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Random notes on linux and web development

The fastest way to navigate in GNOME

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Here is a tip about how to navigate in GNOME-the fast way.  While on the desktop (with no window focused), press the / key to open the Nautilus navigation bar.

To navigate to a specific location type the folders path in the bar.

Also, you can navigate to the special locations, using the paths as they are presented on killer tech tips:

burn:///
Opens the CD Writing Window.

computer:///


Shows Computer, lists the disk partitions

 

fonts:///
Lists the available fonts.

 

ftp:///

Connects you to the specified ftp address.

 

network:///
Lists network locations.

 

smb:///

Opens the Samba (file sharing) Window.

 

system-settings:///


Opens the System Settings Window.

 

themes:///
Lists the available GNOME themes.

If you know some others URI’s, please present them.

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Written by nongeekboy

May 16, 2008 at 7:29 am

How to lock the screen in GNOME

with 7 comments

I’m sure that many of you are used with the <Win>+<L> key combination in
windows, to lock the screen. In Ubuntu (the distro I use), the
corespondent shortcut is <CTRL>+<ALT>+<L>. But, in many other distros
there is no shortcut for this command. Here is what you can do to assign a shortcut for locking the screen. (In order to do that, you have to activate the Win key. Read “How to use the Win key in Linux” to find out how to do it.)
Open the gconf-editor by typing “gconf-editor” in the terminal.

nongeek@mma:~$ gconf-editor

Go to: apps>metacity>keybinding_commands

select keybindings-commnads

Read more>>



Written by nongeekboy

May 11, 2008 at 1:40 pm

Top 15 shortcut keys in GNOME and Nautilus

with 6 comments

Many users are not aware of the shortcuts that can be use in GNOME and it’s File Manager, Nautilus. Therefore, I made up this list with the most useful (in my opinion) hotkeys. Hope it helps:

 

Top 15 shortcut keys in Gnome and Nautilus:

 

Ctrl-N: open new window

Ctrl-Shift-N: create new folder

Ctrl-H: show hidden files

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 desktopCtrl-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 (it works in Ubuntu-I don’t know about other distros)\

Ctrl-L: shortcut for opening locations-by default the path is the home folder*

A useful hint that I found on the excellent Fosswire blog:

/ : same as Ctrl-L but has the root (/) as default path*

 * both shortcuts can be used while you are on the desktop (no window active)

 

And a suggestion:

Ctrl-T : move to trash (in Nautilus)

This is a 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 cand find all GNOME shortcut keys on: http://library.gnome.org/users/user-guide/latest/keyboard-skills.html.en

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Written by nongeekboy

May 7, 2008 at 10:20 am

Posted in (short) tips, GNOME

Tagged with , , , ,

How to easily install an application in Linux

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Many new linux users are very confused on how to actually install programs in Linux Distribution. It is true that installing new software in MS Windows is very easy. But in Linux is not only easy but very convenient. Why? In this post you will find the answer.
Let’s say that we need a photo managing software. In Windows we would search on internet after a suitable software and after finding one, we would download the package and install it. Now we will do the same thing in Linux. Let’s say that our linux distro is Ubuntu.

1.Will go to Applications -> Add/Remove and click on it:

Add/Remove Menu
2.In the Search box we will write what we are looking for, a “photo managing” application. Hit the Enter key.

Searchbox
3.Under the search box we have the applications which match our filter criteria. There is also a short description of each one of it.
4.Let’s say we would like to try F-Spot Photo Manager. Will check the corresponding box.Click on the “Apply Changes” button.

Selecting the application and starting the installation
5. We are ask to check our options. We want to install F-Spot so click the “Apply” button.

Confirm the installation
6.Linux is a very secured OS so, in order to install a application, the user password is required. Enter it and click the “OK” button.

Paswword request
7.We are anounced that the application has been installed. We don’t want to install anything else (yet) so we close the application

Close the application


This is not the only way to install a program in linux. Depending on the linux distribution you have, you could use another package manager (like yum, synaptic, etc.). Or you could use the faster method: the command line. If you know the name of the application you want to install, simply write:

nongeek@mma:~$ sudo apt-get install application_name

or (in fedora):

nongeek@mma:~# yum install application_name

That’s all. Easy, isn’t it?
Let’s list the benefits:
1.We didn’t search all over the internet. We have the most stable applications gathered in one place (called repository).
2.We installed the application with only one click (and a password).
3.We are not afraid of any malware.
I also recommend for reading what is (in my opinion) the best guide about installing applications in linux on the net: How to install ANYTHING in Ubuntu!

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Written by nongeekboy

May 2, 2008 at 2:01 pm

The Linux filesystem in simple words

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If you are new to Linux, one of the first things that, probably, dizzied you was that the linux filesystem is nothing like the one you were used in Windows. The first thing a new Linux user should understand is that while in Windows each partition/device is it’s own root (C: D: E:), in Linux every partition/device is mounted under the root directory (“/“) and it is represented as a sub-directory. The second thing the new user should understand is the purpose of each directory contained under the / (root directory). In order to help you familiarize with it, in the next section I gave a description of each part (directory) of the root system. Don’t worry, is not a complicated thing.

/ -root directory of your entire file system.

/bin/-executables needed during bootup, the shells, as well as most used commands (cp, mv, ls etc.) and other essential programs, shared by the system, the system administrator and the users.
/boot/-files used by the boot loader (the application that loads first when the computer is booted and if you have more than one OS on your computer, gives you the option to select one). Also stores the configuration files.
/dev/-device files. In Linux, hardware devices are represented as files with special properties (A file, as well as a hardware, can be read from and written to, isn’t it so?)
/etc/-system configuration file (similar to the data in the Control Panel in Windows)
/home/-personal directories for common users. This directory also contains the user specific settings (for different programs) and the customization files.
/lib/-shared libraries required by system programs (similar -somehow- to Windows DLL files). This directory also contains the kernel modules
/media/-mount point for removable media (usb, sticks, cdrom). Any device/partition mounted in this directory will have a shortcut on the desktop.
/mnt/-mount points for temporarily mounted filesystem (hdd partitions, network shares).
/opt/-optional applications (extra and third party software, add-on packages)
/sbin/-system administration as well as maintenance and hardware configuration programs (not intended for use by general users)
/srv/-data files for particular service provided by this system
/tmp/-temporary files. This directory is cleared out at reboot.
/usr/-multi-user shared binaries and files (utilities, applications, libraries, documentation etc.). Similar, somehow, to Windows Program Files
/var/-variable files (log files, the mail queue, the print spooler area)
/root/-personal (home) directory of the system administrator (root user)
/proc/-virtual file system containing information about system resources (tracks the state of the operating system kernel and the processes running on your computer)
You can find extended information about the Linux File System on the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard webpage.


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Written by nongeekboy

April 30, 2008 at 1:20 pm

Posted in general

Tagged with , , ,

My favourite linux music player

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Well, i’m not talking about Amarok, neither XMMS. Actually, i’m not even thinking of a GUI music player. I’m talking about mp3blaster. Mp3blaster is an interactive text-based Mp3 Player. So, if you are looking for the best Linux Mp3 Player you’re not on the right page. For a good list of choices, have a look at Binny’s Top 10 Linux MP3 Players. there you’ll find the right player for you.
Back to my player. Why in the world i’m using a text console based player? Hello!!! We are in the 21 century, you may say. That’s the point. This is the century of the applications that swallow all the CPU and memory available. The last thing I need is that a simple application, (like Audacious, my current GUI music player), to use a lot of my humble (computer) resources.

Mp3blaster works in a similar way to Xmms or WinAmp, there are play and stop buttons, the shuffle and repeat mode option and so on, as well as a menu-based playlist. It supports mp3, ogg, vorbis, wav, and sid audio files. Also it offers the possibility to divide a playlist into albums. There is also a simple mixer utility.

Mp3Blaster runing on terminal

The quick way to install it (in Ubuntu) :

nongeek@mma:~$ sudo apt-get install mp3blaster

You can always download the latest version from SourcefForge.net.
I use the player in the virtual console (CTRL-ALT-F1), so no matter what I do in the X session (e.g. logging out to change the user) the music it’s running and it’s costing me almost no resources.
By the way, what Mp3 Player do you use?

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Written by nongeekboy

April 20, 2008 at 3:00 pm

How to use the Window-keys in Linux (GNOME)

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If in Windows you were used with the Win key combinations, perhaps you would like to use it in Linux too. Here is a short tutorial about how to activate the Win keys in Linux.

First we will set the Windows key behaviour.

Go to System>Preferences>Keyboard.

Select Keyboard menu

Go to the Layouts tab and press the Layout Options button.

select the Layout Tab

Open the Alt/Win key option.

Alt/WIN

Select the “Super is mapped to the Win-keys” behaviour.

Select super mapped

Close the windows.

Now, that we have set the key behaviour, let’s make some Windows like shortcuts.

Go to System>Preferences>Keyboard Shortcuts.

Keyboard shortcut

Go to Window Management section.

Search for “Hide all windows and focus desktop”. Click on it.

<CTRL><ALT><D>

Now will change the default shortcut with the one we want. Press the <WIN><D> combination.

<WIN><D>

Close the window and test your new shortcut. It works?

Now you can use the Win-keys the same way as in Windows or create the combinations you like.

For a tutorial about locking the screen with <Win>L in other distros then Ubuntu read the “How to lock the screen in GNOME” article.

For a list of most used GNOME and Nautilus shortcuts read “Top 15 shortcut keys in gnome and  nautilus
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Written by nongeekboy

April 11, 2008 at 3:02 pm

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