Linux Blog

Fedora Menu Bug

Filed under: Linux Video Tutorials — TheLinuxBlog.com at 10:24 am on Friday, November 5, 2010

Here is a video of a little bug in Gnome that I stumbled across. I’m fairly sure it is something to do with my vertical resolution since it is kind of low. I’m wondering if it will still be an issue after the next update.

Connect to Wireless using NetworkManager

Filed under: Linux Video Tutorials,Quick Linux Tutorials — TheLinuxBlog.com at 12:01 am on Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Here’s an old video I made that demonstrates how to connect to a wireless network using NetworkManager.
(Read on …)

Backup your DVDs on Linux

Filed under: General Linux — TheLinuxBlog.com at 12:01 am on Wednesday, November 4, 2009

At an average of around $20 per DVD* most can’t afford to have any of their DVDs lost, stolen or broken. Backing them up is a touchy subject depending on who you talk to, but here is how to do it anyway.

Backing up a DVD on Linux used to be much harder than it is with K9Copy. No more flaky DVD Shrink crashes under wine. K9Copy takes the hassles out of creating backups of your DVDs under Linux. As the name implies it is KDE software but works well under gnome provided you have the needed libraries installed.

It has many options to backup and really is pretty comparable in functionality to the infamous DVD Shrink for Windows. Take a look at the screenshots and give it a try yourself:

* 2007 US Entertainment Industry Report (www.mpaa.org/USEntertainmentIndustryMarketStats.pdf)

Searching for multiple strings with grep

Filed under: Shell Script Sundays — TheLinuxBlog.com at 9:36 pm on Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sometimes when using grep it’s nice to be able to search for more than one string in a file. It’s actually pretty easy to do, if you can remember the simple syntax. Basically, you pipe the terms together in double quotes and escape the pipe.

grep “gnome\|kde” install.log

The above example will search for gnome or KDE. It works for more more than one term, and also works with the invert match -v option, to exclude lines that include gnome or kde.

Todays article extra short, and late, but better late and short than none at all I guess.

Linux CD Ripping Utilities

Filed under: Linux Software — TheLinuxBlog.com at 12:33 am on Wednesday, January 21, 2009

CD Ripping with Linux doesn’t have to be the labor intensive task that it once was. No longer do we have the days of writing a hundred character command to rip a CD with the perfect options. Here are some utilities aimed at making your life of ripping your collection of CD’s to a digital format you can actually use.

First up for review is Grip. Grip is an gtk application that can play, rip and encode CD’s. It is really easy to use and is my CD ripping utility choice.

While the interface is not as pretty as it could be I guess its not hard to fool you that grip means business.

All you have to do to rip an entire CD is put it in, wait a couple of seconds and Bobs your uncle it found your track information from freedb.org. Next hop on over to the “Rip” tab and hit “Rip+Encode”. Since we didn’t select any tracks it should squawk and ask if you really wanted to try and rip no tracks, or if you just want to go ahead and rip the entire CD. I always hit entire CD and move along.

Before you get too excited and to a yum install grip and start ripping your entire collection keep in mind that you will have to install the dependencies (usually lame) and change the format under the “Config->Encode->Encoder” tab. This is not really a big deal and for your convenience grip will remember your settings. There are no sounds when a rip is finished (which can be frustrating either way,) but there it does eject your CDROM for you.

Goobox is next. Just as easy to install, just as easy to use and it’s also another gtk application. Goobox has a slightly more boring interface with less options. If your looking for a Gnome based CD ripper with a minimal interface this is the one to choose.

I think its about time for a KDE utility. KAudioCreator has an interface very similar to Goobox. You will first have to select an encoder from the “settings->encoder” tab. You can then pop a CD in and it works its magic just like the other CD rippers, well that is right after you hit the “Rip Selection” button which is the KDE gear.

Try them and let me know which one you like the best. GUI’s are nice but nothing can compare to a command line utility and this CD changing robot

Changing Window Manager on Fedora

Filed under: General Linux,Linux Software,Quick Linux Tutorials — TheLinuxBlog.com at 8:34 am on Monday, August 18, 2008

TheLinuxBlog.com was intended to be a blog where I could log my thoughts, findings and generally keep track of how to do stuff. Since it was started this is still the goal. Ultimately I’d like to refer to TheLinuxBlog on how to do something just as much as I refer to google for everything else. That being said, one thing that recently came up for me was “How do I change my desktop on Fedora”.

I had done this before but I couldn’t remember the command to do so. Well, since this blog is as much for me as it is for the reader I figure I can post the how to here and kill two birds out with one blog post, I mean stone.

The program I use to change my window manager on Fedora is: switchdesk.

Switchdesk can be installed by Yum or if you installed Fedora from DVD or CD and didn’t fine tune your packages then you probably have it already. All you have to do to run it is type:

switchdesk

Now, if you are in an X session you will get a nice graphical dialog that will help you change your desktop manager. If your at the terminal it will exit and ask you nicely to type either gnome, kde, xfce or any other window manager you may have installed.

Don’t ask me why every distribution has a different named command and interface to achieve the same thing thats just the way it is. Maybe one day I’ll get a list of all of the commands and post them. Alternatively if anyone wants to start a list feel free to post them in comments or by e-mail.

My Problems with Fedora 9

Filed under: General Linux,Linux Software — TheLinuxBlog.com at 10:29 pm on Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Now, I know that Fedora is a community based operating system that Redhat just so happens to sponsor but I think there are some major problems with the release. Although I have been called “Bleeding Edge” I don’t think that I am quite there and actually I think I’m far from “Cutting Edge.”
I downloaded Fedora 9 on the day of its release to check it out. I started off by installing it onto a virtual machine. First time around the install failed for no reason, some Python error that I did not feel like debugging. I rebooted the VM , gave it another shot and it worked. The install process was pretty much the same as Fedora 8. I saw some minor differences but nothing that I can remember now. Once installed I fired it up and to say the least performance was not very good. I wanted to check out the KDE4, so I switched over. Nothing, the graphics support for the VMWare Toolbox driver is not good enough to really play with KDE4.

After toying with the Virtual Machine I decided to upgrade a test virtual machine from Fedora 8 to Fedora 9. The process to my surprise went smoothly. This was a vanilla Fedora 8 install with not too many bells and whistles. I administer a number of Fedora boxes and thought that I’d upgrade one that actually had software installed. The upgrade did not work, it failed and gave me an obnoxious error which had nothing to do with the task at hand. When I figure out exactly what the cause of the problem was, or if it is just a hardware issue I’ll report my findings here.

Despite feeling like I had not achieved too much I burned a copy of the DVD and installed it on my Desktop at the office. Its not the fastest machine on the planet but its no creeper. 1GB Ram, NVIDIA graphics and I think the upwards of 2GHz. The install went fine and gnome works great. I did not opt to install my window manager of choice (XFCE) since I was really wanting to play with KDE4. KDE4 installed fine and after switching desktops KDE worked. What’s the first thing I tried? You probably guessed it the Desktop effects. So, I try to enable them. No dice. So “I’ll just install the graphics card driver”
I thought since I know that it didn’t come bundled. This is where my troubles really began. The NVIDIA graphics will not compile on Fedora 9. Fedora 9 uses a version of XORG that has been stable for a while but NVIDIA has decided not to support yet. Thats exactly what you get when a vendor has control over source. Oh well.

I put up with the laggy graphics for a little while and tried to customize KDE. KDE4 to me seemed awfully buggy to be included as the only option for running KDE as a desktop. I happen to use KDE when not using XFCE and am quite happy with the 3.5 tree. My next problem apart was with Firefox. They include Firefox Beta 3, which I am undecided on. It crashed a number of times on me whist browsing since I hadn’t set anything up to do any real work on. I know that we would have to wait for Fedora 10 come out to see KDE4 and Firefox 3 if they were not included now but I didn’t see the legacy versions on the installer. For me Fedora 9 is not quite ready to use in a production environment.

For now I’m going to stick to Fedora 8 whilst providing feedback for 9. The moment that KDE, Firefox and XORG get patched I’m 100% there.

Fedora is not for every one but has any one else had any problems with Fedora 9 or interesting stories to share?

If Windows Sucks, Why do people use it?

Filed under: General Linux — TheLinuxBlog.com at 11:34 am on Wednesday, April 2, 2008

As you may know from previous posts I read Garry Conn‘s blog on a regular basis. When he wrote an article on Microsoft Windows I couldn’t help but comment. You can read the post in full here.

Below is one of the comments I left for him. I think I covered everything but you should check out his post and chime in your thoughts. If you have any questions as always you can leave me a comment and I will answer them. I’ve added links in this post to highlight everything I mentioned to make it easier to find what I’m talking about.

Hey there,

Ubuntu is probably the best for new new users. There are different flavors to choose from this too. You have Ubuntu which ships with Gnome, Kubuntu which is KDE based and Xubuntu which has Xfce. I like Xfce because it is light weight but it doesn’t have the best file manager. Therefore I would recommend Ubuntu. I think that the setup is a little easier now, it has automatic partitioning and all of that.

One advantage to Mac OSX / Linux while running Firefox is that you only get 1 instance for Firefox. Open it up on Windows (Even when you press CTRL+N for a new window) you get a separate Firefox instance taking up resources. This is not the case with Linux or OSX, it runs off of the same process which means it uses less resources.

Ubuntu has a nice program called Automatix which is great to install stuff like Video Player Plug-Ins and PDF readers.

The only thing you will have trouble with Garry is Photoshop. There is NO Photoshop for Linux. Some may argue that The GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is the replacement but it is far less sophisticated and difficult to use for the Photoshop user. I have got older versions of Photoshop working with Wine but they are a little buggy and sometimes crash, which is understandable since .exe files were never suppose to run on Linux.

You can use Pidgin for your instant messaging and it supports AIM, Yahoo, GTalk, Jabber and a bunch of others. That knocks out a couple of applications if you were to install each of them on Windows

Grahpics support is one of the things that really needs to be set up properly to enjoy Linux. The easiest to install by far is the NVIDIA graphics driver, I always try and make sure my hardware has a GeForce video card for this reason. ATI has some well supported 3d accelerated cards but all of the GeForces I have used have been much easier to set up.

I like my Toshiba Tecra M2 and Linux runs great on it. Mostly everything works with the exception of the SD card reader, Infrared and Modem, but I don’t use those and they apparently can be made to work. I have suspend when I close my lid and can also use Hibernate if I wish.

For my Windows Apps I can run VMWare and Windows XP and you could not tell the difference from running Windows on bogged down machine in my opinion. I showed a professor Office 2007 running in a full screen Virtual Machine and he was amazed at how much quicker my Virtual Machine was then the 2.6GHz+ with over a gig of ram computers in the Lab. I have a 1.7GHz with 768MB of memory. So you could probably run Photoshop in that, I’ll try to get a video cast up some time if possible.

Again, Linux isn’t for everyone. It does break and its quite possible that when it breaks that you could spend a lot of time Fixing it. I have had it break right at the most inappropriate times but, at least I could fix it without having to reinstall everything which it seemed like I used to do on a bi-monthly basis before.

Hope this answers more of your questions.

- Owen.

Become independent of the system tray using conky.

Filed under: General Linux,The Linux Blog News — Kaleb at 9:19 pm on Thursday, February 7, 2008

Hello everybody it is I Kaleb from over at http://kpstuff.servebeer.com again come to talk today about an app that I have been using for a while but just recently decided to make it fix my dependence of the system tray all together.

If you read my blog regularly you would know that I am not a fan of GUI applications, I use as few of them as possible. I prefer to use command line programs instead for many reasons: one they are faster, two they are easier and quicker to use/access the features that I want from them, and three I just like the way they look.

For a long time I have used the Fluxbox window manager because it is small lightweight and over all pretty. But no matter what window manager I use: Gnome, KDE, Xfce, FluxBox or OpenBox I have always had some dependence on the system tray, which annoyed me a lot.

Some of them things that I liked a system tray for were a static clock that was always in the same spot and I could always look down and see it, also it had a few nice little icons over there for me to use at my will, like for instance, Gmail-Notify which is a little systray applet that will tell you if you have gmail or not and give you a little pop-up if you get new mail. Also this was for a while how i was telling if I had a new message in pidgin.

Then I started thinking to myself,

“All of these things could be done with Conky and I could use Conky for even more.”

So began the transformation.

If you don’t know already what Conky is, it is a little application that will put text in any format and of almost any type of data you want, weather it be the weather report for the day or the week, or your battery status, the day of the week, or your wireless link quality. It blends into your desktop very well and will give you that sweet geekish look that everybody looks for in a desktop.

First we need to install it.

Gentoo:

emerge -av conky

Make sure that you check out the use flags in Gentoo for things like “wifi” and others

Arch Linux:

pacman -S conky

Ubuntu:

apt-get install conky

Now that you have Conky installed it is time for you to figure out where on your screen you want to put it and also how you want it to look. I wont get into to much detail about how to set it up because those things can be figured out by the most green of Linux users. Also there should be an example config file for Conky that came with the install for Gentoo it is /etc/conky/conky.conf. You need to copy this file to ~/.conkyrc and then edit it at your leisure.

It is quite simple to figure out first you decided the main variables for the program then after the word TEXT you decide how your Conky will look on your desktop. What “text” you would like to see and in what fashion. It is here where you will replace your systray.The first thing I wanted my replacement system tray to display was my gmail messages, weather I had emails or not and how many. So I put together a little script that you can obtain from http://kpstuff.servebeer.com/~admin/check_gmail.sh in order to use this script you need to download it. I suggest to put it into a folder such as ~/scripts/ also make it executable with either “chmod 755 check_gmail.sh” or “chmod +x check_gmail.sh” and remember to edit check_gmail.sh for your username and password. Then you need to edit your ~/.conkyrc file under the TEXT area to resemble this

${texeci 60 ~/scripts/check_gmail.sh}

After this I wanted a clock obviously. Now the time variable has almost a million different options for the format that it gives so I will give you an example of how to set it up but you should run “man strftime” to see a full list of formatting options.

${time %I:%M%p}

This will put a time format on your Conky that resembles “02:19PM”

Yes that is right it is that easy and you can almost print anything you want on Conky even RSS feeds, I suggest you try it out at least once, but not just a little install it and run it and it doesn’t work try.

There are literally hundreds of variables that can be used in Conky and those that are not variables can be created using shell/perl/php/and ruby scripts.

For a list of variables go to http://conky.sourceforge.net/config_settings.html and http://conky.sourceforge.net/variables.html

Thank you once more for your time and remember to leave comments for any of the writers for the Linux blog because each of us would sure appreciate feedback on our writings, whether it be good or bad.