Linux User Group of Mauritius Promoting open source software in our beautiful island

31Aug/130

LUGM | mini-meetup 31.08.13

Posted by Ish

Saturdays are becoming fun with Linux mini-meetups (:

I finished an intervention at work and called Yuram to confirm which bus to take from Ebène to go Bagatelle. Most Port-Louis buses should drive through Bagatelle and I confirmed again by asking the conductor when getting in.

I reached Mugg & Bean and updated my facebook status at 13h50. Hehe! I wasn’t late today. Five minutes later Nitin Mutkawoa came. He told me about the Apache issue he was having on his CentOS server and how he wasn’t able to connect through SSH. So, I said let’s have some fun. Oops! Now, he’s netbook had UK layout while his Linux Mint system was set to US. I was having trouble finding the @ symbol with that mini keyboard. Obviously, I had to set the right layout. Press Alt + F2, type cinnamon-settings and press Enter. Select Regional Settings and click on the Layouts tab. See the screenshot below, adding the UK layout from here needs no further instruction.

mint-keyboard-layout

We were still talking about Nitin’s CentOS server when Yuram came. He was hungry … well, very hungry I must say. He left his bag and went to KFC to grab something veg. Yeah, ironically that’s what he did. Anyway, some time later he came back. Neha & Darshinee came next. Prithvi texted that he won’t be able to make it today. Never mind, see you next time buddy.

Here we started today’s Linux mini-meetup. As usual we had some general chit-chat and a few questions popped up regarding the openSUSE Advocate program. I gave Nitin & Yuram instructions about registration and the wiki page. Neha, Darshinee & me, we continued some chit-chat regarding Linux in the IT industry, comparison of IT jobs etc (something they missed last week). However, this week we had a kinda lengthy discussion on the topic. We also talked about internships and what to consider when applying.

Finally, we had the technical discussion. We started with some examples of ls command, how to identify things from the output etc. I recalled several funny incidents relating to this. We had a pretty lengthy discussion here as well with examples and all. We played with the command and compared the different outputs we got. Yuram & Nitin continued doing some tricks on Nitin’s VPS. By the time we reached the end of meetup they both had removed CentOS and installed Ubuntu and setup a LAMP server on the VPS. Good going guys (:

We did not go ahead with find & grep commands. That would have made things bulky for the new penguins since merely the find command has a myriad of awesome variations. I’ll keep find as a single topic next time.

For the curious minds, here is a short sum-up of the technical discussion – Download

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29Aug/130

Solaar – Managing Logitech Unifying Receiver peripherals

Posted by Jochen Kirstaetter

Despite the fact that I'm using Logitech products since ages it is only now that I accidentally came across a Linux application that allows me to configure their Unifying devices: Solaar

Solaar is a Linux device manager for Logitech's Unifying Receiver peripherals. It is able to pair/unpair devices to the receiver, and for most devices read battery status.

It comes in two flavors, command-line and GUI. Both are able to list the devices paired to a Unifying Receiver, show detailed info for each device, and also pair/unpair supported devices with the receiver.

Sounds great, or? And finally, the tool gives you some comfort compared to the existing application available for Windows or Mac OS, like battery status indicator or the ability to pair devices to the receiver you would like to have them (in case that you use multiple receiver at the same time).

Solaar system tray indicator shows battery status of connected devices
Solaar system tray indicator shows battery status of connected devices

Solaar displays the connected Logitech Unifying Receiver
Solaar displays the connected Logitech Unifying Receiver

Some Logitech devices can be configured with Solaar
Some Logitech devices can be configured with Solaar

Supported devices

I got my Laptop peripherals as part of a laptop set, namely K340 keyboard and M505 mouse, which are listed as supported devices. In case that you are not sure, check whether your USB hardware is supported by Solaar. You can check that by running the following in a console or terminal application:

$ lsusb -d 046d:
Bus 001 Device 005: ID 046d:c52b Logitech, Inc. Unifying Receiver

The output should be similar to mine.

There is an extensive list of supported devices and supported additional features on the Solaar site. Don't miss that one.

Installation of Solaar

There are either pre-built packages for some distributions available or you can get the sources to compile it on your system. Have a look at GitHub for more details. Running Ubuntu (or any Ubuntu-based flavour) the installation is fairly easy. Add the existing PPA to your list of software repositories, update and install:

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:daniel.pavel/solaar
$ sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install solaar

After that you'll have a new shortcut in the Accessories menu. On the first launch, I got a message that Solaar doesn't have the userrights to access the USB devices. Simply pull out your receivers and plug them back in - that resolves the issue.

Console application

Solaar is both - a graphical tool as well as a console application. This might come in quite handy even though I'm not sure how. Anyway, you can get information about your Logitech devices, pair/unpair and configure your peripherals via solaar-cli command. Following is the output of my system:

$ solaar-cli show
Unifying Receiver [/dev/hidraw2:13F19F3F] with 2 devices
1: Wireless Mouse M505 [M505/B605:0255918D]
2: Wireless Keyboard K340 [K340:001074B7]

Surprisingly, nothing that we didn't know already. The help switch (-h) provides a brief overview of what can be done.

Please, feel free to leave a comment about how solaar-cli could be helpful compared to the UI version of the tool.

But what happened to dasKeyboard?

Read more about that in separate article about How to choose the right keyboard for coding.

Solaar is a Linux device manager for Logitech’s Unifying Receiver peripherals. It is able to pair/unpair devices to the receiver, and for most devices read battery status.

It comes in two flavors, command-line and GUI. Both are able to list the devices paired to a Unifying Receiver, show detailed info for each device, and also pair/unpair supported devices with the receiver.

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25Aug/130

LUGM | mini-meetup 24.08.13 as it happened

Posted by Ish

It’s been one rainy Saturday morning and while rushing to the bus-stop without an umbrella I missed the Port-Louis bus. Pfff! The next one should come in/around 30 mins. I was left with only one option, take Rose-Hill bus, stop at Réduit then go to Bagatelle. Then I thought Avinash & Natasha would be going to print copies of the LUGM membership form at Réduit. So, I called & ask them to wait for me.

Hehe! One funny thing happened at that printing facility at Réduit. The staff argued with us that their PC is infected and it could delete stuffs on my pendrive and a lot of such blah-blah. I argued back, to hell with my data, just print the file. Then another guy came, maybe he’s the owner and he was like explaining that we are not realizing the severity of a virus and again some blah-blah. It seemed like he would have made us sign a disclaimer before printing the file. Oh! come on … which era was that? Was I teleported to another dimension/time/space where computer viruses had eaten up people’s thinking capacity. Avinash tried calming my words and said let’s just print & get going … and that’s what we did.

We reached Mugg & Bean around 13h50. Selven & Jochen were outside. Yup! I was late. Anousha had come a while earlier but since she did not recognize others she waited inside. Mugg & Bean was almost full at that moment. Jochen and her little daughter went to have some fun time around the Mall. The rest of us went inside and arranged for two tables. Cool! We got them. After some time Yuram & Nitin Mutkawoa came. We were a little hungry so we started with something to eat first (: I ordered a toasted sandwich, Selven took a Blueberry muffin & others … well I didn’t look in their plates.

toasted-sandwich

My toasted sandwich, not bad

We had some general Linux chat while eating & having coffee. Anousha was new, so Selven and I explained her a little bit about LUGM and what we’re trying to do with mini-meetups. We also talked about MSCC. Everybody participated in a chat regarding confidence when attending job interviews, especially when technical questions are thrown at you. Also, how you confront your weaknesses when the interviewer pulls you there. This was some fun topic & Selven added more flavor with his examples.

mini-meetup-240813-1

Yup, I'm missing in this one & Nitin Mutkawoa is hiding behind the girls

After the mini-lunch I changed seat and went to explain Yuram & Anousha about the topics I published earlier on facebook :

  • runlevels / init / telinit
  • pipe, redirect & standard streams
  • various handy shell commands

mini-meetup-240813-2

As usual I'm in some funny position for no reason

Oh! Yup … Selven offered Avinash, Yuram & me, a round of beer. Before we could continue with another one some had to go and the rest of us decided to go watch Wolverine.

Meetup ended & everyone was happy!

Anousha has summarized some commands & other stuffs as we discussed – Download

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17Aug/130

Linux User Group of Mauritius – meetup 17.08.2013

Posted by Ish

Finally we had the LUGM mini-meetup today (:

We had 12 attendees (including me). That was a great response. Some came for the first time.

LUGM-meetup-17-august-1

Photo, courtesy of Om Gokhool

We started by each one introducing himself, telling more about his Linux experience. It was nice to hear everyone’s short stories and how they encountered/discovered Linux.

Jochen & Ajay brought the kids and added more brightness to the meetup (:

Ok … Let’s get started.

After the introductions I opened today’s meetup with a little bit of LUGM history. Ajay being a founding member was the right person to elaborate and give details. He indeed explained how it all started and what are the advantages of being a member. We however highlighted the fact that LUGM meetings are open to public.

More can be found on LUGM’s website : http://lugm.org
Join the mailing list as well : http://discuss.lugm.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss_discuss.lugm.org

We then talked about open source licenses. Some among those present today are new to Linux. We thought it would be a good thing to mention a few words about the guru, Richard Stallman, the founder and President of Free Software Foundation and talk about his vision. We explained the difference of having a software free (as in not paying) and free (as in freedom to study, modify and share). We talked about the advantages of having access to source code. Ajay elaborated on points stipulated in the General Public License.

Lastly, I did a presentation on openSUSE Advocate Program. I actually started with a little bit of my encounter with openSUSE, my experience with other distros and projects. I highlighted how welcoming the openSUSE community is and the facilities available within. Yes, I believe openSUSE figures among the most flexible and powerful distributions. I went on and gave examples why (: I briefly went back in history from S.u.S.E to SUSE and then openSUSE. I pointed out the flexibility of having so many download formats for openSUSE (4.7GB DVD including KDE, Gnome, XFCE and LXDE, … then the different Live versions of KDE and Gnome etc). See all these at software.opensuse.org. I talked about the openSUSE Build Service and how packages are available from software.opensuse.org. By the way folks, I forgot to tell you about the 1-click install facility. Check the page, you’ll know what I am talking about. In case of questions, ping me. I talked about YaST, AutoYaST and WebYaST. Nitin Bachraz shared his great moments with YaST too (: and Prithvi (our Slack guy) happens to adore YaST as well. I explained what is Tumbleweed and how to get openSUSE into rolling mode. I also talked about SUSE Studio and how easy it is to brew up your own distribution. Last I showed the magic of susepaste.org (:

LUGM-meetup-17-august-2

Photo, courtesy of Kurtish (Yuram) Venkatiah

We finished by 17h00. I was happy to see the smile on everybody’s face (: Thank you folks for making this a great meetup.

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13Aug/130

LUGM meeting – 17.08.2013 – Mugg & Bean, Bagatelle

Posted by Jochen Kirstaetter

Okay, indirect advertisement!

Next meetup of the Linux User Group of Mauritius is scheduled for Saturday, 17.08.2013 at 15:00hrs at Mugg & Bean, Bagatelle:

Linux User Group of Mauritius is a computer users group comprising of like-minded geeks with the passion to make computing something fun (:

We are dedicated to Linux and the FOSS community. We strive to promote free software, open standards and to generally have a good time by hosting social events that educate, allow members to share ideas and knowledge and to build friendship.

This particular meetup will focus on :

  • Introducing LUGM to new members & students
  • A brief intro about Linux, Free Software & open licenses
  • Short presentation on openSUSE Advocate Program

LUGM : http://lugm.org/about

More details and RSVP are available on the Facebook event here

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