Category Archives: Linux

Enable mod_perl on Debian, Ubuntu, & Other Linuxes.

To enable mod_perl with Apache2 on Debian & Ubuntu for all directories served up by Apache2, including user directories such as ~/public_html, add the following lines to /etc/apache2/sites-available/default

# enable mod_perl
    <Files ~ ".(pl|cgi)$">
           SetHandler perl-script
           PerlResponseHandler ModPerl::Registry
           Options +ExecCGI
           PerlSendHeader On

In a real production environment you probably don’t want to enable this for all directories that Apache2 serves up, but only from those directories you expect to run perl in.

Thanks to this thread on the Ubuntu Forums for the info.

Titled updated as per Ozkar’s suggestion.

Got a T400

I recently got an Lenovo T400 and this thing works great with the latest version of Ubuntu (Intrepid).

To install Ubuntu, you have to make sure you edit the BIOS settings and change the graphics to use one of the 2 build in graphics cards. If you want to save the Vista bootloader and access to Lenovo’s restore partition, you must not install grub on the MBR (Master Boot Record). Instead, install grub on the same partition as where the kernel resides. (This will be either /boot or / ) Then install EasyBCD¹ on Vista and add Ubuntu to Vista’s bootloader.

I was going to install Debian on the laptop, but I went w/ Ubuntu Intrepid instead as it has a 2.6.27 kernel which (supposedly) has better support for some the hardware on the T400 (and for my new Sony MP3 Walkman). I could have installed Debian and compiled my own 2.6.27 kernel, but these days I couldn’t be bothered spending ages compiling, testing, and debugging my own kernel.

¹For instructions on how to use EasyBCD see:

Adobe Flash Sound not working with Iceweasel on Debian?

After upgrading to Flash 10 sound stopped working. Installing the flashplugin-nonfree-extrasound package solved that problem for me:

aptitude install flashplugin-nonfree-extrasound

If your using pulse audio, install the flashplugin-nonfree-pulse package. It doesn’t look like the Debian flash plug-in suggests either package:

apt-cache show flashplugin-nonfree|more
Package: flashplugin-nonfree
Priority: optional
Section: contrib/web

Suggests: iceweasel, konqueror-nsplugins, x-ttcidfont-conf, msttcorefonts, ttf-dejavu, ttf-xfree86-nonfree, xfs (>= 1:1.0.1-5)

Netbeans 6.5 on Debian

Doesn’t perform badly, I’ve been using it recently with Ruby code, and I like how it colourises the code to make editing code easier, and performs it auto-completion and method lookup (basically all the features you’d expect with a modern IDE).

It’s does’t startup as fast as using Emacs, or vi, but I find the features very handy and very convenient. It doesn’t look  bad either. It runs better on my PC at home running Debian Linux than it does on my PC at work running WinXP. This is probably because I’m using a 1.5 JVM on WinXP and a 1.6 JVM on Debian. Running on 1.6 JVM’s means that Netbeans will automatically use anti-aliased fonts if you have anti-aliased fonts enabled (much easier on the eyes if your using a LCD screen).

Dell Laptops & Ubuntu

I’d heard that Dell were offering Ubuntu Linux on some of their laptops and I hadn’t really looked into it. But I came across this page the other day and it’s pretty neat to get Ubuntu (or any Linux) preloaded on a laptop from a major vendor:

It’s good to support coming from a major vendor, and Dell even offer’s a repo so you can get BIOS updates for support hardware:

However, I’m still partial to getting Lenovo’s T400 over a Dell.

KDE4 and Debian

I figured it’s time for me to try and install kde4 again! Previously I had to remove KDE4 due to package conflicts. There are installation instructions at:

So following the instructions there on what changes to make to your sources.list, and then run:

aptitude update

I’ve had some dependency issues, and installing the kde4 package (a meta-package that will install all of KDE4) would not install due to dependency issues with the kdegraphics package. The way around this is to install the kde4-minimal package and whichever of the other packages you want. So I installed everything, minus the kdegraphics package via the following:

aptitude install -t experimental kde4-minimal kdeplasma-addons kdegames kdemultimedia kdenetwork kdepim kdeutils kdeedu kdeadmin kdeartwork kdetoy

Be prepared for a lot of packages to be installed, for others to be removed, and to possibly break your existing kde3 installation (if you have one). See the first comment to see what I had to install and remove.

Firstly, KDE4 does not import any of your KDE3 settings, which is pretty annoying, as all of the applications start with the default settings, and is really annoying with applications like kmail … however some has created a tool to import the settings:

My only complaint about the tool, is that it requires root to install it. I’d also like the option to be able to run the tool without first having to install it. Anyways, it seems to work pretty well and imported all of my mail into kmail, the only thing it didn’t do was import account settings into kmail.

This post is a work in progress, I’ll update it over the next day or so with any further instructions as I install, configure, and test KDE4.

Debian’s e17 Packages

I thought I’d start looking at using Debian’s experimental E17 packages. I commented out all other E17 repo’s from my source.list and installed the debian e17 package. It installs a minimal amount of related packages, and there doesn’t seem to be lot of e17 packages available in the experimental repo

sudo aptitude install e17
Reading package lists… Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information… Done
Reading extended state information
Initializing package states… Done
Reading task descriptions… Done
The following NEW packages will be installed:
e17 e17-data{a} libecore-con0{a} libecore-evas0{a} libecore-fb0{a} libecore-file0{a} libecore-imf0{a} libecore-ipc0{a} libecore-job0{a} libecore-txt0{a} libecore-x0{a} libecore0{a}
libedbus0{a} libedje0{a} libeet1{a} libefreet0{a} libembryo0{a} libevas-engines{a} libevas0{a}
0 packages upgraded, 19 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 8110kB of archives. After unpacking 15.5MB will be used.

This appears to provide a good basic E17 Desktop, but provides no additional themes, and I’m not sure how many modules it includes. Here’s a screenshot:
Default Debian E17 Install

If you want to use this add the following to your /etc/apt/sources.list:

deb experimental main non-free contrib

This also includes KDE4 packages. You’ll want to be careful with this repo, that you don’t pull in and install too many (possibly breaking) packages from it.

Look for my latest posting on E17 as this information could be out-of-date:

Lenovo Laptop?

I’m thinking of getting a new laptop either the Lenova ThinkPad T400 (which is a replacement for the T61), or the IdeaPad U330 to replace my aging Dell 700m

The big thing for me is do they work with Linux (for me specifically Debian or Ubuntu).

For anyone interested in either laptop, looks like the the U330 works (near) flawlessly with Ubuntu. See this posting on this thread for an enthusiastic comment:

And with the T400 you’ll have some work to get everything working smoothy. Such as the dual-graphics cards which is how Lenovo get’s up to 10 hours of battery life from the T400.

However, if you don’t mind using breaking stuff, the new Beta version of Ubuntu appears to work reasonably well on the T400. See this blog posting and this thead on Lenova’s forums for more details.

I’m torn between either, the small size of the U330, versus the better battery life of the T400 (and the fact that both are a weeeeee bit dear).

OK, I’m tired as I write this, and I find sometimes when I “blog while tired” that my grammar/spelling/ability to make sense suffers, so maybe I’ll rewrite this in the morning. 🙂

Key missing?

If you get this error message:

W: GPG error: unstable Release: The following signatures couldn’t be verified because the public key is not available: NO_PUBKEY 212253A4F641D1A6
W: You may want to run apt-get update to correct these problems

This is because you don’t have the public key for Randall’s Nvidia Debian packages! The following instructions are from

gpg –keyserver –recv-keys F641D1A6

gpg –armor –export F641D1A6 | sudo apt-key add –

sudo apt-get -u update

However I would have thought that installing either the debian-maintainers package or the debian-keyring would have the required key as the description of each packages says it’s has the keyos of the Debian maintainers:

debian-maintainers – GPG keys of Debian maintainers

debian-keyring – GnuPG (and obsolete PGP) keys of Debian Developers