Monthly Archives: September 2007

nautilus-image-converter : quickly resize or rotate images within nautilus

Not too long ago I blogged about the ability to quickly open a terminal session from within nautilus and a handy right-click.  If you missed it you might want to take a look back here.  In today’s post there is a similar very easy way to quickly resize or rotate images with a simple right-click.


To add this functionality we’ll need to install the nautilus-image-converter package:

sudo aptitude install nautilus-image-converter


Before you’re able to use this functionality you’ll need to restart nautilus or simply logout and back in.  You’ll now be able to right-click on any image on your machine and you’ll see two new menu items:

"resize images"

"rotate images"

The options menu that will be presented will give you quite a number of options on rotation direction, resizing, etc.  Give it a quick try, its about as easy as it can get.

Getting the source package with aptitude?

Ever since I learned about the benefits of aptitude vs apt-get I’ve switched over. It’s been great and I’m sure I’ve preached about the benefits before (/me does some digging and pulls up links) here.

Well, I ran into something yesterday that I haven’t been able to solve with aptitude. Is it possible to pull down the source code from the deb-src repository via aptitude and not apt-get source?

I’d sure appreciate if anyone can tell me a way.

Aptitude Easter Egg?

I was just tooling around with aptitude (aptitude ftw!) and found something I hadn’t seen before. Did you know aptitude has a built-in game of minesweeper? Check it out.

Launch aptitude from the command line:

aptitude (the game doesn’t need sudo)

Hit ctrl-t for the menu. You’ll see minesweeper mentioned on the first menu. You can navigate to it or press ‘p’ to play.

Enjoy. Here is to wasted hours of your life.

How To Install VMWare Server on Ubuntu 7.04

UPDATE: This post has been updated for VMware Server 1.0.5 on Ubuntu 8.04.  If you are running Ubuntu 8.04 you’ll need to see those steps.

I’ve been playing more with virtualization recently and thought I would outline the steps I took to install VMWare Server on Ubuntu 7.04.  I will also have steps for installation on Ubuntu 7.10, but it requires a bit more tweaking so that’ll have to wait.

Installing VMWare Server

Installing VMWare Server on Ubuntu 7.04 is made very simple by the Canonical commercial repository.  It’s as simple as an ‘aptitude install’, following just a few steps.  Here is what we need to do:

Register for a VMWare Server use-code.  VMWare Server is freeware but it requires registration at to generate a license code for use.  Visit this link to register and generate the number of codes you might want. Remember to print the codes or write them down because in my experience they are not emailed to you.

Include the repository

Add the following line to your /etc/apt/sources.list or via System > Admin > Software Sources menu.

deb feisty-commercial main

You’ll need to update aptitude to the change using:

sudo aptitude update


You can now install vmware-server by installing the packages:

sudo aptitude install vmware-server vmware-server-kernel-modules-$(uname -r)


You should now have VMWare Server installed in your Applications menu, or you can launch it via the ‘vmware’ command.  Enjoy.

Plan of Action for Building Communities

The purpose of the US Teams Project is “Teams helping Teams”. In the spirit of community we want to be able to share our knowledge, expertise and wisdom with those following after in establishing Ubuntu communitues across the United States. While I admit that we may not know everything we do have combined years of team leadership under our belts and collectively have some wisdom to share.

As such I want to share some fundamental structural methods for building a LoCo Team while able to avoid the overhead of financial and legal concerns. It should be noted that dealing with finances and legal concerns within a LoCo Team should be avoided whenever possible!

You may wonder how we are able to grow and build a team responsibly without these financial and legal coverings. In the true sense of community of course, by building upon those before us!

In the true sense of Open Source Community we have leveraged established and existing frameworks to extend our reach and build communities. Some of these include holding install-fests in cooperation with existing Linux User Groups at their local Universities. Organizing in this manner absolves the LoCo Team from responsibilities as we are simply participants to the existing group, at the existing groups location. Legal issues arising from an event such as this should be on the shoulders of the University or the location itself. Working with established Community groups for these events absolves LoCo Teams of the responibilities of legal and monetary framework and should be pursued wherever possible. In the true spirit of Ubuntu “we are because the community is”, remember that.

I want to remind established and growing teams that the LoCo project is not here to replace existing Linux User Groups or Special Interest Groups. We are here to improve them. We are here to cooperate with them. We are here to support them in any use, distribution or education concerning Ubuntu and Free Software. We don’t need to create new framework and organizations as many of these already exist. We don’t and should not see ourselves as pioneers in advocating Linux, Free Software and Ubuntu. There are many that came before us. There are many that have put effort into organizing groups, arranging locations and building relationships with entities such as Universities and other public places. There are many that will come after us as well. Let us continue to build on the community around us and celebrate the local cultures and groups that exist.

As an Ubuntu LoCo Project I propose we need to get back to our roots. We need to cooperate and participate instead of try to build anew. Work with existing groups and make them stronger instead of build our own isolated communities.

One of the meanings of Ubuntu itself is “I am who I am because of who we all are” (paraphrasing). If we forget who we all are–if we can’t cooperate with existing groups and build on the shoulders of the giants before us we have lost the spirit of Ubuntu already.

I propose that Ubuntu LoCo Teams need to improve from within. What does this mean? This means start focusing on projects that don’t involve financing or legal protection. There are many, many ways we can build and improve the project without any of these.

What was the last bug you squashed? When was the last time you or your team collectively contributed to an Ubuntu Hug Day? When was the last bug you submitted? There are still hundreds of open bugs in the Ubuntu and related projects. This is a perfect and far-reaching opportunity for LoCo Teams to contribute and improve Ubuntu as a whole.

What was the last wiki or tutorial you wrote? When was the last time you or your team collectively improved the Ubuntu documentation? When was the last time you used the wiki at all? The Ubuntu Community Documentation ( can still be much improved. There are still hundreds of documents to be written and other documents to be improved or updated. Contributing, as a Team, to this project benefits Ubuntu as a whole.

When was the last time you worked supporting the Ubuntu Forums? Has your team organized Ubuntu Forums support days? Spending time helping new users or tackling the unanswered posts on the forums continues to educate Ubuntu users around the world.

Has your team contacted or presented at existing LUG meetings? Have you presented on Ubuntu at schools? Have you supported your local LUGS with install-fests (again, at their location, on their terms) when Ubuntu is to be available? Do you make yourselves available on existing LUG mailing lists to support Ubuntu wherever it comes up?

Concerning marketing flyers for events and CD distribution there are also solutions being organized.

The US Teams Project will be structuring a national CD distribution system for teams and individuals that want to participate. This should alleviate part of the financial burden on CD purchases, burning, labeling, etc.

I have also been working with a company (to be announced soon) to provide us with free flyer and marketing material. All bugs are not worked out of this system yet, but free promotional flyers will be made available to every team in time for the 7.10 “Gutsy” release parties.

Remember, improving Ubuntu from within is something that LoCo Teams can and should be participating in. We love Ubuntu, lets make it better. Squash bugs, improve documentation, work with developers, become part of MOTU, improve and support existing user groups and special interest groups. There are dozens of ways we can contribute, none of which require money or legal guidance.

For those times when your team wants a more public event, work with existing organizations. Work with LUGs in your state. Work with University CS departments. Work with school district CS education groups. Contribute to your community in advocating Ubuntu, avoid building new structures and framework. Work with existing events, even if they are not directly computer related.

Remember that Ubuntu is built on Community and Community is the number one reason why it is successful. People like me and you building upon the shoulders of giants. Lets continue to improve the communities around us, celebrating what makes us all unique. Without Ubuntu and without community we are nothing.

“Linux is a registered trademark of Linux Torvalds”

I was just looking through my swag-bag from the Utah Open Source Conference and noticed something a little off on the SUSE Linux Enterprise “evaluation” CD that were included from Novell.  On the back of the CD set, under the Novell logo it reads:

…”*Linux is a registered trademark of Linux Torvalds”

Linux Torvalds?  I have so many directions I could go with this, but I think I’ll just leave it up to your imaginations.

Go Tell Lenovo What Distribution You’d Like On the Thinkpad!

I wanted to quickly share this link.  There is a public poll on Lenovo Blogs asking what distribution the people want.

Here is the link.  Go make your voice heard for Ubuntu!

Utah Open Source Conference Coming To A Close

I recently finished my presentation at the Utah Open Source Conference.  I think it went pretty well.  I had a good turnout, and people were contributing to the conversation.

My main presentation was on the topic and fact that community does not mean “some big group of people”.  Community means you and me.  It is individuals.  It is the geek coding in his basement.  It is the guy submitting bugs.  It is the people interesting in running a good piece of software.

You can get my slides, if you want, here.  They aren’t much to look at without the presentation end of things.  I tried to make the slides really simple so attendees would listen to me instead of read my slides (interesting thought ehh?)

I did credit sabdfl, Jono, Daniel and Malcom.  I hope ya’ll don’t mind. You’re representing parts of our community and the contrast (particularly between Jono and Daniel) show the diversity quite well!

I’ll see you next year at the Utah Open Source Conference 2008.  I’m sure it’ll be twice as big and we want to see more of you from outside the state!

Utah Open Source Conference : Day 1

I’m taking a quick minute to post some of my thoughts on the Utah Open Source Conference going on down here at the Open Source Technology Center at Novell.

So far the conference has been a big success. We have a large turnout which, of course, we’re really excited about. Everyone seems to really be enjoying things.

As one of the volunteer coordinators I haven’t had time, sadly, to sit in on many of the presentations–coordinating a conference is a lot of work! I did sit in on Clint Savages “What is Utah Open Source”, which was very good. We’re trying to build up the business, education and technical communities via the use of Open Source technologies and ideals.

Last night I was presented with the Open Source Award for contribution to the Open Source community in Utah. It is a real honor, and I was very much surprised. Thanks goes to everyone in our community for working so hard together for such an overall success.

This evening I will be running the Guru Labs Troubleshooting challenge, which I’m excited about. Guru Labs is a great place to work and we offer some of the best Linux training in the Industry. If you’re interested in Linux training, whether personally or for your business contact us!

For everyone that didn’t make it this year you should really make time next year. It’s going to be even bigger. Based on the initial success of this conference I can only imagine how good things will be next year!

It Begins…

The Utah Open Source Conference begins this afternoon.  I’m very excited to see the results of our planning and efforts.  Fingers crossed that everything comes together without a hitch!

Conference events you should check out:

Tonight’s keynote addresses and the Open Source Awards for local contributions.

Guru Labs Troubleshooting Challenge, Friday 5:10.  I will be hosting.

I will be presenting on Saturday, 9:45 just after Pete Ashdown’s morning keynote.  My topic is “Leveraging The Power of Community”.  I hope to see those that are attending at my presentation, it should be a lot of fun.

I will be blogging the conference and I might twitter it too, we’ll see how busy I am.