Wednesday, August 31, 2016


Because of persistent video issues in elementary Freya on this Meerkat, even after running the HW kernel updates, I am just running the OEM Ubuntu 16.04 with Unity.

I'm planning on getting back to blog posts after the release of 0.4 Loki.

Thanks for sticking around!!

Monday, August 22, 2016

How to change the clock format (workaround for Freya bug).

Elementary OS Freya has an applet to change the time format to the 12- or 24-hour clock in System Settings >> Date & Time. These settings are otherwise set by your Language and Region.

Changing this via the GUI doesn't actually change the time in the top bar. This is a bug that has been reported.

In the meantime, there is an easy fix via a terminal command:

To change the time displayed from 12 to 24-hour, simply open a Terminal (Super+T) and enter the following:

gsettings set com.canonical.indicator.datetime time-format '24-hour'

To go the other way (from 24-hour to 12 hour), just change '24-hour' in the above command to '12-hour'

That will permanently change the displayed time in the system, and it's just that easy! It would be nice if the devs could fix that System Settings bug!!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

How to get Deepin Music player working in elementary OS Freya

Deepin Music Player is designed by Linux Deepin team and it's a default audio player in Deepin OS. It has many cool features like a skinnable UI (like the old WinAMP), lyrics display, FM, online audio support and a mini mode.

Noobslab posted a walkthrough to get it working in "All Ubuntu and Linux Mint Versions," and I can install it without a hitch by using their method (just the usual add the ppa, update, install). However, when I try to run it from the Applications menu, it is unresponsive. When I run it from the terminal I get the following:
Gtk-Message: Failed to load module "pantheon-filechooser-module"
INFO Loading settings...
INFO Loading application theme...
INFO Loading MediaDB...
INFO Initialize Gui...
<class 'Xlib.protocol.request.QueryExtension'>
INFO MMKeys mode: gnome
Attempt to unlock mutex that was not locked
This appears to be a bug in GTK itself making it incompatible with glib >= 2.41 (both from gnome...).

DISCLAIMER: I am not a trained professional. I am not a Linux, GTK, Gnome or any other sort of technological expert. USE THIS ADVICE AND MODIFY YOUR SYSTEM AT YOUR OWN RISK!!

By updating the sources list for Deepin to add the Vivid repositories, I was able to update some of the dependencies to get the program to work. Here's what I did:
1. Open Files as Administrator

2. Navigate to the deepin sources list located at /etc/apt/sources.list.d/noobslab-deepin-sc-trusty.list

3. Open it as administrator in Scratch and add the following repositories (I'm making you add them all because I can't remember which on the files are in that we need): 

deb vivid main restricted
deb vivid-updates main restricted
deb vivid universe
deb vivid-updates universe
deb vivid multiverse
deb vivid-updates multiverse
deb vivid-backports main restricted universe multiverse
deb vivid-security main restricted
deb vivid-security universe
deb vivid-security multiverse

AFTER THIS PROCESS IS OVER, GO BACK INTO THIS FILE AND REMOVE THE VIVID SOURCES!!!!!!!!!!!! Otherwise, if you upgrade your system (via sudo apt-get dist-upgrade) it could upgrade using these repos and break your system!!

4. In terminal, run [sudo apt-get update]

5. Then run [sudo apt-get install libglib2.0-0 libc-bin libgtk2.0-0] to install the updated libraries that Deepin Music needs.

6. Restart your computer (not sure if this is necessary, but I always do).

7. Run Deepin Music from the Applications menu and ENJOY!!

Friday, August 19, 2016

How to Change the Default Account Avatar in elementary OS Freya

System Settings >> User Accounts
Unlock in upper right with password.
Click on the picture placeholder
Navigate to the picture you want to use, and you're all set!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Youtube trick to sort playlists

We've all been on youtube and found some great content by a user that you just love, and you'd like to binge-watch all this person's videos!

Youtube doesn't allow you to watch a user's videos from oldest to newest in a playlist (unless you create your own by adding each video individually), but by sorting uploads by Upload date (oldest first), clicking on the first video (the oldest one), and adding:


to the end of the address!! I go through the simple process in the following video:

NOTE: This is my first ever video uploaded to youtube, so if it's the digital equivalent of a cave painting, I apologize. Just trying to figure it out! Hopefully if I continue to do videos, I'll get better!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Why is Red Shift not starting on boot?

After all, it's in the Startup Applications menu!!

There is a known bug that stops Redshift starting automatically in elementary and some other Ubuntu derivitaves due to geoclue conflicts on startup.

To work around this, you need to "hard code" your location into the startup command for Red Shift:

1. Just Google " lat long for <Your Location>"

The Latitude is the first number, the longitude is the second one.

2. Now we're going to create a Custom command to run at startup that will hardcode that location bypassing the geoclue error. To do this, Open Scratch and craft the following command:

gtk-redshift -l <LAT>:<LONG>

So in our example for Boise, we would type:

gtk-redshift -l 43.588709:-116.229978

3. Now go into Settings >> Applications >> Startup and add the command to load at Startup:

4. You can leave in the original Redshift-added Startup item or delete it. It doesn't matter.

NOTE: With this command entered, it should work whether or not Autostart is checked in the Redshift notification menu.

5. Now reboot, and Red Shift should load on startup as intended!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

How to install new and updated packages WITHOUT AN INTERNET CONNECTION

Yesterday I received my System76 Meerkat via UPS, and I was super stoked to receive it since they only ship computers running Ubuntu, and I'm a total Linux (OK, OK GNU/Linux... you happy?) enthusiast. They are also a domestic computer company (a rare sight these days) that sells great products with awesome, personal customer service.

Even if I needed a Windows machine, I would still buy it from System76 just to support them. I'm sick and tired of people on forums bitching about how they are "too expensive."

  • First of all, they are not. They use only top notch components and have excellent build quality.
  • They have active and engaged staff who treat customers well, which indicates that System76 treat their employees well.
  • Those two things cost money, plain and simple.
  • Remember the devices you get with NO support, shoddy design and components are "cost effective" because their employees are treated horribly in most cases. Remember the FOXCONN controversy, all you Apple fans?
  • Factoring in all of the above, quality and service, System76 puts out some pretty good bargains!
But I digress.

I got the computer hooked up, and I installed my absolute favorite distro, elementary OS. I booted it up for the first time, and the machine wouldn't find the Intel Wireless AC wifi card that the machine shipped with.

A few chats later and some great help from both System76 and the elementary devs (from my laptop -- also running elementary, btw), I found out that the processor and/or motherboard that shipped with the machine was too new (See what I'm saying -- quality...) and wasn't supported by the underlying 14.04 base that elementary OS is based on. They gave me the terminal commands to run to enable the new hardware stack piecemeal while still running the 14.04 base, and I was off and running ... or so I thought!

I switched over to the Meerkat and thought, "How in the hell can I run these terminal commands here without an internet connection?" Hardwiring direct to the router would involve taking the machine, keyboard and mouse down to the basement, finding a spot, setting it all up, etc. etc. There had to be a better way, right? Isn't there a way to package them into a file and extract and install them offline?

The short answer is YES! While it's not quite as easy as downloading a zip or deb file, it isn't too hard. After all, I was able to do it. Here's how it works:

1. Install Synaptic Package Manager on both the online and offline machines. There may be other Package Managers that can do this, but Synaptic is what I used.

2. Open Synaptic and search for the packages you need for the OFFLINE machine. For this example, we'll download and install Abiword:

3. Left click on the checkbox next to the package or program you need on the OFFLINE machine and click on "Mark for Installation."

4. Synaptic will then go out to find all of the needed dependencies needed by Abiword and prompt you to also mark these packages for installation. Go ahead and click Mark.  

5. You can now see that Synpatic has marked all these packages for installation, but INSTEAD OF CLICKING "APPLY," go to File >> Generate Package download script.

6. Save this script as on the removable drive you'll use to install this on the offline machine.

7. You'll then need to pop over to the Terminal to run this script to actually download the files that we will install on the offline machine. Once there cd to the directory on your removable storage where you saved

8. We'll now need to make run as a program by running the following command:
sudo chmod +x

9. Now we'll run the executable bash script that will go out and download all the packages and save them on the removable drive! We're on the home stretch!

The script will then run...

11. Now make sure the files are saved on the removable drive, eject it and go to the offline machine:

12. ON THE OFFLINE MACHINE with the removable drive plugged in and mounted, open Synaptic, click File >> Add Downloaded Packages.

13. Then browse to the directory on your removable drive where and all the extracted packages are. Click Open.

14. Synaptic will then organize all the downloaded packages and offer to add them to the install queue in the correct order! Click Apply.

Synaptic will then perform the install...

15. You will now find the application installed and functional on the offline machine!!

Hope this is helpful to you all. Any other suggestions or feedback or questions are always welcome.

Friday, August 12, 2016

How to install and use Radio Tray in elementary

I frequently listen to online radio streams, and I think it's clunky to download the .pls file to Downloads, then open VLC and browse to the file to listen. It's even worse to download a whole program like Clementine just to listen to radio streams. There HAS to be a better way.

I was searching through the Software Center one day and came across this:

An online radio streaming player, JUST what I needed! So I downloaded it, and ran it from the Applications menu, and ... NOTHING. No windows, no errors, no activity indicator, nothing.

Thankfully this is not 1985, and I have access to the internet. I was able to come up with the following solution that makes Radiotray work AND display in the Notification area, so I don't have to monkey with browsing for it or cluttering up my dock: WIN - WIN!!

Here's what I did:

1. Go ahead and install Radio Tray from the Software Center, it won't work right now, but it's OK.

2. <Super+T> to open a terminal and type:

  • cd /usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/radiotray
double check that path by starting to type, then hit <Tab> to make sure it's right, but it should be.

3. Once you're in that directory, type:

  • sudo scratch-text-editor
Or again for faster service (because who wants to type out scratch-text-editor every time?) type sudo scra<Tab> and it should fill out the rest, then type (Or SysT<Tab> should do it.)

4. Within Scratch, find this:

and comment out (add # before) gtk.gdk.threads_init(), like this:

Wait a few seconds for it to save (I do anyway.)

5. Then just start it from the Applications menu, and it should work. Add stations, listen to the stock ones, add it to your Startup, whatever you want to do! Here is the indicator in action with the Notification for the station I selected.

Modify the Applications button on Slingshot


How it looks: 
  1. Download a 24x24 px icon that you want to replace Applications with: Some icons you may like:
  2. Open file manager up as administrator and go to: /usr/share/themes/elementary/gtk-3.0
  3. Place the icon you want to use in that folder. DO NOT CLOSE THE WINDOW YET
  4. rename it to "icon.svg"
  5. Make sure the icon has proper permissions by right clicking on it, choosing properties > more > and making it 644-777 (read, write, and executable by owner, group, everyone) or else wingpanel may not load.
  6. Open up apps.css (SHOULD BE IN THE SAME FOLDER)
  7. in Scratch, scroll down to the panel settings, find .panel-app-button > GtkWidget > GtkWidget:first-child
  8. and change what's in the {brackets} to what's below.
    { padding: 0px 24px 0px 0px; font-size: 0px; background-image: url("icon.svg"); background-repeat: no-repeat; }
  9. In terminal type: killall wingpanel to see the changes.

How to add the Pocketcasts Chrome apps to elementary OS:

How to add the Pocketcasts Chrome apps to elementary OS:

1. From CHROME or CHROMIUM Navigate to Pocketcasts:

2. Click the Chrome Menu, go to More Tools and select Add to Desktop:

3. Then type in the name you want (or leave it as is) and check "Open as Window" (if you want it to open in it's own window).:

4. Then from the Applications menu, simply right-click on the icon you just added and click Add to Dock:

5. It should now be in your dock for easy access!!