Zhixian's Tech Blog


MINIX3 Installation

Filed under: computing, minix3 — Tags: , , — Zhixian @ 16:32:11 pm

A list of screen dumps that I taken while installing Minix3 on VirtualBox.
Dumping the screens first. I intend to annotate them at a later date.




































End of installation



Development applications for Precise Pangolin

Just a short note on the other software that I installed to do development work.

Version control related applications:

  1. git
    Distributed version control system (DVCS) brought to fame by Linus Torvalds.
  2. gitg
    A graphical interface to interacting with git
  3. Mercurial
    A alternate DVCS written in Python.
  4. TortoiseHg
    A graphical interface for interacting with Mercurial
  5. Meld
    A directory and file comparing tool


  1. Chrome browser
    Popular browser from Google

Firefox plug-ins:

  1. Firebug for FireFox
    Web development tool for use with Firefox
  2. IcedTea Java Web Start
    Java plug-in to run Java applications on Firefox

Other helpful utilities:

  1. OpenJDK Java 7 Runtime
    A Java runtime to run Java applications on Ubuntu.
  2. Tomboy Notes
    A Mono application use for taking quick notes.


  1. MonoDevelop (with mono-xsp4 add-on)
    IDE for developing applications running on the Mono platform.

Web server:

  1. Apache2
    Web server to host web applications.

With the exception of the FireBug plug-in, all of these applications can be installed via Ubuntu Software Center.

Precise Pangolin missing utilities

Filed under: computing — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Zhixian @ 08:51:06 am

This is a continuation of of my Precise Pangolin (Precise for short) installation series.

The default installation of Precise comes with a variety of software but it does not have everything that I need.
Here are some of other “utility” software that I installed to supplement it.
The following list of applications can be found in the Ubuntu Software Center.

  1. Guake Terminal (search term: Guake Terminal)
    This nifty utility places a copy of your terminal in a dropdown window much like the console in the game Quake.
    This is useful when you need to do something quick in a terminal – just press F12 to call up the terminal, enter your commands and then press F12 again to keep the terminal until the next time you need.
  2. Shutter (search term: Shutter)
    A utility for taking screenshots.
    This is probably the best screenshot-taking utility on Linux.

    Sidenote: If you are using this application within VirtualBox, you need to disable the 3D Acceleration and 2D Video Acceleration options. If these are enabled, Shutter will not work correctly and you would only be able to take blank screen captures.

  3. Synaptic Package Manager (search term: Synaptic Package Manager)

    Utility for managing software packages.
    The Ubuntu Software Center might be great for exploring applications and providing a great interface for users to install and manage software. However, it is must be noted that the applications listed there are those registered with Canonical (Ubuntu’s company).
    This means that applications not registered with them cannot be install that way. Hence, the need for Synaptic.

The following list of applications are “missing” utilities not found in Ubuntu Software Center that I think are useful:

  1. BlogTK (Website http://blogtk.jayreding.com/)
    This is the blogging client I am most comfortable with most on Linux.
    Unfortunately, it is not as updated. The best stable 2.0 build is for Ubuntu Lucid Lynx (Ubuntu 10.04).
    As a result, it may be a bit quirky (especially during initial setup) but it generally works well.


Installing Ubuntu LTS 12.04 – Precise Pangolin

Filed under: computing — Tags: , , , — Zhixian @ 00:40:06 am

This blog entry is installing Ubuntu LTS 12.04 on VirtualBox.
This assumes you was installing Ubuntu to a new virtual machine.

To start with, this is the welcome screen you will get when you start the installation process.
Since we wanted to install Ubuntu rather than try it, clicked on the “Install Ubuntu” button to proceed to the installation process options dialog.



In this dialog, you get to choose whether you want to download updates during the operating system’s installation.
You also get to choose whether to download and install some 3rd party software use for displaying Flash, MP3 and other media.
For convenience, checked both options and click on the “Continue” button to proceed with the installation process.



The 3rd step is to partition the installation media for installing the operating system.
Since we are starting with a fresh VM and are not intending to use the installation media for any other special purpose, pick the first (default) option, “Erase disk and install Ubuntu” and proceed with the installation process by clicking on the “Continue” button.



After the installation media is partitioned, you need to select which partition you want to install Ubuntu on. 
Go with the default option, and click on “Install Now” to proceed with the installation.


The next step is decide your location (timezone).
You can click on the map or enter a location in the textbox.
The textbox will show a dropdown list of locations that matches your chosen location or entered location.
After selecting your location for your time, click on the “Continue” button to move to the next dialog.



Next you get to choose your keyboard.
I went with the default.


Finally you need to create your first account for use with Ubuntu.



At this point, the rest of installation process are automated.
So you just have to wait for the installation process to complete.



When the installation process is complete, you will get a “Installation Complete” dialog prompting you to start the VM.
Click on the “Restart Now” button to restart your VM and you should have a fully functional Ubuntu system for you to work with.



After the system bootup, you should get the following like the following screen. Enter the password that you keyed during the creation of the 1st user account to log into the system.



Congratulations. You now have a Ubuntu system at your disposal.



Running Umbraco source code

Filed under: web application development — Tags: , , — Zhixian @ 08:59:12 am

If you are trying out Umbraco content management system (CMS) using the source code (as oppose to using the Web Platform method recommended for end-users), you may encounter the following problem.

Upon running the solution (or more specifically the umbraco.presentation project) for the first time, you may get a login screen instead of the setup screen.

imageLogin screen

imageInstallation screen

After getting the login screen, you maybe thinking “Ok. Since I reached the login screen, there must be some administrator credentials that I can use to access the administer the site.


There is no default administrator credentials.
The administrator’s password is set as part of the installation setup.
But wait, we get a login screen. 
We didn’t get any installation screen.

At this stage, you are probably wondering what’s going on.
The cause of this is because the application setting umbracoConfigurationStatus in the web.config file is set to some value.


To get the installation screen, we should be setting the value for that setting to be an empty string.


After you saved the web.config, you should see the installation screen.


Changing hostname in Ubuntu

Filed under: computing — Tags: , — Zhixian @ 21:16:10 pm

To change the hostname of your Ubuntu installation, edit the file hostname located under the /etc directory.
That is to say run the following:

vi /etc/hostname

You most likely would need to have administrative privileges to save changes to this file.
After making changes to this file, reboot the system and you should have the new hostname in place.

Gnome system tools

Filed under: computing — Tags: , — Zhixian @ 15:51:10 pm

Some Linux distributions may not come with with the handy Users and Groups utility that allows you manage users and groups.
To install that, run the following command:

apt-get install gnome-system-tools

Installing Ubuntu Software Center

Filed under: computing — Tags: , — Zhixian @ 12:45:10 pm

Some Ubuntu Linux distributions may not have come with the very handy Ubuntu Software Center.
In which case, you can install it by running the following command (assuming you have apt-get command):

apt-get install software-center

Install Synaptics Package Manager

Filed under: computing — Tags: , , — Zhixian @ 12:39:10 pm

While exploring various Linux distributions, you may occasionally encounter a Linux distribution that does not come with the very handy Synaptics Package Manager. Assuming you have apt-get command, run the follow command:

apt-get install synaptic

This will install Synaptics Package Manager.


Git as an alternate way to get MinGW

Filed under: computing — Tags: , , , — Zhixian @ 00:41:07 am

In my last blog post, I mentioned about install MinGW to have a C/C++ development environment.
I mentioned that the fastest way is to run the MinGW automated installer.
After I shutdown my PC, I thought of another way to get MinGW working on the PC.
That is, getting a MinGW via Git.

What is Git?

Git is a distributed version control system (DVCS for short).
As the name may suggest, the goal of such a system is to manage the various versions of your documents.
The concept of version control is not exactly new but prior to the advent of DVCSes, they exists mostly as monolithic entities that stand alone.
To manage the different versions of a file, you must be connected to the server to properly manage the various versions.

Pros & Cons of using Git to install MinGW

  1. PRO: Installation process is even more straightforward (you simply have to specify the installation directory).
    CON: Weaker control over the installation process (you cannot elect to install the Fortran or Objective-C options).
  2. PRO: The installer itself contains all the necessary files (hence removing the need to be connected while doing installation).
    CON: You are installing a fixed set of features.
  3. PRO: Comes pre-installed with a default set of useful tools and software.
    CON: Used up much more disk space (1+GB as compared to 308MB for a full MinGW installation)
  4. PRO: You get a DVCS in the process.
    CON: You may not need one in the first place.

The biggest annoyance I find with trying to use Git as development environment is you do not know what exactly is installed.
For example, I would not know if it has objective-C or Fortran compile (no in both cases).

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