May 13, 2008 · General, Monitoring · Email This Post

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After much thought and ongoing questions regarding the best way to install the new WeatherBug for Linux application, I have opted to create a simple how-to here at Ubuntu Geek.

Installing the application is easy with Ubuntu, however there are a few things to be aware of before making the install process a reality.

  1. Make sure your Multiverse repository is enabled. Because the application uses light Java, you will want to make sure that the installer is able to install the needed Java app without any hassles.
  2. Debian package or CNR.com utility. Neither is really better or worse than the other, it is simply a matter of preference.
  3. Auto-starting the application. Again, fairly easy. Just goto System, Preferences and select Sessions. From there, name box should say WeatherBug and the command box (case sensitive) should say weatherbug . Save and it will now start with every boot.

That is all there is to it. You can find the latest, up to date packages from the following two areas:

  • Linux.WeatherBug.com

or

  • CNR.com/product/weatherbug

With any luck, this will keep the "how do I" questions down to a dull roar and enable users to use the application the first time, without any Java issues. If you are still having Java issues, I would suggest making sure you are using at least Java 1.5 at the earliest if possible. I have not yet tested the app out with Iced Tea Java, so those who have it working with it are encouraged to share results here in the comments.

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13 Comments to “Installing WeatherBug For Linux”

  1. tom mcdonald says:

    having trouble with weatherbug. it will not launch
    I am using ubuntu 8.04 and followed your instructions.
    how do i know if my Multiverse repository is enabled?
    thanks

    [Reply]

  2. Happy_tux says:

    You just gotta love the name of it! WeatherBUG

    Quote from website:
    “It is the advertising sponsors that keep WeatherBug free. WeatherBug found a unique way to make an ad- supported application “relevant” to each user by allowing them to choose the type of advertising they see every day within the clearly specified limits of the WeatherBug advertising platform. In addition, an “ad-free” version of WeatherBug, called WeatherBug Plus, is available to users for only $19.95 a year. For this price, consumers get all the great features of the free application plus additional premium features in an ad-free environment.”

    Err. are you kidding me. It might visually look nice but this sort of stuff is for windows computers.
    No thank you!

    [Reply]

  3. matthartley says:

    Well, one thing I must point out is the WB name. A “Bug” in the industry means the little logo you see off in the corner of the TV screen. And because WB works with TV based media partners, the name Weather-“bug” stuck.

    Here is an example about the meaning of Bug from the NYTimes:

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F0CE1DD1038F93AA25752C1A965958260

    Here are some TV bugs at the top of this screen to further illustrate the point:
    http://weather.weatherbug.com/media/wnetwork/pop_partners.asp

    Hopefully that clears that up. :)

    [Reply]

  4. matthartley says:

    Oh, almost forgot – the WB Linux application is 100% ad free . It’s sleek, simple and allows for more control than anything else out there.

    The two applications you were quoting for Windows are completely unrelated. Sorry.

    [Reply]

  5. Andrew says:

    Works. Use the GDebit Package installer.

    [Reply]

  6. jerry says:

    What does it give you that the forecastfox add-on for Mozilla’s Firefox browser doesn’t already have? One of the reasons I dropped WB in Windows is because of the repetitive nagging and ads. The only thing I can think of that WB does for you that forecastfox doesn’t do is chirp at you when there is a severe weather warning. Otherwise, I can’t see any pupose in it.

    [Reply]

  7. matthartley says:

    Jerry: You have a solid point with regard to what makes this Linux app different when compared to that of a weather providing FF extension. Basically, it is something you would really need to try to fully get I suppose, but I will try to explain it with text.

    1) With any Weather based Firefox extension (including WB’s own, btw), you need to have the browser open. For me, this is a distraction while others might prefer it. I prefer to have as few extensions as possible to keep things cruising along with my FF browser.

    2) Forecast Fox data is not really all that accurate in my personal opinion. I have tested it extensively back in FF 2.x and I have to say, it’s been slow to update in the past and just because it /says a specific location/ is being displayed does not mean that it is actually that location. That said, the previous version of WB’s own extension needed some improvements as well. But as FF 3b has gone out, the latest, brand new WB FF 3b compatible extension has been tested by me along side Forecast Fox and as of now, there is no contest in overall feel and control as far as I am concerned. :)

    2b) Because Forecast Fox is working off of a limited network (airports mainly I imagine) of weather stations apparently, you are relying on data that is often 20+ miles away from where you actually are or worse, comes in to you an hour old. Try this in a part of the country where you are dealing with flash floods or worse – not really very helpful, hence why emergency services are not using this poor source of weather data – too little, too late from the other guys.

    Most people are totally unaware that most weather apps are feeding you the same untimely, regurgitated weather data. Some are unique with their weather stations, but from my experience, Forecast fox is certainly not very accurate – I know, I own a real weather station. ;)

    I tested Forecast fox with areas I knew had airports at least 15-20 miles off. And sure enough, towns being reported as local /were not/ the actual locations being claimed by the Forecast Fox extension. In other words, the nearest weather station was good enough for the extension apparently. Personally, that bothered me. Perhaps this is not a big deal to some people, but for me, I was not really very impressed.

    3) System tray vs browser – it’s a matter of personal preference. So there is really is no one option being better than the other.

    4) Weather is often times, only relevant when it is going wrong for those who are being flooded, blown around or struck with lightening. I realize this. So really, it is a matter of first deciding that you live in a location where “being alerted” is key for your safety or overall comfort. Otherwise one might just as well visit a website when they want a quick forecast. Second, if the weather is relevant for that person, the user then would want to decide on the means of delivery. I elect to use the application that allows me to choose how it runs and where my various “bugglets” are located within the app itself. I am a control freak.

    5) Control. Whether it be my email client, browser or another application – I want control. Generally speaking, FF extensions are great add-ons, but as you can see from this YouTube video, WB Linux just gives you more control over how that data is presented to you.

    Speaking for myself, I do not use the free app you mentioned on Windows. No reason to, I use WB Alert on Windows, which has the same icon in the system tray, but lacks the rest of the application. It is small, light and uses your default browser should I want to gather more details. The only place I see ads is on websites, not on my desktop.

    On the go, I use WB for my BlackBerry, which I have to say, is /one of/ the best apps WB makes in my honest opinion. They offer two BlackBerry apps actually, “WB Direct” and “WB Mobile Weather for BlackBerry”. Each has its advantages over the other, but I tend to go back and forth over which one is best. Again, it just depends on what I am needing that week.

    As for the technology behind WB, the media partner at WGN Chicago has provided this public service announcement to better explain it. ;)

    [Reply]

  8. matthartley says:

    tom mcdonald: Goto System, Administration, Software Sources. Immediately, look for:

    “Software restricted by copyright or legal issues (multiverse)”

    Make sure that has a check in the box, hit “Close”, then when prompted, Reload.

    After doing this, install the application from it’s Deb package, look on your desktop for the shortcut. Understand that it will NOT autostart at each boot without you choosing to make it do so from your Sessions area.

    If you are still having issues, just post back here. I suspect that you are not running with all of your repositories enabled and this is a new install of Ubuntu.

    [Reply]

  9. Anon says:

    I followed the links. Yes it is just Linux version of that Windows PITA adware. It just doesn’t have ads … yet.

    Read for yourself at weatherbug.com that
    “THIS SOFTWARE IS ADVERTISING AND SPONSOR SUPPORTED.” (Their caps not mine)

    [Reply]

  10. matthartley says:

    Quote from Anon

    I followed the links. Yes it is just Linux version of that Windows PITA adware. It just doesn’t have ads … yet.

    Apparently, this was “tested” by someone who never tried the app or has never used a WB application in recent years. First, it is built off of Java which the unpaid Windows app is not, second the UI is NOTHING like the unpaid Windows app – not an opinion, a fact due to its menu layout and the provided functionality, which is completely different, btw.

    Read for yourself at weatherbug.com that
    “THIS SOFTWARE IS ADVERTISING AND SPONSOR SUPPORTED.” (Their caps not mine)

    Again (and again and again apparently) that is ONE of three applications designed for Windows you are describing. The other two do not have any ads. As for the caps used, it was believed that the above disclaimer would enable most people to understand which application was ad supported AND which was not. Apparently WB needs to make a video with a song or something to further elaborate… ;)

    That quote, that you carefully pasted here is for ONE of the applications – not all of them and certainly not for Linux.

    And finally, WB Linux is not built on the embedded ad model. There is no reason to as it is built off of the click thru model. This means the only place you will find ads is on their Website, which is not any different than any other website out there that uses advertising.

    [Reply]

  11. Anon says:

    Hmmm. You are “working diligently as a consultant for WeatherBug, proprietor of the largest privately owned weather station network on the planet.” according to your website at http://www.matthartley.com.

    Presumably, we have to know we need to scroll down the TOS page to get to the weatherbug _widgets_ TOS where AWS Convergence Technologies reserves the “right at any time to change or modify the terms and conditions applicable to use of the service, or any part thereof, or to impose new conditions, including, without limitation, adding fees and charges for use” so there could be ads or fees later (like a lot of nonFOSS betas).

    So all things considered, I will stick to the GNOME gDesklets Weather thanks.

    [Reply]

  12. matthartley says:

    Hmmm. You are “working diligently as a consultant for WeatherBug, proprietor of the largest privately owned weather station network on the planet.” according to your website

    Yes, that would be correct. I had personal involvement in ensuring that the Linux app was easy to use, made sense with its overall flow and provided a good experience for the end user.

    Presumably, we have to know we need to scroll down the TOS page to get to the weatherbug _widgets_ TOS where AWS Convergence Technologies reserves the “right at any time to change or modify the terms and conditions applicable to use of the service, or any part thereof, or to impose new conditions, including, without limitation, adding fees and charges for use” so there could be ads or fees later (like a lot of nonFOSS betas).

    Yup, it’s a standard EULA. And it is provided with the CNR.com installation of the Linux application. On the FOSS front, there is also an API that is available and used by a number of developers. Nothing stopping anyone from using it to develop an OSS application of their own.

    So all things considered, I will stick to the GNOME gDesklets Weather thanks.

    Whatever floats the ol’ boat, although I think gDesklets blows-toes overall. You would do better with Screenlets in my opinion. It’s a lot like gDesklets, but it actually works consistently on the GNOME desktop. Well that and it is showing some really solid development as well.

    http://www.screenlets.org/index.php/Information

    http://ohioloco.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=586426

    [Reply]

  13. Storm says:

    Has development stopped on WB for Linux? I tried to install it on two computers and it failed on both. After doing a bit of research, I found it was working in the early part of 2008 then one day it just stopped and apparently hasn’t worked since. The app installs but will not launch. Weatherbug still offers it from their website, but it seems like if it were still being actively maintained, this bug would have been fixed in a year’s time.

    [Reply]

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