Category Archives: Linux Stuff

Linux Stuff

How To Run Gedit And Nautilus As Root With pkexec Instead Of gksu

gksu hasn’t been updated since 2009 and is not recommended any more. In fact, Ubuntu no longer ships with gksu by default (though it may be installed for many of you, because some apps still depend on it) and it may even be completely removed at some point.
The recommended replacement for gksu is pkexec and applications like Synaptic, Ubuntu Software Center, Software & Updates and others use it for some time but what if you want to use pkexec with applications like Gedit or Nautilus? By default, you can’t because pkexec can’t run graphical applications without having a PolicyKit file installed in /usr/share/polkit-1/actions/ for the app you’re trying to run as root, and Ubuntu doesn’t ship with PolicyKit files for Nautilus or Gedit.

pkexec Unity
pkexec authentication dialog under Unity

pkexec GNOME Shell
pkexec authentication dialog under GNOME Shell

For instance, Nemo comes with a such a file and so do Xfce’s Thunar and Mousepad (Xubuntu 15.04), but Nautilus and Gedit don’t support this by default.
Until (if) Ubuntu adds these PolicyKit files by default, you can use the instructions below to install two custom policy files I’ve created for Nautilus and Gedit, which allows running these applications as root via pkexec (firstly install wget: “sudo apt-get install wget”):

– for Nautilus:

wget -O /tmp/org.gnome.nautilus.policy
sudo cp /tmp/org.gnome.nautilus.policy /usr/share/polkit-1/actions/

– for Gedit:

wget -O /tmp/org.gnome.gedit.policy
sudo cp /tmp/org.gnome.gedit.policy /usr/share/polkit-1/actions/

If you want to install these files manually, grab them from here: Nautilus | Gedit.

That’s it! Now give it a try – open a terminal and type:
pkexec gedit


pkexec nautilus
For quick access, you can create launchers for running Nautilus and Gedit as root: simply use “pkexec nautilus” or “pkexec gedit” as the command.

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Nautilus, Nemo And Caja Extension `Folder Color` Sees New Release

Folder Color is a file manager extension available for Nautilus, Nemo and Caja, which until recently could only be used to change individual folder colors. The tool was updated yesterday with a new feature: you can now use it to easily change all the folders colors with a click:

Folder Color
Nemo Folder Color, setting the global color to purple

Also, until now, Folder Color only worked with Ubuntu’s (default) Humanity icon theme (and other icon themes based on it) however, the latest Folder Color brings support for another icon theme: Numix.

Folder Color
Nautilus (3.14) Folder Color with the latest Numix Icon Theme from Git

For now, Folder Color will only work with the latest Numix icon theme from GIT because the Numix PPA wasn’t updated yet.

Since we last wrote about Folder Color, the tool added yet another feature: the ability to set folder emblems. There are just 4 emblems that you can set using Folder Color (Favorite, Finished, Important, In Progress), but that should be enough for most users:

Folder Color

I should also mention that all the changes performed by Folder Color can easily be reverted: to change a folder’s color back to default and to remove its emblem, simply right click the folder and select Folder’s Color > Default (under “Restore”). Or, if you’ve changed the global folder color, right click any folder and select Folder’s Color > Global Color (under “Edit”), select “Default” from the dropdown and click “Apply”:
Folder Color

Install Folder Color in Ubuntu

Folder Color is available in a PPA, for Ubuntu 15.04, 14.10, 14.04 and 12.04. Add the PPA using the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:costales/folder-color
sudo apt-get update

Then, to install the latest Folder Color for Nautilus, use the commands below:

sudo apt-get install folder-color
nautilus -q

Or, to install Folder Color for Nemo, use the following commands:
sudo apt-get install folder-color-nemo
nemo -q
If Folder Color doesn’t work with Nemo, you may need to apply the fix listed under step 4 from HERE.

To install Folder Color for Caja, use the following commands:

sudo apt-get install folder-color-caja
caja -q

If Folder Color doesn’t show up in the Caja context menu, fix it by using the following command:

– 32bit:

sudo ln -s /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/girepository-1.0/Caja-2.0.typelib /usr/lib/girepository-1.0/Caja-2.0.typelib
caja -q

– 64bit:

sudo ln -s /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/girepository-1.0/Caja-2.0.typelib /usr/lib/girepository-1.0/Caja-2.0.typelib
caja -q

To download the source code, report bugs, etc., see the Folder Color Launchpad page.

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Latest Intel Linux Graphics Drivers Now Available for Ubuntu 14.10



Intel has announced a new release of their Graphics Installer for Linux utility, which gives users an easy way to upgrade Intel graphics drivers on supported operating systems. 

This time around Ubuntu 14.10 (and Fedora 21) are formally supported, with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (and Fedora 20) entering ‘deprecated’ status.

Deprecated status allows users to use the tool to remove or install an older version of the graphics stack.

Not that Ubuntu 14.04 users will want to.

Those running the most recent Long Term Support release are warned off using the latest version of the tool entirely. Under “known issues” the Intel Open Source Group notes:

“Packages installed by the Graphics Installer for Ubuntu 14.04 “trusty” may no longer function properly …therefore, we discourage use of the Graphics Installer on Ubuntu 14.04.”


Utopic users aren’t left in the blush and can make full use of the tool to upgrade to the Intel 2014Q4 graphics stack.

Released in late December, the 2014Q4 stack brings a number of improvements to the standard Intel Linux 2D and 3D drivers, including:

  • Improved support for Broadwell and CherryView CPUs
  • Prearations for Skylake processors
  • Backlight and power sequencer fixes
  • Revamped Vblank handling

The tool no longer performs major xserver-xorg upgrades as part of its update process, a change introduced in the previous release.

Installers and further information on the ins’  and outs of this latest release can found at the official Intel Open Source Group project.

Download Intel Linux Graphics Installer 0.8

The post Latest Intel Linux Graphics Drivers Now Available for Ubuntu 14.10 first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

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Meet Blueberry, Linux Mint’s New Bluetooth Setup Tool

What do you do when the default Bluetooth configuration utility is less than ideal? Why you dive in and improve it — this is Linux after all!

That is precisely what the popular Linux distribution Linux Mint has done.

Not quite convinced by the standard bluetooth tools on offer in their various releases, Linux Mint has created a brand new Bluetooth setup tool called Blueberry. It will ship in the upcoming Linux Mint Debian Edition 2 release and replace the varying approaches in use in other Mint flavors in due course (yes, including in Cinnamon).

The utility has been designed to be simple and to run outside of Linux Mint just as easily (e.g., in Cinnamon on Fedora) It will allow Linux Mint users to set up and manage their Bluetooth mice, keyboard and other extras quickly and easily and offer smarter integration with the underlying system and desktop environment.

mint bluetooth

What Blueberry is not is a new Bluetooth stack. It is a new front-end to ‘gnome-bluetooth’ and will be accessed from the system tray only on devices that support Bluetooth or have Bluetooth enabled.

For further details read the blog post announcing the new feature.

By having one standard config tool across its distributions Linux Mint is not only able to offer a consistent and better user experience for its fervent fans but lessen the development burden for itself.

The post Meet Blueberry, Linux Mint’s New Bluetooth Setup Tool first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

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Ubuntu at Mobile World Congress (Video)

Canonical has uploaded a short video recapping their booth at this year’s Mobile World Congress 2015.

At just over a minute the short clip covers their pitch promoting Ubuntu for Phones, convergence between tablets and PCs, their ongoing cloud successes and its extension into the Internet of Things technologies.

“As the lights go down on Mobile World Congress 2015, we’ve taken a bit of time to reflect on what has become one of our favourite events in the conference calendar. And what a week it was,” the video caption reads.

“Congress touched nearly every part of the company and so here’s a bit of insight into what we did there.”

You can see the video below.

The post Ubuntu at Mobile World Congress (Video) first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

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Fix: Unity Panel And Launcher Displayed On Top Of Fullscreen Wine Games Or Applications

If you run fullscreen Wine games or apps and the Unity panel and launcher show up on top of the game/app in some cases, here’s a simple fix you can use.

wine fullscreen Unity launcher panel

I don’t play too many games (especially Wine games) so I’m not sure how many are affected by this, but I’ve encountered this issue with World of Warcraft (via Wine) and I though the workaround below might help some of you, especially those who are relatively new to Ubuntu.
To fix Unity panel and launcher being displayed on top of some fullscreen Wine games/applications, firstly install CompizConfig Settings Manager (CCSM):
sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager
Then open CompizConfig Settings Manager, search for the “Workarounds” plugin (it should be displayed under “Utility”) and enable “Legacy Fullscreen Support”:

ccsm legacy fullscreen support

There is another way to solve this: by setting Wine to Emulate a virtual desktop (Wine configuration > Graphics) but that workaround has some drawbacks, like displaying a background for non-maximized Wine apps, that’s why using the CCSM settings mentioned above should provide a better results.

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Nemo With Unity Patches Available For Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet

Quick update: Nemo with Unity patches is available for Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet.

Nemo Ubuntu Vivid

For those not familiar with Nemo, this is the default Cinnamon file manager and is a Nautilus fork. 
Nemo continues to provide many of the features removed from Nautilus, like the extra pane or the toggle location button, but there are some other changes as well, like a customizable toolbar (you can add or remove the up/refresh/search/etc icons), a warning is displayed when running Nemo as root, built-in “Open as root”, “Open in terminal” and “Set as wallpaper” context menu items and much more.

While Nemo from the official Ubuntu repositories is built for the Cinnamon desktop, Nemo from the WebUpd8 Nemo PPA is patched to work under Unity (but it should work with other desktop environments too): there are patches to get Nemo to handle the desktop, to support Unity quicklists and the Unity Control Center, removed Cinnamon dependencies, along with other tweaks and fixes imported from Ubuntu’s Nautilus. 
Since there’s no point in reposting the instructions, see THIS article for how to install and optionally set Nemo with Unity patches as the default file manager in Ubuntu 15.04, 14.10 or 14.04 (there’s also an older Nemo version for Ubuntu 12.04).

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OpenSCAD 2015.03 released with text objects support

Marius Kintel released a major new version of OpenSCAD, a 3D solid modeling application popular with the makers movement and 3D printing communities.

OpenSCAD is different from the usual solid modeling CAD software in a way that instead of visual modeling you use a simple declarative programming language, hence “The Programmers’ Solid 3D CAD Modeler” slogan. Complex objects are constructed from solid primitives such as cube, sphere, cylinder, polyhedron etc., extruded from 2D objects etc. These days, of course, there is an OpenSCAD workbench in FreeCAD for more visually inclined people.

Just to give you idea, here’s e.g. a platform for a micro spider hex multirotor, 3D-printed in PLA from a design available in the OpenSCAD file format on Thingiverse.

Micro Spider Hex Multirotor

The first intersting new feature in v2015.03 is support for text, especially since OpenSCAD relies on harfbuzz, free/libre OpenType shaping engine. What it means is that OpenType features like contextual ligatures are supported. A somewhat tired example here is, of course, the much abused Lobster typeface which has quite a lot of these ligatures:

Ligatures in OpenSCAD text

The command for that is as simple as:

text("open", size="4", font ="Lobster Two");

Of course, if you are going to 3D-print that, you need to merge these ligatures. It’s unlikely that there will be manual kerning, but you can fix your model the old way, by splitting a word into several blocks, then translating them accordingly like this:

text("op", size="4", font ="Lobster Two");
translate ([10.9,0,0]) {
    text("en", size="4", font ="Lobster Two");

The result is:

Ligatures merged

The other benefit is that complex scripts are supported. An unparalled imaginative example here is the word “Devanagari” written in, well, Devanagari:

For information about text attributes such as vertical and horizontal alignment have a look at the documentation.

One more new OpenSCAD function is offset() which moves polygon outlines outwards or inwards by a given amount. You can control if you want rounding of corners (and by how much), straight corners, or chamfers.

Offset example

There are a couple of new functions and some improvements in the existing ones, like e.g. using PNG as input for a heightmap in the surface function.

PNG as heightmap in OpenSCAD

The user interface got a few improvements as well: new startup dialog to quickly open recent files or examples from a library, new QScintilla-based code editor with folding support, SVG and AMF exporting, and more.

There is a less verbose yet more complete list of changes on GitHub.

Builds are available for Mac and Windows, there’s a PPA for Ubuntu (not updated yet), and source code is there for everyone (a note to Fedora users: unless you like jumping through hoops before using software, build with Qt4 and the respective version of QScintilla).

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The New Ubuntu 15.04 Default Wallpaper Is Here

Ubuntu 15.04 will ship with a brand new default wallpaper based around the Ubuntu Phone “Suru” design concepts.

The refreshed design, which can be seen below, marks the first major change to the default background of Ubuntu since the April 2014 release of 14.04 LTS ‘Trusty Tahr’.

Trusty was first to introduce a backdrop using Canonical’s ‘Suru’ design language for Ubuntu Phone/Unity 8 and the same wallpaper was used in the subsequent release, Ubuntu 14.10.

While not a massive switch in design, still using the “origami style folds over a purple-y orange gradient”, the new drape will help give the upcoming release of 15.04 a refreshed look.

suru desktop wallpaper ubuntu vivid

The New 15.04 Wallpaper (note: this image has been compressed)

For reference, this is the current background:

14.04 & 14.10 Default Wallpaper

14.04 & 14.10 Default Wallpaper

Alternative Version

Canonical’s Will Cooke, who uploaded the new design to a bug issue on Launchpad, also added an alternative greyscale version. Canny Ubuntu Phone developers may notice a similar riff to the light Scopes background used on the Ubuntu Phone.

The alternate greyscale version

The alternate greyscale version  (note: this image has been compressed)

Both versions can be downloaded directly from Launchpad using the links below.

Bear in mind that, as we saw with Trusty, there may be a few minor tweaks or alterations made between this first glance and the version that ships “on disc” in Ubuntu 15.04.

Download Ubuntu 15.04 Default Wallpaper

Download Ubuntu 15.04 ‘Alternate’ Default Wallpaper

Neither wallpaper is yet to be packaged up and uploaded to Vivid itself. So if you’re already running a daily build and don’t see it…that’s why.

Lastly, don’t break in to a sweat if the new design isn’t quite your thing. The default wallpaper can, as always, be easily changed to anything you like, be it a photo of a TARDIS, some cute kittens in a hand crafted basket or a solid block of canary yellow.

Are you a fan of the refreshed look? Let us know in the comments below. 

The post The New Ubuntu 15.04 Default Wallpaper Is Here first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

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Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet Default Wallpaper Revealed

The default Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet wallpaper was revealed a few minutes ago. The wallpaper continues to use the polygon style introduced with the Ubuntu 14.04 default wallpaper, but without the orange. In fact, the new default wallpaper is mostly purple, as you can see below:

Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet default wallpaper
Download (open the link a new tab)

Along with the new default wallpaper, there’s also an alternative grayscale wallpaper which will probably be installed (but not used) by default:

Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet alternative default wallpaper
Download (open the link a new tab)

The new default wallpaper should land in Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet soon, along with the new community wallpapers, but you can download them already via Launchpad.
What do you think?

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