How to configure static IP on Ubuntu

Do you use Ubuntu and wish to set a static IP for your machine?  It’s simple. Follow the steps below to find out how.

  • Right click the network manager icon at the top right of your desktop
  • Select Edit Connections
  • Select Wired
  • Click the EDIT button
  • Click the IPv4 settings tab
  • Select Manual from the method drop down list
  • Click the ADD button to add your static IP address
  • Add your DNS addresses in the DNS servers field. You can separate each DNS entry with a comma
  • Click OK.
  • Restart networking using this command: /etc/init.d/networking restart

In a mailing list post dated September 8th, Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth announced plans for Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope, scheduled for release in April, 2009.

Shuttleworth starts out by making a bold statement that we can expect Ubuntu to be shipping on millions of devices by next year, thus setting the bar very high for Ubuntu in order to compete with the major players, Microsoft and Apple.

Goals of Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope

Mark also lays out two specific goals that Jaunty Jackalope will have.  The first being faster boot time and faster resume time.  I really think this is a great area for Ubuntu 9.04 to address.  Boot time can certainly be improved and would make the experience of Ubuntu that much better.  The second goal will be to work towards blurring web services and desktop applications.  “Is it a deer? Is it a bunny? Or is it a weblication – a desktop application that seamlessly integrates the web!”

This release looks promising and I really can’t wait to start testing the beta versions.

As for now, Ubuntu 8.10 is scheduled to be released next month, so I’m looking forward to the Intrepid Ibex for now.

If you’ve had the same Ubuntu installation for a while and have just been upgrading to newer releases, you may have noticed that a lot of older kernel versions are piling up in your grub menu and on your system.

How to remove older kernels from Ubuntu

This can be done by using the Synaptic Package Manager, however I will show you how it is done on the command line.

First, find out what kernel you are currently running:

# uname -a

Linux foogazi 2.6.24-19-generic #1 SMP Wed Jun 18 14:43:41 UTC 2008 i686 GNU/Linux

From the output you can see that you are currently using the 2.6.24-19-generic kernel.

Next, let’s take a look at all of the kernel versions you have installed:

# dpkg -l | grep linux-headers-*


linux-headers-2.6.24-16                    2.6.24-16.30                                       Header files related to Linux kernel version
linux-headers-2.6.24-16-generic            2.6.24-16.30                                       Linux kernel headers for version 2.6.24 on x
linux-headers-2.6.24-19                    2.6.24-19.34                                       Header files related to Linux kernel version
linux-headers-2.6.24-19-generic            2.6.24-19.34                                       Linux kernel headers for version 2.6.24 on x
linux-headers-generic                      2.6.24.19.21                                       Generic Linux kernel headers

Now all you need to do is remove the old versions with apt-get.  Since we’ve noted with uname -a that we are currently running 2.6.24-19-generic we want to make sure we do not remove it.  All of the others can be removed.

# sudo apt-get remove linux-headers-2.6.24-16 linux-headers-2.6.24-16-generic

Now the older kernels are gone.  Repeat the apt-get remove step to remove any others you may have.  Remember to not remove your current kernel.

Important note: It is a good idea to keep at least one old kernel version around in case anything breaks in your current kernel and you are unable to boot into it.  An example would be that you boot into your current kernel but recieve a kernel panic.  With an old kernel still available you can reboot the computer and select the older kernel version from the Grub menu and still access your system to find out what is going on.

I don’t know about you but I find the login sound on Ubuntu pretty annoying. Here is a quick, nice and easy way to disable it.

How to disable Ubuntu Login and Logout sounds

Navigate to System > Preferences > Sound then click the Sounds tab.

Disable Login and Logout Sound on Ubuntu

Set the Log Out and Log In sounds to “No Sound” to disable the login and logout sounds in Ubuntu.

It may be a bold statement to make, especially considering the fact that I’m by far no Ubuntu fanboy.  My background in Linux began with Slackware, and I’ve always preferred the more simplistic distributions that allow you to have complete control over what goes on.  However, as the demand and the user base for Linux grows, it’s obvious that people want simplicity in another way; people want an operating system that is free and easy to install, configure, and most of all, use.  Ubuntu has answered the calling for a Linux desktop that moms, dads and grandmas alike can all use with a little openness to a change in the overall look and feel.  These are my arguments as to why I believe Ubuntu is superior to all other Linux distributions available today.

The ability to try everything out

The fact that Ubuntu has a live CD built right into the installation disk allows users to actually test out the basics and get a feel for Ubuntu right from the start without installing anything to your disk.  With all of the distros available to choose from these days it’s important for a distro to offer a straightforward, easy to use live CD option.

Ease of installation

Ubuntu offers users very simple methods of installation. Whether you choose to install from windows using wubi, dual boot, or single boot, every option is easily configurable and straight forward.  You don’t have to be a tech geek or have understanding of partitions and swap space in order to install Ubuntu.

Ease of upgrades

Since Ubuntu is based off Debian and uses the apt package manager, upgrades to new versions as well as security updates are simple to apply requiring almost no interaction apart from entering a root password.  It’s important to offer users an easy way to update packages for security as well as upgrade to a newer version when one is available.  Upgrading Ubuntu from one version to the latest version is as easy as pie; a few clicks, a little waiting, and a system restart and you’re on the newest version.

Community

Having a community that can offer support is crucial for any Linux distribution. It’s what makes or breaks any Linux project. Ubuntu has a great community for both development and support.  The Ubuntu forums are full of great questions and answers from both new Linux users and old timers.  The IRC channel on freenode is also a great place to hang out and ask questions or even provide your own assistance to those that need it.

Ubuntu just works

Taking into account that Ubuntu is just a distibution of Linux and it is actually Linux that “just works” it is important to note the fact that the the ubuntu developers have done in excellent job in creating a Linux distrobution that just works right out of the box. From plugging in third party devices such as digital cameras and usb drives, easy to use wireless, to the ability and awareness of using restricted device drivers if you wish makes Ubuntu great for people of all skillsets.

Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Ubuntu, and Canonical Ltd., recently did an interview with Linux-Magazine Italia and he was kind enough to translate the Italian version to English and post it on his blog.

Here is a great question and answer from the interview:

3) Ok, let’s talk about the latest Ubuntu 8.04. In an interview you said that “Hardy Heron is your most significant release ever”. Well, can you talk about the main improvements of this release?
First, this is an LTS (“Long Term Support”) release that was delivered on a very precise schedule. Six months ago we committed to shipping 8.04 LTS on April 24th, and we did exactly that. As far as I know, nobody has ever shipped an “enterprise class” OS release on a schedule that precise. And not only did we do that, but we have now committed to ship the next LTS in April 2010, it will be 10.04 LTS, and we’ll set the exact date six months in advance like we did with this one. It is thanks to Debian and the free software community that it is possible for us to do this. So 8.04 LTS has proven our ability to deliver not just 18-month-supported releases on time, but also LTS releases on time. We very much hope that other distributions will follow our lead on the LTS cycle with their enterprise releases, because that will make it easier for us all to collaborate, and make all the major Linux distributions better.

Second, there are very significant new developments for Ubuntu itself. On the server, we worked with HP on their Proliant range, and with Dell on their PowerEdge range, to ensure that 8.04 LTS will be compatible with their popular x86 servers. We’re not yet certified, but we are sure that it will “Just Work”. Sun Microsystems has gone further, and has actually certified 8.04 LTS on a range of their x86 servers. This is a major step forward for Ubuntu on the server. We see an amazing amount of usage now for Ubuntu on the server – it’s the most popular server platform for several ISV’s. So it’s important that we work with server vendors, and server solution vendors. We’ve also put a lot of work into the use of KVM and VMWare virtualisation, because we see people building hundreds of virtual appliances on Ubuntu.

On the desktop, we have focused on making it easier to install Ubuntu, especially on a machine which already has Windows, where you can now install Ubuntu into a file on the Windows partition instead of having to resize your Windows partition to make a new partition for Ubuntu. That makes it much easier for people to test out Ubuntu, and hence to get a taste of free software. We have also worked on many of the common things that people want to do with their PC, such as work with photos and music, and started to improve the user experience there.

Read the rest of the interview here.

If you’re looking to get rid of the annoying system beep in Ubuntu, here is how to do it from both the command line, and from the Gnome desktop.

Disable the System Beep from the Command Line

#sudo vi /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist

And then add:

#pc speaker beep

blacklist pcspkr

Save and quit the file:

:wq

Now, remove the pcspkr module:

sudo rmmod pcspkr

Disable the System Beep in Ubuntu from the Gnome Desktop

This way is much easier.  Simply navigate to System -> Preferences -> Sound then navigate to the System Beep tab.  Uncheck the box labeled “Enable the System Beep” and click close.

Disable the System Beep from the Ubuntu Desktop

How To Enable BCM43xx in Ubuntu 8.04

Here is a question I’ve been seeing pop up over the past few days:

My Broadcom bcm4306 Wireless card wont work in Ubuntu 8.04.  How do I fix it?

The most common reason is simply because Ubuntu did not enable the restricted driver.  If your Ubuntu 8.04 installation did not enable your Broadcom Corporation BCM4306 Wireless LAN Controller, here is how to enable it.

First, you need to make sure the b43-fwcutter package is installed.

sudo apt-get install b43-fwcutter

Next, navigate to System -> Administration -> Hardware Drivers

bcm4306 wireless driver in ubuntu 8.04

You should see your Broadcom 4306 device listed.  Check the box to enable it.

Now your bcm43xx Broadcom Wireless card should be working in Ubuntu 8.04!

Wubi Is Just Not Ready

Over the past few weeks prior to the Ubuntu 8.04 “Hardy Heron” release, I was skeptical about Ubuntu fully endorsing and officially supporting Wubi in Ubuntu 8.04. Previously, Ubuntu 7.04 and 7.10 included Wubi, but unofficially. I’ve tested Wubi on a few different computers, and have had varied results. It works sometimes, other times it fails completely. I’ve heard the same stories over and over from multiple Linux users that Wubi either works or doesn’t work at all. The inconsistency of Wubi is what worries me.

Wubi is supposed to be a way for potentially new Linux users to try out Ubuntu without needing to partition a drive, or know anything technical at all, right from the Windows desktop.  A few clicks, and magically, Ubuntu is installed.  However, it’s proven not to be the case for a lot of users.

Originally, I thought Wubi becoming “official” would be great for Ubuntu, and the Linux Desktop in general.  If users can easily install a Linux distribution that “just works”, then the Linux desktop is on the right track to becoming a much more mainstream operating system.  Wubi is an awesome project, don’t get me wrong.  I’m all for users being able to install a Linux distribution without having to bother with partition information, right from their Windows desktop.  Among the many advantages, Wubi helps pull in a new crowd of potential computer users that just may make the switch from Windows to Linux if they see how easy it can be.  However, if these potential users are installing Ubuntu with Wubi and getting errors, how does that make Linux look? Bad.  Buggy.  “Linux doesn’t work!”.  Right?

I’m amazed that Ubuntu has provided Wubi in the Long Term Release with such an inconsistent success rate.  Each new user that tries out installing Ubuntu with Wubi faces the chance of Wubi failing.  It makes Ubuntu, and Linux in general look bad.  Heck, even Mark Shuttleworth himself called out for users to test Wubi before the actual release of Hardy Heron so that developers could fix any last minute issues. Obviously everything wasn’t fixed.  A quick glance at the Ubuntu Wiki for Wubi, shows over twenty known issues. From boot problems, to crashes, to random error messages.  It’s just not ready to be supported officially.

If you haven’t heard the news already, Ubuntu has released Ubuntu 8.04 “Hardy Heron” for both the Desktop and Server. This is the second Long Term Release of the popular distro.

This release marks some pretty drastic improvements for the fight to bring the Linux desktop to the mainstream audience. Wubi, the Windows based Ubuntu Installer, is an officially supported Ubuntu installer for Windows users that can bring you to the Linux world with a single click. Wubi allows you to install and uninstall Ubuntu as any other Windows application, in a simple and safe way. This is definitely going to get more “everyday” desktop users to try out Linux.

Upgrade from Ubuntu 7.10 to Ubuntu 8.04

If you have an existing installation of Ubuntu, upgrading to the latest 8.04 is very simple. Just open System -> Administration -> Update Manager or from the command line, run sudo update-manager. Check for new updates and simply click on the Upgrade button next to the message that states “New distribution release“.

Read the official how to upgrade from Ubuntu 7.10 to Ubuntu 8.04 here.

To download the new Ubuntu 8.04 “Hardy Heron” release go here.