Tag Archives: Ubuntu

Bump Up To Ubuntu Not Too Bumpy

So at the day job I grew weary working with Windows Vista and decided to do something about it.  I was sitting on a quad-core Intel machine.  The only issue really was the lack of memory.  Well that and it was a 32-bit version of Vista sitting on a 64-bit capable machine.  Upgrades weren’t available at the time.  I opted to bump up the machine to a 64-bit install of Ubuntu Linux.  So far it’s been great but there have been some bumps.  The surprising thing to me was how easily my workflow transferred over.

The install was a snap.  I chose to install it on a separate partition than to place it within Windows Vista or wipe the whole thing entirely.  I still needed my docs from the other machine.  After about an hour or two, the machine rebooted and I stepped right into my desktop.  I had to add some sources and download some files separately, but the development environment ended up being pretty much the same for me on Windows Vista.  Here’s what I did:

  • IDE:  I was using NetBeans with a PHP plugin development setup.  I also had some Subversion modules and a tasty Vim keyboard setup plugin.  Instead of keeping the same way, I decided to jump to Eclipse.  Some of my other projects uses the Eclipse environment so I decided to go all in.  I use the Aptana plugin, which is fantastic, and found that Subclipse and vWrapper were great substitutes for revision control and Vim emulation.  Once I got settled in the only real issue I’m still stuck with is that vWrapper is completely polished and I’m finding that vWrapper and some auto complete features created some errant bugs.
  • Browser:  Most of the work outside of the IDE is in the browser.  I use Chrome sparingly because of the lack of extension support, but the Chromium browser is a great replacement for it.  Essentially, it is the open source base Google uses to build Chrome off of.  The rest of the heavy lifting is with Firefox.  I use  Firefox Sync to keep me up to date with all of my Add-Ons and Tabs.  I’ll talk about that later.  Also, the restricted packages set for media and other non-free type libraries should be installed for optimal Firefox usage.
  • Communication:  I used Pidgin on the old setup and the new setup has Pidgin as well.  Ubuntu is pushing Empathy but I am much more comfortable with Pidgin.  Also, I ditched Thunderbird altogether.  Evolution is on the setup but I only use it for sending attachments and some templating.  I moved most of my work over to my integrated GMail.  It’s just easier for me collect all the email into one bucket.  I do miss Skype/Google Voice capabilities but I never really use it at work.
  • LAMP:  I used an all in one solution for LAMP development by the name of XAMPP.  It’s great for a default install and run but some of the intricacies needed for real server management go away.  Since we enjoy Linux thoroughly all around, moving to Ubuntu let’s me mirror a closer setup to what we deploy on.  That said, I had to do some extra work getting PEAR and our libraries to work nicely.  Also,  it took me running into some bugs to turn on the error reporting that was on in XAMPP.For the database side of things, XAMPP came with phpMyAdmin but I was using a real great application called Datadmin.  It’s a .NET binary that handles just about any database type and it could export to different database types rather effortlessly.  I still miss it.  I tried to get it working with Wine but it was too much of a pain.  In its place, I now use phpMyAdmin and Navicat SQL Lite.  It does the basic of what want, which is a desktop binary that lets manage with multiple windows and/or tabs.
  • The Rest:  The only other thing I truly require is background music.  I’m a big podcast listener so I latched onto the horrid ITunes on the Windows side of things.  Yes, it stinks for everything else, but there is no better client for podcast management out there.  Once you get the Smart Playlist setup correctly you can have a real nice queue of podcasts updated in real-time.  I still miss it a big but I have a good enough workaround.  I now use VLC and gPodder.  It’s shame they are not integrated.  gPodder manages all of the downloading and play management while VLC is the terminal for audio output.  I had to adjust the settings for VLC to run as one instance and then pass a ‘–plalist-enqueue’ command as part of the VLC choice for gPodder to get it to work more smoothly.The remaining thing that I use heavily is terminal access.  On Windows I use the great PuTTy set of applications to do all my terminal work and key management.  Now since I’m on a machine that has terminals built-in by default, the usage is way better.  I did have to work around the format of keys that PuTTy uses and import them into my OpenSSH setup but after that things are going better than before.  I especially see it when I check out and check in from Subversion.

Overall, the transition was rather smooth.  It’s taken a week for me to get back in the swing of things.  There are no real killer apps I need on the Windows side of things.  Everything I do uses open source so the move to Ubuntu was an obvious one.    It’s left me with a good feeling in my stomach.  I now know I can produce professional quality work on an open source stack.  Back in the day I used to use Linux more than have in recent memory.   Making the jump was great and I urge anyone else with the similar environment setup on Windows to make the same move.

Subversion Install Swankiness Part I

Here we go with the newly decided first part of my Subversion install series.  I decided to break it up into smaller chunks of articles as the first part really is the installation/setup part and the second is the integration/deploying part.  So with this first part we’re gonna talk about downloading, verification, repository setup, and Apache integration.  I’ll make it short and sweet as possible but grab a cup of joe so we can get started.

When figuring out how I should download Subversion, I weighed many options.  I could either grab the source from their website at Tigris or install from Ubuntu’s repository.  The hardcore geek in me wanted to compile from source, but I really wanted to roll out the software quick so I can focus on the blog code.  Also  updates trickle down from Ubuntu with relative automation, so I went with acquiring the binary from Ubuntu.  It really makes sense to knock out the binaries for tools surrounding a project and focus on source for project related code.  Why waste your time setting up a utility when it’s the poject you should be working on?

Continue reading Subversion Install Swankiness Part I

Java Redux

It’s been awhile since I worked with Java.  Well, more specifically, I last seriously worked with Java around the beginning of the century.  I figured, well why not set it up on the server and see what’s going on nowadays?  I knew that the package install for the Java platform is sticky on linux machines.  So a quick cache search yielded me lots of results, with Iced Tea being the most interesting one.

As I was eyeballing the search results, IcedTea stuck out in my head.  I remembered over the summer an episode of FLOSS Weekly briefly touching upon IcedTead.  Dalibor Topic and Bruno Souza from OpenJDK were interviewed about IcedTea and the satus of OpenJDK altogether.  It was very nice to see a fully open sourced implementation of the Sun Java platform.

OpenJDK is an open sourced implementation the Java Platform, Standard Edition.  Sun just in 2006 decided to open source Java and this year some traction took hold.  IcedTea (and OpenJDK) is the first to pass the Technology Compatibility Kit tests and can claim to be a fully compatible Java 6 implementation.  It showed up on Fedora but I forgot that it was on Ubuntu too.

I went the one liner route and installed IcedTea the quick and easy route:

hokey@tardis:~$ sudo apt-get install icedtea-java7-jdk

Which yielded me a bunch of other recommended packages, which I’ll revisit later, but I was ready to hit the big ‘Y’:

Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
The following extra packages will be installed:
icedtea-java7-bin icedtea-java7-jre
Suggested packages:
binfmt-support icedtea-java7-demo icedtea-java7-source icedtea-java7-plugin sun-java6-fonts ttf-baekmuk ttf-unfonts ttf-unfonts-core
ttf-kochi-gothic ttf-sazanami-gothic ttf-kochi-mincho ttf-sazanami-mincho ttf-arphic-uming
Recommended packages:
liblcms1 lesstif2 libgnome2-0 libgnomevfs2-0 libgconf2-4 libgl1-mesa-glx
The following NEW packages will be installed:
icedtea-java7-bin icedtea-java7-jdk icedtea-java7-jre
0 upgraded, 3 newly installed, 0 to remove and 3 not upgraded.
Need to get 36.8MB of archives.
After unpacking 117MB of additional disk space will be used.

After installing the package a quick test verified its install:

hokey@tardis:~$ java -version
java version "1.7.0"
IcedTea Runtime Environment (build 1.7.0-b21)
IcedTea Client VM (build 1.7.0-b21, mixed mode, sharing)

It’s nice to get back to my Java roots using something completely open source and Java 6 compatible.  I’ve read up on a couple of things like JavaFX that I play around with and this is a good first step.  Plus, it’s helping me dust some cobwebs that have been lurking in my head for a couple of years.  Who knows?  Once I get knuckle deep back into Java I might turn out some projects or maybe even something enterprise for headquaters.   At any rate, the Java mixes well with my morning coffee addiction and IcedTea mixes will with my afternoon green tea addiction.