Jaunty Jackalope upgrade issues – evolution, window decoration, workspace switcher, ALT-TAB not working


Anyone having any issues with evolution, their keyboard shortcuts or window decoration, after an upgrade to Jaunty Jackalope? [updated: my solution, at least for now, at the bottom]

Am finding the following so far, with visual (desktop) effects set to normal:

  1. there doesn’t seem to be a window manager working if I choose not to use compiz – windows all load top left and don’t have the usual minimise, maxmise, close buttons you’d expect (a launchpad bug)
  2. alt-tab doesn’t work and switching between workspaces doesn’t work
  1. after evolution got an upgrade, I restarted it, it asked for some backup files stuff which I gave, then before I could say “superfly” my mail was gone.  Like, gone, totally borked.  Good thing I backup regularly.

Tried removing .gconf* .gnome* and .config*, with had no effect.
This is super disappointing in some ways, in others you take it as it is ‘cos it’s free and you love it! ;-)

Day 2 of the upgrade saga and it looks like there are loads of peeps with the same or similiar issues – primarily around ATI driver support with Jaunty….  still working on it.  Incredibly frustrating now, and hard to believe this slipped thru… ;-(

Day 3 now, and I’ve got email back (moved to Thunderbird out of frustation), and running Compiz so that there is window decoration and the alt+tab and workspace switching works.  Problem is I still have to set that up each time I reboot….  so trying to figure that out, amidst getting email and contacts working properly on TB.  .xsession-errors seems to have something going on there, so looking into that now…

Seems there are people with the same problem – just needed to know what questions to ask Google ;-( Still no solution that works for me yet, so the search goes on.

Right, now I’m even more convinced something fishy is going on here – my gnome settings that I’ve been changing as I’ve been doing stuff have not been saved… which implies there is a gnome / gconf session saving issue.  Still digging.

Final update (I hope):
Ok, seems that there is a fix of sorts, which is working for me so far (restarting fine). Found this thread on the Ubuntuforums, which has led to the following:

To get Metacity working, the dirty hack is to add:

metacity --replace

to the list of startup applications, which seems to work fine if you’re set against compiz.

I was, but after trying it a bit the last two days it’s much much better than when I last tried it a year ago, so I’ve taken most of the gee whiz out and kept some of the usable stuff.

So to use compiz, I’ve installed all the relevant Compiz packages in synaptic, as well as “Compiz Fusion Icon”, which actually turned out to be the missing link, as well as adding:


to the list of startup apps.  So now I have the Fusion Icon in the Notification area next to the volume applet, but most importantly my windows have decoration / borders, I can alt+tab, and switch between workspaces (each one has a diff purpose for me).  I’m prepared to take a small performance hit if it means I can do that, and hey, my machine might actually start to look sexy, especially after setting up Gnome-do properly… ;-)  I’m also going to take a look at some emerald themes to see what they have to offer.

Evolution problem “Summary and folder mismatch, even after a sync”


Been getting a weird error message on Evolution, “Summary and folder mismatch, even after a sync” for my Sent items folder, which seems to have been sorted out using the following solution. I couldn’t find the “~” file in gnome terminal (ls -la revels nothing, ls -ld * same), and problem seems to have been sorted out by deleting the summary file alone…

Still love Evolution – way better than Outlook IMO ;-)

Using IMAP for GMail with Evolution, and working offline


Evolution seems to show some mails and not others…. am finding that txt emails, or small emails, are viewable offline, but other not…. The search continues….


Frequently of late, I’m finding I’m not online, so getting through email has not been an option with IMAP, using Evolution on Ubuntu with default settings. So after some reading these are the steps to make it work by downloading mail for offline use:

1. Go to your email account settings dialogue in Evolution: Edit > Preferences > email account > Edit (on the right)
2. Go to “Receiving Options” tab
3. Untick “Automatically synchronise….” at the bottom
4. Then go to the folder you want to be available offline, right click, select “Properties”
5. Tick “Copy folder content….” and “Always check for…..” if you want Evolution to do that
… And that should do it… ;-)

I deleted all IMAP folders on my local machine for my GMail account first, then set it up again doing the above, and it worked like a charm. There is a delay while Evolution gets all your mail to sync to start. You may also want to restrict which GMail folders / labels are available to IMAP so you don’t download *all* your mail…. You may have to deal with this bug, but it’s not a big price to pay for offline mail…

VirtualBox hack for accessing USB / external drives


If you want to access an external drive or device in VirtualBox, and you’re either not using USB in VirtualBox, or don’t have it working yet (as I don’t – in time tho’…), then simply create a symlink in your VirtualBox shared directory (I’m sharing my whole /home/gareth directory with VirtualBox) to your external device ( ln -s /media/BKP-320-M /home/gareth/lacie-320 ), and you should be able to access it no problem…

VirtualBox 2.1 Install Error – Conflict with Earlier Versions


When I need windoze then I use VirtualBox, which does a great job of makig virtualisation easy…

… except for installing the newest version…. So here’s something that might help if you’re in the same baot:
_ virtualbox.org :: View topic – VB 2.1 Install Error – Conflict with Earlier Version?

Battery “Last full charge” value decreasing in Thinkpad T42p


Posted on Ubuntu forums, getting desperate ;-)

Hey All,

Wonder if anyone could shed some light on this?

Since switching to Ubuntu, I’ve been through two standard batteries, and am onto another 9 cell extended battery, which is starting to show the same signs as the other two… after no more than 6 weeks of use. So I’m quite keen to get it sorted before it deteriorates too far, so that I can be as mobile as I’d like to be.

“Last full charge” decreasing aside, I should be getting 4+ hours with the extended battery, but if I’m lucky I get 3 to 3.5 hours – which is what I was getting on the 6 cell when my machine was still windoze.

Basically, the “Last full charge” just keeps decreasing, despite my attempts to keep it from doing so (including discharging fully, charging, discharging fully again), or keeping the battery withinn a charged zone…

Are there specific steps to take?
Are there specific settings that are advised, that are not standard?
Is this normal?
Is there anything I’m missing?

After much reading, these are the best resources I can find:

At the moment, this is what I’ve got setup:
installed cpufrequtils
installed laptop-mode-tools
installed pm-utils
installed hdparm

running cat /proc/sys/vm/laptop_mode shows a 2

laptop-mode.conf values are:

Anything else?

I’m pretty sure most folks get this, I’ve just got into the habit of checking my battery status ‘cos it’s decreasing so quickly, so I’m hoping that either someone knows what’s up, or there’s a few steps to take to stop this! Stop the insanity! ;-)

Anyways – thanks in advance ;-)



Skype sound / audio problems on Ubuntu 8.10, with Thinkpad T42p


So recently I upgraded to Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex, which I’ve found to be a real improvement (but that’s another story), and then I installed the newer version of Skype which supports video.

Chat works fine, but I ran into a few problems with voice initially, so left it awhile, but today needed video, so decided to sort it out once and for all.

This is the forum post that helped me, although it wasn’t the exact solution so much as fiddling with things through trial and error that helped:
Sound Problems with Ubuntu 8.04 – Skype Community.

So my solution was:

  1. fiddle with the Ubuntu sound recorder, using the volume control utility open to get the sound mixing right – use an mp3 format to get output right in the sound recorder – to make sure you can record something.
  2. once you have that working, go to Options > Sound devices in Skype, to select the correct sound device to use. I had to trial and error each of the sound devices for Sound In to get it to work (was not the default driver – look for Intel 82801 DB-ICH4 (hw:182801 DBICH4,0) ); set Sound Out and Ringing as pulse which worked fine.
  3. click “apply”
  4. try a call and see what happens; if not, rinse and repeat

et voila, it worked for me….

Hope that helps ;-)