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Posts Tagged ‘linux

Using Oracle SQL developer as a GUI front-end for MS SQL server

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In my previous post I described how to use OpenOffice Base as a MS SQL server GUI front-end. On some occasions I have experienced OObase to hang when executing queries or otherwise communicating with the SQL server. For a more professional experience the Oracle SQL developer can be used instead. Oracle SQL developer can be downloaded free-of-charge from the Oracle website.

Download and install Oracle SQL developer

  1. Goto Oracle website
  2. Accept the license agreement
  3. Unless you have an rpm based distribution choose the Oracle SQL Developer for other platforms(this will be assumed throughout this how-to)
  4. Unzip the downloaded zip archive to e.g. /opt or /usr/local. Assuming pwd is the directory to which Oracle SQL developer was downloaded to
    sudo unzip -d /opt
  5. sqldeveloper can be started by the command
    sh /opt/sqldeveloper/ For convenience an alias can be added to .bashrc e.g.
    alias sqldeveloper='sh /opt/sqldeveloper/'

Install jTDS JDBC driver

As with OOBase the jTDS JDBC driver is required for connecting to MS SQL server. Here’s how-to make it work.

  1. If not already downloaded, download the latest JDBC driver from sourceforge
  2. Unpack the archive and copy the jtds-1.2.5.jar into your java environment. On ubuntu 9.10 with Sun Java this is somewhere like /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-sun- This should enable Oracle SQL developer to locate the driver
  3. Start sqldeveloper. You should see the following screen
  4. Click the big green plus in the connections pane and the following window will pop-up
  5. If, for some reason, the (MS) SQLserver pane/entry is not there (only the Oracle) them the jTDS JDBC driver was not successfully loaded (perhaps copied to the wrong destination). The JDBC driver can be installed manually by choosing Preferences in the Tools menu
    Click “Add enty” and located the jtds-1.2.5.jar file on your system
  6. Enter the address of the MS SQL server and your log-in credentials and you’re ready to go. Read more in the documentation on the Oracle website

Written by aandreasen

April 6, 2010 at 9:54 pm

Installing cantera 1.8 on Ubuntu 9.10 (32 bit)

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Note: I just checked that the procedure (svn) given below also works for Ubuntu 10.10, and it does.

Here’s a brief description on how I managed to compile and install cantera 1.8 on Ubuntu 9.10 (32 bit), with the full python interface. However, first a little description of what cantera is (taken from the website):

Cantera is a suite of object-oriented software tools for problems involving chemical kinetics, thermodynamics, and/or transport processes.

Cantera is written in C++, and can be interfaced also from python, matlab and Fortran.

  1. First step is to install any dependencies. This is handled by apt-get:
    sudo apt-get install subversion g++ gfortran python2.6-dev python-numpy libsundials* graphviz
  2. Next step is to get the source for cantera. This can be done by either downloading the cantera-1.8.0-beta-tar.gz from the cantera site our checking the latest version from svn
    svn checkout cantera
  3. change to the cantera directory (either the svn checkout or the untarred/gunzipped cantera-1.8.0)
  4. Edit the file named preconfig and make sure the following lines are included by uncommenting/editing
  5. The entire preconfig file can be viewed here
  6. then in a terminal run the following commands
    sudo make install
    source ~/setup_cantera
  7. If everything went well you should be able to import the Cantera module in python:
    >>>from Cantera import *

Written by aandreasen

January 28, 2010 at 11:06 pm

Setting up CentOS 5.4 for laptop/desktop use (work in progress)

with 6 comments

This post list my experience with the post-installation configuration of CentOS 5.4 for desktop usage on my laptop.


If not already done during installation I suggest to turn off SELinux especially if you want to use wine (you do if you want to use google picasa). To do this follow the screen shots below

Adding user to sudoers

The first thing to do is to add yourself to the wheel group by editing /etc/group.Do the following:


gedit /etc/group

Change the following line:




where useralias is to be substituted with your real username. Next edit the sudoers file by excuting the visudo command:


comment out the following line

# %wheel ALL=(ALL) ALL or

#%wheel ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD: ALL without prompting for password every time the sudo command is run

Next thing to do is to install additional repositories in order to get additional software not present in the official CentOS repos. The additional packages are required for wireless networking, vpn, non-free stuff like adobe reader, flash plug-in, vlc, codecs, TrueType fonts etc. etc.

Additional repos

The CentOS wiki is a good ressource for setting up additional repos. Here’s a brief summary of what I added

  1. DAGs repository for CentOS5. Do the following:sudo rpm --import

    sudo rpm -ivh

  2. Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL)sudo rpm -ivh
  3. Adobe respository for Adobe reader and flashsudo rpm -ivh

Now applications from additional repos can be installed from the PackageManager or from the command line using yum

Wireless networking

CentOS 5 does not come with support for the Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG in my laptop. The steps required to get wire less networking up with this particular hardware is well described elsewhere(howtoforge). Once the RPMforge repo has been added as described above do

yum install ipw3945d ipw3945-firmware dkms dkms-ipw3945 wpa_supplicant

In contrast to what is described on howtoforge I like the gnome network-manager tool so instead of turning it off (as in the tutorial) I have turned it on

chkconfig NetworkManager on .

I messed a little around with the wireless stuff, but I actually think that the two steps described here should do the trick. Verify that the file /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-wlan0 looks something like this

# Intel Corporation PRO/Wireless 3945ABG [Golan] Network Connection




HWADDR=00:00:00:00:00:00 # Insert actual MAC address

The MAC address for the wlan0 (or what ever suits your particular hardware e.g. eth1 or something) do

[ada@localhost ~]$ /sbin/ifconfig wlan0

wlan0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:1C:BF:02:19:14

inet addr: Bcast: Mask:

inet6 addr: fe80::21c:bfff:fe02:1914/64 Scope:Link


RX packets:1711 errors:1 dropped:249 overruns:0 frame:0

TX packets:1868 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0

collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000

RX bytes:1252822 (1.1 MiB) TX bytes:361391 (352.9 KiB)

Interrupt:74 Base address:0x6000 Memory:df3ff000-df3fffff

Enabling VPN connection in the NetworkManager

In occasionally need to access my company network through a (Cisco) VPN connection. These are the steps required for setting up a VPN connection.

sudo yum install NetworkManager*

This should install the following package (and some dependencies)

NetworkManager.i386 1:0.7.0-9.el5 installed

NetworkManager-devel.i386 1:0.7.0-9.el5 installed

NetworkManager-glib.i386 1:0.7.0-9.el5 installed

NetworkManager-glib-devel.i386 1:0.7.0-9.el5 installed

NetworkManager-gnome.i386 1:0.7.0-9.el5 installed

NetworkManager-openvpn.i386 1:0.7.0-18.svn11.el5.3 installed

NetworkManager-pptp.i386 1:0.7.0-2.svn16.el5 installed

NetworkManager-vpnc.i386 1: installed

Now your VPN connection can be set-up by clicking the small NetworkManager applet and choosing “VPN connections” ->”Configure VPN”

Installing Citrix Receiver (ICAClent)

  1. Go to and download the rpm package choose to “Open with” /usr/bin/system-install-packages (Software installer), it should handle a few depencies (OpenMotif).
  2. run:sudo mozilla-plugin-config && mozilla-plugin-config

Setting up multimedia

This step is well described on the CentOS wiki. The steps are (tanks to Sklav)

  1. Disabel the EPEL respository in PackageManager (Applications menu -> Add/Remove Software) by choosing Edit and unchecking the EPEL repository. This is due to conflicts between RPMForge and EPEL.
  2. sudo yum install flash-plugin
  3. yum install libdvdcss libdvdread libdvdplay libdvdnav lsdvd mplayerplug-in mplayer compat-libstdc++-33 flash-plugin gstreamer-plugins-bad gstreamer-plugins-ugly vlc
  4. cd /tmp && wget
  5. sudo rpm -ivh mplayer-codecs-20061022-1.i386.rpm
  6. wget
  7. sudo rpm -ivh mplayer-codecs-extra-20061022-1.i386.rpm

Applications I find useful

  1. Adobe Reader (sudo yum install AdobeReader_enu)t
  2. Xmgrace 2-d plotting (sudo yum install grace* )
  3. GNU Octave (sudo yum –disablerepo=rpmforge install octave octave-forge hdf5)
  4. ImageMagick (sudo yum install ImageMagick*)
  5. Inkscape (sudo yum –disablerepo=epel inkscape) #inkscape exits with a segmentation fault for some reason if installed from the epel repo. However the version (0.46) in RPMforge seems to be wotking
  6. Dia (sudo yum install dia)

Installing additional software

Installing skype is done by the following steps (apparently the suggested method on the CentOS wiki is not working any longer), taken from Hackery

cd /tmp
cd /opt
sudo tar jxvf /tmp/skype_static-
sudo ln -s skype_static- skype
# Setup symlinks (the first is required for sounds to work, the second is optional)
sudo ln -s /opt/skype /usr/share/skype
sudo ln -s /opt/skype/skype /usr/bin/skype

For installing RealPlayer, Opera, Google Earth and Google Picasa just follow the guidelines on howtoforge. When installed and run from the command line googleearth complains about the following

./googleearth-bin: /usr/lib/ version `GLIBCXX_3.4.9′ not found (required by ./

./googleearth-bin: /usr/lib/ version `GLIBCXX_3.4.9′ not found (required by ./

A fix is provided here.

Other remarks

The thing that pushed me towards CentOS was the fact that I had some irritating issues with Fedora 12

  • For some reason when resuming from suspend/hibernate Xorg crashed leaving me with a new gdm login screen leading to a blank desktop with all my apps gone. I haven’t found a fix, according to the mailinglists/bugzilla the issue should have been resolved (but obviously its not). Worked out of the box in CentOS.
  • Too many updates
  • Couldn’t find a way to get CPU throttling to work i.e. the “On demand” mode. Whenever trying to force this mode I was always reverted to “Performance” i.e. full speed. No problem for workstation doing heavy calculations all the time, but for a laptop it’s really a nive feature. This worked out of the box in CentOS.

Written by aandreasen

December 16, 2009 at 10:34 pm

Posted in GNU/Linux

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