Posts Tagged ‘Gnome’

How to configure Nautilus (Linux application like Windows Explorer) to work with standard Windows button + E On Linux GNOME en Mate

Monday, October 9th, 2017

how-to-configure-nautilus-linux-applicatoin-to-act-like-windows-explorer-make-windows-button-work-in-GNOME-and-Mate
As an ex-Windows user I'm still addicted to Windows User brainwashing as an ex-victim of Windows 95 / 98 and XP:), so I tend to love very much and its still hard for me to forget some major Key Binding (Windows Key Combinations).

On every new Desktop Linux I install, I have the habit to configure few great key combination shortcuts that makes my digital life much easier.
I use usually as a graphical environment GNOME and recently switched to MATE (GNOME 2 fork, cause GNOME 3 is totally messed up and unworthy to me), that's why this article is targetting this two Linux GUI envs, I'll be glad to hear in article comments for any other useful key bindings and how to configure similar key bindings for other Major Linux graphical environments (Cinnamon, KDE Plasma, XFCE, LXDE).

 

1. Configuring Lock Screen (Win button + L), Open Explorer(Win button + E), View Desktop (Win + D) in MATE graphic env

 

 

———  WINDOWS BUTTON, OFTEN USED KEY SHORTCUTS ———

Windows + E – Open new Windows File Explorer 

Windows + L – Lock Computer

Windows + M – To minimize All Windows

Windows + D – Show Desktop (similar to Windows +M though it doesn't switch to Desktop)

Win – + / – To Maginfy Text and Windows

Shift + Win + Left/Right Arrow – (In Windows if you have multiple monitors connected to the same computer lets say Right Monitor and Left, that combination switches between left monitor and right monitor)


——————————————————————–

 

The list goes on but I'm not used to all of them, I'll stop here and continue on with how to remake some of my favourite Windows keybindings in Gnu / Linux

Either run it from Menus:
 

System -> Settings -> Hardware -> Keyboard Shortcuts


Or run command

 

$ mate-keybinding-properties

 

howto-gnome-mate-remap-shortcut-keybinding-keys-mate-keybinding-properties


After rebinding the Windows: 
– Lock Screen and Open New Nautilus Explorer Window (Home folder) variable to be invoked with Windows button, the result
is as that:

howto-gnome-mate-remap-shortcut-keybinding-keys-mate-keybinding-properties
 
 

Scroll down Mate Keyboard shortcuts and you'll find

also how to configure Windows Button and D Key Combination, following 2 more screenshots showing how to do it note that MOD Key appears once you press Windows Keyboard Key + something (e.g. MATE recognizes MOD Key as Win Key):

Before the change to bind Win Key + D to work:

mate-how-to-make-desktop-view-open-with-standard-windows-button_and_d-combination-linux-debian

When configured Win Button + D looks like so:

mate-how-to-make-desktop-view-open-with-standard-windows-button_and_d-combination-linux-debian-1

2. Configuring Lock Screen (Win button + L), Open Explorer(Win button + E), View Desktop (Win + D) in GNOME

Usually in GNOME until > version 3.X.X (in older GNOME graphic environment access to KeyBinding Properties was done via:

 

System -> Preferences -> Keybord Shortcuts -> Add ->


In fallback gnome with Metacity (if installed along with GNOME Desktop 3.2.X environment to access Key Bindings):

d

System->Apps->Metacity->global_keybindings  

 

Also it is possible to remap keys via dconf-editor, I've written a small article earlier explaining how to remap Screenshotting buttons with dconf-editor but the example could be easily adapted, so you can edit almost everything.

Besides that you can use a command to run the keyboard configuration (in older GNOMEs) via:

 

linux:~$ gnome-keybinding-properties

 

Just for information for those who might know, many Key Binding interesting options are available via gnome-tweak-tool, so if you don't have it yet install it and give it a try:

 

linux:~# apt-get install –yes gnome-tweak-tool


As you can see, there are plenty of options to make Win (key) to act like Alt (key):

linux:~# gnome-tweak-tool
 

gnome-tweak-tool-make-win-key-to-behave-like-alt-key-howto 


After configuring the changes enjoy your WINDOWS Button + L, WINDOWS + E and WINDOWS + D WORKING AGAIN HOORAY !!! 🙂 
 

 

3. Most used shortcuts in Gnome and Nautilus 
 

Below are most used shortcuts thanks to LinuxQuestions Forum for providing them

Howdy! I thought that it would be useful to post a practical selection of shortcut keys for GNOME (the Desktop Environment) and Nautilus (the File Manager) and some information about customizing shortcut keys in Ubuntu. I wrote it especially for Ubuntu beginners, but I hope it will prove useful for all. 

 

2.1 GNOME/Nautilus shortcut keys – Very useful for the keyboard maniax like me :):
 

Ctrl-H: show hidden files

Ctrl-N: new window

Ctrl-Shift-N: create new folder

Alt-Home : jump to home folder

Alt-Enter : file / folder properties

F9 : toggle side-pane

Alt-F1 : launch applications menu

Alt-F2 : launch "run application" dialogue

Ctrl-Alt – Right/Left arrow : move to the next virtual desktop

Ctrl-Alt-Shift – Right/Left arrow : take current window to the next virtual desktop

Ctrl-Alt-D: minimize all windows, and gives focus to the desktop. 

Alt-Tab: switch between windows. When you use these shortcut keys, a list of windows that you can select is displayed. Release the keys to select a window. 

Ctrl-Alt-Tab: switch the focus between the panels and the desktop. When you use these shortcut keys, a list of items that you can select is displayed. Release the keys to select an item. 

Ctrl-Alt-L: lock the screen (tested only in Ubuntu) 

Ctrl-L: shortcut for opening locations-by default the path is the home folder*
/ : same as Ctrl-L but has the root (/) as default path* (shortcut found on here)
* both shortcuts can be used while you are on the desktop (no window active)

Ctrl-T : move to trash (in Nautilus)
Quite dangerous key combination because many of us are used to press these keys in order to open a new tab. Because we all delete items using the Delete key, I recommend to deactivate this shortcut key. To do that, go to System » Preferences » Appearance » Interface. Select Editable menu shortcut keys and close the dialog box. Click on the Edit menu in the File Browser. Click the Empty Trash item (it has Ctrl-T as the keyboard shortcut) Press the Delete key to get rid of the shortcut.
You can find all GNOME shortcut keys here

 

2.2 How to create a custom hotkey to launch whatever application you want in GNOME
 

As an example, we will set a lock-screen shortcut.


Open "gconf-editor" as the user as you're logged in in GNOME (typing gconf-editor in the terminal or "Run Application").
 

Go to apps > metacity > keybinding_commands


Here we have a list of twelve slots for commands.

 

Double click on e.g. "run_command_1" 

In Key Value Type in the name of the application or command you want to launch (e.g. gnome-screensaver-command –lock).

 

Go to apps -> Metacity -> global_keybindings 

Double click on e.g. "run_command_1" 
Change the key value to whatever key combination you like (e.g. <Ctrl><Alt>L).Press "Ok".

 

2.3.How to create/change GNOME shortcuts
 

 

Click on System -> Preferences -> Keyboard Shortcuts


Click the action in the list and press Enter. 
Press the new key or key combination you want to assign to the action. (To clear a shortcut, press the Backspace key)

 

Hope it helps, Enjoy Life .;)

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Quick shortcut to lock your Linux computer desktop (Few words on Linux screensavers)

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

quick-way-to-lock-desktop-linux-howto-key
Locking the PC while going for a coffee break, Lunch or toilet is longly used to secure physically your PC display from spying eyes or prevent you from  someone to install a spying software or leak private data from PC HDD to an USB drive.
People who are coming from the wonderful MS Windows OS   are certainly used to quick shortcut key combination to lock PC screen with:
 

Windows key + L

 

So how to do Lock Screen on Linux?

On Linux locking your Screen the Quick Shortcut is:
 

CTRL + ALT + L.


Locking the screen is done (depending on the Linux distribution) by using by either using historically famous XScreenSaver if non-gnome / KDE graphical environemnt is used or if in Linux Gnome GUI with  gnome-screensaver and on KDE desktop manager with kscreenlocker.

 

Exact command executed on CTRL + ALT + L keypress on GNOME is:
 

gnome-screensaver-command -l


On KDE to manually lock screen command is:

kscreenlocker

Nomatter whether with GNOME or KDE its worthy mention that xscreensaver is more Screensaver rich than kscreenlocker and gnome-screensaver as it includes about 200 different Screensavers making screen nice to watch when you come back from a lunch.

For people with Windows key keyboard who are too used to using Windows XP / 7 lockreen WIN + L key shortcut to make Windows (key) + L keys combination work on Linux with GNOME desktop:
 

System -> Preferences -> Keyboard Shortcuts

Make Win + L keys combination work on Linux with KDE desktop
 

  1.  "System Settings" (KDE menu).
  2. Choose "Keyboard & mouse" (on "General" tab).
  3. Choose "Global Keyboard Shortcuts" on the left.
  4. Choose "Run Command Interface" from "KDE component" dropdown list.
  5. Choose "Lock session".
  6. Select "Custom".
  7. Click on "None" (button changes to "Input…").
  8. Compose your desired sequence by pressing appropriate buttons on your keyboard.
  9. Click "Apply".

 


For other desktop environments like Window Maker you can use xmodmap command to bind Win + L keys

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Screenshot expanded menus on GNOME / KDE in Linux and BSD desktop

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

take-screenshot-of-expanded-menu-window-in-linux-and-freebsd-howto

If you're using actively Linux or FreeBSD on Desktop PC and experimenting with software, taking personal notes, developing software for Linux, writting documentation, participating in free software community etc., you will certainly need use screenshot heavily.

Taking a screenshot in Linux is done in same way as in any modern operating system by using the Print Screen (PrtScr) button, however there are few Nuts & Bolts of Linux screenshotting, to take advantage of full power of screenshot creation (i.e. be able to do some screenshot customization) which are not offered by default screenshot utilities (GNOMEgnome-screenshot and KDE's KSnapshot)

Here are few useful Linux /BSD Screenshot Tips and Tricks:


If you have done screenshots of Linux running programs more than few times already, you have probably noticed the usual way to screenshot by pressing Print Screen (PrtScr) button to take snapshot of the expanded GNOME / KDE menu is not working. In that order of thought you probably wondered whether it is possible to take a screenshot of an expanded menus? As a Linux user, I've been asking myself this question too, and feeling irritated that  I cannot prepare screenshot of a GNOME running application expanded menu. I've found two ways (though there are probably many more to make screenshot of an expanded Linux menu). Here is how:
 

Create screenshot of running application expanded menus
 

1. Taking screenshot of expanded menu using the command line

As with everything in Linux, there aremultiple ways to make screenshot of expanded Linux menus.

  • Make timed screenshot of the screen scheduled to screenshot after a set number of seconds.

The quickest way for to screenshot expanded menu is to use gnome-panel-screenshot or ksnapshot from command line. It is interesting pressing Prt Sc kbd button in GNOME invokes gnome-screenshot and in KDE uses ksnapshot

 

gnome-panel-screenshot --delay 5

 

To not spend time running it from gnome-terminal (in GNOME desktop), press Alt+F2 (simultaneously) and use the Run Application command shortcut.

gnome-panel-screenshot-linux-screenshot-expanded-menus

This will instruct Screenshot utility to wait for 5 seconds before capturing your desktop this should be enough time for you to go to navigate to expanded menu which you want to get screenshotted.

gnome-panel-screenshot-linux-screenshot-expanded-menus1

  • Make timed screenshot of the screen in GUI with GIMP


trisquel-free-software-linux-screenshot-gimp-create-screenshot-with-timing-take-screenshot-of-expanded-menu-on-linux-bsd

(If you're wonderhing what kind of Linux is on screenshot – this is Trisquel – Run Free! GNU / Linux. It is a Spanish distribution focused on providing 100% free software in it – without proprietary firmware or software. Trisquel is based on Debian and uses the dpkg / apt-get package managers. Trisquel is a recommended Linux to use by Richard Stallman and The Free Software Foundation).
To make timed screenshot with GIMP use menus:

 

File -> Create -> Screenshot

 

linux-screenshot-gimp-create-screenshot-of-expanded-menus-in-gnome-kde-on-linux-bsd

Chosee whether you want to Take screenshot of the entire screen or a Region to Grab and set your wanted Delay

Screenshot will be prepared on $HOME/Desktop, after set time.

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Use apt-get with Proxy howto – Set Proxy system-wide in Linux shell and Gnome

Friday, May 16th, 2014

linux-apt-get-configure-proxy-howto-set-proxy-systemwide-in-linux

I juset setup a VMWare Virtual Machine on my HP notebook and installed Debian 7.0 stable Wheezy. Though VMWare identified my Office Internet and configured automatically NAT, I couldn't access the internet from a browser until I remembered all HP traffic is going through a default set browser proxy.
After setting a proxy to Iceweasel, Internet pages started opening normally, however as every kind of traffic was also accessible via HP's proxy, package management with apt-get (apt-get update, apt-get install etc. were failing with errors):


# apt-get update

Ign cdrom://[Debian GNU/Linux 7.2.0 _Wheezy_ – Official i386 CD Binary-1 20131012-12:56] wheezy Release.gpg
Ign cdrom://[Debian GNU/Linux 7.2.0 _Wheezy_ – Official i386 CD Binary-1 20131012-12:56] wheezy Release
Ign cdrom://[Debian GNU/Linux 7.2.0 _Wheezy_ – Official i386 CD Binary-1 20131012-12:56] wheezy/main i386 Packages/DiffIndex
Ign cdrom://[Debian GNU/Linux 7.2.0 _Wheezy_ – Official i386 CD Binary-1 20131012-12:56] wheezy/main Translation-en_US
Err http://ftp.by.debian.org wheezy Release.gpg
  Could not connect to ftp.by.debian.org:80 (86.57.151.3). – connect (111: Connection refused)
Err http://ftp.by.debian.org wheezy-updates Release.gpg
  Unable to connect to ftp.by.debian.org:http:
Err http://security.debian.org wheezy/updates Release.gpg
  Cannot initiate the connection to security.debian.org:80 (2607:ea00:101:3c0b:207:e9ff:fe00:e595). – connect (101: Network is unreachable) [IP: 2607:ea00:101:3c0b:207:e9ff:fe00:e595 80]
Reading package lists…

 

This error is caused because apt-get is trying to directly access above http URLs and because port 80 is filtered out from HP Office, it fails in order to make it working I had to configure apt-get to use Proxy host – here is how:

a) Create /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/02proxy file (if not already existing)
and place inside:
 

Acquire::http::proxy::Proxy "https://web-proxy.cce.hp.com";
Acquire::ftp::proxy::Proxy "ftp://web-proxy.cce.hp.com";


To do it from console / gnome-terminal issue:
echo ''Acquire::http::Proxy "https://web-proxy.cce.hp.com:8088";' >> /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/02proxy
echo ''Acquire::ftp::Proxy "https://web-proxy.cce.hp.com:8088";' >> /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/02proxy

That's all now apt-get will tunnel all traffic via HTTP and FTP proxy host web-proxy.cce.hp.com and apt-get works again.

Talking about Proxyfing Linux's apt-get, its possible to also set proxy shell variables, which are red and understood by many console programs like Console browsers lynx, links, elinks  as well as wget and curl commands, e.g.:

 

export http_proxy=http://192.168.1.5:5187/
export https_proxy=$http_proxy
export ftp_proxy=$http_proxy
export rsync_proxy=$http_proxy
export no_proxy="localhost,127.0.0.1,localaddress,.localdomain.com"

For proxies protected with username and password export variables should look like so: echo -n "username:"
read -e username
echo -n "password:"
read -es password
export http_proxy="http://$username:$password@proxyserver:8080/"
export https_proxy=$http_proxy
export ftp_proxy=$http_proxy
export rsync_proxy=$http_proxy
export no_proxy="localhost,127.0.0.1,localaddress,.localdomain.com"

To make this Linux proxy settings system wide on Debian / Ubuntu there is the /etc/environment file add to it:
 

http_proxy=http://proxy.server.com:8080/
https_proxy=http://proxy.server.com:8080/
ftp_proxy=http://proxy.server.com:8080/
no_proxy="localhost,127.0.0.1,localaddress,.localdomain.com"
HTTP_PROXY=http://proxy.server.com:8080/
HTTPS_PROXY=http://proxy.server.com:8080/
FTP_PROXY=http://proxy.server.com:8080/
NO_PROXY="localhost,127.0.0.1,localaddress,.localdomain.com"


To make proxy global (systemwide) for most (non-Debian specific) Linux distributions shell environments create new file /etc/profile.d/proxy.sh and place something like:

function proxy(){
echo -n "username:"
read -e username
echo -n "password:"
read -es password
export http_proxy="http://$username:$password@proxyserver:8080/"
export https_proxy=$http_proxy
export ftp_proxy=$http_proxy
export rsync_proxy=$http_proxy
export no_proxy="localhost,127.0.0.1,localaddress,.localdomain.com"
echo -e "nProxy environment variable set."
}
function proxyoff(){
unset HTTP_PROXY
unset http_proxy
unset HTTPS_PROXY
unset https_proxy
unset FTP_PROXY
unset ftp_proxy
unset RSYNC_PROXY
unset rsync_proxy
echo -e "nProxy environment variable removed."
}

To set Global Proxy (make Proxy Systemwide) for a user in GNOME Desktop environment launch gnome-control-center

And go to Network -> Network Proxy

/images/gnome-configure-systemwide-proxy-howto-picture1

/images/gnome-configure-systemwide-proxy-howto-picture2

To make proxy settings also system wide for some GUI Gnome GTK3 applications

gsettings set org.gnome.system.proxy mode 'manual'
gsettings set org.gnome.system.proxy.http host 'your-proxy.server.com'
gsettings set org.gnome.system.proxy.http port 8080

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How to disable GNOME popup notification in Debian Wheezy Linux

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

how to disable remove GNOME 2 / 3 popup e mail notification  Debian Ubuntu Linux screenshot

I found it very annoying to have a pop-up notification every time I receive a new email it is just pointless there especially, when I already use Thunderbird (IceDove) to fetch my email via pop3. This pop-up notification though planned to be useful messes with my Desktop and breaks the habit on how I'm used to old GNOME interface…. I remember same popup notification was present on older Fedora releases (back in time when I used Fedora Linux for my Desktop).

disable Gnome popup notification new email Debian GNU Linux Wheezy 7 screenshot

My logical guess was in order to disable popup notification in GNOME 3 I had to tamper with gconf-editor. In gconf-editor config database there is:

Apps -> Notification daemon

Problem it is not possible to turn it off. Only available change options are:

default-sound, popup_location, sound_enabled, and theme

After some time of try / fail attempts I found the solution on linuxquestions forum, its quite raw solution but it works, all I had to do is change permissions of /usr/lib/notification-daemon/notification-daemon;

debian:~# chmod 0000 /usr/lib/notification-daemon/notification-daemon

Another thing that is handy to disable is POP UP Window with warning that you have low disk space on Hard Drive.

The warinng for Disk space is very annoying and popups up on every GNOME boot. Actually the hard drive with Low disk space is and old mounted partition in NTFS and I only use it to read data.

Here is how to disable HDD Notification Warnings in GNOME:

debian:~# chmod 0000 /usr/lib/gnome-disk-utility/gdu-notification-daemon

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Tracking multiple log files in real time in Linux console / terminal (MultiTail)

Monday, July 29th, 2013

Multitail multiple tail Debian GNU Linux viewing Apache access and error log in shared screen
Whether you have to administer Apache, Nginx or Lighttpd, or whatever other kind of daemon which interactively logs user requests or errors you probably already know well of tail command (tail -f /var/log/apache2/access.log) is something Webserver Linux admin can't live without. Sometimes however you have number of Virtualhost (domains) each configured to log site activity in separate log file. One solution to the problem is to use GNU Screen (screen – terminal emulator) to launch multiple screen session and launch separate tail -f /var/log/apache2/domain1/access.log , tail -f /var/log/apache2/domain2/access.log etc. This however is a bit of hack and except configuring screen to show multiple windows on one Virtual Terminal (tty or vty in gnome), you can't really see output simultaneously in one separated window.

Here is where multitail comes handy. MultiTail is tool to visualize in real time log records output of multiple logs (tails) in one shared terminal Window. MultiTail is written to use ncurses library used by a bunch of other useful tools like Midnight Command so output is colorful and very nice looking.

Here is MultiTail package description on Debian Linux:

linux:~# apt-cache show multitail|grep -i description -A 1
Description-en: view multiple logfiles windowed on console
 multitail lets you view one or multiple files like the original tail

Description-md5: 5e2f688efb214b063bdc418a705860a1
Tag: interface::text-mode, role::program, scope::utility, uitoolkit::ncurses,
root@noah:/home/hipo# apt-cache show multitail|grep -i description -A 1
Description-en: view multiple logfiles windowed on console
 multitail lets you view one or multiple files like the original tail

Description-md5: 5e2f688efb214b063bdc418a705860a1
Tag: interface::text-mode, role::program, scope::utility, uitoolkit::ncurses,
 

Multiple Tail is available across most Linux distributions to install on Debian / Ubuntu / Mint etc. Linux:

debian:~# apt-get install --yes multitail
...

On recent Fedora / RHEL / CentOS etc. RPM based Linuces to install:

[root@centos ~]# yum -y install multitail
...

On FreeBSD multitail is available to install from ports:

freebsd# cd /usr/ports/sysutils/multitail
freebsd# make install clean
...

Once installed to display records in multiple files lets say Apache domain name access.log and error.log

debian:~# multitail -f /var/log/apache2/access.log /var/log/apache2/error.log

It has very extensive help invoked by simply pressing h while running

multtail-viewing-in-gnome-shared-screen-debian-2-log-files-screenshot

Even better multitail is written to already have integrated color schemes for most popular Linux services log files

multitail multiple tail debian gnu linux logformat different color schemes screenshot
List of supported MulLog Color schemes as of time of writting article is:

acctail, acpitail, apache, apache_error, argus, asterisk, audit, bind, boinc, boinctail ,checkpoint, clamav, cscriptexample, dhcpd, errrpt, exim, httping, ii, inn, kerberos, lambamoo, liniptfw, log4j, mailscanner, motion, mpstat, mysql, nagtail, netscapeldap, netstat, nttpcache, ntpd, oracle, p0f, portsentry, postfix, pptpd, procmail, qmt-clamd, qmt-send, qmt-smtpd, qmt-sophie, qmt-spamassassin, rsstail, samba, sendmail, smartd, snort spamassassin, squid, ssh, strace, syslog, tcpdump, vmstat, vnetbr, websphere, wtmptail

To tell it what kind of log Color scheme to use from cmd line use:

debian:~# multitail -Csapache /var/log/apache2/access.log /var/log/apache2/error.log

multiple tail with Apache highlight on Debian Linux screenshot

Useful feature is to run command display in separate Windows while still following log output, i.e.:

[root@centos:~]# multitail /var/log/httpd.log -l "netstat -nat"
...

Multitail can also merge output from files in one Window, while in second window some other log or command output is displayed. To merge output from Apache access.log and error.log:

debian:~# multitail /var/log/apache2/access.log -I /var/log/apache2/error.log

When merging two log files output to show in one Window it is useful to display each file output in different color for the sake of readability

For example:
 

debian:~# multitail -ci green /var/log/apache/access.log -ci red -I /var/log/apache/error.log

multitail merged Apache access and error log on Debian Linux

To display output from 3 log files in 3 separate shared Windows in console use:

linux:~# multitail -s 2 /var/log/syslog /var/log/apache2/access.log /var/log/apache2/error.log

For some more useful examples, check out MultiTail's official page examples
There is plenty of other useful things to do with multitail, for more RTFM 🙂

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SumatraPDF Adobe Acrobat Reader free software ( Secure ) Alternative

Friday, July 19th, 2013

Whether you're forced to use MS Windows but still want to use as much as possible Free Software – i.e. Stay away from Non-Free Adobe Acrobat Reader. There is Sumatra PDF – a good alternative that reads well most of PDFs. For rendering PDF Sumatra PDF usees muPDF library. SumatraPDF is minimalistic software it does exactly what it is meant for – reads PDF. Unfortunately from version 0.6 of Sumatra there is DRM implemented (Digital Right Managements) so it is not possible to copy from DRM-ed documents.
Sumatra opens  following formats: Open XML Paper Specification, DjVu, EPUB, XPS, CHM, CBZ and CBR, and MOBI files.
As of  time of writting official Sumatra PDF version is at ver. 2.3.2

sumatra pdfafter install thank you screenshot

I've made mirror of Sumatra PDF 2.3.2 installer here , Sumatra PDF zipped is here

Sumatra pdf reader screenshot ms windows 7
Sumatra PDF works on Windows XP, Vista, Win 7 & 7

  One of key advantages of Sumatra PDF over Adobe Acrobat Reader is you don't need to update it all the time and it is much less likely that Sumatra PDF is hit by security flaw in PDF format. 

For people who use Linux / BSD or some other Unix and want to stay free from proprietary Adobe Acrobat Reader two nice alternatives are default's GNOME PDF reader Evince and KDE's Okular

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Workrave – Preverve health from RSI (Computer caused Repetitive Strain Injury) on Linux and Windows

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

Prevent and heal repetitive strain injury RSI with workrave on Windows and Linux

Huge part of people professions nowadays includes being in front of PC Screen for almost a day. Staying on computer is addictive and even after job is done many people came back in front of the PC screen to play some games or just read something. Many might not know that this computer hanging is a costly thing as it slowly reflects negative our health and living balance. For geeky people who work in IT profession the threat is even bigger as we ITs tend to spend even more time in front of computers. The risk therefore for catching RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury), whether you have to deal with computers daily is very real.

For those who hear for RSI for first time, here is what it is as described in Wikipedia:
 

Repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) are "injuries to the musculoskeletal and nervous systems that may be caused by repetitive tasks, forceful exertions, vibrations, mechanical compression, or sustained or awkward positions"

For more on RSI check out Wikipedia Article here.

Thanksfully RSI is possible to reverse as well as prevent by giving regular breaks from computer screen on timely base and even can be configured to limit time you will spend on the PC. 

Just recently I found out about existence of  Workrave – program which helps you in reminding, when you have to give breaks from computer and makes you limit yourself on how long you use the PC.

Workrave is available for both Windows and Linux OS.

debian:~# apt-cache show workrave | grep -i description -A 3

Description-en: Repetitive Strain Injury prevention tool
 Workrave is a program that assists in the recovery and prevention of
 Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). The program frequently alerts you to
 take micro-pauses, rest breaks and restricts you to your daily limit.

To give it a try on Debian / Ubuntu Linux, install with usual:

debian:~# apt-get install --yes workrave
...

Launch it by running:

hipo@debian:~$ workrave

or via GNOME menus:

Applications -> Universal Access -> Workrave

Once launched Workrave applet appears right on in GNOME main panel. Below is screenshot of it.
Workrave applet in Gnome debian Linux screenshot

Clicking on the sheep image, there are plenty of configuration menus from which to choose how Workrave will further behave. Its default behavior is quite agressive and suggests breaks too often so if you choose to follow default configuration you will quickly be bored and probably remove it from computer. Hence re-configuring Workrave to remind for breaks every one hour is a good timing in my opinion:

Configuring workrave to remind for breaks from computer every one hour screenshot

Workrave time for micro break screenshot

 

 

Workrave includes reminder with neck movement exercises, which if followed can severely de-stress and keep your neck healthy.

workrave prevent repetitive strain injury neck exercises screenshot gnu / linux

workrave prevent repetitive strain injury neck exercises screenshot gnu / linux and windows

The program has even statistics on how much breaks you take, how long it was used and various other interesting info, below is screenshot from statistics window:

Workrave usage statistics GNU Linux screenshot

 

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Remove password prompt on GNOME Shutdown / Restart on Debian and Ubuntu Linux

Saturday, June 1st, 2013

It is ultra annoying, that in newest Debian and Ubuntu releases with GNOME 3 Desktop environment on every shutdown or restart you need to type in Super User (root) password, to authorize shutdown / restart.

Generally prompting for root password on GNOME restart is obviously a good think from security point of view, but from usability one – especially on notebooks it is useless annoyance…

So after changing this behavior I came up with this tiny article on how to get rid of GNOME Shutdown / Restart password prompt.

There is a click button (on left of Auth prompt on Shutdown showing URL to XML policy rule from where this behavior is controlled. A really good hint to where to look for to change those annoying behavior…

 Here is how to change this new annoying behavior to old GNOME 2 default restart with no root password prompt .
linux:~# gedit /usr/share/polkit-1/actions/org.freedesktop.consolekit.policy
 

Find in XML source sections:
 

Restart the system when multiple users are logged in System policy prevents restarting the system when other users are logged in no auth_admin_keep
Stop the system when multiple users are logged in System policy prevents stopping the system when other users are logged in no auth_admin_keep

To change Restart and Shutdown GUI behavior to not prompt for password, you need to modify in above code:

auth_admin_keep
To:

yes

After changes both sections should look like so:

<action id="org.freedesktop.consolekit.system.restart">
<description>Restart the system</description>
<message>System policy prevents restarting the system</message>
<defaults>
<allow_inactive>no</allow_inactive>
<allow_active>yes</allow_active>
</defaults>
</action>

<action id="org.freedesktop.consolekit.system.restart-multiple-users">
<description>Restart the system when multiple users are logged in</description>
<message>System policy prevents restarting the system when other users are logged in</message>
<defaults>
<allow_inactive>no</allow_inactive>
<allow_active>yes</allow_active>
</defaults>
</action>
 

That's all you finally get rid of the annoying prompt for root password. Enjoy 🙂

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Show / Restore missing Gimp 2.8 Toolbox Menu on Debian Wheezy 7.0 Linux

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

After installing latest Debian Wheezy Linux on my Lenovo Thinkpad Notebook. One of first packages after very basic GNOME install was of course GIMP.

I edit images with GIMP mostly on daily basis, so life without GIMP is impossible…
Debian 7 comes with shiny new version of GIMP – GIMP 2.8. So far so good, but the problem is when started it for a first time, the default configuration is made in a way that it miss essential Gimp Panel Window (The Toolbox Window). Missing Brushes and selectors, move, scissors etc. is something really terrible.

My first guess was I can display it somehow from GIMP's View menu but after few minutes of try/errs I figured out this is not possible.

One menu I managed to displayed Toolbox in some mostly unusubale form, since they were not fitting well my 1024×768 resolution screen is via menus:

Windows -> Toolbox

Since this wasn't what I was looking for I spend some 10 minutes until I finally found "the fix". from menus:

Preferences -> Window Management -> Reset Saved Window Positions to Default Values

gimp 2.8 preferences menu screenshot debian gnu linux 7 wheeze screenshot

gimp 2.8 preferences menu restore saved window position to default values screenshot / display missing GIMP menus

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