Monday, June 18, 2012

How to switch to kickoff menu PCLOS

PCLinuxOS (oh, what a name, I'd change it; nice OS though) ships with a classical menu.

The major drawback of the classical menu is that there are too many categories to navigate through, too many apps in a category to find the one you need, too long to arrange menu items the way you'd like to (as too many apps come pre-installed), and the last and most important - the classical menu makes the use of favorites impossible - which is the major advantage of KDE's default kickoff menu - I use 10 apps 90% of the time, so I do need a favorites menu. The category named "favorites" in the classic menu makes life no easier, neither does alt+F2 when you need to launch, say, system monitor or system settings. And another advantage of the kickoff menu style is the search bar - no need to click through categories.

So here is how to switch to kickoff menu on PCLOS:
Unlock widgets (if they were locked) -> right click on the menu icon -> Switch to Application launcher style.

That's it.

Friday, June 15, 2012

No sound on PCLOS 2012-2

After you install the PCLOS iso (that was released in February), next you have to do is to update your system. The update will bring a new KDE base, and besides this, the sound will disappear :)

No sound on PCLOS 2012-2

Luckily this is easy to fix - open terminal, become root and run:

# alsaconf

Agree with what alsaconf says, let it detect your sound card once again. In the end it will congratulate you that your sound card has been detected and that you now have sound on your system.

Basically, this works for any linux system. If you for example have no sound on Ubuntu, you can similarly run:
sudo alsaconf
in terminal.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Things to do on Sabayon 9 Xfce

Sabayon ships the Xfce Desktop Environment bare. The distro doesn't seem to offer whatsoever customized Xfce and forces the user to adjust the DE to his/her liking. Unfortunately, it also drops even some basic things that make the impression bad if missing.

Here are some basic things that need to be added to Sabayon Xfce:

Sound mixer/indicator on Xfce:
Add the mixer plugin to the Xfce panel

Keyboard layout configuration on XFCE. The following plugin needs to be installed:


This plugin offers a keyboard indicator for the Xfce panel and also a gui way to add a new keyboard layout, to configure layout switching options/shortkeys, layout behavior (used globally, on per window or application basis), and some other options.

Multimedia keyboard Volume control on Xfce. The plugin below makes the Xfce Sound Mixer accept commands from the volume up/down multimedia keys on the keyboard:

How to fix mute/unmute through multimedia keys on Xfce:

How to add calendar and date to Xfce panel:

How to change keyboard layout xfce

If you run a distro like Sabayon which ships bare-bones Xfce you might wonder:

How to add a keyboard layout on Xfce
How to add a keyboard indicator to Xfce panel

How to set a shortcut to switch the layout on Xfce

Install the plugin xfce4-xkb-plugin: (
Then add a keyboard indicator to your panel:
Right click on the Xfce panel -> Panel preferences -> Items -> Add (the plus sign) -> Keyboard layouts

Now add a new keyboard layout and configure the switching shortcut:
Right click on the Keyboards layouts -> Properties -> and then configure all that's related to your keyboard (keyboard model, add a new layout, arrange which layout will be first/default, set the options to change the layout, display flags or text, etc.).

Thursday, June 7, 2012

How to add and switch keyboard layout LXDE - Lubuntu 12.04

After all, I ended up on LXDE shipped by Lubuntu 12.04. It looks really nice, the default theme is perfect (unlike that of Xubuntu).

One tricky thing is though how to add a keyboard layout on Lubuntu 12.04 (if you didn't specify an additional language at installation). Basically, I consider a lack of a working GUI (lxkeymap returns an error) to configure keyboard layouts a big flaw of LXDE (there are other ways to configure this aspect of LXDE of course, I'm just saying no GUI is bad).

So here is what I did to add a new keyboard layout.

1) Add a layout indicator to the panel - right click on the panel - Add / remove panel items - Panel Applets  - Add - Keyboard Layout Switcher.
A switcher will be added to the panel, in Panel Applets you can choose the position for the switcher you like.

2) Next is to add a new layout. For example, I need Russian. This will be done by editing a configuration file. Run:

gksu leafpad /etc/xdg/lxsession/LXDE/autostart

Enter your administrative password to open up the document with root privileges. Then find the line @lxpanel --profile Lubuntu and add the following:

@setxkbmap -option grp:switch,grp:alt_shift_toggle,grp_led:scroll us,ru
Save file. Logout, login.
Press alt+shift to see whether the layout changes or not. It should change :)

By the way, there are more ways to add a layout on LXDE. They're nicely listed in this document:

How to change layout switch shortcut on Lubuntu 12.04

Examine the line - @setxkbmap -option grp:switch,grp:alt_shift_toggle,grp_led:scroll us,ru
What you need is "grp:alt_shift_toggle". Replace alt_shift with alt_ctrl, for example.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

sudo: update-apt-xapian-index: command not found - Lubuntu 12.04

Well, when running the command - sudo update-apt-xapian-index on Lubuntu 12.04 to make Synaptic (it rocks) list packages from 3rd party repos I got the following error:

sudo: update-apt-xapian-index: command not found - Lubuntu 12.04

The reason is quite simple - the package apt-xapian-index turned out to be not install (nice). Which is why all you have to do is to install it:

sudo apt-get install apt-xapian-index

And then rebuild the xapian index again (run the initial command). That's it. Synaptic is now fully usable.

Monday, June 4, 2012

How to install Ruby 1.9.3 on Ubuntu 12.04

The latest and greatest version of Ruby - 1.9.3 - is in the Ubuntu repos. All you need to do is to grab it from there.

So, if you don't have any other version of Ruby installed on the system, just do the following:

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install ruby1.9.1 ruby1.9.1-dev \ rubygems1.9.1 irb1.9.1 ri1.9.1 rdoc1.9.1 \ build-essential libopenssl-ruby1.9.1 libssl-dev zlib1g-dev

After Ruby is installed, check the version of the programming language - run in terminal:
ruby --version

If you have Ruby installed already and need to switch to the latest version, take a look at this post that will explain in more details what you need to do:

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Clementine multimedia keys on Kubuntu 12.04

Multimedia keys don't work for Clementine on Kubuntu 12.04. Yeah. It's a Clementine 1.0.1 bug, which still has to be fixed by the developers.

Follow up the issue here for a workaround (which still has to come) -
Or maybe a patch will be issued soon, and will be delivered through an update.