Archive for January, 2012

Linux then and Now statistics diagram on GNU/Linux use grow 1994 – 2011

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Linux then and now developers line of code top 500 super computers and GNU / Linux 1994 - 2011, Kernel source code lines

 

In above graphics you see development of GNU/Linux through the years startingfrom 1992 to 2010.  You see for the past 18 years the number of kernel developers has rasised from 100 to 1000 (10 times). The number of super computers based on GNU / Linux operating system was only 1, while in 2011 they were already 413. Just for information Top 10 Super computers in terms of CPU power are running on top of some Linux + GNU environment based operating system.

Cell Phones baed on Linux or GNU sold worldwide, Internet users growth, PCs with linux shipped worldwide

You see the number of Patented software increased approximate 3 times for 16 years … PC shipped with Linux all oer the world increased almost 10 times.

GNU / Linux  user habits then and now pie, Where Linux is used most survey results

A survey was run among the biggest Linux convention LinuxCon aiming to find out the share difference between users using different distros, as well as a survey to answer the question where is Linux mostly used. Obviously even though the Ubuntu desktop boom this years Linux is still mostly used in work location, home desktop / notebook users are almost 3 times less.
The survey show the sad results,  the Linux in school and academic communities is less used than for professional purposes. On the desktop things has slightly changed, for the last 5-7 years. From the position of being a Linux Desktop leading OS, Fedora went into the shadows in favour of  the "less free" (in terms of Freedom) Ubuntu.

Linux users then and now, biggest successes and challenges for Linux and free software use and adoption

All system administrators knows well Linux is a very common choice for building small or middle enterprise business information systems. Hugest platforms which are the web backbone today like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Stock Exchanges,  Mail services, various technical equipment etc. runs on top of Linux. Even though the huge number of adoption Linux and free software is though to not be legally assured this is well known among free software and open source evangelist under the term FUD.

Android found its way also in Samsung Galaxy and a number of tablet devices running Linux based kernel OS was shipped in 2011.

With the raise of Android which (base is mostly Linux kernel and less GNU tools based). The spread of Linux has seen a huge raise on the mobile (smart phones) market as well. You see in above chart as of 2011 Android sells had the highest market share  with 37%.
The year 2011 was not among the best Linux users anywas, as Unity does turned away many users to become Linux converts. The big GNOME 3 mess, which was called by Linus Toravlds a "holy mess" , along with the kernel.org's security break in does also contributed that year 2011 ended up as a bad one for free software.

Linux, Windows 7, Vista, XP, MacOS X, iOS market share chart

As of August 2011, the global Linux market approximate market share is about 3% of all the installed OSes currently existing in the world. And compared to 5 years ago there is a little decline in the share. I believe the 2012 will be a better year for both development and adoption of free software and Linux.

 

KRaptor a Raptor free software (open source) arcade game clone for GNU / Linux

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Kraptor is another Raptor Shadow of Death free software, open source clone arcade game for GNU/Linux, DOS and Windows (98, XP etc.).

KRaptor main menu game screenshot Linux Debian Squeeze

The game is not under active development anymore since 2004. Kraptor features a powerful engine for creating quickly 2D shooter games, so the game should be a good learning curve for people interested into creation of arcade game shooter games.

The game just like Rafkill is built upon DUMB sound engine.
The game intro is quite entertaining 😉 The intro plays one by one the text:

Near Future:
Blobalization
Imperalizm
Corporations
Megalomaniacs
Money and Power. Slaves of the New Millenium!

KRaptor Bill gates like looking oppressor

After years of oppression, the slaved people of the world have raised against their masters. You, has a mercenary pilot, has been
contacted by the popular rebellion to fight against the forces of oppression.

In the morning, you jump into your cockpit and start up the engines. It's time to get airborne and start the attack. Get ready to
scramble the scum hired by the masters. Murder for freedom is the only way, you're on a mission, don't defraud us...

Like Rafkill, Kraptor is one man masterpiece created by a free software Argentinean geek known under the Kronoman artistic pseudonim. The game is really incredible for a one man work … a true masterpiece.
The game is licensed under MIT License.

Even though Kraptor is older game than Rafkill, the design is more resembling the original Raptor game. The game music is high quality stereo. Besides that music and fx sound effects are quite awesome. After each level you have a Raptor like weapons "blackmarket", where you can buy new weapons, recharge ship energy, upgrade ship etc.
The blackmarket implementation part of the game is probably the worst moment in the game along with the game menus (in my view).
Talking about graphics Kraptor supports really high number of resolutions ranging from 320×240 to 1280×1024! 640×480 is the standard resolution in which the game is running.

Kraptor raptor like Linux game plasma gun debian screenshot

Something I really like in the game is the number of multiple weapons your ship uses during play. Even if played in Easy mode it is taught.

There are game Saves after each level, so thanksfully you don't have to start again from zero once death.
At the end of each level there is a huge bad BOSS you have to destroy ;).
Kraptor the boss Debian GNU / linux

Installing Kraptor on Debian / Ubuntu and deb derivatives is with:

debian:~# apt-get install kraptor

On most rpm based Linux distributions, you can install the game by converting the deb package to rpm with alien or by building from source from Kraptor's sourceforge page

Its interesting the game name e.g. Kraptor is also a death / grind metal band name, (Maybe Kronoman is metalhead big fan of Kraptor and that's how he came up with the playful name. For all the old school game addicts there is the joystick support. I've tested it with my Genius analogous joystick and it works fine.

The game is lacking .desktop gnome definition and after once installed it only appears through Debian (section) GNOME menus and not in Applications -> Games :

Applications -> Debian -> Games -&act; Action -&t; Kraptor

Just like Rafkill on Debian the game exacutable binary is located in /usr/games/kraptor . Also like with the Rafkill case when launched the game has troubles with choppy sound and music caused by the stupid buggy! pulseaudio

Analogously like with Rafkill's case, the work around to the problematic music en sound is to use a little bash shell script like:

#!/bin/bash
pulseaudio -k;
/usr/games/kraptor
pulseaudio --start;

You can dowload Kraptor fix sound issues wrapper here

To install it on your Debian / Ubuntu and hence make the game sound play good issue with root:

debian:~# cd /usr/bin
debian:/usr/bin# wget https://pc-freak.net/bshscr/kraptor.wrapper.sh
...
debian:/usr/bin:# chmod +x kraptor.wrapper.sh
debian:/usr/bin:# mv kraptor.wrapper.sh kraptor

 

RafKill Raptor Free Software (Open Source) clone for GNU/Linux

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

I've earlier blogged on playing Apogee's Raptor Shadows of Death arcade on GNU / Linux with dosbox

All the old school raptor addicts will be interested to hear Kazzmir (Jon Rafkind) a free software devotee developer has created a small game resembling many aspects of the original Raptor arcade game.
The game is called Rafkill and is aimed to be a sort of Raptor like fork/clone.
Originally the game was also named Raptor like the DOS game, however in year 2006 it was changed to current Rafkill in order to avoid legal issues with Apogee's Raptor.

The game is not anymore in active development, the latest Rafkill release is from January 2007, anyhow even for the 2012 it is pretty entertaining. The sound and music are on a good level for a Linux / BSD shoot'em'up free software game . The graphics are not of a top quality and are too childish, but this is normal, since the game is just one man masterpiece.

Rafkill Level 1 Debian GNU/Linux

Rafkill is developed in C/C++ programming language, the game music engine it uses is called DUMB (Dynamic Universal Bibliotheque). By the way DUMB library is used for music engine in many Linux arcade games. DUMB allows the Linux game developer to develop his game and play a music files within different game levels in "tracked" formats like mod, s3m, xm etc.

The game is available in compiled form for almost all existent GNU/Linux distributions, as well as one can easily port it as it is open source.

To install Rafkill on Debian, Ubuntu, Xubuntu and Linux Mint en other Debian based distros

root@debian:~# apt-get install rafkill

Installing on Fedora and other rpm based is with yum

debian:~# apt-get install rafkill
...

Once rafkill is installed, in order to start it on Debian the only way is using the rafkill (/usr/bin/rafkill) command. It appears the deb package maintainer did not wrote a gnome launcher file like for example /usr/share/applications/rafkill.desktop
Just to explain for all the GNOME noobs, the .desktop files are a description file GNOME reads in order to understand where exactly to place certain application in the (Gnome Applications, Places, System …) menu panel.

Even though it miss the .desktop, it is launchable via Applications menu under the Debian section e.g. to open it from the GNOME menus you will have to navigate to:

Applications -> Debian -> Games -> Action -> Rafkill

This "shortcut" to launch the game is quite long and hard to remember thus it is handy to directly launch it via xterm:

hipo@debian:~$ rafkill

Rafkill raptor like native Linux game main menu screenshot Debian GNU / Linux Squeeze

or by pressing ALT+F2 and typing rafkill :

Rafkill Linux game gnome launcher screenshot

Rafkill Debian Linux Level 5 power weaponscreenshot

Starting the game I got some really ugly choppy music / sound issues.
My guess was the fizzling sounds were caused by some bug with the sound portions streamed through pulseaudio sound system.
To test if my presume is correct, stopped pulseaudio and launched rafkill once again:

hipo@debian:~$ pulseaudio -k
hipo@debian:~$ rafkill

This way the game was counting on ALSA to process sound en the sound was playing perfectly fine.

I solved this problem through small wrapper shell script. The script did kill pulseaudio before launching rafkill and that way solve gchoppy sound issues, once the game execution is over the script starts pulseaudio again in order to prevent all other applications working with pulseaudio.

Finally, I've placed the executable script in /usr/bin/rafkill :

Here is the script:

#!/bin/bash
pulseaudio --kill
/usr/games/rafkill
pulseaudio --start

You can download rafkill.wrapper.sh here
Or write in root terminal:

debian:~# cd /usr/bin
debian:/usr/bin:# wget https://pc-freak.net/bshscr/rafkill.wrapper.sh
debian:/usr/bin:# mv https://pc-freak.net/bshscr/rafkill.wrapper.sh rafkill
debian:/usr/bin:# chmod +x rafkill

Interesting in Ubuntu Linux, rafkill music is okay and I suppose the bug is also solved in newer Linux distributions based on Ubuntu. Probably the Debian Squeeze pulseaudio (0.9.21-4) package version has a bug or smth..

After the change the game music will be playing fine and the game experience is cooler. The game is hard to play. Its really nice the game has game Saves, so once you die you don't have to start from level 1.

Rafkill Load menu screenshot

  I've seen rafkill rolling around on freebsd.org ftps under the ubuntu packages pool, which means rafkill could probably be played easily on FreeBSD and other BSDs.

Enjoy the cool game 😉

Test your web browser compatability with Acid3 test

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Acid3 Test is a group of browser compitability tests. Acid3 test is a good indicator on how Web ready is your browser.

Acidtest is part of the web standards project. Latest Firefox 9.0.1 passes the test on 100% (100/100).
I've tried it with Epiphany and it scored only 67/100, still I'm using Epiphany on daily basis and I'm quite happy with it.
Acid3 browser compitability Test Firefox 9.0.1
The tests involved are testing browser for:
 

  • DOM
  • DOM2
  • Checks on HTML tables and forms browser rendering
  • SVG compitability testing
  • DOM1 and DOM2 compitability
  • Various ECMA Script Javascript compitability tests
  • Unicode (UTF-16 and UTF-8) browser compitability
  • XHML, SMIL, CSS, HTML compitability
  • Content-type image/png, text plain etc.

Acid3 browser test fail
The Acid3 test is written itself in Javascript. It consists of 6 testing "stages" (buckets) upon which the browser tested is evaluated.
Each of the test is represented visually by a rectangle. If the a test stage is passed you see a new rectangle appearing in the tested browser.
In wikipedia, there is a thorough list with web browsers by type and engine and the level of support for the Acid3 test.
The test is of great use if you're web developer.

Installing Linux on old hardware PC. Few thoughs on Puppy and Xubuntu Linux

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

I needed a G/Linux distribution that will work fine on an old PC with hardware configuration:

guest@xubuntu-desktop:~$ grep -i cpu /proc/cpuinfo; free -m; df -h
cpu family : 6
cpu MHz : 797.613cpuid level : 2
total used free shared buffers cachedMem: 497 470 26 0 35 259-/+ buffers/cache: 176 321Swap: 1454 10 1444File System Size Used Free % Mounted on
/dev/sda1 37G 4,3G 31G 13% /

I've read a lot on the internet and come to the conclusion I have basicly two popular Linux distros as option to install on archaic x86 hardware:

1. Puppy Linux
2. Xubuntu Linux

I first give Puppy Linux a try. It worked quite nice, but the interface was too old school and the desktop felt like a bit out-dated.
Besides that many of the Puppy Linux shipped programs were not a mainstream programs available across most of the other Linux distributions.

Many of the programs shipped with Puppy are great, but more suitable for a computer geek than for a Windows accustomed GUI user.
Puppy Linux Screenshot

My opinion on Puppy (from what I've seen) is that its great distro for old school hardcore Linux users.
Anyways its not suitable for absolutely "uniniated" users who encounter Linux for a first time.

Secondly I installed Xubuntu. Most of the archaic hardware on the PC was detected during install time (a pleasently surprise).
Xubunto works fast and Xfce menus opens "light fast" as on the old 800Mhz pc with 512 mem of ram. Generally the GUI worked quick and responsive.
To conclude I liked Xubuntu a lot and I strongly recommend it to anyone who want to quickly roll on Linux on an old PC.
Xubuntu GNU / Linux theme

What impressed me most is the minimalistic look & feel and simplicity.

I'm sure Debian will be working great on old hardware as well, however configuring it will be hell a lot of work. Thus I think Xubuntu is a good choice for people who want save some time in obscure configurations and easily have a neat Linux ready for desktop use.

Fix audioCD play problems with VLC on GNU Linux

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

I've not played audio CD for ages. Anyways I had to set up one computer with Linux just recently and one of the requirements was to be able to play audiocds.
I was surprised that actually a was having issue with such as simple tasks.
Here is how i come with this article.

If you encounter errors playing Audio CDs on any Linux distro in VLC or other players, you might need to apply the following fix.

root@xubuntu-desktop:~# apt-get install xubuntu-restricted-extras
...
root@xubuntu-desktop:~# apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras
...

I'm not sure if this packages are required, anyways having them installed is a good idea especially on computers which will have to support as much multimedia as possible.

Trying to play a CD with VLC the result was not nice, you see in the picture above the error that poped up while trying it with VLC:

Due to wrong configuration of the play device VLC will be looking to read the audio cd from.

To succesfully play the audiocd invoke VLC command with a cdda///dev/sr0 argument like so:

hipo@xubuntu-desktop:~$ vlc cdda:///dev/sr0
...

To permanently fix the error you will have to edit ~/.config/vlc/vlcrc :

Inside ~/.config/vlc/vlcrc find the lines:

dvd=/dev/cdrom

Substitute the above line with:

dvd=/dev/sr0

Next find the line:

vcd=/dev/cdrom

Change the above line with:

vcd=/dev/sr0
Due to a bug in generating vlcrc , the dvd= might be set also to other messy unreadable characters (different from /dev/cdrom). This can also be the reason why it fails to properly read the disc.

If dvd= and vcd is set to a different unreadable characters delete them and substitute with /dev/sr0 .I've experienced this on Xubuntu Linux with a Bulgarian localization (probably the bug can be seen in other Linuxes when GNOME is installed in Russian, Chineese and other UTF-8 languages.

The strange error can be observed also in other players when the localization is set to someone's native language …
Alternative solution is to install and use rhythmbox instead of VLC.
Other program to play audio CDs called workman , you will have to get used to the interface which uses gtk1 and therefore obsolete. Putting aside the ugly interface it works 😉

Non-free packages to install to make Ubuntu Linux Multimedia ready / Post install packages for new Ubuntu installations

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

non-free-packages-to-install-make-ubuntu-linux-multimedia-ready

1. Add Medibuntu package repository

root@ubuntu:~# wget --output-document=/etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list \
http://www.medibuntu.org/sources.list.d/$(lsb_release -cs).list \
&& apt-get --quiet update \
&& apt-get --yes --quiet --allow-unauthenticated install medibuntu-keyring \
&& apt-get --quiet update

2. Enable Ubuntu to play Restricted DVD
root@ubuntu:~# apt-get install --yes libdvdread4
...
root@ubuntu:~# /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/install-css.sh

After that VLC will be ready to play DVDs for some programs which was compiled without DVD, source rebuilt is required.

If DVDs hang you might need to set a Region Code with regionset:

# regionset

3. Install non-free codecs

root@ubuntu:~# apt-get install non-free-codecs

4. Install Chromium ffmpeg nonfree codecs

root@ubuntu:~# apt-get install chromium
root@ubuntu:~# apt-get install chromium-codecs-ffmpeg-nonfree

5. Install w32codecs / w64codecs

Depending on the Ubuntu Linux installation architecture 32/64 bit install w32codecs or w64codecs

For 32 bit (x86) Ubuntu install w32codecs:

root@ubuntu:~# apt-get install w32codecs

For 64 bit arch Ubuntu:

root@ubuntu:~# apt-get install w64codecs

6. Install ubuntu-restricted-extras meta package

root@ubuntu:~# apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

7. Install cheese for webcam picture/video snapshotting

root@ubuntu:~# apt-get install cheese

8. Install GIMP, Inkscape, xsane,sane, shotwell etc.

root@ubuntu:~# apt-get --yes install sane xsane gimp inkscape gimp-data-extras gimp-plugin-registry \
blender gcolor2 showtwell bluefish kompozer

9. Install multimedia Sound & Video utilities

Install Subtitle editor, video editiking , sound editing, mp3 player, iso mounters, DVD/CD Burners

root@ubuntu:~# apt-get install rhythmbox banshee smplayer mplayer \
realplayer audacity brasero jokosher istanbuk gtk-recordMyDesktop \acetoneisohexedit furiusisomount winff fala audacious dvdstyler lives hydrogen
subtitleeditor gnome-subtitles electricsheep k3b

10. Install CD / DVD RIP tools

root@ubuntu:~# apt-get install acidrip sound-juicer ogmrip thoggen
11. Install chat messanger programs, Browsers, mail pop3 clients, torrent, emulators, ftp clients etc.

apt-get install seamonkey thunderbird transmission transmission-gtk gbgoffice kbedic \
pidgin openoffice.org gxine mozilla-plugin-vlc wine dosbox samba filezilla amsn ntp \epiphany-browser ntpdate desktop-webmail alltray chmsee gftp xchat-gnome ghex \gnome-genius bleachbit arista

12. Install Non-Free Flash Player

Unfortunately Gnash is not yet production ready and crashes in many websites …

root@ubuntu:~# apt-get install flashplugin-nonfree flashplugin-nonfree-extrasound swfdec-gnome

13. Install Archive / Unarchive management programs

root@ubuntu:~# apt-get install unace unrar zip unzip p7zip-full p7zip-rar sharutils rar uudeview \
mpack lha arj cabextract file-roller

15. Install VirtualBox and QEmu

root@ubuntu:~# apt-get install qemu-launcher qemu-kvm-extras virtualbox virtualbox-ose \
virtualbox-ose-guest-dkms virtualbox-ose-guest-dkms

This should be enough to use Ubuntu normally for multimedia Desktop just as MS Windows for most of the daily activities.
Am I missing some important program?