MultiSystem for Linux

The other day, I found about MultiSystem, a utility that is used to create multi-boot USB drives in Linux using as many bootable distributions as will fit on the drive. I’d seen other multi-boot utilities run from Windows but I was looking for one to use in Linux. This seems to fit the bill.

A Bash script can be be downloaded from http://liveusb.info/multisystem/install-depot-multisystem.sh.tar.bz2. Once you extract it, run it with:

sudo ./install-depot-multisystem.sh

I installed it using their PPA repository.

sudo apt-add-repository ‘deb http://liveusb.info/multisystem/depot all main’
wget -q -O – http://liveusb.info/multisystem/depot/multisystem.asc | sudo apt-key add –
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install multisystem

Once it’s installed it will automatically open. Just click the Close button to exit.

To use it, plug in a USB drive and launch MultiSystem. (It should be in the Menu under Accessories).

  • Select the USB drive and click Confirm.
  • If the drive doesn’t have a label you’ll get an error message. Click OK and the utility will give it one.
  • Unplug and reinsert the drive (if you got the error message) and launch the utility again. Select the drive and confirm.
  • Confirm the GRUB2 installation on the USB drive and click OK to continue.
  • Drag and drop the ISO files (one at a time) to the box at the bottom of the MultiSystem window. You can also click the CD icon and search for them.
  • The ISO files are select individually. It may take awhile for the utility to extract them and update GRUB.
  • You can add as many distributions as space on the drive will allow. You can go back later and add more.
  • As each distribution is added you’ll see them listed in the main window.
  • Once it’s done updating the last distribution, it’s ready to use.

There are extra options in the menus. You can also test the new drive using QEMU or VirtualBox.

The official documentation is in French but I found it simple to use. The first time I tried booting to it, I got a GRUB error but after booting again, it came up okay. I booted to it several times to each of the distributions I’d installed on the drive.

More information can be found at:

More Email Issues

I guess sometime yesterday my email stopped downloading to Thunderbird on my Linux desktop. This morning I tried to access it from Thunderbird on my Windows PC and got nothing. I was getting mail from my main account on my phone and through a webmail client so it’s not a server side problem. Just for grins I set up my accounts in Thunderbird on my Linux laptop, letting it find the servers and it worked. All I needed to to was change the settings for SSL/TLS.

Maybe I need to change the server settings on the other clients to be the same as on the laptop. I’ll play with it tomorrow; I’m really not in the mood to mess with it any more today.

While I was investigating the problem I looked at the three webmail clients offered by my hosting service – Horde, Roundcube, and Squirrel Mail. I’m not impressed by any of them. They might be okay for occasional access when away from my desktop but I couldn’t see using any of them on a long-term basis.

Dropbox Repository Links

I brought my old Gateway laptop with Mint 17 up for the first in about a year. There were a lot of updates, as one would expect. After the updates I noticed that Dropbox wasn’t synchronizing. After searching forums, I tried various fixes. Finally, I “purged” the existing installation and used apt-get to install nautilus-dropbox. That got it running properly again.

Now I’m getting 404 errors when I run apt-get update or run update manager. These 404 errors refer to the old dropbox repositories that no longer exist.  A Google search on the problem has not produced any useful information.

Failed to fetch http://linux.dropbox.com/ubuntu/dists/qiana/main/binary-amd64/Packages 404 Not found [IP: 108.160.177.238 80]

Failed to fetch http://linux.dropbox.com/ubuntu/dists/qiana/main/binary-i386/Packages 404 Not found [IP: 108.160.177.238 80]

I’ve not been able to locate these URLs in any of the source.list files under /etc/apt/. Nor can I find  any reference to them in the GUI Software Sources app. Yet when I run Update Manager or apt-get update the URLs are queried, thus producing the aforementioned error messages.

I left a query on the Dropbox support forum so I’m hoping to get a response soon.

Plex

A friend set up the Plex client on his Roku and the accompanying media server on his computer and wanted to see if he could share his media library with me. I set up Plex on one of my Roku devices then installed Plex Media Server on my Linux PC. I got the accounts set up and everything configured but I wasn’t able to add any media to the libraries. The client on the Roku was able to see the media server but I didn’t seem to be able to get the server to function at all.

I tried to locate documentation on the Web but everything I found was geared toward Windows and Mac. I found virtually nothing dealing with Linux versions of the product. Frustrated, I removed it and installed the Windows version on another PC which seemed to work a lot better.

I really don’t have any downloaded media such as movies and television shows. I do have plenty of music although making it available through my televisions doesn’t seem to be very practical. One nice feature of the media server is a bookmark bar shortcut to queue online videos for later viewing. I can see where that might be useful.

Bluefish pissing me off

I just did a distro upgrade form Ubuntu 10.04 to 12.04 and I must say that the changes to the look and feel of the desktop and the functioning of the applications I use has left much less than impressed. I’m learning to tolerate the desktop a little more but what is happening with the Bluefish editor since the upgrade is extremely frustrating. I can’t figure out how to make it stop highlighting HTML markup tags. I love having the tags and the attributes in a different color but whenever the cursor is adjacent to a tag, both the opening and closing tags are highlighted in red. I don’t want them highlighted at all. I already know where my cursor is and what line I’m on. Is there any way to disable this feature?
The Bluefish documentation for version 2.2.2. (which I’m currently using) is nearly non-existent and a Google search doesn’t return anything that’s useful to me. Most of it seems to be aimed at proficient programmers. I am not a code geek. I just want simple, straight-forward answers. If I can’t find a solution, I will be forced to find an editor I can use and customize to my preferences and needs. I loved this editor until the upgrade.

Suggestions for alternative editors are welcome.

Twitter Client

Yesterday evening I updated Adobe AIR and Twhirl after which Twhirl stopped working. I had to reenter my Twitter accounts and then I wasn’t able to log in to them. Removing Twhirl and reinstalling it didn’t seem to help. I began looking for another client. I installed Tweetdeck but I didn’t care for the interface. I don’t need all those columns and it looked cluttered. The application didn’t seem to be very intuitive and finding help or explanations was very frustrating. In fact, I was unable to find any useful information about what I was trying to accomplish.

I looked at reviews of other clients but I really didn’t see anything that appealed to me. Most appeared to be much the same as Tweetdeck with multiple columns and such. I don’t want all of my different Twitter stuff separated into different columns. A simple timeline with everything in chronological order is all I want which is what Twhirl gave me and I was able to have both of my Twitter accounts open in separate instances. I’m not an uber-Twitter geek. I don’t really need the app to interface with my Facebook account either. I barely keep up with that as it is.

Gwibber Update

A couple days ago, I noticed that my Twitter feeds on Gwibber were no longer updating but I didn’t have time to look into it until today. I found a Gwibber forum that discussed, at length, various source code tweaks. If I was still involved with programming and writing code, it might have been fun.

I looked on an Ubuntu forum and found the answer I was looking for. It turned out that Twitter had changed the way clients needed to authenticate user accounts. Ubuntu’s repositories did not yet have the current, working version of Gwibber so a forum member explained how to obtain the update using apt-get. That’s so much simpler now that I’m more in the user camp.

If you use Gwibber to access your Twitter feeds, here’s the fix:

Linux terminal:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-desktop/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
Restart Gwibber:
gwibber-service restart

You’ll have to edit your Twitter information to authorize it (username and password). Also note that you can only have one Twitter account at a time active in Gwibber which is kind of inconvenient as I had two accounts active before the change. On my Windows computer, I can have two instances of Thwirl open, each with a separate account open. As near as I can tell, Gwibber under Linux won’t allow that. Would the Linux version of Thwirl let me do that?

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