Linux For Cynics One user's experiences with Linux


Linus on Desktop Linux

I started Linux as a desktop operating system. And it's the only area where Linux hasn't completely taken over. That just annoys the hell out of me.

-Linus Torvalds


Ubuntu 12.10 Broke My External HDD Shares

The set up I have for my NAS computer might not be typical, so perhaps this doesn't apply to most people. But when I upgraded to Ubuntu 12.10, my external hard drive was no longer accessible from the network. I would get the ""Unable to mount location. Failed to mount Windows share" error dialogue. What was most puzzling was that when I connected through ssh and tried to access /media/My Book, it was there, but I would get

ls: cannot open directory My Book/: Permission denied

The problem is that the mount points for external media have changed. For your user, they are now:


So, in order to share them over the network, your /etc/samba/smb.conf must reflect that (replace <username> and <drivername> with your details):

[My Book]
path = /media/<username>/<drivename>
available = yes
browsable = yes
public = yes
writable = yes
force user = <username>

And restart the samba service:

 sudo service smbd restart

Still won't work? Try this: How to share an external harddrive


UbuntuGNOME Remix Released

UbuntuGNOME Remix 12.10 has been released! There are torrents and mirrors if you want a fresh install, and upgrade instructions if you just want to install the ubuntu-gnome-desktop alongside Unity and whatever else you have installed. Of course, you need Ubuntu 12.10 first.

If you dare install 12.10 so close after it's release, give it a try. I will be waiting for the major show-stopping bugs to be ironed out. In the meantime, check out these reviews:

World of Gnome - UbuntuGNOME Remix Review
WebUpd8 - UGR Review


Avoid the pain of Windows 8

"Avoid the pain of Windows 8"? Really?

I guess this kind of shit slinging is a way to get media attention. But I think it's better if Linux distros advertised good reasons to use their OS on based on its own merits, not as an alternative to pain. Ubuntu is an excellent OS without comparing it to Windows XP/7/8 or whatever.

I use Linux because I like it, not because I hate Windows (which I don't).

Filed under: Opinion, Windows No Comments

Unity Panel in Gnome-Shell

One of my favorite things about Unity is the global menu. By "global menu" I mean the feature that combines the title bar and menu of the currently maximized application into the left side of the top panel. It saves screen space and very clean-looking.

I also like how the notification area is in the top right in Unity, instead of having its own ugly bottom panel that autohides like in Gnome-shell.

Well, it's possible to use Unity's top panel in Gnome-shell! Just run:


You'll also want to move gnome-shell's top panel to the bottom with an extension. Panel Settings will do the trick.

Clearly we're not done. Now the normal gnome-shell panel is on the bottom but it still does much of what our Unity-2d-panel does. You'll have to either hide it, or give it different functionality using gnome-shell extensions. I leave that up to you.

Be warned that Unity2D will be deprecated in Ubuntu 12.10.