AutoScan-Network is a network discovering and managing application. No configuration is required to scan your network. The main goal is to print the list of connected equipments in your network.

Features:
•Multithreaded Scan
•Automatic network discovery
•Low surcharge on the network
•Simultaneous subnetworks scans without human intervention
•Realtime detection of any connected equipment
•Supervision of any equipment (router, server, firewall…)
•Supervision of any network service (smtp, http, pop, …)
•Automatic detection of known operatic system (brand and version), you can also add any unknown equipment to the database
•Complete network tree can be saved in a XML file.
•Intruders detection (in intruders detection mode, all new equipments blacklisted)
•Telnet Client
•Nessus Client
•Wake on lan functionality
•Privileged account is not required

Installation:
To install AutoScan-Network, go on this link http://autoscan-network.com/ and download the latest version for your operating system.

Once you’ve downloaded the package, decompress the ‘tar.gz’ file and double-click on the binary file “AutoScan-Network-Linux-1.1x.bin” The installation starts…

(If you get troubles during the installation, start a shell with root access privileges and re-execute the binary file) This is the simplest way to install AutoScan-Network but some features are not included (like file sharing support) after successful  installation you should find the entry of the application in your KDE start menu, start the application and you should see something like ..

To un-install  AutoScan-Network start a shell with root access privileges, and type ‘/opt/AutoScan/uninstall’

AutoScan Network is free software. It is licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2. This means you are free to use it and to modify it.

Central Log Management System is a simple web based logging system which allows logging all syslog messages from various Network Devices, Unix, Linux, Solaris and Windows Servers. This allows the visibility of logs from all these devices in one single interface.

What is Syslog-NG ?

syslog-ng© is the world’s most flexible and scalable audit trail processing tool for organizations of any size. It provides a centralised, securely stored log of all devices on your network, whatever platform they run on. And syslog-ng also incorporates a host of powerful features, including filtering based on message content, as well as customisable data mining and analysis capabilities.

Downloads and Documentation

http://www.balabit.com/products/syslog_ng/Syslog-Ng FAQ

http://www.campin.net/syslog-ng/faq.html

Syslog-NG Server Configuration

Install Syslog-NG in debian

#apt-get install syslog-ng
Reading Package Lists… Done
Building Dependency Tree… Done
The following packages will be REMOVED:
klogd sysklogd
The following NEW packages will be installed:
syslog-ng
0 upgraded, 1 newly installed, 2 to remove and 8 not upgraded.
Need to get 215kB of archives.
After unpacking 233kB of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n]y

This will complete the installation process.

Installation Error with solution

Building Dependency Tree… Done
The following packages will be REMOVED:
klogd sysklogd
The following NEW packages will be installed:
syslog-ng
0 upgraded, 1 newly installed, 2 to remove and 8 not upgraded.
Need to get 215kB of archives.
After unpacking 233kB of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n] y
Get:1 http://mirror.ox.ac.uk stable/main syslog-ng 1.6.5-2.2 [215kB]
Fetched 215kB in 0s (683kB/s)
(Reading database … 16396 files and directories currently installed.)
Removing klogd …
Stopping kernel log daemon: klogd.
Removing sysklogd …
Stopping system log daemon: syslogd.
Selecting previously deselected package syslog-ng.
(Reading database … 16374 files and directories currently installed.)
Unpacking syslog-ng (from …/syslog-ng_1.6.5-2.2_i386.deb) …
Setting up syslog-ng (1.6.5-2.2) …
CONSOLE_LOG_LEVEL is of unaccepted value.
KERNEL_RINGBUF_SIZE is of unaccepted value.
Starting system logging: syslog-ng.

The above error is know problem with syslog-ng 1.6.5-2.2 debian package for this you need to modify the syslog-ng startup script file /etc/init.d/syslog-ng

Change the following

1) Edit the file /etc/default/syslog-ng uncomment the following lines and save the file

CONSOLE_LOG_LEVEL
KERNEL_RINGBUF_SIZE

OR

2)case “x$CONSOLE_LOG_LEVEL” in
x[0-7])
dmesg -n $CONSOLE_LOG_LEVEL
;;
*)
echo “CONSOLE_LOG_LEVEL is of unaccepted value.”
;;
esac

to

case “x$CONSOLE_LOG_LEVEL” in
x[0-7])
dmesg -n $CONSOLE_LOG_LEVEL
;;
x)
;;
*)
echo “CONSOLE_LOG_LEVEL is of unaccepted value.”
;;
esac

2)case “x$KERNEL_RINGBUF_SIZE” in
x[0-9]*)
dmesg -s $KERNEL_RINGBUF_SIZE
;;
*)
echo “KERNEL_RINGBUF_SIZE is of unaccepted value.”
;;
esac

to

case “x$KERNEL_RINGBUF_SIZE” in
x[0-9]*)
dmesg -s $KERNEL_RINGBUF_SIZE
;;
x)
;;
*)
echo “KERNEL_RINGBUF_SIZE is of unaccepted value.”
;;
esac

After changing above two changes you need to restart syslog-ng using the following command

#/etc/init.d/syslog-ng start

Syslog-NG Configuration

Default Configuration file located at /etc/syslog-ng/syslog-ng.conf file

Default syslog-ng.conf file click here

Now you need to concentrate on configuration of this file how to fit your need.I am giving example of configuring UDP as source to get the messages remotely for this you need to change the following line under Sources and options

1)# (this is equivalent to the “-r” syslogd flag)
# udp();

to

# (this is equivalent to the “-r” syslogd flag)
udp();

2)# enable or disable DNS usage
# syslog-ng blocks on DNS queries, so enabling DNS may lead to
# a Denial of Service attack
# (default is yes)
use_dns(no);

to

# enable or disable DNS usage
# syslog-ng blocks on DNS queries, so enabling DNS may lead to
# a Denial of Service attack
# (default is yes)
use_dns(yes);
dns_cache(yes);

If you want to know more sources,options,logs,filters,destination click here

Syslog-NG My-SQL Integartion with PHP-syslog-NG Web interface

Make sure the you have installed mysql server and phpmyadmin in your machine. If you want to install run the following command

#apt-get install mysql-server

#apt-get install phpmyadmin

You need to install apache Webserver click here for apache with php support installation steps.

What is PHP-syslog-NG ?

php-syslog-ng is a log monitor designed to let the user quickly and easily manage logs from many hosts.

PHP-Syslog-ng is a front-end for viewing syslog-ng messages logged to MySQL in real-time. It features customized searches based on device, time, priori ty, message, and date.

HOW IT WORKS

Syslog-ng by default collects all the messages from the various sources and pipes them to the MySQL Database. PHP-Syslog-ng which is the front end interface t hen looks and reads from the MySQL Database when searched from the web interface.

Download PHP-syslog-NG

http://www.phpwizardry.com/php-syslog-ng/phpsyslogng-2.8.tar.gz

Installing PHP-syslog-NG with Mysql support for syslog-ng

Download the PHP-syslog-NG in your web server root directory and extract this file phpsyslogng-2.8.tar.gz.Now

#cd phpsyslogng-2.8

Now you are in phpsyslogng-2.8 directory

Configure MySQL

The quickest way to do this is to use the dbsetup.sql file in the scripts directory. Just edit the file and set some passwords for the three users that are created (replace PW_HERE). The script will create a table for logs and a table for user authentication and give the three users some sensible priviliges. If you make other changes like changing the name of the database or the name of the tables then make sure you edit config.php to reflect that. After editing the dbsetup.sql file then just run it like this:

shell> mysql -uroot -p < dbsetup.sql

Configure syslog-ng

Now you need to configure syslog-ng to send the desired log messages to a pipe that can be read to send the entries to MySQL. You will need to add two entries to the syslog-ng configuration file. The configuration file is usually in /etc/syslog-ng/syslog-ng.conf.

You first need to add a new ‘destination’ entry. Add something like this:

destination d_mysql {
pipe(“/var/log/mysql.pipe”
template(“INSERT INTO logs
(host, facility, priority, level, tag, datetime, program, msg)
VALUES ( ‘$HOST’, ‘$FACILITY’, ‘$PRIORITY’, ‘$LEVEL’, ‘$TAG’, ‘$YEAR-$MONTH-$DAY $HOUR:$MIN:$SEC’,
‘$PROGRAM’, ‘$MSG’ );\n”) template-escape(yes));
};

That will take your log entries and format them into a SQL query that can be run to add it to the database.

You also need to add an entry that determines what log entries to forward to the FIFO pipe. You will usually want to forward everything to MySQL and there should already be a ‘source’ entry for that in your syslog-ng.conf file (usually called src or s_all). To tie that source to the destination you just created you will add something like this:

log {
source(s_all);
destination(d_mysql);
};

Setup syslog-ng to MySQL pipe

An example for a script that feeds log entries from the FIFO pipe to MySQL is included in the scripts directory. The script is called syslog2mysql.sh.
#!/bin/bash

if [ ! -e /var/log/mysql.pipe ]
then
mkfifo /var/log/mysql.pipe
fi
while [ -e /var/log/mysql.pipe ]
do
mysql -u syslogfeeder –password=PASS_HERE syslog < /var/log/mysql.pipe >/dev/null
done

If you decide to use this script then you have to replace PASS_HERE with the password for the syslogfeeder user. You will also probably want to have this script started automatically whenever you start the server. So add an entry in the inittab or start it through init.d (or whatever is appropriate on your system). But make sure you call it after MySQL has been started.

Now start the syslog2mysql.sh script:

shell> ./syslog2mysql.sh &

or if you created an init.d script:

shell> /etc/init.d/syslog2mysql start

Note:- This syslog2mysql.sh need to run always in background because using this script all the messges are pipe to mysql database

It’s finally time to restart the syslog-ng daemon and start sending your logs to the database:

shell> /etc/init.d/syslog-ng restart

Edit config.php

If you are using the default database setup from the dbsetup.sql file then all you need to do is to enter the passwords for the sysloguser and syslogadmin users, set the right host and port for the database server if it is not on the same server as the web server and set the correct URL. Otherwise read through the config.php file and configure things to suit your needs. All the different options are explained in the file.

Log rotation

Log rotation should be part of most installations where you use php-syslog-ng. It is better to use log rotation than deleting rows in the main table because deleting rows can lead to performance problems. Rotating old logs out of the main table will also usually result in better performance because the tables with old logs are static and can be optimized. There is a logrotate.php script in the scripts directory. You may have to edit it to enter the correct path to your php-syslog-ng installation but after that it should be ready for use. If you enable merge tables in the config.php file then a merge table of all log tables will be created at the end of the script. The merge table will allow you to search across all tables instead of having to do searches against one table at a time. The merge table does equate to a slight performance hit on the search form because the fields are populated based on all tables instead of one particular table.

You can also specify enable the LOGRETENTION setting in config.php. If you enable this then logs older than this setting will be dropped whenever the logrotate.php is run.

If you decide to use the logrotate.php script then just add it to your crontab and have it run however frequent you want (max is currently one time per day).

Logrotate Error

When you run logrotate.php if you are getting the following error

Starting logrotate
2006-05-01 21:50:08
No DB link

then check the file /etc/php4/cli/php.ini for an entry:

;extension=mysql.so

and uncomment this entry (take away the semi-colon):

extension=mysql.so (Thanks to Richard Lucassen for this Solution)

Now you can check your installation http://ipaddress/phpsyslogng/ and login user admin and test as password.

Syslog Client Configuration

If you want to send the all the server syslog messages to syslog server you need to edit the file /etc/syslog.conf and you need to enter the following

*.* <Tab><Tab> @syslog server ipaddress

now you need to restart the syslog in client machine

#/etc/init.d/sysklogd restart – for debian

#/etc/init.d/syslog restart – for Other Linux Distributions

In this tutorial I will describe how to install and configure Snort (an intrusion detection system (IDS)) from source, BASE (Basic Analysis and Security Engine), MySQL, and Apache2 on Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon). Snort will assist you in monitoring your network and alert you about possible threats. Snort will output its log files to a MySQL database which BASE will use to display a graphical interface in a web browser.

1. Prerequisites

The first thing I like to do is grab all the dependant packages that I can from Synaptic.

From the Desktop go to System > Administration > Synaptic Package Manager. Enter your password and select Search.

Search for the following packages and install them:

  • Libpcap0.8-dev
  • libmysqlclient15-dev
  • mysql-client-5.0
  • mysql-server-5.0
  • bison
  • flex
  • apache2
  • libapache2-mod-php5
  • php5-gd
  • php5-mysql
  • libphp-adodb
  • php-pear

2. Gain root privileges

From the Desktop go to Applications > Accessories > Terminal and type:

$ sudo -i
$ Then your password.

We need to get one more package here,

# apt-get install libc6-dev g++ gcc

3. Time to download and untar packages

We want to create a temp directory to download and untar files. I’m going to use edge’s structure here. In the terminal window type the following:

# cd /root
# mkdir snorttmp
# cd /root/snorttmp

Let’s get snort. The latest version of snort at the time of writing is 2.8.0.

Open a web browser and navigate to http://www.snort.org/dl; right click on the most recent release and copy link location.

In the terminal type:

# wget http://www.snort.org/dl/current/snort-2.8.0.tar.gz

It’s time to untar the Snort package and remove the tar file.

# tar -xzvf /root/snorttmp/snort-2.8.0.tar.gz
# rm /root/snorttmp/snort-2.8.0.tar.gz

4. Get some Snort rules.

Change directories into the new snort-2.8.0 folder.

# cd /root/snorttmp/snort-2.8.0

Open a web browser and navigate to http://www.snort.org/pub-bin/downloads.cgi.

Scroll down to the “Sourcefire VRT Certified Rules – The Official Snort Rule set (unregistered user release)” section. Right click on the most recent release and copy link location.

If you are a forum member you can get newer rules which are under the “registered user release”.

In the terminal type:

# wget http://www.snort.org/pub-bin/downloads.cgi/Download/vrt_pr/snortrules-pr-2.4.tar.gz

Untar the Snort Rules and remove the tar file.

# tar -xzvf /root/snorttmp/snort-2.8.0/snortrules-pr-2.4.tar.gz
# rm /root/snorttmp/snort-2.8.0/snortrules-pr-2.4.tar.gz

5. Get PCRE – Perl Compatible Regular Expressions.

Change directory back into the snorttmp folder.

# cd /root/snorttmp

Open a web browser and go to http://www.pcre.org.

Click on the link for the newest release, right click on the newest tar.gz package and select copy link (at the time of writing this is pcre-7.4).

// <![CDATA[
document.write('

‘);
// ]]>

// <![CDATA[
if (typeof ord=='undefined') {ord=Math.random()*10000000000000000;}
document.write('’);
// ]]>// <![CDATA[
document.write('’);
// ]]>// Click here to find out more! // <![CDATA[
document.write('

‘);
// ]]>

// <![CDATA[
document.write('

‘);
// ]]>

// <![CDATA[
ord=Math.random()*10000000000000000;
document.write('’);
// ]]>Click here to find out more! // <![CDATA[
document.write('

‘);
// ]]>

In the terminal type:

# wget ftp://ftp.csx.cam.ac.uk/pub/software/programming/pcre/pcre-7.4.tar.gz

Untar PCRE and remove the tar file.

# tar -xzvf /root/snorttmp/pcre-7.4.tar.gz
# rm /root/snorttmp/pcre-7.4.tar.gz

6. Get BASE (Basic Analysis and Security Engine).

Change directory back into the snorttmp folder.

# cd /root/snorttmp

Open a web browser and go to http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=103348.

Click on download then right click on the newest tar.gz package and select copy link (at the time of writing this is base-1.3.8).

In the terminal type:

# wget http://downloads.sourceforge.net/secureideas/base-1.3.8.tar.gz?modtime=1183896336&big_mirror=0

Untar BASE and remove the tar file.

# tar -xzvf /root/snorttmp/base-1.3.8.tar.gz
# rm /root/snorttmp/base-1.3.8.tar.gz

7. Get ADOdb (database abstraction library for PHP).

Change directory back into the snorttmp folder.

# cd /root/snorttmp

Open a web browser and go to http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=42718.

Click on the download link for adodb-php5-only then right click on the adodb502a.tgz package and select copy link (adodb502a is the most recent package at the time of writing).

In the terminal type:

# wget http://downloads.sourceforge.net/adodb/adodb502a.tgz?modtime=1191343792&big_mirror=0

Untar ADOdb and remove the tar file.

# tar -xzvf /root/snorttmp/adodb502a.tgz
# rm /root/snorttmp/adodb502a.tgz

Do an ls to be sure you have all the packages.

# ls /root/snorttmp

You should see the following folders,

  • adodb5
  • base-1.3.8
  • pcre-7.4
  • snort-2.8.0

8. Installation.

a. PCRE install.

# cd /root/snorttmp/pcre-7.4

Here we will do a make/install

# ./configure
# make
# make install

b. Snort install.

# cd /root/snorttmp/snort-2.8.0

Here we will do a make/install

# ./configure -enable-dynamicplugin –with-mysql
# make
# make install

9. Copying files.

We need to create some folders in /etc for snort to function correctly and copy some files over to them.

# mkdir /etc/snort /etc/snort/rules /var/log/snort

Let’s move some files.

# cd /root/snorttmp/snort-2.8.0/rules
# cp * /etc/snort/rules/

Let’s get the /etc snort files also.

# cd /root/snorttmp/snort-2.8.0/etc
# cp * /etc/snort/

One more file.

# cp /usr/local/lib/libpcre.so.0 /usr/lib

10. Snort Configuration

We need to modify the snort.conf file to suite our needs.

Open /etc/snort/snort.conf with your favorite text editor (nano, vi, vim, etc.).

# vim /etc/snort/snort.conf

Change “var HOME_NET any” to “var HOME_NET 192.168.1.0/24” (your home network may differ from 192.168.1.0)
Change “var EXTERNAL_NET any” to “var EXTERNAL_NET !$HOME_NET” (this is stating everything except HOME_NET is external)
Change “var RULE_PATE ../rules” to “var RULE_PATH /etc/snort/rules

Scroll down the list to the section with “# output database: log, mysql, user=“, remove the “#” from in front of this line.
Leave the “user=root“, change the “password=password” to “password=YOUR_PASSWORD“, “dbname=snort
Make note of the username, password, and dbname. You will need this information when we set up the Mysql db.
Save and quit.

11. Setup the Mysql database.

Log into the mysql server.

# mysql -u root -p

Sometimes there is no password set so just hit enter.

If you get a failed logon, try the above command again and enter YOUR_PASSWORD.

If there is no password you need to create a password for the root account.

Note: Once you are in mysql the # is now a mysql>

mysql> SET PASSWORD FOR root@localhost=PASSWORD(‘YOUR_PASSWORD’);

Create the snort database.

mysql> create database snort;
mysql> exit

We will use the snort schema for the layout of the database.

# mysql -D snort -u root -p < /root/snorttmp/snort-2.8.0/schemas/create_mysql

We need to comment out a few lines in the web rules before we can test snort, I am unsure if this has been fixed in the subscriber version.

Open up /etc/snort/rules/web-misc.rules with your favorite text editor.

# vim /etc/snort/rules/web-misc.rules

Comment out line’s 97, 98, and 452 with a “#” (no quotes).

12. Time to test Snort

In the terminal type:

# snort -c /etc/snort/snort.conf

If everything went well you should see an ascii pig.

To end the test hit ctrl + c.

12. Base and Apache2

We have already installed both Apache2 and BASE, all we have to do now is move some files and modify a config file.
Create a file called test.php in /var/www/ with your favorite text editor.

# vim /var/www/test.php

write in it:

<?php
phpinfo();
?>

Save and close this file

We need to edit /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini file.

# vim /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini

You need to add the following under “Dynamic Extensions”.

extension=mysql.so
extension=gd.so

Restart Apache2.

# /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

Get the ip address of the machine you are working on.

# ifconfig -a

Open a web browser and go to http://YOUR.IP.ADDRESS/test.php.

If everything went well, you will have PHP information displayed.

13. Moving more files.

We need to move ADOdb into the /var/www directory.

# mv /root/snorttmp/adodb5 /var/www/

Let’s make a directory in www and move BASE.

# mkdir /var/www/web
# mv /root/snorttmp/base-1.3.8 /var/www/web/

We need to temporarily enable writing to the base-1.3.8 folder for setup.

# chmod 757 /var/www/web/base-1.3.8

We also need to modify a PHP setup file using your favorite text editor.

# vim /var/www/web/base-1.3.8/setup/setup1.php

Find the line that says “base_header” and change it to “header”.

Save and exit.

We want the graphs in base to work so we need to install a few pear extensions.

# pear install Image_Color
# pear install Image_Canvas-alpha
# pear install Image_Graph-alpha

14. BASE Setup via the web.

Open a web browser and navigate to http://YOUR.IP.ADDRESS/web/base-1.3.8/setup.

Click continue on the first page.

  • Step 1 of 5: Enter the path to ADODB.
    This is /var/www/adodb5.
  • Step 2 of 5:
    Database type = MySQL, Database name = snort, Database Host = localhost, Database username = root, Database Password = YOUR_PASSWORD
  • Step 3 of 5: If you want to use authentication enter a username and password here.
  • Step 4 of 5: Click on Create BASE AG.
  • Step 5 of 5: one step 4 is done at the bottom click on Now continue to step 5.

Bookmark this page.

Change the permissions back on the /var/www/web/base-1.3.8 folder.

# chmod 775 /var/www/web/base-1.3.8

We are done. Congrats!!!

To start Snort in the terminal type:

# snort -c /etc/snort/snort.conf -i eth0 -D

This starts snort using eth0 interface in a daemon mode.

To make sure it is running you can check with the following command:

# ps aux | grep snort

If it’s running you will see an entry similar to snort -c /etc/snort/snort.conf -i eth0 -D.

If you would like to learn how to write your own Snort rules there is a guide at http://www.snort.org/docs/snort_manual/node16.html.
Good luck.

At work we maintain over a hundred machines, most of which are regularly accessed via SSH by our developers.  Due to the number of machines and the number of tasks that need completed, we found that many of the developers would often forget they were logged into a server and leave an idle SSH session open.  Due to the sensitive nature of the data on many of the servers we needed to find a solution to this.  We decided to implement an SSH feature to automatically logout SSH sessions after a period of inactivity.  Here is how we did it.

Inside the sshd_config file (/etc/ssh/sshd_config) there is a setting for ClientAliveInterval and ClientAliveCountMax.  Edit these two lines to look something like:

ClientAliveInterval 300
ClientAliveCountMax 0

Once these settings are changed you’ll need to restart your SSH server for them to take effect.

sudo /etc/init.d/ssh restart

Now, if an SSH session is connected with no activity for five minutes, it’ll be automatically logged out. Hopefully reducing the chance of an open connection becoming vulnerable at an idle workstation.

Not long ago the USB mouse that I’ve been using with my laptop finally died.  Granted it may have been due to me stubbing my toe on my backpack and crushing it during the middle of the night.  In any event, I’ve become pretty proficient in the use of keyboard shortcuts in Firefox at this point.  I thought I would share a few with you.

Navigation Shortcuts

Forward, backward, home, address bar and search bar can be done via keyboard shortcuts:

alt+Left Arrow : back

alt+Right Arrow : forward

alt+Home : Home

ctrl+L : address bar

F6 : address bar

ctrl+K : search bar

ctrl+K+Down Arrow : toggle search engine down

ctrl+K+Up Arrow : toggle search engine up

Tab Shortcuts

Opening, closing and navigating your tabs can be done via these shortcuts:

ctrl+t : new tab

ctrl+w : close tab

ctrl+Page Up : previous tab

ctrl+Page Down : next tab

ctrl+tab : next tab

alt+num (1, 2, 3, etc) : tab number

ctrl+shift+T : open recently closed tabs

ctrl+r : refresh tab content

ctrl+shift+r : force-refresh tab content

ctrl+u : view tab source

Are there any shortcuts that I’ve missed?  If you’ve got anything to share, comment.

I recently installed Kubuntu 9.10 to have a look at the latest that KDE has to offer in the Ubuntu arena. I have to say, I find it very polished and far less buggy than previous releases that I’ve used! If you haven’t tried KDE recently, I invite you to give it a try. In this article I’ll outline how to install Dropbox on KDE (Kubuntu) without using the packages, or requiring the GNOME dependencies that are required for Nautilus integration.

Installation

Because we’ll be installing Dropbox manually, outside of the package management system, the first thing you’ll need to do is download the binary for your running architecture. I’ve included direct download links to the 32bit and 64bit releases below:

  • 32bit Dropbox Linux Client
  • 64bit Dropbox Linux Client

After you’ve downloaded the .tar.gz file, unpack it and move its contents to your home folder. Assuming your default Download location is your ~/Downloads folder, do the following to unpack and move the dropbox files:

tar xf dropbox-lnx*.tar.gz

mv .dropbox-dist/ ~/

Lastly, assuming you want Dropbox to autostart when you login, you’ll want to create a symlink to your Autostart folder. You can do this using the command:

ln -s ~/.dropbox-dist/dropdoxd ~/.kde/Autostart/

Launch Dropbox

At this point you can either logout and log back in to have Dropbox launch, or manually launch by issuing the command:

~/.dropbox-dist/dropboxd

You should be prompted to enter your account information, and you’re set!

Getting Dropbox

If you don’t have a Dropbox account, I’d invite you to check it out. It’s a very, very useful tool for sharing files and doing off-site backups. If the program is still in place, you’ll get a 250M storage bonus for using this link.

I wasn’t going to write this post. I was going to get used to the idea of my window buttons being on the left, instead of the right where I’m used to them. I was really going to try and use the Ubuntu “standard”. Well, after a little more than a month, I give up. If you’re the same and you’d like your window buttons back “where they belong”, this post will outline how to move window buttons back to the right.

For those in a hurry,  I’ve outlined the quickest way known to man to move the window buttons back to the right. Open a terminal (Applications > Accessories > Terminal), and paste in the following command:

gconftool -s /apps/metacity/general/button_layout -t string menu:minimize,maximize,close

Magically your window buttons will be back to the “right” place.

For those that are afraid of the terminal and their copy-paste functionality, you can follow these steps:

  1. Press ALT-F2 to open the application launcher.
  2. Enter ‘gconf-editor’
  3. Navigate to Apps > Metacity > General > Button Layout
  4. Change the string value to ‘menu:minimize,maximize,close’
  5. Exit gconf-editor

Those steps aren’t too bad either. I prefer the first, of course, but perhaps it has a little too much “magic” to it.

In conclusion I think the move is still controversial. I would have expected some of these controversial changes in a development release, but not an LTS (Long Term Support) release. In any case, I’m not here to make decisions.

I’ve been spending some time recently in KDE 4.4.x. It seems with each new release it gets more and more polished, and I want to thank the dev team for their hard work. Some of the oddities that I find in KDE though, I think, are based on my familiarity to GNOME. This post outlines how to change the Run Command Keybinding (ALT-F2) to match that of GNOME-Do (Super-Space). This gives you basically what GNOME-Do does (granted not quite the same, but good enough for quick-launching apps), without installing GNOME-Do and its dependencies.

System Settings – Global Keyboard Shortcuts

  1. To quickly get to the System Settings and the Global Keyboard Shortcuts configuration, use the Run Command interface by pressing ALT-F2 and enter “Global Keyboard Shortcuts”.
  2. In the drop-down menu labeled “KDE Component”, select “Run Command Interface”.
  3. Select “Run Command” in the Action (left) column.
  4. Click the “Custom” box.
  5. Click the input box to the right of “Custom” and press the key combination “Super-Space” (Super is the Windows Key).
  6. Click Apply.

General Usage

I admit that the Run Command interface doesn’t give all of the same options as GNOME-Do, but it does do quite a bit. You can, of course, quickly launch applications. You can switch between applications (type the name of a currently running app, and select it. It’ll switch focus, or switch to the desktop running that app). Do you have any suggestions on how to use the Run Command interface for more efficient desktop usage?

Conclusion

If you’re trying out KDE and want your transition to be a little smoother, try changing some of the little things to make you feel more at home. Changing this keybinding, for those used to GNOME-Do, is just one small step along the way.

Another KDE related post. How ’bout that. This article outlines how to disable the user list and/or the preselect user feature of the KDM login manager. The end result here is for the Login Manager to not display a list of users or pre-populate the username field with the previously logged in users. If you are the type that dislikes Face Choosers and the like, you’ll appreciate these changes.

Login Manager – KDE Control Module

The configuration for the Login Manager are found in the System Settings menu. Launch or navigate to the System Settings. Click the “Advanced” tab, and find the Login Manager button. This should prompt you for administrative privileges.

Once in the Login Manager configuration you’ll be presented with a number of tabs. The tabs we’ll deal with here are the “Users” and “Convenience” tabs, on the far right.

To disable the list of users (this really only applies to machines that have multiple users), uncheck the “Show list” button in the left-hand pane of that window. Once you apply these settings a list of users will no longer be displayed at login.

To disable the “convenience” of auto-populating the username, you’ll need to select the “Convenience” tab. Again, in the left-hand pane of this window you can check the box “None” in the “Preselect User” section.

On next login your username field will no longer be populated with the username from the previous login.

It seems that every major desktop environment is defaulting to Face Choosers and making it easier to login to your machine. Maybe I’m old-school, but I prefer to not present would-be-attackers with any information about my machine, including my username.

If you have any other tips regarding the Login Manager, please share in the comments section.

As promised in yesterdays post I’m going to outline today how to setup seamless window integration with Ubuntu and Virtualbox. If you missed yesterday’s post you might want to take a look at the seamless integration screenshot. No, that is not Photoshop’d, its really my desktop. I’ll also outline how to setup a shared folder between the two systems so that the icons and folders available on your XP desktop are available on your Ubuntu dekstop. So lets go ahead and dive in.

Installing VirtualBox

If you’ve already got VirtualBox installed you can skip ahead here down to Activating Seamless Integration. If not we’ll be starting you from scratch. Fortunately Ubuntu has packages for VirtualBox available in the repositories. I have a previous post on installing VirtualBox, but we’ll repeat the steps here:

sudo aptitude install virtualbox-ose virtualbox-ose-modules

This’ll install VirtualBox Open Source Edition, and should take just a few minutes.

After the installation is finished you’ll need to do just one of the following.

  • Add yourself to the vboxdrv group (sudo usermod -G vboxusers -a username), and then re-login.
  • change permissions on the vboxdrv device (sudo chmod 666 /dev/vboxdrv)

You should now have VirtualBox listed in your Applications menu (Applications > System Tools > Innotek VirtualBox). Go ahead and launch this and install Windows. (I wont get into details on Windows installation, I’m hoping you can figure that much out on your own.)

Activating Seamless Integration

With the release of VirtualBox 1.5.0 (the version you just installed via the Ubuntu repositories) Innotek added the seamless integration feature. This is similar to what is available on Parallels on Mac, allowing you to run individual applications from a virtual environment seamlessly on your native desktop.

Once your guest machine is running and logged in you can activate seamless mode via a shortcut key. Now I want to note that you might double-check to see what your “Host Key” is set to before you dive into this. This proved problematic for me on my MacBook as the default key is right-ctrl, but there is no right-ctrl on the MacBook.

Navigate to (File > Preferences) inside the main VirtualBox window, select the “Input” option and verify or set your “Host” Key” before you go forward.

You’ll also need to install Guest Additions on the Windows guest for this to be available.  See the mention in the next section on how to do that.

Once you’re sure what your “Host Key” is, go back into your running Windows guest and activate seamless mode by hitting:

"Host Key"+L

This should make everything but the Start menu disappear, allowing you to launch individual applications as you normally would. You may want to move your bottom gnome panel to the top for better integration.

Configuring Shared Folder Integration

One additional thing you might want to setup is shared folder integration. What I mean by this is having the files from your Ubuntu desktop appear on your Windows desktop as well. This might be useful, for instance, if you launched Internet Exploder via your integrated Start menu and downloaded a file. The saved file would then appear on your native Ubuntu desktop, via the shared folder system.

First we’ll need to install the VirtualBox Guest Additions. I haven’t yet blogged about how to do this on Windows guests, but you might refer to my previous post on Installing Guest Additions for Ubuntu Guests. Hopefully this’ll be enough until I write a proper article on the topic.

Next activate virtual shared folder support in your guest OS (Windows). Do this via the main VirtualBox window, selecting (Machine > Settings > “Shared Folders”). Click the button to add a shared folder (the top right icon), and define the path to your share. You’ll likely want to share your current Desktop, so you might select:

/home/username/Desktop

Now, toggling back to your Windows guest, you’ll want to mount this shared folder. You’ll need to open a shell using (Start > Run > “cmd“). Then use the following command to “mount” this shared folder between your Ubuntu host and your Windows guest.

net use x: \\vboxsvr\Desktop

You should now have access to your shared folder, but we also want to tell Windows to use this as its primary folder.

Start up regedit via (Start > Run > “regedit“) and navigate to the following location:

(HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Explorer > User Shell Folders)

Look for the key “Desktop” and change the value to:

x:

Save your changes, reboot your Windows guest and you should be done.