How to fix Missing Date and Time in Menu Bar in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

All of a sudden, the “Menu Bar” (equivalent to what we call Taskbar in Windows) on my Ubuntu has stopped showing me date & time for some unknown reasons. My first instinct were to check the System Settings -> Time and Date

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Play all media formats on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Desktop

I still remember the first time I test-drove Mandriva Linux (formerly known as Mandrake), I could run every other audio and video format out-of-the-box without downloading anything (it was a dialup modem era so downloading was a pain-in-the-rear).

Many years after, I finally installed Ubuntu 14.04 LTS on my new laptop but it does not recognize some of my mp3 files and im like “Are you kidding me?”

Im glad I found a solution, there is a package called ubuntu-restricted-extras (read the Wikipedia entry and Ubuntu documentation) that you can install and it support all major media formats, Codecs and even Flash Player. To install, you need to run

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

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Windows to Linux (Ubuntu 14.04 LTS) Migration

I have been a hardcore Linux user from a Server-OS point of view since many years. Have used CentOS, Ubuntu, Debian and Fedora extensively. I have always recommended and used Linux without hesitation since I knew this is one thing that I cannot be wrong about.

One place where I was reluctant to use Linux iswas my Desktop. My PC, Laptop and Work-Laptop running Windows 7. Although I love the simple interface of Windows, now its time that I try to experiment with a Linux Desktop OS. I am sure that within a few weeks, if not days, I would get in love with my decision which I have been postponing since many years now.

I have chosen Ubuntu 14.04 LTS for this purpose. What follows is my transition from Windows to Linux as my primary-Desktop-OS. I will be documenting my journey extensively in the coming few weeks.

Stay tuned!

Webalizer not working on Ubuntu

One of my Ubuntu based VPS had Webalizer installed to collect stats from webserver but it was not working because I could see not stats at /webalizer/. If thats the case with you try the following

1) Try running the webalizer crontab

root@backups:~# /etc/cron.daily/webalizer
Error Opening file /usr/share/GeoIP/GeoIP.dat

So we have identified the culprit that geoip-database is not installed.

2) Fix this by installing geoip-database

root@backups:~# apt-get install geoip-database

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Ubuntu – Unable to load dynamic library ‘/usr/lib/php5/20090626+lfs/’

The other day, I was getting this weird error

PHP Warning:  PHP Startup: Unable to load dynamic library '/usr/lib/php5/20090626+lfs/' - /usr/lib/php5/20090626+lfs/ cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory in Unknown on line 0

Fix it by doing this

root@beta:~# rm -fr /etc/php5/conf.d/sqlite.ini

Because this extension does not exist, you can verify it by running this, you will see that there is already sqlite3.ini file there

root@beta:~# ls -lh /usr/lib/php5/20090626+lfs/ | grep sqlite

vzfree utility to check memory usage in OpenVZ VPS

From the official blog post

Gee. It has been a while since I’ve last written here, and it will be a while again for my next post as I will be on holidays from next Monday (visiting families in Hong Kong and Taiwan). Let me share one small utility program that I wrote quite a while ago.

We all know that the Linux command free(1) is pretty useless inside an OpenVZ VE, even those with meminfo virtualised. So I basically wrote this little util to grab the data from the dreadful user_beancounters and format them into something useful. It’s written in C and only depends on libc so it’s pretty light weight. It also does a little bit of analysis instead of just dumping the data, which I will explain later on.

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VPSLatch VPS Benchmark

Unix Benchmark results from VPSLatch (OpenVZ running Ubuntu 10.04 LTS 32bit on their Orlando, FL node) using unixbench v 5.1.2

Specs: 1024MB / 60GB OpenVZ running Ubuntu 10.04 LTS 32bit

Note: This VPS has the best benchmark that I have ever seen, wow, no doubt Adam is having busy managing the best VPS+CPanel combination ever!

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NAGIOS 3 with notifications on twitter

I have been experimenting with NAGIOS3 on Ubuntu (I will write a how-to-install on NAGIOS later) and it has served me very good in monitoring my 7 VPS from different providers in different part of the world. I have already recorded 3 hours of downtime from ThrustVPS which is a great deal for me. I now know which VPS has the best time and which ones have hiccups (e.g. my 2Host VPS gave me two unreachable notifications but the VPS was running and still reports the uptime as 4 days).

Since I use twitter more, even when Im on the road, notifications via email is a bit slow for me. Luckily I found a great tutorial online to do that.

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Spacerich VPS Benchmark

Update (26-Aug-2010): From my experience, they have very huge iowait and hence I/O problems on their VPS servers. You have to wait for like 10-15 seconds for a ‘uptime’ command to execute which is pretty pathetic. So in my opinion, it was useless for me.

Unix Benchmark results from Spacerich (OpenVZ running Ubuntu 10.04 LTS 32bit on their Munich, Germany node) using unixbench v 5.1.2

Specs: 256MB / 25GB OpenVZ running Ubuntu 10.04 LTS 32bit

Note: Being in Europe, it has the best response time to Asia especially Pakistan

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ThrustVPS XEN HVM Benchmark

Update (25-Aug-2010): Rus Foster from is a blackmailer and a person with low self-esteem. He actually blackmailed me to hand him over certain domain names which he thinks believes is breaching the AUP. My accounts, VPS and the $60 of affiliate commission was terminated. I will advise everyone to KEEP AWAY from Rus Foster and (click here to read the full review)

Unix Benchmark results from ThrustVPS (XEN HVM running Ubuntu 10.04 LTS on their West Coast (LA) node) using unixbench v 5.1.2

Specs: 512MB / 15GB XEN HVM running Ubuntu 10.04 LTS 32bit

Note: Although the test results from the previous bechmark on their XEN PV is just average, this one is the best benchmark I had on a 512MB VPS ever!

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