Thursday, January 17, 2013

Installing Electricsheep Screensaver on Ubuntu Quantal Quetzal Linux

Electricsheep is an outstanding screen saver for Ubuntu. It can be easily installed and configured using xscreensaver on Ubuntu Quantal Quetzal Linux.

First install the software:

% sudo apt-get install xscreensaver electricsheep

Edit your .xscreensaver options file and add electricsheep so xscreensaver can find it.

% egrep electricsheep .xscreensaver
GL: electricsheep --root 1 \n\

Add xscreensaver to your startup applications. Select the System Tools > Preferences > Startup Applications and add the application. The command is:

xscreensaver -nosplash

Update the screen saver and power settings settings. Select the System Tools > Preferences > Screensaver. Or you can run the command:


Log out and log back in to complete the installation.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Installing Ubuntu Tweak on Ubuntu Quantal Quetzal Linux

Ubuntu Tweak is an interesting application that lets you do a few things you cannot do with the base Ubuntu install.

To install and always be up to date, simply install the latest release.

% sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tualatrix/ppa
% sudo apt-get update
% sudo apt-get install ubuntu-tweak

Installing missing Cisco compatible VPN on Ubuntu Quantal Quetzal Linux

The default Network Manager in Ubuntu Quantal Quetzal has a VPN client available. It includes Point-to-Point Tunnelling Protocol (PPTP) support that is compatible with Microsoft and other PPTP VPN servers.

It is not compatible with Cisco VPN servers.

To add support for IPSec and Cisco-compliant VPN connections, you need to install vpnc support.

% sudo apt-get install network-manager-vpnc

How to Disable Skinny Scrollbars on Ubuntu Quantal Quetzal Linux

The default theme with Ubuntu Quantal Quetzal has these silly skinny scrollbars. The technical name for these is overlay scrollbars, but I am used to the regular scrollbars used in earlier Ubuntu releases and other operating systems.

I found there is a simple one line command to disable these overlay scrollbars.

% gsettings set com.canonical.desktop.interface scrollbar-mode normal

Automatic backup of files using VI with a ~ (tilde)

When editing text files on my new Ubuntu Quantal Quetzal 64bit Linux install using the vi editor, I noticed that the original file was not saved as a backup with a ~ (tilde).

The solution was to enable backups in a vimrc :

% cat ~/.vimrc
:set backup

Now the original is saved as a backup after editing:

% vi test.txt
% ls test.txt*
test.txt test.txt~

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Installing Eclipse 4.2.1 on Ubuntu Quantal Quetzal 64bit Linux

Now that I have a 64 bit Linux, I can install the 64 bit version of Eclipse. The Eclipse is the base for my Java and Javascript development environment on Rational Team Concert.

When starting RTC and updating a work item, I hit an error:

No more handles [Unknown Mozilla path (MOZILLA_FIVE_HOME not set)]

Looking up the workaround for running the Rational Team Concert Eclipse client on 64-bit Linux I found out that there is a problem with XULRunner on this version of Linux.

Upon further investigation, the Eclipse Internal Web Browser was also unavailable with the same problem.

I found some Eclipse SWT references and several other sources that attempted to describe how to fix the problem. After several trial and error attempts, I found installing XULRunner 10.0.2 with the Eclipse 4.2.1 I was using worked best.

I started with the eclipse-SDK-4.2.1-linux-gtk-x86_64 that was the Juno SR1 download.

I downloaded the XULRunner 10.0.2 64 bit Linux runtime directly from the Mozilla downloads site.

One the runtime is downloaded:

% bunzip2 xulrunner-10.0.2.en-US.linux-x86_64.tar.bz2
% tar xvf xulrunner-10.0.2.en-US.linux-x86_64.tar

which created the xulrunner folder. To make it clear the XULRunner version and put in a shared location:

% mv xulrunner  xulrunner-10.0.2.en-US.linux-x86_64
% sudo mv xulrunner-10.0.2.en-US.linux-x86_64/ /usr/lib

Now I updated the Eclipse:

% vi /eclipse/eclipse-SDK-4.2.1-linux-gtk-x86_64/eclipse.ini

and added the line:


This solves the issue, the internal browser and RTC now work fine.

Replacing Unity on Ubuntu Quantal Quetzal with Cinnamon Desktop and Cairo Dock

I am not a fan of Unity which is the default desktop installed with Ubuntu Quantal Quetzal.

I rather like the Cairo Dock to get a Mac-like menu, application, notification, icon list thingy at the bottom of the desktop and have used Cairo Dock way back to Lucid Lynx.

I also run Cinnamon Desktop as the default desktop and run Cairo Dock at start up. I auto-hide the Cinnamon panel at the top of the screen. The notification area for icons is much better with Gnome so I need the panel to be able to see some of the IBM specific notification icons. Auto-hide at the top so you do not see the panel and it takes up zero screen space, but is still available when needed. Cairo Dock started crashing returning from sleep in one of the Oneiric Ocelot updates so it is especially good to have a backup start menu when needed.

To install Cairo Dock, I followed the steps:

% sudo add-apt-repository ppa:cairo-dock-team/ppa
% sudo apt-get update
% sudo apt-get install cairo-dock cairo-dock-plug-ins

To install Cinnamon Desktop, I followed the steps:

% sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gwendal-lebihan-dev/cinnamon-stable
% sudo apt-get update
% sudo apt-get install cinnamon

To run Cinnamon, you select the desktop using the icon above the password on the Ubuntu login screen.