Saturday, June 28, 2008

How to disable firefox session restore dialog

I know the session restore is a very useful feature. And a lot of people actually rely on it. But I find a bit annoying that it has to prompt me every time I start firefox.

I read somewhere that it is actually a bug in that firefox cannot distinguish between a machine shutdown and a crash. It thinks it crashed, an so prompts you if you want to continue off with the previously open windows that you had.

Anyway, until they get this fixed, I'm turning it off. Here's how to do it:

1) Open firefox and type the following in your address bar:

2) Right-click, and select:
New -> Boolean

3) In the dialog box, type the line below and press ok.

4) Set the value to:

You're done. Enjoy!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Use Winkey-E to start File Manager (Nautilus) on Ubuntu 8.04

I'm used to hittig Winkey-E to bring up Explorer on Windows. So, I want to have a similar key binding on Ubuntu. Here's how I did it:

Step 1: Disable current key binding of Winkey-E.
System->Preferences->Advanced Desktop Effects Settings
Go to Desktop->Expo->Bindings
Click on Super-E and disable it.

Step2: Add new bindings
prompt%> gconf-editor

Go to /Apps/metacity/global_keybidings
Set run_command_1 to < super >E (without any space)

Go to /Apps/metacity/keybinding_commands
Set command_1 to /usr/bin/nautilus

You're done. Enjoy!

Friday, June 20, 2008

killps - Pipe /bin/ps to /bin/kill

Have you ever wanted to kill a bunch of processes? Here is how to do it:

1) Put this in your .bashrc

# Killps - Marky 2008-06-20
# usage: ps -ef | grep progname | killps
alias killps="awk '// { print \$2 }' | xargs kill"

2) Here's how to use it:

2.A) Search for the processes. Make sure you only see what you want to kill.
prompt%> ps -ef | grep program_name

ps -ef | grep username | grep program_name | grep -v grep

2.B) When you'r happy with the filter, pipe it to killps
prompt%> ps -ef | grep program_name | killps

ps -ef | grep username | grep program_name | grep -v grep | killps


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Google Toolbar for Firefox 3.

Finally, it's here! Get yours from:


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

How to fix weird characters in aterm (for viewing man pages)

If your aterm is showing you weird boxes when viewing man pages, just put the following in your .bashrc:

# Fix weird characters in aterm
export LANG=C


How to autostart emerald

There seem to be at least two ways to do this:

1) Add the following command to sessions:
emerald --replace &

2) Replace the following line in /usr/bin/compiz-decorator

Then, restart X server.


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Auto-complete hostnames with using bash

Having forever used tcsh, this is something new I discovered when I switched to bash.

Here's how it works:
prompt%>ssh my

Here's how to set it up:
1) Create a file similar to /etc/hosts

e.g: (/home/marke/hostfile)

# Local PC localhost
# Other

* note: you don't really seem to need the real IP address. Just the name. You ca even shorten it if you have resolver set correctly.

2) Add the following to your .bashrc

export HOSTFILE="/home/marke/hostfile"

Yor're done!


For more info:
* man bash
* link

How to disable tilde expansion on bash, Ubuntu 8.04 (hardy)

This is how to prevent bash from replacing "~" with "/home/" when you auto-complete using .

1) Edit .bashrc
prompt%> cd
prompt%> vi .bashrc

2) Add the following lines:

# Disable Tilde Expansion
return 0;

3) Try it out on a new terminal

For those interested, see: /etc/bash_completion Look for "tilde".


Saturday, June 14, 2008

Ubuntu standard hotkeys I always forget

Actually, I only wanted to note down one. "Activate window menu". The hotkey for it is: ALT + Space. You then have access to the move command. This is particularly useful when your window just happens to slide under the menubar like this:

Alt-F7 Move Window

I'll add to this post as I forget & remember more hotkeys. :)



How to setup Skype on Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy on Asus P5K-E Wifi/AP

It took me some time to get this working. So I'm writing it down so I can go back to it in case I have to do it again. Here's how I got mine to work:

1) Edit sources.list
prompt%> sudo vi /etc/apt/sources.list

2) Add the following line:
deb stable non-free

3) Update & install skype
prompt%> sudo apt-get update
prompt%> sudo apt-get install skype

4) If you encounter problems with libraries, do the following:
prompt%> sudo apt-get install -f

5) Run skype
prompt%> skype &

Now, the more difficult part is getting the mic to work. (Assuming you have no problems with audio playback). Luckily here are the tricks:

1) Go to System->Preferences->Sound. In the Devices tab->Sound Capture, select ALSA.

2) Open up a terminal, type the following:
prompt5> alsamixer -V capture
Now, make sure all Captures are set to CAPTUR. You can set/unset using the space key. Make sure input source is set to mic. Press ESC to quit.

3) Try recording from your mic using Applications->Sound & Video-> Sound Recorder. If that now works, you're looking good.

4) In Skype, go to Options->Sound Devices->Sound In. Select HDA Intel (hw:Intel,0)

5) In the same tab, uncheck Allow Skype to automatically adjust my mixer levels.

6) Now, try calling Echo123 (Sound Test Service)



Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Number pad / Numeric keypad not working in Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy)

This was getting really annoying. Luckily, the solution was simple:

Click on System->Preferences->Keyboard
Open Mouse Keystab.
Uncheck "Allow to control the pointer using the keyboard"


Sunday, June 8, 2008

CF Card Speeds

I hate it when you have to switch CF cards. It just always has to happen right when you're in middle of capturing those perfect frames. I think I need a slightly larger card. Perhaps 4GB or 8GB? Learning from experience, I also want a 120x or higher. 80x is just too slow. Below is my quick reference guide to CF card speeds.

Transfer Speed:MB/sec:

* My flickr pics here.

Friday, June 6, 2008

The best remote access system for Ubuntu 8.04 (hardy)

What is the fastest VNC server? What is the most responsive VNC client? Can I just forward X directly? Which is the most secure? - These are the questions I needed to get answers to quickly as migrated my development environment from XP to Linux.

The first obvious thing to try, of course, was directly forwarding X. That was just too slow. Next was VNC. I tried tightvnc, realvnc, vino, etc. The only usable setting I found was 8-bit colour and using Hextile encodig. However, it wasn't very enjoyable.

Then I discovered FreeNX. It's fast, secure, stable, user-friendly, and very pleasing to the eye. Here's how to set it up on Ubuntu 8.04.

Server Setup:

Step1: Update your current installation
prompt%> sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

Step2: Add the repository for th NX packages & get them
prompt%> sudo vi /etc/apt/sources.list

Add the following lines:
deb hardy main
deb-src hardy main

prompt%> sudo apt-get install expect openssh-server nxlibs nxagent nxproxy freenx-server

Step3: Add your account
prompt%> sudo /usr/bin/nxserver --useradd < username > --system --administrator

Step4: Startup the NX server
prompt%> sudo /usr/bin/nxserver --start or --stop or --restart

Client setup

Step1: Download the client
prompt%> wget

Step2: Install it
prompt%> sudo dpkg -i nxclient_3.2.0-9_i386.deb

If you are using a windows machine, you can get a client from here:

Step3: Run the client
prompt%> /usr/NX/bin/nxclient


Update 2008-06-26:

For AMD64, its just about the same:

1) Get SSHD:
prmpt%> sudo apt-get install openssh-server
2) Get 3 packages from here.
3) Install:
prompt%> sudo dpkg -i nxclient_3.2.0-9_x86_64.deb
prompt%> sudo dpkg -i nxnode_3.2.0-11_x86_64.deb
prompt%> sudo dpkg -i nxserver_3.2.0-13_x86_64.deb
4) Start server
/usr/NX/bin/nxserver --status|--start|--stop|--restart



Thursday, June 5, 2008

How to view man pages in color

The solution is basically to set the PAGER environment variable to the program that supports color.

There are at least 5 you can choose from:
* /bin/more
* /usr/bin/pg
* /usr/bin/less
* /usr/bin/w3m
* /usr/bin/most

To get "most" on Ubuntu, do the following:
prompt%> sudo apt-get install most
prompt%> sudo update-alternatives --config pager


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

GDM Welcome Theme Tutorial

Step1: Download an existing theme.
You can get one from here:
Step2: Make your own background and foreground images.
Step3: Edit the *.xml file and *.desktop and put in your images.
Step4: Get xnest and get screenshot
* prompt%> sudo apt-get install xnest
* prompt%> gdmflexiserver --xnest
Step5: Tar it all up.


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Aptitude cheat sheet

* apt-cache search ABC
* aptitude search ABC

* sudo apt-get install ABC
* sudo aptitude install ABC

Showing version numbers:
* apt-cache show ABC
* aptitude show ABC

* sudo apt-get remove ABC
* sudo aptitude remove ABC

Removing configuration files as well:
* sudo apt-get remove --purge ABC
* sudo aptitude purge ABC


How to install Firefox RC1 on Ubuntu Hardy (8.04)

Step1: System->Administration->software Sources
Step2: Add: deb hardy main universe
Step3: Press Close
Step4: Press Reload
Step5: prompt%> sudo apt-get update