The Ubuntu Font

If you have visited Ubuntu’s website lately, you may have noticed the font being used. It’s called the Ubuntu font. See sample below. Canonical plans to release the Ubuntu font as open-source. Mark Shuttleworth talks about the font development in detail in his blog. If you haven’t been to the Ubuntu site lately, check it out. Also, Betatype has released an Ubuntu titling font. It’s not open source.

Recover Grub2 After Windows Install

If you run Ubuntu and you installed Windows later, then know what I’m talking about. Windows just wrote over the MBR record. Windows doesn’t play nice at all. You no longer have access to your Ubuntu distribution.

I’ve read tons of documentation how to recover Grub2, but this is the simplest and the one that worked for me. So, to recover Grub2 after a Windows install, just perform the following:

Boot from a Ubuntu Live CD.

Preferably the same release, but it doesn’t have to be as long as you have access to a Linux Terminal or the Bash shell.

sudo fdisk -l

That’s the letter L by the way. This should tell you where your Linux distribution is located. Mine is sda1. You may to look for the one with the Linux partition. Mine was set to ext4.

sudo mount /dev/sda1 /mnt

There shouldn’t be any errors if the partition is mounted properly. If you have experienced an error, you probably did something wrong like mounting a different partition or a partition that doesn’t exist.

sudo grub-install --root-directory=/mnt/ /dev/sda

Restore Grub2 to the MBR.

sudo shutdown -r now

There is probably a more graceful way of rebooting, but this one works as well.

sudo update-grub

Update the Grub menu after the reboot.

That was easy. Practically it’s just one command that really did the trick. There is no typing and editing involved. Like I said, the simplest way to recover Grub2 after a Windows install.


If you want a CCTV or closed circuit tv monitoring system for your home or business, you can certainly invest in several dozens of commercial systems. These commercial surveillance systems can be purchased at several stores such as Home Depot, Costco, Frys and in many smaller specialty surveillance stores.

Many of these commercial systems such as Lorex, Q-See and Revo have dozens of features, cameras, setup, etc. These systems typically come with a DVR device which allows you to connect several cctv cameras from 4, 8 to 16 cameras. The DVR is able to record and review events triggered by the system such as motion detect, noise, etc.

One system that is free and open source is ZoneMinder that’s built on a Linux server. It has features comparable to commercial systems. There are also unique features not found anywhere. So, here’s an excerpt from Linuxaria article:

ZoneMinder is a professional surveillance software, recommended if you have multiple cameras to be connected or would like to make a real security service through your linux server.

ZoneMinder is intended for use in single or multi-camera video security applications, including commercial or home CCTV, theft prevention and child, family member or home monitoring and other domestic care scenarios such as nanny cam installations. It supports capture, analysis, recording, and monitoring of video data coming from one or more video or network cameras attached to a Linux system. ZoneMinder also support web and semi-automatic control of Pan/Tilt/Zoom cameras using a variety of protocols. It is suitable for use as a DIY home video security system and for commercial or professional video security and surveillance. It can also be integrated into a home automation system via X.10 or other protocols.

To configure ZoneMinder i suggest that you follow their nice tutorial::

And to have a nice Demo of ZoneMinder check this Video


ZoneMinder is a definitely an option worth checking if you are looking for something that’s open-source and free.

Open Gnome Nautilus As Root

Nautilus is the file manager for the Gnome desktop, the default desktop environment for Ubuntu and countless other distributions. I run a local web server on my desktop with the default webroot located in /var/www.

If I copy files to /var/www or any of its subdirectories, I will need root access. Ever wonder how to open the Nautilus file manager as root?

To open Nautilus as root, open the Terminal from Applications -> Accessories menu.

Type the following command:

gksudo nautilus

Using Nautilus can really speed up and make work easier. You can use common mouse movements such as drag and drop, as well as keyboard shortcuts such as cutting and pasting.

If you want to take another step further, you can add this superuser shortcut to your menubar.

WinFF A Free Video Converter

I spoke highly about FFMPEG in 3 separate occasions. Last night, I downloaded a program called WinFF, a Windows GUI for the command line video converter FFMPEG. The program will convert most any video file that FFmpeg will convert.

WinFF does multiple files in multiple formats at one time. You can for example convert mpeg’s, flv’s, and mov’s, all into avi’s all at once. WinFF is available for Windows 95, 98 , ME, NT, XP, VISTA, and Debian, Ubuntu, Redhat based GNU/Linux distributions.

This reason I was looking for a Windows GUI version of FFMPEG because I wanted to use Windows Movie Maker. I had a video in MPG4 format that was not supported by Windows Movie Maker. I figured I need to convert from MPG4 to WMV format.

So, I ended up downloading WinFF. The program is simple and intuitive. I was able to convert from MPG4 to WMV in no time. WinFF is an awesome program that anyone should have in their arsenal.

WinFF is published under the GNU public license. Download.