dual boot windows8.1 with ubuntu14.04

Lenovo Thinkpad 440s:

As of 2015.10.10, followed the instructions here and installation was successful. It is new laptop, so did not bother with Step 2 – that of backing up current windows set up and files.

When using “boot repair”, the source code given in the instructions did not work. Found the answer in the comments below and that installs it right:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yannubuntu/boot-repair
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install -y boot-repair && boot-repair

Then again, “Boot Repair” wouldn’t repair, says “The current session is in legacy mode. Reboot and use this software in EFI session to enable this feature…

Rebooted the computer, entered BIOS but could not change the option of booting into UEFI (under Security). In my machine, Legacy was set as the first preference. Found out, this option is available only if I log into the boot using the Supervisor password. Fortunately, remembered this password (for once!), entered BIOS again, changed to boot mode to UEFI only.

Reboot (with the Ubuntu Live USB plugged in), press F12, to go the boot order. select USB and this time (for the first time) I see the familiar GRUB loader. Selected “Install Ubuntu” though Ubtuntu is already installed…

Connected to the Internet, click continue, until it comes to the “installation type” where there are many options of what to do… Here, I quit the installation. May be I could have simply selected the “try Ubuntu Live” from the Grub options and saved all this trouble. Not being a wiz…, it takes a lot more time to work things out by trial and error.
Back to the Ubuntu desktop.

Start up the terminal, install “boot repair” again as above, and start it up.

click OK when asked to backup data (in my case there was nothing to back up), and click on “recommended repairs”.

From here, follow the steps outlined here. In my case, when asked if I want to remove GRUB2 from /boot/grub/, I clicked “YES” and proceeded till the cursor is back to the prompt.

Now back to the Boot Repair and click “forward” … back to the standard instructions.

Fortunately, when Boot Repair had done its job, and I rebooted it booted by default into Ubuntu. So, didn’t have to fix things at the windows end.

Next, tweaks to personalise Ubuntu14.04 🙂


replacing text in multiple (non-hidden) files and file names

I want to change ‘x_y’ in numerous files and filenames to ‘xy’ or something like that.

The condition is that I want to do it only in the non-hidden files, as I have got some svn folders that I do not want to meddle with

So, first to select all the files recursively in a folder (assuming you are already in the folder you want to search for) and rename the files. the results of find are piped to rename using xargs. The -n in rename is if you want a test run. Change it to -v for actual renaming

find . \( ! -regex '.*/\..*' \) -type f | xargs rename -n 's/x_y/xy/g'

First, I want to see which files have ‘x_y’ in the files (only non-hidden)
find . \( ! -regex '.*/\..*' \) -type f | xargs grep -l 'x_y'

IF THE LIS OF FILES IS SATIASFACTORY, TIME TO CHANGE THE TEXT (I take these precautions as this is the first time and don’t want to corrupt files and lose my work, spend another day retrieving them-if that is possible at all)
find . \( ! -regex '.*/\..*' \) -type f | xargs sed -i 's/x_y/xy/g'

skype icon in the gnome3 notifications area

followed the steps as outlined and works like a charm.
Running Ubuntu 12.04 with Gnome3.

Here is from Korenmḱov’s blog:

Ubuntu 12.04 Skype tray icon (Gnome 3)

Enabling Skype notification icon for Gnome 3 is a bit more difficult, than for Unity. Anyway, here how you do it.

install gnome-tweak-tool mkdir ~/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions/skype-status

Edit ~/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions/skype-status/extension.js

nano ~/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions/skype-status/extension.js

And paste the following

const StatusIconDispatcher = imports.ui.statusIconDispatcher;
function enable() {
    StatusIconDispatcher.STANDARD_TRAY_ICON_IMPLEMENTATIONS['skype'] = 'skype';
function disable() {
    StatusIconDispatcher.STANDARD_TRAY_ICON_IMPLEMENTATIONS['skype'] = '';
function init() {

Now edit ~/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions/skype-status/metadata.json

nano ~/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions/skype-status/metadata.json

And insert

  "shell-version": ["3.4.1", "3.2.1", "3.2"],
  "uuid": "skype-status",
  "name": "Skype Status Icon",
  "description": "Integrates Skype Client into the status bar"

where shell-version parameter corresponds to your current gnome shell version.

You can find additional shell extensions after your Gnome 3 session is restarted. See Applications -> Advanced Settings -> Shell Extensions:

Turn it on and restart your session again. By the way, the same trick works for Pidgin as well. Source: http://habrahabr.ru/post/134542/

thunderbird integration with email

Now that I have atleast 3 different active e-mails accounts, and after hearing from friends how someone’s gmail account got hacked and they lost their account, installed Thunderbird. Set up all the e-mail accounts.

Been using gmail calendar and wanted to be able to access that too from Thunderbird.

has a nice step-by-step instructions on how to get your google calendar into Thunderbird. Get the add-ons from the Thunderbird menu, so the right versions are installed. Non-compatible versions of Thunderbird, Lightning and gmail provider can cause conflicts.

sync gmail tasks with Thunderbird

Only today realised that while I have been able to integrate my gmail calendar with my Thunderbird in Ubuntu, my tasks are missing.
Apparently that needs an another add-on, which is still in beta but claims to work pretty seamlessly.

add-on: Google Tasks Sync 0.4.1

Now in the Tunderbird Task tab, on the bottom right, I have a pane that says: Click here to get started

So, clicking that link opens a window where you are reqd. to allow the add-on to access your gmail account and then click on ALLOW ACCESS in the next window so the add-on can access your gmail account. The tasks are there now and I can add or delete tasks. It works the same way as in Gmail calendar.

But, the New Task icon is greyed out. And if I open the Task tab, the whole area in the center—I don’t know yet what iti sfor and is empty. Gmail supports tasks with description and due date, so I do not know what is the issue. Will get back when I have more info.

install QGIS in ubuntu

Installing the stabel version of QGIS in Ubuntu 12.04

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ubuntugis/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install qgis

(from http://gis.stackexchange.com/questions/29094/how-to-install-qgis-on-ubuntu-12-04)

QGIS installed fine but the GRASS plugin said of some unresolvable dependencies: (Depends: GRASS641) after trying to install

~$ sudo apt-get install qgis-plugin-grass

Then tried this sugestion from

You can use ubuntugis ppa, which contains everything you need:

$ sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ubuntugis/ubuntugis-unstable
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install qgis

The system will take after the necessary dependencies

Your problem also suggests that you have broken dependencies for qgis. One way to fix this is to clean your cache by running in terminal (you can open the terminal with alt + ctrl + T)

$ sudo apt-get clean


$ sudo apt-get autoclean

and then ask apt to try and correct any broken dependencies:

$ sudo apt-get -f install

if the output is similar to :

$ 0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 1 not upgraded.

it means that you need some extra packages that you weren’t informed about. To install them run:

$ sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Then tried

~$ sudo apt-get install qgis-plugin-grass
~$ sudo apt-get install python-qgis
and everything was installed fine.

Installing plug-ins:
At some point, tried to install SimpleSVG, so I can export maps as SVG, but could not install the plug-ins. It gave me the following message:
Failed to unzip the plugin package. Probably it's broken or missing from the repository. You may also want to make sure that you have write permission to the plugin directory: /home/hebert/.qgis//python/plugins

Apparently I need to give permission to be abel to write to the ~.qgis directory, which brings me

To enable permissions, type
sudo chown "your username" ~/.qgis
in the terminal.

Trying to install the plug-in first said “Host not found”, but the second time, it installed successsfully