Kubuntu – Install ATI drivers

The complete instructions are here: http://wiki.cchtml.com/index.php/Ubuntu_Lucid_Installation_Guide

For Kubuntu just make sure that:

1) The proprietary driver is enabled/installed: alt-f2 and run jockey-kde (Additional drivers)

2) Add the X team PPA:

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-x-swat/x-updates
$ sudo apt-get update

3) Install the fglrx driver: sudo apt-get install fglrx

4) Initialize the ATI configuration:

sudo aticonfig –initial -f

In my case I’m using a dual monitor setup, and I did the above configuration and used the amdcccle configuration tool to setup the dual monitor. Please note that using Xinerama disables Desktop effects. If you want one large desktop choose the Multi-display Desktops. With this the desktop spawns the monitors and it’s possible to move windows between them.

5) Reboot.

If it fails to boot into graphical mode and/or it boots to VESA mode , go to safe mode and using the command jockey-text, make sure that the driver is enabled.

$ jockey-text -l
xorg:fglrx – ATI/AMD proprietary FGLRX graphics driver (Proprietary, Enabled, In use)

If the driver is disabled, enable it with the command: jockey-text -e xorg:fglrx

Kubuntu 10.04 to 10.10 upgrade

Since Kubuntu 8.04 that I’ve chosen to upgrade my installation instead of re-installing everything by scratch. One of the main reason is that I was to lazy to create a separated /home partition, and I really don’t want also to re-install all applications from scratch.

Most of the people that choose the upgrade path hit some issues that do not happen when doing a fresh install, and, yes, I hit some problems. Some problems are Kubuntu related and do not happen when using Ubuntu…

So the story:

Because my home machine has an ATI 4870 and I’m using the ATI proprietary driver, I wanted to make sure that my driver was up to date because Kubuntu 10.10 uses the latest Xorg…

So while still using 10.04 and the latest kernel available, I downloaded ATI driver 10.12 and it failed to install with the latest kernel.

This was problem number one: To cut a long story short the solution for this issue is here: http://primalcortex.wordpress.com/2010/12/29/kubuntu-install-ati-drivers

Anyway, for upgrading I went to Adept Installer, and on Sources->Edit Software Sources -> Updates changed the Release Upgrade to Normal Releases.

Sure enough, the 10.10 upgrade was offered.

Phase one: Upgrade stopped with error on log “Could not calculate upgrade-Can’t mark ‘kubuntu-desktop’ for upgrade“. It took me a while to find out that this was some meta package leftover from previous upgrades/installs that was not needed. So: apt-get remove kubuntu-desktop and this was the only package removed.

Phase two: Upgrade now stops with another weird error: could not install the upgrades – Couldn’t configure pre-depend x11-common for x11-xkb-utils, probably a dependency cycle

This took some time to solve and the solution is here: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/x11-xkb-utils/+bug/639933

Mainly is to do the following as root:

wget http://mirrors.kernel.org/ubuntu/pool/main/x/xorg/x11-common_7.5+6ubuntu3_all.deb
dpkg -i x11-common_7.5+6ubuntu3_all.deb

After this the upgrade ran without any problem.

At the end rebooted and: Despite of running Kubuntu the splash screen was of Ubuntu 10.10… Not nice.This is probably because I was running the command line upgrade tool do-release-upgrade? Not sure. Not important for now…

Boot proceed to fail completely into the text boot login… Oh boy… No graphical desktop no kde desktop no nothing. So I’ve logged in text mode with my credentials and “sudoed” to root (sudo bash)

Ok. Looking at the /var/log/Xorg.0.log file shows that the proprietary fglrx.ko module was not found. Ok, fair enough: The reason was that during the upgrade from 10.04 to 10.10 the kernel version changed, and the previous configuration was lost.

So I edit the /etc/apt/sources.lst and enabled all Kubuntu PPA’s and ubuntu-x-swat PPA. These where disabled during the upgrade, so I need now to enable them to get the latest KDE (4.5.4 at this date) and the ATI proprietary driver. The usual commands apt-get update, and apt-get upgrade and the new KDE and fglrx drivers is downloaded and installed.


Still text mode… Xorg.0.log still complains that the fglrx driver is not installed…

Now what? I’ve installed the proprietary driver with jockey-kde which is a graphical utility, but now I don’t have no graphical environment…

The text only tool is jockey-text and running with the -l (that’s an l not an i) reports that the xorg:fglrx driver is DISABLED… ok, So:

jockey-text -e xorg:fglrx

enables the driver and then rebooting it solves the issue. Now I have a graphical KDE environment…

So what’s was broken during the upgrade?

hplip 3.10.2  – doesn’t work anymore: Can’t detect my c309g-m printer. Upgrading to hplip 3.10.9 solves the issue.

Akonadi Google plugins to synchronize calendar and contacts looks like it’s broken. I can’t see my Gcal events… Not sure if it’s related to the upgrade…

What’s new:

I’ve installed bluedevil to replace the old bluetooth software.

Boot times are faster

Fonts look much better.

Upgraded to Digikam 1.7


The final problem: At boot instead of having the Kubuntu splash screen, I have the Ubuntu pink/violet one… So I went to synaptic and removed the package plymouth-theme-ubuntu-logo e plymouth-theme-ubuntu-text leaving only the Kubuntu related ones.

Kmail/Korganizer and Nokia phone synchronization

When Nokia bought Trolltech, the makers of QT, one could assume that Nokia PC-Suite for Linux was on the horizon… But so far nothing has happened. So how do I synchronize my phone contacts and agenda with KDE software? Easy…

In my case I’m using KDE and Kmail/Korganizer, so the following post is how to accomplish this syncronization with Kmail address book and Korganizer Calendar using the Opensync syncronization framework. I’m using Opensync version that comes with Kubuntu 9.10, that’s 0.22.

Requirements: Latest KDE SC 4.4 release, a bluetooth dongle (in my case I’ll synchronize using BT), Akonadi and Kmail/Korganizer

1st) Make sure that your phone is detected. In my case it’s an Nokia 6280, and using one of these: http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.11866 on my desktop PC, that works on Linux/Kubuntu 9.10 without any issue (and cheaper than this is probably impossible…):

Let’s see if the bluetooth dongle is detected: lsusb

Bus 008 Device 002: ID 0a12:0001 Cambridge Silicon Radio, Ltd Bluetooth Dongle (HCI mode)

Detected and Kbluetooth works, now execute the command: hcitool scan and the detected phones should appear:

Scanning ...
 00:3B:34:91:9A:56       Nokia 6280
 00:75:1F:88:08:AF       VF541

Take note of the hexadecimal address for the phones.

We also need to make sure that the phones do have the SyncML client, using the sdptool command browse: For example: sdptool browse 00:3B:34:91:9A:56

And on the output a section like this:

Service Name: SyncML Client
Service RecHandle: 0x1000e
Service Class ID List:
 UUID 128: 00000002-0000-1000-8000-0002ee000002
Protocol Descriptor List:
 "L2CAP" (0x0100)
 "RFCOMM" (0x0003)
 Channel: 11
 "OBEX" (0x0008)
Language Base Attr List:
 code_ISO639: 0x656e
 encoding:    0x6a
 base_offset: 0x100

should appear. In my case, only the Nokia 6280 has the SyncML client. The Vodafone 541 does not have this client so synchronization will be impossible. I also have a Nokia 2630, and it has BT and the SyncML client.

So you need now to take note of the following information: The phone address and the channel address of the SyncML client, in my example 11 (see above).

2nd) Make sure that you have the following msynctool plugins installed: file-sync and syncml-obex-client.

For that just execute the following command: msynctool –listplugins

If they are not available, install them using: sudo apt-get install opensync-plugin-file opensync-plugin-syncml

3rd) Create a directory on your home directory for storing information related to the synchronization. Please note that you never, EVER, should delete any information on this directory. If you do its the same as deleting data on the phone.

mkdir ~/nokiasync

4rd) Create the opensync syncronization configuration:

     msynctool --addgroup nokiasync
     msynctool --addmember nokiasync file-sync
     msynctool --addmember nokiasync syncml-obex-client

5th) Edit the configuration for each member of the synchronization group:

  • On the file-sync member we need to put the full path to the syn directory
  • On the syncml-obex client we need to put the MAC address of the phone (the hexadecimal numbers that we’ve found above) and the channel number.

So execute the following commands:

Edit the first member file-sync: msynctool –configure nokiasync 1

The text editor will show something like:


Make sure that USERNAME is your Linux username, namely bob, alice, whatever. A command like ls -l /home/USERNAME/nokiasync should return NO error.

Just press CTRL-X to exit and Y + ENTER to save.

Let’s configure now the Syncml client: msynctool –configure nokiasync 2

The file shown should look like:

<identifier>PC Suite</identifier>

Just make sure that XX:XX… is EXACTLY your mobile phone address, and YY is the channel shown by the sdptool. In the above case it’s  00:3B:34:91:9A:56  and 11 respectively. So the file should look like:

<identifier>PC Suite</identifier>

Then CTRL-X, Y and Enter to save, and we are ready.

6th) Now is a good idea to backup your phone address list and agenda. Do it now! If things go wrong you need a backup. Also the first rule of good a good backup is that restores are more important than backups, so backup AND restore first so see IF you have a VALID backup. You’ve been warned… :)

7th) Now we are ready:

msynctool –sync nokiasync

Because I’m using bluetooth I’ll be asked for a PIN by my phone, and I’ll need to provide it to the PIN question dialog on the computer. After the pin, synchronization takes place, the first one is from the phone to the computer.

After this, on the directory nokiasync you should have some files. These files are your contacts and calendar from the mobile phone. DO NOT DELETE THEM.

8th) Akonadi configuration.

We need to configure Akonadi now. It’s quite easy. Just run akonaditray, and right click on the globe icon that appears on the KDE system tray, and select configure.

For the calendar:

  • On the Akonadi resources tab, press ADD and select the KDE Calendar (Traditional) plugin. A wizard will appear. Press next.
  • Then select more or less at the middle: Calendar in Local Directory and press Next
  • Give as the location the nokiasync directory that we’ve created, and where the opensync works for syncing with our mobile phone. Press Next
  • Give it a name, in my case Nokia Calendar, and press Finish.

OPTIONAL: For the Contacts (For reference only, Korganizer will not use this. See below) :

  • On the Akonadi resources tab, press ADD and select the KDE Adress book (Traditional) plugin. A wizard will appear. Press next.
  • Then select the first option: Folder and press Next
  • Give as the location the nokiasync directory that we’ve created, and where the opensync works for syncing with our mobile phone. Keep the format as vcard, and press Next
  • Give it a name, in my case Nokia Contacts, and press Finish.

That’s it. The akonadi resources are configured.

8th) Korganizer configuration.

For adding the calendar follow these instructions on this post: http://primalcortex.wordpress.com/2010/04/24/korganizer-and-google-calendar-on-kubuntu-9-10/ but instead of adding the Google resources add the Nokia Calendar resource

For the address book, just go to the Contacts section, and on the Address book, select Add Address Book with a right click on the mouse.

  • Select the KDE Adress book (Traditional) plugin. A wizard will appear. Press next.
  • Then select the first option: Folder and press Next
  • Give as the location the nokiasync directory that we’ve created, and where the opensync works for syncing with our mobile phone. Keep the format as vcard, and press Next
  • Give it a name, in my case Nokia Contacts, and press Finish.

And that’s it Nokia<->Korganizer syncronization…

9th) Testing:

Create a contact and a calendar event on Korganizer, but for the Nokia resources. Execute the synchronization command: msynctool –sync nokiasync

Your mobile phone should report that it synchronized 1 or two items. Check your contact list for the new contact. Check your agenda for the new event.

Now repeat the opposite: Create a phone contact and event, and synchronize. It should appear on Korganizer.

Last thoughts:

What happens if the syncronization directory is a sub-directory of your Dropbox folder…???? :-)

Automatic synchronization of all your agenda and contacts on all your computers! This in fact completely implements the purpose of plugins like akunambol and the Funambol server at this level of functionality…

You can now: Create a contact on your mobile phone, sync it, your local computer sees the change, but Dropbox also sees it sync’s it into the cloud, and into your other computers…

The phone synchronization ideas and howto’s where based on this post: http://www.harald-hoyer.de/linux/linux-and-syncml-multisync-with-nokia-6280

Finally, this also just brought to my ancient phone a new lease of life. No new Android phone for me… and by the way, after synchronization, the Nokia 6280 screensaver just fails to start…. and the Vodafone VF541 needed a restart… Nothing is perfect.

Korganizer and Google Calendar on Kubuntu 9.10

These are the simplest instructions for making Kmail/Korganizer to syncronize with Google Calendar.

What we will achieve with this setup: Two things:

  • Events created online on the Goggle Calendar will appear on your Korganizer interface
  • Events that you create on Korganizer associated to the Google Calendar provider will appear online on Google Calendar Web site


I’m running Kubuntu 9.10 with the latest KDE 4.4 release available from the backports.

First, install the akonadi-kde-resources-googledata: sudo apt-get install akonadi-kde-resource-googledata

Then we need start the Akonadi Configuration application:  ALT-F2 to show the run window, and the write akonadi and then the suggested akonadi configuration command  should appear. Another way, is to open a shell session and run akonaditray and a blue globe sould appear on the System Tray. Right click and select configure.

On the configuration Window, select ADD.

You should have the Akonadi Google Calendar Resource and Google Contact Resource. If these resources do not appear, you need to restart Akonadi, just go to the other tab Akonadi Server Configuration and hit the restart button.

Add these sources to your list of  Akonadi Resources, and make sure that you configure your username and password correctly. A green icon next to the resource will show that connection to Google is active. Right after the setting of your username and password, a rapid text message will show the synchronization process is going on.

Next we will need to configure Korganizer.

Open it up and make sure that you can see the window Calendars: The next screenshot already shows the configured calendar sources:

Press the green plus button, and select Akonadi.

On this window you can now add the sources that where configured previously on the akonadi configuration console. Give it a good name. In my case it’s Akonadi Resources, but if the only source is only the Google Calendar data, then a name like Google Calendar is good. This is because it will simplify the context menu for copying and moving, just like Copy -> Google Calendar instead of Copy -> Akonadi Resources like my case.

Add to this Akonadi Resource all the sources that you want to appear on Korganizer, namely the Google Calendar.

Press Ok, and that’s it.

All your Google Calendar Data should appear on your Korganizer.

For making an event from Korganizer  to appear on Gcal, just right click it and  select Copy or Move to the Akonadi Resource. then select the Google Calendar provider.

Thats’ it.

What we can do now:

Two things: Synchronize one way only the MS-Exchange Calendar with Korganizer. A nice solution is here: http://movingparts.net/2007/04/17/syncing-exchange-calendar-1-way-into-korganizerkontact/

Then (!) you can copy these events to Google Calendar… Cool

The other thing is to use OpenSync with akonadi to sync your mobile phone with Korganizer, but so far I haven’t try this.

HP PhotoSmart Premium 309g and Digikam printing settings

My settings for printing with digikam on this printer using standard photo paper (10×15) located on the photo paper tray):

  • Media Size: Photo borderless 4x6in (10x15cm)
  • Media source: Photo tray
  • Output mode: Color
  • Media Type: Photo Paper
  • Print Quality: High Resolution Photo
  • Orientation: Landscape for Horizontal pictures or portrait for vertical pictures

HP PhotoSmart Premium 309G and Kubuntu 9.10

My old and faithfull 7 year HP PSC1210 starting to do bad photo prints (bands) and so it was time for a replacement. HP support with the HPlip driver on Linux, namelly [K]ubuntu, make all other available printer brands  out of the equation for a replacement… This meant no Canon, no Epson, and so on. There are printers of these brands that do work with Linux, but never with of level of support that HP is providing right now. So HP it is. After much reading, I’ve chosen the HP PhotoSmart Premium 309G printer mainly because:

  • It has a wired network connection (RJ45). It also has Wireless and Bluetooth, but the network connection meant that my computer and my wife’s computer can share the printer, scanner(!!!) and the card reader.
  • It has 5 ink cartdriges.

And that was it. I also was thinking on the HP c5380, but a network interface was one of my requirements. So I bought the 309g at a nice price with a HP backpack and mouse as a gift. Yet, it is still an expensive inkjet printer…

So first impressions:

  • The latest HPLIP driver for Kubuntu, works flawlessly with the printer. At installation time it detected, by IP, the printer, but wouldn’t allow me to complete the add printer wizard. The OK button didn’t do anything. I added first the printer using KDE print manager, and then it worked. May be related or not. Please note that the shiped hplip on Karmic doesn’t work. You must download and upgrade hplip from the above hplip site.
  • Printing from Digikam through the network works flawlessly.
  • Scanning from the network with skanlite works flawlessly.
  • Acessing the card reader from KDE’s dolphin works, using the smb:// protocol, but I can’t browse the DCIM directory. Not sure if it’s a printer or Dolphin issue.
  • The touch panel is very cool, allowing to print calendars, sudoku and mazes….
  • Printing from the card reader or USB port is also usefull, for a quick print without powering on the computer. The touch screen makes printing very easy, but had trouble using the manipulation features, like crop… User problem…
  • Printed photo quality, for my standards is superb! I’ve used HP paper and Fuji film, and both prints are faithfull and high quality.
  • It prints quick, but after ending it makes a lot of internal stuff with a bit of noise (a bit hard to explain…)

So I’m very happy with the Linux support for this printer and the photo quality of it’s printing.

KDE 4.4 SC Kubuntu Backports – Dead keys (acentos nos caracteres portugueses)

If upgrading to KDE SC 4.4 on kubuntu 9.10 using the backports, you will find out if using a keyboard that has accents, that these don’t work anymore…. letters like á à ì í and so on do not work…

The issue is solved here -> http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1404209

Basically by open a shell and run the following command:

sudo im-switch -s default-xim

Then press ALT-F1, enter the text console, login as your user and execute

sudo service kdm restart

problem solved.

Firefox and Dropbox syncronization for Bookmarks and Passwords

EDIT: Mozilla Weave is OK now and I fully use it. No hacks anymore, so the rest of this post is here for historical reasons: Just use Mozilla Weave.

After upgrading from Mozilla FireFox 3.0 to 3.5 I tried Mozilla Weave for syncing my bookmarks and passwords in all my computers. I was using version 0.8 (1.0b1 is out now), but despite working more or less, most of my bookmarks where misplaced, put out of order, moved to unsorted bookmarks… a mess. Tiding up the bookmarks on one browser doesn’t mean that it would be ok on another, so after only 5 days of use, I thought that there is probably a better solution, and I found it.

The solution is to use Dropbox https://www.dropbox.com/referrals/NTE1NTQzMTA5, the FireFox Addon SyncPlaces: http://www.andyhalford.com/syncplaces/ for synchronizing bookmarks and passwords. It works as it should. It doesn’t mess with Bookmarks, the order is kept, Icons are kept, and passwords are synchronized without any issue.

So, what are the steps:

- Install Dropbox and create an account.

- Install the Syncplaces add-on for Firefox

- Create a directory for storing Firefox information on your Dropbox folder, for example: mkdir ~/Dropbox/Firefox

- On your Firefox menu, goto Bookmarks->Syncplaces->options

- Select the Server tab and then select on the Connection sub-tab, the protocol File

- Select now the Syncronization tab, and define the path for the files: prefix the suggested name with /home/primalcortex/Dropbox/Firefox. So it should look like

JSON PATH: /home/primalcortex/Dropbox/Firefox/syncplaces.json

If you want, you can output also in HTML and XBEL format. Use the same path for the files.

- For synchronizing passwords select the check-box passwords, and input a strong password. The password path is like the previous ones: /home/primalcortex/Dropbox/Firefox/passwords

You’re set. So down on the FireFox status bar, there is now an icon with a blue and red lines/circles, right click on it and select Send Bookmarks/passwords. Make sure that on the Dropbox Firefox folder files where created. Now DropBox synchronizes these files into the “cloud”, and they are available to your other Dropbox computers.

On the other computers, just repeat the configuration process (Install Dropbox, SyncPlaces, same configuration) but this time select on those computers on the SyncPlaces icon, the Receive Bookmarks/passwords option. (Make sure that you use the same password for the password export/impor feature in all computers).

Voilá, full no fuss workable synchronization! You just decide now which is the master machine, if you want to, namely by tweaking the merge options of the Syncplaces Addon. Also to avoid bookmarks duplication, I recommend that the BookmarkDD addon at http://bookmarkdd.mozdev.org/installation.html be installed and set not to do pop-ups when duplicated bookmarks are found. This way, during import, no duplicate bookmarks are imported.

Now you can automate the synchronization process by just configuring Syncplaces to synchronize at a specific time, or periodically/automatically and your set.

Vmware 6.5.3 on Karmic Koala

Installing: At least these instructions worked for me:

#sudo bash
#chmod +x VMware-Workstation-6.5.3-185404.x86_64.bundle
# vmware-modconfig --console --install-all

Voilá, installed Vmware without any issue. I’ve compiled the modules after installation because there are reports that it may hang by using the installer. Not sure, because I didn’t tried it. All VM Machines appear to be working.
Now for the other issues:

After upgrading from Kubuntu 9.04 to 9.10, I needed to upgrade to Vmware Workstation 6.5.3 as is the subject of this post… My previous version was 6.5.0. With this upgrade some older issues where back and new issues appeared…

- Keyboard mapping where again all wrong, with my Portuguese keyboard wrongly configured and some keys wouldn’t just work.

- The other annoying issue was the grab/ungrab mouse cursor problem. Kubuntu task bar area and the floating vmware toolbar area where unusable when the VM machines are in full screen. So for example the Windows task bar is, when the machine is full screen, at the same screen area than the KDE taskbar. The cursor on this area just flickered away like mad, and it was pretty difficult to do anything on this area. This also mean that Windows taskbar and systray where almost unusable and unacessible, and just couldn’t do anything on this area. The temporary workaround was to use machines not in full screen…
The solutions:
For the keyboard problem, on my home directory, just went to .vmware hidden directory (create one if it doesn’t exist) and add the following to the file named config:

xkeymap.nokeycodeMap = true
xkeymap.keycode.61 = 0x035
xkeymap.keycode.61 = 0x5f
xkeymap.keycode.47 = 0x027
xkeymap.keycode.47 = 0xc7
xkeymap.keycode.48 = 0x028
xkeymap.keycode.48 = 0xaa
xkeymap.keycode.51 = 0x02b
xkeymap.keycode.51 = 0xfe52
xkeymap.keycode.34 = 0x01a # +
xkeymap.keycode.34 = 0x2a # *
xkeymap.keycode.35 = 0x01b # ´
xkeymap.keycode.35 = 0xfe50 # `
xkeymap.keycode.20 = 0x00c # ‘
xkeymap.keycode.20 = 0x3f # ?
xkeymap.keycode.21 = 0xab # «
xkeymap.keycode.21 = 0xbb # »
xkeymap.keycode.49 = 0x029 # \
xkeymap.keycode.49 = 0x056 # |

xkeymap.keycode.108 = 0x138 # Alt_R
xkeymap.keycode.106 = 0x135 # KP_Divide
xkeymap.keycode.104 = 0x11c # KP_Enter
xkeymap.keycode.111 = 0x148 # Up
xkeymap.keycode.116 = 0x150 # Down
xkeymap.keycode.113 = 0x14b # Left
xkeymap.keycode.114 = 0x14d # Right
xkeymap.keycode.105 = 0x11d # Control_R
xkeymap.keycode.118 = 0x152 # Insert
xkeymap.keycode.119 = 0x153 # Delete
xkeymap.keycode.110 = 0x147 # Home
xkeymap.keycode.115 = 0x14f # End
xkeymap.keycode.112 = 0x149 # Prior
xkeymap.keycode.117 = 0x151 # Next
xkeymap.keycode.78 = 0x46 # Scroll_Lock
xkeymap.keycode.127 = 0x100 # Pause
xkeymap.keycode.133 = 0x15b # Meta_L
xkeymap.keycode.134 = 0x15c # Meta_R
xkeymap.keycode.135 = 0x15d # Menu

Now if you copy and past the above content, just make sure that x is an ‘x’ letter, because WordPress may change it to something else that looks like an x but it isn’t. If you don’t due this, when you press a mapped key on VMware, you will get a popup window with an error complaining about a key code.
For the mouse issue, it looks like that the solution is this:
Temporary fix (solution from http://communities.vmware.com/thread/240766):

Open a shell window and start vmware from it with as follow:


#export LD_PRELOAD=/lib/libglib-2.0.so.0


It seems that to make the first two lines permanent, you just, as root, edit the following file: /etc/vmware/bootstrap and add the first to lines to the end of the file.
I hope that all issues are covered now….