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Monday, May 28, 2012

Linux Hardware or Hardware Supported By Linux: ch. 2

Today computer is a necessary attribute of our life. Computers are evolving rapidly and we cannot keep it up-to-date. Hardware, software, new technologies and operating systems. One thing we want is to use our computer and its hardware fully and with all the advantages.

It's nice if you have money and can buy apple or Microsoft products and if you really enjoy them - I don't worry about you. But there are other operation systems mainly based on the Linux kernel: GNU/Linux, Unix and BSD families.

If you try using them, you may have another problem: hardware support. Not everyone writes Linux drivers for his nice devices. What a pity...

So, the best(only) way to use all the advantages of your computer's hardware under Linux is to buy one with already supported hardware. It's clear for everyone, I suppose. But HOW!? can I know that computer will work for sure before buying it?
Google may help us, but it's not that good... It's pretty difficult to be 100% sure. They say: "Almost All new laptops work fine with Ubuntu."

IMHO, The keyword here is almost. I shan't be excited if you have one or another problem with running Linux on your computer. I will be incredibly glad to hear all your hardware is working fine! May I ask you of sharing your experience with me?

A piece of my own experience
+ I own an old Acer Extensa 5220.
 - I remember I had a problem with the card reader, I was not able to use a Sony Memory Stick even after installing a third-party driver.
 - I had a problem with the microphone, it produced a lot of noise.

+ I bought an HP 625 this summer cause I found it here with "five TUXs" rating.
 - Microphone is still producing some noise, but it is much better.

+ I have also a custom desktop computer.
 - I have no sound.

+ I know people having great problems with
 - having two graphical cards and being not able to use both of them
 - having no sound

I must admit that the things are getting better each day
And my last search session was very fruitful.
Google or DuckDuckGo "linux computer", "linux laptop".

Check it out for sure! http://linuxpreloaded.com/

Very useful links:
Ubuntu Certified hardware Homepage
Ubuntu Desktop/Laptop/Netbook certified hardware
Component catalog, parts certified by Ubuntu
Linux Laptops on LinuxCertified.com
Hettes.nl Open Source Webshop

Perhaps useful links:
Linux-drivers.org - Linux Hardware Compatibility Lists & Linux Drivers
Linux Hardware Compatibility HOWTO
Hardware Devices that Support GNU/Linux — Free Software Foundation — free as in freedom
Is my hardware Linux-compatible? Find out here | Linux.com
Supported Hardware | Linux Journal

PS: If you want a Linux laptop, I would advice Dell, Lenovo or HP. But! there is so much new to try in this world! Be brave to check out something new and share it with the others!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

How to disable alt drag Ubuntu Unity

With Unity-2D, this is controlled using the /apps/metacity/general/mouse_button_modifier GConf key. To disable Alt+Click dragging, run
gconftool-2 --set /apps/metacity/general/mouse_button_modifier --type string disabled
To re-enable it, run
gconftool-2 --set /apps/metacity/general/mouse_button_modifier --type string ''
Note that this GConf key controls several mouse shortcuts:
  • Alt+Click: Move windows
  • Alt+Middle Click: Resize windows
  • Alt+Right Click: Open a generic window menu
N.B: Disabling the modifier in this way can lead to the Alt+Drag behavior when no modifier keys are pressed (Every drag behaves like Alt+drag) Setting the modifier to '' makes the Super/Windows key the modifier. Alt+Drag can then be used by applications, and Super+Drag to move the window.
gconftool-2 --set /apps/metacity/general/mouse_button_modifier --type string '

Ubuntu Sublime Text 2 as default text editor | Ubuntu Notepad++ Replacement | Bash script can handle filenames with spaces

Short description:
We install "Sublime Text 2" in steps 1 to 4.
We set "Sublime Text 2" as default text editor in step 5.

1. Download Sublime Text 2 from its official site or from my mirror.

2. Extract obtained archive somewhere. Rename the folder you've got to "SublimeText2".

3. Open terminal in the directory where "SublimeText2" folder is located and run the following command: 
sudo mv SublimeText2 /usr/lib/

4. Download sublimetext and sublimetext.desktop from my mirror. Open terminal in the directory where these files are located and run the following commands: chmod +x sublimetext sublimetext.desktop
sudo mv sublimetext /usr/bin/
sudo mv sublimetext.desktop /usr/share/applications/

5. Create an empty file without extension, ie: Open your home directory in nautilus, select menu item File -> Create New Document -> Empty Document, press Enter. Right-click on just created "Untitled Document" -> Properties -> tab "Open with" -> Show other applications -> find "sublimetext" in the list -> Set as default. Close. Now, you may delete "Untitled Document".

That's it.

UPD: You can also just edit ~/.local/share/applications/mimeapps.list to set default applications. See an example of mimeapps.list under the cut.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Ubuntu Touchpad Synaptics Multitouch HP625

I own an hp625 and I run Ubuntu 11.10 on it (it will be 12.04 very soon).
Nowadays you should know very much things in order to do simple things with your hardware if you're running GNU/Linux distribution.

I have noticed that my Synaptics Touchpad has very much possibilities and a very nice Windows tool to configure them. But for GNU/Linux there are not so much graphical tools to do it and they do not cover all the options. It's a real adventure to configure it a little bit. :D

Now, my touchpad is able to simulate
"next" button if I click in the right-top corner
"prev" button if I click in the left-top corner
middle button if I click with two thingers
right button if I click in the right-bottom corner
circular scrolling
scrolling with two fingers
edge scrolling (continuous)
show move/resize window dialog if I click with 3 fingers
move if I click with 3 fingers and move with 3 fingers

Maybe I'll try to set up some more features.
Maybe there will be a nice graphical tool in the future.

I have already tried
 - standard Mouse and Touchpad configuration tool
 - gpointing-device-settings
 - synclient (manual configuration)

For me this combination was just fine(it could be better).
I should run some commands in order to get some keys to work as I want them.

synclient TapButton1=1 TapButton2=2 TapButton3=3
After this command middle and right buttons are fine (see above).

synclient VertEdgeScroll=1 HorizEdgeScroll=1
After this command edge scrolling works much better.

synclient LTCornerButton=8 RTCornerButton=9
After this command "Next" and "Previous" buttons are fine (see above).

Related links:
Finding the Mouse Button Codes Navigate in Ubuntu Nautilus Using the Mouse Back/Forward Buttons :: Chris Jean
Touchpad Synaptics - ArchWiki
Touchpad Synaptics (Русский) - ArchWiki
Touchpad Synaptics/10-synaptics.conf example - ArchWiki
Synaptics Touchpad - Gentoo Linux Wiki
Synaptics Touchpad/Xorg 7.3 - Gentoo Linux Wiki

Problematic things:
 - /etc/rc.local does not start at boot time
   Do no try to fix it. You'd better write a bash script and add it to StartUp Applications (graphical ubuntu tool).
 - xbindkeys does not work. I did not even need it. I did not fixed it.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012




#!/bin/sh -e
# rc.local
# This script is executed at the end of each multiuser runlevel.
# Make sure that the script will "exit 0" on success or any other
# value on error.
# In order to enable or disable this script just change the execution
# bits.
# By default this script does nothing.
synclient TapButton2=2 TapButton3=3
echo $RETURNVALUE > /home/ted/rc.local.executed

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Compare files and directories in Ubuntu |or| Nautilus Meld Integration

I compare files and directories very often.
One day it seemed to me to be "too much" to open Meld and to copy-paste 2 paths into it to compare 2 files/directories.

So, I have written some scripts(and associated shortcuts with them) to make it easier and faster.
Download nautilus-meld-integration.tgz. It's free.
You'll find the scripts and all necessary information in the README.
Follow the README and you'll get it working(after about 2 minutes).

Feedback is always welcome.
Have a good day.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Create custom Unity launcher / Menu entry

There are quite a few applications, which don’t integrate directly with Ubuntu’s Unity shell by default. They either won’t get kept in the launcher or their icon is not displayed.

General Workaround

Type gnome-desktop-item-edit ~/Desktop/ --create-new
Create launcher. Place it into /usr/share/applications directory.

Taken from http://shuffleos.com/3274/how-to-create-desktop-launchers-in-ubuntu-11-10-oneiric-ocelot/

Workaround 1
Type gksudo gedit /usr/share/applications/.desktop

After entering the password, gedit will open in root mode.
Paste the following into the file:

[Desktop Entry]
Version=1.0 #or whatever version the software is
Icon=<> # fill in path to logo
Comment=<> # any description
Exec=env UBUNTU_MENUPROXY=0 <> # fill in path to the executable
Categories=Application; # add as many categories as you see fit
After filling in the required data in the file, save it and close it.

Next time you search for the application in the dash, it will be found with logo and all. You can drag&drop it on the launcher, or start it and right click then ‘Keep in launcher’.

Some of the software I have used this for are: Eclipse and Skrooge.

Taken from http://ubuntutechnical.wordpress.com/2011/11/10/create-custom-unity-launcher/

Workaround 2
Just do the following
wget  http://dl.dropbox.com/u/47950494/Create-Launcher
cp Create-Launcher ~/.gnome2/nautilus-scripts
chmod +x ~/.gnome2/nautilus-scripts/Create-Launcher
mv ~/.gnome2/nautilus-scripts/Create-Launcher ~/.gnome2/nautilus-scripts/”Create Launcher”
"Create-Launcher" is just a bash script, you can create it self. Do not forget to do "chmod +x Create-Launcher" afterwards. Its contents:
gnome-desktop-item-edit --create-new ~/Desktop
Taken from http://shuffleos.com/3708/how-to-create-desktop-launchers-right-click-context-menu-ubuntu-11-10/

I hope everybody can do it now. (including me)