Posts Tagged ‘menu’

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 .;)

Windows 7 fix menu messed up cyrillic – How to fix cyrillic text in Windows

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

faststone-viewer-messed-up-menu-cyrillic-windows-7-screenshot

How to fix Cyrillic text on Windows 7

I've reinstalled my HP provided company work notebook with Windows 7 Enterprise x86 and had troubles with seeing Cyrillic written text, letters and fonts.
The result after installing some programs and selecting as a default language Bulgarian during installation setup prompt let me to see in some programs and in some of my old written text file names and Cyrillic WIN CP1251 content to be showing a cryptic letters like in above screenshot.

If you're being curious what is causing the broken encoding cyrillic text, it is the fact that in past a lot of cyrillic default encoding was written in KOI-8R and WIN-CP1251 encoding which is not unicode e.g. not compatible with the newer standard encoding for cyrillic UTF-8. Of course the authors of some old programs and documents are not really responsbie for the messed up cyrillic as noone expected that every Cyrillic text will be in UTF-8 in newer times.

Thanksfully there is a way to fix the unreadable / broken encoding cyrillic text by:

Going too menus:

Start menu -> Control Panel -> Change display language -> Clock, Language and Religion

Once there click the Administratibe tab

and choose

Change system locale.

windows-7_administrative_tab_change-system-locale

Here if you're not logged in with administrator user you will be prompted for administrative privileges.

select-system-locale-choose-bulgarian-and-hit-ok-windows-7

Being there choose your language (country) to be:

Bulgarian (Bulgaria) – if you're like me a Bulgarian or Russian (if you're Russian / Belarusian / Ukrainian) or someone from the countries of ex-USSR.
Click OK

And reboot (restart) your computer in order to make the new settings active.
 

This should be it from now on all cyrillic letters in all programs / documents and file names on your PC should visualize fine just as it was intended more or less by the cyrillic assumed creator Saint Climent Ohridski who was a  who reformed Cyrillic from Glagolic alphabet.

Three Ways to Reduce Addiction to Mobile Phone ( GSM ) use

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Mobile Phone Caricature Reduce Mobile Addiction / 3 ways to reduce mobile phone addiction / Use your Mobile less

1.: Don't use a ring tone or use a short landline phone ringtone on incoming calls

In the past, we all had a local stand line phones, most of the landline phones rung using a very specific ring sound which was almost identical on all phones around the world. This ringing tone used was following some telephone standards. The result was everyone could distinguish a ringing phone in a room or closed space and tell for sure, this sound is generated by a phone. Nowdays with the boom of cellular phone ringtones, there is almost noone who uses a standard old-fashioned telephone ringtone as a ring melody.

The consequence of this is in our minds we start loosing the boundary between whether communicating on the phone or communicating without it.
In younger people this boundary between phone line and a physical communication is more evident than in adults (as youngsters has grown in society where mobile was used everywhere). The implication of this is more and more people are starting to perceive mobile communication as so natural as the person to person communication. Spending big part of the day talking over the phone mostly senseless things, not being consciously aware that this is done due to a heavy phone addiction and repeating behaviour trait stored sub-consciously.

Today everyone chooses a custom mobile phone ringtone melody (popular or impopular) song and sets it up to be a standard incoming call signal. As you can guess there are consequences on the mind, as the ringtone set is heard ten times or more a day during each and every phone call. The result is just like with alcoholics or drug addicts, the more you take from a certain "good" the more attached you become to it. Hence the more we listen to a certain song chunk daily on incoming calls, the sub-conscious becomes dependent on hearing this sound at least a number of times daily. If a day passes without no-one calling us and we don't hear the ringtone indicating a call the sub-conscious stored dependency starts popping up and we could start feeling lonely and we feel like calling someone (and we often do). Obviously this is dependency and even if someone might argue me this is a severe addiction which as every other addiction could be very dangerous and hard to fight.

As I prior said due to the fact that the phone use dependency is built in our minds starting with the phone ring melody, we can reduce this dependency by switching off the phone ringtone completely or at least changing it to a unique beep which is not likely to be heard or seen somewhere in your surrounding environment.

By setting the ringtone to some popular song we see on (TV, Radio or Internet on daily basis) this might become a trigger for us to associate hearing this sound with talking on the phone and hence make you increase the time you spend on the phone ,,, so be careful ,,,,

2.:: Stop Mobile Beeps and sounds on menu navigation

All new mobiles sold on the market are configured to have buzzling sounds on events and various beeps on keypad lock / unlock and menu navigation.
This sounds are there mostly to make you more alert and concentrated on using your mobile and often as a consequence whether one uses his mobile his awareness is comletely taken by the phone screen (you're totally "absorbed" by the phone use).
Besides designed to alert you the Managers and CEO's who decided to have a heavy beep sounds on mobiles made it having probably something else on mind? The beeps on keypad navigation makes the user emotionally and sub-consciously attached to the Cell Phone. The idea here is like in popular music streamed on radios and TVs and mostly everywhere …. The more you listen to a song, the higher the mind trait it leaves in you, so later when one hears a music pattern or a whole song, which he / she listened already thousands of times this brings back "good" old memories. It is very simple actually our minds are constructed in a way that the mor certain "information" is heard / saw / smell the bigger the mind influence this leaves on us. Back to the mobile sounds, the more you use the mobile phone with turned on sounds, the more addicted and mind stucked the beep and melodies during use of the cell phone becomes in the mind. For example many people take a look at their mobile automatically (without being consciously aware) and do the activity of (unlock) and (lock) the phone screen not knowing they do it automatic. More or less we all do such an auto-mated learned behaviour because of the subconscious dependency that is built in our minds. Whether we lock and unlock the mobile phone almost robotically, we do it because our sub-conscious mind plays a trick on us and "force" us to do a previous learned activity (association in our mind with the unlock / lock beep sound).

3.::: Use your mobile in different ways

Any modern mobile is quite advanced in functionality and there is more than one way to initiate a phone call. E.g. the mobile has a shortcut buttons assigned to do quick phone calls, quickly evoke SMS menu etc.
Learn them and occasionally use the shortcut buttons instead of the menu navigation. Our minds like changing patterns and doing things different.

Even if you have no chance to do a things via a certain menu, you can always change the position of the phone screen to different distance to eyesight 🙂 You can for example type on the keypad following the menu steps by watching from left or right eye periphery or you can use the menus with your phone screen turned backwards 🙂 If you're used to type on the keypad or touch screen with right hand try doing it with the left hand 🙂

This will take time but the fun worths it. Plus the most valuable thing in using the mobile in different ways each time is there is no specific inflicting pattern associated in your mind and hence the depepdency set in your sub-conscious mind on phone use is lesser.
Actually there are too many various "hacks" one could come up with on how to use mobile as differently as possible. It is up to your imagination. Though using the mobile "each-time-different" can be sometimes more time-consuming it surely makes your phone use amusing.

AEWAN – a nice advanced GNU / Linux console ASCII art text editor

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

I'm a guy fascinated by ASCII art, since the very early days I saw a piece of this awesome digital art.

As time passed and computers went to be used mostly  graphics resolution, ASCII art loose its huge popularity from the early DOS and BBS (internet primordial days).

However, this kind  of art is still higly valued by true computer geeks.
In that manner of thoughts, lately I'm researching widely on ASCII art tools and ASCII art open source tools available for Linux.
Last time I check what is available for 'ASCII job' was before 5 years time. Recently I decided to review once again and see if there are new software for doing ascii manipulations on Linux and this is how this article got born.

My attention was caught by aewan (ASCII-art Editor Without A Name), while searching for ASCII keyword description packages with:

apt-cache search ascii

Aewan project official website is on sourceforge check it out here

Here is the complete description of the Debian package:

hipo@noah:~$ apt-cache show aewan|grep -i description -A 5
Description: ASCII-art Editor Without A Name
aewan is an ASCII art editor with support for multiple layers that can be
edited individually, colors, rectangular copy and paste, and intelligent
horizontal and vertical flipping (converts '\' to '/', etc). It produces
both stand-alone art files and an easy-to-parse format for integration
into your terminal applications.

I installed it to give it a try:

noah:~# apt-get --yes install aewan
Selecting previously deselected package aewan.
(Reading database ... 388522 files and directories currently installed.)
Unpacking aewan (from .../aewan_1.0.01-3_amd64.deb) ...
Processing triggers for man-db ...
Setting up aewan (1.0.01-3) ...

aewan package provides three executable binaries:

noah:~# dpkg -L aewan|grep -i /bin/ /usr/bin/aecat
/usr/bin/aewan
/usr/bin/aemakeflic

1. aewan binary is the ascii-art editor itself

2. aecat is utility to display an aewan documents (aewan format saved files)3. aemakeflictool to produce an animation from an aewan document

Next I ran it in plain console tty  to check how it is like:

hipo@noah:~$ aewan

Below are screenshots to give you an idea how powerful aewan ASCII art editor is:

AEWAN ASCII art editor entry information screen Debian GNU / Linux shot

Aewan immediate entry screen after start up

Aewan ASCII art editor Linux showing the major functionality of aewan on Debian GNU / Linux Squeeze

Aewan ASCII art editor – all of the supported tool functions

As you can see from the shot the editor is very feature rich. I was stunned to find out it even supports layers (in ASCII!!) (w0w!). 
It even has a Layers Manager (like GIMP) 🙂

To create my first ASCII art I used the:

New

menu.

This however didn't immediately show the prompt, where I can type  the ascii characters to draw my picture. In order to be able to draw inside the editor, its necessary to open at least one layer, through using the menu:

Add Layer (defaults)

then the interactive ASCII art editor appeared.

While an ASCII art is created with the editor you can select the color of the input characters by using Drawing Color menu seen in the above screenshot.

aewan drawing color choose color Linux shot

I've played few minutes and created a sample ascii art, just to test the color and editor "look & feel", my conclusions are the editor chars drawing is awesome.

Aewan ascii art produced on my Debian GNU / Linux host

All the commands available via menus are also accessible via a shortcut key combinations:

Aewan Linux Ascii art editor quick key shortcut commands

aewan controls are just great and definitely over-shadows every other text editor I used to draw an ASCII art so far.
Once saved the ASCII art, are by default saved in a plain gzipped ascii text. You can therefore simply zcat the the saves;
Don't expect zcat to show you the ascii as they're displayed in aewan, zcat-ing it will instead  display just the stored meta data; the meta data is interpreted and displayed properly only with aecat command.

aewan aecat displaying properly previously saved ascii art picture

I've checked online for rpm builds too and such are available, so installing on Fedora, CentOS, SuSE etc. is up to downloading the right distro / hardware architecture rpm package and running:

# rpm -ivh aewan*.rpm

On the official website, there are also instructions to compile from source, Slackware users and users of other distros which doesn't have a package build should compile manually with the usual:

$ tar -zxf aewan-1.0.01.tar.gz
$ cd aewan-1.0.01
$ ./configure
$ make
$ su -c "make install"

For those inrested to make animations with aemakeflic you need to first save a multiple layers of pictures. The idea of creating ASCII art video is pretty much like the old school way to make animation "draw every scene" and movie it. Once all different scene layers of the ASCII art animation are prepared one could use  aemakeflic to export all the ASCII layers as common video.

aemakeflic has the ability to export the ASCII animation in a runnable shell script to display the animation. The other way aemakeflic can be used is to produce a picture in kind of text format showing the video whether seen with  less cmd.
Making ASCII animation takes a lot of time and effort. Since i'm too lazy and I lack the time I haven't tested this functionality. Anyways I've seen some ascii videos on telnet  to remote hosts (some past time); therefore I guess they were made using aewan and later animated with aemakeflic.

I will close this post with a nice colorful ASCII art, made with aewan (picture is taken from the project page):

Aewan Flipping Selection Screenshot
 

How to disable ACPI on productive Linux servers to decrease kernel panics and increase CPU fan lifespan

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Linux TUX ACPI logo / Tux Hates ACPI logohttp://www.pc-freak.net/images/linux_tux_acpi_logo-tux-hates-acpi.png

Why would anyone disable ACPI support on a server machine??
Well  ACPI support kernel loaded code is just another piece of code constantly being present in the memory,  that makes the probability for a fatal memory mess up leading to  a fatal bug resulting in system crash (kernel panic) more likely.

Many computers ship with buggy or out of specifications ACPI firmware which can cause a severe oddities on a brand new bought piece of comp equipment.

One such oddity related to ACPI motherboard support problems is if you notice your machine randomly powering off or failing to boot with a brand new Linux installed on it.

Another reason to switch off ACPI code will would to be prevent the CPU FAN rotation from being kernel controlled.

If the kernel controls the CPU fan on  high CPU heat up it will instruct the fan to rotate quickly and on low system loads it will bring back the fan to loose speed.
 This frequent switch of FAN from high speed to low speed  increases the probability for a short fan damage due to frequent changes of fan speed. Such a fan damage leads often to  system outage due to fan failure to rotate properly.

Therefore in my view it is better ACPI support is switched off completely on  servers. On some servers ACPI is useful as it can be used to track CPU temperature with embedded motherboard sensors with lm_sensors or any piece of hardwre vendor specific software provided. On many machines, however lm_sensors will not properly recognize the integrated CPU temperature sensors and hence ACPI is mostly useless.

There are 3 ways to disable fully or partially ACPI support.

- One is to disable it straight for BIOS (best way IMHO)
- Disable via GRUB or LILO passing a kernel parameter
- Partial ACPI off-ing - /disabling the software that controls the CPU fan/

1. Disable ACPI in BIOS level

Press DEL, F1, F2, F10 or whatever the enter bios key combination is go through all the different menus (depending on the vios BENDOR) and make sure every occurance of ACPI is set to off / disable whatever it is called.

Below is a screenshot of menus with ACPI stuff on a motherboard equipped with Phoenix AwardBIOS:

BIOS ACPI Disable power Off Phoenix BIOS

This is the in my opinon best and safest way to disable ACPI power saving, Unfortunately some newer PCs lack the functionality to disable ACPI; (probably due to the crazy "green" policy the whole world is nowdays mad of).

If that's the case with you, thanksfully there is a "software way" to disable ACPI via passing kernel options via GRUB and LILO boot loaders.

2. Disabling ACPI support on kernel boot level through GRUB boot loader config

There is a tiny difference in command to pass in order to disable  ACPI depending on the Linux installed  GRUB ver. 1.x or GRUB 2.x.

a) In GRUB 0.99 (GRUB version 1)

Edit file /etc/grub/menu.lst or /etc/grub/grub.conf (location differs across Linux distribution). Therein append:

acpi=off

to the end of kernel command line.

Here is an example of a kernel command line with ACPI not disabled (example taken from CentOS server grub.conf):

[root@centos ~]# grep -i title -A 4 /etc/grub/grub.conf
title Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server (2.6.18-36.el5)
root (hd0,0)
kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.18-36.el5 ro root=/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00 console=ttyS0,115200n8
initrd /initrd-2.6.18-36.el5.img

The edited version of the file with acpi=off included should look like so:

title Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server (2.6.18-36.el5)
root (hd0,0)
kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.18-36.el5 ro root=/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00 console=ttyS0,115200n8 acpi=off
initrd /initrd-2.6.18-36.el5.img

The kernel option root=/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00 means the the server is configured to use LVM (Logical Volume Manager).

b) Disabling ACPI on GRUB version 1.99 +

This version is by default installed on newer Ubuntu and Debian Linux-es.

In grub 1.99 on latest Debian Squeeze, the file to edit is located in /boot/grub/grub.cfg. The file is more messy than with its predecessor menu.lst (grub 0.99).
Thanks God there is no need to directly edit the file (though this is possible), but on newer Linuces (as of time of writting the post), there is another simplied grub config file /etc/grub/config

Hence to add the acpi=off to 1.99 open /etc/grub/config find the line reading:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet"

and append the "acpi=off" option, e.g. the line has to change to:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet acpi=off"

On some servers it might be better to also disable APIC along with ACPI:

Just in case you don't know what is the difference between ACPI and APIC, here is a short explanation:

ACPI = Advanced Configuration and Power Interface

APIC = Advanced Programmable Interrupt Controllers

ACPI is the system that controls your dynamic speed fans, the power button behavior, sleep states, etc.

APIC is the replacement for the old PIC chip that used to come imbedded on motherboards that allowed you to setup interrupts for your soundcard, ide controllers, etc.

Hence on some machines experiencing still problems with even ACPI switched off, it is helpful  to disable the APIC support too, by using:

acpi=off noapic noacpi

Anyways, while doing the changes, be very very cautious or you might end up with un-boot-able server. Don't blame me if this happens :); be sure you have a backup option if server doesn't boot.

To assure faultless kernel boot, GRUB has ability to be configured to automatically load up a second kernel if 1st one fails to boot, if you need that read the grub documentation on that.

To load up the kernel with the new setting, give it a restart:

[root@centos ~]# shutdown -r now
....

3. Disable ACPI support on kernel boot time on Slackware or other Linuxes still booting kernel with LILO

Still, some Linux distros like Slackware, decided to keep the old way and use LILO (LInux LOader) as a default boot loader.

Disabling ACPI support in LILO is done through /etc/lilo.conf

By default in /etc/lilo.conf, there is a line:

append= acpi=on

it should be changed to:

append= acpi=off

Next to load up the new acpi disabled setting, lilo has to be reloaded:

slackware:~# /sbin/lilo -c /etc/lilo.conf
....

Finally a reboot is required:

slackware:~# reboot
....

(If you don't have a physical access or someone near the server you better not 🙂 )

4. Disable ACPI fan control support on a running Linux server without restart

This is the most secure work-around, to disabling the ACPI control over the machine CPU fan, however it has a downside that still the ACPI code will be loaded in the kernel and could cause kernel issues possibly in the long run – lets say the machine has uptime of more than 2 years…

The acpi support on a user level  is controlled by acpid or haldaemon (depending on the Linux distro), hence to disable the fan control on servers this services has to be switched off:

a) disabling ACPI on Debian and deb based Linux-es

As of time of writting on Debian Linux servers acpid (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface event daemon) is there to control how power management will be handled. To disable it stop it as a service (if running):

debian:~# /etc/init.d/acpid stop

To permanently remove acpid from boot up on system boot disable it with update-rc.d:

debian:~# update-rc.d acpid disable 2 3 4 5
update-rc.d: using dependency based boot sequencing
insserv: Script iptables is broken: incomplete LSB comment.
insserv: missing `Required-Start:' entry: please add even if empty.
insserv: warning: current start runlevel(s) (empty) of script `acpid' overwrites defaults (2 3 4 5).
insserv: warning: current stop runlevel(s) (2 3 4 5) of script `acpid' overwrites defaults (empty).
insserv: missing `Required-Start:' entry: please add even if empty.

b) disabling ACPI on RHEL, Fedora and other Redhat-s (also known as RedHacks 🙂 )

I'm not sure if this is safe,as many newer rpm based server system services,  might not work properly with haldaemon disabled.

Anyways you can give it a try if when it is stopped there are issues just bring it up again.

[root@rhel ~]# /etc/init.d/haldaemon stop

If all is fine with the haldaemon switched off (hope so), you can completely disable it to load on start up with:

[root@centos ~]# /sbin/chkconfig --level 2 3 4 5 haldaemon off

Disabling ACPI could increase a bit your server bills, but same time decrease losses from downtimes, so I guess it worths its costs 🙂

 

Don’t revoke GoDaddy SSL certificate. (Expired) Revoked SSL is impossible to revert

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

godaddy_logo
One of our company SSL (https) Certificates recently expired so I needed to renew the SSL certificate.

I was in a hurry doing plenty of other stuffs so it seemed logical for me to Revoke the Certificate. I thought revoking the certificate will simply cancel it and afterwards, in Godaddy's SSL (Manager Certificates) interface the Revoked – Cancelled certificate will re-appear in the menu, ready to be generated in the same way as earlier I initially generated the Godaddy's bought SSL certificate

Hence I proceeded and used Revoke button:

Godaddy SSL certificate manager browser certificate Screenshot

Well guess what my calculations, were wrong.
 Revoking, just cancel it. The  revoked domain SSL certificate did not show up again in Godaddy's Cert Manager and I have no way from their interface to revert the changes.

To deal with the situation, I contacted Godaddy Support immediately with the following inquiry:
 

Other : Revoked SSL Certificate
Issue :
Hello we have revoked the SSL certificate for our domain our.domain-name.com.
 Can we revert back the certificate as it was.
If not how to generate a new key for our domain https://our.domain-name.com
Thanks in Advance.
Kindest Regards

"My-Company-name" Tech Support

In 5 hours time I received the following tech support answer:
 

Dear Tech Support,

Thank you for contacting Online Support. It is not possible to reinstate a canceled certificate. You will need to purchase a new certificate. I have requested that a refund be applied to your account. Once the credit appears in your account, please allow 5-7 business days to see the funds applied to the associated payment method. Thank you for your patience and understanding in this matter.

Please let us know if we can help you in any other way.

Sincerely,

Christian P.
Online Support Team
Customer Inquiry
Name : Cadia Tech Support
Domain Name : our.domain-name.com
ShopperID : xxxxxxxxx
Phone : xxxxxxxx
Shopper Validated : Yes
Browser : Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.1; en-US; rv:1.9.2.3) Gecko/20100401 Firefox/3.6.3

Apparently Godaddy, can work out a bit on their tech support answering time 5 hours for a simple reply is quite long.

Now taking in consideration, above reply from Godady, my only options are to either wait for 5 to 7 (business days) or buy a new credit for SSL certificate.

Buying a new credit will probably not happen as our company is experiencing some financial troubles because of the crisis. So I guess we will have to wait for this 7 days at worst. So again if you wonder to REVOKE or not an SSL certificate. Think again …

Just a small note to make here, that Godaddy has a very straight forward way to just renew an expered certificate, which I succesfully later have done for 4 domains. Well, if only I knew earlier what REVOKE SSL cert really does I wouldn't have ended in this mess …

How to add extra plugins, effects, brushes and functionality to GIMP on GNU / Linux

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

How to add extra plugins, effects brushes and functionality to GIMP on Debian and Ubuntu Linux / GIMP logo head pictureThese days, I'm playing with The GIMP. I've been a GNU / Linux, FreeBSD user for already 11 years now but as I'm doing mostly system administration and I don't have much expertise in Panting or Computer Graphical Design, I've never put much time to learn more in the interesting area of graphical design. Hence until just recently, Just until now, I've never spend time with the GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) and never realized how powerful this great program is. The more I learn about GIMP functionalities and how it works the more it makes me determined to learn some basic web design 🙂

The functionality which The GIMP offers in a basic install is quite rich, however by default on most Debian and Ubuntu installations many of the great plugins which easifies the way to edit pictures is missing.

Example for a very valuable functionality which is not present with standard gimp package installed on Debian and Ubuntu are:
 

Here I will mention here few words on:

  • GIMP FX-Foundry Collection

GIMP FX-Foundry is a thoroughful collection of GIMP scripts (addon plugins), that automates many of the operations which requires a professional web design skills and gives an easy intuitive interface through which very robust "high level" graphic design can be accomplished. This additional GIMP extensions helps to create very unique design in just few simple steps, as well as gives multiple tools for the sake of easy pro design creation. For anyone looking for quick edit of images with GIMP FX-Foundry is a must have GIMP plugins extension. The script pack is located on http://gimpfx-foundry.sourceforge.net/

To install FX-Foundry scripts collection on Debian / Ubuntu / Linux Mint and other based Linux distributions:

debian:~# apt-get install --yes gimp-plugin-registry
...

gimp-plugin-registry package name is based on GIMP Plugin registry's website
. Gimp plugin registry contains many helpful design goodies 🙂

Once installed you will notice GIMP with a new menu on the main menus bar reading FX-Foundry :

GIMP Screenshot GNU Linux Debian additional FX Foundry menu

GIMP FX Foundry extensionos package contains 124 scripts for additional graphics manipulation. The collection contains less scripts than the ones provided by gimp-plugin-registry. package has 156 scripts inside.

One of the most helpful GIMP addition from the package is the inclusion of Save for Web button under:

File -> Save for Web

GIMP Save for Web menu suitable for reduced size images for HTML image producing on Debian GNU / Linux screenshot

Another very helpful .deb package which adds up to GIMP's design possibilities is gimp-data-extras .

gimp-data-extras adds 111 new GIMP Fill in Patterns , which can be used through the Blend Tool to Fill selected areas with color gradients.

To install gimp-data-extras on Debian:

debian:~# apt-get install --yes gimp-data-extras
...

Generally once installed this package will add to GIMP – an extra set of brushes, palettes, and gradients for The GIMP as you can read in the package description.

I was also quite stunned to find out the good old GIMP is capable of basic Video editting!!

On Debian and Ubuntu there is a package called gimp-gap which once installed adds an extra Video menu.

GIMP Screenshot GNU Debian linux adding GIMP extra Video editting capabilities

I've not tested the GIMP video editting capabilities yet, however I intend to learn something about it immediately when I have some free time left. You see the enormous list of Video editting possibilities GIMP obtaines with gimp-gap which btw stands for (The GIMP Animation Package).

To install gimp-gap:

debian:~# apt-get install --yes gimp-gap

I've noticed also the following list of others useful GIMP additions (mainly helpful in Web, Brochure and Logo Graphic Design) to install them:

debian:~# apt-get --yes install gimp-gmic gimp-ufraw gtkam-gimp gimp-gluas \gimp-dimage-color gimp-dds gimp-dcraw gimp-cbmplugs flegita-gimp gimp-texturize \gimp-resynthesizer gimp-lensfun gimp-gutenprint gtkam-gimp mrwtoppm-gimp

Here is the package description of the packages above command will install:

  • gimp-cbmplugs – plugins for The GIMP to import/export Commodore 64 files
  • gimp-data-extras – An extra set of brushes, palettes, and gradients for The GIMP
  • gimp-dcraw – GIMP plug-in for loading RAW digital photos
  • gimp-dds – DDS (DirectDraw Surface) plugin for the gimp
  • gimp-dimage-color – GIMP plugin to convert Minolta DiMAGE pictures to sRGB colour space
  • gimp-gap – The GIMP Animation Package
  • gimp-gluas – Lua environment plug-in for GIMP
  • gimp-gmic – GIMP plugin for GREYC's Magic Image Converter
  • gimp-gutenprint – print plugin for the GIMP
  • gimp-lensfun – Gimp plugin to correct lens distortion using the lensfun library
  • gimp-normalmap – Normal map plugin for GIMP
  • gimp-plugin-registry – repository of optional extensions for GIMP
  • gimp-resynthesizer – Gimp plugin for texture synthesis
  • gimp-texturize – generates large textures from a small sample
  • gimp-ufraw – gimp importer for raw camera images
  • flegita-gimp – Gnome Gimp scan plugin.
  • gtkam-gimp – gtkam gimp plugin to open digital camera pictures
  • mrwtoppm-gimp – GIMP-plugin to support Minolta DiMAGE 5/7/7i RAW images

Now after installing all this plugins and seeing all GIMP's power, I'm starting to wonder why are still people ranting Adobe PhotoShop is feature rich.
That's all, enjoy the great new GIMP features. Happy picture editting 😉

How to make screenshots on Slackware Linux with XFCE graphical environment

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

1. Install the slackware binary package xfce4-screenshooter.

For the latest Slackware Linux release which as of time of writting is 13.37 xfce4-screenshooter-1.7.9-i486-3sl.txz can be download from here

Install of xfce4-screenshooter-1.7.9-i486-3sl.txz is done with slackware's usual installpkg package manager command:

bash-4.1# /sbin/installpkg xfce4-screenshooter-1.7.9-i486-3sl.txz

By the way, I haven't used slackware for a long time so in the mean time since Slackware 13, the default slackware packages format .tgz is now substituted with the newer .txz (better compressed .txz). The old .tgz was simply a tar archive with DEFLATE gzip. The newer .txz packages bundled with newer slackware releases are using the LZMA2 (XZ) chain algorithm for compression. LZMA implies higher compression than even bzip2 and this is the reason why Patrick Volkerding – the one man army man behind Slackware decided to use it.
The reason Vollerding choose using .txz is slackware network distribution will load up less the networks and will take less time for downloading extra slackware packages via the internet. The .txz also reduces slackware main CD size so more packages can be contained in the same 700MB sized slack install CD.

Anyways now back to the installation of xfce-screenshooter.

Once installed to runit use the Xfce menus:

Xfce Menu -> Accesories -> Screenshot

Next you will see the xfce-screenshooter program to pop-up:

To take a snapshot of the screen use:

Entire Screen -> Save

XFCE screenshooter Slackware Linux take a screenshot dialog

XFCE screenshooter Slackware Linux action Save
 

How to fix upside-down / inverted web camera laptop Asus K51AC issue on Ubuntu Linux and Debian GNU / Linux

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Skype Video Inverted bat like linux screenshot

Does your camera show video correctly in cheese but shows captured video upside-down (inverted) in skype ?
This is an issue a friend of mine experienced on his Asus K51AC-SX037D laptop on both Ubuntu and Debian Linux.
As you can see in the picture above it is funny as with this bug the person looks like a batman 😉
As the webcam upside-down issue was present on both latest Ubuntu 11.10 and latest stable Debian Squeeze 6.02, my guess was other GNU / Linux rpm based distro like Fedora might have applied a fix to this weird Skype inverted video (bat human like) issue.
Unfortunately testing the webcam with Skype on latest both Fedora 16 and Linux Mint 12 appeared to produce the same webcam bug.

A bit of research for the issue online and try outs of a number of suggested methods to resolve the issue led finally to a work around, thanks to this post
Here is few steps to follow to make the webcam show video like it should:

1. Install libv4l-0 package

root@linux:~# apt-get --yes install libv4-0
...

Onwards to start skype directly from terminal and test the camera type:

hipo@linux:~$ LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/libv4l/v4l1compat.so skype

This is the work around for 32 bit Linux install, most people however will probably have installed 64 bit Linux, for 64bit Linux installs the above command should be little different:

hipo@linux:~$ LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib32/libv4l/v4l1compat.so skype

Once skype is launched test the camera and see if the camera capture is now uninverted, through menus:

S -> Options -> Video Devices -> Test

Skype Options Video devices screenshot

2. Create a skype Wrapper script Launcher

To make skype launch everytime with exported shell variable:
LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib32/libv4l/v4l1compat.so

A new skype wrapper bash shell script should be created in /usr/local/bin/skype , the file should contain:

#!/bin/sh
LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib32/libv4l/v4l1compat.so
/usr/bin/skype

To create the script with echo in a root terminal issue;

root@linux:~# echo '#!/bin/sh' >> /usr/local/bin/skype
root@linux:~# echo 'LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib32/libv4l/v4l1compat.so' >> /usr/local/bin/skype
root@linux:~# echo '/usr/bin/skype' >> /usr/local/bin/skype
root@linux:~# chmod +x /usr/local/bin/skype

3. Edit the Skype gnome menu to substitute /usr/bin/skype Skype Launcher with /usr/local/bin/skype

Gnome 2 has a handy menu launcher, allowing to edit and add new menus and submenus (menus and items) to the Application menu, to launch the editor one has to click over Applications with last mouse button (right button) and choose Edit Menus

GNOME Edit menus screenshot

The menu editor like the one in the below screenshot will appear:

GNOME 2 Menu Editor Screenshot

In the preceeding Launcher properties window, Command: skype has to be substituted with:

GNOME2 Skype screenshot Launcher properties

Command: /usr/local/bin/skype

For console freaks who doesn't want to bother in editting Skype Launcher via GUI /usr/share/applications/skype.desktop file can be editted in terminal. Inside skype.desktop substitute:

Exec=skype

with

Exec=/usr/local/bin/skype

Skype fixed inverted bat like screenshot

As one can imagine the upside-down video image in Skype is not a problem because of Linux, but rather another bug in Skype (non-free) software program.
By the way everyone, who is using his computer with Free Software operating system FreeBSD, Linux etc. knows pretty well by experience, that Skype is a very problematic software; It is often a cause for system unexpected increased system loads, problems with (microphone not capturing), camera issues, issues with pulseaudio, problem with audio playbacks … Besides the long list of bugs there are unexpected display bugs in skype tray icon, bugs in skype messanger windows and at some rare occasions the program completely hangs and had to be killed with kill command and re-launched again.

Another worrying fact is Skype's versions available for GNU / Linux and BSD is completely out of date with its "competitor" operating systems MS Windows, MacOS X etc.
For people like me and my friend who want to use free operating system the latest available skype version is not even stable … current version fod download from skype's website is (Skype 2.2Beta)!

On FreeBSD the skype situation is even worser, freebsd have only option to run Skype ver 1.3 or v. 2.0 at best, as far as I know skype 2.2 and 2.2beta is not there.

Just as matter of comparison the latest Skype version on Windows is 5.x. Windows release is ages ahead its Linux and BSD ver. From a functional point of view the difference between Linux's 2.x and Windows 5.x is not that much different, what makes difference is is the amount of bugs which Linux and BSD skype versions contain…
Skype was about 6 months ago bought by Microsoft, therefore the prognosis for Skype Linux support in future is probably even darker. Microsoft will not probably bother to release new version of Skype for their competitor free as in freedom OSes.

I would like to thank my friend and brother in Christ Stelian for supplying me with the Skype screenshots, as well as for being kind to share how he fixed his camera with me.

RafKill Raptor Free Software (Open Source) clone for GNU/Linux

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

I've earlier blogged on playing Apogee's Raptor Shadows of Death arcade on GNU / Linux with dosbox

All the old school raptor addicts will be interested to hear Kazzmir (Jon Rafkind) a free software devotee developer has created a small game resembling many aspects of the original Raptor arcade game.
The game is called Rafkill and is aimed to be a sort of Raptor like fork/clone.
Originally the game was also named Raptor like the DOS game, however in year 2006 it was changed to current Rafkill in order to avoid legal issues with Apogee's Raptor.

The game is not anymore in active development, the latest Rafkill release is from January 2007, anyhow even for the 2012 it is pretty entertaining. The sound and music are on a good level for a Linux / BSD shoot'em'up free software game . The graphics are not of a top quality and are too childish, but this is normal, since the game is just one man masterpiece.

Rafkill Level 1 Debian GNU/Linux

Rafkill is developed in C/C++ programming language, the game music engine it uses is called DUMB (Dynamic Universal Bibliotheque). By the way DUMB library is used for music engine in many Linux arcade games. DUMB allows the Linux game developer to develop his game and play a music files within different game levels in "tracked" formats like mod, s3m, xm etc.

The game is available in compiled form for almost all existent GNU/Linux distributions, as well as one can easily port it as it is open source.

To install Rafkill on Debian, Ubuntu, Xubuntu and Linux Mint en other Debian based distros

root@debian:~# apt-get install rafkill

Installing on Fedora and other rpm based is with yum

debian:~# apt-get install rafkill
...

Once rafkill is installed, in order to start it on Debian the only way is using the rafkill (/usr/bin/rafkill) command. It appears the deb package maintainer did not wrote a gnome launcher file like for example /usr/share/applications/rafkill.desktop
Just to explain for all the GNOME noobs, the .desktop files are a description file GNOME reads in order to understand where exactly to place certain application in the (Gnome Applications, Places, System …) menu panel.

Even though it miss the .desktop, it is launchable via Applications menu under the Debian section e.g. to open it from the GNOME menus you will have to navigate to:

Applications -> Debian -> Games -> Action -> Rafkill

This "shortcut" to launch the game is quite long and hard to remember thus it is handy to directly launch it via xterm:

hipo@debian:~$ rafkill

Rafkill raptor like native Linux game main menu screenshot Debian GNU / Linux Squeeze

or by pressing ALT+F2 and typing rafkill :

Rafkill Linux game gnome launcher screenshot

Rafkill Debian Linux Level 5 power weaponscreenshot

Starting the game I got some really ugly choppy music / sound issues.
My guess was the fizzling sounds were caused by some bug with the sound portions streamed through pulseaudio sound system.
To test if my presume is correct, stopped pulseaudio and launched rafkill once again:

hipo@debian:~$ pulseaudio -k
hipo@debian:~$ rafkill

This way the game was counting on ALSA to process sound en the sound was playing perfectly fine.

I solved this problem through small wrapper shell script. The script did kill pulseaudio before launching rafkill and that way solve gchoppy sound issues, once the game execution is over the script starts pulseaudio again in order to prevent all other applications working with pulseaudio.

Finally, I've placed the executable script in /usr/bin/rafkill :

Here is the script:

#!/bin/bash
pulseaudio --kill
/usr/games/rafkill
pulseaudio --start

You can download rafkill.wrapper.sh here
Or write in root terminal:

debian:~# cd /usr/bin
debian:/usr/bin:# wget http://www.pc-freak.net/bshscr/rafkill.wrapper.sh
debian:/usr/bin:# mv http://www.pc-freak.net/bshscr/rafkill.wrapper.sh rafkill
debian:/usr/bin:# chmod +x rafkill

Interesting in Ubuntu Linux, rafkill music is okay and I suppose the bug is also solved in newer Linux distributions based on Ubuntu. Probably the Debian Squeeze pulseaudio (0.9.21-4) package version has a bug or smth..

After the change the game music will be playing fine and the game experience is cooler. The game is hard to play. Its really nice the game has game Saves, so once you die you don't have to start from level 1.

Rafkill Load menu screenshot

  I've seen rafkill rolling around on freebsd.org ftps under the ubuntu packages pool, which means rafkill could probably be played easily on FreeBSD and other BSDs.

Enjoy the cool game 😉