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KDE4: how to relocate icons on the Plasma desktop

As a long-time GNOME user, I had to overcome some initial learning curve to the KDE4 desktop environment. My first puzzlement is how to re-position icons on the desktop. I tried to click and drag the icon. However, clicking the icon immediately runs the associated application. That was not my intention. The trick is to click on the side panel which only appears when you mouse over the icon. Drag the side panel to the target location, and release.

KDE4: Show the Trash Can and Home icons

My earlier post shows how to display the Trash Can on the GNOME 3 desktop. Not to be out-done, KDE4 also hides the Trash Can by default. This post outlines the steps to enable the display of the Trash Can on KDE4. I'll also show how to set up the Home directory icon on the KDE4 desktop. To display the Trash Can:

  1. Click anywhere on the desktop background. A menu is displayed.

GNOME 3: Get your Trash Can and Computer icons back

I recently upgraded from Debian 6 (aka "squeeze") to 7 (aka "wheezy"). Debian wheezy runs a newer version of the desktop environment, GNOME 3 (up from GNOME 2). With GNOME 3, certain desktop actions that users were able to do in GNOME 2 have been disabled by default. Below are some desktop features removed by default that I find particularly annoying:

  • No Trash Can icon on the desktop.

How to connect to Bluetooth headset/soundbar/speaker

Most modern laptops are equipped with the Bluetooth radio. It means that you can use a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard as your input device, and a Bluetooth headset, soundbar, or speaker for your sound output. This article gives an example of how to connect your Linux laptop to a Bluetooth soundbar. Device modelMy laptop is a DELL Vostro 1015 running Ubuntu 12.04.3 LTS ("precise"). The bluez Bluetooth stack is of version 4.98. My soundbar is the Panasonic HTB450. According to the Owner's Manual, this model features Bluetooth V2.1 + EDR.

How to modify the user-friendly Bluetooth local name

Each Bluetooth device has a user-friendly local name as well as an unique 48-bit hexadecimal device address (eg, C0:F8:DA:9D:CF:DF). The default local name may be too generic, eg, ubuntu-0, to identify you to the rest of the world. This post shows you how to assign a more descriptive local name. To find out the current local name of the Bluetooth device, execute the following command: $ hciconfig -ahci0: Type: BR/EDR Bus: USB BD Address: C0:F8:DA:9D:CF:DF ACL MTU: 1022:8 SCO MTU: 121:3 UP RUNNING PSCAN ISCAN <..sniped>

Verify if a Linux computer has the Bluetooth hardware

Many laptops today come with a Bluetooth radio. For desktops however, most likely you need to go buy a Bluetooth USB dongle. If you don't know whether your computer has the Bluetooth hardware, the following command will help you find out. $ lsusb |grep BluetoothBus 004 Device 003: ID 0cf3:3005 Atheros Communications, Inc. AR3011 Bluetooth$

Connect Android and Linux using USB

I have a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 tablet, running Android 4.1.1 (aka Jelly Bean). I'd like to transfer some files from the tablet to my Linux server running Debian 7.2 (aka Wheezy). The Android tablet connects via Wi-Fi to the same LAN as the Linux server. There are many ways to transfer files between the 2 devices. For example, you could install an Android app named AirDroid which lets you manage your Android device from a desktop web browser, including file transfer. In this post, I'll go another route, an arguably more direct and basic one. I'll connect the 2 using a USB cable.

How to connect to a WPA/WPA2 WiFi network using Linux command line

This is a step-to-step guide for connecting to a WPA/WPA2 WiFi network via the Linux command line interface. The tools are:

  • wpa_supplicant
  • iw
  • ip
  • ping

iw is the basic tool for WiFi network-related tasks, such as finding the WiFi device name, and scanning access points. wpa_supplicant is the wireless tool for connecting to a WPA/WPA2 network. ip is used for enabling/disabling devices, and finding out general network interface information.

How to use the screen command to run a program unattended

screen is a powerful terminal session manager with many use cases. One such use case is to start a long-running Command Line Interface (CLI) program in a terminal session, detach the session while leaving the program running unattended, logout, and return to the same session later from another terminal. Let's examine how you would use screen in a real-life situation. Imagine the time is 15 minutes to the end of your work day. But before you can leave, you have to run a program that will run for an hour.

Allow root ssh login with public key authentication only

Often, ssh is configured to disallow root to login directly. To login, root first logins as a non-privileged user, and then do a sudo to become root. There can be many reasons why you don't want root to login directly. You may be concerned about security. Brute force attacks by guessing the password are common. In addition to security, you may be concerned about traceability.

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