Jul 26, 2016

Ubuntu MATE 16.10 Yakkety Yak Gets A Unity HUD-Like Searchable Menu

MATE HUD, a Unity HUD-like tool that allows searching through an application's menu, was recently uploaded to the official Yakkety Yak repositories, and is available (but not enabled) by default in Ubuntu MATE 16.10.

Ubuntu MATE HUD

MATE HUD is a fork of i3-hud-menu, which we've covered recently, with a few changes:
  • xprop was replaced with a Python implementation;
  • rofi is used instead of dmenu;
  • rofi is automatically themed based on the current GTK theme;
  • the settings (including configurable keyboard shortcut) are stored in Dconf (org > mate > hud).

Slightly off-topic: Rofi is a lot like dmenu, with various improvements, like mouse support (allows selecting items using the mouse; dmenu does not). Furthermore, Rofi provides a window switcher, run dialog and SSH launcher. Check it out HERE. You'll find Rofi in the official Ubuntu repositories (15.10+).

Like i3-hud-menu, MATE HUD has some limitations, like not supporting Qt applications, Firefox, Thunderbird, or LibreOffice. It can also break the LibreOffice menu completely, as long as the "libreoffice-gtk" desktop integration package is installed. Check out our i3-hud-menu article for more information.

To try MATE HUD, you need to be running the latest Ubuntu MATE 16.10 Yakkety Yak. After installing all the available updates, you should see an option in MATE Tweak (under "Panel") that allows enabling MATE HUD:


If you can't see this option, make sure you've installed all the available updates (if you're using a repositories mirror, it may take a while until the package is synced). Alternatively, you can install MATE HUD using the following command:
sudo apt install mate-hud
Once installed, restart the session (logout/login) and enable MATE HUD from MATE Tweak.

The default keyboard shortcut for opening MATE HUD is Ctrl + Alt + Space. This can be changed using Dconf Editor, under org > mate > hud.


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Access Files, Directories And Make Remote Connections From The Top Unity Bar With Rocket Menu (AppIndicator)

Rocket Menu is an AppIndicator for opening files, directories, and making connections to remote servers via Nautilus.

Rocket Menu indicator

Think of Rocket Menu as a bookmark menu that sits in your top Unity bar, which allows accessing multiple resources from the same menu.

The app supports adding entries for files, directories, websites and remote connections. These can be added to Rocket Menu from its Connections Editor, which can be accessed from indicator menu ("Edit Connections"). You'll have to click "Apply" after making any changes via Connections Editor, for the changes to show up in the AppIndicator menu.

Note that opening remote connections only works with Nautilus.


Install Rocket Menu


The Rocket Menu indicator icon is broken in non-Unity desktops. Also, the package depends on Unity. So only install Rocket Menu package if you're using Unity!

Rocket Menu is available in a PPA for Ubuntu 16.04. Add the PPA and install it using the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:corenominal/rocket-menu
sudo apt update
sudo apt install rocket-menu gir1.2-gtk-3.0 gir1.2-pango-1.0 gir1.2-notify-0.7

If you don't want to add the PPA or you're using a different Ubuntu version, download the deb from HERE or grab the source from GitHub. After installing the deb, use the command below to install the missing dependencies (they may already be installed, but just in case):
sudo apt install gir1.2-gtk-3.0 gir1.2-pango-1.0 gir1.2-notify-0.7


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How To Safely Remove Old Linux Kernels In Ubuntu Or Linux Mint [Quick Tip]

Old Linux kernels can take up a considerable amount of disk space. Apt ("sudo apt-get autoremove") tries to remove uneeded packages, including old Linux kernels, but it may fail to remove all of them.

Apt may fail to remove old Linux kernels when using an Ubuntu version that's under development, if you encounter THIS bug (which still occurs in Trusty), or if you've installed the kernels manually.

There are various commands out there for mass removing old Linux kernels, but they complicated (and hard to remember), and not all are safe. So what's the safest way of mass purging old Linux kernels in Ubuntu? Well, according to Dustin Kirkland, it's the "purge-old-kernels" command.


The purge-old-kernels man page mentions that the command will never remove the currently running kernel. Also, by default, it will keep at least the latest 2 kernels, but you can override this using the "--keep" parameter (for instance "--keep 1" to only keep 1 Linux kernel).

In Ubuntu 16.04 and newer, the purge-old-kernels command is part of the byobu package. For older Ubuntu versions, it's available with the bikeshed package. To install these packages, use the following command:

- for Ubuntu 16.04 and newer, Linux Mint 18 and derivatives:
sudo apt install byobu
- for Ubuntu versions older than 16.04, Linux Mint 17.x and derivatives:
sudo apt install bikeshed

Once installed, you can remove old Linux kernels on Ubuntu (or Linux Mint) desktops or servers, using the following command:
sudo purge-old-kernels



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Jul 22, 2016

Nautilus Terminal Extension For Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial Xerus)

Nemo Terminal is an embedded terminal for Nemo file manager, that was forked from the old Nautilus Terminal. Since it was forked in 2013, it has received various improvements and bug fixes. 

Because the old Nautilus Terminal extension no longer works in Ubuntu 16.04, I decided to get Nemo Terminal to work with Nautilus:

Nautilus Terminal Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus
The new Nautilus Terminal (Nemo Terminal ported to Nautilus) in Ubuntu 16.04

Among its features are automatic folder navigation (it follows the Nautilus folder navigation - the other way around does not work), even on GVFS mounted volumes, as well as drag and drop acquisition of filenames from Nautilus.

Getting Nemo Terminal to work with Nautilus was as simple as replacing all instances of "Nemo" with "Nautilus". However, since I'm not a software developer, I can't fix any bugs that you may encounter. I will integrate any fixes that are added to Nemo Terminal though, as long as Nautilus still supports it.

In my test, the extension worked pretty much the same in both Nautilus and Nemo. This includes both its features and... bugs.

For instance, there's a bug (?) that prevents the terminal from closing (via F4) after it was just opened, unless you navigate to a different folder, as well as a bug with the terminal context menu when there are multiple tabs open (this one is actually more severe in Nemo).

Compared to the old Nautilus Terminal extension, the one I re-ported from Nemo to Nautilus comes with improvements such as:
  • all settings are stored in dconf;
  • can enter a folder path in the terminal by dragging the folder onto it;
  • support for terminal following Nemo to GVFS mountpoints;
  • changed default shell from bash, to user shell;
  • Vte 2.91 support;
  • various bug fixes.

The extension can be configured using Dconf Editor. To install it, use the following command:
sudo apt install dconf-editor

Once installed, launch Dconf Editor, navigate to org > gnome > nautilus > nautilus-terminal. Here you can configure if the terminal should be hidden or visible when launching Nautilus (I set it to be hidden by default), default terminal height, the hotkey to open the terminal (F4 by default) and more:


Note that only the "Terminal follow Nautilus" follow mode works right now (in both Nemo and Nautilus).


Install Nautilus Terminal in Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial Xerus)


To install Nautilus Terminal in Ubuntu 16.04 (w/ Unity or GNOME), you can use the main WebUpd8 PPA. Add the PPA, install Nautilus Terminal, and restart Nautilus using the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt update
sudo apt install nautilus-terminal
nautilus -q
If you don't want to add the PPA or don't use Ubuntu, you can grab the deb or source from HERE.

To open the terminal, focus Nautilus and hit F4.


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