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How to change window manager for GNOME

If I ask a Linux user what desktop environment he is running, most likely he can tell me the correct answer - GNOME, KDE, Xfce, LXDE, etc. But if I ask him what window manager he is running, I won't be too surprised if he can't answer me. In fact, not long ago, I did not know that myself. The Window Manager dictates how various visual elements - windows, panes, icons, etc - look, and how users may interact with these elements. There are many window manager choices: Metacity, Mutter, Compiz, Openbox, etc.

Hide command from bash command line history

Linux is known as a very secure operating system. But, it is not going to save us if we voluntarily or unknowingly expose ourselves to unnecessary danger. For instance, a password-authenticated command may allow you to specify the password right on the command-line. $ mysql -u root -pMyPassword

Share the keyboard and mouse using Synergy - part 2/2

Part 1 of this 2-part series covers x2x, a nifty software tool that lets you use the keyboard and mouse of one X terminal to control another. If you want to control more than 1 other machine, or the machines are on different platforms (Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows), Synergy is the tool. Installation My primary machine runs Debian 7.5 - aka Wheezy.

Share the keyboard and mouse on two X terminals - part 1/2

I have a desktop and a laptop on my workstation, side by side. No KVM switch. Each has its own display, mouse, and keyboard. I thought I could always slide over to use the other computer. Wishful thinking at its finest. I started investigating KVM options. I like the idea of having both displays visible simultaneously. Therefore, the final solution only needs to share the mouse and the keyboard.

How to resize a picture using command-line tools

Occasionally, I need to resize an image. For instance, Google+ refuses to use my favorite portrait as my profile picture. The reason is that the portrait is smaller than the minimum requirement of 250 x 250 pixels. To scale the image, I can opt for a GUI tool such as GIMP or Pinta. This post explores the scaling of pictures using command-line tools.

How to rename files in bulk

Consider this common scenario. A directory contains multiple files that are named using a common convention: for example, image-001.png, image-002.png, image-003.png, etc. You want to rename the files to, say, upload-001.png, upload-002.png, upload-003.png, etc. The coders among us can write a bash script to automate the process. For expedience, this post shows how to use the built-in rename command to achieve the same goal.

Create slide show from pictures - part 2 (GUI)

Part 1 of this series shows how to create a video or slide show from a set of image files using ffmpeg, a command-line tool. This post describes Imagination, a GUI-based tool, which offers some fancy animation features in slide show creation. To install Imagination on a Debian Linux system:

Create slide show from pictures - part 1

After you upload your pictures from your digital camera to your Linux computer, you want to view them without having to manually open each one. This post explains how to create a slide show from a set of picture files using ffmpeg, a command-line tool. My next post turns to Imagination, a GUI-based tool, to achieve the same goal.

How to automate video screen grabs using ffmpeg

Part 1 of this 2-part series explains how to use VLC, a GUI-based video player, to capture single still frames from a video file. If you are taking many snapshots, you may find the manual VLC method too laborious. This post shows how to automate the capture process using ffmpeg, a command-line tool. Extract frame at a given instant The first scenario is to simply take a single snapshot at a given time instant.

How to capture still frame images from a video clip

I own a point-and-shoot digital camera which also shoots movies. As a novice photographer, I struggle in taking indoor evening pictures. Finally, I resort to first making a movie with the camera, followed by capturing still frames from the movie file. This post is part 1 of a 2-part series to explain the latter. In this post, we go over how to capture, using a GUI tool, a single frame from a movie file.

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