Thursday, August 27, 2015

Notes For My Ultimate Linux Desktop System

Needs to be done
Based on Debian but separate like Ubuntu (but not Ubuntu based, though forking some of their applications and tools is always an option.)
Full emphasis on the MATE desktop and GTK3, porting programs from other Desktop Environments such as K3B and KDEConnect to GTK3. The Desktop needs to be simple to use but also allow more advanced and power users to have the control over their system and desktop that they desire.
Return GnoMenu (and rename it) to the desktop, porting from Python to GTK3 and cleaning up existing bugs. Add abilities to bring more menu layout functions and options. Should be able to work with mouse based and touch screen based systems allowing for themes to work with either or both.
Compiz and Emerald both need to be revived and Compiz needs to be forked from Canonicals current development branch. This includes returning the functions and plugins either modified or removed by Canonical to suit their Unity Desktop Environment. Integrate Compiz and Emerald into MATE to be the compositing system. Start adding Wayland support. Fix issues caused by the Unity support (possibly removing all Unity support code.)
Return full Eye Candy support and theming options. Not everyone likes the flat look being pushed on most Desktop Environments today. Users should always have the option to make their desktops look the way they want. MATE is capable of being modified in such a way when the right options are available.
Develop a ISO creation tool that allows people to create customized ISO images that is simple to use for novice and expert alike. Something like Systemback.
Things that should be done.
Finish the job of transporting Nautilus options and plugins that were available to Nautilus in Gnome 2 to Caja. While the main plugins have been done many other excellent ones have not.
Bring the options from third party tools used by MATE such as Touchpad Indicator and add them to the existing Control Center tools. (To me this is a no brainer and should have been done from the beginning. Many of these options should be native and not from third party add ons.) Consolidate the Control Center options, Emerald Theme Manager should be part of the Appearance control etcetera. Also many of the Control Center options are not properly catagorized. Case in point, Firewall Configuration (GUFW) belongs under Internet and Network not Other and Network Options under System should also be under Network, and part of the Network Settings under that. Gparted should be in Hardware not System, as examples.
Update Gkrellm and plugins specifically for MATE. Add true transparency and Wayland support. Update plugins, both built ins and add ons, to use newer tools and commands. Add support for new hardware and software. Allow horizontal placement. Add left and right click options to some of the modules (an example would be accessing the desktop calendar from the system time plugin, or accessing system power options from the battery monitor plugin.) Gkrellm itself should function as a extension of the system tray as well as a system stack monitor. Removes redundancy and declutters the desktop experience.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Emerald for Debian Jessie and LMDE 2 Betsy

In my post concerning how to Install Compiz on Jessie and LMDE Betsy I stated that Emerald Decorator would be my next target to get working. I am happy to say I have accomplished this and tested it. The dependency issue is fixed and it installs without any broken package issues. Its also the first deb file I have ever packaged, which is cool.

The deb file can be downloaded here.

Enjoy--


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Has Your Network Manager Icon Disappeared?

A recent issue has reared up with the Network Manager Applet not loading in Debian and Ubuntu. AFAIK it effects Unity, MATE and Gnome and possibly other Desktop Environments. In all cases the solution is quick and simple.

In your startup add the following command:

dbus-launch nm-applet

Then logout out and log back in, or restart.

This appears to be caused by an update but I have no idea which update package is the culprit. I don't recall an update for Network Manager recently but then I just may not have noticed it.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

How I Got Compiz Working In Debian 8.1 Jessie

If you love having the desktop cube or other goodies in Linux via Compiz but use a Debian based distribution other than Ubuntu you have probably noticed that its is no longer in the repositories, including testing and SID. Well fear not you can now get it. I use Linux Mint Debian Edition which is based on Debian 8.1 Jessie release.

After trying several different methods to get it installed, including compiling the source code (epic failure) I did my usual investigation to determine what needed to be done to resolve this. To me Compiz is a vital component, effects aside I rely on the Desktop Cube. It organizes my work flow and allows me to perform operations with less clutter from having several things open at once.

The problem in getting Compiz to work was the missing dependencies from the Debian Repositories so no matter what method I went with I would either get broken packages or outright failures in these attempts. That being said I went to one last (by last I mean it was my absolute final attempt) effort to install Compiz.

In a nutshell Compiz development is only being done by Canonical right now. Its an integral part of their Unity Desktop so they are actively developing it. However, as many have noted the version in Ubuntu 15.04 doesn't work with Debian 8.1. Well fear not because the version in the upcoming 15.10 release does. Wily Werewolf is the solution to our Compiz dilemma.

Add the following line to /etc/apt/sources.list

deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ wily main universe

Update your sources, install Compiz, the plugins and ccsm then either remove, or comment out, the line.

I am currently using Compiz on my system.

For my next magic trick, Emerald Decorator.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Caffeine Plus returns manual toggling of screensaver / lock screen in Ubuntu and Kubuntu

I'm not going to reinvent the wheel and write a long winded blog here as its just best to send you to the Webupd8 Blog that has all the information you need and install instructions. I'll just say its good to have this function back.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Can't sleep and for once its because I'm in a good mood!

You know despite a few things that nearly ruined my entire Veterans Day there was one amazing bright spot that has had me smiling tonight. My son's class put on a show at the school he goes to. As a veteran I was proud to attend and my son was I happy I came. So I just want to share the moment.






My wall will never be the same again!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Firefox Developers Edition is available: How to install it on Linux.

I just downloaded and setup Firefox Developer Edition. Though I haven't delved into using it yet I really like the interface and features I have gleaned over so far. Its also HTML 5 compliant (very important.)

There is no deb or rpm file available yet but it runs out of the box once you unpack the tar file. To make it available as a global place the unpacked folder (you don't have to do this but I renamed the folder firefoxDM to differentiate the the two versions of Firefox) somewhere in your available executable paths. (I went with /usr/share/) I then used my menu editor to create the entry so it appeared in my menu. For me the full path to the executable is /usr/share/firefoxDM/firefox

I also grabbed a Icon to make the difference between the standard browser and the developer edition visibly apparent.


Yes its that simple to setup. Enjoy

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Hiding the Cashew

I use KDE but I am not, and never have been a fan of the Desktop Cashew. It's of no real use to me and I just don't like it on my desktop. Though I can't actually remove it I did learn how to hide it.



In the current version of KDE you can drag the Cashew to the bottom of the screen and place it underneath the panel. If you have a transparent, or semi-transparent, panel this may become slightly more annoying. However if you have a non transparent panel its a great way to hide the Desktop Cashew. So this is what my desktop looks like.


Yeah it works for me.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

I actually started off today with the intent of blogging about KDE features that are now working in Kubuntu 14.10 that didn't do so well in 14.04. Screenshots and all. The one I wanted to rave on the most was KDE Connect. However, despite having Android Jellybean, which has a built in screen shot feature, when I used the button combination my phone restarted instead. So I spent a good part of my afternoon in chat with a Samsung rep trying to get it fixed (After a factory reset we did.)

End result, no blog on KDE Connect or Cloud Storage Manager, as I have to work on getting my phone back to the way I had it. Thank God for Google settings backup services which had my app settings stored but I have to completely redo my layout to get it back to where I had it. What was the cause of the problem? An Android System update sitting in my queue waiting to install. Go figure.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Getting Kolab on Ubuntu

These are the steps I needed to do to setup the Kolab Repositories for Ubuntu. Please note these are minor corrections that are listed from the Kolab Site:

For Ubuntu 14.04: Add the following lines to /etc/apt/sources.list;

deb http://obs.kolabsys.com/repositories/Kolab:/3.3/Ubuntu_14.04/ ./
deb http://obs.kolabsys.com/repositories/Kolab:/3.3:/Updates/Ubuntu_14.04/ ./

Get the gpg key:

gpg --keyserver pgp.mit.edu --search devel@lists.kolab.org

To import the key:

sudo bash
gpg --export --armor devel@lists.kolab.org | apt-key add -
exit

Put the following in /etc/apt/preferences.d/kolab:

Package: *
Pin: origin obs.kolabsys.com

Pin-Priority: 501

sudo apt-get update

aptitude install kolab

When asked to confirm that you want to install the package and its dependencies, press Enter.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

How to actually get Kontact to Sync with Google Calendar.

After spending the last few days figuratively banging my head on a brick wall to get Kontact to sync with my Google Calendar I found the proper way to do it, alebeit by accident. Everyone else's how to simply isn't working. So here is the correct procedure.

All do give the correct first few steps;

For Debian flavored distros:
sudo apt-get install akonadi-kde-resource-googledata

for RPM based distros, using yum:
yum install akonadi-googledata

Next they tell you to Select Akonadi Google Calendar Resource. This is incorrect, you should actually select Google Calendar and Tasks.


The following window will appear when you do;


Your's of course will be empty. Click on the Add button at the top to setup access to your Google services. In the next dialog box enter your Gmail address and password.


Lastly you need to accept the following so you can get your calendar and tasks loaded into Kontact;




That's it, your done and Kontact now has access to your Gmail services.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Using Linux As A Promotional Tool

Okay before anything else I need to state the following. The following video is showing how I set my system up to support my Football Team the Houston Texans using graphics and files I created specifically for that purpose. I will not release this setup as a distribution because of the many copyright issues that doing so would cause with the NFL and the Texans. This setup exists only on my Laptop and that is it. However, it does show how Linux can be setup to promote any business, organization, charity, product, service or just about anything one can think of.

I also need to apologize for the quality of the beginning of the video showing the boot up and log in process. I had to use my phone to capture the video as Virtualbox was balking on many things so I couldn't record the screen. The video is nowhere near professional quality but it gets the idea across.

I am running LinuxMint 17 KDE version for this demo.

video

What's important to look at here is that:

The entire boot to desktop process is all showing the Organization I am supporting.
The creation of the elements used are simple and fairly straight forward to create and incorporate into the Linux system. Though some technical knowledge is required, things can be kept simple or if desired things can be made to be even more impressive using various engine functions in Plymouth, Ksplash and Kwin to wow the target audience.

Those who wish to promote whatever, can do so, essentially for the cost of a DVD, and even print labels on to the DVDs using a specialized printer, which gives a even higher polish to the end product.

It also promotes Linux.

The variations are many, Boot Splash, Login Themes, Desktop Environment, Icons, Desktop Themes and Graphics, and what applications can be used.

Many LUGS use their own distributions to promote themselves. This just taking the concept further.w

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Kmail and Gmail: Filters and Operations


Its been a long time since I posted anything here but then, haven't had much to post. However, I recently had a fight with my email management solutions. Thunderbird 32 does not have a Lightning extension available for it. Not good when you rely on your calendar like I do. Also I have discovered that Thunderbird isn't as compatible with Gmail as some other solutions. So I went back to Kmail but did a few things very differently.

As best as I could I made all my email filters at Gmail. Reasons for this is I'm simply tired of making filters. Putting the responsibility on my cloud service (a.k.a. Gmail) means they will always be there regardless of what email client I use.

Thunderbird for some damnable reason did not setup all my gmail folders (Personal and Work were ignored) and that caused me some issues. Kmail, on the other hand does recognize them and loads them.

Nepomuk is the default database for Kmail and as we all know it, and Kmail, are both rather buggy. However, using the IMAP protocol Nepomuk doesn't become a big issue, and Kmail works a whole lot better.


As you can see I have a rather extensive set of folders and sub-folders (Gmail calls them Labels) All folders, filters, and email remain on the Gmail server, Kmail downloads no email (it simply loads the email you are reading like a browser, which is handy.)

Here are the instructions for making labels in Gmail. Here are the instructions for using filters in Gmail.

There is one huge advantage of using Kmail over Thunderbird as well, Kmail actually lets you move email between folders (labels) on the Gmail server. Thunderbird balked on that big time. 

If your primary email account is Gmail, you may want to look into this solution.