Showing posts from November, 2011

Edit Xfce Settings with graphical interface

The Xfce desktop environment has a convenient graphical interface that allows to customize your desktop. To access it just click on Applications Menu.  Then on the Settings item select Settings Manager , as shown on the image below:

Use multimedia keys with gmusicbrowser

gmusicbrowser  is the default music player for Xubuntu 11.10. Among its main features are the support for large libraries, customizable window layouts, a powerful browser which doesn't interfere with the playlist and a tray icon with player controls. There is a plugin called "Gnome mmkeys" that allows to control playback with keyboard's multimedia keys, albeit not compatible with Xfce4. If you try to enable the plugin, the message below will be shown: Error:  org.freedesktop.DBus.Error.ServiceUnknown: The name org.gnome.SettingsDaemon was not provided by any .service files So I created a little bash script to control the gmusicbrowser playback and another one for assigning each function with the correspondent multimedia key. Install Open a terminal window and run (it'll need admin permissions for installing to /usr/local/bin/): wget -q -O /tmp/ && bash /tmp/ install The mult

Install VLC on Xubuntu 11.10

Xubuntu's default media player is Parole , but two important features were missing (load subtitles from custom location and play remote files via samba)  so I installed  VLC . Parole is based on the GStreamer  framework and focus on simplicity, speed and resource usage. Parole is also part of the  XFCE Goodies Project . In my experience Parole is a great media player, however I noticed two problems that led to VLC installation: Detection of subtitle files: my subtitle files usually are in 'Subtitles' directory. Parole doesn't look for them in that directory and there isn't a option to set the path where parole should look for subtitles. Unable to play remote files: I often mount a samba share and play video files from that remote location, but Parole (version at the time of writing) doesn't support that feature. On the other hand VLC is rich in functionality and supports these two features. To install VLC open a terminal windows and t

Using gmrun instead of xfrun4 [Xubuntu]

gmrun allows to launch an application by typing its name. In this article I’ll show you how to replace xfrun4, the default XFCE4 application launcher, so when you hit the Alt+F2 combination gmrun will run instead of xfrun4. “But why would you replace xfrun4 with gmrun?" Well, that main reason is the command completion feature. I use the terminal a lot, so I have the habit to hit Tab after a few keystrokes to complete the command. gmrun allows me to do exactly that and it also completes file names. To complete a command type the first letters, then hit Tab until you have selected the desired command. The arrow keys can also be used to change the selection. If you're convinced to change to gmrun, here are the steps : Install gmrun, using a terminal window: sudo apt-get install gmrun Replace xfrun4 with gmrun: Open  "Settings Manager"  (Applications Menu > Settings > Settings Manager) Click on  "Keyboard" Select the "Applica

Window buttons on the left side [Xubuntu]

When the Ubuntu developers moved the window buttons to the left side I liked it. Now I am accustomed to move my mouse to the upper left corner and want the same for my Xubuntu configuration. In Gnome to accomplish such task, one had to open the gconf-editor and change the  apps/metacity/general/button_layout key. In XFCE4 is a little more intuitive; you can use drag-and-drop to place the buttons where you want them. Instructions using CLI xfconf-query -c xfwm4 -p /general/button_layout -s "CMH|O" Instructions using GUI Open "Settings Manager" (Applications Menu > Settings > Settings Manager) Select "Window Manager" On "Button layout" section, click and drag the buttons, laying them out as shown in the image below: Window buttons aligned to the left If you are not satisfied with the change and want to restore the default layout, proceed as above but arrange the buttons as shown in the image below: Window butt

Xubuntu’s main features

Xubuntu is a Linux distribution. It is derived from Ubuntu and uses the XFCE desktop environment. This means that you get a fully functional operating system, which focus on integration, usability and performance [1] , using less resources than the default Ubuntu choice, Unity. Even though the recommended amount of RAM to run Xubuntu is 512 MB, it runs on a computer has at least 192 MB [2] . Here’s a summary of the available applications on Xubuntu 11.10: Web browser: Mozilla Firefox  E-Mail: Mozilla Thunderbird  Instant messaging: Pidgin  Music player: gmusicbrowser  Movie player: Parole  Graphics editor: GIMP  File manager: Thunar  PDF Reader: Evince  Word processor: Abiword  Spreadsheet: Gnumeric  Text editor: Leafpad  Desktop search: Catfish  As you can see from the above list, Xubuntu provides out of the box full desktop functionality. Go ahead, and give Xubuntu a try (if you haven’t done so). Installation usually takes 25 minutes. Click here to get

Goodbye Ubuntu, Hello Xubuntu

Ubuntu has been my main operating system since Ubuntu 6.10 (Edgy Eft). Throughout this time I tried several Linux distributions: Grml, Chrunchbang, OpenSuse, Arch, etc; but Ubuntu remained as my main preference. I even gave Kubuntu a serious try, but then KDE4 came... and now history repeated itself. I think that neither Unity or GNOME 3 are mature enough to use them on a daily basis. There is a huge the lack of support for customization and, for me, one of the most beautiful things about Linux is that you are able to do things your way; you don’t have to conform to default behavior. With this problem in mind I began to seek for an alternative. But I didn’t wander for long. I read that some people (including some important people like Linux Torvalds [1] [2] ) were switching to XFCE and I knew that Xubuntu had XFCE as its desktop environment, so I'm giving it a try. In the upcoming posts I’ll be documenting my experience with Xubuntu (starting with Xubuntu 11.10). I hope t