George V. Reilly

Installing Rainlendar on Kubuntu


I’ve dualbooted my laptop between Linux and Windows since June, spending nearly all of my time in Linux. I started out with Ubuntu 6.06 (Dapper Drake), but soon switched to Kubuntu (the KDE variant), later upgrading to Kubuntu 6.10 (Edgy Eft).

To make this useful, certain key ap­pli­ca­tions have to be available in both Windows and Linux. Firefox for browsing; Thun­der­bird for email; Rainlendar for calendar; KeePass and KeePassX for password man­age­men­t; among others.

My laptop has four partitions:

I’m using NTFS-3G under Kubuntu to read and write the NTFS partition. Linux has long had support for reading NTFS partitions, but only recently has good support for writing NTFS partitions been added. It’s a user-mode only filesystem, so it’s not possible to run Linux from an NTFS partition.

I’ve installed Ext2 IFS (In­stal­lable File System) on Windows, which allows me to read and write Ext3 (and Ext2) partitions. I keep cross-platform data, such as my Thun­der­bird mail folders, on the Ext3 partition, /shared. My home directory is also on the /shared partition, so there’s very little data that I mind losing on the / partition. I haven’t had any problems with Ext2 IFS, except that I’ve had no luck with external USB hard drives formatted as Ext3. I’m not about to convert my Windows partition to Ext3, however.

Rainlendar is a fairly recent addition to the above list of cross-platform apps. I was using Mozilla Sunbird, but I never liked it very much. It’s very much the poor cousin of Firefox and Thun­der­bird. Sunbird is slow, clunky, and ugly, with very few developers, who have taken years just to get it to version 0.3. It supports iCal as an export format, but publishing calendars to the web is a bear.

I discovered Rainlendar a couple of months ago. It’s far slicker, with a large set of skins, and more func­tion­al­i­ty. iCal is the native format. Rainlendar is based on wxWidgets, so it’s cross-platform. In­stal­la­tion on Linux consists of extracting everything from a compressed tar file. There’s no deb or rpm packages to install it into your system menu, alas. I’ve been running it by using Alt+F2 (Run Command) to launch /shared/georger/rain­len­dar2/rainlendar (yuck!)

Earlier today, I ran across the very useful ArsGeek site, which has an enormous set of useful tips for Ubuntu users. One post on installing Songbird inspired me to figure out how to add Rainlendar to the KDE Menu.

First, open up a terminal, then:

cd /opt
sudo mkdir rainlendar2
sudo chown georger:georger rainlendar2
tar jxvf /shared/Downloads/Rainlendar-Lite-2.0.1.tar.bz2

Sub­sti­tut­ing your username twice in the chown line.

You should now be able to run Rainlendar from the command line:

./rainlendar2/rainlendar2 &

At this point, you may want to install a different skin, as the default look is over­whelm­ing in my opinion. I use the Vista skin. The older skins (.zip files) need to be unzipped into rain­len­dar2/skins; newer skins (.r2skin files) merely need to be copied into that directory.

Now to get the Rainlendar icon into /usr/share/pixmaps. (Finding the damn icon was the trickiest part of this whole exercise.):

cd rainlendar2/resources
unzip -j resources.zrc res/logo-large.png
sudo mv logo-large.png /usr/share/pixmaps/rainlendar.png

Finally, let’s add Rainlendar to the Office menu. ArsGeek gives the in­struc­tions for using Alacarte under Gnome. For KDE, click the K-Menu button, right-click on Office, and choose Edit Menu, which brings up the KDE Menu Editor. Click New Item, then set:

Click the blank icon button, then Other icons. Choose the rainlendar icon and click OK. Save the new menu entry.

You should now be able to launch Rainlendar from the Office menu. Enjoy!

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