Friday, September 25, 2009

Switched back to gnome

I had switched to xfce4 in Ubuntu because it gave me some memory savings. I found, however, that on my work desktop, I got *far* more savings by installing and using a 32-bit JDK (and 32-bit eclipse to go with it).

I didn't really need to switch back to gnome, but gnome is a bit smoother than xfce in the total experience, and I found myself using gnome applets in xfce (mainly the user switcher, but some others too).

I didn't switch back to gnome immediately since I *much* preferred xfce's Alt-F2 behavior to gnome's. The application chooser is much smarter even than Gnome-do. But then I realized that I could use xfrun4 in gnome. And after testing that at work, I've switched to gnome+xfrun4 at home too.

I forgot how I was running firefox as another user for security :-). After some fumbling, I figured it out again (although, really, I should just have logged back into xfce and looked at the launcher :-).

sudo -u [other_user] -H /usr/bin/firefox-3.5 -a [profile] -P [profile]

The -H is necessary because if it's not given then it'll use your own home directory rather than the home directory of other_user.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Ubuntu 9.04 gphoto2/libgphoto2 borken for my Canon Digital Ixus 700

I use gthumb for downloading camera pictures to my computer. I have a script that takes the filenames produced by gthumb and renames and creates resized copies of the images and videos. gphoto2 talks to the camera in PTP mode.

For a while gthumb worked on my laptops. It's stopped working now though and I don't know why. There are bugs posted with Ubuntu regarding this. Adding yet another bug confirmation won't do any good.

At one point I had gphotofs working enough to mount the camera filesystem. But I didn't want to mess with the filesystem directly. And anyway, gphotofs isn't working anymore now (it runs, returns, but doesn't actually mount the filesystem, and gphotofs keeps running in the background [which is OK, that's what it needs to do as a fuse filesystem provider]).

So now I have a horrendous hack for grabbing the images :-). I installed Ubuntu Intrepid under VirtualBox, gave it access to the USB devices, and I run gthumb there. Then I just scp the files over to the host box and halt Intrepid.

Yech. It works, but is hoogly :-). Maybe this'll be fixed in Karmic.

Overall, I find Ubuntu a pretty good platform for doing everything I need to do, but there certainly are the little niggles like this that demonstrate it's not really ready for regular users. Or it is, but they'll come up against walls every once in a while, get frustrated, and go back to their windows viruses.

Ah, pulled in gphoto2, libgphoto2 and libgphoto2-port0 from karmic (downloaded the debs manually and installed with dpkg -i) and gthumb is now downloading the pictures. I understand about lack of resources, but it does seem a bug that this fix wasn't backported to work with Jaunty.

I'm now actually on Karmic. The dist-upgrade reverted a separate and necessary fix. Gnome has a gvfs module for gphoto2 and when it's loaded, gthumb can't read the pictures/videos from the camera since the PTP port is already in use (by the gvfs gphoto2 module). Solution is to disable that. There might be a neater way, but I just did
chmod a-rwx /usr/lib/gvfs/gvfsd-gphoto2.