Little extras that make Linux easier or more fun

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Aging Technogeek
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Little extras that make Linux easier or more fun

Post by Aging Technogeek »

I am starting this topic because over the last few months I have more or less stumbled over several relatively small and simple applications that, for me, to some extent, enhance my ability to use and enjoy Mint.

I know I have not found more than a very few of the apps like this that are out there, so I thought it would be nice to have a single topic where all forum members could post about what they have found and maybe find something new.

The first one would have to be Ubuntu Tweak. Most of you have probably heard of this app and many probably use it now or have used it. For those not familiar with this app, it gathers in one place, with an easy to use GUI, many of the functions needed to configure an Ubuntu or Mint installation. It is available for download here.

The next is apt-fast. I just found this and have not had a great deal of experience with it yet, but it seems to deliver what is promised (faster downloads). Apt-fast works with "Axel" which is in the repos, reachable via Package or Software Manager. Axel speeds up downloads of large files by breaking the file into several parts, downloading the parts simultaneously, then reassembling them. From the little I have found, axel is intended to be used for one file at a time. Apt-fast expands axel to work on multiple file downloads like upgrades or updates and speeds up the reassembly process.As i said earlier, it seems to work well enough, but I have only had it a few days. It is available here here.

Third is clicompanion - an app that installs a user configurable command list as part of the terminal. Makes it easier to learn new commands and store often used commands. Available here.

Redshift is a little app that changes the color temperature of your display in sync with the day/night cycle. At night the display is redder to reduce glare and eyestrain. The basic app is available here http://techhaze.com/2010/06/linux-app-redshift. And a Gui control is available here http://www.webupd8.org/2010/07/redshift ... -when.html.

Many of you have probably heard of the Burg bootloader. It is basically a pretty face for Grub 2 with several skins available and other nice to have functions. Download and install from http://code.google.com/p/burg/wiki/InstallUbuntu.

There is a new app out called Burg Manager that I have used only a few minutes and had some trouble with. If it works for you, it will put all phases of burg configuration and maintenance in a single GUI interface. I am not recommending this in any way, just showing you where to get it - http://www.webupd8.org/2010/10/install- ... buntu.html.

Last but not least, is "Notifyosdconfig" this lets the user control the size, position, color, and duration of the notification bubbles that pop up in the upper right of your desktop to inform you of things like network status or what song Rhythmbox is playing. For Mint 9 and LMDE, this site works. For Mint 10 RC1, I had to go here http://www.webupd8.org/2010/10/tweak-no ... buntu.html.

I hope some of you get as much use and enjoyment out of these apps as I have, and please share what you have found.
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Robin
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Re: Little extras that make Linux easier or more fun.

Post by Robin »

I found a sweet, simple, kid-friendly pdf annotator and wrote a lil blog post (my first "tutorial!") about it here. It's called "Xournal" and it's already in the repos.

-R

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Re: Little extras that make Linux easier or more fun.

Post by AirValor »

Aging Technogeek wrote:...
Redshift is a little app that changes the color temperature of your display in sync with the day/night cycle. At night the display is redder to reduce glare and eyestrain. The basic app is available here. And a Gui control is available here.

Many of you have probably heard of the Burg bootloader. It is basically a pretty face for Grub 2 with several skins available and other nice to have functions. Download and install from here.

There is a new app out called Burg Manager that I have used only a few minutes and had some trouble with. If it works for you, it will put all phases of burg configuration and maintenance in a single GUI interface. I am not recommending this in any way, just showing you where to get it - here.

Last but not least, is "Notifyosdconfig" this lets the user control the size, position, color, and duration of the notification bubbles that pop up in the upper right of your desktop to inform you of things like network status or what song Rhythmbox is playing. For Mint 9 and LMDE, this site works. For Mint 10 RC1, I had to go here.
The links are broken/not found.

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Re: Little extras that make Linux easier or more fun.

Post by MALsPa »

Aging Technogeek, when I saw the title of this thread, I thought it was gonna be about Mint-specific apps! Looks like these apps could make "Linux easier or more fun" -- if applicable to a particular distro, that is (for example, I guess Ubuntu tweak would only work on Ubuntu and its spin-offs, and apt-fast only for distros that use apt).

By the way, the links are working fine here.

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Re: Little extras that make Linux easier or more fun.

Post by Aging Technogeek »

It seems that the embedded links to webupd8 sites are a little off the mark. I could click the link, get to a page saying the desired page does not exist, then navigate to the parent webupd8 page and go to the page I originally linked to with the same URL and it would work. I removed all the embedded links that were not working properly and inserted the site URLs. These should work.

MAlsPa,

I guess you are right about the relevance of the apps, every one except Ubuntu Tweak works in LMDE. I have not tried them yet in any other distros, but since I have almost solely Ubuntu based distros, I don't think it would be a telling test. I will change the topic name to something more all encompassing.
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Re: Little extras that make Linux easier or more fun.

Post by MALsPa »

Good stuff, no matter how you want to word the title of the thread!

Something that just came to mind: In GNOME, unlike in KDE, by default there's nothing to set up to have the wallpapers change every x minutes.

Last time I looked, neither wallpaper-tray nor Wally (I'm currently using Wally in GNOME in Mint Isadora and in Ubuntu Lucid) were available in the Squeeze repos.

So, I've been using DesktopNova in Squeeze's GNOME instead. I'm guessing that it would work for you LMDE users as well!

I guess automatic background changers aren't something that make things easier, but they do make things more fun, in my opinion!

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Re: Little extras that make Linux easier or more fun.

Post by richyrich »

For networking and file sharing, all my home Linux pc's use Gigolo. It's available in Synaptic for all Mint 9 versions including LMDE. The only thing I include in the install is gvfs-fuse. The first thing I do is go to View and check Side Panel. Then by clicking the Network tab, it will scan for (and find) everything that is shared on everything that is turned on. I also install and show this easy to use app to my new Mint clients as well.

special note & thanks ;
merlwiz79 worked hard getting this to behave well with Thunar in Xfce.

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Re: Little extras that make Linux easier or more fun

Post by jlr1701 »

I really like Burg, but it breaks the startup/shutdown logos in Mint 9 and 10 RC. They go back to being BIG and UGLY. Anyone know of a fix for this issue?

Thanks,

Jeff
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Re: Little extras that make Linux easier or more fun

Post by Gramps50 »

Great idea 'AT' thanks for starting the thread

I think I came across this while didtro hopping and found it very useful and now I install it on any distro that I use

Parcellite is a lightweight GTK+ clipboard manager. This is a stripped down, basic-features-only clipboard manager with a small memory footprint for those who like simplicity.
Requirements
gtk >= 2.10.0
glib >= 2.14.0
Features
Keeps a clipboard history.
Various view options to display items the way you like it.
Daemon mode; guard your clipboard contents when you close applications.
Global hotkeys to display your items quickly.
Perform custom commands using clipboard contents.
LMDE ROCKS!!!

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Re: Little extras that make Linux easier or more fun

Post by sgosnell »

For a wallpaper changer, I like wallpapoz.
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Re: Little extras that make Linux easier or more fun

Post by Aging Technogeek »

I found this app (http://www.webupd8.org/2010/10/install- ... es-in.html ) on kernel dot net today, installed it and started playing with it. I must have done something wrong because, after supposedly installing a new bootsplash, I rebooted to check it out and found that I had deleted the default Plymouth bootsplash without installing a replacement. When the boot was complete, I found that the app would not run without a Plymouth bootsplash as default so I could not even use it to correct the original mistake. Now I have no pretty Plymouth splash on startup or shutdown.

It's no biggie, everything still works but I removed the app and am posting here just to let others know that the application, while potentially useful is, in my opinion, still too new and buggy for most users.

Download it if you want and try it yourself. If anyone finds out just what I did and how to fix it, please post it here.
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Re: Little extras that make Linux easier or more fun

Post by vincent »

Aging Technogeek wrote:If anyone finds out just what I did and how to fix it, please post it here.

Code: Select all

ls /usr/share/plymouth/themes
You'll get something like this as the output, depending on which themes you already have:

Code: Select all

details  fade-in  glow  script  solar  spinfinity  text
Now, just select one of the themes you have...in this case, I'm using the "solar" theme.

Code: Select all

sudo plymouth-set-default-theme solar
And reboot to see it it worked.
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Aging Technogeek
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Re: Little extras that make Linux easier or more fun

Post by Aging Technogeek »

vincent,

Are you running LMDE? I have used the method you describe in LMDE to set my bootsplash to the same Solar you are using.

Unfortunately, I did this in Mint 10 RC. I should have mentioned that in the original post (here I am a moderator and still making the same mistakes of omission I chide newbies for). There is no /usr/share/plymouth/themes file in this OS.
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Re: Little extras that make Linux easier or more fun

Post by vincent »

Well, I'm running pure Debian at the moment...but it's pretty much the same thing as LMDE. Well, I suppose Ubuntu might've tweaked their own Plymouth packages somehow; I'm not sure of the proper way of changing Plymouth boot screens in Ubuntu-based distros, sorry.
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Aging Technogeek
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Re: Little extras that make Linux easier or more fun

Post by Aging Technogeek »

That was the reason I tried this app. It is supposed to allow easy installation of different Plymouth themes in Ubuntu and Ubuntu-based distros, but it seems like it could use some more work.

As I said, it's no big deal. Since I normally suspend when I leave the computer and only reboot once or twice a day, I can live without a pretty bootsplash.
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Re: Little extras that make Linux easier or more fun

Post by Sleven »

Thanks for the post aging. I need a bit of clarification if you will. I'm trying to install burg in LMDE. I saw your post here:
I did it some time ago. Burg is now the first thing I install whenever I install a fresh version of Mint or any other Ubuntu based distro. (It also works in LMDE) See my post here.
from http://forum.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.ph ... 5&p=335020

which lead me to this thread:
Many of you have probably heard of the Burg bootloader. It is basically a pretty face for Grub 2 with several skins available and other nice to have functions. Download and install from http://code.google.com/p/burg/wiki/InstallUbuntu.
but the link explains how to install in Ubuntu, not LMDE, unless I'm missing something.
LMDE 64 running Cinnamon on an HP Compaq Core2 Duo 4G Ram

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