MD5 or SHA-1

When downloading Ubuntu images, it’s good to check the integrity of your downloaded files. Ubuntu provides both Md5 and SHA-1 hashes to check if your downloaded file is ok. You can invoke the command below.

md5 filename.iso

Ubuntu One Shuts Down

Ubuntu One is officially shutdown. It’s one of a few failed ventures of Ubuntu parent company Canonical over the years. Canonical said it will focus on other areas of the business. Ubuntu One was supposed to be a competitor for Dropbox. It didn’t really take off as Canonical thought it would be. If you are a Ubuntu One user, you have until the end of July 2014 to move your data somewhere else.

Upgrading ownCloud

Are you looking for a Dropbox alternative? Try ownCloud. Dropbox and ownCloud are both free as well as a paid service. The main difference between the two is that you can run ownCloud from your own server. Like Dropbox, you can access ownCloud from your browser, desktop or smartphone. The ownCloud server software runs on any server, mine runs on Ubuntu Linux, and it doesn’t require special permissions.

The latest version is ownCloud version 6. I was still running on version 4.5. So, the following instructions will upgrade your ownCloud to the latest version on the Ubuntu server. If you have large amounts of data, it would be wise to backup your ownCloud directories. If you don’t have many files, you can opt for a clean install.

Go to your ownCloud directory.

cd owncloud

Delete everything except for data and config. You will most likely need sudo to delete your files. I opted for a clean install, so I deleted everything.

ls | grep -v 'data\|config' | sudo xargs rm -r

Download ownCloud. Since I did a clean install, I went up one directory level.

cd ..
wget http://download.owncloud.org/community/owncloud-latest.tar.bz2

Unpack the tarball. It will create a new directory ‘owncloud.’

sudo tar xfj owncloud-latest.tar.bz2

Give it write permissions. By default, the owncloud files are owned by nobody. So, you might see an error message saying it needs write permissions to ‘owncloud/data.’ I changed the ownership of the files to Apache, which is www-data.

sudo chown www-data:www-data -R owncloud

Access ownCloud by opening up your web browser and going to your ownCloud URL. If you did a clean install, you will be asked to create a new admin username and password. Otherwise, enter your former credentials. Finally, download the desktop clients as well as the mobile apps and install on your devices.

Synch your files and have fun.

Ubuntu Touch

This week Ubuntu Touch makes its arrival. Ubuntu Touch is officially supported on the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4 smartphones, but there are other smartphones that Ubuntu Touch will work on. You’ll need to flash your smartphone to install Ubuntu Touch. The intriguing question is, will Ubuntu Touch be the next hot mobile operating system?

NoCatSplash With Authentication

DD-WRT is an open-source Wi-Fi firmware that you can install on select consumer-based wireless routers. I’ve been using the DD-WRT firmware on several Linksys and Buffalo wireless access points for a number of years. In addition, I have also implemented a feature called NoCatSplash.

NoCatSplash is a feature that allows wireless users to be redirected to a special splash page, whether to notify users of a disclaimer, or to make users agree to certain terms and agreement, or simply to advertise a web page. The NoCatSplash feature will prevent users with access to the Internet until they click on the submit button, thereby agreeing to the terms and agreement.

What was lacking with NoCatSplash was authentication. So, with a little bit of research, I found someone’s code at Github that allows simple authentication with NoCatSplash. It’s written in PHP and doesn’t require a database. It’s quite simple, but works flawlessly. The login credentials are kept on a file and can be changed anytime you’ll need to change passwords.

I’ve modified his code to fit my needs. Suffice to say, the code works great as advertised.

Sphirewall Project

I stumbled on the Sphirewall Project the other day. Sphirewall is an open-source Linux firewall to compete with Iptables, Smoothwall and Monowall. The following are excerpts of the Sphirewall website.

Sphirewall is an open-source Linux firewall and router that provides advance user management and bandwidth analytics coupled with powerful flexibility. It’s open-source, free, easy to install and built from the ground up not using iptables.

Check out the features below

  • Full NAT/PAT and ip filtering support
  • User authentication and group based filtering
  • Detailed analytics and reporting on network traffic
  • Web, commandline and json api based management

You can download the debian iso, burn it to a cd, usb stick or mount it in your favorite virtualization system and get it running in minutes.

Who Wants An Ouya

Apparently everyone does. It’s already sold out at Amazon and GameStop. It might be available at BestBuy and Target, but supplies are limited. Ouya is an open-source game console launched for just $99. It’s powered by Android OS and by a Nvidia Tegra 3 chipset making it easier for developers to port games into the console. There are currently 170 downloadable games.

For more details about the Ouya, read more from this CNet article.