Kubuntu 15.04

I have been having all sorts of problems with Unity locking up and generally being really frustrating, especially when used with Eclipse or IntelliJ (Android Studio). I decided to give Gnome a try again. My first impressions of Ubuntu Gnome 15.04 were positive. But it still really bothers me that I have to install extensions to get even basic useability, such as a dock working correctly. Also Soapui still misbehaves with Gnome no matter what I do.

I also found Gnome shell would overload my cpu for no clear reason and I would have to restart it.

I find Gnome minimal approach to be unfriendly.

I decided to give KDE a go again. I used to use KDE a long time ago and liked it. I found myself on Gnome 2 and have stuck with it until it was retired.

My first impressions of Kubuntu (upgraded to KDE 5.3 with back ports ppa) has been nothing short of wow. Sure I don’t have my magical dock anymore, but I am getting used to Windows 7 style menus again and am actually really enjoying KDE.

I like the consistency of the UI and the fact that java apps behave. I also like the fact that I don’t need any extensions to get a basic workflow going.

I am having a bit of fun with systemd, but I would have had the same experience with Ubuntu Gnome 15.04 if I had stayed with it.

I decided to avoid installing any gnome stuff If I could manage it. So I have Krita instead of Gimp and kwalletcli instead of gkeyring.py for my vpnc script.


  • Setting a global http proxy.  I use CNTLM to switch between my work and home, so I hard coded localhost:3128 proxy, so it was pretty easy to do that in /etc/environment, /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/95proxy and in the Proxy tool for rest of KDE.
  • A bug in the kmenuedit where I can’t browse to choose an icon.  https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=346316
  • Can’t use gnome keyring for git integration for pushing to cxf git repo.  I need to figure out how to use the kwallet to do the same.

xbmc ubuntu and LIRC fun

A forum thread I posted on the subject…

disable xbmc remote events while subprocess popen is active

Sorry Shrew, back to VPNC I go!

Shrew VPN does not seem to handle Cisco 2 factor authentication, specifically the “Next Token Code”.   See my previous post …. Goodbye VPNC, hello Shrew VPN Client

Whereas VPNC handles it quite nicely (from the command line)

I even integrated a bit of expect and zenity to prompt me for my next token from my phone.

set password "MyPassword"
set token [exec zenity --entry --title "VPN" --text "Soft Token" --hide-text]

set timeout -1
match_max 100000

spawn sudo vpnc --local-port 0 /etc/vpnc/corp.vpnc

expect "Enter password for"
send "$token\r";

expect "Password for VPN"
send "$password\r";

expect "Connect Banner:"


It’s Alive! Install Jupiter In Ubuntu 13.04

It’s Alive! Install Jupiter In Ubuntu 13.04.

Goodbye VPNC, hello Shrew VPN Client

I have been having a hell of a time with reliability of VPNC.

I have spent a lot of time lately trying to understand why sometimes it works and sometimes it does not work.

I have decided to try a different VPN client – Shrew VPN Client for Linux. I had to compile it from source on my Linux Mint 15 laptop, but it worked flawlessly.

I followed the instructions below.


The only differences were I had to install flex and bison as well.

So the steps were:

1) cd /usr/local/src ; sudo wget https://www.shrew.net/download/ike/ike-2.2.1-release.tbz2

2) sudo apt-get install cmake libqt4-core libqt4-dev libqt4-gui libedit-dev libssl-dev checkinstall flex bison

3) sudo tar jxpvf ike-2.2.1-release.tbz2 ; cd ike


5) sudo checkinstall -y

6) sudo cp /etc/iked.conf.sample /etc/iked.conf

7) sudo iked

8) qikea

9) Import my pcf file

10) Change the policy to configure split tunnel

11) Use ikec to execute from command line:

ikec -r “XXXX-Corp” -u first.last -p mypassword -a &

And low and behold works really well so far