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Tips on GNOME Classic workspaces

In the world of affordable, dual 27-inch monitors, the GNOME virtual screen feature (aka workspaces) may not hold the same prominent position as before. But, to people like myself who still operate machines equipped with only a single 19-inch monitor, using workspaces effectively is still a big productivity booster. Below are some tips for using GNOME Classic workspaces. Tip 1: Change # of default workspaces By default, the GNOME desktop has 4 workspaces available. The default number can be changed. I, for one, would like to decrease the number of workspaces to 2.

Chrome Remote Desktop connects from your Android device to Linux

Google recently announced the beta release of the Chrome Remote Desktop for Linux. It allows you to remotely connect to a Linux machine from within the Chrome browser. Judging from the early comments in the Google product help forum, setting up the Chrome Remote Desktop on a Linux machine is still rather quirky for certain configurations.

Mix and match stable and testing releases in Debian

My Debian system runs the current stable Debian distribution Wheezy. However, there are software packages that are only available in the current testing distribution Jessie. Examples are dateutils, and Enlightenment 0.17.

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:

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