Tag Archive for 'gnome'

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Browse remote shares in non-GVFS aware apps

GNOME uses a virtual file system to mount remote shares, like Samba and NFS. The shares appear in any GNOME-based GVFS aware application (and those that use Nautilus as the file chooser), but with others like Thunderbird they do not. Someone on the Fedora list recently needed to attach a file from a remote share, but couldn’t.

I then discovered (thanks to a knowledgeable responder) that you can browse to these shares directly (no need to manually mount them) via the hidden .gvfs directory in your home, which means that if you access them no-matter what program you’re using (yes, even KDE apps), i.e.


Very handy!

KDE SC 4.4 is here

The KDE SC team has finally announced the much awaited 4.4 release, dubbed “Caikaku.”

KDE SC 4.4 Desktop

The sleek modern desktop environment from KDE SC has finally arrived. I’ve been waiting a long time for a solid, complete version and now I can finally delve right in and see all the goodies that KDE has to offer (although 4.3.5 was also very good, in my mind 4.4 is “it” and marks a most important turning point in the desktop).

Update: Renamed the title of the post so as to not appear to be dissing GNOME (which is also a brilliant desktop).

openSUSE 11.2 web links don’t work in Thunderbird under KDE fix

My mum’s machine runs openSUSE 11.2, with KDE 4. She continues to use Thunderbird as her mail client as it is familiar. Naturally she also uses Firefox for web browsing.

Unfortunately, web links don’t seem to work which is rather annoying. Firefox is set as the default web client, as is thunderbird for email. My guess is that Thunderbird is looking for some GNOME configuration on what to do. I tried adding some custom handler arguements in Thunderbird’s config (like about:config in Firefox), but that didn’t work.

In the end, the simple fix was to use gconftool to set the appropriate parameters:
gconftool-2 -s /desktop/gnome/url-handlers/http/command
'/usr/bin/firefox %s' --type String

gconftool-2 -s /desktop/gnome/url-handlers/https/command
'/usr/bin/firefox %s' --type String

Restart Thunderbird and all is good!

10% global desktop market share for GNOME this year?

Will we see Jeff’s dream of a 10% desktop market share for GNOME this year?

Fedora 12 and Compiz (Settings Manager)

Fedora uses the older method of enabling Compiz, via the gconf plugin.

The “Desktop Effects” program under System -> Preferences runs the /usr/bin/compiz-gtk script (part of the compiz-gnome package) to enable Compiz, or fall back to Metacity (GNOME’s window manager).

gconf backend
The compiz-gtk script executes the command:
compiz --ignore-desktop-hints glib gconf gnomecompat

On systems here (with NVIDIA cards at least), the gconf backend package was not installed. This means that even though NVIDIA and 3D is all working, Compiz won’t start. So, installing the required gconf backend package should make it all work.

su -c 'yum -y install compizconfig-backend-gconf'

Now try again.

ccp backend
Upstream however, Compiz has moved away from gconf and is using libcompizconfig (ccp) and the CompizConfig Settings Manager (ccsm) to handle settings.

Installing the ccsm package under Fedora and changing Compiz settings using the graphical manager (CompizConfig Settings Manager) results in none of those taking effect.

This is because the compiz-gtk script is not loading the ccp module. So the workaround is to install ccsm and then modify the script to replace gconf with ccp.

su -c "sed -i 's/gconf/ccp/' /usr/bin/compiz-gtk"

Now try again.

Keep in mind that updated versions of the compiz-gnome package may overwrite this file, so you’ll need to edit it again in future if this happens.

openSUSE 11.2 – Mono with Windows.Forms by default, in GNOME

I was pleased to see (although not too surprised) that the KDE desktop in openSUSE 11.2 does not ship Mono by default.

With GNOME, however it’s a different story. The main .NET applications included with 11.2 include Banshee, Beagle, F-Spot, GNOME Do, Tasque and Tomboy.

Not much of this has changed from the openSUSE 11.1 release, with the exception of GNOME Do which is new.

What is interesting, is that by default openSUSE ships the Mono implementation of Windows.Forms from .NET, which is outside the ECMA standard (and not covered under Microsoft’s horribly inadequate Community Promise).

Furthermore, all of the afore mentioned applications rely on Windows.Forms (package “mono-winforms“) and want to pull it in as a dependency.

At some point, Novell intends to split the Mono package between free and non-free components, but that doesn’t appear to have happened yet.

The fix

For users who don’t want Mono and .NET applications on their system, the solution is simple. Firstly, remove Mono and all that depend on it:
chris@wks1004925:~> sudo zypper remove mono

root's password:
Loading repository data...
Reading installed packages...
Resolving package dependencies...

The following packages are going to be REMOVED:
art-sharp2 avahi-mono banshee-1 banshee-1-backend-engine-gstreamer banshee-1-backend-platform-gnome
banshee-1-backend-platform-unix banshee-1-client-classic banshee-1-core banshee-1-extensions-default beagle
beagle-evolution beagle-gui beagle-index evolution-sharp flickrnet f-spot gconf-sharp2 glade-sharp2 glib-sharp2
gmime-sharp gnome-desktop-sharp2 gnome-do gnome-do-plugins gnome-keyring-sharp gnome-panel-sharp gnome-sharp2
gnome-vfs-sharp2 gsf-sharp gtk-sharp2 mono-addins mono-core mono-data mono-data-sqlite mono-nunit mono-web mono-winforms
mono-zeroconf mono-zeroconf-provider-avahi ndesk-dbus ndesk-dbus-glib notify-sharp rsvg2-sharp taglib-sharp tasque tomboy

46 packages to remove.
After the operation, 126.0 MiB will be freed.
Continue? [y/n/?] (y):

Next, lock Mono so that it can’t be brought back by any application you install in the future:
sudo zypper al *mono*

Finally, install replacement applications.

After a reboot, I had a weird issue where the GNOME Desktop Manager (GDM) didn’t load completely. There was no-where to put my username and the “Restart” and “Shut Down” buttons did nothing. It only happened once I had removed Mono, but it could just be Virtualbox playing up. I’ll investigate further..

Disabling single click in Dolphin (without KDE)

Justin switched to Dolphin under GNOME because Nautilus was too slow at expanding directories and the like.

One annoying “feature” for him is that Dolphin uses single click by default. Normally a user could change this under System Settings, however this is not installed.

So, the easiest way to change this (probably even if you do have System Settings installed!) is to edit the configuration file in your home directly.

sudo vim ~/.kde/share/config/kdeglobals

Under the [KDE] section, add SingleClick=false and save.

Close and re-open Dolphin and everything is now double click again.. *Ahhhh*

Simple graphical kill in GNOME

Under KDE you can press CTRL+ALT+ESC and get a cursor which will then kill any application that you click on. It’s a handy little feature.

Under GNOME, you need to open System Monitor, select the “Processes” tab, find the process in the list, select it and hit “End Process.” However today at work, Evolution crashed on Justin’s PC rendering the rest of GNOME unworkable. To fix this I just switched to TTY1 and killed Evolution, but it got me thinking how handy the same key shortcut would be under GNOME. After all, I couldn’t open System Monitor to kill anything.

The program KDE uses is called xkill, so it’s very easy to set up under GNOME. Just install it (by default it exists under Ubuntu, under Fedora install xorg-x11-apps) and open System -> Preferences -> Keyboard Shortcuts.

In that window, add a new shortcut, giving it a name and typing the command as xkill. Then you should see it in the list. Click on the right hand side to activate a key combination, hold down CTRL+ALT+ESC and it should add it there. Close that window.

Now you should be able to press CTRL+ALT+ESC and get your little cursor to kill any running program you want, simply by clicking on it. Simple work around, but might be useful to someone else.

FSF response to Microsoft’s “Promise”

The Free Software Foundation has published a reply to Microsoft’s Community Promise surrounding C# and CLI. Here’s a snippet:

Incomplete Standards

The ECMA 334 and 335 specifications describe the core C# language, including information about standard libraries that must be available in any compliant implementation. However, there are several libraries that are included with Mono, and commonly used by applications like Tomboy, that are not required by the standard. And just to be clear, we’re not talking about Windows-specific libraries like ASP.NET and Windows Forms. Instead, we’re talking about libraries under the System namespace that provide common functionality programmers expect in modern programming languages: binary object serialization, regular expressions, XPath and XSLT, and more.

Microsoft needs to do more to assure the free software community that they will not sue over the use of .NET. Release an irrevocable license for all patents in .NET (or at least Mono’s implementation) that remains in effect even after a sale of said patents. Or make a deal with Novell and get them to release Mono under GPLv3..

KDE 4: The Komplete Desktop?

I’ve just finished my second article for Linux Magazine, on whether KDE 4 is complete enough or not. Feed back welcome.