ClamAV reporting Outdated version

Just to remind myself as much as anything, as I’ve been through this a few times. ClamAV was complaining loudly in the logfiles about not having the most up to date ClamAV. I searched around and was pointed to the Debian Unstable repository to /etc/apt/sources.list (Read the whole article before you add this one …there is a better one)

After that, on running apt-get update, you get a message like this:

W: GPG error: etch/volatile Release: The following signatures couldn’t be verified because the public key is not available: NO_PUBKEY DFD993306D849617

So, take the pubkey number off the end and do this with it.

sudo gpg --keyserver --recv-keys DFD993306D849617
sudo gpg --armor --export DFD993306D849617 > new.key
sudo apt-key add new.key

I then got a message saying “The following packages have been kept back: clamav clamav-daemon clamav-freshclam”

By using

 sudo aptitude dist-upgrade

(NB aptitude rather than apt-get) the new packages are downloaded. However they’re still not up to the level that ClamAV is telling me to upgrade to.

So, more searching. It turns out the most up to date Ubuntu Repositories are from this page … In my case the solution was to add these lines to my /etc/apt/sources.list

deb hardy main
deb-src hardy main

And then run through the pubkey process above, with the different pubkey id number. Later distros might get away with the add-apt-key command, but I was running hardy (8.04) on this particular server.

Ubuntu upgrade 9.04 to 9.10

Screenshot-Update ManagerI’ve learnt my lesson on this a few times: things break when you upgrade Ubuntu on laptops. I can understand why. There is a huge variety of hardware for laptops, particularly BIOSes, sound chips and wireless chips, and every manufacturer likes to tweak them a bit. The Linux kernel has the unenviable task of having to support ALL of them immediately, whereas in Windows the hardware component manufacturer supplies drivers which you have to install to get your machine working correctly.

Anyway, for example, last time I upgraded my two laptops from 8.10 to 9.04, a lot of things broke, and I was hurting for a long time. In fact one of the laptops never really got straight. This was irritating for me, but as I had another laptop to use for my main work, it wasn’t a major annoyance. But I can imagine if you only have one machine and the sound doesn’t work on it, for example, it would leave a nasty taste in your mouth.

So this time, I started with the Thinkpad R51e, which is my spare laptop. I have the /home directory mounted on a separate partition, which makes things really easy. Basically you just blow away the main OS partition, and then remount the your data partition at /home, preserving all your data. (OK its a little more complicated than that, but I’m not blogging about that right now).

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Ubuntu Firefox’s Tattletale Search Query

Search SimplificationHave you ever noticed that when you type a search term into the search box in the top right of your Firefox browser, that a load of junk gets added to the search term. For example, you search for ‘banana’ and you get something like this:

Well what you’re effectively doing is giving Google a lot of information for free. Which irritates me. All I really need is this,

and if they really want to know more about me, then they’re welcome to go digging through their logs.

OK its a minor irritation, but one that we can fix! I understand that Ubuntu does it as part of a deal with Google, but there’s no reason why we can’t take matters into our own hands and change the defaults.

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Ubuntu 8.04 to 8.10 upgrade.

A lot of commentators in the blogosphere have shown disappointment at the fact that little seems to have changed with Ubuntu 8.10. My answer to them is that in fact a lot has changed, but not much of it is visible. To my mind a lot of these under-the-hood changes have addressed fundamental issues which needed to be fixed as a priority, so that normal users could just get on with the business of using Linux, rather than scrabbling around in config files.

Also, Ubuntu has an aggressive schedule, which means release are made every 6 months. I believe the purpose of the April (.04) releases is to introduce new features, and the October (.10) release is to refine them and fix any breaks. Compare this approach to Windows or Macintosh, where releases are made around every three years, and you can appreciate that releasing little and often means that changes are more diffuse and less apparent.

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Ubuntu 8.04 Dual Head setup on Dell Vostro.

I keep hearing how Ubuntu has finally nailed the dual head hassles of the past, and now you can just plug in an external monitor and go. Alas I’ve never had that experience, either with this Dell Vostro 1400 or either of the two IBM Thinkpads I’ve run Ubuntu on.The IBMs were both 1024×768 resolution, as is my external monitor. The Dell is a less standard 1280×800 resolution. I also, on occasion plug it into my LCD TV, but that’s another story.

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