Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

I finally upgraded my brother’s desktop computer and my desktop computer to Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala. Prior, both had been running Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron, which was stable but was starting to show its age. I’ve always found that bleeding edge works well for desktops and tried and true works better for servers.

Ubuntu 9.10 works well, but I have discovered a few unresolved bugs that have proven to be annoyances. I’ve resigned myself to not being able to burn optical discs under Karmic because of a bug. This extends beyond Brasero to include the Wodim command line burning tool. After I upgraded, I switched from Rhythmbox to Banshee because it has better iPod syncing capabilities. However, those capabilities are a bit flaky, and I had to use this hack to make things work.

Regardless, it was a helpful and necessary upgrade. I look forward to the Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx update in April.

Finger Daemon on Ubuntu

Since I set up my Ubuntu servers and desktops at home I have wanted to be able to remotely finger the different computers on my network. By default, a remote finger request will look like this:

[email protected]:~$ finger @athos
finger: connect: Connection refused

The solution is to install the required packages:

apt-get install inetutils-inetd fingerd

Then start the Internet super server:

/etc/init.d/inetutils-inetd start

According to the package details: “Inetd is the daemon that listens on various TCP and UDP ports and spawns programs that can’t or won’t do it for themselves.”

Now a remote finger request will look like:

[email protected]:~$ finger @athos
Login     Name           Tty      Idle  Login Time   Office     Office Phone
zac       Zachary Lund   pts/2          May  4 20:12 (dakara.lund)

The contents of the file /etc/inetd.conf show what is necessary for finger:

finger		stream	tcp	nowait	nobody	/usr/sbin/tcpd	/usr/sbin/in.fingerd

It simply takes an incoming finger request and spawns the appropriate process.