Sending Files via Bluetooth in Ubuntu 13.04

Screenshot from 2013-09-13 08:18:06GNOME bluetooth on Ubuntu 13.04 (and up) doesn’t work. I’ve paired my laptop with several devices and I’ve been unable to send/receive files for a long while. I never bothered with troubleshooting because I could also connect said devices to my laptop with my USB cable. Why fix this now? Space is at a premium now  so I needed this problem to go away. The solution according to the linked LaunchPad page? install Blueman.

So, if clicking that link didn’t do anything for you, here are some ways to install software on Ubuntu:

  1. Use the Ubuntu Software Center and type “blueman”. into the search box (top right). It should be the first link.
  2. Go hardcore and use the CLI (command line interface): sudo apt-get install blueman
  3. Attempt to fix GNOME bluetooth yourself. 🙂

Screenshot from 2013-09-13 08:53:05

And you’re done. Oddly enough, after installing Blueman, certain GNOME bluetooth functions started working e.g. sending files from PC to device. And as I write this, Blueman just choked on a 513kb PDF file which GNOME bluetooth sent just fine so don’t uninstall GNOME bluetooth just yet.

Ubuntu 13.04 (Raring Ringtail) is out!

After over a year in hibernation, I will attempt to jumpstart my blogging habit again. I’ll begin by rambling about Ubuntu and the latest release of Ubuntu which I recently upgraded to.

I now use Ubuntu as my main operating system and have done so for over a year. I’ve grown to love Unity and the increasing stability of this free operating system. One of my biggest annoyances about being on Ubuntu was the seeming fragility of the upgrade tool and for the longest time, an upgrade meant wiping my computer and installing a fresh copy.

I have been able to successfully upgrade my notebook from 12.04 to 12.10 and from 12.10 to 13.04 using the upgrade tool. Visually, 13.04 hasn’t changed much but a lot of changes were made under the hood. Importantly, don’t upgrade just yet if you rely on Chrome or Skype for your day job unless you understand the workarounds in the release notes.

Welcome to 13.04

Setting up an external monitor to work with Ubuntu (Oneiric/11.10)

Summary: This post details a relatively simple way I got my external monitor (ASUS VH242H) to work with Ubuntu-powered notebook (HP dv7-3080us). Check out my xorg.conf or see the gallery of images if you are having trouble getting your setup to work.

Update: A video of the experience has been uploaded to my YouTube channel! Did you know I had one? [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxpQkEB3bSk]

I started my new year with a sick husband and installing Ubuntu 11.10 on my notebook. This isn’t my first time around this OS-switching rodeo but this time, there is more than just curiosity driving my switch i.e. *cough*grades*cough*. I’ve never really gone “all the way” with the Linux distributions I’ve tried for a host of reasons but with each version of my favorite distro (Ubuntu), a lot of my reasons for not staying have evaporated. One of those things is a pain-free external monitor setup. Well, I am here to report that, with a little trial-and-error, I now have my external monitor connected to my laptop!

Here are the steps I took to get my external monitor working on my Ubuntu laptop:

First, backup your xorg.conf file by typing this command into your terminal:
sudo cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.bak{add-a-date}. That way, if you accidentally screw things up, you can go back to a working xorg configuration file.

Next, connect your external monitor with the HDMI cable (I guess you can use whatever cord you have but I don’t know if these same instructions will apply). At your terminal prompt, type: sudo nvidia-settings. Ignore the bunch of messagesyou’ll get in the terminal.

Click “Detect Displays” and your new monitor should show up as “Disabled”. Then, click on the discovered monitor and select “TwinView”. Your screen should temporarily flicker and/or display garbled output. You will be prompted to save your new settings (save them). Click on “Save to X Configuration File” and back this configuration up like in step 1.

NVIDIA-X-Server-Settings_Laptop-Monitor-with-Disabled-monitor
Settings after Ubuntu detects the external monitor
Nvidia X Server Setting for Disabled Monitor
Nvidia X Server Setting for Disabled Monitor

You may have noticed that before you added the external monitor, your laptop’s monitor configuration was set to “Separate X Server”. However, after adding the new monitor and saving the new configuration, my laptop’s monitor was automatically set to TwinView as well.

Open terminal again (Ctrl-Alt-T) and type sudo nvidia-settings again to get back in to the Nvidia X Server Settings application. The formerly disabled monitor should now display the max. resolution of the new monitor. Click on the new monitor and make sure TwinView is still the configuration selection for both monitors.

NVIDIA X Server Settings Laptop Monitor
New X Server settings for the laptop monitor
New settings for the external monitor

Click on the rectangle representing your laptop monitor and confirm that the position for your laptop monitor is now “Absolute” with the value of “+0+0”. Then, click on the newly added monitor’s rectangle and make sure that the position for that monitor is what you want it to be i.e. to the right of your laptop monitor, to the left, etc.

I’m a bit leery of messing around too much with my Nvidia X Server settings but I’m glad I finally discovered a combination that works for my laptop + external monitor set up (even after rebooting :)). Check out my current xorg.conf file on Pastebin.

Now for the bad part, if you are like me and tried other options like Separate X server or whatnot, be prepared to restart your computer to find your computer unusable i.e. graphics gone wild. The good news is since the problems were brought about by editing xorg.conf, if you have a backup of xorg.conf that works, you can simply drop to the text console instead of graphically logging in. Then, you can overwrite the bad xorg.conf. I believe the command to drop to the text console is: Ctrl-Alt-F2.

Let me know your experiences and workarounds to getting an external monitor setup in the comments!