Best Terminal Emulator Application

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Edge-gnome-terminal

Frankly, I don’t think that there is any point of discussion, it is hands down KDE’s Konsole, but as recently I’ve been using GNOME 3.16 as my main desktop environment, I thought it will be useful to have a list of features missing from GNOME Terminal to be a contender:

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Mounting SMB shares using URL under GNOME and KDE

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

As most Linux users are aware, you can access network shares with your file browser of choice (Dolphin, Nautilus and probably others) by writing URLs into the file browser’s “location bar”(1).

If you ever had to work with MS-Windows file server, you should know that you can also access SMB file shares using URLs – with the schema “smb”, like this: smb://file-server/share-name.

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  1. and this works just as well with the desktop’s “run dialog” – try holding ALT-F2 and typing something like ftp://ftp.mirrorservice.org/ and up comes your file browser showing the FTP site’s directories. This won’t work for GNOME 3, at least at this time. []

Installing Consolas TrueType Font for Linux

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

This is a short “how to” article on how to get and install the new Microsoft Consolas Monotype font – this is a very nice programmer font and as described in Dan Benjamin’s “Top 10 Programming Fonts” it is highly recommended for use in your programmer’s editor or IDE (As a side note, his top selection, Inconsolata is also very nice and I highly recommend it if you don’t feel like using Microsoft created software and/or aren’t interested in performing the steps below which may or may not be legally problematic).

The main problem with using Consolas on your Linux workstation, is that this font is provided by Microsoft, and while if you are running MS-Windows (or even Mac OS-X) it may already be installed – as it is bundled with many Microsoft products, us in the Linux world have no easy (and legal) way to get to use Consolas in our code editing. Unlike Microsoft Core Fonts for the Web Consolas is not available for download – probably for the same reason the core fonts packages were pulled. But as Consolas is bundled with many Microsoft products, some are available for free download for anyone, we can use that to get us some nifty Consolas prettiness in our day to day Linux computing.

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Using Evolution under KDE – GNOME Keyring issues

Monday, April 25th, 2011

Lets face it – Kontact is a nice application but its not really a contender if you want integration with your corporate address book and calendar in your PIM application(1) and Evolution is the only solution for the feature set one would expect from a corporate friendly PIM solution.

Evolution works great when running under GNOME, but if you hate GNOME 3 as much as I do(2), then you are likely to try to run Evolution under a recent KDE 4. And then problems start mounting – there’s the file dialogs which look completely different and don’t inter-operate with KDE’s virtual file system layer (KIO), but the most annoying problem is saving the passwords for your email, address book and calendar services.

Evolution relies on GNOME’s keyring service to store passwords for remote services, and that service is not running when you start KDE. Without the keyring, Evolution will keep asking you for passwords to all your email services when you start up, and for all your address book services when you try to compose an email. Which wouldn’t have been that bad if not for the fact that before popping up the password dialog, Evolution spends minutes (!!) trying to contact the GNOME keyring service. Only after being frozen for a couple of minutes you get asked for the first password, and if you have more then one service then please wait two more minutes while Evolution tries fruitlessly to contact GNOME keyring again!

The solution is simple – have GNOME keyring launch automatically when you log in to KDE, just like it does for GNOME. There are several ways to do this – for example using KDE’s “startup applications” system or writing custom profile scripts (I’ve tried both), but the more elegant solution I found in fedorahosted.org where someone committed a simple script that generates GNOME keyring startup and shutdown scripts for KDE. I’m guessing this is used in the KDE live CD spins for Fedora.

Anyway, this script can easily adapted to generate GNOME keyring integration scripts for your local KDE installation. Just start Konsole, and paste this into the command line:


cat > $HOME/.kde/env/start-custom.sh <<EOF
#!/bin/sh
eval \`gnome-keyring-daemon\`
export GNOME_KEYRING_PID
export GNOME_KEYRING_SOCKET
EOF
chmod 755 $HOME/.kde/env/start-custom.sh
cat > $HOME/.kde/shutdown/stop-custom.sh <<EOF
#/bin/sh
if [-n "\$GNOME_KEYRING_PID"]; then
kill \$GNOME_KEYRING_PID
fi
EOF
chmod 755 $HOME/.kde/shutdown/stop-custom.sh

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  1. also – contrary to popular belief in hacker circles, rich text editing is useful – and Kontact really sucks at that []
  2. if you are a GNOME user and weren’t exposed to GNOME 3 yet, then don’t worry – soon coming to a distro near your, and you’re likely not going to like it []

A New Fedora Release – Worse Than Ever?

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

[Regarding the title – well, probably not]
I’ve migrated from Ubuntu 10.04 to Fedora 13 on my laptop (because Ubuntu 10.04 was released to the public, so its not interesting to run it anymore 😉 ) and I’ve just finished listening to The Linux Action Show review of Fedora 13 and I wanted to relate to that and to my experience of using Fedora.

The Linux Action Show review is useful, and good, but its not really fair – Chris and Bryan ranted on a lot of things that do not work well for Fedora, such as not a lot of applications pre-installed and some new and immature applications being introduced, Flash being hard to install, codecs missing and obscure instructions on Fedora’s wiki pages on how to address these issues, and more.

The thing is, is that all those comments are fair when looking at an operating system that is geared towards the general public – like Ubuntu – but Bryan and Chris themselves mentioned that Fedora is not aimed at that crowd but is meant for power users and developers (the debate about what is the target audience for Fedora is raging – I think the best description I heard so far, is from Máirín Duffy – heading Fedora’s design team – where in an interview she said “Fedora is aimed at people who want to work on Fedora).

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