Linux Blog

LINUTOP 2 Review

Filed under: General Linux,Linux Hardware,Linux Software — TheLinuxBlog.com at 11:08 pm on Friday, November 9, 2012

Linutop is a company based out of Paris that specializes in small form factor energy efficient embedded type PC’s. They have  a variety of devices with no moving parts and utilize open source software based on Ubuntu for the platform. They were kind enough to send me a Linutop 2 to review.Linutop 2


(Read on …)

Things I can do before Windows Boots

Filed under: General Linux — TheLinuxBlog.com at 8:38 am on Monday, June 28, 2010

I guess I’m one of the lucky ones that gets to use Linux at work. The kicker is, I need Windows to do part of my work so I have two machines. After a recent power outage, I needed to boot both machines this morning. So, I thought I’d document what I did before Windows booted.

  1. Turned both machines on
  2. Cleaned 3 coffee mugs and came back
  3. Talked to my boss about the power outage
  4. Logged into my Linux machine
  5. Started all the software I thought I might need for the day (Pidgin, Thunderbird, Firefox, Eclipse, Tilda and screen)
  6. Checked my e-mail
  7. Approved some comments on this blog
  8. Wrote this blog post.

On that note, my Windows machine is about booted and I can load up the Word documents that were inconveniently sent to me in .docx format. What a Monday Morning.

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.