koala in VirtualPC - a great relief after Windows 7

After my fun and games with Windows 7 yesterday, I downloaded the latest alpha build of Ubuntu 9.10 - Karmic Koala - to have a look at the new and emerging features, but also just to check how this installed with VirtualPC v3.02, and was it quicker and any easier. The resounding answer is definitely yes. I just pointed the virtual CD/DVD drive to point to the downloaded iso image and started the virtual machine.

I booted into the live cd and had a look around first, no issues, everything just worked. I then clicked on the install icon, and six screens later clicked on install, must have taken me five minutes in total. The install to the virtual hard disk took another ten minutes including installing the tools and voila , I now have a fully functioning, fast booting OS to explore. What a difference to yesterdays downloading fest. and installing three applications to just stand still.

That is the big difference, after that 10 minutes, everything is installed and ready to go, the photo album manager, music player, browser, full office suite, photo editor, voip tool, IM tool, etc etc and the candle stick maker.

I have absolutely no doubt that if every user had to install Windows 7 from scratch and all their applications , people would love it a whole lot less, and it is one of the reasons that the pre-installed monopoly for Microsoft is such a bad thing for consumers and the computer industry.

I just hope that Larry Ellison of Oracle fame now throws his hat in the ring and does something interesting with open source on the desktop, along with Google, Debian, RedHat, Canonical, Novell and Apple. I think we can say for the first time since IBM and OS/2, Microsoft has some serious and large competition to it's monopoly. I hope everyone delivers on this potential, as the real winners will be all of us.

Thursday 23 July 2009

Windows 7 a lot of money for not very much

I keep around an old windows XP virtual machine for things like CV's that agents will only take in word format, and I haven't been bothered to change it over to Google docs yet, but I will. So this VM gets powered up now and again on my Ubuntu Desktop to do this one task, and then it gets put away again.

So I thought I would take the Windows 7 7100 build for a spin and try it in VirtualPC, as I had already built a test VMware one. Well, the install went pretty well and once it had rebooted I was sat with an empty desktop, with no applications again. I fired up IE8 so I could download Mozilla Firefox, and it forced me to go to the Microsoft home page. I then downloaded some anti-virus software - AVG - and installed the Virtual PC drivers, another reboot.

I finally installed all the Microsoft patches and another reboot. It must have taken me about 45mins in total, to end up with a working virtual instance, and all I had installed was a browser and the anti-virus. Now that's OK, as I will put on my copy of Office, and I can continue to edit those CV's, but I then got to thinking about the point of this.

With virtualization and the standard hardware reference model that you get, I don't ever need to upgrade my XP virtual image, and it will continue to work until I can be bothered to move it to Google Apps. I know you won't be able to get security updates etc, but then I don't use it for seriously surfing the web anyway. I can also run it with no network connected if I wanted, and isolate it from the outside world , simply for it's legacy value.

So the question here is, why would I possibly spend £200 on Windows 7, the answer is I won't. When the RC runs out next year, then I will just delete the VM and that might be the driver I need to move over to Google apps completely.

I think a lot of people need to think very hard about upgrading to Windows 7, it might be new and shiny, but what exactly are you getting for you hard earned money. In my opinion not a great deal. Especially when you could go and buy a brand new Acer Netbook for £149 with all the software you could want, and spend the rest on treats for yourself.

Tuesday 21 July 2009

Getting Ubuntu 9.04 to work properly with VMware workstation

I had a need today to get an Ubuntu 9.04 image working with VMware workstation 6.5.3-build-156735 and I noticed several things were not working correctly, including shared folders, timesync and the mouse being uable to move between the host and guest operating systems smoothly.

I have been beta testing the latest VMware workstation product - workstation 7 -, that is about to be launched, so I thought I would give the the VMwaretools that come with that a try. I opened up one of my Linux virtual machines on the Linux workstation that has it installed and then grabbed a copy of the VMwareTools-8.1.0-169612.tar.gz. I then put this on a USB key and copied that over to the other machine. That did the trick.

All is now working properly, and the Ubuntu image is playing nicely with Windows XP as the host.

I'm trying to track down a better way of getting access to the latest tools, like a simple URL, but as yet the only resource I can find is the open-vm project, which is behind the VMwareTools, but the latest version of these would not compile on this version of Ubuntu due to a library mis-match.

I will update this post if I track the link down.

Saturday 18 July 2009

Ubuntu Linux is just so easy to use for new users

I have heard over the years about the reason that Microsoft has retained it's monopoly position in the IT market was down to how easy it is to use, and nothing to do with the ineptitude of legislators. I have never believed this, having worked with Microsoft products for decades, I know for a fact how hard they can be to set up, how unreliable and how buggy. Everyone forgets the amount of time they have had to invest in learning the sometime ridiculous things you have to do to get Microsoft software to do anything, like pressing start to shutdown your machine!

As an example, when I used to work for Freeserve, we had a Windows 2000 cluster that was used to serve up a woman's chat forum, and I used to have to sit at my machine keeping that cluster alive while it was going on, as under pressure the cluster nodes would constantly crash, and I would have to constantly keep moving the services around. As the London stock exchange has also recently found out, when Microsoft's software is put under any real pressure it just can't cope.

So, when I had another friend come and ask me to get him onto the web, as he had no computing experience up until now, I had no hesitation but to put Ubuntu Linux onto his IBM laptop. This has been very successful, and he is now another happy surfer, using the full power of the machine, and even demonstrated to me yesterday how he had uploaded his photos to his laptop with F-spot photo manager and then put them onto web with the Picasso.

I haven't had to worry him with machine crippling anti-virus, anti-spyware software, as the machine was an older Pentium 4 , and this would have made it very slow. Ubuntu on the other hand flies along, and all the machines resources can be spent on doing real work. I have also saved him a small fortune in software costs. Their is no need to pay for an Office suite, archiving tool, anti-virus, photo editing software and world class Firefox browser, they are all pre-installed and ready to use straight from the first install. Also in the next few months there will be yet another piece of world class software going to be delivered to Linux in the form of Googles Chrome browser, which will have a big impact on the Linux community

Another great new feature about modern software , is that all of the software he has started to use is cloud based applications like Gmail, Facebook, Twitter and Picasa. So the need for machine backups at the moment are zero. Once he starts wanting to use local applications, then I can set him up a cloud based backup site like Dropbox.

No, Linux has been ready for a large percentage of the population for a long time now, and it is only the constant lies spread by the Microsoft FUD masters that keep telling people how hard it is. I would definitely recommend using Linux for many people, as you can save your family and friends thousands of pounds/euros/dollars in wasted expenditure on software you just don't need to buy. You will be giving them a reliable, secure system that will serve them extremely well, for years to come.

It is also no coincidence that Google have selected Linux to base their operating system on, as they get an extremely good foundation to base their new flashy operating system upon. In the years to come there will be hundreds of millions of people who will be relying on Linux on a daily basis for their computing needs, so it makes sense to become part of the revolution sooner rather than later.

Thursday 16 July 2009

Microsofts lie about netbook operating system installations

In a recent blog post by a Microsoft employee, a statement was made that 94% of netbooks came with a version of Windows XP installed. What this person failed to point out was what the people who bought these machines then did with them. Well I can now tell you , that a very large percentage, download a version of Linux, format the harddrive and never touch a version of windows again. How do I know this, well I started a thread on the forums about six months ago to find out what people were doing with their netbooks, and what OS they were originally supplied with.

Well the thread has now shown that 36% of the people who expressed a preference have removed Windows from their netbooks and replaced it with Eeebuntu Linux. This obviously doesn't include those who have put Solaris,OSX, BSD etc etc. Why not tell the truth that they have grabbed a large slice of the market, but were facing significant competition? I'm sure their share holders would prefer that. Also having to bribe the netbooks manufacturers to take their OS, is not good for share holder value.

So, yet again the Redmond FUD masters have been at work spreading lies. I wish they would just spend more effort on their products and less on spreading nonsense. As with all large monopolists, they would rather spend time spreading lies , just like Intel, than actually developing new products that beat their competition on value for money and features.

Look here for the facts.

36% of Windows netbooks have their hard drives wiped and replaced with Linux

Wednesday 15 July 2009

I'm very impressed with VirtualBox 3.0.2

I have been using VMware workstation since before version one, and it has always served me well up until now. I have started to read lots of good articles on how good Sun Microsystems latest release of Virtualbox has become, so I decided to download it and give it a whirl. Well I can also add my thumbs up to version 3, as this product has moved on extensively since I last tried it.

The migration of some of my older VMware virtual machines was painless, and building a new Windows 7 virtual image was fast and every bit as painless as using VMware Workstation 7 beta.

The suspend and resume is much faster with this version than the latest VMware release, though VMware does have debug mode switched on which might account for some of that. I also really like the seamless mode, which allows you to show just the start bar from Windows and the currently running apps. This works very efficiently, and again I prefer it to the Unity mode in VMware.

Another enormous benefit is that it is free, in both price and spirit, VMware workstation is $200, and the development community behind the project are working towards interoperability with other virtualization methods with makes your virtual images more portable and flexible.

Well, I certainly won't be dropping my VMware just yet, but I'm using this new release more and more, and if it continues to impress, then I suspect it will become my preferred desktop virtualization product.

Get it here Virtual Box

Tuesday 14 July 2009

Great News Chromium on Linux now works with Flash

How to get it:

1. cd /usr/lib/chromium-browser/plugins
2. sudo ln -s ../../mozilla/plugins/
3. ..that's it, restart browser and visit about:plugins and then

I'm using the 3.0.194 build and Youtube works a treat. There are obviously still things to be ironed out , but this is a great step forward.

Monday 13 July 2009

Increasing the boot disk size on a VMware virtual machine

I'm sure you have created some virtual machines for testing or doing some temporary work, and then found them still being useful a good while later. The only problem is that the sizes you picked for the virtual machine disks was not ideal. Well, increasing a lot of settings on a VMware virtual machine are relatively easy, but increasing the boot disk takes a little more work. As always make a backup of you virtual machine before starting as a mistake will truely foobar your virtual disks.

For this example, I'm using an old legacy XP virtual image that I'm currently using to test the beta versions of Firefox and chromium.

The step is to increase the size of the disk from the command line. The following command took the primary partion from 2GB to 10GB.

nick@nick:~/vm/Windows XP$ vmware-vdiskmanager -x 10GB "Windows XP Professional.vmdk"
Grow: 100% done.
Disk expansion completed successfully.

WARNING: If the virtual disk is partitioned, you must use a third-party
utility in the virtual machine to expand the size of the
partitions. For more information, see:

Once you have increased the size of the virtual physical disk, we now need to increase the partition and the NTFS filesystem on that partition. You could rush out an waste £80 of your hard earned money on a product like Partition Magic, or you can follow my simple guide and do it for free.

Step 1: Download a copy of the linux partition and filesystem manipulation software Parted Magic, make sure you download the iso file. Afterwards I would recommend leaving a donation for the developers hard efforts.

Step 2: Using VMware workstation, edit the settings for you virtual machine to now boot from the newly downloaded iso like this:

Step 3: Select the live CD boot option, or if you have set your VM with enough RAM you can select the RAM option:

Once the ISO has booted you will end up at a screen like this

Step 3: Now click on the Partition Editor icon , and you will end up with a screen that looks like this.

Click on the resize button, and select the whole of the disk, so this will grow the partition and filesystem to include the whole of your newly expanded disk. You can then watch the resizing process like this:

Once this has finished, you can re-boot your virtual machine, and you will have a nice new 10GB disk, where before it was a 2GB disk.

Upgrade the Xen kernel on a Redhat Server

Now, if you server has a direct connection to the Internet , then this is very straight forward task, and just a matter of you leveraging the very good Redhat network bug fixing and patching tool. However, if you server has no access to the Internet, or a Satellite server, then how can I patch the kernel and tools? Well, it isn't that difficult, apart from one odd requirement.

Basically you need to log onto the RHN (Redhat network) and download the latest rpms for your version of installed RH. In my case I had version RHEL 5.2, and below is a list of the rpm's I used:


The one odd rpm that I was not expecting to have to upgrade was the ecryptfs-utils, but the kernel wouldn't update unless it was updated first. It doesn't have any dependencies, so it was not a major problem.

Once you have installed these , with the rpm -Uvh command, you will need to reboot into the new kernel, as this level of Redhat doesn't offer the auto kernel updates yet.

This all went well, and allowed me to patch the secure virtual servers, that were having a problem with a memory leak in the previous kernel, and all has been well since.

It is work noting that when Redhat Enterprise Linux 5.4 gets launched in September, then there will be a major upgrade in the whole virtualization infrastructure , which will include using the KVM kernel modules. This will make this an even more compelling virtualization deployment platform.

I hope this saves you some time.

Thursday 9 July 2009

Playing with VMware workstation 7 beta

I have been using this on a Redhat 5.3 based workstation for several weeks now and it has proved in it's current build - 169612 to be very stable. I have run up several virtual images, which include a Redhat 5.2 image to test logical volume testing, and an Ubuntu 9.10 karmic image to have a look at how Grub v2 works with this next release. All have gone well, and there are many new features as you can see from the list below, which I have grabbed from the web.

The one point I would make , is if these are enough of an improvement on Workstation 6.52, as normally when Vmware ups the version number, they ask for some more money. We will have to wait and see for the announcement.

Anyway here is a list of what I have found on the new features.

* Improvements in the support of 3D
OpenGL 2.1 and Shader Model 3.0 are supported in virtual machines, Windows XP, Vista
and Windows 7.

* Support for new model drivers Windows Display Driver Model for Windows 7
is still only 2D acceleration and support only one monitor, the driver is using 32MB RAM.
If you want to run a 3d application in Windows 7, you must configure it to use the old SVGAII driver from VMware.

* Support vSphere 4.0 and ESX support
Professionals can now run these technologies as a guest system to verify the manner in which they are suited to your organization. ESX at this point is supported only on processors that support hardware-accelerated virtualization (all Intel Core 2 and above, AMD Athlon 64 X2 AM2/Phenom and above).

* Support for Multiple expanded to a four-SMP systems
VMware allows you to allocate to the guest system with four virtual single processor with two dual-and single-Quad.

* Virtual printer allows you to print without a printer to print on all printers host OS
Printers are added to the guest operating systems automatically and not require a network.

* Download VMware tools on the Internet on demand.

VMware added ability to upload via the internet the latest versions of VMware Tools including for the new OS, which will improve support for new systems of having to wait out a new version of VMware WorkStation.

* AutoProtect
Snapshot'ov possibility of creating a new virtual machine on a schedule for the rapid restoration of the guest OS.
* Encrypting the virtual machine
VMware now supports encryption (AES 128-bit) and password protection of virtual machines. Running such machines working in the VMware Player.

* Support for IPv6 was added to connect the type of bridge (direct connection of virtual machines to the physical network).

* Support for ALSA
Finally we became VMware support audio output to ALSA, which will simultaneously output sound from the host and guest OS without locking the sound device.

* Put on a break
Now you can temporarily stop the implementation of a guest operating system and free up resources for the system.

* Improvements in technology Drag and Drop.
Support drag and drop images, formatted e-mail attachments and zip folders is now supported in Windows, and Linux.

* Improved support for debugging of guest OSes in a replay ( "Play")

* Expanding virtual disks.
It is now possible to expand virtual disks and operating system Windows Vista and Windows 7 can take advantage of this opportunity without running additional software

* Fuse
Linux operating systems can now mount the virtual disk images via Fuse.

Wednesday 8 July 2009

Wow Google has announced it's Linux OS

Well it has been rumoured for twelve months now that Google was preparing a Linux based web centric operating system to unseat the behemoth that is Microsoft, well it has come to pass.

Read more here :BBC news on Google announcement

and the Google wiki here : Google announce Chrome OS

I can't wait to get my hands on the beta and give it a go.

Tuesday 7 July 2009

Next release of Firefox - 3.6 Namoroka - is taking shape

Since Firefox 3.5 is now out of the door, I have started to play with Minefield again - the daily trunk builds - and the latest release of the trunk code which is marked as 3.6a1pre, is looking very interesting. There are several stated goals for this release, initial browser start speed improvements and also an enhancement to tab speed as well. Well during this very early phase it would appear on Linux that the start speed has definitely been improved, and even with a large number of tabs to open , the browser loads impressively quickly. Also once loaded the response is good, so things are moving in the right direction.

One of the add-ons I always used to install was Firefox showcase, which mimicked operas and chromiums list of open tabs in a window, but this now comes built into firefox 3.6 and it works well. It's not exactly the same, but an improvement over 3.5.

One of the other major objectives is to integrate the browser seamlessly into your operating system of choice, but there are few signs of that as yet. I feel this is going to be tall order with both Gnome and KDE offering different look and feel, but time will tell.

A rich environment for web based applications so that the boundary between the operating system and the browser starts to blur.This is obviously in the to-do pile, as I use a lot of web applications, there doesn't appear on the surface to have been many changes there yet.

Personalization & Customization will allow you to change theme and add-ons, without having to restart the browser, but again this is in the to-do pile.

There are many other improvements marked for this release, and they are not insignificant:
- Better UI (user interface) for uploading files.
- Common site specific preferences to merge with the site button.
- Button to “convert website to application”.
- Implementation of Aero Glass and Aero Peek.
- File management capabilities (move, copy, delete) to be added to the download manager.
- New tab page (we’ve already seen the Cognitive Shield tab concept).
- “about:me” to offer web browsing statistics.
- Identity management.
- Firefox for Mac will use the OS’s native spell checker and will get Keychain and AppleScript support.

You can get more information here :Firefox 3.6

Sunday 5 July 2009

The total myth of Microsoft usability

While visiting my Brother this weekend, I had a laptop given to me to have a look at , as nothing would allow it to connect to the new Broadband wireless access point. Now as I only ever look at this one laptop for my brother as it has an ancient installed version of XP for a single application, they must use. If the machine was more powerful I would put Ubuntu on it , and run the app in a virtual machine, but it just doesn't have the grunt or virtual firmware support.

The truth is that the machine and the operating system are constantly fighting each other just to boot the machine. It is pathetic to watch a machine with 1GB of RAM take 5 minutes to boot. It is an old Dell Inspiron, but when I boot it with an Ubuntu live CD it flys along. I think in Microsoft's defence, a lot of the disk thrashing is down to the anti virus, anti spyware, download protection etc etc etc. Though you can reason a very goog case that if the OS was well built in the first place, you wouldn't need all this expensive software.

Well I have fought with it for a hour to get Firefox 3.5,Google chrome and flash player onto the machine, and we are there now. It would have taken me 5 minutes with Ubuntu, but still I hear the lie, and it is a lie, that Windows is just easier for the average person.

Friday 3 July 2009

Linux is now very well served by browser apps.

Most users have been happily using Firefox version 3.x which came pre-installed with whichever Linux distro they happen to prefer. This is an extremely well written and capable browser, which has just been given a marvellous speed boost by the latest 3.5 release. Have a look here on my blog for a simple install guide with Linux.

There are however other good browsers now available for Linux, and these include Opera and Chromium. I know the later is still in development, but it is developing extremely quickly and should be out in a beta form shortly. Opera on the other hand , in it's 9.64 release is a very powerful, full featured browser, which can be used as a complete replacement for Firefox if you should like to, and the current stable release is significantly faster than Firefox 3.x, and on a par with Firefox 3.5 in real world usage.

I have also now downloaded and started to use Opera 10 beta, and this has also been given a face lift with more enhancements, like the ability to drag open all your tabs to get at the thumbnails of each page, it's really very useful.

The performance with this latest release appears on the surface to be slightly faster than Firefox 3.5, and not that far of Chromium on.

So the days of just taking the Browser you are given and having to be content are well and truly over, especially when you throw Konqueror and Epiphany into the mix. This is real and tangible evidence that the popularity of Linux on the desktop has never been stronger.

I would love to compare Safari and Internet Explorer on my Linux desktops, but unfortunately the companies behind these products are a little afraid of the competition so are sticking to their legacy systems for now.

Thursday 2 July 2009

How to install Firefox 3.5 on Eeebuntu

Step 1:

Grab the tar file from here Firefox 3.5 and save it into your home directory. If you are using the installed firefox that comes with Eeebuntu, make sure you have the option set so that you can tell firefox where you want to save your files. This can be found under the edit --> preferences menu option.

and save the file like this, make sure you select your name.

Step 2:

Now we just need to un-archive this file into your home directory like this at the command line like this.

tar -xjf firefox-3.5.tar.bz2


if you don't like the command line you can use the GUI to achieve the same thing like this.

Select the file you downloaded by double clicking on it, and it will open into the archive tool.

Now just click on extract , make sure you click the "All Files" button, and this will create a new directory in your home directory called Firefox.

Step 3:

Make sure you have closed your old version of firefox, and now you need to create a link on your desktop to your new version of firefox.

The easiest way to do this is to right button click on the desktop, and select the create launcher button, then enter the details like this:

You can change the icon you want to use by clicking on the "Choose Icon" button as part of this process.

Voila, you now have Firefox 3.5 installed and ready to go.

Wednesday 1 July 2009

Chromium on Linux changes continue apace

The latest installable version from PPA, today shows a lot of changes in the search engine selection and editing, and the options tab has now been populated under the "Under the Hood" section. The bookmarks manager is now working correctly from the right had selection menu, without having to use the CTRL-B keyboard shortcut.

I think there is no doubt that the team are pushing for a late summer Beta release with a formal release coming in the autumn, as this browser just get's better with each development build.

If you haven't tried it, then I would recommend having a look, as when the beta is released with plugin support, it is going to change the browsing experience on Linux for ever.

Ubuntu getting it's head further into the clouds

Canonical have ramped up there commercial offerings to get businesses to move some or all of there server requirements into the clouds. They are now offering a two pronged attack, with the publicly available Amazon EC2 and now a more secure offering from Canonical based on Ubuntu Server 9.04 and Eucalyptus.

They have plenty of information on their offerings and how to do this for yourself.

Build your own cloud with Ubuntu server 9.04

Build your cloud using Amazons EC2 public offering

Firefox 3.5 has been released

Firefox 3.5 has finally shipped , as it is effectively the code that was released for Linux on the 24th June as the third release candidate , second build. There have been many improvements in performance over the previous 3.0 release, and for that alone on many systems it is definitely worth the upgrade. You will benefit from the new javascript engine, the embedded ability to natively play ogg media containers and the new tab functions and features.

I have been using it for many months, and on Linux there are really no issues that I have found. It also works better on your netbooks, and you will notice the difference in speed.

I can heartily recommend it to the eeebuntu community, so get it while it's hot.

Firefox 3.5

We will be looking at building the .deb files for easy installation shortly.