Aug 23, 2016

Quick Updates: Guake 0.8.7, WebTorrent Desktop 0.12.0, TLP 0.9

Guake 0.8.7

Guake terminal

Guake is a drop-down terminal emulator for GNOME (GTK2). The application is inspired from consoles in computer games, such as Quake, in which the console slides from the top of the screen when a key is pressed. In the same way, Guake can be invoked and hidden using a single key (though Guake can also automatically hide when it loses focus).

Guake 0.8.6 (followed by 0.8.7 as a minor bugfix release) was released recently with various changes:
  • added option to shorten VTE tab names (Guake Preferences > General > Abbreviate directories in tab names)
  • terminal geometry fixes; in my test (under Ubuntu 16.04), issues such as Guake not being aligned correctly on multi-monitor setups (running Unity) no longer occured;
  • fix the bottom of tab buttons being cut off in GNOME;
  • fix Guake window follow mouse option not working in fullscreen;
  • fix "changing max tab length" set all tab to same title;
  • fix Guake creating zombie processes in GNOME 3.18.

Ubuntu / Linux Mint users can install Guake by using the WebUpd8 Unstable / Backports PPA (see all the packages available in the PPA HERE). To add the PPA and install Guake, use the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/unstable
sudo apt update
sudo apt install guake
If you don't want to add the PPA, you can download the deb from HERE (scroll down for the latest version).

To download the Guake source, report bugs, etc., see its GitHub page.

WebTorrent Desktop 0.12.0

WebTorrent Desktop

WebTorrent Desktop is an open source BitTorrent client that can stream torrents, available for Linux, Windows and Mac. The application can stream either locally, or to AirPlay, Chromecast, and DLNA.

WebTorrent 0.11.0 was released about 4 days ago, followed by version 0.12.0 today. Among the changes implemented with these releases are:
  • support external applications for streaming torrents; this can be set in the WebTorrent Preferences, and requires "Play in External Player" option to be enabled;
  • new Preference to "Set WebTorrent as default handler for torrents and magnet links". Previously, the app made itself the default torrent file handler automatically. This option does not seem to work on Linux (or at least, it didn't work in my test);
  • Linux: add system-wide launcher and icons for Debian (and Ubuntu). Previously, you had to run the application once to get the menu entry to show up;
  • bug fixes.

A complete changelog can be found HERE.

Download WebTorrent Desktop

TLP 0.9

TLP is an advanced power management tool for Linux. The command line tool tries to optimize battery life by appliying various settings and tweaks, depending on your Linux distribution and hardware. While TLP is designed to work out of the box, without any user input, you can change various settings by editing its configuration file (/etc/default/tlp).

Changes in TLP 0.9 include:
  • tlp-stat now distinguishes between:
    • state: TLP enabled or disabled via configuration file;
    • last run: last time when TLP was invoked;
    • mode: selected power mode on last invocation;
    • power source: actual power source.
  • tlp-stat now displays battery charge and capacity (last full charge) values in percentages;
  • disks: AHCI runtime power management for host controllers and attached disks;
  • add another ThinkPad OneLink Pro Dock USB LAN (17ef:304) to Radio Device Wizard (tlp-rdw);
  • ThinkPad battery functions now load tp-smapi or acpi-call kernel modules on compatible models only
  • Radio Device Wizard now properly handles removal of USB Ethernet adapters (e.g. as contained in several USB docks)
  • more.

A complete changelog can be found HERE.

I should also mention that on my laptop, the wired network no longer works (on AC only) when resuming from suspend, if TLP is installed. I was able to fix this by setting "WOL_DISABLE=N" in the TLP configuration file (/etc/default/tlp), and then restarting the system. Issue reported HERE.

To install the latest TLP in Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and derivatives, you can use its official PPA. Add the PPA and install it using the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:linrunner/tlp
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install tlp tlp-rdw

For other Linux distributions, see the TLP installation instructions.

To download the source, report bugs, etc., see the TLP GitHub page.

via Web Upd8 - Ubuntu / Linux blog

Aug 19, 2016

How To Completely Disable Mouse Acceleration In Linux


Some desktop environments don't provide a way to change the mouse acceleration (GNOME and Unity for instance), and even for those that do (like Cinnamon), you can't completely turn it off. Here's how to completely disable mouse acceleration in Linux (for Xorg).

Disabling mouse acceleration is useful for FPS gaming. Mouse acceleration makes the pointer movement depend on the speed with which you move the mouse, accelerating as you move it faster. So moving the mouse across the same distance can have different results, based on movement speed. In FPS games, this can make aiming difficult.

With mouse acceleration disabled, the movement of the pointer is the same as the movement of the mouse, and it doesn't change based on the movement speed. As a result, your aim should be more accurate in first-person shooters.

To completely disable mouse acceleration, create a file called "50-mouse-acceleration.conf" in xorg.conf.d. The path to xorg.conf.d can vary depending on the Linux distribution you use. For instance, in Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and derivatives, it's /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/. On Arch Linux, it's /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/.

To open an empty 50-mouse-acceleration.conf file in /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/ with Nano (command line text editor; should be installed by default in most Linux distributions), use the following command:
sudo nano /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-mouse-acceleration.conf
And in this file, paste the following:
Section "InputClass"
Identifier "My Mouse"
MatchIsPointer "yes"
Option "AccelerationProfile" "-1"
Option "AccelerationScheme" "none"
Option "AccelSpeed" "-1"
Then save the file (to save the file in Nano, use Ctrl + o, then press Enter; to exit, use Ctrl + x). Note that we just need an identifier, the actual name doesn't matter, so you don't have to replace "My Mouse" with anything.

Once you're done, restart the session (logout/login). That's it!

Using this, the Touchpad acceleration is left unchanged.

You may also be interested in:

via Arch Linux wiki; image from Wikipedia

via Web Upd8 - Ubuntu / Linux blog

How To Prevent The Super Key From Opening Dash On Top Of Fullscreen Windows (Ubuntu /w Unity Only)

Unity Dash on top of fullscreen game

In Ubuntu (Unity), the Super (Windows) key is used to open Unity Dash. Accidentally pressing the Super key when playing fullscreen games can be quite annoying, because Dash covers quite a bit of the screen, so you can't see what's going on, and it also switches the keyboard input from the game to Unity.

If you've gotten used to using the Super key to open Dash and don't want to change it, you can use a script, created by Sergiy Kolodyazhnyy for AskUbuntu, which automatically disables the Super key from opening Unity Dash, if there are any fullscreen windows. Note that the script has only been tested in Ubuntu 16.04.

The script does not disable Super key combinations, so for instance, Super + L will continue to lock the screen, etc. Only opening the Dash is disabled, which is triggered by pressing the Super key alone.

You can check out the script code HERE.

To download the script and install it in /usr/local/bin, use the following commands:
sudo apt install wget
wget -O /tmp/
sudo install /tmp/ /usr/local/bin/

Once installed, you'll need to add the script to startup.

To do this, open Startup Applications from Unity Dash, click "Add", enter anything you want under "Name", and for "Command", use:
If you've installed it in a different location, click "Browse" and select the script. That's it!

If you prefer to change the Dash keyboard shortcut, so it doesn't uses the Super key, install CompizConfig Settings Manager (CCSM):
sudo apt install compizconfig-settings-manager
Then open CCSM, click on Ubuntu Unity Plugin, and on the Launcher tab, assign a different shortcut for "Key to show the Dash, Launcher and Help Overlay".

via Web Upd8 - Ubuntu / Linux blog

Aug 18, 2016

Rclone Synchronizes Files Between Multiple Cloud Storage Services (Command Line)

cloud storage

There are command line tools available for synchronizing files from / to cloud storage services, but they usually only support one service. Like Grive2 for Google Drive, the official Yandex.Disk console client, Dropbox Uploader, and so on.

But what about synchronizing files and folders from or to multiple cloud storage services? For such cases, you can use Rclone, a Rsync-like program for cloud storage.

Rclone can synchronize files and directories between Google Drive, Google Cloud Storage, Dropbox, Microsoft One Drive, Amazon S3, Amazon Drive, Openstack Swift / Rackspace cloud files / Memset Memstore, Hubic, Yandex Disk, and Backblaze B2.

The synchronization can be done either directly between these services, or to / from your local filesystem.

The tool is useful for backup purposes, but it can also be used as a solution for cases in which there's no official sync client available on a certain platform (either GUI, command line, or both, like Google Drive or Microsoft One Drive on Linux).

Although, for the latter, it's important to mention that there's no real-time file monitoring, and the synchronization only happens on demand (you must run it manually or via a script, etc.).

Rclone features:
  • MD5/SHA1 hashes checked at all times for file integrity;
  • timestamps preserved on files;
  • partial syncs supported on a whole file basis;
  • copy mode to just copy new/changed files;
  • sync (one way) mode to make a directory identical;
  • check mode to check for file hash equality;
  • can sync to and from network, eg two different cloud accounts;
  • is available for Linux, Windows, Mac, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Plan 9 and Solaris.

Besides being able to synchronize files and folders, Rclone can list remote objects, display the size of remote objects, create, remove, and delete remote objects, dedupe (find duplicates and offers to delete all but one or rename them).

There are also options to limit the bandwidth, set the connection timeout, and much more. Check out the Rclone docs for more information.

Rclone seems pretty fast too. As an example, I did a quick test and Rclone was able to upload a 141 MB / 52 items folder to Google Drive in about 23 seconds, while Grive2 took about 64 seconds for the same folder, with a second test being roughly the same. Copying the same folder from Google Drive to Dropbox took about 40 seconds.

This can depend on multiple factors, like the Internet connection fluctuating, server load, and so on, so don't take my word for it and give it a try.

The Rclone webpage provides extensive documentation for how to use it, including how to authenticate it with each cloud storage service, so I won't get into details about this here. See for more information.

Download Rclone

Download Rclone | The source code can be found on GitHub.

For how to install Rclone, either from source or using the Linux binary, see THIS page.

seen @ Korben

via Web Upd8 - Ubuntu / Linux blog