Archive for Debian

Building FreeNX (0.4) on Ubuntu Hoary

From a clean install of Ubuntu/Hoary, I used the following to build FreeNX from source. This also works with Debian/Sarge.

Add the following to your apt source.list and run an update:

deb ./
deb-src ./

Install the following build-depends packages:
sudo apt-get install cdbs autotools-dev patchutils autoconf bzip2 zlib1g-dev libpng12-dev libjpeg-dev xlibs-dev libfreetype6-dev libmikmod2-dev libssl-dev libxaw7-dev automake1.9

On Debian sarge you might need this as well:
sudo apt-get install build-essential

Pull the sources (~40Mb):
apt-get source nx freenx.

Build the debs:
cd nx-; fakeroot dpkg-buildpackage -b; cd ..; sudo dpkg -i *.deb; cd freenx-0.4.0/; fakeroot dpkg-buildpackage -b; cd .. ; sudo dpkg -i freenx_0.4.0-0pre1_all.deb .

Bob’s your uncle.

I’ve got FreeNX working well in a Xen based instance of Hoary using the FreeNX defaults with the !M keys. I’m able to connect from the three !M NX clients I tried: Linux, Windows and OSX. Sound was working with the Windows client, it required the esound daemon. I found this a little chompy, and turned it off for now. I haven’t tried this with the Linux client yet. There are a couple notes here about LTSP and sound that I might investigate at a later stage. Session suspend works, although with OSX it seems you have to kill the X11 server, as the NX client itself refuse listen to the close button.

Its possible to use a similar process for nxclient at:
deb-src ./

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Ubuntu is the Shiznit

I’ve been quite quiet on the blog front recently. A combination of very non-geeky accounting work, being laid up a little by a back strain and running around like a headless chicken completing task lists before I go on a trip.

Anyway Ingram recently had a great deal on IBM R51s, $500 off. So as I’ve been promising my brother, I replaced his R40/C1.6GHz/20Gb/512Mb/DVD/14″ with a spanky new R50 PM1.7GHz/1Gb/60Gb/DVD+RW/15″. The R51 is a great machine, its tempting to me to reverse my earlier iBook decision. Especially since I’m still having trouble finding a decent terminal application in OSX that works with my Linux based 4GL application.

Macrumors is telling me that a new iBook model is due soon, plus Tiger is due some time this month. I figured it was better to use the R40 as my current travel machine. So I did a IBM Access complete HDD wipe and re-install of WinXP (damn that 4 wasted Gb!), shrink the NTFS partition and decided to install Ubuntu.

Ubuntu is the shiznit!

Installs easy, has a sexy login system. It looks tidy and stuff just works. It’s Debian designed from the ground up for the desktop. It still needs some work on making laptop features work out of the box, but that is by accounts on the list. If KDE is prefer the Ubuntu has recent released Kubuntu. KDE is not yet quite as slickly intergrated as Gnome. Still its pretty good. I’ll be posting more as I use Ubuntu.

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klik is a OSX-like packaging system. I was just thinking about how something like this would be very cool.

Update: Klik and Ubuntu Howto.

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Ubuntu as a server

As this guy says, Debian Stable is really starting to drag. It is so far behind the times it is becoming a joke, and so much for testing as an attempt to speed up the release process. Most of the time its just a slow-security-release root-kit-target-waiting-to-happen. In order to use even some of the current simple applications for a server, you basically have to be running Sid.

There doesn’t seem to be any slow up to the rate of packages being updated in Sid and I wonder if anyone is placing odds on Sarge being released next year. I’d say they aren’t that long. Just go ahead and freeze Sid, get the damn thing out already! Personally also think its becoming a real job for the Security Team to keep back porting patches into centuries old applications.

I’m started wondering if its better to look at something like Ubuntu as a server, their wiki has a short blurb about how to set this up with their current release: Ubuntu – Custom or Server Installation.

I’ve played around with a test install of Ubuntu, on a spare desktop. Seemed very nice. I much prefer KDE over Gnome, so its unlikely I’ll move my desktop to Ubuntu any time soon. However, it might be interest to try an experiment between Sarge/KDE and Ubuntu/Gnome desktops when I finally get around to building my NX server at work. Especially if I can get the two running on Xen or UML and get some of my users doing week long trials with either install.

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Xandros Open Circulation

Xandros have released an Open Circulation version of their distribution. You can give pay for a http download or get it via bittorrent. There is also an interesting review of xDMS – a Enterprise Desktop Administration tool. Seems basically to be a front end for managing pools of debs.

Xandros and Ubuntu seem to be the Debian distributions to try at the moment.

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