Turning the screen blank from command line

Screensavers are used to cover the desktop with some images or graphics while we are away from the system.

Here is how we can enable the screen saver from the command line. The screen saver from the command line will basically turn the screen blank and turn it on again only on detecting a user activity or when the command to turn off the screen saver is sent.

The first step to activate screensaver from the command line is the start the screensaver using the command

$ gnome-screensaver

After the command has been executed we can activate the screensaver using the command

$ gnome-screensaver-command -a

As soon as the command is executed the screen turns blank and comes back to life on any press of key or mouse movement.
Note that after being activated it will prompt for the user password before displaying the desktop.

We can also simulate a user activity from command line by passing the option “-p” to the command gnome-screensaver-command, which is equivalent to poking the screensaver like a user.

Thus to make the screen blank for 5 minutes we do

$ gnome-screensaver;gnome-screensaver-command -a;sleep 5;gnome-screensaver-command -p

The above set of command will make the screen blank for 5 seconds and then reactivate the screen after 5 seconds.
To prevent from being prompted for password on activation of the screen, we can use the option -d instead of -p, which is to deactivate the screensaver.

We can create a script with the above commands, as required, and add it to the panel as a quick launcher, to give us the facility of quickly blanking the screen whenever required.

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Viewing thumbnails of xcf using linux.

When we create images using the gimp, the default format in which the images get saved are .xcf. eXperimental Computing Facility.

The .xcf files, though they have images, are not visible as thumbnails and are shown as below even in the thumbnail view.

xcf no thumbnail photo no_xcf.png

To be able to view the .xcf files in thumbnail view properly in gnome, we need to install the package

gnome-xcf-thumbnailer i.e run the command

sudo apt-get install gnome-xcf-thumbnailer

or search for the package in the the synaptic package manager and install te same.
Once the package gets installed, log out of the system and login. Now open the folder that has the xcf file and we should be able to view the thumbnail of the xcf file as shown below.

 photo xcf_thumb.png

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Installing xfce on debian

The debian distros by default come loaded with gnome desktop, but with the freedom available in linux that does not prevent us from trying other desktop environments on debian.

One of the popular Desktop Environments XFCE, known to run well is lower hardware configurations. (http://xfce.org)
This can be installed in debian just like installation of any other package.

Open the synaptic package manager search for xcfe4 ( or which ever version is available in the distro) , click on mark for installation and then click on apply.

or Open the terminal and type

$ sudo apt-get install xfce4

Once the installation is done,logout of the the current gnome session.
In the login screen click on the user account for login.

At the bottom center there will be three options, the language, the country and the third the Desktop environment to be used. Click on xcfe and login.
The desktop will boot into the new xfce environment.

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How To Use Xfce4 Terminal 0.6.x As A Drop-Down Console (Guake-style)

Xfce4 Terminal drop-down running in Xfce
Xfce4 Terminal has been updated recently, two new versions being released: 0.6.0 and 0.6.1, and many new features were added, including an option to use the terminal as a drop-down console, like Guake or Yakuake. But this new feature isn’t available as an option in the Xfce4 Terminal preferences, so here’s how to use it.
Among the new features added in the latest Xfce4 Terminal 0.6.x, are:
Added search dialog;Terminal tab color changes when activity occurs in a tab since last viewed;Support for color presets and some presets were added by default, including “Solarized Dark”, my favourite terminal / text editor color scheme that I’ve been using everywhere for a long time (see: Solarized: A Must Have Color Scheme For Gnome Terminal, Vim, Gedit And Lots More)Drop-down window support when using “–drop-down” parameter
Changelogs: 0.6.0, 0.6.1

Install Xfce Terminal 0.6.x in Ubuntu / Xubuntu
Before installing Xfce4 Terminal, please note that installing it in desktop environments other than Xfce will also install some Xfce packages.
To install Xfce 4 Terminal 0.6.x in Ubuntu / Xubuntu 12.04, firstly add the Xfce 4.10 PPA and do an upgrade: Install Xfce 4.10 In Xubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin Via PPA. This isn’t required for Ubuntu 12.10.

Now, to install Xfce4 Terminal 0.6.x in Ubuntu / Xubuntu 12.04 or 12.10, use the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xubuntu-dev/xfce-4.12
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install xfce4-terminal(you may also want to run an upgrade to get the other Xfce 4.12 development packages from the Xfce 4.12 PPA if you haven’t already)
For other Linux distributions, you can download the latest Xfce4 Terminal 0.6.x source from HERE.

How to use the Xfce4 Terminal drop-down feature
To use Xfce4 Terminal as a drop-down window, make sure you’re running version 0.6.1 or newer. The terminal doesn’t have a GUI option to run as a drop-down (it can only be used as a drop-down terminal by using the “–drop-down” command line parameter), so you must set a keyboard shortcut in your desktop environment to call “xfce4-terminal –drop-down”:

Xfce4 Terminal drop-down keyboard shortcut Xfce
– in Xfce: open Settings Manager > Keyboard > Application shortcuts, click “Add” and add the “xfce4-terminal –drop-down” command, then a dialog will pop-up – now press the keyboard shortcut you want to use to open the drop-down terminal (I’ve used F12).

Xfce4 Terminal drop-down keyboard shortcut in GNOME / Unity

– in GNOME (including Unity): open System Settings > Keyboard > Shortcuts, under “Custom Shortcuts” click “+” to add a new shortcut, under “Name” enter “Xfce4 Terminal” and under command, use: “xfce4-terminal –drop-down“. Then click the shortcut on the right to add a keyboard shortcut and press the key you want to use for triggering the drop-down terminal (I’ve used F12).

This also means you don’t have to add the terminal to your startup applications and instead, the application will start the first time you use the keyboard shortcut you’ve assigned using the instructions above.

Then, press the keyboard shortcut you’ve used to open the terminal. Even though initially Xfce4 Terminal doesn’t have any custom drop-down settings, now that you’re using it as a drop-down terminal, a new tab called “Drop-down” should show up in its preferences, which allows you to tweak the way the drop-down works.

Xfce4 Terminal drop-down running in Unity
Here, if you use Unity (maybe on other DEs too) make sure you uncheck “Use shortcut to focus visible window” so the terminal closes when you press the keyboard shortcut you’ve set above. Without this, the terminal will only close/retract when it loses focus (unless you select “Keep window open when it loses focus” in which case it won’t close when focus is lost) in Unity, although this doesn’t occur in Xfce (so you don’t have to check this option in Xfce for this purpose).
In the Xfce4 Terminal preferences you can customize a lot of the drop-down terminal settings, including the window width, height, opacity, the duration, horizontal position and so on.
There’s also a button on the bottom right of the terminal that you can use to quickly toggle “Keep window open when it loses focus” on / off.
Xfce4 Terminal supports multiple screens so if you select to display the terminal in the center (top center) of the screen, it won’t show up on both screens in a dual screen setup, but on the center of the active monitor, something that you can’t do with Guake for instance. If you only want it to show up on the main monitor, uncheck the “Move to monitor with pointer” option in the Xfce4 Terminal preferences (Drop-down tab).

Xfce4 Terminal drop-down feature seen on desdelinux.net & lffl.org

Originally published at WebUpd8: Daily Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.



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Work Started On Cinnamon Screensaver (Forked From GNOME Screensaver 3.4)

Like we were telling you a while back, Linux Mint 15 will get a new screensaver, among other cool new features and changes.
The work on the new Cinnamon screensaver has started and the code is available on GitHub:
Cinnamon ScreensaverCinnamon Screensaver / lock screen (work in progress!)
Cinnamon Screensaver is a fork of GNOME Screensaver 3.4 and is very simplistic: for now, it displays the time and date along with the username and a shaded background, with a lock screen dialog similar to the one available for Unity, like you can see in the screenshot above.

According to its desktop file, the screensaver can be used not only in Cinnamon, but also in Unity (and I can confirm it works with Unity), Xfce or GNOME.
The new Cinnamon Screensaver is not available as a .deb yet so the only way to install it for now is to compile it from source. But it will probably be available soon in the Cinnamon nightly builds PPA and it may be backported for Linux Mint 14 Nadia. For now, it conflicts with GNOME Screensaver which must be removed for Cinnamon Screensaver to work properly.
Arch Linux users can already install Cinnamon Screensaver via AUR.

Originally published at WebUpd8: Daily Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.



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GNOME Shell 3.8: Redesigned Search

GNOME 3.8 will feature a redesigned search which displays the results in a list. A new search settings panel will allow users to configure the GNOME Shell search: you can enable or disable searching for documents, files, contacts or boxes and so on as well as a way to configure search locations:
GNOME Shell 3.8 search settings
GNOME Shell 3.8 search locations

The new GNOME Shell 3.8 search results are provided by individual applications and selecting a result will open it in the respective application. There’s a limit of 3 results per application in GS, but more can be displayed within the application.
And speaking of settings, there’s also a new Privacy panel which lets the user configure what information is revealed in various locations like the lock screen, history (recent files) and so on:
GNOME 3.8 privacy settings panel

Even though the design isn’t the same, the new Search settings panel and the Privacy panel provide together more or less the same settings that are available in the Unity Privacy settings panel, so once again the Unity and GNOME Shell designers have similar ideas, although obviously, the implementations are different.

Below you can see the new GNOME Shell 3.8 (work in progress) search redesign:

(direct video link)
These new features are already available in the latest GNOME 3.8 development releases (3.7.x). GNOME 3.8 is scheduled to be released on March 27.

via / more info @ Cosimo’s blog

Originally published at WebUpd8: Daily Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.



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Fedora 18 `Spherical Cow` Released

Fedora 18 screenshotFedora 18 “Spherical Cow” has been released today, featuring the latest stable GNOME 3.6 by default and a brand new installer UI.

New installer UI
Fedora 18 introduces UEFI Secure Boot support so it can now be used on system shipped with Windows 8, as well as a new user interface for the installer (Anaconda), which is now easier to use for new users, while more advanced users can still access advanced settings:
Fedora 18 installer screenshot
Fedora 18 installer screenshot
Fedora 18 installer
Fedora 18 installer
However, the new installer is not 100% complete so check out the known issues. For instance, I found it a bit confusing that after setting the “Installation Destination” hard disk but not changing the partitions, the “Please complete items marked with this icon before continuing to the next step” message at the bottom was still displayed for a few seconds.

GNOME 3.6
GNOME 3.6 (with GNOME Shell as the default “shell” interface) is used by default in Fedora 18: Nautilus, GNOME Contacts, Boxes, Documents, Totem (Videos), etc. are all there.
Here are some Fedora 18 screenshots:

Fedora 18 screenshots
Fedora 18 screenshots
Fedora 18 screenshots

For more about GNOME 3.6, see: GNOME 3.6 Released – See What’s New

Cinnamon, MATE Desktop available in the repositories
Also, users who don’t like GNOME Shell can now use Cinnamon or MATE Desktop since both are available in the official Fedora 18 repositories, along with Xfce 4.10, KDE Plasma Workspace 4.9 or LXDE (these last 3 are also available as Fedora Spins)

Other changes
Fedora 18 introduces a new tool that’s used for the upgrade process (to newer Fedora versions) called fedUP. For how to upgrade the system using fedUP, see THIS page.

Fedora 18 updates screenshot
Also, Fedora 18 introduces offline updates and while many updates can still be made on the fly, some packages will require a system restart. The system will boot into a special update mode “in order to avoid problems related to conflicts of libraries and services that are currently running with those on disk”, says the Fedora Wiki.
Other changes include:
Improved storage management SSM (System Storage Manager)/tmp is used as tmpfs by default, this bringing less I/O generated on the disk, increases SSD life, saves power and improves overall performance,More!

For more info, see the official Fedora 18 release notes.

Default applications in Fedora 18
Fedora 18 screenshots
Fedora 18 ships with Linux Kernel 3.6 (3.6.10), but 3.7 is already offered as an update, X Server 1.13 and features default applications such as: Nautilus 3.6.3, GNOME Control Center 3.6.3, Evolution 3.6.3, GNOME Documents 3.6.2, GNOME Boxes 3.6.2, Deja Dup backup tool 24.0, Rhythmbox 2.98, Empathy 3.6.2, Firefox 18, Cheese 3.6.2, Shotwell 0.13.1, Transmission 2.72, GDM 3.6.2 and LibreOffice 3.6.3.2, among others, all on top of GNOME 3.6 and GTK 3.6.2.

Download Fedora 18
Download Fedora 18
And don’t forget to try Fedora Utils after installing Fedora, a tool to tweak Fedora and easily install packages which are not available in the main Fedora repositories.

Originally published at WebUpd8: Daily Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.



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Beautiful MediterraneanNight GTK 3.6 Theme Pack Updated

MediterraneanNight is a pack of 3 darkish GTK3 themes based on Gnome Cupertino available for both GTK3.4 (Ubuntu 12.04) and GTK3.6 (Ubuntu 12.10 and 13.04) as well as for Xfce.
The beautiful theme pack has been updated yesterday, getting some interesting changes, but only for the GTK3.6 version:new switches,more rounded buttons,improved Rhythmbox sidebar color,Nautilus 3.6 changes: pathbar better spacing, improved icons sidebar color, changed the style of tabs (better readability),many fixes and details like fixed OSD widget, checkbox and radiobutton symbols in menus, fixed Synaptic GTK3 toolbar and more.
Below you can see a few screenshots featuring the latest MediterraneanNight, MediterraneanDark and MediterraneanLight for GTK 3.6:
MediterraneanNight GTK3.6 themeMediterraneanNight
MediterraneanNight widget factoryMediterraneanNight
MediterraneanDarkMediterraneanDark
MediterraneanDark widget factoryMediterraneanDark
MediterraneanLight gtk3 themeMediterraneanLight

As you’ve can see in the screenshots above, Nautilus 3.6 uses a different toolbar with smaller buttons and rounded pathbar (like Gnome Cupertino), but you can get the old style back using the configuration script I’ve packed with the theme, which you can use to customize any of the three Mediterranean themes. To do this, simply run:sudo mediterranean-configThen select the theme you want to customize, and when you reach the “Select style for Nautilus” step, select “3” which is “Nautilus 3.4 with light sidebar and pathbar” and even though the description says it’s for Nautilus 3.4 it should work with Nautilus 3.6. Then, restart Nautilus (sometimes a logout is required to fully apply the changes):nautilus -q
And you should have the old MediterraneanNight toolbar/pathbar for Nautilus 3.6:

Nautilus 3.6 old MediterraneanNight pathbar style

Install MediterraneanNight themes in Ubuntu
The theme pack is available in the WebUpd8 Themes PPA so to add the PPA and install the MediterraneanNight themes in Ubuntu 12.10 or 13.04 (for Ubuntu 12.04, the version is slightly older), use the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/themes
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install mediterraneannight-gtk-theme
Once installed, apply the theme using a tools such as GNOME Tweak Tool, Ubuntu Tweak or Unsettings and if you want to tweak the themes, don’t forget to use our configuration script, especially since you’ll have to select the desktop environment style (with or without a global menu), so once you’ve installed the themes, run:sudo mediterranean-config
For other Linux distributions, get MediterraneanNight from Gnome-Look.

Originally published at WebUpd8: Daily Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.



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Fuduntu 2013.1 Released With Netflix, Steam And E17 Support, New Default Dock

Fuduntu 2013.1Fuduntu 2013.1 has been released today, bringing Netflix, Steam and E17 stable support, along with Jockey for proprietary video driver installation and other changes and updates.
Fuduntu is a Linux distribution forked from Fedora that uses GNOME 2 by default, which provides rolling updated for non-GNOME2 packages so you get the latest updates for applications such as VLC, Chromium, Firefox and so on while using a stable desktop.

Fuduntu SteamSteam for Linux running in Fuduntu

The latest Fuduntu 2013.1 features support for Netflix (it’s the Netflix Desktop app that uses Wine, about which we’ve talked about a while back), Steam beta (but obviously, this isn’t supported by the Steam developers) and E17 so to install them, simple use yum and install “steam”, “netflix-desktop” or “fuduntu-enlightenment” packages.

Fuduntu Cairo Dock
Another change in Fuduntu 2013.1 is the replacement of the default task switcher / dock: instead of Avant Window Navigator (which is no longer maintained), Fuduntu now uses Cairo Dock, with a beautiful theme that looks pretty much the same as the AWN theme used previously. Cairo Dock is highly configurable and comes with many applets and themes by default.
Those who upgrade to the latest Fuduntu instead of a fresh install, will get Cairo Dock but it will not be enabled by default – to enable it, go to System > Preferences > Bottom Panel Chooser and select Dock.
The new version also features Jockey for installing proprietary video drivers and DuckDuckGo.com is now used as the default search engine in Fuduntu. Also, Jupiter, the once popular power management applet, has been removed from the default installation because, as you probably know, its development stopped.
Other updates included in Fuduntu 2013.1:
Kernel 3.6.9Gimp 2.8.2Thunderbird 17.0Firefox 17.0 (not installed by default)Chromium 23.0.1271.97VLC 2.0.5Xorg 1.12WINE 1.5.18 (not installed by default)QEMU 1.0.1 (not installed by default)

Download Fuduntu

Originally published at WebUpd8: Daily Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.



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Fuduntu 2013.1 Released With Netflix, Steam And E17 Support, New Default Dock

Fuduntu 2013.1Fuduntu 2013.1 has been released today, bringing Netflix, Steam and E17 stable support, along with Jockey for proprietary video driver installation and other changes and updates.
Fuduntu is a Linux distribution forked from Fedora that uses GNOME 2 by default, which provides rolling updated for non-GNOME2 packages so you get the latest updates for applications such as VLC, Chromium, Firefox and so on while using a stable desktop.

Fuduntu SteamSteam for Linux running in Fuduntu

The latest Fuduntu 2013.1 features support for Netflix (it’s the Netflix Desktop app that uses Wine, about which we’ve talked about a while back), Steam beta (but obviously, this isn’t supported by the Steam developers) and E17 so to install them, simple use yum and install “steam”, “netflix-desktop” or “fuduntu-enlightenment” packages.

Fuduntu Cairo Dock
Another change in Fuduntu 2013.1 is the replacement of the default task switcher / dock: instead of Avant Window Navigator (which is no longer maintained and doesn’t build with the latest glib), Fuduntu now uses Cairo Dock, with a beautiful theme that looks pretty much the same as the AWN theme used previously. Cairo Dock is highly configurable and comes with many applets and themes by default.
Those who upgrade to the latest Fuduntu instead of a fresh install, will get Cairo Dock but it will not be enabled by default – to enable it, go to System > Preferences > Bottom Panel Chooser and select Dock.
The new version also features Jockey for installing proprietary video drivers and DuckDuckGo.com is now used as the default search engine in Fuduntu. Also, Jupiter, the once popular power management applet, has been removed from the default installation because, as you probably know, its development stopped and most of its features are now available in the Linux Kernel anyway..
Other updates included in Fuduntu 2013.1:
Kernel 3.6.9Gimp 2.8.2Thunderbird 17.0Firefox 17.0 (not installed by default)Chromium 23.0.1271.97VLC 2.0.5Xorg 1.12WINE 1.5.18 (not installed by default)QEMU 1.0.1 (not installed by default)

Download Fuduntu

Originally published at WebUpd8: Daily Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.



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