Thursday, May 29, 2008

Ubuntu Software and Web Links

I decided to create a list of some of my favorite and helpful links.
Not just links to software but a mix of web pages and software for Ubuntu / Linux users.
This article will be updated on a regular basis so check back often.


Top 50
Website that lists their top 50 Ubuntu Applications;

Mount, convert ISO's, Convert PSX1 disks, FLV's to AVI's and more!

Crack Rar, 7z, and Zip files
How to Crack Rar, 7z, and zip files with RarCrack in Ubuntu Linux.

Original Cheat Sheet

Unix/Linux Command Cheat Sheet.

Ubuntu Cheat Sheet
Command Cheat Sheet including Hardy Heron commands.

Linux Format Wiki
Linux Format magazine wiki page filled with tutorials and guides.

Linux App Finder
Find Quality Apps that Run on Linux or an alternative to a Windows software title.

System profiler and benchmark similar to Everest for Windows. Best to download the source and compile it as there is a crash bug in the version from the repositories.

Carry a portable Linux version with you on a USB flash pen drive. Easily bring your portable desktop with you wherever you go.

42 Free Linux Games
42 of the Best Free Linux Games. Does not require Wine to run these games.

42 More Free Linux Games
42 More of the Best Free Linux Games. The list has grown enough that another 42 games were added.

80 of the Best Linux Security Applications
Security apps to keep your system secure, monitor traffic or detect any intrusions or changes to your files.

Search for Linux O.S.'s, read the latest news on releases, see where your favorite distro ranks.

Linux Command
Your One Stop Command Line Shop. Learn how to use the shell, use and create scripts, customize your system to your specs.
freshmeat maintains the Web's largest index of Unix and cross-platform software, themes and related "eye-candy", and Palm OS software.

Wine App Database

Use the Wine database to search for your favorite Windows app or game to see if it will run in Wine.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Rip Audio From FLV's Using VLC

There is a new easy to use tool that will rip audio from videos with a few clicks. Use in conjunction with the Download Helper add-on in the article below.
Link to my blog post for this new tool is;
WinFF Blog Post

If you go to Youtube or one of the many video sites I'm sure you have come across a video that you wanted only the audio from.

Before I give the details I'd highly recommend that you have the Download Helper add-on for Firefox installed. I consider it the best video downloader available. You can get it from here if you don't already have it;

Now that we have that out of the way, here is how to extract the audio from the FLV file you downloaded.

This method allows you to extract the audio using VLC graphical user interface. The mp3 file generated will also play in other media players like Winamp, Windows MP and Real:

1. Open the flv file with VLC and stop it as soon as it starts playing.

2. Open the VLC Wizard by clicking on File> Wizard…

3. Select Transcode/Save to File.

4. Select your file from the Playlist.

5. Check only the Transcode Audio checkmark, Leave Video unchecked). Select 192 KB BRate, and MP3 as the Audio codec.

6. Next select MPEG-1 for encapsulation method. Save the file with any name, but with the extension MPG.(Don’t use MP3 at this time). Press Finish.

Once the bar runs it course, repeat steps 1 through 6, except for: a) Choose the MPG file you just created as your input file, b) Change the encapsulation method as RAW and b) Save the new file with the extension MP3.

That's all there is to it. The total time is usually a minute or two depending on the file size and your computer's horse power.

Hope this helps you to grab the song from those music videos. (Grin!)


The Magic SysRq Key

Even though Ubuntu or Linux as a whole is stable there are times it can lock up due to a software problem or other coding error.

Pressing the Ctrl + Alt + Backspace to restart X doesn't work. Your system is locked up tight. Before pressing that power button try using the Magic SysRq key.

Just what is this magical key? Well it's a key combo that allows you to reboot your system without corrupting the file system.

Here's how;

Pressing the Alt + SysRq + B keys will cause your computer to reboot.
The SysRq key is the key with Print Screen on it.

Since this feature was compiled into the kernel it will over ride any system freeze or locked up software.

The above key combo will reboot your system but there is a much safer way that will help preserve data in any open files and prevent file system corruption.
All you need to remember is the word BUSIER backwards or Raising Elephants Is So Utterly Boring.

Start with the Ctrl + SysRq + R key combo. Wait a few seconds and press the
Ctrl + SysRq + E key combo. Continue with the remaining I , S , U and B keys making sure to wait a few seconds between each key combo.

The complete combo stands for;
Raw (take control of keyboard back from X)

tErminate (send SIGTERM to all processes, allowing them to terminate gracefully)

kIll (send SIGKILL to all processes, forcing them to terminate immediately)

Sync (flush data to disk), Unmount (remount all filesystems read-only)


These keystrokes should be entered a few seconds apart. This should prevent a fsck being required on reboot; it also gives some programs a chance to save emergency backups of unsaved work.

So next time you have a hard lock up and all other key combos don't work try this work around that will be easier on your hard drive and file system.