Ubuntu Portal

Friday, March 9, 2007

How to Backup and Restore Ubuntu system?

Data can be lost in different ways some of them are because of hardware failures,you accidentally delete or overwrite a file. Some data loss occurs as a result of natural disasters and other circumstances beyond your control.

Now we will see a easy backup and restore tool called "sbackup"

SBackup is a simple backup solution intended for desktop use. It can backup any subset of files and directories. Exclusions can be defined by regular expressions. A maximum individual file size limit can be defined. Backups may be saved to any local and remote directories that are supported by gnome-vfs. There is a Gnome GUI interface for configuration and restore.

Current Stable Version : - 0.10.3

Project Home page :- http://sbackup.sourceforge.net/HomePage

Sbackup Features List

  • Backup any subset of files and directories
  • Exclude files and directories by regex expressions
  • Exclude files by type (extension)
  • Exclude files by maximum file size
  • Backup to local filesystem
  • Backup to any Gnome-VFS supported remote filesystem (including sftp and ftp)
  • Full and incremental backups
  • Scheduling backups via cron
  • Gnome GUI for configuration
  • Gnome GUI for restore
  • Command-line restore tool that also provides a Python API for restoring a file or directory
  • Backing up package list in Debian derived distributions
  • On restore, existing files are not overwritten, but are renamed to a safe name

Installing sbackup in ubuntu

sudo apt-get install sbackup

You can use synaptic also for this if you want to know how to search this software and install check here

Backup Your Data Using Sbackup

Once you completed the installation you can access sbackup using System--->Administration--->Simple Backup Config you can see this in the following screen

Next screen is asking for root password enter password and click ok

Once it opens the sbackup application you can see the following screen where you can configure your backup settings first tab is general options in this example i am choosing "Use custom backup settings"

Sbackup can be operated in 3 different modes

Recommended Backup

If you are new Ubuntu user or aren't sure what you should backup.This will perform a daily backup of your /home,system data held in /etc,/usr/local and /var.This will deliberately exclude any files over 100MB.By default this backup will be stored /var/backup

Custom Backup

This is same as the recommended backup and in this you can change the settings include,exclude files,you can change the schedule time.

Manual Backup

If you want to backup some files from time to time this option is for you and you can click backup now button to manually perform a backup according to the settings on the other backup properties dialog box tabs.

Next you click on "Include" tab here you can include any file or directory you want to backup

If you click on "Add file" button you should see the following screen where you can select your files

If you click on "Add Directory" button you should see the following screen where you can select your Directory for backup

Next option is "Exclude" here you can exclude files and folders you don't want to backup.Here you can exclude Paths,File Types,Regular Expressions,Max file,folder size

Next option is "Destination" here i am leaving the default location i.e /var/backup if you want to chnage the backup store location you can select the "Use Custom local Backup directory" and enter the location

Now you can select "Time" option here you can schedule when do you want to run your backup.

Available options for backups you can see in the following screen you can select hourly,daily,weekly,monthly,custom options

Next option is "Purging" here you can select old and incomplete backups and you set the no.of days you want to purge after completing all the settings you need to click on "Save" button to save your settings.

Now if you want to take backup just click on "Backup Now" or leave the schedule backup in this example i just clicked on "Backup Now" this is started a background process with process id you can see this in the following screen

Restore Your Data Using Sbackup

If you want to restore backups or any files,folders go to System--->Administration--->Simple Backup Restore you can see this in the following screen

Once it opens you should see the following screen here you can select the restore source folder and available backups from drop-down menu here you can choose files and folders you want to restore and click on "Restore" button

In this example i have choosen to restore one .iso file and once you select your file and click on "Restore" it will ask for your confirmation click on yes this will restore the file in orginal location if you want to restore in different location you need to select "Restore As" option

Note:- By default Restored Files and Directories are owned by root this is because of sbackup will runs with root.You need to chnage these files or folder permissions using chmod or just right click and select properties of the file or folder.

Backup Destination on Remote machine

One more beauty about sbackup is you can store your backup on a remotemachine for this it will give the option of using SSH or FTP for this go to System---> Administration---> Simple Backup Config once it opens the application you need to click on destination tab here you can select "Use a remote Directory" option type ssh:// or ftp:// followed by the username:password, then @, then the remote host to connect to and the remote directory.

Final Tip:-

Sbackup doesn't create a new backup file each time it runs and it creates an incremental backup.Which means that it updates the last backup with files that you changed or been created any files that haven't been updated since the last backup are unchanged

Sbackup Configuration from command line

If you want to configure sbackup you need to Edit /etc/sbackup.conf file

Restore Backup from command line

Run "sudo srestore.py /var/backup/2006-11-18_03 /home/myuser /home/myuser/old". You can omit the last parameter to restore to the same directory.


Sbackup is really very useful for new users particularly to allows users to choose either a simple backup scheme that performs incremental backups daily and full backups weekly, or to modify the default scheme with their own settings. Users list directories to backup in the Include tab, and select items to exclude in the Exclude tab. Exclusions can be based on directory,file type (sbackup excludes multimedia files by default), file size,or regular expression.This .

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

How to Remote Access in Ubuntu

Remote Login via XDMCP

What is XDMCP?

GNOME windows can support several different users simultaniously. Unlike vncviewer that just duplicates the current screen on a remote system, XDMCP allows several different users to login and run different GNOME sessions at the same time. So if you have a fast computer runing Ubuntu, several users can use their slow machines to login and run heavy applications only available on the fast machine.

How to turn on the XDMCP feature

To turn on the XDMCP feature on the fast computer, click the menu

System -> Administration -> Login Window

In the Login Window Preferences dialog window, select

Remote Tab -> Style: Same as Local ->  Close the dialog window -> Restart the PC
How to login from another PC running Ubuntu
1. Reboot the slow PC and stop at the login screen
2. Click Options at the lower left corner of the login screen
3. Select "Remote Login via XDMCP"
4. On the dialog window, type in the host name or ip of the fast computer you want to login to

Remote Desktop Sharing/Duplication via VNC

How to configure remote desktop (not secure)
Warning! Remote Desktop will only work if there's a GNOME login session
Leaving computer with an unattended GNOME login session is not secure
Use (System -> Lock Screen) and switch off the monitor when computer is left unattended
  • System -> Preferences -> Remote Desktop
  • Remote Desktop Preferences
Sharing ->
Allow other users to view your desktop (Checked)
Allow other users to control your desktop (Checked)
Security ->
Ask you for confirmation (Un-Checked)
Require the user to enter this password: (Checked)
Password: Specify the password
How to connect into remote Ubuntu desktop
e.g. Assumed that remote Ubuntu machine have configured Remote Desktop
Read How to Configure Remote Desktop
Remote Ubuntu machine:
vncviewer -fullscreen
  • To quit vncviewer
Press 'F8' -> Quit viewer
How to connect into remote Ubuntu desktop via Windows machine
e.g. Assumed that remote Ubuntu machine have configured Remote Desktop
Remote Ubuntu machine:
  • If you have a router remember to open the appropiate port. The default one is 5900
This process is called port forwarding port forwarding
  • Download DotNetVNC: Here or RealVNC Here
this is a free DotNet version that require the DotNet framework available from microsoft here
The RealVNC website was created and maintained by the original developers of VNC during their time at AT&T. RealVNC comes in Free, Personal, and Enterprise editions - the latter two costing money.
  • Open the VNC client you have chosen, and insert the connection string formatted like this <:DESKTOP NUMBER>|<::PORT>
In example use: or to connect to desktop 0, to connect to desktop 1 use or and so on
How to connect into remote Ubuntu desktop via OSX
e.g. Assumed that remote Ubuntu machine have configured Remote Desktop
Remote Ubuntu machine:
  • If you have a router remember to open the appropiate port the default one is 5900
This process is called port forwarding port forwarding
  • Download ChickenOfTheVNC: Here
  • Open ChickenOfTheVNC, and insert the host (IP address of remote machine), the display number (0 is default and is port 5900) and the password.
In example use: Host:, Display 0, Password: password

How to Configure Ubuntu/Kubuntu with WPA using Network-Manager

For Ubuntu:
sudo apt-get install network-manager-gnome

For Kubuntu (will install knetworkmanager):

sudo apt-get install network-manager-kde


Ubuntu users should now see the NetworkManager Applet in the Gnome notification area. Kubuntu users will probably have to run knetworkmanager before they see NetworkManager in the systray.

If instead, you get a "The NetworkManager applet could not find some required resources. It cannot continue." message, then:

sudo gtk-update-icon-cache -f /usr/share/icons/hicolor

Once Network-Manager is installed, click on the NM icon in the notification area (default is at the top right of Ubuntu/Gnome). Choose your network, then enter your passphrase. Type a password for the keyring, and you're set.

If you don't see your network, click "Create New Wireless Network...", type your essid/networkname, then choose "WPA Personal" for wireless security.

  • Note: If you installed Kubuntu then installed ubuntu-desktop & network-manager-gnome, you may not be able to use network-manager in Gnome, if at all. In this case, you may have to use WPA Supplicant and do some manual editing of conf files to get WPA up and running.
  • Note: When you first log into Gnome/KDE, the keyring application will ask for a password. Future revisions of Network-Manager should resolve this.

How to get ipw3945 and wep/wpa to work

  • Install the daemon using apt (recommended for new users):
sudo apt-get install linux-restricted-modules-generic

reboot your system and you should have wireless internet/network.

After that look at this post.
How to Configure Ubuntu/Kubuntu with WPA using Network-Manager

How to get ipw2200 and wpa to work

1) Open a terminal window and type:
wpa_passphrase your_ssid your_psk
Note: your_ssid is the name of your wireless network (a.k.a. SSID) and your_psk is the password you want to use to protect your network. (Look below for an example).

2) Now copy the psk string you got as output.

3) Type:
sudo gedit /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf
Then paste this as follow:

proto=WPA RSN
pairwise=CCMP TKIP
Note: your_psk is the psk string you got from step 1.

Here is an example:
luca@laptop1:~$ wpa_passphrase mywlan thisisthepassword
The red string is what you have to paste into /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf as your_psk (without quotes obviously). So you'll have something like this:

proto=WPA RSN
pairwise=CCMP TKIP
4) Save the file and close Gedit.

5) Now we have to make wpa_supplicant load when system boots, so go back to the terminal window and type:
sudo gedit /etc/network/interfaces
6) Add the following lines in the part regarding your wireless card, as in the example below:
pre-up wpa_supplicant -Bw -Dwext -ieth0 -c/etc/wpa_supplicant.conf
post-down killall -q wpa_supplicant
Note: "eth0" is your wireless device and "wext" is the driver; this is a kind of generic driver, so it should work with most wireless cards. If it doesn't, please try another driver, such as hostap, ndiswrapper, etc.
Here is an example:
iface eth0 inet static
wireless-essid my_essid
pre-up wpa_supplicant -Bw -Dwext -ieth0 -c/etc/wpa_supplicant.conf
post-down killall -q wpa_supplicant
7) Now run wpa_supplicant:
sudo wpa_supplicant -Bw -Dwext -i eth0 -c/etc/wpa_supplicant.conf
You should be online!


You can run wpa_supplicant with -dd flag for a detailed debug output.

1) If you don't manage to connect to the AccessPoint, try to uncomment line 2 in /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf.
2) If that doesn't help, try change its value to 0 or 1.
3) If you get troubles while authenticating, try removing "RSN" and/or "CCMP" strings from /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf.

source: http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=263136

Install Ubuntu Games

How to install game Tuxracer

sudo aptitude install planetpenguin-racer planetpenguin-racer-data planetpenguin-racer-extras
  • Applications -> Games -> planetpenguin-racer

How to install game Frozen-Bubble

sudo aptitude install frozen-bubble
  • Applications -> Games -> Frozen-Bubble

How to install game Scorched3D

sudo aptitude install scorched3d
  • Applications -> Games -> Scorched 3D

How to install real-time-strategy game (globulation 2 alpha21)

wget http://globulation2.org/releases/0.8.21/glob2_alpha21_i386.deb
sudo dpkg -i glob2_alpha21_i386.deb

You might also need to install dependencies if dpkg returns a dependency error

sudo aptitude -f install

To play use this command:


Archivers / Packages/ Compression

How to install 7z Archiver ( .7z)
sudo aptitude install p7zip-full

How to install RAR Archiver (rar)

Note: Program included in Automatix2. If you have already used Automatix2, this program may have been installed

sudo aptitude install rar unrar
  • Applications -> Accessories -> Archive Manager

How to install & use .rpm to .deb Converter (Alien)

sudo aptitude install alien
sudo alien -d package.rpm (-d for Debian package)

How to make Ubuntu/Debian packages (CheckInstall)

sudo aptitude install checkinstall
  • When compiling software from source, replace "make install" with "checkinstall"

A Debian package (.deb) will now be created in the current directory.

  • To install the created package
sudo dpkg -i package_name.deb
  • Consider copying your package to a personal Apt Repository

#Personal Apt Repository

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