Archive for the ‘Applications for Ubuntu’ Category

If you are familiar with Norton Commander that very popular in MS-DOS time, 1986-1998, then mc (gnu midnight commander) is the clone of it. It was started by Miguel de Icaza in 1994. At first release, it was mouseless. It’s pure text user interface based. It’s part of the GNU project and it is licensed under the terms of the GNU General Public License.
There are 3 things that I most like from mc.
-Quick view of a file content.
-Access to hot list directory
-Access to FTP server

To install mc, from your Linux Terminal, type: $ sudo apt-get install mc.
To run the program, just type: $ mc.
Below is the main screen. As you can see:
Menu Title is on the top. There area Left, File, Command, Options and Right.
-There are 2 panels which display the file system.
Function Keys (F1 …. F10)
Linux prompt, where you can type linux command line here for changing directory. For example, “cd /etc”. It will display directory ‘/etc’ in active panel.


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Some distros, the default editor is Nano and some is vi. I like vim, may be other users like emacs or atom.
So, how to change our preferred editor become the default text editor?

From your Linux terminal, type:

$ update-alternatives --list editor

It will display any editor installed in your system.

To change the default editor, type:

$ update-alternatives --config editor
There are 5 choices for the alternative editor (providing /usr/bin/editor).

Selection    Path         Priority    Status
*0      /bin/nano            40       auto mode
1       /bin/ed             -100      manual mode
2       /bin/nano            40       manual mode
3       /usr/bin/mcedit      25       manual mode
4       /usr/bin/vim.basic   30       manual mode
5       /usr/bin/vim.tiny    10       manual mode

Press enter to keep the current choice[*], or type selection number:

For example, from nano, I want to change to vim.

$ sudo update-alternatives --config editor
There are 5 choices for the alternative editor (providing /usr/bin/editor).

Selection     Path           Priority    Status
0           /bin/nano           40       auto mode
1           /bin/ed            -100      manual mode
2           /bin/nano           40       manual mode
3           /usr/bin/mcedit     25       manual mode
* 4         /usr/bin/vim.basic  30       manual mode
5           /usr/bin/vim.tiny   10       manual mode

Press enter to keep the current choice[*], or type selection number:

Just press Enter to quit.
Now, my default editor is vim.

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What is Crontab?
Before I answer that question, I will introduce with a linux application called cron. Cron is a daemon (program that runs behind the scene) to execute scheduled commands (Vixie Cron). In another word, cron is an automated time based script execution. Cron is started automatically from /etc/init.d on entering multi-user runlevels. Cron is commonly used for automating system maintenance or administration jobs that may need to run periodically. The term of Cron Jobs is referred from Cron task or jobs.

Any programs that we put in the task scheduler will be placed in a file named ‘crontab file‘.
Cron wakes up every minute to examine all stored crontabs and checking each command to see if it should be run in the current minute.
In this tutorial, I use Linux Ubuntu 11.10.

Let’s check the file. Go to /etc directory and search the file.

$ ls -l crontab
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 723 2019-05-27 23:11 crontab
$ cat crontab
# /etc/crontab: system-wide crontab
# Unlike any other crontab you don't have to run the `crontab'
# command to install the new version when you edit this file
# and files in /etc/cron.d. These files also have username fields,
# that none of the other crontabs do.


# m h dom mon dow user command
17 * * * * root cd / && run-parts --report /etc/cron.hourly
25 6 * * * root test -x /usr/sbin/anacron || ( cd / && run-parts --report /etc/cron.daily )
47 6 * * 7 root test -x /usr/sbin/anacron || ( cd / && run-parts --report /etc/cron.weekly )
52 6 1 * * root test -x /usr/sbin/anacron || ( cd / && run-parts --report /etc/cron.monthly )

This is the content of my cron file. As you can see, there are 4 cron jobs in my crontab file.

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JP2A is an application that convert JPG images to ASCII characters. It’s text based, so you need to run in Linux Terminal. Jp2A does not interpolate when resizing. If you want better quality, use “convert” to produce exact output dimensions before using jp2a.

You can install it by typing: “sudo apt-get install jp2a” in your Linux Terminal.
Since I have my jp2a installed already, the display may be different with you.
Before we start, prepare a small image size.

My image file name is gnome.jpg. To convert the image, just type: jp2a .

$ ls -l gnome.jpg
-rw------- 1 darklinux darklinux 2553 2013-02-26 23:12 gnome.jpg
$ jp2a gnome.jpg


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Banshee is a media player that use Gstreamer multimedia platform for encoding and decoding various media format. Available for Linux, Windows and Mac. Banshee is released under MIT license. Banshee was the default music player in Ubuntu for few years before replaced with Rythmbox.
Since September 2010, Banshee support iPod, iPhone and iPod Touch.

In this tutorial I use:
Banshee ver 2.2.1
Linux Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot
iPod Nano 5 Generation

Let’s start.
First, check if your iPod is recognized or not.
Connect your iPod to your computer, open Linux Terminal and type “lsusb”. This command will list down any USB devises connected to your system.

$ lsusb
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 004 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 005 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 001 Device 002: ID 04f2:b008 Chicony Electronics Co., Ltd USB 2.0 Camera
Bus 001 Device 006: ID 05ac:1265 Apple, Inc. iPod Nano 5.Gen

As you can see, my iPod is recognized as iPod Nano 5.Gen.

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Speedtest-cli is an application to check your Internet Speed with command line in linux terminal. This program is written with python and using speedtest.net as the source.
There are few guidelines in the Internet that mentioned how to install it. In this tutorial, I use Xubuntu 11.10 with xfce 4.8 as desktop environtment.

First, I’ve tried to install via apt-get install but it didn’t work for me.

$ sudo apt-get install speedtest-cli
[sudo] password for darklinux:
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
E: Unable to locate package speedtest-cli

Then I tried to install via PIP (package manager for Python packages), still didn’t work also.

$ pip install speedtest-cli
Downloading/unpacking speedtest-cli
Cannot fetch index base URL http://pypi.python.org/simple/
Could not find any downloads that satisfy the requirement speedtest-cli
No distributions at all found for speedtest-cli
Storing complete log in /home/darklinux/.pip/pip.log

Finally, I download directly from the source via github.

$ git clone https://github.com/sivel/speedtest-cli
Cloning into speedtest-cli...
remote: Enumerating objects: 1150, done.
remote: Total 1150 (delta 0), reused 0 (delta 0), pack-reused 1150
Receiving objects: 100% (1150/1150), 310.06 KiB | 32 KiB/s, done.
Resolving deltas: 100% (684/684), done.
$ ls -l speedtest-cli/
total 112
-rw-rw-r-- 1 darklinux darklinux 1671 2019-05-12 09:40 CONTRIBUTING.md
-rw-rw-r-- 1 darklinux darklinux 11358 2019-05-12 09:40 LICENSE
-rw-rw-r-- 1 darklinux darklinux 35 2019-05-12 09:40 MANIFEST.in
-rw-rw-r-- 1 darklinux darklinux 5606 2019-05-12 09:40 README.rst
-rw-rw-r-- 1 darklinux darklinux 20 2019-05-12 09:40 setup.cfg
-rw-rw-r-- 1 darklinux darklinux 3272 2019-05-12 09:40 setup.py
-rw-rw-r-- 1 darklinux darklinux 3039 2019-05-12 09:40 speedtest-cli.1
-rwxrwxr-x 1 darklinux darklinux 63234 2019-05-12 09:40 speedtest.py
drwxrwxr-x 3 darklinux darklinux 4096 2019-05-12 09:40 tests
-rw-rw-r-- 1 darklinux darklinux 497 2019-05-12 09:40 tox.ini


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What is screen? Screen is a screen manager with terminal emulation in Linux. With Screen, you can create, rename, detach new full windows in it. Then you can run different commands or applications in each window terminal. Each virtual terminal provides the function of DEC VT100 terminal and few functions of ANSI X3.64.

When you run a program in a window terminal and run again in other window terminal, each program will run completely independent. Mean if you move between windows, the program are still running.

There are few similar applications that you can use, ‘terminator, guake, yakuake, tilda, etc’ but screen is very light and easy to use once you get used to with it.

How to install?
Make you are connected to Internet, open your Linux terminal, and type: apt-get install screen.
I have screen installed already in my system, so the message will be different with you.

To run the screen, just type: ‘screen’ in linux terminal and press Enter to continue.
It will create a single window with a shell in it.
$ screen

Welcome screen will be displayed.

You will get an empty terminal, look like normal terminal but it’s not. You are already in Screen shell.

Type any command in it.
For example, I use ‘dig’ command.

Before we start, there are few commands that you need to remember.

-rename the current screen → ctrl+a+A (ctrl+a ctrl+shift+A)
-create a new screen → ctrl+a c
-select your screen → ctrl+a '
-display screen list → ctrl+a “ (ctrl+a ctrl+') it's depend on your keyboard.
-activate screen 0 → ctrl+a 0
-activate screen 1 → ctrl+a 1
-close active screen → ctrl+a k (ctrl+a k), only active screen close.
-detach screen → ctrl+a d (ctrl+a d), will close all screen.


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There few methods available that you can find in the Internet but the method that I like to share it’s bit different. May be, it will suitable for you.

What is the benefit of OFFLINE installation?
You don’t have to connect to the Internet when you install new application and you can distribute it easily.

In this tutorial, I use Ubuntu 14.04.

Below are the steps:

1.Clean the folder /var/cache/apt/archives
Open your linux terminal then type the command below:
$sudo apt-get clean

This command will clean all .deb file in folder /var/cache/apt/archives.
Clean the folder is important otherwise it will mixed up with the previous download application files.
For folder /var/cache/apt/archives/partial is only temporary place before files moved to archieves, so it will automatically cleaned.

2.Update the source list.
Connect to the Internet and update your package list because sometimes your application it’s not the list yet.
$sudo apt-get update

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