Kino and DV 1394 in Ubuntu Hardy

June 25, 2008

Kino is one of the best video editing software available under Linux. Nothing fancy like Adobe Premiere but it does the job. It is easy to use and you can edit and trim your video pretty well and in short time. There are better choice available if you are a promising director but in that case you where not reading this.

Let’s say that you have installed Kino in Hardy from the repository using Add/Remove or just type in the console:

$> sudo apt-get install kino

See how easy is to install software in Linux, who said that Mac or Window$ is easier ?

Now, you want to control your camera and capture that video of your honey moon or your mother-in-law falling down the stairs. Connect your camcorder to your PC with the DV1394 cable.

Open Kino and press the capture button on the right. Kino will tell you that cannot access the /dev/raw1394 in read/write and nothing happen. Kino developer decided to use the raw1394 device even if there are better alternative that can work out of the box. This is not my business but this will force the user to open the console and Windows fan are starting to smile now.

For security reason Ubuntu will set the /dev/raw1394 accessible only to root user and disk group. This is a reasonable decision because if a bad guy can access the raw1394, he can control all your hardware. But let’s say that is hardly to happen in a Desktop PC, so there is no arm to give also to other user the rw access.

Open the console and type:

$>ls /dev/raw1394 -l

$> crw-rw—- 1 root disk 171, 0 2008-06-24 23:58 /dev/raw1394

Now just change the permission to rw to everybody:

$>sudo chmod 666 /dev/raw1394

$>ls /dev/raw1394 -l

$> crw-rw-rw- 1 root disk 171, 0 2008-06-24 23:58 /dev/raw1394

That’s it, not that bad also for a nob. Next time you start Kino, your camera will work like a charm!


Streaming Media Server – GNUMP3d

April 13, 2007

The GNU MP3/Media Streamer is a simple application which makes it possible to navigate through your audio an video collection via a browser, and stream playlists across a network. GNUMP3d is a streaming server for MP3s, OGG vorbis files, movies and other media formats.The software supports browsing, searching, and streaming all via your browser with support for MP3, OGG Vorbis, WMA and many other types of audio files.

If you have a large music collection then streaming it across a LAN, or the internet, is a logical thing to do with it. Now we will have a look at gnump3d.

Install Gnump3d in Ubuntu

sudo apt-get install gnump3d

This will install all the required packages for gnump3d

When the software is installed it will have the following options configured
The directory containing all your media, /var/music by default.

The port number the server should listen upon, 8888 by default.

The user the daemon should run as, gnump3d by default.

Now you need to access go to http://youripaddress:8888

To change the theme you wish to use simply click upon the “Preferences” link and you should see the following screen here you can change theme:

The Default Configuration file is located at /etc/gnump3d/gnump3d.conf. Here you can change most common things like the default theme, the security options or the downsampling support.

Change the default directory containing multimedia files for GNUMP3d

By default multimedia files location is /var/music.If you want to change this to /home/music using the following steps

Backup existing config file

sudo cp /etc/gnump3d/gnump3d.conf /etc/gnump3d/gnump3d.conf_backup

Edit the configfile

gksudo gedit /etc/gnump3d/gnump3d.conf

Search for the following line

root = /var/music

Replace with the following line

root = /home/music

Save and exit file

Restart gnump3d service using the following command

sudo /etc/init.d/gnump3d restart

Change the default port number for GNUMP3d

By Default gnump3d server port will listen port number 8888.If you want to change to 7878 use the following steps

Edit the config file

gksudo gedit /etc/gnump3d/gnump3d.conf

Find this line

port = 8888

Replace with the following line

port = 7878

Save and exit the edited file

Restart gnump3d service using the following command

sudo /etc/init.d/gnump3d restart

Now you can access at http://youripaddress:7878

Restricting the access to the serverBy default the server is open to the world; which means that anybody who can connect to your server can browse or play any of your available music, see your statistics, or perform searches.

If you wish to impose tighter controls you have two options:

  1. Restrict access by the IP Address of the client.
  2. Restrict access via password protection.

IP Address Restriction

Allowing Addresses

This is the simplest method of restricting which visitors can browse and stream your music. Edit the configuration file and include all the IP addresses, or ranges which you’d like to be able to use your via the ‘allowed_clients’ setting.

If you wish to enable everybody to access the server then leave the setting as it is by default ‘allowed_clients = all’ – otherwise follow the examples to limit access, eg:

#  Limit the clients who can connect and use your server by IP address.
## Multiple entries are allowed - simply seperate the values by ';' as# shown in some of the examples below.##  Only people on the same subnet, (class C):# allowed_clients = 192.168.2.x##  Only one machine may connect:# allowed_clients =  Everybody local, and one remote address:# allowed_clients = 192.168.2.x;  Everybody local, and one remote range:# allowed_clients = 192.168.2.x; 194.237.82.x#

Denying Addresses

To complement the ‘allowed_clients’ option there is a matching ‘denied_clients’ setting which allows you to deny particular address.

The deny options take precendence over the allowed options, so in the following example all the IP addresses in the 192.168.2.x range have acesses except, and

allowed_clients =

denied_clients =;

Restrict access via password protection

You may also restrict access to the server by username + password.
This is enabled by default you just need to create a password file inside your music repository.

The password file must be called ‘.password‘ and should contain a list of all the usernames and passwords which are accepted. (Note that this file must be readable to the user which the server is running as).

The password file is assumed to be in the following format:


If the visitor enters a valid username and password they will be able to browse – otherwise they won’t.

Password Protection Evasion

Every few months a user will report a security issue with the server when they realise that if they know the name of an audio file they can download it without being prompted for a password.

This is a deliberate hole. Although that might seem nonsensical its mandated by the way the server works.

If you enable the password protection what you are actually doing is denying random visitors the ability to browse your music archives GUI, including the playlists.

However you’re not protecting against the users who know what directory structure you have – if a remote user knows you have the following file they can download it directly:

Why is that?

It’s because 99% of available MP3 players know nothing of HTTP authentication, which is used to prompt visitors for their password.

If we protected the audio files as well as the GUI files then the client MP3 players would be unable to download the audio tracks and streaming would break for all users.

So, whilst the password protection is useful, and does stop somebody from discovering your archive structure it doesn’t give foolproof protection.

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Edit and create your bootable iso image – the easy way

March 31, 2007

ISO Master by Andrew Smith

Reviewed by

ISO Master is an open-source, easy to use, graphical CD image editor for Linux and BSD. Basically, you can use this program to extract files from an ISO, add files to an ISO, and create bootable ISOs – all in a graphical user interface. It can open both ISO and NRG files but can only save as ISO. ISO Master is based on bkisofs – a library for reading, modifying and writing ISO images. Some features:

· Display file/directory contents of the image and filesystem in two panels and be able to navigate them.

· Display file sizes for files on image/filesystem.

· Sort by name or by size

· Select any number of items in the file browsers.

· Extract selected from image to the filesystem

· Delete selected from image.


About ISO Master
Enlarge picture

Have you ever wanted or needed to add or remove files from a CD image without breaking the boot record or the whole image? If you look hard enough on Google, you’re likely to find a way, by running a number of long, scary commands in a terminal and even then, you won’t be certain that your CD image is safe. Fortunately, an open source application for Linux has been developed, which enables you to create and modify ISO9660 files, without the risk of breaking anything – ISO Master.ISO Master enables you to extract or add files to an ISO, create ISOs rom scratch and even make the new ISOs bootable, all in a simple, easy to use graphical interface. The application can open both ISO and NRG files but unfortunately, it can only save as ISO. ISO Master is based on bkisofs, a library for reading, modifying and writing ISO images. The library shares the same package as ISO Master so you won’t have to install anything separately, except for the usual requirements that may
appear while compiling the source package.

Installing ISO Master is a rather easy process, thanks to the variety of pre-installed packages available. There are two .deb packages for Ubuntu Dapper and newer, as well as for Debian testing/unstable, for i386 and amd64 architectures. You can also find RPM packages for Fedora Core 5 and 6 and a TGZ package designed for Slackware. For Gentoo users, an ebuild file has been made available, while Archlinux and FreeBSD users can find a package on the websites dedicated to their operating system. Moreover, surprisingly or not, there are also packages available for smaller distributions, such as SLAX, NimbleX or Puppy Linux. Alternatively, you can download and compile the source packages, which requires your system to have installed a C compiler, make and some packages required for compiling GTK2 application, such as gtk2 developer libraries and pkg config. On an Ubuntu system, you can install these by running apt-get install libgtk2.0-dev pkg-config. Once installed, you can start ISO Master either from the newly createdshortcut on the Desktop (not available on all distributions/desktop environments), from the shortcut created under ‘Utilities’ in the KDE Menu or from a terminal, by typing ‘isomaster’.

Its interface is very simple and easy to use. Each button has its function explained through tooltips and also, there’s a small help document available under the Help menu, Overview (or by pressing F1 on the keyboard). Other menus are Image, which provides functions for creating a new image, opening an existing image or saving the currently modifying image as a custom name. From the Image menu, you can also view the image proprieties, which provide the creation time, volume
name, published and allows you to choose whether the filenames should save RockRidge and Joliet selected, and the Quit function. The View menu allows you to Refresh the current directory, view the hidden files and sort directories first. The BootRecord menu allows you to view the current bootrecords proprieties, save the bootrecord to drive, delete it or add a new one from the selected file, from a custom location on the drive or from a floppy disk. The Settings menu allows you to choose whether to scan for duplicate files or follow symlinks.

The interface is basically divided into two main parts, the drive browser at the top and the ISO browser at the bottom. Each browser has its own toolbar with various buttons. The upper browser (drive), provides two buttons: go back and create new directory, while the lower browser (ISO), provides five buttons: go back, create new directory, add the selected file in the drive browser to the ISO, extract the selected file in the ISO browser to the drive browser location and delete the selected file in the lower browser. Also on the lower browser, it’s displayed an estimated size of the ISO file.

Using ISO Master is quite simple. To open an ISO file, simply click on Image menu and Open. To create a new ISO file, click on Image and New. To add some files to the ISO, select them from the drive browser and click the ‘Add to ISO’ button on the lower browser’s toolbar. To extract files from the ISO, select them in the ISO browser and click ‘Extract from ISO’ button on the same toolbar. You can also create new directories or delete files on both the ISO and your local filesystem. Once you have created or made modifications to a CD image, you can save It as a custom name, but only followed by the .iso extension. You can’t Also overwrite the original ISO.

The Good

ISO Master is an open source graphical (GUI) application for Linux which enables users to create and modify ISO9660 files; ISO images and NRG (Nero) images. It allows you to create an ISO from scratch, add or remove files and directories from or to a CD image and also create bootable CDs using various record types: no-emulation (isolinux, microsoft Windows), 1.2, 1.44 and 2.88 floppy disk emulation. It also supports RockRidge and Joliet file names.

The Bad

Nothing much, except for the documentation which skips the BootRecord section. A beginner user wouldn’t know what those floppy disks are or where to get a bootrecord from.

The Truth

ISO Master allows you to modify the content of an ISO file without damaging the bootrecord and ruining the image’s bootable capabilities. If you ever need to add or remove content from a CD Image, then ISO Master is the application you should use!

Check out some screenshots below:


Review image Review image Review image Review image








Install Ubuntu on external USB Hard Disk

March 5, 2007

I have a company notebook with encrypted HDD. I cannot change anything and, as usual,is a windows xp2 system. The only way I can boot linux easily is running a USB pen installation. I use SLAX, it works pretty well, configurable, fast. The issue with USB pen is that is not a complete installation, it runs in memory and not all the distribution can be run from there. Plus all the limit of running an OS from a small memory.

While is possible to install a minimal version of ubuntu on a USB Pen, this is not recommended. First of all the Flash drive are not build to work with continuous read and write access, as required for a full installation of Ubuntu or any other distribution.

The best way is to install your Linux distribution on a 2.5″ USB HDD, it is cheap, fast, reliable and it is like to run your distribution from your PC HDD. How to do that is a less than 1 hour job, easy even for novice. I suggest to prepare the partition before to start any installation, though Ubuntu installer gives the opportunity to do it during the installation. I recommend to create at least 3 partition: one for the root, one for the swap and the third for some free space to share with windows.

Let’s start.

Prerequisite: In this guide I suppose that you have at least the knowledge on how to partition a hard disk, run a live linux distribution and in general how to use a Linux at basic. It is better to use a desktop where you can disconnect all the IDE or SATA drive.

1) Prepare your HDD. You can use the live CD of Ubuntu Edgy. Boot, connect the USB HDD, run gparted. Don’t forget to un-mount the HDD before doing change to the partition table.

2) On a 80GB HDD, I suggest 15GB ext3 for the Ubuntu system, 1GB for the swap file and the rest for a FAT32 partition.

3) Disconnect all your fixed HDD and boot the CD with the installation. Just leave connected the USB HDD.

4) During the Ubuntu installation, the system will ask for automatic or manual partitioning. Choose manual and put the mount point of the 15GB to the “/” (root). I suggest to use the alternate CD of Ubuntu that enable a text installation. Graphic installation is slower and a bit tricky during the partitioning phase.

5 ) Move on with the installation to the end.

6) Reboot from the Live CD and connect the USB HDD

7) You have to modify the menu.lst of Grub to reflect your notebook configuration. So, go on /boot/grub directory on the mounted external HDD (for instance /media/usbdisk/boot/grub/menu.lst) and, in case of my X41 change sda1 with sdb1.

8 ) Usually you have to modify also fstab in the external HDD installation to reflect the name of the mout point in your notebook. For Ubuntu edgy is not required any change because the drive in fstab are listed in a different way (I don’t know the details) and it works right as it is.

9) Now you are ready to boot your new OS from the external HDD. After booting, usually you will get a login prompt. This is because the Xorg configuration won’t match the new hardware in case, for instance, you have prepared the external HDD on a different computer. Dont’t panic!

10) Reconfigure the Xorg. On Ubuntu is pretty easy just execute:

user@host:~$sudo dpkg-reconfigure -phigh xserver-xorg

reply to all the questions, just use default if you don’t know. This is the most complicated step for some distribution. Be prepared, maybe read the xorg.conf generated when you run the live CD version before doing any change.

That’s it. Not really for newbie but reasonable simple for “less experienced” like me.

Just drop a comment if you need help. I will be happy to help you.

Internet connection with GPRS/UMTS USB Phone

December 22, 2006

In many country the use of mobile phone for internet connection is becoming popular. The cost is competitive with fixed ADSL connection but with the big advantage of mobility.
It is pretty easy to use any GPRS/UMTS phone with a USB cable connection to get access to the internet using your UBUNTU machine. It takes only few minutes, less than 5.
I am using a motorola V3X but it should work with any new phone configured as a modem connected through the USB.

Remember that in the phone USB connection set-up dialog, you have to configure the USB to work as data connection and not as memory card. This is a step that must be done for every OS, Windows too.

Now, let’s go to the Ubuntu configuration:
– connect the phone to the USB
– open a terminal
– $sudo wvdialconf /etc/wvdial.conf
– wait for the recognition and configuration of the modem, few seconds.
– $sudo vi /etc/wvdial.conf
– put in the username and password any word you like and remove the semicolumn
– put your service provider phone number for data connection, i.e. *99# for Vodafone
– add the line: Stupid Mode = 1
– save the file /etc/wvdial.conf
– $sudo wvdial &

You are connected.
Fast and easy, easier than Windows.


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Ext2 Installable File System For Windows

December 5, 2006

The “Ext2 Installable File System for Windows” a is freeware program written by Stephan Schreibera and available at this link:

It provides Windows NT4.0/2000/XP/2003 with full access to Linux Ext2volumes (read access and write access). This may beuseful if you have installed both Windows and Linux as a dual boot environment on your computer.


screenshot largeimage

If you currently have Windows running and you realize that you need some files for your work which you have stored on an Ext2 volume of your Linux installation, you no longer have to shut down Windows and boot Linux!

Linux Ext3 volumes, the (K)Ubuntu default file system, can also be accessed.


screenshot screenshot large images

It installs a pure kernel mode file system driver Ext2fs.sys,which actually extends the Windows NT/2000/XP/2003 operating system toinclude the Ext2 file system. All applications can access directly the Ext2 volumes that get a drive letters (for instance G:) like any other Windows drives.

Files,and directories of an Ext2 volume appear in file dialogs of allapplications. There is no need to copy files from or to Ext2 volumes in order to work with them.


Main Features

  • Supports Windows NT4.0, Windows 2000, WindowsXP and Windows 2003 (x86 processors only).
  • All operations you would expect: Reading and writing files, listing directories, creating, renaming, moving and deletingfiles or directories, querying and modifying the volume’s label.
  • Files larger than 4 GBytes !

I have tryed it and works great !

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Need to organize all your Movie, Music, Book collection ?

November 24, 2006

Data Crow.
Always wanted to manage all your collections in one product? You want a product you can customize to your needs? Your search ends here!
Using Data Crow allows you to create a huge database containing all your collected items. A lot of work? No! Data Crow project retrieves information from the web for you. Including front covers, screenshots and links to the online information. Follow the easy installation of this free product and see for yourself. It is written in Java so you must have the Java runtime machine installed on your computer.

Have you ever needed to organize all of your collections with one single program?

Data Crow is a media cataloger, perfect for those who like to collect software, books, movies and/or music. It enables you to create huge databases containing all your collected items with very little work and time spent. You may be asking yourself “How is it possible?”. Well, it’s pretty simple. In order to register an item to your collection, you only have to type in the item’s name or title and Data Crow fetches the rest of the item information from the web. It’s able to search either on Amazon, IMDB or both at the same time. 

For music files you’ll have to browse to the directory containing the media and Data Crow will read and import the embedded tag information. It supports formats such as mp3, ogg, flac, ape and audio cd’s. Moreover, for Audio CD’s, you can use the MusicBrainz or FreeDB servers to search for audio albums.

Follow the link for the complete review by Softpedia:

Data Crow 2.9.1 Beta Review – Data Crow 2.9.1 Beta Download

The homepage of Data Crow is:  Data Crow’s Nest

Some screenshot:



Enjoy !

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