Category Archives: Ubuntu

Connection problem when stunnel is run on boot time in Ubuntu

If you are using stunnel in client mode you may experience connection problems when connecting to your stunnel services.
To avoid these problems make the following changes in your stunnel.conf file:

  1. Comment out the following line: chroot = /var/lib/stunnel4/
  2. Update pid file location with this: pid = /var/lib/stunnel4/
  3. Add delay = yes into the service configuration

In this case DNS lookup will be done when the service is needed for the first time.

Quick steps to configure stunnel4 for client mode

It is really simple to add POP3 SSL support to your existing e-mail client which does not support it, or whatever SSL support you want using stunnel. I just cannot remember all the steps to set up clean system. So I have created this small guide which will help me in future and may be will help somebody else too.

  1. Install stunnel if you don’t have it installed already: sudo apt-get install stunnel
  2. Allow stunnel to autostart by editing stunnel defaults file: sudo gedit /etc/default/stunnel4
  3. Finally perform the following task on the /etc/stunnel/stunnel.conf file:
    1. Comment the following line, so that we want have to generate certificate, because we don’t need it in client mode: ;cert = /etc/ssl/certs/stunnel.pem
    2. Change sslVersion to all if you need support for all SSL types
    3. Uncomment the following line: client = yes
    4. Add definition for client vs. server ports. In my case I was redirecting to FastMail:
      accept = 1109
      connect =

Making FastMail default mail reader in GNOME

In Ubuntu, I am using mail-notification to get notified about new e-mail in my FastMail account. From time to time I also click on some mailto link. In both of these cases I would like a FastMail page to be opened in Opera. But to make it a lil bit smart, I would like to open inbox when double-clicking on new e-mail notification, but in case I click mailto link I would like to be redirected to compose new FastMail e-mail url.
I have created a bash script, which does this job quite well. All you need to do is to copy the following text into clipboard, past it into some text editor and save it into /usr/bin/


# Mailto URI may look like this
#mailto:[email protected]?subject=hi&body=message

# Most of the parameters are called the same, we just need to parse e-mail
uri=`echo "$1" | sed -e 's/^mailto:/*([^&?]+)[?&]?(.*)$/1&2/'`

if [ "$uri" ];
then exec $BROWSER "$uri"

exec $BROWSER ""

After you are finished, you need to make the file executable by calling the following command: sudo chmod a+x /usr/bin/
Finally just go to Preferences > Preferred Applications and change Mail Reader to Custom with the following text: /usr/bin/

Fix SmartSVN to be correctly maximalized on netbooks

On my netbook with 1024×600 resolution, SmartSVN did not allow me to maximize it’s main window. It was just to big to fit the screen. I thought it was caused by width of toolbar buttons, so I removed some of them from toolbar. Unfortunately it did not help.
After some diging on the Internet, I found documentation page on SmartSVN site with description of VM options.
Among other cool options, there is a possibility to remove text from the toolbar buttons using smartsvn.toolbar.textBelowIcon configuration option. By setting this option to false in the ~/.smartsvn/6.6/ file, I was able to maximize the window correctly.

Replace NotifyOSD with standard Gnome notifications in Ubuntu

If you are using other then one of the black themes in Ubuntu you may find black notifications ugly. I didn’t find a way how to change theme of notifications in Ubuntu 10.04.
Fortunately you can replace default notification system in Ubuntu called NotifyOSD with standard Gnome notification system called notification-daemon.
To use notification-daemon follow these steps:

  1. Open terminal
  2. Execute sudo apt-get install notification-daemon
  3. Execute sudo apt-get purge notify-osd
  4. Restart your computer

After you restart notifications will probably look like this:

This is Ubuntu theme for notification-daemon. You can change it to normal them by running gconf-editor and going to apps > notification-daemon and changing value of theme to normal. After this change notifications will look similar to this:

Run commands without having to provide sudo password

On my Lenovo S10-3 running Ubuntu 10.04 I was forced to create scripts to control brightness of the display. These scripts are run when brightness keys are pressed. They use /usr/bin/setpci command.
The problem is that calling this command requires administrative privileges. This makes me a lil bit disturbing, because my girlfriend is also working on this machine from time to time, but I don’t want to make her admin.
In Ubuntu sudo is controled by /etc/sudoers file. On the ubuntu documentation you can find a way how to make some commands for some users to be called without having to type password.
The scripts to control brightness can be downloaded here: