Posts tagged ‘Ubuntu’

Ubuntu 12.04 and Steam games with Nvidia Quadro FX 1700 video card

As described in my three previous articles,  my base home computer is a HP xw6400 workstation (64-bit). It has an Nvidia Quadro FX 1700 video card with 512 MB dedicated RAM. With the appropriate Nvidia driver, this is more than enough for my kids to play, for example, Steam games.


Steam games need high quality video. They are being developed natively for Linux, alongside Windows.

With the default installation of the Ubuntu 12.04 driver though, you do not get the high quality video that is required for these games. At first, I tried to solve this problem by enabling an extra driver in Ubuntu.

extra driver

This left my system in an unstable state, resulting mainly in a computer session returning spontaneously to the login screen. So if you have a system with an Nvidia Quadro FX 1700 card, do not try to install an extra video driver this way.

Next, I tried the driver from Nvidia themselves. The base file for installing this driver is

To install this driver, I did the following.

– I downloaded the file to /home/username/Downloads/nvidia/
– I pressed Ctrl-Alt F1 – This brings up a terminal instead of the graphical screen. If you get there…don’t panic. Ctrl Alt F7 will always switch you back to your graphical session
– I logged in as myself. NB: Next, all commands hereafter are terminal commands.
– I temporarily stopped the graphical screen:
– sudo sulogin (enter your password)
– service lightdm stop  -> this step is essential to be able to install the driver! If you don’t stop lightdm, you will get the following error message.

nvidia running x server
– cd /home/username/Downloads/nvidia (enter)
– sh <- to to enter this command, just type sh followed by NV, and then press TAB. The command will autocomplete. Next, I used TAB to do my selections in the menu.
-From that moment on, I simply followed the on-screen instructions. When I got to a question about DKMS, I first hesitated if I would use this feature. DKMS is a framework designed to allow individual kernel modules to be upgraded without changing the whole kernel. Without DKMS support, I would be forced to redo the above work, each time I would get a new kernel through the Ubuntu update channel. Well, DKMS support worked flawlessly, as I was able to see the next time I had a kernel update (<- check in your Ubuntu software center that DKMS is installed!)
– After finishing the Nvidia wizard, I rebooted the workstation: shutdown -r now.

Well after that, I had a very fine working Nvidia Quadro FX 1700 card with an extremely stable driver.


Happy steaming on Ubuntu!

29/04/2014 at 7:10 am Plaats een reactie

Ubuntu 12.04 x64 and Citrix client 12.1

Just a couple of days ago, I needed to install some extra software on one of my Ubuntu machines, x64. I needed to have remote Citrix access to a site of one of my customers. Installing a Citrix client is excellently described on the official Ubuntu documentation site, and for anyone who needs to, first of all, go there first, and not first to the Citrix ica client download site. Unfortunately, I did the opposite, and so I went directly to the official Citrix client download site. There, I downloaded the package that was presented to me for my x64 Ubuntu machine (“Receiver for Linux 12.1, Release Date: 4/23/2012, For 64-bit Systems) . According to the Ubuntu documentation, for Ubuntu 12.04, I should just have installed the 12.1 32 bits client.. Anyway, I downloaded the ill-behaving x64 Debian installation file icaclient_12.1.0_amd64.deb and started the installation of the software through the Ubuntu software center.

So I had chosen the wrong one, and indeed, exactly as described on the official Ubuntu documentation site, at the end of the install, i got an “exit 2” error message: the Citrix software was in an in-between state of installation. The Citrix binaries were installed, though, in the appropriate directories, so I thought, what the h….And remote Citrix access was possible, so I left the machine this way. Until this morning, when, through the normal update procedure, my machine started downloading and installing updated packages. Because of the not-so-well installed Citrix package, the update would always come up with warnings, errors, etc. (as described on the Ubuntu documentation site).

Now the Ubuntu documentation site does have a solution for this, but frankly, I find it rather cryptic…:

“This can be fixed by unpacking the deb and editing the regular expression in line 2648 of the postinst script to match x86_64. Then rebuild the deb and it should install without a problem.”

For all those who have exactly this problem, here is a somewhat less cryptic description for this line:

– Just extract the file icaclient_12.1.0_amd64.deb
– a folder icaclient_12.1.0_amd64 will be created
– in this folder, open the DEBIAN folder
– double click the postinst file, and select “display” (so do not choose run in terminal)
– on line 2648, change the line so that the result will be:  echo $Arch|grep “x86_64″ >/dev/null <–so you just have to change the item in between th ” ” quotes
– save the file
– rename your current icaclient_12.1.0_amd64.deb to e.g. icaclient_12.1.0_amd64-old.deb
– open a terminal, and, with the cd command, navigate to one level above the icaclient_12.1.0_amd64 folder <– so with the ls command, you can see this folder
– now type dpkg-deb -b icaclient_12.1.0_amd64/ icaclient_12.1.0_amd64.deb

And here you have your well working Citrix 12.1 x64 deb installation package.

Although the package installed with some warnings about the quality of the package, it installed 100% instead of exiting just before. And of course now, updating Ubuntu through the normal procedure went without a flaw…

26/08/2012 at 11:33 am Plaats een reactie

Playing encrypted DVDs on Ubuntu 11.04 with Totem media Player

While on holiday, I wanted to play a couple of movie DVDs on my Ubuntu 11.04 x64 laptop. Unfortunately, some of the DVDs were encrypted, and  I had not installed the Ubuntu DVD encryption library, which is needed to play encrypted DVDs on Ubuntu.

Back home, I installed the package, and tested the same DVDs that I could not play while on holiday.

Based on an excellent howto from, this is how to install the encryption library in Ubuntu 11.04 64 bit.

1. Open a terminal, and type: sudo apt-get install libdvdread* (press Enter, and enter your root password). This will install all needed DVD encryption library packages.

2. Staying in your terminal window, type: cd /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4 (press Enter)

3. Type sudo ./ (press Enter). This will install a couple of other packages.

Test an encrypted DVD within Totem Media Player, it should work immediately for an ecrypted DVD.

Have fun!

01/08/2011 at 12:08 pm Plaats een reactie

Tired of Youtube Ads? Minitube!

This article applies to all Ubuntu versions prior to 12.04 LTS

This is just a very short blog entry. I like to listen and watch Youtube, but I don’t like their ads. I also don’t like the way the web page and the videos are more and more filled up with thes ads. Lastly, I do not want to continuously select songs manually. Having the same feeling? Don’t look any further. Install Minitube. The audio and video quality are very high, a playlist is automtically generated from the keywords you entered, and it can play full screen.  For Ubuntu, install the Minitube application from the Ubuntu software Center (64 bit and 32 bit).  For other platforms, just visit the author’s web site. Happy YouTubing!

18/06/2011 at 11:04 am Plaats een reactie

Moving to a new computer (2)

cont. from previous post: Moving to a new computer (1)

In the posts “Moving to a new computer” , I describe situations that I encountered, while reconfiguring a brand new Toshiba laptop from Windows 7 to Ubuntu 10.10 x64.

Because Windows 7 is almost  worthless for me, and because of the fact that it made my wireless box hang after five minutes, I decided to do the reconfiguration of the machine to Ubuntu x64 as soon as possible, but making it dual-boot, should the installation of Ubuntu not be successful . However, before starting the installation of Ubuntu 10.10, I needed to be sure that  I could revert to the original situation, should anything happen during the installation. So I wanted to make some images of the C and the D drive. Well fortunately (I thought), there was a copy of Nero preinstalled on the machine, with the ability to make images of a drive…at least, the program had that feature, I saw it…clicking on it, a popup told me that that feature was only available after really buying the program (which I didn’t). So much for Nero. Fortunately, free software  Clonezilla has exactly the same possibilities as any other commercial cloning program, it just comes with no warranty. If you can live with the fact that Clonezilla has no gui (it’s text screens based), then you can do with Clonezilla anything you want. Just burn your Clonezilla iso file to CD, start your computer with the CD, and follow the guide. Attach e.g. a big USB drive during usage of Clonezilla for you images. It will be recognized immediately, and you will be able to make a clone of your hard drive without any commercial hardware.
During this phase, however, Clonezilla found one bad sector on the D drive, and I got a warning that the cloning of the D drive would fail. I did not want to take the risk, so in the end, I just made some basic copies on two DVD’s through a Toshiba program that came with Windows. I tested the DVD’s, they seemed to do their job…so I started the installation of Ubuntu 10.10.

I had already downloaded the Ubuntu CD from the Ubuntu download site, and burned the ISO on CD. Well, what a progress in the installation method ever since previous Ubuntu  installation procedures (which were already very easy). Some very fine features that I really liked:

– the installation software does some prerequisite checks, amongst which: is there enough space on the hard drive? are we on AC power? Do we have a connection to the Internet?
– the installation CD already allows you to choose whether or not you want to install some extra, non-free packages (flash, etc. etc.) during the installation.
– for time adjustment during installation, the system auto-detects the country where you live..and thus, your time zone settings are automatically set up correctly.

During installation, I decided to remove the (worthless) D partition, and to leave the C partition but to shrink it to 25 GB; the Windows partition would be at the starting point of the disk, leaving the rest of the disk free for Ubuntu.  I created a /boot mount point as a small ext2 partition, a swap partition of 2 GB; the rest was allocated to the root (/) partition as ext3.

Installation of Ubuntu 10.10 with the CD worked without a flaw….until I rebooted the computer at the end. After restarting the computer in Ubuntu, the only thing I saw on a black screen was a kernel message, complaining about a Realtek wifi driver. Ubuntu just did not start well at first. Well if you’re ever in that situation: just don’t panic. The only thing that I needed to do, was to start Ubuntu just once in Rescue mode. Since I had configured the machine as dual boot…I had a boot menu where I could easily choose this option. With a network cable plugged in, in a fine, text based rescue menu, I just had to choose the option: “fix broken packages”. With this action, all packages were updated to the newest, and also to a new kernel. After that was done…my Ubuntu x64 machine was just ready to roll. And really no, my Wifi box never ever complained once.

On this dual boot machine, my Windows installation still needed to be tested. Well, it was not bad at all. Just one blue screen because of the resizing of the hard disk. Then booting once into rescue mode F8), and Windows discovering all by itself that the partition had been reduced to 10% of the original size. Working just fine as well. Will I ever use Windows on this machine? I guess not.

Time to check whether all peripherals (which worked fine in Windows, except the Realtek wifi controller) would also work in Ubuntu 10.10 x64. To be continued.

17/04/2011 at 8:32 am Plaats een reactie

Moving to a new computer (1)

In the posts “Moving to a new computer” , I describe situations that I encountered, while reconfiguring a brand new Toshiba laptop from Windows 7 to Ubuntu 10.10 x64.

The last couple of weeks, I had a problem with a stuck key on my old Dell laptop. It was a physical damage and the laptop was out of warranty. So the problem could only be solved either by using an external USB keyboard, or by acquiring a new machine. Via the company that I work for, I got a very beautiful Toshiba Satellite L670-1DT. It’s a machine with a 500 GB hard drive, two partitions (C and D drive, each about 250 GB), 3 GB of RAM, a Pentium P6100, a big 17,3″ screen, a Realtek Wifi controller and a built-in webcam. It comes preinstalled with Windows 7. My goal was to install a recent 64 bit Ubuntu on this machine. I decided to go for Ubuntu 10.10 x64. Although I do have quite some experience with Suse Linux 64 bit, I never installed its counterpart 64 bit Ubuntu. So, since I did not know yet what to expect, I decided to keep the Windows 7 C partition, but to shrink it to a minimum (25 GB), to remove the D partition, and to install Ubuntu on the remaning 475 GB. This was just a precaution: since installing Ubuntu 10.10 on it, I never ever once touched the Windows 7 installation again.

This next couple of blog entries will deal with the things that I found out during the short usage time of Windows 7 on this machine, about the reconfiguration of the machine to Ubuntu 10.10, and about the data migration process from my old laptop to my new machine.

So let’s start with the beginning in this overview: the short time that I used Windows 7. I used Windows 7 (Home Edition) about 72 hours. Let’s face it: Windows 7 is good looking, it’s attractive. However, I encountered a problem on this (preinstalled!!!) Windows 7 computer that I just do not have with Ubuntu 10.10  on this new machine, since I installed it. After having booted the machine in Windows 7, it would just take a maximum of 5 (five!!!) minutes before my Wifi box at home would just hang, and prohibit any connection to the Internet. My wireless box is nothing special. It’s just a box from Online ( Powering the wireless box off and powering it on again would solve the problem for just five minutes maximum. Thank you mr Gates for a preinstalled Windows 7 OEM. Ubuntu, at least, does not hang your wireless box at all. To be continued.

15/04/2011 at 8:15 pm Plaats een reactie

Pimping your Ubuntu machine with gnome color chooser

This article applies to Ubuntu 9.10 (and maybe later versions as well)

Today, I just felt like pimping one of my Ubuntu machines. Spring is in the air today, and I wanted to have all items as green as possible, including the Gnome Applications menu. So I just started googling around. Entering as keyword things like “modify gnome start menu colors” and all that kind of things, I first found nothing more that discussions about editing a config file .gtkrc-2.0. Well it’s not the fact that I do not know how to edit or create a config file, but I thought: wow, here we are again, creating and editing config files: that’s not what most people want. Somewhat later, I found a package called Gnome Color Chooser. It’s installable through Synaptic (System -> Administration -> Synaptic Software Management, or whatever it is called in your native language). In the search field, enter gnome color chooser. Install the package. After installation, goto System -> Preferences -> Gnome Color Chooser. Now you’re ready to pimp your Ubuntu desktop! Have fun!

gnome color chooser

gnome color chooser

06/03/2011 at 10:14 am 2 reacties

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